I explained a bit about how Crafting and Relaxing got its name, but I didn’t start at the beginning of why I was so focused on doing crafts and relaxing. Before 2018 began I was trying to choose one little word (OLW) for the year. If you aren’t familiar with OLW or related challenges, the basic idea is that you choose a word to inspire and guide you in the coming year. I don’t really know who started it originally, it might have been Ali Edwards, but it wasn’t me. Anyway, after I thought about it for a long time the word I chose for 2018 was “REST” because it was short and simple. The year before had been purely work focused and I was exhausted. I didn’t really expect 2018 to be easier, but I did want to find a way to balance it out and give my brain something else to think about. So I chose REST and defined it like this:
Time for Me
Anyone who knows me would probably think it was crazy that REST was my word, but it was and I think I gave it a good effort. I did crafts, gardened, napped, made the Crafting and Relaxing channel on YouTube, went to the gym occasionally, and I said no to things. I said no to allow for down time and breathing space in my life. Don’t get me wrong, I still worked a ton, but I managed to fit something else besides work and moving at the speed of light into my life. I even figured out how to do some long overdue family visits.
Now, it is time to choose a word for 2019. I’m not sure what mine will be yet, but I know it will have more energy or strength to it. I want to bump it up a bit this year. I don’t think I’ll define each letter like I did last year, just one great word. I thought about “thrive,” but I don’t want to sound like a health insurance commercial. I’ll keep thinking. If you don’t have a word, or a focus, or a plan for 2019 think about making one. A year is a long time and we should make it count.
A friend asked me how I decided to name my YouTube channel Crafting and Relaxing. What it really came down to was that 2017 was all about working non-stop. I thought about my vision for 2018 and what I would like to see more of. That’s how Crafting and Relaxing got its name. I wanted Crafting and Relaxing to be a fun way to share my activities, whatever they may be, but not be limited to paper or paint or even crafts in general.
What I really wanted were thoughts in my brain that had nothing to do with work! So, how do we push the struggles of the work day out of an overactive brain and enjoy the precious hours that we aren’t at work? We give that brain creative challenges to ponder, evaluate and problem solve! My job is all about numbers and rules. I want my brain to spend time figuring out completely different types of things on the weekends or while I’m drinking coffee in the early morning. Which paper cutter is the best? How does the blue ink work over dried gesso? Do I like thread or embroidery floss better on cards and art journal pages? Is there a way to keep the snails under control with two dogs in the yard? Which succulents are my favorite and which ones aren’t worth my time? How many cards can I make out of one 6×6 paper pad?
Interestingly, I find these questions invigorating and I will get up even earlier to work on them. I have also found that 10 minutes or 30 minutes at the end of a long, hard day does not go unused. Then, I can say that I did SOMETHING besides work or deal with the chaos of life every day. Maybe the project isn’t something I love every day, but it rejuvenates me so I can go back to work. I hope that by following along on my channel, blog and Instagram that you, too, can have something in your day besides work or chaos. Everyone deserves some Crafting and Relaxing.
This year I purchased the EK Tools Scoreboard. In addition to scoring cardstock with it, I am also using it to make envelopes with thinner paper. The directions that come with the board definitely have a flaw or typo, but after wasting some paper I figured it out. To make an A2 envelope (card is one-quarter of an 8 1/2 by 11 inch sheet of paper or 5 1/2 by 4 1/4 inches) follow this basic process:
- Cut an 8 inch square piece of thin paper, cardstock will work, but it isn’t ideal to learn.
- Place the yellow triangle (might be embedded in the back of the scoreboard) in the upper left hand corner of the scoreboard.
- Put one of the points of the 8 inch square of paper along the left hand side of the score board and line one side of the paper up against the triangle, as shown above.
- Score the paper at 2 3/4 inches then rotate it 180 degrees and score at 2 3/4 inches again, same measurement
- Repeat the process for both unscored sides using 3 1/2 inches this time instead.
- Clip out the small triangles created where the score lines meet using any pair of scissors. Quick and easy snips, don’t worry about making them perfect. The score lines will come together at a 90 degree angle, but if you clip them slightly wider you won’t need to expand them later or tidy them up. See pink marker lines in the photo below to see where to cut.
- Lay the paper down (wrong side up if the sides are different) with one of the first score lines closest to you (point toward you). Fold in one side, then the other, now fold the point closest to you over the two sides. (It should look like an envelope by now.)
- Now that you’ve tested it out and can see that the envelope is correct, put adhesive on that last flap you folded up so it will glue to the sides. Be sure to start adhesive an inch away from the point. Any adhesive you have should work, Elmer’s glue, double sided tape or any fancy papercrafting adhesive should get the job done. Don’t glue your envelope shut! If you prefer, you can cut out the pointy part that sticks up – just clip out each side, cutting away that excess square in the middle.
- Then fold the top down and give it a good crease so it’s ready when you want to stuff and glue it.
Other pointers, thing to try once you get the basic idea:
- Vary the paper, use all sorts of patterns and colors. If you use a 12 X 12 sheet there are plenty of scraps to make a matching card when the envelope is done.
- Grab basic paper out of a printer or copier and stamp on it, draw on it, cover it with washi tape (any 8 inch square of paper can turn out beautiful). If I’m stamping I like to stamp all over the paper before I make the envelope so it’s more like patterned paper.
- If your envelopes are patterned and busy, address them with a bold marker like a Sharpie, but remember a Sharpie might bleed through so don’t put the card in the envelope until after you address it.
- To make envelopes that are larger, to allow more room to insert gifts or heavily embellished cards, make the square 8 1/4 or 8 1/2 inches
- You can do this same concept with an 8 inch square on an A2 card without a scoreboard. If you want to make an envelope and don’t have a scoreboard, just wrap the paper around the card like a tidy package. Position one of the points toward yourself, lay the card in the center of the square and move things around until it makes sense. I show you how to do this at the end of my first envelope tutorial if you want to see it. It’s very simple to do.
Click here to see the detailed envelope video tutorial.
Here are two more envelope videos I created to give you some more inspiration:
I posted a video today on the YouTube channel for Crafting and Relaxing called, “How to Make a Basic Card.” It is part of a series that is designed to show beginning card makers how to make cards. You can watch the video, look at the supply list below and hopefully you will be inspired to make a card. In this series I’ll keep things very simple and teach the basics.
- One 8 1/2 x 11 piece of card stock (or a pre-made card base)
- Scissors and ruler (or a paper cutter), not needed if using a pre-made card base
- Scratch paper (I used a paper bag that a purchase came in.)
- Post-it (if you decide to make a mask for a rubber stamp)
- Something to decorate the card base with
- in the video I use three wood-mounted, rubber stamps, a black ink pad, and colored pencils
The first thing I did was cut the white card stock for my card base. I recommend that beginners start with white or cream to get the most versatility from limited supplies. An A2 card is 5 1/2″ by 4 1/4″ and the cards I made in this video are horizontal so I took a piece of 8 1/2″ by 11″ card stock and cut the length of it half by making one cut at 5 1/2″. A regular size 8 1/2″ by 11″ sheet of card stock can always be used to make two card bases. After cutting the card stock I set one half aside for the next card and folded the other piece. I used the EK Tools Scoreboard to score and fold it for the first card, but for the second card I folded it without any tools.
Then, I inked my stamp carefully, tested it on scrap paper, and stamped the images on the front of the card. Be sure to let the images dry all the way before trying to color them. I usually stamp all my images before I start coloring. After everything was dry I colored in all of the images. This took a while so I didn’t do very much of the coloring on the video, but I’ve included photos of the finished cards here on the blog. For the second card I demonstrated a masking technique that can be used to layer images.
I don’t typically decorate the inside of my cards very much because I write big and mail a lot of my cards so I like to leave space. Remember, you’re making the card so if you want to decorate the inside- go for it! There aren’t any rules. If you want to decorate the inside, do it after you complete the front (and it is dry). Then, decorate the inside and be sure it is dry before you close the card.
Keep in mind that the wood-mounted rubber stamps I used on these cards are old so you won’t be able to get the exact same ones. My goal is to show you how little you need to get started and I’ll be doing another similar video soon with products that are currently available. Most stamps sold currently are clear and attach to clear blocks. I’ll give a tutorial on clear stamps in the next video. Also, I don’t ever want you to run out and buy things just because I have them in a video. I have Stampin’ Up colored pencils because that’s what I’ve had forever. If you have other colored pencils use those, maybe you’re lucky enough to have a set of Prismacolor colored pencils sitting around.
If you want to make cards and you don’t think you have any supplies start collecting papers from junk mail (some of the patterns inside security envelopes are make great card layers), tissue boxes have beautiful colors and patterns, gift wrap, tags on clothes/purchases. Just start gathering them in one place and see what color groupings start to emerge. Consider what you have in your house for other activities or what other family members may have:
- colored pencils, watercolor paints, markers or colored pens all work
- acrylic paint and stencils
- embroidery floss or ribbon
- glitter glue…the possibilities are endless
There are two videos on my YouTube channel that I made for a Snowbird with limited supplies. These might give you more ideas for getting started with limited supplies:
Sometimes in life we just need to shake things up a bit. I was going through a rough time and I kept asking my sister questions about the “how to” of painting. To each of my questions she simply replied, “Put the paint on the canvas.” I finally did and I had a great time! I’m not a great painter, but I enjoy doing it.
One day, after I had been painting for a few months, one of my friends told me she was getting a divorce. This friend first found out when her landlord called to ask her if she would be staying in the house after her husband moved out. (Let your brain soak that up for a minute!) I don’t know why, but I just knew she should come over and paint. She came to my house and there were paints, brushes, and some canvases spread out on the table. I gave her the same training my sister gave me, “Put the paint on the canvas.” She made a great first painting, got herself some supplies and continued to make more paintings. It was a nice distraction when she needed it.
Be open to whatever comes your way because it may be just what you need. Think of life as your canvas. When I’m fearful about trying something I remember, “Put the Paint on the Canvas.”