Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cricut Valentines

Lauren asked if I could make some Valentines for the Gilda's Club Arts Day... so I got out my Cricut and started designing. They've upgraded the Make the Cut software and added some extra features that make it even more versatile, and it cuts super-fast now, so I'm going to be using it a LOT more.The last one isn't actually 'cricut' - border punches are still quicker and easier than designing whole cards, at least for me! I got some lovely border stickers at the LSS and made them the centerpiece of some cards. I've still got a ton left too.


Cards for Cancer

I offered to make cards for the Friends of Gilda to sell at a fund-raising Arts Festival... so I've been making cards like a maniac whenever I could spare a few minutes this month. Here are some of my results. My cards tend to be of the 'clean and simple' persuasion, and I've used my Cricut to cut some of the sentiments. The multi-coloured ones are stickers I picked up at Ross. I also used stamping and my favourite technique - direct inking. I got an ATG for Christmas and it makes card assembly much less messy than the liquid glue. Of course I still have to use that for doing all the fiddly bits but the backgrounds and strips are all taped.

Sticker Cards with stamped decoration

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Deco squares and Tags

I made these both for a swap... the fall tags were cut with my cricut. It made it super-easy to make layered tags and to cut tiny leaves! The Christmas tags are diecuts.

Monday, October 4, 2010

A sad note for OWH cardmakers

Somebody happened to get a card from Operation Write Home and they recognised the photo and knew the photographer, and they mentioned it to Sandy. They weren't mad it was one of those co-incidences (what are the odds?!) but it got Sandy into a flap about copyright. She decided that cardmakers are not allowed to use any recognisable source material for their cards. No photographs unless you took them yourself, and even then they're discouraged. No recycled images from books, cards, magazines, or any other printed material you may find, pick up, or get in the mail. And she didn't mention it but this is even more important so far as I'm concerned - NO RANDOMLY DOWNLOADED IMAGES FROM THE INTERNET.

If you put something onto a card you have to have made it yourself, photographed it yourself, drawn or painted it yourself... been specifically granted the copyright by the person who did, or made it using materials that were specifically sold for crafting purposes.

This has upset a lot of cardmakers who like to make recycled cards... It upset me too. If you glance back over my posted cards you'll see a lot of them use images that are recycled from those cute little gift books that turn up in the thrift store looking brand new five years after somebody gave them to you. Nobody ever really wants to buy them - if you're going to give someone one of those gifts you'll want it to be new - so I'd snap them up, cut them up, and make them into cards. They were great because they were almost always the right size for the cards and they have lots of sweet sentiments on them, and you got a lot more bang for your buck than buying specific crafting stuff. I've got a box of cut-up gift books that I won't be able to use now. I also pulled photos from tourist/travel brochures, junk mail, and christmas catalogs if the paper was thick enough to withstand gluing without disintegrating. Most of my christmas cards are made by recycling old ones because they're too nice to throw away, and they're free. I'd only made a few so far but I was gearing up to pull out last years' christmas box and start recycling cards... and now they're all useless.:(

So what CAN you use aside from stamps (which not everyone has skill with, and which can be very expensive to purchase...) I use stamps sometimes. But I'm lousy at colouring and I don't have the money for the ubiquitous copics, so I'm reverting back to my old standby for adding instant colour to cards - stickers. And I'll probably be using my punches more... I've got yards of patterned paper to play with. I got a stack of photo stickers from Ross yesterday. And I'm not going to force myself to make christmas cards that I don't want to make... I'm using my new photo stickers to make birthday cards instead. I almost never make them because I'm rushing from holiday to holiday trying to meet the mailing deadlines. Valentines Day is coming up next... and of course there are my punches and my Cricut. I just have to get motivated enough to remember to pull them out and use them.

Halloween Box for OWH

I'm good at making cards... not so good at getting them online! lol Here are the cards I sent in for Halloween. I sent another 75 for Thanksgiving last week but guess what? Under the pressure of making the mailing deadline I forgot to photograph most of them!
Cricut Ghosts


Cricut pumpkins and cats

Assorted Fall

My new border/corner punches

Simple Thanksgiving cards (stickers from Michaels)

Cricut Leaves

More Cricut cards

General cards

An attempt at masked stamping...

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

OWH card box - second half of images

Here's the rest of the cards I made for this box... I sorted them by type before I photographed them to make life simpler. Scanning 175 cards individually would take up WAY too much time and space!
Thinking of You cards
Miss You cards
Friendship cards, part 1
Friendship cards, part 2
Miscellaneous cards - OWH doesn't need a lot of these, but sometimes you have the perfect image!

I mailed my box of cards! - 1/2 half of the images

I used a middle-sized flat rate box and I tucked the cards into envelopes before I put them in - I fit 175 cards lengthways down the box, with cardboard dividers between the categories. I typed up a nice Any Hero letter and printed out a bunch of copies and rolled them up and slid them into the gap at the side of the box, and added half a dozen Any Hero cards. I hope they got there in one piece!
Hello/Just a Note
Thank you
Birthday cards
Blank notecards - the dogs are recycled from a small giftbook.
Now it's on to Fall/Halloween cards... two weeks to get the box FINISHED, and I have 100 pumpkin-orange envelopes to fill.
PS. I LOVE that they've fixed it so you can add a caption to your images without having to mess with your layout to do it! It makes life SOOOO much simpler. 

Monday, August 2, 2010

Assorted cards for Operation Write Home

I'm trying to fill another box... and also to use up some of the bazillion scraps and bits-and-pieces lying around my craftroom. Here's some cards I made over the weekend.
I found some pre-stamped backgrounds and half-finished cards in my scrap box, so I tried to finish them all off. I was also trying to be more masculine and avoid the pretty-pretty-little-girly cards I tend to make when left to my own devices.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Stamped background cards

I was making cards for OWH this week and I used my 'thinking of you' and 'missing you' stamps to make backgrounds... I need to get more use out of them since I went out and bought them with real money!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

How did I go two whole weeks without making an entry? I made a bunch of cards but they never made it as far as my blog... last week I was making cards for our local cat rescue group 'Beyond Nine'. I sent them a package of 55 assorted greeting cards to use for fund-raising. Here are some of the ones I made for them. Most of these use recycled images from gift books or advertising materials.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Stars and Stamps Wednesday

This week Stars and Stamps has a floral inspiration... and it just so happens that I made three cards that fit the bill perfectly - without ever having seen the inspiration photo! I helped with a children's scrapbooking workshop at the library and the children's librarian had all sorts of goodies to play with - including a bunch of lovely tropical Stampin' Up images. And at the end of the afternoon she told me to take my pick! (She got them at the thrift store for three bucks a set and I told her how very lucky she was...) I didn't want to be greedy so I took a selection of masculine 'sports' stamps for manly cards, and half of the lovely tropical flowers for my flower-loving girly heart. I didn't really NEED any more flowers or leaves, but they were too pretty to resist...

The first card is a thank you card for Jo, and the other two are for OWH.

Berry Special

Our internet kept going down today... so I played with Make the Cut instead of messing around online. I spent all afternoon working on a card with strawberries. The first card uses the cut file and the second uses the negative image - I just printed out another 'berry' and drew in the centers of the letters. I'd share the file with you, but I don't know how... Make the Cut is pretty easy to use, but it has a steep learning curve for making your own images from scratch. I keep trying to use it like photoshop but it's not a drawing program. You have to import stuff to it or use 'basic shapes' to make your stuff. The clipart berry I used only had one stem - the other was hollow. I filled it in, and then I copied the green stem, flipped it, and stretched it to shape. I spent AGES trying to get the 'fit' right on the background layer.Then I decided I didn't need the background after all and deleted it. I'd love to share the file with you since the whole card took four hours to design... but I'm afraid I don't know how to get it out of the program or into my blog.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Playing with Make The Cut

John bought me the Make The Cut software for my Cricut and I've been figuring out how to use it... I downloaded a bunch of dingbat fonts so I'd have some graphics to play with, and away I went.

Here's my first MTC card, with a butterfly from a dingbat font. The pink paper is shimmery metallic and I chalked the butterfly. This purple is actually magenta but it scans in a funny shade.
And here's something I'm very proud of - my very first made-from-scratch project. I drew up the tag shape myself and figured out how to cut out the decoration... then I made a 'shadow' layer to go underneath it. It might not be very big or elaborate, but there's a steep learning curve represented here!

You can do a LOT with this little program and a USB cable... if you have a cricut I'd highly recommend it, because it lets you use ANY TrueType Font to cut. And you can also make your own graphics, as you see, and you can import drawings from Illustrator and turn colouring pages into graphics when you know what you're doing.  You can find out more about Make the Cut here.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Pure Stamping

I've been playing with my stamps this week and I've made a bunch of cards that are ONLY stamped as part of the Stamphaven Summerhaven celebration (there was a challenge to do pure stamping and one to make blue birthday cards and one to make a card about staying cool in the summer... The first trio of cards also happens to fit into the Stars and Stamps midweek challenge for this week - Something Tasty. :)