I’ve done crafting in one form or another for as long as I can remember. I started making cards a long time ago, long before there were such things as craft channels on TV and CD-ROMs and digital downloads specifically for card-makers and paper crafters. I started to make cards because I’m Welsh and, at the time, buying a card that had Welsh greetings on it were far more expensive than the equivalent card in English. I think the prices are closer these days, but after starting to create my own I never wanted to go back to sending people shop bought cards.
You’ll see little thumbnail images of some of the cards I’ve made lately dotted around this blog post (I’d normally be putting in full details of each, together with a link to where the design sheet I’d used to make them can be found within any post, but this is more by way of a “thoughts” post rather than a “show and tell” post, so if you want more details then click on the link to my card gallery right at the bottom of this post and you’ll get to click through to see the full details.)
Of course, like many of my crafting friends out there, once I started making one type I wanted to try something else, then another technique, then different glitters, then different papers, then various digital designs, then a cutting machine, then …… – well I’m sure you all know what I mean.
Since my health and disabilities deteriorated, (and I was spending more and more time off work recuperating from one thing or another, culminating in my having to take early retirement on the grounds of ill health/disabilities) I’ve had more time to play and experiment with my cardmaking. It’s one thing I can do, even on a lap-tray in bed, despite my disability problems, so is an ideal hobby for me.
It also means that I’ve had more time to browse around sites such as craftsUprint which have such a wide variety of digital files to buy and download for crafters, as well as browsing around the Internet on sites such as eBay and Create & Craft, etc., for crafting goodies.
And not just browsing sites that sell digital or physical crafting goodies, but using the Internet to connect with other people who love crafting by using forums and Facebook and receiving update E-mails to keep up to date with what’s going on out there in the big wide world.
Do you get the craftsUprint promotional mailshot? The E-mail comes out three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and include things like:
- a Showcase of designers work;
- Card Maker Spotlight;
- ‘New From’;
- the Latest News on things like people going up the scale from Bronze to Silver; or Silver to Gold;
- up and coming events such as the fact that the CUP team and Crafty Bob will be at the NEC the end of this week;
- CUP TV episodes;
- special discount codes when they are available;
It’s a good way to keep up with what’s happening on the craftsUprint site. If you want to sign up for this E-mail, and receive “4 exclusive FREE downloads !” then click-> here – to go to the signing up page on the site.
You can see an example of the one that was sent out on 21-3-11 by clicking -> here.
Mother’s Day Card Competition
You’ll notice that there’s a prominent notice in that update I’ve just given a link to that lets everybody know that the “Mothers Day Competition – March 2011” has closed for entries and is now open for votes. All the entries can be seen -> here – on craftsUprint’s forum/sister site http://www.craftforums.co.uk/. Please do go and have a look, and click through from the thumbnail images to see a larger photo of each of the entries. You will see a whole array of different looking cards and different styles. You don’t need to be a registered user on Craftforums to view the entries. You will however need to register if you want to place a vote, which you can do by clicking -> here – and following the instructions.
Of course Craftforums, with all its areas, isn’t the only “add on” to the craftsUprint site. In addition to all the fantastic digital downloads you can buy to use in your crafting from craftsUprint – there’s the “Crafty Bob Bingo” where anybody who’s a customer of CUP can ask for a bingo card and play along. The numbers are put online on CUP -> here – every two hours. And there are prizes of – “one £20 FOUR CORNERS AND A CENTRE prize and one £100 FULL HOUSE prize will be paid per game”. The other prize giving activity on CUP is hunting for Crafty Bob. He goes into hiding on a page somewhere on the CUP site and it’s up to somebody to find him to get the prize. The prize Bob Pot goes up the longer Crafty Bob is in hiding and isn’t found. It’s gone up to over £400 a couple of times. Now that’s a prize worth having I think you’ll all agree.
Another thing I’ve started with during the last six months is to have an account with Facebook -> here. Many of my Facebook Friends are other members of Craftforums, but I’ve also started expanding my circle of friends further out into the crafting community and beyond. It is so interesting to see what people are up to and what cards and other crafty items people are making. It’s amazing how much material is now available for crafters and what can be made with this material with a little inspiration. I am in awe of the talent amongst my FB Friends.
After being a “Helpdesk and Web Technician” as the first port of call for all IT Problems for a whole county’s schools (around the 150 mark of schools), and come across a lot of web nasties in that time because people were merrily clicking on everything (novelty value of something new and the blind/incorrect belief that everything on the www is good and to be used), I have changed my FB settings from the standard setting, and also review them from time to time as FB keep on changing things. I also decided early on that I didn’t want to start using any of the FB games and other apps, (especially in view of the fact that so many of them wanted the right to gather all sort of information about me and the right to post to my Wall, etc., before I could even take a look yet alone start playing), as what I was reading made it seem to me that the games took a lot of time and were quite high maintenance. Plus, lots of the FB nasties ask for permission and pretend that they are useful apps when they are not.
I also know that many of my FB Friends use FB to keep in touch with family and close friends all over the world, but I don’t, so I have no need to “re-post” all sorts of things to do with having a favourite niece, the best Mum, etc., as I see them, speak to them on the phone, or am in constant E-mail touch with them and can tell them in person, so please don’t think I’m odd by not re-posting everything I see. This includes raising awareness of causes or hoping that a cure will be found for this condition or that illness. If it doesn’t actually include any real information that will help make people aware of exactly what it is, (or a link to somewhere with real information about whatever is being talked about, or information about collecting money to support those affected or find a cure), I see little point in copying. I prefer to have some real information, such the link I got on FB lately going to a page raising money for SANDS (Stillbirth & Neonatal Death Charity) which included information about what it was about. One thing I do try to do is use my cardmaking to help charities by sending them away to help raise money for some charities.
Charity Cards Group
Started as a little venture for members of Craftforums, under the wing of the very dedicated Diane Scotland, is a Charity Cards Group I’ve been sending handmade cards to. Just one card is all that is asked for, but most of us send in a few more each month if we are able. The cards are then photographed by Diane and displayed in a category/album in the Craftforums for us all to see. Diane then boxes the whole lot up and takes them to a different charity each month, sometimes two charities if a lot were sent in to her. The charities then sell the cards in their charity shops to raise money for their cause. So far, amongst other things, we’ve helped – Macmillan Cancer; CHAS (Children’s Hospice Association); PDSA (People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals); British Red Cross; Save The Children; etc. I find that it is actually something I can do to help worthy causes despite my health/disability issues.
I can see that my few thoughts have now become a whole lot of thoughts, and I haven’t even touched on many things I thought about before I started writing. Oh Well, Never mind. Another day.
You can see the cards Ive made using design sheets from CUP in my Crafter Showcase Area on Craftsuprint.com – here
(Just scroll down past the top boxes to see the cards.)