Monday, April 26, 2010

How I Imagine

A few weeks ago, my friend Michelle made an interesting comment to me after I had given her one of my handmade cards.  She said, "I would love to watch you make a card and see the process you go through to make it."  I have never had anyone say that to me before, but it really is a fascinating thought.  How often do we really think about the process of things we do?  Now Michelle thinks she's not artistically talented.  Truthfully, most people believe that about themselves.  Being artistic is really a combination of several things; vision, desire, passion, learned skill, and a little love.  When people see your creations, most automatically assume you were born with the ability to throw the project together in its finalized beauty.  This simply is not true.  Michelangelo was hardly born ready to paint the Sistine Chapel.  Creating or mastering anything requires practice, practice, practice. 

I decided I would take up the challenge and take Michelle through my procedure of creating a card.  However, secretly my intention was to have her make it without realizing it.  No intimidation, right?  I started with laying out several color combinations of paper ahead of time.  When she came in and saw all the pretty colors her eyes just lit up. (Off to a good start!)  I suggested we make a card for her sister and she decided it should be a Mother's Day card.  We talked about her sister's personality and what colors would go with it.  We narrowed it down to two basic colors rose and white, and one patterned paper with flowers and two old-fashioned girls from the 20's.  Next, I encouraged her as she picked out embellishments that would enhance the card.  I gave her some pointers on how to layout the card and here's what she made.  Isn't it beautiful?

This was an incredible process for both of us.  Michelle got to learn there is creativity in all of us.  The smile on her face when she saw the finished product, was incredible.  It was joy, pride, beauty, happiness, and love all rolled into one.  I realized that is exactly how I feel when I create a card or gift for someone.  For me, there is no greater feeling than seeing that joy in someone's face. So for those of you who have the desire to make anything, let go of the fear!  Go take a class at a local craft store or community college.  Whatever you make won't be perfect the first time, but it will continue to get better with practice.  And here's a little secret:  there is usually some little thing you won't like or a little mistake you make that only YOU will notice.  NO ONE else will notice, so please don't make the mistake of pointing it out.  It will only decrease the joy in both the giving and receiving.  I challenge you to take the first step towards something new and fun.  Send me a note to share your experience.  I'd love to hear from you.

Since I shared with you my secrets, I will confess to you my weakness.  I am a paper junkie!  I love paper: colorful, patterned, loud, vintage, pretty.  I just love combining it all together.  I try to keep it under control, but then I see things like what is listed on the Posh Designs Scrapbook Store networking site.  It's Blog Candy!  YUM!  There are opportunities to fulfill a Card Challenge or just post the "Blog Candy" and win prizes like this.  Take a look.

The Rules:
  •  Only one entry per person
  • Post your name and the link to your blog where you mention this candy and if you don't have one just spread the word out okay?!

The specs:

• 36 (3 sheets of each pattern) single sided 6x6 sheets - Sassafras Lass CHERRY DELICIOUS wee bundle
• 36 (3 sheets of each pattern) single sided 6x6 sheets - Sassafras Lass NERDY BIRD wee bundle
• 36 (3 sheets of each pattern) single sided 6x6 sheets - Sassafras Lass APPLE JACK wee bundle
• 30 single sided 6x6 sheets - Pink Paislee QUEEN BEE paper pad
• 30 single sided 6x6 sheets - Pink Paislee 365 DEGREES paper pad
• 30 single sided 6x6 sheets - Pink Paislee BAYBERRY COTTAGE paper pad

The Internet takes crafting to a whole new level!  Come join the fun.

See what happens when you use a little imagination?  


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Look What I Imagined!

I am so excited.  I've been working on a completely new project...something I've never done before. It will help if I share a little info before I share with you what I've made.  The daughter of the Pastor of my church is getting married in August.  I always make the card baskets for our Pastor and his wife for all of the yearly events: both of their birthdays, Father's Day, Mother's Day, Pastor's Appreciation, etc.  As a wedding gift to his daughter, I asked her if she had decided on anything specific for her card basket.  She showed me a picture she found of a wedding cake with a slit on the top layer to drop the cards in.  It was plain white with some little white beads around each layer.  I looked at it for a couple of minutes and said, "I can definitely make it!"  I asked her what her wedding colors were and I went from there.

The first thing I did was find three of the mini papier mache round hat boxes.  Unfortunately, when stacked on top of each other (upside down), there wasn't much room left on the edges.  But I was determined to make it work.  I then went looking for wedding type fabric. I remember my mother, who was an incredible seamstress, had her choice of fabric stores.  There just aren't very many around anymore.  I researched online and found wedding fabric, but the prices were astrominical.  So off to Joann's, but they really didn't have anything "wedding".  One of the gals there told me about a small little fabric store down in Huntington Beach.  Success!  I found the perfect fabric and it was on sale for $5 a yard - certainly less expensive than the $40 a yard I found online.

Now I would be remiss if I did not give full credit to my sweet sister-in-law, Ann Hart for helping me make the
pattern, and cutting and sewing the actual coverings.  You see I DO NOT SEW!  My mother was the seamstress.  I do everything else.  To be fair, I only helped with about 25% of the sewing project.  Ann did the rest.  Thank you my sweet sister.  You are awesome to behold!  See here are some pictures of the wedding cake up to this point:

This wedding cake sits inside this lid.  It's very snug and will definitely keep all the cards inside the cake.  The bottom picture is the lid flipped over. 

I decided because there was not much room on the flat tops of each layer, I would do a cascading effect on the side of the cake.  This was the fun part.

   This is the front view of the cake.  

                               This is the side angle view of the cake.

This is the side view of the cake.  

                     This is the back angle view of the cake.

The hardest part was sewing (well, I didn't do that part), but fitting it and cutting and gluing it onto the boxes was tedious and time consuming.  Creating the cascading flowers was definitely the easiest and most fun portion of the project.  As all you crafters know, it certainly is the most rewarding when it all starts to fall into place and become more than you'd ever hoped for.  The Wedding Cake Card Box was a success.  I believe this is one of those "one-of-a-kind" projects. 

                 It certainly stretched my imagination.....Linda