Art Journal Letter

So, sadly - one of the players in the Artist's Bakers Dozen swap at Nervousness got flaked on - I offered to send a new package on to her and that entailed creating another personal letter in art journal style. Here is the finished product and the original blank BG I made 

(I posted the background layout on Flick'r prior to adding my text ...)

- be sure to view full size -

Basic watercolor wash on sketchpad paper ... stamped on with some random foam and rubber stamp flower images (this was a fairly old BG paper I dug out of my stash, I wanted a lightweight paper as opposed to my usual textured watercolor paper) then I added some images - magazine clipping and vintage bird drawings printed on the computer, with a little acrylic paint wash added around those - the textlines and accent outlines in white gel pen, and finally my journal text in fineline Sharpie. I took my content cue from the imagery I'd created, and related a quick little (multi)bird story from my own life. I tend to be short and sweet with any of my journalish projects, so even though this was technically supposed to be a full-on "letter" (and I could have rambled on a few more bird things but ran outta writing space on this one) - overall I'm calling it a success.

Oh and I haven't gotten a chance to sit'n sew yet ... soon, I hope!

~ gem ~

ATC Mega Swap @ Swap-Bot

Okay! Finally have my sends ready for the

ATC Mega Swap over at Swap-Bot

. My original idea for this project when I signed up was to do one single art piece and then cut it up into the 20 required ATCs, and send those out. Kinda like a "One Part of a Whole" puzzle type thing ... Anyway to keep it more manageable, I ended up doing 2 seperate pieces that were 17.5" by 5" - which got me 10 cards on each piece. I kept it simple by doing my usual Sharpie Abstract background, but did one in my favorite Black, Red & White "fill-in" theme and the other I just randomly colored in with metallic markers in a green, purple and blue palette. And here's how it progressed:


I randomly drew lines in black Sharpie marker, bisecting and looping and dividing until I was satisfied with the overall layout and individual sections. Did the same for second piece.

Step 2

Then I started inking in my spaces, adding little designs - stripes and lines, bubbles, dots, squiggles, hearts and stars - my usual arsenal of random abstractyness. I just go by a mantra of "fill the space" when I do these - it's seriously the quickest and easiest method I know of creating original, fun looking art - and no "talent" required! I usually prefer to leave


whitespace, especially in this particular color scheme. Here are the stages of this process:

I then repeated the process for the second piece, only without the added design elements - I simply filled those spaces in with solid colors to give it a sort of stained glass effect. I also had to re-ink the black border lines on that piece, as the metallic markers dulled the ink whenever I strayed outside the margins. Which was often. Sadly, I didn't continue my photo documentation past the early stages on that one and have no finished piece to show (Roops!)

Last step was cutting them into the 20 individual cards, attaching a backplate to each with the swap name and the number of the piece as it corresponded to the original it came from (

1-A1, 2-E2, etc

...) then getting them into their envelopes, addressed & stamped and ready to roll!

I added images of the full size pieces to my

Flick'r page:





, with an


breakdown of which individual card came from what section


(was kinda hard to get those note boxes to just the right size, plus I'd already sealed up the cards by then and couldn't doublecheck the actual card "contents")

, so my partners can have a look at where their own card started out ... though the stained glass piece is a bit sad looking since I didn't photo it as a finished piece before I cut them

(what can I say?! - kids are set to get outta school this week and I been a busy mama with all the end-of-year activities and running around and stuff. I was lucky just to get the ARTWORK done!)

Anyhow - that's it ... Just thought ya might like to see what went into creating my ATC Mega Swap submissions ... and I hope you like'em, those of you who got one!

Happy swapping!

~ gem ~


Oh yeah, 2 things

... Number 1 - the PINK envelope in the mix there is a "WINNER" that I randomly chose from my partnerlist, they will get a new, personal piece of artwork made by me once they email me with their theme and choice

(ATC, 4x6, 4x4 or deco)

... AND secondly ...


have steadily been recieving my ATCs from this swap, but as I said from the start - I'm holding off opening them until I either get all 20 sends, or a week or so after the swap date passes. No kidding!



since I am no longer on Flickr, those links are dead