I always favour equipment that can be used again and again to create things rather than a bag of goodies that’ll be used up quickly. Punches, for example, are very cost effective. I can make an unlimited number of paper embellishments from an initial investment of roughly £3 ($5?) and in all the colours of the rainbow. You don’t even have to buy paper if you like the
colour of your junk mail! Oh, and don't forget the humble office hole-punch - it makes great circles for flower centres, eyes or just simple geometric patterns.
I often buy the blank card from a kid’s art section at a toy store. I make two cards from one A4 sheet. It works out a lot cheaper than the packs bought from arts and crafts shops. E-bay is also a good source of equipment and supplies for those times when you don't want to trail into the nearest town. There are an awful lot of card-makers out there so there are the equivalent numbers of online cardcraft supply shops. It’s wonderful, but browsing can soon eat up most of your day!
I like to personalise cards if I can, with names or dates. To do this I learnt calligraphy, as we didn't own a printer in those days. It’s still one of my favourite hobbies and is a bit like riding a bike. You never really lose the knack once you've learnt it, you just get neater! As I say, this
was before my household entered the age of technology and nowadays I will enlist the help of my printer but if it’s an extra special card you can still find me happily sprawled across the floor getting covered in ink for an hour.
A couple of years ago I decided that it would be great to create an online shop for these cards and try to make a bit of money for more punches and card! With no computer experience I knew that it would be a steep learning curve so I did a very small local community starter course in website design just to get me going. I was so nervous going back to school after 16 years away! With the help of a couple of super-knowledgeable Bookcrossing friends I was able to finish the site early this year (I know, I know it took me forever to complete but it had to come second to everything else in life!) I had a lot of fun designing it and to keep costs to a minimum I use a free webspace. This is the result:
Card making can be as creative as you like or have the time for. I find it very therapeutic to disappear into the spare room for a while and think about design, colour and texture. I just hope I can keep thinking of new ideas for the future.
To Phelan, thank you for allowing me such a long ramble. After I'd got over my gut reaction of feeling terrified, I did enjoy writing!
Thank you Jenny. You have some amazing looking cards. When I try to make cards, they turn out looking like a toddler made them. ~Phelan
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