Sunday, September 23, 2012

I've Moved!

This blog is officially closed. I have incorporated my art into my blog entitled Past, Present and Future.  There's a special page entitled Altered Art with expanded links to my tips and tutorials. I invite all my followers to hop on over and follow my new blog. It also has lots of info on vintage collecting and dog nutrition. See you there!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

For All You Motorcycle Mama's!

I just wanted to share with you some wonderful motorcycle themed holiday images I received in the mail a few years ago. These are representations of some of the artwork found in the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Ohio that were offered as Christmas cards. They are printed on the same heavy cardstock used in the cards, but the backs of these pictures are filled with information on the purchase and ordering. Of course, I had to use some to make my own set of Holiday cards!




If you'd like to see more of these images, they're on my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Celebrate Earth Day

Friday, April 22 is Earth Day. Try to recycle useful objects into your art, not just for one day, but everyday! There are some beautiful and unique items that are usually discarded, but can make your art one of a kind. I've just finished a bunch of notecards using pictures from out dated calendars. Look around you and try to see the potential in everything! If you need some more ideas, take a look at my related blog posts.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Altered Altoid Tins






I finally got around to using those old Altoid tins that I've been saving for years! I've seen lots of recycled tins on the web that are just covered with scrapbook paper and ribbon, and I wanted to do something more. The first step was to paint or ink the top of the tin with an appropriate color for the theme I wanted. A gold paint pen also worked well. The most difficult thing with this project was creating the proper sized template for covering the top. Once I had the template made, cutting the cardstock was easy. This was a necessary step for the more recent tins which have embossed covers that I wanted smooth. I embellished with vintage images, some of which are sealed in a protective glaze, fabric ribbon, buttons and bottle caps.


I had to make another template to line the insides. I used fabric or cardstock for the lid and bottom, then lined the edges with fabric ribbon. I think they came out perfect, and are nice little trinket boxes to hold tiny treasures, candy, buttons, etc.


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Easy to Use Resin

For the last couple of years I've been experimenting with various sealers and glazes for my bottle cap pendants. Until now, the most promising products were UTEE and Diamond Glaze. I did a previous post on them in 2009 that you might want to refer to. I was never completely satisfied with either of these products for my purpose, but they were the best I tried. I wanted to use resin, but the toxicity of the product was not something I wanted to deal with. I've just discovered a very promising product that has been around at least a year called Magic-Glos by Lisa Pavelka. It's a one part liquid resin that is UV light cured. That means it will cure in minutes in direct sunlight! I tried the product on a few of my pendants and I'm very happy with the results. The final product cures crystal clear and looks like glass. It takes a little while to learn to use it properly, but there are directions and videos by Lisa on her site and on UTube.



Sunday, March 6, 2011

Too Expensive? I Think Not!

It's funny how some individuals have no clue about the work and effort that goes into handmade items. I was selling my altered art pieces at a show this past week, and among my things I had a few bottle cap magnets and pendants. I was taken by complete surprise when an older woman remarked to me "You're selling these for $3? You get the bottle caps for free!" I quickly responded that: The caps are not free. I have to purchase them new and it takes time and hard work to create a piece of art! Maybe it was her age, maybe she didn't like my work, or maybe she just thought I was taking advantage of people. She said nothing and left.

That started me thinking about just how much time and effort go into any handmade item. I've broken the creative process down into four categories: Development, Implementation, Assessment and Marketing.

Development: the planning stage.

  • What am I going to do? Is there a theme? What is the design?
  • What supplies do I need? Where can I buy them? How much will they cost?
  • What will I do with the finished product? Do I keep it, sell it, or give it away?
  • How long will it take me to complete?

Implementation: getting to work

  • Purchase all necessary supplies.
  • Gather together the specific items needed.
  • Experiment with various techniques to find the right one for your project.
  • Assemble your creation.
  • Re-assemble your creation when the first one isn't to your liking!
  • Fine tune and clean up your finished piece.
  • and sometimes - Start all over again because it's all wrong!!

Assessment: analyzing your handiwork

  • Did your work come out as expected?
  • Did it take too long?
  • Are you happy with it? Would you make it again?
  • Is it good enough to sell or give away? If yes, then proceed to Marketing. If no, keep it for yourself!

Marketing: selling your handiwork

  • Will I sell online, in a store, or at a show?
  • How much can I sell it for? How much would I pay for a similar item?
  • When calculating pricing, don't forget the cost of supplies, cost of marketing, and payment for your time.

Okay - back to my bottle cap artwork. Now that I've thought about this whole thing, I think I better raise my prices! $3.00 seems like a bargain to me!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Kitchen Magnets from Vintage Findings

A while back I found a bag of vintage jewelry parts at my local thrift store. There were a number of large brooches that had the pin back removed. They are too large to use on any of my cards or collages, so I am turning them into refrigerator magnets. If the pin is large enough, a strong magnet can be attached directly to the back, as in the strawberry. Some have an aluminum backing (cut from a soda can) attached, as the flamingo. The other three are attached to stained or paper covered wooden disks the size of a poker chip. If you decide to make your own kitchen magnets, be sure to get magnets strong enough to hold them in place without sliding down the refrigerator door! For these pieces I used ProMag 3/4" and they work great.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Vintage Flair Card Studio Blog

Check out all my new cards and journals at my new blog, VintageFlairCards. Find just the right card for that special someone! Birthday cards are the featured listings today.



Monday, February 14, 2011

Simply Hollywood


I just finished this lovely notecard set of six hollywood movie actresses from years ago. The cards are simple, but as elegant as the ladies themselves. The computer generated photos are mounted on textured card stock with a matching border, and the card is off white metallic. Sometimes simplicity works best!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Using Vintage Photos for Journals

If you don't know what to do with those old photos you've collected, here's an idea for you. Make them the cover of a journal. Here are two wedding journals that I've made using Victorian couples. This type of photo is very common and can usually be found quite cheaply. But they make great themed journals. Use your imagination and salvage some of those vintage photos!











Monday, November 15, 2010

Punches for Backgrounds and Frames

Here's a few cards made with my new punches. I love the intricate designs. They fit in well with my vintage inspired cards.






Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Flickr Group for Cardmakers

If you are an ArtFire artisan selling handmade cards, you might want to join my new FlickR group, Cardmakers on ArtFire . You can upload up to 12 photos a day, but they must be greeting cards - no scrapbook pages, embellishments, etc. I'm hoping this group will give us and ArtFire a little more exposure. There are many talented cardmakers selling their creations so let's show the world what we can do!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Handmade Cards vs. Mass Market Pricing

I was reading a post on a handmade selling venue a while back taking a poll as to how much shoppers would pay for a handmade card. It shocked me when I read how little some buyers were willing to spend. If I remember correctly, the average price was about $3.00. Now it's incomprehensible to me that shoppers will buy shelf cards in their local stores for $5 or $6 a pop, but hesitate to purchase a handmade card for the same or lower price! As any paper crafter knows, it takes time and supply money to create something special. It's not unreasonable to expect the same or higher prices than mass market cards! But alas, many card makers create for the sheer pleasure of the craft and must sell cheaply to make sales. Too bad... card crafting is an art form. Card makers (and scrapbookers as well!) should get decent compensation for their hard work. I'd love to hear what you have to say on this subject.

Women Who Dare

I recently completed three Women Who Dare cards commemorating strong women of the past. The photos, Amelia Earhart, Bessie Coleman (1st African American aviator), and Therese Bonnet (military photographer), are cards from the Library of Congress Knowledge Cards, Women Who Dare, series I. The inside of the greeting card has a short biography of the woman, computer generated from the back of the knowledge card. Very unique cards to motivate and inspire. I have the entire deck of cards, so there will probably be more to come.