Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A, M, and AZING

My latest treasury features 16 amazing Etsy sellers who go way above and beyond the average listing photo and feature their items in print-worthy portraits. I've been collecting these over the last few weeks, and the selection was wonderfully abundant. These are off-beat, uneven, over-cropped, and downright inspiring. Enjoy!



Row 1: Yokoo, Meetalls, PunchDrunkPrincess, malam
Row 2: supplystar, moop, coughcoughchoke, fadedprairie
Row 3: ecologicalartist, 26olivestreet, lilfishstudios, rimadesigns
Row 4: CaptainCat, billyblue22, piprobins, doodlebirdie

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Tiny Stop-Motion Experiment

Along with about a ka-gillion other fun things, trying my hand at stop-motion animation has been on my list of crafty things to try for a long, long time. Recently, I've been nudged into giving it a go by the work of artist blu (check this out), and the intro credits to the awesome documentary Handmade Nation.

I knew I had to start small, so I just set up my little digital camera on a tiny tripod in my studio and made a few of my things "come alive." Following this tutorial, I used iPhoto to download the photos (all 56 of them) from the camera, then imported them into iMovie (the older and better version) where I strung them together and sped up the "slideshow" to create my first teeny tiny animated movie.

The quality is low, the sound is off, and it doesn't exactly tell a story, but it's a start, and it's got me eager to try something with more substance next time.

video

I'll sheepishly admit that that's me doing the lame "beat boxing" in the background. It's hard to find a decent little sound effect that covers a mere 5 seconds of video, so I recorded one myself.

I should also note that the three stylin' little mini moo business cards are from my dear friend, Kendra Zvonik. Do sneak a peek at more of her expressive art here.

So what do you think? Too short to tell? Have any of you tried this? Any ideas for the next one? Anyone think I have a chance to make a record deal out of my mad mouth skills? kidding.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Business Card Holder - a simple, little tutorial

As a seller, I know that it's important to place a few business cards with every order from my shop. As a buyer, I love getting fun packages and neat little extras. Marrying these two ideas, I've come up with a simple business card holder that doubles as a sort of goodie bag for my lucky and lovely patrons. And here, for your crafting delight, is a tutorial to make your very own business card holders.



Tools and Materials:

- Cardstock or thin paperboard (I'm using a 12 x 12" scrapbook-type cardstock. Try cereal box paperboard or an oversized postcard)
- Ruler
- Paper Cutter(s) (I'm using my big paper slicer for the straight cuts and a small swivel blade for cutting the notch)
- Scoring tool (I use a scoring blade on a paper trimmer. A bone folder can work as well)
- Some sort of adhesive to hold the holder closed (I use a sticker. Try ribbon, decorative tape, glue dots, double-sided tape, etc.)



Instructions:

Step 1: Cut the cardsctock into 2" x 8" strips. A 12 x 12" piece yields 8 strips and a 4" square.



Step 2: Mark scoring points at 2.25" and 6" along a single strip.



Step 3: Score the cardstock on these two points across the strip.



Again, a bone folder and a ruler work fine here too. If you lack a bone folder, a lead-less mechanical pencil can do in a pinch.



Score any remaining strips you cut along the same points. I usually use the first strip as a guide to cutting the rest by leaving it in the trimmer and laying the next strip beneath it.



Step 4: Cut the notch. This notch is what holds the business cards more or less in place. Star just below the 2" score line, pull down about half and inch, go over about an inch, and then finish lust below the score line again to look like this:



Then, fit in your cards by slipping 3 or 4 of them under this notch.



Step 5: Fold sides to close and seal.



Ta-da!



I really put mine to task, filling each one with a folded thank you note, two regular sized business cards, two mini Moo cards, and a coupon made from an old business card (I'll show you how I make those another time).



I like to keep a stack of these handy so that when I get an order, all I have to do is write a personal note in the thank-you card, put it all back together, seal it up, and nestle it in the package.



You could certainly dress these up more to your taste, adding ribbon, making them bigger, rounding the corners, etc. Me? I like 'em simple. Do let me know if you try these out. Happy crafting!
 

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