Today I wanted to ponder for a little while on the attribute of quality. Doing the best you can - not settling for doing an adequate job just to get you by.
“One of the rarest things a man ever does, is to do the best he can.” Josh Billings
As you all know I love to spend my time making pretty things - but I just hate to create just to create. The house gets over run with too many of my art pieces and both Sir Knight and I have the packrat gene - so things like this have a tendency to escalate into mounds of pretty stuff. That’s why I like joining these swaps and making ATC’s (Artist Trading Cards) - I get a chance to be creative - and I don’t have a pile of my stuff laying around - yes I know I have other peoples stuff I hang on to - but that is different. Really it is.
Once again I joined two swaps for this month because I love the challenge to work with the different varying themes and because it pushes me and my muse to strive for quality work.
“Quality is everyone, responsibility.” W. Edward Deming
So let me share the fruits of this months labors with you.
The Blissful ATC Swap is the first part of the month and this months theme was a special picture which Wendy gave us that had to be used in whole or in part in the card. I told my self I was ready - but after seeing the picture I really wasn’t so sure.
Here is the picture we were given to use.
My partner for this swap was the extremely talented Donna over at Brynwood Needleworks - so I will say I was intimidated a bit right from the get go. If you have ever been over to her blog - you know her work is just gorgeous. Our e-mails indicated that both of us were rather stumped on what to do with the picture - so at least I felt like I was on a more even playing field. So we both thought and thought and then got to work.
Here is the card Donna sent me. It is made entirely out of fabric - using silk and even silk thread. Oh be still my heart - It is beautiful. And I love it. Look at those pretty beads, OH my!!!! If that wasn’t enough she also sent me a beautiful journal - which carried through with the dragonfly theme. Love it Donna, thank you so very much.
In my minds eye I knew that this needed to be oriental - but how to execute - that was the problem So my first attempt was mostly done digitally using an oriental temple as my background - adding some writing and this cute little girl - holding the card and a potion of the card used as a moon. But when I printed it and sat looking at it I hated it - It was much to busy .
Card # 1 - (rejected)
Card #3 (sent)
not sure why blogger loaded it in out of order
Car #2 (sent)
So I started again and this time I used an old historic map of the silk road as my background - added an oriental dragon to the map and my little girl from the first try. I printed it out and it was adequate - but I still wasn’t pleased I added it to a red brocade background to give it little bit of pop and add a pair if blue dragonflies - I called it Traveling Along the Silk Road. It was getting better but I told Sir Knight I still wasn’t sure about it.
So the next day I made my third card - the good old fashioned way - by hand . I quilled dark brown paper to form a branch and then hand water colored the petals for my Japanese Cherry blossom (No paper I had was just quite delicate enough for me - so I mad my own) Then I added my little girl holding the card - by this point I was quite attached to this little girl - also again used the idea of the circle on the card being a moon and attached a gold dragon fly. Titled this one Dragonfly Moon.
Now this I liked but I wasn’t sure which one would appeal to Donna. So I sent her both of them - told her to keep the one she liked best and throw the other out if she wanted.
“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction, and skillful execution; It represent the wise choice of many alternatives.” William A. Foster
To be honest I’m still not sure I can say that either of the cards - really struck a cord with my soul - so using that picture sure was a challenge for me.
We got our Treasure Barn Partners around the 11th of the month and the theme for this month was shamrocks. My partner was Tiffine, in the sunny state of California and since her computer was down for repairs - I wasn’t able to get a feel for her personality or her likes and dislike - but I pressed on.
Tiffine sent me two cards look at these are they not lovely. They are beautiful and I love them. Thank you so much Tiffine.
The title of this one is Saint Patrick
The card she sent with both ATC's
Here is the card I made - Using a book theme as my background - I copied a cute little child’s rhyme about shamrock on one page of the book and used a vintage little lassie on the other page. Of course - there is a bit of glitter -you know me - it’s not finished until the glitters on. I then added a ribbon bookmark and a few emerald green gems. And titled it: The sweet symbol of Ireland.
Then of course I made a card to send with it.
“It is easier to do a job right; than to explain why you didn’t.” Martin Van Buren
Now if that wasn’t enough excitement for a month I received another surprise in the mail today - Its envelope battered and worn, stamped and restamped -I think the poor thing traveled the country a bit before reaching me. The original post mark says March 5th so it may even have traveled the silk road . Who knows.
Here is the card from my partner in the Blissful ATC Swap from February. Titled Shelter from the rain.
The cards with her card.
Wow this has almost turned into a novel - so I best stop for the evening.