When Linda posted the latest ATC challenge theme of "Indigo" on Arts In The Cards Yahoo group (our blog is here) I wondered where to take the theme. I had taken a natural dyeing class last year and, during the three day class, we had an indigo vat going. At first, I thought about using some of the resultant fabric for this theme challenge.
Then, as I daydreamed about what to do, I began to listen to the birds. The outdoor sounds change with the arrival of more of Springs song birds and I thought about the Indigo Bunting. Although we don't have this bird here in the Pacific Northwest I remember it from life before I moved to 'the island'. The Indigo Bunting became my interpretation of Linda's theme. To me this little songster also heralds Spring and sunlight! To make this card I used a combination of 4 different photos, Derwent Inktense pencils, inks, stamps and a hint of metal. In a nod to the earthquake tragedy in Japan I had to add some oriental characters. My thoughts are with the people of Japan. This incident really does highlight, once again, the fact that, like it or not, we've become a global economy and a global "family". The havoc that occurred in Japan will affect all of us in one way or another - electronics, cars, energy, planned vacations. Mother Nature appears to be reminding us of her power - we've had so many earth quakes lately.
I had already decided that I was going to use PhotoShop to work through whatever my theme choice became. I really do believe that I learn by doing - and by making mistakes -so I am using each opportunity I get to work through one PS technique or another. I've been working diligently to teach myself more about using PhotoShop. I knew that I needed to buckle down , slow down and concentrate. Read the directions slowly and carefully and work through things step-by-step. PhotoShop is one of the things that I really do need to slow down for in order to learn how to use it well. Using the 'Teach Yourself Visually' book has helped me tremendously. I have a long ways to go but plan to enjoy the ride! I've wanted to teach myself more for many years - just that the time was always off for one ,ostensibly good, reason or another. I guess the time is now- and I am enjoying it quite a bit thus far.
|A portion of the back of the card|
In the course of making these cards I also discovered what I consider to be the best ATC blank ever. I stumbled on US Artquest's website and ordered a few of their products to try. Their ATC ArT CanVas is a perfect combination of heft and workable surface. They are a tad pricey - but if you can try them they are worth it. As with many other things I search and 'audition' products until I find what works best for me. Who would think that adhesives were a big deal? I had always thought that 'glue was glue was glue'. Until I tried US ArtQuest's PPA (perfect paper adhesive) Matte. I'm not at all sure why I like this stuff so much. It looks like any other white glue but I like the consistency and it works like a dream on all of the surfaces I've tried it on so far - paper, cloth, metal. It has a really true matte finish (they also offer a gloss). I guess it's similar to Golden Matte medium but it seems to hold a bit better. Maybe it's all in my imagination? The usual disclaimers apply - no affiliation etc etc etc - ad nauseum. I also have to credit ArtQuest's customer service. They actually emailed me to reconfirm that I wanted the small size of a product. There was a give-away going on and they wanted to make sure that I had not meant to get the larger size...of course I HAD meant to order the larger one and I really appreciated the time they took to ask the question. Thanks Julie from ArtQuest. Customer Service is important to me and, I think, indicates the quality of a company.