Four tiny works of [he]art, called ATC’s / ACEO’s

Morning all, and a very Happy Monday!  Something a little different from the norm today.

Some folks might already know exactly what an ATC or an ACEO isbut some may notso I’ll give a short explaination to make sure that we’re all reading from the same hymn sheet and no one is at a disadvantage!

ATCs and ACEOs are  2 1/2  x  3 1/2  inch  works of art.  The only real difference between the two is the commercial (for sale) intent of the art piece by the artist.

  • ACEO = Art Cards, Editions, and Originals are virtually the same as ATCs, EXCEPT  they were created with the intent to be sold.
  • ATC = Artist Trading Cards were created with the intent to trade them only. (i.e. given as a swap with someone else, and no money changing hands).

While art is subjective, the quality of craftsmanship and materials used are important, so there are guidelines:

Examples of ‘Sub-par’ works are:

  • Collage elements falling off / poorly glued / glue showing
  • Cards of the wrong size  (It’s a very strict size of 2.5″ x 3.5″)
  • Computer print outs which haven’t been made by the ATC maker, and poorly drawn over.
  • Cards created with little to no thought (i.e. a sticker or rubber stamped image on a plain piece of cardboard with little to no extra effort)
  • Scribbles on a plain piece of paper

Basically you should make what you would dearly love and want to receive.

Ok .. schools out.

I like to paint my ATC’s & ACEO’s – but have been known to make the odd fun art card which may have beads, images, book pages, musical manuscripts and all manner of other things attached to them.  It’s just as the fancy takes me.  However, these ATC’s / ACEO’s which I share today have all been painted, on water-colour card, pre-cut to the correct size.

This first one was inspired by the Lavender plants in my garden.

Lavender pot

The colour of the mount is actually more like the green in the photo at the head of this post.  The flash has changed the colour here and made it look more like a sage green.

The mount in the photo (the surrounding green board) is from a selection of different coloured mounts I asked a framer to make for me, in the right size, with the ‘hole’ cut to the correct size to take the ATC/ACEO.  The mounts are not a requirement for an Art Card – but personally, I really love having the mounts if I want to frame a card.  The Art Cards themselves are so small, they could easily get lost inside a frame, so I love to use the mounts to draw the eye inwards to the art.

This next Art Card is again inspired by my garden (and again, the green mount has been washed out by the flash):

British Bluebells

Bluebells.  ATC/ACEO – 2.5″ x 3.5″ in size.

I have Bluebells in little groups of flowery hats for fairies,  all over the garden.  When in bloom they look like a fairy milliner has set out a selection of different sized Bluebell Hats, ready for any passing fairy to try on for size.

Of course .. there are some Bluebells which are of the larger size … and I should imagine that the Fairy Dress Designer is kept busy making beautiful skirts and frocks for those fairies who wish to be dressed by the best!

This next Art Card is something from the Fairy Gardens up and down the lands ….  It’s official name is Taraxacum –  or – to you and me: –  a Dandelion Clock.  But you and I know them as they really are:  Fairies, or Fairy Wishes … which are meant to be picked and blown whilst making a wish!

Dandelion Wishes

Make a Wish!  An Art Card ATC/ACEO of 2.5″ x 3.5″ in size.

Although it first appears to be painted simply in black and white, it has three different greens, two different whites,  a very soft grey colour and black.  It also has some cheeky dots of glitter dust.  Well …  it’s a Fairy Wish …. it would have been rude not to include glitter dust!

Information about Dandelion plants from that font of knowledge Wiki:

Taraxacum is a large genus of flowering plants in the family Asteraceae, which consists of species commonly known as dandelion.  They are native to Eurasia and North America, but the two commonplace species worldwide,  T. officinale and T. erythrospermum,  were imports from Europe that now propagate as wildflowers.  Both species are edible in their entirety.  

I’m teaching my Grandson, Little Cobs, this poem (which I loaned my Art Card to, as a background)  and trying to get him to remember to say it before he blows a Dandelion Clock and makes a wish ….

1 Dandelion poem by SA Hall

Dandelion poem written by S.A.Hall.

And finally, in this set of four ATC’s (Artist Trading Cards – aka ACEO’s) is a little bunch of Delphiniums, tied up with a bow of green …

Delphiniums

ATC/ACEO – A Bunch of Delphiniums,  painted in the size of 2.5″x 3.5″

The spring green coloured bow is something which is allowed in an ATC/ACEO.  It’s all part of the art.

If you’re interested in finding out more about ACEO’s/ATC’s,  and perhaps making some yourself then there are lots of forums which are dedicated to this art form.  One here:  ATCs For All .com  and I’ve also found another site which gives information which you might find helpful here: artpromotivate.com  …  but Google will be your bestest friend if you’d like to see more.

There are also a bucket-load of video’s on You Tube which you can watch – ranging from a couple of minutes to …. oh, well, how long is a piece of string?!!!

Some people take their Art Cards extremely seriously and will spend hours on them.  Some make them for fun and to pass a bit of time doing something which has no stress.  Other’s make them for no reason, and some folks make them, and swap them with other makers.  Some people make and sell them … and some of these artists have quite a following and can command quite high prices for such a tiny piece of artwork.  And then there’s me …. who makes them and will either keep them, send them to someone as a surprise, or I’ll use them on a handmade card … or even use them in scrap-booking.

A Bunch of Flowers

Have a go!  You don’t need to paint, you can glue, stick, draw, … anything  Just do have a go  … and if you do … please blog your lovely artwork and let everyone see it.  You might just be the person who inspires others to take up this fabulous little pastime,  and you might also find out that you really like playing in this tiny frame!

Before I toddle off …. 

May I take a moment to say HELLO  to some new followers who no doubt will become friends with us all eventually.  I won’t name names, but please feel welcome to comment on blog posts and introduce yourself.  If you have a blog yourself you can bet your sweet bippy that people here will come and visit your blogs and you might even pick up some new followers yourself too!

Anyhoo Happy Monday  and …  have a truly wonderful week!   Thank you so much for coming and joining me in having a coffee round the kitchen table.  I love seeing you here.

Sending squidges and lots of Monday love to all.  Be good to each other and  … may your God go with you.  ~

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Never Stop Making Wishes!

Going through the moving of my sewing deskalong with numerous boxes of crafty stuff which I did last week,   I came across a long forgotten little blackboard which I bought from one of those pound shops for … yes you guessed it,  a £1.  I can remember that I bought it with something in mind to do with it, however that ‘something’ long ago made its travelling plans and went on a walking holiday out of my right ear and never came back.  So … seeing the blackboard again made me think that I really needed to do something with it.  So I did!

Like the dope that I am   … I forgot to take a photo of the blackboard in its original state, (DOH!)  so I took a photo of the back of it so that you could see the plain wood and what colour it was.

Back of the Blackboard

It’s a soft wood, and quite light in weight, so not something that will pull a wall down if you hang it on a nail!

Blackboard painted

The front … I painted the frame in a deep wine red colour.  It took the paint really well and dried pretty quickly, which I was glad about because I was eager to crack on with the project.

While waiting …  I knew I wanted to put some flowers on the frame, so set about making some roses.

The making of the blackboard flowers

petals in No.1 are waiting to be formed.  Petals in No.2 have been shaped into ‘cup’ shapes.  And finally, No.3 is the completed ‘rose’ flower.

I cut out a variety of sizes of the same flower – one was to be a larger flower and I wanted two others to be slightly smaller.

Once the shapes were cut, I then popped them into a cardboard box which I’d lined with some cling-film (cling wrap), and I lay the ‘petals’ of each flower on it, and then spritzed them with some Cosmic Shimmer sprays, to turn the petals into the colours I wanted them to be.

While these were drying, I went back to the blackboard and did the ‘words of encouragement’ you see in the photo.

blurry hanging on the wall Wishes Blackboard

Bit of a blurry photo, but the only one I got of it hanging on the wall of my cottage. (The flash wiped out the colours a little and left everything looking ‘flat’)

Once the rose petals were dry, I then shaped them into ‘cup’ shapes, and assembled them, shaping the petals as I went along.  Once all assembled, I then spritzed them again, very lightly, where needed, to adjust each rose colour so that it looked like it had grown on the same bush as the others.  (there’s method in my madness! lol).  Finally, I added a tiny sprinkle, here and there, of chunky ice crystals (like glitter, but not) – just to give them a bit of sparkle.

I die cut some leaves, and a bit of deep ‘greenery’ filler and then built the floral decoration in the top left corner, making it sit upon a little soft cream coloured crocheted doily.

And that’s all there was to it!  Ta Dahhhh!

Finished Blackboard

Happy Monday! 

May I just take this moment to say hello to some new followers.  I won’t mention each person by name, but you know who you are.  🙂  Thank you for joining and coming to visit.  Please feel free to chat away in a comment on any post you’d like to.  Don’t feel shy.  Everyone here is amazingly friendly and you’ll fit right in.

If you can’t work out where the comments section is …  go to the top of the post you want to comment on and find the title of the post (eg: for this post the title is  Never Stop Making Wishes) … just over to the right of the title is a pale grey speech bubble which will turn darker when you hover your cursor on it.  Click that speech bubble and it will take you to the comments section and you’ll be able to read and write there.  😀

So anyhoo ….  This is the last Monday in April….  so let’s make it a great day!  Plaster a smile to your face and each time you catch yourself without your smile, paste it back there and try to keep it there.  If nothing else it will make people wonder what you’re up to!  lol

Have a truly lovely day my friends,  and …  be good to each other.

Sending squidges by the bucket load ~

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Buzzy little Bumble Bees!

I saw a magazine on the supermarket shelves and fell in love with the Bee themed ‘freebies’ which were being given away with the issue.  I got home and, over a coffee, I flicked through the pages, and found a few pages of ideas for what you could make with the papers.  I fell totally in love with one card, and knew that I’d make it at some stage, because it was just too lovely not too.

Last week gave me the perfect moment.  I needed to make a ‘Thank You’ card and thought the bee themed card I’d found in the magazine would be perfect,  and so, changing some of the papers, and adding my own sentiment,  I made my version of the card.

buzzy-little-bumble-bee-4

In the magazine the maker had used some black corrugated card  for backing the main central picture.  I had no black corrugated card.  I had red, blue, yellow, pink, kraft brown, green, orange  ….  practically a whole rainbow … but no black.  “I’ll just use black card” I said to myself.  But …  I really loved that corrugated look.  So …  I did the next best thing….

I pulled out a sheet of the yellow corrugated, drew up the measurement I needed in pencil, and, taking a (cheapy) permanent marker pen, I began to turn that yellow card into black card.  I chose yellow in case any of my colouring was a bit uneven, it would at least look like it was meant to look like that (can we say ‘distressed’?) – as it would tone with the yellows on the card.  See … I do think ahead sometimes!  lol.

buzzy-little-bumble-bee-2

By the time I’d filled the square, I’d emptied that penThankfully I had another, because I needed to colour up four Candi dots for the corners!

I added ribbon,  … and I like my ribbon more than I liked the ribbon in the magazine.  My ribbon has flowers on it!  (Much posher! lol)  Then fixed everything in place.

In the magazine they’d used a very pale shade of lemon paper as backing paper – but I preferred something a little warmer.  So chose a lovely, yummy yellow which looked like it had gently kissed the orange paint pot.

For the sentiment, I inked up some plain white card, then using a stencil and two ink pads – a shade of warm yellow and a pale burnt orange, –  I gently inked through the stencil to make a honeycomb pattern over the card.  I then stamped the ‘Thank You’ sentiment and cut it using a die, and backed it with some plain black card.

I added the four Candi dots;  a ribbon bow at the top of the card;  the sentiment;  and finally added some bees which I’d cut from some of the printed cardstock.

Then I turned my attention to the inside.  I’m not that keen on blank insides, and always try to put something in a card which adds to the whole thing in some way.  I chose a decorative die and using some black card die cut it and fixed it in place with glue.  VOILA!  One thank you card for my wonderful neighbour.

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Thank YOU for popping in for a visit!

Well …..  today is the last Monday of January 2017!   We made it through the first month of the year!  Give yourself a mental cheer!  February will be a doddle because its way shorter than any other month – so it’ll a walk in the park.  Yes?  🙂

Have a truly wonderful week.  May nothing stop you from making good choices.  May you carry an inner warmth which, every time you think about it, makes you smile.  May you share a joke or a smile with another person.  And may you do something which helps to change someone elses day around.  Make someone feel better about themselves.  Smile at a stranger.  Pay someone a compliment.  Just be nice to people.  Everyone you meet really does have something which troubles them.  They need help to smile sometimes, and maybe this week it will be your turn to help them.  Give them a reason to smile.

Here ….  here is my chance to make you smileThis squidge is a visible squidge,  from me, direct to you,  because I think you’re truly amazing . . . .

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. . . .   sending you a warm fuzzy hug and a heartfelt squidge,  from me sat here to you sat there.

 …  Be good to each other.   ~ 

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Beautiful Words make a wonderful gift.

Framed Word art gift

I am very rarely given anything handmade by someone else, which is such a huge sadness to me because I love handmade things.  So imagine my heart soaring surprise when my fantastic delivery lady brought me this incredible work of heart.

Made from Scrabble letter tiles, to spell out the words – but not just any words.  They’re words which she associates with us.  It must have taken an age to plan it out,  and work out how to make the right words work with each other.  It’s such a truly wonderful work of art and I’m thrilled to have it – so much so that I’m in awe of it.

Framed word art 2 copy

The ‘cobweb’ is made from sparkly, twinkly black wool and is so beautifully done!  She even went to the great trouble of making the fabulous backing paper herself!  I love it, and love my delivery lady too.  She’s the most incredible lady and I’m so very lucky to have her.  She’s always so happy, so cheerful, so quick to smile, so caring,  and … I love her to pieces just for being the person she is.

I should have actually shared this some weeks ago when I first received it, but between one thing and another I didn’t manage to get it to the blog here.  But better late than never, as they say.  This phenomenal gift lives in my craft room and hangs on the wall above my printer where I see it every time I enter and leave the room.  It makes me feel all warm and loved up when I see it  – as it’s kind of a visible validation that someone cares enough about me to take the time and trouble to make something so very special, just for me .  It’s an instant warmth to the heart and smile to the face.

Well, I hope everything in your world is groovy (cooo … there’s a word from several years ago!).  Do let me know you’ve visited simply by chatting in a comment.  I’ll always reply.  You don’t have to chat about my word art gift if you don’t want to.  Tell me what you’ve been up to or even where you’re going on holiday if you like.  Anything!  Chatting in blog-land is such a fabulous thing to do as it gets us all talking to each other, and that, in this day and age of technology and 140 miserable Twitter characters,  can only be a good thing!

In the meantime … have a truly blessed day and …  thank you so much for coming and spending a few minutes with me. 

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Make a Wish!

I began making this card over a week ago.  I knew the ‘look’ I was aiming for, but at each stage of the making I stopped and kind of ‘fell out’ with the card.  Something was nagging at me, telling me I didn’t like it.  But I kept going back to it and doing a bit more, and a little more .. until it was finally finished on Saturday, and now it’s made, I LOVE it.

1a Make a Wish

It has a sort of steam-punkery feel to it, but not.  A kind of vintage feel – but not.  A bit of a fantasy thing – but not.  I actually can’t pin down what type of descriptive ‘category’ it fits into.  Perhaps you can help me with that one, because I’m stumped!

But … I’ll talk about the making of it:

I forgot to take photo’s of the first couple of stages, so you’ll have to imagine that you saw the paper I layered down on the 6″x 6″ scored and folded Kraft card, (a vintage style paper with a duck egg blue background and roses of various colours and sizes all over it) which I ‘vintaged’ the edges of by blending some warm brown ink from a stamp pad using a bristle blending brush.  Onto this I layered a 5×5″ piece of lush green coloured card which I’d embossed using the Crafters Companion ‘Leaf Vein’ Textures Embossing Folder.  (LOVE this embossing folder!).  I gently ‘scuffed’ the raised leaf vein embossing by dragging the same brown ink pad which I’d used to blend  the base paper across the embossed veins, in order to give more importance to the texture and make the veining stand out even more.

2 Make a Wish copy

I then ‘topped and bottomed’ the card with some of my most favourite lace in my collection, and then added a narrow piece of fresh green organza ribbon over the top of the lace, just to bring the colour out of the card.   . . . . . .  Now came the fun part.

3 Make a Wish

Adding the paper doily was something I knew I wanted to do in order to draw the eye to what I was going to make as the main part of the front of the card.  The flowers were made myself, using a Tim Holtz die (which I’ve had for ages and really don’t use enough – tsk tsk), and some scraps of cardstock in pink, blue and a mustardy yellow, with a scrap of green card for the leaves.  I cut the flowers out on my Big Shot machine in my craft room, but then took them all into the living room and spent an hour shaping and putting together while I watched a film on TV.  The butterfly was from a small box I keep in my craft room,  filled it with any left over die cuts which I don’t use at the time.

Flutterby

I added some WOW glitters to the tips of some of the petals of the flowers, and the wings of the butterfly.

Then came the ‘WISH’ ….

4 Make a Wish

I have a few of these little, lightweight tins with clear lids (sometimes used for Wedding Favours – but I use them in crafting for all sorts of things).  I cut a piece of mottled green paper and fixed it to the inside of the tin.  I then  put some multi coloured Flower Soft just around part of the bottom of the inside and left it on one side to dry.  I then worked on the lid.

In my little tin of ‘saved die-cuts’ I had a tiny little stem of blue bells, which was left over from a card that I’d made ages ago, and I knew these bluebells would look perfect on the lid of this little box.  So using some glue, I glittered the blue bells to turn them from plain black, into something more magical and pretty, and fixed them to the clear lid of the box.

See the bluebells on the lid?

See the bluebells on the lid?

Then I went back to the little tin box and added some wiggly lines of glitter to the green paper base, and then fixed the crystal glass Fairy Wishing Ball.  This was probably the most fiddly bit.  Keeping that incy, wincy, tiny, little crystal wishing ball in one place would have tried the patience of an Angel with nothing on her mind!!  But, in the end, I won and anchored that baby in the right place, and then added the teeny bottle of Fairy Dust.

All that was left then was to add a very small die cut butterfly, and the little tin box was all finished.

But .. the card wasn’t.  The ‘Make a Wish’ sentiment was computer generated (I used a fabulous fancy font), printed out onto some white cardstock, matted onto some black card then cut by hand, and shaped so that it curved out from the card and stood proud, just a little.

5 Make a Wish

I wanted to make this a card of wishes, plural.  Not just one wish, but four.  So … for the inside of the card I made a tag …

A dandelion wish, and a wish-bone wish!

A dandelion wish, and a wish-bone wish!

The tag has two more wishes hidden inside the card  … a tiny little resin Wish Bone, and a Dandelion head .. ready to blow!

Of course … the card had to have a box You couldn’t send this in a regular envelope because of the depth …  so I made it a matching box.

The box for the Make a Wish card

The box for the Make a Wish card

close up of that miniature postcard

close up of that miniature postcard

Once I’d finished this card I stood back from it and gave it a long look … and loved it.  I wish I was a better photographer because in real life this really is such a pretty card, with a kind of magical promise about it.  It’s not a card for a child, but for someone older, perhaps a mom,  or friend, aunt, cousin, work colleague … someone who believes in the power of a wish.  Someone who needs to feel that you’re wishing them good luck …  and wants them to wish it for themselves.  Someone with a birthday, who no longer has candles on their cake which they can wish upon as they blow the candles out.

Fairy Dust isn’t just for children.  Fairy Dust,  Fairy Wishing Balls,  Wish Bones  and Dandelion Wishes  are for people who believe in the magic of their dreams.

Go on ...  Make A Wish!

Go on … Make A Wish!

Thank you SO much for coming to visit today.  I very much appreciate your company, and thank you for the time you’ve spent with me here.

Please feel free to leave a comment behind before you leave.  I love to keep in contact with folks who read my blog, as it get’s us chatting together and we kind of get to know each other a little bit more. The internet can be an ‘isolation box’ for people, and I just hate that.  So let’s get talking to each other!

I’m wishing you a truly blessed rest of your day.

Love and squidgy stuff ~

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