Glad you could join me. I'm stitching a life together bit by bit.

Friday, October 11, 2013

A Little Bit About ATCs

ATC:  Artist Trading Cards

ATC's are 2 1/2 inch by 3 inch cards with some type of art on at least one side and typically info about the artist, the title of the card, the date it was made, and the email and/or blog/website of the artist on the back.

I like them made out of watercolor paper, b/c it can handle anything - water color, paint, gesso, markers, stitching, etc...

That being said, there are several different kinds of cards available - canvas, vellum, illustration board, linen canvas, water color paper, light and heavy weight card stock and some others that art stores carry.

As for watercolor paper: I've done it 2 ways:

1. Premade/cut watercolor paper - its great b/c you don't have to cut them - obvious, but true.  Sold at art stores in a pack of 10-12 for $2.75 to $3.00.
Each one is its own mini masterpiece.
You can do a set all in the same color, so you don't have to clean the brush.
You can do them all different colors.

2. A big sheet or two of water color paper - the disadvantage is that you have to cut them all up later; a paper cutter is very helpful for this - if you were a scrapbooker, you have one.  If you get one, I'd recommend the Cutterpede by EK company.
You can paint the whole thing at once in one go.  
Its neat to see it cut up - different cards get different parts of the whole.

ATC's - general info.

1. Some people make a similar styled card for every card - this makes it easier b/c you can get a little bit like an assembly line and get good at making them.  When I've done this, there are small differences as you figure out better ways to do things.

2. Some people make a different card for every ATC.  I've done this - it can be really fun to do, but takes more time sometimes.  It helps you use all of your rubber stamps if you bought them, but haven't used them yet!

3. Some people just draw a different picture on every card - these people are usually very talented and when I look at the ones I've gotten - they are really interesting and cool.

4. You can make them with fabric or paper or any mixed media combination.  When stitched, I stitch a second card to the back to cover up the stitch lines - I zig zag or satin stitch the edge.

Other info:
1. There are special ATC rubber stamps that you can use to stamp on the back of the card to tell all the info of the event, date, name of card or series, blog and email address, and who made it.
2. I like rounded corners on my cards.  I've done unrounded and rounded, and I think in many cases, I prefer rounded corners.  There are hand cutters that will cut a round corner.
3. Usually the edges are treated by inking them with Tim Holtz stamp pads and a make up pad, gilding them with a gold, silver or bronze pen, inking with a pen, etc... to give a little border.
4. There can be dimensional features on the card - like fabric, lace, and beads.   I did a Halloween themed card one year with skull beads dangling from a spider web.

If you don't know what an ATC is:


Artist trading cards (or ATCs) are miniature works of art about the same size as modern trading cards baseball cards,[1] or 2 12 by 3 12 inches (64 mm × 89 mm),[2] small enough to fit inside standard card-collector pockets, sleeves or sheets.[3] The ATC movement developed out of the mail art movement and has its origins in Switzerland.[4] Cards are produced in various media, including dry media (pencils, pens, markers, etc.), wet media (watercolor, acrylic paints, etc.), paper media (in the form of collage, papercuts, found objects, etc.) or even metals or fiber. The cards are usually traded or exchanged. When sold, they are usually referred to as art card editions and originals (ACEOs). 

Here is a blog post I did on the topic from Feb. 18, 2011 and Jan. 31, 2011 - I'd love a comment on my blog if you have any:

I was out of town for 9 days to Queretaro, Mexico.  More about that soon.  

Its a big birthday month: today is my Birthday.  Happy Birthday also to Jude at Spirit Cloth, and to Mette and Sissel - my art friends in Santa Barbara, CA.

For the last 2 1/2 days, I've been working like crazy on my ATC cards for the Las Vegas Art and Soul trade.  Sally Jo finished hers yesterday, and I finished mine today.  We had started a few weeks ago by doing the water color back grounds.  Then we added layers of stamping.

These are Sally Jo's cards. She used gesso and a stencil to get the beautiful Japanese flowers. Then some torn foil paper with stamped Chinese words. A bit of gold leafing here and there for the final touch.

The theme this time was "In the Garden with Art and Soul".
Sally Jo had 3 themes: Garden Time, Dream Garden, and Steps to my Garden (with the numbers).

Here are her lovely water colored backs with the ATC info.

Here I am stitching the lace and birds on my cards.

I loved the variety of watercolor back grounds and playing with the stitching on the birds.

Some of our favorite birds and watercolor back grounds.

12 finished cards ready to ship to Marie in CA for the trade.
Each card was stitched to a back card done in watercolor and containing the ATC info.
The title of my cards: My French Garden.
Enjoy the flight little birds!  


Monday, January 31, 2011

Getting Ready for Art and Soul

Hello!  I just bought my ticket to go to Las Vegas in February for the Art and Soul retreat. http://www.artandsoulretreat.com/index.html  Sally Jo and I have been to 3 Art and Soul retreats now and they have all been such a great learning opportunity.  We have been to 2 in Portland, and 1 last year in Las Vegas where we stayed at the Paris hotel on the strip.

We have participated in the ATC (Artist Trading Cards) exchange each time.  This past Oct. in Portland it was a Halloween themed exchange.  We worked together, painting, stamping and stitching to get our cards ready: 25 of each kind.  We made pumpkin cards with batik fabric sewn on for the pumpkin, leaves and stems.  The other set was orange and pink with spider webs sewn on and beads hanging with a little skeleton head on each one.  The edges were all stitched and our info was on the back.  It actually took quite a long time to complete these - staying up until 2-3am to finish it up the day they were due!  Each one was a little bit different.  Unique art pieces.
Sally in class making a picture frame that turned out quite nicely.

 Here I am working on a mosaic collage that I painted, inked the sides, and painted all the little tiles on.  Then you pick little found objects to attach to it.  I have an old bulb - perfect shade of turquoise, some old dice, a ringed rock, the head of a dog found in the Willamette or Columbia river by a diver who looks for old lost objects, and a watch makers tin with an old watch face on the front.  Still looking for 2 other objects to place on the remaining tiles.


Els said...

Congratulations !!! (many more to come ;-) !)
Doesn't your machine start protesting when you sew cardboard ???????

lulu moonwood murakami said...

Got my ATC's done for San Miguel! (Sorry, Janet, corners were not rounded - I meant to round them, but then forgot and did the gold edging...)

Too excited for words! (But still have a LOT of work to finish before Tuesday!)

Janet said...

Hey Lulu - I'll love any ATC's you make! I'm sure they are great!!!

Els - I've sewn through watercolor paper and canvas ATCs - with a microtex sharp needle - no problem as long as your stitch length is not too short - or you end up perforating the paper. I haven't done cardboard - but if I did, I would try a jeans needle - ha!