Thursday, June 24, 2010

best swap theme ever??!?!

when gina found this awesome ART♥o♥MAT site, the first thing she said was, "we have to do a swap based on this!" so we decided to make little packets of art that could (theoretically) be dispensed from converted cigarette machines. of course gina is MUCH faster off the mark with these sort of things than i am, so you've already seen her half of the swap, which was AMAZING! we didn't really have a theme, as such, but gina mentioned that she had used more birds than anything else, and as you know i LOVE birds anyway, so i took that and ran with it.

when i first heard the name ART♥o♥MAT--before i read about them-- i was intrigued, and wondered if such a machine would sell little packages of *ART*...or little packages of art supplies? it turns out the real ones all dispense ART, but the idea of both sort of stuck in my mind, so i decided that my package would consist of something i made AND ALSO ingredients for gina to use, all more or less on a bird theme.

here's the container:

ok, yes, i cheated, i wound up having too much to fit inside, so there are some little envelopes, as well. my "ingredients" are mostly vintage bits cut from books and magazines, stickers, feathers, little game pieces and charms...basically if it was tiny and fun and in some way avian, i put it in the tin!

for my "piece of art" i wanted to make a very inky stampy accordian book type thingie like i made for leah in the spring. partly because i love the idea of working big, but having it fit in a small package... (& in the ART♥o♥MAT swap, the packaging seemed crucial to me!) ...and partly because my favorite art quote of all time just happens to involve birds, and i knew it'd work really well in this context...but mostly, i confess, i just love making little books. :)

the first time i made one of these, i used ranger glossy cardstock, so that the glossy "plasticky" side would reinforce my booklet. this time i went a bit bigger (the unfolded size is 3.5 x 18") and had to use uncoated cardstock. this turned out not realllllllllly to be strong enough, and even while working on it, i could see the folds were not going to last forever. see those swirly green packing tape "leaves"??! those are NOT decoration!!! those are strategically placed, on the outside only, to reinforce the hinges! i *THINK* it works, both mechanically and visually, but next time i will go back to glossy, even if i have to join two pieces to make it big enough.

design-wise, i started with my favorite barnett newman quote:

"aesthetics are, to the artist,

what ornithology must be to birds!"

(i *THINK* the photos can be clicked on to make them bigger is hard to get something wide to fit in blogger's format!)

then i used masks, spray-on and stamping inks, stamps and markers to illustrate and enhance the theme. (this involoved sooooo much more time and activity than that one simple sentence implies, as i'm sure all you stampy types realize!!!) at the end i added a little painted & stamped chipboard bird to the cover, and a ribbon to hold the whole thing closed.

and thus i declare the first annual ART♥o♥MAT swap to be officially concluded! :)


(~materials~ stamps: purple onion designs, tim holtz, autumn leaves, hero arts, cherry arte, heidi swapp, studio g; spray inks: glimmer mist, radiant rain, ranger distress + perfect pearls made into custom colors; stamping inks: superior india ink, ranger distress, colorbox fluid chalk; masks: heidi swapp; glitter letters: making memories; chipboard bird: maya road; ribbon & decorative packing tape: michaels; labels: dymo; other: vintage images from various books, mint tin, sewing machine, corner rounder)


  1. OH MY!!! I love all things tiny...and THIS is a phenomenal idea!
    And that accordian "book type thingy" is all the detail and flowiness of this piece of art!

  2. this is an amazing work of art!! that according book is gorgeous!! LOVE it!!

  3. What a totally fun and fabulous idea!! I love your box of birdie goodness, esp that a-mazing accordion book!!

    (-: Heidi

  4. And what a *fine* conclusion it was! :) Love those birds, and yes, I can see all the work & love you put into it!

  5. WOW! I love the whole package. Such a beautiful piece of art, and I love the quote!

  6. You are the queen of crafts! Your "leaves" (aka green swirly packing tape) provides a lovely contrast to the blue as well as preserving your scored folds from ripping. You are a genius. I have dozens of Altoid tins I have been holding on to for years (8 or 9 at least...BG*)

    *BG is most popularly known as BasicGrey, but in our household it usually means the era formally known as "before girls".

  7. This is marvelous, what a fun swap and the goodies you fit into such a small container are amazing! Love coming here to see beautiful projects - it's my healthy addiction!

  8. How fun! I continue to admire your craftiness and level of patience for the fussiness.

    And if "fussiness" is pronounced fuss-ee-ness, then why isn't "business" pronounces biz-ee-ness? Hmmm?

    Carry on, missus!

  9. WOW!! What an incredibly fantabulous idea and project!! I so wish I had a brain like yours...GENIUS!!!

  10. What a faboulus SWAP you two have. The queens of good ideas I'll say. ♥♥♥♥♥♥ Love this accordian book as much as the last one. ♥♥♥♥♥♥ Really love when your work with you beautiful Alphabet. I can look at this for hours...
    Big Hugs

  11. I love your booklet! So much art in one place, my mind spins! I love the color BTW- gorgeous!!!! And yes, I can appreciate all the details, not to mention the amount of ink, it takes to get a blank slate to this point- genius!!!!
    And those art gumball machines- they are an absolutely brilliant idea!


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