March 30, 2013

My Very First ATC

Thanks to Swap-bot, I have been trying new things and having an excuse to make time to create. Without having any idea as to what I would do, I joined an artist trading card swap for beginners. For those who do not know, an artist trading card or ATC is a small work of art that measures 2.5 by 3.5 inches. ATCs can be made of fabric or just about anything provided they have sturdy backing and will fit in a clear trading card sleeve. I had trouble finding the sleeves but it turns out that they are sold in the sports and gaming card sections of some stores and in comic book shops. Another big thing about ATCs is that they are not sold, but always traded.

With all that in mind, I cut some cardstock to the right size and then Mod Podged two pieces together to make it thicker. Mod Podge is great for this kind of thing because it doesn't make paper buckle the way that regular white glue does. With my card all ready to be decorated in some way, I found myself panicking. I couldn't think of anything at all to do! So, with time ticking away, I decided to let it be until an idea popped into my head.

This was the best thing I could have done, because unexpectedly, an idea did pop into my head. An image from The Graphics Fairy caught my eye as I went through my digital clipart folder.

Why not show a lady breaking this funny old rule? I combed The Grahpics Fairy site's archive of "Women" until I stumbled on a pair of ballerinas who looked like they were having too much fun. I scaled both images down and printed them out. Now what? As I was trying to think of how to do a beach background, I noticed an old unused greeting card with a scene of boats at the beach sitting on my desk. For some reason I had always hated this card, which came free in the mail, and had never brought myself to use it. Now the rather ugly beach scene disappeared when I looked at it, and the boats stood out. I could cut them out and use them for the bottom of the picture. A Sharpie would be fine for making a signpost. But what about the actual background?

I remembered a technique I read about somewhere online. You take a book page and paint over most of it with acrylic paint, leaving specific words strategically unpainted. I didn't want to mangle a book, or hunt for one that had just the right words on the page, so I typed up a document that just said "BREAK THE RULES" over and over all over it. Surely this way it would be easy to highlight the words I wanted, because they would be the only words there! To make it more interesting I printed it out on pink paper and chose yellow acrylic paint. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any of the paintbrushes with bristles anywhere in the house; all I could find were those big foam wedge brushes. So I accidentally painted over every single word! The paint made the paper curve a little but I liked the look of the yellow paint over the pink paper. I also liked the way you could still see the words through the paint. But I wanted to press the message home a little harder and cut out individual words to Mod Podge on top of the background.

When I put it all together, here's what I had.

I wrote "Break The Rules #1" because I think it would be fun to find other funny old signs and/or rules and make cards of them being broken. I'm not the world's most rebellious person--I am a stickler for traffic rules, for example--but I find that many of society's rules today are just plain silly. Someday they will make people laugh as much as "Ladies must wear bloomers on the beach" makes us laugh today.

Anyway, after sealing it all with a coat of Mod Podge, I called it a day. It isn't a perfect ATC, but I think for my first one it is pretty good. I can't tell how much fun I had making it! It was very hard for me to pack it up and send it to Sweden, but at least I will have this record of it to keep and to share with all of you.

March 26, 2013

Make An Easy Stamp

I am so sorry I haven't made a post about the next steps of my obsession journal. The reason is that I have not actually done anything more because I have a problem. I want to put an image on the front of it, but I can't think of an image to represent obsession! Is obsession an all-consuming fire? A zombie that eats your brain? It certainly isn't a butterfly.

If you have any ideas, let me know!

In the meantime, I am getting ready to make my own rubber stamps for a Swap-bot swap. While this is not a rubber stamp, I think it looks very easy and fun to make. But then, that is what you can always expect from Haley at The Zen of Making!

Tutorial Wine Cork Button Stamp

NEVER throw away a wine cork! There are so many things you can make from them. I am looking forward to trying this and will share the results as soon as I get the chance.