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Mixed Media Coffee-themed Birthday Card

Time is hard to come by nowadays. Having a baby is one of life's greatest joys... but it can also suck the life out of you! For months, it was hard to find myself again after having a baby. Everything I did revolved around the baby. Whether I ate, slept or drank... all depended on the baby. We've had a tough 6 months, but things are starting to fall into place! Baby is eating, sleeping, playing, growing... we now have a daily routine that allows for Mama and Papa to eat, get some sleep, and even have time for ourselves!

The spare time that I do have is now dedicated to my crafting. There is no more time to waste days away watching tv and sleeping. Those days are gone, but I feel so much more productive and purposeful now!

A year ago, I spent most of my free time binge-watching Netflix shows. I felt like I lost myself before I REALLY lost myself. My life didn't have meaning, didn't have purpose. That's all changed now. I'm a Mama to a gorgeous and precious little girl named Stella. I'm a loving and supportive wife to an amazing husband. I'm a creator of pretty things. I have purpose.

As my time is limited, I've decided to dedicate one week at a time to completing custom card orders. Now when people request a custom card, they must sign up for a week and due date that I have available... because again, my time is limited.

I've been creating more and more custom orders these days. More often than I do classes or create cards just for fun. Although, I find the challenge of creating a custom card enlightening. It pushes me to try new things, explore new card making methods - it's a good thing for me.

This particular card order was for a mom's birthday who enjoys coffee. Whenever I start a custom order, I get some basic details. Who's the card for, what's the occasion and what do they like? These 3 elements help me to design a card to meet the needs of my customer.

Once I have these basic details, I do a Pinterest search using those details... in this case, "birthday and coffee". I mostly found card designs that included a coffee-like "stain", so I wanted to try that!

Here are some of the images from Pinterest that inspired my card design:

Next, I search my supplies in Evernote to see what I can use to design the card. Sometimes, as with coffee in this case, I find myself lacking the products just because I've never explored a certain topic - here it was coffee - I really didn't have anything!

I start my search for new products using and Simon Says Stamp. Same as Pinterest, I look up "birthday and coffee" or just "coffee" to keep it more unlimited, and I just keep "birthday" in mind when looking through the products and designing the card.

Sometimes I don't have the completed card mapped out before buying new products. I just order a mix of things that speak to me. In this case, it was a coffee stamp with sentiments, a coffee cup die, a coffee themed stencil, and a coffee "stain" stamp. In my final design, I ended up using every one of these products... so really, the new supplies are an investment that will help me with designing future cards!

I began creating this card using the Simon Says Stamp "Coffee Drinks" stencil to create a background. I took two Catherine Pooler inks (Buttercream and Over Coffee) and blended them through the stencil onto some white cardstock (Neenah Solar White 80lb.). Afterwards, I played with creating a "coffee stain" using a technique I learned from the Stamp and Scrapbook Expo this past year. I inked up the "coffee stain" from the Altenew "Coffee Ring" stamp set with a dye ink/water-reactive ink (CP inks), and then I sprayed the stamp with water before stamping it onto my stenciled background. This created a "watercolor-like" image that worked well for creating a "coffee stain" on paper.

After creating the background, I came up with the layout design. I played around with some coordinating brown card stocks, I had corrugated paper leftover from a past coffee project years ago, and I decided to add a pop of color to complement the brown neutral, which was pink!

I then picked out an appropriate sentiment that related to the "coffee and birthday" theme from the My Favorite Things "Coffee Order" stamp set and also die cut some coffee cups from the Spellbinders "Coffee or Tea Etched Dies" set. I used scraps from the papers I collected, the stamp and the die cuts to play around with the layout for the card design. I didn't even have a card sketch in mind, but the card came together as if I had referred to a card sketch... it wasn't just a basic matte layout card.

To add interest to the coffee cups, I "distressed" the edges by blending some brown ink around the edges of the cup to give it a "dirty/used coffee cup" look. Once I figured out my layout, I cut down the cardstocks accordingly, stamped my sentiment, and added my die cuts. At first, I had only one coffee cup, and I couldn't seem to get the placement just right -- the card seemed off-balanced, so that's when I decided to create two cups to place onto my card - this looked a lot better than just the one die cut!

After cutting, gluing, and stamping, I added a few sequin embellishments to fill in an empty space and give the card some sparkle. I also used the Studio Calico "Hearts" die (retired) that was perfectly imperfect to match the rustic feel of the card design. I adhered the hearts to the coffee cups and used a Spectrum Noir Sparkle Pen to add the glitter/sparkle my customer requested - a detail I almost forgot about before referring to the order form!

I'm very pleased with how this mixed media card came out -- I couldn't stop looking at it! Do you ever just sit and admire the creation you made? I definitely do! Especially since I surprise myself sometimes with the final look of the card - usually it's something different than I've done previously.

I had a leftover banner that I created and never used, so I stamped a birthday sentiment on it that I created by mixing a few Lawn Fawn stamp sets and placed it on the inside of the card to finish it off. That's exactly what it needed to change the "love" aspect of the card to a birthday card.

The client loved this card, and I loved it too for helping me think outside of the box and apply new techniques I've learned.

What's a new technique that you've been meaning to put into practice? Comment your answer below!

Thanks for stopping by! Happy crafting :)


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Pam Watson

Hi, I'm Pam, and welcome to my Blog where I share all of my crafty adventures!



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