I've just discovered the wonderful world of ATCs - Artist Trading Cards. These small cards are swapped and traded like the cigarette cards of old - the convention is that they are not bought and sold. There is only one rule, really, and that is that they must be 2.5 x 3.5 inches in size.
Having to work to a very specific, and very small, size, is quite a discipline, and something new to me. I can see that this will be a lot of fun (I have been warned of the seriously addictive nature of the pursuit!), even if I don't get into the swapping - they will make lovely gifts, and also embellishments on cards and other things.
A couple of nights ago, I decided to try my hand at making one, and ended up making 3 the same (of course, being hand-made, they are not identical) - another convention is that if you make more than one, you mark on the back which number it is, e.g. 1/3, as with art prints.
This one is called "Grunge Flowers."
Since making them, I decided to send one to a friend on the Brainfog M.E. forum who is very poorly at the moment, and severely in need of cheering up and encouraging. However, on its own it's rather small, and I was trying to think of a way of presenting it, when it occurred to me that the cards that Ikki makes (see her blog: Ikki's Cuttlebug Cupboard: http://ikkiscuttlebugcupboard.blogspot.com
- she embosses part of the front of a card, and leaves the bottom part blank for a stamped or written sentiment - would be ideal to be adapted into a sort of folder for ATCs. I have made several, using different Cuttlebug embossing folders, all in plain white, and I have cut a slit just above the plain part, into which you slot the ATC.
It occurred to me that this would be a very useful thing to have, if you ever have to produce a special card in a hurry and you haven't got much time to do it (haven't we all been in that situation!) - if you build up a collection of ATCs and make quite a few folders to have in reserve, the only thing you need to do is select an appropriate ATC and then stamp or write your sentiment on the bottom of the folder, in a co-ordinating colour to go with the ATC. Because the ATC is not fixed to the card, the recipient can remove it and do what they like with it - and even swap it on if they want to.
Here's what I've done.
These are some of the folders, ready for use - unfortunately despite my best efforts, the card looks pink in these pictures, when it is in fact white.
and here they are with the three ATCs in the slots:
I have made a video of the process of making the folders, which is being uploaded to Youtube at the moment. I'll embed it tomorrow.
I have also made a video of the making of the ATC, but because it was so experimental, and I'm still finding my way in all these processes, and getting used to the equipment and materials too, the video is very long and shows me making lots of mistakes - so it's going to take a long time to edit it down to 10 mins max! My hard drive is also nearly full, so I shall have to try and do some housekeeping on the laptop before I can tackle that project! I've got some more blank DVDs arriving in the next day or so, so I should be able to offload some of my thousands of photographs to make a bit more room. (Always something to do, isn't there!)