Thursday, May 24, 2007

Lilac handbag card

I made a card on the weekend that is so darned cute! I got the template from Mirkwood Designs, and it's actually a template to make an envelope, but I opted for a card instead. The lady I was making it for is the mother of a friend of mine, and she's always doing nice things for me, so I wanted to do a little pay back for her. (I also put together a nice planter for her bursting with all kinds of colorful flowers!) Anyway, this lady loves little prissy handbags, like the nice evening handbags, so I thought the handbag card was appropriate to make for her.

My mother in law was also making one with me, and her color choice for our paper was in the lilac shades -- her favorite, and actually the favorite of the lady I was making the card for too! So I decided that I would make an all over print of actual lilac flowers. I took a picture of my neighbour's beautiful French lilacs, and made a seamless fill out of a part of the picture, which I flooded to print an entire card stock page of the print. Then we traced the template on the back and cut it out. We each made up our own little verses, and printed them out on lilac colored paper. Then it was on to the fun stuff -- the decorating! We're hooked on those metallic peel offs right now. (Our stamp and scrapping stores around here are loaded with them!) We used a border and edged the flap of the purse with that, added a little flower to look like a snap, and put on the "Thinking of you" sentiment. Inside we used a butterfly punch on some of the scraps of the lilac print and glued them on under the verse. My mother in law, at this point decided her card was finished, but I was determined that mine had to have a handle! So I wired some silver beads and added the handle. Then I thought it really did need a little closure of some sort, but I didn't have any Velcro other than heavy duty stuff, so I decided I was going to run out to the dollar store the next day to get some of those little Velcro dots that have the adhesive on the back of them. They're a little more lightweight for a paper project. As we kept admiring our cards, I thought it would be really cute too if I could find a little wee mirror to attach to inside flap of the purse card. I knew I had seen packages of small mirror tiles at Michaels or Walmart at one point, but I remembered them being square, and was preferring it be round. Plus I didn't really want to buy a package of them, when I really only wanted one. The next day at the dollar store, I was so happy to find a butt-ugly compact of freaky looking eye shadow, only because it had the cutest little round mirror in it, and I was sure I could pop it out of the plastic casing and attach it to my card. I did pop it out, and it worked, and it really finished the card off quite nicely. Kathleen's mom oggled at this little mirror too. She thought it was such a creative touch! (by the way, you may note how I signed the card as "Kathleen's Colleague". This is because that is what her mom calls me, as I call her by "Kathleen's mom"!)

So anyway, that was my lilac handbag card. It was super easy to make and the possibilities of what you could do to decorate it are endless! They'd be so cute as invitations to a bridal shower, or even thank you cards from the bride! Or, as in my case, just a little "because" card!


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

All kinds of printable freebies for 3 days only!

On right now, until May 17th, you can print out any of the projects or printable cards at American Greetings for FREE! They have loads of different paper projects there for you. Like if you were throwing a party, you could print out some garland, some cup wraps, invitations, hats (for a childs party), placecards, napkin rings, etc. Or for a princess themed party, there is even a complete party set including a crown and wand!

I've always liked to create my own computer graphics, but if this isn't your thing, you could print out some nice cards there for free, and then embellish them with a little glitter, perhaps some little flowers or some ribbons and brads, etc. That way you'll really be making the card your own, and your recipient will love the little extras.

So run over there and get downloading, because the freebies only last until May 17th!


Crafty Daisies

I was surfing around some other crafty blogs the other day and I came across one that I was very impressed with, and hope that I can grow this crafting blog up to one day. This blog Crafty Daisies is authored by a group of four women; Heather, Joy, Jen and Candace. Their blog is very easy to navigate, and they have posts on all different types of crafting. And it's a real pretty blog as well! I love the colors they've chose.

One of the crafts that one of the girls there does is felting. This is done by Jen, and it's something I've never personally tried but always been intrigued by. After viewing some of the cool handbags she's made I think I'm going to have to give this craft a whirl! I'll have to hunt down some pure wool yarn to do it first though, because I don't have any of that in my stash. Oh gee, now I'll have to make a trip to the yarn shop. What a bummer... ;-)


Crafting business goes Big Time with a little help from investors

Let me set a scenario for you here. Say you're a seamstress and you create adorable clothing for children which you sell on eBay. (I know of many people that make a living doing this) You have your own signature to your line of clothing, and it's caught on big time. You started a web page now where you're taking orders for outfits and now you're so busy that you're having problems keeping up with orders. So you have to hire on some help to get these orders out. You have so many ideas for your new fall line, but you're still so busy that you just don't have the necessary time to get working on this line, and the weeks are flying by so quickly. You think to yourself that perhaps it's time to re-think your at one time little company. It's time to go brick and mortar because you just don't have the room in your home anymore for supplies, and your hired help. You have dreams of having your own catalog, or perhaps you would love to see some of the chain stores carrying your line, but you just don't have the dollars needed to fund such a venture.

Fortunately for entrepreneurs such as yourself there is a fairly new company called Venpar (Venture Alliance Partners). Venpar isdedicated to helping entrepreneurs build world-class companies, and their funding for such companies comes through their private placement shareholders. Those dreams can be a reality for you with a company like Venpar. Just think... you could be the next haute label in Children's Couture!


Saturday, May 12, 2007

Granny Squares

I love crocheting Granny Squares. There are so many different variations that you can do. They're great for sampler afghans, and for using up bits of yarn. Have you ever heard of Digital Granny? You browse through about 20 pages or so of a digital afghan with all different squares. When you see a square you like, you click on it, and you'll get the pattern for that square.

I made this sweater once for a niece of mine once. She was a toddler at the time, so it was a child's sweater. Anyway I inserted a row of granny squares in all kinds of colors along the bottom of the sweater above the ribbing. It turned out so gosh darned cute. Unfortunately that was a few years back, and I never did take a picture of that sweater. Wasn't that stupid? Oh well. I never let things like that happen anymore.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Importing craft supplies

Have you ever thought of opening your own craft shop? Wouldn't that be really cool? You could work on your own projects on those slower days, and you'd have all the materials you wanted on hand? Imagine having your own bead shop and stocking all kinds of really cool beads from all over the world. But where do you start to find those beads to import? Now it's simple really. There is a website called masterseek where you can search for businesses all over the globe. At their site you can search from over 45 million companies in 75 different countries. That should certainly give enough of a variety of bead suppliers all over the world to stock a new shop! But they're not limited to just bead suppliers either. If you wanted to open a yarn shop or a fabric shop, you can search for those suppliers there as well. With that many different companies in their database, there is something there for everyone... even if your hubby wanted to open a kayak shop!

For those of you that have gone commerce and sell your own crafts, you could also list your company there as well, to start exporting to other lands. Imagine your items being displayed in a quaint little shop in London or Paris? Great food for thought for broadening your crafting business horizons.


Beach glass mosaics

My sister in law is really into scrapbooking -- the conventional paper method, versus the digital method. She introduced me to this web site Craft TV Weekly, and every Friday they introduce a new craft which there is a video for. One of my favorite things they have there is called "Shrunken Treasures" where they use shrink it plastic and rubber stamps to create little bits that resemble beach glass, or mosaic tiles. It's really cool! You use a heat tool to shrink the plastic, and then while it's still warm, you stamp it with a stamp to create a texture. They've used these little bits to create elements on a scrapbook page, to decorate a picture frame, and to make a mosaic. I keep thinking those little bits would be cool to make for jewelry. Like a necklace with some faux beach glass danglies. Hm, I'm going to have to give this a go and see what I can create!