Crafts

Fancy Lettering Techniques

Featured Designer

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Amy Latta

Who is Amy Latta?

Amy is a blogger, author, and owner of One Artsy Mama. She features projects, such as,  home decor, fashion, jewelry, kids crafts, and many more. She published her first e-book in 2013, Crochet 101. She has a full life, being a wife, mother and crafter.

I took a trip to Barnes and Noble last week, hoping to find a book teaching lettering skills. There wasn’t a wide selection to choose from, however, I did locate this fabulous book, hand lettering for relaxation, by Amy Latta. It was filled with pages full of lessons. I read through the whole thing, as soon as I arrived home. I was quite pleased with the content. She offers a variety of techniques and shows full alphabet examples of different font styles. Her step by step process is easy to follow along.

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Crafts

Pocket Letter Pen Pals

What is a pocket letter?

Pocket Letters are pen pal letters with mini surprises inside. Who doesn’t love surprise mail? The good kind, of course. Pocket Letters are made from a nine sleeve trading card page. Similar to making an ATC, (check out my ATC blog from earlier this month) instead of creating one card, you make nine! There are several different groups online that provide specific themes for making your PL, such as, Disney, summer and holidays. After you’ve designed the front of the page, you fold your written or typed letter and tuck it inside one of the pockets. Fill the remaining pockets with small flat-like goodies, such as, stickers, paper clips, die cut shapes or tea packets. Fold your page and insert inside a standard size ten envelope.

Where do you find pocket letter pals?

Janette, the creator of pocket letters, is the owner of the official pocket letter website. You can join her network for a small fee (including a free 7 day trial) and find a variety of groups that may suit your interests. You can also find and join a PL group on Facebook. I’ve had great success with swap groups on Craftster. There are several rules in place, but only to ensure there are no flakers. I do not recommend searching random people on social media to swap with. There are often no firm agreements associated with personal swaps, which can lead to people backing out or not sending a promised package.

Who created pocket letters?

Janette Lane is the founder of pocket letters(TM). She is a full time craft designer, blogger and online shop owner. You can watch her video tutorials on YouTube. Jeanette also loves planners, journaling and watercolor.

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Janette Lane

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Crafts

Artist Trading Cards

What are artist trading cards?

Artist trading cards or ATCs are miniature cards of art, measuring two and a half inches by three in a half inches. Each piece of art must be this size, otherwise, it’s not classified as an artist trading card. Artists use their preferred media, to create ATCs and trade them with other artists, around the world.

How do I create an artist trading card?

Most online group swaps are open to all media and materials, as long as the card can fit into a standard trading card sleeve. Include your information on the back of the card, such as, your name, date and title of the artwork. Most of the time, ATCs are traded, not sold. Cards that are sold by the artist are called, Art Card Editions and Originals. (ACEO)

How do I trade Cards?

You can search online for an in-person swap in your area, find an online group, or organize your own. There are several websites for online swaps. I have participated in monthly swaps on Craftster, however, they have a number of rules in place, to ensure the swap runs smoothly and successfully. I have also swapped cards with women in Flickr ATC groups. Both of these websites require a free membership. Trading internationally is a lot of fun, but you could run into customs issues, if your card is mailed in anything but a flat standard envelope. There is also a higher chance of it getting lost. Be prepared to make more cards and deliver again. I stopped trading across boarders because of the cost.

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The majority of my ATC assortment features my favorite things, made especially for me, such as, butterflies, Peter Pan (captain hook) and the galaxy. Other cards have been chosen by me, from looking through photos of artist’s collections, on Flickr. They have been delivered to me, from countries including, Canada, Germany, Thailand, Australia and The Netherlands.
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Crafts

Crafting on a Budget

Let’s be honest. We all spend more than we would like to admit! You might go a little crazy (ok, maybe a lot), buying supplies you really don’t need. Two questions I ask myself are, do I need this? and do I already have a product that is similar? We should all be practicing self control. Often times before I step foot in a craft store, I set a limit of how much I can spend, otherwise, there is no telling what will end up in my shopping basket or cart. It will be piled to the top before I know it. buying-craft-supplies-meme.jpg

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Crafts

Summer Shaker Greeting Cards

Card making is a relaxing activity, during a rainy afternoon. I’ve got some really fun summer themed cards planned for today. Grab your scissors and let’s begin!

Besides paper, these are my six must haves, for card making:

  • Paper cutter and/or scissors. My paper cutter is from Michael’s. I use Fiskars micro-tip scissors, that are recommended by the Arthritis Foundation. The spring-action design helps reduce hand strain while cutting. They are definitely pricey, but worth it!
  • Adhesives, such as, Scotch double sided tape or a tape runner. I use Scotch advanced tape glider. It’s a little tricky to set up, but once you get the hang of it, it’s easy to use.
  • Rubber stamps and ink. I really like clear stamps, which are used with transparent stamping blocks. You can achieve more precise images, due to, seeing exactly where you are stamping on the paper. I can never seem to get an image where I want it, when using wood stamps. My preferred black ink is Tsukineko VersaFine. Its great for very detailed stamps! I’m currently using Tim Holtz distress ink in various colors.
  • Ribbon or trim. All colors, designs and textures!
  • Die cutting machine and die cut templates. The die cutting machine I use is a Sizzix Big Kick.

Three useful tips:

  • Instead of cutting cards freehand, from a sheet of card stock, I buy packs of pre-cut and pre-scored cards. It saves me a lot of cutting time, when I’m making a batch of cards. My preferred card sizes are 5 x 7, which is A7 and 4 1/4 x 5 1/2, which is A2. A2 is a popular size, as it’s very easy to make, from folding in half, a standard 8 1/2 x 11 inch piece of paper.
  • Choose lighter colors for the inside of the card, where words will be stamped, or written. No one can read writing on heavily deep shades of blue, brown, or purple, even with black pen and ink. I always use white or cream for the base card.
  • Use tape, not glue, to attach paper to paper. Glue is messy and can leave your cards feeling sticky and looking not so pretty. Also, liquid glue will make your paper soggy, (especially thin paper) causing it to tear easily.

Shaker cards have dimensional transparent windows with moveables inside, such as, sequins, beads, rhinestones, glitter, etc.

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