Sunday, October 7, 2007

A GIVE AWAY, and a Reveal!

"Of gifts, there seems none more becoming
to offer a friend than a beautiful book."

Amos Bronson Alcott - Concord Days. June Books.
In an earlier post I mentioned that I am participating in an ATC (Artist Trading Card) Swap over at Creative Swaps. This is a Mother Goose ATC Swap hosted by Lenna at Creative Swaps and Alpha Stamps. Well, I have been up to my ears in eggs, goose glitter, people in pumpkins, kittens in mittens, and dishes running away with spoons off and on for the last two weeks finishing up my ATC's. I really challenged myself not to purchase any materials for these mini creations with the exception of the yummy vintage graphics, stamps, and stickers from Alpha Stamps. There are so many graphics on the collage and sticker sheets that I still have tons of goodies left to play with! All my embellishments were left overs from other projects but I admit that I did spend an extra $1.29 over my self-imposed budget, after all I did NEED a dish and a spoon!

First the GIVE AWAY, this is my first time to make ATC's and to participate in an art swap, so in celebration of these new little creations and tyring new things I am hosting my first time ever GIVE AWAY! In honor of the theme of books and Mother Goose someone will receive a custom collage book shaped box of goodies which will include of one of my little quilted, pop-up, storybooks. Goodie photos will be posted a little later this week, goodie box is still a work in progress. You have until October 27, 2007 to sign up! I will be using a custom random number generator to select the lucky winner which will be selected and announced on October 28, 2007! TO ENTER just sign up in the comments section of this post and tell a friend!

I have to admit to my lack of knowledge in this area when I took on this little art challenge. I was just looking for something fun and creative and had been hearing a lot about art swaps so I Googled and found Creative Swaps and this challenge appealed to me because of the theme and also the size of the individual projects, not too large as to get too time consuming. (Photos posted below)

What is an Artist Trading Card (ATC)?
An ATC is an individual art miniature which passes from hand to hand. Don't you love the concept of hand to hand, there is such connection in it. ATC's are made to be traded and never sold. These small works of art are typically made on a base of card stock that measures 2.5 x 3.5 inches and may have portrait or landscape orientation. Each ATC is signed, dated, and titled by the artist, and usually has contact information listed on the back. ATC's fall into three categories, unique one-of-a-kind ATC's are called: Originals, sets of cards are called: Editions, and cards made based on a particular theme or subject but all different are called a: Series. ATC's can be about anything, made in any media, and use any materials and techniques, the sky is the limit! I found Mirkwood Designs to be a helpful site for cutting guides to get the most out of your card stock to templates for sleeves and envelopes for protecting your ATC's.

A Little Artist Trading Card History
I decided to check out the history of this art form while I was at it, always being the curious sort (that comes from being a former homeschool mom and I am wired that way) and what follows is a brief history of the ATC's beginning. Swiss artist M. Vanci Stirnemann first developed the concept of ATC's in 1996 when he decided to document his activities with other artists by producing 1,200 cards he created by hand. He exhibited the cards at his bookstore gallery in Zurich in May of 1997. On the last day of the exhibit he invited anyone who wanted a card to create their own ATC to trade during the closing reception and a new art trend was started. For more information you may wish to browse the original ATC site in Switzerland.

When I began this art project I went to the Alpha Stamps website and chose the following for my projects, Humpty Dumpty, Mother Goose, and Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater Collage Sheets, Three Little Kitten Sticker Sheet, and an unmounted Cat in the Fiddle Rubber Stamp. When the supplies came in I took some time looking over them and two things kept coming to mind - children's quilts and pop-up storybooks, so I decided to combine the two ideas.

Introducing my Mother Goose ATC Series:

#1 /6 "GRUMPTY DUMPTY" (I call him this because he just looks oh so grumpy and serious!)

For this ATC I used two images from the Humpty Dumpty Collage sheet, one for the cover, which I scanned onto fabric to use for quilting and the other as is for the pop-up element. The image of Grumpty on the front is quilted and stuffed to make the image stand out from the flat embroidered surface of the card face. Inside paper elements create a little courtyard for a sweeter looking Humpty to reside. The closure for this little book is a pale sheer ribbon.


For this ATC I selected two images from the Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater Collage sheet, scanning one onto fabric for quilting and using the other for a background for the pop-up element. On the cover we see Peter gazing at a pretty pumpkin Miss, I used a lot of embroidery to embellish the front of this one. Inside we see what Peter was really up to as he steals a kiss from little pumpkin Miss! Here I used some leftover stickers and 3-D embellishments from a scrapbook page I did last Autumn, with the little wooden bucket being the pop-up element. For the book closure I used a bit of brown yarn.


For this ATC I chose only one image from the Mother Goose Collage sheet, scanning it to fabric for quilting and using parts of the original, the wording and Mother Goose and her goose. For the cover I used silver and gold metallic threads to bring out some shimmer. On the inside Mother Goose is on pop dots which raises her from the background as she flies through glittered starry night sky towards a little mirrored moon. The closure is made of blue iridescent sheer ribbon.


For this ATC I used three images from the Humpty Dumpty Collage sheet, one for the cover and two for the inside. Again I scanned the cover one to fabric for quilting. For the embellishment on the tiny budding tree I used actual twigs and embroidery floss to create the tree trunk and branches. Next I stitched on a few tiny white pearls, then I filled in the design with white and off white french knots and tiny lazy daisy stitched leaves. Inside I used one image for the background and cut out the other for the pop-up element. I added a tiny silver crown and shiny red and gold jewels for this Court Jester Humpty. For the stone floor upon which he stands I used grey chalk on a piece of card stock to create the brick effect. The closure is a multi colored iridescent silk ribbon.


For this little card I used a rubber stamp of The Cat in the Fiddle to create an embellishment both inside and outside the card. I did not have a background to use for this little quilted piece so I had to create my own. Using muslin and chalks I created a sky, mountains, grass, and a path, sealing the piece with a fixative so it would not smudge. I added little embroidered flowers along the path. I stamped the cat image onto white card stock using a light brown ink then colored it in with colored pencils and topped it off with iridescent glitter. I trimmed the image and glued him to the front. The dish and the spoon are from a miniature dish set and they are embellished to look like a runaway bride and groom. On the inside I used the same process to create another cat. For the moon I used a magazine cutout and glittered both. The cat and moon are on pop dots to raise them from the glittery night sky. I added a bit of stuffing to make it appear that moon is resting on a cloud as musical notes float about the night. The closure for this book is a bit of green satin ribbon.


For this last creation I used three stickers from the Three Little Kittens sticker sheet. For the front of the card I sewed a grid of squares. Then I used a snippet of vintage green velvet to make a little mitten shape, stitching around the edges, stuffing it with a little batting, and then finishing off the mitten by embroidering a cuff. I trimmed one of the stickers to fit the contour of the cuff edge and stuck it to card stock then antiqued it with walnut ink and glued it onto the cuff. Next I embroidered little flowers using a straight stitch and french knots. On the inside I created a little scene with Mother Cat and her little kittens. I used a mini checked paper for the top background to mimic wallpaper and a piece of green burlap paper for the flooring. I then antiqued the mother cat and kitten sticker and placed them on the background, here I had to trim a bit of another sticker to span the whole back section so I used the little soap containers. I used the two little happy kittens as the pop up element. I used two cutouts from a home decor magazine, a round rug image and the clock image on the wall to further embellish the scene. The closure for this one is a bit of gold yarn.

For all the backs I used a craft knife to make a little cut out border and glued it to coordinating card stock and then filled in all the necessary information.

The rules are that each card had to measure 3 1/2" by 2 1/2", could be portrait or landscape in orientation, must use fabric in some way, and must use at least one of the Mother Goose Alpha Stamp images on each ATC. This is a 6 for 5 swap meaning that you make six cards and receive five back, one going to Leslie at Alpha Stamps for their on-line gallery. Alpha Stamps will reward each participant with a free gift or participating. Lenna over at creative swaps will reward each participant with a hand stamped fabric Mother Goose ATC Card Holder and there will be a first prize for most creative design, a Mother Goose Tote Bag printed on both sides. ATC's are due October 27, 2007, this swap is still open until October 5, 2007 with 5 remaining spots open, participation is limited to 30. If you are interested in participating contact Lenna at Creative Swaps.

Photos: 1. A picture of a page from my very first story book, The Bumper Book, given to me at birth by my mother's best friend. It is illustrated by EULALIE. 2. My ATC Series


creativelenna said...

WOW, Sandy, I am really impressed! Your mother goose ATCs for our swap are delightfully different and special. You have included wonderful info about ATCs in this post as well.

Of course, I can't resist being asked to be included in your give-away too! Sounds too yummy. I also already told a friend - Leslie Elledge of Alpha Stamps!

If anyone is interested in filling the last spots in this swap and you are a quick worker, who can get their hands on the required Alpha Stamps Mother Goose products as they are Due 10-27 - contact me by clicking on my photo or name here. THANK YOU, Sandy!

Helen Read said...

these are lots of fun Sandy! You did a great job... and thanks for the backstory to ATCs!

Anonymous said...

These are totally awesome I can't believe they are your first. You have a gift! vpage

Anonymous said...

Sandy --
I found you. Never mind my senior moment. I would LOVE to participate! This is my first swap...EVER. Thanks for asking me!

Rosemary said...

I just found your blog via French Garden House.
Your blog is so cool! I love it.
Hope you visit mine sometime.

FrenchGardenHouse said...

Love those ATC's!! They are so darling. And your posts are the best.

Nunnie's Attic said...

Miss Sandy, they are absolutely beautiful. It's amazing to me the talent some people have. I don't have one talented bone in my body. I would love to be entered in your giveaway. Thank you so much!


madrekarin said...

Sandy- You ATC's are just beautiful! The detail and whimsy are just perfection. Wow. I am duly impressed!

Rashmi said...

Truly inspiring! What a trip down memory lane that was. Thanks soo much! And please do include me in this great giveaway.

Terri Steffes said...

Those mother goose ATCs are lovely. I want to be included into your giveaway. Such a sweet thing to do.

Cape Cod Washashore said...

Lidy at FrenchGardenHouse had some VERY appropriate loving words about you, so of course I had to come and pay a visit! I am so glad I did! You have a beautiful blog, beautiful artwork, and a beautiful way with words! Your story about being a little librarian and having your mother read made me weep (my mom and I used to work at the same public library when I was in high school! =) I'll be back!

Sandra Evertson said...

I followed a link fron French Garden House, love your work, so charming!
Sandra Evertson

Pinkie Denise said...

Hello, I loved reading your post about Frances and the Secret Garden.
What a beautiful story. I love your wonderful art work. I came over from
Lidy's Thanks for sharing with me, I loved it Pinkie Denise

Susie Q said...

I would be honored to be included in the giveaway...your creations are pure magic. Just to see them makes my heart so happy! You are so talented and there truly is joy and love in each of these. Little treasures!
I feel blessed to have had Lidy to send me here. My thanks to you both!


ikkinlala said...

I would love to sign up for your giveaway, please (if it's open to Canadians) - what a wonderful theme!

Your ATCs are amazing.

Anonymous said...

Those are incredible ATC's! I love Mother Goose and what you did is so fun to look at.
Please sign me up for your giveaway as The Secret Garden has always been one of my favorite books of all time. Thanks!

Unknown said...

Yes, yes, yes...please include me in your Giveaway! I would love to be included in this generous offering! I am really enjoying your blog!

Best Blessings,

Anonymous said...

Thanks for offering this Giveaway!
I am happy to be included.
Your Mother Goose ATCs are gorgeous, I am in awe. They are destined to be heirlooms.
Happy days,
Joanie Hoffman in MD.

Anonymous said...


Your work is beautiful and so inspiring. Thank you for sharing your talents with us.


Dottie Mucha (

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the history of the ATC's, that was new to me! I've made some ATC's, but yours are astounding! You've put magnificent details and eye pleasing charm to every single one you've created! I'm admiring your handiwork. I love your blog, this is my first visit! Oh, and if you have a moment, drop by my blog for a giveaway also!

Cindy Is Crafty said...

It amazes me what you can do on a little ole ATC. That is a tiny surface to work with. Wow!

Humpty #1 is my fav.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sandy,
Your ATCs are beautiful! Welcome to the addictive past time of swaps and ATCs. I'm still working on my Mother Goose ATCs.
Best Wishes,
Rena Matus

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog and really enjoyed reading and all of the pics. I especially like the kitties!!!

Sondra said...

Wow!! It's all so much fun and you are such talented woman. Please do give me a chance to win!!

The Feathered Nest said...

Hi Sandy!!! It's so very nice to meet you! What a talented woman you are....I would love to be included in your giveaway...I must check and see that you have entered mine, too! Thank you for Paying it Forward ~ xxoo, Dawn

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