Sunday, June 10, 2012

10 Things on the 10th: Tackling the Big Projects - Updated

It's been quiet here on the blog.  It's that time of the year - the time when I try to recover from a full school year - no matter how much I love it.  The time when I try to reignite my creativity.  It's a tough job - but this year I basically have no choice.  I've offered to make thank you cards for my dear sister's upcoming baby shower extravaganza.  It's one of the variety of craft projects I'm taking on for the big day.  I'm pretty excited.  So I thought I'd put together a little something to show how I'm approaching the job of making 40 cards for my big sis.  I know 40 cards might seem like small potatoes to many of you - however, this girl has never tackled a project quite so large before.  So without further 10 things on the 10th inspired by the lovely Shimelle Laine...

1.  Choose a color scheme. In this case, mine was chosen for me based on the nursery and shower color schemes.  Yellow and gray were the words plus a touch of blue for my sweet baby nephew!!!

2. Choose a stamped image. In this case, I collaborated with the mommy to be and came up with a great image from My Favorite Things.  My favorite thing about these stamps (no pun intended) is the variety of skin color choices available with an image of this kind.  It's a real plus for me.

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3. Determine if you want to use the same design for the whole project.  I opted for more than one design since there is only one image.  Color, paper, and design are the only areas for any kind of variety.

4.  Choose the paper. Again I collaborated with preggers and came up with three lines with similar color families and completely different patterns.  I'm a bit of a paper whore (some say enthusiast - I prefer the former), so this was definitely one of my favorite parts of the process.  I chose the following three lines...

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5. Play with coloring options.  Match the colors as closely as possible to the patterns you have chosen.  I just became the proud owner of 72 spectrum noir markers - the basic set. I also recently purchased the full set of distress markers.  I've spent a lot of time on this site learning the fine art of water coloring.  Gotta love YouTube.

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6. Decide if paper piecing is an option. I absolutely love the look but it's a true pain in the ass to make happen.  The question is how much do you value your sanity and/or how much do you like the client.  I'm still on the fence here.  If I do decide to go with paper piecing - it will definitely be with this paper.  I just love it.

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7. Decide on a design.  This is a time when I scour my books, magazines, binders, and favorite challenge sites.  I also like to look at card galleries and my favorite blogs for further inspiration.  I am a huge advocate for card lifting.  I save the images on to my smart phone and iPad and keep it close when I'm crafting.  Last but definitely not least, check out the Pinterest boards for more inspiration.

8. Test the image and markers on a variety of mediums, both ink and paper.  Archival and Staz-on inks work best for water coloring.  Memento inks are advised for alcohol based markers.  However I have found sites that recommend Brilliance and Colorbox Pigment Inks.  In the case of alcohol based markers - it is usually helpful to heat set the inks before doing any coloring just to be safe.  If all else fails - try heat embossing your favorite ink.  For the stamping, I'm using special stamping paper from Crafter's Companion specially formulated for alcohol ink markers.

9. Plan, plan, plan.  Make sure you have your designs picked out with the number of cards per design.  Try and know your dimensions to get the most out of your paper. Give yourself a deadline and designate the number of cards to complete daily.  Be sure to stay on track.

10. Relax. Have fun. Take breaks. Be You. Be true to your style. Remember someone chose you based on the quality of your work. Embrace your own style including (no, especially) the imperfections.

I hope this is helpful.  It is my largest project/order to date. I have a smaller order from my father - 15 total.  There are no specific themes so the size of this order allows for changes in stamps, paper, etc. - this kind of project makes me incredibly happy.  I'm a little nervous about the thank you cards.  Honestly, I just want everything to be perfect.  I need to let go of that need and just embrace my own style with all of it's accompanying flaws.  Flaws are what makes us human and beautiful.  Right?  So here it goes...I'm off to get started.  Hope everyone is having a wonderful Sunday.  Until then...

Update: Several people asked to see photos of the finished products.  I thought I'd add an in process photo here (below) and link to the final post.  Thanks so much for reading.


  1. Hope you'll post a pic of the finished cards :)

  2. I also can't wait to see a pic of the finished cards! I've never made this many cards on my own before, well done you for taking on a big order! I like how you've chosen different papers to keep it fun for you! Good luck with them all! x


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