a peek inside the fishbowl

13 Jul, 2006

Attempted Trading Card

Posted by andrea in: Guest postings

Trumpet fanfare, banners fly, a proclamation is made:

As promised, inspired by Andrea, Marla the guest-poster made her first Artist Trading Card!

(Taking the stage and steppiing up to the mike, she guestures toward the 2.5 X 3.5 inch result)

Behold! Some untreated wood veneer panels I took off our friends’ porch. They use it for kindling. I had to have some, to do…I don’t know…something with. It’s so beautiful. So I covered it up with stuff.


Behold! An array of vintage photos. We sell them for $1.50 each, but also use them to fill in old frames and I’ll switch one from my collection at home with the one on top, so we’ll consider the one I used “found”.


Behold! The toddler on her splat mat, which is made from an oilcloth remnant. We sell it by the yard, as well as a few products like bibs and aprons and lunch sacks and totes. The pattern is Mums Red, which I used to cover my glider cushions. Cutting a few inches off doesn’t make a big difference, because she still manages to make messes off the mat no matter how big it is. Really.


Behold! A stack of comics and old magazines. I read them sometimes when it’s slow, and find it so relaxing. We had a larger pile of the comics once, which were priced at 50 cents each. When I sold them, I gave a round figure that still profited the store, and so these remainders are considered “paid for”. Sometimes I give them to kids whose parents buy stuff. So, I considered them as “found items” for the project.


Behold! The assembled card. I am pleased with how it came together. The materials: wood veneer, old photo, oilcloth, Archie comic. All it needs is to be glued. I’m sure there are archival glues around, but I have to use what’s there, so WeldBond it is. Besides, it might look cool as it ages.


The inspiration? My favourite artist Margaret Kilgallen’s hand-painted trainyard photos, and the fantastic art of Isabel Samaras. As well, the idea of altering something thrifted that already exists makes a perfect jumping off point. So yes, by all means, make one with a hockey card. But maybe dress the guy up with some glitter and images of fruit cut out of a Chatelaine magazine you might have laying around.

I like the idea of using completely unrelated materials, and period images that are contemporary, yet diverse (the cartoon and the photo); with the retro-style oilcloth as a bridge between modern and vintage and tying both together by virtue of the foliage. So the photo of an older lady mowing the lawn in a staid posture (and in today’s world, grossly over-dressed) became the lady mowing a jungle in which an alarmed buxom cartoon lass is hiding. And I created the scenario, like some mad scientist! (Mwahhahaha!)

So it is titled with a line from one of the panels: “The Poor Thing Was Trembling Like A Frightened Deer As We Edged Closer…”


A lovely customer comes in and buys a few yards of oilcloth. The toddler sees her opportunity…




Um, does anyone still want to do this? Because you don’t have to now.

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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