Thursday, October 12, 2017

Simple Birthday Card Set {5 Helpful Tips for Mass-producing Cards!}

I'm not sure why, but I have a huge sense of satisfaction when I use up a big stash of paper scraps, and make a giant stack of handmade cards. During the hurricane a few weeks ago, I made about 60 cards. Super simple, and with really cute paper that had been sitting in a bucket for far too long. I'll use the cards for gift sets for my kids' teachers, friends and family, and occasionally I sell sets of seasonal cards as well.

Inspired by those quick and simple cards, i created one to share with all of you! For this one, I used new paper and an AWESOME stamp from Fun Stampers Journey. I am obsessed with this Make A Wish stamp, along with it's coordinating die. The holiday season is almost upon us - plus, there are so many people who could use a happy handmade thought from each of us.

So whether you plan to mass-produce cards to share with others, or to package up and give as gifts, here are a few of my tips for mass-producing handmade cards:

1. KEEP IT SIMPLE - 
This is probably the most important tip so if you retain only ONE thing from me, this should be it. I can't tell you how many times I have decided to make a bunch of coordinating cards, and then realize I am in WAY over my head, and the cards are taking much too long.

2. USE WHAT YOU LOVE - 
This tip has two meanings. First, do you hoard printed paper and products that you love so much you don't want to use them? JUST USE THEM. They're bringing no one joy, if they're shoved in a drawer.  Secondly, when making a whole bunch of something, you're going to lose interest if you hate the paper or hate the stamps you're using. Many times, I stick with one layout, but then mix up the sentiments, or mix up the papers, depending on what I have. But either way, if you don't love it, you're going to hate it. ;)

3. WORK ASSEMBLY-LINE STYLE -
Once you've established your (simple - yes simple) card design, tackle each step at one time. Trim and fold a stack of card bases. Then, trim patterned paper to the appropriate size. Stamp the sentiments, and trim or die-cut. Then begin to assemble your cards. This will take far less time, than working from start to finish on each card.

4. THINK AHEAD ON SIZES - 
Speaking of trimming paper...A standard card size is usually 4.25x5.5. BUT if you have lots of 12x12 cardstock you'd like to use for card bases, make them 4x5.5 instead. No one will notice the difference, and that way you can get THREE card bases from each 12x12 sheet. In addition, think about your patterned paper sizes. Depending on whether you're using 6x6 or 12x12 printed paper, determine your project layout to maximize your paper. (If you need inspiration, check out my Pinterest board where I've been collecting projects that are perfect for mass-producing projects with patterned paper.)

5. BE A BARGAIN SHOPPER- 
Cards need envelopes. If you plan to give card sets as holiday gifts, (or throughout the year) start using coupons for your big box craft/hobby store, or watch for sales on envelopes. Grab the envelopes throughout the year, and then you'll have them handy when you compile a quick card set. 

I hope these tips will help you get into your stash, create for others, and have FUN, and spread JOY. Having fun and spreading joy is what it should all be about! Thanks so much for stopping by today! Super big crafty hugs to each of you! xoxo

Supplies used on this project:


Have you heard about Fun Stampers Journey's big Be Brave Card Drive?
Mass producing cards is absolutely perfect for our goal to collect 500 cards to be distributed to cancer patients and their caregivers. Will you help us? Find all the details at https://blog.funstampersjourney.com/bebrave/

Saturday, October 7, 2017

You Are Enough {World Card Making Day Challenge#2}

Hello friends!!! Are you back with me for the second time today? (If not, be sure to check out my previous post - it's a World Card Making Day PARTY today, filled with challenges and fun!) 

Fun Stampers Journey is celebrating WCMD with challenges throughout the day and I am back to participate in the second one of the day. All of FSJ's challenges are centered around our Be Brave Card Drive, to support cancer patients and their caregivers. (Will you help us collect 500 cards? See the details at the end of this post!)  (Check in on FSJ's Facebook page for all the challenges today!)

Are you ready to craft with me? Here's FSJ's SECOND CHALLENGE of the day: Create a card of encouragement for a caregiver. 

Supporting caregivers of those battling an illness is just as important as supporting the warriors. They are priceless in the life of someone going through treatment. For this challenge, I wanted to create four cards to mail in for our Be Brave Card Drive. I used the Gel Press again, but this time in a different way. Here's a little step by step tutorial for you! 


1. Apply strips of Turbo Teal, Electric Lime, and Cool Pool Re-Inkers across Gel Press. (It's hard to see in this photo, but all of this is happening ON the Gel Press, which is on top of my grid paper.

 
2. Begin to brayer the ink, allowing colors to blend together. Then splatter Gel Press with Sparkle Silk.

3. Press a 4.25x5.5 piece of Whip Cream cardstock to Gel Press and pull a print. The areas of Silk sort of resist the ink and it creates really cool texture! 

I created four of these card fronts, and I love that each looks a little different. After pulling one print, I could use the remaining ink on the brayer, roll it again across the Gel Press and add more Sparkle Silk, for a second print. 

4. To create the sentiment apply more Re-Inkers to the Gel Press, just like before, but instead of pulling a print,  use the Gel Press like an ink pad. Stamp the You Are Enough stamp onto the press, tap it around a little, and then stamp onto Whip Cream cardstock. I absolutely LOVE the way these sentiments turned out! EEK! (I want to do this a thousand more times in other colors now!) 

To complete the cards, I added twine and adhered everything together on a white card base, and then added some dimensional Journey Glaze onto the letters. 


Supplies used on this project:

I hope you'll join us for the fun challenges today at the Fun Stampers Journey Facebook page! Check it out and craft with us! There's one more challenge left today! 

These cards will all be heading to Fun Stampers Journey for the Be Brave Card Drive. I hope that they will bless someone and make their day just a little brighter! Would you like to help us collect 500 cards? Find out all the details at https://blog.funstampersjourney.com/bebrave/ 



Have Courage encouragement card set {World Card Making Day challenge #1}

Hello friends! Its a very special day today! In the paper crafting world, we celebrate a lot of holidays throughout the year, with cards. But today, is special because its our holiday to celebrate the holidays that we celebrate with cards. (Or something like that... maybe?) At any rate - today friends, is World Card Making Day. (Yes, it's a real thing!) 

In honor of the day, many paper crafting companies are celebrating with events, challenges, and fun. Today, Fun Stampers Journey will be issuing challenges throughout the day, all centered around our Be Brave Card Drive, which runs through the month of October.  I'll be participating in a few of the challenges today, and I'd love it if you'd play along with me! Are you ready?

The FIRST challenge of the day is to create a Be Brave card (an encouragement card appropriate for a cancer patient or caregiver) BUT you aren't allowed to use PINK! 

I really like to multitask, and the goal for October is to create as many encouraging Be Brave cards as we can, so I created FOUR cards at once for this challenge, using the Journey Gel Press and FSJ Reinkers.

This was the first time I've experimented with ink on the Gel Press and it was really fun to play. I used Cool Pool, Pool Play, Turbo Teal, Huckleberry Fusion, Sour Lemon, and Electric Lime Re-Inkers and experimented with layering colors and stencils to create an entire sheet of printed cardstock. Once I finished a sheet I liked, I trimmed it into four pieces, trimmed them just slightly so my colorful card bases would show through, and then assembled my cards. I used the Polka Dot Wall stencil, but I also created my own stencils from the Star Burst Blooms Die Set. Once I was done with my Star Burst stencils, I used them as an element on my card - see its there behind the sentiment? It took on the colors of ink I was using, and all of the four cards turned out slightly different depending on the colors and patterns on each section of the printed cardstock.

When I was all finished, I splattered everything with Silver Silk, Sparkle Silk, and to brighten it up a little, I splattered it with some Whip Cream Re-Inker.

Supplies used on this project:

I made quite a few prints as I was playing for this project. Would you like to see them all? I used the same products for each, but they're all a little different!

This is the print I used to create today's cards.

This one turned out a little too dark for today's cards, 
but I will definitely use it for something else!

On this one, I applied a thin layer of Whip Cream reinker to the Gel Press 
and picked up partial prints of it. It gave it an interesting snowy or foggy look.

Thanks SO much for coming by to visit today! Please be sure to stop by the Fun Stampers Journey Facebook page throughout the day today to see all the challenges and fun. PLUS, stop back by here in a few hours because I'll be BACK with my take on the next challenge! (Feel free to subscribe in the sidebar, so you never miss a post!)



Would you like to participate in the Be Brave card drive? 


Monday, October 2, 2017

Cheerful Layered Floral Card {P.S. I Love You}




Hello friends! It was one of those days that I needed to set aside everything on the To-Do list, and make something pretty. I pulled out my favorite colors, and some of my favorite stamps. I went back to my clean and simple roots (I've been straying from those roots, which isn't necessarily a bad thing...) but this felt GOOD. Give me bright colors, some enamel dots, washi, and something simple I can stamp and fussy cut, and I am a HAPPY HAPPY GIRL. I hope you like it!
I kept the flowers all super simple. I stamped tone-on-tone for each of the colors, trimmed them, and popped two of them up on foam squares. The washi tape made a perfect grounding for the flowers. (Don't you wish glitter was a real ground covering instead of grass? Actually it would be so messy I'd become a hermit and never leave my house- but I do like the thought of it.) 


 To finish off the flowers I added some dimensional glaze for shine. Shiny flowers are happy flowers!
And that my friends is all I've got for you today. Simple and sweet, and I'm okay with that. I love y'all and I hope your day is filled with glittery goodness and bright flowers! Big hugs! xoxo
Supplies used on today's card: 
(all from Fun Stampers Journey)
cardstock and ink colors: 
Huckleberry Fusion, 
Turbo Teal, 
Watermelon Fusion, 
Lemon Drop and Summer Days 
(Lemon Drop cardstock and Summer Days ink)

Monday, September 25, 2017

Mixed Media Holiday Houses {Fun Stampers Journey & Gel Press}


A few weeks ago I had the best time creating my colorful mixed media houses. (If you missed that post, you can find it HERE.) I used my Gel Press, along with some white tissue paper, and a variety of stamps and stencils, plus acrylic paint. This past week I decided to do another set of houses with a holiday spin! 

To create these houses, I started with the House to Home Trio from FSJ. They're bare wood houses, ready for paint, decoupage, stamping, paper, etc.  I gave them a coat of white paint, and as they dried, I began getting messy with the Gel Press, pulling prints with Candy Apple, Cool Pool and Whip Cream acrylic paints. (Please check out the blog post with my colorful houses, for a step by step on the prints I made. I followed the same techniques for these!) 
After my tissue paper prints dried, I tore all the pieces up and decoupaged them onto the houses, using FSJ's Gel Medium. It works like Mod Podge - I just painted it on, stuck on the tissue, and brushed over the top to seal it. It dries clear so it's perfect for decoupage! 
Next up, I started to embellish my houses. I used stamps from Winter Doves and Holiday Script. And I must say, I am SO very in love with these little wreaths (Spruced Up) and trees (Pine Tree Elements.) (My kids totally tried to steal my tiny trees for their Lego village, but I'm not sharing!) I attached the wreath and tree using my trusty hot glue gun (and I didn't even burn myself, I might add!) Then I layered on the bows and stamped pieces. 
(Crafty service announcement: I learned the hard way that if you hot glue an embossed image, it will remelt the embossing powder and smear if you touch it. True story.) 


 Thanks for stopping by today to see my mixed media holiday creations! If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, and I will be sure to respond. If you aren't familiar with using the Gel Press, check out this super cool video showing a paint/Gel Press tutorial! 

PS. The Media Mix sale at Fun Stampers Journey is still on, through the end of the month. You can score the sweet House to Home Trio, Journey Gel Press, plus lots more for 20% off! 

http://www.funstampersjourney.com/Pws/fsj/store/AM/catalog/Media-Mix-Sale,452.aspx


Thursday, September 21, 2017

A Wreath for All Seasons {FSJ Harvest Wreath}


Hello friends!!!! It's time to get back to crafty business around here, with some new cards! This stamp set (and it's accompanying dies) is called Harvest Wreath. I LOVE the font and sentiments in this set. It's obviously a fall stamp set, but I'm going to show you a few different ways to spin it!
Since I've been away for a few weeks, I thought I'd treat you to THREE projects today. We were busy weathering Hurricane Irma...and then cleaning up from Hurricane Irma...and then getting back to school and routines after Hurricane Irma. She exhausted us, but we faired well and we are so grateful that our damage was minimal. And now, it's back to business as usual, and I am SO grateful for that!


So for today's first card, it's pretty straightforward - an autumn thanks card. Stamped wreath along with lovely little gold leaves added, and the fun "thanks" sentiment. The coordinating dies for the words in this stamp set allow for lots of fun possibilities and save some time to avoid fussy cutting! 

Next up, how about a Christmas wreath?
On our Christmas wreath, I paired the Sleigh Ride stamp set for the presents and Santa's bag. I watercolored the images and added them with foam tape, plus some Fashion Silver embellishments

And last but not least, a Valentine's wreath...
Black and white with red is always a fun option for Valentine's Day (or ANY day, in my opinion!) I love the dotted washi tape (Simple Elegance Journey Tape) and the tiny hearts (Heart Strip Die) with this card. 

Three simple ideas for all year long with the Harvest Wreath stamp set from Fun Stampers Journey. Thanks so much for stopping by today! I hope you're leaving inspired, and ready to think about some of your crafty products - is there something you can use in a NEW way? xoxo

Monday, September 4, 2017

Decoupage Houses - Get Brave with Mixed Media and Stamping {Journey Gel Press}

Hello friends! I am so excited to share a REALLY fun project that I created! I had THE best, (and slightly messy) time creating these funky houses. I like to embrace the mixed media craze in small doses. As an art major in college, I spent a good part of my time covered in paint, gesso, clay, photography chemicals, and other assorted materials. I can get MESSY. But it also makes me crazy after a while, and I'm happy to go back to paper and ink. 

This was a great project to dive in and explore some techniques and media - and then clean it all up when I was done. ;)
To create these houses, I started with the bare wood House To Home Trio from Fun Stampers Journey. I used two of the three houses included in the set. First I applied a thin base coat of Whip Cream acrylic paint. While it dried, I started creating my printed tissue with the Gel Press. 

Printing on tissue paper is a little delicate, because depending on the thickness of the tissue, sometimes it wants to rip once its saturated with paint, so pulling prints needs to be done slowly and carefully! 

Here are the steps I followed: 
  • To begin, I used shades of blue and green paint, and applied them to the Gel Press. I used the brayer to mix and spread the paint evenly. 
  • Then I used stamps, stencils, and a scrap of corrugated cardstock to add some texture. 
  • I smoothed the tissue over the Gel Press and pulled my first print. (I was happy with my first pull, but you can always add more layers afterwards if desired.) 
  • Next I set that aside to dry, and cleaned up a bit. Then I added mostly yellow, red, and pink paint to the Gel Press and followed the same process. (You can see some of my leftover scraps in these photos.) 
  • Once the tissue papers were dry, I started tearing them into pieces, and applied them to the houses using Journey Gel Medium. The medium dries clear, so I painted it directly onto the house, stuck the tissue pieces down, and painted over it to seal it all. 
  • Next, I stamped the flowers and sentiments from FSJ's Chosen Family stamp set, onto Whip Cream cardstock, detail cut, and then layered them onto the houses, along with some Whip Cream Journey Thread. 
  • Some Sweet Candy Drops and Journey Glaze are pretty much ALWAYS the right finishing touch.

The fun part - and the scary part - of working with the Gel Press, is that you often don't really know what you'll end up with. As I've played and explored with this new-to-me tool, I've made a lot of ugly mess...but I've made a lot of really cool prints too. Being okay with making UGLY is important in developing your creativity. Sometimes the PROCESS is as important as the finished PRODUCT. Be willing to take a risk, and have fun!
 By the way....now is the perfect time to take the plunge and be BRAVE. This month there's a big sale on mixed media goodies at FSJ.

Are you feeling intimidated by the Gel Press? Or, quite honestly, have you never heard of the Gel Press? (It's okay - it was new to me too!) Check out my Mixed Media Pinterest board. I've been pinning all sorts of cool ideas, and tutorial videos that I've learned a LOT from. They might just be the perfect introduction and inspiration for you! Also, be sure to stop by the Fun Stampers Journey blog for more information about this month's promotion - AND Media Mix inspiration all month long!

I'm so glad you stopped by today! Now, go do something messy and creative!!! 
xoxo

PS. If you get in on the mixed media action, (and I hope you will) post your projects online with #fsjmediamix to share the fun!