Sunday, 19 August 2012


I belong to a small international ATC swapping group.  

Each player takes it in turn to be hostess, and to set the theme for that month.  Some of the themes are challenging, and it's always interesting to see how everybody interprets the theme.

These are a few of the ATCs I've made for that group this year.

The first ATC is a textile ATC, made by sewing all sorts of snippets of fabric and fibre to a pelmet vilene base, zigzagging around the edge, and hand embroidering and beading.

The ATC below was my first attempt at the theme of 'A Clear Layer'. I created a fleur-de-lys stamp by drawing on fun foam, and stamped it with a kaleidoscope inkpad. I had masked the fleur-de-lys itself, and then I sponged that shape in purple. I stamped over the fleur-de-lys with a texture stamp and gold ink.  So far so good, and lots of subtle texture and colour, all pastel and way out of my normal colour palette.

I decided the clear layer should be clear sticky backed plastic.  I snipped some angelina fibres, and scattered them over the ATC before sticking down the plastic.  And then I realised the plastic stopped all the subtle texturing I'd done being visible. Harumph. It just looked really ordinary.

I decided to try and improve things. I drew round the fleur-de-lys shape with a bronze Viva perle pen, and used a white one for the rest of the design.  

I left it a few hours.  

I drew dots around the edge.  

I left it a few hours.  

I drew dots in the middle. 

It was better, but I still wasn't happy.  I ditched it.

Clear layer 2nd attempt.  I took some cardstock, and made a background by smearing some Distress ink onto a craft sheet, spritzing with water, and 'smooching' the card through the ink.  This makes a lovely unpredictable background which is very useful for ATCs. Once I had my background, I created a digital collage in Photoshop, in similar colours to my background. I had some clear digital letters (Tangie Designs)so added the word at the bottom. Once printed onto my background, I stamped the flower, and smeared a trace of Stickles around. I then printed the text and butterfly design (Tangie Designs) onto inkjet acetate, and added it to the ATC using brads. I am much happier with this.

Zettiology ATC.  I'm not a huge fan of zetti, although I see things which other people have done and which I quite like. I did once take part in a huge journal pages swap, which was kind of zetti and which I enjoyed, but mostly it doesn't come naturally to me.

I was very fortunate, because my friend Chrissy took the time and trouble to send me a birthday card, and the card she sent was a zetti design.  I liked her design, so created a small adapted version in this ATC. The black background has been embossed in an embossing folder, and the 'body parts' are all shrink plastic.  The rest of the design elements are hand drawn with a white pen.

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