February ATCs

Heart ATC

During my no-spend challenge in January,  I didn’t join a single Swap-Bot swap. Come February and I was getting withdrawal symptoms, so I decided to join a UK only ATC swap, to keep the cost down. The theme of the swap was ‘Hearts’. I think I may have gone a little overboard with the theme as I can count over 25 hearts visible on this tiny ATC!

I used some old sheet music and cut out a couple of heart shapes, colouring one in with a red ProMarker. I also coloured in one heart on some black and white heart backing paper (I do love the black white & red colour scheme!). Some red adhesive pearls and a ribbon bow completed the look.

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Eye Test ATC

As I mentioned in my Back in the Craft Room post in January,  my mother-in-law gave me some awesome sight test and spectacle themed stamps for Christmas. So far I haven’t used them nearly enough! So I thought I’d have a go at making an ATC. I stamped the spec frame onto vellum and cut it out, so the vellum looks like lenses. I used a blue marker pen to add some eyes behind the lenses (there was a bit of a disaster when the glue I used to fix the specs onto the ATC smeared the eyeball all over the back of the lens, but I just about managed to resurrect it, although you can still see the smudge :-/ ). I stamped an eye test chart onto white card, then mounted it onto blue paper, then onto the backing card. I edged the whole ATC with a blue marker pen to match, then wrote ‘Lens number one, or lens number two?’ all around the edge of the ATC to create a border. I’m really pleased with how it’s come out!

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Bird Cards

Late last year, under the guise of a Christmas present to myself, I subscribed to Simply Cards & Papercraft magazine. Each month I get a magazine full of ideas, plus some freebies. This month the freebies included a set of clear stamps and some rather gorgeous backing papers that I just had to have a play with. My inspiration has been sadly lacking lately, so a couple of these cards are pretty much copies of ideas in the magazine, but I still have heaps of the backing papers left, so hopefully once my inspiration returns I’ll be able to make some more to my own design.

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I’ve added my own little twists to each card with the addition of Card Candi, buttons and brads. I really enjoyed making them, despite having to have *every* piece of backing paper spread over every available surface in order to be able to choose which to use!

Back in the craft room

At last!

Ive finally managed to get back into the craft room today, for the first time since before Christmas. And I do mean literally – my craft room floor has been piled high with all sorts since the week before Christmas when my parents visited, and I just shoved it all in to get it out of the way. I’ve not been able to set more than one foot in there for weeks.

So today was the day. My husband went out for a bike ride and my son helped me transfer all the mess from the craft room to the lounge, to allow more space for sorting (he was bribed in this endeavour with sweets). About half way through I left the room, and when I returned it struck me – what a disaster zone!

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It was at this point that I started to frantically try and return things to their rightful homes before my husband got home and wanted to actually sit down! How I managed to fit all that stuff into a room the size of a postage stamp I’ll never know.

Anyway, this evening I managed to actually *do* some craft. Three birthday cards in fact (only one of which has a recipient planned, the others are for ‘stock’).

I’ll share just one with you tonight, the one for my father-in-law, whose birthday is at the end of the month. My mother-in-law gave me these awesome stamps for my birthday, and I think they’re going to get lots of use!

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Advent Challenge: Day 16 – Christmas Pups

Day 16: Christmas pups

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I don’t do a lot of stamping. I’ve never really got into it. As a result, I don’t have very many stamps, and even fewer Christmas stamps. It’s silly really, because stamping is such an easy way to make lots of quick Christmas cards to the same design. So I was excited to see an absolutely gorgeous set of Christmas dog stamps, free with a magazine (again!). I was even more excited because the pups in the stamps look just like my friend Jay’s dog Max (even though he is a Westie, not a Scottie). I bought the mag solely for the stamps, and I’m so glad I did because they have made some beautiful cards. Here are a couple of very straightforward little cards I made with a couple of the stamps in the set.

By the way, the card above has been rubber stamp embossed using a black embossing powder and heat gun which gives it a raised and shiny look, which has a lot of impact. In contrast, the card below was stamped with just brown ink. It gives a much more subtle look to the image.

To make this card:

  • Stamp and emboss an image of a pup in a Santa hat. Use black ink and black embossing powder for impact.
  • Colour in parts of the image using marker pens.
  • Trim to leave a neat and even border around the image, then mount onto dark blue cardstock, leaving a 3 mm border.
  • Stick this onto matt silver cardstock, this time leaving a 7 mm border.
  • Finally, use adhesive foam pads to mount this topper to the centre of a 9 x 11 cm deckle-edge card blank.

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To make this card:

  • Stamp an image of a pup wearing reindeer antlers onto some plain white cardstock using brown ink.
  • Colour in the image with marker pens
  • Trim the cardstock to leave a neat even border around the stamped image, then mount it onto green card leaving a 3 mm border.
  • Mount this topper onto an iridescent red 10 cm square card blank using adhesive foam pads.
  • Place a black ‘Happy Christmas’ peel-off in the bottom right corner.

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The card above is very similar to the one I’ve made for Jay – her parents have a black Scottie, and she has her Max, a West Highland White. On her card I’ve made sure I’ve coloured the pups collars to match the colours that they wear in real life. I’ve also coloured it so that the black dog is pulling the white one too – this year Max tragically became paralysed from the waist down (Jay takes him for walks now in a doggie wheelchair), and I love that in this card Max’s friend is giving him a helping hand 🙂

 

Peacock ATCs

Another Swap-Bot swap challenge ATC. This time the theme was very simply ‘peacock’. As I have some gorgeous peacock feather backing paper I signed up straight away, and set to work. But as usual, things didn’t go as planned, so I have ended up with two ATCs with peacock backing. One that I will use for the sap, and one that I’m not sure what to do with yet!

Mirror, Mirror

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This was peacock ATC take one, the one that didn’t go as expected. The peacock backing paper is a Lawrence Llewellyn-Bowen design that I bought last year at the Bimingham NEC craft show. Along with that backing paper I also bought some matching chipboard shapes, one of which was this mirror design. As soon as I saw the shape I remembered the little mirror I’d received in one of my first swaps. Originally the shape was solid, with plain white card in the centre. After some careful measurement (ok, approximate guesswork) I concluded that if I were to cut the centre out, the mirror would fit perfectly behind it. So I got my craft knife out, and after much hard work (it’s very thick!) I ended up with the frame you now see. It’s not perfectly neat, but like I say, it’s really thick and was very hard to cut! I used double-sided tape to secure the mirror, then adhesive foam pads to mount the frame over the top.

 

Peacock feather

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This ATC ably demonstrates why I don’t generally do stamping! Although I love the effect rubber stamping gives, I’m pretty rubbish at it, and stuff ends up wonky. Or unique, depending on your outlook in life I guess! I used gold ink to stamp the letters individually, mounted the peacock backing paper on gold card, and edged it with a gold border peel-off. Finally the whole thing was mounted again onto dark blue card (in all honesty, this was actually white card that I coloured dark blue around the edge with a permanent marker pen). It looks very regal and shiny, but it would look even better with less wonky words! Ah well, we can’t be amazing at everything.

Rainbow and ‘Mixed Media’ ATCs

Ever since I bought these ribbons in America, I have been dying to use them all together.

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I love the quote ‘without rain there can be no rainbows’. And when you’ve got a fab ribbony rainbowy background like this, what better quote could I choose?! I used some decorative scissors to cut out the cloud (sooooo much easier than cutting out by hand!), and handwrote the sentiment. I finished off with 4 little blue brads as raindrops.

 

Mixed Media ATC

This one was made specifically for a Swap-Bot swap. I will quote the exact instructions, because they really inspired me.

“Create an atc using two or more of the following artistic media: paint, ink, pencil, charcoal, water colors, collage, original photography, any type of printmaking, stamping, assemblage, fabric art, wax, etc.”

It was when I saw the word ‘wax’ at the end that it hit me. Although I really enjoy making collage ATCs, I would love to be able to make ‘traditional’ art – ie painting / drawing etc. I thought this ATC challenge gave me that opportunity.

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I used black ink to create the background wave effect, and over it I dropped melted wax, from birthday candles! I used yellow and blue, then filled in the gaps with clear wax from a tealight candle (I used a paintbrush for accuracy, as I found the birthday candle wax never went where I expected it to!). Then I pooled a big blob of wax three-quarters of the way up, waited for it to solidify slightly, and stamped it with a basic heart stamp. I coloured the heart using some chalk.

So my mixed media ATC actually has 4 aspects to its creation – ink, wax, stamping, and chalk. I’m very pleased with this one, and it’s helped me get out of my comfort zone of just making collage ATCs.