ATC cards

Overwhelmed by Scrap-Related Projects…In a Good Way

I may have bitten off more than I can chew…but, oh, is it delicious! I have so many scrap ‘thangs’ going on right now and there never seems to be enuf time to do them (ummmm, Erika, you could, like, get off the computer….). So! I have 2 sets of ATC CARDS to make for swaps over at the AMR MESSAGE BOARD. The first one is hostessed by MARTHA and it’s called Your Favorite Verse. So I’m making 14 ATC’s with my favorite Bible verse to exchange with the other ladies. I signed up for this some time ago, and I can’t tell you how many verses I’ve seen or thought of and gone, “Oh! That would be perfect for my ATCs!” and then I find another one I like too and another and another (have you noticed the Bible is FULL of good stuff?!). The deadline is 5/23/08 so I need to decide on a verse…and actually MAKE them, LOL! I think I have it down to 2 verses, one which is actually my favorite but I can’t think of a visual to go with it, kwim? Whereas the other one has the words “apple of my eye” in it, so I could clearly have a theme or a visual. What should I do?

The second ATC swap is hostessed by Jingle (she also ran the first/only other ATC swap I’ve ever done; I talked about it HERE and HERE). It’s called Drink It Up! and you “Choose your favorite soda, smoothie, coffee, tea, or cocktail and create your ATC’s all about it!” It won’t be any surprise to my AMR girlz that my Drink It Up ATC will somehow include StarCrack…er, um…I mean, STARBUCKS. I’m positively addicted to a certain fine drink at that establishment. You’d think with the price of gas and the fact that I”m about to be laid off my job, I would be able to quit those things but nah. Still hooked like a sad, sad junkie.

THEN…I have a new Scrap Pal on AMR who I’ve been getting to know through PM’s. Her name is Gay aka “Gaybow” and she’s a total sweetheart. We have a lot in common – Christian, trying to lose weight (well, I’m TRYING, she actually IS…), and we’re both scrappers who’re addicted to AMR. Part of being a Scrap Pal is sending each other little gifties on our birthdays, Easter, Christmas, and just whenever we see something that we know they’d like. We live on opposite ends of this fine country…you gotta love the internet. This is going to be fun!

Fourthly (yep, uh-huh, I was an English major and “fourthly” is an actual word). (Okay, just kidding, I made it up on the spot). FOURTHLY, I’m involved with a little sneaky surprise that we have going on at AMR to help out one of the message boarders. It’s a big secret, so keep yer trap shut about it! Got it?? Good. Now quit asking me! That’s all I’m gonna say about that.

(Is it just me, or is there a trend here??? AMR seems to be the culprit).

Herm…..let me think….anything else I’ve gotten myself involved in??? Oh yeah, I’m planning another crop for early June and I haven’t even fully unpacked from the May one yet. I have 2 cards to make and some scrappy things to mail out; as always, I’ll look to KELLIEANNIE for card inspiration. The girl has talent, and even her own CARD GROUPIES. Here are some recent samples of her work (I stole these images from Kelli’s blog, but they are watermarked so it’s okay).

CARDS by KELLIE CASLOW:

The biggest thang I have going is a scrapbook-related business venture (in addition to the 2 I already have) that I’m about 90% ready to unleash on the world. There have been many late nights working on that one. I’ll post about it here when it happens. My fellow Scrapbook Obsessed peeps are always the first to know!

Do you ever feel overwhelmed, or just super busy, with all the scrap projects you have going on? Would love to hear that I’m not alone…

My ATC Cards and More Good Stuff

In my last POST, I told you about the ATC Swap I’m participating in as a member of the AMR MESSAGE BOARD. I promised to show you my first attempt at EVER making an ATC, so here goes…these are the ATC’s I created and will be mailing to Jingle tomorrow:

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I’m showing the front and back sides, and also that I made four or five variations of color combos. On the front they say “Journey” and then there is a “journey” definition stamp. The reason this represents ME is that, on every message board I’m on, even my e-mail address, my handle is always “journeyfan.” It has a triple meaning, but the easy one is that I’m a HUGE fan of the 70s/80s band Journey, and have been since junior high. Anyway, my ATC’s probably don’t look like much, but they really were a lot of work for some reason! Here are the steps I used to make them:

1. Cut all the kraft cardstock and patterned paper into 2.5″ x 3.5″ “cards” and used the scraps of PP to cut the little slivers that show behind the scallop punchout (the color in there is different than whatever color is on the back of the card).
2. Used my awesome new FISKARS THREADING WATER PUNCH to cut a scallop within each card (as opposed to scalloping an entire edge).
3. With acrylic stamps and chalk ink, stamped the word “journey” on the kraft cards. First I did the j-u-n-y letters, spaced apart, in one color (steel blue). Then I did the o,r and e separately in different colors (dark grey, green and purple).
4. Used an acrylic stamp and black chalk ink for the “journey” definition. It was part of a larger stamp, so I masked it with, what else?, masking tape! Wow, my first ever masking! I impressed myself! (Note: I’m barely a decent scrapbooker, and I’m NOT a stamper by any means).
5. Used acrylic stamps and silver ink to stamp a bird, then a journaling circle with black ink on the patterned paper cards.
6. Added the plastic flowers and either a glitter star brad or a “bling” to the center of each flower.
7. Adhered the little PP strips to the back side of the scallop punchout.
8. Adhered both sided of the card together, trying a variety of adhesive methods until I found one that worked, LOL.
9. Used a sanding block to sand the edges of the cards and make them blend together better, and to give a lightly distressed look.
10. Cut the ribbon into 2 inch pieces, punched the middle hole with the Cropadile to make it larger, threaded the ribbon through and stapled it.
11. Used white or black pens to write on the back: AMR “ATC Swap”, Erika, ‘journeyfan,’ Calif. USA, April 2008
12. Laid all the ATC’s out across my desk and “Stickled” them, to the best of my ability (which, seeing them after they dried, was not much ability…).

Materials Used: Bazzill kraft cardstock, My Minds Eye ‘Everyday Tango’ patterned paper, Color Box Cat’s Eye chalk inks in Night Sky queue (that I got from AMR Store), Autumn Leaves acrylic stamps ‘Hand Drawn Alphabet by Katie Pertiet’ and journaling circle ($1 stamp set from Target), 7 Gypsies clear stamp set from QVC, American Crafts plastic flowers, Making Memories glitter star brads, MAMBI bling from Michaels, ‘Frosted Lace’ Stickles from AMR Store, and random black/white gingham ribbon.

Overall, I guess I’m happy with them. You know how it is, there are such talented ladies on the board, that I hope I don’t embarrass myself! But they were fun to do, I tried some things I wouldn’t normally do (like masking a stamp), and it got me to break out the myriad of acrylic stamps I’ve collected and not used enough. Do you think they’re okay for a swap?

Oh! And if you are going to enter ATC World anytime soon, I thought I’d show you these items I saw in the AMR STORE that seem to be very popular among the Message Board Girlz:

7 GYPSIES ATC HOLDER

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And ATC TAG PACK:
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The best part is going to be seeing all the cards from the other girls when they come in the mail. I can’t wait! Thanks for reading about my “journey” into ATC’s (man, I’m so funny, I crack myself up!).

ATC Card Swap on AMR

Sorry I haven’t posted for over 3 days, I think that’s a record for the most time between posts for me, LOL. I started a new job and it’s so stressful that by the time I get home and do family/house stuff, all I want to do is go to bed! Which is also why I was lagging on getting my ATC cards done. BUT….I got them finished lastnight and I’m so happy and relieved. So, I guess I should explain about the swap…

Over on the AMR MESSAGE BOARD, about 20 of us are doing an ATC Swap hosted by JINGLE (who does not have a blog….what???…is that even legal in the scrapbook world these days??). We each make a batch of ATC cards, keep one for ourselves, and send the rest to Jingle by April 5, 2008. Then she will separate them out into piles, and mail a set of the ATC cards to each of us. Fun, huh?!?

I’ll admit, before deciding to sign up for this swap, I had heard of ATC cards but didn’t really know much about them. I thought they were the territory of those ‘artsy’ types (um, that would be, NOT ME!) because I thought you had to use all kinds of fancy painting, inking, embossing, altered art kinda stuff on them. But, I found that they have evolved into something more accessible to scrapbookers like me, who just like to play with our pretty paper and scallop punches, LOL.

As shared by ANNE MARIE on the AMR board, here is the Wikipedia definition of ATC Cards:

Artist trading cards
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

“Artist Trading Cards are individual art miniatures which pass hand to hand. Some sources have credited M. Vänçi Stirnemann, who began trading sessions in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1997, as popularizing ATCs in the modern era, although modern ATC’s can be traced back to portrait miniatures and to a kind of business card popular with Impressionistic era artists.[1]

Artists have produced miniatures for trade or self-promotion in many eras and places, and the current trend is thus part of this larger context. Historically there were few standard rules or guidelines to art trading cards, and many variances in sizes can be seen in older cards. The standardization in size of baseball cards is credited with creating the standardization in size for art cards. Today the only rule for these cards is their 2.5 by 3.5 inch size, same as baseball cards and collectible card games. There are, however, certain conventions usually observed by those who make and trade these cards, such as the expectation that they be traded, not sold, and that they be created as unique works or small limited editions of prints. Artists generally sign and date the back, and may also include a title and contact information. The face-to-face trading session is considered an integral part of the concept, although many people find each other via the internet and trade by mail.

Artist Trading Cards are typically made on a base of card stock. However, ATCs have been created on metal, stiffened fabric, plastic, clay, glass, balsa wood, leather, embroidery canvas, acetate, heavy watercolor paper, and many other materials. The art on the cards can be done in any media: textile arts, pencil, watercolor, acrylic, oil, collage, scratch board, mixed media, assemblage, digital art, calligraphy, beadwork, rubber stamps, carved soft block stamps, pen and ink, colored pencil, airbrush, pastels, and many others – anything artists use.”

So, yeah, you can get fancy with it, but the goal of our swap was to “create ATC’s that in some way represent YOU. Please be sure to sign each ATC so we know you created it!” And here was my favorite part of the instructions from Jingle: “Please show your best work and be sure to send in pieces that are made neatly and cleanly. (You know…avoid glue boogers and stuff! LOL!)” Yeah, of course we gave her a hard time about the glue boogers comment :) But you know what she’s saying…do a good job, not rushed, as people will be showing these off in some manner.

The challenge sounded all well and good but, when I sat down to actually make them, I was shocked at how SMALL 2.5″ x 3.5″ really is. I mean, I’m a 12×12 scrapper for googely sake! How am I supposed to create something that expresses who I am in such a small space? Well, after being in panic mode for awhile, I noticed that other ATC girls started posting their completed ATC’s on their blogs and/or the message board, and made them look totally do-able, like KELLIANNIE:

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and SCRAPPYSAM:

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A late addition from ~Q~ (no one knows her real name, a real lady of mystery…), posted just the backs of her ATC’s as a teaser:

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Also, I think it was Sam who posted a link to fabulous MARFA’s blog, where she’s been going a little ATC crazy, which works for me because she gave me such inspiration. Here is a POST with some of her beautiful ATC’s and I copied some of them below.

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When I receive everyone’s ATC’s from this swap, I think I’ll include them in my album in a similar holder page to Martha’s. Except I won’t sew it myself like she did (cuz I don’t know how to sew), but I’ll cheat and buy something similar to baseball card holder pages, or maybe there is a 12×12 version from Crop In Style?

But anyway, after seeing how you could just relax and have fun with these cute little cards, I sat down and designed a prototype card in about an hour. Tune in tomorrow for photos of what I came up with, and how I put them together….

Have you done ATC cards? Or a swap of any kind? How did things turn out and would you do it again?