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1  Re: A Quartet of ATCs in Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) by Patraw on: July 31, 2015 07:53:40 AM
Thank you, everyone!

Another idea that I had, but didn't finish, was using the ATC as a gameboard for a Dungeons & Dragons style battle game.  The figures shown are just quick critters/people made out of my kneading eraser for mock-up purposes (kneading erasers are a fun, temporary sculpting medium if you've never tried it).  I didn't shoot a photo, but I did make Dryad, Unicorn Centaur, and Tritonia (mermaid) 2D stand-up figures for it (I had planned to store all of the components, including fold-up hollow dice, in an envelope on the back of the card, but I never got that far).

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2  Re: You ain't no Buck without your Doe in Crochet: Completed Projects by Patraw on: July 30, 2015 07:27:06 AM
Simple, but elegant, design.  Thatd make a great tattoo too, and I love your title for it.

The first thing I thought of when I saw your thumbnail image, before I clicked on the thread, was Final Fantasy X-2 Yunas similarly-shaped, um,  chest  thingy:

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3  Channelling my inner fashion designer . . . or some such nonsense in Discussion and Questions by Patraw on: July 30, 2015 06:53:16 AM

Well, this isn't a completed project per se, just me messing around with one of my recent thrift store "treasure" acquisitions again, so, I figured I'd post it in discussion.


When I was a kid, I had one of these artistic rubbing kits, but it was a monster-themed one, whereas this fashion design version is intended to appeal to girls (and evidently toy-obsessed weirdoes like me). My initial impression, when I saw this thing lying on a shelf in the store, was that it must be a Barbie product, but there aren't any copyright markings on it anywhere, from Mattel or anybody else, so I can only assume that it's a "generic" item. Whomever manufactured it, the device and its components are pretty well-built; there aren't any cracks or abrasions on it anywhere and all of the joints work flawlessly. It was fairly grimy, but that was nothing a little water and elbow grease couldn't fix.

 Operating this contraption is easy. All you need to do is select three of the tiles (head, torso, and legs), place them in the rubbing area, lay your paper over the tiles, and then close and lock down the overlay frame (sandwiching everything into place). Lastly, you simply rub your drawing implement over the paper's surface and the raised areas on the tiles lying underneath result in a line drawing "magically" appearing.

My sample came with 24 double-sided tiles (which, given their equal distribution in number, and the amount of pieces that the two holders can comfortably accommodate, is likely a complete assortment). There are six each of the head (A1-A6), torso (B1-B6), and leg tiles (C1-C6), as well as three texture tiles. After you finish a woman rubbing, you just lift up the paper, replace one of the body tiles with a texture tile, and go over the coordinating clothing area again if you want to add some pizzazz (and we know that Phyllis Gabor always approves of that).

 I tried doing the rubbings with graphite pencil, colored pencil, marker, and wax crayon. As I expected from my childhood memories, crayons work the best, followed by markers, while the results from the pencils weren't that great in comparison. The monster one I had as a kid came with a little plastic holder that your crayons clipped into, lengthwise, which allowed you to apply more-or-less even pressure over a wider area. I imagine that this item originally came with one of those (there are storage spaces, underneath the frame overlay, which are doubtlessly meant to hold your tools/supplies), but grasping your drawing implement with just your fingers works fine. You'll want to use thin paper too, as I found thicker stuff didn't produce good rubbings at all. All of my pictured samples were done on newsprint or lined notebook pages.

My rubbings with just wax crayons weren't all that impressive, so, I began to elaborate and experiment. Ultimately, I found that I got the best results when I used a light-colored crayon to do the rubbing, went over that with an ink pen, and then embellished the figure with various other media (marker, colored pencil, etc.) Maybe I should revisit using graphite pencil again, as then I could erase all of my rubbing marks after I ink it, giving me a clean outline to work with. But, then again, the color "aura" surrounding the figures does look kind of neat.

A part of me is dubious about accepting a rubbing/tracing as "real" art, in comparison to a traditional, freehand drawing, because you're just making a copy of someone else's work, but, that said, I can still appreciate the appeal that an item like this has and can see the creative possibilities in altering the original template. As a boy, it was magic to see those weird monsters appear almost instantly before my eyes as I ran my crayon over the paper, and I still got the same kind of gratification bringing these ladies to life. I had only planned to make a handful of quick, one-color rubbings for this write-up, but I ended up becoming quite engrossed with the item and lost track of time experimenting and creating--if that isn't a solid recommendation, then I don't know what is.

So . . . did any of you, or your children/grandchildren, nieces/nephews, etc. have one of these?  (And, if you happened to have this particular one, do you remember if it had a special name/title or if it was tied into any particular toy line?)  What are your experiences/memories with these devices, if any, and do you have any tricks/ideas regarding their usage to share that I didn't already mention above?
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4  Re: Drunken Shenanigans in Completed Projects by Patraw on: July 29, 2015 07:26:13 AM

It's way past deadline, but I found this at one of the local thrift stores yesterday afternoon for a steal (twenty-five cents, and it even still had the original manufacturer's tag attached), thought it looked cool, and it reminded me of this swap (it would have made a great extra!), so, I bought it.   From the indications on the tag, I'm led to believe that this is actually a Christmas ornament from the local Menard's hardware chain of all things (so . . . they're advocating baiting Santa and/or his reindeer with booze I guess?)  A lot of guys where I live use fishing/hunting as a sham to go out and get plastered with their buddies, so, it wouldn't surprise me at all to see someone around here using their bait bucket as an improvised cooler like this for their beer bottles.  I didn't purchase it, but the other week, I saw another booze-themed figurine that sported the legend: "If it wasn't for drinking, I wouldn't have anything to do while I'm getting drunk."

The bottles/ice are a removable piece, so, if nothing else, I could always use the metal pail as a diorama/display accessory for my 18" dolls (I have some rubbery worm lures in my tackle box that could serve as bait--I hardly ever go fishing anyway, because I'm terrible at it and never catch anything other than mosquito bites.)  Then, all I'd need is an in-scale fishing pole to go along with it, which would be easy enough to make if I'm ever so inclined.

Oh yeah, originally, my idea for my drink recipes was to roll the paper up into tubes, tie a ribbon around them, and stuff them into these miniature Captain Morgan bottles. After thinking about it for a while, I came to the conclusion that'd it be pretty tricky to fish them out again afterwards, so, I ultimately didn't go that route.  I found said quartet of bottles, whilst out walking, on the side of one of the major local roads, and I'm not exaggerating at all when I say I could have easily filled an entire garbage bag up with them if I had wanted to (apparently there are a disproportionate number of drunken litterbugs 'round these parts).  While I didn't use them for this fake-o swap, I'm going to hang onto them for a while yet, as I may come up with some other project in the future that can incorporate them.
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5  Re: Fake Swap Craftalong for Swap Junkies!!! 2015 in Craftalongs by Patraw on: July 27, 2015 08:15:40 AM
Here are the four cards I fake-swapped for the "Ongoing ATC Swap - July 2015".  You can see more photos at the separate thread if you're interested:  http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=440136.0

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6  A Quartet of ATCs in Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) by Patraw on: July 27, 2015 08:07:52 AM

I fake-joined the "Ongoing ATC Swap - July 2015" and made a quartet of cards for my super-lame partner.


I think ATCs that are "more" than just a card are cool, so, while brainstorming ideas, I came up with making one that's also a jigsaw puzzle. To the surprise of absolutely no one, I went for the obvious pun and titled this piece "Women are Puzzling".

This is what the front and back of the card looked like prior to gluing the two halves together and cutting the puzzle pieces apart. I drew her entirely with No. 2 pencil, using a photograph of a real woman, from a Wig Company catalog (and, no, I don't wear wigs--said catalog is strictly for educational purposes), as a still-life model (the striped background was my addition). I feel that I made her hand too big, but, otherwise, the illustration turned out okay. I had originally planned to do her in full color, however, once I had the woman roughed-out in pencil, she looked good to me in black & white, so, I decided to leave her that way and finished her off in gray scale.

Here's the finished card, both assembled and unassembled. The pieces got a bit warped from the cutting process (I had to bend the cardboard a bit to get the blades of my scissors around the projecting "knobs"), so the edges of some of them stick up a little, and the fit isn't quite as tight as I'd like, but, for my first attempt at making a jigsaw puzzle from scratch, it's decent enough I suppose. While a twelve-piece (3 x 4) project isn't very difficult to put together, I'm glad that I didn't ratchet it up one more notch and try to make it a twenty-piece (4 x 5) puzzle, as cutting this thing apart wasn't easy and upping the number of parts would have only made things more difficult. Likewise, making it 2-ply cardboard would probably have helped the pieces stay together better, but that also would have been tougher to cut.

White paper, white glue, brown paper from a grocery bag, cardboard from a potato chip box, No. 2 graphite pencil, and ink.

6.4 cm (2.5) wide x 8.9 cm (3.5") high.

A couple of hours-or-so on July 21st, 2015.


My next idea for an ATC was one that I'd been wanting to do for quite some time: a "carded" action figure!

At first, I had my heart set on making the Craftster Cork Guy, but then I noticed the little Cork Horse up at the top of the main page and I cursed myself for my foolishness. What sane person would ever want an action figure of a man when they could have an awesome equine toy instead, am I right? Rainbow Dash only had to kick me in the head five times to convince me of the wisdom of the previous sentence, but, once the world swam back into focus again, I could finally see that my entire life up until that point had been a complete and utter waste, and that her "All ponies, all the time" mantra was the one true path to everlasting happiness and enlightenment.

The cork horse is made out of neither cork nor toothpicks, because that would be truth in advertising, and a slipshod operation like the one that I run can't be held to such high standards. Instead it's constructed out of newsprint, white glue, and bendable wire. As the figure is nothing but a bunch of hollow cylinders, it was relatively quick and easy to fabricate.

Here's the painted Cork Horse action figure, the plastic bubble (made from a toy package, appropriately enough) that will soon encase it forever, and the partially completed cardback illustration/text.

I kind of forgot that white glue has a tendency to smear the pigment from markers when I use it at as a sealant. Okay, that's a lie: I didn't forget at all and I mentally warned myself not to do it right before I did it. It was getting late and I just didn't care anymore (that irritating voice in my head is wrong just as often as it's right, so I don't pay it much attention anyway).

This is what the finished, carded figure looks like. And I'm never letting the Cork House out again either, mwahahaha! (I took the other photos just prior to sealing the animal inside.)

White paper, cardboard from a cereal box, wire twist ties, ink, white glue, hot glue, transparent plastic from a toy package, marker, colored pencil, and acrylic paint.

6.4 cm (2.5") wide x 8.9 cm (3.5") high x 1.6 cm (0.6") deep.

Two days: July 25th & 26th, 2015. I completed the horse and cardback art on the 25th and did the final assembly work the following morning.


This one is "Nebiros" (more typically spelled "Naberius"), one of the many demons catalogued in the Lesser Key of Solomon.  This particular interpretation is from Atlus' Persona series of video games.  I really messed this one up with the white glue top coat--the markers bled like crazy, especially the red.  Yes, I'm a very slow learner.  I was going to take a photo of the card before I screwed it up, and I wish I had done so.

White paper, cardboard from a cereal box, white glue, ink, marker, colored pencil, and acrylic paint.

6.4 cm (2.5") wide x 8.9 cm (3.5") high.

One day: July 26th, 2015.


And, finally, I call this piece "The Sleeping Whompus Isn't Sleeping".  It's a collage, made from cutouts from a magazine (various photos of cooked meats and monster bits).  Not a very complex card, and it was simple to make, but I like it.

Clippings from a Woman's Day magazine, cardboard from a cereal box, and white glue.

6.4 cm (2.5") wide x 8.9 cm (3.5") high.

This morning: July 27th, 2015.
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7  Don't Fall to Pieces on Me, Pegasister! in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by Patraw on: July 20, 2015 09:41:17 AM

Rainbow Dash 2.5D Snap-Together Model

So . . . this was supposed to be an ATC (Artist Trading Card), but things didn't quite work out that way. The idea was that all of the parts to make Rainbow Dash would have been mounted on an ATC-sized "sprue tree", much like the parts for a model car, plane, etc., as illustrated in my quick concept sketch below. While they weren't my inspiration, Hasbro does have similar My Little Pony: Pop toys in the stores right now, although those kits make 3D ponies, not 2.5D ones like mine. ("2.5D" is the term I use to describe figures made mostly out of 2-dimensional planes arranged in a 3-dimensional manner.)

My Rainbow Dash figure does fit within an ATC's 2.5" x 3.5" dimensions when she's disassembled, but the angled wings don't lie flat enough for the look I wanted to achieve (I'd have to make the wing assembly a 3-piece affair, like in my drawing, for that). Originally, rather than the peg-and-hole interfaces you see on the final version, I had intended to make all of the parts connect to one another via slots, which would have resulted in everything lying flat like I wanted (and more pieces), but my plans changed while I was working on the vibrantly-hued pegasus. I still like the idea of an ATC that's also a snap-together model kit, so maybe I'll make another attempt in the future with different subject matter.

This is the pencil template that I drew up and worked from. The My Little Pony: Giant Sticker Book that I bought recently was a great asset in that regard, as it's full of pictures of the most prominent characters from the cartoon in almost any pose that you could ever conceivably want (indeed, I based my Rainbow Dash drawing on one of the Applejack stickers). I was a bit concerned that the model wouldn't be able to stand in this rearing pose, but the tail and wings counter-balance the weight of her raised body just enough that she remains erect without the need for any additional support.

Rainbow Dash's body is made mostly out of 1-4 ply cardboard, from a potato chip box, with a bit of papier-mch here-and-there (primarily the connection interfaces).

Her eyes, cutie marks, and mane/tail are all hand-made decals, drawn with ink, marker, and colored pencil. However, to make them more vibrant, I went over all of her tresses with paint. Doing rainbows, without masking, is a pretty tricky affair. You get one stripe done, start another, mess up the one that you just did with the new color, fix your mistake only to make another blunder, and so it goes until you finally get it all done right.

A six-piece model isn't much of a challenge, but, all-in-all I think Ms. Dash turned out pretty well. But, then, she's my absolute favorite G4 (Generation 4) pony, so, I'm biased.

Pictured with the MLP: Equestria Girls Celestia doll I bought on the 15th.  She's no Rainbow Dash, but at least her hair is three different colors.  In the film(s), Celestia's human counterpart is the adult principal of the high school, and is attired professionally in dress pants and a blazer, so, what does Hasbro do when they make a toy of her?   Make her look/dress like a tween instead!

Double Rainbows--What does this mean?!

Cardboard from a potato chip box, white paper from an envelope, newsprint, tissue paper, white glue, acrylic paint, marker, ink, and colored pencils.

2.5 cm (1.0") wide x 6.4 cm (2.5") long x 6.2 cm (2.4") tall.

Four points; all of her limbs can rotate at their connections.
Of course, as she was designed for one, specific pose, the practical usage is relatively limited (i.e., she'll fall over if you move her back legs out of alignment).

One day: July 19th, 2015.
It might seem counter-intuitive, but I think it would have actually been faster and less labor to sculpt her in full 3D (I had to do a fair amount of design/prep work for this project before I could start physically fabricating anything). I imagine that her rainbow locks would probably have been just as time-consuming to paint regardless though.
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8  Re: Drunken Shenanigans in Completed Projects by Patraw on: July 14, 2015 08:20:24 AM

I don't count my dolls (and they're scattered all over the place, both on display and in storage), so I can't give you an exact number, but I own dozens of them (Barbie, Bratz, Monster High, Liv, Disney, La Dee Da, BFC Ink, etc.)  My most recent acquisitions were an Omega Toys plush/ragdoll Pippi Longstockings, a Mattel Pink Label Hello Kitty Barbie (on the Model Muse body) and one of the newer (plastic clothing and hair) Hasbro Littlest Pet Shop Blythe dolls.
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9  Re: Arabian Mini Monster Madness in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by Patraw on: July 13, 2015 10:16:33 AM
Thanks everyone!

@Quantumphysica:  Salwa is also my favorite design out of this quintet (followed by Mushus), but Zariche, whom I made in larger, fully-articulated action figure form back in 2010, is still my favorite creature from this particular video game (and one of my absolute favorite monsters of all time).

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10  Re: Fake Swap Craftalong for Swap Junkies!!! 2015 in Craftalongs by Patraw on: July 11, 2015 08:00:40 AM
Thanks, everyone!

@angielous1:  You should give miniature art a try sometime, you might be surprised at what you can do.   I used to make (relatively) larger figures, and I was surprised at what I could accomplish when I experimented with smaller pieces.

@suereal:  Rainbow Dash seems to be taking it well . . . I think I better steer clear of her until those flames die down though.

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