Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Thank You Cards in a Snap!

A couple months ago, I saw these Cards in an Instant from Me And My Big Ideas (MAMBI) on sale at Craft Warehouse near me, and couldn't resist. Since I like to make cards, and wanted to make thank you cards, so I knew I would make use of them.

Here are the MAMBI cards themselves:

A fairly good selection-36 cards, of 6 different types. The multi-colored, Multi-Language one reminds me of one I designed and created myself (including looking up all the languages) early this year (maybe February?) that I realize now I never shared. But it just goes to prove that good ideas aren't always truly original ideas. That's OK. I still love the one I designed. (I will share that one in another post.) are the cards I have made so far with these:

 This one is much shinier than the picture lets on since the sentiment is on Foil Paper.

I just made this one tonight for a coworker and will give it to them tomorrow.  As you may know from looking at some of my cards (or almost all of these just in this post, haha), I really like distressed look for things. For this one, I layered it, but felt it needed....something. So I ripped the green card base but it still needed something, so I ripped the pink as well. Getting closer...Once I inked the edges, I knew this was the way it was always intended to be. Perfectly imperfect. :) The photo doesn't do the colors justice, though.

I love that with these, it makes the creative process easy. I can whip up a card using my materials in just a few minutes, but they still look professionally done (or so I am told) and they are still MY creativity shining through.  I love that you could give the same sentiment to two different crafters, and they'd come up with two different cards. I think I will be exploring more options like this in the future. I love that these are hand made in a snap. :)

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Scrap Stash Ideas

A while back this year, I re-defined how I personally think of scraps for my paper stash.

I am constantly evolving my ideas. Paper scraps used to be all jumbled in a drawer of my storage cart, then some point last year I put the smaller ones in a metal box but the larger ones were still piled in a drawer. At some point earlier this year, I moved the big scraps to a binder in a color organized way. That helped some  and it was nice to sort of see what I had (at least compared to a pile in a drawer, anyway.)

One day though, I thought I could do even better.

So I cut all card stock scraps  that were big enough and sturdy enough to be cards into the standard 4.25x5.5 inches card base size. I then cut all paper scraps that were big enough into card layer size of 4x5.25 inches.  So this is what my card layer collection looked like after it was all done (not pictured, card bases):
(There's over 125 pieces there, but you can't tell because it's not totally spread out.) Much easier to look through and be inspired by things this way, for sure. I even had an idea for a piece that was in there AS I was organizing it and wrote it down on a sticky note and attached it to said piece! I left anything that was smaller than at least this size in the notebook, so there are still a lot of strips of things and smaller pieces, but this is MUCH more organized.  So now whenever I make a cut on a new piece of paper or card stock, I always follow this rule. I feel like it will make it a lot easier, and my friend who comes over to make cards on occasion was pretty excited when she saw my new system, so I must have been right. :)

And since we're on the subject of scraps...One day I saw an example of using some scraps to make a new card layer (sorry, I don't remember where I saw it, or I'd link it), and thought I'd give it a try with some of the strips I had in the notebook.  Over random days, I made these:

I like them, and think they are fun. I made the pink ones one day, and then a few days or weeks (? who knows) later made the red/green ones. So far, I think my favorites are the red and green ones. I love the thickness of the stripes for the basic one with the dots, but the green damask with the darker red seems to have taken on a life of its own and created a new pattern.  I didn't have any reason to use any of these yet, but I do think it's a great way to "scrapbust" and to create a whole new look.  Hopefully I will be inspired to use these for something someday!

What are some ways you manage your usable scraps to keep them from getting overwhelming? Feel free to weigh in below.  I am always looking for other ways to use scraps.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

2015 Holiday Cards

Happy Day After Christmas! I hope you enjoyed, or are enjoying, a lovely Holiday Season! Hopefully you are not too conked out from too much food.

Here are the cards I made and sent out this year:

(As Always,  Click on photos for larger images.)

 This one is actually recycled wrapping paper. I was inspired by the stamp I have that is ornament shaped, and remembered that I had this paper. So I cut the ornaments from the paper and made tiny bows for them (so hard to make tiny ones, by the way!), and used decorative scissors on the edges. And Voila! These adorable cards, and a great way to recycle in one. This says "Happy Holidays" on the inside, but I forgot to get a picture of that. Oh well.  I even hand made the envelopes for these ones. 

Only problem with these: I had several of them returned because they are so small. Apparently, postage standards are 3.5x5 inches minimum. I didn't even know that was a thing! And SOME people received them and others didn't, so it's totally random. Lesson Learned: No Tiny Mail. 

So, all of you that I advised would be getting your card can just pretend to be surprised when they come, OK?
I love the way the lighting in this picture makes the card look almost like stained glass.

 I didn't actually end up sending these cards out to anyone because I had enough of other varieties for people on my list. But since I made these this year, I figured I'd include them in this year's post.   I had bought a heart punch earlier this year and went totally crazy punching hearts for no reason at all (seriously, I have snack bags with heart cut outs that I need to either use or throw away) so when I thought of a tree, I tried it out of hearts and liked it. I really like that for these cards, even though it is the same shade red card stock as the base for both, that by using different reds for the poinsettia stamps and different shades of green for the trees, that they do actually look like two different cards.
 For this one, I made  the background with a snowflake stamp and embossing powder (one of my new favorite things to play with lately), then stamped the sentiment with embossing power as well and put it over coordinating ribbon. I really love the monochrome look to this one. I think it comes together really well.
 I bought a cute gingerbread stamp a few months ago, and one day, I was really just looking for an excuse to use it. I couldn't think of anything for awhile that day so set it aside and went about the rest of my day. When I came back from running errands, this idea just popped in my head and I gave it a shot. (And yes, more embossing powder.) I like the simplicity of the gingerbread men on the ginger-y colored card stock (that honestly probably wouldn't get used for anything else since I am not a huge fan of the color by itself so great way to use it for something) and just a little bit of color with the sentiment and edging.
Close up of the sparkly gingerbread men.

And lastly, we have what was probably the easiest of the cards, but that I still like. (Never mind the crooked picture. Whoops.) I really like making simple cards like this with Washi Tape. It's simplistic, but still looks really nice. I think they key is to make sure the tape is well coordinated and the sentiment in similar colors. I have made Halloween Cards in similar fashion that were liked.  Maybe not for everyone, but definitely something I like to do. :)

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Merry Geek-Mas

Earlier in the year, I started making ornaments for our tree. I was doing my usual Glitter and Paint Ornament thing and had an idea for some of the Olive-ish Green colored paint I have...

A Grinch! So I practiced a few times and then made this one:

After I made that one, and showed it Shaun and he was impressed with it (He thought it may have been store bought), I had the idea for other ones I would love to have for the tree including My Little Pony, Batman, and Captain America. We have yet to make Captain America, but we did get to make the others:

I say "we" because while it was my concept and I did the paint and some of the other stuff, It was Shaun's awesome drawing skills that really helped me bring the Cutie Marks and the Batman Logo to life.  I then wrote the names of the Mane Six Ponies on the back, in a style that they would use themselves, I imagine. I LOVE the way they turned out.

Here's how they look on the tree:

Our tree is kind of accidentally My Little Pony themed because in addition to the six cutie mark ornaments we made, Shaun gave me a set of MLP ornaments last year or the year before, and we have two foam ornaments we bought (Pinkie and Dash) and we bought a Princess Luna figurine ornament this year. So since it has so much Pony-themed  on it, I said maybe one year I will make the mini ornaments (like the paint ones) with the colors of the ponies and make it an intentionally themed tree. That could be fun.

What do you think of our "Geek Tree"? We LOVE it. Someday, we'll have even more of the things we love on it, too. :)

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Cards, Cards Galore!

I recently shared the birthday card I made for my friend Susan's birthday in October,  and had realized that I have been particularly bad at sharing all my projects this year. So I figured I would share all the cards that were made this year (and one from last year,I think) that may or may not have been shared yet, up to that card.

So buckle up, it's a long(er) ride! :)

A Chicken card I made for Shaun's mom's birthday last year.

Inside of Chicken Card.

Valentine's card for Hubby, with the envelope I made for it as well.

Inside of it. Realized I forgot to take pictures before writing the happy (stamp only said V-day)

St. Patrick's day card made with a Leprechaun I asked Shaun to draw for me. So, combining our talents. :)

Easter card. of course. Bunny drawn by Shaun, modeled after one of our stuffed animals, Sunny Bunny.

Birthday card for our friend Corina, whose birthday was in May. Another multi-layered Purple...

Close up of embelishment

With the envelope I made.

 We think Shaun's dad may never have received the Father's Day card I made in 2013, so I essentially remade it, but slightly different.

Birthday card for my sister Heather, whose birthday was in June. Yep, more purple. Lots of people I know like purple, it seems.
 I really wanted to use the anchor stamp I had bought a few weeks prior just to be able to use it for something, and this idea for a Bon Voyage card came into my head and I started working on it. I love this card so much! I didn't even have a reason to make it, but once I did, I gave it to our friends who, conveniently, were leaving on a cruise soon.
 This card came about because our Director at work is expecting soon and we threw her a surprise Baby Shower with a Nautical theme. So I volunteered to make a card because I already had the perfect things for it! Obviously, it is pretty much the same card as the Bon Voyage card above, but it is a bigger card (a bit over 5x7 so that everyone could sign it) and I added a few different touches.  It was a big hit! Our Director told me she plans on framing it in the baby room! You don't get much higher a compliment than that.
Inside of Baby Shower card.

 Our department's Morale Team did a whole production for a week for Customer Service Week, and I really wanted to thank them for all their hard work.So I made this card, and had everyone on our team sign it before I gave it to them. Bonus: it let me use my brand new silver embossing powder. :)