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Old 12-25-2008, 03:33 PM   #1
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Default What have I gotten myself into?!

My family decided to give each other handmade presents this year... yay, that was really fun! I made everyone a custom notebook with the Bind-it-All and a coordinating bookmark. That went really well, but somehow it didn't seem like enough... so I ended up giving five members of my family each a membership in the "Happy Mailbox" club, which means I'll send them each at least two cards per month, one to keep and one to share with someone else (and that special requests for birthdays, thank-yous, whatever are welcome).

It seemed like such a great idea at the time, and I figured it would get me stamping instead of just shopping. But now I am kind of freaked out realizing that I will be making more cards each MONTH than I made all last YEAR! Am I crazy? Has anyone else done anything like this... and survived?
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Old 12-25-2008, 04:36 PM   #2
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Wow! That was a great gift but I can see how it could now feel overwhelming. Might I suggest that you start stocking up and making a stack to pull from? I would suggest this site to help you save some time. http://sheetload.blogspot.com/
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Old 12-25-2008, 04:37 PM   #3
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oh wait! I just realized something!! You gave this gift to all your family members so theoretically, each card needs to be different because they would be sending each other cards! Yikes! What about hosting a swap? Then you could make a stack of one card and trade out with others that made a stack too? It would be faster that way.

Good luck!
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Old 12-25-2008, 04:40 PM   #4
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Thank you so much for the Sheetload link! I am always looking for new sources of inspiration and this looks like a great one. Even if I don't make the cards exactly the same way, the sketches & cutting diagrams are very helpful... bookmarking it now.
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Old 12-25-2008, 04:44 PM   #5
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What a generous gift! I would stamp some card sets and then split them up-do a whole batch of cards at a time-that is always easier-bulk card-making.

One night cut and score all of your card bases, you can then cut all of your CS/DP over a few days, then stamp out your images another day or two, then another time assemble and yet another time embellish. Sounds like a lot I know-but when you break it down it's much easier to get the volumes done.

Let us know how it goes for you! Great gift though!!
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Old 12-25-2008, 05:51 PM   #6
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I always get overwhelmed when "I HAVE TO" make cards for anything. And they always come out the worst . When I make them because I feel like it they come out so much better. But that is me.
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Old 12-25-2008, 06:08 PM   #7
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You can do it. Look through the gallery and fine different techniques to try. Also, don't worry about copying cards. You can send them all the same birthday card for their birthday at the very least. As for mixing it up for their give-away, make a point to try out new colors and use old stamp sets that have gathered dust.
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Old 12-25-2008, 06:26 PM   #8
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What a neat idea! They are going to love this. Yes, it will be a lot of work, but they will really look forward to each month's installment. One year I couldn't think of what to give my recently divorced brother for his birthday. I decided to give him a batch of cookies each month for a year. He really appreciated them each month. I agree, the Sheetloads link is a good one, even if you just use it as a springboard to your own designs.
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Old 12-26-2008, 06:59 AM   #9
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What a fabulous gift idea, love it!

You can do it! Do you play along with the challenges here on SCS? That's a great way to get going with some cards and if you can play each day that's seven cards in a week so you'd be on target for what you need in the blink of an eye!

I'm thinking that the cards you send people to keep for themselves don't need to be different so you could decide on a 'design of the month' and send them each a card of that design. You could link it to the season or a relevant holiday or whatever and even ring the changes a little if you want to buy keeping the same design (layout, stamps) but switching out colours or embellies.

Have fun!
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Old 12-26-2008, 07:37 AM   #10
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Why do we do this to ourselves? I gave co-workers covered notepads, matching pens, and a coaster calendar, along with one of those cute Santa bags with m&ms in it. All of this took me days of work to prepare, each was personalized, they were really nice, IMHO. And yet, when I gave them to people, I felt like I had to apologize because I had to make gifts this year. No one said a word, everyone was thankful and gushed about how cute it all was, but in the back of my head, I couldn't let it go.

Why are we so hard on ourselves???

Anyway, you can do this!!! And they will love everything!
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Old 12-26-2008, 10:43 AM   #11
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Old 12-26-2008, 11:47 AM   #12
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Last year, I made calendars with everyone's birthday (all computer generated) to give each family ) 3 siblings, 4 college age nieces, and tw =o aunts. . We also doa mystery gift exchange. I counted up - there are 28 bithdays in the family - so that was my Mystery Gift - enough cards to send one to everyone! I overextended our $25 limit - just told everyone my gift was "priceless". And the person who picked that gift loved it.

To RedMolly - honestly - you will have so much fun making these cards to send along! Enjoy the stamping part - they can enjoy the receiving part!
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Old 12-26-2008, 11:52 AM   #13
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These are all such wonderful ideas... thank you to everyone for the encouragement and inspiration, and please feel free to keep it coming! I knew I could count on SCS to make me feel better.
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Old 12-26-2008, 12:39 PM   #14
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What a fun gift idea! A way to get ahead and take the pressure off is to make up your cards in batches of four or six. What I do is make up one card as if it was a one-of except make multiple stampings of the focal image. Once that card is finished and I've gone through the agony of colour, patterned paper, etc etc choices and made one card I'm happy with, I am able to very quickly assemble multiple copies or versions of the same card.

The card sketches and other challenges are a great starting point and "road map" towards a finished card, but I used to frustrate myself to no end with the challenges by expecting it would take very little time to create a fabulous card if I just used for example a sketch and a pack of Basic Grey coordinating paper. Give yourself all the time you need to make the first card in a batch, so you can enjoy the process!

Another great resource for making quickish but elegant and beautiful cards is Sharon Johnson's blog:
http://notimetostamp.blogs.splitcoaststampers.com/
She hosts weekly "Stamp Simply" challenges with links to examples, and very good advice on how to make absolutely smashing cards without feeling like smashing in your head in frustration.
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Old 12-26-2008, 04:37 PM   #15
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I agree, what a great gift idea!!! I wouldn't worry about making them all different. Just do a stack or two each month, i.e. "bulk stamping" . Maybe the same stamp set and layout, but changing the color/embellies, etc. It will work out a lot easier than you think!!
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Old 12-26-2008, 05:17 PM   #16
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What a great idea we aren't doing DH's side of the family until after New Year's so that's exactly what I'm going to do for his grandmother. I never know what to get for her and this would be perfect!

Fabulous idea and good luck stampin!
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Old 12-27-2008, 02:02 AM   #17
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I think that's a wonderful idea for a present - I love ones that last all through the year .
Loads of good suggestions above already. I'd go along with doing some of the daily challenges, a great way of builiding up extra cards. And to save time, if you're sending two to a person at a time, one for them to keep and one for them to use, then they don't have to be that different, could even be the same. Because after all, it's coming up with ideas that is the slow part - once you have an idea you could make two, or even four. Just maybe keep a list of what cards you have sent to whom? (I'd need to, had a big problem this year when I was getting low on Christmas cards but couldn't remember who had got my main design last year!).
The only thing I might not have done is welcome special requests, LOL. Fine if they just say they need a birthday card, or a new baby, but not if they get too specific in their requests.
Go for it and try to enjoy it - and the opportunity to be creative.
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Old 12-27-2008, 06:26 AM   #18
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That was such a great idea for a gift
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