Saturday, April 19, 2008

Crazy Over Inchies?

There's a new rage sweeping the stamping and paper-crafting world right now - actually it started several months ago - inchies! These are little bits of art, 1-inch square. When I first began noticing them, I admired all the pieces that I came across online, but thought "what the heck are you supposed to DO with them?!" So, I browsed some more and finally took the plunge and opted in for a swap on Yahoo Group (click here for a link).

The swap has 26 players, each making 26 inchies of thier chosen letter of the alphabet. I chose "H". Here are two that I made for this swap. The one with the heart is my first ever inchie. Although it isn't "bad", I'm not very fond of it. I had a difficult time trying to figure out what I wanted the inchie to say because one inch isn't much space to say anything. This one is very "Valentine" in style ("H" is for "Heart").

But then, I really took a good long look at my friend Robin's blog and the samples she had posted for this same swap and realized that I didn't have to stick to my itty-bitty stamps. I began to look at my larger stamps in a whole new way - to see what portion of those stamps would fit onto this tiny canvas. Once I realized I didn't have to use an entire stamp image on the inchies, the second inchie I designed (see the picture above) began to take shape.

Getting my head around a 1-inch square piece of paper is an exercise in itself, and as I re-examined my stash of images, I was able to design several more. Here are six inchies that resulted from my exercise in imagination. Thank you Robin for your inspiration!

I still don't know what I'm gonna do with these bitty things, though. Some ideas:

  • Make an Inchie Album (for collecting - like postage stamps)

  • Use them in ATCs

  • Use them as accents on cards and/or scrapbook pages

I'm open to more ideas. Please feel free to leave a comment with your inchie-use suggestions!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

What I Got in Trade

Wow, I love trading ATCs (Artist Trading Cards)! In my previous post (click here), I offered some butterfly ATCs in trade, and I've already received two in return. Here are the lovely cards by Robin Willis and Sue Shute.

The girl (on the left) is by Robin, and the bird (on the right) is by Sue. Aren't they just lovely?
I can't wait to see what the other folks I traded with send to me. They'll be a nice surprise.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Gel Medium Exploration

Okay, it's official. My new favorite adhesive is gel medium! I LOVE this stuff! I've seen blog posts, magazine articles and collage art books mention its use in collage, but I hadn't decided to give it a try until just recently. Gel Medium is scrumptious, and you can do so much with it! Extend acrylic paint's drying time, change the TEXTURE of acrylic paint, glue down collage elements, blend inks into a coating of the stuff on your art piece... the list goes on. And I plan to do a lot more exploring of Gel Medium in the future.

Here is an ATC, using an image from Vintage Resources (it's a lovely site and appreciates a donation for your use of thier images). I inked the white cardstock with blue and green inks, cut out the image and attached her with a thin smear of Liquetex brand Matte Gel Medium. Then, I applied another tiny smear of gel medium to the lower part of the ATC, over the photo image and blended blue ink into it while the medium was still slightly wet. Then I stamped the text and swirls with red and black ink and let it dry.

This lovely little girl image is from Oxford Impressions, stamped with black ink onto matte photo paper, hand-colored using a sponge & blue dye ink and attached (with gel medium) to a brayered and stamped background. The egg and "dreams" are likewise stamped and attached. No "fancy" stuff with blending inks into wet gel medium - just straight adhering to the cardstock.

I really love this Gel Medium stuff! I have the matte formula, and I think I'll have to go get the glossy formula, too!