Monday, October 23, 2017

Week of Swaps--Day 1

Japanese setting sun

This week, I wanted to share with you some of the swaps that I have completed on swap-bot. The first was a postcard challenge. The theme was "put a map on it. " My swap partner has an aversion to anything purple so I had to get creative.

My partner likes blues and greens though. I knew that I wanted to do something with some scraps of Japanese paper that I had laying around. First I used my stencil that simulates the Japanese setting sun. I used alcohol inks to provide color. The layout worked in reverse than I wanted. Rather than start over, I simply decided to reconsider.

To simulate the sun, I decided to use my paper scraps to represent the sun's rays. I chose three coordinating papers and used the stencil to cut out the rays.

Sun's rays
I wasn't quite happy with the half-round shape that I achieved. I took a red crane piece of scrap paper and used a hole punch to punch a circle. I pasted it in place and trimmed so it was flush with the card.

Much better
The upward flying crane is a symbol of good luck and it seemed appropriate.

I still needed to add a map so I took the circle punch and added the two maps to fulfill the theme of the swap. One was in black and white and I was sure to use a non-purple section of the Tokyo Metro map. I added three other images from a free guide booklet to complete the front.

Getting there
I had picked out some postage stamps to use but I just couldn't figure out where to put them. The front of the card still needed something so I dug through my stash of decorative papers and found this metallic speckled mulberry paper. It is a see through paper normally used as an overlay in Japanese gift wrapping. The gold and silver flakes are supposed to be good luck for the recipient. I ran the card through the Xyron machine and placed the paper on top of the card. Unfortunately, you only get one chance to get this right. There was a lot of deep breathing during this stage.

Finished card front
Mulberry paper detail
It then came time to concentrate on the back of the card. I had the perfect stencil to use--a koi stencil. I used my alcohol inks to create the koi. Remembering that my partner liked blues and yellows, I used those colors to fill in the background. My partner also collects used postage stamps so I added some Japanese stamps from my collection. I used the US-Japanese Cherry Blossom Forever stamp to apply postage (since the card is oversized, it requires first class postage).

Finished card back
I hope my swap partner likes the card. It is on its way to Belgium.

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