Birds Indigo

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.


  1. Love, love your Indigo bunting ATC's!!

  2. I've lived in their range for my whole life and have never seen one so thank you for the images.

    Of all the wonders to find flying everywhere in my seedy suburban neighborhood, we are swarmed with Eastern Bluebirds and robins so big and aggressive they chase the squirrels around the lawn.

  3. I love your Indigo Bunting. We had one visit here a couple of years in a row. I think it was lost. Gorgeous birds. Thanks for the heads up on the ATC and PPG. I will be checking them out. We have to reward good customer service. Have a great week, Marie.

  4. Such a beautifully artistic ATC. Love the intensity of colour. I'm stunned too by what's happened over in Japan.


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