I participated in a progressive swap which is finishing up right now. Some people call these a jam or a round robin. The way this one worked was that person #1 began a card with a background color and one thing added to the surface. Then the ATC went to person #2, #3, and #4. The last person is to return the original to person #1. Person #1 then makes a copy of it and sends to people #2, #3, #4.
Me as person #1
I just received the card that I started. It came out great. I started with a background of watercolor paper and stripes of pink and yellow colors. I added a postage stamp from England showing a queen. For that ATC people put all related themes on the card.
Me pas person #2
Also this week I received the ATC that I was person #2 for. That card had autumn colors in polished stone technique (alcohol inks) to begin with, and the word "fall". I therefore was forced to add in elements that were related to autumn. I had a great butterfly image that I considered adding as a packing tape transfer because it had colors in that color palette and would aesthetically look great. However I didn't do it as I felt butterflies were more of a summer thing than a fall thing so I didn't put it on the ATC. What I added was a cut out of a portion of a hand drawn pumpkin (in the old-fashioned style) from a seed catalog (Shumway's) and the beautifully written name of the pumpkin. I also added a transparent sticker of an apple. What I found interesting is that person #3 or #4 added a butterfly! We had the same idea!
Me as person #3
One lovely card had a dark blue background with a round image on it which to me (and my son) looked like a full moon. It also had a black border around the entire ATC. I had a hard time figuring out what to do with it. I ended up finding a quote about the moon and writing those words inside of the moon in a spiral pattern. I would have done something to the background but didn't have pens that were colors or types that could write on top of dark blue and actually show up. Also at that time all of my rubber stamp inks would not have shown up on that color so I couldn't add a rubber stamped element.
Me as person #4
As person #4 I received an ATC and was really stumped. I had a hard time figuring out what to do with it. For one thing there were fibers added to the ATC which were attached in the top corner and just hanging down. They were very busy and in my opinion, a mess. They blocked some of the leaf image. I thought about adding one more element to the card but came up empty handed. I couldn't figure out how the elements on the ATC were connected. It was a collage. However I felt it was very disjointed. There was a die cut out shape of a leaf. There was a different shaped leaf, bright green sticker. One half of the background was beige and the other half was mauve. There was a green postage stamp from England showing a Prince. There were primarily cranberry colored fibers, with smaller elements of pink and orange. One edge of the ATC had a sewing pattern on it and the words "cutting line".
I decided to braid the fibers to make it more of a controlled very thick hanging down fiber. It is still hanging free. I considered gluing I then top coated the ATC with three different glazes ranging from cream colored to sweetheart pink to light orange. Now the background is more unified. Those colors matched and coordinated with the fiber colors. I wanted to add some text, words, a poem or a quote. I spent over an hour searching for something to tie a prince and leaves together but came up empty handed so I gave up on the idea. I couldn't figure out a single word or even a short phrase that would make sense for both a prince and leaves or also sewing and the color pink. I am going to send this off to person #1 today as I guess it is finished.
I found participating in this type of activity much more difficult than working with my own ideas from start to finish.
I also don't like just slapping something on there to 'get it done'. So when I have trouble figuring out what to add it is not fun for me. I want to work to find something that is "right" and is connected rather than just putting something on there to 'be done with it'.
I didn't really like participating in this type of swap. It is hard to take someone else's work and figure out what to add to it. I don't think I will do these in the future.