Stitch Journeys

Exploring life with needle and thread.

Creating for Pure Pleasure

Creating for Pure Pleasure

When was the last time you created something for no good reason?

 

ATCs Feb thermofax

I love creating Artist Trading Cards aka ATCs so much that quite a few years ago I started a trading group here in town. ATCs are made for the pure fun of it. There are no rules except the size. There is no reason for them to exist except for personal pleasure of their creation. I haven't been able to attend much the last couple years because of my busy travel schedule. But, this Saturday I was in town and made the commitment to myself to make ATCs to trade.

I had so much fun and it only took a little over an hour! Often it is difficult to give ourselves the precious gift of time to create and play but the rewards are so much more than the 'thing' we end up with. I felt happy, energized and relaxed all at the same time.

To create these cards I started with some gelatin plate printed tissue papers I had made. I stamped the tissue papers with half circles using Colorbox Mica Magic stamp pads. Then I screen-printed the flower seed image using one of my thermofax screens and black paint. I added one more layer of screen-printed flowers with a pearlescent paint from Stewart Gill. I cut the tissue papers into the 2.5" x 3.5" ATC size and fused them to Peltex stabilizer. For the backs I used some of the remaining tissue paper or some dyed paper towel fused to the back of the Peltex. To finish the edges I rubbed on the same metallic ink from the stamp pads. Signed and numbered them and done.

I challenge you to carve out an hour to play this week. No need to create a finished product or even strive for something beautiful; just play. You will be so glad you did.

Liz

 

 

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ATC Swap for December

We had a big group at the monthly ATC meet-up in Monument last weekend. This was our no theme month but so many of us made something reflecting Christmas that it became our de facto theme. As usual, the variety of trading cards was amazing. We even had a ceramic one (the yellow, blue and red one), a cross stitched one and one that turns into a Christmas ornament (the ice skates detach from their backing). I am always inspired by this group of creative women. If you are in the local area (Monument, CO) come join us!

I am happy with the way mine turned out. I wove the background (check out more weaving techniques in the Fabric Embellishing book study in the forum) with two different green fabrics  or an assortment of aqua blues from Art Gallery Fabrics-love those fabrics! My trees are simple triangles fused to the woven base with Misty Fuse and stitched with a silver metallic thread. Next, I added some 'snow' with silver foil. Finally, I stamped the word believe on a piece of twill tape and stitched that down as well.

I hope you have some time to create something during this busy holiday season. It will save your sanity you know! I am off to bead!
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What is your keystone?

architecture atcs

I have a fantastic ATC (Artist Trading Cards) group that meets monthly. It is so much fun to gather and share our little pieces of art, talk about techniques and tell our stories of why we made what we did. We have a theme every other month and this month the theme was Architecture. It is always so interesting to see everyone’s take on the theme. We had everything from women’s architecture and the elements of architecture to pyramids and obelisks. These women are so creative. I highly recommend starting an ATC group if there isn’t one near you. ATCs are a great way to try new techniques and ideas.

My architecture of choice was the keystone. I have always been amazed at how one stone could be the element that kept all the other stones in place. I like to do a little research about the topic I am working with so my research led me to thinking about the keystone in a different way. There were lots of links about Keystone Colorado and the Keystone Kops but the more interesting links referred to things such as a keystone species of an environment…a species critical to the health of the environment or the keystone idea of a philosophy. That got me thinking about personal keystones. Particularly what is my keystone? What is the thing that keeps every other bit of my life in balance? Is the current keystone the always and forever keystone? Personally, my current keystone is my health. Without my health I don’t have the energy I need to care for my family and friends or the energy to fuel my passion for my art and teaching. My health has been crumbling slowly over the last two decades and I fear that I am close to a tipping point where I will never be able to regain a solid keystone. I have been taking steps to mend my keystone but the patches haven’t been quite strong enough. One autoimmune disorder has led to another and another.

keystone atcs

I am in the process of carving a new keystone, a strong one that will enable me to be and do all that I am passionate about. It is difficult for me to focus solely on my self, my health, my needs as that isn’t my natural inclination. But, as I so often and readily tell others, you have to take care of your body and soul before you can take care of others. I am taking my own advice and approaching this task with a sense of discovery instead of dread and frustration. I am slowing down to see what is around me. I am taking time to care for myself body and soul. This new keystone will be strong and beautiful.

What is your keystone?
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