Muslin Ruffle Bag, a Publication First and a Giveaway!

I find it much easier to create for a publication call if I am creating within my “niche.” I’ve learned over the last couple of years that I love creating with natural materials and classic patterns, that I lean toward a vintage, layered style and that I love to incorporate stamping into my projects.

Paper Crafts Magazine’s September/October 2012 issue featured a section all about natural materials, and I had two projects selected for this issue, which was a first for me. They were both non-card items as well – another first!

Click on the image to buy this issue!

I used raw artists’ canvas to create a picture frame which you can see in the issue, and muslin to create layers of ruffles for this lovely gift bag:

I love the raw muslin and it was easy to make the ruffles; first I ran a strip of super sticky double sided tape around the bag about an inch from the bottom, then I adhered a muslin strip, gathering as I went. Then another strip of super sticky tape, and another ruffle, working from the bottom up. The raw edges at the top got covered with a strip of hockey tape (which is an off-white cloth tape) and then embellished to cover most of the hockey tape.

The sticker is from Simple Stories Generations line, and the stamps are from Papertrey Ink.

Another note; I love repurposing store bags into gift bags; Canada’s La Senza stores use white gift bags that make a great base for a decorated gift bag.

I hope you get a copy of this issue, it’s such a great one. My copy already has a lot of dog-eared pages, and I have an extra copy to give away to a lucky commenter on this post. Please comment by midnight, September 4 and I’ll choose someone to win! I’m going to throw in a copy of the July/August issue as well, just for fun.

Shaped Butterfly in Profile card

Paper Crafts July/August 2012

Paper Crafts July/August 2012 issue is one of the best issues yet. The shaped card feature is so inspiring, and the paint techniques are right up my alley. I just love that surfer card on the front!

I had one card chosen for publication in this issue, but you won’t find it on the pages; it is part of the exclusive online content. But I can give you a glimpse today!

I cut the butterfly out using my Silhouette digital die cutter, and then created a shaped card that conformed to the die cut shape. Thanks for looking! You can buy the July/August 2012 issue of Paper Crafts here.


Six Great Tips for Getting Your Card or Layout Published

It’a always a delight to see one of my projects in print, and I’m starting to feel like a “regular” in Paper Crafts magazine since I’ve had cards in their past three issues, and one scheduled for the May/June issue as well. Now I’m just hoping that one day I’ll see one on the cover! (I know, I know, I’m never satisfied.)

My “Ransom Note” card appeared in the March/April 2012 issue of Paper Crafts Magazine, which you can purchase here.

Have you ever submitted a card, layout or paper crafting project to be published in a magazine? It can be a little scary to make that leap, and intimidating when publication calls for magazines like Paper Crafts often get nearly 3,000 submissions! I’ve been submitting to magazines like Paper Crafts, Canadian Scrapbooker, CardMaker and Create: magazine for several years now, and I grow as an artist every time I create for a magazine’s call for submissions. I find that there are a few simple things that I can do to make my projects more likely to be chosen for publication, and they can help you, too.

  1. Be clean. I keep a tub of baby wipes nearby to wipe ink off my fingers and clean my work surface. I use scrap paper under my project when I’m stamping. I start over if I drop something on my card and make a mark that won’t be covered. I start over if I smudge a stamped image or it doesn’t transfer cleanly. 
  2. Change your trimmer blade! I can’t tell you how I hate seeing a “furry” edge caused by a cut from a dull paper trimmer blade. Sure, sometimes I rough up my edges with a distressing tool, but on the majority of a project, crisp, clean cuts have a professional, finished look.
  3. Submit projects on time – both to the publication call and in mailing and sending information if they’re accepted. If a certain formatting is required for instructions and supply lists, keep to the format and be accurate in your information. Take great photos – no editor wants to guess at what they are seeing.

    My first published project: Canadian Scrapbooker Winter 2010

  4. Know your market. Read the magazine to which you are submitting and note the style and type of projects they publish. Target your submissions to suit the publication to which you are submitting.

    A card made using a stamp I designed for Paper and Such.

  5. Be your own editor. Don’t add design details just for the sake of adding stuff. Make sure that every element you add to your project has a purpose for being there. Look at a project with fresh eyes before committing to submission; sometimes something I loved the night I made it will look all wrong after a good night’s sleep. I would rather submit one great card than bombard a submission call with ten mediocre projects. I’ve often made two versions of one card, one with the fussy details that I love, and another, cleaner, “edited” version that usually turns out to be stronger design-wise.
  6. Be inspired by your own work. I’ve learned to trust my own creative instincts. I know my own style, and my work is more genuine when I am true to my creative voice. I love going through my photos of past projects and using cards and layouts I made years ago as inspiration for new ones. Ultimately it’s not about being chosen for publication in a national magazine – it’s about doing my best work and creating something that is uniquely me. One day perhaps, people will see my work online or in a magazine, and say, “That has to be by Angela Fehr – it looks just like her style.”
Don’t be too hurt by rejection. I just entered eight cards in a publication call, and not one was chosen. It’s a lot of work to submit, and it can feel personal to not be chosen. But editors have a lot to consider when going through the hundreds or thousands of submissions they receive – they need to present projects that fit their editorial needs, projects that look good together, mixing design styles that will interest all kinds of readers. Sometimes it might just be a matter of not being quite the right colour, or subject matter, or having used a product that was too hot and trendy (and everyone else used it too!) I always take away from a publication call the knowledge that whether chosen or not, I can be proud of every project that I made, that I have challenged myself and improved my skill as an artist and crafter, and that I had a lot of fun creating each one. Because in the end, paper is my therapy!

Christmas Catch-up

Hi friends! How was your Christmas?
We had a pretty good Christmas – mild weather meant the kids got to do a lot of skating on the dugout, and when they were indoors, we were playing games – one of my favourite Christmas traditions. I got to teach my girls how to play Mastermind and Battleship, and my sisters-in-law learned Settlers of Catan and Carcassone, just for me!

Someone must have stuffed some energy into my luggage, cause I am psyched for the new year! We’ve been home twenty-four hours and I’ve gotten the laundry done, the Christmas decorations down and a fresh batch of homemade buns in the deep freeze. The receipts from our trip are filed and I am compiling a to-do list for the next few days that might just burn up all that energy. And I’m totally peeved by the businesses that shut down from Christmas Eve until after New Year’s. I tried to set up a dentist appointment for my girls and the office is closed until January 9th!

Come to think of it, maybe all that energy comes from finally becoming a coffee drinker. I’ve been drinking a daily mocha for years now, and over the last month or two I decreased how much hot chocolate I added to my coffee until I was just adding a teaspoon. My in-laws like their coffee quite weak, and so while we were there I ditched the hot chocolate entirely (still adding my favourite butter pecan creamer) and you know what? I like coffee now! I know there are a lot of people out there trying to quit coffee, but for me it’s a lot less sugar and calories than mochas, so it’s a positive change for now.

I finally got my January/February Paper Crafts magazine and it’s a good one! Love the section featuring the colour blue. And my own project featuring cool stamped balloons looks great.  And you have to buy the issue to see the balloons blown up!

I’ve been feeling the design-team withdrawal blues. It’s been a little weird not having much for design team deadlines, so I was thrilled to be approached by Scrapbooker’s Paradise to join their design team. I love shopping their online store, so I’m looking forward to being part of their Friday challenges and sharing some product love!


Multi Medallion card

One layer cards are a challenge for me. I love my layers. This card satisfied my love for layers through masking. I used my doily stamps to their maximum by stamping the smallest image first, stamping it again on a Post-It note, cutting it carefully and laying it over the stamped image, then stamping the next size of doily and masking again. In this way I was able to make multiple colours appear in my doily without having those colours overlap. It took less time than you would think!

I made this card for a Paper Crafts Connection colour challenge, using these colours: 

Cute Owl Card – Colour Challenge

Having fun with Paper Crafts Connection’s Color Challenge #7. I used these colours (or as close as I could match them):

And this is what I came up with:

It’s a simpler more graphic style than I ordinarily use…or is it? Turns out that this:

is basically the same layout as this:

So I guess I’m a little predictable. Or I’ve just found a design that I like.


Stamp It! Cards Meets Stamping Royalty Blog Hop

Woowee! I was tickled magenta to be chosen as a member of the Stamping Royalty 2011 court a couple of months ago. It was literally a “pinch me” moment and I’m still pinching, as I realize that the perks for this honour are not just the fabulous prize package, but continue on until November, when they Stamping Royalty prize-winning entries are revealed in Paper Crafts November/December issue. Plus the fun of being mentioned on the Paper Crafts blog, getting to know the other talented winners and here we are celebrating our royal fabulousness with a holiday blog hop! Read on to hear all the details and how you can cash in and win some stampy goodies, including one of these:

Stamp It! Cards is my very favourite Paper Crafts issue. Every year I buy it, and turn to it again and again for inspiration and to marvel at the talent of the designers. Maybe one day I’ll have a card in an issue! You know I’m thundering downtown to buy my own copy before the week is out, dontcha? And if I can’t track one down locally, I’ll be ordering one online. You should too.

It felt very right for a competition focused around stamping to be my first big win. I fell in love with stamping before I even knew what it was called, and I’ve been stamping for seventeen years! Stamping and card making go hand in hand for me, and I love taking the time to create a “just-right” card for someone special. I have donated to Operation Write Home in the past and love that my handmade cards are making someone I’ve never met feel loved by someone dear to them.

While many of you are stockpiling fireworks for the Fourth of July, I’m celebrating Canada Day today. We love attending the annual Canada Day parade (which my daughter will be participating in this year) and celebrating our culture and heritage.

While I’m loyal to the red & white of the Canadian flag, I think it’s permitted to admire my American neighbours’ patriotic combination of red, white and blue! And I did just that in the card above, using a stamp set from DeNami Designs from my Stamping Royalty prize package. I stamped the floral wallpaper background, alternating it with punched paper strips, and coloured the whole thing with a few Copic markers. The medallion was stamped and then die cut using a Spellbinders scallop circle die, and then layered over a die from Spellbinders’ Parisian Motifs set. More Copic colouring, a quick sentiment and buttons and a pretty floral cuteness results!

You don’t want to miss the creative talents of my fellow Stamping Royalty winners – do take part in the blog hop by following the links below. AND stop by Paper Crafts blog to leave a comment to win one of two fabulous stamping packages! And leave a comment on each post on the hop, (including this one!) to be entered to win your own copy of Stamp It! Cards, Vol. 8. Each hopper will be giving away a copy! Comments must be received by midnight EST on July 3.

So hop on and check out the rest of the Stamping Royalty crew by following the links below!

Officially a Published Card Crafter!

While we in Canada are suffering through a mail strike right now (how I love my mailbox!), right before the lockout happened last week, I received my copy of Paper Crafts magazine’s July/August issue. While all of Paper Crafts issues are special and jam packed with great ideas, this issue was especially exciting for me because I’m in it! Or at least this card is:

It looks so pretty in the magazine! And they are much better at photography than I am. That little quote on the bottom is special to me because I thought I had thought of it first. Last year I used it as one of the quotes on the vintage signs I paint and when Unity Stamp Co. started including it in their stamp kits (it’s been in TWO kits of the month) I was all set to accuse them of plagiarism! Well, not really, but it did have a special significance.

So yes, I am a little giddy about having my first card published, and more to come in future issues, I promise! The rest of the issue is fabulous too, lots of great projects and ideas, and I would encourage you to get your hands on a copy if you haven’t already.