Art Day: Artist Trading Cards

For many years, my sister has been re-branding Valentine’s Day as not a day to buy overly expensive material things to prove your love but a day about appreciating beauty and creating art. Way more classy than an Anti-Valentine’s Day party in my book.

We celebrated Art day on February 15th this year–because we had the weekend off–by making Artist Trading Cards. Apparently this is a big thing, but it was my first time hearing about it. My mom gave us a brief oral presentation about history and such. If you want to know more I encourage you to do your own batch of Google searching, there are tons of links.

I think the Wikipedia page offers a good summary:

Artist trading cards (or ATCs) are miniature works of art about the same size as modern trading cards baseball cards, or 2 12 by 3 12 inches, small enough to fit inside standard card-collector pockets, sleeves….Cards are produced in various media, including dry media (pencils, pens, markers, etc.), wet media (watercolor, acrylic paints, etc.), paper media (in the form of collage, papercuts, found objects, etc.) or even metals or fiber. The cards are usually traded or exchanged. 

There are tons of lesson plans and how-tos around the Interwebz. One I found fairly decent was a Wikihow page in 11 Steps where they suggest using playing cards if you can’t cut out the typical size for the cards.

The School Arts Room website offers a more standard layout of a classroom lesson play for the teacher types of the world. The Student ATC website has several great sub-pages with some theme ideas to get your brain or your pupils’ brains working. It also includes a little history and a how-to.

We all had Valentine’s Day and love related things on the mind but our official theme for our Art Day was Truth, Beauty, Freedom and Love. Yeah, inspired by some Moulin Rouge loveliness.

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There were several different artists present and art styles. Forgive me if you don’t get our sense of humor. We had a blast and created art cards for almost five hours.
Sorry I didn’t get a picture of our hugely messy art table. There were stacks of colored paper, stickers, markers, paints, crayons and tons more stuff. We had a blast cutting and pasting and creating. Our art cards were cut out of index cards and my mom purchased a package of 100 trading card sleeves for storage once finished. 

PATC

Ideally, these are supposed to be traded, not sold. I’m not sure if anyone would pay for mine, but there are some really inspired pieces in here. I’m saving mine for last so you can be sufficiently unimpressed by my work.

LATCOn the backs of the art cards we wrote our artist name, state and month/year it was created. A couple of the cards even got named and those were written on the back. By the end of the evening most of us didn’t want to immediately trade our hard work, but we’re looking forward to creating more and maybe trading them or giving them others.

All--ATCThere is whole cluster of our pieces together.

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Sorry for the fair bit of fuzz-o-vision. I didn’t have a good camera with me and the light wasn’t ideal. You get the idea here though.
Below is my cluster of cards:

atcroseAnd one of my personal favorites of the ones I created:

visitparks art cardDoctors have started prescribing their patients with visits to National Parks. I have known for a long time that getting a daily dose of nature and light exercise can make huge wonders of difference. Recreation–my major–is hugely important to me.

Questions for my readers—-

Have you ever heard of artist trading cards? 

Have you been inspired by this blog, searching or the links provided to create your own mini-trading art cards? 

Do you have any fun alternative ways of celebrating Valentine’s Day?

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Day 280: Acorn Ornament

Part of my December Adventivities.
This was one of the ornament crafts that I found on Pinterest and altered. Many of the acorn cap balk ornaments were a little more fancy than mine. It took some time to complete, so I would only make this again if I wanted to do some crafty gifts.

I was picky, which means this craft took a lot more time than it should have. I finally found some foam balls that appeased my expectations. They were white, of course, so I first painted them with a deep brown and allowed them to completely dry.

Next, I prepped my tools. I heated the hot glue gun, made sure all my caps were clean, and cut an appropriate length ribbon.

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I can’t give you an exact length for ribbon everyone likes their ornaments to hang just right on their tree. I took deep brown ribbon. I think the ribbon was either a half inch or 3/4 inch width.

I recommend taking both ends, overlapping and gluing them to the bottom of the ball. Glue little by little up the side of the ball and mash the ribbon flat. This will enable you to glue the caps down flat on top of the ribbon. Once you glue the ribbon you should have a loop left over for hanging.

After your ribbon is glued down, you can begin gluing on the acorn caps. Start by putting one at the bottom so it hides your ribbon overlap. From there, just do what feels right. I packed my acorns pretty tightly but perhaps you want a little brown paint to show through.

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I also added little silver bells in periodic places. If you do this as well, be careful how much hot glue you stick it to. One of my bells doesn’t ring because I buried it in glue. They should have a nice tinkling sound not a dull sound.

Even though I burned my finger tips a bunch this was really fun to make! I might make some as gifts for next year if I get started early enough.

Day 165: Tombstone Decor

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I have been helping a friend of mine put together her decorations for a Halloween party. The location is perfect. We will be rockin in a huge old horse barn.

The cobwebs and shadows come free of charge. We painted tombstones last week and these were some of my favorites.

We also have headstones with blood smeared handprints and dripping good letters.
Water soluable craft paint, bursted and a large thin sheet of foam board. Easy as pie :)