Monday, September 30, 2013

All Occasion Card Sets

The Everyday Occasion Card Set is Here!

Have you ever needed a last minute card? Most of of us have. You have to run to the store and hope that you find a nice card to fit the occasion. Wouldn't it be easier to have Handmade all occasion cards right at your fingertips?

As a consultant, i travel. Many times throughout the year I am gone for a week at a time, only having Fridays and Saturdays at home. I have co workers that do the same.  I was recently approached by a co-worker asking me if I would put together an all occasion card set. she said that it would be one less thing she would have to worry about as she would always have a card on hand. I was happy to help. I do this for my sisters every year and give the set to them as a Christmas gift to start their new year out prepared.

We all know we are going to need cards throughout the upcoming year. So why not take a moment to think about what cards you might need and put in a special order? Or better yet, pop on over to Taylormade4u and see what sets are available. It will be one less thing you need to worry about next year!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Vintage Style Paper

Vintage paper
The blog theme this week was chocolate. When we think of chocolate, most of us think of Hershey. But it is also a color. So that is what I want to talk about. When I design cards, I like to use card stock that has an aged look. I like the beige, tan, brown and yes even dark chocolate colors. These colors work great to make cards look aged and give them a vintage look when distressed. I use Paper from Tim Holtz's collection as well as Graphic 45. But you can also find other product that works just as well. I found a Vintage style paper pack over at Tiger Creek Gifts. This package has all the paper to make vintage looking greeting cards. It comes in mixed designs (floral, parchment paper look, old hand written letters, gardening, stripes and colors). The sizes range from 3" x 3" all the way up to 8" x 8". Some of the papers have textured and raised designs. There are about 40 pieces in this pack, so plenty to make several vintage style greeting cards. She also has several embellishments that you can use to add to your cards. Take a moment to pop over to Tiger Creek Gifts and check it out.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Where do you get your inspiration?

I think what I love about card making are the endless possibilities. When I am putting together a design or layout, it takes me several tries to get it exactly how I want it.
Work Space

I typically will have all my cut outs, embellishments and bling that I want to use and just keep layering and rearranging as I go along. I will leave my project on my table and just walk by and rearrange something on it without sitting down. It is kind of like a puzzle that you put together a piece here and there until it is finished. I do get inspiration from the web. Color combinations, ideas, layouts, but ultimately I try to make it my own. I watch You Tube videos for new techniques and of course I join card challenges. I was excited when one of my cards made top 3. I have to remember to go back and look once the challenge is over. I just enter them for fun and for the challenge of creating something new. I have moved into making collages. I have been told that some of my cards are too pretty to throw out, so they frame them. So I thought to myself, why not make a "Card Wall Hanging"? Well, why not. It is bigger, so I have a bigger space to work on, and it is ready to hang. I have made two Fall ones, but plan to make a few Christmas ones as well. I can use them as gift exchanges...and they will be fun to create!

Life the Life You've Imagined

I would like to enter my collage into the following challenges:

Artistic Stamper - Autumn
Card a Day blog - Autumn
Country Views Craft Challenge - Layers
Crafting Musketeers - Vintage 
Just for fun - Colors of Autumn

Craftionary - Link Party
Serenity Now - Link Party
Trendy Treehouse - Create and Share

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Bingo time!

Many of my cards are vintage theme'd...if you have not noticed. It is just a style that I really like. I was so excited when I found paper stack by DCWV of 180 sheets of 12" x 12" printed paper called "The Heirloom Stack. This is not heavy card stock, so I could never use it for the base of any of my cards, but it has great designs and colors. I was able to use the green background paper and the BINGO cut out for this card. I had some lace hanging around and of course can't forget Tim Holtz and his word bands. They just seem to finish off the card. The paper is also good for envelopes or envelope liners.I typically make a matching envelope to go with my cards. This really makes them unique and people seem to love it.  I recently purchased an envelope punch board from Stampin Up and I am waiting anxiously for it to come in. I am sure I will have a lot of fun with that as well.

Capture life's moments

I am entering my Bingo Card into the following challenges.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Jingle Bells

Is it too early to start singing Jingle Bells? Well not according to the local stores around here. It seems like holiday decorations go up earlier every year. It is a combination of Halloween, Thanksgiving & Christmas all rolled into one.

Well I guess I am as guilty as the stores, as I too have been working on Christmas cards. But I at least have an excuse. In order for me to have all my holiday HANDMADE cards finished by Christmas, I have to start early. So here is my latest design. I hope you like it.

Jingle Bells

I am entering my Jingle Bells Card into the following Challenges:

Monday, September 23, 2013

Card Challenges are a fun way to show of your talents

If you have read any of my blogs recently, you know that I enter my cards into card challenges. Now, you may ask, what is a card challenge exactly? Well, card challenges are typically set parameters for making cards. They are wonderful ways to get your creative juices flowing. Sometimes we all need a little push to get started and these challenges are a fun way to get me started. Sometimes these challenges have themes or sometimes sketches that must be followed. Typically you need to have a blog to post your completed cards and link your finished products to the challenge you are participating in and sometimes there are even prizes.

 I found a wonderful site called Paper Playful that does a wonderful job listing the daily challenges and winners of the prior challenges. I have had so much fun making and selling my cards, that I decided to take my chance at becoming part of a Design Team (DT) for one of the challenge blogs. I am happy to announce that I was chosen to join the DT for Suzy Bee's Bloomin Challenge Blog.

This is a brand new Blog designed for Beginners and Advance Crafter's. The Challenges will be on a weekly basis starting on Saturday November 2nd. There will be prizes and blog candy along the way, but to be eligible to win the candy, you MUST become a follower of Suzy Bee's Bloomin Challenge Blog. So make sure you pop over and become a follower so that come November 2nd, you are ready to join the fun. Oh and while you are at it, don't forget to follow me, TaylorMade Cards4U.

To start my Monday, I have decided to enter a couple of Card Challenges:

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Good bye Summer...Hello Fall

Today is the first day of Fall. We know this because this is when the Norther Hemisphere moves into Autumn. It is a celestial event called "equinox". The Equinox is a specific moment in time, not an entire day and it happens at 4:44 p.m. E.D.T. Many people love this transition from Summer to Fall and it is their favorite season.  I am indeed one of them. Fall means cooler weather, well for most part of the country. Here in Arizona we will not feel the cooler weather until late October, if we are lucky. With the cooler weather comes the changing colors of the leaves and we start to think about what needs to be done to prepare for the upcoming winter months.

Daylight savings time will end on November 3rd. That means our days will be shorter. For me, this means more crock pot dinners, stews and soups. I tend to bake more in the cooler months, stepping away from the Bar B Que and using my oven more. With the upcoming holidays, people become more crafty. There are wreathes that need to be put together, pumpkins that need to be carved and we begin to see many porches decorated for the upcoming holiday. Many people will begin making preserves or canning pickles and relishes to use in the coming months or to give away as gifts during the holidays.

But whatever the upcoming months mean to you, take some time to slow down and enjoy this season. The hustle and bustle of the holidays are just around the corner, so take a moment for yourself and enjoy this magic moment.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Does a Wedding Card need to be traditional?

I don't often have an opportunity to make wedding cards, so when my girlfriend asked me to create two wedding cards for upcoming weddings, I couldn't be more thrilled. I made a traditional wedding card using wedding bells, silver and bows. But I also wanted to try something a little less traditional. If you haven't noticed, I like vintage. I love Tim Holt's style of stamps and projects and practice his techniques whenever possible. I wanted to share with you my traditional wedding card and then my not so traditional wedding card. I had fun making both of these cards, but am curious, which one do you prefer?

Non Traditinal
I am entering my wedding cards into the following challenges:

Friday, September 20, 2013

What gets you perky?

The theme this week is "Perky". When I first saw it, I instantly thought of coffee, as that is usually what gets me perky in the morning. But instead of finding something on coffee, I found this great little book on tea over at Sirocco's Curios Shop. I love tea, especially in the winter. There are so many great flavors and a good cup of tea just warms you up. Now, I wouldn't say I am a Connoisseur, but you don't have to be one to know what is good. This book offers the history of tea, production of tea, a guide to teas around the world and so much more. If you have a chance, stop by and take a look. If you are a tea lover, this may be exactly what you have been looking for.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Santa Wanted...Dead or Alive

Have you ever started down a path and found that you eventual ended up some place you never anticipated? Well that happens occasionally when I am making cards. I have an idea in my mind and when I start putting it together, I find myself going in a different direction. That happened to me today. I pulled out all my Christmas stamps, and borrowed a few from my Mother in Law and started playing with the stamps. Many of my cards have a vintage feel, and of course that is the direction I started. But here is where I ended up.
Wanted: Dead or Alive

The stamp looked like Santa was on a wanted poster and that is what gave me the idea. I knew that I had some black striped paper as I had used it for some Halloween cards I made and used my distressing ink to make the paper look aged. Now I typically do not make humorous cards, but occasionally I make a good one.  I just love the way it turned out. I hope it does not get me on Santa's Naughty list!

I am entering my Santa Card into the following Challenges:

Totally Gorjuss - #201 Stripes
Crafting for all Seasons - #61 Make it Funny
Sweet Stampin Christmas - Here Comes Santa
Little Red Wagon - #203 Black White & Cream
Penny's Paper Crafty Challenge - #145 2 or More pattern paper
Make it Monday - #158 Anything goes
Holly Jolly Christmas Challenge - Non Traditional Christmas

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

National Ovarian Cancer Month

Many people know that October is Breast Cancer awareness month. Stores are collecting donations, adds are on the television talking about the Susan G. Komen 3 Day walk as well as other events that will be happening next month. But you don't hear a lot about National Ovarian Cancer Month. The color they use is Teal rather than Pink, they also have walks and they are constantly working to create the awareness of this disease. I have been unfortunate to have several of my family members afflicted with these diseases. Both are very intrusive and of course life changing.

My family members that have gone through this are very strong women and refuse to give up. As I have mentioned in previous posts, I have 3 sisters, and based on odds, one of us may end up going through this at some time in our lives. I pray that if that ever does happens that there will be less intrusive remedies available. I have participated in the walk in years past, and my youngest sister did the 3-Day walk, bless her heart (and her feet).

 I have several Breast Cancer Awareness cards, but do not have any Ovarian Cancer Awareness cards. This is something I will have to remedy next year.  Many of us have known someone that has gone through this or is going through this and it is important to continue to show your support, however you can, weather it be with a donation, or as simple as a card to let them know you are thinking of them.

I have entered my Breast Cancer Awareness Cards in the following Challenges:

Creative Craft Challenge - #19 Use Ribbon
Inky Chickes - #13 Pretty in Pink
Tammy's Scrapin Corner - #80 Anything Goes
Make it Monday - #158 Anything Goes
Through the Craft Room Door - Anything Goes

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Time to start making Christmas Cards

Vintage Reindeer & Lamppost
As you can see, I have started my Christmas Cards. I have pulled out my die cuts, ribbons and embellishments for this one. One thing I try to do when I am using die cuts is to cut out several when I have my tools out. This helps save me time when I am making more than one card. I love the vintage look on Christmas cards. That must be my theme this year as I have made several already with that particular style. I thought the reindeer would get lost on this card, being that I used the same paper for the background, but I think slightly matting it over the lamp post and using my Walnut Distress Ink helps to bring her out. I finished off the lamp post with pearls and berries for the holly. This measures 6" x 3", and is not my typical size I use for my cards, but again, I think the layout works well.

I used:
  • Tim Holtz Alterations Reindeer and Lampost with Holly die cuts
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink - Walnut
  • Tim Holtz Holiday Paper for green back ground
  • Musical Notes paper from The Paper Studio
  • Pearls and gems and ribbons

I entered my Get Well Card in the following challenges:

Monday, September 16, 2013

Grid Technique

I wanted to share a new technique I learned this weekend. Got the idea from a challenge and played with it all weekend. It is called the Grid Technique and is very easy to use. You need to have a scoring board to create the affect. If you want to give it a try, I have attached the link with the instructions. I made several cards using this technique, but wanted to share one with you.

Get Well soon - Grid Technique
I love the color combination on this card. I used Adirondack alcohol inks to make the star and the band on the bottom. The stamp is from "My Acrylix" It is a spring collection stamp set called "Enjoy Every Moment", but I think it worked well for a Get Well Card.

I entered my Get Well Card in the following challenges:

 Just Us Girls - Technique Challenge "Grid"

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sisters make the greatest friends

Sisters are Friends
I have 3 sisters. Two of them I grew up with and one, who I didn't know I had for many years, but met a couple of years ago. We all came from the same mother, but we couldn't be more different. My older sister (growing up) and I are very close in age. She was very athletic growing up and is a runner to this day. She was always the adventurous type, setting the back yard on fire, coming up with great imaginary games and creating the best barbie village with our albums. We did not get along too well in high school, as we were so different, but re connected once in college and today hold a unique relationship.

Now I put (growing up) in parenthesis, because as I mentioned, I have a sister I did not know about for several years. You would think not growing up in the same household that she would be very different from me. Well, she is. She lives in Kentucky, but surprisingly is a lot like me as well. So while nurture may have a lot to do with who you become, those genes definitely play their role as well.

Sisters are Friends
My youngest sister and I were very close growing up and to this day still are. It was great to always have a friend to play with, go places with and just hang out. We got along well and to this day, still do.

Having 3 sisters, there is always a need for a cards, so I make sure that I always have sister cards on hand. Whenever I find rubber stamps, stickers, or anything to do with sisters, I have to get them. I know at some point I will use these items. What is also great about these cards is you can make them as cutsie, funny or serious and they always work.

I think about my sisters daily, and talk to them regularly. Facebook has been such a great way to keep in contact. But I still like to send them handmade cards. My older sister says that she keeps them on her fridge, and my younger sister regularly asks me to make her cards to use throughout the year. Every year I make them a gift box of about 20 cards to use throughout the year. They look forward to this gift annually. These cards are just another way we have connected!

I entered my Sister cards in the following challenges:


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Book Box Note Card Holders

Butterfly Note cards and Matching Box
I have been looking for a box pattern to house my cards for a while now. I plan on giving these card sets away as gifts this holiday season and wanted a special box to store them in.

I have searched the web, watched numerous You Tube videos, checked pinterist, and at last found one. I have attached the link so that you can check it out yourself.
 This pattern was so easy I couldn't believe it. I made sure to use card stock that I had plenty of so that I could make my matching note cards. I just love the way it turned out, don't you?

Linking Party:

Crafty Moms Share
Totally Gorjuss #200 Anything Goes
Country View Challenges - #7 Layers
Serenity Now
Create and Share Party

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Embellishments make the card

Paper Flower Embellishments
This week's theme is Purple. It is always fun to go out and look for an item that fits the theme. I found these great paper flowers over at Tiger Creek gifts. These flowers are great! I use items like these all the time on my cards. What is fun about this item is that the flowers are made to look like different cosmetics that fit perfectly in to a compact. The company that manufactured this product also makes glass nail polish bottles loaded with mini brads, and embossing chalks in what appears to be a lip gloss compact. What a fun idea! Tiger Creek Gifts has the flowers as well as the brads nail polish bottle available in her store. Stop by and take a look. You can pick up some great embellishments for your cards and have a fancy case to hold them in all at the same time. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Christmas Card kits are still handmade

As a crafter and card maker for many years, I have been able to add to my "tools of the trade" and collect all sorts of paper, embellishments and ribbons along the way. I am able to create the most extravagant cards using die cuts and various sorts of "bling" because I have these items readily available. But for card makers that are new to this hobby, or want to try something different and make handmade cards this Christmas season, the task may not be that easy, or may end up costing them a small fortune by purchasing all the tools and supplies to make these one of a kind cards. Not to forget the time necessary to come up with the layout and design.

Card kits have become increasingly popular with all age groups. They are great for a first time crafter who may be hesitant about what to do and how to do it. It is also a way for more seasoned crafters to perhaps try out a new skill or technique they may not have tried before. Time can also be a factor. Card kits save on time having everything pre cut, stamped with all supplies right at your finger tips. These card kits also make great Arts and Crafts ideas for teachers during the holidays as well as a thoughtful gift.

Store assembled craft kits many times come with instructions, but for me, they can sometimes feel like they were written in a foreign language. When preparing my card kits, I always include a finished product. I am a visual person, as many people are. Having the ability to visually dissect the making of a card always helps me to create a duplicate.

Now some people may equate handmade with homemade, which for some people equates to tacky or cheap. If you believe this, you have not been on Pinterest or Etsy recently. Many stores cannot duplicate some of these handmade cards that are being created by individuals just like you and me. The craft arena is in boom right now, and will continue to get busier as we approach the holiday months. So if you do decide handmade is the way to go this year, you will want to start thinking about this sooner rather than later.

So whatever path you decide to go down this year, making or giving a handmade card, know that your recipients will appreciate the extra mile and personalized sentiment. Choose what is right for you and give or make a handmade card with pride. It will single out your card from the crowd this year.

I entered my Holiday cards in the following challenges:


Monday, September 9, 2013

Men inspired Cards

My brother in law recently had a birthday...and I did not have a card for him. I had been traveling weeks before his birthday and did not realize, until it was too late, that I did not have any Male birthday cards. Now I could have easily sent him a pink card with ribbons, or a yellow card with butterflies, but how personal is that, and when it comes to cards, they are nothing but personal. So I rectified that problem this weekend by making several cards especially for men. After all, they have birthdays too. So Marc, Happy Belated birthday, from across the pond!

I entered my Butterfly card in the following challenges:


Friday, September 6, 2013

Handmade Gifts - The perfect gift

If you are like me, you like to give a little something to neighbor and friends during the holiday. Many of these gift choices are food. But if you don't have time to bake or just have too many people you want to remember this year, consider a handmade gift. Now you might say, well, if I don't have time to bake, how am I going to make time to craft. If you want to give someone a more personalized gift, consider making or if you don't have time, purchasing handmade gift sets. 

Note Set with Matching Box

These are great for teachers, neighbors, Co-workers, family and friends. These note cards fit perfectly into a matching gift box. I put together this Kit that has yellow tissue paper, 5 matching note cards and a green bow to finish off the box. The great thing about handmade is you can personalize it. I plan on giving Note Card sets this year instead of baking. 

The box is so versatile that I could also use it to package a different gift and use one of the matching cards. But whatever you decide this season, remember, your gifts don't have to be expensive, but they should certainly be personal, these are the gifts that are remembered years to come. 

Linking Party:

Serenity Now - Weekend Bloggy Reading Link Up
Crafty Moms Share
Allsorts - Week 23 - Butterflies

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Stationary for the Holidays

As a card maker, I truly believe in the written note. But with technology these days, many do not take the time to write a letter. So the next best thing is stationary that feeds from your printer. The Blog theme this week is paper. The first thing I thought about of course were cards, but then I found this Christmas Stationary at Eccentric Thrifter. This store not only has stationary, but books on many topics, including the holidays.
Holiday Stationary

During the holidays, along with sending a traditional card, many people take the time to type out what they have done over the year. We have family friends that put their year into a poem, along with pictures and print it out on Christmas stationary. It is fun to read and we look forward to it every year. The holidays are about Family and Friends, so make sure this year you do take the time to send a note to let them know even though our year may have been busy, you are thinking of them, and don't forget to take a moment to visit Eccentric Thrifter.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Butterflies Signify Change

I love butterflies. They have become my mascot in my card making. My stamp that I use for the back of my personal cards "Handmade by Monica" features a butterfly, and I have a special section in my on line store just for butterfly cards. They are versatile, you can use them for Thank you cards, birthday cards, Spring, Summer, Get Well, the list goes on and on. But I think the reason I really like Butterflies, is because for me, they signify change. Many people are afraid of change. It is the unknown, but whenever I have to embrace change, I think of the Butterfly, keeping in mind the change may be even better than where you started.

Don't be afraid of change

I entered my Butterfly card in the following challenges:


I used:

  • Beige Card Stock for base of card
  • DCWV Card stock for printed paper
  • Tim Holtz - Ideology word bands
  • "Butterfly Ribbon
  • Spellbinder Shapeabilities
  • Bling 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Bosses Day is Wednesday October 16th

Happy Bosses Day!
Bosses Day is coming. It will be here sooner than you know it. It was started by a State Farm employee named Patricia Bays Haroski back in 1958. This day gives you an opportunity to thank your boss for being such a great boss. We have all had our share of "Bad Bosses", so lets not forget to take a moment to thank the good ones!  In my past life, I was a "Boss". Believe me it is not all it is cracked up to be. We work long hours, manage several different types of personalities, and can never please everyone.  It was always nice to get a little "thank you" on this day. Here are three tips to help you find a gift that will express your appreciation...and hopefully get a few brownie points:

Coffee Gift Card Holder

1. Plan in Advance.   Don't wait until the last minute to find the perfect gift. It doesn't have to be fancy, but put some thought into it. A hasty choice will tell your boss you did not put much thought into the gift. It doesn't have to be expensive, but take some time to find something to show you were thinking of him/her.

2. Make it Personal.  To do this, you have to know your boss and their likes. This could be a hobby, favorite snack or special interest. Don't buy a coffee gift card for someone that doesn't drink coffee. A good way to find these things out is to talk to one of your boss's close colleagues if you cannot think of something through your own investigations.

3. Write a Personal Note.  This is a must! What a better way to show someone you care than to give them a handmade card with a personal written note. Sincere words of appreciation go a long way.

In honor of this upcoming holiday, I have included a couple of Handmade cards that would be perfect for this occasion. I will be adding more cards throughout the months, so check back regularly

Monday, September 2, 2013

Fun Handmade Thanksgiving Place Cards

When we think of thanksgiving, we think of family and friends gathering together to share a meal and reminisce about things we are thankful for. But before we can get to the point of "enjoying", there is a lot of preparation that goes into this day. One way to really make your friends and families feel welcome at the thanksgiving table is to set name place cards. These cards are typically little tents with your guests name on them. But this year, why not turn that Name plate into a keepsake.
Many hostesses like to send home a favor for each of their guests. This handmade card can be attached to a small box of treats that each guest can take home. Your guests will appreciate the thoughtfulness and  have a keepsake helping them to reminisce about the wonderful memories this years Thanksgiving has brought.
I had a lot of fun designing this card. You can find these at Taylor's Cards N Things. Would love for you to stop by.

I entered my Thanksgiving card in the following challenges:


I used:

  • Brown Card Stock for base of card
  • Recollections Card stock for printed paper
  • Rubber stamp " Scarecrow"
  • Sizzix die cut for Scarecrow mat
  • "Happy Thanksgiving" rubber stamp
  • Bows and Bling

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Fall is in the air

I can hardly believe it is already September 1st. The year has flown by. I have been on the road the last 3 weeks and hand no time to play in my craft room. Well, that is all I have been doing this weekend and it feels great! I know I should start on my Christmas cards, but there are still so many fun fall patterns to work with. I decided to search the net for some challenges. I found a few that gave me some inspiration for this Thanksgiving card:
Happy Thanksgiving
I will be creating a card kit using this design and listing it on both my stores: TaylorMade4U on Ecrater and Taylor's Cards N Things on Etsy. Would love for you to stop by.

I entered my Thanksgiving card in the following challenges:


I used:

  • Blue Card Stock for base of card
  • Recollections Card stock for printed paper
  • Ribbon Bow-tique for blue felt ribbon
  • Sizzix die cut for sentiment
  • "Happy Thanksgiving" rubber stamp
  • Recollection Leaf Button