This project started out as a joke that quickly turned into an enjoyable exploration of my crafting supplies. Got time for a quick story? Ok, let’s go.
It all started the other night at a meeting for a local art group I’m involved in. Artists are many things, but punctual isn’t one of them. When our fearless leader, Candy, suggested that we wait for 10 minutes for any stragglers someone joked that trying to get artists anywhere was like herding cats. General chuckle around the table, because it’s true.
Cut to later in the meeting, we were introducing ourselves and when someone asked what I do I pointedly looked at Miss Holly and said, “I herd a cat”. Later, on the way home we joked that I should make a business card for myself as Official Resource Manager & Cat Herder.
A few days later, I was bored. I started thinking about the old business card blanks that were on the shelf and decided to print up a sheet of cards as a joke. I tossed together something simple and printed up a test sample. It fit beautifully and everything was centered. Then I fed the card stock in. It printed crooked, but only on some of the cards. What the heck, I thought to myself. It’s just for fun. So I printed another sheet, this time making sure that the sheet fed evenly. I’ll be snookered if it printed some of them off-center again.
So now I have two sheets of wonky cards. The control freak in me couldn’t hand these out. The frugal person in me couldn’t just toss them. As I stood there bending the finely perforated lines and making a nice little stack of imperfect cards I realized there was something I could do!
I made them into artist trading cards! Sure they aren’t official sized ATCs but they are my cards and now each one of them has some original art on the back. It’s hard to get an image in your mind when a person says “Mixed Media Artist”. Now…I can give someone an original piece of my art along with my contact info.
I have to say I had a blast making these. I got to explore my washi tape collection. I got do dig through my embellishments and stickers. I even used some stamps I snagged a while back but that I’ve been too afraid to get into.
I wasn’t trying for a theme. Or a certain color scheme.
I just picked through my embellishments and added what made me smile.
A little about the creation process for you. I didn’t think to record it because I was just having so much fun.
The first layer consisted of two elements. First were some pages from an encyclopedia and some other backgrounds that I created many moons ago.
I started with a palette of 5 ink colors and just randomly added some color to the pages. I had previously been testing out a failed gesso project on them.
After the dictionary pages had some color to them I tore the pieces up. Again I wasn’t going for any shape, rather just tearing the paper where it wanted to give.
After applying the paper and letting the adhesive set I went to work with my distress ink palette.
My goal there was to just not have one be like another. Some of the cards got all the ink colors. Some of them only got two colors of ink.
What I loved was the way that there were similar ones, but none was exactly the same. Once I was happy with the look of the distress ink I got out my home-brewed alcohol inks to give a little spritz of color.
Once I was happy with the backgrounds every card got a strip or two of washi tape. Again, I was completely random. I wasn’t trying to match colors be methodical.
Allow me a moment to wax poetic about washi tape would you? I love this stuff. So many patterns. I really like the fabric tape as well. I’m proud to say that I haven’t paid more than $1 for any of my washi.
I was giddy as all get out, putting these darling little strips of tape down as a layer. I don’t know why I’ve been holding off using them.
Ok, that’s not true. I do know. I don’t use them because if I use them, they will be gone. Please tell me I’m not the only crafter with this affliction!
Enough about the washi tape. (I love you washi!!) On to the next step. Stamping!
Now I first started stamping back in the day. So this imperfect stamp thing is really tough for me to embrace. It’s the same issue I have when distressing wood. I was told so many times to go with the grain that something in my soul swoons every time I purposefully sand against the grain.
Back when I first started stamping it was all about the perfect impression. Ahem. Nothing that I ever excelled at to be sure.
When I started watching videos though I saw that the look that I was after was actually caused by imperfect impressions.
I even hit upon a technique that gave me some amazing results. I hope to share that soon. I don’t think I could explain it without pictures.
I decided to finish each card with an image and a word or phrase. I’ve been saving these up for a while. I thought it would take me forever but adding the image and phrase went together even faster than I thought possible.
I had so much fun I just might do this again if I manage to give all of these out.
Until next time…