Hello my friends. Thank you for looking in on my blog which has been strangely quiet for a couple of weeks while I enjoyed some family time with my son, his wife and my three grandchildren. They survived the heat, just, and we had a great time together. Now they have gone home and it is my house that seems strangely quiet, so I am using my time to catch up on all the challenges that I have missed.
My first task was to make four sets of ATCs for August swaps, all of which need to be at their destinations in UK by the end of the month. I usually play safe and allow ten days for this, but these only have 6-7 days so I hope Mr Postman is on the ball. I had some disappointments with last month's swaps when two sets failed to get back to me. I am hoping they were in just one batch of mail that went astray, as others arrived just fine. But this was tempered with some good news when one of my Vintage ATCs was a winner for the July swap at the Stampman. (See my post for 11th July). So, of course I wanted to take part again and their theme for this month was The Ocean. Here is what I made.I started by spraying two pieces of glossy white card with glimmer mists and pressing them together. I have seen this done on Youtube with memory mists and it gave a lovely variegated finish. But they use a different kind of pigment which stays in droplets, and I found the glimmer mists and sticky fingers mists just mingled together, leaving me with a pretty, but even, blue-green coating. I tried to add some texture with a squirt of Making memories silver but this was only partly successful as the nozzel had blocked and no amount of soaking and scrubbing would release it. So finally I got out my trusty cuttlebug and passed the cards through the swirls embossing folder, after which I felt they were ready to use. For the first one I made a seahorse ( Just for fun stamps)and fish (freebie stamp with magazine) with mother of pearl and blue nile fantasy film, and glued them to the background. I then stamped strands of seaweed onto acetate and fixed this over them with 1mm sticky pads and blue brads. For the second one I wrapped blue and green fibres around the card and between the lines I made wavy lines of glossy accents and covered them with a blue/green mix of seed beads. (While doing this I stupidly opened my box containing seven compartments of different seed beads, upside down, resulting in --a mess! I spent the rest of the evening patiently sorting them into their colours again. I am sure some of you think I must be mad, but it was quite theraputic, and I was pleased to see my neat little box back as it should be!). I still had a bare strip down the side of my ATC, so I cut some tiny fish from a sheet of decoupage backing paper and glued them on, highlighting them with a clear sakura glitter gel pen. The whole thing is backed onto a piece of card from a publication from a well known bank, which happened to be just the right colour. The third one is quite different because I looked above the ocean surface and saw a tall ship, sails billowing in the wind. I used blue card for the sky and cut around the swirls on all the offcuts of my base cards, layering them up to make the waves. I stamped a Crafters Companion ship stamp onto cream card twice, and added some shading with copic markers. I cut one out, decoupaged the sails from the other, and tucked it between the waves. There was quite an expanse of waves at the front, so I added three more of the fish as in the previous one, and stamped a Crafty Individuals seagull in the sky.
The Chocolate Baroque theme this month was The seaside and for this I used some more of the blue embossed card as a base and added a CB seagull stamp, and squares cut from Crafty Individuals backing paper. Some sand and a few tiny shells in the corner finished it off. For the second one I used a different sheet of the CI paper for the sand, and some oddments of painted paper from my snippits box for the sea. The main image is Crafty Individuals as is the bunting spelling BEACH across the top.
Angie Foxcroft of Crazicards craft supplies also runs a monthy swap and her theme was Words. So for the first one I stayed with the sea idea and used a lovely words stamp from Great Impressions. The photo in the background is my footsteps taken very early one morning on a beach in Thailand. The tiny shells I used as an embellishments were collected from the same beach. For the second one I did something completely different. This time I did make the backing card with memory mists on glossy card. I think you will be able to see the different effect of using these. I chose some words from a plate of sentiments by Chocolate Baroque, and at first I stamped them on the background in black. But they didn't pop out as I wanted them to so I coloured some white card with my palest copics, and used a variety of memento ink pads to stamp the words on this. Then I cut them out and mounted them over the black ones. I added coloured beads on a spiral of wire across the top. Next I cut out lots of tiny flowers with a special punch, using tiny oddments from my snippits box, and glued them in small groups, randomly over the card. A couple of colourful butterfly stickers finished this one off.
My finally for the Shillington swap the theme was 'Silhouettes'. When my sister said she wasn't sure she liked the theme, I had to confess that it was one of my suggestions! But as I was running out of time, and I knew today was really my last chance to post them, I didn't use some of my lovely silhouette stamps as I had intended, but instead I cut out black card silhouettes using my craft robe. The templates for these had been prepared previously for pages in my sons' scrapbooks, so it was easy to reduce them down to ATC size. For one I used a photo of a skateboard park as the background and added words on the computer, and two skateboarding poses. The background for the handstand was brayered using Big and juicy pad, Spice. I printed the music notes which were a part of the original image as they were too small and fiddly to cut easily, and the word 'Joy' is a Crafty Individuals stamp. This image was used on a scrapbook page along side my son in the same pose! For the third one I again brayered a background using Big and Juicy pad, Gumdrop, and masking the heart to give a contrasting colour. The words in it are a stamp I made ages ago using imagepac, and come from a fabric sticker I found in what must have been one of my 'lucky-dip' buys at the QVC surplus store. The family group silhouette came from the internet.
Wow. that was a bit of a marathon. Thank you for staying with me. Now I look forward to seeing what little pieces of art I receive in place of them. Hopefully all four sets will come this time.