Custard and Mustard (a guest post by Uncle Liam)

So…… today we hand you over to the very lovely Uncle Liam……….. Enjoy!

Welcome, guys and gals; today we’re making greeting cards. It’s something I have done for Christmases and birthdays for years now. I enjoy it thoroughly and really appreciate it when someone makes me a card themselves. The occasion this week is my baby (grown up) sister’s birthday.

Now, this post is less craft master-class, more amateur online inspiration for any readers thinking of going card-shop cold turkey (I bet ayearwithoutclintons.com is available). However, since Becksie asked me to provide the good followers of this blog with something more than ramble, I feel obliged to impose some sort of order on my haphazard card-making. That in mind, I’m going to bark some orders:

liam 1

Step 1. Make lots of mess.

My studio flat has no room for a sofa or even an ironing board, but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t fit in a bulging craft box.

Aunty Leah was probably a little baffled by the amount of card and string and little bits and bobs on first visit to my tiny home. I’m sure Becksie has preached the importance of a Designated Craft Area (DCA), and I hope most of you have one. Mine is a storage box filled with textiles and paints and paper and all that jazz (plus a drawer across the room for the overflow). To get to the stuff I want, I have to cover my floor with the contents. As I do this, I’m keeping my eyes peeled for anything I think my sister might like on her card.

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Step 2. Make some space and gather your tools.

I clear my table and get out scissors, double sided tape, glue, pencil, ruler and writing implements (cheers, Ian, for the coloured pens!) I often get a desk lamp so that I can see what I’m doing better.

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Step 3. Pick a colour scheme.

I usually keep cards I receive to use as spare parts for future projects. I also recommend embracing the scrounger in you by grabbing used wrapping paper at Christmas and other occasions. My DCA is full of a wide array of options, and choosing what to go with is often the most difficult part of card-making. I’m dull and always seem to end up making brown and yellow cards (aforementioned sister would no doubt call this scheme “custard and mustard”). I’m sure you’ll come up with some rather more lovely colour combo. The key is to gather together a few shades which complement each other.

When you’ve decided, start to think about how you want the colours laid out on the card. It’s good to have the contrast of one colour on top of a different shade. I’m using brown card for the base, with a yellow textured paper on top, then a flower pattern to finish. (I don’t think it would be aesthetically pleasing to sandwich the flower design between the other two pieces.)

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Step 4. Cut your pieces to shape.

I love to have parallel lines on cards – squares within squares, rectangles on rectangles. I’m quite picky with my lines so I use a ruler and pencil to get exact, rub-out-able lines, but if you’re less pedantic (or better with your eyes) then you can go straight ahead and cut freehand.

Step 5. Decorate.

Now that I’ve decided the basic layout of my card, I’m going to add a window, inside which I’ll write a message. I turn over the flower design and draw a square, which is going to become my window. I cut from the middle of the square to the corners, an X cut which forms four triangular flaps.

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These are folded back and stuck down onto the back of the card (the side which won’t be seen). I cut the top flap so that it won’t stick out. I prefer this method to cutting out a hole because it gives better rounded edges when the card is turned over.

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Next, I stick a white piece of paper behind the window in my flower card, which I will write on later, and stick the flower paper onto the yellow textured paper, then this onto the brown card.

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Finally, I have to fill my white space. I’ve decided to go with the “remind your recipient how old they are” approach. At this point it’s advisable to check that you know how old they are, otherwise things could get nasty when the big day comes around. In my case I deliberate and decide that if I get my sister’s age wrong I deserve all that’s coming to me, and so I steam ahead with a big ‘22’ in gold pen, and – voilà – the card is complete.

liam 8

All that remains is to deliver my lovely new homemade card. Here’s hoping she is 22 after all, or I’ll have to pretend I made her a card with a pair of swans on it.

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14 thoughts on “Custard and Mustard (a guest post by Uncle Liam)

  1. That is some hardcore card making. Very impressed! I think you may also be the first bloke I have come across to have any kind of crafting supplies. Big up the crafty boys 🙂

  2. Good on you Uncle Liam!…nothing like “handmade cards and gifts” to show people that you care…Im lucky enough to have a whole shop to play with but that doesnt stop me having an entire craft room at home (and of course lots of shop stock to test!!!!)..but in my defense I do have a whole shop that needs filling with all those lovely handmades!!

  3. Great card Uncle Liam! Nice DCA too- I have one that looks very similar!

    I am in need of a sit down and a nice cup of tea on discovering just how young Becksie is though. Feeling rather old…

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