Monday, February 28, 2011

Adventures in Light Box Land

So... third time to charm? That's right, I'm on my third homemade lightbox in as many weeks. At first, I just wanted to do something about my blue wall being in all my product pictures. Sometimes, it works. Sometimes, it just doesn't work for the picture. So, I decided to make a lightbox.

Mistake # 1.....

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Back in the day...

I was inspired by fantasy artist and fellow Etsy seller, Aquariann's, blog post about her new sketch to dig out an old drawing of my own.  She was posting about how her latest dragon is inspired by frost and fire dragons.  Well, once upon a time...

...there was a dwarf paladin named Calura.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Pizza Box Card Workshop

I haven’t been able to have a workshop yet this year.  I’ve scheduled one for the end of March in the hopes that my custom order will be all wrapped up and shipped by then.  I thought I would share one of the workshops from 2010.  It was a pizza box workshop where we made 4 x 4 pizza boxes and 4 notecards.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Give a Poem a Home - Valentine's 2011

I already showed you the card I made for my husband on Valentine's Day 2011 in an earlier post.  Here's the poem I wrote for the inside:

Your love fills me
Like the sap of a tree.
It flows through my veins
And brings life to me.
The branches are
Our years together
Each budding with memories
That we'll keep forever.
We've put down our roots
And we're standing strong
And I'll keep on loving you
My whole life long.

Friday, February 11, 2011

From Scraps to Smiles - Mini Thank-You Notes

I am always looking for ways to use up scraps.  I’m a pack rat and I hate to throw away even the tiniest piece of nice paper.  (I *have* gotten better at it!  Really!)  I’ve been trying to clean up my scrapbook studio.  I have actually made good progress but the bits from my fairy custom order keep spreading!  (I will take pictures of my reorganization after the order is complete.)

On my cleaning travels, I found some paper quilled bits.  They were left over from a card I made last year but with which I wasn’t terribly thrilled.  I made these bits in preparation for version 2 but version 2 was never made.

So I went to pile it in my “bits bin” and there I found the bits from my holiday goodie gifts.  Those boxes result in a good number of 2 x 4 bits, scored in the middle.  Since they make 2 x 2 mini cards, I decided to keep those bits and use them to make thank-you notes for my shop.  Since stuff isn’t flying off my shelves, I’ve been lazy about making the thank-you notes.

I made at least this one.  I made it for my custom fairy order.  The patterned paper is actually a scrap from one of the fairy cards!  That’s why I thought it would be clever to use it on the thank-you card.  It matched perfectly with the blue cardstock.  The paper quilled bits were just the right size.  I dug in my “bits bin” and found a paper die cut flower where I had put glitter in the centre.  Tah dah!  From scraps to smiles!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Giver Her Flowers

After stamping up my nephew's card, I decided to keep the stamping going and try out my newest Stampin' Up! stamp set.  Afterall, the PaperPlay challenge this week is to Stamp it Out!  Actually, I was able to make this card in to a double challenge feature.  PalsPaperArts has a colour combo challenge this week, based on Stampin' Up! colours:

I already know where this card is going.  I just have to remember I made it already when the time comes!  I also have a few stashed for my new plan for products in 2011.

This style of stamp is called a "two-step stamping" set.  First, you stamp the outline and then you stamp the coloured parts.  The coloured parts are meant to not fit perfectly on the outline, so that you get a watercolour kind of effect.  It's a pretty neat technique!

I also made myself a ghetto lightbox from foam core so I'm trying it out.  I am missing a plain white piece of bristol board fo rthe backdrop, so you still see a harsh line in the background but it's got to be better than my blue wall.  I have to hold the camera so close that the front of the card kind of warps, like looking through a peephole.  *sigh*  I probably need a bigger box.  Ghetto-box will have to do for now.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Guest Writer on the Revamp Your Etsy Shop Blog Series

Just a quick note today to let you all know that there is a blog series starting tomorrow on all the various aspects of your Etsy shop.  You can learn, step by step, how to tweak your shop.  Most of the lessons are written by guest writers.  My section will be about your Shop Announcement.  Here are the topics:
  1. Avatars & Banners - Meagan: Baby Swank
  2. Profile Bio - Rachael: Little Birdie Baby Shop
  3. Location, Favorites and the Activity Stream - Christine: Quirefly
  4. Shop Announcement - Lisa: Fairy Cardmaker
  5. Alchemy & Custom Orders - Amber: Twisted Ribbons Bows
  6. Message to Buyers - Affie: Crafty Bird Creations
  7. Shop Policies - Meagan: Baby Swank
  8. Shop Sections, Featured Listings, Rearranging Your Shop - Kimberly: Cinnamon Spice
  9. Google Analytics - Annie Dees
  10. Product Descriptions - Stacie: Sparrow Blu
  11. Tagging - Donna: Zoe Girl Designs
  12. Pricing: Overhead - Harriette: Harriete Estel Berman
  13. Packaging and Shipping - Affie: Crafty Bird Creations
  14. Photography - Part 1 - Alex: Terraine
  15. Photography - Part 2 - Alex: Terraine
  16. Branding - Mayi: Mayi Carles
  17. Marketing - Sarah: Makery Blog
  18. Social Networking - April: Blacksburg Belle
  19. SEO - Mary: SEO Web Design
  20. Seasons and Holidays - Missie: Sykin and NW Wonders
The series starts tomorrow on Baby Swank's blog and goes to the end of June, so there is lots of work ahead and lots of time to soak in the knowledge.  You can sign up for her newsletter on her blog to ensure you don't miss an article!

Wishing great success to us all in 2011!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Give a Poem a Home - 5 Year Old Birthday Boy

Well, I did manage to make the first birthday card of the month.  I have three male birthdays to prepare for this month, but I can't promise they will all be handmade!  This one had to be, though, because it's for my nephew.  All my nephews have had only handmade birthday cards from me and hubby since they were born.

This card is made with a digital stamp.  I have a few stamps that work for men.  I was going to use a little train, but I think my sister and I bought the same stamp from Michaels, so I tried very hard not to use it!  (Of course, then, I started to fixate on the train.)  Then it hit me.  The only way to totally steer clear of any possible duplicate images was for me to use a digital stamp.  (My sister doesn't have a printer!)  I sifted through my small collection of digital stamps on my computer and found this one.  It's perfect for a little boy, don't you think?
I got this stamp as a freebie from Pollycraft - I think it was last summer.  It was free for a limited time but now you can buy him from her Cuthbert and Kiki line.  (I just wanted to say, she has a Critters and Cogs line that is PERFECT for little boys too, and her monster named Fluffy is THE CUTEST monster I have ever seen!  One day, he will be mine.)

I coloured Cuthbert with Copic markers and mixed in a few Letrasets where I didn't have a colour in Copic.  (What are those?  Read about them here.)  This nephew loves green, so Cuthbert's shirt is a light green to match the patterned paper.

I tried something new with this stamp: paper piecing with stamps.  I stamped Cuthbert twice and coloured his hands and balloons and his head twice.  Then I cut everything out: his full image plus the extra pieces.  (Let me tell you, balloon strings are not fun to cut around!)  I used some foam tape to pop up the extra bits.
I hope you like him.  (Actually, I really only hope my nephew likes him!)  Here's the poem I wrote for the inside:

It seems that yesterday, you were born and now you are five!
My, you're a very fast growing young guy!
You are darling and sweet, energetic and smart.
Yes, indeed, we think you're a real work of art!
We just want to say, "Happy Birthday To You"
And may all your birthday dreams come true!