Thursday, April 29, 2010

Earth, Sky, Sea ATCs

New ATC's I made tonight for a swap on - had to use certain things for it, such as sandpaper, chewing gum wrapper, watch parts, shell, wax paper among other things that I used. It's hard to appreciate it when it's little but if you look at it full size you might be able to tell why one is called Earth, one's called Sky and one called Sea.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Foray into Steampunk Jewelry

I created this for a steampunk swap on - so I hope my partner doesn't see it and have the thrill of receiving it taken away! I had fun, I found the owl at a thrift store and added the watch bits and key to it. I'm proud of it, I haven't really done much altered jewelry but it was a lot of fun.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Earth Day is for Recycling

But please remember ... "Every day is Earth Day".

This is one of my recent ATC's that I made from recycled materials I found around the house. Backing is made from the cardboard off my kid's caprisun drinks, used magazine clippings, old used stamps, a fortune from a fortune cookie, a used button, the tabs off soda cans, puzzle piece, and part of a map from junk mail. I think I covered everything but there might be something here or there on there I missed. Stamped it, mod podged's kinda dirty and grimy looking I think but that was my idea. Hope my partner likes it, it's for a swap on!

There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew. ~Marshall McLuhan, 1964

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Collaged Butterflies ATC

Here's a few ATC's that I recently made. Some of them are for the "Collaged Butterflies" swap on - I do love making collages, probably because I can't really draw or paint but I think I'm pretty creative as far as putting things together. I used one of my own photographs for the green and yellow butterfly ATC in the picture. Took a bunch of butterfly pictures last spring at a butterfly exhibit at a local museum.

I've been working on a "Book of Treasures" for a swap, and it's really a lot of work! There have to be at least 20 treasures in the book, and I've really been trying to make it something my partner would like. I listed out all the things she likes so I'm trying to at least hit a few. I decided to use an old children's book as the base for the book, it's a gorgeous book with lots of beautiful paintings inside of it that goes through the seasons so it fits great. I've pretty much got all the pages done but I still need to figure out what to do to the cover to make it really special. More about this book to come...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

My First Dotee Dolls

My mother and I took the evening to create these little dotee dolls, because I was so interested in making them. I really and truly can't sew. I constantly screw up things when I she did the major sewing of the bodies. I did sew some of the faces, stuff them and sew up the ends and sew the ribbons and tails on. Probably why it took us all evening to get these 4 done! I seriously have trouble sewing on a button!

But I think they are cute, and it was interesting to see them take on personalities as I worked on them. I made Granny Petal first, and I really didn't put too much thought into it as it was my first one and I was kinda just experimenting. She looks a little too frou-frou granny craft to me, if that even means anything.

The second one I made, I put more of my own personality in and I like it a lot better. We called her WindDancer, because she's for the Mother Earth swap I started on, and she has three things that dance in the wind on her: leaves, a feather and a butterfly.

I just love little Carrot Top. His theme is more buttons than anything but he works for an Earth dotee too, perhaps a more autumn themed one with the colors and little leaf on his tail.

And the last one was a lot of fun to make. Me and my mom tried to put a corset on her, it's actually stitched in pink thread kinda like a corset would be in the back. She seems more of a country diva to me, because she's made from old jeans, so I named her Dixie Diva. All she needs is a rebel flag to wave.

Hope lots of people sign up for my Dotee Dolls for Beginners Swap!

Monday, April 12, 2010

My First Mini-Zine

Last night I finally made a mini-zine. I've been interested in zines for a while, and have gotten some really lovely ones including the mini-zines made from one sheet of paper. You snip it and fold it and it turns into a 8 page mini-booklet! So cool.

Here's how to fold and cut to make a mini-zine: Making a Mini-Zine

I just made it very simply, and decorated it like I would an ATC. I used old browned pages from an Alice in Wonderland book that's falling apart, some stamps I've collected, and then put in a few of my poems and a couple photographs of flowers I took. Then on the back I talk about where people can buy my book of poetry, "Tyranny of Hope".

I actually made it for a newbie mini-zine swap on, so I truly hope I did it ok and that my partners like it. I'll probably make more, as this is the first one, and put different photos and poems in them with various themes for each. At least that's what sounds good to me, and they can be used to advertise my book/s.

If anyone would like a copy of the mini-zine, you can contact me for my address and just send me a SASE (self addressed stamped envelope) and I'll send one to you!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Crafts, Stash and Avocados

This is a craft I made recently for a swap on swap-bot for a chakra bracelet. I used my own stash for this, so no new beads! It was a challenge but I think it came out pretty cool. It met the requirements, at least! Maybe not my most beautiful creation but you gotta start somewhere!

I got the most awesome little package today from ebay, it's a little mold for polymer clay of an Egyptian lotus. I can't wait to use it, but I'll have to wait till May as I've taken the April Stash Bust challenge and won't be buying new craft items this month!

I got a Postcrossing postcard today, from UK with a recipe for "Rock Cakes" on the back. Definitely have to try that.

Got a couple of private swaps going for some Alice in Wonderland pages from an old 1955 book I found at a thrift store. Still waiting to hear back from one more. My favorite tv chef is on right now, go Alton Brown! Avocados. And where oh where might my husband be, it's 2am and he's not back from Charlotte yet. He went to see a nerdcore guy, MC Frontalot. You are likely to be eaten by a grue...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Foray Into Steampunk

I've been wanting to foray into steampunk ATC's (and jewelry sometime!), so tonight with some inspiration from a forum tag on swap-bot I tried my hand at one. I used a little of that caging I had from the other day, and one of the clocks is a tape transfer.

[Tape Transfer: Take a newspaper image or something you've printed and stick the image onto a piece of clear packing tape. Rub it with something hard (like the handle of scissors) to make the image really take onto the sticky side of the tape. Cut around the image and then run it under water. Rub away the paper and you'll have a transfer. Easy way to make transfers!]

I was going to put a real clock face on top of the caging but it fell and I couldn't find it anywhere! Oh well. I also thought of adding a little charm of a key but went with the big key instead. I hope the person I tagged really likes it!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Sweet Smell of Rubber Cement

I'm very proud of my new creation, a metal cage ATC. I brought home bits of caging material from my parent's house tonight and I managed to cut one piece in the right size for an ATC. I had some other metal pieces that I used, such as a little dragonfly someone sent me on swap-bot, as well as the curled wire another person sent me which I absolutely loved but hadn't found a use for yet. It's actually see-through, it's only white behind it due to the scanner. I think it's great and I want to make more!

I started a new swap on about Frugal Living tips. Check it out here - My Frugal Life #1. I'm a huge fan of the Tightwad Gazette, I own all of the books. Such great ideas for saving money and recycling / reusing / reducing.

I also have applied to make a little swapping group on - I already have a poetry group, but I think a lot of the ATC makers at least would love a place to swap items. It might be great fun, or it might be a bomb. We'll see.

Monday, April 5, 2010

ATC's into Postcards

Well I had a good rant, and now I'm over it. One thing I've been doing on a small scale is taking my ATC's that I really like, and turning them into postcards. My mother uses my art to send postcards and notecards to her friends and family, and this is an example of one of my ATC's I made into a postcard for her. It's not a very complicated card, but I did manage some layers, which I love doing.


I'm a little frustrated with a situation on swap-bot, so I am going to have a little rant.

When I rate someone, I give a 5 if they complete the task at hand. That's what we are asked to do. If they make what the swap calls for, they get a 5. If they go over and above what is being asked for, then we have the option to give a heart. If the item they made was super-extra-special, we have a way of showing this. Or if they send you some pertinent goodies and extras along with their proper swap craft, we can say "Hey that's awesome" and give a heart.

So, I got a swap that had a lovely swap item in it, and some bits of papers as extras. Nothing really special, but it wasn't bad either. I believe she hit the nail on the head and made a lovely little item according to the rules of her swap. I rated her a 5 as it met swap requirements and was very nice to boot! And in response, she is whining about not getting a heart to go along with it - how tacky! I did look at her page and she has gotten hearts for 95% of her swaps if not more, so not getting a heart does stand out to her - but I think hearts are for EXTRA SPECIAL swap items that go the extra mile. And hers was lovely, met the requirements, but I didn't go "damn that is AMAZING" when I saw it. Not that I haven't made the same type of ATC's but it was just 3 bits of paper put on a pretty background. Maybe I'm spoiled but I've gotten some truly beautiful ATC's from people in the past and I always rate what I receive against the best I've gotten - such as hand painted works of art, or very special collages with lots of layers. Maybe I just don't like the theme she sent?

Am I wrong for not giving her a heart? Opinions? Am I being too harsh? I explained to her on her page why I didn't give her a heart and she seems satisfied, but it still leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Are people giving hearts just to go along with 5's if they like what they received? Doesn't that defeat the purpose of having hearts? Would love to hear from you.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Zetti Makes A Return

I decided that I needed a separate blog for my crafts and crafty ideas, so The Artful Druid is born today!

The Zetti style is something that I've really come to like, I've made numerous zetti ATC's, but this one was made yesterday. I tried to do tons of layers of various things, and in person it's very 3 dimensional, but oddly enough I think it looks better in the scanned version. Someone mentioned that I should have chosen a simpler color scheme but honestly I love all the colors and busy-ness of the ATC. I wouldn't call it steampunk persay but it does have a little clock piece on it. I also used this amazing stamp and silver ink I got at a swap meet last week. I almost passed it by!