Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A quick survey and a CAS masculine card

I have asked a couple of men to seek advice on the cards they like.  My dad said that he doesn't really care for the designs of a card but prefers clean lines with few layers/patterns.  My brother said he loves to see something very creative, i.e. an effect that prompts him to ask "how did she do that?".  My boyfriend, who spends the most amount of time shopping at craft stores with me compared to my dad and my brother, likes to catch those moments where I bought a charm/paper/embellishment for a card but didn't use it eventually.  Apparently, he thinks the time spent on searching that item with me is a complete waste if it is not used.  I usually defend myself with the general argument, "That item now serves a different purpose that has not been realized."

I have also asked my co-workers and friends.  My conclusion?  Something clean and simple usually appeals to them.  Graphics, blues and greens (rather than brown and black), white space are also pleasant to their eyes.  One told me that he reads the hand-written message inside the card back and forth so he focuses on the inside rather than the front of the card.  So true.

After collecting opinions from them, I did a quick experiment.  I made the following card and asked them how they liked it:

There are many things I can criticize about this card but many of the men I ask like this card!  Have I been too harsh to myself when it comes to masculine cards?   Girls and Boys just have so different perspective.  I need to learn to look at it from a guy's perspective!

Do you know what kind of cards that guys like?  Please do share!

I'm linking up my card to the following:
Created with Love - Anything Goes
Paper Nest Doll - Anything Goes
Eureka Challenge - Anything Goes
Dream Valley Challenge - No patterned paper
Digi Sketch Challenge - one for the men

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

CAS birthday card

I am afraid the cold has come back.  Bummer I was well for just a few days then the sore throat and runny nose knocked at my door again.  I didn't even get to craft as much during those few days!

I am sharing a very simple birthday card today.  Even though it should not have taken a lot of time to make it, I did spend quite some time to plan the layout and colors.  It turned out a great masculine birthday card.  I am thinking that I'd like to shake things up a bit to turn it into a feminine one:

I first added the gray panel to the left of a top-folding card, then stamped the background in a pale blue.  The words are die cut from two different alphabet set - Happy from Lawn Fawn and Birthday from Memory Box.  Finally I die cut some bright stars to finish it off.

My card is linking up to the following challenges:
Stampin for weekend - birthday
Polka Doodle - Anything Goes (for the boys)
Addicted to Stamps & More - CAS
Nutcrafters - CAS

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Embellished Burlap Bags

Have you tried using the burlap bags from Close to My Heart to make gifts?  Let's learn some great ways to embellish them!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Santa Claus

Is it too early to make Christmas cards?  We have 11 months to go before another Christmas!

I have always taken pride in my early preparation and no stress during the holiday season, until last year.  A box of Christmas cards I prepared for my mom was lost in the mail.  I can't tell you how upset I was as I was used to the stress-free Christmas card making but last year the process was not so fun.

The lesson learned is to make them early and send them early.  In case it gets lost in the mail I will have enough time to catch up.  I like this activity as my creative outlet, not a source of stress!

To warm up my Christmas card-making mode I used one of the sketches from Make it from Your Heart Volume 2 and some stash:

I know it is too early to say this but I do feel a bit of relief after I have just ONE Christmas card done.  It's a good start, isn't it?

My card is linking up to the following:
Addicted to Stamps and More - Holiday
ABC Christmas challenge - Anything Christmas
Christmas card challenges - Polka dots
Avenue 613 - Anything Goes
Challenges 4 everybody - Anything Goes

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

12 Tags of 2014 - January

I am always inspired when I see Tim Holtz's tags.  This month I am determined to play along.  I didn't make a tag, though, as I have created a card with similar elements:

I do not have the pocket watch frame die so I used the picture wheel die instead.  I cut it again and trim the outer part then I embossed the middle part and employed the industrial technique.

For the slots I stamped each one with a letter to create my sentiment "Happy B Day!"  Since it is hanging off the side I have just enough slots for it.  I have had the rub-ons and stickers for a while but it is the first time using them.  I'm afraid the picture didn't capture the type charm.  It has the letter "R" because the birthday guy's first name begins with an "R". 

It was certainly fun to play along the 12 Tags of 2014.  I do hope to participate in the upcoming ones.

My card is linking up to the following:
12 Tags of 2014 - January
Nutcrafters - Anything Goes
Penny's Paper-Crafty Challenge - Anything Goes
Creative Moments - Anything Goes
Crafty Girls - Anything Goes
Totally Gorjuss - Manly card
Dream Valley - Manly card

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, January 13, 2014


It has been a while since I last played at the Color My Heart Color Dare challenges.  This week the challenge is Smoothie:

I quickly glanced through the paper packs I have but don't think I have any patterned paper in Smoothie.  So for today's card, it was made purely from cardstock, with the help of some washi tape:

I just knew that Smoothies goes very well with Slate so I decided to use it as the card base.  Then I wanted to have some background and texture on the card base, so the overlay was cut from Artbooking cartridge at 6" real dial size.  It is a bit narrower than a standard size card but I think that's ok.  I mounted a panel of Smoothie cardstock but it might be too boring.  What about adding a strip of slate washi tape?  Much better.  I finished up with two clear buttons to add some dimension.

The words Thank You were colored with a blending pen.  I used a blending pen to pick up some color from my Smoothie ink pad then I colored it directly to the image.  How fun!  Sometimes I use this technique to pretend I am the greatest artist of all.  Shhh~

I'm linking up my card to the following challenges:
Color My Heart
Clear it Out Challenge - Thank you card, buttons
Through the Craft Room Door - Anything Goes
Inky Chicks - Anything Goes
Cards und More - Anything Goes

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Mojo Monday challenge

I saw the Mojo Monday challenge a couple days ago but I was too sick to stay at my craft desk.  Thank god I'm finally feeling better so little by little I have finished the card.  Let's take a look at the sketch:

I like sketches with clean lines and focal image.  After all, I am quite a big fan of clean and simple style.  The hearts in the sketch prompt me to make a Valentine's Day card:

This card should not have taken a long time to finish, but the fact that I have been sick impaired my ability to even sit well (never underestimate the muscle-ache when you have a cold), I am glad that even though I took a small step a day, I am able to put together everything to link up to the challenge.

My card is also linking up to the following challenges:
Mojo Monday Challenge
Artistic Inspiration - Anything Goes
Creative Corner - Anything Goes
Lexis Creation - Anything Goes
The Paper Nest Doll - Anything Goes
Paper Take Weekly - Anything Goes

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Artbooking Made Easy: Inspiration Mini Album

Hi everyone!

I'm having back pains from my cold (how can the upper respiratory problem cause lower back pain, anyone?) so I refrain from crafting.  Bummer.  Having said that, I am catching up on watching videos and tutorials.  I really like this mini album and would love to share with you.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

One Layer cards

I'm sharing two one-layer cards today - one I like better than the other.  Let's take a look at the better one first:

It is based on the sketch from Atlantic Hearts Sketch Challenge:

I've used one stamp set, sorry I can't find the name, but it is a clear stamp set by Hero Arts that was designed for Operation Write Home.  I've used the three stars and the sentiment in the set.  I like the stars in blues and greens and there are a total of 5 colors.  They are all Color Box chalk inks:  Ice Blue, French Blue, Prussian Blue, Lime Pastel and Olive Pastel.  At first I thought I might overlap the stars so chalk inks will be nice but did the stars overlap?  Oh well, I still like the color combo.

I have seen many cards that say "I think my lucky stars for you" and am totally in love with this sentiment.  Glad that I found this stamp set and can make a card from it.  You know, masculine thank you cards are not always easy to make.

I'm linking up this card to:
Atlantic Heart Sketch challenge - see sketch above
Catch the bug challenge - Anything Goes
All sorts challenge - Anything Goes
Avenue 613 challenge - Anything Goes
Challenges for everybody - Anything Goes
One-Layer Simplicity Challenge - whatever we need in stock

Now onto the one-layer card that I don't like as much.  It is just so plain:

Super simple, right?

Just like many other cards I have made, this one evolved to be quite different.  I got a new background stamp that I wished to ink up in different colors but after a couple of epic fail I gave up and came back to this Envelope pattern background stamp.  I masked off the label with masking tape while I stamped the background image, then peeled it off, inked up the label stamp in bright pink and the sentiment in navy blue.  With just a little baker's twine, the card is done.

The part that took me quite a while was to center the label.  Some simple math was involved but the placement was difficult.  The sticky mask has in fact lost its tackiness after I've moved it a gazillion times. 

I had actually finished this card before the one with the stars.  The blog post was accidentally saved rather than published so I thought, why not make another one that I like better?  Then the star card was born.

The new one-layer card challenge will run for almost a month.  I can't wait to make more one-layer cards when I recover from this nasty cold.  One-layer cards may appear to be simple but I often struggle with them.  This challenge provides an excellent opportunity for me to practice!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Love you

When a cold knocks at my door I tend to stay in but it is killing me that my big headache and runny nose keeps me from crafting.  I spent most of my time in bed watching TV and DVDs this weekend but nonetheless made a Valentine's Day card:

I had bought the patterned paper before I took off for my family gathering but this is the first time I use it.  The two hearts were cut with Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge at 1.5" while "love" is an independent die from Memory Box.  It is part of the peace, joy, love collection and I think "love" is perfect for a V-day project.  The "you" is part of another Memory Box die "thanks you".  I love that die for thank you cards - you could snip off the "s" to make "Thank you" or keep it for "thanks".  Now that I use just the "you" part for my sentiment, it is similar to masking off your stamps to create a new image.  Who doesn't like to have more mileage of the craft supplies?

I must give credit to the sketch at Atlantic Heart Sketches - it is a sketch that provides lots of opportunities!

My card is linking up to the following challenges:
Atlantic Heart Sketches - see sketch above
Polkadoodles Challenge - Anything Goes
Simply Create Too - Anything Goes

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Happy 2014

Happy New Year!  Sorry I know it is already the 3rd day of 2014 but let's extend the celebration!

I hope everyone had a great time celebrating.  I probably had too much fun enjoying the time with friends and family and caught a cold accidentally. 

The last post in 2013 featured a card made with scraps.  I am starting the new year with the same scraps. This time the sketch came from Make It from Your Heart Volume 2.  Love the convenience of having a handy book of sketches!

I am hoping that I can get rid of this cold quickly then I will be able to dive in to my crafting fun!  Until then, happy crafting!

My card is linking up to:
Card Making Mamas - Anything Goes
Sister Act Challenge - Anything Goes
Creative Fingers - Anything Goes

Thanks for stopping by!