Adventures in Card-Making · Tutorial

Faux Metal Embellishments in 3 steps!

Dear Fellow Crafters,

This is a really easy technique to create elegant embellishment for our cards in 3 easy steps:

  1. Die cut your panel, image or sentiment several times from white cardstock- three times is usually perfect for card layers. Layer, align and glue  the die cuts on top of each other. Ink up the top layer and sides with pigment ink and pour embossing powder over the first layer.
  2. Heat emboss the first layer, then dip the still hot powdered surface into another layer of powder. If you have Ultra Thick Embossing Powder use it!
  3. Glue the cooled faux metal embellishment onto your card.
Faux metal embellishments

Happy Crafting!

~Sallie

Adventures in Card-Making · Sentiments

Halloween cards and sentiments

Dear Fellow Crafters,

Some ideas from Pinterest boards for your Halloween inspiration:

Haunted House

 

Sentiments for cards

Here’s a little greeting that always bears repeating…

Happy Trick or Treating!

Spiders, bats and a ghostly brew

Are all in this Halloween wish for you!

May your costume be scary.. your cat be black, and buckets of candy fill your sack!

Happy Haunting!

Have a spooktacular day!

Best witches to you.

I’m bats about you!

A bat, a cat, a bright-eyed pumpkin too

A Happy Halloween and best witches to you!

Monster manners

Only spook when spooken to
Avoid biting when a simple hello will do
Keep your spells to yourself
Brush your fangs, no goblin your food, and cover you mummy.
Treat every batty with respect
Never serve your friends stakes or sandwitches
Don’t eat the trick or treaters.
Ghoul Talk

Make time for your ghoul friends
Candy corn and jelly beans are vegetables
You can never have too many shoes
No bat kissing
Hair belongs on spiders, not on your chin
Everybody picks a pumpkin that is pleasingly plump
Don’t wait for the invisible man. He won’t show up.
It’s ghoul night out, so if the broom fits, fly it.

Halloween greetings,

~Sallie

 

Adventures in Card-Making · Too Much Stuff!

Where do you keep your crafting ideas?

Dear Fellow Crafters,

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far away, there lived a group of crafters. They were clever folks who believed that with their talents and many ideas they had become their villages’ answer to the NEXT BIG THING.  Then disaster struck! They lost their ideas. They had so many of them, all in various secretive  places and they were lost.

OK – this is a fantasy. However, the last part, sadly is not. We crafters do tend to have so many ideas, stored in so many places that they may get lost or worse yet, finished products never made!

Long before the internet, there was email. Lots of us, crafters and non-crafters alike took our ideas from our browsers and stored them in folders on our laptops or in our email account. Then came newsletters, blogs, magazine galleries, craft store ideas. Then came the mysterious CLOUD and finally Pinterest.

Where do you store ideas? This situation came to a head for me this summer. I realized that I was never going to be able to make all the cards I wanted to. Other than all the magazines I have where was the bulk of my ideas and more importantly, how would I organize them? HMMMM. It’s interesting what you can find on the internet isn’t it? When I typed in the question I found this article “Why all crafters need a visual diary.” The author of this intriguing blog post, Felicia (creator of the Craft Sessions) explains it this way:

“All crafters need a visual diary and by visual diary I mean a notebook, Pinterest and an inspiration board.” Her article continues to say that visual diaries help you identify and prioritize which ideas to make. You can plan and gather supplies. “The visual diary allows your ideas to develop over time.” Sometimes you see an idea on Pinterest or on the web and say to yourself “I can make that.” The only thing is, after you start you realize that the original crafter used “X” to make the finished product and you don’t have “X”. Using a visual diary allows you to sketch out your idea and plan on how to implement your supplies. You can work on your design for a long time.

“Visual Diaries provide clarity about what your brain really likes which helps you make better things.” This is sorta like putting all your eggs in one basket, er, folder. Like the example above,, if you make “X” it will be different if you use your supplies instead of buying the exact same thing the original designer used. Pinterest, as I’ve often said, is a “godsend.” Pinning things on a board is a way of checking to see what you like over time. A visual diary will help your ideas become the best versions of themselves.

Happy Crafting,

~Sallie

 

Adventures in Card-Making

How to be more productive in 8 steps

Dear Fellow Crafters,

Procrastination map

 

While this “cartoon” makes you smile it probably makes you think about procrastination and productivity. These two opposing mechanisms affect all of us but especially crafters. The “product” we make depends on our ability to actually produce. The road to productivity is paved with distractions – weather, time, our feelings, illness and of course laziness!

Here are some ways to help:

  1. Negative self-talk – According to personal coach and author Tara Mohr, we often self sabotage our productivity out of fear allowing our inner critic to distract us from accomplishing anything that feels scary. It also plays a role in the way we approach our development as artists and crafters. In his book, “If you want to walk on water, you have to get out of the boat” by John Ortberg insists that fear paralyzes us from living. A little fear is a good thing but continual, deep-set fear stops any healthy confidence in ourselves. Thomas Edison tried  1000 times to create the light bulb. What if he gave up at the   1001 time?  Try this solution: In the moments of fear, try a little “TLC”. Scribbling affirmations on notes around your craft table – “I can do this”.
  2.  Some of us are more productive when we have a deadline looming in front of us. Some of us tend to put blinders on and try to ignore the inevitable. We tend to stress out, do a shoddy job, hurry through and/or give up.
  3. We tell ourselves we are too busy/sick/tired – Sometimes we really are the above but most of the time, it’s an excuse to do anything. We tell ourselves that “I worked all day and deserve a break” or “we mean to ___” or the classic “We’ll do it tomorrow.”
  4. We aim for perfection. There are always going to be artists or crafters who make the same thing that we do, only better (we think). Not anyone though can make it like us. All of us are unique and therefore our “widget” whatever it is, is uniquely ours (now where did I hear that before?!) It’s ok to try to make a better xxyyy just keep telling yourself that your spin on creating is on track.
  5. Too many distractions – We tell ourselves another “lie” when we make time for social media. Some email, Face Book, tweets , Pinterest scrounging are ok. We say to  ourselves that we are accomplishing something when we get involved first thing in the morning. However, the negative reactive part of our brain kicks in and we lose time when we surf.

So, before you totally get depressed check out these tips to become more productive:

  • Enter deadline dates on your calendar 2 days in advance.
  • Ask a friend to  email or text you to hold you accountable.
  • Hold off on early morning social media checking until after you’ve accomplished some of your “to do lists”.
  • Do bits of your “to do list” at a time, that way you get a break.
  • Offer a reward to yourself when a task is complete.
  • Set a time limit or goal.
  • Do the easy parts first.

Happy Crafting,

~Sallie