Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Do you have "Artsy Orphans"?

I've been teaching two-hour technique workshops at retreats and other events for years, and it seems that I've accumulated quite a few momentos as a result! I've got a box labeled "Art Panels" that has been sitting on a shelf in my craft room. Years of inspiration virtually untouched.

Do you have a box like this?

I thought it might be fun to show you my routine for these artsy orphans. Maybe yours will find a home, too.

1. Spread out the panels on your work surface. Step back and basque in your creative brilliance.

2. Group the panels into color families like primary, bright, earth tones, pastels, bold, soft, etc. Whatever helps narrow them into smaller fields.

3. Search your paper stash for colors that will coordinate well with the art pieces. I spend a lot of time with Club Scrap paper and know the colors well. So well, in fact, that sometimes I can say, "Gee, the burgundy from Academy and the pink from Love Blooms will be just perfect on this card." Sometimes it takes a bit more effort. But when I've found the right color combination, I know that all will be right with the world. Got HPOP's? (Club Scrap's "Half Pounds of Paper"?) Use your stash for card panels!

4. Trim one of the papers to a standard card base: 5-1/2x8-1/2". Score and fold it in half. (Or, you can save that scoring/folding part for later.)

5. Measure the final size of the art piece, and cut a layering matte that is 1/4" larger. For example, if your art piece is 3x3", trim a 3-1/4x3-1/4" matte. If you have a third color, trim a second matte to 3-1/2x3-1/2" or some other desired size. If I'm incorporating an altered shipping tag into a card, I sometimes create a 5x7" card base, or simply trim the top off the tag so that it will fit on the standard card base.

6. Stack the card base, mattes and art pieces on a pile, grab another art piece, and return to step 3. Pretty soon you'll have a nice big pile of cards that are ready to be stamped. (If you're going to a crop or planning to spend a day away from your craft room, this would be a great time to stash your materials into a zip-top bag 'cuz all of the prep work is done!)

7. Grab a collection of rubber stamps and a black ink pad. Arrange the mattes and art onto the card and plan a spot for an image and/or greeting to be added. I usually just use our India Black ink (my fave) and add other colors on a whim. Attach everything to the card base and stamp the inside of the card, too, if you like. This is also a great time to attach embellishments from your stash.

8. Soon, you'll have a new pile of beautifully completed cards!

What great timing! Pro Scrapbookers League Summer Camp is just around the corner . . . find your box of orphaned art pieces! You can incorporate them onto cards or your scrapbook pages as embellishments!

Metallic Marvels Workshop

Spin Art Workshop with MicroGlaze Resist

Spin Art Workshop: Manila Tag with Memories Mist/Water Resist

Spin Art Workshop


  1. You ALWAYS make such beautiful cards! Thanks for sharing and giving us inspiration!

  2. I do this for PSL quite often. Really pretty cards!

  3. I do it too! Absolutely love all the cards and your panels are super!

  4. Gorgeous! I wish I had a box of backgrounds. Making some would be a good project for a rainy afternoon. Now if only it would rain!

    Fhanks for the inspiration!

  5. I do have a box full of these fun backgrounds.......usually try to find them during psl - hopefully I'll get them found before summer camp :)

  6. Thanks for this great tip! It seems that I'm not the only one that hoards this stuff for the "perfect" project. It's great to be able to share our love of art with others!

  7. I have a box of similar art orphans. I usually use them during Art Medium week in PSL. What are those pretty corner stamps on the Weeds are Flowers too cards? Just curious...

  8. Absolutely wonderful cards! How about leaving them around places like in the Art Abandonment project by Michael deMeng?

  9. Hmmmm ... looks like I don't allow myself enough time to PLAY !!! I need to start me one of them Art Panel Boxes! Thanks for the great tips, especially of putting together the panels and mattes in one step, to have them ready for assembly later at a crop. That speaks to me!

  10. I'm amazed no one noticed the "spoiler" yet...I noticed it right away...wink-wink.


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