Stampin’ Up!’s twice yearly meeting (called OnStage) was a couple of weeks ago. It was a great opportunity for demonstrators to gather, learn about new products, and get great new business ideas. I got a sneak peak of the new annual catalog, and its wonderful. I also participated in some swaps.
What’s a Swap?
A swap is basically a trade. I’ll trade one card (or card front) that I’ve made for one that another demonstrator has made. Swaps are great for providing inspiration, and they are great to showcase other styles and techniques. This weekend there will be organized swaps and general swaps.
To prepare, I’ve made multiples of several designs. (Some are my own creations, some are CASEd from others.) I’ve made a total of 76 swaps, so I’ll have lots of inspiration to show my customers.
Making Multiples is All About Being Efficient
It takes time to make 76 cards, so any little time-saving tip really helps. Here are a few of my favorites.
Tip 1: score before you cut
This is only relevant if you are making full cards, and its a real time-saver.
- If you cut then score, it takes 3 steps: cut the cardstock in half, score half number 1, score half number 2.
- If you score then cut, it takes 2 steps: score the cardstock, then cut into two halves.
Scoring before you cut saves 1 step (or 33% of your effort). It adds up!!
Tip 2: work in steps
Complete each step before you move on. What are the steps? Well, that will depend on the card you are making. But in general:
- Cut all ribbon, twine, and sequin trim (I do this first to make sure I have enough)
- Cut all cardstock that can be cut using a trimmer
- Use the Big Shot to emboss or die-cut.
- Note: if you need to stamp on a die-cut piece, now is the time to create a template of the piece. Use a quarter-sheet (4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″) of Thick Whisper White cardstock, run the shape through the Big Shot, then write the word “template” on the cardstock. Make one template per die cut that requires stamping. (I’ll write a separate post about the Stamparatus and making templates. Stay tuned!)
- Use punches to cut shapes (if these require stamping, consider making a template as described above)
- Stamp all images and sentiments. Use the Stamparatus and the templates you created to perfectly position each image.
- Color any images requiring it (Stampin’ Blends, Stampin’ Write Markers, Watercolor Pencils)
- Assemble the cards (do this in steps too…all the images onto their mats, all the ribbons tied into bows, etc)
Tip 3: choose your design wisely
What’s a labor of love when creating ONE card becomes merely LABOR when you are making multiples. You love the design, and would make it for one of your dearest friends. For a friend, you’ll tie bows when you are all thumbs, or piece together dozens of tiny shards of paper into a mosaic masterpiece.
When you are making multiples, you may want to reconsider. If you have trouble with bows, consider artfully tied knots. Or pretty ribbon or twine loops? Maybe fewer layers? I’m not saying no layers and no bows, merely to think about whether its a labor of love, or just labor.
Here’s one of my own designs, in three versions. I ended up going with the middle option. And, yes, I did tie 20 bows.
Tip 4: take credit and give credit
These last two tips are only relevant if you are swapping. Put your name, email address, and, if you like, the recipe for your card on the back of the card. And if you’ve cased the card from someone else, be sure you are giving credit to that person too. Casing is both expected and necessary–but if you didn’t make it up, then make sure you’re up front about that! No judgement for casing, but TONS of judgement if you take credit for something that is not your own.
Tip 5: be gracious
Swap with anyone who asks. Be gracious when the newbie stamper asks for one of your masterpieces and remember that she has put in similar time and effort on her masterpieces. The wonderful thing about Stampin’ Up! is the wide array of styles that are supported…and inspiration can come from anywhere!
So, be gracious and swap!
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed today’s post.
See you again real soon,
PS. Here are pictures of my other swaps: