simple and easy

I can’t believe it has been over a year since my last post.  Not a day has gone by since then that I haven’t thought about this blog.  I am not giving up on being creative, not by a long shot, just life sometimes takes over. During my time away I have been putting some thought into what I want to accomplish  with my creativity.  I would love to eventually have my own online store where I can sell handmade cards.  So I’d like to reach out to readers and conduct some market research. I have brain stormed some questions that hopefully will aid me in the process of finding out who my target market is and what they look for in handmade goods. Below are my first two inquiries and I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions.

Do you give or send cards to family and friends throughout the year?

If so, what holidays or special occasions do you find you give cards for?

In the meantime, I’d like to share a card I just recently made for my dad for Father’s Day. I have been putting thought into my card making process.  I feel it is important to be able to create simple and beautiful cards within a manageable time frame. Especially, since I want to be able to produce large quantities to sell online.  This has given me the opportunity to venture into some new stamps and techniques that create simple and easy cards.


While looking for inspiring ideas I came across several companies that have stamps that allow you to layer colors.  This cute stamp set, Hero Arts Color Layering Goldfish is so amazingly simple and fun to use.  There are endless possibilities with this stamp set and it also has a coordinating die and ink set that is sold separately or as a bundle.

I used white cardstock cut slightly smaller than the card itself as my design area. Using a circle die cut, I created a peak-a-boo window and layered with embossed cardstick with a bubble texture for extra interest.  Quick tip, use a white marker to highlight details on your embossed design to add more dimension. The key to working with the layering stamps is a Misti by My Sweet Petunia or the Tim Holtz Stamping Platform by Tonic Studios. You will want to be able to keep your image in one place and line up each of the stamp layers before you ink.  I also experimented with different types of ink. Archival or permanent ink worked the best for me.  To finish up, add your sentiment, fussy cut or die cut your stamped images and adhere with 3D foam tape for added effect.

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spring has sprung

spring fling

Hello Everyone!

I’m a little bit at a loss for words.  It’s been really hard to find the time to blog lately and that is a real bummer.  I think about you all everyday as I sit at my regular 9-5 job and miss being creative.  But Friday and I have finally found our way to each other and I just want to share what I’ve been up to.

Spring is on it’s way and seeing the sun, hearing the birds and enjoying some warmer temps inspired me with my Easter cards.  In the past I have done individual cards, each one unique.  But this time around I decided on replicating the same shape and idea but changing up the colors and making small changes.  I used a “production line” way of assembling and it made it much easier to do multiple cards in a shorter time frame.  I did start by working one card all the way through from start to finish just so that I had my basic ideas down and then I went in and “mass produced” all my pieces.  Below are some pictures of the process as well as the steps.

paper

Cut card stock and soften corners with corner rounder.

1. Cut card stock and soften corners with corner rounder.

2. Stamp Bristol with desired images.

3. Color images with assorted Distress Inks/Markers.

4. Punch holes in corner of Bristol for brads (optional).

stamping

Stamp designs on Bristol

 

 

 

 

5. Add embossed detail to color card stock.

6. Assemble cards.

7. Create custom embellishments and assemble.

8. Put together cards and add embellishments.

ready to color

It was fun to create in this way.  I love to do individual cards, each unique to the person who is receiving it, but that can sometimes take longer.  My work week can often be hectic and by the time the weekend rolls around my mind is mush. So to keep things simple I opted for easier cards.  It was also a nice way to work in my new space.  I found myself standing and sitting and moving around comfortably.  It can take me some time in a new space to get acquainted with my work area and creating a routine helped me to work efficiently without having to remember where I had put everything.  I think this new space is going to work out perfectly.

I had time on Easter to set up a Christmas present from my husband, my desktop studio.  Now I can have photo shoots with my creations and show them in a more professional manner.  Scroll through to see the final results and the products used.  Thank you for allowing me to take the time to breathe create relax. – mj

desktop studio

hello spring

welcome spring

bunny hop

butterfly blue

easter cards

spring wish

hop into spring

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final word for 2014

I hope everyone has had a joyous holiday season and looking forward to what 2015 will bring.  I have actually started this post several times and was at a loss for words.  I have had good intentions this Christmas, but it was also a very busy few months.  My only regret was that I couldn’t do more.  Time seemed to go by so fast, but what moments I did grab a hold of I enjoyed being creative and sharing with you.  Blogging is new to me, only a few months old.  I am really excited to plan my blog for 2015.  I have been making observations along the way and hope to get into more of a routine that will allow me to share posts on a regular basis.  I do know that I have some other projects coming up besides cards that I intend to share with you.  My husband and I recently built our house and my current creative space is unfinished.  We plan on completing the room ourselves so stay tuned for more details on that.  I also have been organizing and sorting through photos. After a busy day I don’t always feel like sitting down to make a card, so I have searched out some other form of creativity that I can do while relaxing on the couch.  Enter Project Life! I am going to scale down those old photos and create photo albums using Project Life products.  To end 2014 I would like to share some of my other Christmas cards and to keep it short, a brief highlight of some of the products used.  If there is something specific you would like to know about a card leave a reply or send me a message.  Here is to learning and creating more in 2015 and taking the time to breathe create relax. Cheers! mj

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Cricut’s Trim the Tree Cartridge gives you beautiful intricate cuts that can be paired with a simple card design. I used paper from Pebbles Home For Christmas Paper Pad and holiday sentiment from K & Company Adhesive Chipboard design by Brenda Walton. Finally, add some gem stones for extra sparkle and family will think you spent hours on this design.

Postage Stamp Inspired

Postage Stamp Inspired

Using Cricut Sentimentals Cartridge, I created this oversized postage stamp featuring Tim Holtz Alterations Texture Fade in Pine Branch, paper from Jolee’s Boutique Holiday Paper Pad and All Night Media’s Dasher Wood Mount Stamp. (no direct link available for stamp)

Simple, yet festive.

Simple, yet festive.

Here is another easy design. To accent paper form The Paper Studio All Seasons Three 12 x 12 paper pad I used the reindeer die cut from Cricut’s Winter Woodland Cartridge and embossed the shadow with Tim Holtz Alterations Texture Fade in Holiday Knits. I also found these clear plastic holiday stickers from Cloud 9 Design to add my Christmas sentiment. (no link available for Christmas sentiment)

Jolly Ole Sant Nicholas

Jolly Ole Sant Nicholas

This one just makes me smile.  Using the Santa stamp from Stampers Anonymous Tim Holtz Halftone Christmas I first created my main image. Add Santa’s shadow image from Cricut’s Trim the Tree Cartridge and you have a playful childlike card to share with a family.

Peace

Peace

When I think of peace I think of calming soft colors, such as the colors found in DCWV’s Linen Closet 12 x 12 Paper Pad.  I created a vintage paper background using various Tim Holtz Distress Inks and accented details with silver Zing Embossing Powder in Glitter finish.  Did you know that Tim Holtz Idea-ology Grungeboard Basics can be embossed with embossing powders?  I used my Tim Holtz Alterations Bigz Dies in Reindeer Flight to create my shimmering deer in flight.

Oh Deer!

Oh Deer!

I am sensing a trend here.  I didn’t even realize how much I was drawn to reindeer images this year.  I used the same technique on the reindeer die cut as the previous image.  I changed up my embossing folder to feature Tim Holtz Alterations Shadow Press Christmas and used a birch tree stencil found at Hobby Lobby to create my wooded background. (direct link to stencil not available)

All that glitters

All that glitters

This final card reflects my personal style when it comes to holiday decor.  I love the old Shiny Brite ornaments but I also like simple and modern styles.  This picture really doesn’t show off the shimmer of the Zing Embossing Powder, but I like the mixture of old world ornaments from Stampers Anonymous Tim Holtz Christmas Memories stamp set and the embossed image from Darcie’s Embossing Folder appropriately called, Ornaments On The Side.

 

wish

wish

We are in our last few days of 2014 and I am still sharing my most recent projects with you.  This holiday season has been a hard one to keep up with.  I have had many good intentions but sometimes other events have taken place that had to become priority.  Prior to the holidays I worked overtime at work and really did’t find myself enjoying the season.  I decided to take a few days off at Christmas and New Years, so I am still in the festive spirit.  As of the new year I will begin to plan my blog for the year and I hope you’ll tune in for more.  This little holiday wish was a very simple card to design and I really like the way it turned out.  I would love to hear from you.  What do you do to breathe create relax? mj

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red nose reindeer

red nose reindeer

Here I am with another card to share.  I really like the Blended Batik technique from Tim Holtz Compendium of Curiosities Vol 1,  so I decided to visit it again.  It is inspiring to learn a new technique, and while in the process of learning said technique, it nurtures other ideas and projects.  For this card I started off with Strathmore Bristol 300 Series paper, stamped my back ground image using the Stampendous Music Score Wood Mount Stamp and Ranger Big Emboss It Pad Clear.  I used Ranger Distress Inks in Old Paper and Vintage Photo to antique the edges.  Now I am not going to tell you the details of the technique, you need to check out the book for that, but while learning it I was inspired to try additional techniques on top of it.  I used the Stampers Anonymous Layering Stencil Holly Bough to add additional holiday detail to the background.  Ranger Distress Inks in Barn Door, Festive Berries and Evergreen Bough were used to define the holly and berries of the stencil.  While working with this technique I kept the lower left hand corner free of any ink because I knew I wanted to use that area for a simple technique consisting of fewer steps.  I loved the rustic feel of this card and since I decided I was making all my cards able to hang, it was only logical that simple twine would be used for this card.

I hope you all are finding time to be creative?  This is a busy time of year and it is very easy to get caught up in all the things that “need” to be done.  But don’t forget to take a moment to do something for yourself.  I struggle with this every day and I want you to know you are not alone.  Even if it is only for 30 minutes, take the time.  Let’s help each other breathe create relax.  mj

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I would love to hear from you.  Leave me a message and I’ll respond.

 

greetings

This card has actually been complete for some time now.  I wanted to add some pizzaz to otherwise traditional paper stock by adding my own design to it.  By using the snowflake stamp from Stampers Anonymous Tim Holtz Halftone Christmas and Brilliance Pigment Ink in Moonlight White, I was able to “dress up” my red paper stock.  My original thought was to use the snowflake blueprint stamp also from Stampers Anonymous, to create additional interest to the red paper stock.  When I embossed it with Ranger Embossing Powder in Holographic it almost disappeared.  I had some scraps of the same red paper stock close at hand, so I cleaned off my blueprint stamp and re-inked with the Moonlight White onto the scraps.  Once dried, I fussy cut the snowflake image only and attached using Therm-O-Web 3D foam squares in 1/4. This little goof ended up being a save that created dimension to a card that may have turned out a little flat.  I think it’s the plaid paper in the background, but this card has a quilt feel to it. The holiday season is upon us, don’t forget to breath create relax. mj

greetings

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