Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hats, Handbags, and Shoes... and Chinese Peonies

Artist Trading Cards (ATC's) have become one of my favorite ways to "doodle" with paper. I just love creating these tiny masterpieces and they also feed right into one of my passions - finding a use for even the smallest scrap of "pretty" paper.

ATC's are very small artisitic creations that can be used to adorn card fronts, altered projects, and scrap book pages, or just enjoyed for their beauty and creativity. Some people use them as business or calling cards.

When it comes to ATC's, there are only three rules:

- ATC's are always 2.5 inches by 3.5 inches;

- a foundation of quality material - card stock (two layers is considered the minimum), cardboard, grungeboard, watercolor paper, even fabric - as a canvas for your personal best work.

- They are art for art's sake, traded or given away but never, ever sold. In fact, once an ATC is sold, it is no longer an "Artist Trading Card"; it becomes an "ACEO", or Art Cards, Editions and Originals.

This monochromatic collection of fashion accessories used scraps of four different patterned card stock and design papers in addition to a solid textured card stock and watercolor paper foundation. For this card, I stamped the images in dye ink and clear embossed on the patterned card stock and used detail scissors and a craft knife to cut out the images.

These Chinese Peonies are a free clip art sample provided by Dover Publications. You can subscribe to their weekly free clip art samples here.

This card is an example of Paper Tole - using multiple layers of the same image to create a three dimensional picture.

I cropped and printed multiple images of the peonies and then cut out three layers for each blossom, trimming off a few petals with each successive layer so the center of the flower is increasingly prominent.

The flowers on the card were painted with Mod Podge and allowed to dry briefly. More Mod Podge was added to the bottom central area of the flower and the next layer of petals was applied and that layer was also painted with Mod Podge.

When adding additional layers, I used my fine tweezers to curl each petal forward slightly. It's important to then carefully coat both sides of the petal with Mod Podge. After all three layers were attached and coated, I let the cards dry thoroughly - several hours in the humidity we're having now. Then I painted them with Diamond Glaze. After they were again dry, I added a tiny drop of Diamond Glaze to the center of each bloom and sprinkled them with copper microbeads.

ATC's are a great way to use up those small bits of leftover punched borders, scraps, and extra images from larger projects. While many swaps require that you make 8 or more cards for a "swap", more and more, I am finding swaps involving 3 or 4 cards.

Pick a Theme swaps provide another one of my favorite ways to use leftover scraps of punched lace, extra images, and scraps of pretty paper. These swaps involve making one-of-a kind for participant's chosen themes. PAT swaps are available on several card swapping sites. You can read more about them here at a the newest PAT Swap posted in the Swap Forum at Splitcoast Stampers.


Anonymous said...

Very pretty!

Discount Cards said...

All the cards are so simple and beautiful. I like the color combination for these cards which your are used in both the cards .

Jerri Kay said...

Gorgeous ATC cards Cathy, I haven't made one in ages!