Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Got started way too late this year on Christmas projects and was unable to do all the things I had hoped to do. Definitely need to get more organized and start planning ahead of time next year. And definitely need to stop procrastinating!

We made our traditional batch of sweet cereal mix and packed them up in 16 of these cute Chinese take-out boxes for dh to take to work. Found these on sale the day after Christmas last year at half glad I got them! Cut the snowflakes from Bazzill Bling diamond cardstock using the Joys of the Season cart at 3-1/2 inches to make the tags for these. Computer generated personalized sentiment was printed in blue, punched out with a circle punch, then mounted to the center of the stickled snowflakes with foam tape. Quick 'n easy and I really liked how the tags seemed to match the design on the boxes so perfectly.

Only had time to make one wire hanger Christmas tree this year. Decorated this tree with red mini lights and various sized, glittered butterflies, most of which I had picked up at a trade show. Originally I had hoped to make two trees but I ended up using all the butterflies (about forty!) on just this one tree. Kind of wish I had gone shopping earlier so I could have gotten some white iridescent tinsel instead of having to settle for the silver tinsel. Somehow the silver seemed to compete with the delicate butteflies and I was not as pleased with the result. This little tree went to my sil for her to take to her office.

Nearly every Christmas, my mom makes special little pins for me to share with my co-workers. It's almost like a tradition already, and everyone at work looks forward to getting these during the holidays. By now, each of us has a collection of these pins and wears all the different pins she has made on different days. This year we were all thrilled to get these cute little Christmas trees which she made using yarn and plastic canvas and decorated with sparkly multicolored rhinestones. Thank you, grandma!

Last, but not least is the Christmas card we sent out this year. Funny thing, the first sample of this card was created back in August, and yet our cards barely made it out on time this year. Obviously, I underestimated the time it would take to crank out 90 of these babies and procrastinated way too much! Honestly, without the massive amount of help from dd to create these and all the support from dh with our Christmas party, these would have never made it to the postoffice. Thank you, I love you both! Whew, so glad it's over! Merry Christmas, everybody!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Pillow Boxes

My first completed Christmas project this year were these decorated pillow boxes which I put together for the Senior Citizen Center Group my mom participates in. They were in need of fifty boxes for donated gift cards which were to be given out as prizes at their Christmas party last week. I agreed to make the boxes, thinking this would be kind of a fun way for me to try out some of the many holiday related cuts on the various Cricut cartridges I own.

As always, I opted to do cute and whimsical over elegant. After looking through all the holiday images on several cartridges, I settled on eight different cuts from four cartridges.

The poinsettia, and snowflake are from Joys of the Season; penguin and Christmas tree are from Christmas Cheer; the gingerbread man is from Paper Doll Dress Ups; and the snowman, Santa and deer are from Doodlecharms.

Choosing eight designs instead of just one was a great idea, because it meant I wouldn't have to make more than eight of any one cut. I know I often become bored and it ends up being more like a chore when I have to make more than 10 of any one thing. It also meant I could whittle down my overwhelming stash of scraps.

Had a bit of fun adding little special touches to each of the cuts. Used Cuttlebug embossing folders to add texture to some of the cuts (Devine Swirls for Santa's beard, Swiss Dots for snowman, and Christmas tree for Christmas tree). Used Quickutz dies for holly, berries and penguin's candy cane. Even busted out my old Fiskars decorative scissors to do the icing on the gingerbread man. And as always, lots of Stickles and prisma glitter for that added Christmas magic!

Pillow boxes were die cut from metallic silver cardstock for me by Norice and the wonderful girls over at Creations Unlimited in Wahiawa. Also FYI, Norice has by far, the best selection of hard to find specialty papers and cardstock at the best prices I've seen. I called and ordered the boxes over the phone during the week and they were all cut and ready to be picked up by Saturday. This great timesaving service is available whenever you purchase your papers over at Creations. All I had to do was fold and assemble with some double stick tape...very easy and quick. After tying brightly colored ribbons around each, I used foam tape to adhere my cuts to each box. I was quite happy with the results. I hope the seniors enjoyed them too!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Fit for a Princess

Here's the card I created for dd to celebrate her birthday back in October. Of course it had to be a princess card, and I chose to do Ariel because she is one of dd's favorites.

Decided to do another free standing pop up card, but this time with a twist. The twist is that the slider which pops up on this card is a tri-fold which opens up like a panorama. Saw a couple samples of this on the gallery at Splitcoast Stampers and thought it looked so neat and so of course I wanted to try one too. Dawn Griffith has a great video tutorial for the basic card on her video blog. The pattern for the tri-fold version is the same as the original except the slider is cut three times as wide and scored and folded. I also had to cut the opening to about 1/4 inch wide to accomodate the extra thickness of the trifold slider.

I like that this wider format allowed me the extra space to include all the characters: Ariel, her pals Flounder & Sebastian, and even a birthday cake, as well as enough room to add a sweet birthday sentiment.

The only problem with this card is that it's a little tricky to open, even for an experienced daughter of a crazy cardmaking mom. Fearing the card might get torn while dd struggled to open it, I sent along "opening your card instructions" (LOL, kinda like assembly instructions...). But once you've figured out how to open it up, I love the way this card stands on it's own like a little display. Thought it'd be a cute thing for dd to have on her desk to glance over at whilst studying for a quick reminder that she's being thought of!
All the character cuts on this card are from the Dreams Come True cartridge. "Happy Birthday" at the top is from Beyond Birthdays and "Princess" from Stone Script. Base cardstock is from Basic Grey and I used a lot of DCWV glitter cardstock to do the character cuts. Also used lots of Stickles and prisma glitter for that girly look and added rhinestone accents that I got from Photocraft Hawaii for even more sparkle.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Final Exam Time...Hang In There, Baby!

This week is Finals Week at dd's college, so I wanted to send her special card and a care package to lift her spirits and to let her know that we were all thinking of her and rootin' for her to do well.

I first saw a cut similar to the monkey on this card several months ago on the Cricut Message board posted by the talented Jen C. She had seen a cute hanging monkey rubberstamp from WhipperSnapper stamps and created an absolutely awesome cut file for it. You can will be blown away when you take a peek at the darling card made by Jen on her blog. I knew right away it would make a perfect card to send dd to cheer her up during exam time. Then just a couple weeks ago, while browsing Jen Y's Little C's online store, I came across this cute little monkey stamp by CC Designs. Wanted to try and do a cut file of this little guy, but I needed help getting started. I studied Jen C's monkey cut file carefully to learn how she used shapes from the George cart to create her monkey's body and used that as a springboard to create my monkey. Thank you, Jen C...I never would have been able to do this one without your help!

I decided to do a sliding pop up greeting card to showcase my monkey. Found an easy to follow tutorial at Splitcoast Stampers. Pulling up on the ribbon tie at the top of the card causes the front panel of the card to slide open and pop up, revealing a message underneath. An additional message can be added to the panel that pulls out, and I used that panel to stick on a Starbucks Gift Card. Used paper from DCWV's Spring Glitter Stack for the base of the card. Monkey, tree, leaves and book are all from George , created and cut with Design Studio. Can't tell from the photos but monkey's head was assembled using foam tape for some added fun dimension. Added litttle pink heart brads (Creative Impressions) to the corners, and sentiments are computer generated (Flea Market font from 2Ps).

So along with this card and several cans of dd's favorite Aloha Maid Diet Iced Tea, I also sent along a Tupperware container filled with another batch of Furikake Cereal Mix, labelled as "Brain Food", calories, and specially formulated to promote "high efficiency learning and memory retention with low stress factor..." to help curb those late nite exam munchies. Lol, mom thinks she's a comedian!

"Brain Food" title is Quickutz Mini Blossom font, cute little girl head is from the Paper Dolls Cartridge and spectacles were easily put together with George Cartridge in Design Studio.

Had so much fun putting this all together..."Hope it brings a smile to your face, dd, and helps to lighten the stress just a bit. We're all counting the days till you'll be home again for the holidays!"

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Full of gratitude this Thanksgiving for my loving and devoted family and for wonderful caring friends! I've always wanted to do gifts and cards for Thanksgiving but I'm usually too pre-occupied with trying to get all my Christmas projects done on time. This year I found myself so behind schedule anyway, I figured what the heck! Made up a batch of Furikake Cereal Mix for dh to take to work (using the same recipe I used for the pretzel sticks at Halloween) and just HAD to decorate the bottle. Found the turkey cut on the Cricut Paperdolls cartridge and used nestabilities dies for the circle and scalloped circle.
Knew I wouldn't have time to make any Thanksgiving cards, so I opted to send photo cards instead, with the help of

I really enjoy doing my photocards on this website for several reasons. For one, the quality of the cards is unbeatable. The finished cards are printed on heavy card with a really nice, satiny smooth semi-gloss finish on all sides, allowing you to add photos and sentiments to every side of your card. I am always very pleased with how professional the finished card turns out.

Another plus is that I can personalize each individual card with a different sentiment for each recipient. And best of all, I can create my cards online months in advance or just a few
days prior, and Hallmark will mail the card directly to the recipient on the day I specify. The cards range in price from $2-$3, so it costs about the same as going out to purchase a pre-made
card at the card shop. Here, I've also posted some of the other cards I've made and had sent from the Hallmark website. These were birthday cards to dd and dh from our doggie. They were really quick and fun to do!
Oh, and if you are a Hallmark rewards member, you can reap crown rewards on these photo card purchases as well. Whoops!...sorry...I guess I'm starting to sound like some commercial, huh. LOL!

Friday, November 14, 2008

May the Force be with You!

It's R2D2! I'm sure all Star Wars aficionados would recognize this robot (even tho I realized later that the dark blue color is all wrong...) Made this covered slider card for dd's bf's birthday last month. And although this falls in the category of "masculine cards", I must admit I had a blast putting it together. The absolutely amazing cut file for Artoo was created and shared by Susan Bluerobot on her blog. Thank you again, Susan! Susan is a master of Design Studio and of any and all types of paper crafting. Just wait till you see the cut file she created for C3PO, not to mention all her incredible 3-D popup creations. She is awesomely talented, a true inspiration, and always so generous with sharing her cut files, tips and tutorials. Please leave a comment with your thanks if you decide to download any of her files.
The Artoo cut file uses the George cartridge and is amazingly detailed. Susan has even included instructions on how to do all the detailed dry embossing on Artoo's body. This was a bit challenging, but fun and I thought results were well worth the extra time and effort. I didn't have any white glossy cardstock (as recommended) on hand, so I used glossy photo paper instead, which worked quite well as an alternative. I used metallic silver and blue cardstock for the rest of the robot and later realized (after searching the web for images of Artoo) that I probably should have used mat silver and light blue metallic instead.
For the card base I used black glossy and more blue metallic cardstock, and silver glitter cardstock from DCWV. Susan used a red rhinestone for the light on her robot, which I again, did not have, and substituted with a circle punched from red prismatic mylar.

I chose to do a covered slider card; pulling up on the star at the top of the card simultaneously reveals the birthday sentiment and a gift card which slides up from behind Artoo. Very cool, huh. The template for the covered slider card is shared by Chia Wald at Chia's Rubber Stamp Art. The sliding mechanism on this is simple and the pattern can easily be changed to almost any size card.

For a final touch, I added a personalized tag cut with a sizzlits die and tied with silver metallic ribbon. I like to always try and include some sort of personalization on the cards I make as a way for the recipient to know that yes, this card was created just for you!

Friday, November 7, 2008


My apologies to dh and dd and others who have been waiting so long for me to post this card. I fall behind in posting my cards on a timely basis because I restrict myself to posting only once a week. I would love to spend more time posting and surfing blogs, but then I find myself spending way too much time on the computer and I am left with very little time to do any actual crafting.

Okay, anyway, this is the card I created for dh's birthday, which was actually a month ago in October. Again, I had a hard time with this because it had to be "MAN"-ly. I knew I wanted it to have a golf theme, since it's dh's favorite passtime and because I wanted it to go with the golf club birthday present he told me I was getting for him.

Since none of the cricut cartridges I own have any golf images on them, I went searching again at the Design Studio forum on the Cricut Message board. Found a few cuts for golf clubs, which I used as a springboard to create my own. Creating cuts on Design Studio doesn't come very easily for me, as I always have difficulty with arcs and angles not looking I ended up spending quite a bit of time sitting and staring at dh's woods, trying to figure out where it should be round and where it should be square. Even with that, my resulting final cut did not look right. I ended up having to snip off the shaft and repositioning it to get the angles right. Times like this makes me wonder why I even bother to spend the time trying to create it on Design Studio... might have been faster to just draw freehand and cut with a pair of scissors!

The tee was a cut file created and generously shared by Jen C., the Design Studio whiz. (Thank you, Jen!) The golf ball was cut with a circle punch from glossy photo paper and embossed with the Cuttlebug Tiny Bubbles folder to add some bumpy texture to it. Kinda neat how it made the ball look realistic!

Then, for a fun dimensional look, I glued the golf ball, tee, and the sentiment to a piece of clear transparency plastic which I adhered to the card front. The golf club (cut from glossy black and metallic silver cardstock) was positioned behind the ball and adhered to the base card. Second photo shows the resulting layers to the front of the card.

Sentiments inside were completely computer generated, the little golf ball and tee images are clipart from Broderbund's Printshop software, colored in with Prismacolor pens.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Trick or Treat! *updated with recipe*

Happy Halloween! It's our little fur baby all dressed in her costume and ready to go trick or treating. Lol...Poor little doggie...the things she has to go through now that dd is too old for all this fun stuff. Halloween is definitely right up there on my list of fun holidays together with Easter and Valentines Day. Always enjoy making goody bags and treats to share.

Really put my Cricut to work this year to help create all my Halloween surprises. Made these trick or treat bags last night for my niece and her doggy. (First time ever for me to make a treat bag for a DOG!)

I first saw Hello Kitty dressed in her black cat costume on Joy's blog earlier this month and thought it was so cute! At first I thought she had used one of the new Hello Kitty Sizzix dies for her projects, but realized later when I couldn't find it for sale anywhere that it wasn't. And since ProvoCraft's Hello Kitty cartridge still isn't available either, I decided to give it a try on Design Studio. I used the kitty from the Doodlecharms cart together with George for Hello Kitty in her costume and Base Camp for the "Happy Halloween". The flying witch dog on the broom is from Paperpups. "Happy Howl-oween" is Opposites Attract and doggy's name "Shibi" is Mickey Font.
And take a look at these skeleton cookies! Aren't they the cutest? Guess what.... actually they really aren't "cookies"... they're doggie treats! Saw these at a pet store in Ewa Beach last week and couldn't resist getting a few. They look yummy enough for human consumption, yeah. In fact the guy at the pet shop said, "They taste pretty good!" (Did he really eat them?!!!)

Anyway, for people treats, I made these little goodies. I call them "Spooky Fries"... They're pretzels baked and flavored and glazed with butter, sugar and furikake. Thought they would look cute in french fry boxes decorated to look Halloween-y. The fry box is a Design Studio cut which was created and shared by none other than the super talented Jen C. on her blog, Brain Things. Thank you, Jen! Stamped the side of the boxes with a Happy Halloween sentiment and added a Sizzix die cut kitty cut from glossy black cardstock. Tied on ribbons in my favorite Halloween colors for the final touch. Still can't believe I made FORTY of these. I must be crazy. Dh and I took a bunch to share with friends at work and I mailed a few to dd to pass around to friends at school.

And yup, I just had to try making Frankie and Frankette too, after seeing so many versions of them posted everywhere! First saw the video tutorial for Frankie on Dawn's blog, but it wasn't till I saw Cambria's version that I knew I just had to make them too. Cambria made her couple into goodie boxes that she calls a "boxy bag"... part box and part bag, I guess. She shares the instructions for it on her blog... and I was very pleased at how easily it all came together. It's quite a versatile little box, and I'm sure I'll want to try making it again for another occasion.
Wanted to make more, but only had the chance to make one set of these because I was pressed for time. Filled them with candy and sent them off to dd and her bf.
Also decorated some lunch bags to fill with more fun and silly Halloween things I had picked up. Used the ghost from the Paperdolls cartridge and Plantin Schoolbook for the font. Made these for dd, her bf and my niece. Dd and her bf probably think I am crazy for sending them stuff like this, but that's ok, cuz I had so much FUN making them! They both work so hard and often stress with all their studying so if I managed to bring even the tiniest smile to their faces, I'm happy.
Last, but certainly not least, a couple more pics of our little baby Latte in her jack-o-lantern costume, and with her new found friend.

I've had quite a few requests for the recipe for the pretzels (spooky fries) so thought I'd update this post to share the recipe. This was shared by a customer who made these for the girls at the pharmacy dd worked at this summer. The pretzels called for in the recipe are Utz brand Honey Wheat pretzels, sold in barrels at Sam's Club. Apparently these are the latest rage as an alternative to Chex Mix and the pretzels are flying out the door over at Sam's Club...better run on over if you want them!
1 block butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup light corn syrup
Heat in a saucepan till thick and bubbly and pour over
2 barrels Honey Wheat pretzels
Toss to coat evenly and sprinkle with
1 jar furikake
Bake for 1 hour at 250 degrees, stirring every 15 minutes.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Clear Sentiment

Bought myself a how-to book called "Clearly Cards", full of neat samples of cards and tags made with clear plastic and just had to try one out. Made this card for mil's birthday using transparency plastic. The book actually recommends using a heavier gauge plastic but since I didn't have any I decided to give it a whirl using a sheet of transparency plastic instead. The card turned out a bit flimsy because the plastic wasn't thick enough but I guess the overall look was the same. Had fun layering the different elements on the inside and outside of the card to get a dimmensional effect.

Here's a side view of the card to show the layers.

Can't really tell from the photos but I used glitter cardstock from DCWV to do all the cuts except the butterfly. Sorta liked the way it gave the card a kind of subtle bling.
The flowers, heart and swirly green thing are all Sizzix dies.

This butterfly is definitely one of my favorite
Quickutz Revolution dies. Love the intricate and detailed cuts on this butterfly, which makes it seem so different than any other Quickutz die. Really wish Quickutz would do more like this. I adhered folded squares of a heavier gauge plastic behind its wings to give it the dimensional pop. Edges of the card were inked with black Stazon and rub ons are Heidi from Making Memories.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Everybody Was Kung Fu Fightin' !

It's Panda Po! When I learned that dd's former skating coach was planning to do a Kung Fu Panda theme for her son's first birthday party, I went to the Design Studio forum at hoping to find someone who had done a cut file and was willing to share. Woo Hoo! I was in luck because apparently many little boys want Kung Fu Panda birthday parties too...and an ULTRA talented lady created and shared her cut file for Po! She is Jen C. and she shares her incredible talent on her blog, {Brain Things...} . If you are looking for a cut file for something unusual, chances are you will find it here. You will be totally amazed at all the wonderful things she has created! If while visitng her blog you do decide to download any of her files, please don't forget to leave her a comment thanking her for her generosity and hard work. You can also send Jen special requests for cut files by pm-ing her via the Cricut Message Board.

I used Jen's Panda Po cut file (which cuts a 12" large panda!) to decorate the gift bag, then tried my best to size him down on Design Studio so I could have a matching birthday card to go with it. The cut file uses George and Plantin Schoolbook cartridges. The "Happy Birthday" on the gift bag comes from Paper Pups. The front panel of the birthday card was created by welding rectangles and the shadows for the alphas from the George cart to the downsized panda. I then cut alphas to fit the shadows from red prismatic mylar sticker paper and stuck them on. I used DCWV glitter cardstock (love that paper!) and some green patterned paper for the back panel.

I must admit, I had quite a bit of fun running with this Kung Fu Panda theme. I was asked to do a slideshow for the party, so of course
we had to include music from the movie and I found some stills from the movie online which I added
to the slideshow for some fun.
Also found a Kung Fu Panda meal set from Tupperware to include as part of our gift, and even found this adorable little plush panda at Panda's Kitchen when dh and I were there for dinner one night.