Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Autumn Welcome Back ATCs

It's great to finally be back home.  Our unexpectedly extended journey home lasted over 30 hours so I am happy to stay put for a day or two.  At the end of the week I am heading off to Pennsylvania to visit my Dad and to go to the Cricut Circle Meetup on Saturday in Valley Forge (please let me know if you will be there).

I thought I would post the Artist trading cards (ATCs) I did for one of my groups last month.  This group has monthly sign-ups so the number of participants varies.  It had dwindled down to very few participants so a few of us decided to make "surprise" ATCs for everyone in the group to see if we could get people to be more active again.  This meant I had 27 ATCs to make so I knew that the design and assembly needed to be simple if they were to be finished on time.

This is the simple design I came up with for the cards. I experimented with the colors to get some ideas for the papers I might choose.  I decided to use an autumn color scheme.

I set up files to cut ATC bases in Design Studio a couple of years ago.  I find that this is the only way to be sure that everything will be cut evenly and that the layers will align well.  First are the bases.  The only rule in making Artist Trading Cards is that they must be 2.5 by 3.5 inches.  I  set up a mat to cut 12 of these from one sheet of 12 x 12 cardstock.

The second layers is set to cut at 2.25 x 3.25 inches.  I cut twelve of these on one mat with the Cricut.  It would be possible to get a few more by using a trimmer but I usually am making a smaller number of cards and this is adequate for most ATC swaps.

The top layer is 2 x 3 inches and I could fit 18 of these on the 12 x 12 mat.  You can use any square or rectangle to create these files - just change the dimension in the Shape Properties Box to get the correct size.

I used the "Hello" from the Cindy Loo cartridge.

The correct height for the word so it would fit the mat was 1.5 inches.  I had to adapt the shape by using the right center handle to make the width less than three inches.  When I had the sizing correct, I added three more words to each row all in the same selection box.  If you adapt the first cut and then just click the key for the same image the changes made will continue to apply for all of the additional items in the box.  Then you can quickly copy and paste the rows to fill the mat.

This is the cutting mat for all of the words needed for the project.  There are 28 "Hello" cuts and this took a very long time to finish cutting!

I used the multi cut 2 times setting and got a nice clean cut.  I was able to carefully lift the sheet of cardstock leaving only the words on the mat.

It is easiest to keep all of the cuts on the mat until you are ready to adhere them to the card - it prevents accidental damage  or loss of the words.  This cardstock was from the DCWV "Natural" stack ad has a lovely coppery foil pattern of leaves.

I lifted one cut to check it on the mat of top layers for the cards.  The fit was perfect because I had used the Design Studio guideline to size the image.

For my first card I did a "trial run" and inked the edges of the layers and assembled the cards.  I thought the inking looked messy so I decided to simply add a pen line around each layer.  You can see a close view of the inking (on the left) and the lines (on the right) in the photo above.

In this photo you can see that the addition of the lines makes for a more finished looking card.

When I had the cards assembled I decided to add a shiny maple leaf punched with a Creative Memories punch from copper foil cardstock to each card.

Even though the design was very simple, it took quite a bit of time to cut all of the layers, add the words and pen lines. design the back of the cards and add the leaves.

I usually do the backs of my ATCs digitally using my Creative Memories StoryBook Creator Plus 3.0 software.  Then I just have to sign and number them and adhere the backs to the fronts.  I cut the backs slightly smaller than 2.5 x 3.5 inches so I don't have any edges showing on the front.

I hope that the ATC's we sent around will get more people thinking about joining in the swaps again.

My sleeping and waking times will be off for the next few days.  I am trying to catch up with all of the emails and comments but it will probably take a few days.  I do have some interesting projects to post - I just need to find the time to get them written up and still get my "calling cards" done for the Meet Up!  Hello Thursday is tomorrow and I hope everyone will love the new cartridges.  I think they will be hits!

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  1. Diane,
    Love the ATC's you came up with. Like you, I am still a big fan of Design Studio too. The older I get, the harder it is to see all these tiny windows on the new gadgets like the gypsy. I have one but seem to always revert back to DS. Thanks for sharing your expertise in DS with us. Glad you finally made it back and good luck on that very busy schedule you have ahead of you.

  2. I love my Design Studio! Terrific idea to use it for your ATCs. Which, of course, reminds me, I NEED to get mine done. Thanks for the inspiration!
    SusanJ in Atlanta

  3. Hi Diane,
    I am also going to the meet up. I hope to meet you there!

  4. You're so amazing! Such a cute idea, TFS! :)

  5. I do not get over here enuff to tell U How much I ENJOY your Emails coming in But I took the time to come and tell U How Much I Love your work.. I am going to have to get that CINDY LOU ,, Thank U for all u do..

  6. I hope to meet you at the Circle meet up in Valley Forge!

    KEL 1059 at verizon dot net

  7. I really have to get the software and make a better use of space like you do. So much less waste!


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