So yesterday I decided to review my checklist of Things To Do This Summer, and I realised that one of the items on the list was 'make a ton of cards'. This is something I used to do a lot, from the age of about 10, but then I got my laptop and the internet happened, not to mention Polyvore which fulfills all my creative needs on a day to day basis. The main reason why I don't craft as much as before is because when I first started, all my stash fitted in one smallish shoebox, which could easily be whipped out if the need arose - but in the intervening six or so years, it's grown considerably, to the extent that it's far too time-consuming to take it all out just to make a few cards, before putting it all away again. What with regular trips to craft shops in the UK, monthly papercrafting magazines sent over from my grandma/aunt containing free gifts and patterned papers, and a general tendency to hoard anything and everything which could possibly be of use, I've acquired boxes full of ribbons, card scraps, stickers, stencils, shaped punches, eyelets, brads, felt shapes etc, and two A4 ringbinders with plastic pockets that hold all my patterned papers. Observe:
And that's just the stuff I bothered to get out - there's a lot more stashed away in the depths of my cupboards. I had to get a spare table up from the basement in order to accommodate it all, as although my desk is fairly big I didn't think it would be able to cope with the totality of my stash, as well as my laptop, my typewriter and the stacks of books currently on it which are waiting to be moved up to the attic.
Anyway, I had a great time rediscovering a lot of things I've bought in the year-and-a-half or so since I had my last proper crafty session, such as these babies:
I found this snazzy set of blue ribbons, some little pots of flocking powder (it gives a furry effect when you sprinkle it onto wet glue), a packet of oversized flowery brads, some lovely vintage doilies, sticky ribbon with an amazing ruler pattern, and letter beads - as well as my trusty craft knife, templates and double-sided sticky tape.
Faced with the entirety of my stash, I was immediately inspired to get my glitter and sequins out, but I'd forgotten quite how much I had:
Usually I'm quite conventional with my card designs, and I rarely venture beyond my comfort zone in terms of techniques. My typical approach is to find some nice patterned paper, stick it on a white card blank, add a greeting and some embellishments, and Bob's your uncle. The card-making magazine I get makes me realise exactly how much I'm missing out on by not getting to grips with stamping, quilling, distressing, die-cutting, heatgunning and inking, but even paper piecing (assembling something out of little bits of individually cut paper) is a stretch for me, so I'm quite happy to stick to what I know.
But I was rooting through my stash, after the discovery of the sparkles, and I realised I had quite a lot of brightly-coloured papers, ribbons and general embellishments that I hardly ever use, so I decided to forget my subtle, colour-coordinated go-to designs and make something a bit wacky. I made sure all the relevant bits and pieces were within arm's reach, and then got stuck in. Usually I'd plan out what I'm going to make before I cut or stick anything, and draw a sketch of what I want the end result to look like, but today I took a completely different approach: I flicked through my papers, picked one at random, then added card shapes and ribbons here and there until I was satisfied, at which point I reached for the sparkle. I was a bit too over-enthusiastic with the glitter to begin with, it went absolutely everywhere (including in my hair - there's still some in my eyebrows despite two showers since), so I put the tops back on the little pots and resigned myself to the somewhat less risky sequins and gems.
Here are a couple of examples of what I came up with (sorry about the light, it wasn't even half-seven pm when I took these but it was so grey outside there was barely any natural lighting):
I'd been doing such a good job restraining myself from reverting to my usual flowery pastel designs, but when I found this beautiful paper set, complete with resin flowers (a free gift with an issue of my magazine) I just couldn't help myself. Although I did use a black glitter card blank, just to mix things up a bit!
I don't think it's possible to appreciate quite how difficult it is to photograph cards in a decent light until you're trying to do it yourself - all the same, here are the results of my day of crafting:
Hope you enjoyed a peek at my crafty session!