Tanya Fox, editor, and Brooke Smith, managing editor, are the editorial team behind CardMaker magazine. When not reviewing design submissions and planning future issues of the magazine and pattern books, they can often be found exploring websites for inspiration and visiting their favorite local coffee shop.
They hope you’ll visit the blog often as they share card-making tips, designer features, paper-crafting techniques, project inspiration and a peek at life inside the CardMaker office.
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May 12, 2016
I love creating cards but the thought of putting together a card in under 10 minutes seems almost impossible. I mentioned before that it can take me lots longer then that just to pick my colors. The number one element to creating a quick card is to not take time for decisions. Have a plan and go with it.
For the card I’m sharing with you today, I began with a piece of watercolor paper to create a simple background. I first applied Distress ink directly onto a small square acrylic block. I spritzed the block with water and ran the block down the watercolor paper to give it a smeared look. I repeated this with two more different colors of ink. This is an extremely quick way to create a background as you don’t have to do any work with it other than smearing the inks.
I then chose cardstock colors to match the ink colors I used. Another thing that helps me when creating a quick card is to use a size of card that I am used to which allows me not to have to think about the measurements at all.
Here is my completed card. After finishing my background, all I needed to do was stamp the leaf sprig a few times with black ink and then add a small amount of coloring. Coloring is one thing that can take a good amount of time so just using the outline of a stamped image works.
This is a close-up of the outline images and the areas where I added a very quick and simple amount of color.
I love to add dimension to a card for added interest so this photo shows an alternative to my card design. I took another five minutes and stamped an extra leaf, quickly colored it and then cut it out. I then added this to one of the stamped leaves on the card with foam tape.
Supplies used: Cardstock from Bazzill Basics Paper Inc.; watercolor paper from Strathmore Artist Papers; Wild Hibiscus stamp set from Altenew; mini Distress ink pads (faded jeans, crushed olive, broken China) from Ranger Industries Inc.; VersaFine onyx black ink pad from IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko; Copic® marker (G82) from Imagination International Inc.; adhesive foam tape from 3M.
May 10, 2016
Design by Lois Bak
Complete instructions available in our summer issue available here!
This week, we’re challenging you to create a personalized graduation card for a graduate in your life. Think about their school colors, interests, personality and make a card that celebrates everything wonderful about them. And, remember to share a photo or two with us on our Facebook page; we love seeing what you create!
May 9, 2016
One thing that I always have within arm’s reach is a heavy-duty 3-hole punch because I am the Notebook Queen! The members of my writers’ group are always teasing me about my notebooks. Every book I’m researching or plotting gets its own 3-ring binder. It should be no surprise to them that I have notebooks for my card making and crafting, too.
These are just a few of my notebooks. I have at least this many more in storage as we prepare for an upcoming move to a new home.
In one notebook, I keep copies of sketches that I’ve worked with. I write notes on them about when and where I got them and which contest or magazine I’ve submitted a card to using the sketches. I also keep the free flyers from Michaels and Jo-Ann in this notebook. I save color swatches I like from magazines and advertisements, too.
If I create a card that I especially like, a copy of it goes in a notebook, too. I enjoy making my own patterns for shaped cards. I save those as well.
If I receive a card from someone that inspires me, I use my 3-hole punch on them and add them to a notebook.
I also store my stencils in this notebook. No more getting bent or torn points or corners. I punch holes with my 3-hole punch and slide them onto the rings.
I especially enjoy entering my cards in contests and submitting them to magazines! You have to have a lot of information about the products and tools used in most of those cases. So, you probably guessed it, I have another notebook to store that info. When I buy a new punch, I tape a die cut from that punch into the notebook and write down all the info about it. Then, I don’t have to be hunting down all that info for each project. It’s all right at hand!
Speaking of submitting cards, I have an easy way to keep track of all those cards. I made up this form and I add each card to the list as I send it out.
I would be happy to share this form with you. If you want a copy, please click here and leave a comment on my blog saying you want one, and I’ll email you a copy. Make sure you include an email address where I should send it.
Now, off I go to organize my dies in a notebook. I’m cutting sheets of magnets from one of those big car door magnets businesses use to advertise.
Hope your day is as sunny and bright as mine!
PS. That cute raindrop on my notebook shelf is Max. I made him to take with me on school visits. Poor thing, he’s a raindrop afraid to rain. I wrote about him and his journey toward courage in my latest book children’s picture book, Max, the Boy Raindrop. I created all the illustrations for my book with cardstock and scrapbooking tools.
May 6, 2016
Hello! It’s Lisa with a decorative project for you today. The month of May can be a hectic time of year. Mother’s Day, end-of-school activities, a US national holiday and the unofficial start of the summer make for a busy month. Pulling from one of the month’s themes, I decided to create a few items to share with you today that will be part of a celebration later this month … my daughter’s high school graduation!
First, I have to brag a bit, as most mothers are wont to do. My daughter, Rachel, is a lovely and intelligent young woman. She’s graduating second in her class, a superb student and is sweetness personified. I love that she’s decided on a career path in pharmacology and is determined to succeed! If you couldn’t tell, I’m VERY proud of her accomplishments and can’t wait to celebrate her high school success!
With her high school colors in mind, I gathered cardstock and planned a few fun decorations that will grace our celebration later this month.
I created today:
- A bunting
- A gatefold card
- A decorated container for giving advice and well-wishes to the graduate
The key to creating for my theme was to keep it fairly simple. The basis for each project was a circle element, a graduation die cut and the school colors. Grab your cardstock and create multiples while you have your die-cutting machine set to go.
Build your bunting by sandwiching twine (in this case four lengths) between two circle dies. Decorate with graduation caps or the year.
It’s so hard to get a picture of these in use. It just doesn’t capture the project well. You’ll have to trust me that it’s super cute in real life. Haha!
I also added a bit of shimmer with a Wink of Stella pen to the numbers and tassel. And the pinked circle gives the project an “award” feel, doesn’t it?
The gatefold card was also very basic. I used the same die cuts to embellish the card. To create the gatefold base, cut a piece of cardstock to 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches. Score and fold at 2 1/8 inches and 6 3/8 inches.
Because the card base is black, I added a panel of white cardstock inside so I can add a special message.
This brings me to my last decoration. I thought it would be fun to put out a small container of paper strips and a pen so that family and friends can leave a message for Rachel at her party. This could be advice or well wishes! Since Rachel is planning on pharmacology (and I’m a science geek), I thought it would be fun to embellish a plastic beaker.
What other special celebrations do you have planned for the month of May? I hope something here inspired you to create for your special day!
Thanks for visiting!
Supplies used: Solar white #80 cardstock from Neenah Paper Inc.; black licorice and banana split Pop-Tone paper from French Paper Co.; Y19 Copic® marker from Imagination International Inc.; clear glitter pen from Wink of Stella; yellow twill tape and twine from May Arts Ribbon; Grad Cap (#TE177) and Class Of (#TE563) dies from Taylored Expressions; By the Numbers and Pinking Edge Circle dies from My Favorite Things; Standard Circles LG dies (#S4-114) from Spellbinders® Paper Arts; Big Shot die-cutting machine, Standard Magnetic Platform for Wafer-Thin Dies (#656499) and Standard Cutting Pads (#655093) from Sizzix; Scor-Pal scoring board from Scor-Pal Products; adhesive foam tape from 3M; 1/4-inch Be Creative Tape from Ellen Hutson.
May 4, 2016
Hello everyone! Pamela here today to share something that inspired me. Even though I know I can be lost for hours once I click on the icon, my favorite place to go for inspiration is Pinterest.
Photo from here via Pinterest
The very moment I saw this photo, I knew I had to replicate the texture I saw in it. Isn’t it gorgeous!?! I also like how the deepening colors draw you further into the piece.
To create my art piece—
an aside here, if I may. Aren’t you and I artists? We manipulate colors and patterns to evoke a certain emotion or response from our recipients. I say we are paper artists! Back to the creation of my art piece … to create the texture that first drew me in, I rubbed distress ink pads directly onto dry watercolor paper.
After the inks were dry, I punched large and extra-large clouds. Using the darkest color first, I then began layering clouds on top of each other. Some I adhered directly onto my card surface, while others I adhered with foam tape.
Then, I attached the die cuts, stamped the sentiment and rounded three corners.
To make raindrops I used liquid Texture Gems. I slowly squeezed just a little of the liquid onto the surface of my card. Tip: When I say slowly, I mean slowly! If you get in a hurry, you will get a little air in the tip and the liquid will splatter out. I know this to be true!
Besides Pinterest, where is your favorite place to go for inspiration? Clothing? Nature? Websites like CardMaker? Blogs like mine or the other members of the CardMaker blog team? The color of a flower? I would love to know where you go for inspiration. We all need a little help with that from time to time.
Thanks for joining me today. Now, I will leave you to your creating,
Supplies used: Cream heavy-duty cardstock and rose embossed white cardstock from Hobby Lobby/The Paper Studio; DIY Project Stack: Flowers from Die Cuts With A View; watercolor paper from Canson; Damask Greetings stamp (#660560) from Sizzix; Distress ink pads (broken China, shaded lilac, spun sugar) from Ranger Industries Inc.; teal pigment ink pad from Clearsnap; Texture Gems from Faber-Castell; cloud punches (large and extra-large) from Fiskars; corner rounder from EK Success; Umbrellas (#CSBD93) and Pennant Swag (#CSBD59) dies from Our Daily Bread Designs; die-cutting machine from Spellbinders® Paper Arts; double-sided and adhesive foam tape from 3M.
May 3, 2016
Have you heard? Annie’s
, the parent company of CardMaker
, has just released Annie’s Coloring Pages
which will include 82 unique designs for you to color including some sized just for card making! Even if you don’t consider yourself a great colorist, create a card this week that features coloring and discover how relaxing it can be!
And, make sure to pick up a copy of this gorgeous book with artwork by Tammy Tutterow and Catherine Scanlon! Click here to order!
May 2, 2016
I love adding texture to my cards with embossing folders. There are so many available in a variety of backgrounds and edges. My collection continues to grow with each stamp show I attend! LOL!
Sometimes though, the folder itself is an entire scene, a field of flowers that can serve as the focal point of the card, so why cover it up! This is my tip for today—coloring a dry embossed piece.
Here is what the piece of cardstock looked like after embossing it.
I like to use Distress inks when sponging as they blend well together when adding layers of color and also can be spritzed with water. I found this pack of firm foam daubers at the last show I attended; they work perfectly for this method of keeping the ink mostly on the raised, embossed surface. The daubers have a nice flat surface, so I just skimmed the raised areas. Tip: If you use regular foam daubers, apply with a light touch.
For the inside of the flowers, I tilted the dauber and used the edge to also get inside the petals. You can see I wasn’t obsessing in keeping the right color in the right places. You’ll see why in a little bit.
I also tried using a cotton-tip swab to get into some of the smaller spaces of the “sky,” which worked well.
These are the inks I used.
Now, you could either leave your embossed colored piece as is and finish your card as you want, or, you could spritz the piece with water and let the colors blend. I think it gives it a dreamy, watercolor look. It also helps to blend in any of those “oops” places! Tip: After spritzing the piece with water, tilt the paper a little, letting the colors blend from top to bottom. After it had dried, I did add a hint more color to the flowers to make them pop.
Here is another design using a different folder. On this piece, I used only sponge daubers and no spritzing. Quick and simple!
I hope I’ve inspired you to think of your embossing folders in a different way and to give this a try! I’d love to see your creations!
Thanks for stopping by!
Supplies used: Medallion Sentiments stamp set and Pierced Ovals (#CBD172) and Pierced Rectangles (#CBD147) dies from Our Daily Bread Designs; Distress ink pads (peeled paint, rusty hinge, spiced marmalade, festive berries, pumice stone, tumbled glass, faded jeans, mustard seed) from Ranger Industries Inc.; Poppy Field (#13923941) and Bold Daisy (#13923891) embossing folders from Darice Inc.
April 29, 2016
Whether you have a tiny space or a big space, storage is a constant concern. It has to work and it may take some time to figure that out. I know that I have had to sit a few different times and reevaluate what is where, how easy it is to find the things I use the most and which items are closest to me. I know that I want the things used the most to be within arms reach.
One purchase that has been one of my favorites is this wood storage piece. It has several pockets and it turns in place. Since it turns so easily, I can organize a number of items I want to be able to reach out and pick up. I purchased this storage piece at Pottery Barn awhile ago. While this specific one is probably no longer available, there are several companies that offer similar products. Michaels has a wonderful desktop carousel available in their stores.
It doesn’t take up much space, it keeps everything neat and it’s hard to believe how much it actually holds.
Another idea that has worked well for me is my washi tape drawer. I have many sets of plastic drawers in my room and this four-drawer unit is next to were I often sit when creating cards. This drawer is within my reach and I can see all of my tapes at once. Plastic units like this can be found nearly everywhere like Target and office supply stores.
Do you have any unique storage ideas? We’d love to hear how you organize your supplies!
April 28, 2016
Hi everybody! Kim here from My Kraft Kloset sharing another easy idea for making beautiful cards in 10 minutes that will look like you spent all day. I absolutely LOVE patterned paper and this Authentique paper collection is stunning. The black and yellow prints are bold, bright and elegant. Working with paper collections makes the card-making process easy since everything coordinates. So, get ready to cut up those pretty papers you’ve been saving and let’s get started.
As always the hardest part is choosing which paper to use. I picked this gorgeous graphic print of the Eiffel tower because who isn’t dreaming of Paris in the spring right now? Start by folding an 8 1/2 x 11-inch piece of cardstock in half to create a card base. Cut the patterned paper the same size as the card base to use as much of the print as possible. Punch a 3-inch scallop circle from the paper panel to create a window. Take that positive punched circle piece and punch a 2 1/2-inch scallop circle from it; set circle aside. Cut a 3 1/2 x 3 1/2-inch piece of black cardstock and adhere to the back of the panel to cover the opening; adhere panel to the card base.
Stamp a sentiment onto the small circle; use foam dots to adhere circle to punched area on card front. Cut one black and one white rose from ribbons; adhere together and attach them to the circle. Embellish with enamel dots. I could stop there, but it was kind of bare and I had a couple minutes to jazz it up.
I punched a few banners from patterned papers and added them to the card. I placed a couple banners at the top and a couple coming out of the circle. This looked fine, but it made it hard to fit the card into an envelope. Plus, that white space was still bugging me. Do you have a hard time with white space, too?
For the final version, I decided to place banners at the top and behind the roses. It’s the perfect card to celebrate my parent’s 48th wedding anniversary!
Just a few supplies and gorgeous patterned papers allow you endless design combinations for any occasion. Leave a comment and let us know what you think of this project and what some of your favorite paper collections are.
Thanks for stopping by today!
Supplies used: Summer sunrise cardstock from Papertrey Ink; black cardstock, black rose ribbon and 1 1/2-inch banner punch from American Crafts; Classique Beauty Collection patterned papers from Authentique; Simple Sayings stamp set from Stampers Anonymous; VersaFine onyx black ink pad from IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko; 5/8-inch adhesive white rosettes from May Arts Ribbon; enamel dots from My Mind’s Eye; 3-inch scallop circle punch from Marvy Uchida; 2 1/2-inch scallop circle punch from Fiskars; 1/2-inch double-sided tape from Scor-Pal Products.
April 27, 2016
We are so happy to be featuring The Greeting Farm in today’s blog hop! Their shop is filled with so many adorable images—it’s nearly impossible to pick just one to play with. Join us today as we hop along sharing design inspiration that spotlights these super sweet stamps! A big thank you to The Greeting Farm for providing product for all of the designers today! Oh, and one more thing … make sure to complete the hop to find out the details for the fun giveaway surprise The Greeting Farm is hosting. 🙂
Supplies used: Any Styles stamp set from The Greeting Farm; night of navy cardstock from Stampin’ Up!; X-Press It Blending Card and Copic® markers (B06, B21, B24, BG0000, C1, E01, E23, E25, E27, E55, R11, R81, RV09, RV14, W00, W1, W9, Y28) from Imagination International Inc.; Memento tuxedo black and London fog ink pads from IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko; teal plum and pink grapefruit adhesive sequins from Jillibean Soup; CutterPillar paper trimmer from CutterPillar; adhesive foam dots from Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L®; scoring board and double-sided tape from Scor-Pal Products.
Next up is the lovely and talented Lisa Silver!
Here is the entire blog hop list in case you get lost along the way.