Monday, October 19, 2009

Cards for Troops 2009: An Insider's Look

Last Year, I participated in SBR's (Scrapbook Royalty) annual Cards for Troops handmade card drive.

I was SO HAPPY to give back.

The community of crafters has been so very good to me. I have won so many prizes, found freebies from crops and so many generous people willing to share their expertise, release their scraps to me, pose for pictures and generally be a good sport about my inquiries.

And I'm very inquisitive!

THIS year, I have even more resources to help and I can ask even MORE people to give as well - and I will.

First, I'll present some examples of cards I'm sending this year and talk about how they were made. Then, I'll discuss some ways to get virtually infinite supplies for almost no cost (OK, the cost is connecting, you wanted to do that anyway right?) and Third, I'll encourage YOU to get creative and gather cards and send them to SBR!

So, here are some examples of cards I made this year, mostly from scraps of different types (click on the pics for a more detailed look):

[all cards are 1/2 sheet of an 8 1/2 by 11 page cut long way or short]

The base was left over from something else, the punched snowflakes were used elsewhere and I salvaged the 'negatives' and kept them for quite awhile - I KNEW I'd use them for something! :) Oh, the letters were given to me somewhere along the line...

This card:

has a scrap base, donated punched flowers and, can you guess? The horizontal and vertical items are photo ends - someone else cropped a photo and I got the scraps and here they are! It's a little hard to tell from my scan but they are all parts of trees. I thought they'd be perfect for a Christmas Card.

I stamped the words first, built up the 'frame' and added the punched out flowers last.

This card:

was modeled after one of those 'idea' pages someone brought me (although it used all stamped images) and all the ribbon was given to me or I won and you could certainly use scraps - they don't even have to be so nice either. Just move them around until you are satisfied with your impromptu 'mosaic' and tack them down. I'm so pleased with how it turned out.

This card:

you guessed it, scrap base, a piece of ribbon and a sticker, both from some gift somewhere (hang out with crafters, they are super generous, i'm telling you! i might even give you something, i've been SOoo blessed!). As for the neat snowflake, I printed it out (laser printer, that's important) adhered clear acetate (i think, had it around for decades!) you could use contact paper, clear packing tape even works because I learned about the transfer technique here the other day:

then you GENTLY remove the paper on the back by soaking it. It turns out amazing, you can create all sorts of embellishments with that technique.

I have a flickr account with more great examples (which i'll be adding to), everything is from scraps, donated items, things I've won over the past year, stuff from my stash - I have stayed home this season creating them & haven't stepped into a store for anything other than adhesive.

Feeling the pinch? Collects scraps from others.

I've made it clear to all the crafters around me that I'm 'in the market' to collect their discards. I know that they are discards because I see them in the trash so I politely ask 'may i grab your scraps?' BE AWARE, not everyone likes this though I'm not deterred so I ignore the ones who aren't as 'green' and encourage the folks who are.

This has produced an almost endless supply of craft items available to me to make things with. I'll even harvest cropped photos and product packaging.

And I've found some pretty interesting things to do with them.

You saw the photo strips on the Christmas card I made. It looks OK, right?

How about this:

someone cut the person out of this photo and pitched the rest. I grabbed it. I had no idea what I'd do with it, I just didn't want to see it in a landfill.

After awhile, I had a set of cards like this (some are up on flickr)!

Kind of an extreme example, I know. I just think a little creativity can go a long way.

Did you know that photos work super in your craft punches? They are a good weight and cut beautifully.

click to see that texture!

I made a whole book out of those plastic envelopes most of the craft goodies comes it. I wander around collecting those too.

Here's one page from my 5 page "Artist Book"



I'm thinking up ways to make cards from them too.

So enjoy the abundance around you this holiday season. With just a little thinking (and salvaging) you can do a lot more than ever with what is all around you and you've probably seen supplies go into the trash already.

Will you stop that unhealthy ritual now? Hey, if YOU don't want them, I'LL take them! ;)

Last thing, won't YOU send SBR at least ONE card and envelope? Giving feels SO GOOD and the suggestions in the first blog post (near the bottom!) can help you bring that good feeling to others this holiday season.

If you do, stop back and leave a comment, let us know what you sent (link to flickr, etc.)

Happy Holidays, to you AND our Troops!

Pam Hoffman
I'm holding my contribution to
"Project Butterfly" and all
components are recycled.

The plastic to form the base
was given to me, all the spots
are cut & layered photo scraps and
I used ink to flesh out the
butter fly outlines.

If you click on the picture,
you'll get a better look at
the details. Go for it!

---posted by Pam


Elena Lai Etcheverry said...

i love that you gave this "review"! thanks Pam!