Friday, January 30, 2009

The Joys of Card Swapping and RTU's

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When I was first introduced to the world of online craft groups, I was interested in the practice of swap challenges. This is when participants create an item according to certain guidelines such as specified color(s), theme, layout, technique, etc. It was an opportunity for us crafters to try something new, share it with others of our own ilk and get some feedback on our work. The group I was member of for nearly two years recently shut down and its moderator suggested we join Paper Craft Planet if we were interested in continuing to swap, a suggestion which I took. In the past two weeks I have participated in two challenges and the results are pictured here. These are all examples of challenges where you have to create a card based on a specified layout or "sketch". The first two cards were created for the same challenge. You can see how the placement of the elements in both cards is the same but the colors and themes are totally different. The third card is for a different sketch challenge that required that the central element be a heart in addition to using the specified layout.

This last card is an excellent example of how you can use little things you may have laying around in your craft stash to create a beautiful card. I like to experiment with different techniques and new materials in order to get a feel for them. Some of my efforts end up in the trash but some of them I like so much that I can't bear to toss them even though they were meant only for practice. I call those pieces RTU which means Ready-To-Use. That is the case with the inked and embossed chipboard heart on this card. It was a successful experiment that was lying around in my stash and perfectly fit in with the requirements of this particular sketch challenge. The polka dot ribbon came from last year's box of Valentine's chocolates and the velveteen stripes were created with redline tape and Fun Flock over striped wallpaper.

Are you a crafter? Do you have a stash of RTU's waiting to be "discovered", or perhaps you have already created works of beauty using little bits of this and that? If you have a photo gallery with pictures of your work, please share them with me through your commnents. I'd love to see them. Thanks.

Ballo ergo sum
- Gitana, the Creative Diva

Sunday, January 25, 2009

It's been a while...

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You wouldn't know it from the inactivity on this blog but I've been busy...very busy, both artistically and otherwise, which is why I haven't been able to catch up until now. In my last post I was creating invitations for my daughter's Sweet Sixteen birthday party which took place at the end of November. Well, no sooner was that party over than the holidays were upon us and I began a frenzy of creating Christmas cards. Of course ONE Christmas card wasn't enough. Oooh nooo! I had to make several different cards. Here are some of the cards I created this year.

As if cards didn't keep me busy enough, I decided to create some ornaments as well. Many years ago I started a tradition of creating ornaments as gifts. My sister liked them so much told me that the only gift she wanted from me every Christmas was an ornament. This year I decided to create some out of paper, something I had not done before. I was very satisfied with the results, as was my sister. See for yourself. I was so taken with one of the designs I created using Cuttlebug die cuts that I began to write a tutorial for publishing on this blog. As soon as I complete it, I will post it here.

I'm in the midst of pre-spring cleaning frenzy so my crafting is going to take a slight hiatus while I rid myself of a lot of garbage. As soon as I get out from underneath the rubble, I'll be back. See you soon.

Ballo ergo sum,
Always and all ways,
- Gitana, the Creative Diva