Sunday, January 31, 2021

Pink Winter Thanks


With this card, I'm wrapping up the month of January. It's been an interesting month in terms of creativity. I seem to have made things in bursts - producing a bunch at once, then taking a step back and making nothing for a while. It feels random and chaotic, but it still yielded results. I've got enough cards to take me well into February.

I think I would prefer something a little more constant. A couple of cards per week instead of 15 on the weekend... I'm still figuring out my schedule and working out how to get it all done. It's not easy most days, but I'm a big believer in making time to do things instead of waiting for inspiration to strike and hoping I won't be doing anything else when it does. Because, let's face it... I'm always doing something else when the inspiration strikes...

Friday, January 29, 2021

Ice-Cream Dreams


And from winter, we jump straight into summer! It's cold, but I wanted to do something bright and summery. Thankfully, I had these elements all set and ready to go in my "to-be-used" stash, so it led to some quick card-making. It still felt a little odd to make a summer card when it's so chilly outside, but it did brighten up my day - and that's the best one could hope for.

I am currently bouncing back between wanting to do completely new and innovative things and wanting to go to what's tried-and true. There is a certain comfort you can only get when you're doing something familiar - it's like your body and mind are moving by themselves and you're free to just enjoy the uninterrupted flow of getting things done.

I'll probably be doing that a lot, moving from what I know to what I've never tried before -but I choose to see it as a dance and I intend to master every step.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Christmas Deer


I had mentioned in a previous post that I wanted to make at least one Christmas card every month, in hopes it will help build up my stash through the year. In previous years, I've found it really difficult to make cards off-season. It felt odd to make a winter card when it's a hundred degrees outside. But if there's one thing I've learned in 2020 is that it's important to be flexible and to let go of getting it ALL done at once. 

My goal of one Christmas card per month is not big- after all, it will only give me 12 cards at the end of the year, but that's plenty to tide me over if I end up not crafting at all during this year's holiday season. Most of my efforts for the year will be to be more gentle with myself and to strike a balance between my ambitions of what I want done and what I realistically can do given my current state. 

I am training myself to think smaller - a small goal that's achieved and even surpassed is a lot more satisfying than an ambitious goal that has to be dropped because it's too stressful.

Monday, January 25, 2021

Warm Heart Penguins


Today's card is more playing with the Doodlebug cut-apart elements. Though I actually have a few pieces of this patterned paper left, I'm pushing out of the comfort zone and using a completely different background, from a different manufacturer. 

I've been thinking lately that one of the ways I can use my existing supplies more effectively is to not be afraid of mixing things up. I would rarely venture out and combine manufacturers, be it for paper or stamps. But it really opens up a lot of creative freedom to not be limited to a specific set - especially when I have a lot of papers or stamps that have the same theme.

This is something I will be experimenting with more in the future. For now, I'll just take small steps toward more diversity.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Simple Hello


Looking back through my old cards, I found that I used this exact stamp with a similar concept - using patterned paper as a way to anchor and incorporate the sentiment. I really like how it turned out and wanted to revisit it.

Sometimes it's fun to look back on my old cards for inspiration. Even if I use the exact concept and the same stamp, it can still look and feel different just by switching up a few of the other elements (like the background or the layout). Inspiration can really work in interesting and unexpected ways.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Thank you Mush!


I found a little stamp set in my stash that had adorable flowers and mushrooms and I really wanted to use it. Although small, the pictures still worked great on a standard A2 card when colored in bright colors. Set against more neutral tones of patterned paper and cardstock, they pop and draw the eye in.

I also used some bits of paper and die-cuts that I pre-cut for a different project. It's always nice to use scraps of patterned paper for elements that would have otherwise gone to waste. I've been going through my dies recently and looking for smaller pieces I could use as patterned paper accents. There's a lot to work with! Especially with things like labels and border dies.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Warm Heart


Doodlebug paper pads sometimes have a cute cut-apart sheet that has little scenes that feature cute critters or even sentiments. I always want to include them on a card, but I'm often unsure how to incorporate them into the design without making the card seem too simple. So, I would set them aside until I could figure out what I wanted to do with them.

One of the things I've noticed is that I tend to overthink some of my creations. I find them to be too simple or too plain and then end up not sharing them. But I've realized that I'm being too hard on myself, especially given that the cards that I find to be "too simple" are cards that end up being an inspiration for someone out there (and they tell me about it, much to my delight!).

 So, I am going to make an effort to post these types of cards more, too. I will be dubbing them my practice cards, as they often end up being a project where I work out a layout, a color palette or embellishments that make the next card even better. I feel vulnerable sharing things that I'm not 100% happy with, but I think it's important to normalize imperfection and share things that are a part of growth in the creative process and not just the end result.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Sending Love


At the end of 2019, I had spent a couple of weeks coloring and fussy-cutting some wintry images with the thought that I would make holiday cards throughout the year (and not be overwhelmed again when holiday season rolls around, as I inevitably get each year). I didn't make any holiday cards in 2020 - with the exception of a small "thank you" set I gave away as a gift.

Having pre-colored and precut elements really makes card-making faster, and I didn't want my hard work to go to waste. So, I'll try to incorporate the elements into cards throughout this year. They won't all be holiday cards - I want to challenge myself to use some elements in more general cards, such as birthday and thank you cards. But I hope to make at least one holiday card per month and get my Christmas card stash a little more bulky for the end of 2021.

This card combines some wintry animals with a few layers of patterned paper and die-cut panels. I like the combination of warm colors with the icy snow setting. I think it feels like a warm and cuddly winter hug.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Warm Hugs


The weather has been chilly lately, and that puts me in the mood to make some warm and fuzzy cards. I paired another pre-colored image with a watercolor panel I'd made and saved some time ago. I think it made an interesting palette.

I am still having a lot of fun with color and palettes. Pairing up colors is always something I enjoy, especially when it's an unusual combination.

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Thank you


Lately, I've been going through some of my supplies and reorganizing them for easier use. I like to periodically reorganize some of my supplies because it reminds me of all that I already have. As an added bonus, I often find bits and pieces that inspire me to create a new card (or two).

I'm not up to tackling any challenges and large goals quite yet, but I can focus on using my supplies more. I've found that brings me a lot of joy, lately, and is less overwhelming than trying to shop and use only the new goodies.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Big Shark Smile


There's something about a big toothy smile that is perfect to include on a happy card. It's one of the reasons why I absolutely love this shark stamp set and why it's fun to pair up with any smile or birthday stamp. 

I'm still working through my colored images and organizing them to use on cards. Another thing I'm contemplating is using some card sketches to try out different layouts and to make use of my (many) pieces of patterned paper.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Thanks Bear


There's always a need for thank you cards, and they're probably my favorite kind of card to make (and the kind of card I make the most often). Any kind of scene can fit a thank you card, be it playful/cute or subdued and solemn.

For this card, I went with something simple - maybe even fitting a melancholy mood of a winter scene. I have a little box full of images I colored in the past that have yet to find a home on a card. I'm going to try and use them on the next few cards I make, as they make for some quicker cards.

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Sending hugs


 2020 has been a rough year, both personally and for the world as a whole. The majority of this past year has been focused on staying safe and healthy. And though creativity is good for reducing stress, card-making was just more than I could handle most days.

I spent most of 2020 journaling. Not in the pretty kind of art journals that are worthy being shared, but the "let me get this on a page and out of my mind" stream of consciousness writing that kept me sane on most days. The only decision I had to make was which colored pen to use that day.

Things are still not great, but they're slowly getting a little better. So, I'm easing my way back into creativity and slowly getting back into card-making. It won't be on a regular schedule most of the time, but at least I am making the effort of using my supplies again.

Here's to 2021 being a good year.

Thanks for reading!