ATC Steampunk Fun and a CD Image Review

This week, for a change of pace, I have been playing around with ATC's... the digital kind!  One of the things I have discovered is that you can do "hybrid ATC's"... part of it digitally, some of it "hands on".  Take this Steampunk ATC (artist trading card) I made this week as an example...

Monocle Man

The steampunk background was made digitally using images from the "hot off the press" and very cool Steampunk CD put together by my friend and colleague Cecilia Swatton.  I really like this CD and am glad I bought a copy of it.   With over 270 high resolution steampunk style images to choose from, it was a snap finding images for both the background and the focal point for my ATC.  A few additions using some of my Paint Shop Pro brushes, a Paint Shop Pro tube of nuts and bolts and the print out was ready to mount on matboard, add a few finishing touches by hand and give it a quick spray with Krylon to protect it .  How quick and easy is that???  My kinda project when I need an art break.

Here's a photo of the Steampunk CD cover to give you an idea of some of the neat images I discovered on this CD

The Steampunk CD is organized into six sets of images that have previously been marketed as individual kits and Cecilia has added a brand new collection of images to this edition. Because these sets were orignally designed for digital-to-hands-on artmaking projects ranging from altered cigar boxes to scrapbooking, they include illustrated instructions for a variety of projects; cigar boxes, ready to print greeting cards, ATC's, moo cards, scrapbooking frames and more. Here are a couple of "ready to print" images from the CD...


Cigar Box Inside

Altered Book or Cigar Box Front

What do I like most about this CD?  The possibilities!!!  There is a lot of room to exercise your own creativity with the images.  The ready made greeting cards and ATC's offer a quick solution to a greeting card or gift tag when you are in a hurry.  What about making some fridge magnets with some of the "ready to prints" to enclose with a little gift?  What about cutting out some of the embellishment images, gluing them to cardstock and attaching them to an altered book cover for a 3-D effect?  What are some ideas that come to you of how you could use them?

The price is definitely right!  $10.00 plus shipping and handling in the US and Canada.  You can see more images and purchase the Steampunk CD via PayPal by visiting Cecilia's blog.  Hope you have as much fun with it as I am!

Now I know what to do with all those cigar boxes kicking around under my art table.  One cigar box coming up....LOL...

Oh many lovely projects to contemplate doing ... so little time!

Have a fun, arty week ahead my friends,

P.S.  Stop by next week for some notes, tips and ideas from a tutorial I wrote for one of my groups around using digital images in your projects PLUS in two weeks,  a special gift just for blog followers. 

I'd like to invite you to become a blog follower today!  It's easy... just click on the "Follow" button from Google's Friend Connect... yep, that one, over there in the left hand column.  Just follow the instructions to sign up.

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Art.. On the Tip of a Pencil

Hi!  I'm back... vacation is over (sigh)!  The kids have come for a visit and are back home.  Our visit up Island to spend time with some old, dear friends was wonderful.  The rest of the past month has been spent doing one of my favourite summertime pastimes...hanging out on the beach getting some beach therapy time in. LOL.  It still amazes me how a good dose of beach therapy is so highly beneficial to my "art making" process!  I get some of my best ideas  there.   I just let go and go with the flow... something that is dead nuts simple to do while you hang out at a quiet (sans noisy kids or teenagers) beach... and ideas bubble to the surface.  I just have to remember to write them down! 

Tilly at the Beach

The weather in Victoria has been absolutely gorgeous the last couple of weeks and there is no place in the world I would rather be in the summer than hanging out at one of my three favourite beaches here...reading, sleeping, eating some fruit, admiring the view, snoozing, thinking about art, drinking ice tea, snoozing again... Here's a photo of me enjoying the relaxing sound of the waves at China Beach in the Juan de Fuca Provincial Park and along the Juan de Fuca hiking trail on the very west, west coast of Vancouver Island.  I was actually sound asleep in my chair, my Tilly hat covering my eyes,  when hubby took this photo.  I think it's a great photo and I call it "Tilly at the Beach". 

What's a Tilly hat?  Well they are an "institution" on the west coast of Canada (and are quickly becoming that around the world).  The fabric they use protects you from the sun and UV rays.  The hat actually floats.  It has a "secret" pocket inside the crown to store valuables when you are at the beach.  It even comes with an owner's manual.  These hats are so durable, they never wear out.  People have been known to consider them "family heirlooms" (BIG chuckle) Everyone just HAS TO HAVE a Tilly. LOL.  Want to learn more? Click here


As our granddaughter has been telling us over and over and over again, school is going to begin in a couple of weeks.  She is about to enter Grade 1, is really excited to be going to "big kid's" school and can hardly wait for school to begin.  Naturally, the ABC's are on her mind... and she sparked gramma to think about them too!

So with that in mind, allow me to share with you, nine small 4 x 4 inch canvases I painted and collaged awhile back. 

All the letters in the alphabet were designed and printed on heavy watercolour paper, cut out (very patiently) with cuticle scissors and painted either with watercolours or acrylics.  I added old dictionary paper to the painted canvases, then embellished the canvases with whatever struck my fancy LOL.  Tags, fibre, marbles, a touch of glitter, paper and clay beads are just some of the things I randomly found in my stash of "stuff" to add to my little masterpieces!  I am planning on putting them on the wall above the top of a double door closet in our family room... that is, of course,  when I can con my TALL hubby into putting them up there.  I'm afraid these SHORT legs of mine just don't cut it when it comes to putting stuff up high.  Ah... just another thing to add to the "honey do" list on the fridge!

Art on the Tip of a Pencil

Another treat I have for you today are some fantastic photos from a most amazing Brazilian born, micro sculpture artist, Dalton Ghetti. A professional carpenter who lives in Connecticut, Dalton carefully carves the tips of graphite pencils into fantastic little works of art.  Dalton has been perfecting his art for the last 25 years using only a razor blade, sewing needle and sculpting knife!  Some of his tiny sculptures can take anywhere between a few months to a few years to complete.  Can you purchase his art?  Well no, he doesn't sell them... he only gives them away to friends as gifts.  Look closely at this first photo and you will see the alphabet! 

Many thanks to my friend Nancy for forwarding some info and photos for me to share with you.

Hope you have a wonderful, arty week ahead of you!  As soon as I finish this post, I am about to get arty in a different way. 

Today I am going to turn the twenty pounds of peaches I got from the Okanogan yesterday (the wine and fruit tree capital in the interior of British Columbia) sitting on my kitchen counter into ten peach pies for the freezer, another extra pie to nibble on today, some peach and blackberry crisp (we have tons of blackberries practically in our own backyard... HUS-BAND, go pick! LOL) and if there is anything leftover, some peach and mango chutney. 

I'll make sure, like I do every year, to open the windows while I am baking those pies so that the mouth watering wafts of smell from baking fruit floats about our neighbourhood. One of my neighbours once told me he can always tell when fall is approaching.  I start baking pies.  He loves the smell of the baking pies and gives a knock on the door every year.  And yes, he gets a piece of it when they are done! 

I really enjoy baking pies and pie is something my hubby loves eating.  He is particularly fond of peach pie whereas I am a devoted apple pie fan!   Hmmm , even still  I can taste that warm peach pie with a dollop of ice cream on top already.  Oh yummy says my tummy!!!  Gotta go... see you soon.