I used this stamp on ivory paper to make the background paper, along with some distress ink to make it look older. That paper was then adhered to a black card base.
Every year after Thanksgiving, I bring my cards into work to sell in the break room. I always sell a few, and it gets my name and work out there. This year, I was approached by a fellow teacher asking for some custom cards for a gift. She wanted some music themed cards. Easy!
I used this stamp on ivory paper to make the background paper, along with some distress ink to make it look older. That paper was then adhered to a black card base.
For the sentiment, I used this stamp on more ivory paper distressed with ink. I mounted it on black paper, cut a banner edge, and mounted it on the card with foam tape to give some dimension. I also added some die cut leaves behind the sentiment banner.
I really like how these cards came out. I made 4 for the special order (which she used for a holiday party gift game) and 4 extra which sold at work in just days! I think I'll have to make some more!
Anyone drooling yet?
I inherited my love of donuts from my mom, so when I saw this paper, I had to get it! I got it originally for my mom's birthday - I wrapped her gift in it and made her a card. Since I had some paper left over, I decided to share the joy of donuts with others!
These cards were fast and simple to put together. I cut the paper, edged it with some ink, stamped and embossed a greeting, and adhered everything to a card base.
I love that these cards can be used for any occasion. Because really, donuts are always the answer, aren't they?
Want some donuts (cards) for yourself? Get them in my Etsy shop!
Happy snacking, I mean, crafting!
Wedding season may be several months away, but I have been playing with the "&" stamp that I used on the wedding cards I made last summer.
I heat-embossed the stamped image with white embossing powder, then used distress inks (we all know how much I love those!) to make a colorful watercolor-like background. Some simple matting, and voila! Cards ready for any wedding!
What I really like about this design is that I can make it in any color combination I want - making it really easy to customize the card to the wedding! I made a blue, a lavender/pale pink, and a bright pink to begin with. I think those are pretty generic wedding colors, right?
I stamped the inside with a 'Congratulations' in a matching color of ink.
I have these listed on Etsy right now, but if you'd like one in a different color combination, just let me know and I can make one just for your special occasion!
Thanks for stopping by!
I've done several invitations over the last few years, and an invitation order usually involves at least a few dozen invitations, if not over 100! Imagine my surprise when a friend asked me for just one invitation!
She has a friend whose husband planned a Vegas getaway for her 40th birthday! And not just for him and her, but for 3 other couples! And she had no idea! What an amazing gift, right? So my friend and the other 2 couples decided to make the weekend extra special and plan a special dinner, a spa afternoon, and a show.
Since the husband and friends planned the whole weekend, they didn't need invitations, but the birthday girl did, so that's what I got to make! A reverse invitation. And what better colors to use for a Vegas getaway than gold and black?
I stamped the band holding it all together with some gold embossing to give it a bit more shine.
I made the invitation a tri-fold invitation with two pockets so the show tickets and a birthday message could be tucked into the pockets.
The center panel outlined the schedule of events for the weekend as well as a description of the spa treatment.
I am told the birthday girl was thoroughly surprised and the weekend was amazing. And I am super jealous.
Happy New Year!
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season. I had a great time relaxing, hanging out with family and friends, and getting caught up around the house.
And I got my Christmas cards done!
These cards are the most complicated cards I ever made multiples of. There were a bunch of steps and techniques, but I love them! And I loved making them!
First, I used distress inks to watercolor full sheets of paper using the smooshing technique that I've shared before, then I heat-embossed poinsettias on them.
Then, because the stamp didn't have a matching die, I had to fussy-cut them all.
I added foam tape to the backs of all the poinsettias to make them pop off the background.
The background of the card was a green water-colored paper, colored with distress inks, just like the poinsettias. I matted the green paper with black cardstock and adhered the whole thing to a gold card base.
The last part of the card was the sentiment. Gold heat-embossed stamping on black cardstock and matted on gold cardstock.
And voila! All done!
I made 45 cards and I loved making every single one of them! I know these cards were way fussier than I usually make. I know they took me a lot of time and effort to make, but I made them because I may not have a lot of time to make crazy Christmas cards for a while.
And I slipped a little something into each card:
That's right! That's my announcement! We're going to have a baby! I'm due in May and we're so excited! This is why I may not be able to do any fancy Christmas cards for a while - I'll be a little busy!
So, my holiday season was great, how was yours?
I have a couple more cards for you today. Some thinking of you cards using a rose background stamp.
The first card I used pink and purple distress inks to create a water-color-like effect on the card.
For the second card, I recreated the Mother's Day card I made earlier this year by sponging on the color, then spritzing it with water to blend the colors together.
I really like these cards - they could be used for a sympathy card, or a pep-talk card, or any other reason you would be thinking of someone. I hope I get to send these under good circumstances, not sympathy.
I've been making a lot of sympathy cards lately. That makes me sad. A lot of friends have been going through tough times lately and though I can't do anything to fix their problems or make them feel physically better, I can give them a card to let them know I'm thinking of them. So that's what I do.
I had to make another one a couple weeks ago and since I knew I'd likely need more eventually, I made several.
I made these cards using the same products. I stamped a dandelion stamp twice and embossed them using white embossing powder. I did the same with the Thinking of You stamp.
I used Distress Ink with both cards but I applied it in different ways. On the first card, I used an ink blender to apply the ink to the paper first, then I spritzed the whole thing with water to let the colors blend together.
For the second card, I used the smooshing technique that I've used many times before. I started out with a pink, a blue, and a purple, but as the inks smooshed together, the pink and blue blended into purple, so it ended up very, very purple. Which still looks nice, but not exactly what I was going for.
I matted both watercolor pieces with foam tape onto white cardstock, then used foam tape to adhere that onto a white card base.
I'm hoping that I can stop making sympathy cards soon. I'm looking forward to getting started on my Christmas cards!!!
What kinds of cards have you been making lately?
Anyone started on Christmas cards yet?
Welcome back to my final (for now...) installment of:
Here are parts 1 and 2
The last 2 weeks I've been sharing what I've learned about physical project life over the last few years. "Physical" meaning paper, photos, ephemera, etc. Things you can actually hold in your hand.
I love physical PL. I really do. I love photos, I love paper, I love moving things around and adding embellishments and cutting things up and adhering them down.
But it just got to be too much. The 12x 12 album seemed too big, the card choices seemed too many, and I ended up sitting at my desk for what seemed like too long.
So before I started my 2015 album, I decided to let myself think for a while. I thought about doing a 6x8 version of PL. I thought about doing digital PL. I thought about using the PL app. I thought about not doing PL at all. I thought for what ended up being 4 months. And I hadn't documented my year at all. I still took photos, I was still saving what little bits of memorabilia I had, but I wasn't doing anything with them. Then in late April, I made a decision.
On April 22, my nephew was born. On April 23, I went to the hospital to visit him, and I took photos (of course!!!). When I got home, I needed to do something with those photos. I didn't want to do something with them, I needed to do something with them. I needed to start documenting my nephew's life. I needed to start documenting my own life again. I needed to play with photos and colors and designs again. And I needed it to be easy and portable and fun. So I downloaded the Project Life app and started playing around.
It only took minutes before I was hooked!
It took me 10 minutes to make my first page about my visit to the hospital to meet Jason. 10 minutes!!! I immediately went back and pulled photos from the previous 4 months and quickly pulled together page after page. On and off for that first weekend, I worked on my pages and by the time Monday came around again, I was caught up! I felt excited again! I felt like documenting again! Is it as unique as the physical version of PL? No. Is it as customizable? Nope. Does it feed my need to play with papers and photos and cut things and glue things? No way. But is is fast and easy? Yes! Is it fun? Oh yeah! Is it getting me excited about documenting again? Hell Yes!!! And that's exactly what I needed this year.
Plus, I have been able to make theme albums in a snap! I have made a book for my cat. Yes, I have an album for my cat - I have to do something with all those adorable photos!
I've also made books for my mom, my sister, and my sister's mother-in-law about my nephew Jason. I put together 2-3 pages each month using photos my sister has posted on FB or photos she or mom have sent me of Jason, then I print them out and they slide the pages into their books. I'll also include Jason's pages in my yearbook. That's 4 books with only about 30 minutes of work each month - including printing!
I have not printed any of my own pages for the year yet. I still have to decide if I'm going to print them as individual pages and put them into a 3-ring binder or if I'm going to get them printed in a book. And I still have to decide if I'm going to print them in 12x12 or 8x8. But right now, I don't care. My year is documented.
I've learned that for me, right now, the PL app is the way to go. Easy and fast is the best way for me. Maybe next year, I will go back to physical. I have not gotten rid of any of my supplies. But for now, this is what works.
This is what gets me to document my life.
This is fun!
And that's the point!
Have any of you readers used any of the Project Life systems? Physical, digital, or the app? Did you like it? Did you stick with it? What system is working for you right now?
Happy crafting (and documenting)!
Last week, I shared some tips about Project Life that I've learned work for me after 4 years of doing this version of memory keeping. This week, I've got 3 more tips for you - all photo-related.
4) Print often.
I don't print at home. My printer is great for a lot of things, but photos is not one of them. I send my photos to the CVS down the street. They do a good job and I can usually pick up my photos in about an hour. CVS sends me a lot of coupons for photos. Unfortunately, I usually have to order 50+ photos to qualify for the discount. I used to wait till I had 50+ photos to place an order, just so I could get the discount (which was only a few pennies per print). Even when I did PL weekly, it would be 2-3 months before I had that many photos! By then, I wasn't excited about the photos anymore (I wanted to work on more recent ones), and I was overwhelmed with 50 photos at a time. I just didn't have a large enough chunk of time to put them into my album with cards and ephemera! Way too much at a time. I decided that the discount wasn't worth my sanity. So I began printing every 2-3 weeks (depending on time available, # of photos, and events that happened). I ended up with about 15-20 photos, which is way more manageable.
5) Take a lot of photos.
Take photos of people and events, yes, but don't forget about things. Take a photo of your new shoes, your favorite soda, the book you just finished, the state of your desk or work area. Take photos of the places you go all the time but are not 'special' - the grocery store, the coffee shop, the gym. These photos tell your story too. They tell your story perhaps more than the event photos. They tell who you are on a regular day and that is important. And when I look back on 3 years of PL, I like those every day photos the best.
6) Don't take too many photos.
I know, I just told you to take a lot of photos. What I mean is that while it's good to take a lot of photos of what you do and who you're with, don't let taking photos be the activity that takes over the other activities. Enjoy your life, experience your life, snap a couple shots, then get back out there and do something fun! After all, that's what Project Life is all about - living a good life and recording it! Living it comes first!
Thanks for reading! I hope some of my experiences help you make Project Life work for you. Next week, I'll share my final installment of Project Life where I share why I decided to ditch the physical version and go digital this year!
I've been a devoted Project-Lifer for 4 years now. And I've learned so much! I'd like to share some of what I've learned here with you. Be warned - I like to talk about Project Life. A lot. So I'm going to split this post up into multiple parts.
First, a little history:
My first year (2012), I did weekly layouts, I journaled everything, I took photos of everything, I saved all my little extras to put in the book. And I ended up with 2 volumes for one year. That's a bit much.
The second year (2013), I went monthly. I only made 2-3 spreads per month, so I was able to cram the whole year into one book. Barely.
The third year (2014), I became much more zen about the whole thing. I put photos in as I took them, collected less stuff, and I journaled less. I fit a whole year of PL plus an extra project (Me: The Abridged Version) in one book. With a bit of room to spare.
This year (2015), I spent the first 3 months of the year wondering if I even wanted to continue PL. Then I found the PL app and my whole life changed. But that's another post...
So here we go:
1) Write stuff down - you will forget.
You think you'll remember, because how could you forget that funny thing your husband said or the details about your friend's party or how you felt after the series finale of your favorite show ever!?! But you will forget. Trust me on this. Write it down. Write it anywhere - a journal, a planner, a word document, a post-it note, or directly onto a journaling card. Just make sure all the notes you write down end up in the same place. These are what you will use to fill in your Project Life book. These are the important bits of your life. These are the things you want to remember!
2) Don't worry about separating weeks or months, just let it flow.
To me, the thought of keeping up with a weekly layout is daunting. Filling up a whole spread of photos and ephemera for a week or a month or any amount of time is restricting and nerve-wracking. And trying to keep all my photos in perfect chronological order is anxiety-inducing. So I let it go. *insert Frozen song* When I get my photos printed, I put them in a more-or-less chronological order, then start filling pockets. If I have 2 photos about one event but only one spot left of a page, then the 2 photos go on the next page. No biggie!
3) Don't plan to do something each week or month, you will only get discouraged when you fall behind with it.
My first year, I used the week cards provided in the kit. It was easy to fill them in, even if I was behind, because all I had to do was write in the dates. My second year, I wanted to do a weekly review card to record the things that didn't make in into the photos. I lasted 4 weeks. Then I got depressed about being behind. My third year, I knew I couldn't keep up with a weekly review, or even a monthly review, so I decided to just make a card (any size) to denote a new month. It didn't matter where it went or what size it was or how it was decorated, I just wanted the months shown. I got through March. Then I decided to just go with it. I date enough of my journaling cards that if I really want to know where I am in the year at a certain place in my book, I can just look at my journaling cards.
That's all I have for today, I'll be back with some more Project Life musings next week!
Blogs I read:
Bits & Pieces
Jennifer McGuire Ink
I Could Make That