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:
I 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: The 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.
The 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):
I’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!
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