Sunday, August 31, 2008

Cupcake Card

Kaye, Martha, and I are mesmerized by the new giant cupcake stamp in the new SU! catalog. I made this card for Kaye! She should have received it yesterday, so I don't think she will be surprised to see it on my blog.
First I cut out the "icing" and "paper" from scraps of KI dp from a class I taught at Memories. I was afraid the dp would be too thin to pop-up on dimensionals, so I glued it to white cs, and cut it out again. I distressed the edges, then drew dots around. I drew stitches on the wrapper too.
To layer, I dug out my Bazzill scraps, and chose pink with an orange DCWV card. I also found some stitches rub-ons. I added those to compliment my hand-drawn stitches. I wanted to add some flowers to the "icing", but I only had 3 tiny white brads (Queen & Co.).
I added the sentiment, which I recently purchased at La Carta Bella in NC.
I really like how this card turned out overall. I think I will be making this again! It's **almost** a little Lauren-ish, dontcha think? Not that I am in her league! When I grow up, I want to be Lauren :)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Back-to-School Gifts for the teachers

This was not the design in my head, but I kept cutting wrong (I rarely make mistakes, but when I am over-tired, I make LOTS of errors.)

I used this beautiful October Afternoon Paper, brown Bazzill cs, green Bazzill cs, and ValuePack cards from Michael's. I had 10 white ValuePack cards left and 2 cream. Lucky for me the OA dp matched both colors so I could eke out 12 notecards. I'll buy more this weekend with Michael's 50% coupons for Labor Day weekend. The sentiment is stamped in Chocolate Chip.

I had enough scrap to make two vertical cards (see far right acrylic box), and I used my "Thinking of You" stamp.
I can't believe my girls will start 1st grade on Tuesday! That means 2.5 more hours for me each day. So no more excuses why I don't have time for the gym. I have not exercised since the end of school (mid-June). I also hope that means more time to make cards and gifts and work on scrapbooking again :) The girls have different 1st grade teachers and a Reading/Language Arts teacher, but they should be together for "Specials" (PE, music, art, and Spanish).
I used up all my ValuePack cards, and I just have ~2"x2" square of dp. Yep, I saved it! I really like the floral pattern on the reverse side of the apple pattern. I haven't designed a card around that scrap yet, my I'm sure my subconscious is working on it :)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Two Scrappy Wintery Cards

Did you see the cute snowman (yesterday's post)? I made two of those cards from two 6x6 squares of dp. I made these two cards from those scraps, only this time I stamped a Moose with a wreath around his neck. I stamped him in Chocolate Chip, then colored the wreath with Real Red and Mellow Moss.

This card is a larger card. I used a ~5x7 Magenta card, and found scraps of cs for layers (Barely Banana, Chocolate Chip, & Whisper White). The ribbon is Chocolate Chip also.

This base card is DCWV. I also used dimensionals on the sentiment. The sentiment seemed a little bare with just being white, so I inked a holly stamp, stamped off once on scrap paper then stamped over the sentiment without re-inking. I was inspired to do this from blogfriend Leslie aka The Crooked Stamper. She did this on her August 24th post. Thanks, Leslie! I probably would not have thought to do that if you hadn't mentioned it recently on your blog :)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Trifecta + 1

= Michael's, ACMoore, Hobby Lobby and La Carta Bella

Kaye and I loaded up with our coupons for the trifecta, but we went to a new stamp shop, La Carta Bella first. We met Kerri, the owner, who is so sweet! We asked if she would do a make-n-take for us, and she did :) We made the card, pictured above. The pic does not do this card justice. There is flocking on the nest and branch ("snow") and the base card is a gorgeous metallic cs.

I managed to spend only $71...Kerri's prices are very good and she gave me 50% off my most expensive stamp for spending over $50.

I also purchased this 6"x6" dp (for five cents!!!) and base card (pale blue) from Kerri.

Kaye and I made this card over the weekend. I've been wanting to try stamping-on-dp technique, and this paper was a perfect opportunity to do just that. The snowman stamp is Kaye's. We colored with markers. Easy-peasy card!

If you are ever in the Charlotte, NC area, you gotta go to La Carta Bella:
1122 Industrial Drive Suite 111
Matthews, NC 28105
store: (704) 841-8218
Tell 'em June sent you :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Card Tin

This is the project Kaye had planned for us this weekend. I used a 12x12 sheet of Heidi Grace ds dp. Kaye had this cool ribbon that is off white and pink in it. She also bought silk flowers from Michael's, then showed me how to tear them apart and take out the green centers. (Much less expensive than buying the large primas). We mixed and matched the flowers and added a brad to the new center.

My brad was yellow. I got to try a technique that I have not needed until now...I inked it with pigment ink and heat embossed it until it matched.

Kaye typed our categories on the computer, printed it out on pink Bazzill cs, then we used an SU! round tab punch to create each tab on 4x6 craft cs. Next time we will cut the 4x6 a bit bigger, but these are okay, scraps!
I think this will make a nice gift for someone special.
Kaye found the tins at Michael's, in case you were wondering :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

More Asian Cards

I made a set of these to give to Cathy (aka "Granny" to J&K) for keeping the girls while I went off to play with my North Carolina girlfriends last weekend. DH visited his cousin, grandmother, and great aunts, and his friends. I spent two of the 4 nights away with Kaye, so DH and I missed each other :) DH and I returned last night. We are unpacked, but I still need to start laundry, figure out what is for dinner, etc. Hopefully I can share the fun stuff I made (well, at least started) over the weekend. It was so much fun being with my card-making girlfriends and very inspiring!
The card base and cs are all Hero Arts. The Yuzen is a scrap from a class I taught ~5 years ago in MD at Lola Clay's Rubber Stamp Palette. The ribbon is from Michael's or ACMoore, I can't remember. I used up all the cards from the package :)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Happy Birthday, Cupcake :), part II

The picture came out a little blurry on the sentiment. Chalk it up to user error. I think I have the camera on the wrong setting again :)
I know I keep making cupcake cards with this cupcake stamp I purchased from Angela's Happy Stamper. I also purchased a sheet of 12"x 12" from her (this ice cream, popsicle, cupcake dp on the card...yes, you read correctly...I cut into a new sheet of paper!)
I had this idea to use my pink India paper for icing (it is handmade paper with a pearlescent sheen) and a red fabric brad for a cherry. I got the idea partially from my daughter, Kathryn, who is currently obsessed with making ice cream cones and putting cherries on top (with her play-doh or moonsand, not IRL). She noticed the cupcakes in the dp also have cherries on top, and that is how this card evolved. I had two solid red fabric brads from blog candy I won from Sarah's Creations last spring. I used brown cs for the base so that my cupcake matched the one showing on the dp. The sentiment is Imaginisce (also from Angela's). The base card seemed a little blah, so I used a background stamp and Memories dye-based ink "sand". I made two of these cards so I used up both solid red fabric brads in the package.
I am leaving for NC today to visit my bestest stamping & scrapbooking girlfriends. I will see them tomorrow! I will be staying with Kaye, but I will meet up with her at Martha's house tomorrow morning (I mentioned both of these wonderful friends in my blog entry yesterday). I can't wait!!! Other than being with my girls and dh, there is nothing better than time with great girfriends. I have a scrapbook page of me & my NC girlfriends I made ~4 years ago and this quote on it that sums up my feelings: "Sometimes I feel sorry for men and how empty their lives must be."
P.S. I love my loyal blog friends with the same passion :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

3"x12" Butterfly Scrap => 2 Cards

This is another unknown manufacturer scrap I found misfiled with SEI dps. I actually remember how I came to own this scrap:
It was at an annual sale I used to attend when I lived in NC. An absolutely lovely lady named Brenda owns a stamp store in Mooresville, NC. To quote my friend, Kaye, "Brenda cold sell ice and snow to an Eskimo." So true! She is one of the sweetest ladies I have ever known.
At her annual sale she has wonderful make-n-takes (FREE), giveaways every hour, giveaways for spending over $50 (how easy is that, right?), and she packages and cuts dps that have not sold into 3"x12" strips, creates a variety and puts them in with your bag with your purchases. So the scraps are not necessarily anything really fabulous, but free is always good :) Another girlfriend of mine (& Kaye's) is Martha. Martha almost always wins the grand prize at this annual sale...the one given to the person who spent the most :)
So this is not exactly an award winning card, but each store will get one, and someone will buy it. I found this yellow-orange cs in my scrapbag and a pink that both coordinated. I didn't want to make it too much like a baby card (pink & blue), since baby cards sell a little slower, in general, for me. Having said that, I went to both stores yesterday and loaded them up with every card in my home stash basket, and there is only one baby girl card, so I need to make a few baby cards, huh? Anyway...
I did not have any particular design in mind and I tried to think of a way to add my sentiment that I have not done in a while. Do you ever get in a rut and think you do the same thing with your cards over and over? I try my best to vary, but sometimes I just can't think of anything. I pulled out those wonderful MFT sentiments I bought at Angela's Happy Stamper, and decided to do the sentiment on a rounded corner rectangle, like a tab. I have only used my SU! Build-A-Brad once, so I used the end piece of the 3"x12" scrap to punch a butterfly for the brad. I used a Boho blossom from the yellow-orange cs and from that pink cs scrap. So I used up this cute butterfly paper, and I used some barely used stash (brad). That feels good.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A scrap of paper + a sketch = a card

This sketch is this week's challenge at Our Creative Corner. Right up my alley! I use this sketch all the time. When I don't have mojo going on, this is my old stand-by sketch. At the risk of all my cards looking the same, I vary it just a bit. e.g. I may punch holes in each scallop; I may just border the bottom (no scallops) the same as the top and sometimes paper pierce horizontally along the top and bottom.
When I was making the Happy Birthday cupcake cards (last Wednesday, August 13th) and looking for coordinating papers, I found some dps that somehow were misfiled in the wrong super sized ziploc bag. (I file most of my scrap dps in these huge ziploc bags that can hold a sheet of 12"x12"; they are in categories by maker...SEI, KI, etc. ...or by category...feminine, masculine, floral.) This little piece, along with a few other misplaced dp scraps, was in my SEI bag. I have no idea who the manufacturer is. I assume this is a piece of dp from a class at Memories from 5 years ago. The ribbon is from Michael's or ACMoore. It coordinates much better IRL; the pic makes it look much darker for some reason. The purple cs is Bazzill, the purple prima is MM, the yellow prima is Got Flowers?, and the green brad is DCWV. The sentiment is a MFT stamp using SU! Lovely Lilac. It is all glued down, but now I'm thinking I should have mounted a white prima under the purple prima? Oh well. Another scrap of dp all used up :)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Star Book Scraps

Remember this Valentine's Day star book I made? I did not design it, nor would I have chosen those papers...they are just not me. Yeah, I know they are the trendy colors. I was at a Scrapbook convention and I was not inspired to work on the last project I had brought to work on, so I stopped at an SU! booth and the girl sold this kit with instructions. I like kits on occassion. I like to take classes on occassion. I like not having to think sometimes, but still get the enjoyment of creating. I try to use dps I don't like so all my cards do not look the same. Maybe some of my simple style still comes through, but in order to sell more cards, I need to make cards that appeal to others. I have made several cards from the scraps of these projects (all Valentines) and they sell fast. Yep, they do. My buyers are the teenagers that frequent Greenberry's. That is the nice thing about coffee shops...people of all ages are there to buy. My younger buyers are girls from the dance studio (in the same strip mall), a local church youth group meets there on Wednesdays, the working folks, and the retired people. So what is left of this kit? 4 large triangles of dp. Here are 2 of them:
Not all that, huh?
I used my Cuttlebug embossing folder and my brown QuicKutz Icings (rub-ons).
So then I cut the last 2 large triangles in half, and did this:

I added a little paper piercing and used my SU! white gel pen for the faux stitching. I like these better, but not crazy about them in general. I do like that it is all used up and that I'll actually get money for something I didn't like or want. I use the analogy of a yard sale when it comes to making my cards to sell. I'm getting rid of the old to get $$$ for new stash.
Tomorrow I will post a very June-ish card.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Really Simple Birthday Card

How my brain works:
...some days I am inspired by a sketch and try to use up scraps to make a card following the sketch
...some days I am inspired to use up (or just use a favorite) old scrap and create my own sketch
...some days I am inspired by a challenge at caardvarks, 2 Sketches 4 You, or Our Creative Corner
...some days a particular card on a blog will inspire me by LO, or dps used, or maybe I just CASE it
Today was a "I want to use up what's left of my DCWV 8x8 Birthday Scrapbook Kit in a Stack" pad.
I started with the cs sticker of presents. There were two exactly like the one on the card. Then I pulled out all my card & envelope packs, and decided on this blue DCWV gatefold card. I stuck the sticker on. Then I went through what is left of the dps. I found this lime green background and the lavender background dps both matched the sticker. I have more lime green, so I went with that (lavender is easier to match, in general, so I'd better use the lime, right?) I layered on white, since the presents have a white outline too. I glued that panel down. Now what to do with the dead space in the upper right hand corner...I decided I wanted a scallop circle and "HB". I also wanted to create a belly band to hold the gatefold closed. I dug through my cs scrap bags, and found the lime green Bazzill and lavender Bazzill. Then I went to my QK fonts...they all seemed too tall or too small. So I pulled out my old file of alphabet stickers. I found these white letters looked okay, so done & done. I made two identical cards. One for the McLean Greenberry's & one for the Leesburg store :)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Paper Piecing is for the birds

I got this adorable bird stamp (Imaginisce) and the "Hello There" (MFT) at Angela's Happy Stamper 2 weeks ago. I had to use them :) The flower stamp is Hero Arts, and the dps are Chatterbox. I used SU! markers to ink the HA flower (both top and bottom layers), but the bird is done completely ( layer and bottom) in Chatterbox dps and my SU! white gel pen for the center of the flower on the bird. I used SU! dimensionals for the HA flower and the cute little bird.
I also purchased "Happy Day" and the adorable love bird stamp at Angela's 2 weeks ago too. I colored the birds with SU! markers, but paper pieced the tux for the groom bird. I used DCWV brads with the SU! circle, oval, and fancy label punch. The birds and sentiment/label are mounted on SU! dimensionals, though it is hard to see in the picture. The love bird card will go to dh's little cousin, Alice, who will be getting married in October. Okay, well maybe she's not so "little" age-wise anymore (28 yo), but she is short like me :) I still think of her as little Alice, who I met when she was just 7 yo, so she may always be "little Alice" to me :)
A question for you...please be the love birds card good enough for me to make a few more to sell at the coffee shops????

Friday, August 15, 2008

Usin' Yuzen Scraps, part II

Thank you, Laura, for this sketch. Of course, I needed to rotate it so that my Yuzen design was not sideways, but it turned out pretty well, dontcha think? Now I can enter this card in the current challenge at 2 Sketches 4 You.

All papers are from the scraps of yesterday's cards :) I did not use it up entirely; I actually have ~ 1.5" square of this Yuzen, but I filed it away with my other Yuzen scraps. Perhaps another day...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Usin' Yuzen Scraps

I pulled out this Yuzen paper a while you recall it was in my "Papers By Catherine" I had never opened?...I found it matched well with these two burgundy cards by Magenta (5 1/4" x 7 1/4"). Yet I had no plan for the card. So it sat in a pile. Until now :)
I was going through my closet and found this lavendar Hero Arts textured cs and burgundy ribbon I bought at Camie's Paperie before it closed. I just needed some gold to set off the gold in the Yuzen (click on pic for a better look). The gold "paper" is by Magenta, but it is more like a fabric. This was also a package I had never opened! I layered the entire panel on dimensionals. Nice.
I made two cards, so I used up my two Magenta cards :) I still have some scrap of Yuzen, so I'll see if Laura and Kazan from 2 Sketches 4 You can help me out...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Happy Birthday, Cupcake :)

I was actually inspired to make this card after I saw Lauren's fun card here:
I hope my version is not insulting to the fabulous and divine Miss Lauren! I really wanted my card to look much more like hers, but my scraps would not cooperate. I believe the dps are KI Memories papers. The pink cs is from my pinks & reds scrap bag, the blue cs from my blues scrap bag, the sentiment is an Imaginisce acrylic stamp I purchased from Angela's Happy Stamper last week, and the ribbon is white grossgrain from Michael's. I used an SU! punch to slide the ribbon through. I used dimensionals on the cupcake top. Simple and sweet, but not spectacular.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Feeling Punchy

I love these dps by Chatterbox. They are so happy! These are scraps from this scrapbook LO I made with my girls' 2 year old formal pictures:
Did you look? They were so cute!
Anyway, I made this card without stamping at all...yep, even the sentiment is a Creative Imaginations rub-on. I used all SU! punches: tab, circles, Boho blossoms, and oval. I borrowed my mom's crimper to do the leaves.
I was inspired by this card from Sue:
This card goes to my mom today; she gave me her green eyelets I used on the 16 St. Pat's cards I made last week AND she let me borrow her crimper for this card :)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Love You Grande

This card actually looks as good IRL as it did in my head :) Dontcha love when that happens to you?
The picture does not show off the dp I used to paper piece the coffee cup, but all dps and cs are from a CTMH kit. Even the cs I embossed with my Cuttlebug swirls is truly a nice warm caramel color, but in the pic is more washed out.
The base card was in my card & coordinating envelope drawer. The card is 5 3/8 " x 7 1/4".
I was able to make 4 of these cards using these papers and card stash. I didn't use anything up today, but I did use two new stamps :) I purchased the coffee mug stamp and a sentiments set from Angela's Happy Stamper last week.
The sentiment stamps are by My Favorite Things. I was specifically looking for sentiments that would fit in the SU! punch I used on this card. I actually used two different stamps in the MFT set. Two of them are "Thank You Grande" and "Love You Much". Since thank you cards are not as big a seller for me as love cards, I combined the sentiments to say "Love You Grande".
Does it make sense to you? DH said, "Who is gonna buy a card talking about how much they love coffee?" Uh oh. I didn't think about that interpretation. What do you think?

Saturday, August 9, 2008

From Your Closet {Caardvarks} Challenge

I went into my craft room early this morning, but I couldn't get a plan to work. So I decided to clean up a little. I have had 2 SU! stamp sets on my craft table for the past few months that had never been cut and mounted. I did the first set, but still no card plan. Into a stamp drawer it went. Then I mounted this set, and I went in search of daisy paper. I found some Sweetwater scraps ( daisies and also stripes) from a mini book I made for my mom for Mother's Day a few years ago.
I stamped the dress and the umbrella twice each, and matched SU! Mellow Moss and Lilac Lace markers to the paper. I colored all four images, then added white dots with my gel pen. Very time consuming to color, and VERY therapeutic for me. I have always loved to color. Coloring has been on my mind lately because I've been debating on whether or not to invest in copics.

As you can see, I ended up not using the daisy dp, but a coordinating Sweetwater striped dp scrap.

I mounted the Whisper White and the Sweetwater papers on Mellow Moss cs. I had exactly 10 DCWV purple brads, so they dictated the layouts. Those brads were all I managed to use up, though there are only small scraps of this striped dp left now. I love purple and green together!

I love when a no plan card comes together...I really like the dress card in particular :)

Friday, August 8, 2008

Using my Stash Almost all SU!

I am still trying to use up these SU! dps. I made 3 cards like this today. I still have plenty of the dp, but I ran out of the pink cs (Regal Rose, I think). I ran the yellow cs through my paisley embossing folder.
I used my SU! Many Marvelous Markers to stamp with. I do not own any SU! ink pads; just the set of markers. Sue had a 50% off sale on them ~1 1/2 years ago. This was a good investment for me. Now I can coordinate my stamping colors regardless of the dp without the expense and storage problems of ink pads and reinkers. I find that I use these all the time! I rarely even go to my ink pads anymore (which I have plenty of, but they are not SU!, and too much trouble to try to find a match.)
I used my white gel pen to draw dots above and below the "Enjoy" stamp. I mounted the entire panel on dimensionals. The only non-SU! item is the base card...can you guess? It's DCWV :)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I'd rather be lucky than crazy...

No, I'm not confused. No, I'm not really so prepared for Halloween, Christmas, and Valentine's Day that I am making my St. Patrick's Day cards already. It is simply that when I have the motivation to create something in particular, I need to go with it. If I waited until February, the motivation may no longer be there. Secondly, when I have something in my stash and I find it coordinates with something else, my goal is to use it up. This green DCWV card is hard to match, but as I mentioned yesterday, I know it matches this Reminisce "Good Luck" dp.

I meant to cut it in 4x4 squares and create 9 cards. Note to self: Do not cut paper when you are sleep deprived. I cut it in 3x3 squares. Uh oh. Kazan to the rescue! I saw this week's sketch challenge at 2 Sketches 4 You (see picture). So apparently I will be making 16 of these cards :) Maybe it is divine intervention. St. Patrick's Day is a pretty big seller at the coffee shops. Yes, seriously. I have never sent a St. Pat's card in my life, by my customers request them. I send Easter cards to some family members, but you know what? I sell more St. Pat's cards than Easter cards. Go figure. Halloween is a huge seller, along with Christmas, Valentine's Day, and then Mother's Day. Father's Day is slower (poor dads, not getting their props), followed by St. Pat's and Easter. So in February after the Valentine's Day card frenzy, I will have a nice breather with 16 St. Pat's cards ready to be invoiced. So I used up all the green cards pictured yesterday, including those in the new box! I need 4 more green card bases to complete all 16 cards. But at least I have plenty of time to purchase my next DCWV card box at 50% off.

The stamp is an SU! stamp set, "Pinch Proof", I purchased from Sue when she had her 40% off sale so she could earn her annual SU! cruise or Hawaii trip or wherever SU! sends their peeps. I never would have purchased the set if I didn't think it would be easily paid for if I sell only a few of these cards. The ribbon was in my stashed (never opened until today!) that I bought for fifty cents :) I used up all my green Bazzill primas (go, me), then got to open a new package of green primas I bought at Michael's a couple of weeks ago with my 40% off coupon. I know, I know, I say I'm only going to buy what I need (like adhesive refills), but they were so pretty! They wanted me to buy them. And they obviously knew I was going to need them now, didn't they?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

My DCWV box of cards

My new box of cards is in da house!
I used the ACMoore 50% coupon at Michael's to buy my fifth box of 50 textured cards and envelopes. There are ten colors in each box like this one.
Pictured in front of the box are the remaining cards from my first four boxes :) You can see the two browns and the greens are different dye lots, but they are close enough; and one black card remains too.
Last February I had a lot of the green from the previous boxes. It is a pretty green, but difficult to match. I found it went perfectly with Reminisce "Greenday" dp. I had purchased 2 sheets at that time; one with shamrocks, the other with polka dots. I cut the shamrock dp into 4x4 squares and made 9 St. Patrick's Day cards. (Did you do the math? Yep, NO scraps!!!!) See those cards here:
I still have the Reminisce "Greenday" 12x12 polka dot dp to use...look for my card tomorrow :)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Have Your Cupcake and Eat it Too

Yikes! bad picture...too much sunlight. No future in photography for me :)
I needed to make a card yesterday a.m. lickety-split for a 4yo's (boy) birthday party. I've had this cute Savvy stamp sentiment, but no cupcake stamps! I found the cupcake last week at Angela's Happy Stamper.
I grabbed my "masculine" dp scrap bag and I had a small ds scrap (blue cupcake wrapper and polka dot dp). Just enough for the cupcake! I mounted the top of the cupcake on dimensionals. I stamped the candles (Hero Arts), colored, and cut them out and mounted those on dimensionals too. I used my Sakura pen to add sparkle to the flames and to the polka dots on the cupcake. The green textured cs is SU! and the navy linen cs is from my blue scrap cs bag.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Sketch Challenge, Scraps, & Something New to Try

This is this week's sketch challenge at Our Creative Corner blog.

I've been wanting to try using SU! punches to create these cute little paper purses. This sketch seemed like a good place to start :)
I used all SU! papers from my scrap bag. The only non-SU cs is the scalloped circle (I used my friend Tracy's Nesties with white Bazzill cs). I used dimensionals behind the purse, a MM black mini brad, and a TLC rub-on sentiment. I used a CM paper trimmer to cut the waves.
Using my stash...

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Thinking of You, DCWV :)

I went through the Sunday sales ads that come with our Friday paper here in northern VA. (I've also lived in MD and NC and the Sunday ads come in Sunday's paper.) Anyway, there was no Michael's ad this week, but there is an ACMoore 50% coupon good for Tuesday. I'll take that coupon to Michael's on Tuesday to get my new DCWV card box (box #5, I believe). Yep, you guessed it! I used up the orange cards from the box making 2 cards like this.
Well, I actually had enough scraps to make 3 cards like this one (dps and ribbon are SU!; bling flower and bling brad are Bazzill; I used TLC rub-ons for the sentiments). But the 3rd card is just a card front until I purchase my new DCWV box :)
I started selling cards nearly 18 months ago (February 7, 2007, in Leesburg, VA), and added a second store almost 12 months ago (August 12, 2007, in McLean, VA). My friend, Amy Sheffer (Pickled Paper Designs), started helping me in October 2007. Our friend, Tracy (Suzy Scrapbooker) joined us in February 2008. Both stores are Greenberry's Coffee & Tea. Before G'berry's opened I was a Caribou Coffee girl. Before Caribou, I went to Starbucks. DH & I love mocha latte, and Caribou's tastes better than Starbucks, and G'berry's tastes better than Caribou. And G'berry's has awesome cinnamon scones (much better than Starbucks) and the best chocolate tea cakes. Okay, I am digressing...
I did some homework: I went back to Caribou and asked how well their cards sold. (They sell Papyrus cards. I LOVE Papyrus cards! They look hand made, and come in acrylic envelopes. I also checked the prices...$4.95 for A2). The barrista said they really didn't sell.
When I spoke with the district manager of G'berry's, part of our agreement was that my little basket of cards (holds 30 without being too full) had to be right beside the register.
What I have learned: To increase my profit margin, I try to always buy the DCWV card box or the Value Pack cards & envelopes from Michael's or ACMoore at 50% off, so the card and envelope only cost me 10 cents. I purchase the acrylic envelopes in bulk from, and they cost me about 5 cents each. These are worth it! I have never had a damaged card due to dirty fingers or spilled coffee. People LOVE to send handmade cards and I now have a sort of "following".
I started with stash cards in my closet that I felt were no longer good enough to send to friends and family (as I improve, I become more card snobbish. LOL!) Then in my spare time, I made cards to keep in my at home stash box to sell in the future. In an average month, I sold 32-39 cards. For perspective, the last 24 of that original old stash were still out at the Leesburg store in July 2007. July is an abysmal month sales-wise for coffee shops. I sold only 12 of those 24 cards. 12 cards the entire month! But I was actually okay with that. I got something for cards I no longer liked or wanted. The next month when I started selling at the McLean store, I moved those 12 cards there, and they all sold :) In July 2008, G'berry's sales are very slow again(for them, but not for me, Amy & Tracy!) For July 2008 we sold 38 cards at the Leesburg store and 44 at McLean.
The best sellers are "birthday" and "thinking of you". Baby cards, Anniversary, and Sympathy sell a little slower, but do sell. "Hello" and "Friend" cards are even slower. "Cherish" does not sell well. Everything sells eventually. If a card sits at one store for two months, I move it to the other store. For perspective, 4 of the "oldest" cards out for sale I made at the end on June. I try not to make more than 6 identical/similar(3 to each store) of any particular card. My customers like that their cards are (relatively) unique. But you know it all depends on the scraps. Sometimes my cards are one of a kind. This has created more sales. The customers have learned that if they like a particular card, they should buy it right then because they might not see one like it again if they don't buy it now. Kind of like shopping at a scrapbook store, huh?

Friday, August 1, 2008

Celebrate SU! & Creative Imaginations & DCWV

These base cards are from my DCWV box (only 2 orange cards left in the box, 2 brown, 1 black, and 8 green; Michael's needs to put them on sale SOON!) All the rub-on sentiments are CI. I matted the SU! dps on DCWV from the Spring mat stack.

I purchased an SU! Simply Scrappin' kit as part of a "Lotsa Cards" class I took from Sue (Inky Images) in May 2007. We made 37 cards in that class! I DO NOT like these papers, but
Sue's cards were sweet and simple. Those 37 cards are long gone. I packaged most of them in acrylic boxes (4 cards & 4 envelopes) to give to the teachers & therapists for teacher appreciation week in May 2007.
But I still have scraps from that class. Did I mention I don't like these papers? It is difficult to get mojo on with supplies I don't like. But I really want to use up these papers and my DCWV card base choices are getting slim. Here was my chance to use up the dp and the orange cards. Then I saw this sketch on so many of my favorite blogs, and I knew it was the right sketch for these papers. Did I mention I don't like these papers? But you know what? I think these cards turned out really cute! So I still have a large piece of the stripe dp (~6 "x 12" ?) and some small scraps of the circle dp and 2 orange card bases. I am trying to come up with another sketch to either finish up the orange DCWV cards or this dp. Wish me luck!