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Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Evolution of a card maker Part 1

Because of some feed problems, today's guest blogger post will be in two parts.

One day I bought a magazine which had a nice looking free gift taped to the front. It was a set of three sponge stamps. They all had a Christmas theme – a holly leaf, a crown and a star. The instructions in the magazine looked fairly simple so that year I made half a dozen cards for my immediate family using some gold and silver paint and coloured card. I'd never had the urge
to create cards before and it was more than likely inspired purely by boredom but those few cards were to be the start of an enduring hobby!

For the first few years of making cards I concentrated on Christmas cards. I love Christmas and all its sparkly decorations so it wasn't difficult to find inspiration. The colours are easy if you stick with red and green! I bought a bag of corrugated green Christmas trees, found a scrap of Christmas material to use as a background square and just stuck it all together with a
spot of PVA glue! At that stage I had limited time after work and at weekends so it seemed like a good hobby to start as each card can take as long as you like. An easy card can take 20 minutes whereas a more complicated design can take hours.

Further down the line I attempted wedding cards as we'd been invited to one! A few squares of lilac mulberry paper decorated with satin flowers from the dressmaking shop and it was soon finished. After that I tried to make a card for each occasion that cropped up on my calendar – birthdays, Christenings, anniversaries, congratulations, etc. I ended up with an almost complete repertoire of different types of cards. I'd take a photo or scan of each one
to help remind me of what I'd already done and to give me inspiration in the future in case I ran out of ideas.

Nowadays one thing I consider carefully is the budget. Being a full-time mum makes me think twice about buying the latest super-duper craft tool that'll sit gathering dust under the bed after a couple of attempts. I like to keep it simple: a few punches and a straight slide cutter will suffice for most cards. You can do without the slide cutter if you've a steady hand with the
scissors (I haven't!).

Double-sided sticky tape has to be best card-making discovery I made. It saves a lot of mess and hassle getting your fingers glued together and you don't have to wait for it to dry. There are many types of double-sided tape and some are stickier than others! It’s a case of trial and error. The less sticky type can be used for sticking things down such as pieces of card or paper that might end up a little crooked and need repositioning. The stickier ones, such as double-sided Sellotape are good for fabrics. Another good find was a glue pen which works like a Biro. It’s great for tiny bits of paper or very detailed gluing. My 6yr old daughter found that you can write with it and sprinkle with glitter for a lovely effect!


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