Artist Trading Card Guest Post: Being brave and signing up!

This guest post about our ATC swap is by Ellie of The Creative Toe, and is all about the crafting doubts that assail you when you are faced with a theme that isn’t immediately inspiring… I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did!  Because Ellie hasn’t got any pics yet (obviously, she hasn’t had much time) I’ve illustrated it with word-themed ATCs made for previous swaps.

I’ve been looking forward to this swap (my 4th Very Berry ATC swap) but when the email came & I saw the title ‘Say Something’ I was seriously debating not signing up.  You might think this was odd because I like doing ‘wordy’ stuff.

HM Crafts ATC card: My Favourite Things
Artist Trading Card by Helen P: My Favourite Things….

For my first card (home sweet home) I did part of a boot along with the text ‘there was an old woman who lived in a shoe’.  The ‘My Favourite’ one – I did a mini quilt with ‘wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings…’ as the accompanying text (yeah, I love ‘cultural references’ too).  So you might think that this title would be a bit of a gift.

Card by Debbie Seton, The Crimson Rabbit
ATC made by Debbie Seton (The Crimson Rabbit) for swap 3 (Books) with a quote from Henry James.

The problem was finding the link which was a bit ‘clever’ – those who have followed my blog for some time may have noticed this trend, and also my vague literary aspirations.  I couldn’t think of any songs (or nursery rhymes, tv or film quotes, books) which had a line in that was suitable.  It felt like nobody wanted me to say anything.

Sewing Room Secrets
Artist Trading Card made by Natalie of Sewing Room Secrets for our first swap!

I also wasn’t sure about coming up with something ‘new’ (see above – vague literary aspirations), mostly as I couldn’t think of anything to say – ‘say it with flowers’ was all that kept popping into my head.  And whereas I like flowers, they aren’t my topic/subject of choice.  I ummed & aahed about going down the Haiku route – I like the challenge of fitting meanings into the specific requirements (5-7-5 syllables).  I decided not to work on a Haiku because I felt that I’d struggle to get all the words on such a small space.  I like challenges & all, but I feel like I’d need a bigger piece of fabric!

Ellie Taylor
ATC made by Ellie herself for our seventh swap.

In the end I screwed up my courage & signed up anyway.  Fortunately I also managed to come up with what I hope is a slightly unusual solution to this problem and yet is not too obscure (fingers crossed) as I’d like the recipient to be able to spot the cultural reference too.  And which fits on the right size.  I’m not going to give the game away but I’m now looking forward to getting on with it (phew!).

Good luck to Ellie, and to everyone swapping along.. hope you have some great ideas (if I was brave I would steal the Haiku inspiration…!).

4 thoughts on “Artist Trading Card Guest Post: Being brave and signing up!

  1. Ellie, thank you for your post and your thoughts. This round of the swap is far from the first one for me, but I have to be honest, once I saw the them, I felt the same way as you did. I usually get a few ideas/inspirations once I know the theme, but not this time. I am struggling a bit, still in a thinking mode… 🙂

  2. I really enjoyed reading this and helped – as a newbie I now also realise that there are 2 choices for the way up the card goes! noticed till studying these wonderful examples! I am learning fast but a long way off finding the words but thanks Ellie you have inspired me to research some avenues I hadn’t even thought about.

  3. I was the (very) lucky recipient of Ellie’s “wild geese ….” ATC and I was blown away by the genius of it, both the wild geese quilt block and the quote. Think I have had a glimmer of an idea for this round. I love reading the guest blog posts showing the different aspects of the process.

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