SwapBot and ATCs

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Well, today is the “hump day” of my Spring Break. Now, I only have 4 1/2 days before returning to school… ;-( What have I been doing? Not much, really. I have been drinking wine and kir royales, organizing craft things, staying up until 2AM and waking up at 11 or noon. That is really my ideal sleeping pattern – not that unnatural getting up at 5:30 necessitated by my job.

I went to IKEA the Friday I got off after Teacher Workday. That was fun – I must have been there 3 hours or so. You see, it has been ages since I went there, so I had to do the whole thing – see the new displays, etc. I left with a few things, and decided to return after determining whether or not I needed more things to organize my space. I also went by the food section and bought some candy (supposedly for Easter, but much is already eaten!).

Artistically, I have kept myself busy working on things for the Swaps I signed up for on SwapBot.com. I’m already an addict, signing up for 5 swaps already. First, there was the 1 oz. paper scrap swap, then there was the Tiny paper scrap swap. I also signed up for a 20 ATC MegaSwap – I had not really done Artist Trading Cards before, so that was new. I have already made the 20 and mailed them off.

I did 2 series using scraps of Georgia Lottery forms, Loteria images, and these painted numbers that I cut out of airline magazines on one long trip – I must have cut up 10 magazines – but the numbers are cool! I was working with a gambling theme on these, of course. The first set, I decided to look online for fortune cookie fortunes, and then cut them out to glue on the cards. I named the series “La Fortuna.” When I got to the second series, I decided to replace the fortunes with Spanish proverbs, called “dichos.” The sayings are about money and friends – I called it Dichos (duh). I decided to keep one of each set, and to send the other four on to my Swap partners.

While looking through my things, I found prints of my Loteria Celeste series, just the right size for ATCs. I wrapped the cards (which, BTW, I purchased probably 2 years ago at an art store in Houston), in florist’s foil (I have about 7 rolls of different colors – I love it!). Then, I centered the image on the cards – that was a sticky mess, and I was afraid that the images, which were printed on slick brochure paper would not stick to the foil. I put them in a book to dry and sat on the book for extra flatness. They turned out great.

I was on a roll and decided that I needed to create a personal label to attach to the back of the cards. There are quite a few stamps already made to use for this purpose, but I chose a Photoshop format using a black and white shrine image I found online. I really like the result, except that it is pretty tiny to write on. I was able to write the name of the series, what the number out of the total made, the date, and the medium used. I then initialed the card, and wrote something to remind me which card it was… I know pretty meticulous – but you never know if these are going to be real collector’s items in the future! I also included my e-mail address and my future website URL on the card.

So, I sent all of those out today, then sent out three envelopes full of napkins for a Napkin Swap. I know, I’m out of control! But, seriously, these things help me to go back and look at what a huge amount of supplies I have – I have been buying stuff for years, with the thought of doing “something” with all of it. I am trying not to buy more, but that is very hard. If I go shopping, I invariably see beautiful papers that I have to buy. If I stay at home, there’s the E-Bay temptation.

I have been starting my preparation for the big trip to Mexico this summer. This morning, my husband and I went to the bank to transfer funds for the apartment deposit. There is still a huge amount of planning to do – we’re going in two months!

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