Friday, February 03, 2006

Sneaking in Time to Make ATCs

Two days ago while my son was doing some of his homeschooling in a workbook I took a set of colored chalk out of the closet to experiment with. I bought this four or five years ago to make art with my children.

I played around making some pictures and some background colors. I think I will use some of these backgrounds for the "Affirmations Swap" which the ATC World Yahoo Group! has.

I also tested what would happen if I used colored Sharpie markers on top of the chalks. It works perfectly. I will use Sharpies to write the affirmation statement onto the chalk-backgrounds.

I also have spray fixative here which I bought for about $5 at Dick Blick Art Shop a few years ago. The fixative must be used or else the chalk smears.

That little experiment and play time was done in about 15 minutes.

(Side note yesterday my kids begged to make art with the chalk. They spent an hour making different pictures in their journals. I need to put the fixative on these. They really enjoyed using the chalk. It must have been two years since they used this chalk, what a shame. I need to make more time in our day to do art with the kids. Lately their noses are to the grindstone doing academic work.)

Last night after my kids went to bed I sat in bed and began working on ATCs for a swap which features maps. I looked through a book from the 70s which is a wine atlas. I spent about 90 minutes making six ATCs. I put a lot of thought into which map would be sized nicely for the ATC size and also which part of the map would look interesting on the card. I then cut out tiny wine labels of that region and added them to the ATC.

This morning when I looked at them they seemed plain. I am now not sure if these are 'done' or if I can figure out what else to do to them to enhance them.

There have been discussions of the quality of ATCs on one of the chat lists that I am on and the concensus is that no one likes ATCs which appear to be 'thrown together'. Simple collages seem to be the culprit of most of the complaints. I wonder if someone may look at mine and think they are 'thrown together'. They don't have lot of embellishments on them such as fibers hanging off (as I see no reason to do that that makes logical sense), but I did put a lot of thought into these. I will put them away for a few days and ponder what else I could do to them to jazz them up. However there is also the idea that the minimalist approach of appreciating a beautiful, detailed colored map which features a specific wine region and shows a wine label from that region is fine just as it is.

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