Sorry I haven’t posted on here for a while. I will rectify this soon. Please see www.facebook.com/anjcraft for up-to-date news
Most of the cards I make are one-offs, as what I make usually depends on what idea pops into my head, what papers I have to hand, what my favoutite colour is at the moment & what mood I am in. There are however a few recurring themes that prove to be popular & fortunately I seem to be able to produce again & again. Here are my favourite cards to make at the moment. They will still always be slightly different depending on what paper I have – that’s what makes them unique.
Recently I have been asked to make several retirement cards. The brief for this latest one that it had to have ‘tartan’ & that the recipient was ‘outdoorsy’.I came across this quote a couple of years ago & it really appealled to me, so I felt I had to include it. I recently ordered the Tim Holtz ‘honeycomb frameworks’ die & couldn’t wait to use it. Another old favourite is the Quickutz ‘hiking boot’ die. This always looks good when cut out of leather-look paper. The addition of tiny eyelets & laces makes it look very realistic. The tiny eyelets are a bit fiddly to set, but make all the difference. The letters for the quote are all cut individually. I have used some of the negatives to add interest. To finish off I added the recipient’s name at the bottom.
I’d seen cards on Pinterest with cats made from fishtail banners turned upside down, which make very good cats. I spottted these ones using SugarPea designs ‘stitched banners’ dies. These banners are much slimmer than the regular ones, which makes for cuter cats. I managed to find the dies on Ebay, & set about making my own version. Another advantage of them being so slim is that you can use up little scraps of paper that you just can’t bear to throw out. The whiskers are thin strips of silver foil ribbon or stalks from paper flowers (stiffened thread). The eyes & nose are brads.
I know I have been a bit quiet lately as far as posting here goes, but I have definitely not been idle. I have posted a lot more recently on my Facebook page (see link under ‘useful‘).
A few months ago I came across an advert for some classes to make a series of long-stitch leather notebooks. I did do some bookbinding classes a few years ago, but it was mostly hard-back binding. I have always loved the look of the decorative stitched spines & wanted to learn more about how to do them. The classes were away across town & a bit awkward to get to after work so I almost didn’t go. In the end I did & I’m so glad I went as I learned a lot of new skills & also met a bunch of people who were just as passionate as me about making books. The books were made using scraps of leather which could easily be folded to make a wrap around cover. I knew I had a stash of leather scraps which I could use, & was delighted to find a huge faux leather tablecloth in a charity shop for a couple of pounds. This worked well, as did some astroturf which I rescued from a neighbour who was throwing it in the bin. The class tutor said that she had even used leather from an old charity shop handbag & also even an old leather sofa. So if you see me in a charity shop eyeing up leather trousers, don’t worry as I am probably wondering if I could use them to make books.
I love plastic bottles. They come in such a wonderful array of colours & are so easy to cut. They are light, bright, & unlike aluminium cans, don’t have sharp edges. They are therefore perfect for making unique, colourful, & easy to wear jewellery.
Old cardboard boxes make the perfect recycled tags
The first thing I do when I get junk mail (before putting it in the bin) is look inside the envelope to see what the pattern is. In the UK there are a few regular patterns that keep cropping up, but occasionally you find a new pattern or a slightly different shade. If the envelope is from abroad it is even more exciting as they have completely different patterns & colours from UK envelopes. And the best thing about it is that it is free patterned paper.
I originally bought the small Quickutz whale die with the intention of making cards with the caption “have a whale of a time” or “make a splash” on your birthday, but this bigger Quickutz die is even better. I was looking through my stash of junk mail envelopes as I had applied to have a stall at a recycled / upcycled fair, when the phrase “Junk Mail Whale” came into my head. I cut out & assembled a few & they look quite good. I think I might try some birds next.
I have been scouring charity shops for packs of playing cards to make my ’52 Things I Love About You’ notebooks. I am always fascinated by the subtle differences in the patterns on the back & the expressions on the faces of the royals, & even the font of the numbers. I came across this pack which was actually a game called ‘Hearts’. It contained all the normal 52 cards but also a couple of extras like this queen, which was perfect for a ‘Thank You’ card.