evolution of a card

Kit-PinkPurple 3-29-16Hi!  Today, I thought I’d do something just a little bit different.  I thought I’d share the evolution of a card –  how I get from a vague idea, to a finished product.

I’ve been taking a card-making class every week in my community, mostly as a way to chat with other card-makers and hopefully make some friends.  We have all levels of experience in the class, from first-timers to crafty geniuses.  I wouldn’t put myself in that last category, but I do have more experience than a lot of the people there, so I’m always happy to suggest or assist when someone asks.  I’m always amazed at the number of people that actually stress over “doing it right”, and making their card look exactly like the instructor’s example.  I don’t think a week has gone by where I haven’t uttered my favorite quote:  “There are no mistakes in card-making – only opportunities for embellishment.”  🙂

A few weeks ago, we made this pretty teal and purple feathers card that I liked so much (thanks Sue!), I decided to try and “more or less” duplicate it at home.  Here’s the actual card I made in the class:

Kit-TealPurpleFeathersI recently acquired the Stampin’ Up Gorgeous Grunge stamp set that was used for the background, but I didn’t actually have any of the other items – not the same inks or paper, etc., so I knew mine was going to look a bit different.  But I really liked this color combination, so I tried the closest teal and purple inks I could find in my collection.  I also tried to change the orientation – a landscape card seemed like a good idea… at first.  Here’s a couple of my attempts at inking:  Kit-Practice2 3-29-16Kit-Practice 3-26-16The first just looked altogether wrong, so I reversed it and tried the larger splotches in purple, smaller ones in teal.  I tried inking the edges, like I did on the class card.  After deciding that it still wasn’t working, I tried that splotch of pink, just to see how it looked with the other inks.  In the end, I decided to give up the teal altogether, and go with pink and purple.

I punched out a mess of various feathers, trying various color combinations… but the feather dies I was using were different then the class card, and I just couldn’t get them to look right.  I tried some ink splotches, but it didn’t help.

Kit-Feathers 3-29-16The feathers just sort of disappeared on the background, so I decided to change the orientation, back to a portrait card (but top-folding, because I like that better).  Still, the feathers just didn’t look right, so I looked for a different die, and ended up with a butterfly.  I wanted to give it a bit of “oomph”, so I splattered some ink on the solid pink piece, and cut the lacy top piece from vellum.  Three dots of Stickles finished it off.

The card looked a little lopsided, though, with the angled die-cut sentiment, and the butterfly, so I tried rounding just the one corner.  Close… but it still needed “something”.  When in doubt, add bling!  So I pulled out some sequins and finished it off.  I decided I was pretty happy with it, so I made another (this time, with the sentiment in purple, instead of pink):

Kit-Purple 3-29-16I’ll tell you one more secret… it’s hard to tell from the photo, but the top corners of the vellum butterfly here are curved a bit differently.  One of the corners didn’t quite cut all the way, and the vellum tore just a bit.  Instead of throwing it out, I cleaned up the tear with my scissors, and then duplicated the cut on the other side.  Up close, it looks like it is “supposed to be that way”, LOL.

My best tip for making cards?  Just play around and have fun.  If it’s stressing you out, you aren’t doing it right, LOL.  And, have you heard the carpenters expression “measure twice, cut once”?   I say “arrange twice, glue once”.  I went through some white cardstock trying to get the inking right, but nothing was glued down until I was happy with the result.  Those die-cut feathers will find a place on another card someday.

So, if you’ve been on the fence about card-making, or you think yours aren’t good enough, I say  just go for it.  Even when I think I have a wonderful idea… even when I sketch out my card first… it almost never turns out like I expect.  But fortunately, most of them turn into happy accidents.  The important thing is just to try.  And, if all else fails, remember that cards mean the most when they’re given away… which means you’ll most likely never have to see it again, anyway.  🙂

Thanks for stopping by, and happy crafting!

Supplies (some affiliate links used – see here for full disclosure. If you make a purchase from these links, it won’t cost you any extra, but I will get a small commission, which will help me keep this site going.  Thanks!  SSS=Simon Says Stamp and AMZ=Amazon.com):


just dropping in

Kit-Easter2016Hi!  I’m just dropping in to wish everyone a Happy Easter, and a beautiful spring day!  It’s beautiful here in central Florida, though we’re expecting more rain at some point today.  But rain will bring more flowers!  And it never sticks around for too long.

Today’s card is pretty basic – the fence was actually created with an old Martha Stewart border punch (that I can’t seem to find a source for).  It was punched from Kraft cardstock that I stamped with a woodgrain pattern.  The flowers are old ones from Prima, attached with brads.  The “grass” was inked with two shades of green, using an old Simon Says Stamp stencil (Make a Scene – sorry, it might have been discontinued).  I used a little bit of soft blue ink for the “sky”.  The bunny was stamped separately, colored with Prismacolor pencils, fussy-cut and glued on.  The umbrella was stamped on two different pieces of cardstock, inked with dots, then carefully fussy-cut out – the blue pieces were attached to a pink piece, and it was all glued on the card over the stamped image so I could get the handle on there.  And a die-cut sentiment finishes the card.

Sending smiles and happy wishes to all of you. Thank you for stopping by!

Supplies (some affiliate links used – see here for full disclosure. If you make a purchase from these links, it won’t cost you any extra, but I will get a small commission, which will help me keep this site going.  Thanks!  SSS=Simon Says Stamp and AMZ=Amazon.com):


hello spring

Kit-HelloSpring 3-20-16Hello Spring!  And hello friends!  Today’s card is pretty simple – I needed something quick and easy after a busy work week.  I recently made a card at a weekly class I attend that featured teal and purple, and ever since then, I’ve been in this teal and purple mood.  (It seems to look a bit more blue here, but the paper is much more teal in real life.)

I started with three pieces of cardstock – one white, one teal and one purple, all cut to about 5-1/2″ x 4-1/4″.  I ran all three through my Sizzix with a basic Swiss Dots embossing folder.  You could save this step until later, and run the finished piece through, but when I started, I wasn’t quite sure what direction I was going with this.  (That happens a lot, LOL.)

I’ve made quite a few similar cards, so I won’t bore you with super elaborate instructions.  I just took my three pieces  of cardstock, cut them into 1/2″ thick strips, and layered them diagonally on to a piece of scrap cardstock, alternating colors, trimmed it down, matted it with white, and adhered it to a purple card base.  A die-cut sentiment (with foam backing for dimension), and some punched flowers with enamel dots (melted Perler Beads), and this card was done.

Wishing you all a beautiful spring, full of sunshine and flowers, and happy crafty time.  Thank you for stopping by!

Supplies (some affiliate links used – see here for full disclosure. If you make a purchase from these links, it won’t cost you any extra, but I will get a small commission, which will help me keep this site going.  Thanks!  SSS=Simon Says Stamp and AMZ=Amazon.com):


 

happy international women’s day!

You Deserve a Break 3-8-16You know, I didn’t even realize that it was International Women’s Day, when I decided to post this card, but it turned out to be a perfect fit.  You see, there’s this truly awesome woman I work with, who puts up with a lot of… well… she puts up with a lot.  😉  I wanted to send her a little reminder to take some “me time”, and to let her know that I appreciate everything she does.  I had this really fun stamp and matching die set from Simon Says Stamp that I hadn’t had a chance to play with yet.  Most of the sayings didn’t really fit anything I was likely to use:  “Girls’ Night”, “Slumber Party”, “We deserve a break”… but it gave me an idea.  Instead of “WE deserve a break”, I could do a little stamp surgery and change it to say “YOU deserve a break!”.

First, I wanted a nice, soft background for my images, so I did sort of a quick color wash with a light pink ink, and splashed some water on the ink to give it a water-color look, and then I flicked some slightly darker ink on it to add a bit of interest.  The images were all stamped on white cardstock and die-cut.  Everything was colored with Prismacolor pencils and Zig Real Brush markers.  The moon and stars, and the girl’s eyes, all have Glossy Accents added for some shine.

I wanted to do something special with the girl, though, so I actually stamped and colored the image a couple of times.  After adhering the entire image to a piece of die-cut foam for dimension, I then fussy-cut the bunny slippers, part of her hair, the teddy bear and one arm.  I adhered this with bits of foam and/or layered Glue Dots.  It’s hard to tell from the photo, but in real life, it made a real difference.

For the sentiment, I took the stamp that said “We deserve a break!”, and I carefully cut off the “WE”.  I could have done some careful, creative inking instead of actually cutting the stamp, but in this case, I think I’ll get more use from the modified version, and I can always line up the WE if I want to use it again.  The “you” is actually from a “Thinking of you” die.  It’s a great way to stretch your dies – a “Thank You” die would have worked, as well.

The whole thing was attached to a bright pink card base, and was quickly sent off to its hard-working recipient.  I’m not sure I’ve ever had more fun creating a card.  For a stamp set that didn’t really seem to “fit” me, I really love it.  I will just have to create situations to use it.  😀

To all of the hard-working people out there (men and women), know that your efforts are appreciated.  And don’t forget to make some “me time” – we all deserve a break now and then.  Happy International Women’s Day!

Supplies (some affiliate links used – see here for full disclosure. If you make a purchase from these links, it won’t cost you any extra, but I will get a small commission, which will help me keep this site going.  Thanks!  SSS=Simon Says Stamp and AMZ=Amazon.com):