Friday, May 7, 2010


I think this is my favorite artist card. It is a mason jar full of American icons (cowboy, corn, Washington stamp; Statue of Liberty stamps, peach, Statue of Liberty sticker, stars). The mason jar is an image from a K and Company ephemera pack with the small images (mostly from a kid's sticker book) layered on top, and a layer of plastic over it. Background is made from decoupage tissue and ripped pieces of scrapbook paper. Background "aged" with burnt umber colored stamping ink. I really like sanding the edges of cards with a "fine" sanding block from the hardware store and using small ink pads to color the card edges.

Associations to Mason jars: both my mom and Grandma Thompson canned tomatoes each harvest season when I was growing up. All winter we would make the best spaghetti sauce from those tomatoes. I remember that my mom also canned watermelon pickles one year. They were really beautiful but I never tried one because I only like pickles as relish on hotdogs and hamburgers. I used to make my own spaghetti sauce, simmmered all day, made with my mother's recipe. Then one day I discovered that Classico Marinara sauce was just as good and even came in mason jars! Great sauce, jars, and not having to cut onions. A no brainer.
I used to use these jars for turpentine and damar vanish for oil painting and for holding my brushes. Now I like the jars for water for acrylic and watercolor painting. My first card to use the Mason jar was my artist card featuring a jar full of fireflies (see earlier blog post). I'm thinking now that I will do several with the Mason jar image and a "perserve your memories" or "preserves" theme.
"Preserve Your Memories"
"Preserve your memories" is actually a line from an old Paul Simon song called "America". "Preserve your memories, they're all that's left you". This card was the last in a series of 5 cards I made for a "baggie swap". In the baggie swap participants send 5 baggies with 5 ATC ingredients to the swap hostess. She sends 5 different baggies to each participant, we all make 5 cards and get 4 back when the swap is over. The "extra" card is a bonus for the hostess for coordinating the swap. I actually ended up making 8 cards from the 5 baggies. The "Preserve Your Memories card is a good example of innovation being stimulated by necessity. I needed to make that 5th required card from ingredients I was having a hard time relating to. A cigar wrapper, a game marker, two stamps and 4 purple flower punches. Suddenly I thought of putting all the ingredients in a Mason jar with an interesting background. The cigar wrapper became a portrait with wings by cutting apart the wrapper and reassembling them. This card actually proceeded "US" and in many ways stimulated the "us" card.

My favorite Mason jar card is the "firefly" card.  It reminds me of hot summer nights as a child and catching fireflies.  Seems like we caught them all because they are gone now, for the most part, in my Illinois hometown.  I've heard that the DDT fog they used to use for mosquitoes may have killed them.  Another good reason to "preserve your memories".  You never know when what you love and take for granted will be gone.

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