Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Romantic Distressed Tags and Zetti ATCs

Tags are so much fun…even though I have almost no art space to work in and most of my supplies are crammed into a tiny closet I couldn’t resist joining the June heARTist Trading group's side trade. I returned to the techniques that I love and find soothing and therapeutic—designing collages in photoshop with vintage images Graphics Fairy images http://thegraphicsfairy.com/  overprinting by stamping with white printmaking paint; and using recycled teabags that have been stamped with white printmaking paint. I added a rusted folk-art heart and subtle lace to the teabag tags, and distressed all the tags with liquid chalk stamp pad to get an aged effect.

Zetti is one of my favorite themes, so I had a lot of fun with this month’s theme. The top one uses a Graphics Fairy vintage angel image. In Photoshop, I layered in a different face, added some Adobe illustrator black and white patterns, a hand that came from a small carved wooden Tibetan stamp and inserted the word “believe.” I finished it with gold acrylic accents. On the left is my alter-ego Esme, who emerged while I was doodling during a lengthy phone call with an old friend of my husbands who claims to have psychic abilities. I was inspired to add the “fish hat” after seeing the work of Deborah Burnahm (Land of Nod Studio). The words “strange things on my mind” seemed particularly appropriate. The ATC on the right is a five year old me, who was very, very shy and dreamed of being an artist. I added the words “trust yourself” because art was a path that was discouraged by my parents, and not encouraged by a teacher until I was a senior in high school. The design was done in Photoshop, and the background color added with water-soluble colored pencils.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Zentangle Kaleidoscope ATCs

For my zentangle ATCs for a recent heARTist Trading exchange, I had what I thought was a brilliant idea: draw a zentangle on a rubber block and carve a stamp. While the idea was solid, and the carving came out pretty good, the prints were terrible; they came out weak and indistinct. So, I put on my thinking cap, and decided to scan the bad print and see what kind of repairs could be done in Photoshop. I bumped up the contrast and played with some filters (finally choosing a “stamp” filter) and got a workable image.  Since I am a fabric designer at heart, I couldn’t stop myself from playing with the image more, and I step and repeated it with a kaleidoscope-like mirror image and added a red border. I printed them on cardstock, and then backed them with fusible lightweight interfacing for strength since I planned to add some stitching. They still needed something more to make each one unique. I tried hand-stitching red and white buttons to the corner and center, but it was a bit corny. I auditioned an assortment of beads, sequins and ribbon but nothing worked. I finally remembered some black and white rubber beads from bracelets that I found in a Michael’s sale bin a few years ago—each one was just a little different, and they were just the right final touch.