Quick cards for the New Year

Linda_Neff_mini_mug_shotEvery year I always miss someone or two or three on my Christmas card list. I’m sure that never happens to happen of you! My solution is to send a New Year’s card and include a little family newsletter. That way it looks like I haven’t forgotten them – I just choose to wish them a Happy New Year!

I made these cards from left over Heidi Swapp Christmas papers and embellishments. Who says you can’t use Christmas paper for other occasions? Without the phrase Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays, these papers are just lots of pretty prints!

This set of cards came together really quickly: using a paper trimmer, a couple of punches, some Distress Ink and my trusty Xyron Creative Station.

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After gathering all supplies I cut simple rectangles to fit my standard A2 cards. I punched some borders with a Martha Stewart border punch and used a Fiskars hexagon punch to create some coordinating hexagons. I also used some of Heidi’s Believe Banner Delights as added elements. I just played around and did a quick layout of designs before inking all edges with Ranger’s Black Soot Distress Ink.

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I don’t seem to own a ‘Happy New Year’s’ stamp so printed my sentiment on white cardstock. I punched some with a Marvy scallop circle punch and trimmed out the others with the paper trimmer. I used my Teresa Collins Stapler to add some detail to one of my sentiments before attaching it to the card.

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All my card pieces are run through my Xyron 9″ Creative Station. I like to use this size when I have lots of pieces. I can line them up before shipping them through so adhesive is not wasted.

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Then the fun begins – peel and stick! So easy!

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These are the finished cards so now I only need to type up the newsletter and pop them in the mail after Christmas! This makes me feel like I’m actually ahead of the game.

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Adding simple elegance to everyday cards

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Linda Neff

I rather enjoy the challenge of making cards nowadays. It took me a long time to feel comfortable creating a card, but it isn’t nearly as scary as it once was. I’ve learned to keep my designs simple, use my scrap papers and stick with simple embellishments. This first card is a design I use often. It’s great for using two pattern papers that coordinate and the pieces can be moved around, put at angles, left uneven and the design also works horizontally or vertically. The embellishments used here are by Globecraft & Piccolo, known as G&P.  They’re a local company out of Midland, Michigan and I like their products.

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I’m on their design team, but I was using their products long before that ever happened.  What I like about the bookboard accents for card making is that they are pretty thin. If they’re adhered directly to the page and not lifted, they will go through the mail at a normal rate.

For the card above I removed the pieces from their backing and coated them with Glastique Gloss Finishing Glaze. This product leaves a nice shiny finish on the piece and acts as a sealer. These pieces are from the Birds & Butterflies Accents. There are enough pieces in this collection to easily stretch over two to three cards.

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The Glastique is applied directly to the  bookboard piece from the bottle with the fine tip and left to dry for a bit. I also used the Glastique as an adhesive to attach the bookboard pieces to the card.

The next card uses the G&P Girl’s Night Out Embossing Powder applied with the G&P Embossing Powder Adhesive with a dabber top. The dabber top on the embossing powder adhesive really helps it to apply easily and with good coverage. We always recommend rolling our jars of embossing powder to blend the granules rather than shaking which could cause the larger granules to sink to the bottom of the jar. The heart on this card has three coats of powder on it; each applied after the previous coat is cool to the touch and then heat set again till smooth. The variegation of colors in the powders gives the embossed pieces a great dimensional look.

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The key is embossed with two coats of G&P Vintage Silver Embossing Powder in the same manner as the heart. Each piece is adhered to the card with Glastique. The embossing powders help to create a faux metal look which blends well with the paper selection.

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Cardmaking is a fun activity that anyone can learn. It doesn’t have to be difficult and over-the-top. Keep your cards basic and simple and easy to mail. It’s the sentiment that you write on the inside that touches people’s heart and the just the thought alone that you cared enough to send a hand-made card.

Six ways to say Thank You …

In honor of Xyron’s partnership this week with Quick Quotes I made a fall-themed gift bag full of greeting cards. I don’t know about you but I’m always in need of just the right card to send for birthdays, a quick thank you, or just a card to say ‘hi.’  This great little gift is self-contained: five cards, five envelopes, stamps and all tucked neatly into a coordinating gift bag!

It’s a breeze to create, especially when using coordinating paper packs like the Cherry Truffle pack I used from Quick Quotes. I began by making five cards, all with different sentiments to cover several occasions. A few have some unique features to them, just to add a little special touch here-and-there. On this ‘Life’ card I used a Fred Mullet stamp, clear embossing ink and ultra thick clear embossing powder. By using the clear embossing ink and powder it lets the beauty of the paper show through while giving a look and feel of dimension and texture. The sentiment is stamped in Ranger Coffee Archival ink, heat set and then I spread Dried Marigold Distress ink on my non-stick craft sheet, spritzed it with water and lightly brushed it over the sentiment to add a hint of color. Love the final results!

I’ve always loved the concept of incheys but don’t have the patience to decorate those small 1-inch pieces of paper so I take the easy way out by punching scalloped squares with an old punch from McGill. It’s a 15/16″ and I back it with a 1-inch square punched coordinating cardstock. I love the look and have used it many times on cards and scrapbook pages. On this card the scallop square is punched from papers in the Cherry Truffle line and edged lightly with Ranger Gold Acrylic Paint Dabber. I run all the squares through my Xyron 1.5″ Create-a-Sticker, stack them together, place them on the background then pierce through the center and brads in each one.

Here’s a look at all the cards that fit inside the little bag.

The bag is made from one sheet of 6X12″ cardstock and is decorated using the Cherry Truffle papers, scallop border punch and Xyron 5″ Creative Station.

I finished it off by adding a vellum quote from Quick Quotes processed through the 5″ Creative Station. I love Xyron machines for vellum papers. The adhesive totally coats the back of the vellum so nothing shows through except the background paper – as it should be!

I sprinkled some clear embossing powder to a couple pieces from the Quick Quotes Bag o’ Chips after heating them with my heat gun and then melted the powder. By not using ink it gives more of a random look, which is what I like. These are dangled from the ribbon handle. All that’s left to do is insert the cards, envelopes and stamps and your gift is ready for presentation!