Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Fly Free ATC

What color is dew? Like rain, it is really clear, but when it sits on the grass in the early morning, it often seems to be a pale yellow-green. With that color in mind for the June Arts in the Cards ATC exchange, I started gathering yellow-green paints, fabric and papers. I’m still enthralled with tea bags, so I gathered used, empty, dry bags from my husband’s daily green tea. I adhered them to my ATC base with PPA (perfect paper adhesive). I have been collecting pretty Ricola wrappers for a while, so I thought the flowery part of the wrapper would hint at a garden. On top of the Ricola wrapper, I cut strips of teabags that I had embossed a white scroll design, thinking it would suggest a garden fence. Below the flowers, I glued strips of green soy batik that I made from an old shirt of my husband’s. It looked naked at the top, so I added more green with Derwent blocks, and then stamped, with green acrylic, some OM symbols. They were too pale, so I covered them with a small vintage image of a butterfly that I found on the Graphics Fairy blog. In Photoshop, I added the words fly free at the top and papillon at the bottom. For more texture I stitched the butterfly to the card, and finished the edges with Ranger Distress Ink in a color called Vintage Photo.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Fabric Design With Markers and Alcohol

My heart, art-wise, is in fabric design. But getting original designs on fabric without stiffness, stickiness or high cost is always a problem. My friend Janice Paine-Dawes introduced me to the idea of drawing on plain white cotton with permanent markers, then using alcohol to move the color around and create a watercolor effect. It worked like magic! The fabric remained soft and the color bright. The effect was a little hard to control, but it was fun to expect the unexpected, just as I do with watercolor on paper. I scanned a section of the design, then gave it a paint daub filter in Photoshop to make it a little more interesting. The colors were super bright, so I fiddled with it some more, adding a watercolor filter and adjusting the contrast, which made it look very different. With the darkened design, I created some ATCs. The original design was about 9" high x 18" wide, but I reduced it to fit in a 2.5" x 3.5" atc. I added a pale white rectangle across the center with the words "do what you love. love what you do" which is a variation on my favorite Buddha quote: "your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it." In my heart I feel that with fabric design, art quilting and mixed media, along with my paying career of layout design/writing I have found the work that I am supposed to be doing. The ATC looked a little boring still, so I experimented some more, adding embossing powder with a variety of stamps, heating the powder until I got a shiny, enamel overlay. I finished the ATCs with some gold acrylic on the edges. These atcs are very "me" and reflect many things I love, with the original fabric design, some words that are very close to my heart and the two embossed stamps--one lacy and romantic, the other the symbol for the meditation word "om"...not that I meditate often enough, but the ATCs are a gentle reminder of the tranquility that you can achieve through meditation...which is something I need to do more often.