Lifebook 2013 offered up a voluntary ATC swap, and I jumped at the chance to participate. I think I do better creating when given a starting point (I always felt that way about my writing too); a few years ago I did monthly challenges with some people I knew through my son’s school and was pleased with most of the pieces I made for that.
Of course, it would come at a busy time–end of the school year and preparation for leaving on a road trip to spend three weeks with my kids at my parents’ place–but I was not interested in any excuses! I am glad I’ve gotten this done, though, so I can spend the next two days getting together stuff for our trip (and most importantly getting together everything I want to take for my travel journaling). The time I spent contemplating my submissions for this swap was deeply enjoyable and rewarding–I planned while driving, washing dishes, going to sleep at night. . . .
I began by doing some alcohol ink monoprints on glossy ATCs–think I used metallic silver mixative, denim, bottle–at some point I used a little eggplant and sunrise orange.
For the first one, I stamped a tree outline with StazOn Jet Black. I used an embossing pen to add stickiness inside the tree trunk & branches and then sprinkled a custom mix of rust, hematite, & marcasite embossing powder over and melted it with my heat gun.
I was a little stumped for the second one–tried a couple of things and wasn’t impressed with the results. Finally I took another one of the monoprints and sprayed it with Tattered Angels Graphite Shimmer Spray, tilting it to let the ink run and create interesting patters–in my head I was imagining some of those amazing astronomical pictures of galaxy formations and nebulae.
When that dried, I used a Stampscapes Star Cluster stamp to add clear embossing powder over the entire ATC, which then I sprinkled with another custom embossing powder mix, this time Star Dust and Frosted Crystal.
Luckily I’d stamped such that a large star shape was nicely located in the lower right of my ATC. I used that as a guide to poke holes in the paper, and then I used two strands metallic silver and one strand metallic white embroidery thread to sew a star. As the final touch I added a Swarovski bicone crystal to the center of the star. (In retrospect it might have been a little large and a seed bead could have been a better choice.)
Around the border of the ATC I placed 1/8″ wonder tape and covered it with Distress Stickles Dry Glitter Clear Rock Candy. That provided a different quality to the overall sparkle, the pattern of the monoprint could still be seen through the dry glitter, and I liked the finishing touch it gave to the card.
The backs of both ATCs were quite messy from the monoprinting, so I cut ATCs from black card stock, wrote my information with a Gelly Roll metallic silver pen, and used Therm-o-web 1/4″ tape to adhere them to the decorated ATCs.
I really like both cards. Alcohol ink monoprinting has always been one of my favorite things to do (I have used it frequently for my holiday cards), and it was a great excuse to go glittery . . . and I think I managed to not tip over into sheer tackiness (I hope!). Hopefully both cards are the type that will make the recipient want to look at them more than a brief glance, to hold them and angle them to reveal different aspects and perspectives.