Thursday, April 4, 2013


When time and/or space is limited, but you still want to create art, an ATC may be just the thing for you!  An ATC, or Artist Trading Card, is art in a small format.  There are exact specifications for the size of an ATC, and that is 3-1/2" x 2-1/2" (either orientation).  Further, an ATC may never be sold; it may only be given as a gift or traded.

What brings me to this topic today is that I have been asked to trade pieces of art with a woman in New York State.  We met on a website called, where art journalers (primarily) gather to share their work, chat about projects, and/or  inspire or be inspired.  Susan and I were often commenting on each others' work, and Susan proposed that we "swap" pieces of art once a month.  I laughed when she said, "We like each others' work so much, we are pretty much guaranteed to like what we receive!"  And she has been right!  We swapped Valentine-themed "tags" in February, then Spring or Easter tags in March.  This month we are swapping three ATCs of any theme.

Both Susan and I like vintage-themed *anything*, so I have created two vintage ATCs and then one about birds--a passion of my own.  Here are the ATCs I created:

The first, "she is JOYFUL," was created by manipulating a photo of my sister as a young girl using a photo editing program.  I protected her image with a scrap piece of paper and then stamped over it with a script stamp.  The vintage numbers at the side are rub-ons, and the title, a portion of another stamp.

The second ATC was covered with a piece of scrap patterned paper and contains a vintage image from a "free" site that I trimmed and then adhered to my ATC.  I next stamped a clock and the quote, "to be all that is possible, we must attempt the impossible, to be all that we can be, we must dream of being more."

The background for this last ATC was created by applying more layers than I can count of red, orange and pink Dylusions ink sprays!  I added a stamp created by coating bubble wrap with acrylic paint, then applying it to my ATC.  Lastly, my quote and the birds on a wire are also stamps.

I hope you enjoyed your visit here today and might just be inspired to create an ATC yourself!  I love comments, so please leave one if you like what you see here!

Joy to you!


  1. What fun to be swapping every month!
    These are wonderful!


  2. Hi Kay
    Love the ATCs! I've made a few myself but a very good Canadian friend of mine is ATC crazy check out her blog I've replied to you on my blog :) xxxx

  3. Wonderful cards, Kay!! Great to use those old own fotos! And I love the quotes, especially the one with the bird. And to trade art is a such a great idea. Do you know the book "Collaborative Art Journals" by L.L. Ludwig? One day I will start such a project, a Journal made by different people from all over the world. OK. up to now it's a dream but dreams can become real, can't they?

    Have a nice weekend

  4. Hi Kay, lovely ATC's. I especially like the bird one. Such vibrant colours and love the bubble wrap stamp!! Thanks for all your lovely comments. I didn't know the never to sell rule on ATC's. Although I suppose the name does give it away!! It's good to learn something new everyday.

  5. Oh how completely fun, Kay!!! I adore all of your cards, but the top one with your sister is so so precious! I did not know that about "trading only" with the cards, but it surely makes sense because ... well ... after all that's what they are called! lol When I researched them to make one for little 3 year old bling girl, Lydia, I saw so many of them for sale on Etsy. O.o I have more of the size cards cut out to make more ... just so much fun things to make and do -- and so little time! lol (((hugs)))

  6. What fabulous ATC's Kay, I love the way you have incorporated your sisters image onto one. Enjoy your swaps xx

  7. Kay these are stunning pieces of work. I used to do a lot of ATC swaps... I must find them and maybe start again. Thank you for sharing your stunning work. <3 it.

  8. Sweet trades to make for your friend. I love that pic of your sister and the vintage result! Hope all is well, when will we ever warm up????? xox

  9. Hi Kay, thanks for visiting me on my blog! If you haven't checked out, I recommend it greatly!

  10. Thank you for sharing this information. I came across "AEO" the other day and hadn't heard of that one before. Reading this with that perspective helps me really understand the difference between the two.

    ;-> Felicia
    There are no rules!

  11. Hi Kay, I'm back as you know !...:) Just want to tell you that all your three ATCs are really beautiful, using different techniques, so great work ! Maybe the last one is my fav, due to your brilliant layers of red and orange colors. Big Hugs, Coco xx


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