Thursday, February 27, 2014

A Quick Note About Photos

I'm not sure you know this or not, but if you click on a photo posted on my blog, it will open in a larger view so you can see the details better. When it does this, down below the photo, all the other photos are in a line so you can click from one to the next just like a slideshow. I think this is a pretty cool feature! I hope you'll check it out!

A Look Back At 2007

Greetings! I don't know if you keep a pic of every card you make but I have been doing that right from the start. That way I can appreciate them all over again. Since I began in 2007, I now have seven years worth of photos saved. I had been printing out a paper copy of each photo but I've kind of let that slide the last couple of years. I still have my digital files, though, and those are kept current.

I like looking back at the photos (well, actually scans for most of the them) to see all the ways I've made cards and be reminded of techniques I've used. This can definitely stir up inspiration if you are having a dry spell. I can also see things I did that didn't really work. I don't usually repeat those. It's a good way to be reminded of embellishments or other materials in your stash that you may have forgotten about. It's also a great way to document your growth as a cardmaker.

Today I thought I would revisit my earliest cards. Actually, I've been making cards since I was big enough to use crayons, scissors, and paste. For years when my family was growing up I made our Christmas cards from a quarter-folded sheet of copy paper with a cut-out design from wrapping paper glued to the front and a holly leaf border drawn and colored by hand around it. In 2007, however, I became a cardmaker in earnest. Here are some of my favorites from that year....

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A Work in Progress

Greetings! Boy, setting up a new blog takes a bit of time! I'm still trying to figure out all the new bells and whistles. Things are different from a couple years ago when I was working on The Frugal Cardmaker. I WILL get it all figured out, but it is going to take some time.

While I am working on this, my Sweetheart and I are watching the 2nd night of The Voice on NBC. We love that show! I'm working on our desktop computer which is in our living room. I have to turn around to see the TV screen. I'm unable to watch TV and do nothing else. I have to be working on the computer, knitting, crocheting, or doing something else at the same time. I cannot stand to have idle hands!

For years my cardmaking stuff was in our study right next to the living room so I could work on cards and watch TV with Hubby at the same time. Then I outgrew that space and moved everything up two flights of stairs to our 3rd floor attic. Now I have to choose where I am going to spend the evening and how. I can watch TV in the attic on my iPad but it's not the same as spending time in the living room with my Sweetheart.

I do use our desktop computer for my digital collection of papers and images so sometimes I work at printing off stuff for my cardmaking while I am watching TV with Hubby. Our main printer is also in the living room. I have an older Lexmark 3-in-1 printer in my craft room, but it needs ink, which I refuse to buy because of the cost, and something is caught inside the paper feed so it won't print right and jams frequently so I only use it to scan my cards for my files. Our main printer now is a Canon MG5320. I love this printer almost as much as I loved my little old HP Deskjet. I bought that little HP for $25 at Christmas one year and it served us faithfully for over 7 years, printing out many hundreds of copies. Of course, that model is no longer available. One of the things I loved about it so much was that I could refill the ink cartridges and save a bundle of money. I can't refill the ink cartridges on the Canon but I can buy cheap replacements on Amazon. I don't print out photos for scrapbooking so I'm not all that concerned about print quality. The quality I get is totally acceptable to me. I print out a lot of digital papers and digital images to use on my cards.

Enough of the are a few more of my recent cards. Notice that I scan them instead of photographing them. That's because I am not very good at taking photographs and just have a point-and-shoot digital camera. I only use it when the card I've made won't work on the scanner. But again, enough...

Monday, February 24, 2014

Kicking Things Off

Greetings! My previous blog, The Frugal Cardmaker, sort of got lost in the shuffle of my busy life as a college student and now I can't get logged back in to it, so I decided just to start over. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire, Wisconsin in May of 2013 with a Bachelors of Science in elementary education and special education-learning disabilities, fully intending to be gainfully employed as an elementary classroom teacher for the 2013/2014 school year.

Interestingly enough, the LORD (YHWH, Almighty God, Creator of heaven and earth, Guardian and Shepherd of my soul) had other plans in store and instead, since September 2013, I have been gainfully employed by At Home Care, a company providing in-home services to the disabled and/or elderly so that they can remain independent and in their own homes. A year ago I would never have believed that this is the work I would be doing or that I would enjoy it so much, but it's true! I love my job! I love the people I work for and I love my clients! This job is a perfect fit for me in so many ways. I work six days a week, Sunday through Friday, and usually 35 to 40 hours a week. That's just the face-to-face client time. Add in the time I spend driving from client home to client home and I put in a lot more hours than that each week.

My challenge with this job is managing my time at home efficiently so that I accomplish all that I want to do. That is easier said than done, especially for a first-class procrastinator. It's all too easy to come up with excuses and just play lazy. I am definitely NOT a Type A person. I've never had a lot of drive or ambition. I'd rather take life slowly and smell the roses along the way. However, I am working on it. 

Anyway, back to this blog...I'm not sure that I really have any more time now to work on a blog than I did a couple of years ago when I was in the midst of my college studies, BUT I want a place to showcase the cards I've been making and a blog is a good place to do that.

When I began the blogging thing back in 2009, I wanted to show how you can combine frugality and cardmaking. I still believe in being a frugal cardmaker. Along the way, however, I have accumulated some of the more expensive tools--tools like a Big Shot and a Silhouette Cameo. I did just get a more expensive set of colored pencils (PrismaColor) instead of using the RoseArt and Crayola colored pencils that I've been using, though I still have those on my crafting table, too. For the most part, though, I'm still a frugal cardmaker. I throw very little away. I continue to look for inexpensive (cheap) materials to incorporate into my cardmaking. I continue to save my paper scraps. 

You will see that I use all sorts of things on my cards. I do have some stamps and use them more than I used to, even though I would not call myself a "stamper." I am a cardmaker and as such, I refuse to be boxed in by any particular approach to making cards. I like reusing items that might otherwise end up in the trash. I have my Sweetheart Tim trained to ask me before he throws anything away that I might be able to use for a crafty purpose, especially on a card. Thankfully, we live in a big house and I have the third floor (the attic) all to myself so I have the room to save lots of stuff. I love STUFF!

So let me cut the talk and show you a couple of my most recent cards. I'm running out of time tonight so I won't go into details on the materials used on these. As always, if you have a question about the materials or techniques I've used on a card, please post a comment and ask. I'll do my best to reply as quickly as possible.