Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Happy Birthday, Baby!

I can't believe it...my baby is turning 8 on Thursday (or in two more days as he reminded me this morning.)

So on this rainy afternoon, I let the kids play a little Wii so that I could come upstairs and get his birthday card created.  I knew it had to be a quick card since I can never count on how much quality time I'll have by myself.
I had some really cute birthday paper left over from last year from Imaginisce called B-day Bash * Hip Hip Hooray and thanks to the busy pattern on that, I could keep the other design elements fairly simple. I used my favorite little guy from the Little Fella set from Paper Smooches. I had seen some other cards where they popped up the number and thought that would look great (cut from the Cricut Alphalicious cartridge). Unfortunately, when I stuck my balloons on they completely obscured the number so you can't really tell that there is an 8 back there...oops :-)

Now, I just need to find some time away from him so I can shop for his presents...nothing like waiting til the last minute. 


Sunday, July 22, 2012

First Shipment to OWH!

Do you ever think something is going to be easy...but then it turns out to take you a lot longer than you ever thought it would? Well, that is how my first shipment of cards for Operation Write Home turned out.

I had my first shipment ready about a month ago. A total of 42 general sentiment cards ready, stamped with the logo, tucked in envelopes, and banded by category! I was so happy! I went to the post office and realized pretty quickly that I had no idea what I was doing. I had far too many cards for the small Priority rate box and no where near enough for the medium box. So I took the medium sized box home and decided I would "just fill it up."

But if you read my other posts, you know that my real job (real estate) has kept me really busy all summer. And so that box has sat on my shelf for a very long time! But I am proud to say that tonight I finished it (or at least I filled it as much as I could). Thanks to a few duplicate cards (which I try to avoid), I was able to fill it about 3/4 of the way full...70 cards in all. Below is one of a variety of fall themed general purpose cards that made it into the package. Thanks to the adorable Outline's stamp (so sad that they are out of business now), the card came out pretty cute!

Whew! I'm glad that is done.  Maybe I'll go for the smaller box for my second shipment :-)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Fall is in the air...

I was so excited that latest OWH card drive is asking for 1/2 and 1/2 boxes (half seasonal cards, half general purpose) to begin stockpiling for the coming holiday season. For me, it is always so much fun to make holiday cards and my seasonal paper and stamp supplies are more extensive.

I came up with these two cute cards that could be used anytime this fall. they are basically the same card, with some minor variations. The pumpkin stamps are from Inkadinkadoo colored with my Copic markers. The sentiments were created with the Tekton font on Microsoft Word out of laziness so I wouldn't have to try to stamp long sentences with individual alphabet stamps.
  Hope you are having some fun today!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Another OWH birthday card

In yesterday's post, I shared the first of many birthday cards that I created to go in my Operation Write Home box to ship to the soldiers. Since I already had my Elizabeth Craft Designs cupcake stickers out, I figured I might as well use them up and create some more cards.

The first one was a simple card using up another page of scrap paper from a K & Company pack, this time, Poppy Seed. And the sentiment was from Paper Smooches again.

For the second card, I pulled out my Fiskar's paper crimper to replicate a cupcake wrapper and tied it with some black satin ribbon.

Hope your day is sweet!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Birthday, America!

Today was a perfect holiday! The boys went to the swim club and I got a little quiet time in my craft room. And in honor of the holiday I decided to work on some cards to fill my Operation Write Home box. Since we're celebrating the birth of America, I decided to make some birthday cards for the soldiers to send home.

I had some leftover paper from K& Company's Confetti pad and decided to pair it with one of the cupcake stickers from Elizabeth Craft Designs. I just love these stickers, they look really pretty when combined with Copic markers. The sentiment is from Paper Smooches' Party Posse stamp set.

Hope you found some time today to do something you love!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Picture Perfect Sympathy Card

So if you've read through my blog posts you'll note that my chief complaint is with my photography. It's kind of ironic since my dad is an avid photographer and has read probably EVERY book ever written on the subject. But I just didn't inherit his genes for understanding how to take a good photo. For me it is usually just luck.

Don't get me wrong, I've tried to learn. I've amassed my own collection of photography guides and I upgraded to a digital SLR in hopes of learning more. But I tend to just set the camera to Auto mode and shoot away until I have a photo that looks pretty decent. But as I have started to post more to this blog, I realized that I was going to have to change my technique if I had any hope of taking pictures of my cards that weren't all tinted blue.

Dad found this great book called The Crafter's Guide to Taking Great Photos: the best techniques for showcasing your handmade creations, by Heidi Adnum and passed it along to me. In simple, one page directions, she runs through a variety of techniques to improve your photography, including how to build a photo tent. So now I look like I know what I am doing, even though I really don't. 

The photo tent is constructed from a large cardboard box with the top and sides cut out and lined with parchment paper. Attached to the back is a long piece of white drawing paper (but I am sure you could use a piece of cotton fabric as well. I still need to learn how to play with the lighting...but for my first attempt, I was pleased to see that the usual dark shadows were eliminated and the colors more true. (Note: I did use a piece of white card stock to diffuse the light from the flash as well since photos taken without the flash appeared a bit yellower (warmer).

You can see today's creation, a sympathy card made with pale purple papers, which usually appear to be gray in my old photos, but now are more authentic with the help of the diffused lighting in the photo tent.

I still have lots to learn, but at least now I am on the right path. My Dad will be so proud!