Common solutions – but do they work?

One of the things that I love about papercrafting is that it is cheap, or at least it can be, if you can behave yourself in the stores. However, it is really hard to let go of the mentality that something you’ve crafted by hand is worth keeping, no matter how ugly it is. I would never throw away an ugly quilt that was lovingly crafted for me, and I would hang on to a hand knit sweater, even if I wouldn’t wear it, but a bad card should be able to go into the trash. However, us papercrafters have a few tricks we fall back upon when our craft starts going south, and here is a good example:

It started off when I decided to do one of my favorite things to do to something I don’t like (other than doodle over it) – I put a gesso wash over some ugly scrapbook paper. I then decided to stamp a bold image on it. The butterfly I chose was just modern enough to go with the floral motif of the background, so I stamped it in navy ink. Unfortunately, the impression wasn’t that great. Smart people would have thrown the paper in the trash at this point, but not me – time to whip out save technique number 1 –

Sharpen a poorly stamped image by tracing over it with markers or pens.

I whipped out a dark blue marker and traced over the lines, but my hands are not that steady, and it still looked a little sloppy. Time for save technique number 2 –

Glitter improves everything.

I don’t like loose glitter, because it is messy, but I had some silver glitter glue, and decided to fill in my butterfly with it. However, I forgot an important fact about gesso. Marker stays wet on gesso for a long time, and will float when you wet it. When the clear glue with silver glitter in it hit the blue marker, I suddenly had blue glue with silver glitter in it. I couldn’t really figure out what it would look like dry, so I walked away until the next day.

The next day it was dry, but ugly. Again, throwing it away should have been my next step, but I had a few more save techniques up my sleeve.

The more layers on a card, the better.

The more elements on a card, the better.

People will get distracted if they read a word and won’t look at the art too closely.

There’s always room for a flower.

Yes, I really did make that word with a Dymo label maker. The flower is a combination of prima flowers, punched flowers, and colored brads, but it really wasn’t the right shade of blue, even though I had more blues going on than an impressionist seascape. Time for a little distress ink –

All sins can be covered with distress ink.

In theory, this should be a freaking gorgeous card, but really, I think it is just a lot more ugly than what I started with. (did you remember that the initial material was ugly paper?) However, what’s done is done. Should I throw it away (finally), or would someone want it (It’s an artist trading card)? If YOU want it, let me know – it is certainly worth a stamp to me to keep it out of the trash. However, if you don’t, my feelings really won’t be hurt.

If a LOT of people want it, fear not – I have plenty of equally dubious cards, I would be happy to send you something. Just email me.


Susan said...

I do not think it is ugly at all Juliet!


Shelly Schmidt said...

You are so funny- I am reading my e-mail on vaacation- I just started a blog too- how can I subscribe to your blog???

FireCracker082 said...

LOVE your new blog....what a fun read! you need to add google friends, feedburner, or something so we can follow'll have to tell my dd you are on deviant art..she's posts there too!