Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Blog Feature

Hello!  I only have time to post a quick update, and will have to post pics of my most recent cards later.  But I did want to note that I am honored to have a card on a feature blog today!  I was notified by the blog owner yesterday that an item of mine would be featured, but she did not say which item.  So I logged on this morning to see the feature, which is titled "Hearts and Flowers", and immediately I knew!  Please check it out here:

I'll be back soon with a more thorough update!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

New Valentine Cards

I dashed off a few Valentine cards yesterday, in the hopes that I can take advantage of the fact that Valentine's Day is only a few weeks off now.  I noticed that there weren't a lot of cards in masculine colors on Etsy when I went browsing, so I tried to make a few designs that were more masculine in tone.  I cranked out several cards yeserday, which was made easier by the fact that they are all basically the same design, just with different colors and patterns.  Here are a few:

I also did a few fun, funky ones that used some paper I've had for awhile but hadn't used yet.  These would be cute for tween girls, or anyone with a fun personality!

I deliberately left these blank inside with no sentiment.  That way, if these do not sell for Valentine's Day, I can keep them in my shop and market them as love cards.

I also got the stuff for Meredith and I to make lollipop flowers for her to hand out at her class Valentine's Day party.  You might remember these from last year- this time, I am doing the flowers with tissue paper instead of card stock.  I bought the Sizzix Tattered Flower die set, and am looking forward to using it!  Kendra has had it for awhile and it is one of her favorite dies.  We have lots of lollipop flowers to make, so it is going to take awhile, which is why we're getting started early.

My daughter has a couple of friends' birthday parties coming up, and I'm thinking I will do neverending cards for both of them.  I was going to try to work on one today, but ended up cooking for most of the day, so that will have to wait til next time!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

More Valentine's Stuff

I'm having fun cranking out a few Valentine items!  I'm loving these neverending cards- they are so much fun to make!  I just listed two more in my shop.  Check these out:

This one is kind of different- not exactly traditional Valentine colors, but I like it a lot!

This next one was the first Valentine neverending card I made.  I debated about whether to list it or not, and finally decided to this evening:

I need to retake these pics when the lighting is better- I know they are a bit washed out, but hopefully you get the idea!

Finally, I did two Valentine bookmark and card gift packs with gift envelopes for the bookmarks:

I stuck to traditional Valentine colors for these, and the bookmark designs are ones I have done before.  I like them for Valentine's day though- they are appropriate for the occasion without being exclusive to it, know what I mean?  I mean, you can use these bookmarks all year around.

Anyway, just wanted to do that quick share!  I might try to do a few more Valentine items this weekend, but soon I am going to start focusing on Easter and Mother's Day.  They're just around the corner!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

New Bookmarks and a Neverending Valentine Card

I haven't had much time to craft for the past couple of weeks, so this weekend I devoted lots of time to catching up with all the ideas running around in my head!  First up are a few bookmarks.  I am trying to get a little more bold with my designs, and incorporated more patterned papers into these than I have in the past.  Here are a few of the ones I completed today:

I have shown both sides of the bookmarks so that you can see the patterned reverse sides.   I think they are fun!  I enjoyed playing with some color combinations that are different from what I typically go for.

I also worked on a personalized bookmark for a friend of my daughter's who will be having a birthday soon.  I had an ulterior motive with this as well: I wanted to list personalized bookmarks in my Etsy shop that are laser printed, rather than using the alpha stickers.  I have made a number of them in the past to give as gifts, and finally decided to offer them in the shop as well.  So here is my sample, which doubles as a gift for my daughter's friend.
I used those gorgeous purple carnations, along with a dark plum purple and teal borders, and a purple and teal patterned paper on the back.  You've seen that paper before, and it is one of my favorites! I was glad to see that I had one more sheet of it in the pad that it came in so that I could use it here.

Finally, I've been working on Valentine neverending cards with varying success.  The first one I did turned out OK, but I didn't think it was good enough to list in my shop.  I made another one yesterday, and liked it better, so I have listed it, along with the new bookmarks.  I used some papers from a Valentine pad that I got at Michaels a couple of weeks ago, and what's great about those pads is that all of the papers coordinate, so it's easy to put a design together!

On the front, I used layered hearts that were cut out with a Sizzix die on my Big Shot.  I cut these in half and attached them so that the two halves meet and form the whole heart.  The two halves that you see on the outer edges actually flip around and form the whole heart when you open the card- of course they are on the back instead.  The first fold reveals a Happy Valentine's Day sentiment and a blank space to write a message.

One thing that has caused me delays in getting a neverending card listed in my shop is the lack of an envelope.  These cards are 6x6 inches, and the only square envelopes I have been able to find in a store are 5.5x5.5 inches.  I found larger ones online, but they are expensive, especially with shipping.  So, I decided to make my own envelope!  My first one was a little rough, but the second was better, and I know what I need to do to make it even better now.  I'll still need to get some adhesive with the peel-off backing to close the envelope with, so will drop by Michaels' to pick some up soon.

I love these neverending cards, but they do take a long time to make, which is why I haven't done many of them.  I'm hoping to do a few more for my shop, but time is getting short, since Valentine's Day is now less than a month away!  Maybe I will have a few more to show you next time.

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Stuff for the New Year

Happy New Year all!  Hope everyone enjoyed their New Year's holiday.  Ours was low-key, just hung out at home and watched movies.  It has been sooooo nice being off work for a couple of weeks, and it is going to be sooooo hard to go back to work tomorrow!

I have a couple of new things to share today.  First are a couple of new bookmarks I just listed in my shop.  One is a new design, and one is an old favorite, but both of them have a new twist- they are double-sided bookmarks!  First up is the new one:
These are crysanthemums, aka daisies.  They're a lot different from the ones I usually use, which are smaller and more uniformly colored.  I really like these because they are so different.  These are natural, not dyed- aren't they gorgeous?!  Only thing about these is they are pretty large.  These were the smallest ones in the package I got, and they just barely fit on the background.  I just love that rich purple color in the flowers.  It made it very easy to pick border and background colors!

This is the reverse side:
I used a funky patterned paper in purple and gold.  It's hard to tell from the picture, but the gold pattern has a sparkly, glittery finish.  This paper came from the same paper pad as the papers I used for my mom's and my friend E's birthday cards.

Here is the other bookmark.  This was one of my first designs, the sparkly snowflake:
And the reverse side:
I used a snowflake patterned paper that matches the border color pretty well- love this bright blue!  I'm not sure why I didn't think of adding patterned paper to the back of the bookmarks before now...it seems so obvious!  I think it adds a little something special.  You can't see in these pics, but my shop label is still on the bottom of the reverse side.

Also, I have finally listed custom bookmark gift envelopes in my shop, which I have been planning to do now for awhile and just didn't get around to it.  I am curious to see how much interest there might be in these- I know that the people I've done them for previously really liked them and gave me great feedback, so I hope that means that they are something that will be of interest to future customers who buy my bookmarks as gifts.

Crazy to think, but Valentine's Day is only a few weeks away!  Michael's already has the Christmas stuff out and the Valentine's stuff in.  I went yesterday and picked up some papers with Valentine designs and colors, and am experimenting with never-ending Valentine cards.  I have one done so far, and like it- I just have to figure out how to put sentiments on/in it.  The way they get folded in different ways, any sentiments will be upside-down in some views, so I have to work on how to do that.  My other dilemma is that I don't have envelopes that a never-ending card can fit into.  They are 6x6 inches, and the square envelopes I found awhile back at JoAnn's are 5.5x5.5.  Arrghh!  Guess I will have to search online.

One other piece of news I wanted to share, and it affects this blog somewhat.  Occasionally I post a Kitchen Creation here, an original recipe that I want to share, and I will no longer be doing that.  I have decided to branch out and create a new blog, just for my cooking stuff.  I have thought about doing this for years- even longer than I have had this blog, and decided that the new year was a good time to finally make it happen!  My new cooking blog is called Common Sense Cooking, and I hope you will check it out!  I thought up the name for this blog years ago, and wish now that I had reserved the blog domain for commonsensecooking then, because by the time I wanted to register it, it was taken by someone else.  So please make sure that if you type in the address, you put in the dashes- it should be "common-sense-cooking".  I already have my first two recipes up, so read and enjoy!  I will, of course, continue with this blog- it's not going anywhere!

Hopefully next time I will have some never-ending Valentine cards to share.  I might also attempt some regular Valentine cards, as I'd really like to start stocking my shop with more cards.  See you then!