Thursday, November 20, 2014

ATC Blues for Paper Traders


I joined a new Yahoo trade group recently, called Paper Traders. It's always a little scary entering new territory, with new people and new rhythms, but I really missed trading ATCs, and some of my old groups fizzled.

I have really made a shift in my artwork in recent years--I started out as an art quilter in 2006 when I bumbled onto a Quilting Arts Magazine in a bookstore. Since I had always loved sewing, art, and was for many years a fabric designer, I was hooked. I made a lot of art quilts, journal quilts, quilted postcards, quilted ATCs and various fiber projects. However, after living with neck and shoulder damage for overdoing my fiber work (from cutting through thick layers of cloth and batting with a dull rotary cutter, and painting directly on fabric using too much arm & shoulder pressure) I gradually switched to paper.

For me, paper is actually a lot easier to handle, it doesn't shift like fabric, usually doesn't bleed or fray, and you can still stitch through it if you want.

This trade required, in addition to the predominant use of the color blue, three layers. I was a little baffled because I never really consciously thought about how many layers I was or wasn't using. When the creative bug strikes, I go with the flow and what happens, happens. So, I had to really think about layers.

These pieces (I made 6...3 to trade and 3 to keep) started with a good quality heavy Japanese watercolor paper. I applied molding paste through a swirly Retro Café Art stencil, and when dry, painted the whole thing with shimmery Lumiere acrylic paint. I used a turquoise, then wiped on some indigo Lumiere. After the paint dried, I cut 6 atcs. I added layers of paper strips: vintage magazine text, French antique handwriting, and Chinese newsprint.

Embellishment was added in layers: first a brass Chinese "coin", attached with a brad. Next I added gold dots with dimensional paint. Each card got a tiny inspirational word, which was printed on clear Avery mailing labels. Last, I wanted more texture, so I punched a hole and added a blue grommet.

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