Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Only Small Things - WOYWW #312

Hello Friends :)

I seem to be having this problem in my studio lately. I can only work on small things. Tags, ATC's, cards. I have two canvases that are started but sit unfinished. I am weeks behind on my journal prompts and Lifebook lessons. But, I am just stuck. Whenever I try to work on any of those more weighty projects...I just sit and stare at them blankly... my mind in a completely different place. It is odd and rather worrisome. When will I snap out of it?? Or am I doomed to work smaller and smaller until there is nothing left?
On another strange note..the man ASKED me to make a couple cards! Now I know I am in a different universe. I have been making cards for at least 15 years and he has never asked me for one. Not to say that I have never made a card for him or his family occasions... But..he asked! Not for one card..but for two! Weird....
I am sharing this post with What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday. If you don't know what that is...it is a sneaky peak at desks from all over the world over at Stamping Ground. Check it out :)
So, you have come to my blog expecting a step out of a project...as this is what I always give you. Here are the artist trading cards I did for a summer swap I joined...


This swap has four months with four themes. The first is about your state. That is what these ATC's are about..I think obviously :) Next will be 'your growing zone'. Then  'your favorite Bible verse'. And finally 'half face'  The nice thing about this swap is I can do them all at once and mail them..or parse them out each month. It is a easy going laid back swap :) 

So to start my cards, I cut apart a piece of cardstock that had been Gelli printed at some point. The reason I chose it was the colors. Rusty browns and Turquoise remind me of the state where I live and the southwest in general.  Next I made myself a stencil of mountains and ground using a scrap piece of cardboard and a xacto knife. I used a palette knife and copper crackle paste from Prima to scrape through the stencil creating raised copper mountains on my cards.


Then I added a sun. When you think of the Arizona desert...you can't help but think of our blazing sun! I used a circle stamp and some gold metallic paint from Pebeo. Applying the paint to the stamp using a cosmetic sponge.


Now I needed some more texture and dimension. I made myself some painted papers using my palette knife and some deli paper. (forgot to take a photo here) I used gesso and turquoise metallic Pebeo acrylic on one and brown acrylic and copper Pebeo metallic acrylic on another. Then I tore my paper into strips and applied them to the cards using liquid gloss medium from Liquitex. Some of you may be saying..."but Shel, you always use MATTE medium". This is so true..but if I had used matte then the shimmery-glimmery-ness of the paint and mediums would be dulled down. "Ah ha" you say :) I trimmed the excess and then mounted my cards onto shiny copper cardstock.


Next I needed the iconic plant that is everywhere where I live,,,the Saguaro. I love these majestic cactus soaring over me and standing tall like soldiers all over the hills. I used some Magicals powders from Lindy's Stamp Gang on some text paper but decided it was too dark. So I scraped some Pebeo metallic green acrylic over it. Then I made a stencil with some scrap cardboard and cut out my saguaros. I put them on my cards using liquid gloss medium. 


To add some detail to my little scene. I used a white Posca pen on my cactus and a Gold Sharpie poster paint pen on my sun.


Now for the backs of the cards. I used my computer and Microsoft publisher to make the shape of Arizona. Then I typed a few facts over the top of the state shapes. I cut these into the right size and glued them onto the backs of the cards.


But then, I decided they were too darn white! White..ewwwwww! So I picked three colors of distress ink pads and smooshed them onto my craft mat. Then I spritzed it with water and then swooshed my cards through the ink. Smooshed and swooshed....Much better! 



Oh, and for those who wondered about the cards I made for the man. He needed a 59th anniversary card for his parents and a graduation card for the child of his best friend. I decided to make pop up box cards. I have seen a lot of these but never made one before. It was fun! I ended up making one for my cousin for graduation as well. Then I modified the size to fit into a A2 envelope and made a baby one for a special Grandma who's daughter has just had twins! And a extra one for a birthday or something someone might have :) I used this tutorial SplitCoastStampers Pop Up Box Card. I thought I was soooo clever figuring out how to modify the size to fit into a standard A2 envelope. Then realised..there is the sizes for that in small print at the very bottom of this tutorial...sigh.


I hope you have enjoyed my post :) I would love to read your comments!
<3Shel

26 comments:

  1. Wow those ATC are Fab!! ha ha they can still suprise us can't they? Hubby doesn't often ask me to make a card but when he does, he usually wants it yesterday !
    Hope you get your MOJo back for your larger pieces soon - you could make inchies though ;)
    Have a lovely day xx
    Soojay 37#

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    1. Thank you Sue :) Oh..inchies! I didn't think of that...must do some of those!

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  2. I love your ATCs. Thanks for showing how you did them. I love Arizona. I have visited USA several times but our Arizona holiday was def the best. We travelled all over the state. I love the desert. Where we live in Spain is also arid and dry but different to Arizona.
    I’m still travelling but managed to have internet today so I’m visiting as many of you as I can. Happy anniversary all! Six years is quite a long time.
    Have a good week and CU Wednesday
    Lisca#45

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    1. Oh Lisca, thanks for taking the time to drop by my desk while you are traveling. I sure would love to visit Spain. I have only been outside the US to visit Mexico...never any other country. Maybe someday!

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  3. i love your atcs and thanks for the details about how you made them. the box cards are great too! my man never asks me to make a card but always expects me to magic one up when he has forgotten to buy one for someone- then has the cheek to be annoyed that i dont keep a stash ready for him!
    Happy 6th Anniversary WOYWW-er!
    heres to many more
    Charlie x #35

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    1. Thanks so much Charlie :) Yes, those men can be crazy. I guess we could make a stash...but it would have to be a big one to cover whatever might pop up at the last minute. I am sure I don't have a happy beer day card LOL

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  4. WOW, those ATCs are stunning. You put a LOT of detail into them. Very, very impressive. Of course, i hope you get your mojo back for making cards, and larger projects. You may just need a break. I know I did!

    Happy, happy 6th WOYWW anniversary from #1.

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    1. Thank you Elizabeth :) Yes, a break may be in order. I am taking a few small trips to help in a house move and to visit a sick friend. Maybe after those I will be ready to roll :)

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  5. love these atcs, love seeing how they grew as well, Thanks for the snoop on your workspace
    Jac x
    N0.39

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and for the kind comments Jac :)

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  6. Oh Shel what a fab way to show off your State! Really nice work. I agree with Elizabeth, you need to not worry about being behind with stuff and take the chance of not working big and consider it a break. When you get to magnifying glases and tweezers as vital tools, tell me I'm wrong!!

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    1. LOL...yes if it gets to the point of magnifying glasses I will be in trouble. Soojay did mention inchies though..so we will see! Thanks for stopping by and happy 6 years!

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  7. Hi Shel, how busy you've been this week! I love those pop-up cards -they are fabulous (must go see that tutorial)... And it was clever to work out the size for an A2 envelope.
    But those ATC's... WOW! They're great. Very inspiring - now I want to get my inks and paints out and start making ATC's... Love them!
    Have a good week - make loads more stuff!
    Lizzie #69

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    1. Thanks Lizzie :) Be careful if you start the ATC's that your work doesn't keep getting smaller and smaller like mine LOL

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  8. Loved reading your tutorial on the process you went through in creating your awesome ATCs. The box cards, too, are outstanding. I've said it before..."You NEVER cease to amaze me." Beautiful work!

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    1. Thanks Mom :) The ATC's and cards are fun..but I need to get that 2 x 2 foot canvas done for Cyn!

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  9. Lovely to see your cards, and thereby a bit of your home state! I find that things come in stages in my creative life, and I go through periods working in one size, moving on to another when I've emptied myself out. I suspect that you'll be working larger again, perhaps as the smaller things fill your creative well.

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    1. Thank you Win. I do know I will move back to something else eventually...I should stop stressing myself out worrying about everything I am missing and just enjoy the process! Easier said then done though.

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  10. Loved the tutorial on how the ATCs were made. You got Arizona spot on with the copper, the sun, the saguaro and all that fun texture. I had a chuckle that everything you do is getting smaller smaller... someday you'll be doing murals on the side of buildings, just you wait! Things swing one way and then the other. Judy #73

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    1. Thanks Judy :) I do love murals! I hope that comes soon before I fold myself into a little old lady peering at tiny dots on my studio desk lol

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  11. Absolutely stunning Shel!! What a lucky receiver!! xoxo

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    1. Thank you Jackie :) There are actually 10 receivers in this swap...so I will be lucky to get a collection of 10 states back :)

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  12. Hi Shel, thanks for the visit to mine, our landscapes are very different!
    I often find that I start making something in a certain style or size and stay with it until I get bored and then start with something else so understand. Have a great woyww 6th anniversary and happy crafting, Angela 37

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Angela :) yes I think we all do the cycles of things for sure.

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  13. ooh these are detailed ATC's. Hope your larger scale mojo returns.
    kyla #26

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Thank you for your comments. I read every one :)