Sunday, August 14, 2011

i am . . . august atcs

Over on my other blog, creative swaps where I host ATC swaps every month, interspersed with other fun things like mail art postcards, little books etc . . . we have a theme for our August ATCs of "I am . . . " The idea is that the participants will fill in the blank after "I am" and we will get to know each other better. I often participate in my own swaps just because I really want to. It gives me a chance to trade for some other artists' fabulous work, it gives me a deadline and an idea, which = more art made by me! Creating always seems to calm me. The act of making something keeps me happy and centered. Perhaps it is my therapy. ; ^ ) Below is what I did for the swap - a long post with 6 ATCs and some step-by-steps so I'll keep most of the photos small. Click for details.

#1. I am a mother
I started with a photo of me & my sons -1995, for this ATC.

Added white paint (gesso) with my finger and watered down Adirondack butterscotch color wash in preparation for adding to the ATC.

I added sunflower sparkle Perfect pearls -
this is why I want to clean OFF my table, I keep reaching for the same things!

 almost there . . .  

The charcoal pencil heart finished it.

#2. I am a teacher
I started with a scrap of actual instructions for making "quilties" from one of my lessons. I glued it to the base but also sewed around the edges with a needle I dedicate to paper. I added transparent decorative tape and wrote my "i am" statement in black sharpie marker.

I printed a photo on transparency film. This photo is 10 years old, from a class I was teaching at Adventures in Stamping in Cleveland, Ohio. It is kind of a funny photo, but shows my enthusiasm for teaching!

 I placed it where I wanted it (so you could see my eyes) after running it through my xyron and  then cut off the extra. Burnished it with my bone folder. To finish, I lightly spritzed Adirondack lettuce Color Wash.

#3. I am still this 19 year old girl
I had a previously painted and stamped ATC blank I wanted to use. I did them back when I was making Yellow & Black ATCs for Colour groupies -same technique -paint, salt, different colors.

I knew what I wanted to say, but not quite sure how. My husband and I brainstormed about it and then I settled on the phrase and tried it out in various fonts. I placed the photo over the mesh stamp but then used a white pen to continue the pattern on my leotard. 

#4. I am a dancer
I started with a transparency of my teacher Truda Kaschmann. I thought an image transfer would be nice, but when I tested it by lifting a corner I did not like the way it was coming out. So I placed it back down on the ATC and burnished well so the gel medium would adhere the transparency to the watercolor card. 

I also used a quote printed on a transparency and run through my xyron by Martha Graham. Dance is the hidden language of the soul. Truda taught me Graham technique for many years and Truda is a huge reason why I feel I am as creative as I am! She always had me thinking about what I could do differently, what could I try . . . she was an amazing blessing in my life. She died when I was just starting out with my jazzercise franchise (dance based fitness). I was 29 then and still visited her classes. I started with her when I was 9 years old! I went on to dance with one of her students after that. 

I added water color crayons which worked nicely on the watercolor card. Some of the color slipped underneath the transparency but of course, I like that! I believe I spritzed denim Adirondack Color wash on this very lightly and as I did with all of these ATCs, I sprayed them with a sealer. I used gloss this time, which is unusual for me.

The last two, #5. I am a big sister and #6. I am still in love with man are done on canvas paper mounted onto a Bristol paper ATC. Both started with watercolor crayons and you can see the rest of the process below.

adding more watercolor crayon . . . 

how that crayon added to this ATC . . .

Below are my two sets for the swap.
You can read more about the swap here.
There is still time to join -they are due September 3rd!

thanks for your attention if you have read this far!
: ^ ) lenna 


  1. These are all terrific, Lenna! I love the one with your photo when you were 19. Your words are just perfect.

  2. I admired these beauties on the CreativeSwap site but it's even nicer to see in detail just how you made them here! Made me long to get my Pearls and Adirondack sprays out immediately!

  3. Your ATCs are a wonderful tribute to you and your life. The art produced is beautiful and creative and meaningful. Wonderful week ahead...

  4. Lenna, thanks for sharing your process - so much fun! I finished my ATCs for August last night (for now - read my blog for details LOL are we ever really finished)and this morning I kept making more - this is very addictive, so you will be receiving a special one made just for you (of a different design not like the ones posted last night - I like to keep the design fresh but I'm using the same theme "I AM"). Thanks so much for sharing. I'll be mailing my cards out this Friday - Yeahhh!



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