Last year, to celebrate the 3rd anniversary of What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday, we had an ATC swap. I made a blog post and saved it into my drafts folder, but never got round to posting it, because my father was taken ill and we were then taken up with selling their house etc., and then life sort of got in the way and I started posting about other things. I have just visited Jozart’s blog and read that she’d also recently posted something that had laid dormant in her drafts folder, so I thought I’d take a leaf out of her book and do the same.
Warning: Picture-rich post!
…At the time of the swap, I wasn’t well enough to take part, but asked if I could join in late, and as a result, I probably ended up with more ATCs than if I’d followed the rules and done it properly! The swap has been so much fun, and I have swapped with people all around the world, from the UK, USA, S.Africa, Australia, Spain and the Philippines!
In case you don’t know, an ATC is an Artist Trading Card. This idea originated in Switzerland. The only rule is that the cards should measure 3.5 x 2.5 inches, and be traded or given, not sold, and that details (artist’s name, date etc.) should appear on the back. After that, your imagination’s the limit! Working at such a small size is a particular discipline all its own, and there is something exquisite about such tiny works of art, simply because they are so small. ATCs make our art accessible to all.
Week by week we see each other’s work on the computer screen and lots of “ooh!” and “ahh” goes on, but to receive an actual piece made by someone, to hold it in your hand, to see the colours and any shimmery effects as they were intended to be seen, and to feel the real texture, is the most amazing experience, and creates a real bond between us. It reminds me of our first visit to view the Bayeux Tapestry. The pictures are so familiar to us all, and I wondered at the time whether it would be worth visiting, but to enter the viewing gallery and see this incredible embroidery in its original form completely blew my mind. I felt a connection with those mediaeval ladies stitching away, depicting a key moment of our nation’s history… There’s nothing like an original!!
I would like to thank everyone who agreed to swap with me. It has been such fun, and brought me so much joy and pleasure! All your ATCs are quite wonderful, and mean so much to me.
First of all, here is everything I have received. As you will see, it’s not all ATCs!
Here are the ATCs from which I chose ones to send. Most of them are zentangles, because this is what people asked for.
Here, individually, are the ATCs I received, together with any other ancillary goodies that came with them, followed by the ATCs I sent in return. Click on each person’s name to go to their blog and see the lovely work they do.
Barb lives in the USA. I wish you could see just how gorgeous this ATC is, but as usual the photograph doesn’t do it justice. It shimmers with the Twinkling H2O’s she painted it with. She says she really loves these, and I can see why! I love the sentiment. With my health as it is, I never know from one day to the next (or even from one moment to the next) how I am going to be, and I have learnt to live in the moment, and enjoy those moments when I can be creative!
To accompany the ATC, Barb also sent this adorable little tweety-bird card!
In return I sent her a zentangle ATC. I entitled it “waves” – it is really an abstract one with colour added (Derwent Inktense pencils) but suggested a wave of the sea.
Bella is from South Africa, and her ATC has a very African feel to it! I love elephants. The embellishment on this ATC is stamped onto shrink plastic.
I love the background, with the blending of the colours, the swirls and text. It has a definite feel of the African landscape. She has put the WOYWW on the top to remind me that this is a WOYWW anniversary swap ATC. She didn’t realise it, but she made it very special for me, because the date she made it is my birthday!
This is the beautiful card she made to accompany the ATC. You can see she used the same stamp as on the shrink plastic.
Isn’t that text just gorgeous? So reminiscent of the beautiful textiles the African people wear, with the bold geometric patterns.
I sent her a drawing of some red and yellow flowers, coloured with Inktense pencils as before.
Bridget is from Australia. She sent me this very rich ATC with a face decorated with glitter, and a border of micro-beads. This is another one that shimmers, and the photo really doesn’t do it justice.
In return I sent her my “Pebbles” zentangle ATC because she said she particularly liked that one!
Claire is a fellow-Brit. She asked if she could send a postcard rather than an ATC as this is her preferred size to work. It has the most gorgeous embellishments attached, with many different media and textures, all in the most lovely subtle colours. Beautiful!
Again, the sentiment is lovely. This is something I have had to learn to do. Before I was ill, I had very little time or inclination to pause, but now I can soak up the beauty around me and enjoy each moment. Claire has added lots of butterflies to her postcard, another favourite of mine!
I sent her one of two ATCs entitled “Three Fish with Seaweed.”
Di is another fellow-Brit. She sent me a beautiful ATC with a dandelion clock on it – what happy memories this brought back, of “telling the time” by blowing the seeds off the dandelion clock when we were children! I love the delicate colour of this ATC, and the addition of the little pink pearls. My hubby said how much he liked this one!
She also sent me a very pretty card to go with the ATC. Lovely colour scheme, beautiful papers, and of course, my favourite butterfly motif!
I sent her the first of my poppy ATCs.
Also from Great Britain, Helen sent me a wonderfully patriotic ATC to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London 2012 Olympics.
Note the London landmarks, the bunting and the red rose, together with the ever-popular “keep calm” motivational message from WWII – with a slight variation! If you look carefully, you can see that this red, white and blue ATC is embellished with Glossy Accents, but they don’t shine as much in the photo as in real life.
To accompany this ATC, Helen sent me a super little DIY pack of goodies, all on the same patriotic theme! It comprised a sheet of bunting ready to cut out, and some little embellishments. Such a fun idea! The whole thing came parcelled up in tissue paper tied with some nice patriotic ribbon.
In return I send her my second poppies ATC, with some zentangle on it.
Jan, also from the UK, is in the minority in the WOYWW family in that her skills lie with her needle rather than with paper, so instead of an ATC, she sent me a fabulous little pincushion that she had made. The top is made from a cathedral window patchwork piece, and I just love the colours. Until I received this pincushion, I didn’t know I needed one – I’m always looking for the odd pin, for example to pierce the top of a Stickles bottle that’s got blocked, and have to dig out my sewing box each time, but not any more! The pincushion now sits within easy reach, and I’ve also added some hat pins – I’m hoping to make some more of these eventually, as I’ve seen such pretty ones that people have made, with beads etc.
You can see what very pretty tissue paper it came wrapped in.
I had already started an ATC for Jan when this arrived, and I abandoned it in favour of this:
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!!
Judy, from Australia, is another who is generally more comfortable with a needle than with paper. She and I have agreed to do a flower swap, but this hasn’t happened yet. I shall be doing a blog post about that when the time comes. She makes the most delicious fabric flowers that are really OTT and dripping with beads and gorgeousness, so I can’t wait to get my hands on some of those! I am making her some paper ones.
Subsequently… Here are the flowers Judy sent me:
This is what I eventually did with them – you can read full details here.
Here are the flowers I sent her:
Now for Julia, our loveliest of the lovelies hostess of WOYWW. I feel very honoured to have an ATC from her! She has made me this gorgeous one with a die-cut bicycle on it – so unusual!
I adore the colour scheme, and the texture, and all the lovely postmarks and things. I know one is limited when it comes to the strict size of an ATC and the size of dies, but I really love the way the bicycle extends beyond the edges of the card – it brings it right into the foreground and is sooo effective!
She sent it with one of her own printed cards, which is also very gorgeous – lovely rich colours!
When I asked her about the bicycle, she said she would cut some for me with the die. They have just arrived, and so many of them! Enough to fill an Olympic velodrome, and then some, lol!! I am thinking of drawing a bicycle and creating a svg file for cutting on Sheba, my Black Cat Cougar cutting machine. I think there’s lots of potential for this motif, especially since it has been so popularised by the success of Team GB in the cycling.
They would also work well as masks for spraying and inking, and embossing… Any more suggestions? Answers on an ATC, please!!
I sent Julia a zentangle ATC with WOYWW’s birthday cake on it, and another take on the “Keep Calm” theme.
Kate lives in Spain. She loves working with alcohol inks, and is also very talented with parchment craft, and she has combined these skills to make this stunning ATC for me. I simply adore the colours, the richness of the alcohol ink, and the delicacy of the parchment work, all combined in an Oriental theme which I love.
I’m afraid the photo simply doesn’t do it justice. In reality it shines and shimmers. It was accompanied by a letter written on some lovely paper with co-ordinating colours – beautiful work!
In return I sent her my “Herbaceous Border” zentangle ATC.
Kemma lives in the USA. She sent me the only zentangle ATC I received in the swap! She knows how much I love them. Lovely selection of patterns, which follow the string really well.
Of course, she got a zentangle back from me, in return! I sent her my “Vortex” one.
They are So Much Fun to do!
Laura is another fellow-Brit. She sent me a beautiful ATC with blue butterflies.
Again, this one has “WOYWW” on it, this time in silver glitter. I love the background of this one, and the beautiful colours on the butterfly wings.
The ATC was wrapped in tissue paper and sealed with washi tape with butterflies on it! I keep coming across washi tape, and I think I must make some. She also made a lovely card with more butterflies on it, and the words “Have a happy smiley day” which I certainly did when I opened this lovely little package! (Goodness, this has been like Christmas…)
In return I sent her my “Fields” zentangle ATC – another one that started as an abstract one but as it developed, the theme revealed itself, so I went with it.
Lisa is also from the UK. She sent me a beautiful ATC with one of my favourite flowers on it – wisteria. We have some on a trellis outside our patio doors but it doesn’t flower much yet – once they get mature and have those wonderful thick, twisty trunks, they can be dripping with flowers – just like Lisa’s ATC!
In return I sent her my “Leafy Garland” zentangle ATC. I couldn’t really think of a suitable title for this one but I think this fits OK!
Peggy lives in the Philippines, and paints the most beautiful pictures of Filipino ladies, and I am now privileged enough to own one of my own! It’s a little gem, isn’t it.
In return I sent her my Seahorse zentangle ATC.
Sandra is from Australia. She sent me an ATC made using gesso, one of my favourite materials. It has such interesting properties and acts as a resist to many media. Sandra has used it to great effect on this ATC, stencilling it on.
Again, the photo really doesn’t do this ATC justice. It is has a shimmery finish, and little gems in the flower centres. I love the way the colours blend.
In return, I sent my second zentangle ATC entitled “Three Fish with Seaweed.”
Sarn lives in the UK, and sent me an ATC with a very special sentiment which really touched me.
I think this whole ATC swap has borne this out. So much love has gone into the creation of these little cards! I love the colour scheme of this one, with the gorgeous background paper and the dark red, which has to be one of my favourite colours. She teamed this up with a little card with the same “Friends” stamp, and also stamped the corners of the envelope very attractively.
In return I sent her my Blue and Pink Abstract zentangle ATC – I couldn’t think of a suitable title for this one at all! Truly abstract…
Susan is from the USA. she sent me another very British, patriotic ATC to celebrate all the good things that have been going on in our country this summer! Another example of the ever-popular “Keep Calm” messages, this time in its original format, “Keep Calm and Carry On” which was a Ministry motivational poster put up around the country during World War II.
This sentiment is on a small plaque made from faux porcelain. I was so taken with this that I looked into it, and found a tutorial online, and have already made two pieces – it’s such a fun technique, and the result looks so realistic! Look at that crazed surface… I love the addition of the piece of scrim under the porcelain which suggests the fabric of the flag underneath – this is a brilliant, patriotic ATC for us Brits! Love the distressing around the edges too.
I sent Susan my Octopus ATC.
Well, are you still with me? Quite a marathon, wasn’t it (to keep with the Olympic theme!).
I think you will agree that I have been sent a treasure trove of a collection of ATCs. Each one is a little jewel, and so much love, care and attention has gone into it. Somehow their small size adds to this.
Thanks again, everyone who has swapped with me. I shall treasure your works of art always.
It has been a real pleasure looking at this post again, and I hope you’ll forgive me for taking over a year to upload it! When I get my new ARTHaven set up, I shall be displaying these beautiful ATCs which I have received in my special display area, so that I can continue to enjoy them.