Just when I think I've started to focus and hone my skills in one area, Lisa goes and introduces me to Artist Trading Cards (ATCs). They've become my new obsession!
For those who never heard of ATCs, An ATC is like a baseball card, except instead of a baseball player on the front it's artwork. The dimensions are strictly 2.5 x 3.5; other than that, practically anything goes. You can embellish it and make it 3D, or keep it flat so it can slip into a plastic sleeve.
One strict rule, which seems to get a lot of controversy, is that the ATCs must be TRADED, never sold. One way to trade is through swaps. One Swap I joined was an open-themed swap. The only restriction was it had to be flat enough to fit into the plastic sleeve. I kept this swap mostly to paper.
This ATC is entitled, "Coming to America" and is a picture of an immigrant landing in New York. I looooooove working with vintage pictures. I used old sheet music for the song, "America".
This was my patriotic ATC. It uses pieces from a vintage card and old sheet music. I scorched the edges of the card to give it a war-torn look.
These images are taken from a magazine from the 1950s. I thought the two girls playing with the puppy was cute.
Next, is my little gypsy fortune-teller. I glued some hand-cut hearts onto the crystal ball. Then, I added another crystal ball on top of that and rubbed distressed ink over it. This shaded the hearts and makes them appear inside the ball, rather than me just gluing them on top. I sprinkled it with glitter for a bit of magic.
Being a homemaker, I joined an "All About Laundry Swap," I had a good time with this one! Here's a vintage picture of a girl doing the laundry. There's an ironing board in the background. It reminds me of laundry day at my house. To get motivated, I watch "Hoarders."
I ADORE this old lady! Just look at the face she's giving! I wrote on the bottom, "Every Day is Wash Day" and have a calendar in the background, circling every day in red that she needs to wash.
Another vintage piece of a girl washing her clothes outside by hand. I wish I had had a white marker to draw the bubbles instead of the black. Live and learn.
In Honor of my Irish roots, and the fact I love this old woman so much, I used her image again. This is a Help Wanted ATC with the words, "No Irish Need Apply." To give it the old world feel, I scorched the edges with a lighter and of course, antiqued it with distressed ink and a wee bit of crackle finish.
The last swap I joined, (I told you I got obsessed!), was a "Secret Love" swap. The idea is to develop an ATC about something you secretly love. The catch is, something had to move on the card. Being extremely new to ATCs, I don't know what possessed me to take this challenge, but I did!
My first is a Victorian girl holding a diary. As long as I could remember, I've had a diary, which as a mature grown-up I now refer to as my "journal." My secret love is writing in it. At this point though, I also have a family journal, art journal, Mary journal, Nicolai journal, and health journal! The journal actually flips pages, which is the movable part.
This is my "Honey Bunny" picture and I've used it on several things so far. My secret love is...well...not so secret...it's Ted! This girl holds a Valentine bag filled with two valentines you can actually take out and read. I got this bag and the valentines from a Dollhouse Miniatures magazine I've had forever.
The next movable ATC I made represents my love of rummaging through old things to find secret treasures. I created two tiny envelopes and inside them are even tinier papers, birth certificates, report cards, baby books, etc (all taken from the Dollhouse Miniature book). The person who gets this ATC may be surprised when she opens the envelopes to find teeny weeny perfectly proportioned papers!
What's my other secret love? A warm kitchen and hot, home-made meal in the oven. When you open the door to the oven......
It's filled with a nice brown turkey! The casserole dishes are from a 1950s magazine, and I added real fabric for the oven mitt and dishcloth.
And finally, the ATC Give-Away! I just love this young guy in his dapper clothes! He used to be standing by a lamp post, but I instead have him holding a vintage Valentine cupcake topper. A cute little kitty looks on and a star with Feb. 14th stands for of course, Valentine's Day. It's covered in fabric with tiny little red hearts (remember, this card is only 3 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches!) and distressed in ink. This Artist Trading Card Give-Away is for this card. Also, if you're interested in trying to create an ATC yourself, I'll send along a few cards to get you started. Just leave a comment by January 31st.