Friday, December 3, 2010

Handmade cards- they're a part of my DNA

New York Stationery Show 1998

Even though I closed Avant Carde ten years ago,  I still love making cards.  Whether it be party invitations, a one-of-a-kind birthday card, or Thanksgiving placecards, the process of cutting, designing, gluing and sewing is a kind of therapy for me.

I haven't made holiday cards for a few years due to hectic show schedules, but this year is different. A hiatus from my design business means I have time to celebrate Christmas in more personal ways.

2010 was an exciting year for our family, so I thought a photo mosaic would be a good place to start. I selected a few of my favorite digital photo and used Big Huge Labs to create the mosaic. It's as easy as downloading your photos and choosing a layout. Voila!


My first goal in making anything is using what I have. But I didn't have card stock for the backing so, on a hunch, headed to the 99 cents store. Turns out they sell large white poster boards for 50 cents each. On my way to check out,  I found something packaged as "tissue paper" (a very thin printed plastic) with atypical holiday colors. I scooped it up not knowing what I'd do with it...but I knew I liked it!  I hit Big Lots on the way home and found green #10 envelopes marked way way down.  I purchased the basics for less than $10.00, or 20 cents per card.

I love to recycled old sewing patterns and especially love the printed instruction pages.  Usually they're yellowed with age and have lots of interesting graphics and lines. They're sort of a trademark in my work and wanted to incorporate them, as well.



The envelope dictated the card shape- skinny horizontal- 3.5 x 8.5.  The poster board provided the base, topped with a layer of instruction paper, and the printed photo mosaic on the left.  After cutting the three layers, (and ironing the instruction sheets), I lightly glued them together before sewing with a zigzag stitch. 

 


 Hmmm... but what about the right hand side? This is where the fun started!

I bought a laminator at Costco last month.  I'd never used one before, except to laminate a couple of photos at Staples.  I've been following Mark Montano's blog which includes several projects with laminated design work.  I was excited to experiment!  I topped the poinsettia paper with thin strips of metallic electrician's tape, gold and silver glitter, and the holiday message that I printed on recycled Fed Ex envelopes. Into the laminator it went...and out the other end came a very cool conglomeration of sparkly paper and plastic. I trimmed the sheets into smaller pieces.




(I like shiny things.)

I decided to use the "tissue paper" that was really plastic paper as a liner/wrapper for the card. I cut the pieces to size and wrapped the card-  imbuing it with a sense of mystery and protecting it from potential postal pitfalls.



As a final step, I signed the back with a personal note in red Sharpie. Oh, and I found the fine point Sharpies at the 99 cents store too.  :)

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