Jellybean ATCs

I recently made these jellybean ATCs for a Candy swap that I participated in.

Someone asked me to explain what ATCs are…so here goes:
ATCs are Artist Trading Cards. They are mini works of art 2.5″ x 3.5″ created in all different styles with a variety of subjects. People generally trade their cards with other artists through meet ups or online groups. I belong to ATC_world (Yahoo!) and Paper Traders. I join swaps in those groups as well as host my own. A swap is where one person will choose a theme and number of cards to make, then you make them, send them to that person, and they send you cards back from other artists that have participated in the same swap. I have been trading since Summer 2005 and I have over 100 cards from other artists all over the world in my collection. The only rules about ATCs are the size and that they can only be traded, not sold. Other than that, pretty much anything goes as far as how you make them. I have mostly collaged cards in my collection, but I love the hand drawn/painted ATCs that find their way to me. I also have a few digital ATCs as well. My favorite ones are the ATCs that contain elements that are unique, like hidden pockets or messages. One I received is actually a book. I have a few fabric/beaded ones, too, and I love those! I love making ATCs because they are small. You can try stuff out and if it doesn’t work, it’s small, so you don’t mind scrapping it or reusing it for another ATC. Sometimes I cut up old artwork and turn them into ATCs adding embellishments. They are also fairly quick to make, although I have been known to spend up to 3 hours on one ATC! I also love getting the mail…who doesn’t love that? I mean email is great too, but there is something about holding an envelope from another person, friend or stranger, that has made its way to you, and then opening it and finding such wonderful surprises inside. Getting my returns from a swap is always a fun thing to look forward to. You just never know what you’ll end up with, and I am rarely disappointed with what I get back. There is some awesome talent out there! There is one website that I know of that really thoroughly explains ATCs and how they can be made with awesome examples. Check it out. Hope this helps anyone who was wondering. And if anyone ever wants to trade ATCs with me, let me know.

My Little 6 year old Artist

As a proud mommy, I just have to share a couple of drawings that Savannah did the other day. They were actually pages from a book that she made which she titled “I lic to pla frind rit now.” Of course the book had nothing to do with friends, but that is the mind of a 6 year old. She made these 2 pages…wrote the word (her spelling by sounding out the words) and drew the pictures. (I colored them a bit in photoshop) What I am amazed at is that she doesn’t seem to draw like a typical kid her age. That is, I have taught drawing classes and we always talk about how children learn to draw symbols to represent images rather than what something really look likes. For example, I am having my third graders do a Georgia O’Keeffe project – a flower in pastel. Even though I presented images of all different kinds of flowers for them to draw from, they almost all drew the same kind of flower. Not any one of the flowers that I had images of, but one from their recollection of what a flower is, a symbol of a flower. But Savannah…she sits down in front of something and draws it. Sure it’s primitave, and hurried (like a kid), but there are details in there that I am positive if I asked one of my kids at school to come and draw my couch that they would miss. Like the upholstery tacks that line the edge…the fact that it has 3 cushions, and that she captured the curve, even if it’s not quite correct, of the couch. And then there’s the TV. She had to draw Karson’s favorite…Po. But would you have expected to see the joystick for the gamebox, the speaker and a remote on top of the TV, let alone all the buttons. Maybe I am a little biased here…looking for a spark of talent in my kid. But I see it. Am I totally off base here?

Mary Engelbreit ATC

Today is President’s Day and that means a vacation day for me! So I am spending the day cleaning, catching up with the laundry, playing with my kids (who are turning out to be great helpers – especially Max) and hopefully working on some creative things too. My projects right now are designing a poster for my sister in law’s plays she is producing, making some Mary Engelbreit ATCs and altering a pair of jeans for Savannah. This is my first M.E. ATC. I took it from one of the craft projects posted on her site. Of course the project wasn’t for an ATC, it was for a pillow…but it’s the same pattern and stuff. So what do you think? It is felt. I made a few mistakes that hopefully won’t be too obvious. I am planning to do a couple of cherry ones and maybe a few more like this. I only have to make four, but my mom wants to trade one and I want to keep one, so I guess I will be making at least 6. It took a couple of hours, but it was fun…and it’s not due till the end of March so I have time.

I Have a Headache

Today, after being awake for about the first hour, I could tell it was going to be one heck of a long day with the kids! They ALL woke up grumpy and complaining. I was settling one argument as another one was just starting. I poured Max’s milk into a cup, because he wanted to pour his milk on his cereal himself and he threw himself down on the floor screaming because I misunderstood that he really wanted to pour it from the gallon container of milk! Karson was screaming for me to wipe his nose every 5 minutes and Savannah was constantly complaining about the boys being too close or in her way of the TV or something. I woke up with a headache today and it hasn’t gone away. As soon as I got done drawing this I was taking my second dose of pain reliever…now that the kids are in bed. Actually, the whole day wasn’t terrible…just the first couple of hours. After my drawing lesson with Jodie, I took the kids to Walmart to get some groceries. And I have to give them credit, because they were all great in the store, which is not typical…especially when they hadn’t had lunch yet. We came home, ate lunch, baked some cookies and the boys took their naps. I layed on the couch after cleaning up the kitchen and fell asleep to the Strawberry Shortcake DVD Savannah was watching. Tonight my friend Micki came over with her daughter and we had pizza and Micki cut the boys’ hair. They so needed it and it looks so much better, although Karson wasn’t so easy to persuade to sit still. The peppermint in the drawing is the candy that Max and him didn’t want from the assortment that Micki had brought along. The Ring Pop was another bribe, which he didn’t finish. The heart ring I think was from Savannah’s Valentine’s Party at school. The 1/2 dollar would be from when Savannah and Grace ripped one of her dollars in half playing around. They spent most of the night trying to get Savannah’s tooth out. It is really close to coming out…but they didn’t quite get it.

Our Weekend Vacation in Florida

This weekend Sam and I took a trip to Florida. I know, it’s kind of far to go just for the weekend, but we took Thursday and Friday off work and made it a 4 day weekend. We flew down to Tampa early Thursday morning. We had to get up by 3:30am to get ready and make it to the airport. We were in Tampa by around 12:30. It was sunny and about 68 degrees by then. It was a really nice afternoon. We stayed with Sam’s Aunt Pat and Uncle Don, but there wasn’t going to be anyone home for awhile, so we drove down to the Showmen’s Club. Sam’s Aunt Suzy and her family were down there for the trade show. She got us passes and we walked around with her and saw all the cool rides and merch. We even got to try some snow cones and mini donuts. After a couple of hours we headed over to Aunt Pat’s. It was so nice to spend time with them. Their granddaughters were there for the night and we all went out to the Chinese buffet with them. They are sweet kids and we all hung out together when we got home. Friday morning we picked up Aunt Suzy and cruised over to Waffle House for breakfast. Then we ran back over to the Showmen’s club to drop her off before we headed out to the State Fair. It was packed. Kids in that area had the day off school so they could go to the fair! What? It was a beautiful day. When the sun went down it got chilly, but we’d go inside where the vendors were to warm up. We ate a bunch of fair food. Fiske fries with vinegar and tried something new – fried Resees Peanut Butter Cups. They were pretty yummy. Sam and I spent a great deal of our time over at the World of Wonders. He got some autographs and met and talked to Ward Hall over dinner. Sam was in heaven. He was so into all the sideshows. We saw WOW twice…so we could get good pictures! We got home late and went to bed. Saturday we headed out to the flea markets. On the way, we ate our Cubans that Aunt Pat had bought for us the day before. I don’t know what it is, but those Cuban sandwiches rule. We went to two different flea markets. It was a little colder and windy in the afternoon, but still sunny until about 3:00 when it started sprinkling. So we figured we had bought enough loot for the kids and we headed home. We later went to dinner with Pat and Don and Sam’s cousin and his girlfriend. We had a nice time together and it was delicious! The next day, we drove past Giant’s Camp Restaurant, around some residential areas where we assume a bunch of carnies live. Trailers and rides are either set up or stored on their lots. It’s really kind of strange. Later on we went down to Tampa Electric Company and saw the manatees. It was freezing and really windy on Saturday and not the kind of weather when it’s fun to be outside, so we visited the gift shop and headed back to the house to pack and have a wonderful spaghetti dinner that Aunt Pat made. We finished it off with strawberry shortcake, the first strawberries of the season, and just one more slice of the lemon pound cake that Aunt Pat made for us. Finding our car rental place from where we were was crazy. We drove all over Tampa trying to follow the stupid directions that were printed on the sheet. The directions were probably right, if you were returning from those 4 locations, but it was confusing trying to figure it all out. So we got there and we were a bit irritated, but we got to the airport and through security and had a nice sit down dinner at the airport before we left. We slept a lot on the way home. We reached our house about 2:00am and went right to sleep. Today we both got up and went to work. So we are dragging a bit, I’d say. I don’t know why I am still up. I should be sleeping, I am tired enough for sure. But I want to get this posted. So anyway, yeah, it was a fast trip, but really it was just long enough. We had so much fun being free to do what we want and go where we want, it was a nice break. We really missed the kids but they were in good hands. Jasmin stayed with them all weekend and they had a blast. This morning was fun waking them up and giving them all their prizes before we left for work.

Max’s Boo Boo

Yesterday was quite an adventure for our family. I was sitting in church when I saw Max’s number flash. I figured he must have peed his pants or something, so I was just going to take the boys home and I told my sis to make sure Savannah got to Sam when church was over (Sam works in the sound booth). So I grabbed my stuff and headed out of the sanctuary towards the children’s hall, only to be met by a swarm of people, one of them who was holding my son, who was crying really hard. He evidently was playing hide and seek with another little boy and they went into the bathroom to hide and somehow the door got shut on his finger. This is a metal door and we think it must have shut all the way as his the tip of his pinky finger was practically severed. So I rushed him to the ER, bleeding and screaming all the way. We got in pretty fast. Sam came later and I ran the other two kids home and my wonderful brother in law came over to stay with them while I went back to the ER. He had x-rays and the tip of his finger (whatever bone that is) was also fractured. He needed about 5 or 6 stitches…one through the finger nail…OWW! He sat there and watched the whole thing despite our efforts to try to distract him. After it was over, he was so tired and traumatized that he kicked and screamed for over a half hour until he cried himself to sleep. Poor little guy. It ripped my heart out to see him go through that. Last night I traced Max’s hand in my journal where I also wrote about what happened.

Here is a little movie of Max in the ER. Not really fun to look at, but we have it and it goes with the story. Sorry about the poor quality. Sam recorded it with his phone.
Click here: Max’s owie

Friday Night Crop

Last night…actually I guess I should say Friday night (since it is now Sunday!) I went to a crop with my sister. I have not done scrapbooking for forever! I am so behind I didn’t know where to start. I knew I needed to get pictures printed, which we have not done too much of since we got digital cameras. So I had 125 printed. I took some stuff, but in my studio all my stuff for scrapbooking, or for anything, is all put away in drawers and bins and I didn’t really know what to take and what not to. I had no time to plan stuff out first, so I just grabbed a bunch of stuff. When I got there and started getting stuff out to work on, I found that although I had brought each of my kids albums, I didn’t have enough stuff…like paper & embelishments, with me to complete them. So instead I looked at other people’s albums, and sorted my pictures by what pics would go on what pages for what events. Sam was disappointed that I had not accomplished much. I guess I was too. But more than trying to get stuff done in my scrapbooks, I really was just going to get away and be with some other ladies. We had a lot of fun laughing, eating and telling crazy stories. So even though I didn’t get done what I would have liked to, I am still glad I went.

About the drawing: I drew the little bag of candy that our hostess made and filled for us. Chocolate…yummy!!!!