I found out about this ATC swap because my friend in Scotland, Frieda Oxenham, got me interested in "Inchies" (1"x 1" square collages). I had heard of them before, but was never interested in making them until I saw what Frieda had made on her blog. By reading her blog I found out she was hosting Inchie Swaps on ATCards.com. (This site is closing (02/08), but a new trading site is being set up: http://www.atcsforall.com/ ). I've signed up for 3 Inchie swaps now and completed 2! If you'd like to see the first Inchies I made - go here.
Back to the ATCs -- while navigating around the ATCard site for Frieda's Inchie swaps, I noticed a Fabric/Nature ATC swap: Artist Trading Card = 2.5"x3.5". Mmmmm, fabric! Mmmm, nature! I checked the forum for the swap and saw that Frieda had joined this swap too, wow! And, it was something I could do; 4 to 6 cards created with fabric on a theme of Nature and due March 1st. Carol Schmidt is hosting and I am looking forward to my returns!
Here's what I did to create these ATCs: Last year I created a mixed media collage on canvas piece for a local Art Show I call Enchanted Grotto (thank you, Carla for the title!!). I wrote about the making of it with this post and there is a scan of it below (click for more detail).
This piece uses gel medium photo transfers, lots of collaged paper and even Nature Stamping using real leaves and evergreen branches. I am quite fond of it; it's framed and hanging in our dining room now. The look of this collage was what I wanted for this Nature swap. I thought and thought and then decided I would take the piece off the wall and color copy it onto prepared fabric!! I realize now I could have simply taken one of my scans of the piece to the copier -that would have been easier!! But doing it the way I did made a soft image for my ATCs.
I made extra ATCs - I have sent in 6 to trade. I took the fabric with my photo copied collage and cut it to the appropriate size for ATCs. The fabric had a fusible backing on it so I ironed it to a lightweight cardstock, ATC size. I did not feel like a plain white paper cardstock back this time, so I went looking for some silky scraps I had from practicing coloring & stamping on silk. Some pieces even had leaves stamped on the back!
I cut these scraps to size as well and then used my new sewing machine, a Brother 60-Stitch Computerized Free-Arm Sewing Machine (which I LOVE!) to sew the front and back fabrics with an overcast stitch and the lightweight cardstock in the middle for stability. After they were put together I wanted to add a little rubber stamping with VersaCraft ink, which I heat set. I added a Claudia Rose stamp "It's the little things" in Black (one of my all-time fave stamps) and a Rubber Poet leaf sprig in Forest Green.
The last thing i did was make a little label to identify. Now they are winging their way through the mailstream to Carol. Thanks for the creative challenge!