Saturday, June 26, 2010

Cutting the Apron Strings and Letting it Fly

I love making cards but I am probably one of the worst card makers when it comes to actually using them!  I display them on my design tower or on my presentation board I take to workshops.  I give some away attached to gifts and even once in a while I mail one out.  With all my supplies and ideas, you would think that I have cards at the ready to send out!  But I am like the Shoemaker's children running around barefoot.

I am the worst!!!  I am always rushing to put something together instead of using a card that has earned its way to my display rack or my board. Each card I create is like having a baby!  And when it is done, I'm never ready for it to leave the nest!

The concept phase of designing a card is like pregnancy.  You have an idea based on the stamps or the colors or the techniques and they are incubating in your brain growing and getting stronger.  You might start playing with shapes or color combinations.  The concept grows as you "case" someone's design or look at other samples.  Maybe if you take this from here and that from there and combine it over here.  What stamps?  What sentiments? Ooh, how about a pop out center?  Oh if I put three brads over there and what about a ribbon tab here?  The design keeps growing and growing until...Congratulations!  You have just put together a card!

Ok, sometimes the card comes out looking like Winston Churchill but all babies are cute, right?  This is the point in the creative process where you revise.  Assess the card.  What do you like about it?  What works? What's missing?  What piece could tie everything together. Remember when you could dress your kids in anything you wanted?  When shopping for clothes was fun?  But caution here -- you don't want to turn your card into one of those "Toddlers and Tiara's" nightmares with the fake teeth, fake tan and fake hair!

During this time of nurturing, you may totally bling out the card or try it with different colors or DSPs.  You are really looking for a WOW factor. You work diligently on preparing each layer and making sure all the elements work together.  The design may take a left turn and go the complete opposite of what you think you wanted.  It's like when your teenager comes home one day and says, "I'm not going to college.  I'm touring with a rock band for a year."  You'll want to pull back and try to stuff it right back into that original design but somehow you need to find the strength to let it find its way.  This is especially hard for people who have control issues.

As the execution nears to finish it has really become a great card.  It may not be the original concept you started with but it has a unique combination of you and your style combined with elements you used.  It is not a cookie cutter card.  It's ready to leave the nest and bring joy to someone else.  It's all up to you to cut the apron strings and let it go.  Before you let it go backpacking in Europe, make sure you take a picture or better yet, now that you've got the design elements figured out, reproduce it.

Each card will look similar but you will have your unique stamp on each card -- literally.  If you've come up with a design that you really love, stamp a stack of them to keep on hand.  Look at how you might change an element or two to move from a Thank You card to a Birthday Card to a Thinking of You card.

Now, take that card that's all grown up, put a stamp on an envelope and send it to someone!  Cut the apron strings and let it fly.  You will continue to be proud of it and you'll really show someone how much you care for them.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Last Call for Sizzix Petal Card Die and Other Retiring Stampin' Up Products

Hi Crafty Girls (and Guys!)-

We are a week away from the new Stampin' Up 2010-2011 Catalog which is very exciting but in order to make room for the brand new items, we'll be saying goodbye to some products in the 2009 - 2010 Catalog.  One of the items, that I am showcasing today is the Sizzix Petal Card die for the Big Shot die cut machine.  What I love about this die is all the things I've created using it that are beyond the original card which on its own is really cute!

Pretty Heart Hanger

I sat down for a few hours and cut out 10 or 15 Petal Cards in Very Vanilla cardstock and just started playing. I wanted to see what I could piece together.  My first revelation was that if I folded two petals I then had a heart shape. Then, if I took another Petal Card and folded in the tabs and attached them to the tabs of the other Petal Card, now I had a heart shaped container.  Then my artistic juices started to flow and see my cute treat holder -- throw in some candy or even hang with some potpourri in it as a home decor item.

Before attaching the tabs, I used a Versamark stamp pad and the Flourish stamp from the Baroque Motifs stamp set (which will be continued in the 2010-2011 catty - yeah!).  Once I stamped the flourish with Versamark, I used the clear embossing powder and heat set it.

Then I wanted to play with the new Smooch sprays (can't wait until July 1 and the Smooch collection expands!).  For this streaked look, I sprayed Log Cabin, Gold Glow and Vanilla Shimmer and then took a dry paper towel and wiped the cardstock in a downward motion.  Because I had already heat embossed the Flourish stamp with the clear embossing powder, it was ink resistant and the vanilla cardstock came through.

Next, because I wanted it to hold candy or something I needed to creatively patch the gaps between the tabs.  So I used retiring chocolate chip satin ribbon (15/16") to cover the bottom and then as handles for the top.  Last, but not least, I used a large pearl (from Pretties kit) and a Very Vanilla large brad.

I pretty much used the same techniques for the next items  a snazzy gift box and a set of gift cards.  My apologies in advance for the crappy picture quality!
What are you doing to be crafty today?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A new blog page means the start (or restart) of the Crafty Girl Project!



Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose, reborn, redo...or all of the above!

The Crafty Girl Project is reborn. Due to some technical difficulties, health difficulties, work difficuties and all-around living life difficulties, my Crafty Girl Project was briefly aborted. For those of you who are new to my blog and my project, let me explain. I believe that each and every one of us can do something creative each and every day. It may be to make something like a card or a home decor item. Or doing something crafty could be organizing your spice cabinet or craftily getting out of a traffic ticket. This blog is meant to be interactive so I want to hear about your crafty experiences as much as I will tell/show you about mine.

I may have a bit of a leg up on the craftiness because of my undying devotion to Stampin' Up products and as an independent demonstrator, you will see most of my creations may have a Stampin' Up flavor, but this is my own personal blog to document my love of creating things and my need to share this odyssey with the world!!! I have a plethora of creative projects and some of them don't include Stampin' Up products at all.

I think you can be crafty anywhere and everywhere. I think you can help those who don't consider themselves crafty to actually do beautiful projects and creative works.

Signing off for now Crafty Readers!

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