Archive for August, 2007

In Studio Faux Wax Seals for ATC or Altered Art

Faux wax seals without using expensive wax sticks at 2 dollars a pop can be made with inexpensive glue for a glue gun. This solves the problem of having to purchase or fool with a melting pot, which  I always see as a favor in my direction. I don’t mind messy, but I do mind wax messy.

For this project I use a low-temp mini glue gun and glue sticks, usually clear ones. You can use any size glue gun you want, just make sure it’s low-temp. I find the smaller one easier to control. If you prefer your stamp to not be clear (who doesn’t?) I can usually find red, green, silver and gold glue sticks near the holiday season at Michael’s. The colored glue sticks make it super easy if that’s what you want – one of those specific colors, or there are suggestions for color coming up.

You’ll also need a Versamark stamp pad, embossing powder, UTEE, something to use as a stamp – brass, metal or rubber stamp – and a base to work on. I use a porcelain dinner plate I found at a thrift store for a buck-fifty. Maybe you have available a ceramic tile that you don’t need any more or pastry paper works okay.

Obviously, you’ll stick the glue in the glue gun and warm her up. Next squeeze a glob of glue onto your surface. You can ice your stamp if you want , because a colder stamp is easier to use, just be sure to wipe ALL the moisture off. Ink your stamp with Versamark so it doesn’t stick to the glue. Set stamp into glue, don’t push it down or you’ll go straight through the glue and have a mess. When glue is set, gently pry stamp from the glue. Voila!

If you are using clear glue and you want a color, mix embossing powder into the glue glob before stamping using a toothpick, but work quickly before the glue sets up. **You can also use alcohol inks for color. (**Thanks to Melissa’s comment for this suggestion.)

Remove the seal from your work surface by gently prying a bit of the seal with the tip of an X-acto knife or other sharp instrument.

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Quotations IV

To be yourself in a world constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.
Allen Ginsberg

Adopt the pace of nature, her secret is patience.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The average adult laughs 15 times a day; the average child over 400 times a day.Martha Beck

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.
Og Mandino

If you hear a voice within you say, “You cannot paint,” then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.
Vincent van Gogh

Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.
Rumi

Sadness flies on the wings of the morning and out of the heart of darkness into the light.
Jean Giraudoud

If you really want to,
you can hear me say
“Only if you want to
will you find a way.”
If you really want to
you can seize the day.
Only if you want to
will you fly away.
“Only If” by Enya

God is the friend of silence. See how nature — trees, flowers, grass — grows in silence. See the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence. We need silence to be able to touch souls.
Mother Theresa

Happy is the friend who knows what to remember of the past, what to enjoy in the present, and what to plan for in the future.
Arnold Glasgow

Write the bad things that are done to you in sand;
Write the good things that happen to you on a piece of marble.
Arabic proverb

Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.
James Matthew Barrie

Solitude begets whimsies.
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

I have never found a companion so companionable as solitude.
Henry David Thoreau

Marbled Background

Marbled Background

Consider using a large piece of paper and cutting into cards when background is complete. Chalk with Versamark chalks if available, not dry chalks. Choose several colors that set off your center. Generously rub a cotton ball in each color and lay aside. Hold Versamark pad upside down and rub over surface of card. With one color, dab chalk sparsely on surface. Repeat with other colors until area is quite covered. For a more blended look, rub a clean cotton ball over the entire square, rubbing in circles with light pressure.

Backgrounds – Artist Trading Cards

Backgrounds – Artist Trading Cards

• Date stamp. Use heavy=weight watercolor paper cut to size. Add backgrounds with watercolor wash, cheap acrylics thinned in half by water or light-colored blotted ink. Using date stamp (office store) cover background with date. Straight reading line text, angled text, rows, whatever.
• Dry brush acrylic paints onto background, hatch strokes. Soften edges by adding wisp of paint with very dry brush. Same color or complementary or neighbor.
• For a shimmery background, mix pigment embossing powder with clear powder. Using large rubber stamp with lots of detail, ink with Versamark Stamp Pad, then stamp and emboss. Shimmery, glossy effect.
• Unusual background. Use partially stretched cheesecloth on ATC, either covered, nearly to the edges or overlapped. Attach with staples – colored staples if you have them.
•   1)Antique embossing. Some time needed. Use watercolor paper #120. Choose a stamp design that fits nicely on ATC – try mosaic, floral, antique designs. Or you can use smaller design and repeat. 2) Stamp design with clear embossing ink, sprinkle with clear powder and melt with heat gun. 3) Apply acrylic paint over entire surface and let nearly dry and then gently scrub paint from embossed area using damp terry cloth. 4) Add metallic rub-on for added dimension.

Quotations III

Art is the only way to run away without leaving home. Twyla Tharp

A single fantasy can transform a million realities.
Maya Angelou

Christopher Robin spent the morning indoors going to Africa and back.
AA Milne

You cannot create experience. You must undergo it.
Albert Camus

When one door of happiness closes, another opens,
but often we look so long at the closed door
that we do not see the one that has opened before us.
Helen Keller

I dream about the roots of trees
and where they travel underneath us,
and how they sustain us from above.
I marvel at tree canopies and spectacular branches.
SARK

When you walk to the edge of all the light you have
and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown,
you must believe that one of two things will happen:

There will be something solid for you to stand upon,
or, you will be taught how to fly
poem by Patrick Overton from his book, Rebuilding the Front Porch of America, 1997

Still More ATC Inspirations

When my fishy-cards came out I got a lot of responses from everyone. Now I am going to throw out some different topics and you can see what your Muse has to say about experimenting. (I bet she’s all for it.).

1) For you science enthusiasts out there. (We DO have some science lovers, don’t we?) Obtain an old copy of Gray’s Anatomy, or any other book that details the insides and the outsides of a human body. I’d look for something in the used book store. When I went to check availability, I found four different sources. As a suggestion, do a pen and ink rendition of a tiny part of the body, using as much detail as you can. Consider hatchings for shading and contrast. Or you can use your favorite medium. So what will you try? Heart? Brains? Skeleton? Big toe? It’s up to you and your Muse. You can always do these as a set or individually for trading.

2) Use photography to capture your favorite hobby or subject. Take a series of shots. (Me? I’m always looking for gates, some unusual, some just regular.) I have friends who do their series’ in lighthouses, windows, and unusual signs. Anything that interests you is a perfect subject. Don’t fret about the subject, just go take some pictures.

Modify with PhotoShop or other graphics program if you want. Although I never use a software program BECAUSE I don’t own one.  It could be interesting to do all the photos in one tint, do them in sepia, or use one of the artist medium tools.

Reduce image size to 2 1/2″ by 3 1/2″ or smaller if you will use them for artist trading cards. You can either cover the entire card, or use only a part and add a different technique for the uncovered part.

5) Do some ATCs in a puzzle piece style. Use heavy weight paper or medium weight board for the background and to support the puzzle pictures. Use a magazine or a graphics designer catalogs. Designer catalogs, about two inches thick and full of varieties of photos and drawings, are great fun to use. Go to the used book store for these, too. They may seem a little pricey but examine the book and think of all the possibilities. Anyway, you figure out how to make the puzzle pieces. Are they going to make a picture, maybe a small part of a well-known logo? Maybe you’ll do a play on colors from magazine pix? Or only scatter a few pieces on the card, or let a puzzle piece be absent?

So go play. Let me know how you are doing.