Monday, April 2, 2018

Nine Art Cards for the New Year by Frieda Oxenham

At the beginning of this year I became aware of a project on Instagram organized by iHanna and DaisyYellowArt with the hashtag  #365somethings2018. The idea was to do some art every day of 2018. It doesn’t have to be a finished piece of art. You just have to do something, anything; the choice is up to you. It struck me that this would be a great project to use up some art cards I had bought (so long ago that I have no idea any longer why!). I dug them up and discovered that they were still available so I made sure I had at least 365 to do my project of #365artcards with. They are from Peter Pauper Press Inc, and called Artist’s Tile Set. One pack contains 75 acid free tiles (300gsm). They are very sturdy and have stood up to whatever I have thrown at them.

I’m making my cards in batches, doing a bit on them every day and eventually I hope to end up with 365 finished cards. I upload the finished cards on my Instagram feed and already have received some questions as how I made them, so I thought I would share one method here.
There is really no right or wrong way to make them, there is simply your way whatever that may be. The following tutorial is one of my ways!

1.      Gesso your cards with an old credit or hotel key card.

2.      Using the card again scrape paint over your cards in a random fashion. I used the following paints (all Fresco ones by PaperArtsy): Tango, Banana, London Bus, Orchid, Baltic Blue and Tinned Peas. 

3.      Once the cards have dried totally, scrape on more paint (using a contrasting color to what is already on the cards but sticking with the above selection of colors) and remove the paint with a baby wipe through stencil Soulful Scribbles Dots Dash.

4.      Repeat step 3 using Titanium White paint.

5.      Add rubber stamping to the cards using a variety of textural stamps.

6.      Using Soulful Scribbles Dots Dash again with Soulful Scribbles Flourishes, add Titanium White as well as the colors mentioned in step 2 to the cards.

7.      Again let the cards dry thoroughly (I do this between each step but you could also use a heat gun to speed up the process) and using the same stencils as step 6 spray on a mica spray for a sparkling effect. I used Perfect Pearls Mists Forever Violet. It’s hard to capture the effect on a picture but here is a glimpse:

8.      Now it is time to start thinking about focal images and for this I used a variety of stencil including the small and medium stencil July 2017 StencilClub, the medium stencil from October 2015 StencilClub, as well as FridgePoetry stencil. Also one of the stars from the large stencil from August 2017 StencilClub.

9.      Now it is time for the finishing touches. That means outlining selected shapes with black or white permanent markers, adding the final focal point (I have used text for this on all my cards) and edging the cards with a permanent stamp pad in a colour that matches the cards in question.
In the process of making these nine cards I have produced many more by simply using up left over paints from my palette and just repeating the process with the same colors and stencils which is why you are sometimes seeing different cards in the pictures. I am now showing you some of the ones I was most happy with and then there are 3 cards in more detail.

For the card below I found the word Cholera in a vintage (1792) account book. It was a perfect fit and I outlined it with a Stabilo All pencil.

For the next card I used a text stamp in the background, outlined all the shapes and added vintage text that I edged using a stamp pad.

This card pleased me particularly. There is some music sheet in the background, some shapes from the medium stencil from the October 2015 Club set as well as pieces of a vintage dictionary page.

These cards and all the others I am making will find their way to my Instagram feed. So if you want to see some more, that’s where they will be added as the year progresses. And remember you can start such cards at any time and you don’t need to make 365. Once finished you can treasure them or you can use them as collage fodder for your art journal or any future art project.
(C) Frieda Oxenham 2018. To see more of Frieda's work, please visit her BLOG.


  1. These cards are wonderful, Frieda. An artist’s art practice is greatly benefitted by doing art every day, and these cards would be perfect for those days when life events only give you so much time in the studio! That said, you have created cards that are both beautiful and meaningful, with enough complexity to make them really interesting

  2. Love these! Thanks for sharing your technique!

  3. I like this idea! I have many many many many blank ATCs {I love buying the blanks with the idea of using them . . . and then they sit) and I can see myself doing what you did with the tiles, coloring them in batches then working on the add-ons at a different time.

  4. Wonderful tutorial! Thanks, Frieda ♡


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