Sunday, January 26, 2014

Custom Valentine Card Project

Awhile back, I mentioned that I have a very nice repeat customer who likes to order my cards for his girlfriend.  I did an exploding box card for her birthday back in October, and he reported back to me that she loved it!  Well, the New Year was barely upon us when I got a message from him.  He was already thinking about Valentine's Day, and wanted to order something special for his girlfriend again.  (Is he a keeper or what?!)  My immediate thought was "uh oh..."  He got her a never-ending Valentine card last year, and then the exploding box for her birthday, and those are pretty much the top of my line.  I was pondering ideas on what I could possibly do to follow up an exploding box, when he suggested a mini photo scrapbook card.  What a GREAT idea!  I have never done one before, but heck, I'll try anything once.  (Except haggis.  I have to draw the line there.  But I digress.)

So, a scrapbook...I have never gotten into scrapbooking for some reason.  I guess I like doing shorter-term projects than a huge scrapbook album that takes forever, and that's why I stick to cards and bookmarks.  But this was an intriguing idea, and I felt up to the challenge.  I suggested a standard 5x7 size, and he agreed, but wanted a center page added.  It took me a couple of days to work out how I was going to do that.  I didn't want to use staples, and glue wouldn't be stable enough, so had to figure out some other way to secure a center page.  One night when I was having a bit of insomnia, I started thinking about the possibility of sewing it in, like a book.  It worked out pretty well!  The center page is actually a 2 pages from one folded piece of card stock that is adhered together to create one page.  I sewed in the page before adhering the two sides together so that the stitching is not visible on the inside.  It was on the outside spine though, so I just cut a strip of card stock in the same color, folded it, and adhered it on to cover the stitching.

With the technical aspects taken care of, I turned my attention to design.  I went through my Valentine paper stash and didn't find anything I thought would be appropriate.  One challenge I was facing was the fact that I had already used a red/pink color scheme on the birthday exploding box, so didn't want to do something that was too similar to that.  But it's Valentine's Day, and those are the traditional colors.  I scoured my local craft stores for a paper to inspire me, but came up empty- everything was too cutesy, and I was going for a more elegant feel for this.  I started looking online, and found a paper I liked, and took off from there.

So, here are the pictures of the finished product:

This is the front.  The right panel folds over and ties closed with the ribbon.

This is the first open page.  The sentiment, provided by the customer, says "To the woman who makes my day just by being there".  How sweet is that?!  He asked me to put an area by each photo where he could write a note, so that's what the blank white areas are.
And the second open page.  (Note that I have blurred out the faces to protect their privacy.)  Since the paper I used is pretty subtle with the Valentine theme, I added some fun heart embellishments on all of the pages.

Now, notice that the front has some 3-D roses.  I really liked it with the roses, but it presented a problem of not being able to fit into a standard envelope.  So, like I have done in the past for the never-ending cards, I made a custom envelope, this one 3/4 inch thick to accommodate the roses.

It closes with Velcro, which is what the black rectangle is in the second picture.

So, that's it!  I am happy with it, and when I sent the final pictures to the customer, he said he was very happy as well.  I can't wait for him to see it up close, and especially for his lovely girlfriend to see it!  I hope she likes it!

In other news:
I am working on organizing our first Salem Etsy Team Valentine sale!  We are having it at the same venue that we had the holiday sale, so since I've done the floor plan once, I can use the same one for this sale.  I have always wanted to do a Valentine sale (well, a successful one, that is, unlike the one from last year), so I have high hopes for this one!  Now that I am done with the above custom order, I am busy making new cards in preparation.  A few are listed in my shop already.  Once the Valentine hoopla is over, I will have to start preparing for the 2nd annual Jane Austen Faire, which is in April this year.  Last year's was a huge success, so I am looking forward to this year!

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