Saturday, September 29, 2018

Halloween Greeting Cards

Greeting cards...this is another one of those crafty things I could not see myself ever getting interested in but times change as they always do. I found a YouTube channel that has amazing card tutorials and now I am hooked. I knew that eventually this would happen. First I say I'll NEVER do it, then I waiver a bit...next thing you know, I'm doing it. It's a pattern I typically follow.


Kristie Marcotte takes a 6" X 6" paper pad and makes as many cards as she can out of it, usually between thirty and forty. Here is a link her channel to check out. She purchases card kits from different vendors and makes cards from them also. She is on the design teams of some of them.

She also has a blog post to accompany all of her videos with individual photos of the cards she creates, as well as, the design sketches with measurements that she used. Here is the link to her blog.

So, with Halloween around the corner and inspiration from Kristie, I decided to try my hand at some greeting cards. I have completed two and I'm fairly pleased with the results. I started out with blank white note cards and built up the layers. I have a lot of scraps from the papers I've cut for my October Daily and they are just the right size these note cards but too small for anything else. I'm happy to be able to use up a bunch of the paper scraps.

Kristie uses an ATG tape dispenser (see photo above) to adhere all the layers down. I don't have one of those. I picked up some double sided tape from the dollar store to experiment with. Take my advice, save yourself the time, effort and money...don't get cheap double sided tape. The layers kept separating from each other and I had to use some glue to stick them back down. Very frustrating.

I went to Michaels today and purchased a Scotch Double Sided Tape Roller. I did look at the ATG tape dispensers but the price is a bit prohibitive this week, especially when I know there is a 55% off coupon for next Saturday. Since I'm going to be out of town next weekend, I will have to ask someone to pick it up for me.

I can see myself making some of my Christmas cards this year now...for those that I know will appreciate the time and craftsmanship that goes into them. With all the plans for October, it will have to be after that. I have enough on my plate right now. Stay tuned though, it will happen.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Moving Forward - October Daily

Let's begin with my second trip to the photo printing kiosk at Walmart. Apparently, the ratio between the dimensions of the image of the artist trading cards (2.5" X 3") and the 4" X 6" photo paper do not match. I did a test print, only to find that the sides of the image were cut off. That is not going to work for me, you need to see the whole image not only part of it.

Back to the drawing board. I re-worked the photos in ThumbsPlus, adding more depth to the colours, and put them all into a Word document for the second time. I sent the file to Staples Print Services and hoped for the best. Well, they did come out better this time, more vibrant, but still a bit grainy. I think this is my best option, so I'm going to stop stressing about it and go with the flow.

I picked up a pack of the Avery Photo Pages while I was at Staples. They are not quite what I expected. You can see by the photo that there is a lot of 'empty' space on the sides and at the bottom of the two 4" X 6" photo pockets on each page.

The side spaces are open at the top so I can slide a scrap piece of co-ordinating paper in each one. I will figure out what to do with the middle and bottom spaces later as I start filling the album.

Overall, I like the larger format. I've decided to go with the Avery Photo Pages in a black binder. I was going to purchase Avery page protectors and trading card sleeves that would 'match' the photo pages but I think I will use what I already have on hand...Staples brand page protectors and Ultra brand trading card sleeves. No need to incur extra expense, although I will need at least one more pack of the Avery Photo Pages.

The project is moving along, albeit slowly. I think I might try to incorporate the cover page I already made in the smaller format to this new size. October is almost here and I already feel behind! I'll keep you posted. 



Sunday, September 9, 2018

A Different Direction - October Daily

I've encountered several challenges during the planning stage of my October Daily that may send me in a different direction. I cannot find ANY place that prints wallet size photos. Can you believe that? So, if I have to get full size 4" X 6" prints, the planner binder that I wanted to use will not work. The pages are simply not big enough.

My original plan was to get wallet size photos of the 31 ATCs that I made for the Halloween Howl swap I'm in. I want to include them each day along with the one that I receive from my partner. It seems like a simple enough plan, right?

When that didn't work out, I put all the pics in a Word document and sent them to Staples Print Services. While that option was much cheaper than photo printing, the final product was a bit disappointing. They do not use photo printers or papers. They only have colour laser printers and cardstock. The pictures were grainy and not as vibrant as I wanted.

I do have a Project Life binder that I could use. I would have to find the plastic page inserts though. The only drawback; it is a large binder, and I'm thinking it might be a bit cumbersome to work in. The plastic insert sheets are 12" X 12" and divided into different size pockets. The only place I can find them is online but it is an option I will look at. 

Avery Photo Pages might work too. They would fit into a regular size binder. I will have to head over to Staples to have a look at them. I could use nine pocket trading card sheets and regular size page protectors for variety with that option, which would be nice.

It is already September, so I have to make a decision fairly soon. I want to have a lot of the pre-planning done before October gets here. I have a lot of Halloween swaps that I've signed up for that need to be completed also. I'm going to be busy.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Long Weekend Craft Fun

I love long weekends! That extra day off work feels like a great gift. More time to rest, relax and, most importantly, craft. I have already finished three projects and have couple more started.

This Halloween pocket letter is for a swap organized by Dani, the owner of the PopFizzPaper Crafty Club. I discovered Dani on YouTube and love all her videos. You should go take a look. They are fun and very inspiring. 

The 6” X 6” paper pad that I used for this pocket letter is called ‘Dead and Breakfast”.  I picked it up at Michaels last year after Halloween for 75% off. Once again, there are a lot of diecuts decorating the pockets. I'm getting the chance to use several of my newest dies. I'm very happy with how it turned out. I hope my partner likes it.

Speaking of Michaels, they had a 55% of coupon good for four days, from Friday to Monday. You have to know that I took advantage of that. The first two days, i picked up more 6" X 6" Halloween paper pads. I like that size for pocket letters as the prints are smaller than the 12" X 12" paper pads. 

Today, I purchased the We R Memory Keepers Frame Punch Board. I have a project in mind for this but I want to make sure my idea works before sharing it with you. My local store is closed tomorrow so no coupon buying for me on Monday.

I finished off an autumn themed mini file folder for a swap on one of my Facebook groups. It was a quick and easy project that was fun to do. You can see a tutorial here if you are interested in giving it a try.

Tomorrow's goal will be an autumn themed pocket letter for a YouTube swap I signed up for. I want to make good progress on it before the big rush of Halloween craft projects begins. I've signed up for a LOT of Halloween swaps.

How have you been spending your time this weekend? What projects are you working on? Tell me all about them in the comment section below. Thanks.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Crafting Is My Refuge

Why do I craft? First and foremost, it makes me happy. It helps me combat the loneliness and depression that often sneaks in. On a really stressful day it helps me to relax and unwind; put the rest of the crazy world behind me for awhile. It is also a very useful tool in my pain management arsenal. An active mind and busy hands push the pain into the background, instead of front and centre.

When I am creating art there is no one else standing over me, watching my every move with eagle eyes, negatively criticizing everything I do, eavesdropping on every word I speak and generally dragging me down. Crafting transports me to a better place full of fun and laughter and it is a great place to escape to when I am able. It keeps me sane (although some may dispute that).

My world suddenly became much smaller a few years back. The end of a relationship separated me from a lifestyle that I loved and friends that I cherished. Along with that, my increasingly challenging mobility issues keep me fairly close to home these days. So, crafting is my refuge, a safe space for me retreat to from the anxieties of my everyday life.

I’ve always had that creative urge, dabbling in many different things over the years; knitting, quilting, weaving, and jewelry making to name a few. Paper crafting is my current passion, from artist trading cards to art journaling, pocket letters to greeting cards and more. Who knows what will come next? What new crafting adventures lie ahead?

My mother was always a crafter too. She was into knitting, crocheting, quilting, flower arranging and more. One of my earliest memories is of her sewing doll clothes for a local company. They recruited home sewers, provided the fabric and patterns, and paid them for each completed piece. The doll clothes were then packaged in cellophane bags with printed cardboard toppers and sold in department stores. It was exciting for me as a young girl seeing my mothers’ work in the nearby Woolworths store.

Why do you craft? What motivates you to create art? What benefits do you get from crafting? Please share your thoughts and feelings about, or experiences with, the creative process in the comment section below.