Category Archives: crafts

Mixed Media Motivational Cards

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Back before my oldest started college I created a set of cards with motivational messages with the intention to send her at least one a month while she was away. At the time I had planned on blogging about them… but that was over four years ago and I can’t find the original pictures now. What I do have are some pictures of the completed/sent motivational cards and a brief how-to:

motivational cards by tamdoll - It always seems impossible until it's done. - Nelson Mandela motivational cards by tamdoll - Why fit in when you were born to stand out? Dr. Seuss motivational cards by tamdoll - Don't be afraid to fail. Be afraid not to try. motivational cards by tamdoll - Train your mind to see the good in Everything motivational cards by tamdoll back view of scrapbook papers

How-to:

  1. I started by gluing scrapbook papers to the backs of discarded playing cards. I just spread glue all over large 12 x 12 pages and adhered the cards to them side-by-side. When the glue dried, I cut out each individual card.
  2. Next, I painted, collaged and stenciled each one. In hindsight, I could have done this before cutting them all out.
  3. I knew I wanted to them to hang on a key ring, so I punched holes in the corner of each with my spring-loaded hole punch. It wasn’t easy punching through all the layers of paper, paint and glue – I even tried using a drill on a few of them.
  4. Lastly, I gathered quotes and phrases to print and glue on, or write out. Embellishing with rub-ons and markers and gel pens was the final step. The first package was sent with a colorful binder ring (those things are great to store rubber bands, hair elastics, etc..).

I didn’t end up sending them as often as planned, but did include a best friend, and then my youngest when she started college. When I’d visit I’d see them posted on bulletin boards, or clipped at their bedside, so I know they were appreciated!

From creating, to shipping each envelope, this was a fun project I would definitely do again.

Curious about the hearts in the photos? – Those were made back in 2011, and I have a brief how-to at tamdoll.blogspot.com.

Motivational cards? Postal mail art? What will you create to send to someone special?

Crafting Cycles

I’m not talking about trends, but personal crafting cycles: switching from projects and mediums as passions arise, working on some during stressful times, and working on others just for fun. Does anyone else jump from craft to craft throughout the year? For over a month now I’ve been working with yarn, and I have a number of knit and crochet projects going at once.

One of these projects included figuring out how to get this Pink Camo yarn to form an argyle pattern that I’d seen on Instagram. I’m used to sock yarns working into intricate patterns, but not Red Heart Super Saver multi-colored yarn, this was really surprising! I finally got it to work after many, many, evenings of crochet:

Tamdoll tries Planned Pooling with crochet and Red Heart Yarn in Pink Camo.

Variegated yarns often “pool”, but some creative folks have come up with methods to get designs like this to develop with “planned pooling”. I finally saw a pattern emerge once I used a formula provided by someone in the Facebook group “Planned Pooling with Crochet”. Here’s a link with how-to help, and a list of yarns that “work” – not every variegated yarn does.

Above, I used Pink Camo and Clover Soft Touch Crochet Hook Size H (5.0mm).

My first attempts, below, didn’t go so well until I realized that maybe the color patterning was too subtle for a beginner to attempt this with. It is interesting to see in the two pieces, that with just a few tweaks of my initial chain count – the results were very different.

Tamdoll's first try at Planned Pooling with crochet and Red Heart Yarn.

I’ve seen the argyle patterning worked into blankets, hats, scarves, vests and more. Right now I’m not going to continue with the color pooling experiment, I’m just satisfied that I was able to learn the technique -it’s sort of been like working on a puzzle and since I’ve figured it out I’m done with it for now.

Next – I have gift knit and crochet projects to work on, with Christmas and Chanukah only being a month away, I have to devote most of my free time to working on those. This time of year it’s not unusual to focus on gift crafting – but crafting cycles is something that I experience all the time.

I don’t know what it is, and I know I’m not the only one – but it may be weeks, months, or even years where I’ll focus on mostly one type of craft – then, for no reason that I can figure out – I’m off in another direction. I don’t want to give up any of my hobbies, so here I am, shifting from one to another.

Half my workspace is covered in magazine clippings and paint – the result of paper and color passions fueled by The Artstronauts Club and Ever After 2016 that occupied my spring and summer. I haven’t touched any of this in weeks. This place is a mess. And now with all my yarn projects going on, I have an urge to sew some project bags with zippers and little grommets to thread yarn through. But I can’t see a spot on my desk where to put the sewing machine at the moment. I definitely see a sewing cycle coming up. After a cleaning cycle…

Are you multi-craftual? Ever experience crafting cycles?

 

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Art Trades, Giveaways, Swaps

Just one more post about my Artfest Rising experience… this one is about the art trades that many of us brought along. As soon as I heard about the idea of trades, I searched all over the internet for inspiration – here I’ll share some ideas for anyone needing help with what to trade, giveaway, or swap at events.

Tamdoll's Artfest Rising 2016 Art Trades

Ideas for Art Trades, Giveaways, Swaps:

  • Zines
  • Photos, Postcards
  • ATCs
  • Business cards, Business card holders
  • Stickers
  • Mini books – handmade in various sizes & shapes
  • Mini journals
  • Pens, pencils
  • Handmade 3D pieces – mini dolls & carvings
  • Mini 2D art – drawings, paintings, collages
  • Lollipops
  • Coloring pages
  • Supplies like washi tape, beads, yarn, punchinella
  • Handmade Pins, Buttons, Charms
  • Ephemera  – I received many envelopes filled with things like:
    • magazine cutouts
    • wrapping paper
    • ledger book papers
    • library cards
    • labels
    • paint chips
    • scrapbook papers
    • paper die-cuts
    • hand-painted papers
    • stamps
    • fabric
    • playing cards
    • old book pages
    • tissue paper
    • tags
    • maps
    • old photos

Don’t forget to label your item with your name, contact info and/or website.

What I brought along to swap/giveaway – recycled map business card wallets, along with a business card inside of each.

Video that also appeared on my Facebook Page:
Artfest Rising 2016 Trades

It was fun during the event to swap, an experience in itself as we all approached folks we’d never met before, offering our handmade items. At home, as I took the time to look over everything I’d unpacked, I really got to appreciate everyone’s generosity of talent, materials and time – each piece was special and unique.

I hope this gives you some good ideas about what you can put together for art trades.

Have any other ideas to share? Please leave a comment and link to your pictures if they’re online.