Saturday, September 4, 2010


Today I finished my very first ATC (Artist's Trading Card). It was an absorbing activity, and took longer than I'd anticipated, maybe because of my lack of experience. I was surprised, too, by just how small 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" is. I can't even imagine how patient and painstaking a person would have to be to create an Inchy or Twinchy (1 x 1 and 2 x 2, respectively).

This was also the first time I've tried to do anything with rubber stamps, and I fear it could become as addictive for me as it has for so many others.

Well, then, without further ado, my first ATC:

A few notes on the process:

I started with an image I found on the net, and altered it, changing the colors, heightening the contrast, and a couple of other things in that vein. Then I printed it out, and added some black pen outlines, and squiggles to the branch the bird sat on.

After that, I found the heading "Musicians of the Month" in one of my old Etude magazines. I already knew I wanted to add the stamped bird, so the plural was perfect.

Online again, I found some cool, very old, sheet music, which I printed on erasable typing paper, which is somewhat sheer and also has a kind of pebbly texture. I put a strip of it in the larger bird's beak, and cut individual arpeggios to become the calyxes of the flowers. That didn't show much after I added the black feathers, but I'm still glad I did it, just because I know they're there.

I stamped a fanciful bird on the printed image in brown, and then darkened areas of it with black pen, and then I stamped curlicues in the upper left and lower right corners, using two or three other stamps, and both brown and black ink.

Lastly, I added the brown feathers as a crest for the larger bird, and the black tail feathers to the other. The black feathers are ostrich I got at an estate sale some time back; the brown are out of an old feather duster.

Oh, I should say that the black around the ATC isn't part of it, just the chair seat I set it on to photograph it.

My DH studied it when I showed the finished card to him. He didn't say anything for a few seconds, and I really thought he was going to tell me it was kind of a dumb way to spend my time, but as I moved to leave, he said, "It's really cool."


"Yeah. It's cool. I like it."

Well, then. That was a nice surprise. It isn't exactly what I thought I was going to make. Pretty pale for starts, but I think I like it, too, and it is my first, so I think I'll decide to be very happy with it!


MOLLYE said...

And I like it too. So glad you jumped on the ATC wagon and I know you'll find it to be just the thing when you have a creative itch but don't know what to create!

Ragamuffin Gal said...

Love it ~ so very wonderful!!!

storybeader said...

I think it's cool too! Glad to know I'm not the only one who starts with some altered print on paper. I went out and bought one stamp - and it's too big for the stamp pad! Duh! {:-D

Papertrails by a paper lover said...

I love it! It's very unique! Like the feathers as well!

Cindy Adkins said...

Oh, just gorgeous, Ani!! What an awesome creation--and I hope it was fun to jump on the ATC bandwagon!!

Cindy Adkins said...

Oh--I'm so glad you linked this up!!!

Brenda said...

I love it!! I'm currently working on my first ATC swap with my local scrapbook store, I also never dreamed they would be so labor intensive lol

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