Thursday, January 5, 2012



 Hello and welcome to both you and 2012! Time for new colours, fresh inspiration and undiscovered creative paths!  Time to blow off the Festive Glitter and look ahead... I'm working you in gently with this months theme, Play Petite and getting into ATCs! Whatever your crafty passion may be, do feel welcome and enjoy making art. I'm hoping to inspire those crafty fingers, have lots of loveliness to share and give away, so hop on board. Firstly, let's talk to January's featured artist, the oh so creative Anneliese Bates.

 When I first started crafting a few years ago, Anneliese was one of the first artists I stumbled across. I was captured by her sumptuous colours, unique eye for design and wonderful imagery...and I'm still hooked today. Whatever Anneliese turns her diverse and talented hands hand to, it's always going to wow you!

Who is Anneliese Bates in five words?
Free spirit with inky fingers.
Where are you right now as an artist?  
I am thoroughly enjoying my personal creative journey, it has many twists and turns but my whole attitude to life is, that it is what you make it, so embrace the opportunities that are given. 
This applies to my art as much as it does to any other aspect of my life and I love finding new ways to play!
Which of your creations is closest to your heart?  
I suppose it's my Grunge Paper bag. I did it for Craft Stamper magazine as my first ever article. (Due to copyright, only a peek. Beg, borrow or steal Craft Stamper October 2009!)
But I also sent a couple of images to Tim to show him what I'd done with what was then his newest product... and it nearly led to it being on the packaging of Tim Holtz's Grunge Paper as inspiration. Alas, Craft Stamper had the copyright so it wasn't possible. But it was a lovely moment to be asked by Advantus knowing that Tim must have put it forward.
Where do you find inspiration when feeling Mojoless? Other peoples blogs are a constant source of inspiration, also crafty Youtube videos can be enough to get me saying "I NEED to do that" and getting my inks out again! 
You are going back-packing in the Himalayas for a year and may only take 3 crafting items. Which - and why?
Hmmm... That would have to be my Art Journal, Pens and water colour pencils. I always take my art journals away with me, the one I've just nearly finished has been to Holland, Devon and Spain with me this year. It's a great way of remembering things about your holidays but also it's an easy way to take your art with you!
Anneliese is a Certified Ranger Educator and designs for Craft Stamper. See her OWN fabulous range of rubber stamps here, join in her great workshops and be sure to check out her blog too!

Back at HQ...
Thanks so very much Anneliese - just fabulous. Really folks, you need to check out those stamp ranges and get to a workshop...if they're not already sold out!
Starting a new crafty year can be tricky. We've had the full on festive stuff, you may have lots of new goodies from Santa and are probably itching to try out some fresh moves...but where oh where to start? Well, that's why I thought Artist Trading Cards would be just perfect  for January. Petite, scrap-box friendly with themes and techniques galore! Read more about ATC history here. At just 2½ x 3½ inches yet with enough to room to play, ATCs are like a good Espresso!
Sometimes you just want to 'be creative' but you don't always want to embark on a major project. Maybe you fancy test-driving a new technique or different colours. An ATC offers you an open door to ponder and play without any major tears if it goes wrong. I just wanted to indulge my Vintage Vibes and work on colouring and blending with paint.
Sometimes I make a few ATCs to add to my swap box in case an exchange comes up but sometimes I'll start on an ATC, kind of fall in love with it and feel inspired to then incorporate into a larger piece as the main feature. I could be a card, tag or home décor. Here I ended up creating a wall hanging from an old book cover. Who knows where an ATC may take you?!
You don't need oodles of stash to create ATCs. During an ATC flurry, I always end up raiding my scrap box, using torn book pages and flicking through old collage sheets and stamps... I also love being able to blend a little beauty, humour and personal expression into an ATC. I was feeling rather iffy this week, physically and emotionally, and just put it all into this little lady!
As said, who knows what will happen, so along came this dame. The book page is washed with gesso, then randomly stamped and stitched. I added a torn strip, then glued my ladies in place, adding a slight shadow of charcoal around them for emphasis, blending well with a cotton bud. I have a fabulous book called Artist Trading Workshop by Bernie Berlin. It's a true gem and must-have!
And then there were three. I have a slight trio obsession... I followed the same basic format as before which then gives you more room to play with composition and mood. Hopefully you can see I try to balance out the main focal point - the lady - with a smaller piece such as the butterfly or words. It might sound a bit arty now, but we're touching on The Golden Mean and Rule of Thirds.

I'm not going to enforce any laws or demand you get a degree at Art School, but good composition and proportion are essential to a piece and ATCs are great little canvasses to practice on.
You'll probably do it naturally but it's good to delve into things, develop your artist's eye and to also know WHY a WHAT is working! Here is a great no nonsense, normal talking link to a Photographer's website that might give you a few tips and pointers.
And finally, another fun guy, the CHUNKY ATC which is basically the three dimensional model! Again, 2½ x 3½ inches but 1½ inches deep. I've sawn a block off an old piece of wood although some stores may sell ready made blocks. I love wood with all it's cracks and faults and they just love to be painted! A few coats with my Red Pepper Dabber did the trick...
I couldn't resist my Wendy Vecchi stamps and Art Parts, deciding if you going to do red, then be bold. Dig out those unused doorknobs!
Red and white always do it for me and if you still have some Festive colours around you're half way there. I used red and white paint, red archival ink and White Stazon. Again, oh so petite and a real pleasure to create. I think they make wonderful gifts too... just that bit different from a card and yet demure enough for any room. You can be as wacky or refined as you dare!

Challenge, Nice Stuff and Info...
Once again, we have reached our final destination and I'm all done with my ABC on the ATC! 
Art         Thou        Creative?
My Mojo Monthly is all about the why AND the what! Have you got a great take on this theme, or other inspired artwork you'd like to share? I'd love to see and hear about your creative adventures...  I'll be in everyday to take a look at your work but let me say Congratulations to December's winner Hettie with her fabulous tin and second MMM win! In February we'll be meeting the wonderful Tracy Evans

This months Giveaway is a fab Tim die and an awesome hand made journal by our fabulous Anneliese Bates! How about that!

My Mojo Monthly welcomes all hand-made crafters and artists. A few guidelines on submitting your work:
- In the spirit of MMM please write a few lines in your post about your creativity and why you want to share your work.
- You are very welcome to share challenge pieces, just tell me a bit about your inspiration.
- Please link directly to your post and not your blog so I can find you.
- Please add a link in your post to My Mojo Monthly, thanks!
- Multiple challenge photos without description will be removed.
- Feel free to take the MMM button for your blog - please do!

So all I'd like to do now is wish you all a very inspired, blessed and creative 2012... in all you do!

I also want to express many heartfelt thanks for so much support, lovely words and visits during the last year.
It takes two to Tango and it's good to be doing this together!


Crafty Loops said...

Wow Annaliese's projects are beautiful and as always Sarah, I love your projects. Your creativity is amazing. Lee x

Allycat x said...

I've been able to take a few of Annaliese's workshops which are great fun, I love her artwork & the Grunge Paper Bag is just stunning & really needs to be seen IRL to be fully appreciated :)
I like the ideal of the chunky ATC, may just have a go at one using an old business card box I've got, which would cool to keep little trinkets in x

Unknown said...

I did workshop with Annaliese and found her an amazing teacher, so inspiring and sure that everyone can do it.

I love making ATC's, have already done one this month, but reading this has got me buzzing with alternatives, I love the chunky one and am wondering what I have that could be cut to the right size!

Thanks for the inspiration.

Ellie Knol said...

I am going to enter this one...
just a little question Sarah, I finfd it very difficut to read you posts because of the background... maybe there is a solution to it, maybe you had some more questions about this?

Ellie Knol said...

... forgot to say, what a lovely cover with that little girl sleeping!! (first I thought it was an ATC) ... It makes me sleepy.. LOL

Nancy Wethington said...

Sarah, such beautiful work. The ATC's are my fave. So much detail on such a small space. Your art is always a beautiful thing to see.

Craft Addicts - Tracy Evans said...

Such a fabulous read Sarah and a great guest too. Love your ATC's, great design and composition. Tracy x

505whimsygirl said...


I haven't made any ATCs but am now ready to try. These are so great. Love the colors and the vintage vibe. Can't wait until other creatives link up so I can puruse.....


Trish Latimer said...

Sarah your ATCs are fabulous! i adore the chunky ATC, the colours are stunning and the idea to use those those keys as legs is genius!

Terry said...

My goodness Sarah your Dimensional ATC is absolutey beautifull such a great idea, fabulous colors and the Wendy butterfly mmmm total yummieness wow....also your projects are just great completely amazing Hugs terry xxx

Alison said...

A brilliant read as usual Sarah! I have Bernie's book too, it's fab! Love all your little works of art, been so long since I made an ATC, might just have to join in!
Happy new year!
Alison xx

Unknown said...

Thanks for all this new inpiration. Love your 3D ATC in red and white. And the "normal" ATC's are stunning too.

Juls said...

inspirational post!!! Hugs Juls

Maggy_Tronche said...

Wow super projects!! Love your work! You are very talented girl! Thanks for sharing and for the inspiration! Big Hugss.. Maggy :)

Sharon Field / Inky A*Muse-ment said...

Love making ATC's, layering,with techniques dimension and masking! I'm off to make one this morning.. love the inspiration you've provided!

HeARTworks said...

Hi sarah, I love making ATCs! Yours are especially wonderful! I put ATCs in my scrapbook layouts for my Europe trip. I exchanged my ATCs for others' ATCs with the Eiffel tower, colliseum, madonnas, etc. It turned out so special! A wonderfully blessed new year to you and your family! Patsy from

peggy aplSEEDS said...

your ATCs are wonderfully composed. i love all the details you've put in them! i'm always inspired when i visit you, Sarah! happy creating! hugs,
peggy aplSEEDS

Elizabeth said...

Hi Sarah, love the interview and your ATCs are so good I feel mine is somewhat lacking. This is only the third I've ever attempted and I can see I have a lot to learn so it's back to the drawing board for me :) Thanks for this monthly inspiration ... I don't always enter but enjoy doing so when I can. Loved your article in Craft Stamper this month and I still have a couple of old book covers, picked up for your last MMM, awaiting transformation. Elizabeth x

Sarn said...

Great post Sarah and I just love the projects covered.

NEVER seen a CHUNKY ATC before . . . great idea . . . yours is FAB.

As you can see, I can now comment and get on your blog, but thanks for linking me up. xxx

Michele said...

i found your blog thanks to marjie kemper's blog and WOW this is full of stunning and happy beauty. i've become a follower and hope to join this ATC challenge but if not this one then i'll be joining another. lovely lovely. xo

Jenn Borjeson said...

Holy cow - new stalker here! :) LOVE your style - I will definitely be back and would love to play along. Thanks! :)

Maggie said...

Wow some fab projects and ATCs, I'm a newbie here have wanted to play for a while and managed it this month, just entered my piece
thanks for the inspiration.

Maggie H

sandra de said...

Ohhh your ATC's are divine and it looks like you have some wonderful entries. Thanks so much for sharing the interview with AB and now must scoot over and check her blog. My cyber exploring will never end.

karen said...

Hi Sarah!
Your ATC's are wonderful!
I finally have entered your Mojo Monthly! Although, I see my ATC is really just a miniature portrait and maybe not what a true ATC should be. But I still entered anyway as I had fun doing it and learned that the small size is very freeing to try new things! I think you have started me off on a fun journey! Next I will do some ATC's more like your other entries, more collage style!
xoxo Karen

Hettie said...

Fabulous post and wonderful inspiring guest as always Sarah. You have started something now, both with ATCs and Collage thanks to my prize last month! Thanks soooo much Sarah - you are awesome!