Friday, October 27, 2006

Book Review - Greeting Cards Using Digital Photos by Cheryl Owen

Greeting Cards Using Digital Photo

Greeting Cards Using Digital Photos: 18 Step-by-Step Projects for Uniquely Personal Greeting Cards

by Cheryl Owen
Publisher: Martingale and Company (August 2006)
ISBN:1564777162; Paperback : 96 pages
Reviewed By Kim M. Bayne, Paper Crafts Editor for
Rating: ★★★★
If you’re into quick and easy cards yet still wondering what to do with the hundreds of digital photos you’ve snapped this year, buy a copy of “Greeting Cards using Digital Photos.” Paper crafter Cheryl Owens outlines eighteen step-by-step projects that take little time but produce pleasing results. Relying on basic card-making techniques throughout (templates and deckling edges, for example), the 95-page paperback is a solid introduction for the beginning digital paper crafter. As a refresher for the experienced card maker, the book includes reminders of how to enlarge shapes using templates, properly use a craft knife, and create a deckle edge.

For the most part, Owen sticks to standard uses for typical embellishments, like using thin wire, instead of thread, for beading on the “Beaded Celebration Card” (pg. 42). On rare occasions, the author uses something new. For example, the Row of Rectangles hole punch, used in the “Filmstrip Bookmark” (pg. 50), isn’t in my collection, but it might be in yours.

“Bookmark,” you say? That’s not a card. Granted, there are few fun deviations from the primary task, and you can always incorporate them into scrapbook pages or mount them on a card. The “3D Specs” (pg. 46) are really cute, so think about transforming them into a beach party invitation.

The author has a sense of humor, too. One of my favorite card creations was the “Bobble-head Pet” (pg.54). Owen used a wound piece of wire to create a spring on which to mount the head of a white dog. Suspended over a checkerboard-like green and yellow background, the pup’s head completes the three-dimension look while wiggling hilariously over a body cut from a duplicate photo.

For a future edition of this paperback, I’d suggest a few enhancements.
1. I’d like to see more card variations pictured at each project end. For example, the “Birthday Truck” (pg. 32), “New Baby” (pg. 66) and “Retirement Landscape” (pg. 78) cards each show one variation on a theme, but I hungered for more.
2. The materials and tools lists are a bit generic, short of most details needed to procure the exact items featured in these projects. Who makes that cute tulip paper punch used in the “Mother’s Day Garden” (pg. 26)? The book doesn’t say. The one-page resource list on page 94 lacks the same attention to detail. Sure, I could probably search for something similar on the Web, but the author could have saved me some time. Owen encourages substitutions, but I can imagine wanting to have some of the real stuff on hand in a few cases in order to reproduce certain treatments, regardless of the card design.

If you’ve done any amount of paper crafting at all, you already own most of the supplies (scissors, rulers, paper and cardstock, adhesives and paint) needed to make more than a few of the cards in Owen's book, so don’t worry – you won’t need to make a major investment in new accessories to get started. Most of the projects can be completed in an hour or less. If you favor a more ornate style, like shabby chic, don’t discount this book. Think of each of the projects as the perfect starting point for something more elaborate, using it to jump-start an enjoyable paper crafting afternoon.

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Article Description: Try something different with your digital photos. Print them out to use in your next greeting card project.

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