Torn Photo ATCs

I made four Artist Trading Cards for the Torn Photo ATC Swap on the ATCs for All.

It was an interesting process and required all the discipline I could gather to just glue the photo onto a plain backing and not slather it with mixed media collage elements. I'm clearly stuck doing the same, familiar things over and over, and trying to make myself believe that I'm changing things by using different materials. But it's still the same process. So this was a welcome, if slightly uncomfortable change.
2012-9  "Torn Photo ATC #1: Granny"
 The first card ended up being very simple. With just a slight skew to the image to make it appear a bit jarring.
2012-10 "Torn Photo ATC #2: Granny and Great-Grandfather"
Tried to go a little farther this time. But feels like I did the really obvious thing in switching heads around.

2012-11 "Torn Photo ATC #3: Granny/Baby"
For this one I tried to not look so much at the imagery, but at the way the shapes and colors and torn edges and use those elements for the composition. I still see things and immediately name them (head, arm etc.) which is keeping me from seeing it as much as an abstraction as I'd like.

2012-12  "Torn Photo ATC #4: Chicken Coop"
Like this the best of them all as far as having interesting lines and intersections of lines and shapes. Glad I stuck through it. Good exercise in abstraction that I can see using to develop drawings and paintings. Glad to get away from my tried and true mixed media collage. And it's a great way to upcycle all those old photos that aren't interesting enough to keep for the imagery, but that you still can't part with because they're family heirlooms and mementos of earlier times in your personal history.

Flower ATC's

a random assortment of Artist Trading Cards I've done using flower images and themes:
2011-91 "White Flower" ATC
 Rubber stamp, embossing inks, pen and ink, marker and stamp pads on bristol.
2011-92 "Yellow Flower" ATC
 Rubber stamp, embossing inks and marker on bristol.
2011-93 "White Flower #2" ATC
Rubber stamp, embossing ink and marker on bristol.

Vintage ATCs

a random assortment of Artist Trading Cards I've made using vintage images and/or themes:
2011-90 "Emotional Intensity" ATC
Vintage photos, text from Carl Jung's "Man and His Symbols" using encaustic, acrylic & metallic markers on watercolor paper.


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Freeform Afghan - Second Version

Finished! My second attempt at a Freeform Blanket

I’m starting a new blanket - trying to do a bit more “controlled” freeform than I have in the past. I’m wanting something that’s a bit calmer and more serene - not quite as tumultuous and busy as the last one. I’m wanting something linear that flows around circular shapes. Usually I cut a piece of fabric in the general shape that I want the piece to end up. This time I made a paper template (I've compiled a list of standard or average blanket and afghan sizes here) so I can draw in where I want the circles and can look at the big picture as I go instead of just randomly putting together shapes that have just sprung forth. (Which I love to do - just wanting to do something different this time.) I guess it could more rightly be called directed freeform.

My color choice is driven by an old Kaffe Fassett pattern featuring multi-yarn triangle shapes that I started about 5 years ago and never finished. I unraveled it, which made some interesting “Magic Balls” that got me started. I made up a bunch of different circle motifs, using patterns from “Beyond the Square, Crochet Motifs” by Edie Eckman. This is without question the book I use more than any other in my library when looking for interesting patterns in inspiring colors with easy to read written instructions and charts. 

Working about 10" ahead at a time I laid out the circles and then crocheted and knitted in stripes across. I drew lines every 10" just to have reference points.
Working towards the first 10" line

I joined my husband at a work conference on the Chesapeake. While he spent his days in meetings I wandered through the nearby towns and as always seems to happen came across some yarn stores. I bought a few yarns that seemed like they'd be perfect.
Yarns from Fibre Cafe in Cambridge, Maryland

Yarns from Yarns & Company in Easton, Maryland

I bought some really beautiful yarns, but some of the colors were really, really off. I cut some pieces of ribbon and attached the yarns onto them by color. I kept these in my handbag & pulled them out whenever a yarn store appeared in my path. It's a great system that's easy to maintain.

I’ve been struggling to keep this going - not happy with the way it was heading and having trouble figuring out what to do next. On a meander through Ravelry I came across Melisseio’s Free Range Wrap which got me thinking about how I was approaching the whole thing. Between that and a couple of very encouraging Ravelry messages from Jenny Dowde (JenOz on Ravelry) and looking a bit at her work I’m back into a happy mind about where it’s heading. It’s a very different process than I usually use while “freeforming” in that I’ve got a much more specific idea of where I want to end up and how I want the piece to appear. I’m also using colors that are quite out of my usual sphere. Jenny's book, Freeform Knitting and Crochet  is one I often turn to when needing inspriation or a bit of technical direction.


It’s going much more quickly now. Am keeping up with my 10” per week goal - mostly because I’m already planning the next 3 or 4 projects & can’t wait to get this one finished & get onto those. 

almost finished - just need an edging


The basic shape is finished. It’s feeling like it needs a border. Something sort of wavy so the uneven edges aren’t so noticeable.


Finished! I decided I needed a border to finish it off. Used #54 from “Around the Corner, Crochet Borders” by Edie Eckman. I modified it slightly - I did 2 base rounds in purple, then did round 1 in yellow and round 2 in green.

This is the other Edie Eckman book that I use constantly. It's got great pictures, and it's easy to modify the instructions to fit the specific edging that you're trying to achieve. 

detail of edging