Saturday, May 9, 2015

Easy-Peasy Handmade Cards

I have 2 friends retiring from long careers in teaching, 
and wanted to make them each a card, but had very little time to do so.  

 Graphics Fairy to the rescue!  What would we all do without that amazing, generous site??
Someone else was clever enough to come up with that cute phrase, so I just borrowed it and printed the image in simple black and white on matte photo paper.  A little pink Prismacolor pencil gives her cheeks some color.  Kim had sent a bunch of paper cut-out flowers a while back, and I added smaller flowers I punched from some aqua foil paper I had in my stash.  Light aqua stick-on pearls from the $1 bins at Michaels (all that stuff tempts me so!!) add a little pizzazz, along with folding the petals upward for dimension.  Kraft paper card stock frames everything and is a nice contrast to the white and aqua.

How easy was that?!

I much prefer giving handmade cards instead of store-bought.  So much more economical, plus I just really enjoy making and personalizing them.

I decorated the envelopes with another flower and pearl, plus some white gel pen lettering and flourishes.  I love using white pens or pencils on brown kraft paper....I think it looks so snappy!
(Remember my little Etsy gift boxes from a long-ago post??):

White pencil on the left, white gel pen on the right.  The white adds so much extra 'oomph' to the brown paper.

Here's the other decorated envelope (the card was identical):

Easy Peasy!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

French General....c'est si bon!

Another artJOYstuff swap to share... 
this time the theme was "French General", 
drawing inspiration from designer Kaari Meng and her wonderful line 
of fabrics, embellishments and paper goods.

I had to start my ATCs from scratch, however, since I didn't have any actual products from her line to use.  Instead, I pulled together images and elements that emulated her 'look':
red damask prints, vintage-looking red labels and trims, and French icons.
My design is all lined up and neat & tidy,
which to me, is again part of the French General 'look'.

Remember the prototypes for my new bag designs I showed in this post? Well, the French grain sack design was really a perfect match for this theme.  I took that large image and shrunk it down to make this miniature pocket to hold the ATC:

I used my serger on the edges and they turned out pretty darn cute, if I do say so myself!

I used little lifts and levels to give each card a bit more dimension:

and tried to make the back pretty, too:

I got three lovely ATCs swapped in return, and our host Kimberly sent pretty French General papers in a little pennant/bunting kit to each of us~

I love everything in that French General line, especially the old graphics and the wonderful way all of it is presented and packaged.  Right up my alley!

c'est si bon!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Wedding Card Revisited

My darling niece just got married and I wanted to make a personalized wedding card for her.

Hmmm, how to start?

Well, I had already designed this one, below,  for a "White Wedding" swap a year ago, 
and was pleased with how it turned out.  I simply used the same basic layout for the new card 
(glad I saved a photo of the original before I swapped it!).

It went together lickety-split, since I already had the general template and technique figured out.
My flower stash was different this time around, so those got a new arrangement  ~  and of course, the photo of the new happy couple was used in the little frame.

It was so nice having a quick and easy project for a change!

Friday, March 27, 2015

What I've been working on...

My latest ATCs 
for artJOYstuff's March swap, "Fairy Garden"...

Twigs, moss and little flowers (and glitter, of course!)
added to the sweetest image of a baby fairy... 

I found this darling image in my clip art books 
to scan and use for signing the back...

My regular work has kept me busy.  
I've been doing more surface designs for tote bags, and
working ahead for the next holiday season.  
Here's a peek at a new chalkboard-style Christmas bag:

Sorry about all the copyright watermarks, but when these get reposted on Pinterest or elsewhere, I can't risk having them copied and printed by others.
Here's a peek at another chalkboard-style design for Halloween:

And a 'retro' Holiday design:

I have to re-paint the central figure on this one.  Her hands and packages look very weird.
And, finally, one more generic design for next Fall:

As usual, the buyer "loved" (I quote, skeptically) these, 
BUT the purchase orders still haven't been signed for these to go ahead and be printed. 
So I am on pins and needles hoping the orders go through.  
Not fun to put in hours and hours of work, on spec, with no guarantee 
that I'll see actual income from these.  
Fingers crossed!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Parisian Beauty Swap

The sweet "Parisian Beauty"swap mentioned in my last post brought me three delightful ATCs from other swappers.  And I received a 'party favor' as well, from swap host Kimberly!

 Kimberly sent along these very pretty earrings. I love them!  And they were so cleverly presented, strung on the tiny mannequin tag, mounted to vintage French text. I will feel tres chic when wearing them!

Three variations on the theme, from three talented crafters:
Left, from Kimberly, artJoystuff.   Middle, from Susanne Talbot (no blog).   Right, from Sherry, Creatology

Notice the paper I used in the background of these photos?  It is the beautiful handmade creation of Kathy from KathyInOzarks . I won several pieces of it in the Grow Your Blog drawing that she had recently. I can't wait to use it in a special project.  I love all the texture. Thanks again, Kathy.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Ooh la la!

"Parisian Beauty"
... the theme of this month's ATC swap Kimberly is hosting at artJOYstuff ...
 and here's what I came up with:

I found this image of a Moulin Rouge can-can dancer, and thought, "ooh la's perfect!" 
I added in some type (that fanciful font is called "Rage", and it is the same one I used in my blog header and water-mark.  Actually, I use it all the time on LOTS of projects; definitely a favorite!). 
Her dancing outfit got an extra 3-d flounce layer of pink lace, gathered up and sewn on. 

Three ATCs for my 3 swappers:

... and all wrapped up in some tissue and pretty vintage trim:

It will be fun to see what French-inspired lovelies I get in return.
I love a good swap!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Giveaway WINNERS!!

I had so many nice visitors to my blog for the "Grow Your Blog" party, who left such kind and affirming comments.  Thank you all so much, and a special welcome to my new followers, too.  I hope you come back often and that we can become friends!

The winner of my Soldered Heart necklace... GILLY from

(Gilly was commenter #23)

The winner of the Angel Card... CYNTHIA CRANE from

(Cynthia was commenter #30)

 Just for the heck of it I decided to have a "JUST BECAUSE" extra drawing, for another Angel Card:
(Not the greatest photo, since I left it in its cello bag)


CONGRATS to all three winners, and thank you again for stopping by my blog. Hope you visit again, soon!