Sunday, February 22, 2009

One Card Swap

Here's a card I received in the mail last week, created by my new friend, Tracy, with whom I was randomly paired with for a "One Card Swap". Isn't it the cutest? I was so impressed with Tracy's coloring and shading, and with her neat and precise card making. I also loved the way the colors she chose coordinated so well. Thank you, Tracy, receiving your card really made my day special! You can visit Tracy at her blog, "Tracy's Happy Place" where she shares more of her talent and creativity. She has a fun monthly rak, the Aloha Rak which you can join to share almost anything you've created plus other goodies with crafters from all over. And if you are a procrastinator (like me!) you might enjoy Tracy's Christmas Card Challenge, which might be just the solution to getting those Christmas cards done on time this year!

The "One Card Swap" that Tracy and I participated in is the brainstorm of our fellow blogging friend, Teri at "Big Ideas from A Little Girl". This is a brand new card monthly card swap if you are interested in exchanging just one card. It's a fun, low-keyed swap and great way to make new friends and meet other cardmakers. I will be posting the card I sent to Tracy later after I hear that she's received it. I had to scramble to finish and mail her card to her by the deadline after the Valentines Day projects were done...yup, last minute as usual. (Sorry, Tracy!)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Created with Love

This year, my Valentines Day cards for dh and dd were inspired by a birthday card I ran across while browsing the Hallmark card aisle at the drug store.

In fact, I was so amazed with this card, I had to buy it just so I could take it home to figure out how it was put together and make one too. The concept of the design on this card is actually the same as a simple pop-up card, with the pop-up element cut at different lengths resulting in a tiered card. Very ingenious, Hallmark!

For my cards, I used the Mickey Font cart and welded the letters in Design Studio to the tops of the layers for the Happy Valentines Day greeting. The photo below of the side view of the card shows how the pop-up element separates the tiers when the card is open.

On the card for dd and her bf, I used cuts from Aladdin on the Dreams Come True cartridge. In order to get the "head shots" large enough, I had to do a 12 inch cut of Aladdin and Jasmine and cut away their legs. Choosing to do a larger cut also made piecing together the face details much easier to do. The filigree heart is from the Wedding cart.

The cloud on the front of the card is from the Paper Pups cart. The sentiment was printed on vellum, attached to the cloud outline and attached with foam mounting tape. The floral embossing on the front was done with a Cuttlebug strip embossing folder and the lacy corners were punched with a corner punch from All Night Media.

My card for dh uses the same base card as for the first card; I just changed the colors and theme. The knight, princess, castle and dragon cuts are all from the Paper Dolls cartridge. The filigree heart on this card is a Sizzix Bigz die.

Making little Valentine treats is always so much fun. The cutfile for these cute gable boxes was created and shared on the Cricut Messageboard by member Robin Savage.

Thank you, Robin! You can contact her via the Cricut Messageboard to request a copy of her cutfile. I added heart cut outs to the fronts of the boxes so the yummy Dove chocolates could peek out. Finally had the chance to use my new Hello Kitty and Sesame Street cartridges! Glittered, printed cardstock for these boxes are from DCWV.

Also had the chance to make these designer or boxy bags that I've been wanting to make forever. Cambria Turnbow has a very good tutorial for them on her blog, "Stamp A Little Love, Baby". Found these bags to be really quick and simple. But didn't realize till I actually made one, how small these are. The bottom of this is 2-1/2 inches square. I needed it to be bigger to hold bags of puffed rice candy I had bought, and changing the sizes on these was very easy. I increased the size of the box on the bottom to be 3 x 4-1/2 inches. The only problem with the larger sized bags is that it takes more than 12 inches of paper to go around the bag. I ended up having to add an additional 4 inches of paper . Next time I think I'll consider using a heavy weight wrapping paper if I need a larger sized bag.

Decorated the small bags with Hello Kitty cuts and the larger bags with the Sizzix filigree heart cuts. Scalloped border on the bottom and the tab punch (since I don't own this SU punch...) for the bag closure were created with the George cart in Design Studio.

Here's a photo of the re-sized, larger designer bag and more decorated cable boxes. The height of these larger bags is 8-1/2 inches.

These are few of the tags I made....

Nestabilities for the scalloped rectangle and circle, Sizzlits die cuts for the red tag and Hello Kitty cartridge for the round tag.
This one's from the doggie...

Nestablilites for the scalloped square and Quickutz for the doggy. (Love how this die cut looks so much like our own little Latte!) Sentiment is from a dollar set of clear stamps by g studio.
One more gift card for dd, with another Cricut Hello Kitty cut. Stamped sentiment in the heart is from Dandelion Designs and embossed scalloped edge was done with a Cuttlebug embossing strip. Stamped circle sentiment on the envelope is from Autumn Leaves.

And I even had time (barely!) to bake up some lemon custard filled cupcakes, topped with lemon buttercream (thanks, Heather!)

Lastly, I sent out cards created on from our fur baby with this photo. Poor thing...she doesn't look too happy, does she?

Not sure which she hated more...the ribbons on her ears or being stuffed into that little bucket...probably the latter!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Asian Love

Being that it's the week before Valentines Day, I figured this might be an appropriate card to share, since it has the Chinese character for "Love" on it. This is actually a wedding card made for a good friend and his bride. I knew I wanted to do an Asian flavored card when we received their absolutely gorgeous wedding was made of pearlized copper paper, tied with sheer copper ribbon, with the Chinese character for "double happiness" embossed on the front of it. Very Chinese-y (lol!), but really elegant. I decided to continue the Asian theme and wanted my card to have a diecut of the Chinese character for "love" on it...but not surprisingly, I couldn't find a cutfile anywhere. I even tried doing a call out for one on my favorite Design Studio forum on the Cricut Message Board...and got zero responses. Obviously, I was the only person in the world who wanted such a cutfile! So I was left with having to create the cutfile took me a while to do, but I guess it was worth it. Worth it because, although creating original cut files always takes a lot of time and patience, I find I always learn something new every time. Interestingly. the image of the Chinese character I used as my guide for this cut came from a tatoo website. After the "Love" character was created (using the George cart), everything else was pretty easy. I used mirrored red cardstock to cut out the character and currency gold cardstock for its frame. The frame is Mulan's frame from the Happily Ever After cart. Base of the card is Bazzill Luster embossed with the Birds & Flowers Cuttlebug folder. The gold metal dragonfly charms were purchased from Creations Unlimited.

This might be a good a time as any to mention that after being undecided for a very long time, I finally recently agreed to do a class on the Design Studio at Photocraft Hawaii. I've been playing around with this program for about a year now, but I don't, by any means, come anywhere near to being an expert. But I am willing to share tips and techniques that I have learned so you can have as much fun as I do, creating with Cricut and the Design Studio. The class is scheduled to be on the first Sunday in March, and there will be laptops at the class so everyone can have hands on fun. If interested, please give Brian a call at Photocraft Hawaii.