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Changes in Card Making

Changes in Card Making – A Perspective by Marion Davis

OK. You are about to know how old I am. My first foray into the stamping world was because I wanted to make the place cards for the tables at my son’s Bar Mitzvah. He is now 37. Over the years we have seen many trends come and go, many techniques fade and then come back, many companies come and unfortunately many go. The inks have changed, papers may vary, and embellishments altered to try to keep the consumer wanting more. However, the thing that has changed the most is us. We, the stampers, have grown, explored, discovered and rediscovered. That is what keeps us going and makes us artists.

This blog entry will by no means be comprehensive. It is strictly a reflection on how this stamper has changed over the years. Any products mentioned are my personal supplies and the opinions given are also my personal opinions. Please feel free to disagree with me. We all have our own style, likes, dislikes, and purpose for engaging in this wonderful (in my opinion) craft.

My first experience was with embossing a Jewish star on those place cards I mentioned. Oh, if I knew then what I know now!!! First I had to have the stamp custom made from a graphic on my computer. Then the person at the store told me all about embossing but didn’t include the information on the various types of ink or a heat tool. I did 80 place cards with dye ink, working fast to get the EP on (didn’t know about an antistatic bag) and I heat set them on an iron that I held upside down in one had while resting the corner that I had stamped on the surface with the other. Now stop laughing. I have come a long way baby!

Inks have changed a lot in the years I have been stamping. When I started out the choice was pigment, dye, and Versamark. We now have water based pigments, Distress inks, alcohol inks, matching paints, markers, color wash sprays, and embossing powders.  Even some lines of paper match the ink colors. I think for me the easy matching of types of inks has made a major difference.

Stamps have also changed greatly. When I began the choice was mounted or unmounted rubber. The stamp positioner was my favorite tool and never left my table. We had to cut out our own rubber stamps and figure out a way to keep them on the mounts. Also the unmounted stamps were a challenge to store.  Then we found the clear stamps that worked fine but over time became discolored and gummy so they were then difficult to use.

For me the greatest recent change is the change in die cuts and the die cut machines. We have seen several improvements in machines. I remember the lever action on my first Sizzix and the fact that it took moving the platform several times to cut the bigger dies. Then came the Big Shot/Big Kick with the handle that turned. We now have some that work on electricity. Obviously the companies were listening to those of us with physical concerns. However, I think the greatest change has been in the intricacy of the dies. They certainly are gorgeous, easy to use,  and very effective on the cards.

Directly connected to the dies and machines is the addition of embossing folders to my work. Yes, I used to hand stencil and color and texturize. Now I just run my favorite folders through my machines. How easy is that?

The cost and concerns with mailing have also changed the way I stamp. When I started I swapped worldwide I learned from stampers all over the world, all whom shared techniques readily with the novices. I still have some of the wonderful projects I received through these swaps. As prices to mail increased fewer and fewer people participated. The post office started limiting the depth of the cards and even the use of funky fibers created a mailing surcharge at times. In spite of loving the fibers I started limiting myself to flatter versions like ribbon. I have even changed the way I tie my knots.

Chipboard was really popular for a while and I rarely see it now. We used to use beads on our cards and I can’t remember the last time I saw any on a card. I am sure there are other trends I have missed but I am sure you get the point.

We change, products change, techniques get adapted to product improvements and the companies are always challenging us to stretch beyond our comfort zone.  My only advice is embrace change, use the knowledge you have acquired and enjoy the creative journey.

Have a wonderful 2013!


Publisher's note -  We sadly say good-bye to Marion. This is her last post for Stamper's Quest. Marion we will miss you here on the trail!  Thank you for sharing your talent and your many beautiful projects, wonderful tutorials and insights about the world of rubber stamping!  Best wishes to you in all your future endeavors!




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6 Responses »

  1. Marion, you will be missed. I have enjoyed your projects and thank you so much for sharing your depth of knowledge with us. All of the best to you.

  2. Wonderful article Marion, although I do feel some of the die cut machines, especially the Cricut, are doing crafters a disservice. So much of what I see in cards today rely on patterned paper and die cuts. i don't see a lot of exploration into what can be done on a completely blank piece of paper. No marbleizing, no resist, no water color effects, no collage. Oh I know there are still some of us out there and maybe it's just the "younger"ones who aren't stretching themselves.
    I will miss you Marion, we go way back. Stay in touch and stay crafting.

  3. Great article! We'll sure miss you here at SQ. Stay happy & healthy!
    Keep in touch---you know where to find me! ;>)

  4. Loved the summary, Marion. Been there, done that! Sorry you are leaving, but best wishes in whatever you do next!

  5. Great article Marion. I still treasure the wonderful Asian booklet you made for me years ago and things have really changed over the years.

  6. How true. I made a lot of blunders to begin with also. I laugh when I look at the first cards I made many moons ago. Great tutorial. Edna