Thursday, June 18, 2009

one year

Today is my one year blog anniversary. ***small fistfuls of glittery confetti joyfully thrown into the air*** Granted, I haven't had much (if any) of a blog presence for awhile. But here I am. Again. I thought since my very first post started with a photo of some of my artist trading cards, I would again honour my latest batch, which was traded a few weeks ago.

The technique I used is probably quite well-known amongst mixed-media junkies:
  1. Find a magazine image that appeals to you.
  2. Using shelf paper or sticky labels or glue, block off the parts that you wish to remain intact.
  3. Once the labels are adhered or the glue is dry, rub the rest of the image, including text, with a wad of Nevr-Dull® Magic Wadding Polish until you achieve the effect you desire.
  4. Peel off the shelf paper or sticky labels (if you are using glue just leave it as is) to reveal your masterpiece.
  • Nevr-Dull is a metal polish that gives your page a painterly, ethereal quality as it smooshes around the ink on your magazine page
  • The best place to find it is in the automotive washing and cleaning section of your local hardware my case - Canadian Tire - my favourite store!
  • If you are sensitive to chemicals and strong smells, avoid this activity altogether or make sure you have good ventilation - the stuff is strong!

I enjoyed using this technique on my cards because I love that ethereal effect and it's satisfying to have an image that says more than it did when you first spied it in the magazine. To do this you can remove an image entirely, fade out an image so it appears as a ghostly presence, obliterate text or leave a faint trace of it, play with colour as you move it around with your Nevr-Dull wadding, or purposely (or accidently) rip the paper for another interesting effect. You never know what your final effect will be until it's finished. There are always surprises.

I sometimes make the mistake of thinking that the artist trading cards I make are just "fun" and have nothing to do with my "real work". But everything creative feeds everything creative. And as I'm describing my Nevr-Dull technique to you I realize that I am doing exactly what I do when I make other "real work": focusing on form and composition, subtracting elements to create a feeling or a narrative, manipulating my materials to achieve various effects that strengthen the work.

So in honour of my first blog anniversary and in honour of trying new techniques, I will enter the names of all those who leave comments on this post in a draw. THE PRIZE: a can of Nevr-Dull® Magic Wadding Polish! Woohoo! This can will be purchased at Canadian Tire using the "wad" of Canadian Tire money (a Canadian institution) that I have been collecting for years and have never cashed in. In keeping with this Canadian connection, the draw will take place on Canada Day...July 1st. So roll those comments in for your very own can of magic wadding polish!

And speaking of artist trading cards, my parents were visiting at the end of May to help me celebrate my 50th (gasp) birthday and while they were here my Mom created her first-ever artist trading cards and accompanied me to her first-ever trade, which she thoroughly enjoyed. I also helped her get started on her own blog so take a peek at her artist trading cards and her birthday surprise for me, both documented on her blog, upbeat meanderings.



Congratulations on your bloganniversary and its nice to have you back.
That can of magic is fantastic, but I don't think its going to cross borders and seas very well to get to India so I'll settle for one of your magical ATC's instead if that's all right with you.
Shall check out your Mom's blog.Cheers

Ronna said...

Happy you're back! And love those cards. Was wondering how you did them. MIght be a good technique for ATC Quarterly, eh?

Jeane said...

good morning Kate - happy bloganniversary! this is totally new to me and I definitely want to be included in the draw! I checked your mom's blog and about busted a gut - is that one of the funniest things I've ever seen?! Yes it is - and belated happy birthday - glad to see you back here :)

Robyn said...

Happy "One Year" anniversary, Kate. So glad you're back.
"Everything creative feeds everything creative"....I like that. Please count me in...though as Embellisher mentioned perhaps the polish wont make it across the sea. I would love to try it though.

Jo Horswill said...

Thanks for my Haiku, gorgeous Kate...made me rush over here to "see" you :)'s your 1st blog anniversary (I remember how excited I was to find you) and you are giving out gifts!!!
Now, I think Mr H has some polishing wadding in the don't count me in your draw... but a big Happy 1st to you :)
Now, I'm off to visit your mum's site...I'm so happy, Jo xxx

Uschi said...

Kate!! Like Jo I headed over from her place to your place....
Thank you for this beautiful birthday gift ( I surely will try it!) and a big HURRAY!! to see you!
Please don't think about sending "Never dull" over to Europe...I can get it here...and I don't want to be another reason for a climate desaster ;)

ciann said...

Good to see you back blogging, it has inspired me to get back at mine. I am excited to try out your technique and pass it on to others.

kvk said...

How cool is that to have a mom that blogs! And you ATC's are great.
Nice to have you back on-line.

A rambling rose said...

Welcome back Kate and congrats on blogging for a year! Must try and get something similiar to that polishing stuff overhere in the Uk - great effect! Thanks

Shayla said...

I'd heard of never dull before and love the results you come up with. That's a good point about fun art and work art. It's really all art and keeps our skills sharp. Glad to see you again, Kate.

(Thanks for the warning. I'm sensitive to fumes, so don't count me in the draw. Happy Blogaversary!)

marlana said...

Glad to have you back online Kate! It was certainly Never Dull to read your posts. I had a pot of the product for about 6 years (when it finally got thrown out!) without ever realizing it's amazing artistic qualities! Another good example of why to keep EVERYTHING.

notmassproduced said...

welcome back and happy blogday! I love ur atc's especially the one with the figures leaping. Thanks for sharing the technique.

kate said...

Hello all and thanks for your blog anniversary wishes!

As I read your comments I realized that in my enthusiasm to tie in my latest post with my anniversary draw, I didn't really think things out properly. As Embellisher, Robyn, and Uschi pointed out, it may not be an easy task to send Nevr-Dull across the ocean! And then there are those (like Shayla) who are sensitive to chemicals.

So I will enter you all in the draw, as promised, on July 1st, and I will give the winner the option of a can of Nevr-Dull and/or a small handmade book which has an element of the Nevr-Dull technique.

There is still time to enter the draw so keep those comments coming!

Seth said...

Congratulations on one year of blogging. That is a milestone!! And this technique is so cool. The effects really are "painterly." Can't resist throwing my hat in the ring!!

Judy Martin said...

Hello Kate
You met my daughter April in Haliburton and she reminded me about you. What a small world. I shall look at your mother's blog - and for sure I am going to look for a can of that magic swooshing stuff at Canadian Tire. Thanks for all that good information, and what gorgeous and thought provoking work you do.

kate said...

judy...It is a small world! I was amazed when not only did I meet a fellow non-Haweater Islander in my silversmithing class, but when I learned that she lives less than 50km from me and is the daughter of an artist that I so admire. Your work is wonderful! For all those who may read this comment...check it out at
And by the way, your daughter April is lovely!