Friday, April 1, 2011

Postcard Swap [1]: In the Beginning - Base Layer

{Here's what I wanted to post for WOYWW #6 (95), but didn't have time to do! }

I have been debating whether or not to share the process of creating my postcards. This is my first postcard swap. Heck, these are my first altered postcards (not counting the recycled junk mail from my childhood...) and I have been overwhelmed with the wonderful posts and pictures I've already seen!

But...I really appreciate seeing how others get from start to finish...especially when they share what they've learned along the way. So, for good or bad...I'm sharing.

When I first thought about the swap, I wondered where I was going to find postcards to alter. It never occurred to me to just cut my own out of cardstock. I have a pretty sizable stash of alterable items, but I didn't remember keeping any postcards. I'm also in the middle of reorganizing my studio (I moved it in December) and figured if I did a little bit of picking up something might come to me. I moved piles of papers, boxes, wire baskets and somewhere under this mess was a Rubbermaid tub.

Hmmm...what could be in here?

For those of you who don't know, I used to be a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator. In the box were old business forms, customer orders...and a 3" stack of invitations...postcards! Once I finished my happy dance I got busy with a foam brush and some gesso.

Getting started on the second layer of gesso...

2 days later, I was ready to start layering the paper. I knew that I wanted the postcards to  have texture, so I quietly lifted the Sunday comics from my son's room and began tearing the newspaper into strips, bits and pieces.

I randomly placed those strips, bits and pieces over the postcards and then adhered them using Claudine Hellmuth's Multi-medium (matte) and a foam brush. I didn't worry if the newspaper pieces were too long or hung over the sides. I would take care of those later.

To make sure that the pieces stayed flat, no bubbles or wrinkles, I used a mixing stick (it was an old stir stick from a box of hair color...did you think my color was real *wink* ) and used the flat edge, pressing from the center outwards to smooth it out. No worries if the multi-medium smooshed out!

When they were dried, I started tearing off the overhanging pieces of newspaper. I wanted the torn edges. At first I wasn't sure if I liked the look that I was getting...then I was sure I didn't like it! These postcards had a smooth shiny finish on them. When I started tearing off the newspaper, it started peeling off the gesso layer underneath and the shine was showing!

Should. Have. Sanded. First.

Lesson learned. So, I decided to wet the newspaper with water and peel, roll and rub off the original top layer. This technique leaves behind a very thin layer of newspaper and lots of yummy texture!

So there you have it...the base layer. I do have more to show you, but it's getting late and I want to keep my word regarding another post tonight! The next postcard post will be layering on the colors!

Inky hugs!



  1. Hi Angi, I'm doing the postcard swap too. I enjoyed reading your post and hearing about how you got your cards started. I am looking forward to seeing what comes next!

  2. Love your messy table! I'm just like that too, just forget everything when I'm creating. Will be fun to see how you go on from here... :-)

  3. great post. LOL about how you should have sanded first. i always forget. great blog header!

  4. I am going to have to show this post to my husband so he knows it is not just ME who enjoys a messy desk!! LOL!!

  5. These are so cool how they are! They look like one of those old bulletin boards where people have posted and peeled off stuff for years. Beautiful!!
    Best wishes from germany, tj

  6. Hi Angela,
    So many thanks for your nice comment on receiving my card! I am so glad you like it. Really appreciate your thank you e-mail verry much!
    And I love love love your blog and all your creative blog posts! It is wonderful! I like the in-progres-Come Play!-page! I am working on such a kind of thing, but till now I am only collecting nice links...
    I am sure to visite you again,
    Warm wishes from the Netherlands,

  7. PS Angela,
    Love your messy craft table! Looks the same like mines when I am on some projects :-) Love it! I can feel the creative energy, by reading your blog!


Thank you for taking the time to stop by and visit! I read all of the comments and appreciate your thoughts. May all your Mayhem be crafty messes...inky hugs!