Sunday 30 October 2011

Card making kits

You can buy kits with everything you need for making just one or four cards - they contain a blank card and envelope (or four) and a selection of embellishments on a similar theme, eg baby, female birthday etc. They can be a good value way of adding to your kit and also make it easier to find inspiration - it can be a lot quicker if you have to come up with a design using just a few different embellishments than rummaging around in your entire collection if you have a massive cardmaking kit like I do!

Normally the card kits are only 99p or £1, so they are indeed good value. The best ones are Anita's where you only get enough to make one card, but I have often seen unbranded packs to make four cards in Poundland. The quality of the card blanks themselves is not as good - they are thinner and less sturdy - and the embellishments also tend to be poorer quality, e.g. the end of a piece of ribbon might be a little frayed. But otherwise they are good, and as they are so cheap I don't feel guilty about occasionally treating myself to a pack! The two cards below are made from a pack that I think I received as a gift, where the embellishments were all on a gold theme.

In both cases I tried to think about proportion and symmetry and am quite pleased with the designs I came up with using just a few squares of coloured paper and some sequins and the butterfly embellisments in the pack. I also like the fact that the card blanks are square - usually I use rectangular and I find that working with a square gives me different design ideas.

There will be some cake-related posts on here soon, I promise! I am going through my old photos in chronological order and I only got into cake decorating and serious baking more recently.

Printed card blanks

In addition to using blank cards - which come in white or cream, and a selection of pastel colours - you can also buy printed card blanks. I bought a box that contained a selection of different-patterned card blanks, thinking it would give me a choice of backgrounds and save time as I would need fewer embellishments. However I found some of the patterns too 'busy' and anything more than a single flower or 'happy birthday' sentiment seemed too much. They are also more expensive than plain cards so I think in future I would buy plain cards and use coloured paper if I wanted to create different backgrounds. Even so, I was quite pleased with the cards I did make (again these are old pictures from a couple of years ago).

This one uses a piece of sticky ribbon and Anita's outline stickers. I think the clothing design works well against the striped background.

I like this one as well, especially the way the black stickers stand out:

I didn't especially like the background of this printed card, which looked a bit 70s to me. In addition, the main sticker I have in the middle of the card has a pale background and the pattern on the card shows through. I could have overcome this by putting the sticker onto a separate piece of card or plain paper (known as 'matting') but I didn't realise I needed to.

I like the background of this card and think the butterfly looks nice, but in retrospect I don't think overlapping the rectangular stickers over the ribbon was a good idea. We live and learn!

Wednesday 26 October 2011

Welcome to my blog!

I love crafts and baking, and would do more of both if I had the time (and there weren't so many calories in cake). Often while I'm sitting at my desk in the City I'm daydreaming or planning something I'm going to make. I often search online for ideas and inspiration, but the main reasons I decided to start this blog are to share my creations with family and friends, and make somewhere I can keep a log of what I've made over the years - and also because a friend of mine has an absolutely fabulous baking blog:

I doubt I am likely to update this blog so often, or post step-by-step photos of the process as I make or bake something, but I'll do my best. I've decided to start with some things I have made over the past couple of years - I don't have photographs of everything I've made, but I have got a few and thought it might be interesting to share them, and particularly when it comes to card making see how my style and ability has developed (if indeed it has!).

Here are a few cards I made probably about two years ago. These early ones are really quite basic, just using coloured stickers from Anita's or similar on coloured blank cards:

Getting a little more original but I still think these look very simplistic

This is an example of a card I would make when I don't have a huge amount of time. The 'baby boy' slogan is from a roll of printed ribbon, and the bib is a ready-made card topper that I bought. Even so, I think it has the personal touch and people like to receive handmade cards.

This card was for a friend's wedding, I went with a cream colour scheme:

My grandfather had a camper van for a long time so I found this ready-made card topper - well, it was a kind of 3D sticker really, then I made the border edging from coloured paper and added a "Grandad" outline sticker in silver.

This one was for my Dad!

Similar to the campervan card, here I used a 3D sticker set and made a border edging. The card was for a work colleague who was a keen cyclist.

I seem to have gone to a lot of weddings in the past few years!