Friday, October 30, 2009

Here goes my Christmas box...

The Christmas mailing deadline for Operation Write Home is Monday November 2nd... so I've been busily working on my box this week. I mailed Fabre 50 assorted Hanukkah and general cards a couple of weeks ago... and this box is going to Sandy. All my cards are stamped with 'Operation Write Home', lined where appropriate (you have to line dark coloured cards or cards that are lumpy-bumpy inside, like my Embossed cards and the cards with brads on them), and sorted into nice neat labelled bundles to make life easier for Sandy.
It contains the following holiday cards:
- 60 'Happy Holidays
- 40 Merry Christmas
- 30 Seasons Greetings
- 20 assorted religious Christmas cards
- 25 miscellaneous christmas (no message etc.)
- 30 Wintery friendship cards (snowflakes, snowmen etc.)
- 10 Happy New Year cards (I ran out of time to make more)

That's 215 cards, and the box still isn't full! You can put a LOT of cards into a priority mailing box... I expect that you could probably cram up to 400 cards in there if they were all neatly packed. It would take me six months to make that many! 200 gives me my money's worth in postage.

And I am putting in some Any Hero cards that I got people at church to write, and doing a few more myself. It's not too late for sending in notes and cards for Christmas... the boxes of blank cards are going out shortly, but you can send in notes and cards that are written in until the end of November because they only have to go one way!

UPDATE - I finished my Any Hero cards this morning. I put 25 of them in, for a total of 240 cards in the box. And here they all are... they don't look like much, do they? But those cards are the result of a month's hard work and I'm very proud of myself for getting them done! The scary thing is how much more room was still left in the box...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Craft Sale coming up!

Our church elder just let me know that we're going to have a community yard sale/craft sale at the church in December... they're going to charge thirty dollars a table, and I'm going to have one to see if I can have any luck selling some of my paper crafts. Wish me luck - I think I'll need it! I haven't done a market or sale in at least ten years... when I was a teenager my mother and my aunt used to do markets, and I'd help mama on some weekends. It's a lot of work and she gave it up after a few years and only did special events, like our church Fair. She hasn't even done THAT for about ten years...

Anyway, I'm going to have a go... so now I need to come up with some ideas for things that are fairly quick and easy (and inexpensive) to make, and that people might want to buy shortly before Christmas. I'm going to do some of my altered picture frames with bible verses on them, (if I can get some I'll do some smaller frames the same way) and I can do some bookmarks pretty easily. And of course there are cards... I need some more ideas though. Any profits I make will be pumped straight back into my craft supplies so I can make more cards for Operation Write Home, or else given to the church (depending on how much I make.)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

More Hanukkah cards

I used assorted bits and pieces from my collection for these cards... the greetings were mostly printed out on my computer, and the menorahs are clipart from a website devoted to providing free Jewish clipart for all occasions. They have some really cute graphics there!.

Time for something different - Hanukkah cards

I'm feeling burned out with making Christmas cards, and Fabre put out a special request for Hanukkah cards for Operation Write Home, so I dragged out all the blue, silver and light purple card-making stuff I could find in my collection and whipped some up last night. I used some of my general 'happy holidays' type stamps, and I printed out some Hanukkah greetings on the inkjet printer. These cards were mostly decorated/stamped with a Sky Blue 'brilliance' ink pad - these are gorgeous metallic inks that don't rub off or smear once they're dry. Somebody gave me the light blue pad as a present, and I've hardly ever found good ways to use it! I got the snowflake and star diecuts from the craft store in a little 'hanukkah pack' and everything else is bits and pieces from my collection.

Without further ado, here are my cards... sorry the flash has washed out the glitter, but it's very dark out there this morning! I've got lots more stuff to play with too, so more cards will be coming. :) Please leave me a comment and tell me if these look appropriately 'hanukkahy' to you.. I'm not Jewish and I want to send in cards that are appropriate...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Challenges from the Christian Paper Crafts website

I went exploring last week and found myself an interesting new craft group called Christian Paper Crafts. There used to be a paper magazine associated with it, but it seems that that has been discontinued (not surprising given the immense amount of time and money it takes to create on, and how little return people get on it in this economic climate. I used to know a couple who published a science fiction magazine in Australia, and it was a nightmare of a job!) Anyway, there's no magazine to see right now, so the front page of the site says 'page not found' but ignore that and click on the Community or the Galleries. They're both going strong. They have a different challenge each day of the week except Sunday, they post really thoughtful bible commentaries and studies regularly, and their design team are magnificent, so there's plenty of inspiration to be had! I've started tackling some of their challenges and here are the cards I've made for them this week.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy Pastor Appreciation Day!

If you're a church-goer I hope you made a few moments on the weekend to recognise your pastor/s for the hard work that they do... being a pastor is very hard work! Our church elder asked me what we should give them, and I suggested that I could make some picture frame collages... he thought that was a good idea, so I sat down looking for a suitable poem on the internet. I found one or two that were nice, but I didn't see anything suitable for our worship leader, so in the end I decided that I'd just have to write them myself... that way they could be personalised! Three days later, I had them finished and here they are. Click on each image to see a full-sized version and read the verses. I wrote personalised acrostics for each pastor. They're not
identical, but they have the same general idea...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

WCD - How many challenges could I do at once?

I challenged people to see how many of the 14 listed challenges they could incorporate into a single card... and then I had a go at it myself. Almost everyone managed two (a tag with an eyelet does that nicely without even requiring any extra imagination!)... a lot of people did three-in-one (eg. a red tag eyelet card). And two people managed four. I made two different cards which incorporated four challenges... and then I topped it all off by cramming no less than SIX onto a single card! So without further ado, let me show them off to you...

Firstly, a red, punched, tag card with glimmery hearts on it. I've already written about this card, so I don't need to repeat myself, and it's so simple it should be self-evident. I punched a border strip on the light red cardstock and then added the dark red strip with the dragon punched in it. There was a flaw in the edging that I needed to cover up (it's easy to slip with the border punch and to double-punch one of those little holes), so I made the tag run the full length of the card and it magically disappeared underneath... I made it a new years card because the red and the dragon made me think of the Chinese New Year. And that's it. (more cards after the break)

World Card-making Day Wrap-up

I was planning to make a post for each individual challenge I completed... but I was too busy making cards to take the time! So I decided to wait until the end of the weekend and sum everything up. There were 15 challenges posted over the weekend, and I managed to complete them all, making 17 cards in total. A few cards overlapped and counted for more than one challenge, but I managed to cover the lot. And here is the list of challenges for you in case you want to try any of them:

Friday, October 2, 2009

WCD Challenge #2 - The Envelope of Goodness

For one of the challenges this weekend, we were mailed an envlope of mystery goodness to make into cards. Here's what was in mine - two pieces of blue cardstock, three different patterned papers, a couple of big stickers, a long red ribbon, some stamped camping images, some really cute little mini-buttons, and some even cuter handmade embellishments. (note - if you can't see all the image on the screen, click on it to go to photobucket and see the fullsized version.)

And here's what I did with it... I still have half the goodies left, but I made three cards.
envelope card
Envelope card
I've always liked doing collage cards and when I saw the caravan sticker it seemed like a natural to me! These two cards use a landscape border strip that I have had lying around for a long time. I cut it in half and it was just long enough to do two cards. The one card is finished with handmade paper that someone gave me, and the other has a couple of strips of torn cardstock to make the 'grass'.I cut a few of the images out of the patterned paper and coloured in the stamps to make my camping scenes. The one thing that my envelope of goodness was missing was people, so I used a cute little stamp that I happen to have to round things off. I may possibly add a greeting or some tiny flowers to these cards but for tonight they're finished...

And then I made an entirely different style of card.
envelope card
This one uses the brown patterned paper with writing on it, some punching, and the gorgeous little pair of handmade embellishments that was in my envelope. I was going to use the red ribbon to finish it off but I forgot to glue it down before I put the dragonflies on... oops! so I finished the card off with a pair of sticker strips that happened to match nicely.

WCD Challenge #1 - make an entirely red card

This one was a bit trickier than I anticipated... the rules say to use red and ONLY red. Not red background with a coloured pattern on it... it has to be red on red. I rummaged through my scrap box and found that I had more pieces of red paper than I thought I did... and in the end I came up with two very simple cards. Sometimes simple is the best.

My first card plays off the New Year theme - I have a nice big dragon punch in my punch drawer and I found a negative image I'd punched out for something else (the darkest cardstock is nice thick textured CS), which gave me the idea. Red is the traditional colour for good luck to the Chinese people, and you'll see a lot of red and gold around the Chinese New Year. I had to skip the gold here... but the card works anyway. I wanted to stamp on the tag, but I didn't have any ink that would show up effectively on the red cardstock - my red ink is too light and it just faded into the background, and darker colours just looked black or brown. Not to mention smeary because acrylic stamps work best with the quick-dry black ink! So I grabbed a red pen and hand-wrote my tag, and then I finished it with a couple of little red hearts for a touch of bling, and a tangle of shiny red fibers.