Of fabric ATCs and Millie

I have been busy sewing ATCs for the Summer Camp swap. I wasn’t sure about it at first, but it has been quite a while since I made ATCs for pleasure, with just a theme, and not for a challenge. I thought I’d share a few things that I do with these, as it’s such a labour-intensive process.

I use craft or pelmet (heavy-duty) vilene, or interfacing, for the base of ALL my fabric cards. This enables me to “lay down” initial designs without having them slide around a table or cutting mat. I don’t use Misty Fuse, I just stick a couple of pins in and start machine-stitching! I like to cut some fabrics and rip others, for extra texture.  If I’m making a batch of ATCs, for example, this is an example of how it begins:

The piece on the top is a triple ATC, waiting to be cut into 3. It consists of base, fabric scraps attached with white zig-zag stitching and a rectangle of stamped linen in the centre. That bit has been ironed to heat-set the stamped words. On the top is more ripped fabric strips, attached by machine-stitching and a bit of turquoise netting for texture. It all adds to the “touch-factor”. My pieces are always untidy but I do try for a tactile end-product!!

Two things and two people I have to credit here – Belinda Spiwak (Crazy Art Girl) was the initial inspiration a couple of years ago when I first saw some of her wonderful, mixed media, textile artworks. Then, if you apply the same recipe of paper, layers, colour and textures to a card base – no fabric – you get Lisa Vollrath’s “serendipity” backgrounds for ATCs – check out the Ten Two Studios – Projects – website for ideas and tutorials, because she never stops coming up with ideas!!

I did say these were labour-intensive, didn’t I? But, they can be made in stages. The bases for half of these were stitched a few months ago… Above are 6 ATCs awaiting the faux leather, seaside embellishments I have made for each one!!!

I won a set of collage stamps from Shelia Oliver a few years ago (she was decluttering to raise money for a worthy cause) and they happened to be seashore-themed. That fits perfectly for me with the Summer Camp theme – I always equate summer with the seaside! And I chose the colours of my scraps for the sun (golden yellow), sand (oatmeal linen base), and sea (vivid shiny blue fabric) to fit that theme.

The embellishments were stamped onto heated up fun foam, pressed down hard and removed when cooled. I then cut round them and attached them to each ATC (or I will do…!!). I have another issue with neat fabric ATCs – the backing! This time, instead of hunting for yet more fabric and having  to cut bits up, I decided to back them with old book pages. Some of my old books are quite small in page size, little more than a large postcard, so they will make 2 backs per page. They are thick soft paper, stitched into the book-blocks, so they tear really easily…

You can see the serrations in this pic where I have stitched an ATC to the page and then gently torn it out afterwards!! Finally, I print out my ATC labels using a Dymo (address) label printer and stick them to the back. It means that

  • no-one has to struggle to read my writing if they want to get in touch;
  • I can include all the info I want up to about 6 lines
  • I don’t have to write out 14 labels
  • they all have the same info on them!!
Here are a couple that are finished, waiting to be labelled and posted!
Hopefully, you’ll find some of my process useful if not exactly “interesting”!! All the steps I take are the result of research and mistakes. Truly! I never undo anything or unpick stuff – life’s too short. I either add another layer or paint over it! 😉
Speaking of “trial and error”, I took this pic of Millie to remind myself of how she should look after I have clipped her:

On the Beach!

How appropriate that I should host Mixed Media Monday with this particular theme, having just moved to Bude in Cornwall, where the beaches are a few minutes drive away! This canvas is something I was working on for Ten Two Studios before the move and it was such fun, trust me!

When Lisa Vollrath was designing her new matchbox shrine sheets, I sent her a link to typical British Beach Huts and it didn’t take the uber-talented Lisa long to come up with a new sheet of images – she really is amazing… and to top it all, it’s called “Rosie’s Beach Huts”. Yay!! So here is my Summer Beach Huts canvas:


Okay – I’m not the best photographer in the world, but if you have a look at the sheet over at Ten Two Studios, and also Lisa’s examples, I’m sure you’ll be inspired.

Personally, I assembled the shrines first, according to the instructions and then painted the canvas. Once I was happy(ish!) with it, I used gel medium to adhere the shrines in place. Then I sprinkled sand from a kids’ sand art kit onto my ‘beach’ and popped a few pieces of varnished broken shells on too.

I really love this canvas – it’s so reminiscent of English summers and sandy sandwiches – lol!! Thanks for having me, Diane and giving me the opportunity to share! xoxoxo

The Great $500 Giveaway!

Read all about it at TenTwo Studios… it is true – Lisa is giving one lucky reader the chance to win $500 worth of goodies from her online store. HERE is all the info…

Sometime between October 2nd and October 30th, make something using products from Ten Two Studios, or instructions from the project archives, books, How-To CDs, or issues of The Monthly Muse.

Take a picture of what you’ve made against a white background, and email it to TenTwoStudios at yahoo dot com, with your full name, the name of the Ten Two Studios product you used, and something that says I have permission to post the photo on this site. (The photo will go into the gallery, and will be credited to you, of course, which is why I need your name.)

So here is my first entry. Using images from the domino Halloween sheet I bought earlier this year, I made a couple of key fobs/bag charms. The ‘lady’ was a gift to a young friend of mine and the ‘gentleman’ is packaged up, ready for the Craft Fair!

I now have a ‘Bike charm’ to make for a lad who’s really into art. He thinks these images are super-cool and who am I to argue? So Trav’s will be going on his bike when I see him on Sunday!!

Countdown to Father’s Day!

Lisa Vollrath has some images that are free to download on her TentwoStudios site. They are great manly downloadables – the only thing you have to do is link back to the site – no hardship there, as I find Lisa very inspiring and she writes really clear tutorials too, with pics!

I also have “Go Make Something” linked in my sidebar which is hers too – a great “How to” site, full of ideas and instructions! So, what are you waiting for? Go make something with your new images!!

I have been beavering away making some cards to order – people don’t often ask me, so it’s always a challenge… and I also have a Guest Designer spot coming up on This Thursday, it’s all about… which is a new challenge blog starting next Thursday, so I’ve been making samples for that too!

Then there’s the Tote Bag… I have been asked to make 4 already! I need to take care of home and business so I can make more time for me and get on with creating! It’s such a juggling act, isn’t it?! And if it’s nice enough tomorrow, DH would like to take me fishing (or was that the other way round? Like, he’d like me to go fishing with him… LOL!) 😉