Saturday, 3 December 2016

Winter Sparkles ATC Swap Finish

There was a beautiful blue sky and a lovely bright autumn day outside my window today. Even with the chilly temperatures a bright day can warm the heart. It's so nice.

As I mentioned in my last post, I have joined in with a textile ATC swap. This is the forth time I've joined in the swap and I must say I really love it. Working on a tiny little artwork as a gift for a swap partner is extremely rewarding; and the excitement of waiting for the ATC you will receive is really fun.

I have a 'Ta-Da' prepared and a little showcase of the ATC's I've made so far and the ATC's I've received in the swaps.

I also have some fun news for you. I've written a guest post over at VeryBerryHandmade. Ali at veryberry very kindly let me take over her blog and write a post about design process. I have shared my top three tips on designing an ATC. In the post I talk specifically about designing ATC's, but the principles of the design process can be used when designing and planning any project. I'd love for you to read it and see if you find the tips useful.

An ATC is a little artwork meant to showcase an artists skill and style and is used like a business card. They are 2.5" x 3.5" so they really are tiny. The swap Ali runs is for textile ATC's so it's an opportunity to make a little piece of art with a needle. The size is a fun challenge and allows you to experiment and try a new technique without having to commit to a large project.

So let me show you my ATC

The first thing my husband said when he saw this was 'You should try making it straight next time'. *sigh*. Don't look closely, my ATC's are all wonky!

The theme this time round was 'winter sparkles'. I haven't got anything sparkly to stitch with so I had to think outside the box. My hope was to use teeny tiny pearls to represent snow falling between embroidered stars. What do you think? Can you see where I was going? 
I hope my swap partner likes it.
The hills and fields are made with wool felt, which is a new-to-me material I'm exploring. It gets quite thick in those layers so I cut it to the seam line underneath to reduce the bulk. Even so, it has a satisfying squishiness to it. I'm really falling in love with this wool felt. It feels sturdy and holds it's shape well but isn't as stiff as I thought it would be. It would be perfect for some soft sculptures.

These are the ATC's I've made for past swaps

Theme- 'My Favourite'. A meadow landscape
Theme- 'Winter Comforts'

Theme- 'Say Something'. This is from a poem

And these are the ATC's I've received


You can see the care and work that has been put into making these little pieces of art. I love them. The top one was made by Ann and the bottom one by Catherine.

Fran, my partner for one of the swaps struggled to make an ATC in time for the posting date so she sent me a mug rug instead. I absolutely love it. It lives on my desk, often with a little tea pot and cup sitting on it.

Now, I need some advice. While I was making my pearly, snowy landscape, I had another design in my head that wouldn't sit still until I made it. I had to leave my landscape half made and go and stitch the other design so I could get it out of my head. Does that ever happen to you?
Anyway, I started the other ATC idea. A spiderweb. I painted a background. I used some satin embroidery thread to stitch the pattern and used tiny beads to represent frozen dew. I love spiderwebs at this time of year. I need to clarify - I hate spiders and I don't like webs indoors at any time of year because of, well, spiders. But I love to see dew hanging like diamonds from the threads that are outdoors and webs are so beautiful when they are frozen.

Here it is with a card 'window' placed over it. I apologise for the shadows and the wonkiness

I'm pretty happy with the glass beads. They look like dew to me. It's missing something though. I thought of using some white thread to embroider along the web to look like frost. My mother-in-law suggested I embroider a spider, but as has been said, spiders are a big no-no for me. bleh. I even countered her suggestion with an idea of an unfortunate fly wrapped in web. She thought that was gross. So I don't know. It needs something more. Any suggestions?


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  1. What beautiful little artworks. I love all the intricate details in all the ATC's. You can tell the designs have been well thought through. Just brilliant. And yes, I 'get' your 'winter sparkles' ATC. As for your latest design, I've seen little leaves sticking to spiders webs so maybe a leaf? Good luck! x

    1. Thank you Marion! I'm glad you get my winter sparkles idea, it means I must be on the right track :) I like your idea of the leaf. I think I'll have a play around with that idea and maybe make it 3D.

  2. I love your artwork. 😍


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