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Archive for September, 2008

sweet little cards

Now that I’ve talked about making your cards “standard” I want to share my little cards. Some of these are 3″ x 3″ (finished size) which fit into little square envelopes sold by Stampin Up. Love these sweet little cards, they are quick, easy, and use up those leftovers from other projects. And some of these are smaller and are from scraps.

I have a habit that once I discover or get back into some technique I use it on everything. So I’ve been embossing everything I can. I also am totally in love with this bird stamp from the Always stamp set from Stampin Up. The entire set is very sweet and fun to use but I seem to mostly use the bird, I just love it.
So here are a few of my little birdie cards, some are blank while some have a sentiment stamped inside.

This second set of cards is from a recently retired set Much Appreciated which has a very nice variety of “thanks”.

Now what do I do with all of these sweet little cards? I thought of neighbors who are expecting or just gave birth to babies and I thought about making a mini book or album where photos could be added by the parents, but that’s a lot of work and not everyone appreciates this kind of thing. So then I thought: Wouldn’t a set of custom thank you cards be sweet? My one neighbor is expecting a girl and everything is chocolate brown and pink. Everything. I think she’d just love having custom thank you notes in her colors! And since my little cards have a clean, simple design, they are pretty universal and easy to make.

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When I first started making cards, I had no idea about sizes. I made up a design, created the card and then I tried to find an envelope to fit my custom card. Sometimes I would make an envelope from templates I found in magazines. This took too long so many times I would skip the envelope and just give the card naked. So I got smart and started to save odd sized envelopes and making cards to fit the various sizes of envelope I had on hand.
Then I found out that if you stick to the standard size (4.25″ x 5.5″ for a finished card) you could buy A-2 envelopes in bulk that fit the card! How genius!

Part of my crafting “philosophy” is to make the most of what you have, or get the most of your card stock. This is due in part to being a hoarder and to the idea that one day you might not be able to buy card stock so you should conserve right? Since the majority of my scrapping is done as 12×12 I usually only buy 12×12 card stock. But when I started getting serious about making my “standard cards” I was cutting down my big sheets of paper and feeling like I was making a lot of cuts and wasting card stock. One day I mentioned this issue to my super crafting friend, Lori aka “Stamper Lori”, aka “Card Queen”. And she explained why we still need letter sized card stock (8.5″ x 11″).

If you pay attention to your cuts you can cut a letter sized sheet in half, landscape or long ways. Or cut the 11″ length of paper at 5.5″. Then you can score these two long pieces in half or at the 4.25″ mark!
How smart is this? One cut, two folds = two standard sized cards!

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The best made things are happy accidents. Or the best laid plans are those that aren’t made. These are my own versions of some of the many inspirational quotes floating around. I’ve been playing with embossing some of my favorite images and trying different inks. I hadn’t embossed in a long time so I looked around the web for directions.

There are some very good, very detailed instructions. As with most things, I came up with my own version. Feel free to do your own google search or use mine.

Here goes:
What you need: “juicey” ink-something stickier than regular ink, such as Staz On, Stampin Up craft pads, or Versa mark. Plus you need embossing powder, and a stamp. You will also want something to shake your extra powder onto like a plastic container, paper plate, or powder pal. This way you can dump the extra back into your container. Oh, and a heat gun. I’ve tried other things in the past and I really recommend you use a craft heat gun, trust me I speak from experience.

1) Stamp image with ink
2) Sprinkle powder, shake excess off
3) Heat image with heat gun, holding a few inches away.

Here are examples of three different inks I used for embossing. Tempting Turquoise Craft Pad, Versa Mark, and black Staz-On.

The craft pads are nice because they come in a variety of colors giving you lots of choices. The downside is that some of the craft pads are excessively juicy and can give you a smudged image. Versa Mark gives a nice tone on tone effect, looks best on dark card stock. You can use the Versa Mark pad without embossing to get a watermark effect.

The Staz-On ink pad allows you to stamp on glass, plastic, and other hard surfaces. I like the smell too. The downside is that these come in a small amount of colors.

Ta Dah! Now that you’ve got the basic process start embossing! It gets really addicting really fast! Start experimenting with different papers, fabrics, and other things.

Warning: Do not emboss living creatures (ex. your spouse, kids, or pets)

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