Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Technique: All about the Details

I'm always looking out for ways paper crafters are making themselves stand out from the bunch. Today's post will feature great ways to add an extra handmade touch to your cards, giving customers that extra reason to choose handmade over Hallmark. 

A few extra details I've been dabbling with lately include: lining the inside of the card, lining the inside of the envelope, and adding some pizzazz to the envelope with embossingl. Let's take a a look at how some Etsy superstars have envisioned these features!

Holiday Card - Mittens Drying On A Line

This card is one of many featured on KristinLeeCards' Etsy shop that adds that extra sprinkle of detail to the inside of the card. In addition to the clean white liner, this card extends the seasonal cheer by sprinkling a few color-coordinated snowflake stamps! Love her stuff. 

Bumble Bee Embossed Flat Note Card Mini Set with Natural Lined Envelopes

Here's a wonderful lined envelope from SweetPiperLaneDesign: The simple bumblebee embossed note is really brought to life by the pop of floral color lining the kraft brown envelope.  

Set of 6 mini note cards with embossed envelopes  Blank Note Cards  Love notes

This set of six mini cards by WallridgeFarms - simple in their design - are brought to the next level with the addition of accompanying envelopes (in a gorgeous ivory!) embossed with a botanical image. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Happy Birthday, Montrose Paper Crafts!

This week marks the one-year anniversary of MPC going live on Etsy, and we are celebrating with a 20% off sale on everything in the shop! Stop by and support Montrose Paper Crafts and save! 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Technique: Heat Embossing

Last week, I posted about embossing paper -- that is, pressing it so that there is a raised image or impression. This post will focus on a different type of embossing -- using ink and embossing powder, along with a heat tool, to created that raised look. 

I received my heat tool as a Christmas present this past year, on recommendation from some other crafters. I have been experimenting with it since, to varying degrees of success! I'm slowly learning what types of inks and powders work best.  My biggest success was a set of embossed wedding invitations I made for a friend, using a set of nautically themed stamps, clear embossing ink, and gold embossing powder. 

I just love how this technique makes the finished product looked polished and professional. 

Here is your daily dose of inspiration from the pages of Etsy showing how other paper crafters using this technique with aplomb!

Thanks A Million Stamped Embossed with Flower on Kraft Rectangle Permanent Labels - 2"x3" - QTY 5
This sweet note card from KrystalsJewelNDesign uses the simplicity of brown kraft paper and the glossy contrast of embossed red and glittery black to achieve a striking effect. 

Stamped and embossed pine needle notecard, flat (set of five), evergreen

Another simple but eye-catching design, by eikenottdesigns, features a lovely pine branch stamp in a rich green hue. I love how the texture and richness of the embossing elevates what would have already been a fine little stamped note card into something luxurious!

neutral note cards - lace starburst embossed  - assorted color collection - set of 4
Finally, these gorgeous note cards from PumpedonPaper -- The intricate stamped design really gets the attention it deserves once its embossed, and the single pearled bead in the center of each just makes it "pop".  

Friday, July 26, 2013

DIY Destination Wedding: Table Paper Craft Brainstorm!

So my fiance and I are planning our wedding for next June in the lovely Isla Mujeres, Mexico. We can't wait to share this island we love with our family and friends! I'm of course starting  to design and make all my paper crafting goods: Save the Date cards went out in the mail yesterday (post to follow!) and now there are the actual invitations, table numbers and cards, bunting banners, etc! Of course I turned to the Etsy community for inspiration, as well as poking around other corners of the web...

50 Place Cards, Wine Glass Decor,  Gold Fish, Original calligraphy, Cutout, Scrapbook, Papercut by Mama Tita

These unique table place cards caught my eye - So unexpected and whimsical!
Designed by MamaTita.

Seaside Table Number with Jute and Starfish, Beach Wedding, Tropical Table Numbers

Simple but striking, I like these table numbers because they're beachy without being cheesy. Designed by DecadentDesigns.

 Wedding Garland Rustic Tropical Chic CARDS Kraft Banner, Custom Colors Available

Rustic beach wedding garland designed by LazyCaterpillar: Love the texture!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Snapshots from my Craft Room...

Here are some snapshots of my craft room organization!

Crafty Teacher: Note Cards for Students

I teach 11th and 12th grade English here in Philadelphia, and one of the most powerful teaching tools in my tool shed is the unexpected--and mailed!--note of appreciation home to a student or family.  Throughout the year, especially on those days when I'm frustrated or stressed, I try to sit down and write a few notes to the students who are working hard, being kind, or standing out in some positive way.  It not only soothes my psyche, but those students come in to my class a few days later, having received their note, with a spring in their step and renewed vigor to learn. I'm serious! They love it. I usually use little postcards from the Dollar Tree (like the ones to the left), but this year, maybe I'll step up my game. Here are some gems I found on Etsy for some super special students... 

Teacher/Student Notecard

This cute card is found on SheriWilder's Etsy shop Noteworthy

 Letterpress Apple Note Cards - Set of 12

Simple and sweet, this set of 12 letterpress note cards (designed by Presse DuFour) will carry your teacherly sentiments to multiple mailboxes!

Mini Cards, School Cards, Teacher Cards, School Themed Mini Cards, Small Cards, Square Cards, 3X3 cards

Save a stamp and just slip one of these mini cards (available from MamaJamaCrafts) onto students' desks at the end of a particularly productive class! Not only will the recipient beam with pride, but maybe it will spark some interest from the more reticent members of your class - positive motivation can do wonders (even for high schoolers!).

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Philly Phind: Frankadelphia

Brotherly Love hand stamped greeting card

I decided to "go local" for today's post: Meet Frankadelphia, a lovely Etsy design shop by Nicole DuCoin. She creates bold and beautiful Philadelphia-inspired items. Click on the images below to visit (and support!) this local crafter and show your Philly pride, kids!

Greetings From Philadelphia PostcardPhilly city skyline hand stamped greeting card

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Technique: Upcycled Cards

Upcycled Letter Press Hand Stamped Thank You Note Card - Pale Green and Grey/Gray with Orange/Red Octopus, Ocean, MarineUpcycled LetterPress Hand Stamped Thank You Note Card - Melon Orange and Deep Brown/Black with Birds, Branches, LeavesI love the term "upcycling". Like, not only are we giving an old old object a second chance, but this chance is BETTER. Karmic upgrade. The term also seems to get a lot of hits on Etsy, and my upcycled cards, like these (from an old calendar), have gotten rave reviews.  

So how are other Etsy card artisans upcycling? 
Here are a few designs I simply adore...

Blank card set: upcycled cards - heart, tree and balloons blank greeting cards for all occasions, eco friendly, made in UK

These cards were crafted by PinkFlamingoCrafting from old sheet music, maps, book pages, and crossword puzzles. 

Curious George Cards, Upcycled from Vintage Book, Set of Three

This set of cards, created by SimplySweetNothings, was upcycled from old Curious George books: I love the scenes added into the envelope backs! So cute!

Friendship Card - Thank You Card - Queen Theme - Postage Stamp Art - Collage Art - Queen Stamps

And this lovely collaged crown, designed by JaneKoopman, is made from a set or authentic (and international!) stamps. Love the colors and theme! 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

GO WEST! Craft Fest: Vendor Applications are OPEN for the Fall Fest!

GO WEST! Craft Fest: Vendor Applications are OPEN for the Fall Fest!: We are now accepting  vendor applications  for our Fall Fest! It will be held on September 7, 2013 (rain date September 8) from 11-5 at Th...

MPC Item Highlight: Mini Note Cards

Set of 8 Handmade Mini 3x3" Note Cards - Variety of Colors, Patterns, Messages - 3D Die Cut Flowers with Jeweled Center ANYTIME ALL OCCASION

So I have been happily using up leftover paper lately making darling mini note cards. New minis are being posted throughout this month on my Etsy shop

Set of 8 Handmade Mini 3x3" Note Cards - Variety of Colors, Patterns, Messages - ANYTIME all OCCASION TAGSThey are 3x3" and perfect to have on hand when you need a last minute card to include with a gift! Think of the possibilities - all those occasions when you don't want to arrive empty handed: House-warmings, pot luck dinners, visiting a friend who needs a little pick-me-up, a quick "thanks" for a co-worker who helped you out... 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Etsy Find of the Day: Wedding Menu Stamps!

My wedding planner recently suggested, when making table place cards, to use a stamp to indicate meal choice. Since we're getting married in Mexico, and all the waitstaff may not speak English, she said this was especially important! So, I hopped right on Etsy and found this darling set of meal-designating stamps, handmade by EtchyThings! Click the image to visit this item on Etsy!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Technique: Embossing

I recently purchased a bunch of embossing folders to use with my Sizzix Big Shot, and I'm excited to try them out on note cards and mini cards. Here is my dose of daily Etsy inspiration...click on the images to link directly to these crafters' shops!
Birthday Cards Set of 8 - Embossed Cards with Matching Envelopes
   I love the sweet simplicity of these white on white birthday cards designed by Michelle Mach. The neutral palette really lets the texture shine.
Embossed Sympathy Card
 This is a technique I've yet to really experiment with: Distressing or inking the raised edges of the embossed pattern. I love how it really brings dimension to the pattern! This simple but striking card was designed by Rush Creek Stationary

All Occasion- Mini- Greeting Cards- Embossed- 15 Cards- Boxed Set- Handmade
Here's a great alternative to stamping your message: Emboss it! These super cut mini cards feature a variety of greetings embossed into the center circles. Great idea, SimplySuzie2!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Etsy Find of the Day: Baby Nursery Quilt!

So my big project for this month is to get the baby nursery decorated... I'm loving the color combination of soft teal and buttery yellow for our little guy, with pops of green. Here is a great find from Etsy that I've both registered for and is a pretty great representation of these colors in lovely harmony... The quilt was made by FernLeslieBaby, who makes gorgeous baby goods in one of my favorite places on earth, Western Massachusetts!