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A Bit Of An Update, Some More Musings, One Card, and More
I know that I write a lot in each blog post – but please don’t think that you have to read every word I’ve written. If you don’t want to know what I used and how I made a card you can just click the thumbnail images to view each card at a larger size, and then click “Back” and scroll down to the next section.
I’m slowly recovering from doing too much while I had my niece to help me, and decided to rest up before a friend’s visit this week, so unfortunately haven’t completed my tidy up or made a lot of crafted items this last week. But I thought it was time to actually put a blog post together of what I have done while there’s a chance that I’d remember what I did. I hope you like what I’ve made.
This week my thoughts have turned to – Friends.
I have some friends I’ve known since childhood. I have friends I can depend on to help me with things I can’t do myself – such as one who was kind enough to drive me to the dental surgeon’s clinic to extract one of my teeth a few weeks ago because the clinic was far too much distance away for me to drive myself. I have friends in the chapel, and I love to sit down to tea with them every now and then after services and chat about family and friends.
But being on the Internet has meant “meeting” lots of new people via a network of crafters on Craftforums and Facebook.
Some of these people I’ve met online may be classed by Facebook as “friends”, but are in actual fact more like casual aquaintences that I know very little about, other than that they craft. We “nod” at each other as we pass in cyberspace, “like” and comment on each other’s pictures and blog posts, but don’t have a lot to do with each other. I may not know a lot about them but I do like meeting these new people, and who knows how many will become “friends for life” as we meet more and more around cyberspace.
Then there are the people who’ve become closer. People who I’ve gradually got to know better, and get to know more about each day, who I’ll have more contact with in groups, who I’ll chat a bit more with about what we’ve been doing, how we’re feeling, and the odd anoyances of life. These are the people I’ll have some contact with almost every day and if I don’t see them around I wonder how their doing and notice their absence. We laugh together about the funny things and comisserate with each other because of our varied ailments.
Then there’s one extra special friend – Marion. We “met” online over three years ago. A shared interest in crafting brought us together, but although our lives have been quite different we found that we had a lot in common as well, and we were soon chatting about the anoyances in life as well as our crafting. We’re in touch via E-mail – sometimes several times a day, and sometimes a week or more goes between communications. We’ve shared some of the good times, and some of the bad. Sometimes, even with close family around, a person just needs another woman to let off steam too about both personal and especially crafting things. She was there with words of encouragement when my health and disabilities deteriorated to the point that I had to give up work, and went through the process of seeing the DWP Atos doctor for assessment for the DLA, and when I was going through the endless process of sorting out the early releace of my work pension because I couldn’t work any more and am highly unlikely to be ever able to do so before I reach pension age. She was there when a close family member was killed in a car accident – a quiet word of sympathy, letting a few other friends know when I wasn’t up to communicating with them myself. And when her health hasn’t been so good or she’s had other problems I’ve tried to be there with a few words of encouragement for her. But through all of this we’d never met in person –
– until this week! She, her partner and some family members, are staying in a holiday cottage in mid-Wales for a week and she and her partner had a day trip down here on Tuesday. Even staying in Wales it was still a bit of a trek down to our place, so they couldn’t stay as long as I’d have liked, but it was fantastic to meet for the first time and have a chat face to face. This photo of Marion and I was taken by her partner Pete in our sitting room before they left.
As this visit had been planned for a while, although the exact day in the week wasn’t decided on until the weekend, I’d stopped trying to push to finish the tidying of my crafting stash and had several days rest – and warned my friend that things would not be tidy (what with some of my stuff still being in the sitting room along with my youngest nephews toys, crafting stash, clothes and books) – as I wanted to be at my best – even if my best is nowhere near other people’s good days – so that I could sit down with them without the aches and pains getting the better of me and forceing me back to bed. (Mind you, I did head to bed and slept for a couple of hours after they left!) And guess what – she did see the things that had made it out to the passage outside my room, she did see the box of mess that had been dumped in the spare room, she did see all the signs of crafting and play in the sitting room – but the one thing I forgot to do was take her into my room and show her my craft storage and all the crafting stash I’d already got tidily in place. Now how dumb is that – I get a crafting friend in the house and I forget to show her my neat and tidy crafting stash!
(Clicking on the text links below each set of images takes you to the pages where you can see some of what I used to make the cards.)
This is a card I made a friend for her birthday. Although she’s English, and I wrote in English inside, I did use a Welsh “Penblwydd Hapus” peel-off greeting on the front of the card stuck to a panel from one of the kits I’d found. The peel-off greeting having been coloured in using a ProMarker to match with the card. Having re-discoved items that were hidden behind lots of crafting stuff that had fallen down all over the place in my craft storage corner, I’ve promised myself that I’d incorporate more of my older stash into my crafting, so this card is decorated with white die-cut flowers, branches, fences and arched gates from some sheets I found in my stash and coloured in using an assortment of ProMarkers (unfortunately I can’t find my record of the colours I’d used). I put a strip of acetate that’s slightly longer than the panel to create a bowed front that the fences and gates are attached to for stability. The butterflies where also from my stash but came black and white and I coloured them using one of the ProMarkers I’d used on the card so that they toned in. The “sky” background is a sheet of Score Perfect cardstock. The green “grassy” area is a sheet of Adorable Scorable that I’ve torn the top of, and the “path” was a sheet from a “Country Garden” kit. The whole lot is built up on an 8″ square base card.
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- The whole card.
- Closeup of flowers and butterflies.
- Closeup of fenc and gate in arch area.
This item was made for a challenge:
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- Cute Spook in Frame by Janette Padley and A Touch of Provence Card Papers by Janette Padley (I wanted to decorate a tub that I had to put little chocolates and other little gifts into that a child can dip into to pick out a goody on halloween. I put text “Ysgwydwch Agorwch Dewiswch” – which is Welsh for “Shake Open Choose”- into the frame digi-stamp and then printed it off onto 300gsm Super Smooth white cardstock at a smaller size than provided so that it was as tall as the flat side of the tub I was using. I then coloured it in using various markers: ProMarkers – Gold, Ginger, Cool Grey 1, Black; FlexMarker – Storm Blue; Zig Writer Chalk Pastel – Green; Wink of Stella: Gl. Yellow, Gl. Lt. Green. I also printed out some background designs onto the same type of cardstock. I cut a panel from one of the cardstocks and stuck it around the tub, using ultra tacky double sided tape to hold it in place. I used mycircle scissors to cut out circles from the same and another background from the same kit. I used a Black ProMarker and went around these circle, the top and bottom edge of the cardstock around the tub, colouring a bit of the white shoulder of the tub at the same time. I also went round the coloured in digi-stamp after I’d cut it out and added crack lines to the centre of the digi and the largest circle for the top. I used the same tape to attach the digi-stamp panel and the circles.)
- Angled view showing the top.
- Closup of the colouring of the digi-stamp.
This item was made for a challenge:
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- Twenties Fashion Stamp by Janette Padley (I printed the “Twenties Fashion Stamp” onto tissue paper, coloured it in using my ProMarkers, and then put it on a candle using greaseproof paper and a heat gun. The colours I used were: Pink Carnation, Pink Lobster, Wild Cranberry, Burnt Sienna, Tan. It’s decorated using hand made flowers put onto a circular base that I’d cut out using my circle scissors. It has a pink bracelet gift around it as well which I put together by adding some Mix and Mingle beads to a snake chain bracelet. And it was all done in a two and a half hour period from start to finish.
- Closeup of coloured in digi-stamp on the candle
- Closeup of bracelet
- The decorated base.
While the candle can be burnt with no problem, the decorated base is not a suitable base to use for burning the candel – it is for presentation/display purpouses only.
MAKING THINGS EASIER!
As much as we may love making dimensional cards with layers and embelishments and making our cards “extra special” and unique for special occasions – we do need to be realistic when it comes to cards that need to be posted. In my Making Things Easier section in my blog post on the 9th August I went through some of the equipment I use to check size and weight of my cards to make sure I know the correct stamp to put on them. But how can we make interesting cards and still keep them shallow enough to go through the mail using a standard Letter stamp? This is something I’ve found is especially important at Christmas time when people have lots of cards to send and don’t want the postage to cost as much as the card. With perhaps 20 or 30 cards to post more and more people want to be able to send the cards as a 2nd class letter.
What I don’t believe in scrimping on is the weight of the base card. If you don’t have a quality base card then the card will probably not stand up correctly, especially over the long period that Christmas cards are displayed for, even if the card has very little on top.
After choosing a good quality cardstock for the base of a card, lighter weight paper and cardstock can be used for building up your layers. Using mirror paper instead of mirror card for a layer can make the card a fraction shallower. You might be able to get away with using a couple of layers of 1mm deep foam tape, but building up a card using a couple of layers of 2mm deep foam tape is guaranteed to make the finished card in its envelope deeper than allowed for a standard Letter. You can even get away by dropping one layer all together by using a marker or metalic marker to go around the edge of the next layer to give it a border, thus mimicking a mat with a narrow border behind. Or using an ink pad to go round the edge of a layer. With the “keeping them shallow” Christmas cards, a nice topper image (possibly stamped and coloured which keeps the dimension down) and a couple of layers of matting are enough.
It can often be the embelishments that add that extra dimension to a card and stop it getting through the slot for a standard letter. If you like putting on ribbons on your cards you will probably find that adding a bow or a knot will be what makes it too deep for a standard letter. So consider just putting on a ribbon wrapped around, without the bow or knot. If you like putting on gems then you will usually find that the larger diameter gems are usually the ones that are taller on the card, so you may be able to get away with a 2mm diameter sticky back gem, but not a 6mm diameter gem. You may also find that a small gem that you put in the corner on the base card will be fine, but put the same gem onto the second or third layer or on the topper will be too much to allow what will otherwise go as a standard letter. Consider using a little glitter or glitter glue to add sparkle, or dot of perlescent glue. I know that some people don’t like peel-offs, but there are some that are just holographic circles or teardrop shaped that can add flat sparkle to a card without adding much dimesion.
After making, putting in an envelope, and putting through the Helix postal ruler to check that your cards will go through, a few times you’ll probably get your eye in and be better able to guage what will or will not go through the UK postal system as a standard Letter.
I know that countries other than the UK have different dimensions and different levels for their post – so the best thing to do is to familiarise yourself with your local postal system and make sure that you make an assortment of cards that will go through the post at the cheapest rate in addition to the Wow! creations that you or your customers won’t mind paying more for postage.
(While some of the things I mention in my “Making Things Easier!” pieces are things I’ve worked out for myself, some are adaptations of things I’ve learnt from tips given by others. As others have been kind enough to share their tips I thought I’d do the same. I’m sure that most of my readers will already know much of what I’ve found makes things easier for me but if it helps one person at some point I’ll be happy.)
Have a look – here – at my whole shop “Siop Crafftau MAES MIERI Crafts Shop” on craftybob.com.
20% Off Discount Code – For those of you who’ve been waiting for a code before buying for the first time, or before emptying a bit of your “wish list”, it’s here –
20% End of Month Discount Code is HUGS
Simply type the word ‘HUGS’ into the REDEEM VOUCHER box on the basket page BEFORE you check out then click
UPDATE BASKET to save a whopping 20% off your total order value! – Offer Ends 30th September 2013
CUP Mailer – Here are the links to the mailers sent out by the team at CUP HQ since my last blog post:
- Friday, 20th September – Here! – Crafty Bob’s 1p Craft Bundle, FREE CD Vol 64 & Whats HOT This Week
- Monday, 23rd September – Here! – Top Card Making Designs selected by CUP’s Community
- Wednesday, 25th September – Here! – 20% Money Off Coupon, 1p Craft Bundle & Community News
Craftsuprint have a “Mailer Archive” where you can go to get links to mailers sent out over the last few months. This can be seen by clicking – here.
You can see my page on Facebook by clicking – here.
You can see the cards I’ve 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.)
(Thank you for reading this far. I hope you like what you’ve seen and read – You should find a box below where you can leave a comment if you feel like it – if you can’t see the comment box then there should be a link that says “Responses” and clicking on that will bring up the box – but due to the fact that, like many I’m sure, I’ve had some problems with Spam/advertising posts that are absolutely nothing to do with the content of my blog, I now moderate all comments before they go live. Genuine comments will go live when I’ve checked through the list – usually a couple of times a day.)
(Thank you to every body who’s left comments on my previous blog posts. I really do appreciate them all.)