Friday, 28 November 2014

29 Cards To Go!

So when I decided to make homemade cards for everybody this year I didn't realise how many I'd need, I made my list today and yes I've checked it twice ;) But I need 64 cards to achieve my goal, that's easy I thought, surely I have enough now? I counted the cards made and nope I only have 35 that I can send, so I have 29 more to make!!!

So I've been making cards this afternoon, the above two cards have homemade toppers printed out on my PC one is a Bebunni design the other is Party Paws Christmas. Both are laid on embossed cards and finished with different elements from my craft stash. The edging strip on the Bebunni card is scrap from a Hunkdory topper, but as it was a knitted effect I thought it went well with this card.

These two quick makes use different embossing folders, the 'Happy Christmas' card using a Kanban topper from Foilplay and some snowflake diecuts and gems. The 'Merry  & Bright' card uses another topper printed out on my PC on a shiny metallic blue die-cut shape as a background. I really do think that embossing the card really adds to my designs and I love the way you can pick elements of the embossed design out like with the snowflakes.

I'm also busy die-cutting and embossing the pieces to make 25 gift bags for putting homemade sweets in as gifts for the family. I've made matching tags and co-ordinated cards from some free Hunkydory toppers that came with November 2014's issue of Cardmaking & Papercraft Magazine. Each bag takes 2 sheets of A4 card stock, I'm using the Xcut "Gift Bag Die Set" and Crafter's Companion "Vintage Music" A4 embossing folder from the Vintage Christmas Collection to decorate the bags. Hopefully all bags will be ready to assemble by the time I need them at Christmas and the cards will be finished so I can get them in the post by the middle of next week. Next year I'll start earlier!!!

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Bitten By The Card Making Bug

I know I've not blogged as much as I intended to this year, its been a rather odd year that has seen me suffering from anxiety and mild depression, that all started back in January when I hit 50, I got a case of the female mid-life crisis methinks when the menopause kicked in! I've kept a brave face on publicly, but I have had some gloomy days where I felt like giving up, but that isn't an option, so I've been trying various ways to not turn in to a basket case for several days every month, and card making and St John's Wort seem to be doing the trick.

I've been saying I'll make my own cards for years now and over time I've been collecting card making stash, magazines, card blanks, ribbons, buttons, glitter and lots of ideas and they just went in to boxes under the bed. A good friend makes cards to deal with her stress levels and thanks to her gentle encouragement I realised that maybe card making was an option for me.

Simon treated me to a Sizzix Big Shot die cutting and embossing machine and I made my very first card, aptly a birthday card for my card making friend Kat, and after that I was hooked. I acquired more embossing folders and dies and have been making a lot of cards, this year as well as home made sweeties, the family and friends are getting homemade cards. The cards below are for Simon's family and we're making matching bags and tags to put the homemade sweets in that we're giving for Xmas.

The first photo in this posts shows cards using items from my craft stash, metallic A5 cards, coloured cards, adhesive gems and some of my new embossing folders. I love my embossing folders, they instantly add texture and subtle decoration to my cards. I think the die-cut machine and all its possibilities are one of the reasons I've really got in to the hobby now. The 'Dress' card is made using a topper from a Hunkydory set that came free with Cardmaking & Papercraft Magazine in November.

The trio of cards above this paragraph also use toppers from the freebie, the two centre cards in image 1 come from a free CD from Crafters Companion Crafter's Inspiration: Issue 5 Christmas Edition and were printed out via my computer and cut to shape with die-cuts. The images are from the Bebunni range and I have to say I'd fallen in love with the Bebunni characters. They're turning up a lot in the cards I'm making for Christmas and will be featuring in cards I'm making for other events like birthdays and special occasions.

The next batch above, again are using toppers and embossing folders, I got some amazing toppers at bargain prices from Foil Play, Gill the lady that runs Foil Play is lovely, she offers free postage over £10, free topper for each £20 spent and excellent service, she also has regular competitions and a lovely little facebook group that I'm now a member of. Above photo also has toppers from Crafter's Companion and Hunkydory and the 'Let it Snow' card is a mix of an embossed by me card with a Sheena Douglas 'Ornamental Snowflakes' embossing folder, starry paper from my craft stash and a topper that was also in my stash.

The glittery 'Let it Snow' bauble is done using an X-Cut 'Christmas Sayings' die and snowflake are done using die-cuts with sticky back glitter foam. The snowflake die was free with a magazine, but I can't remember which one! I've also used the sticky back glitter foam to make a frame for the Bebunni card on the end, this time in silver. I realise that I'm using lots of pre-bought toppers at the moment but they work for me whilst I learn how to successfully use rubber stamps and play with other techniques.

For today, my last photo shows my first attempts at decoupage, I've made these cards for my nephews, again the background of the card uses the Ornamental Snowflakes embossing folder, but this time in landscape. There's another Bebunni card using Crafter's Companion toppers and finally the gingerbread man card which is made using a free embossing border from a special Christmas mag that Cardmaking & Papercraft but out every year called Make Christmas Cards it was a tad expensive at £7.99 but you got two embossing folder borders, lots of papers, toppers and stamps as well as the magazine. The gingerbread man is another die-cut this time from the X-Cut 'Christmas Medley' set, backing paper is from the craft stash. I stamped the gingerbread man out of ginger biscuit coloured craft foam from The Range, which has a good selection of base colours like brown, flesh, biscuit, white and black.

I guess you can say that I've been bitten by the card making bug in a big way, it's something I'll be doing for a long while to come, I love making cards, taking a set of basic items and turning them in to something unique. Some of my very first efforts were a learning curve, there have been some mistakes, but I've filed them for future reference as to what NOT to do. I've also decided that if I make more cards than I need, then the local Cat's Protection can make good use of them to sell to raise funds. I have lots of ideas for cards to make and a lot of stash to make them with. Some of them I may share on the blog here in the future. It's certainly a very therapeutic hobby and its certainly helping me when I have a down day :)