Monday, October 18, 2010

Don't look too closely & a secret revealed

Not a lot has been happening on the creative front lately (thank you EVO4 transmission engine for the back injury!) but the universe has been conspiring to get me making a card or two. Let me just be upfront here: I don't like making cards. There I said it. Quite shocking for an ex- Stampin' Up! Demonstrator. The thing is, I would rather invest my creative time and energy in making something a bit grander, bigger and more permanent than a card. Don't get me wrong - I love handmade cards. In fact, I rarely buy a card because of the cost and lack of appeal of the store-bought cards. I do like giving handmade cards (but only to those who appreciate one), I just don't like actually making them. The trouble is, when people know you are a scrapbooker or if they have received a handmade card before - that's what they expect. Usually it is a last minute creation too - as in, can you make me a card for X whose birthday is today! Maybe that's why I don't like them. I usually make them under sufferance or because it is a requirement (ie, for a design team). I did make two similar cards this year which I absolutely loved - one was for a wedding and the other was for Mother's day. Maybe I just need the inspiration of love to make me want to create cards.

Luckily, I came up with the cunning plan of collecting all the cards I have made from classes, workshops and from my other life as a SU demonstrator and now I have a go-to box for when people need a card quick smart. However, because I haven't created many lately the collection is dwindling. Then a dear friend requested only one thing for her birthday - a handmade card! What could I do - I couldn't simply resort to the collection for her so off I went to make a card. Then I got the brilliant idea to send a bunch so that she would have her own go-to collection. Of course I forgot the bit about me not actually liking to make cards. I did make her a card (and managed to stamp the script stamp up-side-down) and send her a few for her own collection (some newly made by me, some from my go-to box). Then I got the idea I could sit down and make cards en-masse for Christmas gifts - and then I remembered

{I don't like making cards - for those of you who needed the insert}

The BFF helped me come up with some card designs for the very dear friend (actually, I straight copied her ideas but with my stuff) and invited me to a SU workshop the past weekend to make - guess what? - a card. I really like doing the BFFs classes/workshops (she's very talented) and I always walk away with something I am really happy with for not much trouble. So, I took the technique learned at her class and set out to make some of my own (I think I was still under the illusion I would make cards en-masse for Christmas - insert snort here).

The above photo is what I came up with. The green card with the phrase - go confidently in the direction you want - is the BFF's workshop card. The green and pale purple ones are my versions. Unfortunately, I don't have all the coordinating SU products that the BFF has so, even though the idea was simple, the execution was a whole lot more complicated at my end. What? No chocolate chip cardstock which goes with everything? Black will do. What? I don't have every SU ink pad so I can't match my cardstock to ink? Choose one that you do have and one that's close enough (and tell people not to look too closely). What? No matching two-step stamp set? Use one I have. What? The black ink I used isn't fast drying dye-based ink? Just live with the smudged results (and maybe don't give them to people - chalk it up to experience and next time, don't be so impatient, wait for the ink to dry before using the stamp-a-ma-jig). I won't even mention not having the exact same stamp for the block design so I had to come up with something else - What? My nesting ovals don't match my SU punch? Hand cut one using the magic matter (and don't look too closely at my hand cut edges). What? I have glued down the front of the card before realising I wanted to add ribbon and hide the edges under it? The solution to that one will remain my secret. The embossed burgundy one is one I whipped up last night to enter a competition - not my finest but I am sticking to my adage - It's done, walk away!

I've just realised there is a recurring phrase which goes with viewing my masterpieces - don't look too closely. My own personal disclaimer.