Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Collage-a-thon ATCs and a Postcard

This weekend I have really jumped back into creating ATCs and Postcards. I used to trade regularly on ATCsforall and am really excited to get back into it again. I have joined a few swaps that are due in March, but since my nieces were here with me this weekend I spent some time doing art with them on Monday and this is what I made.

This is a postcard I made for my Aunt Mary. It is a little more sedate than most of my other artwork. I did not want to shock my Aunt Mary with the clown cheeks and crazy embellishments of my usual style, I thought I would ease her into it. Even with all the color and embellishments on this one, I really did restrain myself a little bit. My Aunt Mary taught me how to knit, so I thought it would be fitting to create a card that resembled a group photo of a ladies Knitting Society or Guild. This postcard was created using images from a 'Vintage Victorian Ladies" Collage Sheet I purchased from DKMRamay15 on Etsy. Basically I used every lady on the sheet for this group photo.

I think I should mention right away that these cards were made courtesy of some free ephemera I found here on Flickr. Her username is Autumnsensation and you can also check out her blog
Basically I downloaded the Cabinet Cards Images I liked, opened them up in my PictureIt program and printed a sheet of them at Trading Card Size 2.5 X 3.5 on matte photo paper. Then I cut them out and glued them to lightweight cardboard (cereal boxes I had already cut down to 2.5X3.5 ATC size). This gave them a good weight reminiscent of real cabinet cards, and then I sanded them lightly to give them a more worn look and then I altered them as I would a traditional Cabinet Card. It makes it a little more challenging than just using clipped images and piecing them together for a collage. For the Elephant Rider, I actually used an exacto knife to cut around the face and then gently peeled the layer off the cardboard, so the card stayed intact and I just lifted out the face area leaving the backing in place. then I covered it with decorative papers and continued as I normally would in creating a background. The images shown here were printed in B&W, but I also printed them in color, which gives them a more authentic look.
The Elephant Rider ATC
This is an interactive ATC. The elephant and rider are all one piece and it is attached to the card through a slot and then a piece extends over the top and connects to the tab on the back. I glued a big button to the back for easy gripping and you can slide it from side to side and make the elephant and rider move along the card. I really like it and will definitely be making more in this style for trading.
Portrait of a Woman
This one is just a standard ATC. It was made using a cabinet card image and various collage papers, sharpies, BIC mark it pens, gel pens and some ephemera.

This was the first ATC I made yesterday. I thought her facial expression was rather somber and I had some book pages with text that seemed very fitting. I embellished the card in a whimsical way to give it more of a dreamy effect, like she has withdrawn into a dream rather than face a harsh reality. Maybe it is a little deep. But it was what got me started again. My final card was the Elephant, so you can see, the layout and ideas just got better as I went along.

Please check out the links I have noted here and have fun creating your own ATCs and Postcards!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunday Postcard Art Challenge

This week's challenge is all about EYES! This is the perfect challenge for me. I am very well known in the trading circles for my BIG EYE girls, birds, and anything else I can put ONE GREAT BIG EYE ON!
Here is my entry for this week's challenge.

The Queen Bee Society - the EYES have it!

I am really glad to be getting back into my art again. This week my nieces are here visiting, and so they also made postcards for this weeks challenge.

Abigail's Entry - Age 8

Jordan's Entry - Age 10

The girls had so much fun making these that they are working on two more postcards right now. We are going to be mailing ours to family later this week!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Handknit Toy and some Paper Craft!

Honey Bees - Simplified Anatomy

Today has been very productive in terms of art accomplished. I have not been active in creating anything in the paper crafts/mixed media realm for many months, and today I was hit with a creative bug. I have decided to write more letters to family and friends from now rather than just talking to them on the phone, and so I thought art would be a great thing to include in my personal correspondence. My cousin ( I hope she does not read this or it wont be a surprise) want to raise bees this spring for their honey production and so I thought I would make her a small rendering of some honey bees and thier anatomy. I also wrote a short note to her on the back and folded my own envelope out of decorative paper. Sadly the whole thing will have to wait to be mailed out on Tuesday, as the Post Office is closed on Monday for the holiday.

A small part of each honey bee opens up to reveal the organs inside.

This is the cover of a small book (4X6 roughly) that I made for my neice Jordan's birthday. I am still amazed at how quickly I was able to whip this up. This book has 8 signatures of 10 pages each which have been hand sewn and glued together before attaching them to the book. So 80 pages total is a nice little book.

Since it was Jordan's birthday I thought it only fitting to place Marie Antoinette on the cover of her book with a simple command of "Eat Cake". I like this book so much I am seriously considering making some more with different themes and colors to sell on my Etsy.

Hopefully I will be able to return to creating ATCs and other art in addition to spinning, knitting and everything that goes along with it. I made both the Bee Card and the book in just a few hours this morning. And tomorrow is Sunday so I think I might just check out Sunday Post Card Art and see what the theme is this week!

Several months ago I went to a book signing for Susan B Anderson at Schuler Books in Grand Rapids. She was going to be talking about her newest book, Itty Bitty Toys, and signing copies for everyone attending. I went with my cousin who was quite interested in the book since she already had one of the other Itty Bitty books. I was not so interested, but once we arrived Susan had all the toys that were in the book spread out on a large table. They were absolutely adorable! I fell in love with the reversible toys (as well as the Hippo, which I haven't made yet) and bought the book right then and there, and had her sign it for me too. This pattern was very easy to follow and the results are just wonderful. I am very pleased with how the toy turned out.
This toy was made for my niece, who is seen here modeling her little Cat & Mouse toy. I don't keep a large stash of ready made yarn on hand because I am a spinner. So instead, I pulled out some little skeins of leftover shetland and romney wool, as well as a bit of mohair. All of this yarn has been hand spun and hand dyed. I still think the mouse needs a little aqua blue pom pom on the back of the hat to make her outfit complete, but I have not made one yet. The ears on my mouse are a little bit bigger than the ones in the book, but although I did use a US4 needle as stated in the pattern, some of my yarns were a little heavier than what the pattern called for. Even with the big ears I think that mouse is super cute!

I just love how easy it is to flip these little toys from one side to the other. Constructing this toy was really much simpler than it may look.

and TA DA! Here is the cat, and my niece says "He has swallowed the mouse and now it is in his belly."