Wednesday, April 3, 2013

AIRs Artist Challenge/ATCs

This is one of those LONG postings that require a beverage of your choice suited to your time zone and a snack.  I decided to make a Master Board using all the wonderful products recently sent to me by John at Imagine Crafts/Tsukineko for the April AIRs projects.  As "Artists in Residence" we have three project assignments every month, one of them being a challenge to use all of the products in the box.  Fun, fun, fun!  When you make a Master Board or the equivalent of your own custom designed background paper, that task is really simplified since anything goes.  Take a look at my product choices!

Here's my finished project.

I started with a 12" by 12" piece of Strathmore Acrylic paper with a linen finish (246 lb paper).  I pulled out several stencils from my collection and started building my layers of color and texture on the blank piece of paper.  I decided that a lot of stenciling would come into play with the chalk inks, Fireworks! sprays and my Imagine Crafts Ink Blusher sponges which I use for stenciling.  After I get done with all the colors on the paper I will make sure it is dry and before cutting it up to make multiple ATCs and a little book for them to fit into.  My theme for the book is "Don't Forget to Give Yourself a Hug" and it is based on a cast of characters from Stampotique who look like they could use a hug.  The first color I apply is Angel Pink Fireworks! spray, followed quickly with Lulu Lavender and Summer Sky Fireworks! sprays.

For that lovely dark blue color, almost purple, I use Imagine Crafts Paris Dusk Fireworks! spray which is sprayed through a lacy stencil.  Dry with the heat gun.  I arranged several other stencils on the paper and sprayed water lightly through them, then I carefully lifted off the stencils.  I blotted off the water by rolling a paper towel roll over the paper, this is a ghosting technique that lifts off some of the inks and leaves light colored impressions from the stencils.  I took the lid off of the Paris Dusk Fireworks! spray ink bottle and used the pump attachment to fling some splatters of the ink across the page. 

Now to make my own stamp with recycled  materials.  In the box was a product called "Tack 'n Peel Cling Sheet".  Since I am first and foremost a rubber stamper I have a lot of flat stamps that usually need to be mounted on some type of rubber foam backing.  I do like to make my own stamps out of "found" items, like bubble wrap, whenever I can.  This can get messy and I generally throw the bubble wrap away after the first use since it moves around and gets all over the place.  I decided to make my own "bubble wrap" stamp with my Tack 'n Peel cling sheet.  (You could also use rubber bands, toothpicks, etc., whatever you want to attach to the sticky mat for your own unique look.)

I attached some bubble wrap to my TsukinekoTack 'n Peel cling sheet that had been mounted on an acrylic block, inked it up with all of my spring colored Versa Magic Chalk Inks and got some really nice textured stamping on my page.  It's like getting a FREE stamp.  After using it I just pulled it off the Tack 'n Peel and tossed the bubble wrap.  I can reuse the Tack 'n Peel over and over, I just rinse off any residual ink or bits of paper that might get on it.  I run it under the tap and rinse off anything I don't want to stick to it, no soap required, just water.  It is really great to use with those unmounted stamps that I never got around to attaching the foam sticky stuff to.  It can be cut to any size you desire and you don't have scissors covered with gunk when you're done.

I also used the Imagine Crafts Creative Medium with stencils to top off all the inky goodness on my page.  Now I have a lot of texture and color.  When I applied Imagine Crafts Goosebumps I got some additional sheen here and there.  There is a tremendous amount of color, shine and texture, bumpy & smooth stuff, going on here!

 I make sure this page is really dry before I start cutting it up, in addition to drying everything between each layer I usually dry it a little more at the end with my heat gun.  I'm going to use this for the base of  ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) and a card or two.  For the ATCs I need to cut my pieces to measure 2 1/2" by 3 1/2", the standard measurement.  Each of them with be matted on a piece of black card stock that will measure 2 3/4" by 3 3/4".  All of my characters and phrases will be Stampotique images with the exception of the stamped image on the cover of the little book.

After making all of the ATCs that I wanted for the project I made an accordion style book to hold them in.  I cut this from the same type of paper that I used for the other parts of the project, Strathmore Acrylic paper with a linen finish (246 lb paper).   This strip measures 4 inches high by 24" long.  I just folded the paper every three inches, sharpening the fold with a bone folder and then added to the book by gluing extensions onto it until I had enough for all of my cards, which ended up being eight ATCs.

The front and back covers measure 3 1/2 inches by 4 1/2" each and the front cover has an additional ATC adhered to it.

I continued to stencil on the accordion book strip with inks and sprays until it looked like this, just in case there were any bare spots on the front side and in addition to that, now the back is ready for me to add any more ATCs in the future that might be a part of this grouping.

Using a strong adhesive I attached all of the ATCs first, then the covers and finally cut a yard and half of grape and white bakers twine to keep it closed by wrapping it around and then tying it in a loose bow.  Here is a close up of the first four.

 This is a close up photo of the second four ATCs.  I still have this much room on the back to add more at a later date.

The finished line up of my cast of odd characters.

When I'm done looking at them or if I ever give them away I'll  just fold up the little book and tie it up with twine to keep it closed.

Next time you go crazy making ATCs that you can't bear to trade or give away think about making a small but durable         3 1/2" by 4 1/2" accordion book and keeping them for yourself.....for a while at least!  Here is a list of all the products and tools I used on this project.

Tsukineko's Versa Magic Chalk Inks:  Spring Pansy, Thatched Straw, Mango Madness, Aquatic Splash, Aloe Vera & Pink Petunia
Imagine Crafts Ink Blusher Sponge Applicators
Imagine Crafts Goosebumps
Imagine Crafts Creative Medium Vintage, Clear and Shimmer
Tsukineko Black StazOn Ink
Tsukineko StazOn Cleaner
Imagine Crafts Fireworks! Spray Inks:  Angel Pink, Summer Sky, Lulu Lavender, Paris Dusk
Tsukineko Tack 'n Peel Cling Sheet
Bakers Twine
Clear Embossing Powder
Black Card Stock
Paper Cutter
Tsukineko StazOn Opaque Ivory Black & Cotton White Inkers
Tsukineko Memento Markers

Rubber Stamps by Stampotique, Dina Wakley & Magenta
Clear stamps
Old Credit Card
Bubble Wrap
acrylic block
Stencils by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer & Michaels
Imagine Craft Ink Blushers/sponge applicators
Heat Gun
Bone Folder

My thanks to Imagine Crafts/Tsukineko for sending me products that I can challenge myself with and then share with all of you.  My thanks to everyone who stopped by to visit my blog and to take a look at my little book!  I hope you'll make your own Master Boards and have fun cutting up your very own uniquely decorated paper to make fun projects.  Have a great day, I'll talk to you soon!


  1. I love it! What a great little book to have on your desk and open when you're having "one of THOSE days"!

  2. Renee, you're blowing my mind here.. Fabulous post!!! I am in awe of your creations.

  3. Your masterboards are gorgeous, Renee! Delicious colors and textures! The stamped characters are perfectly at home in that creative environment you created. Love your theme!

  4. Loveing your work as always Renee :o) and Thank you so much for your kind words, Ive had some lovely words of encouragement :o) What a great community I have joined.
    Huge Hugs to you x

  5. I love your technique! So fun-thank you for sharing~ :D
    I can't wait to try this. I know where my bubble wrap is-lol

    Thank you Renee for the inspiration!
    I love the colors and the idea of a hug journal!

    You rock...

  6. What a fab step out, and a great line up of atc's! I love the accordion book! Cool idea!!! FUN!!!

  7. Totally gorgeous, love all those backgrounds. Kim

  8. Ooohhh I really LOVE that !!! You mini-book of ATCs is absolutely gorgeous !! Thanks for all the details on how you did them, it's just perfect Wow ! Have a good we, Coco x

  9. Super fold-out book! Love those fun and whimsical ATCs.