I’m taking part in the Stenciled class at OnlineCardClasses.com . I find this a good way to invest money in the hobby: you learn lots of new techniques, and you have lifetime access to the classes, so you can work at your own pace, and go back and review things from prior classes if you need to. The prices are very reasonable, and as well as videos and a message board, you get PDFs explaining how to make all the featured cards.
Stenciled, of course, is about using stencils on cards. Stencils have been around for ages, but they seem to be having a renaissance right now. They’re good for layering, and backgrounds, and you can do so much with them. And they’re cheap. They’re a good stash investment, I think.
Here is my first card, just basic ink sponging through the stencil:
Hexagons were a definite trend last year. But I’ve always found hexagons to be a uniquely pleasing shape, so I went ahead and invested in several hexagon products — stamps, dies, stencils, a punch. I’ll be able to use them long after the trend has died, and that’s OK, because I like them. If a trend comes along that you genuinely like, I think it’s OK to indulge in it. Just not every trend that comes along. The chalkboard stuff that’s so popular right now does nothing for me, so I haven’t bought a piece of that.
I added a couple epoxy domes to two of the hexagons to highlight them. The sentiment is a Momenta sticker.