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:

Vintage Men

My vintage man is a gentleman dressed and equipped for salmon (game) fishing… and I’ve put him on one of the bubble background postcards I made yesterday. The fish are from a brass stencil and the frame is inspired by Marit!

Game Fishing

For this week’s Sunday Postcard Art challenge! 🙂

At last! Bubbling!

At (Marit’s Creative) Summer camp we are exploring simple pleasures, like marshmallows, camp fires, ghost stories, techniques and prompts. Here’s the result of me happily playing with food colourings, baby shampoo and a straw!

A girl can never have too many colourful backgrounds for ATCs, postcards, etc. 😉

Haiku my heart…

DD and I took a Road Trip yesterday, a la “Thelma & Louise”, as it turned out. We went to Newquay Zoo together, as Nick had left for Wales and the 4th annual Reels on Wheels Fishing Festival in Newport. As we have dogs a cat and a parrot, it isn’t always possible to all go together… so we made our own fun!

We had a couple of hours at the small, and beautifully kept, Newquay Zoo, went back to the car and phoned a friend who moved house last year, and whom we haven’t seen for ages. She only lived another 15 miles on from the zoo, so we thought, “Why not? We’ll go have lunch with them, as they’re at work…”

Redruth is a charming little town, nestled in the hills of mid-Cornwall. It’s neat, clean and pretty in a Victorian-architectural way… and my friend and her partner have bought a little gift shop in the middle of the main street, selling Celtic gifts, ethnic gifts and lovely (affordable) silver jewellery, made locally. They’ll also be selling my wearable art pins and pendants from next week!!

So, having started on the Haiku-my-heart-Fridays  journey last week, I wrote this one in preparation for this Friday (although I was too tired to put a post together yesterday!) and popped it into my “go-to” art journal:

If you can’t read my scrawl, it says:

So, haiku my heart

Beating its wings in my chest

The dove of my soul…

By the time we’d spent a happy lunch hour with our friends and returned home, we’d managed to travel 130 miles. This is the photo to accompany my Haiku…

My child and me… she’s the “dove of my soul” and thank everything that she’s growing up fierce. xoxo

I look forward to seeing everyone else’s haikus now as I head over to Rebecca’s blog – she’s our lovely hostess! 🙂

Words and numbers – triptych!

I’m at Marit’s Summer Camp from now till the end of August! Yay! Following one of the prompts, I challenged myself to create a triptych this evening… in fabric, using a piece I have been building. It’s appropriate for The Three Muses – the written word – and Wednesday Stamper’s – numbers:

A string shaped into a number 6 or 9…

The numbers are stamped onto the orange organza covering all three ATCs.


Just because I don’t post every day, doesn’t mean I’m not creative every day. If I could post from my mobile phone, I’d show you more of the scenery from my surroundings and also the yummy food I cook where I work for the summer season. So, meanwhile, in between the artsy posts, let me share a few places I go for inspiration and find ideas, and stuff to do…(given the time, of course)!

If you click HERE, you’ll find Tammy’s upadted list of Projects to do with Kids… This sort of thing is really handy, even if your own kids aren’t interested, you probably know Mums who might be glad of such a resource!

Now, for adults, click HERE – to find the HUGE Daisy Yellow Project List for you! If I wasn’t attending Marit’s Summer Camp (Doors open on June 1st!), I’d be working through this list! And then going back to check out Parts 1 & 2… 😉

For the art journallers/journalists (potato, potahto!), Tammy just wrote the best post all about Gelly Rolls… HERE!

See, this is why I love Blogging and put these wonderful people in my sidebar!! Melissa Dinwiddie is a recent discovery – I really like her take on life, and art, and business, so check her out too, if ya like!

Here are a couple of pics of an untitled oil painting that’s drying/curing. I painted it in one sitting a few weeks ago now and I have no idea when it’ll be dry or when I can varnish it. It’s “one of those”!

I really love that buttery consistency that oils have! All the paint was applied with palette knives – not a brush stroke in sight! Even the “splats” were knifed!! And now, I have 4 gorgeous Man-cuffs to list in my Etsy store, all created yesterday with Father’s Day in mind!! None of them are ear-marked for Nick, so feel free to fall in love and purchase as soon as you see them!!!! 😉