Wednesday, July 23, 2014

"Scrap-a-doodles Design Team 2014 Audition" Cards, cards and more handmade cards!

Hi there lovelies,

Today I am sharing my love for card making with you all. I have been making cards since at school, and at university, I even started selling them for pocket money. Over the years my style and approach have changed and grown as I changed and grew. I really feel like the last couple of years I have found my own unique approach and just love making these individualized cards. I probably won’t grow rich making them but I do enjoy the love, time and care that goes into making these cards.

I begin by thinking about the person receiving the card. I think about what they like or what I would like to say to them to show my love and appreciation. I put my heart and creativity into these and most of them take me up to two or three days from conceptualizing the idea, researching images to designing and producing these cards. I also love scrapbooking and all paper products. So for me, it is all a creative process and therefore I can easily jump from creating my mixed media art portraits to scrapbooking to card making and other craft projects. Currently, I am working on projects to design my own paper ranges as well as designing layouts and cards for my Project Life album….a very large undertaking in the making.

To recap the work of the last couple of months, I decided to blog about all my favourite cards up to date. And drum-roll please….here they are:

April 2014 Cards:

The first card was made for a friend’s birthday. It has become a yearly tradition to attend her birthday tea party. Making her a card is just a very special thing for me. I love spoiling my friends and I hope they love being spoiled. As the saying goes, 'it is greater to give than to receive', and for me, the fun and joy lies in the giving!

Also in April, we celebrated Good Friday. I used my little flower punch which I totally love, to create these little Cross Cards. I made them for family members and one of my friends.

The final card for April was a commission for an 80th birthday that was well received.

May 2014 Cards:
In May I was a very busy lady. I made two exploding box cards. They are quite the trend now. Just love these cards because I love loads of detail and they allow you to add lots of it. The first was for my parents’ 49th wedding anniversary and I think this is my favourite card to date…I worked hard on this one to get it just right. I already wrote a separate post on this so take a look at my May blog posts for more detail. What I love most is the mini wedding cake inside.

The second exploding box card was turned into a little house for a housewarming friendship gift. That’s right, all of my cards are meant to be the gift in itself. It takes so much time and love that it has to be more than a little note or something that you read once and then throw out or place into a drawer or box never to be seen again. Some of my recent customers said they are going to frame their cards. The box card would be difficult to frame but you can display them nicely on a little shelf somewhere. For this one, I had to design the roof of the house from scratch. I had very little time to finish it so I didn't add a lot of detail on it, keeping it simple.

The third card for May went together with the housewarming exploding box card. It was a quick birthday card for the same person. Again I used my little flower punch.

Then I had another commission for a birthday card for an elderly lady who loves reading books. I was asked to include a mini book on the card and it was a little challenging deciding what to do. In the end, it came together nicely. I am using the Silhouette cutting machine and learning at the speed of light. This machine is really changing the way I make cards. Cutting out images is becoming easier by the day.

Another birthday in May and for this one I created a Project Life styled photo book for this friend’s birthday and a little hand-painted card. I wasn't happy with the painted flowers but I have come to realize that it’s OK to not be perfect or do things perfectly. In the process, you grow, learn and the little imperfections make it great in the end.

Take note: there was a little technical trouble with this album and some of the images rotated themselves back on their sides...feeling frustrated. I have turned them in Picasa twice now and they keep on doing it. ;( 

Then came mother’s day. I had to somehow improve on last year’s card which was still on display until recently. My mom just loved her card. I had to make two: one for mom and one for my mother-in-law. In my haste to finish my mother-in-law’s card, I didn't paste the letters to the word ‘mother’ in the right order and she obviously did notice but loved it so that she didn't want me to fix it. Mistakes like that keep you humble, right. Winking smile

It seems like I have made birthday cards like crazy this year. But isn't it like that every year? I have to prioritize and decide who gets a card and who just gets a nice text message or email or even phone call. It is too expensive to send snail mail to every single person I know. So I hope I’m not in trouble over this. Winking smile

Another special card is for a very special lady. I met her in 2010 while volunteering at a local children’s home. She was my assistant in the home and she has such a special personality. Quiet and very diligent. I just love her strong quiet way. She is so very dependable and it is clear that she is doing her job for more than just the salary. When I left there I vowed that I would come back for her and now she works for my mom and me and we don’t know what we would do without her. I hope she will be around to help raise my kids one day. So I made her this card for her birthday.

It seems like I didn't make any cards in June because I had other projects. One of these is the Happy Go Artsy retreat that we are marketing now for August. I hope some of you attend. Go over to our Happy Go Artsy blog for more details.

Then came July.

July 2014 cards:
I love how these cards turned out!!! A thank you card for gifts received from a cousin. Yes, more birthday cards and another anniversary card.

My previous blog post highlighted this thank you card with a red typewriter.

A very special friend, who is my age, had her birthday last week and we were invited to dinner at her place. We all had to bring a dish and it was a really nice evening. My sister and I made her a little mixed media painting which I am planning to duplicate for someone else as a Christmas gift this year. I designed the painting last year, we updated it a bit and personalized it to fit a single lady. She loved it and had a whole story to tell about what she identified in the painting from her favourite place in the country, the Western Cape. Her card was a pleasure to make. I just love this little boy meets girl icons and cute little houses. Something about it draws me in. Maybe because I am very family orientated. Maybe because I am dreaming of owning my own home someday soon. Or maybe just because it's cute.

The artwork

I truly have been productive. What I enjoy most is that I get to work with paper. All kinds and colours and designs…it just thrill me! I love the feel of it. I love the fact that it is fragile and will probably not last forever…just like we are fragile and we need to appreciate every moment that is given to us.

A card also doesn't last forever so when you do receive a handmade one from someone, you should realize the love and effort that went into it, and that says something about what that person is trying to show you: LOVE! This is my way of communicating my love to those who matter to me. I hope this post has inspired you to start creating your own cards. How boring just to pop into a store and grab a printed one when you can make it yourself. It doesn't have to be a masterpiece, but the process is well worth it.

It has been cold in Pretoria the last couple of days, so hoping you are keeping warm in your part of the country.

Till next time, create on!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Typewriter handmade ThankYou card

Hi Friends,

Just a little post for the day....

A cousin of mine has been blessing us for the last couple of years and to thank her, I made this card.

First I designed a little typewriter and then I cut it with the Silhouette cutting machine. I used white card stock and then painted it red and black. I distressed it a little with a stamp and some glitter. I used Glossy accents on the keyboard with a black background. I used a script stamp on a small piece of white paper and united the two. Then I stitched the pieces of printed card stock together. I like the way the two designs work together in the background to frame the card.

I used white gloss card stock and ran it through my Cuttlebug to emboss it with small flowers. I placed it on top of a piece of red card stock and stitched it together. The ends were cut in a V-shape to form a flag. Come to think of it, it was the American 4th of July last week and I saw the one post after the other on facebook. I think it has definitely influenced my design.

I used a circle cut from card stock with a letter print on it to fit with the typewriter theme. I rolled a couple of red paper roses and embellished with diamante, a button and some other little lovelies.

I also distressed the sides again with my gold pigment ink pad, added a little thank you sticker and Bob's your uncle. I still need to make a little box envelope but will keep it simple.

Hope you enjoy the winter weather here in SA and if you are in a warmer part of the world, have some fun outside!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Creative "stay", Winter art retreat, Resting and Keeping on!

Hi there lovelies,

Just a quick post today. I have been updating the design of my blog again...streamlining it some more so that it has a professional appearance. Hope you like what you see here.

Like any artist, I am going through some kind of creative stay. I refuse to call it a block because I have enough creative ideas flowing and that's the problem. Don't know if you can relate? Too many ideas and too little time. So while waiting for all the ideas to settle and form one great big idea that I can actually work with, I took some time off. My internet connection was offline as well and I just took it as a sign to rest. 

During this time of "rest" and waiting on God to show me what and where and when...(maybe still waiting on Him), my sister sent me a devotional.

I am sharing it here with a link to the author's site:
For we who have believed do enter that rest… 
Naturally speaking, when we rest, we don’t work. So what does working out of rest mean? Well, let me explain by sharing with you what the Lord had taught me.

Many years ago, when I first started preaching, I would prepare diligently for all my sermons. I fine-tuned my points and made sure that everything was in place. I would think to myself, “Man, I am going to share this...and that…”

But when I preached, I would forget to mention certain points. Because of that, I would get angry with myself. I would tell myself, “That was such a good point. Why didn’t I remember to share it?”

Then, God began to speak to me. He said, “Son, your preaching is not out of rest. It is out of your memory.” What He said next changed my life, not just in the area of preaching, but also in every other area, and I pray that it will bless you too. He said, “Prepare everything you need to. But when you stand in front of the people, whatever you need to say, I will give to you.”

Yes, there must be prepared, whether it is your sermon or sales presentation. I am not telling you to be lazy and just do nothing. You need to prepare, but don’t depend on your preparation. Just trust God and tell yourself that whatever you forget, God wants it forgotten. And whatever you didn’t plan to say but said, it is because God wanted it said. Don’t be stressed out and lose your rest by thinking, “I must know everything! I must remember everything and do everything I have prepared!”

No, believe God and be at rest. When the time comes, whatever you need to know, there and then, God will let you know. Whatever you don’t need to know, you don’t need to know. And don’t worry about what you didn’t say—believe that God didn’t want it said.

My friend, when you live life like that—trusting God and resting in His love for you-you become cool and collected. And when you are peaceful and at rest in Him, what you do prospers!

Joseph Prince devotional

In the meantime, I have been working on marketing our Art Retreat on the 19th of July 2014. You can find more details about this on our Happy Go Artsy Blog

On a more personal note:
I have also been reading the posts of a very special lady and would like to share her work with you. Her name is Ann Voskamp and I truly feel like we are kindred spirits. I really believe what she believes and her writing inspires me to keep going daily, trusting God for my dreams and my future. It doesn't really matter if I am a great big success or not, as long as God's purpose in my life is fulfilled. I hope you are blessed by me sharing her blog with you. I am also following the website on facebook and the writings and inspirations of all these artists and fellow Christian ladies just helps me stay on track at the moment. It is like all over the planet God is bringing like-minded women together through creative inspirational writing and art for one purpose: to help us stay focused on Him and His kingdom. Let's not lose sight of Him while trying to survive and thrive in this life. There is more awaiting us!

Today my sister shared this song with me. A new release by James Blunt. I am an instant fan. I just believe that we should be able to communicate to each other how important our loved ones are to us. The song indicates that this person's loved one is not perfect but still very much important and loved. We need each other. It doesn't matter if we are family or friends, but we need each other. Let's verbalize it some more today. Tell someone close to you what they mean to you on a daily basis.  Relationships won't change and grow unless we choose to work at it daily. Something I have been struggling with is the fact that not everyone I try to love, will love me back. What do I do with that? What does God want me to do with that? I am the creative emotional sort but I am also very real about life and relationships. I am also a communicator. At one point recently I decided after various experiences to choose to move on when I experience rejection and not to try and try and try again. But as a Christian, I have come to realize that God may want me to move on in some circumstances and not to move on in others. I need the wisdom to know when I have an assignment to "stay on" no matter what the other person does. I think sometimes we underestimate the power of God in and through us. Do not give up on that person that weighs so heavily on your heart. Keep on keeping on.

Who you are and how you respond naturally to people may be the very thing God uses to jump-start them to action or to bring change in their attitudes. Sometimes I feel discouraged because my mere personality challenges people to the point that they would rather not connect with me. See pride gets in the way, shame and guilt get in the way and stubbornness also. We don't want to be challenged that we may not know it all or that our attitudes need adjustment. I am constantly reminded that I need God. The older I become, the more I realize just how much I need Him. I am highly sensitive to my environment and the emotions of others. I see and experience things other people just don't see or understand. It can make life very difficult. But I also know that I am made for a purpose. Others may not embrace that purpose or understand it, but the more I embrace my own purpose, stick to it, be courageous in living it out daily and in all circumstances, the more God can work in and through me. I always believe when you say you are humble you lose your humility in that very moment, but to be able to bow your knee before God and say that you need Him every moment, may just bring you closer to it. To realize that you can keep your heart open to Him, you also will be able to keep it open to those who cannot, will not, or never will choose to love you back. Hope that makes sense to you.

So enjoy the video and remember that Love overcomes all things, cover all things and endures all things.