I'll admit that I wasn't totally thrilled with the idea of Artist Trading Cards (ATC's)when I first heard about them. It would be like seeing my first cooked mussel before I tasted it!!. I wondered what all the fuss was about. But then I tasted!! Oh, never to be the same again.

There's something addictive about making ATC's. It's sometimes a problem to get the first idea but once that comes there's the urge to do two or three more, similar, yet different. I don't concern myself much with the finishing and backing until I have a bunch to tackle at once.

My current technique is to work on a nice-sized piece of background, enough to do 8-12 cards. I might do some strip-piecing; or layer all sorts of semi-transparent fabric pieces with threads and ribbons on a piece of felt, top it with net and machine free-stitch over it. Once that part is done I usually draw on the card outlines, using a piece of matboard with a hole cut to the proper size. That way I can position any interesting variations wherever they look best on a card. Then I usually zigzag over a piece of dark Pearl Cotton around the edge of the cards to frame them up. The cutting-out part usually waits till I'm finished with the embellishing.

The next part is the most creative and I have to be in the right mood and the right chair to embellish the cards. This is where it works well to have lots of stash - threads, charms, ribbon, beads, whatever! I find it also works well to deal with a series of similar cards at once. That way the ideas for one of them contribute to the next one.

Finishing off the cards is very non-creative - ironing on a backing and adding your information to each card. I like to use fusible web as a glue between the back and front.

I've often heard the question- What do you do with them?? Well, I give them away. Sometimes I trade them, as in the EAC Exchange in the Spring, or our local Confederation Centre Library Swap this month (August). But the most fun is to slip one into a card to a friend, or hand one to someone for no special reason. I also love browsing my collection from the Swaps, but I do so love the idea of having these mini works-of-art on hand for just the right moment!

Joyce Gill

1 comment:

  1. Hi Joyce, enjoyed reading your ATC post. I became hooked on them 2 years ago when I unexpectedly received one from a friend in France. Knowing that a little bit of myself & my creativity is being enjoyed all over the globe is absolutely FUN!!


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The Embroiderers' Association of Canada (EAC) is a national non-profit educational organization whose purpose is to have a fellowship of persons who enjoy needlework and wish to learn and share their knowledge; and thereby to work towards maintaining higher standards of design, colour and workmanship.

Our aim is to preserve traditional techniques and promote new challenges in the Art of Embroidery through education and networking.

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