My first challenge entry

My entry to Sweet Sunday Challenge
My entry to Sweet Sunday Challenge

I have been following a craft site that has card challenges every week.  It’s called Sweet Sunday Sketch challenge.  There are many sites like this.  Another one I follow is Crazy4Challenges.  I finally decided to submit an entry to one of these sites.  How these challenges work is they send you an email with that week’s challenge sketch.  The sketch is comprised of shapes that you must include in your entry.  Sometimes the challenge is a color scheme that you must use.

Products Used:

Black, Orange and yellow cardstock from Core’dinations

All images from my Silhouette library

Moon circle from sizzix nested circle die set

Needed to make a special card for my sisters big birthday.

The front of my sister's birthday card
The front of my sister’s birthday card
Inside of my sisters birthday card
Inside of my sisters birthday card

This year my youngest sister is turning the big 60!  That’s a tough one, or at least it was for me.  So today I thought I would share this project.  I knew I wanted it to be a pop-up card.  I had an idea, but sometimes what’s in your head doesn’t always work out.  I usually start to make the inside first and when finished and happy with it, then I decide what I want to say on the front of the card and how I want it to look.

I like to start making the components first.  Once I know what images I want to use then I start pulling cardstock. I use a combination of my Silhouette Cameo cutting machine and steel dies. It took me a long time and a lot of money to find the products that are my favorites. As I said in the “Hello world” entry, my first cards were from a kit that included the pre-scored A2 card, insert with the sentiment printed, embellishments, beads and jewels, pre-tied satin ribbon bows etc.  Although they included a page of pictures of how you could put together the cards, this kit also allowed you to put them together any way you wanted to.

One day I was watching something on YouTube and the next video was a demonstration by a woman stamping an image and then creating a card.  I was so intrigued by her demo I started by stamps and boxes of cards and envelopes.  During her demo she mentioned that she always uses Gina K Designs white card on to stamp with.  I hopped over to the Gina K Designs website and discovered there is a whole world of card making that I never knew even existed.  I have used only Gina K Designs 80lb and 120lb paper for stamping ever since.  You can buy cheaper cardstock but nothing I’ve ever tried works as well.  In my experience with her cardstock, no matter what you’re using for medium to color with or even to color wash, this paper holds up.  It’s no savings if you have to redo your project because of bleeding or peeling.  If you’re new to making cards you should check her out.  She has kits with cardstock, ink, embellishments and everything you need to make beautiful cards to go with her featured stamp set.  You can also buy all those products separately, but what’s really great is the ink pads, cardstock, embellishments all match exactly.  Her stamps are beautiful and very classy.  She also has a YouTube station called “StampTV” for great inspiration and tutorials.

Back to my sister’s card.  I used the Elizabeth Craft Designs “Lots of Pops” pop-up die.  I find that I use this die more than any other pop-up die.  It does what it’s name suggests.  It has a lot of pop out opportunities to create a little scene.  The designer for the Pop-up product at this website are designed by Karen Burniston.  My first encounter with this amazing women was quite by accident.  I had commented on an Elizabeth Craft Die that I had recently bought on one of the social networks.  I was having trouble with it not cutting correctly.  At the time, I didn’t know Karen was the designer.  She commented back to me that my experience was very unusual and that I should contact Elizabeth Craft Designs and see what they think.  Long story short, you wouldn’t believe the level of customer service this company provides.  They really get it and are vested in their customers happiness.  A few years later I have to say that the talented Karen Burniston has been my all time guru for card making.  Well, at least with my love affair with pop-up cards.  Check her and Elizabeth Craft Designs on her blog “I’m not left handed”.  Of course, to see her genius, you can find ECD and Karen on Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube and I’m sure others.

Products used in “My sister’s birthday card”

Elizabeth Craft Designs:  Lots of Pop die, Bathtub Pop die

All other images were created with my Silhouette Cameo

Colored cardstock: Recollections

Printed cardstock: Core’dinations

Front card die: Spellbinders nestabilities “Beaded Squares”

Hello world!

I am a mother of 4, 2 girls and 2 boys.  I am a grandmother of 6, 5 girls and 1 boy.  I have always loved to create handmade things.  I believe it’s actually therapy for me.  I love to sew and craft with paper.  I still work part time as a hairdresser in an upscale retirement community located in San Ramon, Ca.  Currently, most of my sewing is doing alterations for the residents in the community.  For the last almost 3 years my new passion is paper crafting (greeting cards and quilled paper projects).  I’ve been inspired by so many amazing designers in the world of paper crafting and I will give credit to those wonderful women who have been generous to share all their “How to’s” with those of us who are beginners.  With this blog I will attempt to “pay it forward”. In this picture my two oldest grands are missing but not missing in my heart.  I will feature them in a later post.008

Yes, it’s another crafting blog!

This blog was started by me to help people that are new to the “crafting with paper” hobby.  First a little background to what started my love for crafting with paper.  My first experience was when my daughter showed me her photo albums.  They were so cute and nothing like the albums that I had put pictures in when she and her brothers and sister were growing up.  I am of the generation that took pictures with a camera that you first had to buy film for and then take the film to be developed somewhere.  You then waited days for the film to be developed and with great anticipation, a week or so later would go to pick up your developed pictures and pay for the process.  I would be so excited to open the package and view the pictures I had taken that would document my children’s life and the activities I spent with them.  I usually couldn’t wait to get home to view them.  I would open the envelope the developer had put them in as soon as I got into the car.  I would consider it a great day if I loved all the pictures I had paid for to be developed.  This however was a rare occurrence.

For anyone who is less then half a century in age probably don’t understand what I’m even talking about.  You see because we didn’t have any way to preview the pictures we had taken on our beloved camera, we couldn’t pick and choose which shots to have developed.  So if we had taken 20 shots that’s what we paid the developer to print.  Many times some of the pictures were so bad (overexposed, underexposed) and many other disasters.  I would quite often end up with maybe only a few pictures that I could put in an album for posterity.

Getting back to my daughters albums.  Hers were so adorably decorated with stickers and stuff which told a whole story.  Mine simply had maybe a comment describing the event or where the picture was taken or their age in the picture.  You get the point.  I went to a class that taught her “scrapbooking method”.  It took 3 hrs. to complete 1 page in the album. It was the one and only page I ever completed!

You see, I had recently become a single mother of 4 when my husband went on a business trip and never came back. I knew right away, although I enjoyed her “scrapbooking pages” that I not only would never have the free time to do this, but in those days the hobby was just too expensive.

I loved to sew.  That was my hobby at the time.  And, as most sewing enthusiasts would testify, I had quite a stash of fabric that I needed to use!  So, all my handmade gifts were things I made from fabric.

Jump to the age of the internet and the shopping channels on TV.  I was watching one of those shopping channels one day and it happened to be national crafting month.  I was watching a presentation of a craft kit that contained everything that you would need to make quilled greeting cards for all occasions.  I had never seen or heard of quilling before but I was definitely intrigued.  So I bought it.  I was hooked.  I made several cards with quilled images on the front of the card and it was so much fun.  It was something I could do while watching TV (one of my addictions).  That was the beginning of my love affair with paper!

I have been crafting with paper for a few years now and have learned so much since that first purchase.  My intention for this blog is to attempt to prevent newcomers from making the expensive mistakes that I made along the way to where I am now.  Of course, there is so many websites and blogs now that feature card making and quilling and all things “paper” that you might not think there is a need for another one.  But, oh how I wish there had been one that would have helped me choose which products were the best or where to find out how to do some technique that I wanted to try and what were the best products to achieve it!  I intend to post my creations with instructions to copy but also will review what I feel are the products that are the best at achieving what they claim to do.  If I could get back back the money I spent on mistakes or disappointing products I would be able to retire from my job.  This blog will not be trying to sell you anything. So the products I personally recommend will not have any hidden agenda but will only be based on my experience with them. I will attempt to also have a link as to where to buy those products.  I do not receive any compensation from those referrals or your purchases you might make.

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