Sunday, February 14, 2010

From the Heart

This is the Valentine's Day card I created and sent to dd this year...truly a labour of love. It took me weeks to put this one together, mostly because I was testing out and learning a new design program that recently became available called Make The Cut. I used the free trial demo program to design my Tokidoki cuts, and when I saw how EASY it was to learn and use, I just knew I had to have it! Dh agreed to get me this program as my early Valentine's Day gift, and I had so much fun using it to create many of my Valentine goodies!

I had been wanting to try out the side step or concertina card for some time now, and decided it might be a great way to showcase my new Tokidoki cuts. And since I was sending dd a Tokidoki cosmetic bag for her Valentine surprise, this card was perfect.

The side step card was really simple to do. There are many tutorials for this on the web, but I liked Julie Dawson's version the best.

I think one the hardest things about making this card was finding suitable images to import into the Make The Cut program. I'm still a rookie with this program so I wanted to stick to black and white line drawings. I used Photoshop to clean up and change the color images into black and white line drawings, and this is what took me the longest to do. Once that was done, Make The Cut easily rendered them into cutfiles that I could cut with my Cricut.

The sentiment on the card was cut using Stone Script font, welded in Design Studio. Printed glittered cardstock is from Best Creation Inc.
Did you know the Tokidoki characters all have names? This is "Mozarella" from the "Moofia" line of characters.
Here's the back view of the sidestep card where I adhered a few hearts so I could sign and add a personal note.

My second Valentine project were these Dove chocolate heart bouquets.

When I saw these darling mugs on display at Target, I just HAD to have them!

Pink and hearts and teddy bears...nothing could possibly be cuter than that!
These came together fairly quickly. The mugs were filled with pieces of styrofoam cut to fit and I used popsicle sticks for stems to hold the chocolate hearts.
Found it was easiest to arrange the popsicle sticks in the mugs at desired heights first, then I used glue dots to adhere the chocolate hearts to the sticks. Added organza ribbon last to fill in any empty spaces and conceal the sticks.

This teddy Bear gift tag is another Make The Cut file created using a Darcy Hunter digital image. Up till now, I had been using Sure Cuts A Lot to create cutfiles with my Darcy Hunter bear imaages, but I'm finding it is really so much quicker and easier to do with Make The Cut.

This little (or not so little) box was one of my favorite projects. I call it my "pizelle box" because I created it just to hold round plastic containers of pizelle cookies I made up to share with friends and family.
These boxes are rather large, nearly 5 inches square and 2-1/2 inches deep, with the handle sticking up another 1-1/4 inches. It takes two full sheets of 12 inch cardstock to make this box. Because of its size, I used the 12 x 24 inch virtual mat to create this file in Design Studio using the George cartridge. Now that I think about it, I guess I could have gotten it to fit on the 12 inch mat, but for now, if you want to use this file, you will need a 12 x 24 inch mat to cut it. Actually it shouldn't be too difficult to move the file onto the 12 inch virtual mat and I probably will try to do it before I use this file again.

Decorating these boxes was fun. I re-did my puppy dog file in Make The Cut for this, using a free clip art file desgined and shared by Helena Normark at her Art 4 Crafts website. Small scalloped heart in puppy's mouth was done in Design Studio using George.
The square pink cardstock was embossed with tiny hearts using a Cuttlebug card combo die and the valentine lace border on the belly band is a Martha Stewart edge punch.
"Love ya!" is a clear stamp from Hero Art's Valentines Sayings set and tiny acrylic hearts are raindots from Cloud 9 Designs.

And here's a peek at the pizelle cookies inside the box. I got turned on to these cookies by my friend Heather, who often made and shared these delicately crisp, sweet and buttery confections with us. I loved Heather's cookies so much that I asked dh for a pizelle iron of my own for Christmas this past year. Now I too can make these yummies to share with friends and family!

Also did a bunch of these boxes in red and using the same Darcy bear Make The Cut file I had previously used for the gift tag.

And here is the Valentine I made for dh this year. Talk about last minute! I barely got this finished in time.

I had this card imagined in my mind for a long time, but was waiting to receive the Paisley cartridge which I purchased on eBay last month to cut my owls. As it turned out, I have yet to get my cartridge. In last minute desperation, I found some cute owl clipart at Lettering Delights. Thank goodness to Make The Cut, creating cutfiles from the clipart didn't take too long at all, and I think my owls turned out almost as cute as the ones I had been eyeing on the Paisley Cartridge.

Though my pictures are ineffective in showing it, this is actually a pop up card using a mechanism similar to the Sizzix Pop-Up Spinning Platform die. Laurinda Heartland created and shares this Design Studio cutfile on her blog.
Here is what the card looks like on the inside. The owls sitting on the branch turns and pops up as the card is opened.
Used several font dies to do this card. I used Quickutz Maggie for the front of the card. The "Love" in pink is a Sizzix sizzlit from the old "Love Set".
On the inside, I used Sizzix Naturally Serif decorative strip die for the lettering in pink and Quickutz Revolution's Banana Split for the smaller lettering in blue.
Clouds in the background are from the Cricut Paperpups cartridge. Stamped "Happy Valentines Day" is from Hero Art's Valentines Sayings clear set.

These quick and easy tent card candy holders were actually my very first Valentines Day project this year, created to share at the last Cricut Club meeting which was held in January at Photocraft Hawaii. I saw a version of these posted on several blogs a while ago, but I apologize that I can't seem to find the links to give proper credit right now. The original projects that I saw simply used a rectangular piece of cardstock scored and folded in three to make a "tent" and with an oval hole punched at the top to pull the top of a cellophane bag of treats through.

Using that same concept, I designed these treat bag holders in Design Studio.
Hello Kitty was the easiest. I simply welded the shadows of the Hello Kitty image from the Hello Kitty Greetings cartridge at the top and added an oval cut from George at the seam to cut the hole. Then I welded the rectangular shape from George to the bottom of one of the shadows to create the "floor" which connects the shadows at the bottom.
Mickey was a little trickier. Since the cut files from Mickey and Friends don't have shadows, I had to first create a shadow for him in Design Studio.
This Love A Lot Carebear one was cute, but I only made one because it took too long to piece together all the tiny pieces to put her together. Love A Lot was cut from a coloring book image and rendered to a scut file using Sure Cuts A Lot.

The photos above show the side view of the Hello Kitty one which more clearly shows the fold at the top and bottom connecting piece.
Photo on the right is of the back of the Carebear one to which I added hearts so I could add a personal note and signature.

And here are the Valentine goodies I received this year!
This beautiful covered slider card is from my friend Patti from Creations By Patti. Those of you who frequent her blog already know what an awesomely creative and generous person she is. Her work is always so beautiful and amazing, and she always very generously shares very detailed and helpful tutorials so you can try to re-create some of her projects. You can find the tutorial for this particular card on her blog here. I just love these cut and embossed butterflies from the Stampin Up catalog. Already added them to my wish list.
Isn't this little Valentine basket full of goodies the cutest ever? From my multi-talented friend Heather who always pampers us with the most delectable treats from her kitchen. Oh, take a look at these beautiful "L-O-V-E" cookies! Almost too pretty to eat...but I did...and mmmm--they were delicious!And this darling little treat bag filled with valentine sweets was created by my new friend, Dawne. She opened her home on Valentines Day to her friends to get together to create Cards for Soldiers and presented each of us with this sweet gift!
Last but not least, I couldn't do a Valentines Day post without sharing at least one photo of our Latte all decked out in her Valentines Day attire!Hope you all had a wonderful time celebrating and sharing the love!
(P.S. Next Cricut Club meeting is scheduled for Sunday, February 21st at 12:30pm. at Photocraft Hawaii)
A few more sweet Valentines Day RAKS I nearly forgot to post! From the top, two cute candy holders from my friend, Deb M. Really clever how she used the positive and negatives from her Martha Stewart lattice heart punch to do the matchbook style and peek-thru candy holder.
The darling treat box with the neat interlocking heart closure was a sweet surprise from dh's Aunty Mollie. A definite CASE study I hope to re-create in MTC for Valentines Day next year!
And the matchbook candy holder in the center with the ribbon and pretty fleur de lis cut out was a project shared at our last Cricut Club meeting by Laura K.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Baby Bear Tag

Just a quick post to show a last minute tag I recently made to tie on to a baby gift for a dear family friend. Sadly, I was so busy during this time that I didn't have the time or energy to create a special card for their new baby boy. I tried to make up for it by trying to make this tag as cute as possible with my Sizzix dies.

Teddy bear was cut several times from blue polka dot Bo Bunny cardstock and light blue Bazzill. Sanded and chalked the edges, and layered all the pieces, including baby's name with lots of foam tape.

Large tag is also a Sizzix die. I used a piece of white cardstock folded in half, then cut the tag with the crease just below the top cutting line on the die so I would end up with a tag that opened up like a giftcard where I could add my sentiments. In the end, I guess I was pretty happy with how this turned out. Still, during times like these, I so envy my amazing and talented blogging friends who always create and post new cards and projects everyday. How do you guys do it?!!!!