The main thing that has kept me artistic as the years go by is my desire to please others. I always want to give everyone something special on birthdays and holidays. My solution has been to make greeting cards. I'm not great at the detailed cards with all the little moving parts, stamps and glitter, but my style is more unique anyway. My family members have been delighted with my ability to put my personal stamp on this everyday item. I am always beyond flattered, and I tend to feel as though the praise isn't necessary because everyone can do this. Here's what you need:
Supplies: The paper is an important first supply to purchase. Paper packs are great because you save money, and that is one of the reasons I like this project. I use plain cardstock that comes with a crease down the center to fold the card perfectly. This allows me to avoid cutting (which I am incapable of doing correctly), and it keeps me from making folding mistakes. Paint is the next big supply to purchase. I use acrylic paint, which is versatile and easy for amateurs to blend and shape. I started with a comprehensive artist set that included brushes, tools and an instruction booklet. You will also need a couple of heavy books to press the cards and wax paper to keep the pages from sticking together. Invitation envelopes are also essential. Consider stocking up on envelopes in different bright colors.
Painting: I don't like to follow any sort of plan when I am painting a card. I usually think of the person I am making the card for and use their personality to choose the color scheme, and then I just start on a design. Sometimes I throw the card out and start over, but painting spontaneously is worth losing a few supplies. I like a lot of texture in my art, so I don't usually thin my acrylic paints too much, though you can thin them with water to make them more like watercolors. Experiment with wet and dry brushes and mix colors to find your favorite hues and techniques. Don't worry when the paint wrinkles the pages; heavy books can smooth out cardstock.
Extras: I have recently started adding my own photographs to my cards. I like pictures of flowers and beach scenes, and sometimes I alter the images with photo editing software to give the card even more depth. I decorate the background to match the photo and cut out the picture with a craft knife. Then I attach the photo with scrapbooking adhesive. You could get creative and add bows, rosettes and even trinkets to your cards. The important thing is to let your personality shine.
So do you have any tips for me on diversifying my card making? What craft projects keep you in touch with family and friends?
Posted by Maegan Crandall