Completion of my ICAD Challenge!!!

ImageI DID IT!!  61 cards in Daisy Yellow’s 2 month long Index Card a Day Challenge.  In case you weren’t following along, here’s where all the magic began:

http://daisyyellowart.com/icad/icad-faq.html

She’s been doing this challenge for at least a couple years now and the only rule is that you have to use index cards as your “canvas”.  You can use any medium or mixed media combo you want and people came up with some pretty amazing ideas.  The idea was to do one index card a day but she suggests committing to 7 a week (which was a big help with keeping the pressure from being overwhelming for me).  She posted optional themes for each week and a list of (again, optional) prompts to choose from.  I decided to use mine to created a catalogue of quotes that I want to remember for future pieces and experiment with different techniques and mediums.  At first, I found myself really leaning on the themes and prompts.  After the first month, though, I was just inspired by everyone else’s work and I had more than enough ideas on my own.  I followed her Facebook group pretty closely and checked out the Flickr group fairly often, as well.

As a relatively new blogger, and a newly committed crafter, this has been an amazing experience.  It really got me to focus on doing something creative almost every day.  I also tried out a lot of new techniques, discovered a lot of new crafters on Flickr, and got a boatload of encouragement from Facebook.  Looking back on my 61 cards, I can see so much growth in my work and willingness to experiment.  I don’t really like all the cards I made, by any means, but I do like that I made them.  And there are several that I really do love and feel so proud of.  I, honestly, couldn’t have thought of a better way to spend the first couple months of my summer and I can’t wait for next summer’s challenge.

Here are some other bloggers who also been doing the challenge and who’ve provided me with additional inspiration:

http://defineyourjoy.com/2013/07/27/last-full-week-of-index-cards/ – I kept coming back to Natasha’s blog.  She focused on collage for her cards, but even given that boundary she had such a wide variety. I loved seeing her daughter’s cards displayed right alongside hers and hearing how proud her daughter was of her work and their posts.

http://tangledpen.wordpress.com/2013/07/12/thank-you-index-cards/ – She has some lovely cards and is a great drawer (a talent I envy).  Her son joined in, as well.

http://journey2wonderful.wordpress.com/2013/08/04/mini-art-challenge-week-8/ – Just like my theme was inspirational quotes, hers was illustrating books she’d read.  Some of them sound really good, and the cards make them all the more interesting.

http://joyfulploys.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/final-icads/ – Mary did all 61 cards.  I love her style.  There’s a great mixture of bold, contemporary pieces with vintage and more subtle tones mixed in.

http://pixelknitsponderings.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/index-card-a-day-2013-the-last-cards/ – Janet also did all 61 cards and has a great group shot of them at the end.  Congrats!!

Finally, I’ve been posting mine in little groups all along, so if you want to see some others check out the ICAD tag on my tag cloud.  Here (drumroll) are my last few cards:

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“Leap and the net will appear” really sums up my feeling about doing this challenge.  I jumped in, let go of judgement (over and over again), and kept creating.  I think that’s kind of what the challenge was about.  What do you think?

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Creative Corners Challenge entry and a new, cool tool

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GLITTER!  Who can pass up a challenge with glitter!?  This week’s theme at the Creative Corners blog is “Let it Sparkle”.  Here’s the link:

http://creativecornerchallenges.blogspot.de/

Now, I’m not a big sparkly person in real life, but in my creative life I think a little bit of well-place glitter glue can absolutely MAKE a design.  (for example: https://craftymadre.com/2013/06/16/icad-drunken-stampers-challenge/) The ICAD (above) is my contribution to the challenge.  I used a background that I made with a couple different shades of yellow acrylic paint applied with a “floating medium” (yes, I finally learned how to use it and I love it).  Then I went over it with a rough layer of gesso using a folded index card to apply it (ICAD all the way, baby!).  I used a few different stamps with “Distress Ink” Black Soot, “Color Box” Curry, and “Craft Smart” Kelly Green.  Some of the stamps I used were from Inkadinkado (the quote and Zeppelin from an awesome vintage collection).  And then, the pièce de résistance was some green glitter glue to highlight it.

The other cool thing I used on this card is my new “Stamp Press” from Fiskars:

http://www2.fiskars.com/Crafting/Products/Stamping/Easy-Stamp-Press

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I saw Aaron on Imperfect Impulses use it in a tutorial and fell in love.  And then, my lovely wife got it for me!  Here’s him using it (with home-made foam stamps- how cool is that?!):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoIiFTjDYzs

The funny thing is, in a previous post of mine I was bragging about my new Fiskars weeder (https://craftymadre.com/2013/07/07/perfect-day-for-working-in-the-lawn).  This company really needs to pay me for all the advertising (or, I should invest in them because they make GREAT products for all my favorite activities).

So, a lot of link-backs to previous posts, references to other blogs, and product references in here.  What do you think?

A few more ICADs- on the home stretch

ImageI saw a “recipe” for making spray ink on a blog recently and decided to try it out.  Not only would it be a money saver, but it would also be a way to upcycle come spray bottles I already have and a new technique to try- TRIPLE WIN!  Here’s the blog with the really simple instructions:

http://crippledpapercrafter.wordpress.com/2013/07/06/good-luck-going-away-gift-and-homemade-spray-ink/

I started out all these cards with a little spray-ink from the first bottle I made.  The only glitch I found was that the spray-nozzle seemed to get clogged up after not too long.  I think I’ll have to clear it out with water pretty frequently.  When I started out, I didn’t have as much paint in the solution, but it wasn’t very dark on the page, so I guess the clogged sprayer is the price I pay for wanting more color.  I also used the tulle to make some texture on the card with a brush in the same color paint.

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I had printed this little poem/blessing on a card with my new printer when I was testing it out a couple weeks ago.  It had come to my attention when I saw a blogger post a request from Jan to let people know that it was actually her work, rather than the work of someone else it was mistakenly being attributed to.  Here’s that post:

http://masterbard.wordpress.com/2013/06/07/because-i-love/

And here’s a link to one of Jan’s blogs:

http://paintedprayerbook.com/

I love Jan’s work and am going to a retreat being sponsored by my church that she’s leading in the fall.  I can’t wait.  I used the washi tape prompt on this one for just a little more color, but I didn’t want to do too much to it because I think the words are just beautiful as they are.ImageImage

These last two I just made for fun.  The Dr. Seuss quote is one of my wife’s favorites so I’m going to put it in a little frame for her office (and the rainbow wording is a big theme for us, for obvious reasons).  I tried using some “floating medium” I had around but couldn’t really figure out what it did.  I have to check out some tutorials and try it again when I have some more time and patience.

The last one is just a quote that popped into my head with the combo of the “ocean” and “bicycle” prompts.  I kind of messed up the bicycle wheel, but it’s only an index card, after all.  After the spray clogged, I just took the cap off and started flicking and wiping the straw on the card.  I made a little washi tape fish and then put on the reverse of the fish for good measure.  (Who’s ever seen an ocean with only one fish?)

Here are a few other ICAD posts from some of my other favorite bloggers:

http://pixelknitsponderings.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/index-card-a-day-2013-week-6/  – She used some spray-inks this week, too.  I love all the techniques she tried, especially her scrap washi heart (I need to start my own scrap-washi collection, now.)

http://defineyourjoy.com/2013/07/14/this-weeks-index-cards-2/ – I know I’ve already linked to Natasha’s cards but I just love them and her daughter is still doing them right along with her.  She was just published in Altered Arts Magazine, which is the coolest thing in the world.  (She totally deserves it.)

http://imperfectimpulses.wordpress.com/2013/07/09/idle-impulses/  – And here’s another blog I recently started following.  I especially love his art journal stuff and I’ve watched a bunch of his tutorials on YouTube.  They’re not only fun to watch, they teach great techniques.  Here’s his YouTube channel:  http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjU04ybwhaF0OyvQp-4Y1Eg

Thanks for looking.  Two more weeks of ICAD… what will be my next “challenge”???

Inspirational ICADs/Inspirational People

The ICADs I made this week were all from a series of some of my favorite inspirational quotes that I printed out  one day with my new printer, playing with colors and fonts.  I was recently turned back on to Thich Nhat Hanh at a DBT training; a big part of that treatment modality is mindfulness and he’s pretty much the mindfulness guru.

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The first two were made with crayons in a couple different techniques.  The first was just a basic rubbing over a scrap of wire fencing I had left over from a project and the second was from a technique I keep seeing people talking about.  I made a pattern with glue and then let it dry.  The dried glue became a relief for me to rub the crayon over.  I kind of like the technique and it’s so easy.  The last one was kind of a “peek-a-boo” card, using the weaving theme from Daisy Yellow’s ICAD Challenge with a paper bag from PJ Chang’s on top, the quote stapled on the bottom, and (under the quote) a reminder to myself.  I also used the colors from the  2013 Summer of Color 3: Artist’s Choice challenge on Facebook.  (The colors this week are candy apple red and yellow).

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This quote from Ghandi is of my favorite of all time.  I actually just used blotting towels I’ve been accumulating on my craft table, ripped them up, and Mod Podged them on as the background.  I played with some “WordArt” in Microsoft Word to make the quote.

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For this, I played with oil pastels (another new material for me).  It’s such a visceral approach to art: the feeling of the material on my fingers.  I love it and definitely need to keep playing with them.  And I continue to be inspired thinking of our recent trip to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in DC.  He was truly an amazing man.

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This one was a combination of the dried-glue-relief and the crayon rubbing ideas from above.  I wrote the word “fruit” with the glue and then used crayon over it.  I tried using several colors in a rubbing over the wire mesh, moving the card just a hair for each new color.  It kind of made a muddy color, rather than the rainbow effect I was looking for, so I ended up covering most of the card with collage.  I raided one of my National Geographics for the images.

Here are the Facebook links to the ICAD and SOC Challenges:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/daisy.yellow.ICAD/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/116928415059733/

They continue to be so much fun, and are really encouraging me to do at least one creative thing a day.  It’s a habit I really think (hope) I can keep up.  I’m also learning so many new styles and techniques from the other participants who are posting their work.  It’s such an amazing variety and there are so many talented people out there!  They’re inspiring, too.

Mandala Monday and Rainbow ICADs

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Another busy Monday and electronic Mandala.  I did have the foresight to take pictures of some beautiful flowers blooming in my garden before work (and before the torrential rain).  (Oh, and this isn’t being uploaded until Tuesday because of said torrential rain and nearby tornado knocking out the internet.)  I couldn’t have brought myself to cut them to make a 3D mandala, anyway.  I used my handy dandy iPhone and PicCollage app to play with the focus, crop, and arrange them.  The one in the center is from a bulb I planted a little too late last fall (I was afraid).  It grew and bloomed magnificently this Spring, though.  (Of the 60 bulbs I planted, only about 10 came up, but they’re totally worth it.)  This flower took my breath away when I opened my door this morning.

One of the prompts for Daisy Yellow’s ICAD last week was “rainbow” so I couldn’t resist using it as much as possible.  I made my first rainbow card last week in celebration of the overturning of parts of DOMA, but it was a quickie and certainly didn’t do the rainbow prompt justice.  Here’s the link to her challenge:  http://daisyyellowart.com/icad/

I also started posting all my cards on Flickr.  Tammy, from Daisy Yellow, made some great theme-based collages with some cards from the first month so I’m hoping she’ll pick one of mine if she does it in July.  Here’s the link to her Flickr page:  http://www.flickr.com/groups/daisyyellow/pool

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I tried this background using a leftover piece of wire fencing I used for my chair planter.  I put it under a card and rubbed over it.  Unfortunately, I got too ambitions and tried to used too many colors (to go with the rainbow theme).  It ended up getting really muddled.  The quote was nice, so I experimented with a few different scripts.  I did a couple others with the crayon rubbing technique and only one or two colors and those came out much better (keep an eye out for them in future cards!).

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I rather like this one.  It’s a simple magazine page collage with a quote written on a cut-up card stitched on.  The quote is from “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enough”, one of my favorite choreo-poems that was also made into a pretty great movie.

That’s all for now.  Thanks for looking.

Fun collage ICADs

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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.

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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?

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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:

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

Peace.

Celebratory ICADs!

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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.

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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.

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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).

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