Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Most Disturbing ATC Ever

In an ATC art box I just saw the most disturbing content ATC ever. I am very bothered by this image. It literally is haunting me.

The background card was lovely and I believe was alcohol inks, in pretty pink colors with a tinge of light yellow. There was an accent of a handmade paper that was light yellow. Lovely, so far.

The center and main image was a photograph. It was an image of a girl who was either four or five years old. She was wearing a pretty pink dress that looked like a little prom gown or perhaps it was a little girls beauty pagent gown, which complimented the color of the background paper well.

She was dressed in costume, for Halloween, one can only assume.

Her face had white makeup on it and black around the eyes such to look like whe was a member of the living dead. She was making a gruesome face bearing her teeth like she was a mean possed person or something like that. Her face also had makeup like blood streaked on it.

In her upraised arm was a chef knife at least 12 inches long which was colored to look like dripping blood was all over it. Her pink dress was spattered with blood as if she had just murdered someone.

I hate to be judgemental but I cannot for the life of me fathom a parent dressing a girl of age four or five to look like a murderer. It was the creepiest image that I have ever seen.

I also would dare to say that this crosses the line between what is art and what is not art. My issue with this is not whether this is a piece of art but that the imate in it and what the parent chose to dress a young girl as is very disturbing to me.

At that moment I was glad that I did not have my young children looking at the art box with me. I used to have them look over the ATCs with me when they arrived.

So the question is if you saw an ATC of content that really distrubed you would you keep it in circulation or would you remove it and destroy it?

(I swear I won't be able to get that image out of my mind now that I've seen it!)

ON a related note...
The last art box I had had a photo of two teenaged girls dressed in gothic clothing and makeup who were french kissing. That is another image that I'd not want my very young children to see. We have not yet discusses the gay and lesbian lifestyle and I didn't think that ATCs would be the door to open that topic for discussion.

The question of what is offensive to some in the 'artist trading cards' art world is a controversial one. Some online groups have rules about what can be traded on the list such as PG content only, no nudity or some other rules. I am not sure if the two ATCs that I didn't like that I discussed actually would break any of those rules.

It is something to think about.

What do you think?

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Monday, October 23, 2006

My ATC: Distressed Alphabet "Z is for Zebra"

Here is one of the ATCs that I made for a "Distressed Alphabet" ATC Swap. This was the letter Z and as you can see I chose a zebra for the image.

The image is from the Internet. I resized the image in Photoshop then printed it off on my computer printer.

I used colored inks from a distressing kit by the company "Making Memories" which did not have labels on them to describe the colors or type of ink. The ATCs were then sanded and rubbed with an emory board. I rubbed the edges with black rubber stamp ink by dragging the card along the top of the rubber stamp pad.

I used different rubber stamp alphabet sets to write the words. The tiny font one is by Hero Arts and the Z in the square is by Dawn Hauser.

I then sealed the ATC with Golden brand acrylic gel medium in soft gloss.
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Saturday, October 21, 2006

Heard About Swap-bot

I have heard about Swap-Bot from about three different people on various ATC Yahoo Group! discussion lists and I wanted to share this resource with you.

It is being called by some the new and better way to do swaps through the mail.

Here is the site's URL.

You will see they do all different kinds of swaps, not just art swaps and not just ATC swaps. In fact I saw one swap for swapping girls panties which I thought was potentially a little kinky if not just strange.

I have not joined yet and so I have not participated in any ATC swpas on Swap-Bot yet. I have not even spent a ton of time browsing the various swaps available there.

My goal for ATC making is to first make a bunch for just fun. When I have some made I will then think about doing some private swaps or swapping them out on Swap-Bot.

I am not in a rush to find new swaps to join and to participate in, but I wanted to share this with you in case you find it of interest.

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Friday, October 20, 2006

Made Some ATCs for a Numbers Swap

Two weeks ago I made a bunch of ATCs for a swap with the theme of numbers. I was assigned a number (one) and I had to make 10 ATCs for that number.

I procrastinated on doing these as I was in an art slump. The deadline was looming so one day I just decided to make them and be done with them.

My original plan was to use a rubber stamped image on the ATC and rubber stamp the number 1 on the card. However when I began looking through my rubber stamps I could not find any images I liked. It also got tricky because when I looked at images I saw other things. For example the image of a man’s face had two eyes and so that could be either the number 1 or 2. A flower with a certain number of petals could be 1 flower or 10 petals. I then felt stumped about what background to use and felt that colored cardstock was too boring.

I then dove into some half-done ATCs and my mistake pile of ATCs. I was surprised to find some great things in there. What I ended up using for the swap ATCs in the end were some ATCs that had some different kinds of transfers on them. I also used some hand painted backgrounds and applied some rubber stamped images on top of that background. I added other decorateive elements so the ATCs were not too un-decorated.

Once I got working the work went quickly and I was surprised when I had ten finished ATCs that I was proud of and felt good about swapping out to others.

I also had some botched ATCs that I threw away, some mistakes that I don’t think were wroth saving.

One thing I realized was that I don’t own enough rubber stamps with numbers on them. In my mind I thought I owned more than I did. I also would like to suggest to rubber stamp manufacturers that when they sell alphabet stamp sets they should also have the numbers 0-9 in those sets, so the fonts match. I realized I had some great alphabet stamps but not enough great number stamps in those same fonts. So one thing for my wish list for future buying will be some great number rubber stamps in different sizes.

I was then very prompt about packaging up the ATCs to get them out before the deadline. I also packaged up some background prepared ATCs as a hostess gift and I think I also gave her a finished ATC. I wrote my thank you note then rushed off to the post office to mail them out that afternoon (after the scans were finished).

This will be my last ATC swap on a certain Yahoo Group then I will be done with that Group.

I have been so busy homeschooling my kids and running around to various children’s classes and activities that I have not made time for making art.

I have begun quilting and am taking a class but that is a story for another day.

Now I have to go bake some bread for a bake sale fundraiser!

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Made Some Distressed Alphabet ATCs

I signed up for participation in an ATC swap called "Distressed Alphabet". Each player was assigned two letters. I had to make 13 ATCs for each of my letters.

I thought I signed up very quickly but by the time I signed up what was offered to me was Y & Z (not easy), the next choice being X & V. I kept Y & Z.

I procrastinated on making these ATCs. I also was in an art slump. I also have been in a slump about chatting about ATCs and overwhelmed by negativity from that ATC chat list.

I did go 'no mail' on that chat list and finally did sit down to make these ATCs last week.

Over four sessions I spread the work of making these ATCs. My six year old son joined in and I let him use the sandpaper and emory board on some of the ATCs. He only ruined a few, by getting carried away. It was a good thing I was making extra ATCs!

I did scan the ATCs before I sent them out last week. I hope to find time to resize the dpi so I can upload the images here to Blogger. At that time I will share about the actual process.

It feels great to be back to making art and ATCs.

I am so busy now with homeschooling the kids that I have little time for ATC making and I am beginning to feel resentful about it.

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Monday, October 02, 2006

One Inch Collages!

Today I learned of this little fad, and I mean little. Here is a great write-up of the process, written by Zorena on her blog.

I can't wait to try these.

I have been itching to make some art over the last few days. Maybe I'll stay up late tonight after putting the kids to bed and make some art.