Tag Archives: ATC

Just Add Sunlight!

Just Add Sunlight!

This Winter in Indiana is one for the record books. Even the most hardened of people are tiring of the cold, snow and ice. I’m a sunshine lover, anyway, so I’m finding this year to be particularly challenging.

I recently created an ATC that shares my need for sunlight. This ATC changes color when exposed to the sun!


How did I create this magic? The trick is a special nail polish I purchased while on a cruise. At one of the ports, there was a Del Sol store that sold items that react to sunlight by changing color. My daughter and I bought several colors, including the clear one that changes to hot pink (she thought it would be a good trick to paint my husbands nails with the clear when he was asleep…haven’t yet tried that, though!)


The theme of the swap was Alice in Wonderland, so I took pages I had already removed from an old book that I am altering. I cut out Alice and colored her with Copic markers and sealed with Diamond Glaze.



I layered text and illustration from the book pages, but did not add Alice yet. I used Mod Podge, matte, to adhere everything. When it dried, I covered it in Versamark medium and coated with UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel). I melted the UTEE with a heat gun, and then allowed it to cool. I used the UTEE because I was afraid the nail polish wouldn’t work as well if absorbed into the paper.




When it cooled, I painted the entire ATC with the clear Del Sol nail polish. The nail Polish had sparkles in it, so it wasn’t entirely clear. After it dried, I took it out into the sunlight to see if it worked. It did! There were a few places lighter than others, so I gave it a second coat.

Once it was completely dry, I added the cut out and colored image of Alice. Then I used gold embossing powder to embellish the edges of the ATC.


I took it outside, and it immediately began changing color.


It also immediately began changing back as soon as I brought it inside, but I still thought this was super cool. It may be the first of its kind! I sent it to my friend, Sheryl, in Arkansas and she described it as the first “solar powered” ATC she had seen!

So here’s to our need for sunshine!


Embossing machine


I love a good bargain, especially on art and craft supplies. Recently, I couldn’t pass up a great sale on a small embossing machine. I already have a large di cut machine (Cricut), so I didn’t need a machine that could do both. Therefore, this little Sizzix Boutique machine seemed perfect. At 40% off, how could I resist?


I had not yet taken it out of the box, when I sat down to make an ATC for a Wizard of Oz themed swap. I had an old Valentine with the munchkins that I wanted to use, but wasn’t sure what background. Then it clicked in my mind…when I bought my Sizzix, I also bought a brick pattern folder for it. Bazinga! Yellow Brick Road!


I had never used one of these machines before, but it was so super easy. You put the paper into the folder, which is sandwiched between plastic pieces, that is then fed into the machine. I easily turned the handle, which pressed the folder together. The pieces were fed back out to me, and inside was my yellow ATC paper that now had a brick pattern on it. It was awesome!

I added a few more Oz like touches and ended up with this:


The ruby red glittered edges came from using sparkling embossing powder. I tapped the edges of the card on a Versamark pad, then dredged them through some glittery red powder. After setting with my heat gun, they are dry and permanent. No waiting for glue to dry…I’ll never go back to regular glitter or glitter glue again. This stuff is the best.


For the record, I’m not endorsing any particular brands, and I don’t receive anything from any particular companies. I’m just sharing with you what I have found works well for me. I’d love to hear if you have some you prefer over others!

Using Preprinted Supplies


Sorry it has been awhile since my last post. All of my Summer travels caught up with me, and I had to take a break from crafting to do other things…but now I’m back with a few ideas for making ATCs.

There are a lot of great preprinted papers and supplies out there. Some of them are practically ready made ATCs, such as this Graphic 45 paper


Or this little pad of papers from Memories in the Making


So how can you take something like this and make it your own original work of art?

One answer could be “Layers!”

Cut elements from these materials and layer them to create a unique compilation, as I have done in this ATC for a Halloween Vintage Cat swap.


I used a punch to isolate the image of the child and kitten. I then used Mod Podge to attach it to a piece of Halloween scrapbook paper in gray and black harlequin pattern. I used my Tim Holtz gadget to rough the edges, and then I inked them on a black stamp pad.

After the ink dried, I attached that to a piece cut from the Apothecary Labels from Echo Park Paper Co. using Mod Podge. I affixed it towards the side so part of the word, “Witchcraft” would show. It still looked a little unbalanced, so I returned to the same sheet that the large image was cut from and carefully cut the cat image. I Mod Podged that in the left corner. I later (after the photo was taken) went back and put Glossy Accent on the cat to give it a little more “pop.”

So, although it is made entirely of preprinted materials, it is uniquely mine.

Back from my Travels!


I’ve been traveling for the past two weeks, so I haven’t had a chance to post. I was in Africa with very limited access to the Internet. But, I came home to a full stack of mail from my swapping pals.

So for my Friday recap, these are some of the ATCs I received while I was gone. These first ones were for swaps using postage stamps. I’m such a Muppet fan, that I just adore this fabulous Kermit the frog one with the original postage cancellation! These both came from Barb Rhoades in Pennsylvania.


These two are from Gloria Freeman in Alexandria, Virginia. I love how exotic the snake ATC is…hard to believe it is a Canadian stamp and not Asian!


This Zetti style ATC comes from my swap pal Janis Bowen. She does such great work with Zetti!


This next ATC was for a steampunk themed swap. Susan is a newcomer to Swap-bot, but obviously not new to art. She drew this gorgeous bird in color pencils, pastels and ink. It is stunning!


The last one is a collage using a Masterboard technique, made by Kathie Meli. I love the repetition of the playing cards’ royalty throughout.


I’ll soon be adding a post showing a little experiment I did testing various glossy topcoat finishes. Look for that soon! Have a good weekend!

Twinkle Twinkle Variety


As I am busy preparing for a an upcoming trip, I didn’t get my Friday recap posted. Lucky me, because I received two great ATCs on Saturday that I want to share. Both of these came from Australia and both were for a nursery rhyme swap based on Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Both of the artists used paper as the primary basis of the ATC, but that is where the similarities end!

The first one came from Sharon Mackie. She used some fabulous starry paper as the background for this beautiful vintage image with the nursery rhyme. It’s embellished with dainty blue star trim around the image (where does she find this stuff?) and a large star rhinestone.


The next ATC is from Beverly Giggins. She used a cutout to create a window on her ATC. Out the window is the night sky, filled with stars she has drawn in gold. What you can barely see is that the dark teal paper she used has a starry texture as well. They are large stars embossed in the actual paper. I took this picture at an angle to try highlighting those stars. She added a brad with a starry charm and the title of the rhyme.


It’s always fun to see how the same people can have a completely different take on the same theme. I wish I could share with you the two ATCs I made for this swap. In my haste to mail, I failed to take pictures of them. Maybe if Sharon and Beverly send me pics, I can add them to this later. Hint, hint!


Friday Recap: Jacket ATC


It was a slow week in my mailbox, but there was something a little out of the ordinary I decided I should share.

I joined a group swap for a “Jacket ATC” that was hosted by Corinne in California. I had never heard of these before the swap, but she posted a link to a tutorial for creating a little cover that folds around the ATC. Corinne’s blog

I was lucky enough to have her as a swap partner and I received this pretty little package in the mail from her this week:


After slipping off the little ribbon, I opened the jacket to find this lovely ATC inside:


I thought you might be interested in seeing how I made my jacket ATC, as well. I decided to take the term “jacket” quite literally, so I created a tuxedo jacket to envelope my ATC.

I started with a piece of black paper that I cut into a 7.5″ x 7″ rectangle. I positioned the ATC in the center and made marks at the corners. I used a straight edge to draw lines marking off the corner squares that needed to be removed.

After cutting those, I folded the remaining four flaps. Then I used scissors to cut the two larger flaps into the size and shape of a tuxedo jacket. The top flap needed to be white for the shirt, so I attached a scrap of white photo paper (so it would be shiny!).


I used a scrap of the black paper to cut out a bowtie and attached that. I drew buttons on the shirt and the jacket. To make the satin lapels on the jacket, I just added glossy Mod Podge I applied with a q-tip.

I added the ATC inside with removable double-sided tape. Of course, the ATC had to be a dress!


Then I folded it and added another tiny piece of removable double-sided tape to keep the jacket closed. Voila! A Jacket ATC…literally!


Friday Recap


It’s been an active week in my family AND in my mailbox! Wednesday my daughter graduated from 8th grade, today is my hubby’s birthday, and these are some of the terrific ATCs I received in the mail. I do feel slightly guilty that I got more fun mail this week than those two did!

These first two came from my friend Janis Bowen. We did a private swap of Zetti style ATCs. Aren’t hers so cute?


The next one was for a cartoon series. Sharon in Australia made this QuickDraw McGraw. I love how she cut the matte around it.


This ATC I received for a series in circus performers. This theme was jugglers.


For the Red, White & Black swap from Sharon Godley, this lovely geometrical design: