Over my last couple post I have talked
about and given you links to some great sites on the internet where you could
find inspiration for your own card making and scrap booking projects but
looking back this might not have been as useful as it could have been for some
of you. Because so many of the sites are quite large and all are stuffed full
of great images, tips and free stuff I might have overwhelmed some of you, I am
Instead of giving you post that try to
cover every great website that I find on the internet, I am going to be
narrowing the focus a little my posts on just one artist or holiday or occasion
at a time. Let me know what you thing or which you prefer by leaving a comment.
Pixie is a very talented artist as can be
seen by the images in this post, which are just a tiny selection of her huge
range of colourful photography and psychedelic fractal art that she creates. Fractal
art is not my thing but I am always drawn in to look every time she publishes
one of her psychedelic images, I always come away inspired by the way Pixie has
used patterns and colours.
Pixie started her Cambridge based business
in 2007 called Pix and Mix, they specialise in website design, graphics, photography,
video making and editing as well as business management and education
consultancy. They can be found a www.pixandmix.org.uk
I know that my words are not good enough to give Pixie the credit she deserves
so why not have a look at her art by following the links below.
start with my favourite sites, if you are looking for inspiration, free stuff,
supplies, tips and more then you might not get past the first few sites. The
other sites are well worth a look even if you do not like my first few as I
have tried to mix things up a bit. In my life before crafting I have trained
thousands of people and even trained people to train other people, so I know
that people learn in different ways, so that what may work for one person may
not work for another.
If you like
the style of this blog then great, why not leave a comment and let me know what
you like and what you want more of. If you do not like this style then that is
ok as well but before you go why not have a look at some of the sites that I
have listed, they may be better suited to your needs, after all I am only
trying to pass on information to help others.
Crafts U Print if you only look at one site then look
at this one. It has supplies and kits for sale, tips, tutorials, forum, free
stuff, competitions and much more.
My Grafico A selling site where you can get supplies and kits, tips, tutorials, free stuff
Digi Design Resort A site where you can buy supplies and kits to make greeting cards, they also
have a forum, tips, tutorials and free stuff.
worth looking at.
Noths selling site for every thing
crafty and gifts.
I know that
this has been a short post but I hope that you find it useful. If you have
please let your friends know about or even leave a comment to let me know what
you liked and what you would like more of. Next time I will be looking at
forums where you can find like minded people that are willing to offer help and
tips as well as links to other great sites. All links were live at time of
Sending greeting cards to loved ones and
friends on special occasions like Birthdays, holidays and anniversaries can
give you great satisfaction and the receiver gets the great feeling that not
only did you remember but you also took the time to send them a greeting card.
What could be better that that, well how
about making that greeting card your self? Now before you start to put up all
kinds of reasons why you could not make a greeting card stop. There are many
ways to make greeting cards that are unique from you too the receiver, from
embellishing bought greeting cards to making them from scratch.
Now you may have to learn new skills or
adapt old ones, the thing is to play to your strengths and to slowly move out
of your comfort zone and not jump right out of it. You can embellish existing
greeting cards by following my earlier post at Hand made Greeting cards The next step up from this is to buy a greeting card kit. You can buy greeting
card kits from many good craft stores or on line from the likes of Crafts U Print.
The kits that you get from craft stores of shows might have a better finish
with thicker card stock, gloss finish and metallic inks but if you make a
mistake you might have to buy another kit. On the other hand the kits that you
download from sites likeCrafts U Print you can print out over and over again which
makes them cost effective when making greeting cards for holidays like
Christmas. You can also experiment printing the greeting card kit onto
different paper, card or even photo paper for that gloss effect.
Warning; from here on out it can get very
addictive! You will soon find that you are mixing and matching from different
greeting card kits and from here it is only a small step before you are making
your greeting cards from scratch.
You can take the elements and colour them
and combine them on your computer making a greeting card ready to be printed
straight onto a card blank or just plain card that you then cut to size. Or you
could print out all the elements and colour and construct them by hand on your
kitchen table or a combination of both. Each way has its own merits and
difficulties, please keep in mind that methods that other people use to get
results that they like mean nothing unless you can repeat the method and it
gives you the result you want, by all means try new methods and if it works for
you then great, if not let it go.
You can spend a small fortune on card
making equipment and supplies if you are not careful which can make you think
twice about the claims that many websites say that they can save you money by
creating your own greeting cards! In pure money terms you are probably better
off buying your greeting cards in a job lot from a discount where house for the
next ten years and do not forget to post the cards off early so that you only
pay second class postage.
Making your own greeting cards is so much
more that saving a dollar or two, it is about unleashing your creativity and
putting love into the greeting cards that you send. Your loved ones and friends
will know that you have put in time and effort to make their greeting card or
will think that you have spent a lot of money on a unique hand crafted greeting
Many of the tools and supplies that you
will need you may already have, epically if you have children, which by the way
card making is a great activity you can do with them. Even if you do not have
children shopping in the children’s section of a supermarket will get you six
big tubes of different colour glitter glue for less than the cost of one small
tube at a craft store. Sure the quality is less but till you have to have used
both you will not know that. When you are just starting out keep the cost low
till you know that this is what you like, after all most of the tools only make
one particular job easy, it could sit in your tool box for years.
Below are links to sites where you can get
the tools and elements you need to make greeting cards, they range from free to
hundreds of dollars, I do not recommend one over another, after all what works
for me might not work for you.
Now you may think that this is all too much
trouble and you would rather just pick a greeting card and order it, well that
is fine and if you are looking for a greeting card that you may not find on the
high street then have a look at;
And if they do not have what you want you
can always ask the artist at Hreeting Card Universegreeting card universe to make the card you want.
Sometimes making greeting cards for your
loved ones and friends is all the gratification you need but sometimes your
output is greater than the needs of your close ones. It would be nice if you
could reduce the cost of your past time, better still if you could make a
profit! Over the next couple of blog posts I will talk you through making money
from your greeting card making, both hand made and digital.
8th of September is grandparents
day, a day to remind us to let us show our grandparents how much we appreciate
them for all that they have done for us. It is hard to put into words all what
grandparents do for us and it is different for each of us even between
Their houses are adventure playgrounds
filled with the coolest stuff; they seam to have a never ending supply of
chocolate and candy. When you are hungry they make food that is way more tasty
than what you get at home and of course there is always desert.
Grandparents know the best stories and
games and will let you play all day long. They do not have silly rules like bed
time, you go to bed when you are ready to sleep and if you can stay awake you
can stay up. The few rules that they do have are actually fun to follow.
It is almost like grandparents are kids in
grown up bodies, they are kids with power. When mum and dad say NO,
grandparents will usually say YES or they will give you something better. Grandparents
are the best friends you can have.
So keep them on your side and let them know
that you love them on Grandparents day after all they are the only people you
know that can tell mum and dad that it is their bed time.
Many artists now use print on demand sites (POD) as a great
way to get their art out in front of the public. This brings many advantages to
both the artist and you the buyer of art, not lest of which is the cost and
access to people from around the world.
For the artist is the saving of not having to pay up front
to have a selection of their art printed in different sizes and on different
products so that their stall at the local craft fair will look appealing to the
public. Not to mention the cost of renting the stall at the craft fair and
cost, hassle of getting their work too and from the craft fair and setting up
the stall. For some artists the though of selling their art or worse still
being face to face with the public and having to talk about their art gives
them such anxiety that they give up before they even start.
POD sites take a lot of this away for the artist, for a
relatively small up front fee and or a percentage the artist can upload all of
their work onto a POD site and even have their art available on products the
artist had not even though of. In addition to the above the artist also has no
worries about taking payment, packing & shipping, printing or returns as
the POD site takes care of all of this and more.
So what about you the buyer, what do you get out of the POD
site? First and foremost is a huge selection of art and artists, on a range of
products, far bigger than you would get at any craft fair. You get to see and
buy the art of up and coming artists from around the world that can not be
found any where else. You also get to see styles and subjects of art that you
like and not what is dictated by some manager whose main concern is how well
the greeting card will sell!
So who are these POD sites? Well they come in all sizes and
styles but two of the biggest have to be Zazzle
they both offer art on a huge range of products as well as greeting cards. Then
you get sites like Redbubble
and Fine Art America that
started off more focused on the artists needs but over time have grown to look
after the buyer as well.
If you are looking for greeting cards then one POD site
stands out from the rest, Greeting Card Universeas they only sell greeting
cards, their motto is “Any greeting card imaginable” this is followed up
with “if you do not see what you are looking for just ask”. If you can not find
a greeting card for the occasion or with the subject or in the style you want,
then you can leave a message on the site telling them what you want, this is
then passed on to all the artists on the site, you will then be sent a link to
where the new cards that the artists have produced. Secondly, if you find a
greeting card that is almost perfect but just needs a few changes then you can
contact the artist directly and ask them to make the changes, all this at no
extra cost to you.
Following on from my last post this time I will be looking
at finding inspiration on the social network site Twitter. At first look social
network sites can be a bit overwhelming, from how you set up your account with
followers or groups, circles of friends, family or others. Then there is how
you interact on the site and what type of language is acceptable, even if upper
case letters are classed as shouting. Once you have got past all the tech stuff
they all break down the same way and that is the people using them.
The first type of people that use social network sites only
want to interact with their friends, family and colleagues. Most of these
people believe that the internet is for their own privet use and get quite
upset even hostile when they find out that strangers can “listen in on their
privet conversation posted on the internet!”. Avoid these people like the
The next group of people take the social network sites on
face value, they accumulate friends or followers and they like to share what
they have found on the internet. These people can be a great resource of
inspiration but are erratic in the subject matter that they deliver, be careful
some of their friends or followers will fit into the category above.
The next group are companies that are hoping to grow their
brand and interaction with customers. Some companies are a source of
inspiration in of them self’s, while others share inspiration of others. Companies
tend to have quite a narrow area of inspiration but a very rich one as they
have lots of money and people to invest in it.
The last group of people are artists; some of them only
share their own art which in its self can be a great source of inspiration but
many of them not only share their own art but the art of others as well. This
can be a great source of inspiration on a wide number of subjects and styles. Best
of all, many of the artists below are willing to share your art with their
followers if only you interact with them, once you have got your inspiration
back that is.
On twitter if people want others that are not following them
to find their tweets (posts) they use an hash tag # like #Birthday, #art,
#photo or #Christmas. If you want to find tweets on a subject then just type in
what you are looking for. On twitter you only have 140 characters per tweet so
the search results are targeted unlike some sites where you can add a thesaurus
of tags that have nothing to do with the post.
Seriously if you want to know what Twitter can do for you
then following the above people will give you a great insight as to what
Twitter can do and the inspiration it can bring. Do not be mislead by how many
followers the above accounts have, because of the power of Re-Tweets most of
the above people have their tweets seen by hundreds of thousands of people every
day and some of them number in the millions.