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Found-on-a-Walk ATCs

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Found-on-a-Walk ATCs
Swap Coordinator:SharonP (contact)
Swap categories: Nature  Artist Trading Card (ATC)  Letters & Writing 
Number of people in swap:20
Last day to signup/drop:May 11, 2007
Date items must be sent by:June 18, 2007
Number of swap partners:3

As this is an excellent time of year to go for a walk in either hemisphere (spring up here, fall down there!), I though I'd initiate a swap based on two of my favorite pasttimes: going for walks and picking up interesting junk. And making ATCs. OK, three of my favorites -- walks, junk, and ATCs.

For this swap you will send each of your 3 partners 2 ATCs and a short letter or note (total: 6 ATCs, 3 letters).

The ATCs must be made at least in part from something you scavenged outdoors, either on your walk or at some other time -- a leaf or flower that you have pressed and dried (phone books work well for this), or some litter (we like to call it "found ephemera"), a bit of rusty metal, that sort of thing. The swap photo is from a little deco book in which I asked my friends to do this, and this is one of the pages, done by Kathy Coulter of Minneapolis.

The short letter or note is to tell your partner a little bit about your walk -- what you saw and heard, where you went, if you have a favorite place to walk, etc. So you'll have to leave the iPod at home and actually pay attention to your surroundings!

By "short" letter I mean it doesn't have to fill a page, maybe it's just a paragraph, maybe it's just a few sentences (wait, is that the same thing?). Of course, longer letters are permitted, especially if they're really interesting!

It would be especially nice if your note is written on a notecard you made with some more of the found objects on your walk -- but this is not required. In fact, if you want to type up one letter and print out three copies, that's OK too. I don't want this to be onerous, only fun.

So, since it is customary to reiterate in a summing up sort of way: your 3 partners each get 2 ATCs incorporating found objects and one short letter about a walk you took recently. Fun, right?

OK, now comes the who-can-participate part. How about if, rather than specify a rating, I just say that I will look at all profiles and contact you if I have questions, and if I don't get a reply in a few days, or if I am not satisfied with your explanation, I may drop you. Because I know that sometimes ones are given prematurely and threes are often handed out unreasonably (and sometimes not), I don't want to be rigid about ratings.

After all, if you're greedy for junk that someone else picked up on their walk and can't go out and pick up your own junk, well, you've got bigger problems than your partners who don't receive from you!

Oh, and of course it's international, 'cause that's more fun! (And why would I mention that bit about the southern hemisphere otherwise?)


SharonP 04/ 9/2007 #

Here is information on using bird feathers, specific in some regards to my area (Minnesota, USA), but also somewhat universal. This is from a friend who works in a natural history museum:

"The short answer - if you are cleaning feathers the best thing to do is freeze them first, bird mites only live on birds and not mammals but freezing them kills them off anyways.

"Mild dish soap and water works well to wash the feathers you can also dip them in rubbing alchohol and rinse them to help kill germs. If you are having a hard time getting the feathers back into shape hold them over a steam source such as a boiling pot of water and carefully run them through your fingers this should put them back together.

"Health warning: it is possible that West Nile Virus stays persistent in bird tissue and bone marrow possibly for years after the bird has died, while this shouldn't affect the feathers you should be cautious when handling whole birds.

"The long answer -- before you start putting feathers in your art please be aware that almost all wild birds are protected under the International Migratory Bird Treaty Act which means that it is basically illegal to own any part of a bird protected by the treaty (including feathers, eggs and nests) without a permit. Birds that don't fall into this group [in the US] are the introduced species such a house sparrows, starlings, pigeons, and domesticated birds."

hopeevey 04/ 9/2007 #

Just for reference - some countries have rules against mailing plant parts, such as flowers or leaves. It's worth checking into, so customs doesn't have to confiscate your art :)

SharonP 04/ 9/2007 #

Ooh, good point. If you get international partners, you might want to stick to things like ephemera and metal scraps etc. Here's the link on what can't be mailed to Australia:

deedeenet 05/ 8/2007 #

I made my ATCs at the same time as I made my 'trash to treasure' mural. I'm all set to go.

FingersInc 05/10/2007 #

Oh, Sharon... this sounds so familiar. Hmmmm why would that be? LOL

SharonP 05/10/2007 #

Hi, Colleen! I know you'll know what to do for this one!

FingersInc 05/14/2007 #

Sharon and All I went to my Sister's cabin on Lake Mille Lacs in Minnesota this weekend. Got some great 'found" items for my ATCs, hope my people like them. Should get in mail by the following weekend.

FarStarr 05/14/2007 #

Hmmmm...I'm still contemplating which walk to capture. The woods, the beach, the cemetary....

deedeenet 05/20/2007 #

Catherine Bishop your cards are beautiful. The little lamby with the fluff is so special - I love him! Thank you so much.

SharonP 05/21/2007 #

I also received ATCs from Catherine aka Pootle -- thanks! They are delightful! I love Professor ring-pull! (and the fluffy lamb)

SharonP 05/21/2007 #

I forgot to mention that I have ATCs from Sue as well, and they are quite elaborate assemblages of found objects. I have taken photos of both sets of ATCs and will upload them to the gallery in the next few days (under a little deadline pressure just now).

SharonP 05/27/2007 #

I uploaded pix of the ATCs I received so far, except unfortunately I forgot to resize the first one, so that's over large, but the others are normal size.

FarStarr 05/27/2007 #

Wow! Awesome cards from Sue and Pootle in the gallery! I love beautiful trash!

user7038 05/29/2007 #

Heather - Your inventive cards have been received. Beautiful way to incorporate found items!

Lauri Jean

pjdoyle 05/31/2007 #

I received lovely, floral ATC from Colleen -- found in her garden -- very Victorian!


cooan 06/ 4/2007 #

going out today to fingers inc., sleeping traveller, and starwatcher!

seviltra 06/ 7/2007 #

FarStarr, lori eb., and Wild iris: your ATCs are on their way.

SharonP 06/ 8/2007 #

ATCs going out today toDeborah, Cooan, and Sparky. (Hey! I made a little art doll from a found spark plug and named it Sparky! It's on my Flickr page in the dolls folder!--http://www.flickr.com/photos/art_crone/)

SharonP 06/ 8/2007 #

oops, couldn't create a "dolls" folder on Flickr because I have my limit of "sets." But if you want to see Sparky the doll, you can just scroll down, she's still on the first page.

FarStarr 06/ 9/2007 #

This has been a fun challenge. Thank you, Sharon. I actually had to do two completely different walks and I love the results that will be going out soon.

is anyone else quoting Monty Python?...and now for something completely different...

toby44 06/ 9/2007 #

Sleeping Traveler, Cooan, and Starwatcher: your packets of cards were mailed today! I'll never be the same again after this swap! I'll always be on the lookout for little items. It was really fun!

toby44 06/ 9/2007 #

Sharon, I love your sweet Sparky doll with the spark plug body! You are amazingly creative! I enjoyed your insight and imagination. Can't wait to get my cards!

SharonP 06/10/2007 #


FarStarr 06/18/2007 #

ATC's and letters are on their way to Susan, pootle, and SewingSpoon today....and oh yeah, I'm sending a little treat to you too, Sharon.

SharonP 06/18/2007 #

Thanks, FarStarr. I love surprises!

Prpldy 06/19/2007 #

Mine went out today....I know a day late, but no one was here to take them to the post office yesterday, and as I can' t get out much....well anyhow I am sorry and I hope my partners enjoy what I sent. I'll up load a picture of them.

pjdoyle 06/22/2007 #

Got Ann's ATCs from her Chicago trip -- worth the wait!


deedeenet 06/22/2007 #

Barbara, Katherine, Sallie, so sorry to say that I'm a bit late with your swap. This week was my son's graduation and 18th birthday and I had no idea that my art would be overtaken with real life so completely!

I hope to get these in the mail as they were completed a while ago (where did I put them???).

pjdoyle 06/24/2007 #

I received Brenda's cards -- thanks so much for some interesting ATCs! It's fun to get the "story" behind the creation, too. Good job!


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