Since I have opened up my online store of handmade greeting cards, TaylorMade4U I have searched out articles talking about greeting cards. I came across this article questioning if greeting cards are becoming an endangered species due to the "digital age". It listed several reason's why people do not send greeting cards anymore, and as I read them, I thought to myself, "have we really become so busy and so impersonal that we can't stop to send a nice card/note to someone in our own handwriting"? My In-laws recently sold their house of 45 years and in cleaning out their drawers and closets came across some old written letters and cards. They had saved these because they were of sentimental value. Many of the people that had written these cards and letters have passed on and it gave us a glimpse of them again through their handwritten words. We say that we are so busy we do not have time to send traditional cards, yet we spend hours on the internet these days or sitting in front of the T.V. We rely on social media's to send our "quick" sentiments. While these are convenient and fast, they certainly do not require a lot of forethought. Many people feel "snail mail" is refreshing with all the digital overload. It is nice to open your mail box and receive a personal card instead of just junk mail or bills. And regardless of what you might hear, people truly do appreciate the hand written note. I require my son to send personal "Thank You" cards upon receiving gifts. I have had so many people tell me how much they truly appreciate that. Well fortunately I found another article that stated paper greeting cards are almost coming full circle again. It went on to say that they're becoming popular again largely thanks to the opportunity to personalize them. I save most of my cards I receive. I have even made picture collages of my favorites and have them hanging on the wall. Maybe greeting cards are old fashioned, but I am a traditionalist (and hopefully I am not alone) and I like to sometimes slow down and smell the roses..or just read a nice card.
Most recently when I think of colors I think of Fall. Colors change and it is a favorite time for many. I know in Arizona, it is a favorite time as the temperatures start to finally cool down. We don't have the changing colors, but we do get to finally get outside with out it being 100 degrees. Unfortunately, we still have a few months before we get into "Fall", but at least I have something to look forward to and more time to stock up on my Fall Cards. The theme this week is Brown. As I went on my "hunt" for items featuring brown, I wasn't quite sure what I would find. But I did stumble upon this really cool Buffalo.
Brown Glass Buffalo
It reminded me of when my family and I took a trip to Yellowstone National Park. We saw herds of buffalo on that trip. You can find this cute little guy at Sirocco's Curios, listed for $3.95. His shop has a lot of really cool items. You should definitely check it out.
Did you know today is Aunt & Uncle Day? I didn't, but apparently it is. As a maker of greeting cards, you would think I should know that, but I didn't. Nowadays, it seems we have a special day for almost anything. We even have days to celebrate a flavor of ice cream, July 23rd was Vanilla Ice Cream Day. But lets not forget the reason Holidays or Special Days were created. They are a time for remembering and celebrating, whether it be your Parents,
or even the birth of Jesus. Now we don't need to have a particular day to tell someone they are appreciated, but we certainly should not forget the days that are dedicated to these special people. I found this link for 2013 holidays and Special Days. It is a way to keep us all in "the know" for up coming Days we should remember. Some of them are just fun days, but it will give you something to quiz your friends and family about. And just as a heads up, this Sunday is Parent's Day. So don't forget about Mom & Dad!
How much thought goes into a "gift card" as a gift. Probably not a lot. Where you can personalize the "Gift Card" gift is with the Gift Card holder. What better way to do this than with a hand made gift card holder. As we get closer to the holiday shopping season, shoppers tend to give up on finding the perfect gifts and revert back to the safe gift, the "Gift Card". These days you can find Gift Cards everywhere, even grocery stores. You don't even have to pay full price for Gift Cards any more if you buy your gift cards from Costco or Sam's Club. And even better, if you have enough reward points on your credit cards, sometimes you can redeem these, getting your gift card for free. I too sometimes revert back to the impersonal gift card, but I do personalize my gift cards with hand made holders. I have been working on Gift Card holders over the last several days and plan to use them for Birthday's, Christmas and Teacher's Appreciation Day. I hope to offer a variety for the holiday season at TaylorMade4U. These cards open up to house a standard size Gift Card and even have room to write a personal note. With as many choices of Card paper as there are, I can even go a step further and create a "Converse or Shoe" gift card holder or Coffee gift card holder.
So remember, if you are going to rely on the convenience and and ease of buying that gift card for that special occasion, at least personalize it with a Hand Made Gift Card Holder.
I attended a "Virtual Crop" last night. It was my first one ever. For those of you new to this term it is where you join a group of fellow crafters on a private FB page where you can share ideas, find inspiration, post pictures and complete projects. It was sponsored by TwochicksDesigns and ScrapyLand. Now I really did not know what to expect. I have been to crop nights where you go somewhere and a group of people scrap together. Usually food is involved. But once I got into it, it was a lot of fun. I was able to share some of my creations and view others as well. I had to keep going back and forth from my computer to my craft room as I was creating while participating. Sketches of layout were provided and people posted their finished product. Here is my finished product that I posted:
This was a very easy design, so I am considering putting together a kit on this card. I think it could be used for any occasion, birthdays, thank you, or thinking of you. I love the colors and as always, love the butterfly.
Now that I have made some online friends, I plan to attend more virtual crops in the future. If you are a crafter, hopefully you can join as well.
Printed Card stock from DCWV "the Mariposa Matstack
It has been a lazy Sunday afternoon. Raining all morning so it was a perfect time to be creative. I wanted to put together a "Fall" card kit using some Floral Embellishments by Recollections. I am creative once I get the juices flowing, but I usually will go out to the Web or Pinterest to give myself some inspiration. I thought It might be cute to use one of my Framelits from Stampin up as a base for the card. I love cards with unique card folds and even have a pinterest page to prove it. Well, as I got to working on the card, I didn't really like where it was taking me. While the shape was cute, it wasn't really what I had envisioned. I started looking through my scrap paper and found a template of a card fold I had started. Hmmm...this got me thinking. I wanted to use a Chianti color to match some of the colors in the leaves and had some raffia I found at goodwill if you can believe it. I will have to share with you some of the places I find my stuff..but that is another day and another blog. So this is what I came up with:
I love this fold because it allows you to see your inside message when your card is closed.
Supplies I used:
Paper from Cloud 9 Design and DCWV (the Cafe Mediterranean)
Framelit from Stampin up Labels Collection
Button, Raffia and leaves from Recollections
Stamp is from Stampendous
Now that I have the design down, I can put my kits together. Hopefully you will have as much fun putting this card together as I did.
I was invited to an adoption celebration party. This was my third one for the same family. This might seem like a lot for one family, but I live near a family that has 8 children and 6 have been adopted. The children they adopt are not babies, they are foster children that win their hearts and become their own. Well of course I could not show up without a card. How often do we get to give a Congratulations card for a new "adopted" baby or child. Not too often, and I would guess these cards would be hard to find. There are so many poems, and inspirational quotes on line that work great for greeting cards. I didn't want it to look like a traditional "baby" card, because he most certainly is NOT a New Baby, but is New to the family. So this is what I came up with. After the party, I got to thinking about how many people actually may need cards for newly adopted children. One of the reason's I got into making cards and listing on TaylorMade4U was to be able to have a card for "any" occasion. So I decided to make another card. I am partial to Pink, so I created a "baby girl" card. I will make a matching one for a "baby boy", but wanted to share with you my creation.
Since I have started this blog and opened my online store TaylorMade4U on Ecrater, I have been so much more aware of what is available on line. I joined an online sellers support group where I have met some great people very willing to help me along the way. I have also had a chance to visit some of their store and found some really great products. It has got me thinking about holiday gifts. A few years ago, I started my niece on the American Girl craze. I found a cute little store called Nancy's Doll Closet that has some really cute items. I also found a store called Sirocco's Trading Post that features Native American Jewelry. My in-laws love that stuff! At this rate, I will have my shopping done before December where I can relax and enjoy the month. On line has made our lives so much easier and opened us up to so many more options. I am hoping that my greeting cards will make life easier as well. I try to be creative and unique when I put together my cards. I also try to personalize whenever possible giving it that extra touch. But sometimes you just go back to traditional. That is why I love this card. It has that vintage look that I just love and never goes out of style.
If you start your holiday plans early, you too will be able to find unique, fun gifts on line. It is like a scavenger hunt. Make your list and go hunting. Be creative, try some of these other venues like Ecrater, Etsy, Shophandmade or Webstore other than your traditional stores. You will be amazed at what you will find. I know I was. HAPPY HUNTING!
I started scrap booking when my son was born, which was 16 years ago. So the transition from scrap booking to card making was relatively easy. One of the big crazes now is card making kits. People are able to make their own handmade cards without dropping a fortune on supplies. What a fantastic idea! It is a way to "get your feet wet", so to speak. It seems you can find a kit for almost any occasion, Birthdays, holidays, or just simple note cards. I got my niece into card making. She LOVES to visit Aunt Monica because she always has such "cool stuff" in her craft room (aka guest bedroom). I put together a starter kit for her and add to it on birthdays and holidays. I thought some kits would be perfect for her for holiday cards. I put together this Halloween kit,
and plan to put a kit together for her for Christmas as well. She loves these! And I think it is so cute when she give me one of her handmade cards. I truly cherish those. So it seems you don't have to be a crafty or even creative person to make handmade cards anymore, just have to have a kit, some adhesive and you are ready to go! If my 9 year old niece can do it, so can you.
Not everyone realizes there is a National Grandparents Day. You may not realize it unless you have kids. But there is. National Grandparent's Day is a secular holiday celebrated in the United States since 1978 and officially recognizes in a number of countries on various days of the year, either as one holiday or sometimes as a separate Grandmothers Day and Grandfathers Day. Every year my sister gives me a list of cards she needs, and this is one of them. I found this stamp with two little kids and I thought it would be perfect for a grandparent's card. It is a very simple card, but so cute. Lots of people love the Black and White Cards, and I am one of them. I even have a board on Pinterist designated for just Black and White cards. The stamp is from the 1999 Stampin' Up series and the paper is from Recollections Signature sheets called "My Favorite Things". The sentiment on the outside says "If Mom says NO...ask Grandma". So don't forget about those Grandma's, they sure don't forget about us!
Well...we are in full blown summer in Phoenix, AZ. Everyone always says it is a dry heat, but I hate that saying. Hot is Hot. My garden is struggling, unlike many others who's are probably thriving in other parts of the country. One thing I do love about summers in Arizona though is the fresh fruit! I made some strawberry freezer jam last night to keep me in the summer mood. As I mentioned before, I am part of an On line sellers group and the theme this week is "Grass". Perfect theme for summer...I found a nice book at Eccentric thrifter called Designing Beds and Borders. Great ideas to get that garden going...or in my case, save your garden. My last post was about Christmas. While it is important to start thinking about those holiday cards, I would like to enjoy my summer months just a little longer. So I will see what I can come up with in my playroom. As always, I will share my creations. "Happy Summer"! Well, as promised, I said I would share what I came up with. This seemed appropriate, since I do live in the sunshine every single day!
I have been catching up on some of the blogs that I read and everyone is talking about "Christmas in July". It is hard to think about Christmas in July when you live in Phoenix, AZ and the temperatures are getting into the teens daily. Right now I am sitting in my swim shorts typing this blog, so hard to get in the "Christmas spirit". Many crafting sites are introducing their Christmas product now. Tim Holtz just released his "sneak Peak which includes his new seasonal products and Amazing Paper Grace just posted a beautiful Beautiful Gatefold snowflake card using a spellbinders template. So, I dug through my card stock to see what I had to play with and this is what I came up with. So I guess I can say that I have officially started making my Holiday cards. I can't wait to try out some of the new products introduced for this season. I will be sure to share as I create. HAPPY CRAFTING!
Have you ever wondered how much time we spend trying to figure things out versus actually doing? This is with almost anything we start right? Whether it be this blog, cooking, learning a sport or even a hobby. It can be so frustrating along the way, but so rewarding in the end. I am not a techie, I am a crafter. I love "making" things. I have at one time or another painted, sewn, written poems and even drawn. I have not been successful at all my endeavors, and not always happy along the way. I can get so frustrated when I can't figure things out, like most of us, but the feeling of accomplishment at the end, I think, is definitely worth it. I have gone outside of my comfort zone and created this blog, started a web store and even am learning about html. This is also with my cards. But with something you love to do, the journey of creation is just as rewarding as the end result. I find now, half the fun is "figuring" it out. I learned a new technique, and wanted to share my latest card creation. I have been working on Teacher cards, so I thought the chalk board affect would be perfect for that...and as always, you have to have the matching envelope.
Have not been able to work on my cards since I have been reading up on how to set up this blog. I guess this is still creating, isn't it? Well anyway, I think I am up and running. I am sure as I go along I will add and tweak along the way. So as I mentioned, I am part of an On Line Sellers Network group and we have themes every week. This week is Rabbits. Now I know we are a long ways from Easter, I don't think I even have any Easter cards on my site at TaylorMade4U, but I did find some rabbits. This is an M&M Easter Bunny Tin I found at Tiger Creek Gifts. Listed for $4.95. This site has a lot of cute finds. Check it out.
My Craft room, aka guest bedroom has been occupied on and off over the last week. This means no card making for me. I have been itching to get back to making my cards, but in the meantime have been reading up on this blogging, on line html stuff. That is so not me. I am a "creater", not a techie, but I am learning fast. So I have been asked to create a "Thank You" card for a friend that likes "Fast Cars, Dragon Ball Z "Goku" and Card Tricks or Magic Illusions. This left me puzzled as I don't even know what a "Goku" is. So I headed to Hobby Lobby to see what I could find. I will be working on this creation today and will post as soon as it is complete. Anxious to get back into my craft room, so ta ta... Well, wanted to share what I came up with. I went with the "fast car" theme and my cousin loved it. I even came up with the sentiment. This was a special order, one of a kind. I even came up with the saying "In the race through life Friends will come and go... But a true friend is someone you can count on every day, and I have found that in you". I love special orders. It gets my creative juices flowing!
I hope everyone had a great 4th of July weekend. I was asked to create a 4th of July wedding card and this is what I came up with. That is what I love about handmade items. If you can think it, you can create it! These cards become one of a kind keepsakes for years to come.