Hi everyone. I said I would have some exciting news to tell you, so here it is. It is actually only exciting for me really but I want to share it with you anyway. Most of you know I am 'into' papercraft, and some of you will know I make ATCs. These Artist Trading Cards are small pieces of unique art work which are exchanged with other art and craft fans, rather like an artistic calling card. They can only be exchanged (or given as gifts) and must not be sold. They have to be the size of a standard playing card, 2.5" x 3.5", and can be painted, glued, stamped, embellished etc. Almost anything is acceptable as long as it is your own work and not just a made up kit, or a copy of someone else's work.
I have been making ATCs for a couple of years and now have a folder full of other people's cards that I have received through on-line swaps and magazine swaps, or by meeting other swappers at craft shows. Jean got me interested, and at first I was unsure. I am not a neat worker and I thought the small size would be very limiting, but in fact it is just a different sort of challenge, and before long I was hooked.
Last Autumn I received an electronic news letter from a company called Crafty Individuals. I have been a customer of theirs for some time as I love the style of stamps they make and sell on-line. The letter announced a competition to create an ATC using any items from their range. Now I am not usually confident enough to enter craft competitions, and most of my craft materials and equipment are still in storage, but I did have a few of their stamps here with me so I decided to give it a go. I made three entries and sent them in well before the closing date of 26th January. Then to my amazement, I received an announcement earlier this month to say not only was I a winner, but I had in fact won first prize!! I was absolutely bowled over. I didn't expect to get anywhere and only entered because I love receiving the swaps! My other entries featured trees on one and angels on Christmas postage for the other, but for the one that won I used a lovely Crafty Individuals poppy stamp and a photo of my grandfather. I used the computer to make a caption, and painted and decoupaged (layered) the poppy. Sometimes for online swaps we are given a theme for our work, but for this competition we had a free choice. I called this card 'Remembrance'. This photo shows the finished ATC as photographed by the company. You can see more details and the other entries by going to http://www.craftyindividuals.co.uk and clicking on 'competition winners' in the column on the left of the page. Jean entered as well so hers are on one of the boards. I have tried to guess which are hers but I am not sure.
My prize was £50 worth of stamps etc from their site and £50 cash, so I had a lovely time chosing what I would have. The parcel will be waiting for me to open when I get to the Punchbowl on Thursday. What fun! It has been a tremendous confidence booster. I knew I had won a couple of week ago but I had to wait until the results were made public before I could put it on here. The photos of all the entries were posted yesterday, so at last I can talk about it. I hope you don't think this is 'showing off'. It was just such a lovely surprise that I wanted to tell everyone about it.