Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Art Orphans, Part 2 - Cardmaking Tips

I went into my at-home craft room last weekend in the mood to make something, but with no particular direction.

There was a stack of random papers on my work table so I picked it up and started sorting through it. Upon closer inspection, they turned out to be my "artsy orphans"! Visit the blog entry from last summer to learn more about them. Those little art panels from past workshops were all paired up with matching card bases and coordinating mattes.


Hours later, I emerged from the room with quite the impressive little pile of cards ready to go. I did some serious cardmaking.

It's been trendy to make altered tags and colorful panels, but what do you do with them once completed? THIS, folks.

1. Choose a collection of art panels and trim, if necessary. Most of my panels were roughly 2.5x2.5".

2. Study the colors of the panels, and match them up with papers in your stash. Check your scrap pile and POP's (Pounds of Paper).

3. Choose a card base, trim to 5.5x8.5 and score horizontally at 4.25".

4. Measure your art panel, and trim a contrasting matte 1/4" larger than the panel. For example, cut a 2.75x2.75" matte for a 2.5x2.5" art panel. I know. Math. Sorry about that. But take a second and measure the panel. Write it down if you have to. It works.

5. Select a second matte with coordinating paper. Trim the matte to a size that you like. Many times I'll trim to 4x5.25 so that it nests nicely onto the card base.

6. Add a third complementary color and trim to fit. Anchoring strips are nice.

7. Keep going until all of your art panels have a happy home.

8. Walk away for six months.

9. Come back and crank out some fun cards on a Saturday morning. Grab your stamps, a simple black ink pad, and adhesive. Don't forget to wear your superhero cape. You're about to feel like one.

Here they are. Notice that I only used a few wonderful little stamps and low profile embellishments since these are for the troops.

Happy little non-orphaned art panels now, aren't they?

Have fun being a superhero!


  1. Wow,these are stunning and such a great idea!

  2. What an amazing set of cards Tricia. And the funny thing is about this, I did the exact same thing yesterday and even used on of my art orphans. I had made (many years ago when you first shared the technique on Craft TV weekly) the spin art class creations and used it in one of my cards. Also have a bunch more orphans waiting in the wings so thanks so much for all the inspiring cards!!

  3. Love Love Love these! My favorite steps are 8 and 9! :) I think I have a box of orphaned art squares similar to yours....hmmm....

  4. Love these Tricia! And I too just did the same thing as Julie this week! Got out those black and white glossy panels we used the metallic re-inkers on in your '09 retreat class, looked up your video (so so so glad these are available to us forever!), and assembled dozens. Of course I had purchased an additional pack of the b & w panels so played some more with other colors - the blues came out really pretty.

  5. Tricia these are so awesome. Thank you so much for sharing your insight with us.


  6. Step number 8 is hilarious! Love your sense of humor, Tricia!
    Thanks for the inspiration.

  7. Wonderful cards, Tricia. Lots of inspiration for everyone. I love using that what is just lying on your desk and waiting to be used.

  8. GORGEOUS cards, Tricia! Yup, #8 is my favorite--and the most meaningful, I think. Playing around with different techniques doesn't always yield the results I was expecting or wanting. Putting them aside and seeing them with new eyes after a while usually finds me like them. The layouts you used are great. I'm bookmarking this entire post.

  9. Tricia, there's nothing more magical than going back after months gone by and creating something unique! It can be inspirational.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Carmen L

  10. Each is so unique! All are beautiful.
    Thanks for the inspiration.

  11. wow- these are stunning cards!!! LOOOVE step #8. I pretty much have that one perfected :)

  12. Gorgeous! I need to find all my orphans first. Thanks for the inspiration.

  13. Great cards Tricia - Art medicum week prompted me to do the same thing. I play and then throw my creations in a basket on my desk - I emptied quite a few items out of that basket.

  14. Beautiful cards, Tricia! Where can I find Part 1?

  15. Thanks, Lynne! Here is a link to the first entry:



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