Sunday, October 31, 2010

Handmade Cards vs. Mass Market Pricing

I was reading a post on a handmade selling venue a while back taking a poll as to how much shoppers would pay for a handmade card. It shocked me when I read how little some buyers were willing to spend. If I remember correctly, the average price was about $3.00. Now it's incomprehensible to me that shoppers will buy shelf cards in their local stores for $5 or $6 a pop, but hesitate to purchase a handmade card for the same or lower price! As any paper crafter knows, it takes time and supply money to create something special. It's not unreasonable to expect the same or higher prices than mass market cards! But alas, many card makers create for the sheer pleasure of the craft and must sell cheaply to make sales. Too bad... card crafting is an art form. Card makers (and scrapbookers as well!) should get decent compensation for their hard work. I'd love to hear what you have to say on this subject.

Women Who Dare

I recently completed three Women Who Dare cards commemorating strong women of the past. The photos, Amelia Earhart, Bessie Coleman (1st African American aviator), and Therese Bonnet (military photographer), are cards from the Library of Congress Knowledge Cards, Women Who Dare, series I. The inside of the greeting card has a short biography of the woman, computer generated from the back of the knowledge card. Very unique cards to motivate and inspire. I have the entire deck of cards, so there will probably be more to come.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Vintage Flair Card Studio

After a 2 year hiatus from cardmaking, I am pleased to announce that I have just opened a new card shop on ArtFire. I'm very excited about this new venture and plan on adding new cards on a weekly basis. I have also started a FaceBook page for shop updates and new card additions. Please stop by, "like" me, and add me as a favorite.
If you're unfamiliar with my work or would like to see some of my previous card art, visit my gallery on Flickr.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Retro Birthday Card for Dad

Here's a cute birthday card I created using a few recycled embellishments. The little boy is coated with diamond glaze and mounted on a painted puzzle piece. The crown and king emblem are made from soda cans that I've diecut. There's a metal plate on the bottom that reads happy birthday. "Dad" has been diecut from a foam sheet. Everything is mounted on textured scrapbook paper with a strip of patterned paper and two vintage buttons. I'll be making a second card for "Mom" with similar embellishments.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Where does one start in purchasing a supply of adhesives? There are so many on the market today it's easy to get overwhelmed. There are only a few types that I use, and they will not be everyone's choices. But I find they work the best for me.

My mainstay is some type of tape runner adhesive. There are lots of them available and it's tempting to buy the least expensive you see. WAIT! Check the length of that tape! The product that costs most, just might be the most economical. I usually use Therm O Web's Memory Tape Runner. It's dependable, the tape doesn't tear or stick to the applicator, it has good adhesion, comes in permanent or repositionable, and is acid free. I like the tape runners primarily for their ease of use.

Liquid Glue Pen. I like these to adhere small paper pieces like diecut letters. They come in different sized tips for various applications. I like ZIG 2 Way Glue.

Glue Dots. These are great for adhering small embellishments. I have found, however, that in the Vegas heat, they often get soft and let your attachment slide around a little.

Glue Stick. I always have these on hand, but don't use them too often. It's usually a back-up when I run out of tape runner! Make sure you get a brand name and apply enough glue, but not too much to lump up.

And finally - the cream of the crop - Xyron! I have 3 different size sticker makers as well as the Cheetah. I love using them, but the adhesive is quite expensive. I always buy it on sale or with a 40% off coupon from the craft stores. By far my favorite is the tiny sticker maker - runs about $7 at a discount and refills about $4. The Xyrons are great for anything you can feed through - paper, ribbon, magnetic sheets, fabric, etc.

So there you have it. Undoubtably, everyone has their own favorites. Some may even hate my choices. So if you see something interesting that you think you might like, try it! There's lots of good choices.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Make Your Own Envelopes

One of the nicest things about making your own cards is that you can make them any size or shape you want. But if you don't want to make your own envelopes, it's important to make your cards the proper dimensions to fit a pre-made envelope. These are the three most common envelope sizes and the size of the cards that fit:

Envelope Dimensions Card Dimensions
A-2 4 3/8" x 5 3/4" 4 1/4" x 5 1/2"
A-6 4 3/4" x 6 1/2" 4 1/2" x 6 1/4"
A-7 5 1/4" x 7 1/4" 5" x 6 7/8 "

If you want to make your own envelopes, it's easy enough - it just takes time. Take an envelope the size you want and carefully open it up to form a template. Trace it onto the paper you want to use, score, fold and glue. DONE!
You can also buy templates for various size envelopes. Do a web search for envelope templates and you'll find anything you need.

Now you'll have to add adhesive so the envelopes can be sealed. You have a couple of choices here. You can use a strip adhesive where you pull off a strip of paper to expose the glue, or you can use a remoistenable envelope glue that you spread on, let dry, and then lick it as a pre-made envelope.

Don't be limited by using plain envelopes, either. If you use a scrapbook paper just be sure to leave a space for writing an address, or use a mailing label.