Thank you for visiting artful embellishments. This is the third year for this blog and I am so happy to keep publishing. I started in 2011 and began with a quilt of the week, this lead to the leaf of the week for my newly designed paper tree that is located on the wall of my garage in 2012.......2013 is going to bring a lot of excitement and positive change. As a personal challenge for 2013, I plan on designing a artist trading card each week to be featured on the blog.
With so many interests, there will be quilting, art quilting, leaves (and more leaves), as well as experiments in thermofax screen printing, fabric dying, and tons of DIY recycle projects. I may even enter that altered fashion scene. To a happy and healthy 2013, may we all find happiness in those things we create....thank you for stoping by artful embellishments.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

ATC 50 Hop and Fly

ATC 50 Hop and Fly was done using a chip board bird. The actual substrate was scrap booking paper (which is just recognizable on the top left corner). An old paper receipt with a punch is decoupaged onto the base. Paper tape that was layered for effect was placed next. The bird is made out of chip board which gives a unique effect. The text was taken from a book.....Spring is certainly on it's way despite the drastic drop in temperatures today from 55 to 35 in about an hour.......

ATC 49 Spaniel

ATC 49 The Spaniel was another surprise. THis was done on mixed media paper with multiple layers of ephemera. I was able to use old maps, book pages, dictionary quotes and the paper tape. The cut of the card was just perfect to capture the cute hunting dog.

Friday, March 29, 2013

ATC 48 Spring

ATC 48 Spring......FINALLY, it hit mid 50's today. I was able to get some things done outside, cleaned out the garage, and put my winter car away for what I hope is a good 6 months. This ATC was based off of scrap booking paper. Ephemera was added with matte medium. An old pattern was also added. The butterfly was a rub on. I couldn't help but title it spring. Butterflies symbolize hope.

ATC 47 The Writer

ATC 47 The writer was a neat culmination of chance. The substrate is scrap book paper that was decoupaged with some old book text. The paper tape of the numbers and the alphabet were added. After looking at it, I added the man with the tall hat from my favorite french book. He looked like a writer to me, and hence the text at the bottom.

ATC 46 Mirror

ATC 46 was done using an image from an old magazine add. The woman was looking in the mirror. In stead of "beauty is in the eye of the beholder", I chose the mirror.

ATC 45 The magic vine

ATC 45 The magic vine was made from fabric paper. The bling was added in a flourish that reminded me of a vine. The magic Vine was the title of a piece of sheet music that I used for another project. The fabric paper is weaker than other substrate so it is sewn onto recycled paper.

ATC 44 Embrace the Earth

ATC 44 Embrace the earth was made on mixed media paper. The tiger was actually an image that was already on some neat paper. The paper tape was added to the edges. What I like about the mixed media paper is that it is thick enough where it doesn't need to be backed by additional paper or stabilizer.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

In perspective

One of my favorite projects so far in drawing has been drawing in perspective. I just love the fact that you can use a ruler! This particular project focused on drawing items on a chair or within the chair that represent hobbies or personal interests. With my love of sewing I couldn't help to draw items pertaining to fiber art!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Beautiful Butterflies

These butterfly pictures were taken on Mackinac Island in 2011. They have two butterfly houses that are an amazing place to take pictures. Using my macro lens I was able to capture some great photos. Using PIXLR, the online editor I was able to age these photos. Each of these photos has a color wash, and then two filters.

Leaves 102-110

Leaves 102-110 were made from the substrates that were described in an earlier post. They were cut with various die cuts with my Sizzix cutting system. I love that cutting system as it will cut through thin cardboard. These leaves have such character, I can't wait to put them on the springlike tree.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

ATC 43 Go Fish

ATC 43 Go Fish was another fun endeavor. I was left with this ATC. The Bass was front an center. It had a more masculine feel to it. I figured why change it. I found the text words "go fish". They were added, such a fun game when I was a child I couldn't help to add the humor to lighten the mood.

ATC 42 To Arrange

ATC 42 To arrange was made from fabric paper with some decoupage. There is actual fabric added to this paper which is unique. The bird was added with three silver studs.

ATC 41 Obey

ATC 41 This started from the card stock that was painted with three colors of thick bodied paint. This is from the same substrate as the Gear, Crow and Precious Youth ATC cards. The dictionary definitions were added first. Then the butterflies were "rub ons". Cool addition There is some stamping and paper tape also. Finally the faux diamonds were added to the butterfly for some added bling.

ATC 40 Bones

ATC 40 Bones.....well I couldn't help to pay homage to anatomy. Heavens knows that class took so much of my life that semester. I found this old medical dictionary. It is so much fun to look at all of the sketches in it. It cracks me up. I am not sure a medical student needs to see a skeleton to know what it is, but it is a great addition to the art supply stash.  Couldn't resist using some of the three dimensional tile letters.

ATC 39 Sew Expo 2012

ATC 39 Ahhhh, such a fun day at the sewing Expo. It took place in September in Novi. I got to take a class from a fabulous instructor Lynn Krawczyk. I just had such a great time. I used the ticket stub as the subject matter for this card. Scrap booking paper was used as the base with some patterned tissue paper added with the ticket. Finally, some random buttons added for dimension. Looking forward to the 2013 Expo.

ATC 38 Lecon 5 Cupid Loves Shoes

ATC 38 Was a serendipitous  card. The card was made from a base of scrap booking paper that was altered significantly. I really liked the way it came out and so the only addition was Lecon 5. This is from the French book that I mentioned previously.  There is something so ridiculous about Cupid and Shoes.....I just had to leave this card as it was.

ATC 37 The Portrait

ATC 37 The portrait was made from fabric paper. I love the way that the fabric paper kept the floral tissue visible! The ephemera was decoupaged with matte medium. This includes the tiny portrait in a locket. The card was stamped and then the metal emblem was placed at the top similar to a decorative frame.

ATC 36 Pretty Flowers

ATC 36 was part of the paper that was made with the gelato crayons. Stencils were used to add depth and additional colors. The colors are so vibrant. I used a flower stamp with two colors of ink. The saying came from a French book that has got to be one of my favorites. It it a book that is intended to self teach French. Good luck with that, however, it has amazing sayings and I can see many ATC's coming from this book. What a great creative prompt.  Seeing as there is still snow on the ground at the end of March, I found it fitting to talk about spring flowers.......even if they are just in my imagination.

The Iguana

The Iguana is one of my favorites. At a certain area of St. Thomas there are a lot of rocks. Throughout the day various types of lizards sun themselves. This iguana was busy posing for the camera. I did get a lot of great pictures, thanks to my new camera with image stabilization, telephoto has never been so amazing. This was also altered in PIXLR.

The blue ship

On a recent tropical vacation I was able to sit and watch boats come in and out of port. I love the colors. Using PIXLR I was able to alter this photo to age it. This program is so much fun to use, and easy.

Monday, March 18, 2013

ATC 35 Create

The Create ATC was done with a stamp by Dana Wakely. It is her hand writing that was made into a stamp. No wonder, it is artwork in itself. The substrate is fabric paper that was then decoupaged, paper taped, and stitched. The metal adornment at the top is literally some metal piece I found in my junk box. Got to love putting good junk to use. Create, Create, Create, no go make some ATC cards so we can trade!!!!

ATC 34 Memoir

This ATC card was so serendipitous. (Love the word, love the movie more.) This was fabric paper. I know, can't stay away from it for too long....... The image is from a very old book. These sketched images are found throughout the book. I put one of these into the fabric paper, not sure how it would turn out. Even though there is tissue paper over the image, you can still see it. The woman is running to catch a falling picture from the wall. The purple flower at the top is actual alcohol inks that splattered just right. The two smaller dried flowers were added below it. The entire card was stitched around the edges. This is necessary as the fabric paper tends to curl. So to avoid that I use recycled card board and I sew a matching ATC to the back so that is firm and it will not bend.

ATC 33 Shifting Gears

Shifting Gears is made from a water color paper substrate that was painted with thick bodied acrylic paints. The images were stamped on the paper. Fabric tape was added. The card was then cut using the Sizzix die cut for ATC cards. I love this die cut as it makes the edges smooth and the cards are all uniform in size. The definition of a gear was added and then the Tim Holtz gear was glued using E6000 glue.

The making of the substrate

I often don't talk about the process of how I make the ATC cards or the leaves. Sometimes I use plain old fabric or paper. I know I have talked about the fabric paper but I haven't shown one in progress. However there are some other methods that I have used that are really fun and great for creative warm ups. The first one presented here is the fabric paper. You start with a piece of fabric, muslin works great. The specifics can be found in Beryl Taylor's book Mixed Media Explorations. I highly recommend this book. You will not believe what she is able to do with fabric paper.
The second technique is using scrap book paper. I am not a fan of using to many pre-made items exclusively as then there isn't as much creating. So I use a lot of these items as prompt or substrate. I started with a page of appealing scrap book paper. I then painted, decoupaged magazine text, book text, images, and then I painted some more. I then stamped the heck out of the paper. This is fun, you can use all of your stamps and not really worry too much about color, organization, composition etc. The goal is move fast and furious to lay down an interesting (notice I didn't say organized) background. Once this is done you can decoupage more images, use paper tape etc.

The third and final substrate is using mixed media or water color paper. For this particular exercise I used gelatos which are made by Faber-Castell. These are amazing little tools. You color with them like a crayon, and then use what to mix the colors. They produce the most fantastic colorful backgrounds. I tend to work muted so this is a great way for me to use some very bright colors. Over the next few weeks you will see some of the substrates used for ATC cards. In the previous post the leaves were made from these substrates also. Happy Creating.

Leaves 88-101

I have been enjoying myATC cards so much I have neglected the tree! In my next post I will show some of the substrates that I have made for the leaves and the ATC cards. These leaves were made using scrap booking paper and mixed media paper. They were decoupaged, stamped, taped with paper tape, and then cut with the Sizzix die cut. As soon as it isn't -15 degrees out I will take a picture of how the tree is coming along....

Sunday, March 17, 2013

ATC 32 Pure Glamour

This ATC was made with fabric paper. Paper tape was added to the right edge. An old (very old) magazine page had this advertisement for bathing suits. These vintage beauties were added to the upper tight corner. Glamour was taken from that very old dictionary. A butterfly was added from the Tim Holtz collection. The diamond bling were added to the bottom!

ATC 31 Bloom

This ATC was done on fabric paper. This was stamped multiple times.  This was done prior to cutting the ATC shape. These is a feather, apple and text. The bloom was stamped and then the flower was added. The flower is a die cut from some scrapbooking materials that I had found deep in a box. The three small gems were added at the bottom.

ATC 30 Silver Crow

The silver crow started on a piece of water color paper. This is very similar to a previous ATC 24 Precious Youth. They both started from the same base. Multiple papers were decoupaged. Paper tape was used. The crow was stamped and then embossed with a silver powder. I love the 3D effect of the embossing. The definition of crow was added from a very old, yellowed dictionary.

ATC 29 This Girl Has Shoes

This girl has shoes!  I just loved that image. The base is fabric paper. It was stamped, then decoupaged, then had some rub ons added. An additional shoe was decoupaged, then finally the metal circles were glued on (not sure where I got those guys from) and then I added three faux diamonds.  Shoes are a girls best friend for sure.

ATC 28 Fly

This ATC was made from Fabric paper. It was stamped with all sorts of inks. My new favorites are the foils. The dragon fly is in a copper foil ink and I like how they are very different from the flatter inks. Some crystals were added for bling. The outside was stitched with one side having a decorative stitch.

ATC 27 King Pear

This ATC features my favorite artistic fruit (not as big of a fan in terms of eating them). I love the shape of the pear and find them to be so much fun to use in art. I used fabric paper. (Shocker) I then stamped the crown and the pear onto the paper. I embellished with some small metal doo dads. Added the letters for Pear. They are puffy letters so they really add some dimension.

ATC 26 Blackbird

Well this ATC was just kind of an accident. I was playing with my specialty papers with a fiskers die cut and made the blackbird, a purple. The base of this ATC card is actually recycled cardboard. I am not sure what this image was meant to be, or what I had gotten it from. I had randomly cut some scrap for the backs of these ATC's. I found this one and felt like playing with it. I put the bird on the small box on the desk. I found this old book that I have. It is the coolest thing. It has all of these interesting sentences. The purpose of the book is that it is attempting to teach grammar. Well, grammar is not my strong suit, but I must say some of the sentences are going to be great for these ATC's. They are awesome creative prompts.

ATC 25 Wise Bird

This ATC was done with fabric paper (sigh). I just loved the flowers that were trapped between the layers of tissue paper. I added some stitching and stamping. The final stamp was embossed in copper.

Friday, March 15, 2013

ATC 24 Precious Youth

This ATC is not made on fabric paper. I know, shocking. This is actually made on mixed media paper. I like this paper as it is very thick, almost like card stock. It can hold paint and water and doesn't warp. The three colors of the base where a bright green, teal blue and deep blue. I just scraped them across the entire surface with an old credit card. I then attached an image of this precious little girl. I am not even sure where I got her image from. I then stamped the entire sheet of paper. (Yes more ATC cards to come from this bigger piece). I then used some paper tape.

Text Me Challenge

I have used fabric paper in many of my projects on this blog. I just love the texture and the uniqueness of it surface. I decided to use this hand made paper for my latest quilting challenge. Quilting Arts magazine provided the prompt "TEXT ME". Any form of text can be used in this 8" X 8" quilt. I enjoyed making this quilt. The fabric paper which was conceived by Beryl Taylor (genius) is muslin that is covered in a glue/water mixture. Adding paper, tissue papers, fabric, trims, lace etc, you glue everything down, just like grade school. Perhaps that is why I like it so much. Then add a layer of white tissue paper over the top. Glue that down with the same mixture. Finally, add shimmer mist, diluted acrylic paint, glitter, and anything else you can think. Voila, fabric paper. You can iron it, sew on it, cut it, glue on it again, and as I did with this bee, thread paint it. I used 10 different threads and it took some effort to figure out which needle to use (denim) and what thread tension. Due to the thickness of the fabric paper the thread kept breaking. All in all I was happy with it's completed look. I am looking forward to making more of these little buggers.

Monday, March 11, 2013

The beauty of the bee

This photo was taken in my flower bed. I loved this little bee just carefully resting on this delicate flower.

Becoming a weed....the strong one

This weed is one of my favorites. There was an article written by a physician who stated that women who didn't work full time were like weeds in the garden. Interesting, as weeds are typically the survivors, and some of the flowers are well, shall we say temperamental? Once again done in pixlr.....


 These poppies were taken in the summer of 2011 at an abandoned house in Cross Village Michigan. I love their color. These images were edited with the pixlr software. I enjoy taking an image and aging it with this software. Operates similar to photoshop, but very simple to use. It is also free online. These photos are actually completed in multiple steps. They are color photographs that are made black and white. The color is "painted" back into the flower. The photos then are put through various filters to achieve the desired effect.