Thursday, May 13, 2010

Alphabet inchies, artful interior decorating, and you!

I participated in a fun little swap over on Craftster (my first ever) where we made a full set of alphabet inchies, then distributed some of the letters to each partner, resulting in a lovely mishmash of art from several different sources.

Here is the hand-drawn set I made:

I started by drawing a one-inch grid onto a sheet of watercolor paper. Then I painted different colored backgrounds using watercolors and cut out the squares after the paper dried. I ended up with about a hundred ready-to-go inchie blanks of different colors and shades. I kept them in a plain white envelope that sits next to my computer and whenever the mood struck, I'd pull one out and doodle something on it. Then I just added the letters cut from an old cheesy romance novel (titled The Spanish Bride in case anyone cares), inked the image details and the inchie edges, then strengthened them by pasting to cardboard.

The most fun part for me was the inking. It was a good excuse for me to stock up on different sizes of inking pens. I love adding tiny details to things that give it an overall unifying effect. So, I basically just sat at my computer listening to music, watching television or reading articles, and doodled on inchies. The P for Pebble inchie, for instance, came from doodling different rock shapes while planning out another project using pebbling as a quilt filler stitch.

I've never really ventured too far into the world of inchies before this project. Much like ATCs (Artist Trading Cards), where the only restriction is size, inchies can be a very fluid medium to work in. It's like a little challenge for your brain, trying to both let loose on creativity, but still hold it within a 1"x1" square. I've found it's a great exercise for pushing through a creative block. If you mess up, you've only wasted a scrap-sized piece of paper.

This is the combined set of inchies I received from my six partners. I absolutely ADORE these inchies! Lisa used coordinating paint chips to make hers, Kira made lovely little owl drawings, and Teffy even re-sent hers because I lost the first set! (With the help of a careless cat...) I love all of the inchies, especially the little owl on the W and the "and" inchie. I also think the whole set fits together as a whole quite nicely.

I haven't quite decided what I'm going to do with them. I'll probably mount them to make a nice wall piece. A lot of other crafters participating in the swap were talking about mounting their sets, and it really struck me as a quite appealing idea. I'd really love to cover my walls with art and projects from everywhere. Since I haven't decided yet how to mount my inchies, I'm keeping them in one of my little antique teacups. I love the idea of using antique china to store things in.

Arranged smartly on my shelf next to some fat quarters, my broken-then-glued-back-together ceramic jar, a coil of old guitar strings, and a love letter from Dane. (It says I love you in Chinese.)
(On a side note, I dream of a sewing room where I cover every surface with ridiculous stuff like this. I find it emotionally and creatively stimulating to be surrounded by the controlled chaos of the space around me. I also like a room to feel comfortable, lived in, and inviting.)

Spawned from the Alphabet Inchies Swap was talk in the Craftster forums about a swap of themed inchies, so I also joined that one when Lisa posted it. I had such a blast making these ones and I can't wait to do different sets. (I'll ultimately be making somewhere around 100 inchies for the Inchie Theme Swap.) I suppose I should get started! :p

By the way, I would also be up for private one-on-one swaps if anyone's interested!


Shashi Nayagam said...

Wow they are lovely!