Thursday, April 12, 2012

Artist Trading Card Experiment

My daughter and I both participated in our first ATC swap last month, also making our very first ATC's.  It was a nice way to have Marta be involved, and with only three of us trading, it was a small enough project that I was able to complete it even while in the midst of a fibromyalgia flare up.  And small enough for Marta to be able to fit it into her busy schedule.  Working full-time, taking college courses and parenting a three year old don't leave a lot of time for other pursuits (can you tell I'm a proud Mama?).

This is one of a series of cards my friend Terri made with "Home is Where the Heart Is" as the theme. 
She started by lightly sanding and then applying acrylic paint as the foundation, followed by inking the background using gauze to daub on two different colors of Ranger paints.  She used paper from Heidi Grace that depicted a series of whimsical houses, cutting each house by hand.  To give each card a 3D effect, Terri added and outlined trees and painted the sun, following up by hand sewing beads and sequins to the background. 

I love the detail, layers and colors on these ATC's!

If you line up all three cards, it looks like an actual street of houses - as Terri says 'like we are neighbors, because I think of us as not only friends but as neighbors'.  

As special as the cards are, that sentence is even more so!

This next card was done by Marta.

The background was done using tissue paper and irridescent strips of paper.  The birds and hearts were cut by hand from scrapbooking paper and the legs were hand drawn, then 'adore' and 'happiness' stickers were applied before finishing up with a coat of gel medium.

Marta's second and third cards (not shown here) were done by coloring the background using liquid chalks, then applying black and white floral cutouts.  The cutouts were colored with artist markers and then the cards were finished using rubber stamps.

I didn't follow a theme for my cards, but this is the first one:
The background was first sprayed with homemade alcohol ink spray and then lightly coated with liquid chalk.  I used an East Indian motif from Dover and applied the image as a transfer (my first attempt at doing a transfer!), which I then colored with artist markers and outlined in black.  The words are handwritten. 

I'm happy with ALL of the results and very much enjoyed doing the ATC swap.  We're going to be doing another one for April, with the addition of one more person.  We're open to having more people participate, but the deadline is April 30th!

If you'd like to give and receive little pieces of art from the heart, let me know.  Group swaps will be between five to seven people, no matter how many participants there are!  Just leave a comment here with your contact info (your email address should be in this format to discourage spam, etc:  CreativeArtitude at hotmail dot com)


  1. I'd love to participate! hobbyparent at creativesouljuice dot com

  2. Wonderful! Keep your eyes open for an email from me. I'll put 'ATC Swap' in the subject line :)

  3. Count me in Cynthia !!
    Love ATCs
    Just let me know the details.
    TY Judy (Solo)

    1. That's great Judy! I'll send you a message on Facebook :)

  4. I would Love to participate in a small ATC swap - which would be my first :-)

    Fondly ~ Melanie Maxell in PA
    RedLionArtist at gmail dot com

  5. Hi Melanie! Sorry for the delay in responding. I'm forwarding your name and email to the woman who's running the swaps. I'd love to see you participate :)

  6. I don't think I have ever heard of an ATC card swap... but then again I think I am a closet artist- denying talent and occaisonally creating something my moms deems worthwhile. :) Bottom line- the cars are great!
    Coming to you from the 99% blog hop.

  7. Your post is great to read. I was wondering what are 5 easy steps on how to create an artist trading card?


Thank you for leaving your comments; I read and appreciate them all! Cynthia