My plans to make this year's Index-Card-a-Day challenge (aka ICAD) work for me have turned out even better than I hoped and I'm wondering why I didn't approach this challenge this way in past years. It is so much easier to have ICAD run concurrently with my painting projects rather than consecutively. I spend six days adding all the studio leftovers to seven cards (index, recipe, bingo, library, playing and flash cards) and on the seventh day, I finish the cards off with a more focused work session.
In the first six days, the cards get loaded with daubs of paint, scraps of paper, bits of washi tape, and random rub-ons. In addition, I clean off my stamps and stencils onto the cards. If I need to test a pen to see if it works, that little doodle goes onto the cards as well. If, at some point in those six days, one or more cards ends up with a background I love, I set those cards aside to await finishing and use the remaining cards for all my leftovers. It is a very spontaneous and organic process and the resulting cards are richly layered and visually intriguing.
So why not use index cards exclusively? First, I love bits of text and imagery showing through the paint that I add (and it is so much easier to start with a card that isn't completely blank.) I have gathered a rather embarrassingly large collection of cards of all sorts over the years and it's time to use them. Secondly, some of the cards I'm using are glossy and when I add paint, I can scratch in the paint to make some very cool marks. Most of the cards are either already standard index card size or have been cut down to that size. Some of the flash cards are slightly bigger and the playing cards are approximately half the size of a regular index card. I like the variation in size because it gives me more options later when I repurpose these little works of art in other projects.