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ARTELLAGRAM - August 21, 2007
August 22, 2007

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I just returned from the Art Unraveled art conference, where I spent a week in a joyful combination of speaking, teaching, and taking classes. I'll be sure to post some photos of the art I created in my blog in the Artella Cafe. On the full-day shopping event, Tony, Aunt Bobby, and I ran a booth filled with Artella magazines and vintage ephemera from the Vintage Ephemera Market. That's me in the booth above! :-) It was such fun to see people go through our stashes of "Instant Ancestors" and pick out the photographs and cabinet cards that spoke to them.

Vintage art - that is, creating art with elements from days gone by - is extremely popular right now. An obvious reason for its popularity is its look; aged, antiqued elements are soft, delicate, and aesthetically intriguing and mysterious. But I think the reason behind the surge in vintage art goes beyond that. In today's world, we are bombarded with all things modern: technology, communications, pressures, all escalating within the context of an extraordinarily high-paced daily tempo. Whether we are consciously aware of it or not, I believe working on art projects with a vintage flair is emotionally grounding because it brings us back to a simpler, quieter time. Whether we're working with items from our own family history, or with "adopted" ancestors that we find ourselves caring about, vintage projects always find a way to bring us home.

Cabinet cards are a type of photograph that was produced in the mid-1850s in Europe and from 1860 into the early 20th Century in America. For the most part, cabinet cards are albumen prints, which means that they used the albumen found in egg whites to bind the photographic chemicals to the paper and produce an image from a negative. They are usually about 4.5" x 6.5" and are mounted on cardboard backs that include beautiful logos by the photography company that produced the images.

Here are some ways that cabinet cards can be used in art:
  • Alter the cabinet photo using paint, gel pens, colored pencils, and embellishments (see example photo). The surface of cabinet cards has a smooth texture that takes to these agents well. Just be sure to let your markings dry completely, since the surface isn't very porous.

  • surface of the card, creating designs. If you like, you can then rub paint, inks, or colored pencils over your marks, and the marks will act as a resist and show through.

  • For an interesting effect, cut out parts of the cabinet card, using an X-acto knife, and replace the parts with other photographs. For example, you could replace the face of one card with an image taken from another cabinet card.

  • Scan the cabinet card and print out as many copies as you want which you can use in all kinds of art projects. Try printing on different kinds of paper, including specialty papers like vellum and transparency paper. You can also iron freezer paper to the back of fabric, and that lets you run fabric through your printer.

  • Of course, you can also use cabinet cards "as-is" to serve as accents to any art piece. For example, a cabinet card of a young girl would serve as a wonderful focal image in an art journal spread on the theme of innocence.

If you're thinking about playing around with cabinet cards, the $1.99 Vintage Ephemera Market is one place you can find them much cheaper than elsewhere, as long as you're flexible in the images you work with.

Photographs of strangers provide some wonderful juice for creative writing. Here are a few writing prompts for you to try when looking at photographs:
  1. What is this person trying to tell you?
  2. Where has this person traveled?
  3. What is her biggest secret?
  4. What part of you does she know about, that nobody else does?
  5. What did she dream last night?
  6. What letter is she putting off writing?
  7. What was the last thing that made her cry?
Answering these types of prompts, as well as coming up with your own, is a great way to stretch writing muscles and develop a sense of personal detail. Give it a try!

Excerpted from the eBook, Behind the Veil: Visual Prompts for Creative Writing

1. Special Free Event Invitation For Writing And Publishing Advice! ! We are so excited about the different events we've been presenting as part of the Artella Member Ship Creativity Cruise Series, that we thought we'd open the next event to everyone, and not just Members, just so you can get a sense of how nifty these events are!

You are very cordially invited to join us for a truly exciting panel on "Getting Published", to be held THIS Thursday, August 23, at 8:30pm Eastern Time. You'll get to meet seven published authors who will be there to answer your questions about all types of published books, including traditional publishing both with and without an agent, self-publishing, and e-Publishing.

This is one of our highlighted summer events, and we are honored to have such notable published authors on the panel, including:
  • Kathy Cano Murillo, author of five books, including Crafty Chica's Art de la Soul (Rayo/HarperCollins), and La Casa Loca (Rockport)
  • Janice Taylor, author of Our Lady of Weight Loss (Studio)
  • Jill Badonsky, author of The Nine Modern Day Muses (and a Bodyguard) (Penguin) and the forthcoming The Awe-manac: A Daily Guide to Creative Brilliance and Agelessness (Running Press)
  • Karen M. Jones, author of The Difference A Day Makes (New World Library)
  • Dan Gremminger, co-author of Deep River Dark, a self-published children's book
  • Constance Bates, author of Supping On Roses, a small press poetry compilation
  • Alicia Forest, successful online e-publisher

While the Creativity Cruise events are usually just for Cabin Members, we've opened this one to be free for one and all. Space is limited, so reserve your spot here.

See the full calendar for the other events in the coming weeks, which are free to all Deluxe and Luxury Cabin Members, right here.

2. Get a Free eBook on Vintage Art! For the next week, you can receive a free copy of one of our newest eBooks, Artbituaries Assembled, with your order of $20 or more. Artbituaries Assembled is a compilation of the best "Artbituaries" articles from The Artella Daily Muse, now presented in a gorgeous new design by Tammy Hensley. It regularly sells for $10, and it's a free gift to you with this special.

To pick up your book, go shopping as usual, and when your total has reached at least $20, simply add Artbituaries Assembled to your cart. When you check out, use coupon code: ARTBIT8 and the price of the eBook will automatically be deducted.

This coupon is valid only through until next Tuesday, August 30, and all Artella products can be used to reach the total of $20.

3. American Idol Doesn't Have Anything On Us! We are so pleased to announce the winners of the latest Poetic Idol Competition:
  • 1st Place -- Kevin Craig
  • 2nd Place -- Dee Hedrani Andrilla
  • 3rd Place -- April Johnson
You can read their poems, as well as poems by the other Honor Awardees, in the Poetry Gardens. Thanks to all of you who voted in the Artella Cafe - it was great fun to award the prizes based on your votes!

The Artella Community will also select the winners of the next Poetic Idol Competition, and the deadline for entering is August 31, 2007. You can enter up to three poems and compete for great prizes, including the new $200 top award. August 31 is just around the corner, so take a look at the guidelines and we hope to see your poems!

4. Come by the Cafe! If you haven't hung out in the new Artella Cafe yet, be sure to visit! With over 20 forums just for art and creativity, plus great personal blogs, galleries, and free download gifties, it's the perfect place to make new connections and get inspired! Plus, you actually get rewarded for being part of the community when you earn Cafi points that are redeemable for great gifts!

We're hearing terrific things from people who've joined the Cafe:

"This is the first true artist community on the Net. I absolutely love it! Marney and the Artella folks have created a fantastic place where artists and writers can meet and give full expression to their passion." - Bill Charlebois, ("billizetti" in the Cafe)

"Wow! I am so amazed! Because this website is more wonderful than I ever imagined an artistic website could be. To offer a blog and an art gallery to everyone so we may share our thoughts on creativity and showcase the art we create...I am so inspired by all these women and men. I know I have found the right place for me to be me." -"romantikpoetry" in the Cafe

We hope you'll grab an Artella-style fruit-juice-with-a-swizzle-stick and join us in the Cafe!

5. Updated Issue Themes and New Guidelines for Artella Submissions! The Submissions Shore has been updated to reflect the upcoming themes of Artella print issues, and provides instructions on how to submit your writing and art to the various Artella publications. Take a look at the Submissions Shore, here!

6. Attention all Luxury Art Studio Cabin members!Look for August's Studio Kit very soon! The theme is "Old-Time Arts, Crafts, and Hobbies" and it is more overflowing with artistic papers and images than ever!

If you're not a Luxury Art Studio Cabin Member yet, you can find information here. New Members can sign up on that page; existing Members can upgrade to a Luxury Art Studio Cabin on the Member Profile page. You'll receive the "Summer Vacation" kit immediately, and you'll get the "Old-Time Arts, Crafts, and Hobbies" kit as soon as it comes out.

7. Remember September Project Once again this year, Artella is honored to host the Web page for the Remember September Project, which is an annual call for mail art to commemorate September 11. I invite you to read about this very special project created by Gail Ellspermann, and join me in creating an envelope this year.

8. Interested in working for Artella?We're once again looking for barterers who would like to work with us. All the great people currently in paid employ with Artella got started as barterers, and we only hire from within the Artella community, so if employment with Artella is something you'd like in the long run, or even if you are only interested in helping out part-time now, in exchange for all the nifty Artella goods you like, here's what we are generally looking for. If you possess the following skills, either in combination or you have great ability in even one of them, then that probably means you we really, really need you! :-)

Strong Office and Organization Skills, Database Entering, Advertising, Sales, Online Research, Web Site Troubleshooting, General Computer Programming, Transcribing Audio to Text, and Strong Computer Proficiency in major programs like MS Word, Excel, Adobe Photoshop, In-Design, etc.

Well, hopefully that gives you a brief idea of the few things we could use your help with :-). In addition to your wonderful skills, you'd probably fit right in if you have: a fun and artsy personality, real gratitude for just being alive, the desire to inspire others and make a really positive change in the world, a sincere love of all Artella is and can be, and the desire to work with a truly amazing team of caring, creative and passionate people who feel the same way. You can get an application to fill out by clicking here to send us an eMail.

This Quotz Crystal™ is a high-resolution jpeg image, suitable for printing. After spending so much time with vintage photos, this quote really spoke to me:

If the image doesn't appear, you can go to to see it.

Aloha from Artella Land,

Artella Founder and Dream Surfer

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