Friday, June 11, 2010

Summer Vacation ATC, That Almost Took The Whole Summer To Make!

12 little ATCs, that's all, just 12. Tammy from the Cricut Message Boards is hosting a Vacation Themed ATC swap. ATCs are  2.5 inch by 3.5 inch cards, that are traded among artists. Hence the name. So we have 12 crafters in a group for the swap. I get to keep a card, and send in 11 to Tammy. 12 little ATCs. I can't explain why, but it seemed to take months to complete these! I finished up the New York ATCs, quickly. I started the St. Croix ATCs the next day. I was so sure that these would be finished in a snap, I posted that I would have them mailed out right around Memorial Day! The swap is due June 15th. They were mailed late this afternoon. Talk about cutting it fine, right?! Nothing worked at the start. I knew what I wanted, I just could not make it happen!  I started with an entirely different concept, except for the picture, I knew I wanted to use the picture. I took it on my Honeymoon in May of 1989, while snorkeling at Buck Island in St. Croix. I had an idea to use shells with the card, but it turns out that another crafter used The Virgin Islands as her theme, and made a fabulous ATC using shells as embellishments. It was back to the drawing board for me. I used Life Is A Beach, and came up with a diving theme.

Materials Used

Nashua Tape
Alcohol Inks Brights
Viva Decor Glitter Liner Holo Iridescent
Viva Decor Pearl Pens, Icy White, Kiwi, Cobalt Blue
Copic Sketch Markers For Hair
Twinkling H2Os
Martha Stewart Branch Punch for Coral
Ranger Distress Embossing Ink
Ranger Ultra Thick Embossing Powder
Diamond Glaze
Cuttlebug Embossing Folder-Circles
Sizzix Machine
Heat Tool

I re-sized my photo and printed out 15 pictures on cardstock. I embossed the photos so that the picture has the appearance of being wet. I ran the pictures through the Xyron machine, and adhered them to CTMH Cardstock from the summer collection. I took white cardstock and covered it in Nashua Tape. You can get this tape in most home improvement stores. I overlap the tape so that the alcohol ink doesn't run under the tape after I cut my frames. I used the Deep Cutting Blade on my Cricut and set it to cut 3 times. It's ok if the edges are a little ragged, they flatten out nicely when you run it through your sizzix or cuttlebug.

This photo shows what the frames looked like before and after embossing. Once they were all embossed, I used Tim Holtz Alcohol Inks to add color. I used citrus, sunset orange, clover, watermelon, sail boat blue, sunshine yellow, clover, twilight purple, and raspberry. I put most of the colors on the same pad, but I used 1 pad per frame. The picture isn't the best, but it gives you an idea of what the alcohol inks look like on the Nashua Tape. it's a great technique that yields beautiful results.

Next I adhered the frames over the picture, and got ready to embellish the ATC. I used Life Is A Beach, and cut the Diver out at 1.75 x 1.54. Then I cut the layers, and started piecing the little divers together. I didn't like the way the hair layer looked, so I took a couple of Copic markers, and colored the hair instead of using the layer. I highlighted it with a white gel pen, and started working on the rest of his gear. I used  Viva Decor Kiwi and Cobalt Blue pens to line his mask, giving it more dimension. His face still looked like it needed something, so I added some Diamond Glaze inside the mask. I used a Baby Blue Atyou Spica Pen to add some glitter on his fins, and then Diamond Glaze. I also added the Diamond Glaze to his bathing suit. I adhered him to the corner of the ATC with mini pop dots.
I wanted to put coral on the other bottom corner, but I was too lazy to cut it with my Cricut, so I took a Martha Stewart Branch Punch, some Canson Watercolor Paper, and punched 24 branches. Twinkling H2Os were perfect for the coral. I used Coral Berry, Ocean Wave, Lemondrop, Kiwi, Pink Azalea, and Bougainvillea. Once they were dry, I cut 12 coral pieces into smaller sizes. I used one full coral and several of the little pieces to give the card interest. I love anything that sparkles, so I figured this was a great time to try out the Viva Decor Holo Iridescent. I used it to give some extra sparkle to the coral. I really loved the effect of the Twinkling H2Os and the Viva Holo.
At this point I was still trying to figure out where and how I would use St. Croix on my card, since it was the vacation destination I chose. When I first chose my picture, I had tried to make a small collage of pics from our honeymoon, and one had my sweet husband sitting by a sign. It just so happened that the sign was outside the place where we had booked our snorkeling trip. I cropped the hubby from the picture, re-sized the sign to teeny weenie, actually it was .95 x .66, and cut the signs out. I adhered them with scor tape. I didn't like the way the edges looked, so I lined them with the Viva Holo liner. I was having so much fun with the Viva Decors, that I used the Viva Decor Pearl Pen to make bubbles for my diver. This is how the final ATC turned out:

The pictures don't really show the full effect of the card. It's very sparkly! I did 6 with light hair and 6 with darker hair.
I hope the tutorial may inspire you to try something with the Nashua Tape, or Viva Decor. I purchased the Viva Decors at Susana's Custom Art and Card Design Store. It's a great place to shop. The prices are reasonable and the service is excellent.
It seems like they took forever for me to finish these ATCs, but in the end, I think they turned out ok! I hope my swap group enjoys the ATCs! I know I enjoyed making them!
Happy Crafting!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Vacation Swap ATCs

Here is a preview of my Vacation Themed ATC swap for the Cricut message boards. I found this post card among my beloved Aunt's belongings after she passed. It is postmarked 1967 and the stamps are penny stamps! Can you believe postage was ever that cheap! I was about 5 years old when we mailed it. I sent one to my Grandmother and my brother sent one to my Grandfather. I still can't believe my Grandmother, then my Aunt had saved these postcards all these years.
To make the ATC, I scanned the postcard, then I sized it to 3.30 x 2.30. I used my gypsy, and found a suitcase cut on Cricut's Stand and Salute cartridge. This is one of my favorite carts. Who knew there was a suitcase cut on it! I cut the suitcase to ATC size, 3.5 x 2.5, and trimmed the postcard to be a slight bit smaller. I used DCWV Far East Paper for both sides of the ATC. I then cut another set of suitcases and trimmed the corners and handle off. Oh, yes, there are layers for the suitcase, but I think I had a "pre-senior" moment because I never even looked for them! LOL! When I tested the ATC, I decided I needed a better way to put NYC on the card than letters. I had cut some letters from the Blackletter Cartridge, but just didn't like the way it looked, so I went back to the drawing board, and decided to add Greetings From NYC digitally. I liked that look much better, and glued the ATCs together. I was trying to get a 60's feel to the suitcase, so I added some Tim Holtz mini brads to the corners. Something was still missing, when I realized that my suitcases needed tags! I used Tags, Bags, Boxes and More to cut "itty bitty" tags. They are .82 length. I used some of the new Tim Holtz paper for the tags and attached the tags with a jump ring. I signed the backs, and called them finished! I really enjoyed making these ATCs. Next up, my St. Croix ATCs...