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Photography Goods: Paper Quilled Vintage Camera Cards

Back in January I mentioned buying a Beginner Quilling Kit. You can see my first attempt here. It was fun, but I haven’t had a chance to try it again since then. While looking for inspiration I came across these awesome quilled vintage camera cards by Sweet Spot Card Shop on Etsy. OMG! So cute!! The little details, like the tiny gems for the flash and lenses, really sets these apart.

That got me thinking about the art of quilling in general. A lot of quilled design feels sort of dated. And that is good if that’s the look you’re going for. But what could bring this skill back for the masses is if quilling took an updated turn – whether being added to mixed media, or moving beyond the common bouquet of flowers you see all over. Anyway, Sweet Spot Card Shop really nailed blending the art form and making it appealing to today’s buyers. Who wouldn’t be thrilled to get a card (or calendar!) like these?

 


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Light Up Valentines + Free Printable PDF

Chloe worked on her Valentine cards right after breakfast this morning. I had designed these cards a few weeks back, knowing I had a stash of tiny finger flashlights for her to give away. These super bright LED Finger Flashlights are about 20¢ each when you buy a set on Amazon. Keeping their size in mind, I made a similar-sized flashlight with a heart and then included the phrase “You Light Up My Life Valentine.” Interestingly, this is the first time I felt like typefaces failed me. None of them looked quite right, so I ended up handwriting it and then scanning it in. Much better!

Here’s what the cards look like freshly printed:

This is what the packages of finger flashlights look like:

If you decide to add a finger light onto a card, use an x-acto knife to cut a small tab near the middle of the printed flashlight, like shown. Then slide the elastic loop onto the tab. Like this:

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Stitched Fabric Heart Cards

The other day at Ikea I finally convinced my husband to let me purchase a batch of Ribba frames. I’ve been wanting to build a display wall of photographs in our hallway, but David isn’t really a family-photo-display-wall kind of guy. However, this time he was into it and I jumped at the chance. I’ve been spending time today looking through my Flickr account, trying to decide on the photos I’d like to use. That is when I came across these fabric heart cards I made from two years ago. Wow. You mean I actually had time back then (with only one child) to do fun projects like this?

Anyway, you can see they are very simple. I had a batch of blank white patterned cards, cut out a silhouette from the center, backed it with another piece of white card stock and sewed up the edges to secure it. The stitching also added a nice little frame on the heart and tree versions. On the flowered version I cut out some fabric flowers, pasted them on and stitched a line down the center. Not sure what happened to these, but I’m thinking I might have given them as part of a gift. It sure what fun to see them again!

 


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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Hi! I hope you are having a wonderful Valentine’s Day! I am happy to report that we got our valentine cards out in time this year (well… all but one. Sorry Great Grandma Vera, yours got stuck in the pile of extra envelopes and I didn’t see it until last night). We kept it simple and used foam and sparkle stickers on white card stock. I learned that Chloe finds 3-dimensional stickers on sheets to be easier to peel than stickers that are pre-punched out. I did a lot of pre-peeling just to keep things moving. Also, we worked on cards over several sittings, the length of each determined by Chloe’s attention span and interest.

This morning, David surprised me with a lovely card and a box of truffle-filled dark chocolate hearts. For him, I designed a card cover, and inside I included this pop-up pixelated heart in red. I think he really liked it. To surprise the kids, I picked up some helium foil valentine balloons from the dollar store while Chloe was in preschool.

One extra special something I got for Chloe is a hand-carved stamp with her name. She already recognizes and says the letters, but hasn’t learned to write it yet, though she tries. If only I had waited one more day before mailing her cards this would have come in handy! The artist kindly agreed to customize it with a little heart, which I love. Now I’m thinking Leo will need one too. 🙂

Want a stamp of your own? Lauren of Doodlebug Design  is offering a 10% discount to Paperseed readers. Just use code Doodlebug10 at checkout.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


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Birth Announcement Entries

(I wrote this before Leo was born, but didn’t get a chance to post it.)

One of the things I regret not doing for Chloe was sending out a birth announcement. There were several factors involved in that decision – like the pressure (as a professional designer) to design my own, the cost of printing and postage, and the time it takes to stuff, address, and stamp each envelope. As a first time mom, I was just too exhausted and overwhelmed to tackle that project, and so I let it go. By the time I felt like I had a handle on things, it seemed a little too late to send a newborn announcement.

Wanting to do things differently this time, David and I talked about looking into an online service. I was perusing Minted and noticed they were holding a “Summer is Born” Birth Announcement Design Challenge (they provided the photos). So I thought, what the heck? Maybe I’ll submit a few.

Here are the three I submitted – all minimalist, mostly letting the photo speak for itself. Maybe one of these will be the birth announcement style we use for Leo…


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Updated Tutorial & Printables List

I updated my Downloads + Tutorials page (see link under the header bar) with all the project tutorials and printable pdfs I’ve included on this blog. Hopefully they’ll be easier to find and use all in one place. Here are some:

1. DIY iPhone 4 Bumper Idea_2b.jpg, 2. Paper-Wrapped Jewelry Organizer, 3. bird magnets1.jpg, 4. Free Printable Valentine Flower card, 5. Chocolate Gift Jar Oreos.jpg, 6. Baby bib, 7. Halloween “Cauldron Bubbles” Treat, 8. IMG_7332.JPG, 9. “Dad” Father’s Day Card, 10. Cute Baby Hair Clips, 11. Holiday Gift tags, 12. Printable Holiday Gift Wrap, 13. Printable Holiday Cheer game board, 14. Felt photo album cover, 15. Vinyl Record Bowl, 16. Modern Happy Holidays Card


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Gratitude

I am happy to find myself with a number of reasons to be thankful for my friends lately. To express my gratitude, I made more thank you cards using my trusty butterfly punch and pieces of Chloe’s finger paintings. Just one more way to spread the baby artwork love (even on the inside – see bottom photo).

It is hard to see, but the Fastenator staple on the card in the second photo says thank you. The first photo uses a rub-on, which worked pretty well considering the cardstock has a little bit of texture. I haven’t used a rub-on transfer since I was a kid, but it was a nice option when working with dark paper.

Postscript: I just read a great idea on Twig & Thistle that an easy way to sharpen your punches is to use the punch on some aluminum foil. Sweet! See the post here.


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Child Care

I did it. I dropped Chloe off at day care this morning. For and hour. For the First Time. I’ve never left her anywhere before, except for brief periods with her grandparents. It feels really weird. Exciting and a bit wrong. Sort of like leaving the house with only one shoe on. You know it is missing and it doesn’t feel right. But you can still run errands with only one shoe. And know that the other one is doing just fine without you, right where you left it.

A friend of mine started up a child-care co-op that I have yet to try. She printed coupon cards (that I got to design!) for AM and PM (see above), that you give to the sitter, so she can then use one when she needs child care. I want to take my husband with me to go see AVATAR again, and use one of my coupons, but it hasn’t worked out for us yet. Three+ hours seems like an awful long time. I’m hoping this will help me work up to it. You know, baby steps, and all that.


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Felt Flower Hair Clip Giveaway!

I finally found some time to make some new hair clips! These are just so fun. I can’t wait until Chloe has enough hair. Meanwhile it gives me plenty of time to build up my stash, since I’ve been giving most away as little gifts. I also decided to add a few to my sorely neglected etsy shop, and included a couple with matching cards:


Would you like to win the white felt flower hair clip in the top photo? Leave a comment below on this post and I’ll announce a random winner next weekend. Good Luck!


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Modern Birth Announcements

Recently Patti left a comment asking what we did for birth announcements. I was embarrassed to admit that although we took the time to design our own, we never took the time to got them printed. Sad. Instead, we copped out and included a photo of our new family in our Christmas cards.

Etiquette experts generally say that sending a birth announcement up to 3 months afterward is fine, but I feel kind of weird doing it now. But if I did, and didn’t go with my own design, I’d love to use one of these online birth announcement sites:

Tiny Prints
They’ve gotten a lot of press lately, but they sure have some cute designs. I’ve seen several printed examples, including a holiday card, this birth announcement and my own baby shower invite (thanks Greta!), which all looked really nice. The branches with pink blossoms design below was the inspiration for the painting that Grandma Sandy painted on the wall in Chloe’s nursery.

Minted
I first learned about Minted via the Project Nursery Blog. Back when Chloe was born they were running a 10% off special, except there weren’t any designs that David and I could agree on. They have gorgeous letterpressed wedding invites and even offer professional calligraphy.

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Metro Baby Cards
I would say their tagline “Modern. Funky. Unique.” is pretty apt. I love that they offer coordinating return address labels. Their personalized baby Thank You cards are worth a look, and they also have birthday, baptism, holiday and shower cards.

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Updated 12/05/2009 to add: Paperculture


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Cute Fabric Art Cards

I made this set of little notecards today as part of a swap package. They were inspired by all the cool fabric art and cute graphics I’ve come across lately. I cut the shapes out of scraps of flannel and craft felt and glued them in place. The other part of the swap package will consist of a softie, which I’ve never made before. I’m not sure if my sewing skills are up to something like that, but I guess I will be finding out soon!


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Butterfly Craft Punch

It has taken me a while to write and send out thank you cards for the shower gifts we’ve received. To me, writing a thank you card is serious business. I really want each one to be heart felt, and to let the giver know how meaningful their gift truly is to me. Each card has unique thoughts, and because of this I usually only complete 2 or 3 once I finally sit down to write.

Originally, I bought baby specific cards, but they’re almost all gone. Plus, it is more interesting for me to use different cards, instead of the same ones each time (even though I know they are going out to different people). That is where my new Martha Stewart butterfly craft punch comes in (on sale at Michaels a few weeks ago). We’ve had these cheap, generic thank you cards hanging around for a while. All it took was a few pieces of scrap paper and voila! a new look to otherwise plain cards. I’ve done both glued and sewn versions, as shown above. Also, if you haven’t already seen them, butterfly collages are a really fun way to use this punch, too.


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Handmade Valentine Cards (a personal swap)

This year for Valentine’s Day I asked David for just one thing, a handmade (by him) Valentine’s card. No chocolates, or flowers, or store-bought card. Just a little of his personal time and effort. And I promised not to judge him. That whatever he chose to make would be just fine. I really meant that. And in return, I would make him a handmade card, too.

Look at this beauty. I would never have expected this in a million years. It looks like a rolled up piece of paper in the photo, but it is actually a little cylindrical box made of heavy paper, secured by a red thread around two eyelets. About 4 inches across.

This is what it looks like inside – surprise! Filled with little strips of pink paper, each with a word on one side and the matching design from the container on the other. Words like love, forever, we, you, mine, desire, romantic, emily, david, always. I could re-arrange the little strips into many different combinations. Pretty and clever. I’m clearly blown away.

This is the card that I made for David. He really loves to flyfish. On our drive back from the coast on my birthday, we stopped at a tiny scrapbooking shop in the seaside town of Gearhart, where I picked up my first collection of brads. That’s right. Before making this card I was a Brad Virgin. I don’t know why I waited – they’re so fun! Such a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. I purchased these little fish, the dragonfly, and the heart paperclips, chosen individually out of tiny drawers. They worked perfectly for this card. The writing on top says “Fishin’ for your love.” The little fish hooks are made of staples I bent with needle-nosed pliers. The inside reads “…and now I’m hooked on you! Happy Valentine’s Day!” embellished with two red heart eyelets.

I’m so proud of us.


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Free gift to you (or someone else!)

Download and print these free notecards! (see below)

Okay, I know this post was supposed to fall on Christmas Eve, but Christmas Day will have to do. I’m working on a borrowed laptop (thank you, Andrew), because the operating system and software on our old laptop was more versions back than we thought. Oops.

Anyway, Merry Christmas to all of you out there in blog land. It is snowing here in Colorado where I am visiting with my husband’s family for the holidays. My first white Christmas in a long time. It is warm and cozy in the house though, with a fire going in the wood stove. We went to Christmas mass this morning and sang many traditional songs, which was fun. Now we’re waiting for David’s brother Eric, and his wife, Liza, and son, Paolo, to arrive. Their United flight was cancelled because the crew “just didn’t show up.” Can you believe that? Luckily United placed them on a similar flight through Continental, even though they had to layover. What’s worse, when they arrived at the airport they found that their bag with all the Christmas gifts had gotten lost. Sad. But the important thing is that they arrived safetly and are on their way.

Today marks the final day of my free weekly holiday posts. Thanks to everyone who left nice comments. I am so glad to hear that each pdf was so well received. As a final gift, today’s free download-and-print pdf is for a set of 3 Little Bird Notecards. One each of “Thank You,” “Happy Birthday,” and “Hello.” These are notecards that can be used throughout the year, not just during the holidays. Also, for those of you who are scrambling to come up with a last minute stocking stuffer, these could be great! Just print out a couple sets on cardstock, trim and wrap with ribbon and you are all set!

Merry Christmas everyone!!!


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Crafting A Greeting Card

flower cards

For the past few days I’ve been feeling crafty, so yesterday I sat down at my computer and created a few designs for greeting cards. Nothing fancy, just something sweet and light. The photograph above shows the design I ended up using and I am surprisingly happy with the way they turned out. I think I might even list them up on my etsy shop, which I’ve sadly neglected for so long.

It all started with a trip to Michael’s for inspiration. I hadn’t been there in ages. Eventually I left with a package of Martha Stewart: CraftsFlourish” blank stationery and brought them home to try with my new Canon Pixma ip3500, which came free using a promotional rebate when I bought my imac. I did try using our color laser, but I noticed on the test print (with one sacrificed card) that the heat really warped this particular paper stock.

However, in order to truly fulfill that crafty part of myself, I took it one tiny step further after printing and glued on little cut-out circles for the flower heads. I like how it adds a subtle dimensionality and playfulness. My only regret is that I didn’t purchase more of the blank stationery while I had the chance, because the Michaels’ in my area have run-out. C’est la vie.


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Drawing on other people's creativity

“Treehouses” limited edition cards (photo and design from Kirin & Co)

I was thinking today that I should feature other people’s designs more often, especially the ones that really strike me as particularly beautiful, creative, cool or otherwise inspiring. Since I can’t afford to buy anything right now (see this post if you’re wondering why), I thought it would be like “window shopping” using my monitor… or maybe it would be more like curating my own imagined shop? Plus, I’m really hoping to motivate myself to begin at least one of the projects that have been sitting in the back of my mind.

One of my very recent favorite finds is the letterpressed card shown above, a collaboration between Lara Cameron, an Australian designer, and Lynn Russel of Satsuma Press, based right here in Portland. There are a set of three designs: treehouses (above), japanese tree, and birch. According to Lara’s Etsy shop, each card is letterpress printed with a vandercook sp-15 on crane’s 100% cotton lettra paper with hand mixed inks. However, if you live in the US you’d save on postage by purchasing from Lynn’s shop. I love the single use of color, the mixture of thin lines and solid shapes, and especially the little details.

“Japanese Tree” limited edition letterpressed cards (photo and design from Kirin & Co)

“Birch” limited edition letterpressed cards (photo and design from Kirin & Co)
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