During my no-spend challenge in January, I didn’t join a single Swap-Bot swap. Come February and I was getting withdrawal symptoms, so I decided to join a UK only ATC swap, to keep the cost down. The theme of the swap was ‘Hearts’. I think I may have gone a little overboard with the theme as I can count over 25 hearts visible on this tiny ATC!
I used some old sheet music and cut out a couple of heart shapes, colouring one in with a red ProMarker. I also coloured in one heart on some black and white heart backing paper (I do love the black white & red colour scheme!). Some red adhesive pearls and a ribbon bow completed the look.
Eye Test ATC
As I mentioned in my Back in the Craft Room post in January, my mother-in-law gave me some awesome sight test and spectacle themed stamps for Christmas. So far I haven’t used them nearly enough! So I thought I’d have a go at making an ATC. I stamped the spec frame onto vellum and cut it out, so the vellum looks like lenses. I used a blue marker pen to add some eyes behind the lenses (there was a bit of a disaster when the glue I used to fix the specs onto the ATC smeared the eyeball all over the back of the lens, but I just about managed to resurrect it, although you can still see the smudge ). I stamped an eye test chart onto white card, then mounted it onto blue paper, then onto the backing card. I edged the whole ATC with a blue marker pen to match, then wrote ‘Lens number one, or lens number two?’ all around the edge of the ATC to create a border. I’m really pleased with how it’s come out!
I’ve been following the craft blog of a friend of mine for a while now, Chasing Art. Like me, she mainly blogs about ATCs and cards, but unlike me, often takes part in challenges hosted by other bloggers. Yesterday she posted a fantastic ATC in response to a challenge on ATC’s with Attitude, a brand new blog that’s only just been set up. The theme of the challenge is ‘flowers’, one of my favourite embellishments! So I’m joining in too, and am excited to be entering my first ever challenge. This is apt, as it’s also the first challenge ATC’s with Attitude has set too!
I was shocked to realise that I’ve not made an ATC for 6 weeks – a result of all these Christmas cards I’ve been making! But it seems that once I start, I can’t settle for just one…
As the theme is ‘flowers’, I did go a bit full on here. I used my flower punch and embosser to create the flowers (actually, they’re ones I had left over from here), and a rub on from my very first ATC kit. The finished article wasn’t quite how I’d imagined it in my head – I think it’s just too busy, so of course, I simply *had* to make another.
Follow Your Dreams
I’m much happier with this ATC. The colours are actually red and black, my favourites. I received the beautiful flower brad in an advent calendar swap I opened today. The ATC is pearlescent red card, and the rest is just my doodling with a black pen (minimal smudging today for a change!).
I hope you like them, and that they are worthy of being an ATC with Attitude!
Kirsty’s Crafty Charity Calendar Challenge
(Try saying that three times quickly!)
My good friend Kirsty is an Occupational Therapist, and to celebrate World OT day (which is on 27th October 2011) she has set her blog readers a challenge: to create an ATC that celebrates an aspect of Occupational Therapy. If you don’t know what OT is, you need to visit Kirsty’s blog here and discover the amazing, varied and under-valued work that Occupational Therapists around the world undertake.
As Kirsty was introduced to ATCs by me, I did feel somewhat obliged to join in her challenge! But she has already had lots of entries, and her aim is to create a 2012 OT calendar to sell for charity.
So please join in! I’ve enjoyed the challenge, not least as I have learnt in more detail what Occupational Therapy entails.
So here is my entry to the challenge.
OT: live your life.
My initial idea was to use the letters ‘o’ and ‘t’ as the main focus of the ATC, and it occured to me that put together, them form a little stick person. So using some suitably sized rub-ons I made my little man. One of the things that OTs do is to help people regain independence after illnesses. For people with a weakened grip even things like pouring a cup of tea can be very difficult. OTs can encourage independence with the use of tools – in the case of my OT stick man, he is using a kettle tipper. I have never seen a kettle tipper in the flesh before, so it was an interesting experience trying to draw one! I used a font from my Scrapbooker’s Handwriting Workshop book for the journalling at the top and bottom, and softened the look of the background with pink chalk to match the rub-ons. I used some star gems to fill in the empty spaces (the stick man wasn’t as big as I’d planned!), and finally I used a marker pen to colour the edge of the ATC to add definition.
Please join in with the challenge if you can – there are some great examples of OT ATCs already on Kirsty’s blog. You have until 26th October!
Remember when I mentioned in my Rainbow ATC post that I’d sat down with my son and his paints and made some coloured backing papers? Well, We had a bit of paint left over, so I thought I’d try my hand at some painted ATCs. Now, I am not an artist. I cannot draw, and certainly can’t paint something recognisable. Most of my attempts at painting in the past have been hard to tell apart from my son’s attempts. But regardless, I had a go. So in the interests of being completely random (and refusing, once again, to throw away excess paint) I came up with these.
Handpainted swirls: blue.
Handpainted swirls: red.
I think I’d watched a programme about Jackson Pollack the night before, which as why I went for randomness rather than my usual rubbish attempt at painting a ‘picture’.
I’d be interested to know what your thoughts are on these ATCs – they are so unlike my usual style that I’m still not sure about them. Are they art? Or are they just splodges of child’s paint on a bit of cardboard? Let me know what you think.
I was sorting out some of my craft room the other day when I discovered two sweet little peel-off dolphins that I had made many moons ago. One peel-off had been stuck to dark blue handmade paper, and the other to regular paper and coloured in. I’d obviously cut them out with the intention of doing *something* with them, but I have no idea what. But as I rescued them from the depths of a ‘randoms’ box, they just seemed to call out to me. So I stopped what I was doing and made them into an ATC. And I wonder why my craft room never seems to get any tidier.
I had some blue tissue paper tucked away which I dug out and tore up into strips. There are actually four shades of blue on the ATC, but only two of them really show up. I mounted the palest shade at the back, and layered the rest with the torn edges at the top. It looked a bit plain at that point, so I got out my trusty Anita’s Clear Gloss Finish, and dragged it across the ATC to create shiny waves. Because it dries slightly raised, it gives a nice textured finish to the backing too. I stuck on my little dolphins, and added a peel-off sentiment at the bottom. I’m really pleased with how this ATC has come out, and I’m sure the dolphins are much happier too. 😉
So. You already know that I can’t bear to throw away anything that could possibly be one day useful for crafting. And here is some more proof.
This is a bit of a cheaty ATC really. The little ‘dude’ is actually cut from a pair of swimming trunks my son had grown out of. It was just the perfect size!! I mounted it onto card, put a matching green brad in each corner, and coloured a white ATC blank to match, and stuck it on. Pretty straightforward really, but too cute!
More ‘rubbish’ used up. I always keep the remnants of cross-stitch thread I have left at the end of a project. For this ATC I just took two lengths of blue thread that were about 5 or 6 inches long, painted a dark blue ATC blank with PVA glue, and randomly draped the threads across the ATC. Once it had dried I realised that some bits of it hadn’t stuck very well, so I painted another coat of the glue on, and now it’s all secure, and nice and shiny. The three little blue flower gems in the centre just give it some focus.
I was recently lucky enough to win a random envelope of crafty goodies from someone on Swap-Bot. She sent me all sorts of bits and pieces, and nestled at the bottom of the envelope was a hoarde of teeny tiny punched hearts, made from loads of different types of paper. There must have been well over a hundred of them in there, but out of all of the other lovely stuff she sent, it was those teeny tiny hearts that got the creative juices flowing. Here’s what I came up with.
Heart of Hearts
I just couldn’t resist this. I drew a very rough heart on a red ATC blank in pencil, and then proceeded to cover it up with the little heart punches. I have no idea how many I used, but I still had plenty left over! I love the fact that the hearts are all different colours, and made from different papers (in fact, some of them are clearly punches from book pages – something I’d not thought of doing before, but may well try in the future). To finish it off, I wrote the word ‘love’ in the bottom corner, and covered the whole of the big heart in Anita’s Clear Gloss Finish to give it added shine and really make it stand out. It also makes the surface nice and smooth, and the chance of any of the little hearts falling off now is extremely slim!
As I still had so many hearts left over, I promptly made another ATC. For this one I divvied the hearts up into 4 groups of five (I tried to make sure I had a selection of colours and papers in each set). By placing the five hearts in a circle I created a sweet little flower. Four of these mounted on some gingham style backing paper, with adhesive gems in the centre looks really cute. I used a brown pen to draw around the flowers to highlight them, and made a zig-zag border around the whole lot.
I think that punching out tiny shapes is a fantastic way to use up any little scraps of pretty papers you have left over from other projects. By saving them up, eventually you’ll have enough to make something else. Just another reason not to throw stuff away!