Thursday, January 28, 2010

Valentine CardEnvelopes

Check out these lovely cardenvelopes (free to download!) at the wonderful Natalie Jost blog!

I love how generous the crafting community is and I got sooo much lovely attention for my Busy Little Silhouette Pop-Up Card Download that I hope to be able to do more this year -- it is a nice way to pay things forward.

I've been thinking of tagging 2010 the year of generosity (contributing to HeartsforHaiti has been so wonderful, for instance, and I contribute to several school auctions and other worthy non-profits), but am still mulling things over.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Time to think about Valentine's Day!

Don't let Valentine's Day sneak up on you! You don't want to be one of those people scanning the card racks at Walgreen's late the day before, trying to find that perfect little something, do you?

(full disclosure: I'm usually one of those people for EVERY holiday)

While of course I'd suggest that my new Cupid's Three Reasons Why card would be absolutely perfect, it's possible that this card just isn't your cup of tea.

My fellow EtsyGreetingsTeam members and I have banded together and assembled a really lovely lot of Valentine's cards for you to browse -- these are our very favorites from our shops.

Here's the best part: every single one of these cards includes a special offer. Some of us are offering free shipping, some are including a special surprise bonus gift with purchase.

For myself, if you buy my Cupid Three Reasons card til the end of the week, you'll receive a coupon good for $5 off your next purchase from my Etsy shop. That means your next card is practically free!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Selling a lot of pop-up winged heart cards!

In the last few days, I've sold EIGHT of these pop-up winged heart cards.

Thrilled? Making loads o' money?

Yes and no... I'm losing money on every purchase, but am very happy about it!

I've donated the cards to Hearts for Haiti, an etsy shop which is accepting donations of handcrafted goodies from etsy sellers. All the proceeds go to Doctors Without Borders.

Check out the store! There are tons of great goodies to purchase on it! If you're an etsy seller, contact the shop and get details about how to participate. It's a great feeling to be able to contribute a little something to help out!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hearts for Haiti

If you are looking for a creative way to help the people in Haiti, here are two ways you can assist the men, women and children in this devastated area: craft and/or shop!

Hearts for Haiti is a new etsy shop that was created for the sole purpose of accepting donations from etsy sellers and selling them to benefit the people of Haiti. Their shop has already raised thousands that goes directly to Doctors without Borders to help fund their humanitarian efforts.

Want to donate your handmade crafts to help Haiti? (incidentally, this will likely get your product and shop a lot of great exposure, if the notion of helping out the world isn't enough motivation for you) Send an email to Victoria needs this information:
  • Your shop name
  • Your location and country
  • Item Name/Title
  • Item Price (please do include this! we don’t want to undervalue your work :)
  • Item Description
  • 10 tags
  • Materials used
  • Up to 5 clear photos of the item
Be sure to check out the shop -- there are lots of wonderful products that have been donated already (they'll be posting my Pop-Up Heart card soon). All shipping is free, so this is a great time to snag some good deals (again, if the idea of helping the world isn't enough motivation). Remember, all the proceeds go to an excellent cause!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Busy Little Silhouette Card Tutorial

One of my favorite blogs is Cathe Holden's Just Something I Made blog. I've mentioned it before -- it's a treasure trove of wonderful ideas, inspiration and generous downloads.

One recent download was a series of old-fashioned busy day silhouettes. Cathe asked what we might do with them, so I took that as a challenge. And, of course, being me, it had to be a pop-up card!

What do you think?

In the spirit of Cathe's generosity, I'm paying this one forward! Download the pdf to make this card!

Print the pdf out on light card stock.

Make a card base by cutting a letter-sized piece of darker, contrasting cardstock in half and folding that in half to make a standard folded A2 card base (5.5" x 4.25").

Carefully cut out the shapes on the cardstock (dotted lines indicate folds). Gently fold on dotted lines and table legs where they meet the floor.

Apply glue to the back of the rectangular piece (avoiding the parts that are folded away). Adhere to the card base, lining up the top of the rectangle with the fold line (allow a millimeter or two of space from the actual fold so that the card can fold easily).

Repeat for the rounded piece, making sure that the two sides mirror each other.

Glue the upper part of the figure and the top of the table together, carefully matching the pieces.


Friday, January 8, 2010

Superhero Secret Slider Card

What do you think of this one?

I had a customer request a Spiderman-themed card. Of course, I can't use real Spiderman imagery, but I purchased this stock imagery from iStockphoto which won her son's approval.

It's still a work in progress, but I am very pleased with how smooth the mechanism works already.

On the outside, it reads: "Guess who's turning four?" and when you pull the tab, you'll see a photo of the birthday boy (which I have yet to put in).

Still honing it up a bit, but the general idea is there!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Best 2009 Crafting Tutorials

Wow! Check out this fabulous list of 100 of last year's best crafting tutorials, as compiled by The Long Thread.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Felting Can Be a Little Addictive

Okay, I haven't been able to stop felting after my super fun New Year's Crafternoon session.

This morning, when my friend Jane came by with a super-adorable-cute Japanese book on needle felting little critters, I knew I had to try it.

You can get the general idea of the technique from the book, even though it's in Japanese (with lots of helpful photographs). You make a little wire armature first, then wrap wool roving around the body parts, letting the ends be all wispy so that your little animal doesn't end up with seams.

Once you've played around with it a bit, needle felting isn't all that hard. You just have to mess around a bit. And trust that you WILL get occasionally poked with those super sharp needles, but with all that cuteness, it's totally worth it.

You know, I think that my projects work better if I just dive in and DO IT, instead of dithering about getting everything perfect before I start. Otherwise, I'll never get started.

Okay, so my kitty's a little on the longish side -- kind of like a feline Daschund (I squished him in a little, but he still wants to elongate) -- but still... HE'S SO CUTE!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Best. New. Year's. Day. Crafting. Day. Ever.

Okay, maybe it's the only New Year's Crafting Day I've ever had, but isn't it a great idea? Everyone has that day off and unless you're terribly hung over (and I hope most of my friends are past those days of regrettable drinking), just the perfect way to begin the new year.

We began our crafternoon, as we always do, with a potluck brunch. Yum! Egg and spinach dish, German Potato Salad (with loads o' bacon), scones, chocolate chip muffins, quiche (with more bacon) and other tasties.


Brunch was so yummy, it took an effort to get down to the business of crafting, but once we got started, we could barely stop.

We shared our stashes of wool roving (batting), which gave us a pretty nice array of colors to select from, and various needle felting tools.

We started by wet felting wool balls and beads, as in this tutorial:

I'd never wet felted balls before, but since I'd seen this project originally in an article about fun projects to do with kids, it seemed safe to try out... and it was! Basically, you just take a rough ball of wool, try to smooth out any hard edges, dip it in hot, soapy water and gently roll it in your hands (without squeezing out the water) until it forms into a ball. Miraculously, it does! And after it becomes more formed, you can add embellishments, like stripes and spirals. And you just keep rolling 'til it turns into the right size.

Skewering them with toothpicks turned some into nifty beads.

Then we turned to needle-felting.

This is the process of taking wool batting and poking it with felting needles til it turns to felt. You get more control with the process and, of course, things stay drier.

My friend, Beth, brought catnip, which we rolled inside a wad of wool batting and then wrapped more around it and felted the big ball (which shrank and shrank) to make catnip balls for some lucky felines.

This got the attention of Joey, who seemed to be volunteering to be a tester from his perch on Jane's lap.

Experiments were made.

I was completely enamored of these adorable felted chicks: With a little string, mine turned into a lovely Christmas tree ornament.

Fun crafternoon! I'll be doing it again!