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Category: Paper Crafts

A fresh start!

Just popping to give some updates since I have not posted in quite a while.  I hope to make more regular posts now and I think I might be able to make it happen.  I ended a job on Friday and will start a new one on Monday, however this new job will allow me a bit more flexibility and time to dedicate to  “CardsbyCheryl”.  I’ve never had a job that allowed me to work from home, and I’m excited to try it now.  I really am looking forward to being able to spend more time in the craft room as well.

OK…so here’s a peek at some of the holiday cards I have been working on.  I have about 45 cards to send and I am only through about 20.  I was really hoping to make each one unique but I got pretty bogged down with work and the next thing I knew…it was already December, so I am bit behind.  For the other card makers out there – when do you start planning and creating your December holiday cards?  Would love to hear from you and here’s a quick little poll if you don’t mind answering…  I need to get better at planning ahead so that I don’t get so far behind.

When do you start planning & designing your holiday cards?

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Card Design Boo Boos – To fix or not to fix?

Knowing when to scrap a project and start over versus spending the extra time in trying to fix a mistake is a constant struggle for me.  Especially in cases where there is quite a lot of effort put into the project leading up to the dreaded mistake or design flaw.

For example, the image below shows a couple of practice cards where I was playing with the layout and how I wanted the card designed.  If you are familiar with the masking technique, you already know that it can be a bit tedious and planning is super important.  You have to know which images to mask off and when before you stamp and so I took a few minutes to practice on a few cards before I settled on my final design which is the colored panel in the below image.

You can see from the practice panels on one of the examples I hand lettered in the individual letters for the A, B & C.  This is because I don’t own any letter stamps that would have worked here so I figured I could just hand draw them in.  Then I decided to use a smaller letter and number stamp set which I found in my stash.

I went on to finish all the coloring and now that my card is mounted and set onto a card base, I ended up really not liking how that turned out, AT.ALL.  The letters on the blocks were flat (no depth), not crisply stamped, and when I tried to fix with a black marker, I think I just made it worse.  (Note to self:  Burning the might night oil on a new baby card design that is due the next morning was not the best idea…)

After staring at it from several different angles and feeling tired from working all day and needed to get to bed, I thought to myself, Cheryl, you are your own worst critic – it is totally fine…just leave it.  I shut out the light and went to bed feeling uneasy about the card that I was to take to work tomorrow for everyone in the office to sign.

Fast foward to 8am the next day…I’m just collecting my things and getting ready for work and I sit down and look at this card and think to myself…uggh…Cheryl you cannot use this card…you just can’t.  It’s awful.   Then it hits me.  I don’t have a letter stamp set that would work for this but I do have a Cricuit!  I quickly loaded up the cruicut design space and created the letters which I then had cut on my Criquit in no time at all.  The question now, is how do I fix this mess without starting over…or do I just start over?

What would you have done? I’m just curious to know…would love for you to leave me a comment below.

Well…I did not start over.  🙂  I attempted to color the front of the blocks in the color as the other sides but clearly that didn’t work.

Then, I went with my only option which was to use my Black 100 copic marker and I completely filled in the face of each block covering up the stamping I had done previously.  It kind of looks like it has a chalk board feel to it which I liked.  Here is “v2” of my baby card and I have to say I’m pleasantly surprised at my patch job on this.  It’s not my finest work by any means, but I think I salvaged it and feel good about sending this one along to my coworker.  I did, however, work out that I could have probably made two more cards in the time I spent laboring over what to do with this mess on the first card, how to fix it and then fixing it.  Bottom line, do what you need to do to be proud of your work and not cut corners…and if you can help it, don’t wait until the last minute to produce a promised card! 😉

 

 

Bloom

I recently discovered stamps designed by  Catherine Scanlon (produced by Art Gone Wild) and I was SO hooked!  I purchased several of her stamps but this one called 15 Orbs was the first one I saw and it caught my eye immediately.  It was screaming water color me, so I inked it up on some 140 lb watercolor cardstock and then embossed it with clear embossing powder.  One of the things I loved about this stamp is the center orb was left blank.  I pondered for a few days on what to put inside that empty orb, and even asked for help from my IG peeps.  Someone suggested the word bloom and it was perfect!  I absolutely love how this turned out and instead of making it into a card, I framed it.  It’s sitting on the buffet in my front room at the moment but this baby is making its way to my Arizona house on our next visit.

Here are a few cards that I made using other stamps by Catherine.  Click the image to jump to the online store.

 

Is it February yet?

I love February…for a couple of reasons.  First of all, it’s the month I celebrate my birthday and for the most part I really enjoy  my birthday.  Second of all it’s a reminder that March is right around the corner and that means GOLF season is almost here. (YAY!) Thirdly…I get to make a lot of birthday and Valentine’s Day cards.  I start making holiday cards around October and make nothing but Thanksgiving Cards and Christmas cards for what seems to be weeks on end.  Don’t get me wrong, I love making Christmas cards, but let me tell ya, by the time January rolls around I am READY to put away my snowflakes, holly berries and Santa stamps.

So the last couple of days I have been busy playing around with new Love themed stamps and always watercolors.  I’m actually addicted to water coloring.  Not very good at it…but just maybe someday with enough practice I will be.  🙂

Here are a few of my recent cards.  Enjoy and please PM if you’re interested in any custom cards or anything that you see here.  Currently the insides are blank and so I can customize a message of your choosing.

Ok, well, it’s Saturday date night – we’re off to a comedy club with some friends.  Must go get ready…

Cheers!

 

An experiment gone good…

Don’t you love it when an experiment turns out beautifully?  I was messing around with embossing some dies that I had and ran across this cute tea cup die from PoppyStamps.com.  Instead of die cutting it, I embossed it onto water color card stock and used the embossed outlines as my guide for coloring.  After several layers and drying time in between, here you see the final.  I really love the messy outside-the-lines look of this simple water card.  I stamped it up with a coordinating sentiment, popped it onto a bright blue card base and shipped this off to my mom.  Miss you mom!

 

 

Goodbye 2016

Well, holy cow…we are in 2017!  Really? TWENTY SEVENTEEN!  I swear that just yesterday was whole the “Y2K” scare and suddenly Poof!  Fast forward sixteen years…it’s just crazy how time flies.  I can remember exactly what I was doing the night of December 31st, 1999.  My husband and I owned a bar back then and we had a big New Year’s Eve Party going on with a band and free buffet (to soak up all the booze). 🙂  What a great time that was – and to think we all thought the world’s computers were going to blow up with the dawning of a new century.  Clearly they didn’t.

As far as my card making goes, I am very happy to have survived the Christmas card exercise this year.  I managed to hand make and send around 40 cards.  For a few nights, I had a little help from my darling husband and as much as he would hate to admit it, I think he had fun.  I made a handful of designs – I am not one to mass produce because…well, BORING!…so I mixed it up quite a bit.  It was a successful and very rewarding undertaking for me – lots of really great remarks from people who I think genuinely appreciated them.

This picture encapsulates 9 of my most well-liked posts from Instagram last year, which I struggled with because honestly I think I have made at least 200 cards (if not more).  I started my Instagram account in November 2015 and since then I have posted 154 times and gained 134 followers.  Almost one new follower per post!  Well…here’s to a bright and beautiful 2017 with many many more cards to come.  Happy New Year!

 

Springtime in November?

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hello-tree-and-envelope

I took a moment today to step away from all of the Thanksgiving and Christmas greetings and sentiments for my cards and decided to do a simple “hello” note card to brighten someone’s day.  Out here in Seattle the winter skies are so thick and gray that it seems the sun is never coming back out again – and on this particular day, I let my mind fast forward into spring and all it’s color.  So even though this stamp set was designed to be used for a Christmas greeting I stepped outside the box for just a moment and ended up with this bright cheery greeting.

This one is for sale in my Etsy shop and comes with a beautifully stamped matching envelope.  This card was hand stamped and colored by me with colored pencils and spectrum noir sparkle pens.

 

The Poinsettia

This pretty poinsettia stamp from PowerPoppy stamps is a new one to my collection this holiday season and this was my very first attempt at coloring it with my alcohol markers.  As I was coloring it I got to wondering about how the Poinsettia became to be such an icon of Christmas decor, and so I did a little research.  Turns out the poinsettia originated in Mexico and was first introduced into the states in 1828 by Dr. Joel Roberts Poinsett and that is when it became known as the Poinsettia.  But how did the Poinsettia get associated with Christmas?  Well, there are a couple of stories that I found, but I like this one the best:

A Mexican legend tells of a girl who could only offer weeds as a gift to Jesus on Christmas Eve. When she brought the weeds into a church, they blossomed into the beautiful red plants we know as poinsettias, known as Flores de Noche Buena in Mexico (Spanish for “flowers of the holy night”).

And, another fun fact about the poinsettia – it is in fact NOT a poisonous plant, but please do me a favor and do not test that theory!

This card is for sale in my Etsy shop – and, like all of my cards, it is a one of a kind.  It comes with a matching craft paper envelope.

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Penelope has a pencil

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Good morning and welcome back to standard daylight time!  When I woke up this morning at 3:30 am I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me – and then I remembered we “fell back” last night.  Trust me, 4:30 am is still the middle of my night on most days but had a bout of insomnia this morning I guess.  So here I am doing some blogging and will probably tackle a few more cards on my to-do list for the week before I have to face the fast approaching Monday.

This finished card is from an all time favorite stamp of mine – made by StampingBella.com.  They have the most adorable collection and the artists there who design the stamps are so talented. This cutie is from the Tiny Townies collection called Penelope has a Pencil.  For this card, I decided to emboss it and then use watercolor instead of the alcohol markers.  I love to emboss when using watercolor because quite honestly, it helps me stay in the lines.  🙂  But, one of the cool things about water coloring is that it’s ok to get a little messy and color outside the lines.  The face on this sweet girl is a bit messy but I think that is what makes her special.  I also deviated from my standard card size on this one and with with a square shape which required then required a custom envelope.  If you are a card maker and you don’t have one of these, you are missing out!  Final card size is 4 1/4 x 4 1/4.

This one going up for sale on my Etsy store if anyone is interested…

Enjoy your Sunday everyone… Monday is coming!

A sweet pair.

Update to this post to show the finished card.

And this is the inside of the card.

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I’m not much of a bird watcher but the cardinal has always been one of my favorites.  So many fond memories as a kid sitting at the kitchen table with dad in the morning before school and watching the birds fly into the feeder just outside the window, getting their morning feast. We’d both have coffee (I started the caffeine addiction early!) and peanut butter toast with raspberry jam every morning before school.   Sometimes we would sit and talk and talk and drink more coffee and before we knew it mom was hollering at us that I was going to miss my bus….and sometimes I did…on purpose.  🙂  Dad always dropped me off and gave me a wink…because I think he didn’t want to go to work as much as I didn’t want to go to school.  We were a pair!

Ok…so I digress…back to the reason for the post which is for day three of Kathy’s coloring challenge.  The stamp is from Power Poppy stamps – I think from last year’s holiday collection and definitely a favorite.  Stamped on heavy watercolor card stock from Tim Holtz, heat embossed and colored in with Tombow watercolor pens.  Have a bit more work to do on this but wanted to let the first coat dry before I went any further.  More to come on this one.