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