Monday, September 29, 2008

Technique - resizing large envlelopes

I have some large commercial card envelopes that I have acquired over the years that are often too large for the cards I am making. I finally decided to work out a way to use them for my A2 invitation sized cards.
I start out with a 8.25" x 5.75" envelope and cut out the middle section to fit my A2 card, cut off both ends from the scraps and glue them back on each side. You end up with a nice slim envelope with a nice triangular flap. Adding the two side pieces covers up your card and keeps the card from being damaged in transit.
If you have a stash of large envelopes consider modifying them so you can use them for your smaller cards.

I hope the info on the right is useful.

If you have a card shop close to you inquire about getting the envelopes when they change up their card displays. The envelopes are not returned to the company and you can often get them for free. I use them for my personal cards and for the cards I refurbish. I think it would be inappropriate for them to be used for cards made for sale.


My Art - Masculine card

Have a few male birthdays coming up so made a couple of these cards this weekend. My skeleton leaves were not quite the right colour so I just applied ink from my green Memories pad until they were the right colour. The background paper is one I received in a swap somewhere along the way as is the suede paper. Have never used suede paper before - wonderful texture. I stitched the leaf to the suede paper with embroidery floss and then glued that layer to the card. Worked out very well.

I am slowly learning to make more than one card at a time. Very little extra time but more cards to put in my stash!!


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My Art - card for caregivers

A special card for a special person! I made this card for a special woman in our family who cares for another who is in the first stages of Alzheimers. Carolyn King is having a contest on her blog to encourage everyone to send cards to a caregiver of someone with Alzheimers. There are so many whose lives have been touched by this illness and the caregivers surely need support to continue day after day. There is an address on her blog where you can send a card if you have no person to send a card to.

This large card features watercoloured roses, scrapbooking paper, a hand embellished strip with ribbon and a stamped greeting.

It will wing its way in tomorrow's mail!!

I encourage you to check out Carolyn's blog and send a card!!


Friday, September 19, 2008

My Art - Tart tags

We are having a fundraiser garage/bake sale tomorrow at our church to raise funds for an orphanage in Mexico. I made a LOT of tarts - raspberry, almond, butter and chocolate!! Decided to spiff them up so packaged them nicely and added these cool little tags!! Punched scallop circles with the SU scallop punch, added a 1 3/8" coordinating layer and then the details which I printed on my computer and punched with the 1 1/4" punch. Stampin UP now makes a 1 3/4" punch which would add another layer! Have that one on my Wish list!!

I have begun to change up the way I eat so I will not be having any of the wonderful tarts I made. I am avoiding high glycemic foods because they cause an insulin response in the body and cause fat to be stored. Who knew!!! If you can keep your blood sugars low and avoid having an insulin response you can force your body to get the fuel it needs from your fat stores!! Excellent!! It does require that I do not combine carbohydrates (rice, bread, pasta) and proteins in the same meal but on average that has not been too difficult to manage. You can eat as many low glycemic vegetables as you want!! If you want more information check out Suzanne Sommer's books on the subject of low glycemic index foods and food combining for weight loss. I have taken several books out of the library that addresses this issue. I have lost a few pounds and feel much better. I would highly recommend this approach to eating to anyone who really wants to take off the extra weight without lots of rules and counting of calories.


My Art - September Cardmaking #4

Another card that fits into my stash of #8 envelopes!! The stash is slowly dwindling and I am trying to decide if I will get another box of them when I run out! It has been fun to challenge myself to create in a different format.
To fit the #8 envelope I cut my cardstock to 3.5 "x 11" and folded at 1" and 7.25". Used a piece of decorative cardstock - double sided colour printed - to bridge the gap between the two edges. Added a punch with an eyelet. Found instructions online somewhere on how to set eyelets and am finding the process more consistent. I am using the Making Memories eyelet setter and a little hammer. When setting the eyelet just hammer the setter on the back of the eyelet until it starts to spread and then use the hammer directly on the back of the eyelet to firmly set it. Works much better than continuing to use the setter which I found often distorted the eyelet. Punched a slot (SU slot punch) and added a bit of a cord to wrap around the circle to keep the card closed.
The greeting is stamped in Memories Black which is permanent and allows it to be watercoloured. Layered it onto coordinating cardstock and then to the left of the card. Added a bit of overstamping on the brown one to add a bit of depth to the cardstock.

My Art - exchange card

Have been playing with my new embossing folders for the Cuttlebug! Love the Swiss Dot one which I used on the top of this card! It is my new favorite one after the D'vine Swirl. I do really like the bird one I used on the bottom of this card as well. I added a bit of colour with my pigment stamp pads but I expect you could use chalk, pastels and even watercolour instead. I cut the bookplate with my Sizzix die using my Cuttlebug and layered my greeting under it. Added a strip to cover the joint between the embossed layers, a ribbon and a flower accent. Really love the softness of this card!!
Stampin Up has a Big Shot in their new catalog!! I think I can use all of them in my Cuttlebug but would need to buy the long cutting plates to use the big dies for the little basket and the star!! I was over at my SU demo's open house and she was doing demonstrations!! It is a very cool machine and if I did not already have one I would be buying the Big Shot. My daughter has a Big Kick and so I did some comparing online and can find no huge difference between the Big Kick and the Big Shot.


My Art - Card making #1

With the fall comes the back to our regular life so I am back to my cardmaking sessions!! It has been fun to prepare for this class and it was great to be back to this great group of people!! I have added a morning class to the schedule so I had one person come on Wednesday morning!! It is so much fun to help people stretch their creative muscles.
I stamped the background of this card with my SU stipple stamp and some bleach. I made a stamp pad with a foam tray, a paper towel and a bit of bleach. Works great! Be sure to clean your stamps right after using them. We stippled a bit more colour on it at class using the large kids paint brushes you can buy at the dollar stores and a coordinating stamp pad. I also added a bit of colour to my silk flower with the stipple brush and my stamp pad. I buy light coloured silks so they are easily modified in this way. Trimmed the strip by tearing the edges (options - deco scissors), stippled the edges and stamped my greeting. Glued this to the card. Layered the skeleton leaf with a very light layer of glue on the back and attached the flower accent over the bottom of the leaf stem to permanently attach it to the card front. Quick and easy!!!

My Art - September Cardmaking #3

I challenged myself to come up with a card that used handmade paper!! For the fall I usually combine pressed leaves and handmade paper but decided I needed to change it up this year.
I used the Swiss Dot embossing folder for the background in white or ivory. Stamped the SU Always greeting and punched it out with the large SU oval punch. Layered it on coordinating cardstock and cut them out with decorative scissors. Added some fiber to the embossed layer then added the greeting with 3D foam tape which adds some dimesion to the card. The 3D foam tape also is very effective on the embossed paper and ensures the fiber will stay in place as well. I created the flower using incrementally larger pieces of coordinating handmade paper. Just ripped the first little round shape and then used it as a guideline as I ripped the other just a bit larger. I did add stippling to the third layer because the colours were pretty close to the same and they needed to contrast a little more. Love the texture of the handmade paper!! Ripped out a couple of leaves, glued the layers to each other and used hot glue to mount the flower to my card!!
I would highly recommend learning to make paper so you can use up your scraps!! It is easy and fun!!


My Art - September Cardmaking #2

Inspired by my exchange card I decided to play with fall colours and made up a few of these with the hydrangeas leftover from the bunches I bought for last year's Christmas card class. These had some orange in them so worked very well with the fall colours. The bookplates are gold on these ones which I die cut from some matte gold cardstock I bought on my last trip to Cleveland.
I did some of them up with more of a male theme using the distress lines and paisley embossing folders!! I like playing with different materials using the same card map. You could easily substitute decorative paper - your own or scrapbooking paper - instead of the embossed layers for a totally different look. Consider creating a different flower accent with punchies instead. So many possibilities!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

My Art - Make and Take for cardmaking

Created this little handout for promoting my cardmaking sessions at a community fair on Thursday afternoon!! They turned out pretty cute and give practical information such a nice twist! Handed out a few, though I had prepared over 30! Ever optimistic!!
I finished them up this morning and will use them to promote by classes by having them in my handbag to handout when I meet people around town.

These are 2.75" x 2.75" or so. I used a word processing program to print out the inside information - 6 to an 8.5"x11" sheet. I folded them, stamped them and then cut up some scrapbooking paper scraps and a few embellishments to fancy them up.

These were fun to make!!


Refurbished cards

I have been refurbishing some cards for donating to a local resource center! These cards are commercial cards that were donated to me by a member of the community. I have a box of commercial envelopes that were donated to me by one of the girls on one my stamping group which I rummaged through to house the refurbished cards. It is sometimes a challenge to get the cards to fit in the envelopes I have available but on average I can make it work.
I also refurbish all the handmade cards I get through exchanges and swaps to donate to this center. They really appreciate having nice thank you cards for sending to the different organizations and individuals that donate items, time or resources to their events and well as having some personal cards for their outreach programs.
I file the cards by seasons and donate them in season so they can use them appropriately. Just donated my fall ones on Thursday and will be working on Winter and Christmas ones next. There is a local person who will be sending Christmas cards to the soldiers in Afghanistan who is looking for cards so I will donate some to her cause as well.
I enjoy this process because requires less time and brain power than making cards from scratch, keeps a lot of paper from the landfill and gives them all a second life to bless someone else!

Consider refurbishing the commercial cards you receive and donating them to a worthy cause - a seniors home, a non profit organization or as small prizes for fundraising for a group to which you belong. Be creative!!


Thursday, September 04, 2008

My Art - Fat book page

Created this page for a friend of mine. I usually take a few days after the WAF to stay and play at her house!! As always it was really great to be at her house. She has a wonderful space for creating and does awesome art. You can check out her blog. She is a teacher and was back to school this week! I hope the little package I sent will cheer her once she is back from school and the gym!!

I printed a full sheet of beauty images onto a transparency. Cut out this one and used photo corners to attach to the page. I had to trim the corners because the backs can be seen through the image. Used glossy and stamped with an antique looking fabric image in a coordinating colour and added a purple ribbon with a heart charm.

We worked on cards as well. She was finding it hard to get back into cards after having mostly created altered art projects so we played with the Cuttlebug and she was very quickly back into the flow of cardmaking. We discovered that you can use the Cuttlebug embossing folders in her pasta machine - been in the upper cupboard for a while!! Nicely repurposed into her stamping studio and one of the settings will easily shred paper for making hanmade paper!!

She created this wonderful Asian book in our creative days!! Check it out!! She is on the Altered Pages design team and I think her little Asian Love Book turned out great!!


My Art - Fat book page mingle

I created this beauty page for the Yalpha mingle! I cut all sorts of images from my printed collage images and glued them tastefully to this letter B. Added another layered flower embellishment and some typewriter letter punchies to the back!! I am really liking these large letters!!

I create them in Corel Draw - use any design program - and then print them out. Create them with a white fill or no fill so you just get the outline then cut them out and embellish away!! It was fun digging through the stash to find images that worked and were the right size!!


My Art - Card exchange

These are my September cards for the card exchange I participate in! Each person sends two cards per month and over six months you get a nice variety of cards in the mail on a regular basis! Nice to get mail!!

I used some junkmail decorative paper and a book page to create these two cards. I like the vintage feel of the papers so paired them with these very soft antiquy looking paper flowers! Added a large brad to the center to attach them to the card front. Used a white gel pen to write the greetings and then used a bit of watercolour to tone them down once they were dry. I am really happy with the way these cards worked out!!


My Art - card for god daughter

My god daughter will be eight next week and I made this cute little card for her!! I love that little bird and it seemed to go so well with this paper! I layered several flowers - some silk, some cardstock to create my flower embellishment!

I have discovered a new blog that has card maps called "A Sheet Load of Cards". Check them out! Great for anytime you are feeling lost of ideas and need to get some cards fast!!


My Art - Believe Mingle

This is my Yalpha mingle for August. We are featuring large letters in our mingles so I made one that was 4x4! I watercoloured it and stamped on some inspirational words. The little punched letters (typewriter letters and a half inch punch) were added with dimensionals so they pop!! I added in handwriting some quotes to the outside and inside of the letter. You can purchase a sheet of typewriter letters at my Mixed Media Market.
Always fun to make up these little pages. Starting to have quite a little collection myself which need to be bound!

MM - new product and WAF

I have been away from my blog for too long!! Time flies.

I made these products for the Women's Art Festival in Kingston and for the Merchants Mill.

At the top, a photo album/scrapbook. These albums hold 4x6 photos but will also take 4x6 index cards if you choose to use it as a scrapbook! I made several and thought they would be nice for a special event like an anniversary party or a shower. Would be perfect for a short trip or for someone to record there first time to summer camp. The covers were all hand decorated papers as were most of the spines! Each one has a little embellishment on the front.

On the right you can see the Scrabble tiles! I made necklaces with them by drilling a hole and inserting an eye screw and adding a waxed cording that was adjustable. I altered some of them with little images to make them more versatile.

Made the tile photo holders and magnets with the 2x2 marble tiles. They were really fun to make and I tried to make them all different. I also made more marble coasters with old fashioned cars, cardinals, sailboats and loons on them.
The Merchants Mill closed on Sunday of the Labour Day weekend and will reopen on October 24th which is the weekend of their village festival called Haunting in the Hamlet. A great day for both adults and kids with lots of activities planned. I will be working on product for Christmas to be ready for the reopening!!