Tag Archives: technique

Just Add Sunlight!

Just Add Sunlight!

This Winter in Indiana is one for the record books. Even the most hardened of people are tiring of the cold, snow and ice. I’m a sunshine lover, anyway, so I’m finding this year to be particularly challenging.

I recently created an ATC that shares my need for sunlight. This ATC changes color when exposed to the sun!


How did I create this magic? The trick is a special nail polish I purchased while on a cruise. At one of the ports, there was a Del Sol store that sold items that react to sunlight by changing color. My daughter and I bought several colors, including the clear one that changes to hot pink (she thought it would be a good trick to paint my husbands nails with the clear when he was asleep…haven’t yet tried that, though!)


The theme of the swap was Alice in Wonderland, so I took pages I had already removed from an old book that I am altering. I cut out Alice and colored her with Copic markers and sealed with Diamond Glaze.



I layered text and illustration from the book pages, but did not add Alice yet. I used Mod Podge, matte, to adhere everything. When it dried, I covered it in Versamark medium and coated with UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel). I melted the UTEE with a heat gun, and then allowed it to cool. I used the UTEE because I was afraid the nail polish wouldn’t work as well if absorbed into the paper.




When it cooled, I painted the entire ATC with the clear Del Sol nail polish. The nail Polish had sparkles in it, so it wasn’t entirely clear. After it dried, I took it out into the sunlight to see if it worked. It did! There were a few places lighter than others, so I gave it a second coat.

Once it was completely dry, I added the cut out and colored image of Alice. Then I used gold embossing powder to embellish the edges of the ATC.


I took it outside, and it immediately began changing color.


It also immediately began changing back as soon as I brought it inside, but I still thought this was super cool. It may be the first of its kind! I sent it to my friend, Sheryl, in Arkansas and she described it as the first “solar powered” ATC she had seen!

So here’s to our need for sunshine!


Using Cancelled Postage Stamps


You may have noticed that I enjoy using cancelled postage stamps in my ATCs. One reason is because I always enjoy Upcycling and reusing old items, especially those things that most people just toss into the trash.

The second reason is because some postage stamps are tiny pieces of art themselves, and it is such a waste for them to be tossed away and forgotten. I swap with many international swappers, and the postage I receive from other countries is phenomenal! I especially love to use foreign postage in my artwork.

When using cancelled postage, it obviously calls for some type of collage technique. I often use colorful scrapbook paper as part of the background on a postage stamp ATC.


I also like to include pages from old, beat up books I find at yard sales. Vintage medical books and dictionaries are some of my favorites…


…As well as using foreign language text that international swappers generously share with me.


Pieces of maps are also a favorite background, especially when they represent the same country as the stamp. In this ATC below, I titled it “Planes, Trains and Automobiles;” therefore, I used three different stamps from different places. Since the theme was transportation, I thought a map was the most fitting background.


However, do not feel limited to just using paper. There are many other items and embellishments that can be added to the ATC for added interest.


One of my favorite things to do is actually draw part of the ATC along with a postage stamp. Sometimes I attempt to complete the picture that the stamp is a part of, such as in the first one below. Other times, I just draw a complimentary background, such as with Dr. Seuss.

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Overall, I think that using old postage in my ATCs is a fun, environmentally friendly way to to create ATCs, and the beautiful stamps are a great inspiration to me in my artwork.

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