Monday, June 2, 2008

Something a Little Different - ATCs

I learn so much from the Cricut Message Board and the people there. I had vaguely heard of something called an ATC but wasn't exactly sure what that was. KER, a message board member, wanted to host a group to do monthly swaps of ATCs and I happened to be online at the right time so I decided to give these a try.

First, a bit of explanation about ATCs. ATC stands for Artist Trading Card. For the Wikipedia entry on this subject, click HERE. They are 2.5 by 3.5 inch mini works of art which are fun to create and share. The photo above shows my first completed card.

There are monthly themes in our trading group and the May theme was "Beads." I have a lot of beads around the house (intended to do some jewelry making) so I looked at my "stash" for inspiration. I saw some shimmery aqua beads and decided I wanted to use them.

I enjoy using my Creative Memories StoryBook Plus software and decided to create an image for the card using this program. I took two photos -

one of a rose from the sample archive of the Memory Manager software

and one of some irises that grow by my front door that I took last year - and imported them into the program. I then isolated the flowers and turned them into PNG files or "stickers." I rotated and layered the images and then "grouped" them (something I dearly wish we could do with the Design Studio software!). I also altered the color using the "Hue" option in the Enhance menu. I turned the typical purple iris into an aqua iris!

Here is the image I created before cropping to the 2.5 x 3.5 inch size needed.

I then stuck an aqua bead in the center of each rose using a dot of glue. I felt a bit uneasy about how well these would travel so I decided to sew them to the card with gold thread. Since I made that decision after I had printed all the cards on two sided matte photo paper, I decided to let my stitches show! Here are the backs of my 10 completed cards (you can see the gold stitch pattern).

Here are the ten cards before I mailed them off for the swap!

I like the pattern they make when set in a grid and I may try doing some background images building on this concept.

Thank you KER for getting me started on this new challenge! The cards I received from our group members were all very different and I enjoy seeing how different creative people can take an idea and run with it! If you want to see all of the ATCs from our group, check out KER's blog.


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