Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Card Kit: A Case Study

Can you tell I was a Marketing major in college? Case Study? Man, that was a looong time ago.... So today's post is a collection of my thoughts, pros and cons, regarding the use of a Card Kit to make cards.

I have always resisted the Card Kit. Oh, they definitely have their place, like for beginner stampers, or for someone who really likes the whole 'put this here and you'll be done' aspect of a kit. Me? Not so much. To quote #2 when I told her what I'd be doing, she replied, "THAT'S CHEATING!" Exactly how I felt, too. So when I bought the two Basic Grey kits during my last rampage at Angela's, I did so with the understanding that I'd use the kit's instructions as a starting place, but I would make each and every card 'my own' by either adding something or switching it up from what the instructions told me to do. I am a rebel, so this was a perfect plan. Let's review:

Here is a (poor) shot of the kit package. Some of the cards are obscured by the labeling, but you can see most of them.
Following are my versions of each of these.

This one I call 'the birdcage' card, and I did not change too much. My ace photography skills cut off the right part of the card, but that part matches the directions. This one was just right and I did not change it. All I did was add the sentiment. They do include a lot of extra rub-ons, so it was not a real stretch to do this.

Ah, I totally changed this one, 'the butterfly' card. The instructions had every last bit of these parts clustered in the bottom right quadrant, and it looked too heavy for me, so (being a rebel) I spread it out a bit. Since I also have the 6x6 pack of the matching papers (surprise!), I took one of the brown dotted pieces and punched out some photo corners to add to the left side of the card. I like this one spread out like I have it way better.

This is 'the chip board bird' card, and I got totally radical by moving one of the yellow flowers from under the bird's chest to under it's tail. And I snuck in some ribbon.

As an added bonus, the dashed lines are drawn on both sides of the card, largely because I messed up. The pattern on the other side of the card (the one I started on) is not centered nicely, so when I went to add the chip board piece, it looked weird. I flipped over the card base and sure enough, that chip board looked great on the other side, so I drew more dashed lines. So someone will be getting a card where I decorated the back, too. (#2 would be so proud.)

This guy was another right-quadrant-heavy card, so I added the jumbo eyelet and some ribbon to add some balance. The jumbo brad also inspired me to put that piece of paper up on dimensionals, so all the pieces stuck to it also got raised up. This was okay until I attached that long green piece, and it was flopping in the breeze, so I put a skinny piece of dimensional edging under it for support.

This 'little hello' card I totally switched up. Again, they had everything (EVERYthing) in the bottom right quadrant. YOU CANNOT MAKE ME DO IT, so I didn't. That pink strip was supposed to be on top of the brown square, with the chip board flower on top of the whole thing. Nuh-uh. Once I spread it out, it needed something, so I added the small piece of ribbon and the left-over photo corners from the other card.

I actually made this card according to the instructions, largely because I liked it. I waited until I had all of the cards done, then looked over the remaining rub-ons and decided to add the white flourish and tiny butterfly in the green space.

I liked most of this one, except they had that chip board flower covering up that cool flourish-y rub-on over the bird cage, and I wanted to see the whole thing, so I needed somewhere to put that flower. I actually contemplated leaving it off, but the card did look empty without it. (Yes, I have a White Space issue, okay?!)

Once I moved the flower, there was that balance thing again, so I added a piece of ribbon. I also punched out two 1/4" circles, stuck them to the top left corner, and put some brads through them. I broke the Rule Of Three because they only had those two chip board circles on the bottom, so I used the same number of brads on the top. (Did you notice the printed patterns on those small chip board circles are crooked? Yep! Not my fault, this time! I do understand the challenge of getting a monster machine to exactly die-cut a pre-printed piece of chip board, I do! But still ... )

And lastly we have 'the Thank U' card. The only thing I did on this one was add the ribbon. HEY, I had a few feet of the stuff on my table, and in anticipation of the impending Clean Sweep, I used it, okay?!?!? Sigh ... Apparently, I also forgot to draw the dashed lines ... oh, well.

So what have I learned? I'll summarize for you:

1. Making cards with a kit is stinkin' easy.
2. Not having to think at the end of the day is really, really nice.
3. Making 8 cards without thinking is really, really nice.
4. Using a kit makes me fell dirty.
5. Using the kit made me think about what I could do to personalize someone else's idea.
6. Using a Basic Grey kit helped me to see that you can put weird papers together and it works!
7. I really should use more of my hoarded Basic Grey papers and mix things up a bit.
8. I still feel dirty.

I have another Basic Grey kit, but I may hold off until next week for that one.

Okay, that's it. Thanks for reading this far!


  1. That was an entertaining read for me to end a somewhat frustrating evening...and even reminds me that I still haven't posted the BG calendar kit that I promised June ages ago. I was totally radical when I made that up, becaue it's designed for the northern hemisphere and I do not live there. I refuse to have a snowflake themed card in January when it's 70 trillion degrees outside or a summer themed card in August when it's freezing cold. I do have to admit that I stuck to the stars and celebration theme for July...but only because that's my birthday month and I think it's only right that a calendar should celebrate that...LOL. Will post pictures soon :) In all that talk about me, me, me I almost forgot to say that I think your cards turned out very nice, especially the ones you changed...but I do get why you feel a little does kind of feel like cheating doesn't it ;)

  2. I just finished my last BG kits last week while travelling. I like your changes too! I also changed up rub-ons, etc...even using BG rub-ons from DIFFERENT kits :) But I did not vary so much as to add dimensionals and are so smart.

    I did enjoy the no thinking; I made 32 BG cards in one day! But when I was done, I was truly glad I was DONE. I also learned some techniques from doing the kits that I can apply to my own original creations, so that was good too.

    Sorry I enabled you and made you feel dirty :)

  3. had to laugh at #4 & #8...a sort of shamefaced, nervous laughter, b/c i think this *may* be one of the reasons i have never bought any of said kits.

    on the other hand, #'s 1, 2 & 3 are verrrrrrrrrrrrrry seductive. and i mean VERY seductive. like...daniel craig in THAT SWIMSUIT seductive. plus, geeeeeeeez, it's BASIC GREY, afterall!!! how can ANYTHING bg ever *really* be dirty, when it takes place between consenting adults who enjoy papercrafts??! and holy moly, wouldja LOOK at those fabulous cards!!!!!!!! ♥♥♥

    so YOU GO, girl! xoxoxo from your pal, perhaps the only woman alive with WAAAAAAAY worse white space issues than yours!!! :) :) :)


I'd love to hear what you really think! :-)

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