Thursday, April 12, 2012

Ms Brigitte & Reclaiming Ugly Old Cards

On swap-bot there are always designers you really hope you will receive from.  Brigitte is one of those for me.  Since I signed up for her fashion and mythology themed swaps I have hoped to get paired with her.  Now I am finally getting to swap cards with her through a private swap.  Elements of her style (as seen on her blog) have influenced my Harlequin ATC and also the project below.  The Harlequin is the fabulous model Akoul (more below.)  I used stamps, magazine & commercial paper collage and brads in my design.

There have been a bunch Pomegranate cards sitting around a box in my office (known as the crucible) for a few years.  I ordered packs of 50 cards with blank, birthday and Christmas themes knowing that I would like most of the art featured on them.  The packs had dwindled down to a few cards with designs which aren't exactly ugly, but were not to my taste.  I was considering Freecylcing the cards and purchasing new when it occurred to me, why not collage the covers?  Over the last few weeks I have been going through magazines and cutting out pictures while at doctors offices, appointments and as a passenger in the car.  I have assembled two sets that I am pleased with, Buddhist Gardens and Akoul. In both sets the garden/flower images were all taken from a South African Gardening magazine.

The Akoul cards I assembled simply because I think she is an intriguing model.  I first saw her in Ideas magazine at a doctor's office and it seems she is fairly new to modeling.  She has such a captivating face--she looks just like a doll my sister gave to my daughter.  Her back story is interesting too.  She was born of Sudanese Freedom Fighters who were trained in Cuba and has lived in Kenya much of her life.  I love that she keeps her hair natural--so rarely seen in the beauty industry.  All images of Akoul come from an (SA) Elle photoshoot.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Pillowcase Dress

There is a store with a modest cotton fabric department near my house.  The store mainly sells 'dress' fabrics and does not cater to quilters.  Despite this I have found a few cute cotton prints that have inspired me to sew some items for my little girl.  (I would sew clothes for the boys too, but they wouldn't let me.)  My first attempt is a super easy pattern you can sketch yourself called a pillowcase dress.  While you can make this dress by upcycling your old pillowcases, none of my pillowcases are ready for retirement.  There aren't any thrift stores I can access in South Africa and besides this little elephant print was begging to be used.  The Prudent Baby blog has a terrific tutorial on how to make this dress if you are inspired to follow my example.  I used the general guidelines but measured my little girl for the specifics.  Tip:  give a little extra width in the chest area so it can grow with your child.  Here you can see my little girl with the dress nearly finished.  It is a little tight across the chest and tummy and she refused to wear it for more than a couple of minutes because it did not have any PINK in it.  Where do little girls get their pink obsession?                 OK, I lowered the sleeves and went scrounging for some pink fabric.  I used some of it for an applique of the elephant I enlarged from the fabric's pattern.  The elephant's eye is a little sequin and the ear is black Micron pen traced from the template. I created a ruffle on the bottom to add back some of the length I took out when I lowered the arm holes and and sewed a the tie for the top.  She is satisfied now and has agreed to wear it.  Whew. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Irises and Zeus

I seem to often be creating ATCs whose themes have strange connections.  In this case, Irises, symbols of the French monarchy aka Fleur de Lis and Zeus known as king or at least the head of the Greek Gods depending on the governing of Greece at the time. 
I created the Iris cards using the tissue paper and gel glue technique described with the poppy cards in my earlier post.  The insects are reprints from E. A. Seguy insect prints. The blue beetle is coated with high gloss varnish for a little contrast.

The Zeus ATC is the only ATC I have drawn entirely in pencil.  I combined the torso of a male Greek model I found online with some traditional images of Zeus and images of Bill Clinton.  Zeus's traditional symbols of lightening and the eagle are in the background.   During the Clinton's Monica Lewinsky scandal, I once heard a pundit saying that Clinton's cheating on his wife was to be expected since we would want a virile, charismatic president.  Maybe this is what the Greeks thought?