Friday, June 18, 2010

What's new at The Loft - Episode 27


I have been so busy as of late that my "fun" time has been full of playing catch up for my new Photoshop class with Susan Tuttle on Digital Layers.  Susan is such a great teacher, and I'm learning so much. 

Here are just some examples of the work I'm done for this class.  I apologize for the poorer quality of the photos, I used a copy of a copy of the actual photo file.  To see larger images in better quality please visit my flickr page at


Outside right now the temperature is 91 degrees but the heat index is making it feel like 104 degrees. That's too hot even for us here in Central Florida at this time of year, and my electric bill from running my AC 24/7 is proof of it.  If it's like this in June, it will be really bad in August.  YUCK!

ATC 3.6.5. Challenge

Still going strong on the challenge and I have been really trying to push myself to try different things so I hope you like what you see. 

6/1 "A Woman's Purse"  Anyone who knows me knows that I carry a large purse that pretty much has everything but the kitchen sink in it.  I get so many comments on it that it is funny, especially when I complain about how heavy it is.  I'm frequently asked what I have in it, or why do I carry all the stuff I carry.  All I can say is that I have what I need and feel lost if I take something out.  So there you have it and in honor of that theme I created this cute "purse" card.  The purse is hinged with a small white cardstock strip folded and glued to each side and opens downward actually opens downward, and is held closed when up by tiny Velcro tab.  I created the purse front out of some white cardstock that I covered in the animal print fabric.  I then attached some metal distressed snaps with my Crop-O-Dile at the top.  I used a soft copper wire to make the purse handles and twist with pliers, and the inside card is lined with a textured blue paper to which I hand wrote a little note.  It reads "The contents of a woman's purse is always a mystery to a man".

6/2 ""Where My Heart is"  My inspiration for this card was these cute little house shaped paperclips I bought a long time ago but haven't used yet.  Keeping the house in mind then I went to my computer and printed out a map of my neighborhood and adhered it to a card blank so that the house clip would sit in the upper left corner of the card, right over where my actual house is.  I then trimmed the excess to fit the card.  Lastly wrote the title, then hand drew a slotted line to show a driving route and a heart around where my house sits on the map all using a black Zig marker. 

6/3 "A Woven Moment in Time"  My inspiration for this card actually came from 2 different places, a piece of artwork I found online and an online site that sells yarn but also carries weaving looms.  The concept here was to take a still photo (hence the "moment in time" part) cut it into strips, and then weave it (the "woven" part) together.  The artwork I saw had used a photograph which was cut into strips and then small pieces of the similar parts of the photograph were woven into a geometric shape, that was adhere on top of the piece.  For example, they took a photo of 3 flowers, one red, one purple,and one yellow.  They cut the photo into strips and then on a larger substrate they took all the strips of the purple flower and had woven them into a square shape.  The results were and intriguing dimensional embellishment.  So I took a fairly large magazine photo (approx. 5x7 in) and cut it into strips, and began to lay out the strips to try and align them so that the similar colors or patterns of the original photo would be grouped together.  Since I was going for the whole card being woven I ran into a few problems.  The first of which was that the magazine photo was not large enough when cut into strips to be able to do much color or pattern matching.  The second of which was that with a background this small, to weave any kind of shapes you would need thinner strips or more nimble fingers.  I let my frustration (and the late hour) win out and I settled for a plain weave, with no pattern or color matching, and even though it wasn't what I intended when I started I actually liked it in the end.  The mix of colors and patterns works well, and adds to the visual interest, and reminds me of those photo puzzles where the overall image is made up of dozens of smaller images.

6/4 "What's On Tonight" I have this great book on making interactive scrapbook pages which inspired me to make this spinner card.  Spinner cards while easy to assemble, are not necessarily easy to design.  Your images have to be precise to fit in the window so you can see the changing images.  My inspiration in doing the spinner card came from listening to my two daughters discussing what to watch on TV.  They have a large age gap between them (6 1/2 years) which can sometimes cause conflict when it comes to what they watch.  So the basic concept for the card was create a spinner card on channel surfing.  So I took some brown paper and drew a  small TV and cut out the screen.  I adhered this on white cardstock, cut to ATC card size and then cut the screen space out of the white cardstock.  I then drew the antenna and dials on the TV with a silver marker, and outlined in a black Zig marker. I then hand wrote the title, and cut out an arched notch at the bottom of the card for access to the spinner.  The spinner which sits underneath the white cardstock is a large circle which is divided into 4 even sections and is attached to the card blank with a small brad.  It features 4 different images and/or TV logos.  The images and logos were taken off the Internet and reduced in size (my husband was a sweetheart and did this for me).  Each image was adhered into one of the sections on the round spinner.  Sounds easy doesn't it, but it really wasn't.  With the TV screen being square and the TV images being rectangular this created all sorts of problems with sizing every time you turned the wheel.  After a lot of maneuvering and trimming I managed to get each image to fit and look halfway decent not only as it was turned, but how it looked when it ended up in the TV screen.  Once this was done, I put very small amounts of glue in each of the 4 corners of the top card and base card, being careful not to get it on the spinner, or anywhere where the spinner would lay.  For those of you interested when you flip through the channels on this TV (by moving the spinner wheel at the bottom)  you have a choice between Burn Notice, Lost, The Simpson's, and The Family Guy.  Overall I was happy with this card, but if given the chance to do again I would have dressed up the front more, and added some typed text instead of handwriting it.

6/5 "ATC Doll"  I have to admit that my inspiration for this card was actually a copied idea I saw in a Somerset Studios magazine.  An  ATC doll was such a cute concept that I had to try one.  And even though I really like what I had done here, I would have changed a few things, like using brighter colors and different patterns for the papers  The papers for the arms and legs were actually tags from 7 Gypsies, along with the hand in the center.  The arms with inked along the edges in red using a Color Box Cat's eye ink pad, and the legs were edged with Distress ink in walnut.  The bingo card was from Jenni Bowlin which was distressed with some Tsukineko chalk ink in turquoise.  The head was cut from some Tweety Jill collage paper, which was adhered onto the neck piece cut from a 7 Gypsies tag.  All movable parts were punched with a Crop-O-Dile, and joined with small brads.

6/6 "A Little Bird Told Me"  An altered art piece featuring a nest cut from pages from a book was the inspiration for this card.  I really loved the nest of words idea and wanted to do something similar.  I started by taking a card blank and coloring most of the back in light blue, with a small strip of brown at the bottom using my Neo II watercolor crayons.  While drying I found this cute bird in a 7 gypsies tag pack and colored it red with the same watercolor crayons.  On my computer I found as many quotes as I could find that was bird related and printed them out on a beige cardstock, cutting them into small strips.  I distressed the edges and the surface with tea stain Distress Ink. I then built my nest by first putting a strip on each side and laying then at upwards angles and then laid a strip over the top. Then another strip on each side angled, and then one on top.  The side strips were of course too long so they were cut and were placed at random on top of other strips.  My goal was to stack them to make it look like a nest but also be able to read some of the bird quotes.  Before they were dry I lifted one of the top horizontal strips and glued the bird underneath the strip to lend to the illusion that the bird was actually in the nest and not appearing to sit on top of the nest.  I then used a purple metallic Gelly Roll pen and traced along the wing doodle that was already on the bird.  Lastly I drew an eye on the bird using a white Uniball "Signo" pen and a black Zig marker.

6/7 "The Apparition"   My inspiration for this card came from a technique I was trying called a gel skin.  I started this card by taking a black and white laser jet image and applying at least 3 coats of Liquitex gloss gel medium to the image, letting it dry thoroughly between each coat. While each coat was drying I created the background on a card blank.  I started by tearing small pieces of the pages of an old telephone book and gluing them down randomly on the card, so that not all the text was facing in the same direction.  When still slightly tacky I applied random areas of red and orange acrylic paint using my Adirondack paint dabbers.  When dabbing with the paint dabber, the tackiness actually lifted up parts of the paper underneath, so I went with it and tore them away, leaving the raw phone book page underneath.  When the paint was dry I went back over the whole background again lightly smudging some white acrylic paint on with a dabber.  This gave the back a more marbleized look.  While this was drying I went back to my image covered in gel medium.  I detail cut the image out then turned it over and applied warm water with a paint brush.  (you can use a small mister with warm water, which I have tried many times in the past.  It works well, but the brush worked better in this case)  With the white paper saturated, I began to rub away all of the white paper back until all you are left with is a semi transparent image transferred to a gel "skin" which the built up layers of gel medium created.   This "skin" was then glued on top of the background , so you could see the paint and the phone book pages through it.

Note: A gel skin is different from a gel medium image transfer in that with a transfer you are generally transferring an image from one substrate to another.  A gel skin is a image transferred onto a new physical form like a "skin", which is a rubbery, flexible transparency.

Well I have lots more to show and tell, but this post is getting long, so I will end for today.  Come back soon as I have lots more to show.  And coming up DIGITAL WEEK!!!.  All digital ATC's every day for a week.  I've done 5 so far and I'm loving it.  It's also had the gears in my head turning on other theme weeks we can do, and some other mixed media pieces I can do.  I'm very excited so I hope you come back soon to check out all the fun. 

I really love comments so please drop me a line .  Tell me what you like or don't like, share your ideas, or suggestions for improvements or other tips and techniques to try.  I'm open to anything and love feedback so don't be shy. 

Thanks again for stopping by!!!

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