Sunday, December 8, 2019

Countdown To Christmas

I think this year our granddaughter is finally old enough to enjoy an advent calendar. This might sound crazy but I've been wanting to make an advent calendar for many years now but never did because I had no one to gift it to. The Christmas after our granddaughter was born, I got excited just thinking  that I would only have to wait a few more Christmases before I would have a reason to make one.

After all the years waiting, I already had imagined exactly how I wanted my first advent calendar to look, using Kaisercraft's beautiful Beyond The Page Square Shadowbox chipboard advent calendar as the base. So you can imagine my disappointment this summer when I couldn't find the Kaisercraft calendar base for the shadowbox anywhere except from one seller on Etsy who wanted to charge $30 for shipping! Instead, I ended up buying this Karen Foster 3D Peek-A-Box from Amazon despite the very poor reviews on it, simply because it was the only affordable one I could find.

First thing I did was change the orientation of the calendar from portrait to landscape by turning it to its side and flipping the drawers inside. I liked that the calendar was large (14" x 9.5"), but just as the reviews from previous buyers had warned, it was poorly constructed and I ended up having to take much of it apart to re-glue everything securely.

Next the fun part... I found several Hello Kitty Christmas coloring pages online that I liked and had Make the Cut design program render them into paper piecing cutting files to decorate both the outside and inside cover. Difficult to tell from the photos but I used lots of different glitter and pearlescent cardstocks to give everything a festive sparkle. Snowflakes were cut from Taylored Expressions Little Bits Snowflake Confetti die, and the cutting file for the title was created from Tabitha and Cupid fonts.You may also have noticed that I ended up completely covering up the window on the front cover of the calendar.

This is what it looks like inside...

I paper pieced another Hello Kitty Christmas scene from coloring book images for the inside cover. The drawers were covered with fun and whimsical Doodlebug Christmas papers by using a template created in Make the Cut design program and cutting on the Silhouette. Congo font was used to cut the greetings on the inside cover and Memo font for the numbers on the drawers.

In the end, I was happy with the final outcome, despite the poor quality of the original calendar base. One thing I should mention that I neglected to take into consideration before starting this project was the size of the individual drawers. It turns out that the size of the drawers on this Karen Foster advent calendar (2" x 2") is larger than most of the others, which is a good thing. This was a significant factor especially when trying to find goodies small enough to fit into the drawers (that are not candy!) and yet safe enough for a 2-1/2 year old toddler. I filled the drawers with mini cannisters of play doh, stickers, washable tattoos, bubbles, animal shaped erasers and finger puppets.
Hoping our granddaughter will have as much fun counting down the days till Christmas on this advent calendar as I had putting it together for her.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Thanksgiving Turkey Double Slider Card

Happy Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving came late this year, which turned out to be a good thing since it gave me a little extra time to put together a card to send to our granddaughter. Although I'm not accustomed to making Thanksgiving cards, I promised myself when she was born that I would make an honest effort to try and make and send cards to our her on  special holidays, especially since she lives an ocean away and we aren't able to celebrate in person with her.

I found a lot of cute Thanksgiving themed cutting files over at Cuddly Cute Designs and chose to use the "Pilgrim Cuties" paper piecing file for the front of my card. All the pieces were cut from white and black cardstock and colored in with Copic markers. For the background, I used distress oxide inks applied with cosmetic brushes and temporary stencils cut from Lawn Fawn puffy cloud and stitched hillside border dies. 
Then, inspired as always by all the fun interactive double slider cards designed and shared by the talented Anita Chang on Instagram, I decided I wanted to try one too.

Pull the tab located on the bottom right hand side of the card and a turkey slides into view from behind the little Pilgrim boy and girl. I'm hoping our granddaughter will get a kick out of this! 
Instructional video by Christy Gets Crafty on how to create this type of double slider card using MFT DieNamic's Double Slider Slot die may be viewed here.

On the inside, I used Doodlebug's Flea Market Tree border from the Lori Whitlock Shop to add some color.
Best wishes to everyone for an enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday today, whether you decide to spend it eating and relaxing with family, watching football, or going shopping. Me? I'll see 'ya at the mall!

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Llama Accordion Card

For as long as I can remember, I've always had a soft spot in my heart for llamas. As a child and even as a mom, I can recall spending most of our time at the zoo, not at the lion or elephant cages, but at the barnyard display where we could pet and feed the llamas. So happy llamas seem to be the big trend now and I simply couldn't resist making a llama themed accordion style card for my daughter this year.

 I used the Pop Up Box Card Valentine Llama cutting file from the Lori Whitlock store to put together the three paper pieced llamas on this card. I enlarged the first llama for the "head shot" on the front of the card and gave her a crown of posies and paper punched leaves. The folded Happy Birthday banner is a print and cut file I created by welding shapes together and using LD Charming font.

The second and third llamas were sized to fit the oval accordion panels and I placed a birthday cake and presents on their backs to give them a festive look. The birthday cake was cut from Taylored Expressions Little Bits Cake and Stand die, and the presents are just rectangle and square shapes cut in various sizes with heart and circle shapes for the bows.

I added an additional accordion panel to the card in between the first and second llamas so I'd have a place for my sentiment.

All the panels of this accordion style card were cut using Elizabeth Crafts' Pop It Ups Accordion Oval Card die designed by Karen Burniston. I used some old Doodlebug papers from my stash to cover the outer panels and pink glitter card stock for the ovals... so girly, right?

Although it's been awhile since I've made accordion cards, still enjoy putting them together, especially for the wow factor in the finished card. Tossing around the idea of maybe doing an accordion style for the holidays... we'll see!

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Gamer's "Retro" Birthday Card

I really had fun putting together this Super Mario Bros. themed card for my son in law's birthday this year. I was inspired by the super cool and clever Super Mario Bros.wiper style card created by the very talented Frances Byrne of Stamp Owl's Studio blog earlier this year... I knew right away I would be CASEing her card to try and make one for my son in law. 

Since I don't own the neat Mario Bros. stamps that Frances used on her card, I decided to use paper pieced images for my card. I used downloadable svgs from ImmaCutYou Studios on Etsy to make cutting files for my paper pieced Mario game characters and elements. Nearly all the pieces were cut from white cardstock and colored in with Copic markers.

I started with the background sky for my card by blending Tim Holtz distress oxide inks (Broken Glass, Salty Ocean) over cloud shaped stencils. Hillside border was cut using Lawn Fawn's Stitched Hillside border die and inked with Mowed Lawn distress oxide ink. Then to make my card interactive, I used one of the wiper mechanisms from Mama Elephant's Wiper Surprise die.

When the right and left side of the card are pulled simultaneously...

... Mario jumps up from behind the grassy hillside!

On the backside I found and printed out a background scene from the original Super Mario game and backed it onto a piece of black cardstock  for a place to add my sentiment.

Then just for fun, I put together a little box made to look like the "mystery box" in the Super Mario game and filled it with lots of chocolate gold coins and even some REAL money... ha, ha!

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Haunted House Pop Corn Boxes and Other Scary Treats

Happy Halloween! As promised, I'm back to share the very last minute Halloween treats I put together for my "ghoul" friends this year.

I wanted to make some Cheetos/Bugles/Fritos snack mix for Halloween again this year so I knew I needed to make some sort of popcorn style box to be large enough to hold the snack mix. In case you're wondering, this seemingly disgusting combination of unhealthy snack foods crusted with a buttery, sugary, salty coating (aka "Hawaiian Crack Mix") is hard to stop eating once you get started! The recipe for it, if you dare try it, is here: Nibbles Sweet Party Mix ... BEWARE! Highly Addictive!

I came across several cute Frankenstein, Mummy and Dracula decorated popcorn boxes online, but thought this haunted house popcorn box designed by Cori George of Hey Let's Make Stuff was super cool. Best part is that this svg cutting file is a freebie!

Cori designed her haunted house panels to fit around a 6 inch high World Market Popcorn Box like a sleeve. I tweeked her file a bit by enlarging the file to as large as would fit onto two 12x12 sheets of cardstock, and added a bottom panel make the sleeve into a box. Once all the panels were cut on the Silhouette, assembling the boxes was pretty quick. Boxes were lined with orange tissue and I had enough snack mix to fill ten haunted houses. I even had enough leftovers to keep my "goblin" at home happy!

Now take a look at all the fabulous Halloween treats I received from my dear sweet friend, Lorna! I especially loved the fancy personalized gift bag with the intricate rhinestone studded spider web. that held all of these fun handmade goodies she put together...

Kawaii stealth ninja warrior treat holders and ...

an adorable candy holder decorated with a cutest little paper pieced bat! Hope everyone has a safe and fun Halloween!

Sunday, October 27, 2019

PURR-fect Halloween

I can hardly believe Halloween is already just around the corner. Good grief, where did the year go? This is the simple but fun card I put together to send to our granddaughter for Halloween this year.
I used Tim Holtz Distress Inks (Faded Jeans and Tumbled Glass) applied with a foundation brush to create my night sky background. Paper pieced pumpkins are from Miss Kate's Cuttable's Ghost with Pumpkin cutting file. I used a circle punch with yellow chalk brushed around it for the hazy moon, a very old Quickutz die for the bats, and Die-Namics Grassy Border die for the grass. Oh, wait! Did you happen to notice someone hiding behind the pumpkins?

Awww... just this little  black kitty peeking out from behind the pumpkins to wish you a "PURR-fect Halloween"! I really love this simple but fun pop up card file from the Lori Whitlock Shop. I swapped out the original kitten's head with the paper pieced "Halloween Kitty with Hat" from KaDoodle Bug Designs and added a pair of pop up Jack-o-Lanterns behind her.

And then of course I just couldn't resist using an Action Wobble to attach the kitten's head for some additional fun. Still working on some last minute Halloween goodies to share with my "ghoul  friends" so hope to be back again later to post.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

To My Significant "Otter"

Here's the card I put together for hubby to celebrate our wedding anniversary this month. I thought this little paper pieced otter from Doodlebug's So Much Pun collection was so cute! She reminded me of the fun time we had watching the adorable otters at the Vancouver Aquarium in Stanley Park while we were in Canada recently. I had the little otter hold a heart with the number "39"... yup, 39 years already!

On the inside, I added two more paper pieced otters and used the Trifold Slider Die-namics die by MFT Stamps to make a fun interactive trifolold slider card. The cutting file for the Doodlebug Otter was purchased from the Lori Whitlock Shop. I used Tim Holtz Distress Oxide inks applied with a cosmetic brush and splattered with water to create the ocean backgrounds for the front and inside of this card.

As the trifold card is opened, the two otters slide to meet together in the center! Since still photos don't do justice to these interactive cards I decided to post a short video so you can watch the sliders in action.

Although I have to admit this Trifold Slider mechanism took a little time to get working just right, I found Jennifer McGuire's video tutorial on this die especially helpful. I think this mechanism would make fun and adorable love themed cards for weddings, anniversaries and Valentines Day.