Alice and Sara

This turned into a knock-it-out-this-afternoon project for two reasons: One, I was waiting to find out if I am required to show up for jury duty tomorrow (

and possibly longer

) so I wasn't sure I'd have any spare time later in the week to work it - and 2 - it started storming pretty bad which meant shutting down and unplugging all the electronics (

including computer and TV

) so I figured I may as well sit down and do this! even though I kinda wasn't in the mood ...

Another mailart project for Nervousness: a pair of ATC pocket decos that are traveling together, you make an ATC and slip it in the pocket, in the end the recip's would get back an adorable booklet with 4 ATC's inside. Mine was the last spot, so these will be heading home when I'm done, and I didn't want to keep them any longer than I really had to.

First off, the decos themselves were so neat! Really delicious pale colored & patterned cardstock that was sewn into a little 4 pocket booklet that tied shut with thin ribbon. The ATC blanks were already included (

matched the deco paper!

) and while I originally planned to do something completely different, once I saw the blank and the previous artists' cards (

that were all very pretty and vintage-y and matched the colors of the deco

) I knew I was gonna go ahead and keep to the same theme so it had a nice cohesive look.

I started off by stamping a decorative design onto the front of my blanks (

I chose to use the harlequin printed side

) with a foam stamp and sand colored ink. Then I added texture by lightly spattering with two colors (

antique white and victorian green

) of acrylic paint. I chose two ladies from a page of printed vintage images in my stash and tore a random page out of an old paperback for some text. Turned out it had two different girls' names -score!- so I tore off thin strips and painted over all the text but the names, then arranged them onto the cardback and glued them down.

Looking at them afterward I feel I should have anchored the girls' images somehow, but ... didn't! and can't now.

Added a row of paint dots down the side and edged the cards with the sand ink - signed the backs (which were striped and perfect as text lines) and they are enveloped and addressed and as soon as I stamp them they'll be set to head out in tomorrow's mail ... which is a good thing ...

'cause I DID end up pulling jury duty. GRR.

Judicially yours


~ gem ~


:::idiosyncratic ATC unison:::

Okay, this was a semi-fun, mostly difficult ATC project put on by


over at ... I've never done one of these "supply packet" projects before and I felt like a challenge (plus they had one last spot open, PLUS the hostess and I share the same birthday, weeee!) So yeah, let's do it!

Here's the basics

: Hostess sends an envelope full of arty scrappy supplies (roughly the same pieces to each player) including the back/blank - which you then use to create an ATC. The rules are - you MUST somehow incorporate a part of each different item supplied. And ONLY those items. No outside papers, paints, accents, pens - NOTHING. Only tools may be used such as glue, scissors, paintbrush and so on. Sounds fun and easy right? HAH! until you see the amount of


stuffed into that envelope and realize you now have to design and assemble an actual piece of art using ALL these things, none of which were of your choosing. Teabag? Match? Excuse me?

:::the supplies:::


random dictionary page (I got






page from vintage stamp collectors price guide


half sheet of printed vintage images


various tissue, mulberry, paper scraps - 5 pcs


Queen of Spades playing card


rectangle of cardstock w/pinked edges


used (public transport?) access swipecard


teabag, match, scrap of foil-tape, film negative


scrap of mylar type paper (silver on one side, black on the other)


postage stamp, piece of flower stem?, 2 bits of novelty yarn


baggies of: embossing powder (pink) and acrlyic paints - the silver was fine, the gold was dried

~ plus there was the project note and the card image to be used as ATC backing

And here's what I did with all that:


I distressed the original card image with a sanding block - I really wanted to keep as much of the original image as possible, just toned down - then used the teabag to teastain all the papers except the cardback, playing card, swipecard and mylar paper. I painted the edges of the postage stamp with the silver paint and adhered the embossing powder to it (


I don't emboss so I tried using an iron to "melt" it - it didn't look any different than if I'd glued it, so ... hope it holds!

) I cut stars and a half circle out of the foiltape and dried gold paint with a paperpunch, and attached these to the filmstrip piece. I tore and layered some tissue & mulberry paper onto a pocket I'd cut from half the teabag, and added a band of the mylar paper to the top, then glued that whole piece to the bottom of the ATC ... I added the postage stamp, the flower stem, a hand cut from the playing card and a couple more star cutouts to the card, as well as bits of text from the dictionary page and one of the vintage image pages. For the record:

I'm kinda ticked about the direction HRH's head is facing and I LOATHE the embossing powder but -eh-- whatever.

Front of card is finished.

For the second part

of my pocket ATC, I took the already teastained bit of plain paper and tore the ends to fit, then layered the other bit of mulberry paper, a small scrap of cardstock (

which was left intact & completely as-sent other than I teastained it

) plus an image from the stamp guide page - added the filmstrip section to the top and tied the two yarn bits through the holes on that. Flipped it over and added the pinked cardstock (

again - altered only with teastaining

) to which I glued a fun bit of instruction cut from the swipecard, which reads:

"Conditions of Use - Insert this direction. Please keep dry/do not fold."

Then I added another section from the playing card to the back of the ATC as well as my FAVORITE text section (

the one I knew I'd use right from the start

) a bit from the swipecard that read

"Not For Resale/Non Transferrable/Void If Altered"

and signed & dated it ~ gem 07-07-07 ~ VOI and LA! we are finished! Hooray!

ohhhhhh yeahhhhh

... what ABOUT that MATCH?

Well my original plan was to complete the card then strike the match and sorta burn the edges to give it a real old "I've survived some shit" feel ... but the match burned SO FAST and the card just wouldn't take (

you can so barely see any singeing right at the edge on the back where it reads "Not"

) that I ended up just using the burnt matchhead like charcoal, and edged parts of the pocket tag. I smudged it in though, so it's pretty much only visible in person, sorry!

Only things I used other than what was supplied: PPA glue, gluestick, shaped paperpunch, scissors, sanding block. *

And a lighter to light the match - that might be cheating, I dunno - but I don't have matchbooks here and tried to strike it on a bunch of other surfaces first, none of which worked, so I hadda improvise.

Anyway I'm not thrilled with this one as a whole, though I do like some of the parts - mostly the tag and the back of the ATC, but I did REALLY enjoy the process and the creative stretch I got -- and am totally looking forward to seeing the other submissions!

~ gem ~

Da NaNa NaNaNa, Ya Say It's Ya Birthdayyyy!

... well it's MY birthday too, yeah!

I'm trying to get this typed and posted before midnight so it get's timestamped while it's still actually my birthday, but my hand is swelling up & hurting so we'll see ...

(dogbite - not fun)

... Anyway!

I participated in a couple swaps at Swap-Bot recently and wanted to show the results; one was a Gemini Birthday swap which yessss even though my partners ALL sent my packages early, I did wait until today to open them. I have Extreme Willpower! Here they are, in no particular order:


(note: Apr 2014 - in going thru all the posts trying to update old broken image links - I have been unable to find copies of the pics for these swaps! Bummer ...)

All were excellent, thoughtful, well put-together packages and my swap partners really took care to read my profile and sent things perfectly suited to me - I loved EVERYTHING! So big thanks to them for making today a super special day :) I'll be trying to make the rating rounds tomorrow, at least before the weekend's over ...

Next stop:


! It's a week past the mailing deadline and I ended up with 18 out of 20 cards ... though at least one person sent 2 cards, so we'll see if those missing ones show up later. But for now ...



And here they are, at last! Really nice looking set of cards altogether, don't you think? I stacked the envelopes largest to smallest, then opened them and layed them out in that order - kinda funny how batches of similar hues/colors ended up together.

Fun swap, I'd totally do that one again sometime. And finally - a


unexpected surprise from my family - as usual I requested "no gift" and as usual they ignored me ... I hope I didn't ruin their excitement or fun in giving it, beacause I REALLY DO LOVE IT! but I realllly didn't want them $pending the money on me like that. But they did and there ya go. So anyway, here it is:

** again - had to dig thru my pic files to replace the originals and this was the earliest one I could find -

it didn't actually come with the stickers on it, that's just something I did later **

I KNOW, RIGHT!? It's great, I've casually mentioned wishing I had a sewing machine now and then (gee, they really DO listen, whatta ya know?) but I certainly didn't expect one. It's not the biggest fanciest thing ever but it looks pretty darn cool to me! I can't wait to get started using it, but since I'm a total sewing novice it's gonna take some time before I'm posting any of the

"Makings from the Machine"

, I'm sure. I can also pretty much guarantee a cutback in paperart stuff as soon as I learn how to work it, since I tend to get completely 1track for a time when it comes to new arenas / projects / etc ...

Bedtime now - I'm so tired and my hand hurts real bad. But otherwise it was a super duper birthday (even without cake or the song) and hopefully thats a sign for how this "new year" is gonna go ... which is what I'm doing right now! Going!

~ gem ~