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Clean desk, made some coins for a change

A pleasant and diverting morning making some ATC coins. People os a certain age will probably get the words, especially combined with the images. The image is from an old magazine (1997) and it made me laugh. One of those times the whole piece sprang, fully formed, into my head, and I just had to do the work to make it.

I printed then cut and coloured with Copics (coloured and cut?) the mouth and punched out the background from a scrap of paper from my first Frida set.

I love the weight of the large Zip Lock bags packs we get from Costco, as they are the perfect combo of sturdy enough for a coin backing yet thin enough not to bugger up my punch.

Once I stick the paper to the backing, I stack them between stamping blocks so I get good edge-to-edge sticking.

I wanted the little line of gold dots, but getting them straight was a bit time-consuming…

…til I spotted this roll of washi tape. Worked a treat. I stuck the dots over the circles on the tape, added a dot of glue to the back

then flipped the whole shebang over to stick all the dots in a row at once. Let it dry for a second, peeled off the tape and TaDa!

I think the top one looks better and took so much less time to accomplish. I’ll keep this trick in mind for future sequin use.

For the first time in forever I made a set where the coins are virtually identical. I rarely do that, but easier to photograph LOL!

Sorry for the shadows – it’s sunny outside today and the drapes are open wide.

So glad I managed something actually art this week. We’ll see what next week brings…

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Some not-yet-shared ATCs

Let’s see – what have I made that I have not yet shared?

Well, I made this little set of cards, using the scraps from my desk and some washi take I got as a little extra in a swap – it says ART IS MY LIFE and was very much appreciated! It’s a lot more obvious, the text, in real life, than it look here.

And I finished up the ones built on another Vaseline resist + Distress Oxides experiment. The must remain as pairs, give the quoted dialog follows from one card to the other. From Repo Man, and ols movie with a bit of a cult following:

I love the Rubbermoon stamp set and the trick of adding just a smidge of the Stabilo All pencil and water activating it to give the stamped image a slightly more…drawn look, I guess, is a handy one. I wish more Rubbermoon stuff was sold by UK shops, now that you can’t order direct without being a paid Patreon of the shop owner.

And this little foursome of Owls.

The text is all found poetry from information about OWL STRIKES. It’s a thing apparently – I remember hearing it mentioned in an old documentary called The Staircase. I think Netflix has a newer/updated version of the original, and in English. For years after I bought this from Amazon France I kept getting recommendations from them of other things to buy – but I don’t speak French at all LOL! The second of the two documentaries was available in a French version with a secondary English soundtrack, for a HUGE discount. I did the same with Ashes To Ashes, bought a German language copy for 1/3 the price and just used the English language option. But I seriously digress!

The owls are by Lily Chilvers of The Octopode Factory. Sadly, she died in 2015, suddenly and very young. She was a talented lady, and it is fortunate her art lives on, still available on Etsy.

I have a couple of other sets on the go, but nothing to share as yet. I do have something to share tomorrow that I think will be of interest, if you like the text-on-the-edge look of those coins, so drop back by for more on THAT.


Dapper Gents – more swap fodder, mostly.

Here is the companion set to those Vintage Ladies I made last week, all from swap fodder.

These use up two small ATC backgrounds and some plain paper from a note card, plus some of the word tape still on my desk and those typewrite key stickers I was abut to toss in the bin cause they had fused to the acetate sheet they came on and peeling them off was getting on my nerves.

The text is from O Brother, Where art Thou? and seemed to fit. A bit about making the background bits stretch to fit four coins. Each of the two bits I had were ALMOST, but not quite, ATC sized. they were both just slightly short. I folded each in half, to get the four pieces I knew I would need to work with.

In order to get the absolute most out of those bits, I attached each chunk to a “handle” and slipped it into the punch. That let me cut the largest semi-circle I could.

and each one mostly filled the coin. A bit of the plain paper and tape over the join and it was just enough. Another something from nothing set and lots of fun to work out how best to use up the limited bits I had.


Dither, dither, dither – for a contest!

Not one with a real prize or anything, I treat them more like a challenge,but one of the FB swap groups I am part of has a monthly contest. The “winner” is drawn at random, so no skill required LOL! Still I like to do my best. This month the challenge theme is GEMS. I had loads of ideas, many of which were a total fail. I knew I wanted to use this half-tone die and fill the holes.

None of them really worked, but when I combines the sequins with a gem topper, I liked that pretty well.

I messed around with combos and placement and in the end it looked like this!

Gosh the gems do not look sparkly in the least in a photo. As ever, a slight tilt helps a LOT:

That is just the first – I can do two. The other one is a collage image of the Red Queen from Alice and some pearls, because, well, the quote!

I enhanced the collage image with some gold glitter pen and shadowing an while I wish I picked a thicker font so the white letters stand out a bit more, overall I like it a lot.

I cannot believe it’s WOYWW again tomorrow! Best tidy up that desk. It’s a tip!


ATC coins – used the watercolour birds!

Well, I couldn’t let them go to waste, so I’ve managed to make a set of coins. I made coins a while back where I printed some text in a curve to go around the edges of the coin and I really liked it. I wanted to do it again.

I had the idea I might be able to create an editable PDF that I could share (so you could do it to without a specific program) but I failed, miserably. Ah well…

The other thing I did that I seem to do a LOT it stuck a very large, very bright gold dot from some tissue paper I have to a bit of cardstock and then punched out with a circle punch. It looks really lovely, but in photos it looks a bot like a dull grey blob. The magic is revealed when yo tilt it ever so slightly:

Kapow! It just glows. Still considering what I want to focus on next – or do I just keep making my cards and coins, trading them across the world, and writing in my journal? I simply cannot decide!

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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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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.