Monthly Archives: February 2012



Tree Fairy Door

Green and Yellow Fairy Door


H2O border ATC


This swap is called Border States. The requirement is to divide the ATC card into two or more sections, draw a border around the sections, and tangle inside the borders.

Border ZIA ATC

Border ZIA ATC

Turquoise Border ZIA ATC

Turquoise Border ZIA ATC


H2O Border ZIA ATC

I did not intend to make the top inside section blend into the border, but I think it is still pretty.

ZIA ATC masks


One of the swaps I joined this month was for ZIA masks. It took me a while to decide what to draw. I looked up all types of masks and sketched out quite a few in my sketchbook before deciding on these. I drew a few that I did not use for the swap because I wasn’t completely happy with them. I saved them because they aren’t that bad, but I drew 5 and only needed 3. I used card stock, several types of marker, and micron pens. I tried out Bic markers in fine point and ultra fine point. They give a rich color and cover the area quickly, but bleed a little on card stock. The areas I outlined in Sakura Micron Pens first, didn’t bleed. The larger areas did show through on the back a little. I think if I tried the markers on a less porous paper like Bristol board, the wouldn’t bleed and soak though as much. I also used watercolor markers and a blending pen.

Feb 2012 ZIQA mask swap

Bird Mask 2

Bird One

Steampunk Mask

I tried a mask in Steampunk style. I had to use a little acrylic paint to get the metallic look. I also used touches of sparkly gel pens. I found some old gray scalemarkers and some of them still work. I used them for the background. I liked the effect, but I wish I hadn’t been as heavy-handed with the gray markers.

My latest work- ATC envelopes


I made these envelopes to send my latest ATC‘s for trading with my ZIA group. I had some paper that was close to craft color, so I used that. Some of the paper had a slightly gloss finish, so it was great for stamping and coloring. I used the Stampin Up Nature Walk set and the Stampin Up Sew Suite. I stamped the images with Stazon ink and then colored them in with Stampin Write markers using a blender pen. I cut the envelopes out on my Cricket about a month ago, but just decorated them a few days ago. I can use the plain plastic sleeves that are used for collecting baseball cards, but these are a little more fun. I don’t know if I will always have the time or energy to make the envelopes, but I did last month.


Ken’s latest MRI


This morning Ken had an MRI. Since he had his right kidney and left adrenal gland out on 9-29-11, the thought of the kidney cancer recurring is always rolling around in our thoughts. It’s the type of idea that we try to keep in a hidden file in the back of our brains. The concern is always there, and it just pops out every so often. I am sure it shows up in Ken’s mind more often than mine, but my brain likes to remind me frequently, too. The CT scan showed some probable scar tissue on the top of his remaining left kidney. I will be so glad when the doctor confirms that it is just some scar tissue. We have a family member in hospice care for lung cancer right now, and two people close to out family who were diagnosed with cancer right before Christmas. When I see them going through chemo and radiation, I feel bad for them, I pray for them, but it is a scary reminder that chemo and radiation are not a great solution for renal cell carcinoma. It is almost easier to say renal cell carcinoma than the word “cancer”, because it doesn’t instanly sound like that scary “C” word. Renal cell carcinoma sounds like some disease that other people get, not the cancer that my husband has had.

Ken has been cranky and jumpy for the last two weeks waiting for test results. I can’t blame him at all. I just stop and pray when I think about it, and I try to push it out of my mind because the reality of the possibilities is more than I can deal with yet. If the news is bad, I will deal with it then. I could easily make myself crazy dwelling on the possibilities, but I am never too far from crazy, so I will use avoidance for now.

ATC Swaps and other swaps


I am in a great group on Yahoo. We have challenges and swaps with Zentangle® Inspired Art. I just received my first swaps and they are incredible. I was so excited to get them yesterday and to see how nice they are.  I got 4 pennants from a heart pennant swap and a beginners ATC (artist trading card) created by someone who is much more than a beginner. I will post them soon.

Last year I participated in a few card swaps in another group.  We sent our swap directly to the recipient instead of sending it to a moderator. I like sending it to a moderator better. In the group I was in last year, I got a couple of nice cards. One was really, really nice. The others were not something I would give with a gift. I am now with a fun group of people and we scan in our creations and post them with the group before we mail them. That gave me a chance to show the group what kind of work I do, so I wasn’t stuck in just the beginner swaps. Being new to a group does not make a person a beginner at his or her art form. I do learn something new from this group all the time, but I like to think I have something valuable to offer as well.

If you are an artist, a crafter, or learning something new, I found it is worth checking out a few online groups. Now I know that some groups are more fun, and more educational than others. Being home a lot since I am disabled, I look forward to checking out the messages every day. I don’t feel as isolated, and I get inspired by their work every day.

We are working on swaps for March. I tried not to obligate myself with too many swaps because I still need to finish my daughter’s wedding invitations. I finished one ATC last night, and if I feel better later, I will finish another one tonight. I like to work at night when the phone isn’t ringing and no one is coming in and out of the house. Supper is done and its nice and quiet. I am a little under the weather the past few days, so mentally I have these ideas bouncing around in my head, but physically I am just not up to getting it on paper the way I like it. I tried, but things were messy and not close to what I wanted. One more nap and maybe I will be back to the drawing board (which is a good thing).