Posted in Anna Griffin, card making, craft, recycling, Stampin Up

Recycling Greeting Cards

Anna Griffin Embellishments

As you know, I enjoy sending handmade paper cards with a loving message to the special people in my life, that is a greeting card’s purpose. Just as receiving a card makes me feel someone cares and can lift my mood, sending a card causes me to slow down to remember significant people in my life, which also raises my spirit. This would be a win-win situation if it wasn’t for the paper waste left behind. So to reduce my environmental impact here are some ideas for card material after reading.

Shred and use for:

Packing material – Why buy more plastic when you can use a natural material. This will require saving up the shredded cards unless you are very much loved.

Easter basket fillers – Just a few shredded cards can fill a basket and it’s nice how the card’s color adds a decorative element.

Fire starter – First pack it hard into toilet paper holders or pack then wrap in wax paper to avoid wisps of embers or flames when burning.

Planter or garden mulch – Paper is wood fiber which can be used with other fine mulch on garden beds, though colored paper should not be used around vegetables.

Paper mache pulp – A paper mix to form facial features or ornaments on larger paper projects , here is a link with details and instructions https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/paper-mache-paste-recipes-1245287. .

Use whole for:

Home decorations – Add paper or metallic elements pulled off cards to wreaths or planters around your house. At Christmas try making a swag from previous year’s cards to decorate a doorway or mantle.

Recycled Greeting Cards – Glue a new inside sentiment page in the card you received and send to another friend. A note on the back saying it was recycled would make it even more appreciated.

Paper mache strips – In this case, it’s the building blocks of paper mache not the glue or paste, again check link above for details.

Creating Beads – Create beads for jewelry making with the paper scraps, here is a link with how to information https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/how-to-make-paper-beads-4045300.

Sailing Home Stamp & Die Set

Please share your ideas in the comment section below, we’d like to see them. Thanks

Posted in card making, craft, Stampin Up

Assembly Line Cardmaking

The deadline to mail your handmade Christmas cards for delivery by the USPS in time for Christmas is December 21st. Don’t despair, if the holiday madness has gotten in the way of your crafting, there is still time. However you are going to have to think less like Martha Stuart and more like Henry Ford. In 1913 he reduced the time to manufacture an automobile from 12 hours to 2 hours and 30 minutes with the invention of the assembly line.

So Crafters put down that glass of wine and clear some space for your card making assembly line. If you want to try this idea to speed up your card making, first think about the steps your card takes to assemble and make a space for each one. For my assembly line the card parts are added as it moves from the die cutting station through to ribbon placement . Here is what I did.

Photo 1: Brightly Gleaming and Mossy Meadows

Since I don’t like to move my paper trimmer or Cuttlebug die cutting machine , I start in the craft room. At the first station I cut all the pieces of the Cardstock and Decorative Paper needed plus two in case of mistakes. This greeting uses Stampin up Brightly Gleaming decorative paper , Mossy Meadows cardstock and Very Vanilla for the base.

Photo 2: Copper Ornaments and Sentiment

Next at my Cuttlebug, I press copper ornaments and very vanilla circle backs laying the pieces on the dining room table (see above). As a hint to save paper, die cut embellishments from the center of the bottom card layer that will be covered (see photo 1 where the sentiment “joy” is cut out). As you can see (photo 2) it doesn’t show once the first layer is assembled. I’m going to use my dining room table for the assembly line though I need one more thing to help me push through the construction:

Photo 3: Martinis or Old Fashioneds

Just kidding, what I needed was my Anna Griffin Organizer, which keeps my scissors, adhesives, and tools at hand so I don’t have to run back and forth. For this design there is three adhesive stations, a tape runner to adhere the green strips to the very vanila card, liquid glue to hold both the copper ornament to it’s backing and the sentiment to the card, and Stampin up dimensionals to add the copper ornament. I like the added depth the dimensional gives to the card.

Photo 4: Anna Griffin Organizer

I prefer to stand for some reason while I position the elements on the card. It seems easier and allows me to move station to station accurately placing the cardstock, copper ornament, “Joy” sentiment, and bow. This stage went quickly and these cards were finished in one night, hooray. Though, I have sent many cards after the occasion and they are just as appreciated, so if your cards take longer don’t stress!

Photo 5: Ribbons

This group of cards is for my husband’s work and they were packed up before I could get the last picture of 13 Christmas Cards. But I’m glad he was able to share our best wishes for a “joyful” holiday, which is the most important thing. Merry Christmas.

Photo 6: My Christmas Card to You, Merry Christmas

Posted in charity, craft

Deserving Beads

This week I am sharing the blessing and encouragement sent my way by Caitie, the owner and entrepreneur over at “Deserving Beads” a site for gorgeous handmade jewelry. She gifted me with a beautiful white wood and agate stone bracelet accented with silver that I absolutely love.

Her bracelets and necklaces are designed with natural stones such as turquoise, black onyx, coral, Amazonite, and marbled glass and some include wood beads of magkuno wood, grey wood, and rosewood. My new bracelet seems more substantial then others I’ve held and is of high quality. Thank you so much Caitie for the thoughtful gift.

The website (linked to all pictures) is soulful and filled with inspiration.

But what encourages me most is the honesty in Caitie’s message and the truth she shares of her own life on the website. By being transparent she is breaking down the “perfect person” myth of social media and I think this will be a light to others. In addition to the beaded bracelets she sells “for fun” is a line which benefits breast cancer, congenital heart disease, and suicide prevention charities. What a blessing!

Thanks Caitie for both the lovely reminder of you that I can wear and for creating a peaceful site I can visit.

Posted in card making, craft, Stampin Up

No One is Perfect

Quality Card-stock from Stampin Up

My clean and simple card from yesterday was made with pink construction paper instead of quality cardstock, which I realized when I saw the waffled edge of the card this morning. Sigh, I had some older construction paper and cardstock pulled to donate to the school and mixed the two up.

So if you are new to card making here’s a tip, dental floss will slide between two pieces of paper bonded with adhesive ( a tape runner like snail adhesive for example) very well, usually without harm to either piece. Here you can see the insert removed from the construction paper cleanly. This is also a handy trick if an embellishment needs to be moved on your design.

The dental floss will help pull decorative paper glued to the construction paper, but it will not be a clean break. So I needed to lay the paper to be saved face down and pull the pink construction paper away shredding it as it was removed.

However, the decorative paper which was the face of the card was fine and the cards are now reassembled and ready to cheer someone’s day. Hope you never need this tip but if you do remember no one is perfect.

Posted in card making, charity, craft, Stampin Up

A Clean and Simple Card for Beginners

If you are new to card-making you may wonder if its worthwhile in this digital age to expend the cost and effort to create a paper greeting card. I believe it is because a physical card can grab your attention and really make your day special, even more so then a nice text message. Even the professional world has not relinquished snail mail totally for maintaining relationships with customers and employees. Its not practical for all communication obviously but a hand made card can lift the spirits and bring a smile to the face of your most tech savy friend.

So, if you are still reading and think it’s worth the effort to craft a smile in an envelope you will need a paper cutter, cardstock, bone folder, glue, and images (either from digital content or stamps and dies). Now if you are new to this hobby please know it is not as violent as you may imagIne, the bone folder is totally mis-named, no bone folding involved ( just a little Halloween humor).

Here are the details for a clean and simple card I put together quickly using Stampin Up papers for the Craft Faire to benefit World Trust (see last week’s blog for more information). If you are just starting this hobby buying coordinating cardstock, ink and stamp bundles will save you money in the long run because the pieces go together in multiple ways similar to how 10 pieces of a capsule wardrobe make a month’s worth of outfits. For your information some of the attached pictures are linked to products for sale.

To start first cut a sheet of 81/2″x 11″ pink cardstock in half lengthwise at the 51/2″ mark to yield two cards once folded and scored with a bonefolder at 4 1/4″ . Use heavier weight cardstock for the base to make a more substantial card and crisp the fold with a bonefolder for a sharp edge.

This next step is optional, you can highlight the lighter pink flowers on the “Happiness Blooms” decorative paper by brushing them with glitter glue (this takes a while but it is a good craft while watching tv ) . I do like the extra glamour but the paper is very pretty left just as is.

Here’s a hint, there are many types of glue for paper projects but when you are beginning to layout a design the liquid glue will allow for adjustments after placement. Be careful though, using too much glue can leave the cardstock wavy inside the card showing the glue line. Here is a liquid Tombow glue from Amazon which I used to put a thin line of glue on all four edges of the card only.

The decorative elements are where coordinating paper and cardstock really makes your life easier. The lighter weight decorative paper “Happiness Blooms” was offered with the cardstock, ribbon, and ink colors of “call me clover” and “calypso coral” . These colors can be mixed and matched to create many different looks.

For this card cut a 3/4″ strip from the short side of the “call me clover” cardstock and then notch it using the banner punch on both ends to create a ribbon alternative. The banner punch is doing double duty here, the punched triangle leftovers could become part of a birthday or welcome banner card.

Then lay the “thank you” messages from the “All That You Are” cling stamp set on a hard surface face down and push a clear stamp block on top. This avoids the message getting distorted by placing it on the block. To ink the stamp I find it helpful to tap three times on the ink pad with average pressure, then you will stamp off on “whisper white” cardstock for the card’s sentiment. I used an oval cutting trace from my Creative Memory scrapbooking days, however If you don’t have an oval or round cutting tool you can use your paper cutter to make a rectangle message instead.

Here’s the final cards, you may notice one has an extra dot embellishment on the sentiment to cover a smidge of ink, I like it and may have to add some to the other two. Below the cards made today is a visual thought board for the next round of cards from Stampin Up’s current catalog. If you enjoyed this tutorial for a clean and simple card that goes together quickly please check back for the next design.

Posted in card making, charity, craft

Handmade with Love Craft Faire

Willow Glen Bible Church is raising money for the Vision Trust Charity, which serves thousands of at risk children around the world, with a “Handmade with Love Craft Faire”. I’m so excited to donate handmade cards and know the proceeds are going to continue their work for the children of Liberia, here is their link: https://www.visiontrust.org/about/ . I enjoy creating cards and I love that they will go to help a great cause.

The Craft Fair will be held on November 1st and November 2nd starting at 10 am at the Peninsula Bible Church in Cupertino so drop by if you get a chance .

Posted in card making, craft

Gearing up for a birthday

My family is filled with car guys, who enjoy discussing motors and gears in depth when out driving, at dinner, or watching tv (you get the picture) . So I was so thrilled to see gear thinlit dies in Stampin Up’s Classic Garage Set in time for my husband’s birthday. The set includes stamp images of a classic car, tool box and fuel can which will be useful for so many masculine birthday cards. But what stopped me in my tracks were the gear dies. Yes this would be lovely paired with the classic auto for a traditional card but the minimalist in me can’t wait to try a modern card with shiny silver gears, One google search later I took my inspiration for this card from CraftyKylie.com on Pinterest. Lovely job Kylie.

I wanted a sleek modern card so the Cardstock was paired down to a gray and black color combination. The gears definitely look modern in silver foil paper (See A). These were first cut with the foil side against the cutting edge producing a clean image. However when I tried to make a slightly different image by reversing the die so the cutting edge was against the paper backing the image was too rough. Any ideas on how to reverse the die cut edge with good results? Well, I will definitly try that again because I like the slightly different pattern (See B)

You probably recognize the tan cut up grocery bag under my work. When I forget my plastic sacks at the grocery store this is my way of re-using their bags.

The Card goes together quick and easy, I spent some time adjusting the silver gears on the left side of the Cardstock but then all that’s left is embossing the greeting in silver . My first try I used black ink instead of versa mark with the silver embossing powder and a fullers earth pad (my mistake but it was right next to the embossing powders at the big box store) instead of the anti static embossing buddy to stop stray embossing powder and the results are underwhelming. Did I mention I just bought my heat tool? But thanks to Brenda Keenan over at http://www.keenankreations.com/ I now know the right way.

Finally, once I had all my tools in place the card was finished in 15 minutes. At the last minute I switched gears, literally (see C below). Here is my birthday card, hope this encourages you on your next project.

Figure C – Initial idea for card and final version on bottom