Sunday, January 29, 2017

Chatty Sunday: January Stash Kit review

Here we are at the end of January, and you're probably wondering what happened to the January stash kit. Tthe answer is... well, nothing fun.

For some reason, the kit for January just didn't work for me. Don't get me wrong, I actually loved all the components of the kit - I had a ton of random ideas for the stamps, the paper and the embellishments. I stamped out a whole bunch of cute images that I colored. I even put together a couple of extra cards! But the process, as a whole, left me very underwhelmed. I don't feel like I gave the supplies a good workout, and I really didn't feel that I should be setting the supplies down in the "used" pile.

And I'm kind of glad, actually. Not all supplies will inspire me in the same ways, and I think that's the whole point of doing this project - to figure out how my supplies are best used and to make something productive with them. The fact that a month was underwhelming is good. I went from very structured sets last year (thematic sets) to something completely random in January, and it was a bit like a swinging pendulum - neither extreme worked for me. I don't want completely structured, but I also don't want completely random, either.

With this in mind, I figured out a couple of changes I need to make to the kit process:

The first change is to make the kits a bit smaller. January's kit had 7 stamps - and that's just too much for a single kit. I've decided to go back to a 4-stamp model, with it being broken down to: one smaller set (ex. 3x3 or 4x4 set), one standard set (4x6), one larger set (4x7.5 or larger) and one sentiment set (any size). This gives me a great variety of stamps to use, but without feeling like the amount of material I need to use is overwhelming.

The second change will be to take out any rubber stamps. Although I do plan to use my rubber stamps, I think they're better-suited to single cards. Almost all of my rubber stamps are character stamps, and the majority are a bit complicated - so they take a lot longer to color. I think it will work better to use them as I'm inspired to, instead of forcing them into a kit.

And the last change will be to get rid of the monthly time element. Instead of a monthly kit, they'll just be kits - and I'll continue working on them for as long as it takes me to make 12 cards. I'm still hoping to hit that 1-kit-per-month mark, but I am also looking forward to feeling less pressure to try and cram making 8 cards in one evening. Deadlines can be a great motivator, but too rigid of a schedule starts making the process feel like a job or a chore, and I don't want that.

In the next week, I'll be sharing my next kit. The focus will be on birthday and masculine/boy cards, as I'm going to be working on some gift sets for Christmas.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Bits N' Pieces: Valentine Cute

Today's card is my warm-up Valentine card - featuring Lawn Fawn's Stinkin' Cute stamp set.

I had stamped and die-cut this cute skunk and sentiment for a card I made back in May - and as always, there were a few extras. With Valentine approaching, I thought I'd make good use of them and add them to a layered card, along with a few die-cut elements from my stash.

I thought about doing a mini Valentine's series this year, but in the end I decided against it. I've already got so many projects going on and so many fun cards to share that I don't want to overwhelm myself.

Thanks for reading,

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Bits n Pieces: Acorn Thanks

Thank You cards are probably my favorite kind of card to make. There's never a shortage of uses for them, and I'm free to use any theme or color combination I'm inspired by. I also make a lot of birthday cards. Birthday cards are fun, but you don't really want to make a somber birthday card - and you can certainly make something more serious for a thank-you sympathy card.

I grabbed a couple of the acorns I colored in September's Stash Kit project using Lawn Fawn's Into the Woods stamp set.  I decided to use them in a very feminine card - something that might be sent out after a wedding or a girl baby shower. So, I chose pinks and browns, with a pretty ribbon bow to tie everything together.

Although the card is simple, it packs a punch with the ombré paper. It would be simple enough to make a whole bunch of and give away as a card set gift.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

SK January: Favorite You

Today's card is the first card in the January's Stash Kit project (you can read more about the project here, and see January supplies here).

Whenever I start on the kit cards, I always start by laying out all the supplies and making a quick "warm-up" card. I don't usually keep this card - it's just playful practice to get me more familiar with the supplies I'm using. But this time, I actually rather like how the card turned out.

I kept the card super simple, adding just a couple of dies (tag and a scripty You), along with a couple of stickers and enamel shapes. Not too shabby for a practice card, right?

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Bits and Pieces: Birthday Wishes Cat

Things have been a bit quiet on the blog lately, as most of my free "crafty" time has been spent in organizing mode. I mentioned in a previous post that I'd made a couple of final orders at the end of the year, and they've now all arrived. It was quite a lot of stuff to label, put away and organize. And, of course, I still had a mess of a crafty table to clean up from holiday crafting.

As I was putting away the extra Avery Elle kitties I colored and cardstock panels I die-cut for Christmas, I thought I could take a minute to put all those bits and pieces to use and create another card. I grabbed my prepped card-with-patterned-paper base and adhered all the extra bits - including a sentiment from My Favorite Things.

I always stamp and color extras (just in case), and I keep unused extras in a clear bin on my crafty table. They make for a great quick card element, so I can focus on things like card layouts or trying new techniques. I'd like to use them more often and combine them together.

So, I'm starting a new blog series/feature called Bits and Pieces. With this series, I hope to use crafty supplies that just didn't make it onto a card, as well as do several quick-n-easy cards I can add to my card stash or package together as a gift for a loved one.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Stash Kit: January 2017

Since it's a new year, I thought I'd start with a fresh new kit for January -- and take the opportunity to incorporate some of the recently-purchased supplies I got in the holiday sales. I've added extra stamps for January, as I intend to carry some of them over to the months that follow.

As with previous months, I will be adding a variety of cardstock, dies and coloring mediums such as Copics, Prismacolor pencils or watercolor. 

Without further ado...

Little Darlings - Rainy Night
Reverse Confetti - Lift Me Up
Pinkfresh Studio - Happy Days
Ellen Hutson LLC - All Inside
Neat & Tangled - Giving Tree
Simon Says Stamp - What's Brewing
WPlus9 - Garden Buddies

Pinkfresh Studio - Felicity 6x6
Pinkfresh Studio - Felicity Word Stickers
Webster's Pages - #Happy phrase stickers
Gossamer Blue - Gramercy Road enamel dots

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Crafty Chat - New Year, New Goals

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope 2017 treats you all well and brings many moments of joy and laughter.

I don't make New Years' resolutions. However, I do set some sensible goals for myself each year. In 2016, my goal was to make and share 100 non-DT cards on my blog, and I have reached - and surpassed! - this goal.

For 2017, I decided to focus on my current crafty stash and see how long I can go without making a single crafty order. I have a few projects and ideas to help me make good use of my supplies - things like monthly stash kits, blog features and reviews - along with an occasional challenge or two.

In preparation, I've made a few final crafty orders with my favorite companies - I took advantage of Black Friday and Christmas sales, so I really got a lot of bang for my buck. My orders were for a few staples like cardstock, envelopes and adhesive, as well as a bunch of stamps, inks and dies that were on my wish-list. With this goal, I hope to whittle down some of my existing consumables (like paper, embellishments, etc) as well as make a plan for what I want to do with my stamps. As much as I'd love to, I can't keep an overwhelming and infinite stash of stamps and dies. So, that will be an interesting task for the last half of 2017...

My secondary goal for 2017 is to try and interact with crafters more, so I'll try to be less of a lurker and make time to chat with others. I do spend a bit of time browsing blogs, FB pages and YouTube videos from crafters I admire, so I'm going to try and comment (on top of a quick "like" of content).

Lastly, I plan to continue blogging regularly. I'd like to have it be a daily thing, but I know work and life will keep me a bit busy sometimes. So, I'll just work on posting on a regular schedule instead and work ahead for some of the entries.

Thanks for reading!