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!"