Shown above are some of the fun cards I've made recently. I used to make tons of cards back when I did a lot of rubber stamping. But once my creative interests turned to scrapbooking, I forgot about cards for awhile. Now they're back on my creative radar, because they're such a great way to use up scraps, especially patterned paper scraps, that I've accumulated from my scrapbooking endeavors. The funny thing is that while I always thought it was perfectly fine to scrap-lift or use sketches to make scrapbooking layouts, for some reason, I thought ideas for cards should be original. Cards are small and simple, so anyone even mildly creative should be able to produce a whole slew of original, beautiful cards without much effort, right?
Well, maybe. But then I discovered that, since my long-ago days of rubber stamping, all kinds of card magazines and card creating resources had come out, jam-packed with awesome card ideas. I suddenly realized that card-making could be a lot more fun (and I could get a lot more cards made) if I started with cool ideas from some of these resources, rather than feeling like every card I produced had to be a copyright-worthy mini-masterpiece.
The cards above were all inspired by cards appearing in a fantastic book called "A Card a Day," which is pictured to the left. This is a softcover, very inexpensive volume that is absolutely chock-full of wonderful ideas. There really is a card idea for every single day of the year; in fact, there are MORE than 365 card ideas shown in this book. While many of the cards are specific to the various holidays, there are also lots of simple "thinking of you" type cards. Even better, a large number of the cards, even though created for a certain holiday, can be easily adapted to other themes. The cards in the book also run the gamut from simple to amazingly ornate, and there are many that are aren't feminine in tone.
In short, I can't recommend this book highly enough, especially given its very reasonable price. When I first got my copy, I pored through it endlessly, marking page after page of ideas that I couldn't wait to try. I truly feel that I will probably never exhaust all of the creative possibilities offered in this book! Oh, and the photography inside is beautiful, with a full color photo of each and every card. The instructions and supply lists are complete, but they are in the style of Paper Crafts Magazine, which is the publisher of this book. That means that they don't necessarily explain every technique used in detail, but rather expect the reader to have some basic level of paper crafting knowledge. It's a knowledge level that every scrapbooker will possess, so don't be afraid to give this book a try.
Now let's look at some close-ups of the cards pictured above. This lovely card features a couple of patterned paper scraps, some ribbon, and the word "friend" printed on the computer using a number of whimsical fonts:
This card features a vellum overlay that's been stamped all over, and three earth-toned buttons tied on with twine to give the card a rustic appeal:
This card uses a small, frame-shaped transparency as part of the background. I'm going to admit that I had several package of those little transparencies cluttering my scrapbooking area, and I had never quite figured out what to do with them. Well, now I know -- they look super cute on cards!
Oh, by the way, almost everything on the card above came from the dollar bins either at Target or at Michael's, including the transparency (four to a $1 package), the dimensional butterfly (a ton of dimensional nature stickers for $1) and the vellum phrase (a whole sheet of different words and phrases). Here's another card using that same pack of transparencies:
Obviously, this card has a whole different feel than the one above, even though you can see that the basic design of the two cards is the same. With two boys, I don't always use a ton of flowers on my scrapbooking layouts, so it's really fun to be able to use flowers to dress up my cards.
I hope these cards have inspired you just a little. Now that I've discovered "A Card a Day," I'm becoming something of a card fanatic! That's okay, though. In addition to being fun to send to friends and family, don't forget that sets of cards make great gifts. I've never met a teacher who didn't appreciate receiving a dozen lovely, handmade thank-you cards, tied up with a pretty ribbon. Thank you notes would also make a nice "extra" gift for a bride-to-be, or a new graduate. Just think of the possibilities!