Friday, 20 April 2012


As I was heading into the city centre yesterday, people kept trying to hand me all sorts of things whether it was newspapers as I was walking up Oxford Road or student giving out leaflets for various causes ( I was even handed a bottle of Powerade!). I am pretty sure that I hadn't been ambushed like that since freshers week. As a student, you learn to ignore it - if you didn't there you would probably have enough bits of paper that would have come from an entire rainforest. All day I had been having creative thoughts about my portfolio for uni and, of course, my cards. 
I was finally heading home after stopping at the library when, once again, (and ironically, for the last time that day) someone thrust yet another leaflet in front of me. It was only when I politely declined (I admit, I don't always. It depends what kind of a mood I am in) that the idea suddenly struck me. I am always spending waaaay too much of my student loan on craft supplies such as pretty paper (I am one hell of a sucker for gorgeous papers). Why didn't I use leaflets and recycled bits of card etc on my cards? Sure I would still have that draw full of supplies etc but I realised it would add an edge to my designs. I always keep scraps of paper (anything I consider to be useful anyway). 

So, last night, I put my theory to the test. I did make a couple of cards using recycled materials. In this case, it was a Flake Easter Egg box and a Cadbury's Chocolate Fingers box but you get the gist and I have to admit, it was a success.
As I was making the aforementioned cards, I also had another wave of inspiration. I am sure that many of the younger generation are more that slightly familiar with 'memes'. This latest craze has taken the internet and, I realised after spending an afternoon with my younger brother and his two friends, the teenage language by storm. Not only are they an excellent source for procrastination (even I myself have fallen prey to the likes of '9gag' and 'tickld') but also provided me with my next inspiration. For those among you who are unaware of this chap, he is normally followed by the phrase 'like a sir' and so, the sentiment of the card is revealed. Of course, they are very audience based but it has opened many doors for my creativity to go exploring.

Monday, 16 April 2012

International Stash and Kimonos

I am lucky enough to live across the hall from a girl from germany who's father owns a craft shop back in Hamburg. As well as being a very good friend (and very bad influence, may I add!), she brought me back plenty of stash after she learnt of my hobby. After Christmas I received a huge carrier bag full of papers and embellishments to use on my cards. Its always exciting to get new stuff to work with. Coming back to uni after Easter also saw me with some brand new papers and really really cute animal embellishments for me to use.
I've never really bought myself any embellishments to use as I find I am reluctant to use them because if I use them on one card, I won't be able to use them on another. I realise how ridiculous I sound, don't worry. Having said that, these animal embellishments are so cute I cannot wait to put them onto a card or two.
Usually, any embellishments I use, I make my self. I fairly recently designed my self a template to create little kimonos to attach to my cards. I found these to be so easy to make and I can easily spend an evening watching TV and making kimonos.
I found the best way to 'mass produce' them is to chose however many sheet of matching papers. For these ones, I used Eastern Promise from Dovecraft. Cutting out all the parts of the kimonos and them mix and matching them allowed me to make unique cards but also made a set of cards.

 If anyone would like the template, leave a comment and I'll upload my template and how to assemble the kimono.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

An Evening of Crafting

Last night I spend the evening with a friend and fellow crafter doing what we do best. If I'm honest, it has been such a long time since I just sat down and made cards for no particular reason; normally there is a friend's birthday coming up or Christmas is around the corner, or in recent history, there has been a fundraiser to craft for. I never really realised how quickly time flew when I was sat with my stash of paper and embellishments and before I knew it the evening was gone and it was time to go home. 
Last night allowed me to use some of my new papers and experiment with new ideas. I recently bought myself some papers and chipboard shapes to make male cards. I seem to very rarely make cards for guys as, lets face it, they're kind of boring (the cards, not the guys!). Its always much more fun -not to mention easier- to make a really girly card with a gorgeous dress or beautiful flower bouquets on in. With guys, there seem to be very few things that you can do. With this in mind I treated myself to some new supplies and I have to say, the results were good, even if I say so myself. The typical male theme of course is sports and the papers I got allowed me to mix and match to create three sport related cards (not to mention all the others that can, and will, be made in the near future); rugby, football  and cricket. The pack included toppers, backing papers and boarders and the matching box of chipboard pieces widened my choice for design. All that was left to do was add a greeting. 

I must try to make time to sit down and make cards again for the sheer enjoyment of it, rather than finding time to make one for a special occasion.


My card making began with calligraphy. A wedding card to be precise. It was a simple design: a red card with a bit of handmade paper and 'congratulations' written in black ink outlined with a gold gel pen. I was so pleased with that card. The ink hadn't smudged at all and it looked really good. I had carefully sketched the messaged in pencil before applying my pen to the card. 
It wasn't until after the wedding's evening reception that I was told by my dad that I had spelt 'congratulations' wrong. I had missed the "r". 
That was in 2006 and though I've never forgotten it, It's never put me off.

Over the last few years, I moved away from calligraphy and embarked on what is now a hobby that is second nature to me. To this day I don't ever recall buying a card from a shop to give to someone. 

I guess I would be classed as an amateur, though I have in the past sold some of my cards and I hope to take them even further. My most recent excursion was a fundraiser at my halls of residence (a student card maker? Yes). A year to the day since Japan was devastated by the earthquake and tsunami, my halls held a fundraiser. Naturally, I volunteered my services and made 60 cards to sell on the evening. The event was a success. As a whole we raised over £200 and over £40 of that was from my cards. 
My first taste of real success got the ball rolling, I was eager for more; and so here I am. I created a Facebook page for my little company, having already got a name and logo. To date I have as many as 32 people who like the page. Well, everyone's got to start somewhere!

This blog is to record my progress and to share some of my experiences of card making. It is not an advertising campaign, really just a diary.

Just in case anyone is actually out there and is interested or wants some inspiration for any projects: