"What one can see out in the sunlight is always less interesting than what is behind a windowpane."

Sunday, January 16, 2011

My Newest Obsession & Give-Away!

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.


  1. Glad you are having fun with your ATC swaps! They are fun and I always stressed myself out over them!!! lol! I love all of the ones you did!!!

  2. Jill, You are having the most fun with these cards! OMG! There are so many I want to call my favorite! The washing series is just so wonderful! By the way, my Valentines arrived! They are absolutely wonderful. You are so kind to have offered your extras. What treasures! Hope you have a great week ahead! Elizabeth

  3. Jill,Love those ATCs.I'll try one after this fabric swap.Our host just got too busy I think to remember about our request.Thats o.k.,I can understand.What a huge undertaking for her.She's very brave to take on what she has.We will keep in touch,and blog away.Maybe we'll partner up with something else in the future.Hugs-Denise

  4. Hi Jill!
    Sweet ATC`s. I made these years ago and now thery`re coming back. What fun miniatureart you made! Count me in for your giveaway.
    Kim :0)

  5. Hi Jill,
    I love making ATC's. My swap days were in 2009, so much fun!!!!!! Your cards are wonderful, love all of them!


  6. I must not, I must not, I must not, I must not get addicted to these cards. I must not, I must not, I must not get addicted to Jill...
    LOVE (tons of it...)from Jack
    (sweet email coming to you today)

  7. Oh Jill when do you sleep? LOVE this and I've been wanting to make them for awhile now!! You make them sound so easy! And the one you made for Ted is just to cute! I love that one that is about rummaging in the attic! Pretty cool! I am once agin signing up for your giveaway! Always love your creations! Maybe someday soon we can trade an ATC!! I feel like Jackie I must not get addicted to these! LOL I still am organizing two rooms!! I am feeling alot better now!! Love ya, XO Frannie.

  8. Wow Jill, those are really nice for your first ATCs, I love all of them! That little stove is so cute and clever! Oh, here's a little trick if you don't have a white marker. Get a BIC white out pen, hold it over a piece of scrap paper and push down until the fluid puddles. Then you can use a small paint brush to paint the fluid on or to make perfect circles, use something like the eraser end of a pencil with the eraser dug out. Now, I have to say, I've never tested this to see if it is acid free but it works great!

  9. Wow...you are addicted! Totally adorable and I love the wash day woman with the calendar behind her. Fun to find a new outlet like the ATC cards...

  10. Had to come by and take another peek...oh...I think I want to make JUST ONE! Ha...perhaps when I'm sitting in the store with nothing to do...I wonder when that day will come?
    I got your email and I'm forming an idea list for you.
    I have a little something coming your way if I could just find a moment to get to the post office. I promise it will get to you before Easter.
    Smiling with glee...
    Your friend, for life.
    (By the way, I'm still saying prayers for your mom)

  11. Jill, just wanted you to know if you feel someone looking over your shoulder it's just me.I'm studying your cards.I want to start small and see what I can do.I wanted to do your fabric thingy in black white check with light green.Someday I would like to send you something even though were not partners if you will send me your address.knuckled54@yahoo.com

  12. Jill,

    These are super cool! Haven't been around to visiting much lately as I let my blog go. To many interests/things to do/work so something had to give :)

    Happy weekend!

  13. Hi Jill!
    I read your comment on my blog and you were too funny! But it is true-wish my body did look like a dress form!
    I posted your giveaway on my blog. You do amazing art! Don`t you love a miniature work of art? These are adorable!
    Have a Blessed weekend~

  14. For a newbie atc-er youv'e made some really great atc's! Put my name in the pot!

  15. Your cards are so cute and fun...looks like something I would love to try! Thanks for the inspiration and I am your newest follower!!


  16. OK Jill: You're putting me to shame. I thought I was productive until I saw all the cards you're doing. Where do you find the time? These are so inspiring; I need to go pull out some picture books to cut up. Thanks for the beautiful post. Patsye

  17. Your ATC's are absolutely wonderful. I love every bit of detail you put into each. They are so amazing and the moveable ones are a delight. No wonder you find them addicting.

  18. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your ATC's. Love vintage postcards and have my own collection of calling cards. Wish I had time for an ATC trade. (I am an artist as well.)

    Thanks for sharing.

    Peggy H.

  19. Those cards are great, love the ones with gnomes!