When I first decided that I wanted to start doing paper crafts, I found this web site and was immediately hooked. I haunted the gallery for years, but never really posted or participated.
Then one day there was drama. Swapping drama! It hit the "Hot Topics" and well, people were getting pretty heated. What was this? I mean I had seen grown women arguing over politics, shopping carts and the endless Stay-at-Home Mom versus Working-Mom debate, but this was different. They were going at it over paper crafts!
I admit, I found it pretty awesome; and the way I feel about my crafty supplies, I totally got it!
Anyways, that was my introduction to swapping. I started small, with a St. Patrick's day ATC and a Rainbow inspired tag. A very nice hostess named Alaina let a newbie join her swap and once I started, I haven't been able to stop.
Look ~ my first ever ATC and Swap
I am still learning some hard lessons about myself, time management and forced creativity, but all in all I'm so glad I found this outlet.
One of the latest swaps is a vintage inspired tag swap. Every month, there are two categories, with the requirements being that you use vintage inspired images along with 5 - 7 techniques or embellishments.
The first group due is "Vintage Lady" and I chose a Geisha as my inspiration.
The first thing I do is go through my stash for things that might work with my current theme. I am still not sure why I feel the need to do this as I tend to get overwhelmed with too many choices, but I do. Then, to add to the mix, I shop (and shop, and shop some more) for that "perfect" thing that will make this swap better than any other. In the end, I just seem to end up with a lot, and I mean A LOT, of extras. I swear, I could complete about 20 vintage / Asian inspired swaps and still not use everything I have.
For some reason, I was determined to make these Hors d' oeuvres picks that I found at World Market in to a frame for my image. After purchasing 2 styles of toothpicks, 2 different packages of chop sticks, bamboo beads and bamboo paper, the picks won out! It was more work than I ever imagined. But once I got it started and figured it out, I glued them together and then bound all the corners with gold embroidery floss as an accent.
I decided I had to use my vintage dragon dominoes. I drilled a small hole in the bottom of each one and added wire wrapped beads and a coin charm. The tag shape was taken from my Tim Holtz Sizzix die. I love this shape, but unfortunately it was not the right size for the tag. I enlarged it in my copier machine and hand cut the tags from a light chipboard. Covered both sides with Basic Gray paper and inked the edges with black gold.
I assembled them using some vintage kimono fabric I had picked up at an estate sale, ribbon, vintage buttons and skeleton leaves.
I have recently fell in love with Perfect Pearls and added some in a deep blue to spruce up the image, which I printed on some vintage manila paper. I added a small flower to her hair, distressed and inked the edges in gold, and she was ready to go.
On the back, I used some die cuts and a vintage Nippon Stamp to create a holder for my swapping information. I transferred a vintage post card image in to Photoshop and added my details before printing it out on more vintage manila paper.
I struggled a bit with this one. We had a LOT of time to get them done, so of course I kept thinking my creative mojo would kick in and put them off until the very end. But thankfully Priority Mail will save me and they should arrive to my lovely hostess on time.
Off to package them up and finish up the Halloween group before 10 am tomorrow.........