Saturday, February 28, 2009

Bernie Berlin ATC Workshop #7 Swap

Part 7 of the ongoing Bernie Berlin ATC Workshop swap through ATC_World seemed a little daunting to me but thankfully Tammy Hixon (the hostess) decided the swap would only contain 2 of the techiques from the book and a smaller number of cards to swap - for which I was extremely grateful.


Kyla, Pam and I got together yesterday to make our Dimensional Resin ATCs. Kyla had already made a mould out of sculpy, which we thought would be easier than making the one that Bernie Berlin has in her book ... a tip with using a sculpy mould (or any mould probably), if you spray it first with kitchen oil spray it's much easier to pop the resin ATC out afterwards. We also got a tip from Sheree Rose who had made these ATCs before that the resin is quite fragile and will crack easily if "flex" is not added to the UTEE when melting, so we took her advice and it seems to have worked really well ... 10 beads of flex to 2 teaspoons of UTEE.

Dimensional Resin ATC by Diana, not a great scan, but you can get an idea of it from the side-view picture below. I rusted all my embellishments before I put them into the resin: there's a large heart made out of rusty wire; a heart charm with a key hole; a small key charm; and a flattened bottle cap with a red heart punched out of paper on the front and the back. With these embellishments, I was aiming for 'key to my rusty heart'.

Here's the side-view of my resin ATC on a miniature easel.

ATC by Kyla (again not a great scan). This ATC has: a wing from a butterfly and a dragonfly; a feather; a clock and ants (the ants are a sticker ... they look cool huh). I think the theme Kyla was aiming for is wings of time ... I could be wrong about that though.

ATC by Pam Prosser containing: a seahorse; some small shells and a sprinkling of microbeads.


This technique is Glass-like Resin and I only needed to make 2 of these ATCs for the swap, but decided to make 6 so I could trade with Kyla and Pam and have a spare ... it was actually good practice making a few extras as I got better at the technique as I went along. To make a card like this you coat a background with around 2 layers of UTEE ... or 4 layers of normal embossing powder, which is what I did because after making the Dimensional Resin ATC I used up all of my UTEE. While the resin is still warm, you press into it with a large rubber stamp inked with a solid colour to contrast with the background.

I used some left-over scrapbook paper as my background and stamped the two words onto the paper, I then coated the card with the embossing powder and stamped the bird and branch directly into the resin ... you can't actually see the resin in the picture, but it's thick and smooth and looks like glass that has had an image melted into it.

I wonder how many participants will join in on this swap, as it's quite a challenging one and you do need quite a bit of UTEE to make the resin ATC.

"The wisest mind has something yet to learn."
~George Santayana, 1863-1952, Spanish-born American Philosopher~

Thursday, February 26, 2009

ATCs for Addicted to Scrap Live Swap

All day yesterday, last night and from 6am this morning I was finishing up two sets of ATCs due for the Addicted to Scrap Live ATC Swap today. I worked myself up so much that I even sent my friend Kyla (also in the swap) a text late last night saying I wasn't going to the swap 'cause I couldn't finish my cards (what a sookie-la-la, hey!) ... anyway when I woke up this morning I felt revived and decided to have another go at them, rather than quit, and see if everything would come together and here's what I created ...

Broken Hearted Swap, ATC Title "Stupid Cupid".

Stupid Cupid's background is painted in grey, stamped in black with the "Sanded" stamp from Stampin Up, inked around the edges, images from google, dymo label and a couple of black staples on the broken heart.

Summer Swap, ATC Title "Beach Beauty".

The background for Summer came courtesy of Sharon McCallister who had sent a painted serviette with her WTA ATC and the colours were absolutely perfect for my beach scene. The only other things I did with this ATC is to stick a foam sun under the serviette before gluing down, a swirl stamp over the water, an image from google, black ink around the edge of the card and words, and finally outline the sun with a sharpie pen.

Not my best work, but at least I had something to hand in for the swap I'd committed to ... I really must get organised and stop leaving everything to the last minute!!

"I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death.'" Thomas Paine, 1737-1809, Political Theorist and Writer

2 more WTA ATCs received

Each day I feel excitement as I head for the mail box to see what little goodies may have arrived and yesterday was one of those days, as not one but two envelopes arrived from overseas and here are scans of the pictures ...

WTA ATC by Lillian Mederak from Ontario, Canada.

ATC by Jan Meyers in California, USA.

The ATCs I've received to date are just wonderful and I feel like the luckiest person in the world.

"Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for truth." ~Benjamin Disraeli, 1804-1881, British Statesman and Prime Minister~

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

WTA Winner

It was announced that I was the winner of the February WTA (Winner Takes All) Lottery through the Advanced Artist Trading Cards UK Yahoo Group . I can't tell you how excited I was to win because the artists in this group are all so extremely talented ... so be sure to visit back from time to time to see the little goodies I'm going to receive.

First ATC received by Sarah Walker in Queensland Australia ... the picture has not done this ATC justice as it's slightly out of focus and looks much better in the flesh. Also, I added the red background so the ATC would look better on my blog.

ATC by Sharon McCallister in Essex UK, who also happens to be the moderator of the Advanced ATCs UK Yahoo Group.

I've been so lucky in winning things over the past few weeks ... first Kate Crane's little notebook, then Kelsey O'Mullane's textured background / book cover and then the WTA on Advanced ATCs ... now if only this luck would extend to the lotto this month, I could organise to go do more creative art retreats overseas instead of waiting years for them to occur in Australia!!

Only 16 days until I get on a plane to go to the Creative Soul Retreat ... I'm very excited.

"Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous."
~Confucius, 551-479 B.C., Chinese Ethical Teacher and Philosopher~

Sunday, February 15, 2009

It's a boy ...

My sister gave birth to a beautiful baby boy this morning ... his name is Harry Connor Hoenstok and his stats are:

Date of Birth: Sunday, 15th February 2009
Time of Birth: 6.10am
Weight: 9 pound 3 ounces / 4.185 kgs
Length: 55.5 cms

My brother-in-law Dave woke me up at around 4.15am this morning as Sylvia's water broke at 4.10am and I jumped in the shower and got organised. When we were ready to leave, Alexis woke up perfectly on time, so we dressed her and off we went.

It's at least a 30 minute drive from Coomera to the John Flynn Hospital in Tugun and I think we made it in record time ... a few speed laws may have been broken! The contractions were coming about a minute apart by the time we got to the hospital and Sylvia was already 5 cms dialated. The mid-wife had started to fill the bath for the water birth, but it's a pretty slow process and was only half full even with a 20 minute warning that we were coming in. I asked the mid-wife whether the doctor was on the way and apparently he'd been and gone already.

Sylvia was trying to hold the baby in by keeping her legs closed because the bath wasn't yet full, but in the end that baby wanted to come out and there was nothing stopping it. Within a very short span of time, Sylvia was fully dialated and within 25 minutes of arriving at the hospital the gorgeous baby Harry was born ... and Dave (my brother-in-law) wanted to go through McDonald's drive-through to get some breakfast before we got to the hospital ... luckily we all decided to go straight there!! Even the doctor missed the event!!

I was so lucky that I could be a part of the whole process ... Sylvia was a pro ... Alexis was amazing (she kept saying "I want to see the head. I want to see the head." and had prime position when that head popped out) ... wow there's just nothing quite like being right there in the thick of it ... quite amazing.

Alexis, Harry at 7 minutes old & proud dad Dave.

My sister Sylvia - does this look like a mum that just gave birth??

The proud Aunty Di (me).

Weighing in - what a whopper.

Harry at 2 hours old with Uncle Ferg - he's got a bit of colour now.

"A new baby is like the beginning of all things - wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities."
~Eda J. Le Shan~

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day & Little Houses

Happy Valentine's Day ...

I have created my first Little House for the swap I'm participating in with all attendees at the Creative Soul Retreat. It's not quite finished yet, as I think I might add a little heart or some embellishment onto the roof but as I'm making 50 of these Little Houses, I'll see how I go with time ... I'm hand cutting out each egg and each bird!!

The size of the house is somewhat smaller to what I'm used to with ATCs - each one is approximately 3 cms wide and 6.5 cms tall ... the only criteria with the swap was that it had to be 2D and no taller than 7 cms. I hope I've done it right ... I'm a late addition to the swap.

I'm a bit excited about the retreat, there's only 26 days to go. I have bought everything except the Golden paints I need for DJ Pettitt's class ... I'll be searching the internet for these next week.

"Happiness doesn't depend on what we have, but it does depend on how we feel toward what we have. We can be happy with little and miserable with much."
~William Dempster Hoard, 1836-1918, Governor of Wisconsin, Publisher~

Monday, February 9, 2009

Obama-Style Posters

Today was 37 degrees celsius (98.6 degrees fahrenheit) and I spent the whole day in my office catching up on paperwork and actions that have been long overdue. I got nearly everything on my list done and decided to reward myself by creating some "Obama-style" posters from this cool web-site that I found through Ronna's blog.

Why not try it yourself - click here to get to pastemagazine's website - it's fun!

"We have a saying, you know, if it aint fun don’t do it."
~Jack Canfield, Author of Chicken Soup for the Soul~

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Altered Book Group

I joined an Altered Book group this year with 5 other ladies as I wanted to expand my artist skills from just scrapbooking and creating ATCs. The Group gets together once every 2 months and the first meet was on 17th January, but as I was up on the Sunshine Coast with my husband and mother-in-law was unable to get to the first meet.

The Guidelines for the Altered Book are that it has a single theme "IMAGINE", which we can interpret however we wish, and we are to have used all of the listed techniques by the end of the project / year. The 12 techniques everyone came up with are: ** Transparency ** Beeswax ** Pop-Up ** Alcohol Inks ** Tea Bags ** Textured Cuttlebug ** Fabric ** Texture Paste ** Serviette ** Peeled Paper ** Crackle ** Credit Card Technique.

I have to admit, I've been feeling a little nervous about the whole thing and didn't really know where to start as this is my very first Altered Book, but as I am one to follow through on commitments I make to others, I decided to "just do it" today and see where it leads me.

So here is my first double page spread ... I decided to use a "Serviette" as the background and have painted the images with "Crackle" medium, which seemed like the easiest techniques to start with ... so that means I'm 2 techniques down and only have 10 to go!!! The background is sprayed with Bronze and Golden Terracotta Glimmer Mists and then Spanish Copper Rub 'n' Buff was added around the edges. The words were printed on my computer and also sprayed with the same Glimmer Mists so that they would tie in. I drew around the edge of everything with Stampin' Up's Ruby Red Marker to add some definition.

I added a tab on the edge of the page (first time I used this punch from Stampin' Up), which will contain a little tag with the techniques used on that particlar page, so that I can remember in the future. I may add some embellishments to the layout and will have a think about this over the next few days ... maybe some gems ... mmmm, maybe it doesn't need anything else ... mmmm, not sure yet.

I was thinking that the book's cover page will have the words "IMAGINE ..." on it and then every layout I do will lead into a quote or statement. So the first one is "Imagine ... that a true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection!" ... a quote by Michelangelo who's painted hands from the Sistine Chapel happen to appear in the centre of my layout.

My only hope is that (a) the pages don't stick together and (b) that the crackle paint doesn't flake off due to the book being handled or the pages rubbing together ... I did consider using a sealer over the whole thing, but thought I may lose all the shimmer from the glimmer mists so may have to wait until I get together with the group before I progress.

If any of you have any tips that you have learned through doing an altered board book ... feel free to leave me a comment and share ... I'm open to all suggestions.

"One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself."
~Leonardo da Vinci~

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A new ATC

I awoke at 5.30am today and started making ATCs for the Scrapbook Cupboard Live Swap that was also on today at 11am. Here's a picture of the ATC I whipped up and it may seem a little familiar as it's quite similar to the ATC I made at the Meet, Greet, Create & Swap get-together I went to recently (see previous post).

I counted my ATCs after today's swap and have reached 850 ATCs in my collection ... WOW ... that's a whole lotta time and effort from all those artists I've swapped with since January 2008!

"All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think, we become."

Thursday, February 5, 2009

ATCs and Winning

We dropped Ferg's mum off to the airport today so she can make the 24 hour + journey back to Ireland. She left Brisbane airport with a temperature of 30 degrees celsius and will be arriving in Ireland tomorrow with 1 degree and the possibility of snow. Mumsie's cousin who is collecting her is bringing some warm clothes so she doesn't freeze walking out of the airport ... how extreme.

As much as I love having Mumsie visit and enjoy her company (I'm really lucky that I get on so well with my mother-in-law), I now feel like I can start the year and get into some sort of routine with my art and my life. So once I'd arrived home from the airport I finished off the last of my Arabian Nights ATCs ...

Arabian Nights ATC Finished

Here is my ATC for Laura Carson's Arabian Nights swap through the Advanced Artist Trading Cards UK Yahoo Group. I cut the card out into an "Arabian" shaped arch (not sure of the actual term for this shape), then stamped a pattern in clear and embossed with ancient gold embossing powder. I sprayed with glimmer mists in a poppy, sapphire & spring mint randomly over the card, which ended up resisting the embossing to produce really rich shimmery colours. To finish off I added an image, an embossed border punched strip, some sheer ribbon attached with some slide-on clips and a gem brad.

ATC Meet, Greet, Create & Trade ATC

Following on from our group catch up with Sheree Rose (visit post here), Mercia emailed me a picture of the ATC I made on the day, as she received it in the trade. I used Kyla's bag of supplies to make this card and actually quite like how it turned out ... might have to make some more in a similar style for the Scrapbook Cupboard's Live Swap this Saturday ... I'm running out of time ... again!

Beautiful Artwork Received

I received the gift that I won on Kelsey's blog in the mail this week and I was a very excited little bunny when I saw it in the box. The texture and colours and details are just amazing when you actually hold it in your hands and tilt it towards the light to see it shimmer. I love to run my fingers over the texture ... some might think I'm stroking it ... LOL ... but it just feels so good.

If you get a chance, be sure to visit Kelsey's blog ... her art is amazing and she's incredibly generous in sharing her talent and skills with others.

Also in the envelope from Kelsey was this very lovely surprise ... my very first Kelsey created ATC in my collection. This may not seem like a big deal to some of you out there, but I was THRILLED! I thank you Kelsey from the bottom of my heart, I am so grateful for the gifts I have received.

"Everyone wants to be appreciated, so if you appreciate someone, don't keep it a secret."
Mary Kay Ash, 1915-2001, Founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics

Monday, February 2, 2009

Bernie Berlin ATC Workshop #6 Swap

I finally finished my cards for Part 6 of the Artist trading Card Workshop swap through ATC_World based on Bernie Berlin's book of the same name. This month the techniques were Emboss Resist, Embossing Scraps and Resin Fresco.

I was a bit creatively (and time) challenged this month as Ferg's mum is still here visiting from Ireland and we've been out showing her the sights of the Gold Coast quite a lot ... so I went with something simple and featured a character from a movie and a quote ... I haven't even embellished the cards much as I felt the backgrounds were the essence of the swap and they should really feature quite strongly.

(1) Emboss Resist - painted in red, stamped & embossed a rustic alphabet, painted over the top with Metal Effects Iron Paint and a Rust Activator.

(2) Embossing Scraps - I used scraps from my christmas cards and used Old Gold embossing powder.

(3) Resin Fresco - UTEE on cardboard, painted with Making Memories Sky Blue & Emerald Glaze, then used Lime Rub 'n' Buff on the raised bits of UTEE and edges.

"Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together."
~Vincent Van Gogh, 1853-1890, Dutch Painter~