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Friday, February 27, 2015

Accordion House ATC - An Experiment

I think ATC houses are really fun to make.  My mixed media ATC group has a house theme this time so to keep up with these talented ladies I had to do something different.  Enter my experimental accordion ATC.


It lays flat to ATC size:


My other houses were more on typical ATC lines.  I had a hankering (yes, a hankering!) to make a monochromatic ATC.  The urge was satisfied here:


My last one has an interactive front door:


I love my Fridays.  I only work Monday-Thursday so Fridays are my day to hang out in the studio.  However, I have been seriously procrastinating...the real house needs some attention now.  Off to vacuum and fold laundry.  Ugh...not nearly as fun as creating, but you gotta do whatcha gotta do. 

Ciao for now...







Saturday, February 21, 2015

Stoked to be the Top Talent Spotlight over at Our Creative Corner

Get out!  I am so honored to be highlighted over at Our Creative Corner today.  The challenge theme this month is 'Anything Goes'.

You may remember that way back last spring I couldn't resist the $1 wooden birdhouses at JoAnns.  In my typical Julie ADD fashion I flung myself into decorating birdhouses with wild abandon but quickly burned out before finishing the last one.  Since then this lone sad little birdhouse has relocated numerous times on my work desk silently mocking me.  The combination of the 'Anything Goes' challnege and a long, grey winter kicked me into gear with visions of a warm, green spring, and fairies frolicking in my garden.  I decided they needed a shelter. Here's how it went down...

The lone birdhouse survivor. It had been sitting here gessoed and with a blue roof for months.

The blue roof wasn't working for me anymore so I went with green.  I had visions of mud-packed walls (it is the Pacific NW after all) so added some texture with modeling paste.


I painted the walls with a combo of brown, burnt sienna and black paints.


I really liked the way my Garden Nymph Hideaway turned out last year so I added flowers to the roof of this one too.  I think I've had these flowers for almost 10 years.  So happy to put them to use!  My plan was to have it monochromatic like the garden nymph's digs but once the flowers were all on there I kind of liked the  multi-colored look.


While browsing the clearance section at Hobby Lobby several weeks ago I spotted some acrylic glazes reduced 80%.  Without a clue how to use them, but loving a good deal,  I picked up some bottles.  It turns out they are intended for model makers to add to their vintage airplanes etc.  "Hmmm..." I thought to myself.  "What the heck.  Let's give it a whirl!" I added some Pine Wash over the mud-caked walls of my little cottage.  The barest hint of green that it added is just perfect to suggest what a mini dwelling hidden away under some ferns in the forest would look like.  Almost done!

 

I went to the craft store to pick up some finishing touches.  When I grabbed the packaged moss I noticed that it sure did look like the 'real moss' that serves as grass in my backyard.  Why pay for that?  I felt confident that I could harvest my own.  It was ridiculously easy.  I took a fork and gathered up chunks of moss.  Then I set them on a paper towel and placed it on a heater vent overnight.  The next morning I shook off the excess dirt and wah-lah!  Dried moss!  I attached it and the little mushrooms with hot glue.  Some Stickles in the flower centers completed my project.


Now that Valentines' Day is past I'm ready to start decorating for spring and St. Patrick's Day.  I think my little Faerie's Cottage will fit right in on my mantle.

Thanks so much for stopping by and slogging through my post.  ;)  Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Binge ATC-ing

I'm not sure why exactly, but I went on an ATC swap sign-up binge about a month ago.  I think their small size gets my creativity kicked into gear.  Here are some more I've created for various swaps.

I pulled out my seahorse die again to create this ATC for a metallic themed swap.  The person I sent it to loves all things beachy and oceany so I think she'll like this.  The background is from an old nautical chart.  I scored a big pile of them on Freecycle a year or so ago.  I had (and still have!) big plans to bind a bunch of journals using them, but in the mean time I'm cutting them into smaller bits for things like ATCs.


This next batch is for the theme "March Bizarre Holidays".  The snowman makes me laugh.  I'm odd that way.  I participated in the February one too.  I'm hoping to keep it up throughout the year so I can display them all each month.


And this group is for a nautical theme.  I was so pleased with myself that I found these sailboat charms on clearance just when I needed them.  You can see more nautical charts in use on these.  Couldn't resist that!



Wishing you all a most wonderful day. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Shrinky Dinks on ATCs

I've had a package of Shrinky Dinks in my drawer for years.  Every once in a while I pull it out and make a little something, but for the most part it lays there forgotten.  When it was time to pick a technique I wanted to do for the PAT (pick a theme) swap they popped into my brain.  Here are two of the ATCs I made with them.


I had been planning on adding some pearls or something to this but completely forgot to do it.  Oops.


I found this flying watch stamp at JoAnns last week for $3.  Couldn't resist that!

It always amazes me to see how much they shrink down - about 1/3 of the original size - but still keep the detail of the original.  I used Staz-On ink to stamp the images and then painted with acrylic paints on the backs of the pieces post shrinking.  In the past I've used Copics to color images and that worked well.  I've never tried it, but colored pencils are supposed to work well too.

They're fun to play with.  Give it a go!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Checking a Project Off the To-Do List

That is such a great feeling, isn't it?  I've had a massive swap that I'd been putting off completing.  As the deadline neared though I got my gears going and finished them up.  25 ATCs later I'm ready to pack these babies up and send them on their way.



This was a PAT (Pick-a-Theme) swap and each card had to be different.  Here are some of my faves.


I like the texture on this guy.  I used glass bead gel and cheesecloth behind the seahorse.  The background stamp is one of my faves too, but I hardly ever use it.


This just makes me laugh. The theme is 'Bud Light'.

I was in a couple of vintage-themed groups and had fun browsing for images.



Ha ha!  Can't you just imagine these two dissing their fellow tea party attendees?  (The theme is 'tea' for this one.)


I pulled the pattern and images from the internet but I swear one of my older sisters made this dress for a high school dance.


I don't usually do frilly and sweet so this was a tricky one for me.


The theme for this was vintage kitchen/newlywed bloopers.  I think this works.

That's it for today.  I'll probably share some more faves in the next day or so.  Happy Valentines' Day!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

A Snowy Friend ATC

There are a couple of challenges that I've been meaning to play along with over the last week - Stampotique's Painted Background and Wicked Wednesday's Snowman.  I came up with this ATC:


My painted background was made using Distress paints over some stenciled texturey dots.


I stamped my snowman separately and then glued it on the base.  A little hand-drawn border, Distress ink around the edges, and glittery Stickles on the "flakes" finished it off.

Thanks for peeking!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

A Smattering of ATCs

My muse has really been making me work lately - she's been no help at all.  I struggled mightily to come up with cards for my mixed media group themes - arrows and metallic/vintage/embossed.  While I've looked longlingly at several challenges the past couple of weeks I just haven't gotten the mojo going to participate.  Hopefully SOON.

I finally came up with these for the arrows theme:


I started with a base of crumpled tissue paper which I painted over with Distress paints.  I stenciled arrows over the top and then left them sitting there for two days.  Finally I pulled out some Tim Holtz masks (remember those??) and used Cupid with some black acrylic over the top.  They sat for a couple more days... Embossing paste was next (through a stencil) and then I painted over the pasty hearts with some Dylusions.  Eh...they're alright, but I keep thinking I missed something.

The next theme was to use embossing, vintage and metal on ATCs.  Easy, right?  It should be! I finally came up with these:


It is a little funny to me that my projects rarely turn out the way I initially envision them.  I never had a butterfly in mind when I made the gear background for instance.  I do love how the butterfly turned out though.


So that's it.  If you've been wondering where I've been you now know that I was sitting in my creative space willing myself to be creative.  ;)

Cheers!