Well, it had been my intention to create a step-by-step log on how I made these Spring Fest cards. It definitely was a slow and steady process, as I am limited in what I can do, so I had to spread the work over the course of about a month. Unfortunately, that left me unable to blog about it. Apart from the cards themselves there was so much else to organise for the party, which obviously took priority. So I'm afraid I can't even show any photographs of the work in progress, or anything. I might catch up with some later.

In any case, I suppose it was all pretty straight forward really. I continued to work task by task. Next step was sticking the cut pieces on to each other. The challenge was learning how to get them centred, and accepting that good enough really is good enough. I asked the advice of some more experienced crafters and ended up working out a system that worked for me. I would take hold of the card with tweezers at the top, and hold my fingernail at the bottom to steady it. It took a bit of practice, I got better and better at it as I went along.

The other thing I learnt is that you do eventually run out of things. Next time I should check my stock of tape and such in advance. 

I first prepared the orange on green, and green on orange matting. Then the base card needed folding, and the spine needed breaking so that they would stand up as an easle. I ended up engaging my husband in this, as I lacked the strength.

Meanwhile I could get on with cutting the photographs to size. Hubby had taken some gorgeous shots of our little boy, all dressed up in his suit and tie, out in the garden, and printed them off on photo paper. I soon learned I had to cut them by hand, as I would always miss the edge when I tried to use the cutter. Then back to the tape, tweezers and fingernails...

Then the squares were ready to be stuck on the base card. Careful with the top ones: they only needed tape on the bottom half, so the top would come up with the easle! Also careful to put the picture in the right direction. As it is a twisted easel the picture changes direction when it is put up.

Well, actually that is the order it should have been done in. As I was waiting for new tape pens to arrive, I started on the embellishments before sticking the pictures on to the easel. I took a bit of a risk, not knowing whether I would be able to stick them on relatively straight, when the surface was raised by the sachets of chocolates underneath.

I worked out a way to get the sachets attached to the cards in such a way that when they come off for people to eat the choccies, they are still left with a nice decent card that looks complete. I used ribbon, layering it on high tack tape so that I had loops. I did three loops, then a flat bit, then three loops again. I made some flowers with punches and stuck those on the flat bit. Then I strung the ribbon to tie the sachets with through the two loops to the side of the flat bit. I filled the tuile with 25 chocolates beans eachs, scooped it together, and tied it with the orange ribbon. Then curled the ribbon with scissors and Bob's your uncle.

I did manage to stick the ribbon on in the wrong direction on five cards first, despite being very careful and thinking it all through. Ah, well, lucky I saw it before I did them all! 

I still felt there was more I could have done to them, but I lacked the time. I guess it is always the same for any card.

It has been a while since I have been able to blog. I have been busy trying to make fifty cards for my little boy's Spring Fest, and have been unwell due to trying out new medication, which my body is still adjusting to.

The Spring Fest is part of  our tradition. It celebrates the milestone when the child gets to primary school, learns to read and write etc... The catholic people here celebrate it with First Communion, and Spring Fest seems to have been invented so the others wouldn't feel left out. We were just going to have a party for him, without any doctrine attached, but one weekend he was in floods of tears all of a sudden. He wanted to take part in the Spring Fest, because of the play he could then take part in. So we gave him a note for the teacher, who said he could still join in and all was well. It's just two weeks to go now.

Traditionally with communions and these fests, the children have memento cards, with their name and the date on to hand out. It used to be with a little prayer or poem, and a nice picture of flowers or angels, bookmark style. More and more it has became in to have a photograph of the child, and just name and date. Also the shape changed over time. The rectangular ones are less common now, as more people opt for square.

It used to be a completely separate tradition to hand out sugarcoated chocolates and/or almonds at a birth. Of course clever sales people have managed to broaden that as much as possible, and now they are being handed out at almost any occasion.

I knew I definitely wanted to make use of all of this to get my handmade cards out there. It took ages to decide what to do, as a few of my crafty friends can confirm as they really helped me to think it all out. First I was thinking of those boxcards, but I would have had to get other people involved - not quite the same, and it looked like it was going to work out rather above budget as well.

Then suddenly I got the inspiration to go for a twisted easle,  and integrate a little pouch with the chocolate beans in into it.

First step of course was to make a mock-up. I intend to blog about every step, thinking that there must be other beginners out there, who might be interested to know how I fared making my very first batch of identical cards.

I did learn a lot from making this, and am very glad I didn't go straight for the real thing! 

As it was just to try it out, the photograph is still missing, and there is just a white blank bit of card as a stopper. We do not like to put pictures of our child on the internet in any case. The stopper will have his name and the date on.

One thing that became clear form making this, is that the pouch should be in a different direction. Because now, as you close the card and hold it the right way up as the photograph will be, the pouch will be upside down. So it will be turned around and lying flat aginst the bottom of the card as the easle stands up, so that it is upright when the card is closed.

How to attach the pouch took some working out. Did you know that if you take high tack double sided tape, attach a ribbon to it, and then attempt to stick an embellishment on with gel glue it completely takes all the stick out of both the glue and the tape?! What a mess I got myself into learning that lesson!

Anyway easily fixed all in all, attaching embellishments with more tape. So I am going to attach ribbon to the card with high tack tape, then loop another ribbon through the loops of the first ribbon, and tie that around the top of the pouch so as to close and attach it in one. It works well, and stays in place fantastically well. I just wanted to embellish the centre of the first ribbon, so that the card still looks complete and intact when the pouch is removed and people have scoffed their chocolates.

Another thing that will be different is the colour of the bottom ribbon. That will now be green to match the colour of the card, and the green also returns in our boy's clothing for the day. In fact as all this took shape, we decided to go for an orange and green theme for the party. And guess what... He brought the tickets for the play he is taking part in home, and they are orange too! It was meant to be! 

Now then, as I have been working on all this, slow as I am, I have made hardly any other cards. And I so wanted to enter my friend Emma's Challenge, and I apologised to her that I would not be able to. But then the penny dropped... The theme this month is Chocolate! Of course, I could enter this card, as it has real chocolate incorporated in it. I only hope she will accept a mock-up card, as none of the real ones are finished yet - I am still at the matting and layering stage.

Tomorrow's my brother's birthday. Yes, you read that right: tomorrow. I actually made the card in time! I even had a look before I started to see if there were any challenges I could strive towards.

And guess what - as luck would have it a couple have the theme 'Birthday Card': Timeless Tuesday (Happy birthday, Beate!) and Scrap Creations. And  the 2 sisters have 'birthday fun' going.

Then there is Cards for Men with the Great Outdoors, remember? Well, my brother as far as I am aware is a man, and I was thinking of making something for him incorporating his hobby of fishing. He has been fishing for very many years, since we were in our teens, and still seems to very much enjoy it. Thankfully my friend Fien had just sent me some really elegant fish, and I found a fishing scene in my stash.

That made it relatively easy to fit in with the Pink Gem Challenge photo inspiration challenge. What a gorgeous gem to inspire my choice of blues for this card!

'Numbers' was relatively straightforward too, especially since I had those lovely aquamarine felt ones. It happens to be the theme at the Pixie Challenge from the Pixie Dust Studio.

That leaves one much less obvious one, but since it was one of the first ones I came across during this search and one of the very first challenges I ever took part in,  I wanted to keep it in. That is ' Sew it' at Do You Stack Up, which added a bit more of a true challenge in this case. I used one of the Hunky Dory sentiments which is nicely finished with silver faux stitching, complimenting the fish and water beautifully.

Eventhough this card fits so many challenges, which would sometimes work so restricting, I am extremely happy with it. I wonder what you all think, and much prefer an honest answer, but I personally feel it is one of my best so far.