Scrap Happy August

I’m joining Kate of Tall Tales from Chiconia  for another monthly scrap-happy blog post. The challenge is to use scraps from other projects to make something useful, beautiful or both. Several bloggers post once a month showcasing a project made entirely from scraps.

I’m sharing a couple of scrappy cards this month using a style I learned in a card-making class earlier this year. It’s called a z fold card because of the shape it makes when opened. The cards we made in class were too fussy for my taste, but I really liked the lines. Half the fun of learning something new, is coming home and making it in your own style.

The first card went to Anne who blogs at Anne Lawson Art. Anne is an amazing artist with a special love of feathers. She sells her work in her Etsy shop. If you aren’t already following Anne, go have a look around. Her work will take your breath away.

I started with a general idea, but Anne’s card evolved over time. Out of a pack of assorted paper I found a single page of white feathers on a gray background. Kismet! I had to set that one aside for Anne. Then I found a couple of feather ephemera in a box of scraps. I couldn’t believe my luck. I had a small scrap of paper with “friend” written in a variety of languages, and finally I had all I needed for Anne’s card.

feathered z-card

Feathers and friendships: A z-card for Anne

That said, you crafty types know that it’s not done till it’s done. The open card needed a little extra something. Knowing Anne’s love of nature, I decided to add a cut out of a nature scene from a book I brought home from Germany nearly thirty years ago. They published Holden’s Nature Notes posthumously in a book called The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady. I loved the art and had hoped to brush up on my German at the time by reading the beautiful entries. All these years later, one of Holden’s pages made it in to Anne’s card.

feathered z card with holden art

Assorted scraps often make the best cards

A small strip of Washi tape and a bit of sparkle and the card was ready for the post.

opened feathered z card

The opened card forms a box

Thumbing through Edith Holden’s book inspired a second card. Her illustrations are gorgeous. I also love the old, parchment-colored paper. Time to take it off the shelf and give some of the pages a second life.

Edith Holden book cover

Edith Holden’s beautiful art

I used the same z-fold card format for my friend’s birthday card. Paper scraps formed the bottom of the card, while punched pages from my Holden book decorate the facade and the interior. I kept this design simple, letting the illustrations speak for themselves.

birthday z-card

A birthday card for a friend

opened z-card

Opened z-card

Edith Holden calendar page

One of Edith Holden’s calendar pages

Edith Holden illustrations

Edith Holden illustrations

Are you joining this month’s scrap-happy blog hop? Please post your link or comment below.

Thanks for inspiring us, Kate.

From Kate’s blog:

“ScrapHappy is open to anyone using up scraps of anything – no new materials. Anything made of scraps is eligible. If your scrap collection is out of control and you’d like to turn them into something beautiful instead of leaving them to collect dust in the cupboard, why not join us on the 15th of each month? You can email Kate at the address on her Contact Me page. New members are welcome. No long-term commitment required. Regular contributors will receive an email reminder three days before the event.”

One Thing

Have you ever popped in to a craft store to get one thing? Then you pay for one thing and you’re quickly on your way?

That’s never happened to me either.

So it goes with my decision to make a handful of Halloween-themed cards. Scrapbook Island is one of those places that holds you in its grasp. You zig and zag, cooing at the beautiful paper and then you end up chatting with one of the creative women on staff. Then someone pops in to buy a spider web stencil, changes her mind, and before you know it, that stencil ends up in your hand basket. Wait a minute. When did I pick up a hand basket? Wasn’t I in here for one thing?

Like a kid in a candy shop, if you’ll pardon the expression, my eyes are bigger than my actual time available.  I don’t do much scrapbooking anymore, as my boys now eschew all motherly attention and heaven forbid, photographs. I’m lucky to get a couple of candid shots on Christmas day. Thanks, however, to the talented influence of my sister Sharon and my crafty friends Boomdee, Kristi and Stephanie, I’ve caught the card-making bug.

So on a hot day in late September, I sat near the window and made cards.

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I listened to Pandora Radio’s Halloween Party station to get into the right mood. I used my new stencil, old book pages from a vintage shop, and ribbon from the Island. I bought plenty of black paper that day, and a few yards of silky ribbon.  After some brief instruction on the virtues of different inks, a small bottle or two came home as well. In the end, I made seven cards and a big ‘ol mess but oh what fun, what fun!

envelopes and stamps

Envelopes and stamps

The post office doesn’t sell Halloween stamps, so I settled on Ray Charles in a bright orange shirt and assorted farmer’s market stamps.  No sense making a card and a fancy envelope, only to settle for dull and boring postage.  Now to address those cards and get them in the mail.

No-Candy Countdown:

I’m candy-free, 23 days and counting! We can talk about my paper habit in another post.

Pumpkins on Parade:

Or in other words, a parade of pumpkins. Can you believe it?

October pumpkin harvest

Pumpkins on Parade

I ran out of daylight, so I harvested these in the dark. Now that the nights are cooler, the plant is closing down. The leaves are turning to brown in some places, powdery with mildew in others.

My mystery plant grew over the edges of the box, while at the same time producing eight pumpkinesque pieces of fruit. Did I mention that it grew without a trace of water at the roots. No signs of squash bugs either. One of my readers suggested a possible hybrid. I wonder if there is a way to find out? Unlike the vines I’m used to, all the fruit formed close to the soil line on short stems. The plant just started to send out vines in the last few weeks.  This fruit is hard as a rock and heavy too.  I’m just tickled to pieces to see so many of them turn orange. I’m leaving them outside to harden for a few days, unless we get that promised rain.

Gosh I love October.  Color me orange with joy.

Craft it Forward: 7 of Hearts

craft it forward button

Craft it Forward Button: Grab it for your own blog

In early February, I launched my first Craft it Forward.  It’s been great fun having an excuse to craft all year and the pleasure of trying new things.

December’s Craft it Forward is ‘7 of Hearts’ representing my 7th work from the heart.  As soon as I secure Vivien’s address, they’ll be on their way to the UK.

Vivien blogs at Where the Journey Takes me. She writes:

I live in a small old mill town nestled into the Pennine hills in Yorkshire with my long-suffering husband of thirty some years. I have two beautiful daughters who have flown the nest (most of the time!). I paint and draw (a little) when time allows, make and bake sometimes but not often enough and garden and grow things as much as possible. I recycle and up-cycle, hate waste and I couldn’t live without my time planner and lists.

Vivien is slowly renovating a quaint and picturesque cottage in Scotland, where she will eventually retire. We share a mutual love of gardening, card-making and organizing.

I crafted a set of cards from KaiserCraft’s Enchanted Garden Collection.  Vivien uses flowers and butterflies in her own cards. I incorporated both into the designs, below.

butterfly die cut

Die cut butterfly using my Silhouette

Butterfly Cards

Butterfly Cards

Using the same paper, I made a set of quilt cards, one of my favorite designs for the Silhouette. I enjoyed combining the geometric patterns of the card design, with the more ethereal patterned paper. Each of the six cards features a different combination of the papers.

Envelopes and card detail

Envelopes and card detail

quilt cards

Quilt cards

The last two cards feature the intricate illustrations of the Enchanted Garden designs.

Enchanted Garden Cards

Enchanted Garden Cards

I’ve kept the packaging simple, honoring her desire to scale back: they’re wrapped together with a single piece of ribbon.

What is Craft it Forward?

If you think you might like to try this on your own blog, G+ or Facebook page, here’s how it works. You put forth the offer to create a handmade item. The first five people to comment on your original post receive a handmade item, uniquely your own . In return, they agree to pay it forward, crafting their own unique item for the first five people on their list. Craft it Forward encourages community, creative spirit and camaraderie. It also encourages flexibility, so I expanded my list from five to seven based on interest in the project. Isn’t it fun making your own rules?

Craft it Forward: Three’s a Charm

I dubbed this month’s Craft it Forward: Three’s a Charm. I incorporated three loves (photo manipulation, paper and cats) to create my third craft it forward: a series of greeting cards. If you’re new to the concept of Craft it Forward, you can read about it here.  Links to the first and second project are at the end of this post.

I’m trying a little something different with each craft, stretching the old comfort zone if you will.  It’s good challenging myself.

This set of cards is for Sheila.  She’s an animal lover, photographer and all-around nice person. She fosters cats and nurtures children and is always quick with support or a compliment.  She’s guiding and supporting a young woman through a difficult time now.  I hope these cards serve as a little pick-me-up.

At my request, Sheila sent a digital photo of one of her cats, a stunner named Rodent. I altered the photo using Picasa software, creating three different images. Sheila loves purple and robin’s egg blue, so I applied colored filters to the photo to achieve the effect you see below. The third photo is in its original form. After manipulating the image, I printed the photo on heavy-duty watercolor paper. The paper absorbs some of the color, creating a mat finish. Let me know what you think.

Included with Three’s a Charm:

  • Twelve, 5 x 7 greeting cards, 4 of each design
  • Twelve ‘Secret Garden’ envelope seals
  • A small, faux birdcage.

The small faux cage currently houses the cards.  Once empty, she can reuse it to hold a small house plant or fill it with laundry lint and other soft materials for nesting birds.

Birdhouse of Cards

Birdhouse of Cards

Purple cards

Lovely Lavender

Kitty in the Garden

Kitty in the Garden

blue cards

Shades of Blue

cards in a cage

Cards in a cage

Craft it Forward:

craft it forward buttonHere’s how it works. The first five people to comment on the original post receive a handmade item with the gardening nirvana touch. In return, they agree to pay it forward, crafting their own unique item for the first five people on their list. Craft it Forward encourages community, creative spirit and camaraderie. It also encourages flexibility, so I expanded my list from five to seven based on interest in the project. Isn’t it fun making your own rules?

Further, in the era of the internet, who doesn’t like ‘real’ mail? If you haven’t started your own Craft it Forward, today is a good day to get one going.