For my friend's birthday in January, I made a simple card using some gift wrapping paper from IKEA. I cut out a couple of motifs from the same paper I had used to wrap the gift and pieced them together on some colored card stock and a matching envelope. Then I heat embossed a very simple sentiment onto the card. Actually, it was the only suitable stamp I had on hand, and I wasn't too happy with it, but it was still better than hand writing the sentiment.
I also had this small letter stamp set that I used to stamp the name on the envelope. Not the best stamp set either. I had the vague idea that I should keep an eye out for some cute stamps to make birthday cards. So that invitation to a StampinUp party popped up in my inbox at just the right time. I had never heard of the company before, but fell in love with their stamp sets right away.
My favorite set is the Flowering Fields rubber stamp set that I got as a free Sale-A-Bration item. I just love how different combinations of the individual stamps and different colors make each card unique:
Masking these delicate shapes in order to create a layered look is fairly time consuming, so when I came across the Botanical Sketch background stamp by Tim Holtz/ Stampers Anonymous, I just knew I had to try it out, too:
Stamping this one is a lot easier - just carefully ink the whole stamp and make sure to apply even pressure to the whole image, there's no masking or arranging individual flowers. But then I find coloring these flowers a little more tricky and time consuming, and it's not as easy to add some dimension by cutting out individual flowers and adding them on with foam pads or tape. All in all, I like that I have two options for creating different varieties of these colorful flowery cards, and each has its advantages and disadvantages. I'll certainly make more of these.
But some occasions call for something less dainty. For my father's birthday I needed a card that would hold some tickets to a comedy show, so I cut this long card from colored card stock and wrapped it in gift paper. I kept the stamping fairly simple, creating a background from a set of five or six small dots that I repeatedly stamped in random orientation. I added a little dimension to a number of party hats that I stamped and cut out - these actually hint to my father's age without shouting out the actual number:
Finally, as I've been having so much fun with making cards, I decided to host a StampinUp party at my home. My mother is turning 70 this year, so I asked Vera from Lovelystamps, the StampinUp demonstrator I had met at that first stamping party, to craft birthday cards with us. After my experiences with product demonstration parties (not in the area of crafting, more in the food storage sector - you know what I mean), I was pleasantly surprised that she didn't try to sell us all kinds of things, but rather just handed us the catalogs, answered all our questions and let the products speak for themselves. That was why it was absolutely fine for me to host this party, knowing that my guests wouldn't feel pressed to buy anything. While I probably wouldn't host another "you have to buy these plastic boxes" party again (and not only because we have more than enough of these plastic boxes in our kitchen), I'm absolutely sure that this wasn't my last StampinUp party (and not only because you can never have enough crafting supplies ;-))! We had lots of fun, got to try out some really fabulous crafting materials, and I just love how my card turned out:
It's quite different from what I've created so far, so this was a great opportunity for trying out something new. Up to now, I haven't been a huge fan of patterned paper because I never really knew what to do with it, but I really like the look of this card, and I ordered this beautiful designer paper set from the Sale-A-Bration catalog as a freebie for my order. I made three additional flowers for the envelope, so it's not completely finished yet, but there's still quite some time left. And as my order arrived yesterday (yippiehhhh!), I'm sure I'll soon be making more cards. And photo albums for my kids - a project that has been at the top of my to do list for - ummm - 4 years?! And maybe some home decor? I've seen some really great ideas on YouTube recently...
Oh, did I mention that I'm in the middle of sewing pyjamas for my boys? I really need to find some time for sewing soon... And with spring finally around the corner, I'm in need for some new dresses that are all planned out and prepared to be cut and sewn. Let's see if I can get back into that sewing flow I had at the beginning of the year... But up next, I'll be probably showing you some of the cakes I made recently. Unless there's another craft just waiting to be tried out :-P