My sister recently celebrated her birthday. I wanted to make a special card for her because she was turning the big "6-0"! (Remember when you were younger and that age sounded soooooo old?!) Well, I must say, my sister is one bad ass babe. She teaches children with autism full-time, and for kicks, teaches snowboard lessons twice a week at the local ski bump in MN. I wanted to make a card that reflected her personality and her life. That's why an accordion card is perfect because it's like a mini scrapbook or photo album. There are plenty of on-line tutorials to help you actually make the blank accordion card. Pinterest has great tutorials also for card templates. (See one example here.) Fortunately for me, I bought this blank card several years ago and it came in its own tin case. (Sorry to say I can't find who made this one.) I used StazOn Solvent Ink Pad in Jet Black and rubber stamps to personalize the cover of the tin. The fun part of making this card was its gradual evolution. Every few days I would look through my bag of tricks (i.e., my drawers of odds & ends, ephemera, photo albums, and so forth), and add to the card. I used photos, rubber stamps, a tiny calendar, a scrapbook page with text from Little Women with Beth & Jo's name (my sister & me!), washi tape and more. After I made my sister's card, I decided to make another accordion card for my friend in Chicago. Her card was on a smaller scale to go with a tiny gift I sent her. On the backside, I left space to write a birthday greeting. Useful tools for this project include a paper cutter, a bone folder tool, a ruler, different patterned paper, a glue stick & your creativity.
As a paper crafter/card maker, I can't help but pick up and save the odd bit of paper, the cool postage stamp, the unique ribbon, or in this case, a Starbucks' marketing piece. Printed on rich card stock, with gorgeous patterns and vibrant colors, with splashes of gold foil, these cards inform the public of Starbucks' specialty coffees from around the world. I couldn't help but incorporate them into a few greeting cards. (Don't worry Starbucks, no plans to sell them.)
On a recent visit to Nantucket to attend the Nantucket Book Festival, my friends and I went to more than one upscale restaurant. And what were our drinks served in? Mason jars. It didn't matter whether it was a Bloody Mary or a glass of white wine, they all came in a mason jar. I regularly give my friends my homemade granola in mason jars. Even my fourteen year old daughter loves mason jars. She puts battery operated votive candles in hers and uses them in her tree house. And two days ago, The Huffington Post ran a story called 56 New Ways to Repurpose a Mason Jar This Summer. Here are a few of my favorites: My friend, Maureen, over at Maureenmeanswell, made a bunch of gorgeous cards using a mason jar rubber stamp. I had to borrow her idea and make a birthday card. So what's the history of this ubiquitous jar? Poor John Landis Mason, who invented his jar for home-food preservation, and patented it in 1858, never made any money, and like so many other inventors, died a charity case. But before he came up with this clear glass with its threaded neck and screw-on lid, preserving food was tricky business. His invention helped home canners and remained popular through the 1950s. My grandmother, Daisy (born 1914; died 2009), was a big canner, probably out of necessity to survive the Great Depression. Her dill pickles were delicious. She taught both my mum and my sister, Beth, her trade secrets, and my sister cans something or other yearly, as does my friend, Bridget. Both Beth and Bridget fall in the Baby Boomer Generation. Not sure that canning is "a thing" among Generation X, Y or Z, but mason jars are EVERYWHERE.
Milestone events abound this time of year. Graduations, Father's Day, birthdays, and throw in a bridal shower, and a wedding at the end of August Reasons for me to get out my card making supplies. I printed an image of old newsprint from the Internet, and used the following rubber stamps: Happy Birthday Stamp by Crystal Kluge from the Paper Source, and Gift Girl Stamp by Paper Candy, and I embossed both the lettering and the girl. I just picked up Ranger's Embossing Powder in Liquid Platinum. It's a bit more subtle than gold and I love it. For the bride-to-be, I again used the Ranger Liquid Platinum Embossing Powder with this dress stamp (brand worn off), and the Sparkle stamp from Stampin' Up!. I added a bit of tulle, ribbon and Mt Japanese Washi Tape. I was inspired by these beautiful gift tags from AnneMarie Paperie on Etsy, but knew I wouldn't have time to order them for the shower. Finally, for my youngest's upcoming birthday, I decided to use what I had out, though she currently defines herself as "Boho", I think she'll still appreciate it.
Hemingway's "Old Man and the Sea" could have been modeled after my dad, swapping out the "sea" with "lake", or lakes rather (MN~Land of 10,000 Lakes). My dad, who turns 83 today, is a crusty, curmudgeonly ole' Finlander (albeit American-born) who can catch fish even when the fish aren't biting. Although he's slowed down a bit, and has a harder time getting his old bones out to the ice house in a MN winter, he still goes fishing as often as he is able in the warmer months. Happy Birthday Pop! Cleaning fish
We've become so used being able to find anything and everything instantly on the Internet. Occasionally, however, I'll see something in a magazine that I can't find, such as a cute handbag, hat, or a household good. When that happens, it seems I want the item even more. About a month ago I saw a beautiful, artsy print of New York City in a magazine. I went home and googled variations of "art print of NYC, Caribbean green, turquoise, green", etc., to no avail. I LOVED living in NYC in my early 30s and I had to have that print. After repeated searches on Etsy, Pinterest, and so forth, I gave up. Then, recently, as I was coveting various paper goods online at one of my favorite stores, Rifle Paper Co., I found "my" print. Even better, I found that there were a set of City Maps. I have lived in or visited all of these places. So, I decided to buy the cards ($16 for 8) rather than the one print ($40), and frame four of the them. Since I didn't want to spend a lot of money, I bought four inexpensive frames from A.C. Moore at 50% off ($26.00). Unfortunately, the photo mats were not the right size. Can someone please tell me why photo mats are so expensive? The woman at Michael's told me that each mat would cost $12/piece. At A.C. Moore they said a single mat would cost $30! Really? I didn't want my DIY to break the bank so I ended up just mounting them on white card stock. On a related note, I splurged recently and bought this Rifle Paper Co. recipe box. It comes in two other styles. I am in the processing of copying our family's favorite recipes to put inside. I'm going to buy two more so that my step-daughters and my daughter can each have one.
Was having some fun last night using bits and pieces of this and that to make a few cards for some upcoming events. You notice what all three cards have in common? Photo corners. I like to use these self-adhesive photo corners now and again to frame my cards. Just adds a little pizazz.
As a a life-long card maker, I've collected my fair share of rubber stamps over the years. For a long time, I could not think of a good way to store them. As my collection grew, it became unwieldy, until I happened upon this idea. (I'm sorry I can't give credit to the source because it was quite awhile ago.) I now store the bulk of my rubber stamps in clear inexpensive box frames that you can buy pretty much anywhere. Continue reading Rubber Stamp Mayhem