Friday, April 29, 2011

Handmade Fabric Postcards

You can make fabric postcards either by hand or with the use of an ordinary sewing machine. You can create art and send these mini pieces of art in the mail, without an envelope. These postcards can be used as bookmarks, magnets or be framed for miniature wall art. Fabric postcards are mailed around the world using fabric scrapes and bits of trim. Even a club is organized on line for sending and receiving all kinds of postcards, including those that are handmade. There are also a variety of clubs on line that are dedicated to fabric postcards as an art form. Fabric postcards are great for any holiday by simply choosing an appropriate design.
A 4”x6” card will follow the dimensions and thickness restraints required by the United States Postal Service. Enjoy creating and using your fabric scraps, even quilted scraps can be used. Small fabric collages are made easily with the help of stabilizers and Lite Steam a Seam 2.
Supply List:
  1. Plain, light colored fabric, muslin or fabric matching your theme
  2. Fabric scraps
  3. Sewing machine threads
  4. Scissor or rotary cutter and mat
  5. Timtex or Peltex  (stiff stabilizers sold in the fabric store near the interfacing)
  6. Iron and ironing board and optional appliqué pressing sheet
  7. Unlined index card (4” x 6”)
  8. Lite Steam a Seam 2 (fusible webbing, which can be press into place with a finger  and it is repositionable)
  9. Fine tipped permanent ink Black Micron Pigma pen (size .02 or .03)
  10. Sewing machine
General Directions:

1)      Cut three pieces of the double-sided Steam a Seam using your rectangular index card as your template. Using that same index card cut one piece of stabilizer and 2 pieces of plain fabric. This will be the base on which you will design your fabric picture.

2)      Following the direction which came with your Steam a Seam, fuse the stabilizer to the back of one of the rectangles.
3)      Cut shapes from your fabrics and following the Steam a Seam direction, finger press the shapes onto the base and iron in place. Don’t forget to remove backing paper before ironing.

4)      Add top stitching or decorative stitches to your design.
5)      Fuse the second piece of Steam a Seam to the back of the card to the index card, covering the reverse side stitching (follow Steam a Seam directions for a hot iron).
6)      Fuse the 4” x 6” plain fabric over the index card (follow those same directions).

7)      Stitch all four edges of the postcard with a tight satin zigzag stitch…repeat this step several times creating a solid thread edge all the way around. The zigzag stitch gives the card a finished look sealing the edges of the card, so that it will not peel a part in the mail.

8)      The United States Postal Service requires you to write “Postcard” on the back. Using the Micron Pigma pen, write your message on the left side and your recipient’s address on the lower right half of the card, leaving room for self adhesive stamps above. The card must be hand cancelled at the post office and not put through the normal postal machines.
Simplified steps for the Steam a seam:
1)      Back to card
2)      Card to stabilizer
3)      Stabilizer to fabric
Your small piece of postal art will bring compliments from those who are lucky to receive it.

Some information and inspiration for this article were taken from “Quilted Postcards,” by Cheryl Haynes, Barbara Cooley and Beth Davis.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Die Cut Designed Cards for “Operation Write Home”

I'm enjoying my “Cricut” and “Cuttlebug” machines. Designing new cards and learning various techniques is just so much fun. But along with each of these new techniques, comes dozens of homemade cards! So what do you do with all these small pieces of art?

You can give some with gifts to relatives and friends, but then there are way too many that could surely be put to good use. While surfing the Internet, I found Operation Write Home or OWH for short. Basically, American crafters throughout the country hand-make cards, then send them to a shipper who packages them and sends them to our nation's armed forces overseas, who use them to write home to their relatives and friends. The handmade cards are blank inside. The cards can be used for birthdays, holidays or general greetings, and all can be put into service in order to help our people far from home communicate with their love ones. What a great idea! For information on this worthwhile cause, go to:

Some recent cards make use of the “Cuttlebug” machine, and the finishing touch is done with the “Cricut” machine.


Blank cards: A2 or 4”x5.5”/4.37”x5.75”
Blending chalks in soft tones
Q-tips for for spreading or blending chalk
Variety of cardstock scraps
Spellbinders Shapeabilies – Daisy Heads
Spellbinders Shapeabilies – Assorted Leave
Spellbinders tan embossing pad
Zig two-way glue pen
Narrow two-face tape
Start with a contrasting cardstock base adhered to the white card with tape. Using either set of Spellbinder dies, stack from the bottom up for your cutting sandwich in the “Cuttlebug”:

A plate
C plate
Spellbinder Die (cutting side up) (The cutting side has the ridges.)
Cardstock (leaf or flower color)
B plate
Run the sandwich through the “Cuttlebug” machine. Do not remove your cut from the die. To emboss the newly cut die, stack from the bottom up as follows:

First remove C plate for embossing sandwich.
Place A plate on bottom.
Leave die with cut still in die face up.
Place embossing pad on top of the die.
Use two or three pieces of cardstock to shim (more than three will result in B plate breakage).
Place two B plates on the top of the sandwich.
Run through “Cuttlebug” to emboss the Spellbinder die.

To add detail and color, turn the cut over and work chalk through the stencil holes. I have also worked freehand with chalk to give a bit of realism to the leaves and flowers.

Run several scraps through the “Cuttlebug” and emboss some. Others can be used as contrasting elements on the card.

Use tape or glue to adhere the design to the base color card. Finish the card with a die-cut Happy Birthday or another sentiment, accomplished either on the “Cricut” or the “Cuttlebug” machines.

Use these cards to communicate with your friends and relatives, or bundle them off to our service men and women. Check information on the website for Operation Write Home.

One last tip: If you are designing cards to be used by our service men and women for use in time for a specific holiday, check the site for deadlines.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dry Technique/Stencil Embossing

Artistians have been embossing for many many years.
Embossing is a process creating a raised three dimensional image or design on paper or other materials. There are two hand embossing applications used by artists and crafters, that are easy and have stunning results. Dry embossing and heat embossing can be use for both card making and designing scrapbook pages. Through this article, I will explore the dry embossing technique, which beginners might want to try first. In a very short time you can be producing professional looking cards and inspiring others to do the same.
Supply List:

Brass embossing stencil
Stylus (dual ended)
Light box/window or glass or translucent surface over a light source
Wax paper
Masking tape
Colored chalks
Colored pencils
Tape the stencil to the window or light box.
Rub the wax paper across the cardstock, which makes it easier for the stylus to glide across the paper.
Using the stylus trace around the outer edge of each open area, beginning with the larger end. Make sharper detail by following the larger point with the smaller end. There is no need to fill the entire area to be embossed. The outline serves to raise the interior surface as well. Make sure to press the stylus gently, so that the paper won't tear. The flip side of the cardstock is the finished embossed side.

You can add color to your design by lightly using colored pencils.
Another way to add color is with chalk. First tape the cardstock to the brass stencil and then adhere them to the light box with the stencil side down. After tracing the design, detach the cardstock and stencil from the box and flip it over, while the cardstock is still attached to the stencil color lightly with chalk. When you are finished detach from the stencil and see your art work.
You will enjoy the challenge of thinking up different ways to use your stencils. It's so easy to produce fantastic cards in no time, for all occasions.

Additional Tips:

1. You will be needing a light box to dry emboss and a homemade light box can do the trick remarkably well. Artist Lindsay Weirich offers the directions to making one on an amazing video tutorial on her blog at:
After making your own light box, I'm sure you will continue to find uses for it.While at Lindsay's blog check out her other tutorials and art work.

2. Try not to bend embossing stencils. Place the stencil back in its' sealed plastic wrappers or place in plastic snack bags to guard against rust.

Ok, so I lost!

At the end I lost the lead by 10 points with 5 minutes to go!
Oh well it was fun to get to watch it happen!
I'm working on a new project to put on here soon! Keep your eye on my blog!

Please vote if you haven't yet!

I am currently tied for second place, could you take some time and please vote for me before noon (EST)?
Thanks so much!

Cast your vote at

Monday, April 18, 2011

Please vote for my project!

I submitted this project to be considered for a Design Team position at Patches of Pink. Voting starts today and continues through tomorrow (Tuesday) at noon (EST), and the individual with the most votes gets an automatic spot on the team.
Cast your vote at
Thanks so much!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

A Spring Card to Make Using Cricut!

Floral Fence Card

This is a sweet card that can be used for any number of occasions including Mother’s Day.

1 5” x 7” blank card
1 Light blue or green card stock for card base
1 White card stock
1 Sheet 140 lb. Watercolor paper
1 Set watercolor pencil (suggest Faber-Castell)
1 Waterbrush (suggest Kuretake Co.)
Two face tape
Zig 2 way glue
Cricut Machine
Cricut Cartridges: “Life is a Beach”
                              “Paper Doll Dress Up”
Cover card front with blue or green paper.
Cut white fence from “Paper Doll Dress Up” at 2”.
Glue fence to card at bottom using Zig glue.

Use watercolor paper to cut tropical flowers and leaves from “Life is a Beach” at 3”.

Color flowers lightly from center out with pencils (always begin with light colors first) blending each color with the next color as you go. (yellow, orange, pink). Blend  the blue into the green for the leaves (not totally blended).

Use the water brush to paint the colors from light in the center to the outside edge of the flowers. Paint with the leaves.

Let dry.
Apply two face tape to center of flower and leaf backs.

Adhere them to the top of the fence and bend them to give a 3D appearance.

Add butterflies or Mother’s Day stamp and you have a lovely card.