Wednesday, February 18, 2009

February ATCs (humor)

My hand was still bothering me today so I did the only sensible thing - I went shopping! I know I promised some more info and variations on the chipboard album, but I couldn't work on the cuts I had planned to do today - so those details will be coming tomorrow (I hope).

I had been in the habit of posting my ATC's (artist trading cards) each month but stopped doing this at some point. I am in a great ATC swap group on the Cricut Message Board and we have just finished up our first cycle of swaps and are continuing on with a few new members.

Our theme for February was "Humor" and was chosen by KER, the coordinator of our group. She has posted a photo of all of the ATCs on her blog - here is a LINK if you'd like to take a look (remember you can click on the photo to make it larger).

When I took my son back to college after winter break I also visited my Dad. I checked out the craft stores in his area and found this rubber stamp.

It just made me laugh since I have reached that age (!) and I thought it would be cute for the "humor" ATC but there was one problem...

As you can see in this photo - the stamp is about five inches tall. The only rule about ATCs is that they are 2.5 x 3.5 inches so I had a bit of a dilemma. Here is how I solved it...

I stamped the image a few times on a piece of 8.5 x 11 cardstock. I am new to stamping and still have trouble getting "perfect" images but these were pretty good. I scanned these and imported them into my Creative Memories Memory Manager Program. I chose the best image and then cropped it to a 5 x 7 standard size. It just fit!

I then set up a page to print eight "wallet size" or 2.5 x 3.5 inch images. I printed two sheets - there are ten in our group and I needed some extras to practice. I printed them on matte photo paper. You can see my reduced images in the photo above - they are next to the original size image.

I did a few trial runs on the coloring - the photo above shows my first attempt and I used some Prang colored pencils. I varied the colors a bit when I remembered that the set of Prisma pencils I have work better with the Gamsol technique but I have only 36 colors to choose from in that set.

Here is a closer view of the final ATC. The coloring took a long time - so many tiny details! Blending the colors with the gamsol was also tricky and time consuming. Up close I am not thrilled with these but they were nice and bright and the image still made me laugh (and that was the point of the theme). They look a little better from a distance - or if your eyes are also starting to fall apart! When they were all done it seemed that something was missing so I added a tiny rhinestone on her lapel for a bit of bling!

I always do the backs of my ATC in my CM Storybook Plus program - it makes it quick and easy - I just have to add the numbers and sign them. Many months I include a photo on the back but this time I just used a digital paper that felt a bit "valentiny" - I moved the paper around so there was a swirl that looks like a triple heart in the upper left corner.

I hope these made you smile - as far as advice on the gamsol technique - there are many who are experts on this and you can find lots of tutorials online. One thing I learned is that I don't enjoy coloring the same tiny image over and over and I need to find an even smaller blending stump to avoid the smearing between colors! Well, it was fun to try anyway!


  1. O I wish I had seen these sooner I just finished doing mine for Just Buggin.. I will keep this in mind
    Your are FAb.. They are funny too. I got to get back to the cricut MB more..
    I mad I m not getting one of these DAD BURN IT!!

  2. Boy I can relate to the saying also LOL Hope your hand is well soon. These are to cute.


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