Archive for August, 2014

Summer ATCs

My ATCs for the summer exchange were a lot more involved than my spring cards. And the involve electronics! Sort of. Coming up with my cards for the summer exchange was even more difficult than coming up with the spring ones, because when I think summer everything I think of is smells and sounds and feelings (sunscreen, humidity, heat etc) which I couldn’t figure out how to make into images that I liked. Then it finally occurred to me that two of my favorite things in the summer are the smell of rain on hot pavement (I recently came across a word specifically for that smell but I can’t remember it now), and thunderstorms. So I decided I wanted to put a thunderstorm on my cards and I wanted the lightning to actually light up! They didn’t end up how I was picturing them originally, but they’re pretty darn cool.

I made the lightning light up using LEDs and watch batteries. I originally asked the fiancee if he could rig something up for me so there would be a little button or switch inside that you would push, but he wasn’t real interested and couldn’t come up with a real good way to do it and finally just sort of quit thinking about it. But when he was trying to figure it out he mentioned that it would be easiest to just use the LED and the battery straight (because you don’t actually need anything else because voltage on the battery is correct for the LED already, or some other electronics concept that I only vaguely understand) but he didn’t know how you could keep the leads (the two metal bits sticking off the LED) separate so that it was only lit up when you pushed them together. My first thought was a spring, but if it were a metal spring that would create a short and it wouldn’t work. Then I suggested foam and he said it might work, but he didn’t think the foam would hold up well. But I went hunting around the random junk in our apartment and found foam that worked! Then I had to figure out how to get the light and battery to stay in the right place in relation to each other and the rest of the card, while putting enough stuffing, or whatever I used, in the card so that the light apparatus wasn’t creating a great big bump on the surface. I ended up solving both problems by using multiple layers of timtex, two of which had space cut out for the light and battery to fit in to. To get the lightning itself, I ended up cutting the shape of the lightning out of the front fabric and putting a piece of nappy liner (my mom has some of the strangest and most useful things) behind that fabric so there was some sort of surface to the lightning. Then I painted gold onto a piece of this papery stuff, also from my mom, which went underneath the light to try and give the lightning some sparkle. Then came the layers of timtex, all finished off with another piece of fabric on the back. I sewed around the edges with the sewing machine to keep things together, and I can tell you that my machine did not like going through all those layers! Now, process pictures!

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And here are all the other summer ATCs, there are some more really cool ones! I really like the one my mom made, and the flower garden done with the ribbon embroidery.

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Next up: fall!

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Spring ATCs

I am terribly behind on posting about the artist trading card exchange (two whole seasons!), much less posting about anything else, but I will totally make the excuse of life being busy. This weekend is the Fiber Arts Festival here and that seems to have inspired me to post again, so today I’ll post about the spring ATCs, then tomorrow I’ll post about the summer ATCs, and Thursday I might post about the fall ones. Thursday is the exchange for the fall cards, so if I get my act together quickly enough I can post about them right away, but more likely I won’t get that post out until next week some time.

The cards I made for the spring exchange were pretty simple. I couldn’t think of much for spring other than flowers, then my mom suggested lambs, and I liked that a lot better. So I needle felted little lambs onto some felt (in poses that are supposed to look like they’re frolicking) and added a little bit of embroidery to fill in the blank spaces, then used blanket stitch to attach another piece of felt to the back and add a little more interest around the edge. These were pretty definitely the simplest cards I’ve made so far, but they needed to be done right at the end of the school semester so I was totally out of energy and time to do anything more complicated! And I’m pretty happy with how they turned out. Here is a picture of them. I didn’t take the process pictures that I usually do with these cause I was pretty rushed to get them done.

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I was quite impressed with the other cards this time too. And here are those!

Tomorrow, summer ATCs!

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