Showing posts with label artist trading cards. Show all posts
Showing posts with label artist trading cards. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Chilling, thrilling ATCs

The theme for my artist trading card swap group this month is "Things That Go Bump in the Night." I had lots of fun making my cards with scrapbook paper and stickers, but wanted to spooky them up for this post, so I used the cool Halloween effects on Picnik.

I went a bit overboard with the effects. It takes me back to years ago when I first discovered how to change the color of fonts and use clip art in Microsoft Word, before I learned that more isn't always better.

I've never been much of a Halloween person, but this year I'm enjoying it more than usual. While out for my walk this evening I found myself wishing I could go trick or treating.

The neighbors probably wouldn't appreciate a 44-year old Hannah Montana knocking on their door.

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Show & tell and thoughts on letting go of stuff

When I went to see Cory in Grass Valley last month, she took me to her daughter Teresa's pottery studio, T-Pots Pottery, where I made this fused glass dish. I am so pleased with how it turned out! It was easy and fun to make. I wish Teresa's studio was in my neighborhood so I could make a few more of these dishes as gifts for family and friends.

The theme for our August artist trading cards was bags and shoes (and optionally hats). I struggled and struggled and struggled with it and couldn't figure out what to do. I've found that when I become both blocked and obsessed about some creative pursuit, the best thing to do is make it as simple as possible. Hence my ATC with little drawings.

I'm selling some of my furniture in preparation for the move next month and finding it surprisingly difficult to let go of my stuff. It used to be that I had no problem selling, tossing and giving things away, but I guess with age comes attachment. I sold my futon this morning and currently have an ad on Craig's List for this dining room table, which belonged to my grandmother. As I was writing the ad, a wave of grief washed over me because this is one of the last things that I have of hers. I've been using it as a desk the last year or so because I have a smaller table that fits better in the dining room, but there isn't room for both of them in my new place.

I've tried to donate this potato chip can twice, but can't let it go. I got it from my sister a couple years ago, and she said it used to belong to our mother. When I saw it I was flooded with warm childhood memories, but to be honest I'm not sure if I actually remember this can or not. It is the contents that really got to me.

Inside are the cookie cutters my mother used when I was a child. I have such fond memories of her baking for us. It is unlikely I will ever use these, but I don't think I can part with them.

You might have noticed that I haven't been blogging or visiting your blogs as much as I used to the last few months. There are several reasons. One is that my workload at my job doubled and I don't have the time and energy that I used to have. Another reason is this time of year, the transition from summer to fall, is a funny time for me. It brings on a melancholy, and if I don't take good care of myself it turns in to full-blown depression by November. So I've been giving myself lots of quiet time to read and reflect. The last reason is I haven't been knitting much and don't have anything fiber-related to share with you.

I'm thinking about starting a new blog that is more general or changing the name of this one so that knitting is no longer the focus. (Not that it ever really was.) I'm going to keep mulling it over and will let you know.

Hope that you are enjoying your weekend. I do plan to visit your blogs later tonight or tomorrow.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Grumble, grumble. Sigh.

I am so frustrated. I want to create, but it just isn't working. In the mood to knit, I took my plastic bins of yarn out of the closet and picked through my stash, hoping for inspiration. Nothing. I spent an hour on Ravelry looking at patterns. Nothing. So I got out my paints and embellishments, intending to collage. That started out well, but it didn't take long before I abandoned it, muttering, "My art sucks." Grrrr. I feel like a flower that wants to bloom but can't quite get enough sunshine.

So instead of showing you my latest works-in-progress, I'm going to share some of the artist trading cards I received recently from my swap group. (They are all photographed at an angle so that Blogger doesn't turn them sideways when I upload them.)

The one on the left is from Rachel at Not-So-Plain Jane. The one on the right is from Deb at Garage Sale Gal. They both have such an eye for color and design. You probably guessed the theme was butterflies.

From Cory at Pink Dogwood Blossom. She made it with her own handmade paper.

From Jill. I love the way she combined the butterfly stickers with the painted tree. The photo doesn't do it justice.

This one is from Cheryl for our Under the Sea theme. I love it!

I'm going to drag myself to the Farmer's Market and then go off in search of a chocolate eclair. It's shaping up to be a lazy Sunday. Maybe a day spent laying around doing nothing will prove to be restorative.

Do you ever get the creative doldrums? How do you snap out of it?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


The theme for our July ATCs is butterflies. I kept mine simple with stickers and scrapbook paper.

In another post I will show you the ATCs I received from the group-- they are gorgeous and so original.

Next month's theme is shoes and purses, which will be fun. I have a few ideas but haven't decided what to do yet.

The butterfly theme is timely because I constantly see a large yellow butterfly floating by outside my living room window. I wonder if it is the same one or if there are many of them? I never see more than one at a time.

Apollo looked so handsome this morning resting on the sunny window sill that I had to get a picture. I tried to take a black and white shot so I could join Linda's challenge, but couldn't quite figure out the camera settings. There is still a bit of pink in that fleece blanket.

Between work and blogging I have been spending so much time on the computer that my arms and wrists are starting to ache. I have been reading your blogs but not commenting as much as I usually do so I can give them a rest. Please know I enjoy your posts very much and will return to commenting more frequently soon.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Little creations

I spent some time last weekend creating art for the Mad Tea Party on June 26th and scribbling down ideas for my post on that day. It's been so long since I read Alice in Wonderland that I had to google "mad hatter" and "march hare" to refresh my memory.

These are little books I made with handmade paper and antique maps, savings passbook pages, playing cards, and more. They are 3.5 x 2.5", the same size as an artist trading card (ATC).

I was going to gesso and collage the pages, and then add my own words, but I love the look and feel of the papers as they are so I decided to leave them
unadorned for now.

This is my June ATC for my swap group-- the theme is "ocean." I wanted to do something different this month, so I used watercolor paints for the background and stamped the reeds. It is titled "Under the Sea."

This pima/silk Frog Tree yarn is the latest addition to my out-of-control stash. I couldn't resist buying it when I was in Mendocino last month because I love that little village so much and yarn is the perfect souvenir. Sometimes I think I like buying yarn more than I like knitting with it. The big gray hunk in the background is 650 yards of alpaca I bought from my sister. Some day I hope to make a lacy shawl with it.

Thank you to Debbie at Strings of Purls for awarding me the Beautiful Blogger Award!
I will have to share ten things about myself soon.

Lots of ♥,

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Travel ATCs

The theme for my artist trading card swap group this month was travel. Actually the theme was a foreign city, but I decided to go with a more general travel theme because ... well, because I'm me and need to do things my own way :o)

I made collages with antique maps, postage stamps, and stickers. The silver around the edge of the cards is Memory Foil Tape.

I can't explain why I love antique paper so much, but I really have a thing for it. On Monday I spent a good hour in an antique store sitting on the floor rifling through a basket of post cards, train tickets, vintage images, and other ephemera. It was sheer heaven, and I brought home some great stuff which I will show you soon.

The background for the above card is embroidered paper.

This is just a quick post because I need to go and watch the American Idol finale. Go Crystal! Or Lee! They both deserve to win.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

April ATC's

The theme for one of my April artist trading card swaps was paperless. It was quite a challenge! We weren't allowed to use any paper whatsoever, and I had a hard time figuring out what to do.

I experimented with metal, Fun Foam, Shrinky Dinks, and other materials before settling on needle felting.

The above ATC is for a different swap with a tree theme. We were allowed to use paper for that swap. I made the tree using a fused fiber technique from the book Artist Trading Card Workshop .

This last one is titled "Word Tree."

Next month's theme is a foreign city, which should be lots of fun.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Catching up

Hi everyone! Sorry I haven't been around much, but I've been laid up with the flu and haven't had any energy. I can't believe I've had a cold/flu twice this year and it's only March! Next year I think I might get a flu shot.

Have you ever read Mason-Dixon Knitting? I'd seen it in stores but never bothered to look at it until someone in my sock class recommended it. Fortunately, my local library had a copy. (I own waaayyy too many knitting books already.) Isn't that dish cloth different? I want to give the pattern a try.

Isn't it fun when you find yarn in your stash you forgot about? I won this Fiberphile sock yarn last year in a giveaway and just came across it recently-- I'd totally forgot about it, probably because I didn't know how to knit socks when I won it. Now I can't wait to play with it.

For my March artist trading card swap group, Cory sent everyone in the group embellishments to use on our cards. Here are some of the cards I created.

The background is scrapbook paper from a Somerset magazine. I added white Gesso to give it texture and colored in some of the images with felt tip pens.

It was fun selecting a word or two to add to each card.

Cory included pieces of red and silver foil in the packet of embellishments, so I punched heart and flower shapes out of it and glued them to the cards along with the rick rack, buttons, and postage stamps she sent. I had a good time making these cards.

This card is for a "Spring" themed ATC swap.

Our challenge for April from Rachel is to make cards without using any paper. I've been playing around with different materials, but haven't come up with anything I like yet. I'm pretty excited about it though, because it makes you look at and think differently about your ATC's.

I hope you are enjoying some lovely Spring weather. It is in the high 60's here and trees are blossoming everywhere.

Update : Gerry at GerryArt is having her first giveaway! You can win a wonderful sock pattern book and two skeins of sock yarn. Stop by and check it out!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lace Update & Artist Trading Cards

Thank you everyone for your tips on knitting lace, it helped me tremendously. If it weren't for you, I would have given up on the shawl. Instead, I'm making good progress and enjoying it so much that I've been working on it in my car during my lunch hour at work. And I've already started scoping out my next lace project, which will probably be another shawl.

The theme for my artist trading card swap group in February was "Vintage Valentine." (If you aren't familiar with artist trading cards, they are original artwork on a 3.5" by 2.5" card.) I couldn't figure out what to do and was a bit overwhelmed with my lace shawl and the sock knitting class, so I bought a bunch of stickers and pre-cut tags at Michaels and went to town with glitter and glue. They are simple but I enjoyed making them.

I made a few more, but forgot to take pictures before I sent them.

This one is a bit different because it is for a "Love" themed swap. I used postcards and lace from an antique store.

Would you like to win some handspun yarn? Check out the giveaway over at Lazy Kate Creates. Congrats to the talented Kate on her 100th post!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Getting organized (and a few ATCs)

Okay, don't judge me too much.

This is what my knitting needle drawer looked like up until a few hours ago. Needless to say, I had a really, really hard time finding what I needed. Not to mention there were another dozen needles scattered around my bedroom.

Enter this expandable file thingy I bought at Wal-Mart for storing important papers. It's been sitting empty underneath my desk for several months. (Sorry for the ugly picture but I didn't feel like getting out of bed.)

I numbered each pocket with a needle size and put the corresponding needles inside. It worked out really well-- it's large enough to hold circular needles and the extra-long straight ones, too. We'll see if they stay in there.

The theme for one of my artist trading card (ATC) swap groups this month was "You." I picked the theme, and then I had all sorts of trouble figuring out what to do. I finally drew a golden bird with colored pencils and added fiber and beads. It's not too fancy, but it was fun because it's the first time I've created a hand drawn ATC.

I also picked the theme for my second ATC swap group. The theme was "wild card", meaning we could do whatever we wanted. Again, I had trouble getting started on it. Having a specific theme really does help. I finally went with a vintage-style collage, and I like how it turned out.

Would you like to win some sock yarn? Pop over to Jenny's blog on knitting for her 100th post giveaway. I just met Jenny through the Adventures in Lace KAL and she is adorable with mad knitting skills. (Can I get away with saying "mad knitting skills", or am I too old? Or maybe that phrase is just way out of date. I picked it up from watching Buffy.)

Thank you for your get well wishes earlier in the week. Boy did I get sick. I've been in bed all week and will probably stay here through Sunday. I felt so awful I couldn't even knit for a few days. I think I'm on the mend now.