New Beginnings – Crafty Friends Challenge

Hello! Crafty Friends fortnightly challenge is currently focusing on the theme “New Beginnings” and I think I have just the card for a new beginning in a new home.

This card was partially pieced together on the computer, using Photoshop Elements and a free programAvery Design & Print. While most people are familiar with Photoshop, Avery Design & Print may be something new. 

Avery Design & Print is designed to be used with Avery labels and stickers. I have found the templates that the program comes with can be equally used in carding lay outs. You can even make your own templates which I have done for various card sizes. I have found it great to print card elements, as well as entire cards. While the program is designed to print a label sheet, or something similar, I’ve found if I load printer quality cardstock (I use HP Professional Matte Laser Photo Paper), or even paper into the printer, I can get great quality images to use for my cards. Of course, it’s always handy to print labels and stickers for the back of a card, an envelope, jars or whatever takes your fancy.

I actually use this program more than any other. It saves me wasting cardstock, as well as the ever expensive toner and ink cartridges. I am able to place individual items close together on a single sheet, rather than printing one item per page. I would be honestly lost without it when using my printer.

For this card, I used Photoshop Elements to create the front of the card. I traced around the edge of a house shape I’ve had for many years and scanned it into the computer. I filled each individual area with a different digital paper and saved the file as a jpeg. While that sounds easy, and quick, it actually takes quite a while. There is the loading of the paper file into Photoshop and then experimenting with different paper file options to get something that works with the other papers used in the image. As anyone who uses patterned papers will tell you, they don’t always go together well, sometimes they just clash with each other. Matching up papers can take longer than making the card!

After the front of the card was saved, I then used the Avery program to place the image into position for printing onto an A4 sheet. As this card was going to be an A2 card when finished, I made the card front fit into only a quarter of the page. However, using this program, I could have made this image fit any sized card I wanted to make. I then set to work on the inside of the card that was going to be visible once the card was completed.

For the inside of the card I opened a second label page, in the same file I had made the front page in. That’s another great thing about this program. All the elements of your project can be kept on multiple pages, all in the one file, which I find invaluable. I loaded the background paper and created a sentiment area, to both print a greeting and leave space to handwrite on the card when finished. I wanted the sentiment hidden when the card was closed, so placement was critical.

Once both pages of the Avery file were finished, I printed them on opposite sides of the card. This allowed me to simply cut the cardstock down to size and fold it in half.

I then set about making the card look “handmade”. Firstly, I fussy cut the excess spaces from the front of the card, using both scissors and craft knife. I had left white spaces where the windows and doors would be while making the digital front panel, so their placement was easier at this point. I paper pieced windows together, cut thin strips for the roof and cut a front path. I also made a door that opened by simply cutting and scoring the centre of a basic rectangle. I then mounted the front of the door onto a scrap piece of black card for both effect and reinforcement. I finished the door with a small pearl gem as a door handle. 

All these elements were then glued into place with a generic acid free PVA glue and I used that glue because of its extreme strength once dry.

To finish off, I laid a line of PVA glue along both sides of the path, as well as across the front of the house. I sprinkled Sweet Pea Flower Soft over the glue, tapped in down lightly and the shook off the excess. Voilà, instant garden!

I think this card is so cute and anyone going into a new home would just love to receive it.