A couple of posts ago I mentioned that I actually enjoy making the 15 hour, $400 card; however, when time and money are limited resources, my trick for getting a lot with a little is to limit myself to a single paper pack and a single stamp set.
The gaps in my card stash include little kid birthday cards, thank you, and new baby. Using one paper pack - Animal Crackers (comes with 16 sheets of paper, 8 each of 2 patterns, and wide, white ribbon) and one stamp set - Nursery Bash, (and a stamp from the Thank You set- I know that makes it two stamp sets, but oh well) I made several cards to fill stash gaps.
When I first purposed to make all my own greeting cards, I had a few goals in mind. First, I would challenge myself to greater levels of creativity, I would save myself shopping time and money, and I would always have a card readily available for any occasion. The first step was to spend about 8 - 9 hours online finding a great card to copy, then I purchased a couple thousand dollars worth of supplies and tools to make the card, then I spent another week in my studio crafting the final creation. I repeat these steps for every new card-making event.
This system still works well for me most of the time; however, if I need to produce something quickly it's fun to see what I can do in just ten minutes.
The trick to a 10-minute card is to keep materials to a minimum. I've used baby pink, black, and white cardstock, two stamp sets that I had out anyway, a piece of ribbon, and the first black embellishments I came to when I started rummaging.
That's right: bbq apron invitations - does it get any better than this? Aren't these just off the "Stinkin' Cute" chart?
They truly are easy. I just made a regular A2 card (4.25 x 5.5 inches) with the fold on top, and I used the oval coluzzle to make the arm holes. The stamp set was CTMH Grill It Up (retired) The little utensils are part of the stamp set - I heat embossed them with copper EP, and cut them out. There were many invitations to do, and I quickly bored with cutting out little utensils, which is why some aprons have them and others don't.
Materials: All CTMH
I like a nice wide ribbon with wire edges for the glass blocks; however, any size will work. For this ribbon I used two colors together - black and maroon. The two will make for a nice full bow. You will also need some wire to wrap around the bow and wire cutters to snip the wire. Sometimes I encounter frustrations when bow-tying, so I always keep a glass of wine available. The hand model that I hired called in sick, so I had to use my own hands which were ink stained.
Start by pulling lots of ribbon off the spool, I'm not sure how to quantify "lots", but it's more than a little. I will try to be more specific as we go on.
Leaving about a 6 - 8 inch tail, I make a loop that is about 5 - 6 inches long. How long you make it depends on how big you want your final product to be. I make my first 4 loops a little longer than the final loops. Anyway, after I make the loop I twist it a full 360 degrees.
Then I make another loop and I twist the ribbon again. The twisting makes the ribbon hold together better - much easier than trying to manage loose ribbon that is bunching between my finger and thumb. Twisting the ribbon also keeps it turned in the right direction.
Continue with the loop-twist-looping until you have a nice handful of loops. I always do an odd number - usually 7 or 9. This is because my highschool art teacher always stressed the importance of odd numbers. Someday I'll do an even number of loops and see if it produces an unsightly bow.
When I my bow is adequately looped, I wrap wire around it -really tightly- about four or five times. I add a tiny loop to cover the wire wrap, and then I wrap my little loop. This becomes the center of the bow.
Once I have the bow tightly wrapped, I clip the wire and I "fluff it up" twisting the ribbon, opening up the loops so the aren't squished together and I form it into a pleasing shape. See the small loop in the center? That's the final loop that I made while I was wrapping the wire.
The final step is to wrap ribbon around the block and tie it off at the top leaving tails. Use some wire to tie the bow to the top of the ribbon. I also use a little Liquid Glass to hold the bow a bit more securely. Trim the edges of the ribbon and enjoy!
Here's an inside shot.
All materials are CTMH unless otherwise noted:
- Circle Album
- Paper Garden paper pack
- Paper Garden Stickease
- Colonial White ribbon collection
- assorted buttons
- Frame of Mind stamp set
- Cricut cutouts
The first step is to drill a hole in the glass block. I can best describe this as a magical process about which I know nothing.
I bring home a box of blocks from Lowe's; my husband takes them out to his shop, works his magic and delivers them to my studio with holes drilled into the bottom of each of them. I think diamond drill bits are part of the process, but that's just a guess.
Were I ever to ever learn how to drill holes, I'd probably be expected to do it myself. Better that I save my energy for the vastly more important work of stamping.
Christmas lights - small strand that you can stuff into the block
Stazon black ink pad
Stamp of choice - I used a grape set from CTMH
I cut out two pieces of mulberry paper slightly larger than the block.
Now for the fun part - coloring. I do this in different ways. This stamp set is two-part; so there are outline stamps and inside stamps. When possible I stamped the inside of the image using the appropriate color of ink.
Oh yeah, it's messy. Be sure to have a good absorbent pad under your mulberry paper.
In fact, the pursuit of artistic courage is messy, often involving ink that strays beyond the Stazon border. (maybe we need Staz In - hahahaha)
This next step began as an attempt to hide some particularly messy coloring, but I liked the outcome so well that I use it on almost all the blocks now.
Finally, stuff the lights in the hole.