FYI - there is an exciting, but time sensitive announcement at the bottom of this post -
so if you don't have time to read the post now, scroll to the bottom.
I love to give card sets as gifts. I get the joy of making them and it is a wonderfully personal gift. Maybe my friends would prefer a Starbucks Gift Card or something from the local brewery, but I don't think so. I know they value these cards because they use them. (Although we still find time to meet at Starbucks and the brewery!) I was at a friend's house and on her fridge was a card that she received from another friend to whom I had given a gift set.
BTW - don't ever think that hand-crafted cards aren't totally appreciated. Years ago, this was a little hobby for me. Then I started sending regular cards to a friend who was battling cancer. At one point in her battle, she was interviewed for a TV spot - she was in her office and covering the walls of her office were my cards. That wasn't the point of interview - they were just there and clearly had profound meaning to her. At that moment, my hobby turned into a passion!
Back to the point of this post. Taylored Expressions has been a series all week with each designer showing an idea for a set of cards that is simple to create. (Start here and work your way forward.) One of the reasons that I am passionate about Taylored Expressions is their constant emphasis on "sending joy" so they have a wide variety of products to let us do that! Here's my set.
Let me break down the components of these and why they are simple. I used Simply Stamped - Wreath. Layering stamps can easily add a lot of impact, particularly if you have a Misti tool. I attached the base stamp and stamped on a piece of scrap. Then I could line up my background cardstock based on that scrap. (Just add little pencil marks around a couple of corners of the cardstock, because you can do cards 1, 2, 3 and 4 just by placing and stamping.) Ditto for the next leaf layer and the berries. These take a little more effort to line up because they need to be precise - but remember - you can stamp 1, 2, 3 and 4 once it's lined up (or get carried and stamp twenty!)
In my experience, an embossed background looks like magic particularly to a non-cardmaker. (We'll never tell them how easy it is, will we?) Just for fun, I used four different embossing folders, but you could simplify even more and use the same folder.
I also used a variety of colors and a variety of greens on each card. I picked greens to match the mood of the card but you can certainly simplify and use just a couple of greens - the colors of the berries and the bow change the mood. Here are each of my cards and the colors.
Did you notice the last card was missing a green ink pad? That's because I cheated and used something you'll see next week. If you love Mint Julep - rejoice!! Because there's a new color that's part of next week's new release that matches perfectly!!
Tip: Another way to simplify would be to use a die-cut bow instead of the layered stamped bow that comes with the stamp set. Taylored Expressions has a variety of bows - I particularly like Little Bits - Bows.
Two more things to make this set extra special. First - I added colored envelopes and lightly stamped the wreath on them. I first stamped in Sugar Cube white, then I moved the envelope just the tiniest little bit and stamped the matching color to the envelope. It gives it a dimensional look and it's very quick and easy!
Then right when I was finishing these up, Taylored Expressions came out with a new product that was the icing on the cake - personalized "Made by Me" stamps.
Never forget that the cards you create are little works of art - and art is signed, right? I think "signing them" makes cards even more personal - and I love these new stamps. AND...they're now available to everyone in the Personalized Pop-Up Shop on the TE website! The first Pop-Up collection includes four stamps featuring Taylor-made designs that you can customize with your name and, in some cases, your website address.