Fun collage ICADs

image

I was in a training all day yesterday and came home completely brain dead. I sat at my craft table and making a collage seemed like about all I could do. I have a box of cut outs from magazines that I keep for just such an occassion and just started going through it. This is what came out. I have no idea what it is but that’s half the fun. The words aren’t a quote but they seem to sum up my mood well.

image

I was having so much fun that I wanted to make another. I used a little verse from a book of children’s poems I got for a dollar. For this one, I used a cut out from a pattern envelope, a cut out Highlights magazine, and glitter glue. Who doesn’t love glitter glue?

image

The training was on Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.  I’ve been to trainings in it before but this one was free and I needed the continuing education credits. The mindfulness aspect of this technique is especially interesting to me and I did learn a few new techniques. The neatest part was the quotes from Thich Nhat Han sprinkled throughout the PowerPoint.  I love readings from him and they always speak to me in some deep way. This one literally brought me to a mindful state just by reading it and hearing the bell in my mind. Sense memory can be so powerful.

Here’s another one that really spoke to me:

image

This is so important to remember.  I see some of these quotes in future ICADs.

Peace.

Celebratory ICADs!

photo-109

There were a couple pretty cool birthdays this week.  My favorite: Eric Carle.  I love his illustrations and I feel a special affinity to him because the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is on the campus of my Alma Mater.  They have an amazing craft room that has different projects all the time.  I think I love it even more than my son.  I made that first ICAD as a tribute to Eric Carle, using collage that seemed reminiscent of his work.

photo-111

The second birthday is of Antoni Gaudi, an amazing architect.  The Google-doodle for that day was so cool that it prompted me to look up more of his work.  It’s so organic and colorful, and I found the quote that perfectly described his work.  I happened to have a background for a card just waiting to be used and this seemed like the perfect way to use it.  I made the background while I was experimenting with some pens that I never really liked.  I broke some open and blew the ink onto some cards.  It was really fun.  I used Sharpies to draw a somewhat abstract representation of his kind of architecture on top of the ink blots.

I made a couple boo-boos on this card, though.  I added an “o” to the end of his first name name and then, when I was adding the ICAD date and # I was accidentally holding the card upside down.  I guess sometimes things are so abstract it’s hard to remember what they actually were to begin with.

photo-112

This last one was just a day of pure celebration!  Yesterday, the Supreme Court found part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) to be unconstitutional.  Not only is this just a really amazing moral victory, but it’s also going to have really positive, concrete benefits for thousands of couples (and couples-to-be) in the US, including my wife and me.  There are still other battles to fight, but this is an amazing step.  For example, while my marriage is legal in our home state of Massachusetts (the first state to legalize same-sex marriage in 2004), if we were to move to a state where it wasn’t legal, it may not be transferred and we could lose many of the rights and privileges we have.

I knew I wanted to make an ICAD about it (albeit a quick one because I spent most of the night celebrating with my family and friends).  I immediately thought of this quote (one of my favorites from our recent visit to the Martin Luther King, Jr. exhibit in DC).  In researching the specific wording, I found that it was originally attributed to a minster from Massachusetts (not surprising).

IMG_1879

I hope these cards are as inspirational for you to see as they were for me to make.  Enjoy!

How do I use this thing? (and some ICADs)

Image

I came across this 3D stencil in one of my (many) boxes of craft supplies and thought… “What the heck?”  One of the prompts for last week’s ICAD Challenge was “ivy”, so what better time to experiment.  I recently started playing with gesso, and figured that would be as good as anything to stencil with, and then figured I could just paint over the relief for a cool design.  Not.

Image

The gesso (surprise, surprise) seeped under the stencil, despite at my best attempts at taping and holding it down.  I ended up with a bunch of big blobs.  So, I thought, maybe I can just trace the stencil on top of the gesso like any other normal stencil.  Of course, it’s not a normal stencil, so when I tried to trace inside the openings the foam kept moving and that was a disaster, too.  I tried a trusted Sharpie, but it didn’t work too well on top of the gesso, so I just resorted to painting inside the stencil as well as I could (given my level of frustration and disappointment at this point) with my handy-dandy acrylic paint.  I threw a random quote on it from my collection and was about to call it a day.  But…Image

I had all this paint left over on my plate and this frustrating foamy stencil that I still didn’t know how to use.  So I did a little more experimentation and used it as a STAMP.  And I LOVED it!!!  I made two more cards with it that way.

Image

And then I just wanted to use up the rest of the paint, so I did the one below.  I used the sewing theme again (which I love), and experimented with some new, metallic thread and a zig-zag stitch.  So, here’s the last one in this “series”:

photo-113

So, I guess that what started out as a big mess turned out okay.  It usually does.  (And, if it doesn’t, that’s okay, too.)

And here are some other bloggers who are doing ICADs (it seems like the numbers are growing like weeds- really pretty, interesting weeds).

http://livingadreamlife.wordpress.com/2013/06/25/icad-25-happy-birthday-eric-carle/  – I had no idea it was Eric Carle‘s birthday… I’m seeing a Carlesque ICAD coming up in my future.

http://sitscrapandrelax.wordpress.com/2013/06/25/icad-20-24/  – I just came across this blog and love it.  This series is really neat, she calls it her “She Art”.  The last two are portraits she learned how to do by watching an instructional video on YouTube.  How cool is that?!

Oh… and how DO I use that thing???

Mandala Monday

Shoot!  I thought I uploaded this before but it didn’t take.  Better late than never…

20130624-152730.jpg

Here’s my contribution for today.  I was expecting a long day at work and then had to go get a new phone (an excursion that I had no idea would take 3 hours!).  So, I decided to try to make an electronic mandala on my phone.  I opened up my Pic Collage app (a favorite) and imported some pictures.  I started with 4 ICADs I’d done last week  with similar materials/techniques (all starting with a failed attempt at using a 3D stencil with gesso).  I used those as the 4 “corners” of my circle.  Then, I cropped a photo I took yesterday and made a kind of star design using several copies of it.  The photo is kind of a funny story:  I got this pinata for my parents’ surprise 50th Anniversary party at church.  When I went back the next day, I happened to notice it hanging from a stick outside the dumpster.  I guess the sexton couldn’t bare to chuck it.  I call it “Resurrection of the Backyardigan”.

The mandala came out somewhat psychedelic looking, but the shape is strangely appealing to me.  And I was able to use images of a few cards that I didn’t really like to make something pretty interesting.  Mondays are always so hard to find time to really concentrate on anything, I’m starting to think I should actually plan ahead a bit and make my mandala on Sunday (and then just post it on Monday).  That wouldn’t be cheating, would it?

Drunken Stampers LAST Challenge :(

Drunken Stampers LAST Challenge :(

I’m so sad that this is the last challenge of this series on the Drunken Stampers’ blog!!!  I did the last one (combo of “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” with a rabbit) and it was some of the most fun I’ve had in a while. This week’s challenge is “Edward Scissorhands” (another awesome movie) and sewing. What a perfect combination!

Here’s the link to this week’s challenge:

http://drunkenstampers.wordpress.com/2013/06/22/drunken-stampers-challenge-133-edward-scissorhands-andor-anything-to-do-with-sewing/

And there’s my submission. I immediately thought “topiary” and happened to have some green felt that I just got from a magic “miscellaneous” bag from a local thrift store. I love those things. I used a stamp to make some grass at the bottom and then cut the felt into a scissors and a heart. I wanted to get the love-story element of “Edward Scissorhands”. I found this perfect quote from the movie on-line (I wish I could say that I remembered it, but I didn’t). I glued the felt first and then sewed it on. Then I machine stitched the sky with some shimmery metallic thread. I had a scrap of that fluffy stuff they put in a jewelry box for padding that I glued on with Mod Podge (it didn’t show up in the photo very well).  (I also have to remember that Mod Podge  makes ink from regular stamp pads run.)  Then I dabbed on some watercolors for the sky. Oh, yeah, and I sewed on a piece of the grass they put in take-out sushi boxes to keep the rolls apart. I LOVE that stuff!!!

photo-104

I think I’m going to apply to be on the Drunken Stampers next team. It would be my first time every trying to do something like that, but you can’t win if you don’t play. Wish me luck!

End of the school year!

20130623-105752.jpgI realized I wasn’t using my “with the boy” category too much. Don’t get me wrong- we do things together all the time. We just don’t MAKE a lot. He’s not a big “maker”. But when he is in the mood to make something, it’s always really interesting!

I brought a few random supplies to church last week for him to make end of the year thank you cards for his teachers. I just grabbed a handful of stuff out of his craft basket: pipe cleaners, stickers, markers, tape, wooden stars, and construction paper. He loves manipulating things with his hands, so he spent a lot of time making things out of the pipe cleaners. His other mom had the brilliant idea of making a sword, so they had a little sword fight during the sermon. I’m sure the people sitting in back of us appreciated that.

20130623-110028.jpgWhen I finally got him focused on the cards, he decided to tape some of his creations down, decorate a little, and call it a day. I got them both Starbucks gift cards (not very creative/original, but it was a last minute Hail Mary play). I also wrote them nice, personalized notes. When I was a teacher, the hand made cards and gifts were, hands down, the best. Gift cards were used and forgotten, but I actually have some of the things kids made and the school pictures they gave me from 10 years ago.

20130623-105858.jpgThey were really amazing with him this year. They helped him get the right accommodations and by the end of the year he was thriving! All “As” and “Bs”- and this from a kid who they were talking about holding back last year.

What do you do for teachers at the and of the year? Or, if you are a teacher, what have been some of your most memorable gifts?

20130623-110240.jpg

A Logo?

I’ve been entering a bunch of “challenges” and checking out a bunch of different blogs and started thinking I should maybe make a logo to identify myself in the “blog world”. I’ve seen a ton of really cool ones and know I’m going to have to work up to something truly spectacular, but here’s my first crack at it. I was trying to combine the gardening and the crafting, and the mandala seems like a nice nod to my psychology “day job”. Oh, and purple. I love the color purple. (The movie was pretty cool, too.)
Now I just have to figure out how to attach this to posts on other pages. This blogging can really get technically complicated, but it’s so fun!!

20130620-103811.jpg

Catching up on ICAD

photo-97

Here are another 3 ICADs for your enjoyment.  The one, above, is my favorite.  I used the “stitching” theme and the “sun” prompt and was completely inspired by that morning’s church service so I used a meditation from the bulletin for the quote.  In the background is a picture of my church (a beautiful cathedral next to a big park in our city) that’s usually on the front of the bulletin.  I sewed on the round scrap of t-shirt fabric for the center of my sun with a black bobbin and yellow thread (to get some more dimension in the stitching).  Then, I put some “rays” in with magazine bits.  It was so simple to make but I love the effect.

photo-96

This one is my second favorite of this bunch.  The text is from a great book, Switch on the Night, by Ray Bradbury.  In the background, I used security envelope patterns (for the “junk mail” theme) to make a kind of skyline (for the “city” theme).  I painted them with watercolors and then added a dark sky with some silver Sharpie stars and the “ice-cream moon”.

photo-98

My last one in this installment was a bit experiment that didn’t end so well.  I had a nice background, using a map, stamps, and pre-paid postage marks on envelopes (“map” and “mail” themes).  I white gessoed over them which kind of left it pretty blah (too much of the gesso, I think).  The big experiment was with a cellophane window from an envelope that I drew lines on with glue (thinking I could rub them off after painting) and then painted over it with a mixture I had made a while ago with acrylic paint and spices (another experiment).  The rubbing off the glue didn’t work so well, so I made some more lines (thinking the “map” theme) with my trusty Sharpie and then just slapped the quote on it.  Ironically, the quote is one of my favorites: the title of a book about mindfulness by Jon Kabot-Zinn.  Oh well.  Sometimes the journey is more interesting than the destination.

This is going to be the best part of today’s blog. I’ve found so many neat ICADs on other blogs that I can’t wait to share:

http://mollylollyloo.blogspot.com/2013/06/just-ride-elevator.html  – This one is one of my favorites.  The “ride the elevator” phrase spoke to me so much and I love the deep colors and textures.

http://iamrushmore.blogspot.com/2013/06/index-card-collages-made-with-swap.html  – I love this blog and her ICADs are so graphic and bold.  She’s done them in previous years so she has quite a collection going, too.

http://www.glimmerbug.com/icad-14-polka-dots-pugs/  – I like her style, as well.  Also bold and unique, with a great sense of humor.  And who doesn’t love a pug???

Mandala Monday

ImageIt was time to harvest some of my herbs and it also happens to be Mandala Monday.  Here’s what I came up with.  I used a newspaper with an announcement of one of my favorite farm stands winning a local “best-of” for the background.  It’s a really loose design, with some long shoots from my thyme around the outside of the circle.  I added in some shoots from a variety of mint plants in the center and then put some cilantro on top with the flowers from the cilantro (going to seed for coriander) in the middle.  I love it and the best part is how my hands smell after picking and playing with the herbs.  Or maybe the real best part is the delicious things my wife will be able to make with them.

Here’s the before (the mandala) and the after (with them drying on my porch):

ImageSpeaking of my amazing wife, it was my birthday yesterday and here’s what she got me (among other things).  It’s a regular cornucopia of craft supplies.  Did I mention that she’s amazing???

Image