Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Cards For Herbaholic's

One of my greatest passions in life is the love of herbs and their uses, I was bitten by the herbal bug in my 20's and over 30 years on I am still fascinated by them and love using them in a myriad of ways, so much so that I'm lovingly referred to, by myself and my friends as a herbaholic, guilty as charged!

I have a fair few friends who share my herbal passion and I'd love to be able to send them herb themed cards and gifts. So imagine my delight when I came across a CD full of floral images with a whole section on herbs! By chance I found a double CD set of designs by Jane Shasky called 'From The Heart of The Garden' and the herbal designs are enchanting, as well as toppers and sentiments there are ideas for complete stationary sets, bookmarks and decoupage projects. I've already printed out two of the notelet cards from two of the stationary sets, as you can see in the photo above. My plan is to make some pretty herb decorated boxes and make sets of notelet cards that will be herbally scented for presents for some of my herby friends for Xmas 2016.

Back in November I found a set of three herb die cuts by Spellbinder going cheap on Amazon, and I'm looking forward to playing with them over the next few weeks. The die-cuts aren't very big, the 'pots' stand just 3.5cm high, so with the herbs in they're be approximately 9cm in height, but I think they'll look pretty on some of the backing papers from the 'Herb Garden' set from my CD. I also plan this year to press herbs like lavender from the garden and use them to decorate cards and bookmarks.

Above are three examples of cards made using the 'From the Heart of the Garden' CD, also embellishments that I'd cut out using my die cutters. The background paper on the borage happy birthday card is a scan of one of the borage pages from Gerard's Herbal, not an actual page, I'm not that daft lol! I think it worked really well and I'm already planning a series of cards using pages from old herbals as backgrounds. I'm also going to use some old botanical prints and some herbal photos that I've taken myself. I'm looking forward to the next batch of cards which I've already begun to cut bits out for and work on the designs, combining herbs with card making is like getting a double dose of stress reducing goodness. Now where did I put the sticky foam pads....

Monday, 12 January 2015

New Year, New Card Ideas

I'm one of those lucky people who get their birthday's not long after Christmas, when I was younger I hated the joint christmas and birthday present fob off, but as I've aged I've become more birthday savvy. Mostly because my birthday occurs during the month when they have sales, I didn't appreciate this fact when I was younger! The items in the photo above I got with birthday money, along with some marvellous post Xmas bargains, like A4 Xmas embossing folders for £5 when a few weeks before they'd been £19.99! I also picked up Xmas sentiments, ribbons and backing papers for a song, so next years Xmas stash is already shaping up nicely :)

I saw the new 'Little Meow' card making papers, decoupage etc and fell in love, I'm a cat fan as are a fair few of my friends, in fact I'm reliably informed that I'm on my way to becoming a crazy cat lady lol! So with my birthday money I treated myself to some of the items for Papermania's 'Little Meow' range and also the XCuts 'Mixed Cats' Die Cut set and both have been put to good use and photos will follow soon. One thing I have noticed about my stash, is I have lots of Xmas themed embossing folders and die-cuts, but not many that are suitable for making birthday cards and cards for other occasions. That I'm working on and will continue to do throughout the year. I've picked up some toppers from Foil Play in their Xmas sale which saved me a pretty penny, and I got some lovely cat toppers as well as some to add to the Xmas stash.

I met the challenge I set myself of making cards for all my friends and family and they went down very well, the last two I made were for my Dad and sister, these ones were larger 8 x 8 cards, the green one has a Bebunni topper I printed out from a CD, the red card is a sticker from a Me To You Glittet Sticker sheet, everything else bar the holly leaves was in my craft stash just waiting to be used. Suffice to say I think the card-making the bug is here to stay and I've decided I won't ever be making mass produced shop cards again! Instead all the cards I send will be made by me, tailored to suit the person I'm sending to and the occasion. I've already made a birthday card for a friend and a surprise card for another friend, I'll post photos once they've received them as they may see them before the special days and that will spoil the surprise.

I'm getting a little bolder with my creations, even though my cards are still pretty basic, but I want to explore some new techniques. I got bought a couple of sets of 'Spectrum Noir' alcohol markers for Christmas, so rubber stamping and colouring will be experimented with, my rubber stamping attempts so far have not been very good, all smudges and blurs. I read that the type of ink you use for the designs matters, so further investigation is required. I'd like to make more use of my printer to create toppers, sentiments and backing papers, and play with textures a lot more. Plus I want to make cards for my herb loving friends, there aren't that many ready made toppers or rubber stamps featuring herbs in the UK, so being able to create my own is a must. I already have some ideas and will be putting them in to practice very soon. Watch this space!