Sunday, February 22, 2009

All Things Books Swap

Sadly, this is the second to last swap I will be participating in with ArttechniquesATC's yahoo group. The group owner has decided to shut down the group. Our sister group Arttechniques is still going strong though. The owners' feeling is that interest in ATC's is dying.And unfortunately the small number of artists who sign up for swaps supports her decision. What do you think? Are you still interested in creating and trading ATC's? I know I am. A lot of trading goes on at Flickr. Maybe this is why there is less traffic on the groups. Thoughts?

Here is my sample ATC. Why is it the sample? It was the first Purell transfer and I lifted the transparency before enough of the book cover image had transferred.
Because the background lacks interest I colored the focal point in bolder colors than I do in the cards to be traded. She is done with chalks and Portfolio oil pastels.
Some day I'm going to get the Caran d'Ache pastels. Hey, a girl can dream. I want the set with 96 different colors. Hold on, I'm drooling. Ok, I'm back.

After applying the chalks et al, I sealed the cards with PYM II. I just got it. Doesn't smell bad, dries in 2 minutes, won't kill the cats. What's not to like? I did rub the chalk after spraying and a little bit came up, but I was pretty rough. So I think it will work out well. Check out their site which has videos and tutorials.

The backs are fun too:

I had to replace the one label. Why? I didn't seal it. Duh. Printed labels out on adhesive vellum.

And here are the final 4 to go postal tomorrow:
The End!! teehee. xoSusan

Arabian Nights Wrapped Up

I am starting to love going to the mail box. Here are the 5 cards I received from artists around the world as part of this swap:

From left to right:

Belly Dancer by Elizabeth Mackie via Australia!

Arabian Nights by Nancy Allen

Pava (a real life belly dancer) by Judy Matheny

And Two Gothic Arches:

Left: Jan Myers

Right: Gillian McMurray via The UK!!

These are beautiful and I love the unique visions of each artist on the subject matter. Ladies, I would love to link to your blogs, comment me the addresses if you are bloggers. Thank you for a wonderful trading experience! xoSusan

The Dye Went To Her Brain

This is my daughter on the first day of having BLACK hair.

And this is what she painted today:

This is some creepy character called Salad Fingers. I think I'm gonna sit out her teenage years in the Safety Cupboard. xoSusan

Bookish Images To Share

In the spirit of the "All Things Books" ATC swap I'm working on, I have 3 images to share with you:

Let me see what you make with them! xoSusan

Friday, February 20, 2009

All Things Books

I'm working on a set of ATC's for my arttechniquesATC's group. The subject is "All things Books". You could go in sooooo many directions with this one. I was gonna "do" sarcastic and use a man with a book, LOL, but decided against it. "Men With Books" will come later. Much later.Like Never. teehee.
I am really enjoying participating in swaps this year. It's a creative stretch to work with subjects another artist has chosen. My apologies, I made that sound way too much like exercise, teehee. Anyhoo, I covered both sides of cardboard with text from "Wuthering Heights". I had a very old copy, from my youth, completely falling apart. Did a couple washes of paint. Found an ornate book cover from a purchased collage sheet. (can't remember where, sorry)Printed it to transparency. Did a transfer using Purell, and had success. This was my first transfer using this technique. Lay down some Purell, lay down the transfer, Here is the Trick I learned from Many Failed Attempts, Do Not Move IT, Do NOT BURNISH. Let the Purell suck the ink onto the page. One or two minutes later lift off the transparency. Done. The Purell works far better for me than using an alcohol spray. I'm a convert now. I love how distressed it looks, see for yourself:
Wow, my work surface is about a 6" space. Here is what is left on the transp after transferring. Because I am a total pack rat, I will keep these to use as a layering device on another project.

I used a gold pen for the edges:

Here is the image focal point. I googled people reading or something like that and found her. I chalked her and used a fixative spray.
I have A Lot of copper and black corners. But I want Gold. So I embossed them:
I'm gonna add words. This is far as I got. I decided I couldn't work like this anymore:
What was once Madness and Mayhem,
Becomes clean and orderly.

Pay no attention to that BEER at my computer station.......

Wow, You can actually see the floor!! I give it two weeks. Now what did I do with my BEER?


How I Spent My Valentines Day

I spent my Valentine's Day at work! At work I got a virus! Horrible headache, stiff neck, nausea and rolling innards. Guess what arrived at work to make me feel better?
Add Image

Thank you goes to my dear friend, Erin. She works part time at a florist and arranged these herself. I am a lucky girl!

Guess what arrived at home to make me feel better? :
How pretty is that? Cyndy from Heliotrope Tree House and her darling daughter Cub, created this beautiful expression of blog friendship. Thank you ladies, you sure did brighten my day. Cyndy was the recipient of my "Hope Will Find You" ATC and has positively made me blush with her heartfelt thanks. Lots of healing thoughts heading her family's way from my house. If you have a moment, please say a healing prayer for Cub's great grandma.

Guess what else arrived to make me feel even better! From my BFF Grace, I received this hilarious card:

And the punchline?:
This is what my life has become!!!! Ok, the lady doing my taxes today told me I need to be more positive. I was really nervous and I guess I OVERSHARED about my life. I'm getting a refund. American Express and Chase Mastercard will be so happy to hear that. So to put it positively, this is what my life has become, FOR NOW!!! Anyhoo, my wise, all listening, and all knowing BFF included this wonderful surprise in my valentine card:
A vintage postcard by Artist Xavier Sager!!! Grace knows what I like!! And here is the back with the most exquisite handwriting in French:

Please feel free to use this in your artwork. And as always, I would love to see what you create with it.

During Valentine Week, I also received a surprise package from my generous blog friend from across the pond, Lorri, at Artivity in Australia. Lorri's work is awesome! (Off Topic- Lorri is having a fun challenge on her blog, check it out, I'm gonna work on it this weekend-stay tuned!) She and her daughter, Bec, run a store called Scrappindipity and still have time to create beautiful (and often hilarious) art! Look at all this awesome Ephemera she sent:

Great images, I especially love the image of the 5 ugly ladies and the 2 children. I have actually been looking for the image of the two children. I made this ATC(traded) a while ago and have had many requests for a "clone":
All I need to do is cut away the little boy, hehehehe. Lorri also sent this cool postcard that is a montage of her art. I wanna do one, too! Here's Lorri's:
And drum roll please, the BEST part, a framed original ATC:
Lorri's inscription tells me to "Remember Your Beauty". How awesome is that! Thank you one and all for making me feel the love this Valentines!

And guess what made me feel the best I have ever felt in my ENTIRE LIFE?? 15 years ago on Valentines Day I gave birth to this:

Ok, she was A LOT smaller 15 years ago, but you know what I mean!! She dyed her hair black! Here she is opening her Bday gift from Grace at her party at my mom and dad's house. Holy Birthday Run On Sentence Batman. My mom invited the whole family, catered it with delicious food, (my mom is an unpaid party planner!!!)and decorated the house with love. I gave Sam a flip digital camcorder, got the idea from Sherry. Thanks, Sherry! I have to share how tiny my daughter is. Here is one of her presents in a sweet box:

I couldn't resist stuffing the bikini in that small box. Sam loved it. Wal-mart. You heard me. I said it. Don't Hate. teehee.

So all in all, my virus and loneliness were counteracted by Love from Friends and Family. Before this gets Hallmarky, I'm signing off.


Sunday, February 8, 2009


More Anti-Valentines. Paste paper background, vintage images, transparency transfer. You can't see it but there is glitter in the poison cloud above the cup.
Here is how I used the rejected background from the Tea for Two Clone. I love the skull and "cross spoons"!!!
My sister and I saw Tennessee Williams' play, "A Streetcar Named Desire" last night in Philadelphia. Talk about the ULTIMATE Anti-Valentine in play form. Very dark. There should be a law that you can't read it until you are 40. Earlier than age 40, you just won't "get" it, IMHO. The woman sitting next to me had a cell phone vibrating very loudly throughout the entire play. She often texted in response to the vibrating. She looked to be in her 30's. I wanted to turn to her and say, "Unless you are waiting for a f-ing heart transplant, turn the phone off." However, my mama raised me right, and I will do the proper thing, which is to talk about her behind her back. teehee.


Before you look any further you MUST play the video above.
The Band is Ludo, and the song is Love Me Dead.


Love me cancerously

like a salt-sore soaked in the sea. "

High-maintenance" means you’re a gluttonous queen,

narcissistic and mean.

Kill me romantically

Fill my soul with vomit

then ask me for a piece of gum.

Bitter and dumb, you’re my sugarplum

You’re awful, I love you...

She moves through moonbeams slowly

She knows just how to hold me

and when her edges soften her body is my coffin.

I know she drains me slowly

She wears me down to bones in bed...

must be the sign on my head

it says, "Oh, love me dead!" Love me dead!

You’re a faith-healer on T.V.

You’re an office park without any trees

corporate and cold gushing for gold - leave me alone.

You suck so passionately

You’re a parasitic, psycho, filthy creature finger-bangin’ my heart.

You call me up drunk, does the fun ever start?

You’re hideous... and sexy!

Brrrot-dot-da-d-da-da! Brrrot-dot-da-d-da-da!

How’s your new boy?

Does he know about me?

You’ve got the mark of the beast.

You’re born of a jackal!

You’re beautiful

Love me dead!

Love me dead! Love me dead! Oh... love me dead!

So, in the Anti-Valentine spirit, I have used this song for inspiration.

My own sad love life is inspiration enough, but alas,

I am not as clever as the writers of this song!!

So here are my Anti-Valentines 2009:

Only 4 for now, but the song is ripe for more interpretation. I'm digging the paste paper! I mean no offense to anyone, this is just my sick sense of humor when it comes to love. Otherwise, I'm pretty conventional.
More will be forthcoming....xoSusan

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Anti Valentines Backgrounds

I decided to cut up the collage I made several posts ago. I got two 5 x 7 pieces and 2 ATC's out of it. I used heavy gel medium and glued them to canvas boards. After drying overnight under some heavy books they look pretty flat.

They are not gonna stay sweet. Trust me on this, now where did I leave that red wax.......

Hope Will Find You

Let's Hope that Hope will find all of us!

In the meantime, this Hopefull ATC is for Cyndy and Cub. Visit Cyndy's charming blog,
Heliotrope Tree House. We are trading Valentine's just because!!

I am very, very happy with the way this ATC turned out. Vingage image, puffy heart stickers and gel pen. I think I'll make a couple more! Then I'll move on to the bloody Anti-V's!!

I hope C and c like it!!! xoSusan

Flickr Trade With Artsy Fartsy Queen

I got permission from Melody to blog about our Flickr Trade. You can find Melody's art here.
I traded my Tea For Two Clone :

The scan is slightly blurry because of the bowl of the spoon. I scanned while holding the card with the lid of the scanner up. I have not yet gotten a box and painted the inside black to place over dimensional objects while scanning. This idea came from
Marianne via my inkjet transfers yahoo group. I use an Epson Perfection 4490 scanner and Love It. Thanks for the tip, mk!

Now, just so you don't think everything looks good the first time, here is the first background I made for this card:

Stop laughing!!!! I used a gesso stamped background, too heavy of a hand embossing and a doily stamp that looks like poo when put all together. Luckily for Melody, I had one more postage stamp! I think I will salvage this and turn it into an Anti-Valentine. Something Dark and Maudlin, right up my alley!

Here is the awesome ATC I received from Melody:

It's TWO sided, how cool is that!!!!! Trading Rules!! Thanks again, Melody!