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It’s all about the moon – ATC coin series

As promised, here are the close shots of the coins I showed in process yesterday:

Very bright, very collage-y, little pocket pieces of art. So much fun to make and trade. And in aid of that, here is another printable sheet of ATC coin backs. Make sure your printer is printing at 100% for them to be exactly 2.5 inches, but if you wanted to size them slightly smaller you could – like if you also have a 2.25 inch punch and you don’t like to have to get them precisely placed! They look like this and you can download them here:

I re-jigged the placement every so slightly to give more room for writing.

WOYWW tomorrow and no knitting this week as it is the last week darling daughter has before beginning her last year of school so we are doing a lot of mommy/daughter things. I love my girl!

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New coins and my collage process

I made a series of new coins for trading, using some of the collage images from Crowabout Studio B. I can’t tell you how much I am loving them. I thought I would share my process, which is more or less the same no matter what images I am using.

The first step is to decide on the background. This could be a masterboard I make, or it could be (as it was with these) a printed “paper” from the collections. Here is the Preview sheet form one of the kits I used, although I used bits and bobs from a few collections:

I take the images from the kit, using the individual .pngs and compile them into a single sheet to print, rather than printing the “collage sheets” you can see at the left, which would print all the images, many of which I might not need. I might create a grouping, rather than individual images as well. If I am using an image multiple times I might print it in a variety of sizes.I also research the quotes or words I might like to use and print those out – I often make a sheet with multiple font and/or size options.

If I am using a printed paper or a background I made, I will punch or cut the coin or card

Loving my new 2.5 inch punch!

and tart it up a little, maybe with some pen work, some stamping, and some spattering

then I cut out all the little elements. I usually ink the edges, but not always. It does help make bits from different kits work better together if they are all inked. Inking the edges of the coins or cards themselves also brings things into a more cohesive whole.

Once I get all the fronts composed, if I haven’t done that on heavy card, I will back them with my ATC backs that have been printed on heavy card or maybe sandwich a circle cut from cereal box card between – anything to give them some stability and some heft. I have recently been editing the sheet of backs I made to add those elements that don’t have to be handwritten (ie. my signature!)

Printing them and adding them to the backs, then a final ink around the entire coin and they are done!

Phew. Many steps but none of them too difficult. I am a little photo-heavy already so I will add the close up of the coins (and if I can get organized, another printable sheet of backs) tomorrow!

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Just another set of ATCs

I am really exploring how best to use my new stash of Crowabout Studio B printables and it is so much fun. I saw that one YouTuber talk about how she does it, but her method is to print the collage sheets then cut out all the elements and store them for current or future use. I go a different way. I usually compile the images I think I want to use onto a single sheet, using the .png images, which I can them size for exactly what I need. Here is a too small to print and have it be useful (copyright and all that) sample of what I mean:

and then start cutting to assemble. I didn’t manage to get the elements precisely right so I do have quite a bit of leftover stuff:

I started with some paper for the background which I stamped and enhanced to fit my vision and ended up with these:

I considered figuring how I might replace the reversed text from flipping the owls but in the end decided they were fine as is. I like them a lot – I call the series Side-eye Owls and I have already traded all but one of them. A closer look:

I think I might document my process a bit better and share that, especially given the Mischief Circus site where I got the downloads is shutting on 12th Sept! If you are at all interested I would say dash on over and grab some bits while you can. Not sure when I am going to get tired of ATC coins and cards. I am really enjoying making and trading them for now.

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Pre-decorated Envelopes

I was watching a very old You Tube video that I stumbled on by someone called Crafty Hodges. She is just my style! One of the things she has in her videos are links to some quirky character downloads. I love them all. There is a link in this video (and a few others) to some free downloadable sheets. In one video she shows an envelope she made using some digital papers and some of her collage clips. She built hers by printing out the bits, cutting them and sticking them to a blank envelope that she cut using a score board. I did that:

but I went a bit more high-tech. I cut an envelope of the size I wanted using the punch board.

Then, I converted it to a .png. When I add it to my program , I make it slightly sheer. I can see the score lines clearly. I drag in a piece of digital paper and arrange it so the template is over the paper. I can build the collage elements on the address area.

Then all I do is hide the envelope template layer and print, cut, and make the envelope as usual. To be honest I probably don’t have to ass the digital paper, just the template of the correct size is enought for placement, but I like to preview the whole thing to see how it all works. I can even add the address digitally before I print it. I messed up on the brown one (the envelope was actually too small for the folder holder and all the goodies in a double ATC card swap) but it was easy enough to cut out eh address part and stick it to the front of a bigger envelope

I think they are very cute and make nice goodies to send as happy mail. I will probably make a few more, but I also saw a video on making a “magazine journal” and I quite like the idea of that to fill with collage play. I am far too distractable. but I am having fun so what’s the harm?



Decidedly Quirky ATCs

As you will have seen back on Tuesday, the Crowabout digital images are a ton of fun. I decided to combine the quirky words and some of the creatures (some as they are, some created from bits) to top those masterboard ATCs.

I rather enjoy cutting stuff out. All the way back in my scrapbooking days, I was an avid letter-cutter-outer. Microtip scissors are the key. I gotta say I really love these cards. Not sure if you want to see all the close ups, but I took ’em so I’m gonna share ’em. Here is an overview so you can skip the detail if you like:

And three by three:

I have another use for the images that I think will be fun but I have to work out the details. I will, but it is taking a bit of time….


WOYWW 638 – a new card game and a mess, then a tidy

Happy WOYWW y’all! Another knitting day but I will hit all the desks on show before that begins! Oh my desk was in a right state after the masterboard/ATC card backs play of yesterday. I did a rubbish job of taking process photos, but really I am beginning to think it doesn’t really matter that much. I don’t do videos, people don’t come to my blog for step-by-step instructions (not usually, anyway) and I know from experience that you can’t follow someone else’s process and get the results they do. You are always going to bring yourself into the mix. You can probably pick out the stuff I used (I listed it yesterday if you can’t)

And here is the final masterboard again, and the final ATC card bases.

Now, what to top them with?! Always tricky, but I have an idea (look back to yesterday for a hint!) that I think will be just the ticket.

But first, a tidy. So much easier to work without the chaos.

I have been feeling a little guilty that Kyla started the MBD card thing and I copied her. I have always loved them and when I found a full set for like £2 at the local SCOPE shop I snatched them up. But they are her thing and I think they should stay her thing. Finding a different card-drawing game that looked fun at the same SCOPE shop reinforced that! Here it is:

It actually smelled totally new when I opened it, and maybe it was. I think it’s a hoot. So I will share the 2-card draws and you can pick between them. As the box says, If you HAD to… choose between:

what would you pick? Technically this isn’t how you play the game – you are meant to justify why YOUR card flip is the worst one. To be honest both of these are pretty bad, but one seems way worse than the other….right? RIGHT? Happy WOYWW!

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ATC backgrounds from a masterboard

I always love making masterboards. The problem always is that I take a lot of time making them but when I am in mid-flow, I am rubbish at taking photos of the steps. I have seen 100s of stunning masterboards (many on WOYWW desks) and even when I see the steps I can NEVER re-create them.

So here is mine mid-process:

I can talk you thru it, but I feel like most people would be able to guess.

  • I started with a layer of collage, using a ton of really, really old collage elements, some printed on slick paper.
  • I covered that with a layer of gesso
  • I covered THAT with a layer of sewing pattern tissue
  • and covered that with a mix of transparent and warm yellow paint, brayered over the top.

I am at the point where I will be adding the stamping and stenciling to give it some depth, add a bunch of spatters, maybe adding a pop of some colour, purple or red, maybe, and then I think I will cut them and edge them with a thick edging of gold – maybe pain, maybe embossing, not sure yet.

I have stumbled across a fun site that has LOADS of interesting images. Just the kind I like – lots of arty, quirky things, sometimes fully assembled and sometimes in bits that you can assemble yourself. It’s called Mischief Circus and it is disappearing soon. That is why I was doing a back up over the weekend. Having found a bunch of stuff (all discounted over the original price) that I simply adore, I have binge-downloaded a ton. There is quite a range – I got both the Hotel Hell characters AND the Soul Sisters. Diametrically opposed in tone, but both speak to me!

Without a doubt, the Crowabout Studio stuff is my favourite, and the WOOT series is 100% going to appear in a project very soon. Isn’t it glorious?

That kit is UNDER $3. I mean c’mon! No idea where these things will be available once it closes, but the prices are pretty close to 1/2 the original. There is A LOT there and it will take you a while just to browse thru it all but if this looks like your kind of thing, hop on over and see what you can find. I am thinking those images, so bright and colourful, with be a perfect foil for the vintage tones of my masterboard. I need to print and cut and test them out! Watch this space…

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Paper Dolls found and idea sparked

I think I mentioned that I had “lost” my bag of Paper Dolls. I swear I hunted for three days trying to find the bloody things. Of course, as is the way, I found them 10 minutes after I received the wrong kind of dolls from Amazon and 5 minutes after I sorted the return and re-ordered the right ones from someplace else. DOH! Of course as soon as I saw them it sparked an idea for those colourful coins from the very old gel print on contact paper. I also found the 4th coin from the first sheet I die cut. It seemed to be stuck to the back of one of the other ones and I was just sure I had lost it.

I played around with some ideas

I wasn’t 100% sure they would work, but I carried one with some ideas and eventually I think they did. What helped was using more of the medium sized dolls rather than the small ones (even if I had to amputate their legs or feet) and the slightly wonky circle of kraft paper and finally the words.

The words are from a “clippings” style sheet I made of phrases found in an old book about crime! There were some lovely (or maybe unlovely but striking) phrases, like:

  • hopeless and futile in themselves
  • her worthless disorderly bore of an existence
  • As he remarked, “This is a helluva time to be caught without a gun!”(and I actually mistyped that as “This is a helluva time to be caught without a GIN” and I like that too LOL!
  • No doubt all generations are lost generations, but some are more lost that others

My plan had been to scan them for re-use but I got excited and used a few. Oh well. The book is loaded with gems so I’ve no doubt I can find more but for now I have typed up the ones I really like and made them into my own sheet of clippings. I used a traditional book font and as I use them for ATC cards and coins I wanted them to be small-ish. You can re-type them to print for your own project at a different size or in a different font. I’m pretty sure I will use them all eventually. Here they are! I like to use partial phrases sometimes and I think these are interesting ones. They would work well with a quirky image.

As ever, I love them and hate to trade them, but that is why I made them so….

I still have the other four to work with as well.


Art from 2013? I think I am a hoarder…

Yep. If there was ever any doubt. I was organizing some stuff while doing a back up on my Mac. It is super old and I had bought some digital elements from a place that announced it was closing down within a month. I wanted to make sure the files were backed up because once they closed down I wouldn’t be able to get them again. But nearly 4 hours and 300GB in and I am losing the will to live. There is only so much I can do without my computer. I can compose a blog post for today, I think, but we will see. In any case, I came across these two sheets made in this post here

and I thought they would possibly look quite cool as ATC coins. I managed to get 7 clean circles with a die and I really do love them.

The problem is they are almost TOO colourful. I am struggling to think what would look best on them. My knitting mate saved the packaging from her tattoo protection cream and there are some nice B&W images on that, but the seam of the box runs thru many of them. I’m going to have a close look and see. Otherwise, I am thinking some other sort of simple B&W image is about all that would work. But I need to consider the theme, if it will be a series of seven (or two series, one of three and one of four) and blah blah blah. I will probably do that over the course of the weekend and see what I have to share.

I may be a hoarder, but these were well worth saving, I think. But I really want to do them justice, now they have been given a second life!

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ATC coins for a swap

I am not giving up on swapping. I am having a lot of fun making ATCs, coins and cards, and working on the small area is something that really makes you consider how best to use the limited space. One of the groups is doing a swap but the set up is more in keeping with how I would like it – everyone posts then people can agree a swap between them, at any time, from one second after you post till the final day of the month. The theme Is “Your Creations” and that leaves a LOT of scope. This is what I came up with

The lyrics are from Springsteen (none of this Manfred Mann malarkey, thank you very much)and the finger-pinch stamp is truly ancient, possibly over 30 years old and I’m not sure I ever used it for anything before. But it is totally my kinda thing – I expect the perfect opportunity never presented itself before. The little SUN motif is from a sheet of tissue paper, not entirely sure where I got it, but again, very old. Creating the text circle is also totally me.

Having worked out the placement and size to fit a coin, I saved the file so I can simply edit it in the future. I’m sure I’ll do this often. You can’t see it because the background is much covered, but the coin bases are mop-up paper towels, split into plies and stuck to the circles punched with my new 2.5 inch punch. Yay! And I guess they are OK cause the swap does not close till the end of the month and I already have one firm swap agreed and a request for another.

I am considering a way to bring a LifeBook class into my ATC play. I have one good idea, I think, so I may have a go at that later today. I am also playing with some digital images from Crowdabout Studios. The site seems still operational but the TOUs are dated a few years ago. I have an idea for them as well.

Like I said the other day – too much inspiration and too little time to act on it.