January 24, 2010

Artist Trading Card craftiness

so, I've gotten into making and trading ATCs (artist trading cards) again... basically, they're small pieces of artwork the size of a baseball card that you can trade with other artists. They can be made using any media- paint, pen and ink, pencil, collage, fabric, you name it. You can trade them either locally-- in person, at events coordinated in/by art stores, or trade thru the mail with people all over the world, using the internet. I've started trading on a website called ATCsforAll.com-- there is some absolutely amazing artwork out there, and this is a good way to collect/trade/swap small pieces of it! Below are photos of some of my recent ATCs; it's really a fun, quick way to make art, which is good for me, because I have problems finishing projects sometimes if they seem like too large of a task. These two photos are of a trading card I made for a specific themed swap-- the theme is "folded cards." Basically, the card has to be folded somehow (as long as it's still 2.5 x 3.5 in the end). I need three cards total-- I finished two of them last night. This first one was done with rubber stamps and colored pencil-- it's a Japanese garden theme. The lanterns were stamped, colored, cut out, and glued on top of the bamboo.
Inside the card is a hidden garden full of cherry blossoms and a pond. The images were stamped and colored with pencil. I hadn't left any space for the woman to stand (I didn't want her to stand in the middle of the pond!), so I made her a small bridge to stand on out of card stock.
This is another folded card, but made in a really different style- I made a window frame out of brown textured cardstock, and a garden scene "outside" the window using Stampin' Up flower stamps.
( it's hard to see, but I did add some glitter on the flowers and the butterfly.) I also made some cards recently for trading at an in-person event in Phoenix-- a couple weeks ago was the very first event, and it was a lot of fun! It was held at an art supply shop: we got to trade our cards with other attendees, try out art supplies and make some cards, enjoy refreshments, and win some prizes! I want to keep attending, and hopefully they'll get more of a turnout in the future. The theme was "self-portrait." I wasn't about to attempt a realistic self-portrait, so I collaged portraits using a rubber stamp to represent different moods or facets of my personality--
this is one of them-- the image was stamped onto a page from a vintage engineering textbook, cut out, then added to a collaged/painted background. (One of my other self-portraits even won the store's contest, and is on display for the next month at the store!!) Most of my cards have painting and/or paper on in some fashion, but not all are collaged. Below are a few more of my recent cards, in different styles.
This cards is a particular type of doodling, called Zentangles. A basic outline design is drawn first, then the spaces are filled in with repetitive patterns. It's actually kind of relaxing to do (except when your pen doesn't work all that well, that is!) I used to doodle all the time when I was younger; it's nice to have started doing it again.
This one was made during the trading session at the art store-- we got to try out some very nice watercolor pencils-- I basically made large sections of color using the pencils, wet the paper to create washes, then used a pen to draw/doodle in the flowers.
This one is a collaged card, with a background made from various papers, including vintage music, part of a magazine photo, and some handmade mulberry paper. Gold edging, a printout of a vintage postcard, and words cut out of a vintage book finish it off. ATCs might be small, but they are really fun to make, and addictive to trade!! ...after all, why should kids have all the fun with baseball, Pokemon, or football cards? (let me know if you want one, and I'll send a small bit of handmade art goodness right to your mailbox!!)

rain aftermath

(fyi, you can click on any of the pics to make them bigger) So, it does rain sometimes in Arizona. This past week, it rained a LOT! We probably had between two and three inches of rain, if not more, along with some pretty high winds and even a tornado warning (very unusual for this part of the country). The entire yard was a soggy mess, and the dogs refused to walk out in it unless they absolutely had to go. (which was annoying, but at the same time, I didn't really blame them!) When Tom drove home from work on Friday, he had an unexpected detour, because of this: this road is the circle drive that goes through our entire subdivision... the Santa Cruz wash goes thru the middle of town, and right through our neighborhood on its way out to the desert. It rarely has any water in, but with this much rain, I guess it was inevitable. These pics are from Friday afternoon, when it was rushing pretty fast-- we stopped to look at it again this morning on our way back from breakfast, and it's still over the road, but not rushing quite as fast.
this is just a closer photo, to show how fast the water was actually moving across the road-- it may not be very deep (hard to say- it might have been near a foot), but this is why Arizona has the "stupid motorist" law... you're not supposed to drive in flooded areas-- if you think you can, and disregard a sign warning you not to, then if you get stuck, you also get stuck with the bill when the emergency vehicles fish you out!
the view north, looking out into the desert... I was pretty sick and tired of the gray dreary weather and rain, till Tom reminded me that with all this rain, spring in the desert should be beautiful!! ...something to look forward to!

January 06, 2010

another blog link-

when I surf the internet, I find so many interesting things that I don't want to lose again! I should have a better way of categorizing them... http://christinekane.com/blog/ I need to sit down and read her entire blog.