Apologies & Drippy Goo

Hello dear crafters! If it seems I’ve done a disappearing act, I must apologize. It’s been a long time (too long) since my last entry. There are many reasons for that, but suffice to say that I’ve been busy crafting in my absence. I have to–it helps to keep me sane!

I’ve been busy working on many different swaps that I’ve signed up for via the Cricut Message Board. I’ve been making ATC cards, greeting cards and layouts (yes, you’ve read correctly) for various groups I joined. I have to say that I really enjoy working on these themed based projects. For one thing, it forces you to keep crafting and to come up with (hopefully) new and original ideas. I cautiously started in one or two swaps–and now I’m in so many I have to keep a written schedule of when things are due and who they are due to. Yes, like many other things, swaps are highly addictive.

I do have to comment on one swap in particular. For the first time, I signed up for a recipe swap. I actually do like to cook. It’s the clean-up I have a problem with. But nonetheless, this particular swap was a major challenge for me. It required a dip recipe layout in 8″x8″ size for fifteen participants. I can’t even remember what the last layout I did was. I’ve been so consumed with cardmaking and other papercrafting avenues, I really haven’t done a “real” scrapbook layout in some time. So this was a challenging–and in many ways daunting–task for me. I have to say I think the end product came out well (and I will share some photos of it after my swap deadline passes). It was just an amazing amount of work. I used my Cricut for my page titles. But, the finished project involved some hand-cut embellishment pieces, stamping, construction and a lot of journaling. I have to admit, I was a bit rusty getting started. After about eight or nine layouts, the groove started returning. I just didn’t realize it would be so much work to do fifteen of the same layout. Not that I’m complaining mind you. I had a lot of fun doing them and it was a good refresher–just very time consuming.

Anyhow, I felt I should drop in and update my blog and apologize for my MIA status. I hope to be more consistent in the future about posting on a frequent basis. Please hang in there with me.

Recently, I added the Martha Stewart Crafts “Drippy Goo” punch to my ever growing collection of her delightful tools. I have to say that this one is quite addictive. Obviously, it was designed for the Halloween season–but its uses are really only limited by your imagination. It’s terrific for stylized grass, rain splatter, fringes–and so many other things.

Here are a couple of recent Halloween cardmaking projects that use the Drippy Goo punch. I think it’s very eye-catching.

Create–and keep crafting!

Artist Trading Cards (ATCs)

I’m by no means an expert on the whole phenomenon of Artist Trading Cards or ATCs, as they are often referred to in shorthand. However, it is a form of paper crafting that does appeal immensely to me. I think the intriguing thing about ATCs is tied to the size of the final project. The only die-hard rule of ATCs is that finished size of your project must be 2.5″ x 3.5″ (64mm x 89mm). Other than that, the design and materials to be used are as endless as your imagination. While, it is obviously a temptation to go crazy with the dimensionality, the key to a good ATC design is that it be “portable art”, that is a trading card that is easy to store or take with you.

You can explore stamping, textures, paints, inks, sketching, stitching, papers, found objects, and so many other techniques with ATCs. ATCs can be modern or vintage, bold or subtle, themed or free-form. I’ve used my own sketched images, pieced collages, Cricut die-cuts, and various objets d’ art in my own ATC collection. Of course, much of the fun in ATCs is trading with other budding artists and sharing your inspirations/works.

I recently joined a “Your Choice” ATC Swap through the Cricut Message Boards. The three (3) themes I selected to participate in were: “Love”, “Asian”, and “Black & White”. Here is a peek at the designs I came up with.

For the Love theme, my design is called “Without End”. It combines a Marah Johnson image stamped with Tsukineko Brilliance Rocket Red Glare and an accent paper from DCWV Rock Star paper stack. The edges are inked with StazOn Jet Black ink and the cards are accented with Sakura Gelly Roll Metallic pens.

The Asian theme is called “Asian Lamp”. The base paper is from DCWV Far East collection. The card edges were inked with a crimson pigment. I used some kanji characters and a layered die-cuts of an oriental paper lantern as focal points. Kanji are originally Chinese characters that are used in the modern Japanese logographic writing system. Each card in the set, showcases a different lamp and kanji character combination.

The final set was an interesting challenge. Black and white is a restraint in that it means there is a lack of color. I decided the images should be stark and visually interesting. The card design is called “Life”. The wording is done with a ransom styled alphabet stamped with StazOn Jet Black ink. The fingerprint (which is my own thumbprint) is also inked with StazOn. I used Sakura Glaze Pen in Black for the accents. The “messy” smudges were intentional–as Life is never without its messes. The thumbprint represents the “touch” of someone in your life.

I urge you to try your hand at ATCs. All you need is a stiff cardstock or chipboard base, your imagination and whatever embellishments strike your fancy. You can spend minutes–or hours on your designs. The finished projects look wonderful in frames, in cards, stored on a rolodex turnstile or cataloged in baseball card trading sleeves. Consider them mini-art projects for the soul.

Create–and keep crafting!