Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Fast Christmas Cards and a Journal

I am still moving faster than a speeding woman, so this is going to be as succinct as I can make it while still making it thorough.  I have given myself a time limit of 15 minutes to write this post.  Let's see if I can make it!

First, I was in a gift exchange at my polymer clay guild, and I gave this journal I made as one of the gifts in my box:

Actually, if you put a lot of 3D stuff all over the cover of a journal, it ends up acting like a thick cover because all of the 3D stuff pokes up from all over and it doesn't interfere with writing at all.  I say "actually" because I know someone just thought, "But she can't put all that 3D stuff on the front of a notebook!"  ^_~  Anyway, the filler is a bunch of graph paper that I hope the recipient can use to envision some gorgeous new creations.  Sequins are one of my favorite supplies for bling-ing (word?) up paper crafts.  I like to string them on in a huge clump and then tie them on like I did here.  I think they look so festive!  They're gorgeous glued on, too, in place of rhinestones.  And SO much cheaper!

Here are the promised card formula photos.  I use this basic design background over and over and over and over and over again, and not just for Christmas cards.  As creative as everyone says I am... (And I am, I don't deny it, not because I'm some egomaniac, but because sometimes it just doesn't make sense to try to be "humble", whatever that means, because when you ARE good at something, you just are, and you shouldn't mince words about it to make other people more comfy.  Everyone is good at many things, and I think more people would uncover their potential if more people would be willing to just be obviously good at what they're good at without trying to make it look like they don't think they're very good.  But that's getting too deep into philosophy, and we don't have to go there right now.  We're talking about card formulas and I have 6 minutes to finish this post.)

Where was I?  Oh, yes.  As creative as everyone says I am, I am also a mom with two boys (10 and 5) and I have 34 people on my gift list.  Most of what I make I make because it doesn't take time, not because I'm lazy, but because my life simply does not allow for long stretches of me reveling in the creative process.  This is why knitting and spinning have become such a HUGE presence in my life, because I can be knitting or spinning while on the couch, spending time with my family, watching TV, or playing games, or knitting while driving in the car, or waiting at a restaurant, in a line, etc...  I get to be creative without being over in my little corner.  It's great!

Okay, 2 minutes now, but I had to go take care of something with the boys, which took at least 2 minutes, so I'm saying four minutes for this.  ^_~

All of that said, I like to do fast, easy things.  And this card is my fastest and my easiest.  I think it looks pretty durned good, so I will share with you some finished photos and the exact measurements of the pieces I cut, which I don't see a lot of people do very often.

LOVE the above card... I love this new punch from Stampin' Up.  I love how rich it makes the accent for this card look.  So when I had yet another person to quickly throw a card together for this morning, I took pictures so you could see.

The base cardstock card (not pictured) is your typical 4.25"x5.5" card base, made from an 8.5"x5.5" piece of cardstock.  The other pieces are made to fit with a little 1/8" border all around...

Here is the formula:

Two main pieces, usually slightly different, with the "denser" one on the bottom.  Cut them 2 5/8" high by 4" wide.

3 accent strips, usually from the same double sided paper (flip it over for the smaller strips, or you can use two different pieces).  I make a 4" wide piece and then cut off three strips: 1/4", 1", and 3/8".  Flip the 1/4" and 3/8" strips over to show the other side.  The wider strip goes on the bottom.

And some kind of accent... Like I said, I'm in love with this punch, but this part could be anything.  I like to do something that has a sentiment as part of the main accent of the card so that I don't have to figure out then where my sentiment is going to go after the accent is attached.  It makes it all very easy.

Oh, and as a random accent that doesn't take a lot of time, I like to round the upper right corner of the top paper and the card itself.  I also usually ink all my edges, but I do it FAST.  I don't pay attention.  I just hit all the edges.

 Glue the two pieces, lining them up to make roughly the same border all around.  Good news about this card, too, is that if your join in the middle is not exact (and it rarely is), it doesn't matter.  Focus on getting the border all around even.

Glue the strips down, first centering the 1" piece over the middle join of the two first pieces.  (This is why your join doesn't matter as much... but you don't want the two pieces beneath overlapping each other, because THAT would show through.)  Glue the 1/4" strip above the 1" strip and then glue the 3/8" strip below the 1" strip.

Center your accent.  I glued the first punched piece down flat and then used 3D adhesive to pop the second piece up.  You can stop here, but I usually add a couple of things.

Like... pearls!  I love pearls.  I love the Stampin' Up pearls.  I save these strips for when I'm in a rush, and around this time of year, I'm always in a rush.  A happy rush, but a rush nonetheless.  I add the strips of pearls, and I purposefully let one pearl be slightly underneath the popped up piece so that it gives the illusion that there is a strip of pearls going across the entire front of the card underneath the accent.

Anyway, there it is!  I only went 5 minutes over.  ^_~

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