Sunday, February 12, 2012

Valentine Lollipop Flowers

Hello!  Meredith and I have finally, FINALLY finished the lollipop flowers, and not a moment too soon- Valentine's Day is in 2 days!  They were a lot of work, but Meredith is happy with them, and that is what counts.

I know my pictures are a little wonky, but I've been experimenting with using a daylight bulb, and don't quite have it all figured out yet!  I think it might be the answer to some of my lighting problems, but I have some work yet to do to get it all worked out.  Anyway, aren't they cute??  The tissue paper is delicate, so it doesn't take much for them to start looking a bit bedraggled, but they spruce up easily.  All I can say is that I am glad this project is done!

In other news, something very, very exciting happened last week...but I can't talk about it just yet.  I will just tell you that I got the biggest custom order I have ever gotten, and it is going to be one of the most challenging as well, but I am so looking forward to doing it!  I have about a month to do the project, so I will reveal more about it when it is all done.  It is going to keep me very busy for the next few weeks, so I may not have anything to share here until it's done, but it will be well worth it!  Already the work I have done on the project has made me expand my ideas beyond what I am used to doing, and it has given me so many new ideas.  It is always great to work on a project that makes you reassess your regular routine methods!  I have some new ways of looking at things now, and that is going to bring some fresh perspective to my work and my future products.  So, I will share more when I can!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Custom Bookmark Project

Hello!  Well, Valentine's Day is less than 2 weeks away, and traffic is really picking up in my Etsy shop!  I have sold a couple of cards already, and yesterday received a custom order for a bookmark and gift envelope.  I was/am so excited!!  I love custom work, maybe more than anything else.  It is fun to make my own creations, but I love helping someone else bring their visions to life.  I got a convo from a nice guy who asked if I could customize a blue butterfly delphiuim bookmark and make a gift envelope for it.  His sweetie loves blue, so he wanted to start with my basic design and replace the yellow ribbon with a blue one.  No problem of my biggest weaknesses is ribbon!  You should see my stash- I buy way too much because it is an affordable luxury, so I have way more than I should!  We also talked about some ways to customize both the bookmark design and the envelope that I would create.  I am really happy with what I came up with, and the customer seems happy as well, from the photos I sent him.

Here's the bookmark.  Basic design, except I replaced the middle layer with the blue/purple mottled paper, which works really well with these colors.

The customer requested an envelope to match, and asked for a seal with a shape I did not have.  I suggested some alternatives, including other shapes such as circles, squares, or hearts, and threw out the suggestion of creating a seal with a pressed flower.  I have not done it before, but had some ideas on how it could be done.  He liked the idea, so I went with it, and I love it!!  I will definitely be doing this again!

Above is the envelope and a close-up of the seal.  It was pretty simple really:  I glued the pressed flower to a piece of card stock and then covered it with a piece of clear packing tape.  Yes, just regular packing tape- it worked beautifully!  Then I punched the circle out using a 1" circle punch.  The patterned paper was punched with a 1.5 inch scalloped circle punch, and the circle with the flower was adhered to it, to make the seal.  I adhered it to the top flap of the envelope with the ATG, and did something different with the bottom half this time.  Usually I use the temporary adhesive, but it is kind of flakey and doesn't stick real well sometimes.  So this time I used a peel-and-stick adhesive.  That way, the customer can seal up the envelope before giving it to his sweetie.  I think it will work out great, and am really happy with the outcome!

Meredith and I are still working on the lollipop flowers for her class Valentines, and am about halfway through now.  We have another weekend to work on them, so I am not panicking quite yet. ;)  I think we should be able to finish with no problem.   She has been a real trooper with getting the tissue paper cut out and forming the flowers!  They are going to be really cute in the end!

That's all for now!  Coming up in the next couple of weeks, I hope to finish the flowers, plus make a birthday card for my sister, who is turning the big 5-0 at the end of the month.  See you later!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Washi Paper Cards and a Never Ending Birthday Card

I'm back to report on what I did last weekend, which was to increase my stock of cards in my shop.  I have had the Japanese washi paper for quite awhile now and have made several bookmarks with it, but had never done any cards until I did this one for my BFF Kendra's birthday card.  I love washi paper- it is so detailed and intricate, with such vivid colors!  I decided to make some cards with the stock that I have, since the washi bookmarks are not real big sellers.  Turns out I had way more washi paper than I remembered buying!  I had 8 different designs, so I made a set of two with each.

I really had a lot of fun putting these together.  The designs are pretty simple: card base with a coordinating layer on top of that, and the washi paper framed in gold, with horizontal gold ribbon on the lower quarter.  I wanted to keep the design pretty uncomplicated and let the beauty of these gorgeous papers speak for themselves and have the spotlight.  They all have a little bit of metallic gold running through them, and that is why I framed each one in gold and have the accent ribbon, to bring that out.  The cards are blank inside, with either white or off-white liners, depending on the colors in the cards.  I love them and think they are gorgeous!  (I might be just a little biased, though.)  I did list these in my shop, and sadly they are not getting much attention.  As of today, a few of them had one view each.  :(  It could be that I have overpriced them...I did see cheaper sets in other shops, but honestly I think my designs are much more put together than the other ones I saw.  Besides, washi paper is NOT cheap- $2 for one 8.5x11 sheet,  not to mention all the ATG adhesive I went through for all these layers!  I will give it some time, since right now the rush is on for Valentine's Day cards.

Speaking of which, my Valentine cards that I posted previously are getting plenty of views, and have been featured in several treasuries as well- but still no sales.  I would sure like to sell at least one, just so I know that my stuff is worthy!

This was the other project I took on over the weekend, a never ending birthday card for one of my daughters friends, who is having a birthday party coming up this weekend.  She's into all the cute tween fashions, and every time I see her she is wearing a funky headband or bow or scrunchie or something, and seems to favor animal prints and bright colors.

This last picture is an envelope that I made for the card, since I have not been able to find envelopes in the dimensions I need for these 6x6 never ending cards.  They are not too difficult to make, and I kind of like the fact that I can make them to match the cards.  For the ones I have listed in my shop, I made plain white or off-white envelopes, but for this one, which is not going in the mail, I got a little more creative.  I hope she likes it!

Next I need to work on the lollipop flowers that my daughter and I are doing for her Valentines for her class.  We have all the stuff we need to make them but have barely gotten started, and it's already the first of February!  I've also got some other ideas floating around in my head for new products, so I'm hoping that sometime in the near future I can start working on those. much to do and so little time!