Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I'm always dubious of any products with exclamation points in their title, so I approached the Scor-Pal! with caution.

I was originally contemplating purchasing a Scor-it. Both are products designed to make the scoring (and folding) of paper easy and precise. This work can be done with a ruler and a bone, but after having folded 60 thank you notes for a recent order, I wondered if I could simplify production with a simple tool.

I posted a note to my etsygreetingsteam discussion board and soon I had received a lot of pros and cons for both. One very helpful link lead me to this critique of both products:

Based on a lot of opinions, I ended up purchasing the Scor-Pal! exclamation point and all.

It's not much to look at, just a piece of plastic with a bunch of grooves on it, but dang it! It sure has been handy already! I took some photos of it in use, above. If you click to enlarge the photos, you can see the very nice, straight fold it helps to create, resulting in a very happy ghost card.

This little device will also eliminate cracking of heavy cardstocks when they're creased, as well, and enable me to do some fun projects, like accordian fold cards.

Here's a link to the Scor-Pal! site which includes some interesting looking projects (the site's a little clunky, but there are still some good ideas on it):

So, my opinion: two thumbs up! A great product if you're doing a lot of production work on cards. It will save you time and also make your products look a little more professional.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Halloween Pop-Up Ghost Card!

Whoo hoo! I love it when a card comes together!

My spooky Halloween card is done and ready for the big Halloween rush (that I'm sure exists only in my wild etsy fantasies).

If nothing else, it's something that might possibly be picked up by treasuries and gift guides, which might bring me a little traffic indirectly.

Besides which, I really like this design a lot! The ghost, if you just open the card a little, just peeks out and is only completely out when the card is fully opened.

Friday, September 25, 2009


I worked on a possible Halloween pop-up card today.

It needs some work. I really wanted the ghost to be rising up behind a gravestone or a tomb, but I haven't been able to find a piece of vector-based that works for me.

The mechanics, based on my Birthday Cake card, work really nicely, though -- the ghost rises up nicely through its slot when you open it up.

I'm also looking for a better quote to put on the outside.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Updated Birthday Cake Card

I loved and hated this card when I first designed it last winter. When I did, I was convinced it was my ticket to etsy superstardom. At the time, all I had were birthday party invitations, a very narrow market. By expanding to generic greeting cards I thought I could tap into a much bigger market. After having it up for a few months, though, I took it down. I was simply not happy with it.

Here's the original:

Things I hate about this original card:

  • The sentiment. On the outside, it says "Some wonderful things happen only once in a lifetime" then you open it and it says "Like you! Happy birthday!"

    Ick! The cloyingly sweet message makes it totally inappropriate to give to almost anyone.

  • Astrobrite. I bought several packs of Astrobrite to use as cardstock because it was inexpensive. I found that it was really hard to work with the stuff precisely because of that factor: it feels really, really cheap. It makes it really unpleasant to work with something if it's of poor quality.

  • The artwork. I liked that cake originally, but after working with it for a long time, the overuse of graduated fills and overall fussiness got to me.
What I liked about it:
  • The mechanics. The engineering worked GREAT. As you opened it, the cake neatly pops up through a slot in the cake stand. It was a little magical and it worked beautifully smoothly.
So here are some more pix of the new one:

New cake image! Nice new patterned paper! Humorous quote!

Sooooo much cuter!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Rhino Pop-Up Card completes a quartet of African animal popups.

Okay, first it was an elephant, then a giraffe, then a lion made a trio.

Then my customer who purchased the first giraffe card asked if she could purchase the trio of African Pop-Up animals but without the giraffe, since she already had that one.

I offered to create a rhino one and, a few days later, came up with the above card.

I will be posting to etsy soon!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Customer Spotlight: Lolo and Mamala

I had a request a while back to customize some of my three reasons cards for a customer, which I was very happy to do. Instead of "Mom" the buyer had asked that I put in "Lolo" and "Mamala" for the names.


Anyway, I was so pleased to get this very nice note (with explanation) from her this week:

Hi Molly,

Thank you SO SO much for the 3 mechanical cards I ordered. I am filipino and in our language, 'lolo' means grandpa and 'lola' means grandma. My mum didn't want to be called lola as she thought it made her sound old so she is known as Mamala to my son.

The cards were a great hit. Mums birthday was on the 1st of Sept, Fathers day on the 6th. So the cards went to both my mum and dad and the hero one went to my husband for fathers day.

They were all written as if they were from Xavier (my son) so for the million reasons there were things like 'I can do anything I want and never get into trouble' (one of the reasons for Mum's card); 'When you carry me and introduce me to all your friends, I feel very proud because I know how proud you are to be my lolo' (one of the reasons for dads card); and 'You work hard everyday so mummmy can stay home and spend time with me' (for my husband's)

They were loved by everyone and dad has his displayed in his office..

Thank you once again!

Aren't those great reasons?

Thanks, Faye, for allowing me to share your note with my readers!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

$100 Facebook Ad Credit for Signing up with the Visa Business Network

I joined the Visa Business Network a few days ago because they were offering a $100 Facebook ad credit for signing up for a free service.

I set up my first Facebook ad campaigns earlier this week. The one that has been most successful was one that I targetted to people who had links to giraffe-related groups.

That ad linked directly to my pop-up giraffe card listing.

Within hours of the ad going live, I'd sold a giraffe card! It was to a man who had never purchased from etsy before...

Mind you, I haven't sold anything since then, but it's fun to experiment, especially as it's free advertising (at the moment).

I have a friend who linked her ads to her Facebook fan site and she's gotten a TON of new fans as a result! I may try the same thing (while it won't lead directly to sales, it's a lot of fun plus you have people that you can contact for sales, etc).

Let me know how things go for you!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

My Absolutely Incredible ATG Gun

I got this because some of my etsygreetingsteam members were raving about it. Previously, I was pretty thrilled with my little Tombow adhesive (so much so, I listed it as one of my favorite tools of all time), and the relatively huge size of the thing put me off.

Now I LOVE it!

It's well designed, so the weight and size are not as big an issue as I'd originally thought. It's easier to control the application of the adhesive with the ATG gun (the little Tombow often gets stuck) -- you just pull the trigger.

One big plus: there's relatively little waste. With the Tombow, when you are done with the refill, you basically throw away half of the entire tool, replacing it with another half, the refill. Lots of plastic in the trash. With the ATG gun, there's a tiny white spool that gets tossed and a long piece of tape, but that's it.

And, MAN! This tape is STICKY! If you stick paper together with this and then try to pry it apart, there's a good likelihood that the paper will tear before the adhesive will give way. This has done wonders for my engineered cards, some of which really have a lot of stress on them at certain parts.

Plus each roll lasts a good long time.

My only gripe: it took me a while to figure out how to properly load the tape in. Eventually I found a video on YouTube that showed the proper method. After that, I Sharpied the direction of the tape right onto the plastic cover and I never had a problem again.

Friday, September 11, 2009


I volunteered for this week's giveaway for my EtsyGreetingsTeam blog. Enter now for a chance to win three of my most popular cards: "Tell Her 3 Reasons Why She's a Superhero," "Tree-themed 3 Reasons card" and her "Flying Pig Pop-Up Card."

All you have to do is go here: and leave a comment!

Do it soon, though, as all comments must be entered before Monday!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Customer Spotlight: Nadya

Nadya, from Australia (what is WITH these orders from Australia?) who was the very first customer for my pop-up elephant card was kind enough to write this to me after I let her know that the card was on its way:

"hi Molly,

Thanks for sending it so quickly!

Your design is just great, I love everything from the quote on the front (they ARE nature's masterpieces, aren't they?), to the way the cutout elephant stands realistically like he's walking!

The card will be for my parents, who absolutely adore elephants - I am sure they'll love it when they find it with their christmas presents this year :)

Thanks again,


I LOVE finding out how my cards will be used.

Thanks, Nadya, for giving me permission to use your note in my blog!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Giraffe Pop-Up Card completed!

I created and posted a new pop-up card to go along with the new Elephant Eard I made a few days ago: the Beautiful Giraffe Card.

And, joy! I sold one soon after posting it! The buyer is buying to to send to her nephew, for whom she's always looking for new and interesting cards.

I particularly love the bright jewel-like colors of the paper I found for the inside and outside. Soooo much prettier than a plain, flat cardstock... I think I'm going to have to redesign some of my cards to use some of these lovely textures.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Lazy Daisy Thank You Notes

I like the simplicity of this design. The cut, which actually only traces one half of the daisy silhouette, makes the whole daisy outline show up using positive and negative shapes.

I wasn't initially wild about the distressed digital background that I purchased for these cards (showing folds, wrinkles, stains, etc), but after printing them, I have to admit that they add quite a bit of depth and interest and don't distract as I initially thought they would.

The etsy listing includes four notecards with envelopes.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Elegant Elephant Pop-Up Card

I couldn't sleep last night so I got up and made a pop-up elephant card. It's already posted on etsy!

One thing that I'm pleased about on the design is that the two sides of the pop-up are not mirror images of each other, as on my similar pop-up cards. Rather, each side shows the animal with front and back legs in different positions, so it looks like he is actually taking a step forward with his right leg.

I also really like the beautifully distressed blue paper background I found for the outside of the card -- it makes it so much more interesting than a flat piece of colored cardstock. I really need to find more digital paper textures as I think they add a lot of character.

The quote on the outside ("Nature's great masterpiece, an Elephant" by John Donne) was found using a google search.

I think this can be the beginning of a whole new series of Elegant Animal Pop-ups...

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Race for a Cure Giveaway!

In honor of two friends who were diagnosed with breast cancer last year and who each went through many months of agonizing treatment, I've decided to run the Race for a Cure this year.

In order to raise money for this cause (money which will go to pay for mammograms, treatments, research and life-saving procedures) I am asking for my readers to sponsor me.

As a special thank you, I will send you my "Take THAT" Cancer pull-tab card. It's the one card that I hate to make a sale on, as when I do, I know there's a sad story behind it. On the other hand, I really love it's message of empowerment at a time that can feel lacking in hope.

(make sure if you sponsor me that I have your address! You can email me by clicking on my profile link on the right or by sending me a message via etsy)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Save the Knittn' Kitten!

The Knittn' Kitten is a unique sort of store, half craft store, half thrift store, all vintage wonderland. It's a great place if you're a seamstress, looking for one-of-a kind material or a knitter seeking some bargain yarns.

I don't know where the owners go to find the array of wonderful buttons and fabrics, but they've made it a lot of fun to go and browse.

On the walls are clothes lovingly sewn for several generations of the family (going back to the '20s).

I found some wonderful ribbons that I could use for embellishments, above (cheap!). They set me back all of $4.95. Check out those adorable pink flowers!

Want to help keep a wonderful business afloat? Here's how to find them:

7530 N.E. Glisan St.
Portland, OR. 97213

Open: 10-6, Tuesday through Saturday

Sister Diane suggests that even a $5 purchase would help them out!

Another way you can help? They accept donations of craft supplies, so if you're looking to destash, this would be a wonderful way to find your treasures a new home.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Cut Flower Card

Here's an idea I'm working on: a cut flower card.

I'd like to make a series of these with different patterns. I'm not thrilled with the yellow pattern, above, but I really was more interested in working out the mechanics quickly.

I AM pleased with the font. It's Bickham Script Pro. The "pro" at the end means that you get additional "glyphs," letters with additional flourishes, ligatures, coordinating type ornaments, etc.

Anyway, I'll be working through the design on this -- hopefully it will take me less time than the Baby Carriage cards that took more than seven months!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Knight Invitations and Thank You Notes

I'd sent off the set of Knight invitations that I'd been working on before I left on vacation. When I got back, I had a note from my customer, saying this about the package she'd received:

"I showed them to my son and he went nuts! He thought last year's pirate party and ship invites were great but now he is soooo excited!"

I LOVE getting that kind of feedback!

In addition to passing that information on, she also asked if I could whip up some coordinating thank you notes. What do you think about that above simple folded cards? I love that banner and have been wanting to use it on something for a long time...