Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What's new at The Loft - Episode 26

It's Already June and School's Almost Out

I can hardly believe that schools almost out and in just a few short months my oldest daughter starts high school and my youngest starts second grade. I feel so blessed that I have two wonderful girls and I'm exceedingly proud of them for their accomplishments this year.

ATC 3.6.5. Challenge

Inspiration sometimes doesn't come easy for me but lately I've found inspiration in places I didn't expect to find it.  With the inspiration however usually means more complicated cards which have a tendency to take more time to create, leaving little time for any other creative endeavors. 

5/14 "Pocket Full of Wishes"  My inspiration for this card came from a layout I saw in a scrapbook magazine.  The layout was baseball themed, where the mom had  used pockets with journaling tags to highlight her sons' accomplishments in the sport. I played off this theme but with my own twist.  Instead of using a journaling tag to note some sentiment or relate some personal story, I turned the tables away from the "me" factor (I pick the sentiment, or relate the story) and asked for my family's participation.  I had everyone tell me one wish to which I then took to my computer, typed and printed out.  I then cut them out and adhered them to some strips of taupe cardstock.  Next I took this great paper that looked like jean material that was given as a free sample in Somerset Memories magazine and cut it into a pocket shape.  I then machine stitched two lines going around the pocket, one right along the edge and a second about 1/4 inch in to mimic the stitching of a real jean pocket.  I then applied glue to the inside of the pocket in between the two lines of stitching and adhered to a piece of brown textured cardstock that I cut for a backing. Once dried I slipped the journaling strips inside.

5/15 - "The Tulip" I have been wanting to include more fabric and fibers into my ATC's for some time but hadn't really worked up the courage, but I came along a photo in an article about art quilting that encouraged me to experiment.  I started this card by cutting a piece of bleached muslin that was 1/4" larger that the card on all sides, and taped the muslin to the background card using blue painters tape.  I next used my Neo II watercolor crayons to draw the tulip, stem and leaves onto the muslin.  Using my H2O water brush, I added water to the lines, and pushed the color towards the center.  I didn't want the tulip to have even color so I made sure to only push a small amount of color towards the center petal.  One mistake I made however was to let this hang to dry, which caused some of the red to run into the green. on the stem.  After the muslin was completely dry I then took the card to my sewing machine where I stitched around the petals, stem and leaves using a beige thread.  I then added a second line of stitching to the tulip petals.  I next removed the blue painters tape and stitched a zig zag border around the edge of the card to hold secure the edges.  I added a second stitched zig zag border to not only reinforce the edge, but to give the stitching a more messy look.  Lastly I hand sewed 3 clear buttons on with lime green thread for a little more color.

5/16 "I Love" - My inspiration for today's card actually came from a picture of a stamp on a piece of scrapbook paper from K & Company called "Life's Journey Stamp Collage" which featured small stamps that you could essentially use as tags or an embellishment.  One stamp featured the word "forever" on a strip of paper attached to the background with safety pins.  It also had ephemera tags adhere to the stamp with a button.  I played off of this same concept but with a personal twist.  On my computer I typed the words I love, and then I typed my husband and two daughers' names and added a short sentiment for each telling what I loved about each of them and printed on a manila cardstock.  I then cut the "I Love" title into a small strip, and each sentiment was cut into a rectangle shape and inked all the edges in Vintage Photo Distress Ink.  Next I worked on assembling the card.  I cut a background from some text paper scraps I had lying around and adhered to the card, and inked the edges with Vintage Photo Distress Ink.  I then took a different text paper and ripped a strip approximately 1 inch wide, inked the edges with the same ink, and adhered the strip going across the card at an imperfect angle.  I then attached the title piece to the card with 2 small safety pins.  Next I stacked my journaling and punched a small hole through each in the top right corner.  I also punched a hole through the card backing below the title.  I put a small copper eyelet through the holes of the journaling cards and crimped with my Crop O' Dile.  To view each card, all you have to do is move it to the side. 

5/17 "Everything You Need" - Today's card was a MOTW "Made on the Way" card, as I knew I wouldn't be home in the evening to make a card, so instead I made one on my lunch break from my "real world" job.  The inspiration for this card was this cute picture of the cartoon drawing of the girl, and the sentiments that were conveyed in the ad to which I found this. I honestly don't even remember what the ad was for, but the tag lines stuck in my head.  On this day however I didn't have any supplies with me other than an old glue stick, so I couldn't do much more with the card except tor cut a similar type background from another part of the magazine and piece it together.  For not being one of my more thought provoking cards, this MOTW card I thought really worked just for the sentiment it carried.

5/18 "Cute Fact #14 About Lynn" - very rarely do I feature anything about myself in my cards, other than my own creativity.  I'm a very guarded person, and not comfortable talking about me in general, and I've never been comfortable journaling at all, so one of my personal goals is to try and let go of that "fear" of being exposed, and try more journaling in my work.  What better way than to turn the tables on myself but to make a journaling card about me.   The inspiration of which was this cute little card tag that had "Cute Fact No." already printed on it from My Mind's Eye's "29th Street Market" collection.  Ok I did cheat a little bit in that since the card is about me, I wasn't about to write it myself too, so I enlisted my the husband's help to write down several things about me or my personality that he found cute. While he was doing that I went to work on the rest of the card.  I started by taking a card blank and taking some purple ink from my Color Box "Cat's Eye" inks and laying down an edge of color that extended toward the center of the card approx 1/4 inch on all sides.  I next cut a small tulip card from  pink plaid scrap of paper (manufacturer unknown) using my Cuttle bug and the Sizzix tulip card big die.  I folded two of the sides of the card in and glued to form a little pocket and adhered the whole thing to the background card with the pocket orientated to the bottom.  I next detail cut some flowers from some other paper scraps and adhered them to the top of the pocket using pop up foam dots.  In the center of the flower on top I glued a small gem stone.  I then inked the entire edge of the of the card again with pink Color Box "Cat's Eye" chalk ink.  I then went and retrieved the paper my husband had been working on and wrote one of the items he listed onto the journaling card with a black Zig marker.  For those of you wondering what it says, it reads: "Knows how to make me laugh even when I'm mad at her".   Finally the card was secured in place by a red heart paperclip I found at Staples.

5/19 "Tree of the 4 Seasons"  My inspiration for today's card came from an abstract painting I say in a poster catalog of a tree.  The four seasons as it turned out was a happy accident.  I don't have much talent for free hand drawing, but a tree I can do with a small degree of success, so I did my own take on the poster I saw.  First I used a pencil to draw the tree, which I then colored in with a brown Zig marker.  Next I doodled some flowers on the tree branches and around the trunk with a black Zig marker and added more doodles with red, green and brown Zig markers and a white Uniball "Signo" pen.  I then added color to the background using some Portfolio water soluble oil pastels that my friend Maura gave me (Thank You, Maura!!!!!) and added lines of color to the back which I smudged with my finger to soften and blend.  I then took the white stick from Portfolio pastel pack and doodled some more to the background.  If you look closely you can see some doodled lines between the blue and green and at the base of the flower in the orange section.  I absolutely love these Portfolio pastels, they are very creamy (and very messy in your hand) but they blend beautifully.  The only problem I have found with them is I need to find an art marker that can color on top of these without bleeding.  I added a black Prismacolor art marker as the stems for the flowers at the base of the tree, and you can see that the line had had a little bleed out, and is not as crisp as when I first drew it.  I will have to experiment with other markers to find another art marker that would work better in combination with these.  I didn't plan the colors for the background I just grabbed colors that I liked.  My 7 year old daughter was the one who spotted that I chosen the colors of the seasons and put them in a clockwise seasonal pattern with spring being represented by green in the upper left.  Subconsciously my mind must have been thinking seasons as well.

5/20  "The Key to My Heart" - In keeping with wanting to incorporate more fabric into my ATC's I quilted my first card using some scraps of turquoise fabric that I had left over when I "updated"  a memory board that I found at a Goodwill shop.  This also marked the first time I've ever made an ATC that had no card backing to it.  I'm not a quilter (I'm still trying to learn) so I'm not sure from a quilting standpoint if I did this in the correct order.  I first made my quilt sandwich with the batting and backing and machine sewed inside out leaving a small gap at the top.  I then turn it right side in and top stitched around the entire outside of the card.  I then machine stitched the heart three times in 3 different colors and then sewed the trim on at the top. I found an old key charm which I hand sewed on with embroidery floss in the middle of the heart and added some beads on the the side of the key with embroidery floss.  Lastly I stitched a doodle line at the bottom for additional hold. 

5/21 "Portrait of a Lady"  Here is another example of a black and white laser copy of a silent movie star which I colorized using my watercolor wheel, some Neo II watercolor crayons, a clear "Stardust" Gelly roll pen and a H2O water pen.  When I do these types of ATC's I noticed that I tend to pick more blue tones for the recolors, so I made it a point to choose a different color this time, with pink for the dress and brown tones for the walls and hair.  I don't think this one worked as well as some I have done in the past, but it's not all around bad.  Perhaps I don't like it as much because I didn't use blue tones!

5/22 "Mona Lisa"  I love inchies, which were my inspiration for today.  I have made some cute ones, but my favorite thing to do with inchies is to cut my inchie squares from a heavier watercolor paper, and using repositionable adhesive align them next to each other in the shape and dimensions I want and stamp on top as if it were one solid piece.  (Alternatively you could stamp on a solid piece first and then using an exacto knife and ruler cut your one inch squares, but I prefer my method) 

After I have stamped I then add the color to my stamped design.  For Mona Lisa here I used my watercolor wheel, and a clear "Stardust" Gelly roll pen for bling.  Once the watercolor paint has dried I then removed the squares and began gluing them to a black background, with space between each square allowing the black to show through to give the image a tile look.  I use glue sticks to adhere the squares permanently.  I like to use Tombow or Scotch glue stick for this because while they create a permanent bond they allow me some time to align the squares evenly.

5/23 - "Fabric Flower" -  Continuing on my experimenting with more fabric in my cards I cut three different sized circles from some scrap fabric and pinked the edges.  I stacked the circles and sewed a loose stitch in a circle near the center of the flower and pulled to gather.  I then added a button to the center and sewed in a criss-cross stitch. I then took a card blank and painted a colored background using my Neo II watercolor crayons and water.  I then attached the flower to the card by hand stitching and I also added a little glue to make a more secure bond.  Lastly I hand drew the stem and leaves with a green Portfolio water soluble oil pastel crayon for a messy hand drawn look.


 I really love abstract art so for a change to my usual routine I decided to do a theme block of abstract ATC's for the entire week from 5/24 to 5/30.  These cards don't have any cute titles and are simply numbered as part of the series, because to me abstract art is about the viewers interpretation of a piece as well as what the artist is trying to convey.  With that in mind I won't tell you about my inspirations on these cards, but instead I will just give you a list of the mediums and any other materials used to create them and invite you to let me know your thoughts and interpretations on the pieces.  

5/24 - "Abstract 1" - created using Portfolio water soluble oil pastels.

5/25 "Abstract 2" Crayola watercolor pencils,  Prismacolor black art marker and a white Uniball "Signo" pen.

5/26 "Abstract 3" This is more of a graffiti piece than an abstract piece but I've included it in this group anyways.  For this card I used Portfolio water soluble oil pastels, Liquitex "Basic" acrylic paint, stamps, and a Prismacolor art marker.  As you can see the art marker when applied on top of the water soluble oil pastel did bleed out again and was worse than when I used it on my card from 5/19, however even though you can't read the words clearly I think it works with the whole graffiti look.

5/27 "Abstract 4"  Made with Ranger "Adirondack" paint dabbers applied with the dabber and a brush.

5/28 "Abstract 5"  made with Liquitex "Basic" Acrylic paint.

5/29 "Abstract 6" made with Tsukineko chalk inks,  Color Box "Cat's Eye" inks, Ranger "Adirondack" paint dabbers, and rubber stamps.

5/30 "Abstract 7" made with Portfolio water soluble oil pastels and Ranger "Adirondack " paint dabbers applied with a brush.

5/31 "Bliss"  My inspiration for this card were materials that I just bought at the Scrapbook Expo in Orlando, FL.  I used a Jenni Bowlin mini bingo card as a background to which I placed a scroll heart glimmer screen and then sprayed with red velvet "Glimmer Mist" both from Tattered Angels.  Next I lightly and imperfectly hand drew some small hearts with a black Zig marker.  I then cut a small photo from Graphic 45's "Le Romantique" paper and adhered it at the bottom of the card at an angle.  I then hand wrote the letter U and glued a heart charm to the card, to make an imperfect I heart U but as you can see the concept doesn't work and I wasn't happy with my end result on this card for today.

Whew!  That sure was a lot but I've just caught you up on my cards through May.  I'm looking forward to posting the really cute cards I've done so far for June. 

For those of you curious to know if I  have been cheating or not on the challenge, the answer is no.  I have been following my rules faithfully which is 1 card per day and no do-overs.  I will admit that on some days it is tempting to skip a card and make up for it on another day when I have more time, but I'm proud to say I've been true to my challenge to which my family can attest to and is evidenced by the lack of creative quality on days when I was very tired or stressed out from my "real world" job (see card from 5/31).  I also keep true to my rule of not doing another card if I don't like the results of the first one I did. I like to treat each card as a learning experience and examine them to find what works and what doesn't.  If I don't like a card, what is it about it I don't like, and what could I have done differently to make it work better. 

I hope you have enjoyed what you have seen so far.  As always your comments are welcomed and encouraged so please feel free to drop me a line and let me know what you think.  I'm glad you stopped by and I hope you come back soon.

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