Monday, March 30, 2009

Blasts from the past

I've been keeping busy these days with a couple of big custom orders and gifts, not to mention my daughter's new bedtime schedule, which involves an hour of reading to get her to sleep. I'm usually too sleepy to do any crafts after such sessions. Since there's not much to show for my custom projects' progress quite yet, I thought I'd mine my craft files and revisit some old designs.

My very dear friends -- Ryan and Sarah, and Jen -- and my husband made this possible. A few years ago they secretly collected all the cards I'd given them over the years. They then scanned each card and put the files onto a USB drive and gave it to me for Christmas. I am still so touched to this day...

Here are some fall cards from several years ago (I don't have exact dates)...

This card was actually stamped by my mom and me -- we made paper place mats for Thanksgiving, which I kept (well, the ones that didn't get stuffing and gravy on them). I then cut some up for the background of a few cards, this one included.

If I remember correctly, I taught a class on how to make this card and the one below it. I used to lead workshops on stamping techniques (not through any particular company, just for kicks at the request of some friends from church)...

I used chalks to color the leaves and the background squares on this card. I also sent a sample to Take 10, but they never published it.

This is one of my oldest cards. I think I made it for my husband when we were dating or just married, which makes this design about eight or nine years old. I only had a few craft supplies back then, including the leaf punch and the sun punch...

Monday, March 16, 2009

Garden inspiration

I've been thoroughly enjoying some of my newest craft supplies, including several flower and nature stamp sets, new colors and prints of papers, and a butterfly die for my Cuttlebug (a die-cutter machine thingy). Plus, our lovely weather (sunny, high 60s) has inspired me to create spring-colored cards.

The owl card and the garden squares with butterfly card will be in my Etsy shop soon, while the poppies card is a one-of-a-kind.

I made this card as a thank you for my dad after he weed-whacked our backyard this weekend. Our yard had weeds about as tall as I've depicted in the card. Among the waist-high greenness stood several bunches of vibrant poppies...

I had fun stamping and coloring on the vellum -- I stamped on both sides so I could get the poppies to face both directions.

The inside of the card shows an "after" depiction of our backyard. My dad was skilled enough and patient enough to leave most of the poppies standing.

This little owl just makes me smile!

I got the idea for this card from a recent "Paper Crafts" magazine. I love the crispness of the black borders (though they're kind of a pain to make and assemble).

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Confessions of a craft nerd

It could be pregnancy brain, or nesting, or a business strategy, or just the next step in an already quite organized life--or some combination of all of the above. Whatever the motivation, I was driven to create a stamp catalog complete with an index and a cross-reference section for all words and sayings.

I made this catalog for all my Stampin' Up! stamps, which I keep organized in their original sets (they come in handy clear plastic boxes, which are convenient for storage). I've accumulated so many sets at this point (nearly 50) that I have begun forgetting where certain stamps and greetings can be found. This stamp catalog and index has already come in handy...

A sketch of my craft area shows what's in each of my craft room drawers.

The index is organized by set name, description, category, and drawer. Each set is also numbered (the numbers are on the far left).

Tabs on the show the categories of the stamp sets and the words and greetings.

Each stamp set is labeled with a sticker that shows the set name, what Stampin' Up! catalog it's from, and what drawer it's in.

The word/greeting section is divided into several categories, including thank you, congratulations, baby, friend, and holiday. Each word and greeting stamp has a number underneath. Those numbers correspond to the sets in the index, so I always know what set each greeting is found in.

My stamp catalog also features a Color Coach, which my Stampin' Up! demonstrator, Karen, made for me. It shows all the current colors available from Stampin' Up! and how they coordinate.

I have drawers full of other stamps, but I chose to put only the Stampin' Up! sets in this catalog because they're what I use for my Etsy store. This company has an angel policy that's easy to comply with, so I focus on their products.

Grossgrain giveaway: Paper Crane Frock

So lovely and fresh...

Paper Crane Frock GIVEAWAY!!!!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

For a friend

Before moving to Africa for a year and a half, a friend of mine ordered a bunch of cards from me. It was a great pleasure to design cards just for her and to use some of my newest stamps, papers, and inks. Some similar designs have already made their way into my store...

Goody-goody gumdrops

I made this card for my friend, Sarah, when she got to go home from the hospital after being there for a week with a gnarly stomach illness...

I'm sorry about the ickiness of the lighting in the photos -- I took them at night after I finished the card (I couldn't wait until morning!).

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Another Grosgrain giveaway: Sunday Laundry Shirt Dress

This dress is just delicious!

Check out the details here: Sunday Laundry Shirt Dress giveaway