Saturday, July 18, 2009

How To Become a Combining Queen! (long but should be worth it :))

Happy Saturday Everyone!
No card for you today but I just wanted to share a few guidelines I go by when I'm making a card and combining challenges.
Over the past few weeks I've been showing you cards that combine anything between 2 and 8 challenges in one.
Many of you have asked me how I've done it and I know many others want to ask but haven't ;)
There are many ways to do this but these are a few pointers that I've found make it easier.

1. Do some searching and create yourself a list of challenge blogs, my list has over 100. I'm looking at making a spreadhseet with the challenges that start on each day of the week and if I do I'll get it in a form that I can share with you.
2. Most blogs do 1 of 3 different challenge themes. These are sketches, color combos and technique/embellishment addition. These aren't set in stone every week as some blogs switch and change around but there are many you can rely on to give you the same type of challenge every week.
3. To start on combining chose one sketch, one color combo and one other. It is hard to combine more than 1 sketch and colors can't usually be combined either.
4. Next see if any blogs are doing the same technique challenge. For example in the last month Paper Piecing has been a popular challenge and so if you added that to your card you could automatically get combining, other popular ones are buttons, bows and ribbons.
5. Then see if anyone has a theme challenge like birthdays, weddings or baby, maybe you have a theme that goes with a color challenge.

These are the main things I do to start combining the challenges.
However there are other very important things to do before you start to create your card;
1. Check that the blog allows combining, most do but there are some that say no combining or that you can combine their challenge with one other.
2. Check whether the blog needs you to use a specific company stamp, lots do.
3. See if they state what type of image they want you to use. Some want just rubber stamped images, some also allow digitally printed images and some allow "created" images with no stamping/coloring needed.
4. See if they state you can manipulate their shetch. Most allow you to change the main shape in the sketch or to rotate but some want you to follow the sketch "to the letter". The examples given on the blog by the DT will usually let you know if they allow a little tweaking but if you're not sure just contact the blog owner, you don't to presume and then have your hard work disqualified.
5. CHECK THE DEADLINE DATE! It is easy to forget this when you are busy working out which challenge works with another and very frustrating when you realize the deadline was yesterday.
There are other things that I do personally that may or may not work for you. On a Monday morning I go through my favorite sketch blogs and do a rough copy of the ones I like on a piece of scratch paper with the name of the blog next to it. I also add the deadline day so I can work on the first one finishing first.
Then I get my white board and note down my favorite color combos, then I add technique/embellishment challenges with each color combo again adding the deadline days. So then I have easily at hand the challenges I want to do. When I've completed a card, added it to my blog, linked and linked back to the challenge blogs I erase the notes from the board.
Anyway if you've made it all this way and like what you read be sure to save the link to this page to help you become a "Combining Queen"! I'd love to hear what you think and to see how well combining works for you!


Lauren said...

I am glad to know that I am not the only person who combines a TON of challenges into every card. The most I have ever done was 14.
I also have a notebook where I write down challenges so that I can try to combine as many as possible. I put a star next to the challenges that can easily be combined (such as a color combo, technique, or using a certain material, such as bling or primas).
I like you're idea of doing a spreadsheet, but I have another idea. I think that there should be a blog that listed all of the challenges (and what their theme/challenge is each week). I mean, I visit the dailydare blog a lot, but you have to click on each link to find out what the challenge is.
I've been thinking about doing this blog where all the challenges can be listed. Are you interested in helping me start this? If so, please e-mail me and we can talk about it.


Lauren said...

I meant your, not you're. Sorry, I work in publishing and I couldn't let that typo get by.