The musings and offerings of a burgeoning greetings master

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Poppies, Baby!

I have fallen in love with my aqua painter.  It's true.  That thing can make magic, Baby!

It does, however take some time and patience, just like me.

Anyway, I made this--

I made this card by stamping Inkadinkado Flowers all over my background (SU Wild Wasabi), with both Stayz-on and Versamark inks.  Then I masked and stamped more flowers onto a piece of white cards stock, added a few leaves, and hand drew some stems.  I made the stems look hairy, 'cause that's the way poppies grow.

I also stamped another poppy onto another scrap piece of white cs.  That one turned out to be the one popped off the edge there.

I had so much fun painting these with my aqua painter.  The key is to go in very light to start, but also, not so terribly wet!  I imagine if I had used watercolor paper it would have been somewhat easier.  I have some, and I'll try it.  This are not watercolor paints.  They are inks from my ink pads.  I pressed color out onto my stamping acrylic blocks, and went from there.  There are several reds, some orange and some golds.  Didn't pay attention to which inks I used.  Sorry.

I probably made a mess in the upper part  of the background of the painted piece, or I didn't like the negative space, so I snipped around the images, and used foam tape to pop up that piece onto a piece of My Mind's Eye DP.  Then I used more foam tape to adhere the lone poppy.  I painted him while still attached to the scrap I stamped him on, and snipped him out later, btw.  I can see from this photo, I need to hit the edges with my black marker!  That whole deal went on a double mat of red and blue.

The flag pieces (is that what we call them, instead of banners?) are all scraps and a skinny piece of red ribbon from The Paper Source.  The sentiment is from Everything Happy by Stampendous.

This took SUPER long to paint, mostly because I was LOVING doing it.  Plus, the thing's gotta DRY!  This would never make it into my collection of  samples that I am making to sell.  However, my SIL is having a birthday in October, as is my own sister, so somebody will probably get this one.

Hey, thanks for stopping by today!
All Best-

Monday, September 24, 2012

This is Only a Test-er Card

So, I have been musing this idea of making sellable cards, and I have been trying to design something that I can recreate easily.  Of course, making something that people will want to buy would be good, too.

Anyway-  The samples begin.

I made this--

I used my Cloud Duo dies from A*Muse Studio, and cut several clouds from white card stock scraps.
One of them became the shape I used to sponge clouds onto my 4"x5" piece of PTI white cs.  I used Memento Cantelope ink for the clouds.  I then used a sponge dauber with some blue ink (was it Memento Summer Sky, maybe?) on the clouds, but they totally didn't work with the background, so I used the cantelope on top of it.  You don't usually see green clouds, but living in the Midwest, you see some crazy colored clouds during tornado season, so I kept on going!
I stamped the sentiment (from SU) twice, in order to get that shadowed effect.

The grass is on SU designer series paper, and was cut with a grass die, again from A*Muse Studio.  I cut about 1/2" from the bottom of my card front, and only adhered the bottom of my grass strip to the bottom of the inside of the card.  Then I tucked the edge of the card front behind the grass.  I think it's a fun way to hold the card shut.  Here's a detail of the card flap, opened--

To finish everything up, I adhered the clouds in place with some adhesive and some foam tape, mounted the white piece onto some old wild wasabi stock, and adhered it to the card base. (the base is made from, I think, PTI Summer Sunrise.  I have a multicolor pack from them, and I think it is that)

SO the reason I sort of like this one is that doing the background and the clouds was FAST and EASY.  I also think the grass idea is different, and people might like that.  I can also play with other colors, like melon mambo and different grays and pinks and blues.

SO!  Feedback me up, dear reader!  I need some help!  How much would you pay for this (in the days when you weren't doing it yourself, that is)?

More samples to come!  I should be very pro-blogger-ific this week!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
All Best--

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Mr Cardmaker is an Anniversary Guy

Twenty-one years today.  That's how long I've been with my DP, Charlie.  Last year, for the Big Twenty, we went to PARIS!!!  Ooh, la la, fo' sho'!!  This year, after moving to Michigan, and all the MIL health drama (which always comes with EXPENSE, don'tcha know), we are staying home and having a nice dinner out.  Can't wait!  

We are not big gifts-for-anniversaries people, although I did get a lovely bunch of irises this morning.  I made him a card (as you do).

It looks like this--

So, while in Paris last year, I picked up these SWEET little Moulin Rouge windmill paperclip things while at Montmartre.  I THOUGHT I had gotten Eiffel Tower ones.  I planned this card to have a nice wire Eiffel Tower clip on it.  THAT'S why I have the cityscape right there with the natural environment.....Bleh.
Anyway, he got the idea, and he really liked this card.  It TOTALLY reminded him of Paris, which is what I was going for, so I guess it all worked out in the end.

This windmill moulin actually started out not so ROUGE, and not nearly so sparkly.  It actually started out as a plain, paperclip colored moulin.  I went after it with my R29 Lipstick Red Copic marker, which I dried with my heat tool.  Then I pounced my Versamark pad onto it and covered it with my holographic embossing powder, which I reheated to make it stick.  Warning--I DID get some red ink on my Versamark pad during this.  Hopefully, it won't transfer.

So, to make the card, I started with a base of PTI orange zest cardstock.  Added a layer of a sort of rust colored cs, then a piece of My Mind's Eye Out of the Blue DP.  I like the sky and the balloons!
I used an old script background stamp with some SU crumbcake ink to "french" it up a bit.
I punched a circle of yellow dp scrap to make a sun, using a Studio G $1 stamp, and red and orange inks.
I used Jillibean Soup's You Move Me set to get the skyline.  I sort of twisted this stamp around when I put it on my acrylic block, in order to get a wavy line.  I fussy cut it out and then adhered it to a piece of DP (with the trees ) that I hand cut into a wavy line.  Before I attached the to one another, I die cut some grass from some Old Olive (SU) dsp, and pieced that around the edge.  after putting all that together, I popped it off the surface with some foam tape.  Then I added the paper clip.

The sentiment is from Papertrey Ink.  I also curved it as I attached it to my acrylic block, so I could follow the shape of my sun.  That took care of the outside.

I wrote a lovely personal message on the inside.  I can't show you all of that.  What I can show you is the rest of the sentiment and what I did with it.

It looks like this--WAY magnified.

This was about 2"x3" in real life.  The sentiment is, again, PTI, but the "happy anniversary" is by Stampin' Up.
I used the same papers and background stamp, but I also fussy cut balloons out from the BACK of the DP used for the background, and I used an A*Muse Studio cloud duo die to cut out a cloud.  I used the die to trace around in order to make the outline around the die cut, so it would look a bit more like the clouds on the dp (see the front of the card).  I recreated the hill and the grass, and mounted it on a scrap of dotted paper.

So, that's my card.  Hope you like it.

PS--I have a light box now!  I am hoping it will greatly improve the quality of my card pics.  I made it myself, from a storage bin, some clip lamps, a poster board, and some white fabric. 

Thanks for stopping by!
All Best-

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Mr Cardmaker is a Begging for Advice Guy

So, here's the plan--

  • I design a bunch of samples that I think I can recreate in a great number.  Birthday, Holiday, Wedding, etc...Maybe even some boxed sets would work here.
  • I make a presentation book of these samples, and take them to boutiques and gift stores in my area.
  • I send copies of these samples to gift stores in the resort areas to my north.
  • People are (at least) mildly wowed, and order my cards, give me cash, and I get to do what I love and make money at the same time.

So, what am I missing here??  HELP Mr. Cardmaker.  There have to be THOUSANDS of things that I missed in this very sketchy plan, including things like angel policies (which really could be made simpler, folks!  And WHY doesn't everyone make a stamp that says "© mycompanyname" for this purpose??), marketing plans, production schedules, yadda, yadda, yadda....

ANY and ALL advice would be SO appreciated!

But back to cards and stuff--

My dear friend, Miss Betty Ann Grove, former star of the Broadway stage, had a birthday this past Sunday.  I made her this--

This is a pretty simple card, for the most part.  I used almost all SU! card stocks and DPs, with the exception of the light green piece.  That, I believe is by Fiskars, and I bought a single sheet of it ages ago. 

The fun stuff happening here is all the die cutting I did.  I cut the oval (Spellbinders Classic Ovals), and then the grass with A*Muse Studio's grass die.

Then it begins to get tricky! 

I used a Spellbinders Wonky Rectangles die to start the cut of my "hill" piece.  This was done by sticking just one edge under the cutting bar, and leaving the rest out of the way.  It didn't make a big enough cut, so I grabbed the oval die that I used for the yellow piece and used it to make the second "bump".  there was a tiny portion that didn't connect the two, so a quick snip with my Cutterbee snips took care of that.

I would NEVER have been able to make such clean cuts with my snips.  I definitely like how that happened to work out.  It definitely makes your dies work in a MUCH more flexible way!

Since I was going crazy with my dies, I used the wonky rectangle die to cut the white piece for my sentiment.  It had to work on this a while, because I was not thrilled with the results I was getting, but it all finally worked out pretty well.  I stamped it with a Think Big stamp from PTI with Memento Dandelion ink, and then edged the piece with a foam applicator in Memento Cantaloupe.

I used a Jenny Bowlin for Fiskars punch to make my bird from some pink DP, and adhered it to my sentiment, which I then popped up with some foam tape.

To finish up, I ran some blue card stock through the Cuttlebug with my swirls embossing folder, layered that on a piece of pink DP, and put the whole thing on a green card base.  Last but not least, I added some bling in the form of some sweet little felt and rhinestone flowers I got from the dollar bins at Michaels.

This is a fun card for a birthday, but I'm thinking I could also do this for Easter, or just as a spring card, since these colors certainly fit the bill. 

Thanks so much for stopping by, and a BIG thanks in advance for the advice you have!
All Best-

Friday, September 7, 2012

A Little Digital Never Hurt Nobody

The other week, my DP Charlie had a wicked cold and had to fly off to Boston for the week.
I decided to make him a QUICK get well card before he left. 

This is not as easy as it sounds.  Trying to help a sickie pack, make sure he has the proper medications with him, and hope that he's pumped with a good enough antihistamine that his head doesn't explode in mid flight doesn't give you a whole lot of time to be super creative. 

However!  I sallied forth, and somehow managed to come up with this--

This is a 7Gypsies stamp, and the dots are by A*Muse Studio, from the Tini Time set.
The cardstock is SU! River Rock and the red is from The Paper Co. The DP is from PB&J, by Basic Grey.  I hand drew the black lines and shadows on the letters with a fine tipped Sharpie, and the ribbon is from AC Moore.  I chose to do the red and green because of the sort of "sickly" sensation it gives, and I thought the wavy and uneven lines, as well as the dots sort of give images of illness (at least, it does in my twisted mind!)

The best part, though is on the inside, where I ran over to my computer and typed out this sentiment in Word--

This font was free from  Check them out!  I LOVE this font, and I thought the dots over the O was so funny!  It reminds me of seeing spots before your eyes.  I used 80# cardstock so it would go through the printer.  It's not exactly perfect in spacing, but I WAS in a rush, and I actually have no clue how to make sure the spacing is right while on my computer. 
If anyone out there has any clues about that, please let me know.  I really like making up my own inside sentiments, but have steered away from it because of my limited knowledge there.

He loved the card, and I had fun, even if I did have to rush it a bit.

Meanwhile, I had a birthday, and made some thank you cards.  I used the same 7Gypsies stamp, so I thought I would show you now.

I made this--

So, as you can see, WICKED simple.  I used Baja Breeze card stock from SU! as my base, cut to 8 1/2 x 4 1/4 and I ran the front through the cuttlebug with an embossing folder.
Now, this can be a tricky thing, because the embossing makes your card front SHRINK a tiny bit.  Be prepared to trim a tiny bit off the card back when you go to fold it over.

 I then did a layer of DP, this is from My Mind's Eye.  I made over a dozen of these, and the DP changed on each of them, but they all came from the same paper pack.  I mounted this onto my base with foam tape. To this, I added a square of SU! Chocolate Chip card stock which I dry embossed with a different embossing folder.  Both folders have square patterns, so I think they work pretty well together.
I topped that with my sentiment on white cs, which I edged with Distress Inks Antique Linen.  I can't remember which green ink I stamped the sentiment in, but I think it might be ColorBox Chalk ink.

Like I said, simple simple.I think that there are just enough touches to show that care and planning was put in, but I was able to make many of them quickly.

I am thinking about trying to start a cardmaking and SELLING business.  I am sort of weirded out about it, and can use ALL sorts of advice!  If you can help, or know someone who can, please let me know.

So, that's what I've been up to!
Thanks so much for stopping by.  I really appreciate you!
All Best-