Wednesday, February 9, 2011

ATCs....Ancestor Trading Cards

William H. Johnstone
Artist Trading Cards (or ATCs) are miniature works of art about the same size as modern baseball cards,[1] or 2 ½ X 3 ½ inches (63 mm X 89 mm),[2] small enough to fit inside standard card-collector pockets, sleeves or sheets.[3] The ATC movement developed out of the mail art movement and has its origins in Switzerland.[4] Cards are produced in various media, including dry media (pencils, pens, markers, etc.), wet media (watercolor, acrylic paints, etc.), paper media (in the form of collage, papercuts, found objects, etc.) or even metals or cloth. The cards are usually traded or exchanged rather than sold. wikipedia

Nell and Carl Borgreen
"Bathing Beauty"
Ancestor Trading cards are a spin off of Artist Trading cards.
Using clipart and vintage photos I've created a set of fun and 
whimsical ancestor cards.

Nell, Carl and baby Judy Borgreen
Printed on cardstock and housed in a little
altered box, they are good for nothing
but holding, looking at and enjoying.

Carl Borgreen
This set was a Christmas gift to Mom who
is a paper and rubber stamp artist and makes
ATCs for swap groups all year long.

Gust Borgreen
"The Blacksmith"

Nell and Carl Borgreen and others
"The Jailbirds"

Johanna "Jennie" and Gust Borgreen

The Johnstones

Mary Alice Johnstone

Nell Borgreen "Nurse Nellie"

Gust Borgreen "The Kingfisher"


  1. I love, love, love these! They are fabulous! I want a set of my own (with my own ancestors!)! Perhaps you will tell us how you made them?

  2. Thanks Nancy. They're super fun and easy to do.
    Mine are a digital/paper hybrid. I create a 2.5" x 3.5" canvas in photoshop, plop my photos on that and size them to fit. Then I browse Google for images and clip art that help to illustrate my "story". Those are then added to the canvas, sized to fit and Bob's your uncle. You can print as is, or you can separate your layers, print individually, cut out and assemble on a 2.5" x 3.5" card stock base.

  3. These are seriously cool!!! I really want to make a set of these for my kids to use in our homeschool history studies. What a great idea! Thanks for posting about this.

  4. These are gorgeous!! What a wonderful idea. So creative, and I have a feeling even the anti-genealogy members of my family would enjoy these.
    Thanks for sharing!!

  5. There aren't words to say how much I love this idea! Like your mom, I make ATCs all the time for my stamp/paper art friends. I also spend tons of time on my genealogy work, and treasuring the old photos. To steal a line from Nancy, "I love, love, love these!" You did an amazing job!