Category Archives: Artist Trading Block (ATB=Wooden ATC)

Second on the 2nd for April …

I am joining Elizabeth of Altered Book Lover again this month to take a second look at a blogpost that I originally shared back in April of 2009…this was one of many wooden ATCs/blocks that I altered around that time…it is fun to see how my photography and format have changed since I began blogging in 2007…

Art Helps Me Breathe

“In art the hand can never execute anything higher than the heart can inspire” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson “

two days with a master artiste

the one and only

Michael deMeng

taught two workshops about twenty minutes drive away …  all thanks to Angela of Happy Stamper in Reston for nabbing him after his Art & Soul classes in Hampton, VA … what a treat!!!

Day 1 Cave of Pages

a simple wooden cigar box … got excited and forgot to take a picture of the actual box part before I got busy … there is the lid

my focal image was going to be a swan … but something different came up in the end … found my box a bit challenging to photograph to capture the true coloring and depth

Michael deMeng is an extraordinary teacher … he creates an atmosphere of creativity and fun in his classes … he could have his own “deMeng speak” dictionary with all of the color wash names and other clever jargon he uses … one of the things that is apparent is that he Loves what he does … he is so present and giving

Day 2 Loteria “Cards” made of simple wood blocks … special cool Apoxie Sculpt clay

(thank you Leslie for sharing) … rusty bits of this and that …

I had so many ideas for these and brought SO much stuff to class

in the end I had to put on a few final touches at home … I got to use some of the great rusty bottle caps Mr Magpie is always surprising me with

I highly recommend

Michael deMeng’s newest book, Dusty Diablos …  a visual feast full of inspiration … he shares some great techniques and tells some fascinating stories in the process … his artwork draws you in with its richness … mystery and depth

I was lucky enough to take an altered light bulb class with Michael at Art & Soul a few years ago … I would definitely take a class from him again… each time I learn so much from this generous and talented artist!

many thanks once again Angela !!!

The Pink Artist Drawing 2009: Prize Wheel

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

there is still time … you have until 15 October to visit Monica Magness at The Pink Artist Drawing to make a contribution to help fund cancer research


for every ten dollars you donate your name will be entered in the drawing TWICE

first prize is a fabulous Pink Artist Quilt

there are wonderful items from 60 different artists … you can see the prizes here on the prize wheel (my contribution is # 19)

Bee Love

Hermine’s challenge theme for Wednesday Stamper this week is “work with purple and green”

I created an altered Artist Trading Block (.75″ thick) using Lumiere paints and green inks

WS PurpleGreen

*click for closeup*

The lace near the little girls shoulders is light green

Debby’s Artist Trading Block

Back in March  Debby Harriettha and I traded ATBs using Paper Whimsy images.  Here are some photos of the pretty block she sent to me all the way from Ontario

*pics are clickable for a closer look*


she even decorated the bottom of her chunkie


Here is the chunkie (below) that I sent to Debby


Our local altered arts group is having a one for one ATB swap in July, which should be fun too

Art Helps Me Breathe

In a recent attempt to go through my art supplies…..I can only clean and not play for so long before I must make something :)… I always find so many goodies I forgot I had…..a cigar box sparked this wooden ATC chunky

Magpie's Nest Artist Trading Block

dress pattern tissue, book text, paint, gesso, gold  gouache,  white gel pen, a vellum sheet from the cigar box , cigar box paper strips, PW girl, stamps, velvet leaves and a piece of old jewelry (gel medium and UHU gluestick)

Patty Szymkowicz Art Helps Me Breathe

“Art Helps Me Breathe” is stamped on a real Ginkgo leaf from a most beautiful spot and grand old tree

if I had planned ahead, I would have turned the leaf so the crown was on the pointed end of the leaf which would have meant stamping it the other way….I just play….not much planning involved at all

“In art the hand can never execute anything higher than the heart can inspire” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

*footnote – 4 April…Nathalie and Margaret have coined a new description for the wooden (chunky)  artist trading cards…..ATB  (Artist Trading Block)…..BRILLIANT….sooo I have added a new CATEGORY to by sidebar on the right = you clever gulls you*

ABAA: Birdhouse

Playing along a little late on the Awfully Big Art Adventure’s “Birdhouse” challenge.  I used an ATC size chunky wooden arch shape to create my bird house.


*click for a little closer look*

Clear stamps from Michelle Ward’s Bird Sanctuary and Catherine Moore’s Character Constructions. The Forget-me-nots are cut from a beautiful postcard image that Elizabeth Golden shared on her blog.

*tweet tweet*

“Spring would not be spring without bird songs.” ~Francis M. Chapman

Paper Whimsy Wooden Chunky Swap

Here is my chunky wooden ATC for the PW one for one swap.  I gave this whimsy girl the Gaelic name “Ashling” which means “Dream”.


This block is a 1.25 inch (3.17cm) thick


“Take, if you must, this little bag of dreams, Unloose the cord and they will wrap you round” ~William Butler Yeats

My One World One Heart Giveaway

***Comments are now closed

you can

visit here to see who winners are***

Welcome……It’s that magical time of year again; be sure and visit One World One Heart (OWOH) for the list of this years participants and join in the fun.

*I am #122 on the OWOH list of participants*

This year I am offering two prizes.  One is a piece of altered cutlery.  A teaspoon that could be worn as a pendant or used as a decoration to hang.


My second giveaway is  one of my 2.5  x 3.5 x .75 inch thick Artist Trading Cards (ATC).  It is a chunky wooden altered ATC that is decorated on all sides.  Both of my giveaways just happen to have Paper Whimsy images.

*front* owohgiveaway2front





Here is how the giveaway works.

Anyone, with or without a blog is welcome, near or far.  To get your name in the drawing simply leave one comment for this post. ( if you do not see the comment spot right away, you can access it by clicking on the subject line above and the comment box will appear at the bottom of your page)

*Comments will close at midnight EST on 11 February*

Two winners will be chosen randomly,  one for the altered spoon and one for the chunky ATC.   Winners will be announced on Thursday, 12 February.

Many thanks again this year to the amazing gypsy queen, Lisa Swifka (A Whimsical Bohemian), for once again giving everyone a chance to travel the globe, visit far off lands and meet new people!

Thank you for visiting my Magpie’s Nest and good luck in your travels with One World One Heart!

*there are  911 participants,  twice as many as last year*

Time and time again….

“Birds” is the challenge at Theme Thursday.  It was not easy choosing just one favorite bird.  I ended up with a swan, this time a black swan and another chunkie wooden ATC.  I collaged papers, inked, stamped and added a touch of lace from an old crocheted collar, velvet rickrack and an old button on the top.  I can’t stop making them, they are SO much fun 🙂

In searching for a black swan quote I came upon this interesting info about the connection between Australia and black swans, which I knew nothing about until today.  I have always been attracted to swans.  Here is a view of both sides of my chunkie ATC.

timentimeagainfront timentimeagainswan

Purple is the color

TMTA is challenging everyone to use purple/lila in their ATC creations.  Are you surprised to see another chunky wooden ATC here 🙂  I used one of my favorite shades of purple paint by Lumiere, it’s called Halo Violet Gold, book text, some paper doily pieces, a sweet Paper Whimsy girl and velvet zigzag trim at the top and bottom, oh and a decorative purple button for the top.


tmtapurple tmtapurpleback

“What will survive of us is Love” ~Philip Larkin


I am really taken with chunky wooden ‘canvases’…..Thank you ABAA!  My first wooden ATCs were .75 inches thick.  This ATC measures 1.5 inches.  Having wider sides gives all the more room to play!

This one has a foundation of pattern tissue and why not while I was all sticky from creating my chunky arch for MMM last night.  My husband even cut some 1.5 inch chunky arch shapes!


I Love this quote from Oprah, it is so nice to feel more hopeful about the future and the present again… has taken many years.  I actually mean that on a personal level, learning to live again after the loss of a child almost ten years ago.  I realize now when you say the words “hope” and “change” people may be thinking politics.

“When I look into the future it’s so bright it burns my eyes” ~Oprah Winfrey


Chunky Artist Trading Cards

Inspired by two brilliant challenges this week, I created my first wood block ATCs, they measure 2.5″ x 3.5″ and are .75″ (1.9 centimeters) thick.  They feel like a good sized deck of cards in your hand; fun to pick up and admire and addicting to make 🙂

*click for a closeup*


My first chunky ATC is for the Mittwochstempler/Wednesday Stamper (WS): Angel theme.  For my “GROW” gardening Angel, I used three different stamps.  The block of wood that my husband cut for me is covered with very small print book text that I inked and stamped on, adding images and other papers.  Since I am mostly inside these days playing with paper, I could certainly use a gardening angel!


My second chunky ATC is for the Big Art Adventure challenge of creating a wooden ATC this week.   I call this one “Rules 4 Giving”, which is what it says on one side.  I also covered this wooden block with book text, inked and added images; applying inks again and again layering with paper.

chunkyatcrules4-front chunkyatcrules4-back

Thanks to Linda and Rosie’s Big Art Adventure and Audrey Hernandez for the inspiration!  These are great fun to make and they stand up nicely on a shelf or cabinet!
Great fun!  I have two painted and ready to play with today!  I think I will need to try an even chunkier size too….if you please JJJ oxooxo