Monday, June 21, 2010

Second set of Arches for Anniversary Swap

Before I even begin this tale of woe, I want to thank my dear friend Terri Kahrs at Pringle Hill Studio for the freebie that I used in this project.

From the beginning, this set of arches has been a problem, causing me countless hours of frustration and anguish. However, it is one of those posts that must be shared, albeit without pictures.

I had a design in mind when I started by printing the lovely "lace lady," as Terri called her. But, I printed 18 the wrong size (Anyone want to have an ATC swap?). The second time I printed these, I forgot to pilf flip the image, so the left side of the arch would be free of any interference from the binding. And for some reason, this time they didn't print in color, although I had the color setting specified.

Still not realizing I had done this, I proceeded to work on the backgrounds. See, I had already cut the arches (made from old flat rate envelopes I glued together), and abandoned left them when I found an easier way to make the second set, which was to print the back side, glue it to entire sheets of glued together envelopes, then cut after I glued the sheet music to the other side (and nearly ruined my craft mat in the process). However, the first set of arches was already cut and ready to go. So, I didn't want to do all that gluing, then cutting again.

This time I took the arches outside along with my gothic letter stencils and went to town, first covering both sides with pale green spray paint.

Then I got out my lace (yep, the same lace I used on these file folders) and tried to spray paint over the lace, but the spray paint's sprayer had a concentrated spray, rather than a mist like I had in the past. So right from the beginning, the backgrounds were starting to have a problem.

Next, the wind kicked up and some of the arches flipped over and I didn't notice. The two sides are not symmetrical, so some that were supposed to be backs, I now mistook as fronts. The lace was only supposed to go on the front side only and the gothic letters on the back. Well, you see how well that worked out. And, as I was painting them, once again the wind kicked up and this time blew the stencil around.

If that was not bad enough, I ran out of copper spray paint. As I said before, I had not planned on painting letters on both sides of the arches. So, I got the closest thing I could find: brown.

So now the backgrounds were painted and the images were printed. It was now time to use the larger gothic stencil to make the letter 7 using

these wonderful pages I created using Twinkling H2Os, way back in late May. But the big problem was is, they were are way too bright and colorful for this layout. Short of starting over again, I simply had no way to correct the problem.

I began the assembly using UHU glue stick, but it simply wouldn't hold in this humidity. Plus it took the first two images FOREVER to stick and only because I practically stood on them to get them in place. So, instead of another spray adhesive fiasco, I opted for a different fiasco. I got out my Xyron, something I never seem to use. And because I don't use it, I didn't remember how to use it. For some reason, the two rolls wouldn't feed through the cartridge, so I removed it, separated the two pieces, and laid down both the arches and the 7s. Wish I'd taken a photo. Do you know what it's like to stick 15 images and 17 numbers on that sticky paper by hand?

I was able to rub hard enough to get good adherence, which worked fine for the lovely images, but not so fine for the numbers. If you look closely at the photo above, you'll see the book pages are truly "vintage." That's a fancy way of saying they were old and brittle. Painting them didn't help, either. So, needless to say, trying to remove them from the sticky backing of the Xyron proved to be too much and I broke many of them. And, when I added them to the arch backs, they landed where they landed because they were stuck to my fingers. No sense in saying I planned where they would go. They went where they went and that was that.

Finally, as I was removing the pieces from the Xyron, the sticky part that would normally get thrown in the trash began to wrap around both hands. When I tried to free my hands, the sticky pieces crumpled into heaps that I simply could not get to dislodge.

Would you be laughing or crying about now? To say I'm disappointed in the end product result is a huge understatement. I would start over, but there is no time. The swap is due today. I can't make new ones after it took over four days to make these. I DO like the images, the gothic arches, and the concept. Other than that, . . . . OK, it is a big lesson learned! And in about seven years, I'll look back on this post and laugh as hard as all of you are right now.

Since my art is disappointing today, I thought you might like a blog that features all sorts of craft tutorials. It will interest those of you with young children and those of you who make everything for your family. I simply didn't have time to find a generalized blog today, and ran across this one during a hunt. Liked the name, stayed to read a few articles: Skip to My Lou, which is written by Cindy Louh. And when I tried to leave a comment, it asked for my ADDRESS. Of course I put my website address, and it prompted for street, City and State. So, needless to say, no comment left by me to Cindy.

12 thoughtful remarks:

Healing Woman said...

You know Elizabeth, I think we have all had these kinds of art/craft days. I also love the "lace lady" that Teri posted for us awhile back. She'd look good in almost anything with arches. That was a good choice. You'll do it again when memories of this time around go away.

MosaicMagpie said...

I know days like this happen to us all, but don't you feel like "why me" when it does.

Liverpool Lou (Anne) said...

hehehehehehehe I was nearly in tears laughing. I can just imagine your hands all wrapped up in the Xyron waste :-) I know it wan't intentionally funny ;-) but it's nice to know we all have days like this. I think some people only blog their successes! I love the arch with the lacy lady on, and it's only the 7 that spoils the other one for me. Love the colours on the other pieces.
Anne xx

~*~Patty said...

Oh My I feel your pain, you certainly gave a perfect description of your succession of malfunctions ... pat yourself on the back for hanging in there.
One tool I enjoy using when I glue things is my brayer, it helps loads in getting it all stuck together, especially with gluestick
Terri's image is lovely and I like arches so much, haven't made any in awhile.
Art on Elizabeth!

Halle said...

Your tale of woe sounds worse than mine with the arches. Regardless..I'm very excited about this swap. And really...know that so much hard work and angst went into these makes them even more special right?!?!

Patti said...

Yikes - surprised you could still type! I haven't tried a project like this and I admire your tenacity - definitely worth it!

rivergardenstudio said...

I definately have days like this... I too admire you for keeping on, and you have given me some good idea. I hope today is much better! roxanne

rikae said...

can't believe all the work you did.......I am sure they will be perfect, as I love and admire your work.
things happens......and you will see what i missed doing when you open my Arches......
I forgot to put the NO. 7 on any of the arches.....
well people will know how absent minded I am.
Can't wait for my stash......

Diane said...

Oh my, this sounds like a bad dream. I love your dedication and persistence!! But you know, this is how art is sometimes--a bit fustrating, but you'll have many more good days that out-number this one!

Terri Kahrs said...

What I love about this post is your terrier-like tenacity in trying to see this project through to completion, Elizabeth. You certainly gave it a go, and I'm honored that you've used my Lacey Lady as a focal point. Believe me when I say, we've all had days like this. A few weeks ago, I spilled rubber cement all over my worktable. It seeped over, under, around and through things! As Scarlett O'Hara once said, "Tomorrow is another day!" Hugs, Terri xoxo

Marilyn Rock said...

You put such effort into everything that you do. I fully understand your frustration. I've been through this, more times than I want to recall, spilled coffee on things, a product not to be what I expected, technical probs with the printer or computer, or just plain "not in my game" for whatever reason. You've really got me thinking on this, now, and a few years back I was in a round robin with an altered book and had to mail one to Australia. Well; it got lost and never showed up for the owner of the book. I felt so bad and to this day, haven't entered in a round robin because of it.

It's good that you can share your feelings with us.

Hang in there! Tomorrow is another day! Love ya - Marilyn

Stephanie Mealor Corder said...

I don't even know where to begin.....I have to admit I was smiling throughout our post- but it was rueful, commiserating kind of smile. We ALL have projects to go like this- where the more you try to fix things, the harder it is to "get it right". A kind of never ending tale of chaos and mishaps! Kudos to you for hanging in there and getting 'er done! By the way, I too really like everything but the seven:) and that lady in lace is gorgeous!