Sunday, June 25, 2017

#ATCAD2017 ATC Treasure Box Project

I have a special fondness for useful, decorative boxes, don't you?

This year's June Artist Trading Card fest, #ATCAD2017, really got me going. Even though I am not celebrating by making any new ATCs, I have made something which can hold a whole bunch of them. This is my first ever dual blog post. Downloads are included in this blog only (see below), though. To see my other, smaller blog, you may follow the link HERE. Please respect my copyrights that are listed in the red letter Guidelines located at the foot of this post. Thank you.

Here's what my project's interior looked like once it was completed. As you can see, I'm already storing some ATCs inside my new creation. I hope you'll enjoy the process I went through for this project. The construction of this Treasure Box was a bit tricky at times, but overall it's a fairly easy project for just about anybody to make.

I used a 140 lb watercolor sheet from my  18"x24" Canson Montval Watercolor block, but even a single sheet of watercolor paper in the same weight will work once primed using gesso. I have often used heavier weight watercolor paper with acrylics as the results can be really interesting. For this box, every additional coat of pigment or medium really made the paper tough and a little bit on the leathery side.

The technique which I chose to try for the decorative part of my painting was acrylic paints + 91% Isopropyl Rubbing alcohol (surgical spirit in the UK, I think). The layers have to be applied and treated with speed, otherwise the effect will be minimized or simply won't occur at all.

On the watercolor block top sheet of paper I first added matte medium in 2 layers. I'd begun that project with the idea of creating something semi-transparent using colorful glazing techniques, but later chose not to. Overtop those few layers, I added my turquoise in at least 2 layers. Once it was dry, I next added a very runny but still thick layer of copper that I'd tinted slightly for an"antique" effect. I splashed drops of the alcohol all over the surface right away and watched the turquoise underneath begin to peer out in surprising ways. It still didn't work completely well enough, although I could see that I was headed in the right direction. So I let everything dry overnight, then tried it again from the beginning with first more turquoise and then more copper. This time, I had the right formula for the thickness of the copper paint!

As a finishing touch, I then added a dash more of the turquoise in 2 toned splatters using a loaded paintbrush which I tapped just inches above the surface. I allowed those paint layers a nice, relaxing drying time of (as I recall) several days.

As the paint layers were still drying, I began a first mock-up using graph paper. As a base or mold, I used a vitamin powder packet box that I noticed fits ATCs a bit snugly. The snug part was the clue. To build a brand new box with a totally different construction and lid became the goal.

While the paint layers were still drying, I began a first mock-up using graph paper. As a base or mold, I used that vitamin powder packet box that I noticed fits ATCs a bit snugly. The snug part was the clue - this allowed me to figure out that my new box would probably fit ATCs a bit more loosely, thereby not damaging them. You see, my building a refit from the outside would add to the size a bit on all sides. To build a brand new box with a totally different construction, look and lid became my ideal. And the fewer the seams, the better.

Once the fit to the graph paper pattern was finalized, I carefully removed my painting from the watercolor block using a smooth edged blade to separate it from the glue edging, then traced around the pattern on the back of the painting and carefully cut it out. The orange pencil marks made everything simpler with the next step. These did not show once I'd lined the inside of my Box.

A T square ruler really came in handy for scoring. This project is the wrong size and shape for a scoring board - but then, I currently don't have one anyway. Tip: if you should decide you'd like to try making my box using your own decorative skills, please be aware that to score and fold first prior to adding the lining is essential to the success of this project.

Below is how the unassembled Box looks when marked, scored and carefully folded. There is a somewhat trickier fold than usual in the Lid area. Notice how the top of the Lid is a tiny bit broader across the top? Please do pay close attention to the dotted lines of my download when scoring. The added width is there in order to allow the Lid to fit smoothly down over the top lip of the Box.

Prior to bothering with any prep work for the lining, I paper-clipped the box at its join spots to see whether I had got the fit just right. I am delighted to say that everything about this went well.

(sighing) Lovely, creamy Mulberry paper - just the thing for when a thin layer of something decorative would work best.

Prepping the Box's interior for its lining is the next step. Notice how the folds held steady for me even after the gesso had been added. I attribute this staying power to the heft and sturdiness of the paper along with all of the many layers of pigment on the outside side of it. Though I neglected to show it, my next layer was one in the Turquoise. Once the Mulberry Paper lining was being adhered using Liquitex Heavy Matte Gel Medium, notice how the turquoise showed through. I left this to dry lying open and unassembled overnight.

The next evening, I began gluing the box together - I did this backwards, unfortunately. It would have been simpler to have begun with the back rather than the front. Lolz My enthusiasm got the better of me!

Lastly, I glued the Lid so it would hold its shape. Already, I could see the possibilities for the decorative portion.

The following morning (this past Wednesday), I was up with the lark and working on making my very first paper tassel. Although I'm not altogether pleased with how it turned out, it can always be replaced later on. I began by coating a single sheet from an approximately 3.5"x5" tiny pad of some luxurious Italian paper. The paper is Velata by Cartiera Magnani. It's actually made for drawing, although it took the Turquoise acrylic quite well, as you can see in this photo. (BTW, I have looked it up and the Italian word, "velata" means "veiled.")

Next, it was time to play a few "dress-up" games with this box. I am still not quite satisfied with the the way in which it turned out, but I left certain areas un-glued in order to make any new changes a bit easier later on.

Next, I added a bit of embellishment to the top of the Lid, as outlined in this next photo's caption below. One bit of advice: never construct this box using 2 already decorated pieces that are joined together at the lid "hinge" fold area. Too many layers and too much stiffness would make it less usable. it really is best to make a one piece version if you choose to use my own Pattern.

For anyone who may be interested, downloads of the Pattern are in this post here at my main blog, Plush Possum Studio. Please see below. 

I'd really enjoy your feedback as to how this project works for those among you who are into making your own approach to my #ATCAD ATC Treasure Box. 

Happy ATC Creativity!

PPS™Projects: ATC Treasure Box

Download Pattern Part One HERE

Download Pattern Part Two HERE

You are free to:
Use my Pattern and instructions
for personal use ONLY.
You are not free to:
ever sell it  to anyone, even if you build on my idea.
Please give credit where credit is due.
i would surely do the same for you.
Thank you
for helping me to
keep free things free!

Monday, June 12, 2017

New Flag Bunting

For celebrating Independence Day, Flag Day or for special military events.

Those of you who are familiar with this blog might have noticed before how I'll occasionally offer decorative celebration items here. In the past, I offered an autumnal version of this Bunting pattern. That time, I offered the option of an alphabetized set, but this time I am going to keep it simple. I will leave the rest to whomever chooses to decorate using this design whether to add alphabet letters or not.

Please respect all copyrights listed at the foot of this post in my red letter Guidelines (same as those that are shown in the printable download itself). Thank you.

Happy Creative Celebrating!

PPS™Flag Bunting

Download HERE

Display version
(lower quality than the download)

For personal use only.
You are free to:
decorate spaces using
my bunting.
You are not free to:
sell this design for any reason
even if it is altered first.
Thank you
for helping me to
keep free things free!

Friday, June 9, 2017

#ATCAD2017: New ATC Background "Sixpack"

The first one in this series, entitled, "Am I Blue?" has gone all Rusty this time around.

June offers a whole new set of challenges this year for fans of Artist Trading Cards. Try making a new one every day! That is this year's challenge. While I most likely won't have enough time to follow through myself, I thought that I could at least offer a few ATC Backgrounds each week for the entire month of June. My entire current stock of ATC Backgrounds may be found by following this link HERE

Have fun building on those Backgrounds, all you ATCers out there!

Shoshi very sweetly is allowing me to use a photo that was taken of a renovation project that was being done on her home. For Her blog, you may follow this link HERE
Please respect my copyrights and hers by following the red letter Guidelines located at the foot of of this blog. Thank you.

Today is the day for Rugged Rust! Looks sort of Steampunk in flavor to me.

I'd really like to see what some of my guests here at PPS have done using any of my ATC Backgrounds. I like to think of these sets as being blank canvases or as a beginning basis upon which to start adding anything and everything imaginable!

Happy #ATCAD2017!

PPS™ATC Sixpack: Rugged Rust

Download HERE

Display version
(lower quality than the download)

You are free to:
only give, keep or trade any or all of the ATCs
given in my Set above, with or without altering.
You are not free to:
ever sell any of my designs
unless otherwise specified by me
in the Guidelines (like this one).
Thank you 
for helping me to

keep free things free!

Here is Shoshi's photo on which 
this set's design got based:

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

No. 3 Swirly Kaleidoscope Button Alphabet

Time once more to use that 1 inch circular punch or cutter again as my series of Button Alphabets continues with this next Kaleidoscope design. 

I thought this newest design Set of my colorful alphabets would expand people's color choices a bit as the colors are a bit different.

Please respect my  copyrights and do follow the red letter Guidelines located at the foot of this post. Thank you.

This more vivid set I think could add some real zing to just about any project. This is my third version in the Kaleidoscope Button Alphabet Series. 

As long as the numbers hold steady or otherwise continue to build for my 1 inch Button Alphabets, I will continue to offer a new version now and then, possibly weekly -- that is, until I run out of ideas for them.  Lolz 

Please note that these are totally unique, and completely of my own creation. Fun though it may be, it still takes a while to develop such ideas until they become workable and usable. These literally have taken months of my spare time work. They'll have my copyright from this time forward.
Thank you for respecting my rights as the artist holding my own copyrights. I would hope that everybody does the same for all creative source material makers.

Happy Creativity!

PPS™One Inch Button Alphabet: 
Kaleidoscope No. 3

Download HERE

Display version
(lower quality than the download)

You are free to:
Use my Kaleidoscope 1 Inch Button Alphabet
in artwork that may be either
given or traded (as in
for personal use only).
You are not free to:
ever sell anything made using
any of these letter button images
even if you alter them first.
(You may alter them otherwise, 
just not for sale, please.)
Thank you
for helping me to

keep free things free!
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