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Selling Some Card Creations

Selling Some Card Creations

Whew! I’ve been gone for almost a year! Luckily, I’m back 😉

I have the wonderful opportunity to sell some of my cards at the Paper Crane in Half Moon Bay, California. They are quite old school and magnificent. They do letter press on site and work with small companies and artisans (mainly local, hence me!) to fill the store. It’s also a family run business and, to be fully transparent, I’m friends with the son and daughter-in-law of the operation.

Here are some of my cards that will be going on sale in a few weeks:

I enjoyed creating cards that don’t come from any one company, as well as using some of my ATC skills.

I hope you enjoy and highly recommend you check out the Paper Crane, not just for my cards, but for the wonderful selection of unique cards and gifts.

Cheers, Gretchen

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I’m Doing the Colour Challenge #GDP033!

So, I haven’t done much in the way of posting for, oh, a month. Stress and a relaxing trip to Mexico (Tulum. Gorgeous! I highly recommend it over Cancun.) are my excuses. But, I’m back!

I decided it would be fun to do a challenge. I was going to do a different one than this, but the timing was all wrong. So, Global Design Project #033 Colour Challenge for the win! The colors/colours are from Stampin’ Up: Night of Navy (dark blue), Calypso Coral (salmon), and Sahara Sand (light brown). I love these colors and had never thought to put them together, so I love GDP now 🙂

I present my finished project and entry:

GDP33 Color Challenge - Bird

I am going to brag a bit: I love how it turned out! I have started to really love the hummingbird from A Happy Thing stamp set. Too bad it was only for Sale-A-Bration.

Components and techniques!

Components:

I stamped the bird (humming or king fisher?) in StazOn Jet Black Ink and then used the three colors (ink) with a waterbrush to color it in. I used Night of Navy, Calypso Coral, and Very Vanilla cardstock. The book page is actually a page from a book that was going to be pulped, so I don’t feel so bad. It is a book about Chaucer, so I run into fun phrases all the time.

I inked the edged of both the bird and book pages. I used sponge daubers, Sahara Sand ink, and Tsukineko All-Purpose Ink, Champagne Mist for the edges of the bird and book pages. Unfortunately, Stampin’ Up no longer stocks the Champagne Mist, but you can get it on Amazon (remember, use Smile.Amazon.com so they make donations to your favorite charity at no cost to you).

Techniques:

The idea and layout for this card came from Stamping Smiles and have wanted to make a version for ages. I had used the bird stamp and waterbrush on a previous card (see below) with different colors (other than Sahara Sand) and really liked it, so I copied myself and Stamping Smiles to make my card.

How did I get the colors onto the waterbrush, you ask (or don’t)? With the Stampin’ Up ink pads! You open but do not flip the pad, squeeze down a few times, open it further, have the ink on the non-pad side, then dip the semi-full water brush in the ink and and color away! It allows for you to change the intensity of a color. Be careful when not using watercolor paper, as it can wreck the normal cardstock if saturated.

The All-Purpose Ink and light brown ink (SS or Crumb Cake) edging is a fun technique taught by my demonstrator Bethani Semple (doesn’t have site, but you can add her as your order demonstrator via name and Los Altos, CA) and both of us use it all the time. Almost obsessively. You first use a dauber and take up a bit of the SS ink directly from the pad. You then tap it along the edge of the page gently, but still getting a bit of color around the edges. For the Champagne Mist, you take a dauber, which fits perfectly into the top of the container, and put it into the top of the container, press down to make sure there is a seal, shake the bottle and dauber, and run the dauber along the edge of the paper to give it a light shimmer.

It is actually a simple card. I think I just went into every possible detail in the construction other than the use of tape runner and sizes of the sheets. I have those numbers somewhere if you’d like them.

Thanks for making it to the end! Cheer!

Fun with My New Toy: a Cricut Explore One

My lovely hubby got me a Cricut Explore One for Christmas. I had been putting off getting one because I felt it was “cheating”. I was wrong. It takes a lot to make something original, even with design space. It is soooooooo much fun too!

I played around with it for a while before “printing” anything. I finally did for both my nephew’s and friend’s birthdays.

For my friend, I was more original though not fully. I used images, but didn’t do a full layout from the system. I used a flower image from the subscription and bought a Lia Griffith because, well, it was a gorgeous image! I then watercolored the background. Real watercolors, took me so long to get what I wanted, but I had completely forgotten that I could do it with a water pen and ink … eh, it worked out well in the end.

Anyway, here is the card I made for my friend with the Lia Griffith image (and the bottom bit the negative of the flower):

Owl Card

I’ve also used my lesson learned to make multiples when I figure out a good layout with good images, so here are the next three:

Flower and Owl Cards

Totally cheated for my nephew, as I just couldn’t think of something original. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture of the card. I both forgot and didn’t much care to since it was direct from the Cricut subscription file. I was a T-Rex skeleton that said Happy B-Day. That is totally not my type of phrasing, but that whole mental block was my excuse. So, here’s another crafter (Angela Dodson at PollyPurpleHorse) who did the same card, but a little nicer and with a goggly eye (and in orange rather than green)!

As my most original I made stencils from freezer paper for onsie creation. I uploaded my “own” images and turned them into stencils. Have the Cricut cut the freezer paper from Design Space, gently separate, iron onto the onsies, wait to cool, sponge paint, wait to dry, remove freezer paper, and voila! (Reinforcement of geekhood: yes, that is a TARDIS from Doctor Who. We’re both fans 🙂 )

Owl and Android Onsies

TARDIS Onsies

Supply list: Cricut Explore One with tools and mat; Stampin’ Up paper in Basic Black, Kraft, Lost Lagoon, and (I think) Wisteria Wonder; Stampin’ Up Morning Meadow Clear-Mount Stamp Set (an old hostess set); watercolor paper and watercolors from Michaels (Artist Loft, nothing fancy); fabric paint, fabric paint medium, and acrylic paint (Martha Stewart) from Michaels; freezer paper (only seems to be available at the supermarket); onsies from Amazon.

The Post-Holiday Slow Down – Two-Tone Embossed Ladies Cards

I think I have finally recovered from the holiday season. So much crafting, so many people, and just busy-ness. I was able to do a little bit of non-Christmas related crafting before my family and I travelled to SoCal for the holiday madness. Not much, but I had two birthdays coming up.

Two-Tone Blue Lady Birthday Card Two-Tone Purple Lady Birthday Card

Yup, same card with only color and orientation adjusted. These were for two good friends and it was a card I’ve been wanting to make for a long time.

The original idea came from Stamps n’ Smiles and I really had no idea how to achieve the look when I first found the card, even with the tutorial. Luckily, I have developed a better ability to follow YouTube video tutorials and general paper crafting ability. Her video tutorial is quite good and if you want to make a card like this or hers, check it out!

I used a stamp I found in a closeout sale at an art store, so I don’t know the brand. The paper and ink is Stampin’ Up Blackberry Bliss and Night of Navy, with the background as Whisper White. I used VersaMark Watermark, Recollections white embossing powder, and the Martha Stewart Heat Gun for the embossing. There are also little adhesive pearls from Michaels used to give a little more dimension to the card.

I hope you enjoy and I will be posting more soon!

Crafts of Christmas Past

October 1st through January 2nd is my favorite time of year. Why? Decorating holidays! And I also love fall.

As a follow up to Oldies, but Goldies, I present my crafting from previous Christmases. Well, only 2012 and 2013, as that’s the time I re-started crafting in ernest and 2014 I was a little busy with a new baby.

Here is a bit of the fun I had back in the day … (Really? Back in the day? It was, like, 2-3 years ago.)

2012 - Christmas Card Collage

Since cards are my main gig, here are a few samples. If you couldn’t tell from the cards, I LOVE birds. One even has a hat, as is my preference for animals. 2012 was the year I realized that multiple designs for Christmas cards is a bad idea, as you can’t assembly line them to get done in a reasonable amount of time. And, post wedding in 2013, I had a much longer Christmas card list. I can’t seem to find a picture of the one card I made for 2013, but, if I find it, I will post it.

2013 - Wreath

This is probably the worst picture I have of my crafts. Bad lighting and a white, slightly annoying wall behind. So I added snowflakes (or something) in PicMonkey to make it a tiny bit better. The wreath (from 2012) was in my last post. It took a lot longer to wrap than expected, but the flowers and embellishments were easy when I busted out (bought?) my glue gun. Here are the original posts I used: wreath wrapping, felt flowers, and beads on roses. The bird and torn apart picks are mine and mine alone (or from Michaels).

2012-2013 - Tree Collage I also love Christmas trees. Ancient tradition (“barbarian” German and Roman) and so so pretty! In 2012, I made the Pinterest classic ribbon and beads tree, created about 15-20, and gave them out as gifts. Again, longer than expected. That seems to have been the crafting theme of 2012. I made another Pinterest classic in 2013: the half circle paper tree. This one was much much easier. The paper tree didn’t have instructions, that I can find anymore, just this image from an Etsy posting that is no longer available. This was my inspiration for the ribbon tree, though I do like mine better (*patting myself on the back*), but still need to pay reverence to my inspiration.

*Side Note* I love books. Almost everything about them. I also love re-purposing things. The book pages I use in my crafts were going to be pulped, so I think it’s a better idea to use them rather than just throw them away.

2013 - Mini Album Collage

I’m rather proud of this little folio/mini album. It was hard to make (at my 2013 skill level), but so much fun to see my mom look through it. I used multiple how-tos to get this to work: 1, 2, and more than I remembered to pin.

2013 - Decopage Frame + Paper Roses

I made this for a good friend (top, officiant at my wedding, friend since junior high) and her family. I don’t think she wants her face all over the internet, so lovely flares for them. The frame was basic wood and glass from Michaels. It originally had 3 frames, but I broke the glass in one … whoops … so down to two! I painted (black and shimmer something) the frames, decoupaged the paper onto them, and created paper roses. (This links include instructions and my inspiration.)

2014 - Christmas

And this tiny wonder is the reason I don’t have any crafts for 2014. I think it is a good excuse.

I will have a post on my 2015 crafts near the end of the season! Happy holidays (as there are many at the moment) to all!

Oldies, But Goldies: A Blast from My Crafting Past

Here are some of the highlights of my creations in the far past … *cough – no older than 4 years – cough*

Cut Out Collage

From the top left, I made a card using Japanese themed paper for my friend’s bridal shower, the next was a good job card for my friend’s daughter (who loves dinosaurs), the house from Up for a new home card, a onsie baby card, a simple sympathy card (these are always hard, but I found a quote stamp that works very well for a cover without being cheesy), a bowtie card for a friend’s dapper son, a robot card for a nephew obsessed with his uncle’s work, Yoda for the same nephew the next year, and a penguin holding Sesame Street character balloons to my brother’s son (my favorite).

I made these cards using punches. From a simple corner rounder to messing about with the SU Owl Punch to major fussy cutting. I love working with punches and have far too many of them. I also used my embossing machine (Big Shot) with die cuts and embossing folders, sooooooooooo I have way too many options. It makes deciding what to make/use incredibly difficult (a good difficulty to have and I cannot, in good conscience, complain).

ATC Birds Collage

These are from my foray into Artist Trading Cards (ATCs). I very much want to get back to them, but having a baby limits my freeform crafting. I loved trying out different techniques on these 3 1/2 by 2 1/2 cards. You will notice very soon, if you follow my blog, that I love birds. I’m a little obsessed. These are two of my favorite cards and my favorite bird stamp.

Michaels Classes Collage

These cards are from my self-designed (instructor’s choice) classes at Michaels. Only one person ever came, so I didn’t really get to show off the different techniques, but I did have a lot of fun creating the examples for the classes.

Sleeping Cat Birthday

I love putting hats on animals. I have no idea why, but I just do. This party hat from SU fit perfectly on the adorable sleeping kitty from Picture Show on Etsy. An incredibly simple card, but one of my favorites. It took me forever to get the scoring right! (You will also notice that I also have a slight obsession with not just birds, but cats as well.)

Yarn Christmas Wreath

This is one of my non-paper crafts that I both enjoyed and felt turned out well. A Christmas wreath of yarn, felt, and torn apart pics the Michaels. I hang it up every year now. (See obsession with birds.)

That is a look into my crafting past. I have enjoyed crafting since I was a little kid and can’t wait to pass on the passion (hopefully) to my daughter. Along with my husband’s passion for robots.

A Baseball Playing Dinosaur Baby Shower

My friend (S.) is pregnant and fairly new to the country. They don’t really throw showers in Germany, so another German friend of hers (A.) and I worked out one for her with both traditional and non-traditional elements. As a side note, I have never thrown a baby shower and have been to very few.

Traditional: food (and lots of it), decorations, a game, wishes for the baby and parents

Non-Traditional: Baseball and Dinosaurs theme, only one game, no baby or blue/pink decorations, both men and women in attendance

A. took on the food. I love decorating for holidays and parties, so I took this part and all crafting bits on myself. Below is the scrapbook set-up with a request for wishes and ideas on how to present them. Project Life cards (I once had the idea to scrapbook and then I rediscovered Shutterfly for photo books) for writing those wishes, stickers, pens, etc. The strings you see are holding balloons to the the dinosaur jars full of jelly beans. A. did an amazing job on the food and you can see one of my hanging, non-crafted decorations.

People writing things for the baby and parents.

Dinosaur with Jelly Beans Give Away

Food!

I didn’t take pictures of the game, but it was a card deck with all the letters of the alphabet and some cards that said boy or girl. S. would pick a letter and a gender from the deck and the guests would have 1 minutes to write as many names as they could think of with those limitations.

I had a lot of fun decorating, but even more fun creating the gifts (some of which were also decorations). A. gave me Onsies that were leftovers from the last baby shower she threw. She said that the people at that party weren’t much interested in decorating them, so asked if I would like to. But of course! I had a few pre-made stencils, though only used one, and made the other two from online images and sticker paper. Do NOT use sticker paper on cloth for stencils. It took me longer to get the sticker off than to create and paint. At least they turned out nice. S. loves owls and Doctor Who, so those two were easy to figure out, and why not a squirrel, eh?

A. gave me onsies and I had fun. (Side note: don't use sticker paper for a stencil. So hard to get those last bits off!)

I made these for selfish purposes. I’ve been wanting to try this technique since I first saw it on Pinterest and now I had an excuse! Front side has the words used commonly in German and the back side has the English (American, Mommy and Daddy).

Mama and Papa Mugs

The actual present and card are below. The is the absolute best wrapping job I’ve ever done, so I had to take a picture. I didn’t mean for the colors to match; that just happened.

Seriously the best wrapping I have ever done on a present. Ever.

I made similar blocks before my daughter was born, but with a shimmery white background, rounded corner numbers, no baseball paper, and in English rather than German.

Age Blocks

I learned this one at my Bridal Shower: the hosts give the shower-e (?) a set of Thank You Cards, so they don’t have to buy them or much think about anything but writing. These were fun and easy to make.

Thank You Cards

So, I got my supplies from all over the place, including Amazon, Michaels, Etsy shops, Stampin’ Up, and probably somewhere else. Leave a comment if you would like to know where a specific product came from or how something was made.

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