Crafts

Artist Trading Cards

What are artist trading cards?

Artist trading cards or ATCs are miniature cards of art, measuring two and a half inches by three in a half inches. Each piece of art must be this size, otherwise, it’s not classified as an artist trading card. Artists use their preferred media, to create ATCs and trade them with other artists, around the world.

How do I create an artist trading card?

Most online group swaps are open to all media and materials, as long as the card can fit into a standard trading card sleeve. Include your information on the back of the card, such as, your name, date and title of the artwork. Most of the time, ATCs are traded, not sold. Cards that are sold by the artist are called, Art Card Editions and Originals. (ACEO)

How do I trade Cards?

You can search online for an in-person swap in your area, find an online group, or organize your own. There are several websites for online swaps. I have participated in monthly swaps on Craftster, however, they have a number of rules in place, to ensure the swap runs smoothly and successfully. I have also swapped cards with women in Flickr ATC groups. Both of these websites require a free membership. Trading internationally is a lot of fun, but you could run into customs issues, if your card is mailed in anything but a flat standard envelope. There is also a higher chance of it getting lost. Be prepared to make more cards and deliver again. I stopped trading across boarders because of the cost.

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The majority of my ATC assortment features my favorite things, made especially for me, such as, butterflies, Peter Pan (captain hook) and the galaxy. Other cards have been chosen by me, from looking through photos of artist’s collections, on Flickr. They have been delivered to me, from countries including, Canada, Germany, Thailand, Australia and The Netherlands.
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Personal Blog

Women & Living with Cystic Fibrosis

Living with cystic fibrosis my whole life hasn’t been an easy road traveled, that’s for sure. Today, I’m here to share a whole other set of issues I struggle with on a daily basis, as a woman living with CF. These are my honest and sincere feelings. This post was definitely challenging and even uncomfortable to write at certain points, but if I can help at least one woman, then its all worth it.

Career & Making a Living

I missed a lot of school, due to being sick for several years; I barely made it to my high school graduation. After such a stressful year, trying to pass several tests, the last thing on my mind was applying for college, which raised an important question; did I really want to go to college? What if I made it through college and couldn’t maintain a job afterwards. I never know when I’m going to have a bad day. My stomach issues could flare up; my blood sugar could be too high or low or I could be just plain tired, which seems to be happening a lot lately. I have a consultation scheduled next month with the sleep study clinic. Just another appointment added to my calendar full of them.

If I attended college, how on earth would I pay back my student loans? Did I want to risk being far into debt, with no way to pay it back? My short answer was, no. I decided college wasn’t the best choice for me. I qualify for disability checks, but it’s barely enough to pay less than half the rent, food and necessities. Not to mention, a cell phone bill that I can’t live without!

Office jobs are best for those living with CF. You get to sit in a nice air conditioned space, you can take your medications and do breathing treatments right at your desk.

I’m thankful for my creative talents that have allowed me make a few bucks over the past few years. I’ve sold several pieces of jewelry and during the holidays, sets of Christmas cards. I enjoy creating projects for others, but I’m always pondering, Is this good enough to sell?

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Crafts

Crafting on a Budget

Let’s be honest. We all spend more than we would like to admit! You might go a little crazy (ok, maybe a lot), buying supplies you really don’t need. Two questions I ask myself are, do I need this? and do I already have a product that is similar? We should all be practicing self control. Often times before I step foot in a craft store, I set a limit of how much I can spend, otherwise, there is no telling what will end up in my shopping basket or cart. It will be piled to the top before I know it. buying-craft-supplies-meme.jpg

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Crafts

Summer Shaker Greeting Cards

Card making is a relaxing activity, during a rainy afternoon. I’ve got some really fun summer themed cards planned for today. Grab your scissors and let’s begin!

Besides paper, these are my six must haves, for card making:

  • Paper cutter and/or scissors. My paper cutter is from Michael’s. I use Fiskars micro-tip scissors, that are recommended by the Arthritis Foundation. The spring-action design helps reduce hand strain while cutting. They are definitely pricey, but worth it!
  • Adhesives, such as, Scotch double sided tape or a tape runner. I use Scotch advanced tape glider. It’s a little tricky to set up, but once you get the hang of it, it’s easy to use.
  • Rubber stamps and ink. I really like clear stamps, which are used with transparent stamping blocks. You can achieve more precise images, due to, seeing exactly where you are stamping on the paper. I can never seem to get an image where I want it, when using wood stamps. My preferred black ink is Tsukineko VersaFine. Its great for very detailed stamps! I’m currently using Tim Holtz distress ink in various colors.
  • Ribbon or trim. All colors, designs and textures!
  • Die cutting machine and die cut templates. The die cutting machine I use is a Sizzix Big Kick.

Three useful tips:

  • Instead of cutting cards freehand, from a sheet of card stock, I buy packs of pre-cut and pre-scored cards. It saves me a lot of cutting time, when I’m making a batch of cards. My preferred card sizes are 5 x 7, which is A7 and 4 1/4 x 5 1/2, which is A2. A2 is a popular size, as it’s very easy to make, from folding in half, a standard 8 1/2 x 11 inch piece of paper.
  • Choose lighter colors for the inside of the card, where words will be stamped, or written. No one can read writing on heavily deep shades of blue, brown, or purple, even with black pen and ink. I always use white or cream for the base card.
  • Use tape, not glue, to attach paper to paper. Glue is messy and can leave your cards feeling sticky and looking not so pretty. Also, liquid glue will make your paper soggy, (especially thin paper) causing it to tear easily.

Shaker cards have dimensional transparent windows with moveables inside, such as, sequins, beads, rhinestones, glitter, etc.

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Books

Book of the Month-Small Great Things

This months book is written by my all time favorite author, Jodi Picoult. I had the opportunity to meet Mrs. Picoult during her book tour last October, at The King Arts Complex, in Columbus Ohio. She has such a sweet personality. Picoult has twenty-five novels on the New York Times best selling books list. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children.

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