As is obvious if you follow my blog, I haven’t hardly made a card since my mom died in October. I made a couple for immediate family members for Christmas, and a couple during The Daily Marker‘s 30 Day of Coloring Challenge in February. But that’s all. My sadness over my mom shut down my creativity. I have been trying to get it back — journaling every day, watching videos, reading magazines. Cleaning out and inventorying my office/craft room. But I think I need something more, something to push me.
So I’ve set a challenge for myself — 30 cards in 31 days, the month of May. (I can give myself one off day, ha ha.) Not greeting cards — I have enough inventory of those right now. And I need something simpler, to produce consistently every day, to not make it too hard on myself. So, Artist Trading Cards. I will make 30 Artist Trading Cards in 31 days.
If you didn’t know, Artist Trading Cards are miniature works of art, the same size as any regulation trading card like a baseball card or a Pokemon card — 2.5 by 3.5 inches. They are a form of free artistic expression — anyone can make them, not just “artists,” and all media are allowed. I’ve seen trading cards made of cloth, with needlecraft, and trading cards made out of slabs of lucite. The idea is for the cards to be a venue for unfettered artistic expression, and the cards are always to be traded or given away, never sold. (Some people do sell them, on Ebay and Etsy — these kind of cards are known as Art Card Editions or Originals, ACEOs. But this is frowned on by others.)
ATCs as they’re known are good venues to try out new techniques or materials before using them in a larger piece. They can also be incorporated into larger pieces, like a focal piece on a greeting card.
So anyway, ATCs are smaller, not so much work to create in an evening, and I won’t need to worry about folding card bases or lining every layer up so perfectly, or stamping sentiments straight. ATCs are kind of expected to be looser in form, experimental.
I always intended this to be one of my “Crash my Stash” projects, and I have plenty of blank ATCs in many materials — various sorts of paper, cloth, wood veneer, even metal. (No lucite, I haven’t been able to find those, although I would like to.) So I’m looking forward to doing this.
Today is May 1, so here is my first card:
The base card is Strathmore Bristol board — I thought it needed something thicker than just paper to hold up the rhinestones. I colored it, first with Distress Stain in Tumbled Glass, than with Dylusions paint in Vibrant Turquoise. I let the paint dry a bit, then wiped some of it off wit a baby wipe to reveal the Distress Stain, and just give the card some texture and depth. I then added the rhinestone heart decal, which is from Recollections. Love it! I am going to have to go back and buy all of those rhinestone decal packs — I love rhinestones and I love rainbows!
I then added the sentiment with some black sparkle Sticko alphabet stickers. Next to the machine perfection of the rhinestone decal, I didn’t mind if the sentiment looked a little uneven and hand-mounted.
I call this card “Rainbow Love.” I know, original, right?
This was an easy card to make, but it looks good, and I didn’t want to kick off the project with something too ambitious. Plus it was pretty late at night when I got started. I like that Dylusions paint, it’s so vibrant and opaque. And of course I love the rainbow rhinestones, they make me happy.
The paint, the alphabet stickers, and the rhinestones are all NBUS.
I’m pleased. I think it’s a good first attempt.