Embellished Circus


Latest Obsession: Botanical Heart Art

Disclaimer: There's no real substance here. It's a ramble and a brag because I'm really pleased with the way these ATCs turned out.

Every year, when I should start thinking about designing and making Christmas and Solstice and New Year cards, I start thinking about Valentine's Day. Blue and silver are nice, but pink and green are better. Tree ornaments are swell, but paper hearts make my little heart sing. Valentine's Day (and Cute Overload and Ptichka) always reveal the smooshy romantic I hide beneath a crusty, reserved-Protestant, rational, avant-garde-admiring, radical-politics-loving public self.

Since I've been making an ATC a day (ish) this month, I have not taken the time to do much paper cutting, which translates into painted hearts. And armed with my new book full of plant pictures, I've been combining hearts with my other love, flowers. I believe that there is not a flower (well, maybe not orchids) that cannot have its blooms replaced with either paper or painted hearts. And now that I think about it, some orchids could withstand the heart treatment.

So, there it is, my latest obsession. I may be trying to figure out how to include paper and painted hearts in my holiday cards this year. Or maybe I'll just forgo them altogether and start sending out valentines in December. Gifts under the tree are nice, but wouldn't you rather receive someone's heart?


Art Day for Amy!

I have been having an art famine for the last two weeks or so. I have been wrapped up with business meetings, parents visiting, and an intense 5 year old.
I felt like I was going to flip out.
So, today I played hookie from church and home and spent the whole day in the studio. I did some hand carved stamps, and I am immensely proud of the results.
My apologies to the folks who are getting these for swaps. I couldn't keep myself from posting them!
crow3 001


a fave technique

My favourite base for ATCs is matboard. It's sturdy and has a great weight to it. I buy it in chunks from a local art supply store for dirt cheap... they're bits leftover from custom-cut frames. I'm not sure about ya'll, but I love getting cards on mat or on canvas. It just seems artier to me.

I made these backgrounds today. I still don't quite know where I'm going with them, but I'm happy with how they've turned out so far.

I took some pages from an old French textbook, scrunched them up and dipped them in coffee. I applied paper modge to the base, added the paper on top and squooshed it on (as opposed to smoothing it out) to create wrinkles. Then I let it dry sandwiched between wax paper and under a heavy book.

I like texture. And one of my favourite ways of achieving it in an ATC is by mixing heavy medium with liquid acrylic paint. I mixed with a chopstick (bet you didn't think of that as an art tool!), and then glooped it on with a plastic knife.

Then I took the end of the chopstick and scratched away some of the paint before it dried. As luck would have it, one interesting French word or phrase revealed itself to me on each card: dans le Tasse (in the cup); Jerusalem; esprit; la fraicheur (freshness). I didn't plan it that way. It just happened.

Perhaps this will be the direction I need in order to finish these up? :)


Friday Five Round-Up: Flickr Edition

It's official, I'm addicted to Flickr. Here are some groups to gawk at over there.

All Collages

Green is Beautiful

Journals: Moleskinerie, Art Journals, Sketchbooks, Journals and Letters, and Meal Moles

League of the Empty Chair

Last, but not least: Everyday Matters


50 atcs

SO I completed 50 atcs last week...it was a full-court press to get them done for a deadline. In the next print issue of artella, I am one of the featured artists, and had to keep a creativity journal. I decided to make it interesting and challenge myself to 5 atcs a day for 10 days. I nearly lost my mind! In addition, I did a wacky how-to project that will be published, that had a new kind of display for over 100 ATCS...but you will have to wait until publication to see that surprise! :)


Self-Portrait Deco

I made this deco in May 2005 for a swap on Nervousness and it was returned to me this week. The artwork is by (left to right) Tatnert, Linda L. , Amy S., Misty, ??, Linda M., and Thia. Above is the cover and a page by Wendy M. It was such a treat for it to return home - the work is diverse and excellent. Yeah! (ETA: Oops! I meant to post this on my blog but I guess it works here, too. Thanks for looking - and many thanks to those who participated!)


Friday Five Round-Up

Aimee turns a mistake into gold.

Amy posted.

Along with a wicked storage system, Ang may have a problem.

Kathy breaks out the art supplies.

Kelli's covendipity cloth.


My first drawing

I'm taking a Beginning Drawing class up at the University this semester. This is the first time I've ever actually drawn something that looked like it was supposed to. Strange subject but we needed to find something with internal negative space and I didn't want to draw a colander or a sieve, LOL. I'm not going to tell you how loooong it took.

Charcoal drawing

As Promised

Here's an ATC with ye olde portrait orientation. It took all I had not to lay this card on its (long) side.

The ATC is called "Vines" and it features fluid acrylics, Sharpie, and gesso gesso gesso (!).

And thus begins my affair with fluid acrylics. I love these.


side to side or up and down?

I was just admiring Zhenia's lovely little birds-on-a wire ATC when it suddenly dawned on me that I don't make horizontal/or landscape ATCs, like, ever.

I am a strict up and down, oriented in the portrait way, vertical kind of gal. I don't know why, but it's the way I always visualize a card. Maybe I'll be stuck there forever!

What are your preferences, if any?