Saturday, May 25, 2013

Cards # 9, 10 and 11 – Paris, Panama, and paper

It may seem that I’m changing the rules of my project as I go, but my card making productivity varies with my work and travel I'm not creating one new card every 7 days as planned. I'm on target for the 52 card goal, though. Two of the cards this week include an embossed stamp on the envelope, which was nifty to make. The blue envelope has a silver embossed medallion on it, and the red vellum envelope has a diamond embossing powder medallion. I used a versa-mark ink pad to place the stamp and a hand-held heating tool to melt and raise the powder- magic!
I would return to Burlington, VT just to get more of this feather paper…can’t stop grinning when I see it. Perhaps I need to work on my photography skills so that one card and envelope can comprise an entire post, with close-ups, etc. But not yet. Next, slip with me to Paris- sunset in the garden behind Notre Dame Cathedral.
Hmmm, maybe I can write a Paris blog post with more photos and fewer cards! Finally, we return to Panama (below), where well over a dozen photos of unique fungi were taken! This was a thank-you note for an amazing post-card I received- talk about adventure (next to the mushroom card).
BTW, NLWM is short for National Letter Writing Month, which I referenced last month. Great fun receiving personal mail!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Cards # 7 and # 8, paper flowers

As I’ve been taking photos of cards and envelopes I created, I realized that they are not so intricate to require multiple pictures of each one for a single blog post. So here are two variations on the theme of flowers.
I’ve surely posted more daffodil photos and references during the past year than any other flower: this is another thank-you note with a catalogue cut-out and a cheerful hand-made envelope. I planted 125 flower bulbs last fall, with the help of Mr. Spice, and have been grinning like a fool every time I come out of the house or back from work and see the blossoms! Of course, more photos have been snapped, for future cards!
I received a great deal of help with this next card, as four-footed friends can’t resist some string! I’ve been saving a map of Prague for about 20 years, and finally decided that it was ok to cut it up and use as an envelope. I have PAID in the past for new envelopes made from old maps! I’m pleased with the results, using (yet again) completely unrelated paper for the envelope liner.

I'd like to try my hand at dried flower stationery- any tips for me?

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Travel to Panama, Part 2

I’ve continued to make greeting cards since starting this project in March, and will have some neat ones to show next week. This has been a great learning experience for me, and while it’s been fun, and I intend to complete the 52 week challenge, I am beginning to think that a card making business may not be for me. I’m not a perfectionist, and it seems to me that if you are going to sell a card for $4+, it had better be perfect, unless you are an original artist painting a unique work.I've had a great time making beautiful cards that aren't perfect!
After our short stays in Panama City and Isla Contadora, we headed inland to Canopy Lodge in El Valle. We had never been on a bird watching vacation, but we like to spend time in nature, and this seemed like a good way to do so. The butterfly is nibbling (or however they eat!) a banana on a raised mesh tray, which also attracted many birds.
We went on morning and afternoon hikes, at quite a rigorous pace. We saw many amazing hummingbirds, sloths, toucans, and vast checklists of other birds including a common potoo! The food was terrific, and we didn’t mind family style dining with other adventuresome tourists.
We would recommend Panama as a vacation destination. You don't have to speak Spanish, but it will make your travel experience better if you do, even minimally. The hotel shuttle offered to bring us a short distance to the Panama Canal for $25, but we knew from Trip Advisor that this was too much from the city. We took a taxi after negotiating the fare: us "buenos dias, cuanto cuesto al Canal?" driver: "ciento" ($100) us: "dies" ($10) driver: "si" (yes)
After more greeting card posts later this month, I'll do a combination travel and card blog by showing photo cards from another trip!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Travel to Panama, Part 1

And now for something completely different! I spent three hours last weekend making greeting cards at a vendor event. The designs are fantastic, but I didn’t want to use those cards as part of this contest, since I made them all on the same day. Not that you would know from seeing them, but I had it easy since all the components, stamps, and tools were on hand for me- I didn’t really have to try hard or be creative. I will use those cards as models and make my own during the coming weeks with supplies that I have to measure and cut or already have on hand.
So I didn’t think you’d mind if I post a travel blog from time to time while I’m working on fresh new photo or multi-layered paper greeting cards. We flew to Panama for vacation two years ago, and enjoyed our time there. This will not be a comprehensive post of everything we did each day, just a general overview. I recommend for detailed trip reports from many other travelers, myself included.
We started in Panama City, and while I’m not a huge fan of city vacations, it makes sense to see a phenomenon such as the Panama Canal when you’re nearby! Plus the arriving flight landed in the evening and that was enough travel for one day. We stayed two nights at Esplendor in the financial district, and would stay there again. The first photo is one of the views from our room and includes the hotel pool area several floors lower.
I could do an entire post about the Panama Canal, but all I will say here is “GO”. The next day we flew in a TINY plane (see photo) to Isla Contadora, a short flight south of Panama City. We enjoyed out time on the island, though we missed potable tap water. The final photo is a view out the front window of the flight back to Panama City…yes, we could see right out over the pilot’s shoulder. Not for those who are uncomfortable on small planes, but it was fun for us! Where is your dream vacation destination?