Saturday, 29 December 2012

Transform an ordinary A5 notebook into something special!

Have you ever had a notebook and thought it looked a bit boring? Then here is how I have transformed an ordinary Black n Red A5 spiral bound notebook into something personal to me - you can make these to give to people or just keep it yourself!

Products you will need for this project: 
  • A5 notebook (I have used a Black n Red notebook but you can use any plain one)
  • Patterned paper or card (2 pieces of A4 - 1 cut into half) (I have used A4 sheets bought from Craft Creations which is really good quality)
  • Green frame (you can use these from my Fizzy Designs collection) or any design you like
  • Contrasting backing card for the frame (I used the 4" strips of green and white spotty paper which you can get again from Craft Creations
  • Raffia (Contrasting/matching)- optional
  • Crafters Companion Double sided Adhesive tape (available from Handy Hippo)
  • Craft Creations fingerlift tape 6mm
Stage 1

1)  Take the notebook and measure both front and back covers (taking into account the spiral spine) - approx 150x203mm
2)  Cut 2 pieces of the patterned paper to cover both covers again using either double sided adhesive tape - I like the Crafters Companion double sided adhesive tape roller (which you can obtain here) or the double sided 6mm fingerlift adhesive tape which can be bought here

Stage 2

3)  You now need to make the edging for both the front and back of the notebook - as you can see from the design, I have chosen a contrasting green and white spotty paper which you need to cut to 40x203mm which you need to then attach covering both sides of each cover (making sure they are equal) 

Stage 3

4)  Cut out the frame carefully and glue it to matching card (100x100mm approx) and place it about 13mm from the top and centre it

Stage 4

5)  You can then glue some contrasting ribbon or raffia to the edge nearest the spiral spine

Stage 1 Part 1

Stage 1 pt 2
Stage 2 pt 1

 Stage 3 (above and below)
Stage 4 - completed notebook

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Handmade versus shop bought?

Handmade versus shop bought?

I have been trying to think what the USP of my new venture is over the past few weeks as I have been gradually designing my website ( ). 

Why and what makes my cards different to others people can find in all the usual shops?

As you can see from the gift tag above, I have designed it to be given to someone whose name begins with L, she also loves red and white spots and voila! She also liked making craft items and her nickname was given so I designed the following to make the envelope a bit more exciting and personal!

Oh I know you can visit those big card companies and get things personalised but can you get all the added on bits and pieces too? Like this personalised card  I made and gave to my daughter and her boyfriend as their birthdays are close (and they had a visiting cat that they'd nicknamed Fatty.....

The cards and gifts might be a bit more expensive to buy but I think if you put in all the time spent thinking of the best way to show how much the person cares and how much longer it does take to make them I think it is a no-brainer (as the saying goes).

So, if you are thinking of your Christmas card list now (and the last posting date for Christmas to some parts of the world is only a couple of weeks away - why not think about sending a personalised, handmade card like this one? You can buy this here 

Handmade Snowman card, Christmas Card, Personalisation available, Happy Christmas Cards, Season's Greetings cards
This can be personalised with either a photo or a name!
Right, better get back to work - more anon!

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Third blog - now this is definitely some form of record!

Since the last one, I have been really busy with the design of my website - I have to get used to accepting that it is ok and not be constantly trying to make it just right - that can be done at a later date....

I have spent the last week both working at my daytime job (though I did have a day off to see my daughter (and then the next day off to recover from the pub lunch.....need I say more?...)

As several people have commented, I do need to widen the number of products that we have to offer and am now looking at what sort of items might complement our range? At the moment I am concentrating on Christmas gifts etc but it is probably a bit too late to get anything for this year, so am now wondering about Valentine's Day gifts, Mother's Day and so on.

One of the Companies I use for some of the designs, has a brilliant range of images of old fashioned recipes and I am planning (or would like to) to offer a card, recipe book and the actual recipe made up as a gift - I don't do cooking as I haven't got the relevant equipment but would love to hear from either an individual or company who might like to do this for me? I think these would make brilliant gifts for Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and Easter especially - so if you know of anyone who might want to do this - please let me know! I can be contacted here

Anyway, back to the website......

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Having spent most of the weekend on designing my website, I have come to the conclusion that there must be a website provider out there that is a mix of the 2 that I use. 

I don't know about other people, but I find the templates that are on offer (and I know there are  hundreds) quite restricting - I find one that I like and then find you can't change the background colour or the size of each column. I then find another one that I think "hurray" but then find the colours aren't right - hmmmm.

So, I am now using one that allows me to design the template I like, but because it is based in the US, doesn't offer the proper shopping cart facility I want. I am therefore having to create each Paypal button individually which is SOOOO time consuming. I want to be able to amend the HTML which I think I can do if it is non-encrypted but if it is (which is recommended) I can't just copy and paste the original code and amend it to the next product. If there is any techie type of person who might read this and could help me with this predicament then I would be so grateful.

I have tried to use one UK based provider for some time now but the limitations of size of image etc means that I am forever trying to add images to it - so I have given up on it - but the shopping cart is what I want. 

Confused? Me - well perhaps I am but I am going to persevere with the original one until that magical day when there is a perfect provider out there!

Snowman Christmas Card - Season's Greetings - personalisation possible £2.25 inc p&p

Friday, 26 October 2012

Welcome to the 1st proper blog from me as Handmade Cards Shop

As promised (well to myself anyway) - this will be a regular blog to link in with the launch of this new website. Wondering what to say in this first one, I thought maybe it would be good to tell you a bit about myself and why this is so exciting!

So here goes....
Though this is a new website, I have had many years of experience in Marketing and selling - from my time working for the UK Labour Party first in their Bookshop and then in their Marketing department to selling lots of stuff on Ebay and other smaller websites and now work for a well known charity in their Marketing department dealing with things that I have to more or less fallen into without really thinking. Anyway...

I have always enjoyed making things - I remember making paper clothes for paper dolls when young and then making items for my Dolls House - and I still have that (along with a collection of Sylvanian Family dolls but that is another story totally!)... Anyway, back to the plot - recently I have rediscovered my love of making and designing things - from abstract designs (heaven knows what goes inside my head) to images for cards etc - so I thought (and hoped) that other people might like them too.. I think because there is little creativity in my job I am trying to get some back into what I do outside!

My daughter despite being away from home, is my best critic and exponent of my cards at the moment - she has got her friends involved too so that has prompted me to find an easy way of selling them - so hence Handmade Cards Shop! I also love all the craft items that you can use and am planning to sell them through my Crafty Gift Shopping website and show off (not literally) my designs through Fizzy Designs website - heavens so much to do!
Noel Christmas Card £2.25 inc p&p
Right - that is enough for now - will be back soon!