Sunday, July 10, 2011

An Idea I'm Working On

Howdy!  So nice that it is summer, the kids are out of school and most activities, and I have more time to craft!  I've had this idea floating around in my head for awhile, and I finally started experimenting to see how it would actually work.  I haven't been doing much in the way of bookmarks lately, in favor of developing my card-making skills, but I've wanted to figure out a way to incorporate them both.  At first I thought about doing a card that has a bookmark attached, and I might explore that idea at some point, but for now, I'm pursuing another idea: a bookmark and card gift pack.  I designed a simple gift envelope for a bookmark (still tweaking the dimensions and basic design) and a card, all of which have matching designs.  My initial experiment is with a very simple patterned bookmark, no pressed flowers, but in the future I will see about doing something with the flower bookmarks as well.  Here is what I came up with:
Here's the card.  I have had this cute paper for awhile, creme with a black floral pattern.  The card base is black, then has a layer of a light beige crinkle-textured paper (love that stuff!  I got it at Target a year and a half ago, and can't find it anywhere now).  Then the patterned paper is framed in black as well.  I stamped the messages on pieces of creme paper in black, and embossed them.  These are also framed in black.  I punched the flower out with a 1" flower punch in two layers, and used the rounded end of a paintbrush to sort of curl the petals in the center.  The leaf is punched in black with a MS leaf punch and glued to the card.  The flower is attached with a small black brad.  I have never used brads before, but I like it- now I would like to get a few different sizes to try on other things.
This is the inside of the card, stamped in black, not embossed.  I need to work on not stamping crooked!
This is the back side of the gift envelope.  I made this using my MS scoring board, then glued strips of paper on in coordinating colors/patterns to the card.
The front of the envelope.  The seal was punched out in black using a 1.5 inch scalloped circle punch, and layered with a 1" circle punched out of the floral pattern paper.  A strip of the patterned paper was adhered to the edge of the envelope flap.  I put temporary adhesive on the part of the seal that sticks to the envelope, so that it is easily opened and can restick.
And here is the bookmark.  As I said, simple design, black border with the floral pattern paper, laminated, and topped with a black ribbon.  I tied the ribbon in a bow to place it in the envelope, so that it would not hang out.  The bookmark is adhered to the inside of the envelope with temporary adhesive, so it is easily removed.
And here is the whole gift package together!

I had a lot of fun putting this together, and am already dreaming up new designs!  I would like to work on the structure of the envelope- maybe round the flap or soemething along those lines.  I've also played with the idea of using velcro for the enclosure, but not sure I would want to bump up the production costs for that.  Next I will be playing with designs that use the pressed flower bookmarks.  I have yet to find a good way to make a card with pressed flowers that keeps the flower protected, so I'm thinking I will use the one-flower bookmarks that use patterned paper, so that I can use the same paper on the card and envelope.

Here is another card I did last weekend.  We went to some friends' house for the 4th of July, and she had just gotten back from CA where she went for her step-father's funeral.  I had seen a sympathy card design that I liked in my book, so used that as a guide on the design.  My colors and stamps were not exactly as the one in the book, and it didn't come out as nice as the one in the book, but my friend seemed to like it:

 I did not have a sympathy stamp, so I hand-wrote the sentiment on this one in silver gel pen.  I used a crinkle technique from my book on the creme paper base- very easy!  Just spray the paper slightly with water, then wad up into a ball, flatten, and dry.  I used a dry iron on a dish towel over the paper to flatten and speed up the drying.  I then stamped it with a leaf stamp using a mossy green ink.  The striped square is made with an orange paper that I mottled with a goldish yellow ink, then stamped in with white ink with a stripe stamp.  The card in the book used a pinstripe stamp, which I could not find, so this worked as a substitute.  Anyway, it's not the best card I've ever made, but it worked.

That's it for this week!  I was going to get started on my Christmas cards for the Christmas in July swap, but decided not to just yet, since sign-ups go through the end of the month, so I'd rather wait until I know how many I need to make.  I do have all the supplies for them- although if I have to make more than 4 of them, I might have to go back to JoAnn's and get more of one of the papers.

I have a new project on the horizon, and that is an anniversary card for some very dear friends of ours who are having their 20th anniversary this week.  They are going to be throwing themselves an anniversary party in a couple of weeks, so this is a chance for me to try a card I have not done before- it is challenging, but fun, to do something other than birthday cards!

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