Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I love finding people who can make things I'm too incompetent to do...

With my little buisness, I try to send a thank you card to each of my customers with their order.  I've been picking up packages of cards from Michaels , but they really are not the greatest. I've been getting a few orders, and I wanted something personalized and nice to send.

Back when we lived in Northern Virginia, I tried making cards.  (I really did!)  I bought tons of stamps, colored pencils, markers and paper.  I even joined a little card making club.  I had fantastic friends who tried to teach me and help me.  I was a failure.  Card making just isn't my thing.  All of my cards (that weren't designed and/or heavily assisted by others) looked like a third grade boy had made them. 

So, my only option (other than having my third grade boy make them) was to check out Etsy. 

I found a woman named Kristen who had these darling cards in her shop ByTheBookPaper.  www.bythebookpaper.etsy.com

I thought I would check and see if she could make something cute for me.
Lucky me, she did!

I sent her the basic info of what I wanted, and she found fantastic paper and made these darling cards...
She has a  fairly new blog is bythebookpaper.blogspot.com (and it’s not just all paper!) and a Twitter is www.twitter.com/bythebookpaper

I thought she did such a great job, that it would be fun to share a little more about her, so here you go!

What types of items do you make? I currently make a variety of shapes and styles of bookmarks, including really handy magnetic bookmarks, note cards and thank you cards, gift tags, bookplates, and soon to be adding refrigerator magnets!

How did you get started?   I was working with my oldest friend over the past summer, helping her assemble wedding invitations that she designs. I got to see how she put colors together and the process of doing matted paper design, and it was a lot of fun. Then around Thanksgiving, there was a holiday issue of Good Housekeeping that featured handmade crafts featured on Etsy. I had been on the site before and thought, I can do that! So with some help from my friend (and a good rummaging through her extra paper supplies) I got some samples made and listed them!

What's your favorite part?  I really like putting the layers together and trying to come up with the different color combinations. It’s so amazing to see it all come together and it just looks right, like those colors were supposed to go together all along.

What makes your items unique?  My bookmarks are different because of their magnetic design. They are really handy because they don’t fall out of books. Plus, I do a lot of different shapes, and that seems to catch people’s eye, particularly the square ones. I also think that doing layers and mixing colors adds some dimension to what I make.

What inspires you?   I actually get inspired a lot from the paper itself, particularly if I’m working with a print. I try to look at it in different ways to see what I can do with it- how can I turn it, cut it, layer over it- to make it look special. Once I get working on one idea, then that often leads to another.

Anything else you want to share?   I really have a fun time with paper and making things for people, and I can do a lot more than just what is in the shop. I have made bookmarks into graduation announcements, and I can make them into table favors for weddings, showers, and parties. I think paper goods make for great gifts- particularly for teachers (which I was at one point)- especially if it’s personalized just for them. If someone has an idea for something they’d like, they should contact me to see if we can make it happen!

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