An artist trading block–be careful when toying with Number 13

An artist trading block–be careful when toying with Number 13


As you are probably aware by now, Paper Calliope has been hosting the 13 Days of October. For 13 days in October I am featuring different autumn and Halloween focused craft projects. I playfully chose the number 13 to toy with spooky superstitions.


Perhaps I should not have been so rash.  Bad luck has arrived and it is taking victims. Namely me. It all started with my intent to write a tutorial for this project. Somehow, my notes for the project up and disappeared.

Ok, I thought–it might be a huge hassle, but I can reconstruct my notes using the in-progress photos. Except, Number 13 struck again. I could not find any in-progress photos on any of my cameras. I could not find any photos on my hard drives. Poof. Gone. Vanished into thin air.


So for Day Nine of Paper Calliope’s 13 Days of October there will be no tutorial. Let’s just hope the remainder of the days go better.

A hollow artist trading block

Those of you who follow me, know I love creating artist trading blocks (ATBs).  I had been wanting to create an ATB that featured the inside of the block for quite some time and thought Halloween was the perfect opportunity. Making the project even better is the fact that last month I finally bought my Sizzix Scoreboards XL Die by Eileen Hull. Trust me, I’ve been waiting for this baby a long time.

658983 sizzix die

Instead of giving you a tutorial, I knew I could at least show you photos of my Hollow-een ATB. Unfortunately, Number 13 thought differently. Taking photos became a nightmarish task.

I will admit I am not even close to being a professional prop photographer. However, taking good photos of a dark box with shiny objects and an even darker interior with more shiny metallic objects proved to be near impossible.


I could not resist creating a Halloween ATB–but in this case it is a Hollow-een ATB. Get it? the ATB is hollow? Pretty clever pun eh? Bet I had you groaning at that one!

I took photos inside. I took photos outside. I tried sunny days. I tried cloudy days. I tried light backgrounds. I tried dark backgrounds. I tried direct spotlighting. I tried screen lighting. I think I took more than 500 photos. And yet, the motherf####* pictures are still a mess.

So, in all honesty I can claim that the box looks better when viewed in person, but here is another photo  just the same.


* I really want to swear on here, but I can’t decide if I will regret it later on when some corporate sponsor (cough cough Tim Holtz & Ranger, cough cough Reese’s) turns me down because of the swearing. Instead I waffle back and forth. Fuck it.

I love reading your comments and questions. Comment away!