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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle ATC Swap

October 17, 2014
Sometimes too much of a good thing, is just... too much. (Rainbows of colors to choose from, varieties of mediums, unlimited ideas and possibilities - it can be overwhelming!) Having limits and guidelines to creativity can often funnel thoughts into inspiration. When infinite possibilities stall the beginnings of a project, a limited focus can make a path more clear.

As soon as I saw the title for the ATC (Artist Trading Card) Swap going on at Willowing & Friends, I knew I wanted to participate - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. I had no idea what I was going to do, but I loved the earth-friendly topic & wanted to jump right in.

blank cards for Reduce, Reuse, Recycle ATC Swap

Of course, when I sat down to create, I froze, not knowing what I was going to do next. Looking around at the mess on my desk, I saw an abundance of recyclable items -  pieces of paper and scraps just lying around, waiting to be re-purposed.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

beginning ATC cards for Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Swap


By focusing on the theme of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, I became determined to only use what I had on my desktop to complete the cards for the swap.
Desktop Recycling ATC cards for Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Swap

The images on the cards grew from pencil shavings, the lids of paint jars, gesso, and markers.
recycling in action for ATC Swap of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
In the end, I completed two of these & sent them off to my partner -

completed ATCs for Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Swap with Tamdoll

I also decided to scan & upload these images to a new Society6 shop, where they're available as prints, cards, phone covers and device skins. I named them after the idea I kept having while creating - "There is Beauty in Everything" & "Find the Beauty in Every Thing".

I think these sat on my desk for too long after completion, because I went on to make a little booklet to hold them, using pieces of: cardboard, a thank you card, and a subway map for the insides; then covering it all with painted paper towels. Yes, this was all on my desk, I did say it was a mess, didn't I?

Tamdoll booklet Reduce, Reuse, Recycle ATC Swap

Thanks to gomakesomething.com for the booklet how-to.

Of course, this was a swap & I got the most lovely package from my partner Gracie! I love those cards & have placed them on a shelf next to my desk. The extras she sent will definitely find their way into a future project, too.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle ATC Swap from Gracie Howle

This was fun & a good exercise for me. My personal goal for the year has been "focus" and I think this fits as a good reminder that narrowing focus can help to get things done. There was another limiting factor to this project - the time-frame. Having a commitment to my swap partner ensured that I'd finish this and send it out in the mail on time.

How do you get your projects started and finished in a timely manner?

*Disclaimer: The Society6 link provided is an affiliate link, I will be compensated if you make a purchase from society6.com/tamdoll. Thanks for your support!


  1. LOVE seeing the images of these being created and loved being your ATC partner Tammy! :)

  2. Thanks Gracie! It was fun to do & getting me on the road back to creating more art. I have your cards on a shelf now, right next to my desk where I can see them each day. ❤❤❤


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