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21  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) / White pens on: July 23, 2007 01:37:18 PM
I have a question about white pens.  I would like to buy a white pen to use on ATCs and in my visual journal.  I'd like a versatile pen that will write on slick magazine papers, scrapbook type papers, over acrylic paint, and ideally even over gel medium.  The only pens I've found in other colors that do all those things are the Zig writers, but I can't find one of those in white.  I've tried a couple of gel pens, but they don't write well over paint or gel medium.

Do you have any white pen suggestions?  I don't care what kind of pen -- gel, paint, felt, whatever -- I just want a white pen that will write on the above surfaces.
22  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Fantasy of the Fairy, collage on: July 16, 2007 06:49:29 AM
I made these for a swap on another site.  They are 8x8 inch pages that the recipient will add to her art journal.  Her theme was "fantasy", and this is what I came up with.

The central image on the left is from a greeting card, with collage, paint and rubber stamping all around.  The person who I'm sending it to is under 18, so I added the gold paper at the bottom to make it extra modest (the original picture wasn't risque, you can't see anything in detail, I just thought I should err on the side of caution in that respect, I wouldn't want anyone's parents to get mad at them OR me).  The central image on the right is collaged from various bits of scrapbook paper, music, magazine cutouts, a map and a rubber stamp image.  I continued the gold paper along the bottom to tie the two parts together.

I'm *very* proud of the central image on the right hand side -- here's a detailed shot of it:

I'm so happy with the way all the parts came together, especially that little picture of a star anise.

And here's a tag I made to go with the spread -- The backside has all my info on it and the title of the piece (Fantasy of the Fairy).

23  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / My visual journal: New Page Sept 21! on: July 13, 2007 06:44:26 AM
I have often started keeping written journals in the past, only to put them down after a few days or weeks because it feels like a chore.  I recently started making a visual journal, and have been doing it for about a month.  I've really been enjoying it, and it's been fun instead of a chore, so I'm hopeful that I'll stick with it.

The cornerstone of my journal is my calendar pages.  Here's the one for July 2007:

It is inspired by these:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/tracyu/sets/72157594510652760/

I arranged post-it notes on the pages, 1 for each day, then painted over them to color the background, then removed the post-its to leave white squares.  I wrote in the dates (I plan to buy number stamps so that I can stamp them in the future).  At the end of each day, I write a bit about what I did.  My only commitment to myself with respect to this journal is that I will fill in a calendar square each day, and you can see that I've mostly kept to that. 

Around the calendar, I've added ephemera from things I've done -- fruit stickers, some dice stickers I liked, a label from a chocolate bar I ate at the end of a particularly hard day.

I'm also keeping other kinds of visual pages.  This one is very straightforward -- it's a list of books I've read.  It's hard to see in the picture, but at the top of the list it says "From: July 07 2007" and at the bottom of the space for the list it says "To:".  I'll stamp the end date when the space is full, and then make a new space for a book list.

And finally, I'm keeping journal pages with more writing.  These are very haphazard -- like I said, my only commitment is to write in my calendar square every day.  Whatever else I add to it is gravy.  Here's a journal page about a trip to a museum with my parents on one of their visits to see me (they live about 2000 miles away from where I do).

I'm really enjoying this journal -- it provides a very nice mix of structure and freedom that suits me just right.

24  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) / Favorite bases? on: June 08, 2007 08:22:50 PM
I'm just curious -- what is your favorite base for ATCs?

I've used all kinds of things, boxes, junk mail, cards, watercolor paper, scrapbooking cardstock -- but my favorite is plain white cardstock that I buy by the ream at Staples.  What's yours?
25  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Small Balls Yarn Swap! on: June 07, 2007 09:05:25 AM
Post pictures when you have them!  Smiley

Swap Record
The person on the left of the arrow will be sending to all the people to the right of the arrow.

(s) after someone's name means they have sent
(r) after someone's name means they have received
I will strike out each name as I leave feedback.

Katxena (s) --> april_cocaine, knit_north
april_cocaine (s) --> Katxena (r), mojo(r), Lubee(r)
Kelibare (s) --> Lubee(r), Yarnisfun(r), Raynbow (r)
Mojo (s) --> april_cocaine(r)
knit_north (s) --> Velvet Rose(r), Katxena (r)
Velvet Rose (s) --> knit_north (r)
Yarnisfun (s) --> Jackmo(r), Kelibare(r), Raynbow(r)
Raynbow (s) --> Lubee(r), Yarnisfun (r), Kelibare (r)
Lubee (s) --> Raynbow(r), april_cocaine(r), Kelibare (r)
26  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) / Signatures on Front on: May 31, 2007 12:28:21 PM
So, I've been noticing that some people sign the front of their cards, like you would sign a little painting.  This appeals to me for some reason, and I'd like to do it, especially since I've started working on larger pieces, like journal pages and canvases, in addition to ATCs.  I'd like to have a signature to use on all these different art works.

BUT, I've also noticed that these kinds of signatures are very stylized.  They don't really look like the signatures people use elsewhere, like on checks -- and furthermore, my handwriting is very school-girlish.  I don't mean childish, I just mean it's very close the letter forms we were all taught as kids -- it's not really stylized at all.

So -- I really feel silly asking this, it seems so personal and rudimentary -- is there a technique or method or process to developing a signature for artwork?  Is it really any different than the way one signs checks?

And most importantly, am I making too big a deal out of this? Wink
27  UNITED STATES / Maryland / ATC Group in Montgomery County on: May 23, 2007 06:07:28 AM
I'm trying to start an ATC group in Montgomery County.  I'm imagining a group that will meet once a month for face-to-face ATC trading, camaraderie, and crafting.  Anyone is welcome, but our meeting place will be in Montgomery County -- I'm working on identifying good locations.

Let me know if you are interested via PM, or by posting here.
28  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Small Balls Yarn Swap (Sign-ups CLOSED; Send June 8) on: May 23, 2007 05:54:04 AM
Swap name: Small Balls Yarn Swap
Craftster member who is organizing this swap: Katxena
Sign-up date range: May 23 to May 30
Date to send item by: June 8

Limited to a certain number of people? (optional): 24

Restricted to people who all live in the same country? NO
If so, which country? N/A

All ages allowed? Or 18+?  All

Swap Organizer himself/herself meets these conditions:
- Has fully read the Swap Info Guide: YES
- Has successfully completed two swaps as a participant: YES
- Is not organizing more than three swaps right now: YES
- Will recruit a co-organizer or give all details to a Swap Moderator if this swap has more than 25 participants: YES

Swap Organizer will check each participant to make sure they meet these conditions:
- Has been a member for at least one month: YES
- Has posted at least 15 times: YES
- Has completed one swap successfully before signing up for multiple swaps at a time: YES
- Is not currently signed up for more than five swaps: YES
- Does not have any negative feedback: YES

Details of swap:

Do you scrumble? freeform? make doll clothes? make Rapunzels?  or have any other need for small balls of yarn?  Then this is the swap for you.  You will send 5 small balls of different yarns to your partner.  Each ball will be 10 yards long (that's 30 feet or 9.1 meters).  You can have 1, 2 or 3 partners.

If you don't have 5 different balls of yarn that fit your partner's wishlist, please talk to your partner about what else he or she would like.  Maybe she'd like multiples of yarn in a particular color.  Maybe she has a second choice for colors she didn't mention in her questionnaire.  If you still don't have anything that suits your partners needs, send a surprise.  The wishlists are exactly that -- wishes not demands, and your participation in this swap means that you will make every effort to fulfill those wishes, but you are not promising to do so.  I will match partners up as best I can based on your questionnaire responses to minimize any problems.

Also, if you want to trade more than 5 balls with your partner, you are welcome to piggy back personal swaps on the formal swap -- however, you'll have to discuss that via PM with her (or them), and they will not be subject to any feedback.

Mailing details:

US participants: If your partner is in the US, you must get a DCN for your package.  If your partner is not in the US, you must get a receipt (a customs receipt is ideal).

Participants outside the US:  You must get a receipt for mailing. 

Communication & Feedback:

You must PM me and your partner when you send and when you receive.  Feedback comments will include relevant notations about mailing early, mailing late, good communication, getting a DCN, poor communication, etc.

If you want to participate, information to send to organizer:

Name of swap: Small Balls Yarn Swap
Craftster username:
Email address:
Your real name:
Mailing address including the country (please format it for mailing):

1. Would you be willing to ship to an address outside your own country?
2. Would you *prefer* shipping to an address outside your own country?
3. How many partners would you like? (1, 2 or 3)
4. What types of yarn can you send?
     handspun: yes/no
     novelty/exotic yarn: yes/no
     other yarn: yes/no
     ribbon: yes/no
     wool or other animal fiber: yes/no
     cotton: yes/no
     acrylic: yes/no

5. What types of yarn would you prefer to receive?
     handspun: yes/no
     novelty/exotic yarn: yes/no
     other yarn: yes/no
     ribbon: yes/no
     wool or other animal fiber: yes/no
     cotton: yes/no
     acrylic: yes/no

6. What colors would you like to receive?

7. What colors would you prefer not to receive?

8. Would you rather have everything be the same colorway or would you like a variety of different colors?

9. What colors do you have to send?

[Thank you to Velvet Rose -- I stole the yarn questions from the Yarn Swap for Rapunzel Round 2]


Also remember to read the Swap Info Guide to find out how to ship your item and other details about participating in a swap.

1. Katxena
2. april_cocaine
3. kelibare
4. Mojo
5. knit_north
6. Velvet Rose
7. Jackmo
8. Yarnisfun
9. Raynbow
29  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Small Balls Yarn Swap on: May 16, 2007 12:44:01 PM
I have in the past toyed with both freeform crochet and freeform knitting (and mixing the two).  I have enjoyed it, but I've always been limited by my stash, eventually getting frustrated because I don't have the variety of yarns I desire, and don't have the funds to buy lots of yarn, only to use little bits.  Is anyone else in the same boat?

Maybe we need a freeform stash swap?  We could trade a number of small balls of short lenghts of different yarns -- maybe 8-10 balls of 10 yards each.  If there's enough interest, each person could choose to have multiple partners, and I could create groups based on fiber and/or color preferences. 

Even if you aren't interested in freeform, a swap like this might be appealing to someone who wants to make a Rapunzel scarf, or someone who likes to make super scrappy projects (like afghans or shawls).  Maybe I should call it "Small Balls of Yarn Swap" instead.  Smiley

What do you think?

Here are a few links for more information about freeform knitting and crochet:

Edited to add:
I changed the name of the swap to "Small Balls Yarn Swap"
30  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / Talk About The Swap Process / New Swap Feedback form on: May 16, 2007 09:11:04 AM
I looked here and in the News section -- is there already a discussion about the revised swap feedback form?

Here's my question:  I think it's great that co-organizers are now listed.  Does that mean they can leave feedback for participants?
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