Thursday, June 26, 2008

Last night's ATC swap at the library

Well last night, at our local library, we had our fifth Wednesday evening ATC swap. We looked around in our junk drawers and came up with some intriguing design items. Have a look:
This one says "Meditate by emptying yourself and letting the universe fill you." that came from a tea tag, the woman from a Dover clip art book, the gold from a paper doily, and the marigolds from a seed packet.

This next one has a reproduction of an old playing card with my face glued in, some Chinese spirit offerings, and a golden paper skirt.

And this last one from last night has an empty needle case folder (which opens and I want to put something else in there...), two twinkle lights from a Christmas tree string, a paper tea tag reading: It is not what you have that is your greatness, it is what you give." and some Viet Namese spirit money.

The tea tag quote was interesting to find in my stash because I had realised on the way to the library that I was suddenly really nervous about teaching ... "would I be good enough?" and all that. But I remembered that old wisdom about how when we put our selves in the position of giving our gifts - rather trying to gauge other people's evaluation of us - it takes the pressure off. My job is just to give what I have and the rest is up to God/The Universe.

I think that it helped.

And an added treat is that one of my Birthday ATC Recipients came to the swap, gave me an ATC in exchange for the one I had given to her, and ALSO traded two more times with me!!

A good night. Next month we are going to play with portraits of famous people from Maine. July 30th. I will also have some of my new books, The Great Library ATC Swap, to autograph if you would like one. See you then.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Great Library ATC Swap is HERE!

My latest book is out! It is all ready for you at Click HERE to be taken to the page where you can purchase it! Then write to us to swap with the Rockport Library ATC Swap Group!
Here is a bit from the introduction:
We have been holding ATC Make and Swaps at the Rockport Public Library for a little while and I’ve been thinking: what if libraries all over the country held Swaps? A person could travel all over during summer vacation visiting Swaps in state after state. Our Library could hold a 10 for 10 swap with your library. We’d all get clearer on our geography. Northerners and southerners, westerners and easterners would be making friends. Folks from blue and red states would be sending little art gifts back and forth to each other. The possibilities are endless. And fabulous. I wanted to share this with you.

Let’s do it!

In this book I tell our story hoping to inspire you! I have included more than 30 different ATC techniques to bring to your group. All of them, (except a couple that are just too cool to leave out), are simple cut, and paste, and draw ideas that will amaze and delight you when you see the interpretations that blossom from all of the individual ATC artists each month. I hope that many, many folks will try this all over the country. And if your Swap Group would like to swap with our Library Group, (which we would love!), join the fun at

It is very sweet to make art with your friends.

Hope to hear from you soon!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

ATC Birthday Party Success!!

Well, that was So. Much. Fun!

I had birthday wishes from old friends (24 years and counting), newer friends, folks I've only met once, and people I've never met at all from western Maine to Northern Ireland to New Zealand with CO, MS, VA, and GA in between.

WOW!! It was great! A couple of people talked to me about doing it them selves for their own birthdays. I would highly recomend it. I just put my pictures here on my blog and then sent out a couple of notices to two yahoo groups that I am in, (ATCs and unschooling) and a select group from my address book - all folks who appreciate the finer - and smaller - things in life.

I am sending out 20 cards actually. Some friends didn't ask for a card, but I was feeling so happy and full that I just kept addressing envelopes.

Thank you all very much. I had a great day!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy Birthday!!

It's my birthday! I am going to give out party favors: I have started my day in the best possible way, lazing around in bed until nearly 5:00 then a couple of hours playing with some of my June ATCs. Now it is time for the presents! I will show you some of my artistic endeavors and then you can write to me - - and I will send you whichever one you tell me to! I wish you all a great day!

Here is Postage Stamp Landscape:

And: Inner Peace (non-violence):

Sharing Our Gifts has a tiny booklet in its pocket:

Do Your Dream:

Love Poste (also has a tiny pocket with a small card):

We Live In Community (was hand drawn on a brown paper bag):

Lotus (hand drawn on glazed tissue paper):

Friendship (done in the March technique from The Great Library ATC Swap due out this week!!!):

Art Washes Away (from the soul the dust of everyday life. Picasso) (two more little pockets!):

To Invigorate, Stimulate ... Make Joyful (has some candy wrapper faux postage stamps):

Random Act of Art (also hand drawn on glazed tissue paper):

Throw Paint! (Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can. Danny Kaye):Good Morning (is a card within a pocket):

And last and fabulous is Where Are We? (which has a 10 page book in its pocket!):

NOW REMEMBER: Please send me an email with your choice and your mailing address to, don't comment here as it is both laborious on my slow speed computer to get the messages and also it doesn't protect your private mailing address as much.

Have a lovely, lovely day!


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Yesterday's Swap at the library

Yesterday at our Library Swap we focused on pockets on our ATCs. Pockets can hold notes, cards, or books (tiny ones) and I think that they could also hold coins, birthday money, small photos, even a tiny toy. We were a small group - the pull of the georgous afternoon was too much, I guess - Well, here are some photos of my progress yesterday:

The pocket on this one, above, is on the upper righthand corner with a small card that has a golden heart drawn on it. The image is from an old stamp book that I photo copied and enlarged.

Below are two that have a different kind of pocket on them. I cut a small slit in the middle of the card, double-stick-taped the back around the pocket area and stuck the card onto a plain cardstock base. Then I slipped the photo or card into place.

Details of how to make regular pockets are in my new book: The Great Library ATC Swap - due out this coming week!!!

Friday, June 13, 2008

My book is on its way!!!

I tell you: I am barely holding it together. (I wonder what that means ... symbolically ... the possibilities beg for some artwork...) I just got an email that The Great Library ATC Swap has just been shipped to me from I am soooo excited!!!!!! Here is the cover:

As soon as I do my final print proof-read I will release it to you!

Y'know, the thing that is kinda magical about this timing is that in 1993 I published Nannee, my first book, and announced it on my birthday: June 16th. If I get the ATC Swap book by Saturday, which I might, as it is being Priority shipped, then I can announce/open publication of this, my second book, on my birthday too. Yay!

I am really proud of this book. I think that it has great ideas and I am so eager to have you all share them. I can't hardly wait to begin swapping with other groups from around the country - that is one of the most fun options with this book. Sure it teaches how to make ATCs, but also it shows how to make a swap group in your hometown, and then, when you all are ready, to swap with other library swap groups around the country.

I am so aware that nothing happens in a vacuum: Molly Larson, the director of our library, has been so welcoming to me, to this idea, to the hoards of ATC artists who come through her doors each month. She just keeps finding ways to make everything work out. Thank you, Molly!

Jane Babbitt, another librarian here in Rockport, makes great ATCs, proof-read the book, comes to all the swaps, and has been so enthusiastic about art in the library and my book. What a blessing. Thank you, Jane.

And of course, there is Iris. ArtistMamaLibrarianExtrodinaire. Iris and Jane stood at the front desk ohhing and ahhing over the book that I brought to the library to illustrate my Swap idea back in January (1000 Artist Trading Cards, ed. Particia Bolton). And Iris and I have been swapping cards, ideas, art thrill, and even some Swap leadership ever since. Iris also proof read my book twice, and has been a major cheerleader for me all along my way. Thank you too, Iris, very, very much.

Big projects often require big allowances and sacrifices from one's family too and I send out lots of kisses and hugs to my children for taking this all in their stride.

Well, today, just to keep me occupied, (kidding) I am taking some art quilts up to Augusta to have juried for the Maine Crafts Association's new retail shop in Gardner. I love the work that I will be showing to them - both doing it and the finished pieces. I am happy to say that I have been working on a new quilt recently and so glad to be back at it - not that I don't also enjoy the ATCs. It is just that there is something so slow about the quilts, they are small but wonderfully intricate, and I find that I breathe in God while I work ... somehow slowly enough so that I actually notice and can appreciate the company. >sigh< id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5211332754198008706" style="DISPLAY: block; MARGIN: 0px auto 10px; CURSOR: hand; TEXT-ALIGN: center" alt="" src="" border="0">

And this is October Bird, here:
The other photos are too big for me to load this morning, but suffice to say: small-ish art quilts with lots of embellishments. Now then, off to the races. Wish me luck.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

with and for each other

Oh my! It has been a month. Perhaps all of that April blogging exhausted me. Or maybe I have just had a rather full schedule.
Well, I keep walking along with my book: I hit cross schedules, computer glitches: all manner of details to work out. I am still heading towards a publication very, very soon. I was remembering that I published my first book: Nannee on my birthday in 1993, so I was thinking that I am working to announce this new book on June 16th this year - exactly 15 years later.

The Great Library ATC Swap has more than 30 techniques to keep an ATC group at your hometown library interested and coming back for more. Or maybe just you - but I highly reccomend making art in community. I have lots of ideas on how to start a group and instructions for how to trade with us, here in Rockport! We are looking forward to that!

Here is a treat from Chapter One:

AAAnd, I realised a week or so ago that I miss sewing. So I have started a new embellished reverse applique quilt. Sigh. I am happy.