Wednesday 29 January 2020

Artist Trading Card (ATC) - Mixed Media

Ahoy and welcome back!
Today I have something a bit different to share with you. Different for me anyway as Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) have been around for over 20 years now. 

 ATCs were started by the Swiss artist Vänçi Stirnemann in 1997 and are mini, creative projects measuring 2.5" x 3.5". They are handmade, unique pieces of art or sometimes part of a small series, that are then signed and dated on the back by the creator and exchanged and collected by fellow artists.

I love this concept, just making something small, something unique and in the case of this one, something personal to the recipient...a fellow gardener / artist on the other side of the world. 
Shona contacted me out of the blue, at the end of last year and asked if she could send me a handmade Christmas card. I was so touched when it arrived with a personal note too and it got me thinking how can I repay such out-of-the-blue kindness with something other than a card? 

The problem I have, probably like most of you, is a huge desire to make things (when the ol' crafting mojo is in da but nowhere to store all the things I want to make. I can only make so many cards for friends and family and when it comes to mixed media I could make bits n' bobs all day but what do you do with it, unless it's a commissioned piece?

So the humble ATC has become a little outlet for me to still make the things I love without having to rent an enormous warehouse to store it in. It's also a great way to share different ideas and materials with others as well as inspire, motivate & encourage with maybe a sentiment or message.

So my first ATC is a garden themed arrangement using a variety of textures and pastes, glass, paints, glitters and stones. The floral (seed heads) and leaves are from Mintay's new Flora Book. 
The ATC itself is a Strathmore 500 series Illustration Board.

I've made a few more since (which I'll share another day) but I'd be interested to hear from anyone else who makes ATCs and swaps / shares them with others.
Back soon x

Friday 17 January 2020

Mixed Media Tag

It's cold, rainy, windy, grey n' gloomy out so I thought I'd share some delicate, warm, summer shades with you today to help chase away those winter blues. 

I love making tags. They're great for either prettying up gifts or for giving as a gift itself. I especially like making them either with a photo of the recipient, or of a loved one, or simply with a message of some kind.

I started with a tag from Prima, covered it with a sheet of paper from First Edition's beautiful 'The Promise' collection. then began decorating...the best bit!

As per...there's ooooodles of stuff on here... wooden embellishments, Nuvo Drops, mini art stones, glass stones...

...beaded decorations, flowers galore (from Wild Orchid Crafts) and even my first attempt at a paper clay mould (that swirly bit at the back).

I resisted adding any glitter on this one...SHOCK! HORROR!

A simple message of encouragement et voila!
Job done.
Thanks for stopping by and I'll be back again soon...I'm on a

Friday 10 January 2020

Altenew - Cattleya & Weekend Doodles

Ahoy and welcome back!
I'm a sucker for anything 'planty', be it real, ornamental or in stamps and Altenew are great at feeding my floral addiction.

This is their gorgeously, delicate Cattleya stamp set, which, if you're not a plant-addict like me, is an orchid originating from Central & South America. 
It's a layering stamp so I used some Altenew inks that I got for Christmas. I kept ummmming n' arrrrring over these inks for ages... put in a request to Santa, got a few sets and fell in love (with the inks, not Santa...although he's a fairly decent chap when it comes to

The beauty of these inks is that the thinking about what colours go well together is taken care of for you. If you're not familiar with them, each colour comes in a set of 4 shades from light to very dark, so using them with layering stamps is easy-peasy. 
The leafy wreath behind my floral image is from Altenew's 'Weekend Doodles' set. 

So my resolution to remove my crafty stash from it's packaging and actually start using it has begun. In fact I'm on such a roll I made 5 cards the other day... I know...Shock! Horror! 
Thanks for stopping by, have great weekend & I'll be back soon.

Sunday 5 January 2020

Layout 'Special Friend'

Hello there!
Welcome to 2020 chez moi.
Today's project is a 12" x 12" framed gift that I made for someone for Christmas using a selection of beautiful papers from AB Studio, Lemoncraft & Fabrika Decoru.

Fussy cutting on these cold, grey, winter days has become my way fav' way of cosying up & keeping myself entertained and trust me, there was HEAPS of fussy cutting on this one.

So this project all centered around the recipient's beloved hound, Harvey.

To start, I spent about 5 years (lol) pontificating over the background sheet of paper and where on the paper to place the photo. 

Then came the easy & fun bit...


I started by stamping some leaves from Altenew's 'Leaf Cluster' set with 'Wheat' Versamagic ink for a subtle kinda shadowy backdrop behind the photo. I also stamped & embossed the same images with WOW's 'Mojito' glittery embossing powder, die cut them, then started piecing together the layout with my fussy cut flowers & leaves from AB Studio's 'I Love You' & Fabrika Decoru's 'Sentimental Story'.

Getting the layout just right takes slightly less time than choosing the background paper...about 4.5 years. Then it's a case of sticking it all down before adding the 3D embellishments of flowers, pearls, glass gems, art stones & thread.

The finishing touches included glittery highlights and fussycut butterflies from Lemoncraft, then the whole piece was framed. 

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