11 December, 2013

Wandering in ATC-land - December 2013

One of the great things about being a crafter is that you don't EVER just do one thing and stay there.  I started off when I was young with knitting and sewing, then progressed through pottery, batik, spinning, screen printing, cross stitch, drawing & painting, quilting, (and probably a few more I have forgotten about), then discovered cardmaking, which I thought was just like quilting except with paper ... and quicker.  However, once you get started on the crafting journey they all intertwine and some of the techniques are transferable across crafts.
For those who have never heard of them before, an ATC (Artist Trading Card) is a tiny work of art measuring 2 1/2"x 3 1/2", they are  always swapped (never sold) and come with details of the art and artist on the back.
One of the nice things about ATCs is that they are supposed to be works of art and as such are perfect for trying out some of the weirdest ideas you may have from time to time.  The great thing is ... they nearly always work.  Here are some I have done over a period of time and for all kinds of reasons (smile).

This is the first one I ever did (2010).  In a cardmaking group I am part of, we decided to have a go and started with the alphabet to make it easy on ourselves ...  so this is 'A' for angel.  ATCs are great for using up all those tiny scraps of precious papers like the heavy gold handmade paper I have never seen again since the day I bought it.

We continued on through the alphabet with some wild and wonderful creations, but this still remains one of my favourites.

I also had a swap going with Jackie from UK where we would take turns at deciding on a subject and make two every two months.  This one was to be inspired by a children's book or nursery rhyme or song.  I'm sure you can guess what mine were?
 Half the fun is thinking about what to do, and then knowing that you could keep going forever without running out of ideas ...

The thing is ... they can be 3 dimensional, have pull out bits, lift up bits, yarn, or openings:
It's also a great way to find other ways of using what you already have, especially stamps.
This was part of the alphabet series "D" for doors.


This one was a challenge, the topic was  "framed" , and while I did do some with the conventional frames,  I thought this was a fun take on the subject.

Talking about ATCs that are more than a pretty picture: this one is Open for Owls, another little bit of fun. 
The hard part was getting the hole punched in just the right place for the owls eyes to look through!

Newsprint or pages from books, painted, inked, stamped etc - a great way to get messy in a small way!   Sometimes I make ATCs to use as toppers on cards, and often they will need to be made slightly differently for that purpose.  These would be fine to use for toppers.

Textures was the theme of another swap with Jackie.  For the one on the left, I typed out fragments from papers and put them together randomly, using the red print to make another play on texture.text you're.  
It was really nice to play with the wire too and I just love that darn yarn!

Zentangles are great for ATCs, but need to be kept fairly simple.  Lovely to do in front of tv on a cold night.

And then lastly these are ones I have just made for our New Zealand swap group, on the theme of the Twelve days of Christmas. 
Have a go if you haven't already.  They are lots of fun, and can be as simple or complex as you want.  And really, use up all those precious wee bits that are hard to throw away.  Find someone or a group to swap with - a great way to get to know people too.
Thanks for having a look at my work through the year, hope you pop in again in 2014.
Have a cheery and safe Christmas,