The theme for this swap was "Winter Comforts" and we were allowed to interpret that any way we wanted. I thought and thought about what I wanted to put on the front of my ATC that went with the theme. My first idea was to have a fire and something edible on a table, but then I realized that fire was probably a total cliche winter comfort, so I tried to think of something else. Try as I might, everything I came up with included fire. Kind of strange, really, since I grew up in Southern California and, even though we had a fireplace, we hardly ever lit a fire. However, when there was a fire, I would sit as close to it as humanly possible, soaking up the warmth and glow, sipping hot cocoa. To me, there is nothing better than that during winter. So, I went with cliche and did a fire theme.
The window fabric I used is a Cloud9 print designed by Eloise Renouf. It's one of my favorite prints from her and it made perfect "snow out the window" fabric. The satin stitched border provides a bit of dimension that makes the "snow" look like it is actually outside. Below the window is a bookcase made from a scrap of brown flannel with simple embroidered books lining the shelf. On top is a single red flower in a glass vase beside another book (the one I'm reading by the fire, of course). The fireplace is a simple gray fabric with embroidered mortar to make it look like a stone chimney (a much nicer version of the one we had in my house growing up). The flames are embroidered in red and orange using a version of the stem stitch to give it a nice curve and flow. I'm so happy with the way it turned out!
For the back of my card, I used a piece of veg tanned split hide that is super stiff. I chose it so that I could use my woodburner to write in my name and the swap details. I think it adds a nice bit of warmth, which is really what cold winter days are all about, right? I finished the edge with a simple (yet time-consuming since I was going through leather) embroidery stitch of unknown name. I just stitched through each hole two or three times to get a triangular edging. It turned out great. And the card has just the feeling of warmth I was going for. And we could all use a bit of warmth right about now. Whether it's snuggling up in front of a fire with a book or, as I do now, turning up the heater just a bit to get that extra bit of cozy.
I absolutely love the ATC I received from the person assigned to me. I'm sure you can see why! Tiny applique attached with tiny stitches, an embroidered marshmallow, a steaming mug, and a background filled with a list of other winter comforts. By far, my favorite part is the appliqued and embroidered flames. At first I thought the thread was one of the variegated variety, but it's not. The different colors of thread were masterfully mixed to create dimension and movement for the fire. The back of the card is a super cozy fuzzy green fabric with a printed tag. From the moment I opened the envelope, there was so much presentation and care, I couldn't help but feel special. A postcard with a short note, a ribbon that said "made by me" tied around pretty red and white tissue paper, and then the beautiful card inside. It really makes me wish the next swap started tomorrow. Please, Ali, please start the next one soon!
You can check out my first ATC swap post here.