Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A-Tea-C Card Swap

Hi Everyone~
Recently I had the oppurtunity to take part in an ATC swap, for those who don't know what an ATC is (as I just learned myself), it stands for Artist Trading Card. These ATC's are pretty neat , they're tiny pieces of art! The same size as a baseball card, just 2 1/2 " x 3 1/2" total. You're only limited by your imagination. Angela, one of my favorite tea bloggers over at Tea With Friends put a spin on this idea, and hosted an A~Tea~C card swap. How fun!

Angela drew partners for us, and I was lucky enough to get Donna from My Cup of Tea as my partner. Her package came in the mail first, look what I got!!

What a wonderful goodie package! Isn't it fab?!? Along with the A-Tea-C's (which are the burgandy & black card on the left, and the black & white card in the center), Donna also sent me an adorable handmade Halloween card, another pretty ATC card with a tiny little purse on it, a pretty beaded fob, and a Tea Cake! It's so darn cute, you can't see it very well in this picture, but it's a flamless candle that's paper-deco'd into a little cake! I've never seen anything like it. I loved everything, thank you Donna.

Now, for a bit of a confession. I... don't know how to paper craft. Not even a little.  I know people who do this, people who haul around steamer trunks full of 10,000 kinds of decorative paper and chopping devices, a hundred different bladed-scissors, hole punches of every imaginable shape, size and description. I've seen that corner of the store at JoAnn's and I avoid it. I need another hobby like I need a another hole in my head. To a newbie, this scraping stuff is a little overwhelming. Tiny bobbles and brads, cute bits of this & that, and everything looks like it has a specific purpose or should only be used by professionals or at least someone who has a vague idea of how these things are supposed to come together. I felt sooo out of my league. Ehhh... I'm scr'd! Ok... 1, 2, 3 - plunge!

I did some sketches of what I thought I might like my A-Tea-C cards to look like, but had no idea how to execute what I'd drawn. I knew I wanted both of them to be totally different from each other. Of the three ideas I had, only one came out remotely similar (and yet better than I'd hoped and produced in a completely different way). On to the task at hand! Shortly after sitting down to start this project, this is how my work surface looked. I felt like I was in the middle of a full on craft blitz! Madness!

Here is my very first paper craft, and ATC card. I called this one "Pret~tea in Pink". I started with the pink paper in the background (which incidentally, I just remembered I used at my very first tea party) Then I stamped & embossed in gold, a cute teapot & creamer pitcher. Next I added the felt letters and the tiny iridescent teapot and tea cup stickers I found at the scrap book store. Lastly, I added the little fabric tea cup in the lower left corner. I used this fabric to make a table cover for my garden over the summer, I had some left and I thought it would be cute to embroider over some of the printed designs and use them somehow in this process. I think this came out all right considering it was my first go and all. What do you all think, is there hope for me?

This was my 2nd A-Tea-C card. I like this one best! This was similar in design to what I'd imagined, but different. When I sketched this, I thought it would be a small water color painting... truth be told, I don't really paint either, so who knows how that would have come out. I decided to "go with what I know" -- I embroidered it!! I called this one "Sereni~tea".

I started by finding the Japanese symbol for "tea" online, printing, tracing (backwards!), making a paper transfer with my new handy~dandy transfer pencil and transfering the symbol to the fabric, then I emboidered over it. Don't look too close, again, there are some wonky stitches.

Then I cut from felt, the shape of a small tea bowl, a sliver of brown tea, and the very vague shape of a fortune cookie. Sean said the cookie looked like a squashed, beige PacMan. Whatever. I pinned them to the fabric while still on the hoop and embroidered them into position. I felt like it needed a little something extra over the tea bowl, so I added a whisp of steam.

Next, I removed the fabric from the hoop, cut it to size, and then picked out threads from the top and bottom to create a tiny fringe. Lastly I glued the fabric to the ATC that I'd covered in a decorative paper which had a water color effect... not that you can tell, but I knew...

The very last thing I had to do was add the blue ribbon  you see at the top & botton, this was out of necessity, not design. I probably shouldn't point out my mistakes, but... when I stuck the fabric to the card, the darned glue bled thru, I'm glad you guys weren't here... a minor freakout ensued. I should'a used double sided tape... Ah well, maybe it needed a little bit of something else anyway... I delicately glued a thin blue ribbon to the top and two very carefully trimmed pieces to the bottom on each side of the cookie so that it would like all one piece.

There you have it, my first A-Tea-C cards. All ready to go to Mz. Donna! I made a little bag from the left over fabric as well so that the cards wouldn't be sliding all over the place while in the mail. You can never have too many teapot covered, drawstring bags, right? I hope you liked them Donna :o)

Once I got my imagination fired up, I wanted to keep going! Angela, thank you for putting this swap together, it was so fun. I think we should do it again!!

I'm sure I did that first one all wrong... but it's small, cute, pink and covered in teapots, so it can't be all that bad. I have a whole new respect for you paper crafters out there! Oh yeah, a question for you paper ladies... how the heck do you set those tiny embellishments? Tweezers? Man, you girls are coool.
I'd love to hear what you all think, or any tips you have.



Angela McRae said...

Wow, Lisa, your cards are so lovely it is hard for me to believe you are *really* a beginner paper crafter and ATC maker. (But if you say so!) I had not thought of cutting some teacups from my stash of tea-themed fabrics. That is a great idea! And your embroidery and the Sereni-tea card ... oh my goodness. I'll bet Donna was/is thrilled! And yes, I think maybe we should do these swaps about once a quarter or so!

parTea lady said...

Your A Tea C cards are great, Lisa. What a brilliant idea to use fabric and embroidery, especially the Japanese symbol for tea. The pink card is very pretty too. Yes, I think we should keep the swap going - it's fun.

Hootie said...

I agree, your cards are so pretty! Love the fabric and embroidery too. :)

beedeebabee♥ said...

Hi Lisa! Your creations for the swap are soooo wonderful!!! For someone who's never been down those paper crafting aisles, you did one amazing job Lisa. I really love your stitching too! I tend to stay away from those aisles also, but I have so many bloggy friends who are stamper/paper crafter's now, that my interest in all things paper, is now certainly there. There are some really good tools and goodies down those aisles as well, even if you don't do the paper thing! That's where I met my good friend Mr Bigkick, remember? I think you are very creative and I know anything you decide to do, you'll excel at!!! I love your goodies from Donna as well...isn't it great to get such little treasures in the mail?!!! Have a great weekend, Sweetie,
Hugs, Paulette =D

Marilyn Miller said...

I love your Japanese symbol card with the felt teacup.

Frivolitea said...

Your cards are wonderful! I am so impressed!