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!

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

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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.

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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.

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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”:

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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???

Catching up on ICAD

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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.

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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”.

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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???

ICAD + Drunken Stampers Challenge

ImageI could not resist the Drunken Stampers’ challenge this week.  As soon as I saw “Monty Python” I was hooked.  The challenge was to use “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” in a card and, for the truly brave of heart, to also include a “rabbit” theme.

http://drunkenstampers.wordpress.com/2013/06/15/drunken-stampers-challenge-132-monty-python-the-holy-grail/

This is my all-time favorite quote from the movie (possibly from any movie):  the knight insists “It’s just a flesh wound” after having his arms hacked off in possibly the funniest movie fight scene in history.  For the “knight”, I found this cute little rabbit from a Richard Scarry book I’ve had sitting on my craft shelf for ages.  I drew the wild bore insignia on his little suit jacket.  A little red glitter-glue blood and I don’t think it could be better.

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Instead of keeping it in my ICAD quote collection, I had to put this one in a little frame and give it away to someone who would appreciate it.

This was so much fun… I have to find more of these challenges.

UPDATE: This is the coolest thing ever- I won the challenge with this one. I’m SO, SO, SO excited!! Here it is on their blog: http://drunkenstampers.wordpress.com/2013/06/25/life-of-the-party-winner-challenge-132-monty-python-the-holy-grail/

2 More ICADs

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Here are two more additions to my growing ICAD collection.  I LOVE this exercise and am so grateful for finding the project and having the courage to jump in.  Thanks, Tammy!  Here’s the link to her page, in case you want to join in (or be inspired):

http://daisyyellow.squarespace.com/icad/

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I’m enjoying seeing other people’s ICAD contributions almost as much as I’m enjoying making them myself.  Here are some other WordPress bloggers who have some great collections going:

http://trashbubblesandlifeslittlebits.wordpress.com/2013/06/05/i-think-icad-i-think-icad-i-think-icad/  – Lynn is posting hers once a week.  Although she doesn’t promise she’ll be able to keep them up for the whole summer (but who can?), I love what she’s done so far!  The coolest thing is that in another post she’s given a link for turning a print (in her case, an ICAD) into fabric at http://www.spoonflower.com/ .  I really want to try it!

http://missdiane73.wordpress.com/2013/06/08/icad-day-8/  – She’s posting a couple at a time.   This is my favorite of hers, so far.  I love how graphically bold it is and I like that she’s also using quotes on her cards.

http://thebatamonblog.wordpress.com/2013/06/06/two-more-war-comic-icads-a-theme-in-my-artwork/  – Here’s a young artist who’s jumping in on the fun.  He’s using pencil drawings for his cards and has a great eye for shading and dimension.  Keep up the great work!

Catching up on ICAD

ImageHere are my next 4 ICAD projects.  They actually all sprung from the first one, which was built around the proverb:  “Bloom where you are planted”.  I was looking through my magazine word and image collection to do a collage, knowing that I’m not great at drawing and wanted flowers (for obvious reasons).  I couldn’t find the words, so I got out my Geli-stix pens (with this week’s theme being “ink”).  I don’t know why I still have those pens because I’ve never liked them.  They only work intermittently, so I have to go over and over the lines and it wasn’t the look I was going for here.  Oh well.  I tried drawing some flowers on it, but didn’t like those much either.  I can’t throw anything away (hence, the pens) so I decided to experiment.  I screwed open the pen and used an Xacto knife to cut the cylinder that holds the ink.  I tapped, and blew, and flicked the ink all over my little card.  It was so fun.  So I opened up a couple more pens.  Then, I took a couple other cards and blotted up the extra ink, giving me backgrounds for 3 more cards!  And these are my final products:

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Of course, the last one is the the original card.  (Remember, I can’t throw anything away.)  I went over the original lettering with a silver and a black sharpie.  I guess my little card did bloom, after all.

The best part of the story is that I posted another card on Daisy Yellow’s ICAD Facebook page, saying that I really didn’t like those Geli-stix.  Another person in the group suggested that I gift them to her, because she would use them.  As I was going through my aforementioned magazine word collection looking for the first quote (that I ended up doing a lot of word-by-word and letter-by-letter) I found the quote from the Bhagavad Gita… a perfect way to use one of my inky backgrounds.

This whole exercise was certainly an “adventure of the mind”.  I love how things work out sometimes when I open myself up to whatever the Universe might bring me.  THAT’S the source of all creativity, I think.