Monday, December 6, 2010

Create! Make your own Original Greeting and Christmas Cards!

Hello and Happy Holiday Season!

You probably know that you can save a lot of money by making your own greeting cards, as well as making the recipients of those cards feel extra special! In this world today of "hurry up" and "fast food", it is rare for people to slow down long enough to create an original card, start to finish. I am not talking about stamped on images and fast collages-I am talking about actually sitting down with a pattern, your choice of art medium, and some blank card stock or watercolor paper (or you can also buy pre-cut watercolor greeting card blanks at a craft store). I have already shown you in an earlier post how to make the 4" x 6" size postcard sized panels to dress up the front of a plain card, or you can just send the postcard! Another thing I have been doing with good results is, taking the Avery brand paper that comes in the boxed sets, that is used to print greeting cards off of your computer in the matte finish, and folding them and making cards from these (the envelopes come with the paper and this is a good thing!). The matte finish lends itself well to using good quality colored pencils, watercolor pencils with light applications of water, and pen and ink and watercolor wash...These three looks all make great looking cards...

The colors on my monitor look a bit washed out-I wish some of you would let me know in the comments section if they look washed out to you!!!...Anyway, here is a poinsettia (I have been stuck on them lately, can you tell, lol?) Christmas card I made using the Avery brand cardstock and colored pencils (Prismacolor), and there is even an envelope to go with it! Now, I am not really happy with this card, (I have made better), but I like it enough that I will still use it to send to someone...You have to learn to let go of your perfectionism!

I think the above approach to the paper and envelopes used is probably cheaper than buying some of the other types of sets to make cards from...Now, you can spend as much time and money as you want making your cards, and use whatever artistic medium you choose, but try to keep them as original as possible-anyone can stamp designs...not everyone will take the time anymore to do a REAL handmade card! I think the extra effort really says alot about both the person who made the card and how they feel about the person/people they made the card for! I realize that not everyone is artistic or can draw very well, but alot of the designs can be broken down into basic shapes. Practice on some scratch paper before you start sketching on the card stock, and then sketch your design on your card stock very lightly with a pencil. When you get it like you want it, take a PERMANENT ink marker (even a Sharpie will do if it is a BLACK permanent marker) and go back over the pencil sketch you have done. This will look really sharp when you are finished coloring it!

Once you have done the black permanent ink outline, start applying your color. If you are using an art medium you aren't really familiar with, do a bit of research before starting, on things like how to blend colors, different techniques, things like that-your cards will turn out prettier and you will be much happier with them when you are finished. The one above is colored pencil, and I am not really used to using I got on the internet and started researching techniques. I came across the "odorless mineral spirits blending technique" and got some from Home Depot (where it is lots cheaper than the art store and it's the same thing!) and practiced a bit before I started. I am happy with the results of the flowers, I just don't like my handwriting much on the "Merry Christmas"...that is just my "perfectionist inner critic" talking right now, lol!

If you don't have enough time this year to make your own cards, you can at least work on them during the year, and make all kinds of cards for all occasions...think of the fun you will have and the money you will save! And they will be REALLY handmade and original! Unique-just like you!! Happy Creating!!!! Watercolor Paper Torchon Surface Natural White Paper - 50/Padand a Happy New Year!!! (OH-and check out the deals below from Amazon, on supplies for card making!)

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