Thursday, March 26, 2015

Applying For A Craft Design Team? Top 5 things you need to know!

As a freelance craft blogger, I have crafty friends who've applied to be on design teams; small companies, large companies, independant franchises.......
design teams come in many shapes and forms.   



What exactly does it take to get on a design team?








In my own endeavors, I've contemplated this issue and decided to do a little research.  The best people to answer these questions would be those at the top, so, I did just that and went straight to the source.  In this case, I've polled several companies with a checklist of questions, hoping to get the answers that can help you reach your goal.

The companies who responded are all well known in the craft industry and range from small but well established businesses, to large companies with a worldwide business reach.  Yes, I've been talking with some big, big businesses.  You use their products every single day.  

So, let's get to it. I posed 5 questions to the representatives of several companies, two of which, were the business owners themselves who offered up the responses.  Let me mention that one particular company responded with no set requirements, but rather has an eye for what the company is looking for and goes with a gut feeling.




Sizzix Big Shot Starter Kit

from: Sizzix






1.   Is experience a requirement?  Or does someone new to the scene, with a fresh approach, stand a chance?
  • Experience is preferred.  A company will look at your blog to see what kind of content you're posting and what your blog looks like.   Go look at the blogs of the current design team.  It will tell you a lot about a company.  So, how does one gain experience?  Apply everywhere, all the time.  You will get a lot of rejections.  Don't give up!

2.   Does it help to have connections?  Other company contacts who know you and can vouch for your work ethic?  
  • It doesn't hurt to have connections, however, it's not a requirement.  So, if you know someone in the company or have a friend somehow connected, reach out and make contact.   Word of mouth is a powerful thing.  Let your crafty friends know you're looking .  Sometimes it does help to know people!




3.  What do you look for in researching your applicants?  Use of your product in their social media and blog posts?  Other?

  • Companies are looking for specific content.  Follow the trends and know what's hot.  As of this writing, these project types were mentioned by the companies I polled:   home d├ęcor, food, crafts made with an electronic die-cutter, jewelry making, fashion, quilting, sewing, paper crafts, party planning, teen & kids crafts, scrapbooking, card making
  • Being active in social media is a must.   Your profiles will need to be public.  For example, if you're listing your Facebook page on your DT application, but it's not a public page, you need to consider setting up a separate page from your personal page.  Give it a name that companies can identify with you.  For example, I have my own personal Facebook page, but for crafting purposes, you can find me at Waving My Wand.  Keep the same name for all your social media.  It's a good marketing tool and a good way of branding yourself.
  • Can I share my own observation here?  Based on conversations I've had with other craft bloggers, and as evidenced by following applicants who've been picked for design teams,  many companies go with applicants who are current users of their products.   

4.  Is there something to be said for enthusiasm?  Can it hurt or help for an applicant to follow up their application with an enthusiastic  endorsement?  Or is it best to remain silent and let your work speak  for itself?
  • Either of those reactions is perfectly acceptable.   


5.   Is there anything that can hurt an applicant?
  • An application that is not complete.  Make sure you follow the guidelines of the application.  If they're asking for your 3 favorite card making projects, show them just that.  The last 3 favorite DIY projects?  Give them what they're asking for.   Don't veer off topic and show them something else that you think is fabulous but doesn't meet the criteria of what they're asking for.


Is this helpful information?  I hope so.  Let me know what you think. 






Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links so, if you purchase a product using the link I may receive a commission. I only participate in the affiliate programs linked above because they are products that I use and love. Your purchase price is not affected in any way, by using my links.  Thank you for your support and helping me keep my content free!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Speckled Egg Easter Cards + Free SVG file and Giveaway!

Here's my project for the Unity Stamp sponsored contest over at Mountain Plains Crafters.  We are so excited to take the time to recognize National Craft Month, and to have Unity Stamps join us by donating not just one prize, but two!  

Be sure you "like" MPC at the link above, and tag your friends on the pinned post to qualify for the prize.  One tagger, and their friend, will each win a grab bag of 25 stamps from the Unity Stamp
Company.  Awesome sauce!



For my project, I'm showing you how I made a set of fun Speckled Easter Egg Shaped cards.  I'm using 3 different Unity stamps today, and will share the links with you below.  If you are a Cricut Explore user, I'm happy to share the cutting file for you, as well.  It will be at the end of this post.




I started by creating an egg shaped card using my Cricut Explore and the online Design Space.  I placed a score line as well, to fold the card.  I also created the accompanying egg shaped panel for the front and inside of the card.  Once folded, I trimmed a flat edge on the bottom of my card so it would stand upright a little better.





Next, I have my Unity stamp called "Bubbly", from the Webster's Pages collection.  I'm going to directly apply ink using my Tombow Dual Brush pens from the Bright Collection.  After applying the ink, I will then spritz with water and apply to my white cardstock.  Repeat this several times to complete cover the egg.







Next, I'm adding a strip of washi tape onto white cardstock for a border on my egg.  You can simply trim a piece of colored cardstock if you'd rather.  

For the sentiment, I'm heat embossing on textured cardstock, using Versamark, Zing Aqua embossing powder and my heat tool.   I love this sentiment font.  It's from the Pretty Easter Finds set.

Here are a couple close-ups of the Speckled Egg cards.  Thanks so much to the Unity Stamp Company for sponsoring our giveaway for National Craft Month!




Now, here's the link for you to cut your own Easter Egg shaped cards with coordinating panels.  This can only be used with the Cricut Explore and the online Cricut Design Space that is only for the Explore.  

https://us.cricut.com/design/#/canvas/26114007  **Please note, before cutting, the mat size wanted to change to 12x24.  Just ignore and keep going, it cuts fine on 12x12.

Copy and paste this link into your address bar at the top of the screen.  It will take you directly to design space where you will then log in.  Be sure and save the file.  Enjoy!


Additional Supplies: Unity Sentiment from the "Feel Better Soon" kit (stamped inside card), Powder Puff Tahini chalk ink, Doodlebug Design glitter enamel dots, Bazill cardstock,  DCWV Quince Blossom cardstock (inside card)

#nationalcraftmonth #tombow #unitystamps #dcwv #easter #americancrafts #cricuteverywhere #cricut #svg

Thursday, March 19, 2015

WRMK Photo Fuse - Free-styling it with a Heart Shaped Shaker!

Earlier this week, I blogged about my first test use (here) with the We R Memory Keepers Photo Fuse.    Today's post is a continuation of that.  Today, I will be fusing a pocket as well, but instead of fusing my stamped image and sequins all at once, this time I'm creating a pocket only for the sequins, and free-handing a fused heart shape. 

Scroll down, because it's going to get fun! (As of this writing, this tool is still on back-order and hard to find!)




 The first thing I did, was draw a heart, free-handed, with a marker on a page protector. 
After the fusing process, I left a gap to fill with sequins, which I will finish fusing after
I've filled my pocket.

I used the WRMK Inked Rose cardstock for this project today.  I also used my trimmed, fused pocket as a template for drawing my heart on the polka dot cardstock.  It doesn't have to be perfect, because all the edges won't show once I place my panel later on.

I did a stamp test on the back of my heart so I could get an idea of where the image needed to be placed.  I adhered my pocket to the stamped cardstock by running adhesive on about 3 corners.  The outline of the smaller heart?  That's about the size I'll be cutting from my rose panel, approximately 1/2" smaller than my heart pocket.  I'll be using a craft knife for the smaller heart.
 


Here you can see where I cut the smaller heart, again free-handed.  I have a tendency to eyeball and cut freestyle, but you could use a 3" heart punch or your die-cutting machine to cut out a 3" heart centered on a 6"x6" piece of cardstock.  I did save the smaller cut-out heart from the rose panel, to use on the inside of my card as an embellishment, then added a smaller heart to which I stamped another sentiment and blended with some ink.
 
Alas, the lighting isn't the best on these photos, as I was at an all day crop event when I made them. 

I wish I could say that the WRMK Fuse is mine, but I borrowed it from a friend for testing.  It's definitely on my wishlist!


Here's my final photo, a close up of the heart pocket.  Yes, I was a little overly happy, pouring those sequins in, but isn't it colorful and pretty?  The stamped sentiments are from So Suzy Stamps and the Prima Marketing Flowers have been enhanced with some Frosted Lace Stickles.  That's it for now.  Maybe I should gift myself a Fuse for Easter?
 



Additional supplies: Tombow Mono Aqua Glue, Tombow power bond adhesive runner, sequins from Hobby Lobby, scrap lace, May Arts Ribbon satin white ribbon, Close To My Heart black archival ink 

#wrmk #tombow #mayartsribbon #nationalcraftmonth #CTMH #sosuzystamps #Cre8time


Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links so, if you purchase a product using the link I may receive a commission. I only participate in the affiliate programs linked above because they are products that I use and love. Your purchase price is not affected in any way, by using my links.  Thank you for your support and helping me keep my content free!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Handmade Gift-Giving ...It IS the thought that counts

Wedding season is upon us.  How do I know this?  Well, for one, I read it on Facebook, so it has to be true.  I can tell you this; love is in the air in our family. My sister's youngest is getting married soon.  Wedding preparations are under way and I've been "volun-told" to make several crafty things in preparation.


I sought to make something decorative for the couple-to-be and decided on a decorative candle.  But how to personalize?  Well, I inquired as to the colors of the wedding and they are gray and coral.   In looking through my coloring tools, I have a gray and I have what looks to be a light peach.  Maybe that will work?   I chose the word "Faith" because my nephew plays in the worship band at church and he and his bride-to-be are strong in faith.  What better foundation for a marriage?


I begin to work.  Uh, oh, this light peach color a.k.a faux coral, is a bit brighter orange than I thought.  And the gray?  It's a bit dark.  What to do?  The only thing a crafter can do; work with what you've got.





So the colors don't exactly match the theme of the wedding.  I could probably have gone crafty shopping (seriously, it was the perfect excuse to go shopping!) but instead, I poured all the love I had into this project, using the tools I had at hand.  While I was at it, I learned that yes, using a heat tool and wax paper on the mesh ribbon will also melt the ribbon onto the candle (which is what I was going for).   Bonus!


I learned something new, and, I created a beautiful, personal gift for someone special.  I think the sweet couple will recognize that this came from my heart, and isn't that really what matters?  

You can learn about the technique I used to decorate this candle here:






I would love to thank the makers of the products I used today as they are products I absolutely adore.  Take a look!



Additional Supplies: ADORNit Art Play Paintables "Home" collection, Marvy Le Pen black ultra fine point, Tombow Dual Brush pens in Groovy, Bright and Soda Shop, May Arts Ribbon green mesh, May Arts Ribbon natural burlap string, Doodlebug Designs enamel dots, Stickles Tropical Tangerine glitter glue, heat embossing tool, Tombow Mono Aqua Glue




Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links so, if you purchase a product using the link I may receive a commission. I only participate in the affiliate programs linked above because they are products that I use and love. Your purchase price is not affected in any way, by using my links.  Thank you for your support and helping me keep my content free!
#nationalcraftmonth #tombow #mayartsribbon #adornit #cre8time #wedding #watercolor #glitter


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Shaker cards with the We R Memory Keepers Photo Fuse? Easy!

 I recently hosted an all day local crop, along with a friend.  We had so much fun meeting crafty friends that we only knew online, as well as re-uniting with old friends.  Of course, it was the perfect opportunity for me to work on some new projects.


As luck would have it, my pal Cassie, from Cassie's Craftspot, brought the brand new We R Memory Keepers Photo Fuse, still new in the box and untouched by human hands!  To put the icing on the cake, she let me break it in.  Ah....a girl after my own heart..... (check out her crafty Youtube channel and you might catch her husband goofing off in the background!)




But first, we must have something to create with the WRMK Fuse, so, I started by coloring this image, from the ADORNit Art Play Paintables set "Sweet", with my Tombow dual brush pens




Once I colored my image, I placed it into a pocket protector, along with my sequins and bling.  Next, I lined up where I wanted to fuse and began working that precision machine like a surgeon with a scalpel! Be sure you use a thick craft mat as this did leave some burn mark. (thanks Meg, for letting me burn your mat!)





Here's my shaker pocket, all finished.  Did I mention the pretty paper?  Also, from ADORNit.  It's their blender paper and I LOVE it!  I'm using the blue chevron and pink.



Next, it was on to the panel card and frame for my "pocket of colorful, blingy goodness".  I used some fun green mesh ribbon from May Arts Ribbon and adhered strips to the backside of my panel with Tombow adhesive.

I free hand just about everything and the square to this panel was cut with my craft knife so that it was about 1/4"-1/2" smaller than my fused pocket.  I ran adhesive on my white cardstock and centered my pocket, then centered my panel on top of that and popped it out with foam squares. 





You see all those pretty, colorful blingy things that I used for shakers?  Most of that came from So Suzy Stamps.  Skittles and Sequins.  I used the "Stream" blue skittles along with pink sequins.   They are gorgeous little chunks of delight!  Of course she has lots of stamps and other fun goodies.  You should check her out.  I'll be featuring one of her stamps later in the week.


Yup.  I'm going to have to get me one of these.  The fuse, that is.  They are on back order EVERYWHERE.  I couldn't even find information about it at the We R Memory Keepers website. But it's definitely on my wish list.  It was super easy to make shaker pockets and anything that makes my crafty life easy is a keeper in my book!



Additional supplies: Stickles Frosted Lace, white gel pen, The Paper Studio square foam dots

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links so, if you purchase a product using the link I may receive a commission. I only participate in the affiliate programs linked above because they are products that I use and love. Your purchase price is not affected in any way, by using my links.  Thank you for your support and helping me keep my content free!

#nationalcraftmonth #tombow #adornit #sosuzystamps #wrmk #cre8time

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Unity Stamp Co GIU Blog Hop






  It's time for the 2nd GIU blog hop of 2015!



  (You should have arrived here from Lena's site) 

The Unity Stamp Company sent this lovely stamp set created by the illustrious artist, Phyllis Harris, titled "Brandy & Emma: Bubbles of Fun.  I'll admit, I'm a bit nervous as I'm not a Copic user and coloring is not a big skill set of mine.  However, I had an idea to go all "whimsical" with this set, and use what skills I do have.  That includes water coloring and the use of my Tombow Dual brush markers. 


 



I started with a wood panel and blender paper from ADORNit,
then covered with some washi tape.





Next, I embellished a wood phrase from Fancy Pants Design, by inking and adding bubbles.  I even dipped a sharpie cap into my ink pad and added more bubbles.  (Stamp below from Unity titled, "Bubbly")




I also stamped some little colorful bushes, using the Unity set "Insightful Meadows" and added some Flower Soft in "Meadow" for the green grass.

To add more bubbles, I simply masked the part of the stamp I didn't want to use.



Look close and you'll see that I made iridescent bubbles by tinting.  I'm sure it's been done before but I had the idea and went with it.  I used Ranger Glossy Accents, then ran my pink Tombow marker across an acrylic block, dipping a wet paintbrush into the mix and tinting the tops of my wet, glossy bubbles.  The picture below shows the bubbles after they've dried.  I love how it turned out!


So there you have it.  Lots of color, bubbles and extras to make this whimsical art piece.  Now, hop on over to Tenia's page to see what she cooked up! 

If you've missed someone along the way, here is the order of the hop:































Be sure and comment at all the blogs for a chance to win a super prize....details here:


Additional supplies: May Arts Ribbon pink raffia bow string, orange chevron ribbon and pink burlap string, Target washi tape, DecoArt Glamour Dust in Crystal, Tim Holtz distress ink Tumbled Glass, Tim Holtz distress ink Picket Fence dabber, Tombow dual brush pens from the Bright Collection, Le Marvy black ultra fine point pen, Memento ink London Fog, Cricut die cuts,  circle punch scrap paper, Freckled Fawn neon enamel dots, buttons from The Scrapbook Princess (maker unknown), Ranger blending tool, Ranger Adirondack black ink,  Strathmore 300 series 140 lb watercolor paper, Tombow mono adhesive super bond, Prima Marketing flowers, My Favorite Things rolled scallop flower die, Graphic 45 Sweet Sentiments paper (rolled flowers), Tulip gold fabric paint

#unitystamps #nationalcraftmonth #tombow #mayartsribbon #cre8time #decoart #cricut

Monday, March 9, 2015

Vintage Guy Birthday card

As many card markers do, I have lots of scraps, in all shapes and sizes.  We crafters are a thrifty lot and we save EVERYTHING!   I decided to dive into the archives to make this manly card for a customer.  I've used bits of Teresa Collins Vintage Finds papers along with some other scrap pieces.  The stamping, inside and out, is from the Unity Stamp Co Birthday Jubilee kit and the ink I chose for today is Colorbox in Saddle.  It was the perfect shade to match the vintage background.
To embellish, I added some May Arts Ribbon natural burlap string and Studio Calico Woodgrain enamel dots, along with the burlap bird sticker from Little Yellow Bicycle.  And, that's a wrap!


 







Additional supplies: Pop Dots, Tombow Xtreme adhesive runner, We R Memory Keepers yellow striped cardstock from the SHINE 12x12 stack.




 
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links so, if you purchase a product using the link I may receive a commission. I only participate in the affiliate programs linked above because they are products that I use and love. Your purchase price is not affected in any way, by using my links.  Thank you for your support and helping me keep my content free!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

BABY GIRL SHOWER DRESS CARD

A friend asked me to make a baby shower card, so this was the perfect time to try a new design with a file I purchased from SVGAttic, to use with my Cricut Explore.  And..there's a fun baby challenge going on over at Tombow, so I'll be linking up to that as well. 

The dress file, is actually from a Communion set.  I simply removed the elements I didn't want to use, and designed this to resemble a little baby spring dress.  

To piece this together, I cut all my elements on heavy white cardstock, with the exception of the smock which is from the DCWV Quince Blossoms 12x12 stack.  The gemstones were applied with my Tombow mono aqua glue and I used my Tombow Xtreme adhesive runner to secure everything else.    I love that this is a stand-up card.  The sides fold and you can write on the backside of the card.  I plan to add a removable panel with a special sentiment, should the mother want to remove for framing....
just as soon as my friend gets it to me!


 Dimensions: 4" x 5.25" 



 

Additional supplies:   Thermoweb lines (under rolled ribbon strip), 
Studio G adhesive gemstones

#nationalcraftmonth #tombow #mayartsribbon #svgattic #thermoweb #dcwv

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links so, if you purchase a product using the link I may receive a commission. I only participate in the affiliate programs linked above because they are products that I use and love. Your purchase price is not affected in any way, by using my links.  Thank you for your support and helping me keep my content free!



Friday, March 6, 2015

Cupcake in Color

Happy Friday!  It took long enough to get here, didn't it?  Well, I have some new stamps I'm breaking in from So Suzy Stamps  and am featuring the Skinny Swirl cupcake stamp.  There are SO many ways you can use this.  Plus, There are a few fun challenges I plan on entering my card into and I'll list those at the end of this post.  

But first, I decided to do some heat embossing in white, and then get crazy with yellow and pink watercolors, using my Tombow dual brush pens.

I started by heat embossing the image with Versamark clear ink, white embossing powder and my heat gun.  Next, I blotted my large acrylic block with the yellow and pink markers, then added water and colored my cupcake.  When I was finished I took my colored image and watercolor paper and smooshed it onto the acrylic block, getting those excess watercolors all over my paper. and then blotted some of the watercolor onto a tissue to help it dry quicker.  It's a fun technique and I highly recommend it if you want to get out some aggression, haha.



I added some Neon Flamingo Stickles in places, just for a little fun embellishment and glitter as well.  I also did some blending around the cupcake base for added dimension using Tim Holtz Tumbled Glass distress ink and my blending too.  You can see that I did some ink blending all around the card as well, using Colorbox Pinkolicious.   For the inside, I stamped a So Suzy stamp sentiment and added some embellishments.  Such a fun card.


I'm entering these challenges:


 
Additional supplies:  Queen & Company pink striped trendy tape, May Arts Ribbon yellow bakers twine, We R Memory Keepers Shine yellow cardstock, Ranger Glossy Accents, DecoArt Glamour Dust in Crystal, Thermoweb Zots, Tombow Xtreme adhesive runner, Tombow Dual Brush Pens, Close To My Heart black dye ink, Ranger white embossing powder

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links so, if you purchase a product using the link I may receive a commission. I only participate in the affiliate programs linked above because they are products that I use and love. Your purchase price is not affected in any way, by using my links.  Thank you for your support and helping me keep my content free!

#tombow #cre8time #mayartsribbon #nationalcraftmonth #wrmk #sosuzystamps #thermoweb

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Watercolored Easter Eggs

I've got yet another Easter card for you today.  Hey, I can't help it.  It's cold and snowy right now, and I'm in the mood for Spring!  Plus, I'm still making cards for an order, so there's that.....

This card features several fun elements; watercoloring, stamping, die cuts and washi tape.  I'm totally in love with all the bright colors here, aren't you?


I started by stamping with my new So Suzy Stamps (Easter Egg, grass) using my Simon Says Stamp lavender dye ink.  Next, I water colored with my Tombow Dual Brush Markers from the Bright Collection.  As luck would have it, the new March challenge at So Suzy Stamps is watercolor.  Yay!  I'll be entering into that challenge, for sure.

Awhile back, I cut some flags with my Cricut Explore and had some leftover trim.  I thought the trim would look cute on this card.  Love this fun, festive cardstock from the DCWV Prism Play stack.  

I finished off the card by layering some washi tape and adding sequins, also from So Suzy Stamps.  Also, the sentiment was done using my Cricut and font writing.   I'll be entering this card into the So Suzy Stamp March Challenge And the Simon Says Stamp Wednesday challenge, Anything Goes.

 
Additional supplies: Quick Quotes Powder Puff chalk ink in Limeade, Sticklers Glitter glue in Star Dust, Queen & Company pink striped trendy tape, Target washi tape, Tombow Xtreme adhesive runner, Pop Dots, Bic Mark-its ultra fine lime green, white gel pen

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links so, if you purchase a product using the link I may receive a commission. I only participate in the affiliate programs linked above because they are products that I use and love. Your purchase price is not affected in any way, by using my links.  Thank you for your support and helping me keep my content free!