Thursday, November 29, 2012

Gift or Sell?

This is a common dilemma with me. HamnMule is a teeny tiny little business now, but it started as my hobby and still remains a hobby. I have to remind myself that sometimes..

I have been making some random things recently and I think the move to NYC and the possibility that thrifty, crafty me might have to flex some muscle (as we won't have much money) is pushing me to try new things.

Today's main photo is one of the calendar cards I made. Last year I made all different versions of these as my Christmas'Thank You' cards and as small gifts. This year I wanted to make them a bit more uniform, but struggled with a good idea of how to do it it well.

There were lots of offcuts from my new clear stamp filing system (which I should blog about) and so I had a play and the result is this lovely blue flowered calendar card. The blue backing paper is one of the offcuts, the flowery paper was free and I've always been a bit worried about how best to use it. You can buy the calendar tabs anywhere. Dead easy to make and they look lovely on desks. I think they are much better than last years versions, so I now want to give some as gifts...

To distract myself from my 'gift or sell dilemma', I decided to have a little play with my new bunting die's by Xcut - they are amazing and really easy to use in the Epic Six.

Here is a photo of the bunting I made, using the dies and the Stampin' Up Pennant punch -

I also made 'Birthday' in matching colours. I've packaged them for sale with green outdoor twine in a cellophane bag with instructions. Sounds like a great idea right? Well, the trouble is they are so pretty, I want to give them to friends with kids and then go to parties and see the bunting up!

Basically I know I am going to end up selling half of the calendar cards and paper bunting and giving half as gifts.

I guess that is the point of having a 'crafty' style hobby :)

Only 2 days until the final Craft Fair of the year for JT and I - we are off to Berkhamsted Town Hall on Sat 1st December, if you want to come and visit us!


p.s apologies for my photo quality, I've had to take my photos at night recently!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

She's HOW OLD?!

So, my beloved Goddaughter Amy-Jo turned 17 last week, it made me feel really old. But I am very proud of her and happy at how lovely and clever she is.

Today's main photo is of the card I made her. I wanted it to be a bit girly, but still have a bit of a tough urban teenagery type edge. Er? What?!

Anyway, I just bought these lovely sheets of kraft card and wanted to try them out. So I embossed half of it using my fave giant spot folder, out came the remaining piece of cherry paper to be used as a border between the spotty and plain areas of the card. Then I decided that I wanted some sort of flower and thought that the buttons I bought in Amsterdam would work as the centre of the flower. I punched a scalloped circle of heavy red paper and crumpled it up, rubbed it with one of my new Tim Holz Distress Inks in Festive Berries. Finally I added a giant 'Happy Birthday' peel-off in red.

I love this card, it just captures Amy-Jo perfectly.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Stocking Fillers

So JT and I have been talking and blogging about things we can make for the craft fair that would make nice inexpensive Christmas Gifts. JT has already written about hers and I showed you some of my ideas for card sets which I made during my inspiration session.

Basically following the rules of the inspiration session, I wanted to try new ideas and use new things. This post is about the other card sets I made. I was so spurred on by trying out new things, that I went a bit card set crazy...there are a few other things I made too, but I'll post about those later in the week.

Today's main photo is of one of my favourite sets. Once again I used papers from the DCWV All About Girls mini stack. I've been wondering how to use the cherries paper and this worked well. The paper flower and button, feel like a nice touch (and UHU and I didn't fall out).

Here are a few more examples -

1, 4, 7 & 8 are all made using the foam hearts from Amsterdam, the giant heart punch and the scallop punch. I like the mix of hearts.

2 is a bit fun I think and is a good way of using my DCWV Hippie Chick 8x8 papers. I like the contrast of colours.

3 & 5 also use the DCWV Hippie Chick papers, but I added a contrasting candi for fun. I don't usually stamp in orange, but it really worked here.

Then I put them in cellophane bags and tie them up with twine, which gives them that 'gift edge' -

Sorry the photo isn't the greatest, it was taken at night! It does show you a bit more detail of the hearts and cherries sets.

I'm really pleased with these and busy conjuring up sets for us to give as gifts. What fun!


Monday, November 19, 2012

Leafy Birthday

Well not quite, but you can see what I mean if you study the main photo today.

This card was made a few weeks ago during my inspiration session, when I popped over to Pinterest and hunted around for some ideas.

Here is the card I used for inspiration -

I liked this, as it was really simple to do - the petals / leaves are made using a 1inch square punch and rounding opposite corners - very clever.

I am happy with my card and it went to a friend for his birthday. I do feel that I might need to plan how to use the petals / leaves better, as it does look a bit random and I think I should have made it on a white background and then mounted it onto a coloured card, like the example.

I'll try a few more and see how they work out.

There are a few more new techniques and ideas to share over the next week or so, as I have been being most productive!


p.s I miss craft buddy...she's in New Orleans!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Hearts Everywhere!

I now have 2 heart punches, a heart embossing folder and a box full of foam and felt hearts...

I am starting to think I might have a bit of a thing for hearts!

This comes as a surprise to me, as I have always found hearts a bit twee, but I am starting to find more and more non-love ways to use them.

Today's main photo is of an anniversary card that I made (well I made 5). I have been dying to use the heart paper for ages, but it wasn't cheap and so I wanted to maximise it as it only came in 4 x 6 sheets, it's'All About Girls' by DCWV. I like the contrast of the green scalloped heart (Woodware Punch).

However I think it's only fair that I point out that the idea stemmed from the card set I made for the next craft fair - photos below are of the original idea -

I finally bought 'Happy Anniversary' peel-offs and it came to me that they would work really well with this card - so out came the green permanent marker and voila! an Anniversary card (or 2..)


Friday, November 16, 2012

Birthday Balloons

I wanted to make a special card for a the 1st birthday of my friend's Son.

I saw this idea on Pinterest -

You can see how I modified it slightly in today's main photo - I didn't think hearts were appropriate, but loved the balloon idea for a 1 year old. I think the bakers twine worked really well as string for the balloons. It's really easy to make and the hardest part was choosing the colours for the balloons and ensuring I used scraps!

Here's a close-up of the balloons -

I'm really pleased with the end result and hope my friends love it too.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Shiny New Website

Yes that's right folks!

It's finally live and it's beautiful.

Check out the new improved Ham 'n' Mule Designs website - complete with new our logo and lots of wonderful cards. It's much easier to use than the version that we bashed together last year! We have spruced the blog so we are now all lovely and matching!

It's taken a couple of months to sort out, but JT and I are very pleased.

A big thank you to Maggie at LittleDotDesigns.

Now spread the word and let's get on the map!!


Monday, November 12, 2012

Playdate Fun..

I love Playdates with JT.

Basically we go to each other's homes and sit around crafting with the other one's stash - the guest brings a few things, but not too much as craft gear is heavy! And we all know it's way better fun to play with someone else's stash!

Last Sunday we had a playdate at my house, JT brought the snacks and the idea for the session (remember the joyfold tryouts happened during a playdate). JT is off to visit her family for Thanksgiving and has been asked to bring some card sets, so we thought we'd make them together.

It was really nice to do something that isn't CHRISTMAS (sigh) also it was lots of fun, we made 3 sets each and a few individual cards. Today's main photo is of my favourite set that I made - love the contrast of the zebra print paper and the yellows, think the flower softens it all.

Here is the rest of our output -

Hello Hearts by JT
Love this lilac card, utilizing one of our favourite embossing folders and the ink braying technique. The red foam hearts are from my recent trip to Amsterdam.

Flowery Wall by Me
I am currently in love with this brick embossing folder, I am also a big fan of this lazy string tying thing, so rewarding for so little effort!

Thank You Labels by Me

Thank You Labels by JT
Even though JT and I used different ideas from Pinterest, I think these 2 sets are very similar. I like the soft muted colours in both of them.

Mini Thank You Squares by JT
This was the first set JT made and I am very jealous that she finally found a way to use these beautiful V&A papers. I've had them forever and always found them really hard to work with. I love this card...can you make me some JT?

Personal Stash Thank You by JT
Whilst it's fun making for other people, there is nothing sweeter than topping up your own personal card supply! This card is so much fun and it uses the random Martha Stewart Halloween cupcake thingys (orange circle) that I got for 10c in TJMaxx in NYC!! I forgot to take a photo of my personal stash cards and they have been posted now...

Last but not least JT's sister got engaged - yay! And so we found time to make here these totally awesome cards...

Pink Hearts by JT
 JT went all out on the pink theme! Love it! I was a bit more reserved, as I have never actually met JT's sister, I thought low key might be best. Like the grey and yellow colour combo.

Grey and Yellow Hearts by Me

I need another playdate soon..please?