Ok, I felt bad. Everything is about my bike, bike, bike. I feel like the guy in that commercial, and the wife complains that "all he ever talks about is the boat. The boat, the boat, the boat!" haha. So, time to talk about something completely different-- Artist Trading Cards! (or ATCs, for short)
I discovered these cards at an art shop in San Francisco a couple years ago, and my mom and I had fun sending them to each other on and off over the last couple years. It's just a 3.5" x 2" "card" that you can pay $5 for a pack of 12 of, or make a bunch of them by cutting up a piece of $0.25 cardstock. Some people use the same size pieces of cloth, or any media. ANYWAY, you decorate them however you see fit. Draw, paint, collage, the aforementioned cross-stitch...no standard rules!
atcsforall.com is an official site (there are likely more), and people can "host" swaps. They set ground rules for that particular swap if wanted (some people don't want collage, some people only want pen and ink...etc etc), and then a theme. Whimsical Fish, or Crowned Cats, for example! Once you complete your cards (usually 3, plus an extra for the host if you'd like), you mail them to the host, and you receive 3 cards back, from 3 other people who submitted them! Such a fun way to "swap" fun cards.
Here's a set of 4 I just mailed:
The best part? a 3" x 2.5" card isn't intimidating at all. Some people go all-out and do oil paintings and everything, but for the most part, it isn't too hard to churn one out in an evening. So, you get to get the creative juices flowing without getting overwhelmed! And you can enter as many or as few swaps as you like. Perfect!
My next ones I'm working on is for the "Crowned Cats" swap. There are so many swaps going on, but I take long enough to get them done as it is (every week or so I'll do one or two). But, there are ones based on movies (Star Wars was a recent one), styles of art (Zetti, which is a super cute and unique style), or totally random (Obscure Holidays)! Super fun!