Sunday, March 27, 2011



For the past few days I have been hinting at a project I was working on. That project was making 10 handmade post cards for the iHanna 2011 Postcard Swap. I've read iHanna's Blog for three or four months and had seen info about her 2010 swap.  When the opportunity to participate in the swap this year came up, I decided I wanted in.  My postcards are now addressed and ready to go to the post office in the morning.  I thought I'd share my process - I'm really happy with the finished product - one of which is shown above.

I started with actual postcards as a base.  These were from the back of Keri Smith's fabulous book Living Out Loud.  I wasn't sure how else I might use them so using them as a base for some art to trade seemed like a really good use.


I built the actual postcards on mixed media paper that was first decoupaged with torn paper from a cool book called The Spark.  I had read it once and knew I wasn't going to read it again - but thought that a book about creativity would be an appropriate base for a creative project.  So...yes...I tore up a book and glued those torn pieces of the book pages down onto mixed media paper.  Those dried for a few days (and curled a lot - how do you keep that from happening?).


Now, it was time to get really creative.  I started by laying down a thin coat of gesso over all the pages because I knew I was going to use watercolor but I didn't want it quite that translucent.  After the gesso dried, I layed down watercolor in various shades of blue, red, and orange (one shade per sheet so they are monochromatic).  On a few pieces I tore some of the underlying paper a bit so the gesso acted like a resist if the paper was covered with gesso and it soaked in more on pages where I had torn back the gesso coated paper.  You can see the difference in this.

Piece with lots of torn paper for darker color
No turn paper - just a wash of color over gesso
 After the watercolor dried it was time to decorate.  I got so excited when the embossing powder and glitter and stamps came out (what girl wouldn't?) that I forgot to take photos of a lot of the parts of that process.  I stamped all the designs, added embossing powder and then heated to set the embossing powder.  I did take one shot mid-decorating.


All of the post cards dried and then got glued to their real postcard base.  Everything then spent some time (about two days) inside a stack of heavy books.  Of course the orange one at the top of this post is my favorite (orange is my signature color) but if you want to see the others, this flickr set shows all ten.  I can't wait to see the postcards I get from other swappers!


  1. I am so pleased that you shared the process and explained what is going on. The pictures on Flickr are great but I didn't understand what it was all about. You are so creative!

  2. Gorgeous cards! I'm impressed by all you people who are already finished with yours.

  3. I was just looking at your Flickr photos and came here. Love this set of postcards, and thanks for sharing the process!

  4. I'm participating in the swap, too. Your cards turned out very nicely, and I liked your step-by-step description of your process!

  5. Haha, this happens to me all the time; that I fall into the creative flow and forget to photograph the process. Thanks for sharing your lovely postcards and the process on how you made them Kara!


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