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!