Sunday, March 2, 2014

ATCS (Artist Trading Cards) from Vintage Stuff

I mentioned in an  earlier posts that I participate in an Artist Trading Card (ATC) exchange group. ATCs are an addictive little hobby that involves creating low-pressure works of art measuring 2 1/2" x 3 1/2", and trading them with other people! (More here.) Artistic genius is a non-requirement, as I will now prove, again.

Our group had another gathering schedule for last weekend. About 3 days before, I realized I needed to get started. I decided to involve neckties, since I have a huge embarrassing goodly stash of ties and tie scraps, many vintage. So here's what I came up with:


The peace sign is a relatively heavy bead, made from plastic or bone? There's a red velvet ribbon and a stripe from a necktie, on a denim jeans background. The jeans piece is glued to a cardboard backing.


A Girl Scout star serves as a tie pin.

100% vintage necktie silk.


Also all neckties, plus an aged metal button in the center.


Neckties, upholstery sample fabric (the gold plaid piece), and vintage trim.


Neckties, vintage plastic button, vintage trim including blue tatting, not done by me (probably by someone long gone), cotton and synthetic yarn.

Hubert W.: 

Neckties, red velvet ribbon, and old necktie label, plastic button that looks old. Hubert W. White is the name of the tie designer (of a different tie). Probably also long gone. Thanks, Noelle, for picking just the right button!

For some of my ATCs, I started with a thick gold/tan/white/brown upholstery fabric, with zig-zag geometric satin stitched lines. It came from an upholstery sample book. It's glued to a cardboard backing.

Blue Chip:
Includes a denim diamond cut from jeans, an old metal button, and a vintage necktie label

 Same upholstery, with necktie, zipper, vintage metallic trims, broken conical earring and a broken necklace spacer.

Two denim bars and a finger-pleasing thick transparent plastic button.

I also discovered that you can use the narrow end of a necktie to create an ATC-sized envelope:

The grey rectangle is ATC sized. 
This is a one-off, and it's just a fuddle:
I need to paint over it and take other drastic measures. like hiding it forever and/or claiming the kids made it in kindergarten.

The moral of this story, dear readers, is as always: You can be a non-Picasso and still have a lot of fun making very cool ATCs. And speaking of kindergartners, they love making them. It's truly an activity for all ages. All you need are pieces of cardboard cut to 2 1/2" to 3 1/2", fabric and trim scraps, glue, and OTHER card-makers to trade with. For more ideas, my woven ATCS are here. To see what my talented group members (none fiber artists, all artistic geniuses), made last time, go here.

And one thing I learned from this particular ATC creation session: Keep a lot of Fray Check and the like around. I used it on ribbon ends, and on the upholstery fabric's incredibly ravelly edges. Alternative to fray-stopping liquid: White glue mixed with a tiny bit of water. I like Crafter's Choice "The Ultimate." It's important to test the fray stopper and/or glue you choose on a sample of the fabric, to make sure it dries invisibly.


  1. Love them all Cathy , I am partial to ties !

    1. Thanks, Roberta. Ties have the most spectacular fabric!

  2. you know how to use other fabrics! Cool stuff
    LeeAnna Paylor

  3. Love all your ATC's. Very creative, and looks like a lot of fun.

    1. Kitchener, I LOVE your blog! I'm a total sucker for red-and-white, and you've got a lot of it to look at! Thanks so much for stopping by!

  4. I am honored to have the very regal Hubert W. ATC in my possession. It has definitely added a few classy points to my collection. Thank you!

    1. You certainly deserved that extremely prestigious card, John! Hubert W. ROCKS! I should Google him. I'll let you know what I come up with.

    2. Check this out, John - Hubert's company still exists!!! It appears that he was a very distinguished Minnesota haberdasher. Though his neckties for sale on ebay are pretty....challenging to love....


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