Craft · Craft Business

A New Challenge

With the one year anniversary of my little card shop coming up in a couple of months, I have been feeling the need for reinvention for a second time. Maybe it’s a precursor to my own personal two-fifth-life crisis or maybe it’s my suppressed perfectionist tendencies, hard to say which, but either way I need to breathe some fresh life into my creations. Sales have been non-existent to sluggish, to say the least, and my little operation is so far in the red that I can’t even think of an inoffensive metaphor for it at this point. 

Enter me staring at the dimly glowing beacon on my phone that is Pinterest, seeking whatever inspiration I can manage to gather at 2 am. One morning after a particularly sleepless & pin-filled night, I gathered a look at everything I saved earlier. The few pins that caught my attention were the weekly card sketch challenges from My Favorite Things. I had seen them on Facebook, while scrolling past as I only have maybe 3-4 of their stamp & die sets and wrote them off as something you could only do with their products.

This time, however, they were simply blueprints, and I immediately began to envision ideas using these layouts along with materials that I did have on hand. So I saved a ton of them onto my computer, printed them all off, and started a whole new inspiration journal.  

And now I’m going to take on one of these sketch challenges as my own personal challenges for every one of my upcoming projects. As someone who has always preferred to be self-taught, I’m pretty excited to be able to learn some new techniques and really hone my skill set. I’m not doing them in any sort of numerical order, so as I showcase some of the projects here, if the chronological order seems spastic, it’s because it is!

Sketch challenge 38 was one of the first to catch my eye, as I was in need of wedding and new baby cards in my shop, and this layout seemed perfect for either. Wedding card it was!

I used supplies from many different companies. Lawn Fawn stamp sets “Happy Wedding” and “Happy Happy Happy” were my main draws of inspiration. I immediately knew I wanted the script “happy” to be the main focal point of the card. Paper from American Crafts (floral paper) and Bella Blvd. LLC (yellow polka dots) would bring a beautiful liveliness to the final design. I used Memento’s dye ink in Dandelion for the “happy” in the sentiment, it coordinated perfectly.

I’m really pleased with the final project! I ended up swapping out a bridal bouquet for the wedding bells at the very end (where the bow is on the original sketch), as it went better with the whole overall aesthetic. 

So now I’m looking forward to the future of my little Etsy endeavor, given some fresh new ideas & a slow avalanche of new tools & materials. For anyone else struggling with their creative business, don’t give up! You never know when or where your next inspiration will strike, and hopefully it will be one to revive your business! 🙂


The Paper Pickle


Lawn Fawn Lawn Fawnatics Challenge March 2017

Super duper excited to submit one of my projects into my first ever sponsored challenge! The first Lawn Fawnatics Challenge is to showcase a birthday project, which I was more than happy to work on!

I used the muy lindo (very cute) “Year Seven” stamp and die sets from Lawn Fawn’s Spring 2017 new releases in this project, a colorful & bright yet simple birthday card.

It took two somewhat failed first designs to refine what I wanted into the final product.

I started by stamping out all my images using Memento Tuxedo Black dye ink onto bright white, mid-weight card stock (Neenah, I think… all my stuff in the paper category has gotten all jumbled together!), giving a few hours to dry fully. I used Prismacolor pencils to color all the images in, and a Finesse colored pencil blender pen to more evenly fill in the colors in the pinata. I have an old school big red Sizzix die cutter that I use to cut everything. I also used it and the large Stitched Circle Stackable dies to cut out all the circles for the front.

The card base is from an older set of prefabricated blank 5.5″ square cards I had, folded & trimmed down with a Fiskars rotary paper trimmer so that everything was straight & even.

All the circles were cut from Recollections card stock in various colors, mainly shades of orchid, teal, lime green, and hot pink. The confetti printed paper is from an older Echo Park design, it’s actually the backside to a sheet with popsicles & ice cream on the front. The circles were affixed to the card base with Xyron permanent tape runner. 

The images were attached using the Xyron sticker maker, a tool I have come to love. I stamped out the message on the inside of the card using the same ink, and, ta-da! A finished fiesta in the form of a greeting card!

It’s a bit rough, being my first challenge and all, but overall I’m pretty happy with how it turned out! Now I’m eagerly awaiting the next challenge!