Monday, June 29, 2009

More ATCs.....

The above ATCs are for a "Sun" swap. I have quite the collection of sun rubber stamps and I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to use them. I learned an important lesson about ink stamped paper and gel medium while doing this project.....which is to test to see if the watered down medium will cause your ink to run. It did on some of my cards, so badly that you couldn't even make out the image anymore. Just a word of caution if you try this yourself.

And these are the cards I made for an "Owl" swap. I was at a scrapbooking retreat playing around with a cricut machine and made the owls and the moon. When I got home I added the brads for eyes and painted big retinas on them to make them look owl-ish.

Gel Medium is da BOMB.....

Although I've heard all the hype about gel medium lately and know how much people love it, I never gave it a try until recently. I always thought my collage paste, as messy as it is, must work just as well.
I was wrong.

I took some get medium and watered it down until it was about the consistency of milk, and had a field day with it. I collaged...I image transferred....I used it as glue...I want to put it on everything I can find.

Here's some of the ATCs I made with my new favorite substance. The first ones are for a swap called "Heat it Up", meaning you had to have something on your cards which required the use of a heat gun. I started with a collage of scrap papers, lightly gessoed over it, stamped and embossed the background design. Then I stamped faces onto vellum or mulberry paper (depending on the card), used gold paint and ultra thick embossing powder for the crowns, stamped a butterfly onto colored paper and cut it out, then finished the cards with miscellaneous embellishments.

The second set is for a swap called "Monkeying Around". For these, I painted the background with several shades of green acrylic paint, then used gel medium to transfer photocopied images of monkeys that my friend Dave took at the zoo. That part was super fun. Then I finished them off with stamps of leaves and a butterfly and put some fun flock around the edges to make it look like they are hiding in the jungle.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

What I'm Reading

I just started reading Living the Creative Life: Ideas and Inspiration from Working Artists by Rice Freeman-Zachery. Based on the reviews, I thought this would be a great place to start in my quest to become a successful artist. I'm only through the first 30 pages or so, but I have identified with everything I've read so far. I've always known that I am an artist at heart, but pressures from society, among other things, have lead me down the career path I have taken instead. I always said I am not a business woman, although that is what I do for a living. Yes, I can do it, and even be good at it most of the time. But I have no passion for it. I have never woken up in the morning excited to go to the office to see how much I can sell or how much money I can make for the company. I just get through the day waiting for quitting time to roll around so I can head off to ceramics class or home to make a scrapbook page. Never does a day go by without my thinking about how I wish I could be creative for a living. I truly believe that would be the key to my happiness and fulfillment.

So...back to the book. One of the artists interviewed said something like this: "Even if I could make a lot of money doing something else, I wouldn't. That would be like marrying someone you didn't love because he had a lot of money. Not only would that be unethical, it would be cheating your soul". (I can't remember it word for word, and the book is not near me right now so I can't tell you exactly who said it. Let me know if you want details and I'll be happy to get them to you). When I read this, it took my breath away. It made me look back at my whole professional life and think about how and why I got to the place I am today. I really do feel like I have been cheating my soul. It also made me think about a conversation I had with my Dad in his backyard about 15 years ago, after I had just broken up with a guy who was supposed to be the love of my life. He said the most important thing to consider when it comes to choosing a husband is whether he can provide security for me, not whether I love him or not. I guess he was trying to make me feel better, but I remember thinking that I would rather die than spend my life with someone I didn't love just so he could support me. But that's another story.

So now as I am faced with losing my comfortable job at the end of August due to a restructure, my mind has been racing nonstop trying to figure out what I want to do when I grow up (which will be in about 2 1/2 months). My mind keeps going back to art, and I know if I don't at least try to make it happen I will regret it for the rest of my life. I believe that being laid off is a sign that I need to move on to something more purposeful; something that will make me truly happy. But how to go about that and not end up living in a cardboard box on the curb is something I have yet to figure out. I will guarantee one thing though...I will be trying my hardest to find an answer. I guess I could always try to find that guy with lots of money and have a loveless marriage just so he can support me...

Just kidding.


Monday, June 8, 2009

Scrapbook Getaway

I recently joined a group on called Sensational Scrappers of the West Valley. I wanted to join to make new friends with artsy people who share my passions. This weekend was my first experience...we went to a timeshare at Scottsdale Links Resort for the weekend and scrapbooked like madwomen. My friend Jennifer went too, since she is my partner in crime when it comes to all things scrapbook related. We were a little apprehensive going because we didn't know any of the other girls and didn't know if they were psycho killers or anything crazy like that. The minute we walked through the door, though, we knew that we were going to make new friends and have a blast. The two girls who hosted the event were totally awesome and outdid themselves with contests, door prizes and goody bags. And they had the greatest personalities too! They were crazy, but in a good way. We were all so sad to leave and go back to reality. The good news is that they are going to have more of these getaways and since we went to the first one, we get first dibbs on the rest. Can't wait! I'll post pics of what I made while I was there once I unpack everything. Cheers!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Swap A Day.....

I never thought I'd be able to keep up with making cards for all the swaps I joined, but I was able to complete cards for 3 in the last couple of days. It's amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it....Man, this ATC fever really hit me like a ton of bricks. Here are some of the cards I made for the Elemental, Mermaid, and Sea Shells by the Seashore swaps...Hope you like!

PS I should point out that the stamp I used for these Mermaid cards was designed by Paula Best. She has the coolest stamps in the whole wide world! She doesn't allow people to use her stamps on projects that will be sold, but since ATCs are always traded and never sold, I should be okay.