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Circle edge text – will it work? Try it and let me know!

So I have gotten a few queries about the way I put the text around the edges of my ATC coins. I use a function in my program called “Attach Baseline to Path” under Path Binding. It makes the text run along any shape. inside it or outside it, forward or reverse, hugging the baseline or a ways away, and showing the path or not. It is interesting to play with. I have been trying to work out a way to share something you can use and had no luck. If you don’t have (and know how to use) a program that does this then I suspect, well, you just can’t.

I think I finally worked out something useful, if not perfect. You will need:

  • the download below, printed at 100% exactly (more on that later)
  • a 2 inch punch
  • a 2.5 inch punch

(you can try to make circle dies work or cut by hand, but the punches are the best option.)

Here are a few of the coins where I have used this technique:

The first thing i did was create some text in a circle. Much like those booklets of useful arty words that you can peel off and stick, I made circles of text that can only be use in limited ways. I have tried to pick phrases I see a LOT, that could work for a few different situations, and where I have grouped them, I’ve tried to make the sort of GO together, so if you wanted to use the whole circle, you could. This is what it looks like – this image will not print the the exact right size for the instructions I will be giving you – download the PDF HERE

Firstly, print the PDF. Be sure that your printer is not trying to re-size the file! For some unknown reason mine always tries to print it at 103%. Change it – in my case I have to tick SCALE and then enter 100

The fine grey lines are to help you line up your punches. If you are hand cutting, or trying to line up circle dies, they will be helpful. The outside dimension is 2.5 inches, the inside circle is 2 inches. This is how I do it:

Don’t be alarmed by the mis-spellings in the PHOTO, they have been corrected in the PDF. When you have the phrases cut, you can edge them using a marker – and I love the Sharpie Chisel tip – for a fine line, or a dauber and ink for a more smudgy look.

Now, I think most of these could be made to work with any generic, pretty or arty ATC. It isn’t a crazy difficult process so I would be open to further suggestions if you care to eave them down in the comments – if I get enough that I feel are likely to be useful to many people I might do further sets. Hope this is useful!

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Some not-yet-shared ATCs

Let’s see – what have I made that I have not yet shared?

Well, I made this little set of cards, using the scraps from my desk and some washi take I got as a little extra in a swap – it says ART IS MY LIFE and was very much appreciated! It’s a lot more obvious, the text, in real life, than it look here.

And I finished up the ones built on another Vaseline resist + Distress Oxides experiment. The must remain as pairs, give the quoted dialog follows from one card to the other. From Repo Man, and ols movie with a bit of a cult following:

I love the Rubbermoon stamp set and the trick of adding just a smidge of the Stabilo All pencil and water activating it to give the stamped image a slightly more…drawn look, I guess, is a handy one. I wish more Rubbermoon stuff was sold by UK shops, now that you can’t order direct without being a paid Patreon of the shop owner.

And this little foursome of Owls.

The text is all found poetry from information about OWL STRIKES. It’s a thing apparently – I remember hearing it mentioned in an old documentary called The Staircase. I think Netflix has a newer/updated version of the original, and in English. For years after I bought this from Amazon France I kept getting recommendations from them of other things to buy – but I don’t speak French at all LOL! The second of the two documentaries was available in a French version with a secondary English soundtrack, for a HUGE discount. I did the same with Ashes To Ashes, bought a German language copy for 1/3 the price and just used the English language option. But I seriously digress!

The owls are by Lily Chilvers of The Octopode Factory. Sadly, she died in 2015, suddenly and very young. She was a talented lady, and it is fortunate her art lives on, still available on Etsy.

I have a couple of other sets on the go, but nothing to share as yet. I do have something to share tomorrow that I think will be of interest, if you like the text-on-the-edge look of those coins, so drop back by for more on THAT.


Dapper Gents – more swap fodder, mostly.

Here is the companion set to those Vintage Ladies I made last week, all from swap fodder.

These use up two small ATC backgrounds and some plain paper from a note card, plus some of the word tape still on my desk and those typewrite key stickers I was abut to toss in the bin cause they had fused to the acetate sheet they came on and peeling them off was getting on my nerves.

The text is from O Brother, Where art Thou? and seemed to fit. A bit about making the background bits stretch to fit four coins. Each of the two bits I had were ALMOST, but not quite, ATC sized. they were both just slightly short. I folded each in half, to get the four pieces I knew I would need to work with.

In order to get the absolute most out of those bits, I attached each chunk to a “handle” and slipped it into the punch. That let me cut the largest semi-circle I could.

and each one mostly filled the coin. A bit of the plain paper and tape over the join and it was just enough. Another something from nothing set and lots of fun to work out how best to use up the limited bits I had.


WOYWW 642 – best mask ever

Happy WOYWW to all. Lordy, lordy I did such a bad job last week of WOYWW visits. For some reason Wednesdays seem to be jammed up with stuff. And then I manage to let it slip my mind until I am not in a place where I can just start my hopping. BAH! This week I have a meeting that was rescheduled from last week, about darling daughter and her transition to adult services. I have shifted my knitting mate to Tuesday so I am hopping it’ll be smooth sailing for the first time in a while. So we begin with messy, as ever.

What a chaotic shot! If yo looked at my post from yesterday, those dapper gents are from the Livbrayr of Congress free-to-use images. Printed on the 170gsm version of the coated cardstock, they work great for coin-toppers. The other bits are from my pile of swap-fodder. I thought as I had done the vintage ladies I would do the vintage gents as a companion set.

Next has to be the tidy shot!

What a difference an hour makes…well a bit more as I have completed the coins in the interim but will save them to add tomorrow, as I have more to show. The ATCS there are a pair I made using a digital stamp from Wonderstrange. I edited out the words on the mask so I could (digitally) add my own. I saw a mask with Schrödinger’s Smile on it and decided it was the best mask ever. It’s on my birthday list cause it is just too perfect! I used that as one of the mask words, and Ceci n’est pas un masque is the other, riffing off Magritte (hence the green apple!)

The background is, of course, a mask, cut up. And there is a lovely tag/card that I got along with one of my ATC swaps. It is so pretty I had to share!

And lastly, the If you HAD to… cards. An odd pair this week

I cannot image it would be tolerable, having a drunk leprechaun in a baby sling (or even a sober one!) on you 24/7 and while I might be tempted to go for the frozen/revived option, I can’t see leaving my family behind. Both options suck. Which is worse? I can’t decide!

Have a great WOYWW day and hopefully I will hit a number of desks early then finish up later!

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ATC trade fodder – all those extras make something!

As much fun as it is sending out the ATCs, it is as much fun picking the “extras” to include. With very few exceptions, I usually get quite a bit of extra stuff in each envelope. As the vast majority of the swaps I have done are with people in the USA, that is even more impressive cause it costs a bit to mail.

Here are a few shots of the goodies I have amassed. I tend to keep them all in a plastic folder, which I sometimes draw from for my own extras:

But I had the idea to see if I could make a set (or multiple sets) of ATCs from just the trade extras. I duped it all out on the desk and sorted the goodies into loose piles of related items:

and I set aside the items that I knew were good for focal points on the cards or offered a “theme” – I had a quirky pile and a vintage pile.

I loved the old fashioned ladies, they were amazingly easy to cut out, and the colours very much fit in with the potential backgrounds I had. Within a very short time, no more than an hour, I had a set of vintage, snarky ATCs ready to go:

I realize I have postage stamps on three of the four and there is a perfect spot for on on the last card, and I have a large pile of those so I’ll probably add one and keep that as a unifying element. I think I had one set aside to add then just…forgot!

I think this was a lot of fun and I am keen to see if it is possible to do something with the “quirky” pile. Not sure I can, yet, as backgrounds, in particular, are now a bit thin on the ground – and the ones I do have are still more in the “vintage” style. There are a few trades outstanding still so I may have to wait for my next visit from the postie and see. But I really love this sort of challenge to myself and these last few days have been a little on the stressful side so it was fun to tune out and focus on something purely for fun.

Busy weekend ahead….

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Mushrooms from The Evil Garden – ATCs

The images that spoke to me were some fabulous colourful mushrooms and as soon as I saw them I knew they were just what I wanted for my ATC toppers. I was browsing thru my Edward Gorey book The Evil Garden and while none of the quotes worked perfectly, it did give me the idea to look for unpleasant mushroom quotes to go with the images. I found an old PDF that was a guide to mushroom gathering, but it included within a load of quotes, some from as far back as 65 AD, about the danger of mushrooms. The Hubster adores them – I loathe them. There was my theme! Here are my cards.

As the ATC bases were pretty much all warm colours, I picked a set of four blue/green mushrooms for the toppers. The smallest of the paper dolls fit, and the addition of a circle punched from tracing paper and efged with gold, set behind the dolls, helped soften the bright background and let them stand out just a bit better. I suppose you could take it that the girls are as deadly as the ‘shrooms LOL!

I am keen to do something with my Edward Gorey books. The Gashlycrumb Tinies is pretty well known, The Evil Garden maybe less so, although it is similar is tone. I have a few EG stamps, a set, a square with a man, a woman, a boy and a girl, dancing, and a single stamp of another guy, dancing, that I used with the Stamping Gear (remember that!?) in an interesting way a while back:

and a stamp of a girl pulling a wagon of books (gotta be Matilda, right?)

I also have a toy Dracula Theatre that comes as a book, to punch out and assemble:

I’m still putting it together in my head, but there is a germ of an idea!


Dither, dither, dither – for a contest!

Not one with a real prize or anything, I treat them more like a challenge,but one of the FB swap groups I am part of has a monthly contest. The “winner” is drawn at random, so no skill required LOL! Still I like to do my best. This month the challenge theme is GEMS. I had loads of ideas, many of which were a total fail. I knew I wanted to use this half-tone die and fill the holes.

None of them really worked, but when I combines the sequins with a gem topper, I liked that pretty well.

I messed around with combos and placement and in the end it looked like this!

Gosh the gems do not look sparkly in the least in a photo. As ever, a slight tilt helps a LOT:

That is just the first – I can do two. The other one is a collage image of the Red Queen from Alice and some pearls, because, well, the quote!

I enhanced the collage image with some gold glitter pen and shadowing an while I wish I picked a thicker font so the white letters stand out a bit more, overall I like it a lot.

I cannot believe it’s WOYWW again tomorrow! Best tidy up that desk. It’s a tip!


ATC coins – used the watercolour birds!

Well, I couldn’t let them go to waste, so I’ve managed to make a set of coins. I made coins a while back where I printed some text in a curve to go around the edges of the coin and I really liked it. I wanted to do it again.

I had the idea I might be able to create an editable PDF that I could share (so you could do it to without a specific program) but I failed, miserably. Ah well…

The other thing I did that I seem to do a LOT it stuck a very large, very bright gold dot from some tissue paper I have to a bit of cardstock and then punched out with a circle punch. It looks really lovely, but in photos it looks a bot like a dull grey blob. The magic is revealed when yo tilt it ever so slightly:

Kapow! It just glows. Still considering what I want to focus on next – or do I just keep making my cards and coins, trading them across the world, and writing in my journal? I simply cannot decide!


Watercolour ATCs – a struggle

I had an idea for making a set of ATCs using my watercolours. I enjoyed the swatching process a week or so back and thought it might provide a nice base for some cards

Keeping the lines straight was the first challenge! Once I had the whole sheet full of blobs of colour I used an ATC sized window to audition areas. The swatches were all a bit random so just cutting them to size as a grid was not really going to work. And at least one card ended up being seriously wonky to the point of being unusable as a base. Once I cut the cards, I doodled a bit with some white gel pen, ome black Micron pen and some gold ink and a dip pen.

But then I really struggled with the toppers. Would it be just text? and image? would it be stamped over? I did photo two of the most promising options:

I liked the birds as they were watercoloured as well, but in the end the quirky people spoke to me louder LOL!

It isn’t obvious, but the words were available as…well, WORDS, but I preferred them as LETTERS so, yeah, I cut them all apart, inked all four edges of each letter block then stuck them back together as words. Cause that’s how I roll…. LOL!

Now what next? I don’t know but I have some ideas….

Some of my traded ATCs have begun to land in the USA – I have yet to receive any back yet. I hope I do soon. I am anxious to see that international mailings are problem free….

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Absurd Birds ATCs

Just a quick set of ATCs today. Lots going on, as ever. I realize I never shared these and yet have traded most of them already! They are backgrounds from a book about flower arranging I grabbed from the SCOPE shop when picking darling daughter up from her volunteer time there, and printed images from a collage kit. The text is from a collection of “surreal” quotes – as opposed to quotes about surrealism. Very different!

Only He Spoke Fire, He Runs, and Runs Again and Shadows Collect are still available. I really must stop adding text as individual words. Tedious for sure, but I do love this font with these images.

I am still quite keen to follow thru on something I mentioned a while back, melding a LifeBook class with an idea for a set of ATCs. I may find time to work on them later today and maybe share soon. And I need to check on the LB classes again to see if I am tempted by anything newly released. I think I missed out on a Wanderlust discount so not sure if I will follow thru on that or not. Honestly, my track record with even classes I PAID for is rubbish and I have 100 free classes queued up tooso it seems madness to even consider adding another pressure point! But we’ll see….