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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!


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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….


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WOYWW 640!

Happy WOYWW all! Last week’s WOYWW seemed to be riddled with technical issues so fingers crossed this week it will be back to normal. Let’s see – what is there to talk about…I am still into the ATC thing. I am really enjoying nearly daily Happy Mail from all over the world trades. My desk, as of yesterday, was in a bit of a state.

Perhaps not as bad as it could have been but not tidy in the least. The trimmed is acting up a LOT and I’ve ordered a couple of new ones but although I have had a notice it was shipped in the 30th, nothing has arrived yet and when I check the site, it tells me I have placed no orders! I did one of the online contact forms and no reply as yet. Annoying. Other stuff is all collage fodder, and did result in a set of cards that I really like a lot:

Keen eyed British folk might recognize the text. I found it amusing that Tim Holtz and Timmy, the dog from the Famous Five books share a name, and that bit of (exact) text from The Famous Five – Five Run Away Together worked so perfectly on that card with Tim Holtz paper dolls! Made me laugh anyway. I call the series Bad to the Bbbone but it probably should have been Bbbad to the Bbbone, as I sing it in my head. Ah well.

If anyone is a at all interested in trading coins or cards, I have added a page with my currently available items at the top.

And speaking of trades, I did a set of oddly shaped coins and traded one of them with WOYWW mate Bishopsmate! Here is hers:

Pink is indeed good. And these two really made me smile, from a trade in a Facebook group:

Let’s see…If You HAD to… cards for the week:

Seems like hair-trigger harpoon arms are pretty deadly, and having to make multiple trips to the store is good exercise, so a clear choice for me. How about you? And a final shot of my desk after a good clear up – much better!

My junk journal (that I am managing to write in most mornings, well on my way to establishing that habit) and a pile of cut but not decorated ATC card bases. What’s on YOUR desk? Do share, I’m dyin’ to have a look….


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Another great use for that coated paper – watercolouring images

I often complain about inkjet printer ink and how it reacts with water. As I was considering an ATC series that I had in my head, I decided to test a theory. The coated papers I mentioned for printing digital collage images worked perfectly for this set:

The images are ones from past instances where people wore masks – pandemics, flu outbreaks, etc. I wanted to watercolour them but wasn’t sure about the inkjet ink running or smearing. It does not, at all, on this paper!

I am thinking now that I should try out alcohol markers on this, but even if they don’t work, knowing that watercolours DO, I am tempted to try printing digital stamps and colouring them that way. One issue is that if you lay down colour, you cannot blend it away like you would on watercolour paper. Looking at this image, you can see that sort of purple-y blotch in the upper left?

I wanted to blend a little purple into the blue sky but once it hit the paper, man it STUCK. No matter it works OK, but it certainly is something to keep in mind.

The state of my desk at the moment is pretty terrible. I really have to tidy up a bit and then I’d like to feature some of the ATC cards and coins I’ve received as swaps. I am tempted, too, to add a page with all the leftovers from series I made then traded. I have one or two from many of them and nearly all from a few more. If anyone fancies a trade, do get in touch!I really am enjoying a nearly daily delivery of the happiest mail ever.


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Yet more ATCs – Bad Veggie Puns

I had a selection of stuff hanging about on my desk.

There are some figures stamped on book pages, some circles cut out of an old Waitrose calendar, come ATC backs covered with printed digital paper… I was forming an idea. I felt like the larges figure (at the far right, partially obscured) was both too big, and not in keeping with the others, so I scaled back to a set of four. In the end I rather liked them!

For those who noted my post from yesterday, I am sticking to the working on my junk journal first thing – it’s been all of three days LOL! – but it only takes… how many times? for something to become a habit? OMG! 2 MONTHS. Well, I guess that is why the 100 days project is handy. If I would have carried on with some form of journaling every day after that, I would have had the habit ingrained in me, but I let it slip. {sigh} So in two months I MIGHT have the habit again. Anyone want to bet WITH me, r is your money safer betting AGAINST me? Long time readers will know the clear answer to THAT…


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Just another set of ATCs

I am really exploring how best to use my new stash of Crowabout Studio B printables and it is so much fun. I saw that one YouTuber talk about how she does it, but her method is to print the collage sheets then cut out all the elements and store them for current or future use. I go a different way. I usually compile the images I think I want to use onto a single sheet, using the .png images, which I can them size for exactly what I need. Here is a too small to print and have it be useful (copyright and all that) sample of what I mean:

and then start cutting to assemble. I didn’t manage to get the elements precisely right so I do have quite a bit of leftover stuff:

I started with some paper for the background which I stamped and enhanced to fit my vision and ended up with these:

I considered figuring how I might replace the reversed text from flipping the owls but in the end decided they were fine as is. I like them a lot – I call the series Side-eye Owls and I have already traded all but one of them. A closer look:

I think I might document my process a bit better and share that, especially given the Mischief Circus site where I got the downloads is shutting on 12th Sept! If you are at all interested I would say dash on over and grab some bits while you can. Not sure when I am going to get tired of ATC coins and cards. I am really enjoying making and trading them for now.


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Decidedly Quirky ATCs

As you will have seen back on Tuesday, the Crowabout digital images are a ton of fun. I decided to combine the quirky words and some of the creatures (some as they are, some created from bits) to top those masterboard ATCs.

I rather enjoy cutting stuff out. All the way back in my scrapbooking days, I was an avid letter-cutter-outer. Microtip scissors are the key. I gotta say I really love these cards. Not sure if you want to see all the close ups, but I took ’em so I’m gonna share ’em. Here is an overview so you can skip the detail if you like:

And three by three:

I have another use for the images that I think will be fun but I have to work out the details. I will, but it is taking a bit of time….


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WOYWW 638 – a new card game and a mess, then a tidy

Happy WOYWW y’all! Another knitting day but I will hit all the desks on show before that begins! Oh my desk was in a right state after the masterboard/ATC card backs play of yesterday. I did a rubbish job of taking process photos, but really I am beginning to think it doesn’t really matter that much. I don’t do videos, people don’t come to my blog for step-by-step instructions (not usually, anyway) and I know from experience that you can’t follow someone else’s process and get the results they do. You are always going to bring yourself into the mix. You can probably pick out the stuff I used (I listed it yesterday if you can’t)

And here is the final masterboard again, and the final ATC card bases.

Now, what to top them with?! Always tricky, but I have an idea (look back to yesterday for a hint!) that I think will be just the ticket.

But first, a tidy. So much easier to work without the chaos.

I have been feeling a little guilty that Kyla started the MBD card thing and I copied her. I have always loved them and when I found a full set for like £2 at the local SCOPE shop I snatched them up. But they are her thing and I think they should stay her thing. Finding a different card-drawing game that looked fun at the same SCOPE shop reinforced that! Here it is:

It actually smelled totally new when I opened it, and maybe it was. I think it’s a hoot. So I will share the 2-card draws and you can pick between them. As the box says, If you HAD to… choose between:

what would you pick? Technically this isn’t how you play the game – you are meant to justify why YOUR card flip is the worst one. To be honest both of these are pretty bad, but one seems way worse than the other….right? RIGHT? Happy WOYWW!