My First ATC Swap

I know, I can hear you…. What’s an ATC??? ATC is short for artist trading card. Here’s the definition…

Artist trading cards (or ATCs) are miniature works of art about the same size as modern trading cards (2.5″ x 3.5″). The ATC movement developed out of the mail art movement and has its origins in Switzerland. 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. When sold, they are usually referred to as art card editions and originals (ACEOs).

So now you know.

I have watched from afar in the past when Ali from Very Berry Handmade has run two other ATC swaps. I have wanted to take part very much but have resisted due to other time pressures and being unable to work to a deadline. So, having promised myself I would take part in the next one, when I saw this post back in February I decided to go for it. Initially I just had to leave a comment on the blog post and email Ali to confirm that I wanted to join in. Then she sent us a form to fill in with some basic information to give to our secret swap partners.  A short while later I received an email from Ali telling me who I had to post my ATC to once it was made. We were also given information about our partner’s preferences for colours, fabrics, etc. It might have been a secret swap but it was quite funny (also quite nice) that my partner was someone I already knew in blogland…. Lucie from Love, Lucie!!!

DSCF4988Then it was up to us to get creative. There were two themes for this swap, Spring and Books, and my theme was Spring. Ali’s swap requires the ATC to be predominantly textile so I raided the stash and went off in search of inspiration. Lucie had said that she didn’t have any preferences which meant I had free reign over my ATC.  2.5″ x 3.5″ is pretty small and it was a challenge working at that size. I had to scale down my grand ideas quite a bit. I decided it would be a good idea to keep it fairly simple… it normally is. I think that is becoming one of my mantras… Simple works best. Here is what I came up with…


I couldn’t show you sooner because I would have spoiled the surprise but I know that Lucie has received it now. You can read about her swap experiences here.

So that was my part of the agreement fulfilled. A couple of days after I had posted my ATC to Lucie I got a little parcel. Soooo exciting! Here, have a look…

My parcel came from another Ali, also known as The Patchwork Fairy. I wrote on the form that I didn’t mind what I was sent but that I do have an addiction to little houses, purple and buttons. And look what she did! An ATC that includes all of those things! A little patchy house. And felting too – something I know absolutely nothing about. Thank you sooo much Ali. It’s called “Little House on the Hill” and my little house is very much on a hill. Now I am hunting for a frame for it and the perfect place to hang it.

2 thoughts on “My First ATC Swap

  1. Lovely. I’ve always wanted to try felting.
    I always forget that I will receive an ATC as I’m so focused on getting mine out. So it is always a surprise to receive an unexpected package through the post.

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