Quick christmas cards – design then repeat!

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Currently I am churning out christmas cards for a local homeless charity op shop to sell to raise new funds to build new accommodation.  I am taking this opportunity to start destashing but also come up with some simple elegant angel policy compliant cards that can be made quickly and sold for a reasonable price.

Bit like my family christmas cards I like to create a design that I can then repeat quickly.  It is great to have beautifully designed cards but when you are making 150, even starting in October its a lot of work.

So I bought a 12×12 paper with christmas messages from kaisercraft and cut it up,  then die cut a stack of christmas trees with my cricut, found some green pattern paper and started tearing.  Top tip with tearing, tear on the wrong side facing you and toward you and you will not end up with white bits!  Assemble, tidy up the edges and add some bling.

Happy crafting

Katrina

Using chipboard albums to create an extra special card

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I have been making a lot of chipboard and mdf albums into special birthday and occasion cards. I started with two sets of mdf congratulations to make as memento for two close friends weddings where they requested no gifts then 10 60th birthday albums and now a baby one.  Once you get started you will be hooked!

There are a few tips floating around when working with these albums but here are mine:

  • Do choose a theme then pull out from your stash everything you have that relates.
  • Do buy a good quality spray adhesive to attach the paper to the base. It will attach firmly within five minutes and be smooth. I used 3M Super 77 Multi-Purpose Spray Adhesive and would definately buy it again.
  • Layout your chosen papers numbering the back of each paper and the corresponding base. After you have taken the time you do not want to attach the wrong ones.
  • Use a scalpel to cut around the edge once you have stuck it down, one side at a time.
  • If you cut too much or tear the paper do not worry use a sanding block it will create a tear line and smooth your paper into the colour you painted around the edge.
  • If you nick the edge use coloured pens to blend, they are much easier to manage than paint.
  • When choosing your embellishments work out where to place then make sure to lay each piece on top of each other before attaching, ideally you want the finished pages to sit evenly not sit up on one side.
  • Use a scalpel to push through the paper and expose the hole, do not worry about being too neat the ring will cover these.
  • Do not forget to leave a space to write on the card or at least add a small open envelope that you can insert a personal message or if you are doing a word, make a note card to go in the box.
  • Paper or bakers twine is best to hold garlands together or metal hinged rings for album cards but that does not mean you cannot add a ribbon.
  • Buy or make a small box to put your creation in. Nestle it in some tissue paper because it is your gift to the recipient.

Here are photos of the rest of the album to give you a few ideas.

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Hanging christmas cards

A call went out from some lovely ladies who make up christmas stockings for Aussie soldiers serving abroad. Mum made the christmas stockings and I made a few cards. The requirements – must be 1/4 of an A4 sized page and not folded. A challenge indeed as not christmas cards but postcards and no sparkle, glitter or metal of any kind was to be used. Needed to be for men and women so no cutsey ones would suit.

Well I wanted to do something different and make sure they could be displayed. So how could they be displayed when must be flat? Of course, I thought after many hours pondering they could be decorations on the tree as well as a card. So I started by cutting a printed xmas paper to cover the front and wrap around to the back to give a little hint of colour. Then added chipboard embellishments, printed journal cards and stickers. Hole punched the top and threaded with some bakers twine. Here are the finished results.

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I love this design so much I am going to use for our family christmas cards this year. Well better get started!

Happy crafting
Kat

Getting ready for christmas…

In September I pull out my christmas craft box – this has the carried forward craft items, U.F.O’s and any items I have bought on sale post christmas to make up for this year.  It also contains fronts of christmas cards saved from last year (I am also gifted these by family and friends).  So what do I do with these?

Post christmas I toss any damaged, marked, not my style type cards. The rest I rip apart and keep the fronts. I then look at these in September and look at which ones can be upcycled – framed designs are good, small ones can be used on cards as an element and bigger ones on gift bags. This I find is best done with a cup of tea, a small guillotine, a recycle bin at the ready and a big pair of scissors.


And, the craft box, well that will be another post but I am happy with what is in it.  Those will be future posts!
Happy crafting

Kat

Copics,

I have not understood what all the fuss has been about Copics. I have always just bought what is on special not even bothering to pay attention to colour. So when I needed to replace green and brown markers I decided to buy a few to see how they went.

I headed off to my local store with a colour card – showing each colour, brand and number so I did not double up should in my excitement I want to buy more! Do make yourself a colour card not only is it useful when you go to the store it is also great to remember what colour is which when colouring. Mine is a long off cut of white card slightly longer than a bookmark.

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Well I was restrained ending up with two green (one shade difference), one brown and one purple. So when my mum requested a happy retirement card in 2 days for one of her staff I thought it would be good to try out the copics. She asked for a an A5 sized when folded card so it could be sent around work for signing, the recipient loves flowers and it should say happy retirement.

I stamped with some of my “free” stamps and set to colouring. It has been at least 2 years since I have coloured anything, technique needs work but they are vibrant, blend beautifully and a dream to use.

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This card came together in an hour thanks to some pre-assembled flowers, sticky pearls, coordinating paper and an essential sentiments pad from Hunkydory.

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Happy crafting

Kat

My entry into the Australian Simply Cards challenge

I decided it has been far too long since I have entered a competition, sent in a submission, participated in a swap or been published.  So, before christmas I noticed that Australian Simply Cards was running a competition with great prizes on offer, the rules were a little hard to work out but with the help of the lovely Judy who was also going to enter and got in touch with the magazine to clarify the rules we were on our way.

It was great to be challenged, you needed to have an advanced, intermediate and beginners card using embellishments, stamping and new techniques and using materials currently available so recent acquisitions only.  Oh dear I thought perhaps this was too challenging for my first go.  As I have blogged previously I love the effect of embossing on standard foil board and really don’t understand why more people aren’t using it so I decided this was to be my base inspiration.

I came up with three separate cards, two of which are shown below.

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The first card is a reverse gatefold with a nine patch “right” and “wrong” way gold foil embossed base with Kaiser Craft flowers, brad and ribbon.  The reverse has coordinating kaisercraft paper and a silver foil embossed square with a velcro dot to hold the card closed.

The second one uses my beloved butterfly stamp, definitely not one that is still in production by many others are available on the market.   Using a rainbow stamp pad I stamped 4 butterflies and layered them up on some curled wire which I shaped into antennae’s and mounted on coordinating strips of embossed foil board.

Even though these were returned to me and I didn’t win I was very happy with the results.  It also made me realise that I have been so bewitched  with all the beautiful embellishments you can buy now and my die cutting machine that I had forgotten all about watermarking, embossing and all the stamps I own.  So I am off to have a stamping session – pulling out some of my old favourite stamps, stamping them with archival ink of watercolour paper ready for me to colour when I am next in need of some inspiration.

Happy crafting

Kat

How to use few of my favourite things ….

My crafty friend Helen discovered this great place to pick-up ends of run and offcut card and paper quite a few years ago called Reverse Garbage.  It was a great secret – buying wallpaper samples, stardream paper, card, cardboard tubes for $1-$2 per kg shared by ourselves, teaches and a few eco-artists.  The sustainability movement is gathering pace in Oz and this has now become a fashionable and widely known place and they even know have their own facebook page.

So when I saw these sparkly little items I rushed in to purchase some for myself and the crafty gals for Easter as I knew they would disappear off the shelf quite quickly.  Whilst it is disappointing to have less bargains than we used to, it is great to see so many other crafty people trying actively to reuse and repurpose items.

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A bag of pretties is always hard for you to use but where to start?  I opened the bag sorted into colours and see what came to mind.  As I sorted they reminded me of pretty flowers and I remembered a craft friend had given me a stack of small flowers in pretty colours and I still have heaps of brads (I really must stop buying them).  Bingo!  Now just to design the card… the result, simple but beautiful.  All I had to add was a small strip of patterned paper on the inside to cover the back of the brads.

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Happy crafting all.

Kat