Thursday, November 03, 2005

Big ATC Making Day Yesterday

My children are sick. One child has a very contagious viral infection. Responsible parents will heed the warnings to quarantine children who have this virus, so that is what I am doing. This means our various plans, classes, and playdates are all cancelled. The other son is also sick with what looks like the beginning stages of this same sickness, so he is quarantined as well. We homeschool so they don’t have to go out of the home to go to school. But while so sick with fevers that come and go, doing homeschooling academic work is not appropriate. So we have a lot of free time on our hands. When not resting, napping, or sleeping late in the morning, they are playing or making art.

Yesterday both boys were feeling pretty well. My older son got up first and I asked him to put something away in the basement. While down there he saw a Scratch Art kit and brought it up and asked if he could do it (of course I said yes—I have no limits for my children doing artwork). When that first kit was finished, he went back down for another kit. When my younger son woke up, he joined right in. They ended up tearing through all of the kits. I had bought these 1.5 years ago and after doing them a little, they sat untouched all this time (stored with my art supplies in the basement). All total both children worked on them nearly continuously for 10 hours yesterday! We had all four styles of these Scratch Art kits. My older son was even developing a blister from the wooden stylus so I suggested he try wearing a winter glove on that hand, which he did, and it worked. Pretty funny, huh? He was too into making the art to stop just because of a blister.

Anyway my point in mentioning this is that this was a rare opportunity for me to do something fun for myself. That meant that most of the day I made ATCs. I made them right at the kitchen table while my boys did their artwork.

Also another reason that they were happy to stay in the kitchen for so long was that we were listening to the second half of the audio recording of "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince" by J.K. Rowling This audio book was due back to the library the following day, so we had a deadline to meet, and we all wanted to hear the rest of the story anyway!

The children and I actually really liked doing art while listening to a long audio book. We all had ‘the flow’ going. It is easier to keep in the flow mode while listening to a long story versus watching live television with the annoying commercials, in my opinion.

I made one ATC for a “winner takes all” contest. People enter one ATC and one winner gets all of them. Actually this month they are doing “winner takes half” and there will be two winners, but you get the gist—usually there is just one winner. This month we were to make one with a vintage theme.

I made a set for a swap called “Suzy Homemaker” in which we were to put images of what we think of when we think of homemakers.

Both swaps were 100% finished including putting the backs on, scanning them, packaging them to send out, and even putting them in the mailbox.

If I have time I will put these ATCs up on the blog and will share a little about the technique and the thought process behind them.

Each time I do a swap, I also am now making a couple of extra ATCs and keeping them for myself.

The new-to-me way of doing swaps is working well. I find swaps that I would like to do. I make the ATCs first. Then when they are 100% finished I contact the hostess to sign up and I mail them out immediately. In some cases my ATCs are going out a month or more before the due date. I find this is less pressure for me, and all the work is done for fun. It was not fun last month when I realized a deadline was looming and I was forced to make the ATCs under pressure.

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