Archive for Cards

More Postcards

Here are 4 more nengajo, and what may be the final ones in the batch. I’m losing a bit of momentum and kind of want to move onto something else. We’ll see if I have any left in me though.

2010 Postcard (Nengajo) #9 (by Valerie.)    2010 Postcard (Nengajo) #10 (by Valerie.)

2010 Postcard (Nengajo) #11 (by Valerie.)    2010 Postcard (Nengajo) #12 (by Valerie.)


Postcards, Continued

I’ve been working along on my “nengajo,” or New Year’s Day postcards, and have scanned them in batches. I would have made more, but I haven’t been feeling entirely well over the last few days, so I had to take it easy.

Here’s the first batch, finished on Friday:

2010 Postcard (Nengajo) #2 (by Valerie.)    2010 Postcard (Nengajo) #3 (by Valerie.)

2010 Postcard (Nengajo) #4 (by Valerie.)

And the second batch, finished last night:

2010 Postcard (Nengajo) #5 (by Valerie.)    2010 Postcard (Nengajo) #6 (by Valerie.)

I want to mix up the colors more, but this is how they’ve worked out so far. I really like the textured cardstock I have, especially the Japanese “tsumugi” style (I think I got these from Hanko Designs or a local shop carrying their stock), I don’t really want to use the smooth variety. I might need to get some more after these postcards are done!

I’m not sure how many more I want to make, partly because I’m not sure how many I want to send out beyond the ones for swaps. I started a list the other day, so I should finish that and make sure I have the addresses I need, and then keep going.

Beyond that, I came across some simple projects on the Martha Stewart site, listed among ideas for easy handmade gifts.

I have plenty of maps saved in my clipping boxes, but I’d have to buy the coasters and sealant first. The matchbox one, though it’s not the primary part of the project, would be easy, and I have some blank matchboxes. We’ll see though… :)

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My dining room table is covered in all sorts of paper and crafting supplies, and I’ve been trying my hand at making postcards again. I saw some lovely ones done by Dumpsterdiversanonymous and wanted to play around, but I’m not entirely happy with the results so far.

Here’s the first one, a combination of an old Family Circle magazine from the 60s, as well as a bit of an ad from a Japanese booklet of local businesses. I wish I’d done the circle stickers vertically instead, but so it goes.

Pizza Hash Postcard (by Valerie.)

I let that sit for a bit, and then came up with an idea to make postcards for New Year’s, as a little project to keep me busy. I don’t celebrate any holidays during December, but I’m all for ringing in the New Year when it comes. And I know that in Japan, it’s common to send a postcard to friends and family so it arrives on New Year’s Day, so I thought I would do something similar. (The postcards are called nengajo, and you can read more about them and other holiday traditions on Wikipedia’s Japanese New Year page.)

I’d like to make a batch of these postcards, to send to friends, so I thought it would help to have a template or pattern of some sort. I had a rough idea in my head of what I wanted, and put together a mockup in Illustrator, just to see if it would make sense. I found some Japanese-style patterns to use, and here’s what I came up with:

New Year's Postcard Concept

This is just a sample, but my intent is to use different colors, patterns, and images but stick with the same overall design. I have plenty of papers, clippings, and whatever else to work with, so this way I can focus on the selection and combination of those materials. I can even customize them for particular people if I want.

I put together my first card tonight, to make sure it worked all right in paper form, and here’s what I came up with:

2010 Postcard (Nengajo) #1 (by Valerie.)

I’m not feeling entirely enamored with it at the moment, but I think it’s actually ok and will work with other combinations as well. What do you think?

Meanwhile, I’ve also been looking for new swaps on Swap-bot, and tonight I happened across one that sounds perfect for me: 2010 Nengajo (Japanese New Year Postcards). I think I can manage to make 3 cards by the deadline, but we’ll see how the ones for friends go first.

Separately, I’m also running a notebook swap, inspired by one that was already running for European swappers only. This one’s for the US only, but you just send $8 of notebooks and get the same in return.


Pretty Things

As I wrote last time, I’ve been slowly working my way back into crafting through some simple projects, namely postcards. I’ve tried to keep some of that up as much as I’ve had time for it, and I have a few more little projects to share.

To push myself into making things, I signed up for a Paper Source class with a co-worker, at a newer location they opened up in Palo Alto, which isn’t far from here. They have these “girls night out” events, and this one was themed “Indian Summer,” to coincide with their new India collection of papers and rubber stamps.

The workshop itself was nice, though they tried to cram in quite a lot of activities, including making envelopes, heat embossing, and making lanterns. We ran out of time for some of this — though I was ok with skipping on things I already knew how to do — but I walked away with a neat lantern and a few cards, among other things.

Paper Source "Indian Summer" Night Cards (by Valerie.)

I’ve also been joining in on a few swaps on Swap-bot, including one that was color-themed. You could include a handmade item, plus store-bought items, so I made one of my standard square collage postcards. The color was orange, which is a bit outside of my usual colors, but it was fun to play with a bit.

Orange Squares Postcard

Orange for July Swap - Swap-bot - Sent (by Valerie.)

And last, but not least, I’ve been dabbling a bit with making envelopes and other things this weekend, partly to test out a new envelope template I found at a local Japanese shop. I got a little bored with the envelopes, but I finished it all off with a simple postcard, made from scrapbook paper and some stickers I had.

Pretty Things Postcard (by Valerie.)


Summer Postcards

I’ve been trying to ease back into crafting, so I thought I’d start with something simple, like making postcards. A friend showed me some collages she’d done on cardboard and other sturdy materials, so I thought it might be easy enough to cut up a few images and paste things together.

I’ve been sending store-bought postcards through Postcrossing, but it’s really up to you what you send. I thought having some pressure, like in a swap, would help, so I signed up for a handmade postcard swap on Swap-Bot. The theme was open, so that made it easier.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been feeling very well this week and got so little sleep last night. So maybe it wasn’t the best idea to start crafting in the midst of this. I slapped together two postcards, using clipped magazine images, summer-themed stickers, and a bit of glitter and glue, but I really don’t like them. I’m going to chalk it up to feeling so awful, but so it goes.

Fireworks Summer Postcard (by Valerie.)   Watermelon Summer Postcard (by Valerie.)

What do you think? They’re pretty simple, so it’s hard to say much about them, I suppose.

I think for now I’m going to go back to the store-bought postcards, but maybe I’ll try again on some handmade ones soon.