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New England Mixed-Media Meetup Group Message Board › ALL ABOUT THE NE MIXED-MEDIA MEETUP GROUP: Look here for everything you need

ALL ABOUT THE NE MIXED-MEDIA MEETUP GROUP: Look here for everything you need to know about our group!

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Group Organizer
Braintree, MA
Post #: 1,148
This discussion thread contains everything you need to know to participate in the NE Mixed-Media Meetup Group (formerly the NE Artist Trading Cards + Meetup Group). We meet once a month in Natick with occasional "field trips" elsewhere. Just click on each link in the list below to jump straight to information on that topic:


Group Organizer
Braintree, MA
Post #: 1,149

This is an easy-going community, but we do have some ground rules intended to keep our activities friendly, fun and fair to all. By joining our group, you acknowledge that you’ve read and agreed to abide by the following guidelines:

1. MEMBERSHIP: This group is open to adults (18+) interested in making mixed-media art. Artists of all experience levels are welcome.

2. ACTIVITIES: All group activities are optional. Participate in as many or as few as you like. For most events, you're also welcome to come and leave whenever you like.

3. EVENTS: Our events are open to members and adult guests (18+; 16-17 OK if accompanied by parent). Most members prefer adult-centered art activities, some of which involve potentially harmful materials or tools, so unless otherwise stated, we can't accommodate anyone under 16. Also, we can't leave anything behind at our venues, so all members agree to take home, give away, or throw away any food, beverages, or other items they bring. Members should also expect to help with cleanup at each event; if you're unable or unwilling to assist, consider making a small additional donation to help offset the group's costs.

RSVPs: Please use Meetup’s RSVP function to make or change reservations for our events. To attend a Meetup, RSVP “yes” for yourself and any guests. If your plans change, change your RSVPs to “no.” Please do this right up to the event start time to help with activity-planning and cost control. Using Meetup's RSVP function is the ONLY way to make or change your reservation for an event; please do that rather than posting a message on the site or contacting the organizer.

—>Please note the following cancellation policy, which is posted on the RSVP page for every event: If you reserve a space (that is, RSVP "yes,") then don't show up and don't change your RSVP to "no," you will need to pay the $10 fee to cover your share of our costs for the day. If you cancel less than 24 hours in advance, you may be asked to pay the $10 fee anyway if we come up short as a result.

5. FEES: We have no dues, but we do charge small event fees to cover group expenses, including space rental, shared supplies, and the nearly $200 annual fee. Posted fees are due on arrival—sorry, no IOUs or partial payments. Cash is preferred; ask about checks or PayPal. We do not accept any part of payments in change because we cannot pay our venue or presenters with coins. If you need directions to the nearest ATM, just ask. Please note that if you cancel within 24 hours of an event or don't show up, you still need to pay $10 for your reservation (you'll receive a reminder after the missed meetup).

And if payment is a hardship, just let us know and we’ll work something out.

6. PERSONAL ITEMS: This is a generous community and we encourage people to share tools and materials. However, please understand that you do so at your own risk; we can't reimburse you for anything damaged or used up. Be sure you take all your items with you when you leave; the Meetup group, its organizers, and our rented venue aren't responsible for anything left behind.

7. PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY: Ideas about what's too hot and what's too cold vary from person to person, and we only have so much control over temperatures at our venues. So members are responsible for ensuring their own comfort (e.g., bring a sweater if you get cold; dress in layers or bring a fan if you get hot). Members must also get themselves to and from events; we can’t arrange transportation for you or provide door-to-door directions (and, yes, people have requested both). Feel free to post messages asking others about ride-sharing; use GPS or an online mapping service to create the best directions for yourself.

8. SALES: We do allow members to advertise relevant products and services on the site and sell them at the Meetup. But this is first and foremost a community, so please don't join just to sell things.

9. POSTING INFORMATION, PICTURES, PHOTOS: Members should avoid posting material that may be copyrighted work of other artists or writers unless you have express permission to do so. It’s fine to link such work, however.

Also, photos or scans of your work may be posted on the site at any time, but they'll be removed at your request. We do photograph some of our events; if you prefer not to have your photo posted on the site, just inform the photographer or the group organizer.

10. INTERACTIONS: Members must treat each other courteously, online as well as in person. View and comment constructively on each others' work only if asked to do so. If you don't wish to have your work viewed or critiqued, that's fine, too.

Members involved in disagreements, online and in person, should handle those issues privately. Members should also treat our venue hosts courteously, and let the organizers handle any issues that arise onsite.

Messages posted to the Message Board can be seen by the whole world, so the board cannot be used for personal disputes or attacks. Ever. For any reason. If you need to resolve an issue with someone else, talk to that person privately. Or ask an organizer to intervene. This also applies to all interactions at in-person Meetups, workshops, retreats, etc.

Finally, a word about involvement: If you haven't visited the Web site in a year or more, we may assume you’re no longer interested and remove you from the group. Meetup also occasionally removes inactive members or members whose email contacts no longer work. In either case, you’re welcome to rejoin at any time.

Again, by joining our group and attending our activities, all group members—long-time members and newcomers alike—agree to abide by these rules. Thanks for your cooperation.

Group Organizer
Braintree, MA
Post #: 1,150

Following are suggestions for what to bring to a regular monthly NE ATC+ Meetup. But don't worry: Even if you show up empty-handed, we have plenty of blank cards, supplies and tools to loan and share:

Your own blank trading cards or materials for making them. We recommend using very thick paper (such as 140-lb. watercolor paper) or even chipboard or cardboard to make sure your cards are durable. If you use lighter cardstock, scrapbooking paper, watercolor paper, etc., you should back the card with a stronger material to make it more durable.

Your own basic tools: comfortable scissors, glue (Alene's Tacky Glue or the Crafter's Pick are good all-purpose liquid glues; UHU is a good gluestick choice), a ruler, craft mat or old cutting board.

Your own supplies. Depending upon what types of ATCs you're making, these might include collage materials, rubber stamps, pens and pencils, watercolor or acrylic paint, embellishments, etc. (Please do not bring oil paint or anything toxic.)

Clear sleeves for storing and swapping your ATCs. We have these available for use on site and for sale at cost.

Your share of our costs (typically $10; announced in advance. Costs are fixed even if you arrive late or leave early. Please pay on arrival. Small bills are appreciated. Checks are OK, but change is not accepted for the Meetup fee. Sorry, no IOUs or partial payments; we have to pay our rental costs on the spot. If you need directions to a nearby ATM, just ask. If payment is a hardship, please let us know and we'll work something out.

Cards you've made for our regular swaps or challenges. (See other sections of this document for information on those activities.)

Following are additional optional bring-alongs for Meetups:

 Your own previously made ATCs for one-to-one trading.

 Your unwanted supplies to give away on the Free Stuff table (take home anything that isn't picked up).

 Anything you'd like to sell on the Sale Table (take home anything that isn't picked up).

 Something for our potluck lunch, if you so choose (take home any leftovers).

What if you don't yet have any cards to trade? Come anyway and see how it works; you can always bring cards next time!
Group Organizer
Braintree, MA
Post #: 1,151

Here's a typical agenda:

--Start time: Doors open at either noon or 1 p.m. (see individual event home page for time). Arrive anytime after that. Sign in and pay at the registration table. Drop off finished cards for that month's swap as you arrive. Leave whenever you like (after, of course, cleaning up your workspace).

--Hands-on crafting: All day. Work on your own projects at your own pace.

--Free stuff, items for sale: All day. Browse the "Free Stuff" and "For Sale" tables for items that other members are selling or giving away.

--Jam cards: Usually available all day. Directions for participating in this easy and creative collaborative activity are available onsite.

--Lunch: Usually starts as people arrive. Dine from the potluck (you're invited, but not required, to bring something to share). Or just bring your own lunch, if you prefer.

--Themed swap: To participate in this month's themed swaps, drop off your cards before 2 p.m. You'll receive a selection of cards from other artists before you leave. If you have to go before the swaps are complete, we can mail your card if you self-address an envelope (cost: $2). Or we can hold them for you until next time. Need details on how to participate in a themed swap? ­Click here.

--Monthly Challenge: If interested, pick up the new challenge kit as you arrive. Need details on how to participate in the Challenge? ­Click here.

--Activity: Typically, we have an informal demo, workshop, group hands-on activity or discussion. This is usually around 2-3 p.m., and, like everything else, it's optional.

--Clean-up: Starts around 5-5:30 p.m. Members who leave earlier should clean up their own workspaces and take home any food or other items that they brought in, as we cannot leave anything behind.
Group Organizer
Braintree, MA
Post #: 1,152

Here are the only rules for ATCs:

1. They should be a specific size. ATCs are the size of baseball trading cards. They should measure 3.5 x 2.5 inches (64 x 89 mm). There’s no official “depth” limit, but cards for trade are generally expected to fit in album sleeves.
2. They should be original works of art. They may include elements from many other sources, but the composition of those elements should be the artists’ own.
3. They are typically traded rather than sold. Some artists believe ATCs should only be swapped or given away, not sold. Others disagree. See note on ACEOs below.

Other recommendations:

 ATCs should be signed and dated. If your signature isn't easily readable, you should also print your name--recipients like to know who made the cards they receive.
 ATCs made for NE ATC+ swaps should also include the name of the swap.

Many artists also include some or all of the following information on the card back:

 Numbers:
--If the item is one of a kind, it’s marked “1 of 1.”
--If the item is one in a batch of identical or very similar cards, it’s marked accordingly. For instance, a batch of 8 identical cards would be marked “1 of 8,” “2 of 8,” etc.
 Artist’s city and state and/or e-mail address (especially for by-mail swaps).
 Attributions for other artists’ work (such as rubber-stamp designs).

Recommendations on copyrighted images:

Wherever possible, avoid using copyrighted images in cards to be traded (some swap groups ban cards using identifiable material such as Disney images). Your safest bet: Make your own images or use those in the public domain (you can find sheets of such images in stores and books).

Background on ACEOs:

 Cards offered for sale (mostly online) are called Artist Cards Editions and Original (ACEOs). Their very existence is a hotly controversial topic in the ATC community because sales run counter to the spirit of the "artist-exchange" idea. On the other hand, many ATC artists understandably feel they have the right to sell their own work. Use your own judgment about sales.
Group Organizer
Braintree, MA
Post #: 1,153


Here are three quick steps for participating in the monthly themed ATC swaps. More detailed information follows.

To participate, bring the correct number of cards (4) for each theme. (It's best to make them in advance so that you're not rushing to finish them during the Meetup.) You'll go home with 3. Your 4th card goes into the group's album as a permanent record of each swap.

1. Make sure your cards are the right size (2.5 by 3.5 inches). All cards should be in good shape, clean and solid, with nothing peeling up or falling off. Put your name and the name of the swap on the back.

2. Put each card in a plastic ATC sleeve (supplied at the Meetup). This protects your card as it gets handled during the swap process.

3. Write your name and the swap theme on a paper envelope. Use a separate envelope for each swap (envelopes are available at the Meetup). Put your cards and envelopes on the display table at the Meetup.

That's all there is to it! You'll receive the same envelope back with cards from three other artists before the end of the Meetup.


Following is more detailed information about the monthly ATC swaps.

WHY WE DO THEM: They're a great way to see how multiple artists interpret the same basic concept, theme or assignment.

HOW THEY WORK (in a nutshell): Participants agree on a common theme (for instance, “destiny,” “lost and found,” “purple and green,” “cards with a fabric element”). Each person makes a certain number of cards based on the theme and gives them to the swap organizer; each person receives back the same number of cards in return.

INTERPRETING THE THEME: Generally, you may interpret a theme any way you like. For instance, when we did “the number 5,” interpretations included: numerals, 5 p.m., the 5 of spades, 5 on Bingo cards, a score of 5 and images in groups of 5. Even if the assignment includes specific elements (particular colors or materials, as in the examples above), you’re free to determine exactly how to use those elements in your work.

MAKING THE CARDS: Make 4 cards on the assigned theme – 3 for other participants, 1 for the NE ATC+ Meetup Group scrapbook.

Because each card goes to a different person, you may make:

 Four identical cards
 Four similar cards (variations on the same design)
 Four utterly, completely different cards…

…or any combination.

Your cards should be handmade originals or copies of original digital art. We've had people make one original handmade card and then photocopy it; this isn't acceptable. It's OK to make multiple copies of a digital image as long as you created the original image.

Beyond that, your approach is up to you. Unless the assignment specifies otherwise, you may draw, paint, stamp, do collage, add embellishments or whatever you like. The only rules beyond that:

 Your cards should be ATC-sized: 2.5 x 3.5 inches. No larger. No smaller.
 Generally, your cards should be thick enough to stand up to some handling, but thin enough to fit in a display sleeve.
 Only submit cards representing your best work—cards that you’d be please to receive yourself. Don’t turn in cards that look slapped together, unfinished, grubby or mass-produced, or that have pieces curling up or falling off.

1. Put your name, the date, the card title (if applicable) and the name of the swap on the back of each card. You may include other information, such as your city/state or the materials used in the card, if you like.

2. Put each card in a clear ATC sleeve. (We have such sleeves available free on the registration table at each Meetup; we also provide bulk packets for sale.) This protects your cards, which may get handled quite a bit during the swapping process.

3. Take an envelope and label it clearly with your name and the name of the swap. Use a different envelope for each swap. For instance, if you are participating in, say, the “Number 5” swap and the “Artist’s Choice” swap, use one envelope for your “Number 5” cards and a different one for your “Artist’s Choice” cards. This helps simplify the complicated swap process.

4. Display the cards on top of your envelope(s) where indicated (usually a table with a sign near the back of the room).

During the Meetup, the swap coordinators will collect all the envelopes, randomly divide the cards into packets and redistribute them.

Because there are so many participants, you won’t get back cards from everyone. But you will get back three different cards from three different artists.
Group Organizer
Braintree, MA
Post #: 1,154

May I make my cards for the current month’s swap during the Meetup? People do, but we prefer that you don’t. Here’s why:

  • We usually offer hands-on demonstrations or workshops during Meetups. If you're finishing up your cards, you won't be able to participate.
  • If we’re all waiting for someone to finish cards, it holds up the entire swap.
  • Some people leave early; allowing last-minute contributions means that even though they brought finished cards to swap, they have to go home empty-handed and wait until the next time to pick up their cards.
  • When you’re making cards under extreme time pressure, you’re not likely to do your best work—which is no fun for you or for anybody else. (And this is supposed to be fun!)

    Bottom line:
    It’s fine to put the finishing touches on the cards during the Meetup, but it’s best not to try to make them all from scratch there.

    So if you arrive at the Meetup empty-handed for the swap, don’t worry: There will be many more opportunities to participate down the road. And because we’re now posting the themes well in advance, you can always spend your Meetup time crafting cards for future swaps – or just making cards on any theme you like for individual trades.

    I really like X’s and Z’s work! Is there any way to guarantee that their cards wind up in my packet? Sorry, no. Packets are compiled randomly. It would be unfair to others to take requests for what’s in one person’s packet, and it would be too confusing the coordinator to try and customize packets for everyone.

    BUT you can always make extra themed cards and swap them with others who did the same. In fact, if you want to make sure that you get X’s and Y’s swap contributions, you might talk to them in advance and agree that you’ll all make extras in case you don’t receive each other’s cards in the swap. And if you do randomly receive each other’s cards, you can always swap your extras with somebody else.

    May I choose which of my cards goes in the group album (also posted online)? Absolutely! Just put a note on it and include it in your swap envelope with your other contributions; the swap coordinator will hold it out from the pack.

    What if I can't be at the Meetup during the swap? No problem. Just send your cards to the Meetup with another member, or mail them to the organizer well in advance, and we’ll mail you a swap packet after the Meetup. Please provide $2 for postage and handling; anything left over after mailing goes to the Meetup.

    What if I have to cancel at the last minute and it's too late to mail my cards? Bring your cards next time; chances are good that you’ll be able to arrange one-to-one swaps with others.

    I didn’t get all my cards done in time. May I submit IOUs for some of them? Sorry, no. We post themes six months to a year in advance to give people plenty of time to work on them, so it’s unfair to members who met the deadline to send them home with promises instead of cards. Plus it’s too confusing to keep track of who owes what and too difficult to enforce (would you want to be the Swap Cop?)

    So if you’ve made some cards, but not enough to participate in the swap, bring them to the Meetup anyway. You may be able to trade one-on-one with others in the same boat. And remember: All our events are optional, so it’s OK to sit out a swap—there will always be plenty more down the road.

Group Organizer
Braintree, MA
Post #: 1,155

Think of this activity as a little creativity burst. Take the packets provided at each monthly Meetup and use all or most of the elements on ONE card (that's the challenge!).

You can use any background you want, but you should try to avoid using anything that's NOT in the packet--again, the challenge is working solely with what's provided. If you want to finish it off with a little paint or a stamp, that's OK. Actually, anything you want to with it is fine; it's an optional activity and no one will give you a demerit if you do it "wrong."

But, again, the challenge is to make ONE card using all or most of the elements--and only those elements. The goal, ultimately, is seeing what different artists did with the same raw materials.

We encourage you to do this during the Meetup and display in on one of the table. Put your name on the back of the card so everyone knows who made it--and so that we can return it to you after it's scanned and posted. You can also bring it to the next Meetup to display; again, we'll scan it and return it to you next time. After that, you can keep the card or trade it or donate it to the Meetup album. It's entirely up to you.

Group Organizer
Braintree, MA
Post #: 1,156


A jam card is simply a card containing the work of multiple artists. Jam cards are typically done in sets of three (or more); each participant in the jam decorates all the cards in the set and ultimately receives one of the finished cards. While in progress, sets of jam cards are left in the jam jar or basket so that other potential participants can pick them up and work on them.

Jam cards are self-service; participants make sure the finished cards are distributed among themselves. The last participant in the jam set can hand out the finished cards in person, mail them or leave them in the jam jar/basket in an envelope with the people's names on them (just let the other participants know to look for them there.)

We'll post some pictures of past jam cards soon.
Group Organizer
Braintree, MA
Post #: 1,157

1. Join the group (it's free and there's no obligation).
2. Make sure you're logged in ("Log In" link is in the upper right corner of your screen).
3. In the overhead navigation bar, choose "Meetups," then click "Upcoming" (or "Calendar").
4. Click on the link for Meetup in question.
5. Use the RSVP tool on the upper right to RSVP "yes," "no," or "maybe" (when that option is available).
6. If you're bringing 1-2 guest, add "1" or "2" where indicated. To bring more than 2 guests, please contact the organizer. Please remember that all attendees should be 18+.
7. If you plans change, please change your RSVP, too.

If you're unable to reserve a spot, the Meetup is probably full. But we maintain a waiting list for all our events and will notify you if space opens up--as it nearly always does!
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