Monday, May 25, 2009

Some General Info About My Card-making

I thought I would share some general information with you about my cardmaking.

First, I rarely make cards just for the pleasure of making cards or trying out a technique. Almost every card I make is made with a specific recipient and occasion in mind. The only exception to this is the monthly card swaps I participate in within the cardmaking group, Crazy Card Makers, which I belong to. This is a Yahoo group made up of a bunch of wonderful, talented ladies from all over the globe.

Also, I do NOT make cards for sale. I know that many cardmakers do and more power to them. My own preference is to make cards to give to specific people for a specific reason. I have made cards for someone else to give to someone when requested, but do not do this very often either.

Along with this idea of a handmade card for a specific recipient, I rarely make more than one copy of the same card. I have made doubles of a particular card for the aforementioned swaps, but that's usually the only time that I make duplicates. I have liked a particular layout so much that I repeated it with variations, but each card was still a little different. When I need to make multiples of a card for a holiday, such as for Passover or Hanukkah, I do computer-printed cards for those. Digital designs can be a fun challenge, but are not something I want to do all the time, though I do incorporate a lot of digital elements into my cardmaking.

Almost all the cards I make have the inside sentiment printed on the computer. My computer is an indispensible tool in my cardmaking endeavors. I like having all the different fonts at my fingertips and the formatting. I do have a few stamps with sentiments, but those are mostly the kinds of sentiments you'd put on the front of a card. I like my "inside" sentiments to look more like the cards you pick out at the store. I use Microsoft Greetings 2001 for my digital cardmaking, for making computer-printed cards and for printing the inside sentiments for my handmade cards. I also have ULead Photo Express 5 SE, which I use to make background tiles and teabag tiles into background papers for my cardmaking--works slick! When I want to edit a photo I've put on my computer, I use Microsoft Picture It! Photo 2002. I do have a couple of other print programs for making cards, posters, and the like, but seldom use them.

For printing, I am using a little HP Deskjet 3910 which I bought over 3 years ago at Christmas-time for $25 at WalMart. It's a little workhorse. Mostly I print in the Fast & Economical mode (black only) or the General Purpose mode for colors. I refill my ink cartridges as long as I can so that I don't have to buy as many name-brand cartridges. I get my refill ink from Mr Inkjet. I don't have photo paper and don't print onto that, just regular cardstock and paper. For my background papers, I've started using 24 lb paper to give it more "body." I also use that paper to make my own envelopes. I also have 22 lb paper and the usual 20 lb paper, which can be used for background papers or envelopes, but the 20 lb papers show more through the paper than I like when I am layering things. So far, I've found that the most inexpensive papers are purchased at WalMart and the quality seems fine to me. I did pick up a ream of pastel 8 1/2" x 11" 24 lb paper at Office Depot last week, though, for making envelopes from--pricey, but it'll be nice to have colored envelopes. I also prefer the 8 1/2" X 11" paper and cardstock over the 12" X 12" stuff. The letter-sized papers and cardstocks go through the printer nicely and are easier to store, in my opinion.

A note about storage: I've been having my daughter Lois, who does daycare in her home, save me the cardboard boxes that she gets baby wipes containers in, the kind that hold about 6 containers of baby wipes. These boxes are mostly just the right size to use for magazines or letter-sized paper and cardstock, standing on end. I like to have things visible. These boxes are quite sturdy, too, though I do reinforce them with duct tape around the top, after folding the top flaps down over the outside of the box. Just wrap the tape around the flaps, going all the way around the box, to keep them folded tightly to the box and to reinforce the box.

Almost all of my cards are 5" X 6 5/8" in size. I find that this size gives me a nice area for design. I made my own envelope template and make my own envelopes. I do have different size envelope templates for a couple different sized cards. Even if I were making quarter-fold cards, A-4 I think they call them, I'd still make my own envelopes. I've been doing so for years already.
Well, that's about all I can think of for now. If you have any comments or questions, I'd enjoy hearing them and will do my best to respond. Happy frugal cardmaking!

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