Saturday, July 28, 2018

Dear Mrs. Darcy...An ATC Mailer

Alpha Stamps' theme for August, called Anthology ATC Mailer, includes an elegant chipboard mailer that, when folded, creates a pretty envelope for an ATC. If you're like me and enjoy making a series of cards, the mailer will also hold an ATC Ticket Journal. The paper in the kit has a "natural history collector" theme going and is quite lovely. It made me think of the fictional character Georgiana, the sister of the pretentious Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. (But I'd bet you already knew that!) Georgiana was an avid reader and with Pemberley's vast library at her fingertips, I imagined her leafing through volumes with delicate pages of birds and butterflies. That led me to believe she, being the accomplished young lady that she was, also learned the art of decoupage and may have used this talent to fashion a gift for her new sister-in-law. (Thankfully it turned out to be Elizabeth Bennett and not that snooty Caroline Bingley! I just can't even.) And because corresponding via post was a normalcy way back when, and because this is getting terribly long-winded (Leslie, for the sake of your readers, please edit), I jumbled that imagination with the new Anthology ATC Mailer Kit and created something I believe Georgiana would approve.



The mailer has a flap that tucks neatly into a slot on the back, safely enclosing its contents. I added a pretty Dresden Butterfly to the flap at the very last moment:




 The inside of the mailer has three curved slots to hold an ATC (or ATC Ticket Journal) and a blank side that easily accommodated a tiny envelope fit for a note. The kraft envelope I used happened to be ATC sized, so I painted a bird on a heavy Water Media ATC card to tuck inside the envelope.




I chose to cut off two of the five pages of the ATC Ticket Journal and decorated six "individual" cards. I traced around the edge of one ticket and cut out six smaller cards to fit a journal page. The Ticket Journal was painted gold, then I glued on the smaller cards, outlined them with a gold gel pen, and finally added fussy cut images to the cards.




Here you can see the slots that hold the cards in place:



I have a few tips for papering your ATC Mailer, the most important having to do with the slots! First, trace around the entire mailer onto a 12 x 12 sheet of paper. Then cut out the separate sections (left, center, right, top, and bottom). Trim these sections slightly smaller than the mailer. Paint the edges and all bendy bits of the mailer like so:


The slots look like a disgruntled Japanese robot to me.
Ink the edges of the paper sections if you'd like, then glue them to their respective places on the mailer. Turn the mailer over and trace the slots with an Xacto knife or scalpel blade, ensuring you cut through the paper on the other side. That part is important! Repeat for the other side of the mailer. 



The kraft envelope I added to the inside covered the flap's straight slot (be sure to only glue or tape the edges of the envelope so the flap will still tuck inside) and the curved slots on the outside of the mailer were covered with Mrs. E. Darcy's address (also adhered only by the edges) but of course any rectangle of paper could easily cover the slots. All done!

This particular kit has been one of my favorites maybe because I ardently love and admire ATCs, but I can also imagine a collection of family pictures tucked neatly inside and sent to a loved one. I have a second ATC Mailer that will most likely be filled with photos of the cat because that seems right. Ms. Austen surely was a cat lady!



List of supplies can be found right HERE, and if you don't already have dog-eared paper versions, the digital downloads of Jane Austen's collection can be found here.