Friday, May 8, 2009

Altered Rolodex Cards

I joined an altered Rolodex swap with a theme of "color." It has turned into a nightmare that I just have to share. First, I didn't read the directions like I should have. Now I've been a host for so long, you would think I would have read the directions, since that's one of the things that irks me when people don't follow my instructions. Second, I didn't have the right sized Rolodex cards, so ended up making my own, then using a punch that Dana bought to make the rolo tabs. Third, I didn't realize that Rolodex cards were thin, thin, thin, and I used card stock and doubled it. So, they are too thick and not the right "color."

I've been in several color swaps, and color meant varied things like "Forest Floor" or "Under the Sea" or "Sunset." However, Patt's instructions were to use one color only. I had the backgrounds created before I realized that I was doing it wrong. Patt encouraged me to continue with my color, so here are the fronts.
I began by smearing blue, red, and yellow oil pastels all over the cut-to-size cards. Then I took them with me to my friend's PT, and somehow the Turpenoid lid was not properly sealed, so much of it spilled out into the baggie. Since the Turpenoid is very expensive, I was sick. I hate waste of any kind. I tried using odorless Turpentine, but it didn't blend the colors like the Turpenoid did, and it left a distinct odor, even though it was supposed to be "odorless." So much for truth in advertising.

I kept working with the backgrounds until I was at least a bit pleased. Then I glued the two sides together and used a "regular" Rolodex card to mark where the tabs should go so I could position the suns directly above the tabs. More on that later.

Next, I swiped old hymnal music with gesso, which turned the gorgeous old paper a stark white, which was not what I was going for. I then colored the sheet music with red and gold fluid acrylics. As the paint was drying, I cut a sun template. When everything was dry, I cut the suns and added rays using a blue ink pen, which promptly turned green for some unknown reason. I positioned the suns directly over the guide holes I had marked and glued them to the backgrounds.

I didn't realize that Dana's punch created tabs that were so much shorter than the pre-punched ones, so after I punched the tabs, I not only had floating suns, but I also had pencil marks on my cards that didn't want to erase. OK, I've done about as much damage as I can do on the front, now on to the back.

I printed my information backward on a transparency and made my own "rub-ons." Some smeared a bit and some didn't rub off all the way because I failed to rub hard enough, but overall, I'm pleased with the way that part of the technique turned out. However, I thought they were terribly plain, and stewed for a day because I thought they were too plain. I had boxed myself in with my color choice, and couldn't think of a good embellishment.

While bailing water in my basement (odd how my mind works), I remembered I had a moon stamp. Not being much of a rubber stamper, I don't often think of stamps as embellishments. I got the stamp out and put red on one side and blue on the other side of the stamp. I tried to position the stamp, but I'm not very good with wooden stamps. Some stamped really well, others only so-so.

I know the cards I get in return will be so beautiful. I only hope that the other swappers can forgive me for such plain cards. I really did put a lot of time and effort into them, but sometimes things just don't turn out the way you expect them to. One thing I can say about them: the backgrounds are very "COLORful."

2 thoughtful remarks:

Dianne said...

It is so refreshing how you share your trials & tribulations with us! i don't think the finished product looks "plain" at all...I like the multiple colors very much! hope you don't have to bail the basement very many more times...

Seth said...

You may not have (inadvertently) followed the rules...but I think the final version of these cards is really great and definitely colorful!