I realized it’s been a while since I last blogged about my crafting hobby. When I started blogging, I mainly shared my projects. Anyway, I joined an ATC (Artist Trading Cards) swap with the Pinoyscrapbookers eGroup. There are 10 ladies in my group so I needed to make 9 to send to them. In return, I get to receive an ATC each from the 9 other members of our group. Our theme was “It’s more fun in the Philippines” in commemoration of our independence day this June.

I made 11 ATCs instead of just 9. One is for me, and the other is for a future swap. 

I decided to incorporate local postage stamps in my ATC design. So first thing I did was to dig through a pile of old letters, mostly from 1994-1996. I took out the stamps and set them aside.

Then, I typed “Mabuhay!” on a sheet of cardstock and printed it. I cut the words into small strips and inked the edges.

I went through my stash of paper scraps and came up with a few small sheets that I’d like to use. I cut them into 2.5 x 3.5 cards, and rounded the corners using my Corner Chomper. I then stamped the back with my ATC clear stamp (Studio Calico). I wrote the ATC info save for the title which at this point was still undecided.

I took out my jar of modeling paste and searched for my stencils. I decided to use the Hot Air Balloon stencil from Prima, which I got in one of the classes I enrolled in last year. I placed the hot air balloon on the card and applied modeling paste on top using a spatula. When I lifted the mask, a three-dimensional impression is left on the card. I repeated this process on all the cards. I decided I’ll just use one design to simplify. I spread them out on the table to dry. It only took a few minutes since I only applied a thin layer of the modeling paste.

After they have dried, I distressed the edges using dye ink and a foam applicator. Then I assembled the card. I attached the “Mabuhay!” strip on a metal clip, tied a rafia twine on the pin, adhered it on the card and stuck the stamp on top of the stem of the clip. I used decoupage glue to adhere the stamp, and even brushed the glue on the stamp to seal it.

Once the glue has dried, I finished with more distress ink to blend the stamp into the background. The finished project is simple but interesting. There’s a lot of Pinoy elements on it – the stamps, the Mabuhay strip, and even the rafia twine. There is texture and dimension from the modeling paste and the layered elements. The title of the ATC is Mabuhay Pilipinas. Here’s a closer look.

Written by Alby Laran

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