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.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Then and Now

Then and Now is actually a resale store in Petoskey, Michigan. It is a true destination. It has the most unique antique and vintage "Whatevers". Nothing of necessity but still so fun to visit.  The image is of a woman from the past.

What a hoot.....

What a hoot started out as a "practice run" for a series of ATC's involving nests. The ATC's will be featured soon! I wanted to try out some of the images that I have of owls. I had my label maker out and couldn't resist the "colloquialism".

ATC 84 Heaping Plates o'drama

This ATC card started with a base that had ephemera from a map and an old western ad. I found the image of these woman. I couldn't help to add the heaping plate o'drama text. Heaping plates of food remind me of the west, and I can't help but think woman gossiped in the wild west.

ATC 83 Effortless

Always an icon, Marylyn Monroe does make glamor look effortless.

ATC 82 Colloquialism

ATC 82 is the second in what I think may become a series. Colloquialism was found in an old grammar book that I had picked up. It is an actual text book on writing.  For whatever reason, this book makes me laugh right out loud. It has the most hilarious rules on writing. It is to the point that I have to look up half of the words in the writing instructions.  "colloquialism is a word, phrase or paralanguage that is employed in conversational or informal language but not in formal speech or formal writing."  

An example is "I wasn't born yesterday". Apparently we are allowed to speak this informal language but it shouldn't be put in formal writing. Good to know. 

ATC 81 Appropriate

ATC 81 Appropriate was again random. The actual insect is from a copy right free dover publication. This book is filled with the most colorful images. I am not much of a fan of insects in general, but enjoy putting their color in my art.

ATC 80 Suspension

ATC 80 Suspension was made following random application of dictionary text. I like the fact that woman's image was cropped. Suspense, suspension, and intrigue.

ATC 79 Christmas Package

ATC 79 was done with a Christmas image. I didn't plan this one out. I just layed down all types of tape and stamps. I thought it looked like a perfect red package.

ATC 78 Wishing

ATC 78 All of us at one time or another dream or wish we were something different. I enjoyed putting the bronze bird next to a realistic bird.

ATC 77 Parrot

ATC 77 was a leap in color. I love bright colors but tend to create in more earth tones. Just love the bird on the bright red.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

ATC 76 Unlock

ATC 76 was made with the gellato substrate. I really enjoy using the key holes in any type of art. They are so mysterious. I just coupled that with the dictionary definition of unlock. Definitely mysterious.........

ATC 75 Castaway

ATC 75 Just kind of happened. I was decoupaging all types of paper onto scrap booking paper. I looked and the dictionary page with castaway was next to this image of a small child in the center of this flower. It was just too ironic to pass up.

Surprise Her

I had a discussion last week on the great fun in performing random acts of kindness. I did this with a couple of people and it was such a blast. This was the idea behind "Surprise Her".  I think if we all did special things for people both big and small more often this work would be a better place.


Senses is a 5 X 7 piece of art. I really enjoyed making this one. It was fun to find all the ephemera relating to our senses.  I absolutely love using the magnetic poetry!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Make Up Drawing

Since I missed a week going to New York City, I had to make up a drawing. I really enjoyed the surrealistic object drawing that we did a few weeks ago. I was able to  choose 4 additional objects and put in words that made no sense. Difficult for my left brain, to say the least, but fun once I got started.

Still Life Charcoal, White Conte on Grey Paper

Our final week of drawing class! I can't believe 15 weeks has gone by. We got to do a project of our choice, and I really liked using the conte crayon.

ATC 74 Discover Love

ATC 74 Discover Love was made with an substrate that was painted cardboard. I typically don't use bright colors so the orange was a new stretch for me. It was layered with ephemera. It was stamped with one of my favorite bird stamps. The word "love" is actually paper tape. I find with the paper tape that you have to use some gel medium to get it to really adhere to the painted surface. The monkey is an artchix image. The discover is from magnetic poetry.

ATC 73 Dragonfly

ATC 73 originated from one of my favorite layered substrates. It was a piece of cardboard that was scrap from some packaging. It was painted green and blue and the colors mixed together well. It was then stamped with paint using the bottom of a plastic crystal light container. It was then stamped with multiple stamps. The depth is really felt in this card. The three dimensional dragonfly adds even more depth.

ATC 72 Damsel

ATC 72 started out with the dictionary definition as the prompt and then the Artchix image. I couldn't think of a more fitting image.

ATC 71 silhouette

ATC 71 Silhouette was made using 7 gypsies rub ons. I absolutely love to use these. They are great for inspiring the actual ATC.

Monday, April 15, 2013

ATC 70 Fairy Crossing

ATC 70 was constructed after I found the fairy crossing sign.  I have no idea where this came from, but was in a package of ephemera I had stashed.  I couldn't resist putting on an artchix image of "doll" with wings.  I haven't thought about fairies since I was 6....I am thinking this is in the memories of most woman from when they were little girls.  Who couldn't use a fairy every now and then?

ATC 69 Fly

ATC 69 was constructed using a dragon fly embellishment. Between birds, dragonflies, and butterflies I could keep my busy doing projects all day. I have this cool label maker that I enjoy using to make text. The tape is old so it doesn't stick all that well. So E6000 glue to the rescue. It is a mess to use, but gets the job done.

ATC 68 Avoid Improprieties

ATC 68 Started with this image which was just placed on regular scrap booking paper. I was searching through an old grammar book, looking for some inspiring words or sentences. I stumbled on a few pages which described things that should not be included in proper grammar. They were pretty entertaining to say the least. I couldn't help but include this sentence just for fun, and there will be plenty of more where that came from.  Most of the words in these sentences as I had to look up as I had no idea what they are talking about.  I am sure the authors of the book would cringe at text messaging or slang.......

ATC 67 Be an Explorer

ATC 67 started with the hot air balloon. This was a 7 gypsies rub on. Placed on the ephemera of an old map, it reminded me of travel. One of the most fun aspects of traveling is just exploring.

Star Gazing

Star gazing is a 5 X 7 work. I have spinners which are made by 7 gypsies. These are a nice way to keep art work organized. There are three sizes, ATC (2 X 3), Photo (4 X6) and Clear Stamp (5 X 7).  Hence, my decision on choosing a size.

Every early August there is a Persaids Meteor show. I have the fondest memories of lying on the concrete driveway with my sister watching these falling starts. This was a tribute to that memory.

Coming up April 22 is anticipated to be the peak of the Lyrids meteor show with a peak of 100 falling stars per hour. I am not sure the odds are in our favor of having clear skies here in Michigan, but one can always hope.


This is another 5 X 7 card. In two weeks I will be taking a class by Alisa Burke. It is being held in Seaside, Oregon. We will be working with sketches and dimensional projects. We will be getting our subject matter from the pacific ocean. I am looking forward to this journey and this piece is in anticipation of this much awaited trip.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

ATC 66 Surf's Up

ATC 66 Surf's up came about after finding some old images given to me by a friend. I loved the surf boards! Not having ever surfed, I couldn't resist making an ATC. The wings were embossed, one of my favorite techniques. It adds a unique color and dimension.

ATC 65 Giraffe

ATC 65 originated with a substrate from scrap booking paper. I really like the purple crown that made it onto this card. When looking for a definition in my old dictionary for another project I stumbled on this giraffe. Such a unique animal, I couldn't resist putting him on a regal green and purple background.

ATC 64 Shoes

ATC 64 was made with an image from ArtChix. Love the fashion boots from a long time ago. Who had time to button those things?

ATC 63 Rediscover

 ATC 63 was inspired by this old image of a hand. I don't know why I like hands so much. They are in the category of birds and pears. Strange, but definitely one of the my favorite images to work with. I can't remember where I received this image, but I do know it was given to me at least 10 years ago. Nothing better than rediscovering something wonderful.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

White Conte

In class we had to do a still life using white conte. A new medium for me, but one that I liked a lot. My issue is that I draw relatively small in comparison to the paper. The next project I will try to go off the edges of the paper. Yes the left brainer going all right brain........

Random Objects

In drawing class we had to draw random objects and then put in random words, for a not so random person this was tough. In the end I did enjoy it immensely and am getting the hang of the concept of three dimension on two dimension paper.

Monday, April 8, 2013

ATC 62 Childhood Memory

ATC 62 Childhood Memory is a favorite of mine. I just loved how the base came out. It was made with gellatos and spray paint. Then stamps were added. You can see the corner of the numbers in red and a feather in white. The childhood image looks so innocent and happy, it reminded me of the happier things of childhood.

ATC 61 The worst day

ATC 61 The Worst Day was made after seeing the image of the little girl standing their perplexed. I am sure we have all had a day where we were left wondering "What didn't go wrong?"

ATC 60 Marshmellow Clouds

ATC 60 Marshmellow clouds was made by first finding the sentence. I found this in one of my old grammar books. I just thought that was such a great description. The clouds were found tucked deep in my doo dads. The base was fabric paper.

ATC 59 Butterfly Wings

ATC 59 Butterfly Wings was a fun one to make. I had just gotten these great images from ArtChix. The base was made on mixed media paper and was created with gellatos and then spray paint. Additional stamps, the image, and then the dictionary definition were added.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

ATC 58 Evian Please?

ATC 58 In French the saying means Let's have a bottle of Evian, if you like?  This is from the French book that I am just raving about. I love the prompts that is provides. This image reminds me of shy girls at dance...

ATC 57 The concert

ATC 57  The concert was done on fabric. The fabric had been printed with some old music paper and accounting sheets.  The musician was added as was the text. The music notes smeared as the matte medium soaks into the fabric blurring the words slightly.

ATC 56 What Colours?

ATC 46 is a tribute to Easter, a few days late, but still work displaying. The actual base of the ATC was made on mixed media paper using Gellato's. The purple swirl was painted with a stencil.  Add the text from a children's book with the image of the girl with the huge Easter egg's and voila.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

ATC 55 How do we know?

ATC 55! Well my goal for 2013 was an ATC a week which would have been a total of 52. I hit that the first quarter so I think it is safe to say that I will probably get a lot more of these completed this year. They are fun, spontaneous, and small enough to finish. They give me the opportunity to try different art products without worrying about the outcome. This ATC is another one of my favorites. How do we know? I ask myself that all the time when trying to make the right decision. The girl in this picture looks so innocent, it just seemed to tell the story of the dilemma that we all face.....

ATC 54 Bulldog

ATC 54 The bulldog is such an odd looking dog, so tough on the outside. I fell in love when I stumbled on the definition in an old dictionary. I couldn't resist a dog. The second dog in this series of ATCs. I suspect with my love of the canine, there will be many more.

ATC 53 Studied Art in Paris and New York

ATC 53 is one of my favorites. When I found the sentence "studied art in Paris and New York" I just new I had to find a sophisticated looking woman for the card. The actual base is made from fabric. I copied an old map onto fabric and then added the paper tape, woman, and sentence. Simple, yet says volumes about me.

Monday, April 1, 2013

ATC 52 Good For You

ATC 52 is all about what is good for us. I love the pear, not so much to eat, but as an artistic object!

ATC 51 The flattened bug

ATC 51 The flattenen bug was made with some ephemera. The paper tape was added prior to cutting the ATC. I love the dictionary quote. What is a flattened bug anyway?