Well, that was a surprise!

Sorry about the snafu and super late post yesterday! I had created a post, and thought I saved it and scheduled it, but them The Hubster came home from skating and I asked him to do a back-up on my machine (he keeps the back-up disk in the car so if the house burns down the disk is safe) and I guess I messed up the date and time of the post. It might have published but been placed in early November rather than December. Oh well. It’s in the right place now.

So today I am able to share some progress on the cover:

I want to add the word STORAGE under ATC and maybe edge the whole thing with the gold, but it needs a little bit longer to dry.

The big news is…Christmas cards! Going back to a tried and true design, printed the embellished.

Some Happy Christmas and some Merry, depending on which side of the pond they go. I did a post AGES ago on how to make these. Maybe it will be of interest? And there is a set of kraft-background printables as well as the white background here. You can see these (made from the kraft version) are cute too.

I have to get a wriggle on because stuff mailed to the USA is taking a while and I want to make sure they arrive before Xmas. Most will go in packaged with the gifts, but the odd one might go on it’s own.

WOYWW tomorrow!

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Far too busy to blog…..

I have been in an absolute whirlwind of activity for the last 4 days. Now Thanksgiving is over, that Big-C holiday is looming and there is a lot to do to prep for it. The biggest problem is my sewing room. There is a massive, heavy table, that had all of my sewing stuff and my machine on it, that blocks the cabinet where the Christmas tree and all the decorations are. I had to more it all around to access the festive goodies. And believe me, before the turkey was cold and the last bite of pumpkin pie eaten, Darling Daughter was all “So when will we put up the tree?” Sorry to say that simple task created a cascade or shuffling and sorting and rearranging. The Hubster and I toted an entire bookcase of books up a level, I moved two more bookcases into my craft room, moving out one piece of furniture of limited use, then of course had to populate those shelves with things from elsewhere. Then there was a massive effort in the kitchen to better organize and relocate my cookbooks, and make room for the now ex-dvd shelf to become a pantry. We have no idea what food we may have squirreled away from buying multiples of something we use a lot of when we find it on sale, or when we stock up on something during a rare Costco run. This is the only explanation for eight bottles of green pest and four bottles of red! OK, so they are small bottles, and good into 2022, but still….

Boring right? especially with no photos. You will see some on WOYWW day as I photo my desk, but I fear it won’t look startlingly different, even though there is an additional 6foot bookcase that will be on view.

I do have one thing I will share – I have been keeping my ATCs to trade in clear envelopes, but I am finding that unmanageable. I have a stash of baseball card sleeves but what I don’t have, and what is rare as hen’s teeth in the UK, is three (THREE – not two, not four, THREE) ring binders. I managed to find one very ugly one that was falling apart, and I am in the middle of decorating the cover of it so I can use that for my ready-to-trade ATCs, cards and coins both.

I have to stick this cardboard piece to the vinyl lining and am going to see how very strong and thinck double-sided tape works. Unclear at this point what else I will do. but hopefully by tomorrow I will feel ready to take it on.

I have all of my ready-for-trade items inside already. I have been very bad about sharing them on the trade sites I usually use. I might just plan on waiting till after the holidays at this point. Happy mail in the new year will be something to look forward to, and all the mail delays (and potential theft if someone mistakes an ATC for a gift card!) will then be avoided. Wanna see how many I have?

Now the horizontal ones:

Nothing that I have not shared, I don’t think, but any photos ill make this post a lot less boring, for sure.

As soon as I sort out the cover, a quick share and then it has to be Christmas cards! Oh dear!

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ATCs from vintage movie posters – with a modern twist

As I mentioned, I wanted to alter the message of the original postcards from movie posters to offer a more positive spin on them. Some of them just got right up my nose, as we say here in the UK.

As you will have seen the other day, I printed quite a lot of bits of text, played around with so many different versionsof these, and in the end, I still have a LOT of bits left over!

But the cards all turned our pretty well IMHO. I am not sure I want to trade them LOL!

This one had to change as I didn’t really want to focus on the gun. I think I covered it pretty well and like the final version a lot better:

I know they aren’t “arty” in the same way most of my ATCs are, but I do like to mix things up a bit every now and again!

I am really feeling the pull of my art journal lately. I might step over to that one day soon. And I have two or three more KDP notebooks and even a couple of kids books I am finalizing (with help from my sister, and my two nieces, one a writer, one a teacher) so they may seen the light of day one day soon.

I just have too much I want to accomplish and too many drains on my time….

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Postcards from the edge? Maybe.

I had a lot of fun flipping thru the postcard booklets. I pulled out a few images to scan and cut up and as I was doing so I realized a few things:

  • they used girl rather than woman more often than not
  • the women were depicted as sexy, but the words implied this was a bad thing
  • they were often depicted (or stated) to be inferior to men
  • it was implied that without a man, they were unhappy, or somehow diminished.

I must digress to mention the famous story – not sure where I heard it, probably in an English class sometime – where a class is asked to punctuate a sentence:

Woman without her man is nothing

They could use any correct punctuation they liked. 99% of the class did so as:

Woman, without her man, is nothing.

One bright spark went another way and wrote:

Woman! Without her, man is nothing.

So my original idea had been to use the text from the cards except they were all so unflattering it didn’t feel like the message I wanted to send. Lost, lonely and vicious? What happens to women without Men? Man Crazy?

So I decided to sort out how to put a positive spin on them, somehow. I ended up printing out a LOT of bits of the text in an effort to try to make some affirmative text for each card.

Yikes. Here is a look at some of the in-process cards:

Some of those changed, as you can maybe see below. It took me all day to get to this point and the cards still need refining.

Now there is other stuff I need to do so I’ll have to set these aside and finish in the morning. I hate it when my crafty sessions get broken up but it is happening more and more. I don’t expect it’ll get better till after the holidays so I might as well accept it.



Words abandoned and a a different direction.

Remember those ATCs I said I had begun?

After pushing stuff about for a couple of days I abandoned the idea of those words and went in a totally different direction. I always love start B&W stamped images and this one hit me just right. No idea the company, from the 90s, I’m sure. A bit of text and some washi tape, but it needed something punchy. I decided on copper metallic acrylic ink.

I used bottle tops – big ones – to stamp the circles. And then I decided to edge the entire card with what was leftover on the block.

I rather like them and I love the … IS it a sentiment? Not sure, but it works for me!

They are a bit chaotic but for me, kinda cool. There is one quote I didn’t use, perfect for WOYWW tomorrow. I was a bad desker last week – it’s been a crazy time, for sure, but tomorrow I will be focused and get to my hopping early to make up for it. It’s my birthday on Friday so my gift to myself is to not be consumed with guilt for missing one week. Next time I know my week is going to be super crazy busy I’ll skip adding my name to Mr. Linky!

Time to tidy up for tomorrow then….

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ATCs – second set share and a sad commentary of life today

First, the good bit (well, I think so anyway)

As previously mentioned, the Copic smear is nowhere near as bad on these as the sample from the other day, but I still see it, especially in a close up. I really need to sort that out so will be testing a few stamp inks and methods. It did occur to me there might be leftover ink from a previous stamp session on the stamps and that is the problem so I’ll have to break the habit of a lifetime and actually clean my stamps a bit better at the end of a session.

Now, the sad commentary. In reading post from the ATCs for All forum, I can see that sometimes traded go astray. I had that one of mine that (thankfully) got returned to me from the mail service in the Netherlands. Phew. But one thing I have noticed on a LOT of envelopes from the USA is a written note or a stamp that says Art Cards – no cash value. One of my trade partners said this is because there is a lot of theft of mail when it is suspected there is something of value, like a gift card, inside. Sadly, ATCs are pretty much the shape and weight (if made to be sturdy) of a gift card. So people feel the need to say on the envelope that these are not gift cards and the highly-decorated envelopes are meant to support that. Sad really. I remember that when I was a kid often a birthday card would arrive with a $5 or $10 bill inside. Does anyone do that anymore? Probably not often. Anyway, I decided I should do something similar so grabbed my little single letter stamps and:

I may see if I can squeeze in no cash value at the bottom, but the thickness of the stamps needs to be the same to ensure clean stamping and I’m not sure I have small enough letters from that set. I’ll see and add it if I manage it.

I’m likely off at DDs annual review today. And looking forward to seeing my knitting mate one day soon….

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Copic problems, more choices, and too many decisions

I was looking over my collage fodder bins, trying to find something that would work with the stamps I used on the last group of ATCs. I had a few ideas.

The bits on the left were from a piece I made while playing around with the gel medium-as-resist with gloss sprays (which I don’t think I ever photographed or shared, and didn’t realize till I had cut it up into pieces – DOH!) and the bits on the right were just a strip of watercolour paper that is not quite wide enough for an ATC. I am considering a collage but to make up the difference, not sure. I didn’t love them, at least not for this project, but then I came across an envelope I had printed and not used. You recall this, possibly, from one of my tutorial on making your own pre-decorated envelopes?

I managed to get 4 good bits to use for the ATC backgrounds but ended up having to piece the last one. A Frankenstein ATC!

It wouldn’t have mattered because the stamped image I planned for that one was big enough to cover all of the bits that looked wrong. But where things went badly wrong was in the Copic colouring. I am not sure what happened. I stamped with Versafine, which I have used many times before and which in the past has been fine for Copic colouring. I know Archival ink is a no-no but this time I got a LOT of smearing.

What a mess! In the end, it felt like the universe was telling me this needed to be a 4-card series and not a 5-card series LOL! I’d be interested in hearing what ink you stamp with for Copic colouring and if you get this happening to you ever. All the rest of the stamped images were OK. Darn that light!

I’m not quite done with them yet – once again the words are sort of there but not 100% sure. WOYWW tomorrow so we’ll see if I manage it. This weekend darling daughter has her first Ice Skating comp (syncronized skating) and getting her and all her bits and bobs ready for that takes centre stage. The last comp they took first place in the Mixed Ability category (as the only entry, but not to take away anything at all from the massive accomplishment it was for all of them) but this year DD has a new skating helper and this is their first comp together. I do hope it goes well! Fingers crossed….


Still playing with the Lynn Perrella ATCs

I gotta say I do love these stamps. But I am really struggling with finishing them off. I showed my first attempt on Saturday and Sunday things didn’t get much better.

I wasn’t entirely happy with the words and I think that was what was blocking me. I printed out a bunch of other options, in different sizes and played around with them.

As I have said, I do this most every time I am printing text – I like to be able to test different sizes, and I always send the leftover, unused bits as trade fodder. In this case I wasn’t too sure abut EITHER size. I felt like something in between might have been better.

And I was really struggling with the choice for each card. I fiddled and fiddled and was getting a bit fed up with my indecision! I managed to get a set I liked well enough and decided to call them done.

I think a lot of my indecision stemmed from not really liking the background paper from the Collage Collective. I think had I picked a brighter – or at least lighter – paper I might have been a lot happier. So I am still very much hoping to make a better set with these stamps and have some ideas already. We’ll see if those ideas pan out.

I am also struggling with the change in the light, which I am guessing you can see. The light from the windows casts odd shadows now during my “prime time” in my studio. I really should get better lighting, but frankly plugs are at a premium. Forgive the less than stellar photos.


This and that – Saturday Play

Well I blew the idea that when my CK levels are high, my back is impervious to clenching up on me. I have been taking painkillers and lounging about since about Tuesday. Can’t tell from my posts because I had a few scheduled. Today I am able to do a bit, but not much as you will see from this post. Hopefully by tomorrow I will feel up to more.

I have been playing with some Lynne Perrella stamps and trying to work out what I want to do with them. The first play was comparing colouring with watercolours and with Copics.

Not a lot in it really, and both bleed outside the lines. Paints left, Copics right.

Then I tried stamping them on some Collage Collective paper. I had an idea but in the end I think I picked the wrong paper, because I think the cut-out words aren’t quite right.

I mean, they’re OK just not striking, or inspiring. I might finish them off, not sure yet. I want to play with stamping them on white card and colouring them then cutting them out. I’ll see how that works. I also wanted to show my version of the pressing device a lot of people use on stamping platforms to get good even pressure all over it. Mine is not as swish as some, no big doorknob or drawer pull on the top, just a simple block wth a furniture pad on it. But it cost me nothing, since I had both of those things hanging about.

Took me a total of 5 minutes to find the bits and assemble. And it works perfectly. I think the bit of the Grand Calibur embossing mat that I cut and stuck on my (cheap) stamp platform helps a LOT. I suspect sticky back fun foam would do similar.

That is a single pressing, not a double one. Not bad at all.

We’ll see what all of this play turns in to. Maybe nothing, maybe something. I’ll share if it’s something …

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Fabric ATCs done.

While they may not be as polished and amazingly stitched as some I have seen in my travels across the internet, I am pretty happy with these. Sometimes, it is more about bringing your own vision to life than it is about floowing someone else’s path, even if the end result is perhaps not as …good? No, that isn’t right. As technically proficient, maybe.

In the end I opted for the stamped lady, and text about screaming.

I played with placement, but somehow she really wanted to be in the landscape format. which is unusual, because I would say 90% of the ATCs I make, and that I see in galleries, seem to be portrait. But no, she really needed to be landscape. And the text is randon quotes and pieces of quotes about screams

I can see from the photos I probably need to neaten up the edges a little more, although in some ways the frayed aspect echos the poor lady and her frayed nerves. She clearly has issues….

WOYWW tomorrow, so the final completion of those long struggled-with coins (if you think back I’ll bet you know which ones I refer to) will have to wait a day. I need to re-post my WOYWW stamps for anyone who might have missed them after the fact last week, and my desk is again in a state of disarray so I need to snap a shot of the chaos and then sort my shit out!