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Archive for July, 2012

Card making ideas – simple ideas to try !

Making handmade greeting cards is fun and very addictive .Not very complicated either .You must be thinking that I am going to tell various techniques that one can use to make greeting cards .Well actually – kind of yes and kind of no

Although the following are the various techniques
– Embossing
– Quilling
– Parchment paper
– Iris folding
– Origami folding
– Stamping
– Die cuts
– Stencils
Etc and so on on ..
I wanted to give very simple card making ideas :
1. Combine techniques : Merge any 2 techniques and see how you card comes out.. For eg : Make a card topper using the stamping method and see how that card will look on embossed card or use quilled paper shapes around the topper as a border .
2. Draw and color : One can create simple card toppers by just drawing /tracing an image from magazines / activity books /.paper .etc .
3. Create in different colors : Say you make one card which you think is a winner m recreate the same on in different colors using different pattern paper
4. Cut outs : Do you have any gift bags lying around that you are about throw away ??check again , It can be used for pattern paper or stickers . Cut out images and shapes to have own stickers. Same can be applied to old greeting cards , magazines,gift wrap paper etc .Wherever you can see an image .
5. Digital picture : this is also called Digital embellishments .Take a print of the image and use the same to make your card.Google is best repository of images .Please be aware of copy rights!
6. Doodles : Very similar to idea #2 above but one need not draw very accurate or actual picture .Even doodles can be used in card making. Simple pens ,gel pens , fine liner pens can be used to doodle .Doodle while you watch TV or while travelling .

There you go , a few ideas for card making .These are very simple techniques to make the main “image “section of the card.Once that is done ,designing the greeting card becomes very easy .

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Quilling

I happened to bump myself into quilling.I guess it was in this craft show that is actually held in Melbourne every year . I was actually very fascinated with this art and started researching about quilling in the internet .
I came across so many blogs that had a very useful information ,step by step instructions ,tutorials and ideas etc .The more I read about the more I was attracted . It is one of the easiest yet very attractive art .

Next ,I had the question – What paper to be used ? I could not find an accurate answer.I searched to buy quilling paper .It was quite expensive too .For a few strips of limited colours – it was a bit pricy for me . I felt it was quite expensive to buy the ready strips of quilling paper. May be others might not feel that .The strips again were either too wide or in wrong colours .
Then I started the trial and error method to find out which type of paper that is best suited to quill .

I tried construction paper . This paper is quite good ,Downside was that when I cut a strip either by scissors or by cutter. It would end up have a ragged edge + whitish in color too .Hence when I quilled it ,it faded in color a bit .
Then I tried with normal printer paper , I still did not like it .Guess it was too thin . That could be because I usually like a bit bold stuff

Finally I tried the coloured paper of weight 80gsm ones .These were good as these did not leave white or ragged edges .When they are rolled ,they still looked bright !

Now I am just waiting to get into quilling full on  !

Marketting tip #2 : Craft stalls

I recently put up a craft stall in one of the local community areas .I initially was very sceptical about how my sales will go as I have never tried that before .I was wrong. Happy I was wrong!!.I did make decent money out of the stall – good for a first timer though.

In my opinion any business should be started small to establish confidence in oneself. I paid only $10 for the stall which when compared to Big craft market that are held, is very little amount.

I had put up this stall in one of the churches. I happened to browse through the one of local classified websites and stumbled on this ad.
Lucky me that I did get a place too!!Usually in renowned craft exclusive fairs, it’s really hard to get a stall.

I have been trying to register for specific markets from a long time ,50% of the times; they charge a very high amount for setting up a stall and have to book months in advance.

This trial of mine to sell in one of local small communities taught me some basic stuff about sell handmade items . I learnt that

– If you are trying for the first time , go small scale ( safer)

– Try community fetes /school fetes – no need to pay heavy amounts /no long waits yet profits are good enough to cover the least stall expenses and get some in hand. I did make about $80 within 4hrs which is not bad for first timer !!

My hubby actually encourages me in so many ways ! He is a great support!

He gave me some really valuable ideas that I could do while being in the stall

1. For Jewellery – to have some pliers and beads handy, make and sell then and there
—this idea was good , as I did make and sell quite a few that very moment 🙂
2. If the customer likes some earrings say ,but wants in a different colour ,make it then and there – Customisation !!
— This idea was awesome one ! Truly fruitful!

3. Deals – be flexible on prices
– Some of the customers did actually buy more when I was able to offer them a deal.
4. Higher the price of the item- fewer number of people buy – Hence make more number of items that you can sell for lower price , and make fewer items that can be sold of higher price .
– This was absolutely true ! More customers do not think twice to buy something that is cheaper ,but are quite choosy when it comes to buying high priced ones .

Hence I made a large number of earrings ( which is my main area) in $2-3 range , which actually maximised my earnings . Also made some few high priced ones which I could not sell much as much as the other.

I do understand the pricing technique /method etc.I do know some artists may feel this is not right.I do understand the concept.

In today’s market ,customers /people are very reluctant to spend money. Usually people have an impression that handmade items are expensive because of their exclusiveness .Hence keeping our profits a bit low will actually attract them .I am not saying to cut costs or use cheap materials ,but suggesting to make handmade market more appealing and affordable .

And for the struggling artists , giving a tip to try even the most simplest market event rather than waiting for big exclusive craft fair .Smaller markets have – low competition , easy availability of stall space + low or no stall fees when compared to the big craft events .

I am sure I will setting up more stalls in future 🙂

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