Thursday, July 16, 2009

July ATCs - Toys

The July theme for one of my ATC (artist trading card) groups was "Toys." I was getting ready to do something completely different (involving legos) when I received the "A Child's Year" cartridge to preview. I really liked the image of a tricycle on that cartridge and decided to change my plan and make my cards using the tricycle cut.

ATCs are only 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches so I needed a small tricycle to fit the card. I did a test cut in paper, however, I found that the tiny details were very difficult to remove and seemed to "stick" in the image. I had just been using vinyl for a couple of projects and it cuts very easily with great details, so I thought I would try using vinyl for my cuts.

The vinyl worked beautifully - most of the little details stayed stuck to the backing paper when I lifted the cuts and it was much easier to remove the remaining little tiny detail slivers from the vinyl cut than it had been with the paper cuts. (When I cut vinyl, I set my blade depth at 4 and use medium pressure and medium speed - this creates a "kiss cut" which cleanly cuts the vinyl but leaves the backing paper intact.).

I chose a background paper with a swirly dot design in a bright green pattern - I liked the contrast of the hot pink tricycle and the bright grassy green. (Unfortunately, this color combination was difficult to photograph in artificial light). I cut the word "play" from the A Child's Year cartridge as well - it is one of the pre-welded words on the cartridge.

I like to do the backs of my ATCs on the computer and try to coordinate them with the theme of the card. I wanted to use a bright and colorful design from my Creative Memories StoryBook Creator Plus software to match the playful spirit of the card.

I chose this paper from the Everyday Digital Kit - but the colors did not coordinate well with my card front. So I went to the Enhance tab and altered the hue using the slider bar - very simple to do. I was able to get shades of pink and green that looked nice with the front of the card.

I did not try to get the exact same little piece of paper to cover the back of each ATC - I just let the random nature of the motifs add to the fun.

It takes a while to make fourteen of anything but I did get these sent off to our hostess last Saturday - if you want to see what other people did for this theme you can check out KER's blog to see the entire group - if they are not there yet they will be posted soon.


  1. when you provided the cutting info for the vinyl, are we to assume that you are using the deep cut blade also and not using a multi-cut setting. does the vinyl come in different thicknesses?

  2. Hi Char,

    You do not need the deep cut blade to cut vinyl - it is quite thin. The Cricut vinyl is 3 mil vinyl. I think there may be other thicknesses available from other brands. For 3 mil vinyl the regular blade works very well.

    You do not need to use multi-cut - the vinyl cuts easily on one pass. By keeping the blade depth at 4, medium speed, medium pressure, you will cut the vinyl but not the backing which makes it easier to separate the two layers (your machine may be slightly different so you should experiment on a scrap first).

    Vinyl is a lot of fun to use. You can cut very small words and letters - since the adhesive is already on the back so they will adhere nicely.

  3. Wow I always LOVE seeing your ATC work, just wonderful!! I have yet to play with vinyl, thanks for the fabulous tips!! And also thanks for showing the backs of your cards, there are still too many people who don't even put their name :( to me the back is just as much fun to do as the front, I can go a bit more relaxed and play :)


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