Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Bespoke Beauties

So, last week I had my first order for a bespoke card . . . and then another . . . and then another . . . All from people I know, but at least its a start and shows that people trust me to interpret their ideas and create something special.
The first order was from my friend, Nat, whose specification was a card with a bird on it.  Not the most detailed or exact specification, but that may be a good thing, maybe, and at least the specification was a bit more exact than that of order number two, from my step-mother.  Her detailed and informative specification for a card for her friend’s birthday was ‘something nice, with ‘friend’ on it’.  At least my Pops piped up with ‘she likes flowers’, which gave me a little something to work with. 
Finally, my mother’s specification was ‘a card for your grandma with ‘Mam’ on it, because that’s what I call her. Errrm, Mother . . . 1. I’ve never heard you call her that in all my 26 years (and yes Mother, I am only 26, despite you telling everyone that I am 30!), and 2. I call her ‘old bag’, ‘ancient’ and ‘Granny Marjorie’ (admittedly not to her face) and she would quite possibly shoot me if I put that on a card for her – especially the ‘Granny Marjorie’ one.  That may be my Grandma’s actual name, but anyone who calls her that gets the grandma death stare, and as a result, she is known to everyone as Grandma Madge –even those who aren’t her actual grandchildren.  I think she is actually honorary grandma to anyone under the age of 40, but she’s not your typical grandma.
More often than not my grandma dresses better than the rest of us, goes to the gym every day, goes on a zillion (no exaggeration) holidays a year, and if I look as good as she does at her age, I will be extremely happy.
Anyway, back to the cards.  Despite my mother’s extreme unhelpfulness on specification, gran’s card was probably the easiest to design.  Of course, it helps that I know her so well and that we are scarily alike.  She loves butterflies and has butterfly things all over her home (in an extremely tasteful way, naturally), so a butterfly it was to be.  I found a square of purple glittery card I forgot I had and stuck it at a jaunty angle (I love jaunty angles) to the card.  I then stuck a butterfly I bought from The Works (www.theworks.co.uk) a few weeks ago to the square, with flower embellishments positioned along one edge of the purple glitteriness.  I would have like to do all sides but didn’t have enough.  It was then purely a matter of using some letter stickers to spell out ‘Mam’, and voila!, one card.
Next was the bird card for my friend, Nat.  I’d found a cute stamp on ebay, which I’d ordered at the weekend, and had arrived earlier in the week.  This was to be the central piece to my card.  I’d like to say that I was inspired by the upcoming jubilee for my colour scheme of red and blue, but that would be a lie – I currently only have red, green and black inkpads (but I do intend rectifying this).  I found some nice blue pearlescent blue paper in my paper stash.  I should really look through all the papers I have and find out what exactly is there, but it is unlikely to happen unless I get REALLY bored.
With my theme sorted, I thought something other than the bird was needed, so I stamped some flowers in red to match the bird.  With hindsight, I should maybe have punched the flowers from red card, as the stamped flowers were a total pain to cut out.  The effect of them is quite good though.
I still thought something else was needed, so I decided to be a big kid and splodge red glitter strategically, i.e. totally haphazardly, over the card.  And do you know what Nat’s favourite bit was?  The damn glitter!!
Finally, I had the card for my step-mum’s friend to make, which was possibly the hardest, as I had no idea where to start.  Step-mother had seen some cards I had made previously and liked some vintage pink paper I had used, but alas, I had no more of that left L.  So, I trawled through my paper stash and found something similar.  Although it is a lovely paper, it is such a busy patter that I couldn’t think of anything that would hold its own against such a background.  I must have had my whole craft stash out at some point trying to find something that would go with the card.  In the end I settled on a sparkly butterfly that would fit with the vintage feel the backing paper had inspired. 
Luckily, the card was easy to finish off with ‘Happy Birthday’ and ‘Friend’ sentiments/
So, that is the trial of my first bespoke cards over, and I only got paid for one of them, but I am looking forward to my next bespoke orders.  Let’s see what challenges they bring . . .
Happy crafting!
Holly xx

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