Sunday, November 23, 2014

Five Tips for Mass Producing Holiday Cards

The holiday season is rapidly approaching.  For the crafter, handmade cards are always on the menu during this time either as gift sets or as holiday cards to send to friends and family.  While these cards are beautiful, they can often be stressful to create and replicate.  However, by following a few simple steps, we can greatly reduce the effort it takes to make multiple handmade cards.

Recently I was asked to create cards for a ladies small group for the thanksgiving season.   This meant that I needed to quickly get a large group of cards ready to assemble. Above is the Thank You card that I made for our luncheon.  During the process, I came up with  5 simple steps to make bulk card making easier.

1:  Come up with a concept that you like, but which is easily replicated.  If you are not good at conceptualizing, take a look Pinterest, blogs, sketches and crafty forums for some inspiration.  Study these cards to see how many techniques are required to make the cards.  Try to limit the number of involved techniques to only one or two.  Remember, you will have to do each of these techniques repeatedly in order to make a large number of cards.  While the card may have really pretty techniques, the techniques tend to take a lot of time to do. In my example, I chose stamping.  I purposely did not include any other techniques, as this would have added substantial time to the assembly process.

2.  Make a prototype card.  This sounds like common sense, but it is amazing what you can learn from doing one first before you begin the process of making 100 more.  Take good notes while you work.  As you can see from the photo, I used both my trimmer and my ruler to take good notes about the size of every aspect of the cards.

3.   Purchase supplies in bulk.  If you want all of your holiday cards to look the same, be sure to buy enough patterned paper to make the number of cards you desire, using the concept you are using.  Make sure you have enough ink in the desired color as well as enough of all the other embellishments you wish to use on the cards.  I always buy new to ensure that I have enough of everything.  There is nothing worse than getting half way done with a project, only to realize that you need more of a specific supply that the store no longer carries.

4. Take a little help from pre-made supplies when you can.   In my case, I found reasonably priced card blanks to use as my base.  I could have very easily made my own card base and envelopes, but the time involved would have made the process so much more stressful.  Most big box stores carry reasonably priced card making packs that are super cute. 

5.  Treat your project like a page kit.  We all know that scrapbooking is so much easier when everything is kitted together before we start.  Cut out all your pieces, and then bag them into kits.  This way, as you have a few minutes, you can quickly assemble cards.  All the pieces are right there, and there is no need for keeping tools with you at all times. By kitting your cards, you can actually drop 2 or 3 in your bag to put together while you are on the go for other activities.

I hope these tips make the process of bulk card making seem a little less daunting.  We would love to see your holiday cards or gifts.  Be sure to post them in the gallery at Scraps of Color!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Understanding Online Workshops and Classes

Embrace Your Art 365 Banner
Since launching my latest set of workshops, I've had a couple a questions about how online workshops work.  I thought, it would be a great topic to share.  I thought sharing here was important since they are hosted on the SOC Community.

I'll share in question and answer format.  Keep in mind, this is true for Tiare Smith Designs and many others but be sure to read what others offer, they can and do vary.   Keep in mind, I am speaking of  mixed media, scrapbooking, art journaling online courses.

  • What is an online workshop/class?  Basically, it is a class delivered to you electronically, instead of face to face. 
  • How are lessons provided?  How do I get my lessons?:  Lessons are typically delivered via emails, pdf downloads and/or videos.   You will gain access to a classroom and/or private forum where the downloads are made available.  Sometimes, it may simply be a private page on a web site. 
  • Are the lessons detailed?:  Yes.  Videos most often provide the process/step-by-step instructions with a supporting pdf.  However, some instructors may provide more details in their pdfs with supporting video.  Either way, you will be provided the steps needed to learn the technique, skill or lesson being taught. 
  • Must I follow along at the time the class is offered?  What if I do not have the time to complete the lessons right away?:  Classes are typically self-paced, meaning you do the lessons as your schedule allows.  Furthermore, you can save the lessons for future reference.  They are yours to keep.  Some workshops run live but then access remains open after the live portion, so that everyone continues to have access to the classroom and information shared during the live portion. 
  • How long do I have access to the classroom?  The time varies with some giving lifetime access to a month after the live course ends to 6 months or a year.  Be sure to check with any courses you plan to take. 
  • Are these course appropriate for newbies?  ABSOLUTELY!  The detail provided is great for beginners or for those wishing to expand their knowledge or who need inspiration to create. 
  • Will I be provided with a list of supplies and must I buy them all?  Yes, you are provided with a list but NO you don't have to buy them all.  In my courses, I encourage people to use what they own and I give suggestions on doing so. 
  • What if I have questions or need assistance with a class or lesson?  Just ask.  I am available to answer your questions when you take courses provided by Tiare Smith Designs or hosted in my Scraps of Color Community. I hope that you have found this information helpful.  Please let me know if you have further questions and I'll do my best to answer or get the answers for you. I'd love to have you join me for one of my online workshops.  Here are 3 great opportunities to learn and create.

My Amazing 2015 Goddess Calendar Banner My Color is Beautiful Art Banner with sig Express Yourself Workshop Button       

Friday, November 21, 2014

Don't judge a book by it's cover.

For as long as I can remember, I have loved BOOKS.  Not only did I (and still do) love to read them, but I loved the look and feel of a book in my hands.  This love of books empowered me to take good care of them whether they belonged to me or not.  I could not bear to see a torn page or even a small stain on a book.  Now, fast forward to the 21st century (it is the 21st century, right?) , my attitude about books has changed just a little.  I can use torn book pages in my projects with ease and even remove all the guts from a book and use just the cover.  My love for books has evolved!  My post for this month is about how my love of books has taken  me down yet another creative path.  So here are some glimpses into that journey.

What starts out as a book to be read and then put on a shelf to collect dust can be transformed into a journal, art journal, scrapbook, etc. The list is endless.  And what a great way to  use all those scrapbook papers in our hoards.

What can you do now?  Why not pick out a book, take it in your hands, feel the cover, turn the pages and think about the creative possibilities it has. Next, get busy and make something creative and useful that you can remember for years to come.

Monday, November 17, 2014

SOC Blogger Challenge: The Power of Words

Hi everyone, Cheryl here! Hope you had a great weekend, and got a little time in your craft space. With a new week comes a new challenge, so I won't be too "wordy" with this intro and keep you waiting long. This week's theme involves: 

Or simply sentiments!! This week the challenge is to add your favorite quote, scripture, sentiment, or words that have meaning to you to your cards, scrapbook pages, altered art or mixed media projects! If you need some examples, check out a couple here and here. (Look familiar? These creations were made by our own Classygirl, Tiare Smith.)  

Everyone loves visitors, so after you post your project here, stop by and check out links from other blogger participants. From all of the projects posted, you will have the opportunity to have your creation/blog featured here, and on the SOC Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter pages! Don't forget: Be sure to have the SOC Badge posted on your blog.

Okay, so I did have a lot more to say than I thought...but I'm cutting it short and sharing a "Look Back" at projects from our Veterans Day challenge.

Treva shared this great card over in the Blogger's Challenge forum! Great colors and embossing!

Gemiel created this fabulous layout! I don't want to give it away, but be sure to stop by her blog, Gemiel's Gems  to see even more projects saluting the special veterans in her life.

Thanks to these bloggers for sharing their projects, and special thanks to all veterans for your service! That's all I have today! Have a blessed week!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Registration is NOW OPEN! My Color is Beautiful Art 2015!

Woohoo!  So excited!
Registration is now open for
My COLOR is Beautiful Art 2015!
Come join me along with 7 AMAZING artist instructors for a creative experience like no other!  Immerse yourself in color, creativity, techniques and awesome positive energy!
Learn more here. 


Friday, November 14, 2014

A Tearful Experience

This past weekend, I had the joy of spending my 16th weekend retreat with a group of wonderful sistah-friends.  It's our 2x annual, sistah retreat.

At each retreat I treat them to page kits, a challenge, prizes and/or sistahly talks.  There is always something.  This year was no different...except for one thing.  This year they treated me!  In the past, I have made them search the house for stickers to win a prize.  This time, there were clues for me.

The clues were written on cute little cards.  One clue led to another and eventually to the gift. Although a few clues tripped me up, especially the last, " Awwww SOOT, you're getting HAWT!"  First, I thought soot was an error and should have been shoot.  Then I could not think for the life of me what soot was, I just kept thinking dirt.  Someone had to say, "soot forms in the chimney."  Uuuuhhh...duh...I KNOW THAT!  LOL!  Well, this made it clear to me that I probably should not apply to be on Family Feud or Wheel of Fortune because being put on the spot freezes my brain!  LOL!  lbvs. Since this was the last clue, I found my gift in the fireplace.

Next, I opened the box and the tears just flowed.  I couldn't speak. I could only cry. So thoughtful, so heart felt, so wonderful.  You see this year, SOC turned 10 years old.  It's a wonderful thing.  Each year I try to do something special for the members of SOC to celebrate.  My husband and I typically go out for dinner or have a dessert to celebrate and then time moves on.  It's always a happy time for me because I just feel so thrilled to have started and grown such a wonderful community.  I get excited at celebrating and doing challenges and giving prizes to the members.  To see it grow is amazing and to have so many wonderful crafters who have a place to share and create, where they feel comfortable, loved and a sense of community/family/friendship makes my heart full.

To have someone, step back think about, plan to honor/recognize me and my efforts for SOC in such a significant way is simply overwhelming.  Even typing this makes my emotions start to flow.  I am so very grateful to have thoughtful people in my life and to have such a special bond with these ladies.  I will never truly be able to express just how much this has meant to me.  I can only say, "Thank you. I love you.  You were right on time.  I needed this and you were there!"


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Portable Dry Erase Board

I had the pleasure of spending this weekend with a wonderfully creative group of ladies.  While there we made a trip to the craft store and one of the ladies purchased an entire pad of dry erase paper.  From that moment on, there was a challenge of what to do with this paper.  I ended up creating a portable pocket sized "erasable" notepad.  Hey, it beats carrying around a thousand sticky notes. 

The size (4x6) is small enough to fit in a pocket book but large enough to actually record something.  Plus, it is durable because it is made out of chipboard. This one was a gift, but I will certainly be making one for myself.

What would you do with dry erase paper?


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