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Monthly Archives: September 2012

First Show

I had my first show yesterday. It was the Woodbury, NJ Fall Arts Fest. I know that most business people wouldn’t call yesterday a success, but in my eyes it was. I did not break even (just about $10 away from it), but I am okay with that. Because I gained a wealth of knowledge, some great contacts and lots of potential customers. You can’t put a price on that!!

I started off the day alone and setup went well. I was able to get my table covered, stuff displayed and my banner hung in less than half an hour. It went really fast. There’s always room for improvement on setup and this being the first show, I did what I thought looked best. My dad and aunt had some other ideas when they came to visit, my friend Amanda also had some great ideas and even customers were offering suggestions!  My setup evolved throughout the day and I think I learned a lot from it.

Before the show even started, I made two sales. This was shocking to me and I was so grateful to have started off the day in such a positive way! It really boosted my confidence and I felt like I could really do this. Traffic was steady though out the day and I heard a lot of positive comments from people, ranging from those are so cute to you are so talented. Great things to hear!

The funniest thing I heard all day was from this adorable little boy who was being held by his mom. After saying hello to me, he stared at one of my tag lollipops and looked like he wanted to say something. When he finally did he said, is that a real lollipop or just a pretend lollipop? I told him it was pretend and that it wouldn’t taste good if you tried to eat it. His response was, then why did you put a stick on it if you can’t eat it? So innocent and so funny. His mom explained to him that it was like the ones she made as invitations for his little sister’s birthday party and then she said to me, he didn’t understand why I would do that either! He must think grown ups are so silly to make lollipops that they can’t eat!

The one thing that I think I can really take the most from is that you never know what will sell. I made this adorable (or what I thought were) gift tags and no one bought them! They were 2/$1.00, the least expensive thing I offered and they all sat. The lollipops, which were a last-minute edition, sold wonderfully! I should have made more of the Christmas ones, as they were the first to sell out. I only made 8 Christmas ones in total. I did well with my cards, selling Christmas and Birthday the most. To my surprise, no baby cards sold.

However, the one thing that I wasn’t too sure of were the gift card holders. I really wish I had more of those made because those were probably my best seller and I got the most comments on them. If I would have known I would’ve invested way more time in those than in the baby cards. And I know each show is different, so they may not sell as well at another show.

Anyway, I am glad that I did the show. It was a great experience and I had so much fun. It was great to meet other artists, especially the ones that were newbies like myself. Can’t wait to do another show – hopefully there will be one around Christmas that I can participate in!

I want to thank all the people who came up to visit me (and buy things from me – soooo sweet!!) Amanda (her blog is http://theperpetualplanner.wordpress.com/) Brian and Maddie,  Angela (her blog is http://shakebakeandparty.wordpress.com/). Jen, Pat and Allie and my family, especially my mom and dad for coming not once but twice, helping to run my booth and helping with the packing and dragging stuff around! I appreciate it so much!! Can’t thank you all enough. (Hope I didn’t miss anyone. My brain was fried!!)

Here are some pictures of the booth. Feel free to leave a comment or suggestion on improvement. Thanks for stopping by!

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Anniversary Card

With all the craziness in my life lately, I haven’t had much time to work ahead. I like to have things made in advance (which, by the way, never seems to work. But it sounded good!!). So, when it was Sunday and I realized that I didn’t have an anniversary card made for my parents’ anniversary on Tuesday, I had to think fast. When I still had nothing made on Tuesday for our dinner Tuesday night, I knew I was in trouble!

But then I remembered seeing this adorable card on the Wild Card cartridge. It was a card with a bottle of champagne that looked like it hung off the edge of the card. So, I used YouTube to try to find a video of either how to make the card or what the final product would look like. That’s the thing about this cartridge – it’s tough to tell what you are going to end up with. The images don’t do the cards justice.

When I found nothing on YouTube, I just went for it. For the envelope, I used a My Mind’s Eye paper that was light pink on one side and pink and green stripes on the back and for the card I used a two-sided paper, also from My Mind’s Eye, that was mint green on one side and a green striped pattern on the other. I placed the pink side up to cut the envelope and hit the “Fit to Page” button. *A note to anyone who cuts out cards from the Cricut cartridges – always cut out the envelope first, if you are making a coordinating card and envelope. Sometimes the Cricut will allow you to cut out the card larger than the coordinating envelope, so to avoid this, cut the envelope first!* I did the same thing with the mint green side up to cut out the card. (I believe when you hit “Fit to Page” on a 12×12 sheet of paper, this will cut out at 6 inches.)

I then assembled the envelope, which ended up with the martini glass fitting the width of the envelope, with the exception of the bottom, which wrapped around to the front of the envelope. The card folded over and the champagne bottle wrapped around to the front to hold the card closed! It was so cute!! *Another note – there is a “Liner” feature with this cartridge so that if you don’t use double-sided paper, it doesn’t mean that the inside of the envelope and card has to be white (or whatever color the back of the paper is that you are using). I like using double-sided paper because that way I don’t have to worry about picking another coordinating paper.

Once I had assembled the pieces, I decided to color in the champagne bottle. I wanted to use my Spectrum Noir markers. (They are similar to Copic, but are less expensive, alcohol – based markers).  I chose the True black for the middle of the bottle and three shades of grey for the other parts. I used the lightest to color the remaining parts in and then just added the two darker colors where I thought a shadow might fall. I’m really not that great at shading – I should’ve paid more attention in art class in middle school. But who would’ve thought I’d ever need that? HA.

The final touch for the front was using the glitter gel pens I have to color in the cork. For the inside, I added two white sheets of paper so that I could stamp a sentiment and write something to my parents. For the left side of the inside, I used a circle die cut that I had and stamped the number “36” in Archival black. I attached that, refolded the card and I was finished. Quick, but beautiful card!

Happy 36th Anniversary to my parents!

Bottle

Closeup

Back

Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to leave a comment.

Sneak Peek

As you know, I’ve been working really hard to try to get some new things done for the craft fair at the end of the month, which will be my first ever! I know I talk about it a lot, but I am excited and nervous. When I was trying to come up with ideas for new things to make, I watched some YouTube videos. There’s one particular YT channel I watch to get inspiration and it’s called CardzTV.

I was looking back at some of her older videos the other day and saw the cutest idea for a project. After watching the video, I realized that I didn’t have the proper Cricut cartridge to complete the project, so I went to Amazon and ordered it. Well, it came Friday night and I couldn’t wait to use it on Saturday! I was trying to keep the things I am working on more of a secret / surprise until the show, but I couldn’t wait. The first one I did turned out better than I expected, and I am still working on the second one.

Here’s a sneak peek of the recipe book….

It’s not finished – I want to add ribbons and maybe some charms on the side and decorate the inside pages a little more, but for right now, this is what I have. Leave a comment and let me know what you think! Thanks for stopping by!

Supplies:

VersaMagic Spanish Olive ink

Darice embossing folder – Dots

My Mind’s Eye paper

DCWV Christmas paper (from a couple of years ago)

Red cardstock

This and That Pop Dots (from AC Moore)

The Paper Studio 1″ Binder Rings (from Hobby Lobby)

Light blue card stock (From AC Moore – comes in a variety pack)

ATG gun

Some scrapbooking tips…..

I just spent the past couple hours scrapbooking. And while it wasn’t me that was actually doing the scrapbooking, I had such a great time. One of my best friends from high school recently finished her basement and had sectioned off part of the basement for a craft room. Since she is the queen of organization (and if you don’t believe me, check out her blog – http://theperpetualplanner.wordpress.com/), I wanted to get some tips on how to better organize my scrap room. She wanted to get tips on new scrapbooking ideas, so we decided a wine and scrapbook night was in order!

If you scrapbook solo, I highly recommend that you work with a friend or find a scrapbooking group and try to get together once a month. I know when I work by myself that time flies by and I always enjoy my crafting time, but I found it to be much more enjoyable – and not just because of the wine! My friend Amanda and I have known each other since the 4th grade (I won’t even tell you how many years that is, but when we found a pencil that she had from elementary school, we figured out how many years it’s been!!), so there’s a lot of history in that friendship!

Anyway, back to scrapbooking – I was teaching her some of the tricks that I have learned over the past couple of months. It’s easy to get stuck in a scrapbooking rut, especially if you do more than a couple of pages in one day/night. I wrote a blog on some ideas of how to get out of the rut, but that’s not what this post is about. I gave Amanda some tips and she said that I should write a blog about things that I’ve picked up that will maybe give others some new ideas for when they feel like all their pages look similar. And believe me, I definitely have days where mine do!

So, here’s a tip that I found is helpful for before you even start scrapbooking. Once I get my pictures printed (which BTW – snapfish is doing a 99 prints for $.99 sale right now – best time to buy prints!!), I put them in order. I’m a scrapbooker that likes to (try to) keep the book in chronological order. Since I’ve been doing so many other side projects, when I finally get a chance to scrap my pictures, I may not remember what happened when. I usually keep them in the envelope that they come in once they’re in order, but I saw something at Amanda’s house that I liked better. She got these plastic picture containers (from The Container Store I believe) and she keeps hers in there. That way dust and dirt (or wine!) can’t get to them.

After my pictures are in order, I eventually pick a scrapbook for them to go into. Once I’ve picked the book, I start dividing the pictures up into how many I want on a page and then place them in the sheet protector. I also choose the background paper that I want to put with the picture. The reason for this was, when I first started I didn’t do that. I would work on one page at a time and then I would get to a certain page and say, oh, that background I used would have looked better with this set of pictures. I tend to be a perfectionist in some respects (eyeballing it Amanda?? Really??? lol) and I don’t like when I think I could’ve used my paper better. This works for me, I don’t know if it will work for you. Also with this, you can make sure your pages that are next to each other coordinate, if that’s the style you are looking for.

Now that you have divided up your pictures and are starting to work on your pages, my second tip is about multiple pictures on a page. Often we will have some of the same pictures, just at different angles or with one subtle difference in them and we want to include all of them on the same page. So, how do you get 5 or more pictures on the page without cropping  them? Simple – mats that open!! This was a trick that I taught Amanda and she loved it! She was working on her daughter’s first trip to Disney and was scrapping the Character Breakfast. She had a bunch of pictures of her with the characters and I thought this would be a good way to show her how to do this neat trick I learned.

First you take either 3 landscape or 3 portrait pictures and determine how much of a mat you want them to have. We decided on 1/4″, so I had her cut the mat to 6 1/4″ by 8 1/2″. NO EYEBALLING AMANDA!! Then I told her to score the 8 1/2″ side of the paper at 4 1/4″. We then folded it and attached a ribbon to the middle of the left side of the paper when it was open. This will allow you to easily open and close the picture mat. She then took the three portrait pictures she picked and attached them to the three sides of the paper, leaving the back blank so that she could attach it to her background paper. She did the same thing for the landscape pictures. There was a single picture left over and so we matted that one so it looked similar to the other two sets of pictures and then glued it to the background.

This technique works best when you have one event and multiple pictures, or even one theme and multiple pictures. Recently I did this for my brother and future sister-in-law’s album and I did it for shots of the cousins over a couple of Christmases. The good thing about it is if there’s a picture that you like and tells part of the story but it’s not perfect, you can still include it by having it “hide” in the inside pages. Here’s an example of how it looked for the book that I made for my brother and sister in law. Instead of using ribbon to open them, I used a heart punch and a scrap piece of paper to create a banner.

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My third tip is how to mat two pictures that are so similar. Say you have two pictures of almost the same thing – it happens a lot to me now that you can do rapid shots with digital cameras! You love both of them and they catch basically the same moment and you can’t choose between the two of them. What are you to do? Use them both!!

For my brother’s album, I did just that with his birthday pictures. There were two pictures of him blowing out his candles and I wanted to use both of them. I put them over and under (you can also do side by side) and matted them. Usually I’d mat each one individually, but this makes it look like one big picture in sequential order.

double mat

My last tip is for using multiple pictures of the same subjects, just at different times. I had two professional photos and one candid shot of my brother, sister and myself that I wanted to include in one layout. I wanted them to be in a cluster under the word Family (that was part of the background paper), but I wasn’t sure what to do. I matted them on shiny brown card stock and played around with the positioning on the background paper. When I was playing around, I realized that I should layer them! I had bought some shaped foam board cut outs awhile ago from the dollar bin at Target. There’s lots of excess around the shapes, so I cut that off and made foam tape layers. I adhered the bottom picture right to the background, the picture on the right with one layer of foam and the left picture with two layers. It gave the page dimension and I thought it came out well!

layers

Hope these tips are helpful when you are looking for some new techniques. Sometimes all it takes is a little bit of moving pictures or embellishments around on the page to come up with a new idea! Please feel free to leave a comment. Thanks for stopping by!