Friday, December 23, 2011

Is it Christmas Already?

I wasn't going to do Christmas this year....been so busy with "other important stuff" that I just didn't think I'd have the time. So what could possibly be more important than Christmas?!!! Sigh...sorry, I can't post about it just yet...but I will definitely have a lot to share about this "other" project in a few months from now...

For the first time in 31 years we didn't put up a tree to decorate in our home. It usually takes me several days to decorate the tree and another several days to take it down after holidays...this was time I just didn't have this year. The only tree I had time for was this tiny one I decorated to take to my fil's grave. Happily, it brought some holiday spirit into my heart so I could sneak in just a few more quickie holiday projects...

And though I had also decided I wouldn't be doing my usual 100 handmade Christmas cards this year, I knew there was no getting out of making the batches of cereal mix dh passes out to his co-workers every Christmas. Baked up two batches and packed them into twenty plastic jars for giving....but they looked so naked that I just HAD to come up with something quick and simple to dress them up just a little bit!
Printed up strips of Echo Park digital patterned paper from their "All I Want For Christmas" set which was on sale over at Jessica to go around the jars. Love that I can purchase papers online and download them immediately to use even in the middle of the night when all the stores are closed... the procrastinator and late night crafter's dream come true!
The little peeking polar bears are a cut I actually designed in Make the Cut last year but didn't have time to put to use last Christmas. Labels were printed from my computer and cut using Nestabilities Labels Four dies.
I loved that the polar bears were so quick and easy to put together that I couldn't resist cutting out a few extras in a smaller size to put on gift tags... but sadly, that was the extent of my holiday projects for this year. Used the Nestabilities Lacey Circle die and Marvy Uchida 2" scalloped circle punch for the base of the tag, an old Quickutz die for the holly and Fiskars hand punch for the heart.
One last project I want to share are these goodies dh brought home from work this week. This adorable decorated take out box filled with an assortment of yummy cookies and this "too-darned- cute-to-eat" decorated Santa cooky were created by Heather. Isn't she amazing?
Hope everyone is having a wonderful time celebrating the holidays with friends and family. Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A World of Thanks

Here's a quick and simple card I came up with for a couple of extremely kind and helpful guys who came to my rescue a while ago when I had some trouble with my car. My dear friend Kris and I were on our way to our monthly Cricut Club meeting when my old car stalled right in the middle of the street where she lives, blocking all traffic. We were two helpless damsels in distress when two of Kris' neighbors came to our rescue to help us move my car to the side of the road. 

Really don't know what I would have done without their help! Thanks to their quick thinking and help, we were able to make it to our meeting on time and I later called AAA to have the car towed to the repair shop. I enclosed a couple of free chili tickets in the cards as a meager token attempt to express my appreciation for their kindness. Isn't it heartwarming and reassuring to know that there are people in our world as these two who will unselfishly come to the aid of those in need? Thank you, guys... you are special indeed!
(Deets on the card: Heart-shaped world cut using Give A Hoot and banner from Wedding Solutions cartridge.)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Sending A Latte Love

This was the card I sent to my dd for her birthday in October. Really wanted to do something using CottageCutz' Shih Tzu Peeker die for her...thought she'd get a kick out of how much it resembles our own little doggy, Latte...
Decided I wanted to have the puppy peeking out of a teacup...because afterall. she's a Latte...LOL, couldn't resist the play on words!  Teacup is from the Love You A Latte cartridge...cut this in several layers and surrounded it with a few sweet treats cut from CottageCutz' Stacked Candies die. My collection of dies from this company has been steadily growing...I just love these intricate and detailed dies and how they cut so clean!

For the inside of my card I used a Pop Up Stage technique, which I first saw used  by Jenny over at Sister Stamps.  I loved the wonderful staggered winter scene she created and I knew I had to give it a try too. The tutorial for this card by the very talented Kim Score can be found at Splitcoast Stampers.

Unlike the usual pop up card where the pop up elements are adhered to the back panel of the card, the tabs for the pop up stage card are hidden underneath the "stage".

Used a lot of different dies for the inside of the card. Doggie, tiered cake, and round balloons are from CottageCutz, presents are from Quickutz, heart shaped balloons from  the Create A Critter cartridge, and banner from the Wild Card cartridge. I used clear acetate for the tabs on the balloons to give the illusion that they were floating in air.
Had loads of fun putting this together! Can't wait to try this stage pop up card technique again soon....

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Quickie Thanksgiving Treat Bags

Talk about last minute! Just a few hours before leaving for dinner at my sil's for our family Thanksgiving get together, I quickly put the goodies I bought to give to our relatives into giftbags. I knew I didn't have time to decorate them... but the plain brown kraft bags looked so sad!
Had to think of something really simple and quick! I went over to my favorite place for digital images, My Grafico. They had a 50% sitewide sale going on (yay!) and I grabbed this cute little gobbler from JW Illustrations. Isn't he adorable?
Added a sentiment, printed, then used my nestabilities to cut him out and add a scalloped border. Very simple, but done in less than an hour...and much happier than the sad naked brown bags! Hope everyone is enjoying the Thanksgiving weekend!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Hippo Birdie Two Ewe!

Yet another silly card, this one made for dd's fiance's birthday.  Always wanted to do a "Hippo Birdie" card, and with all the cute animal images available on some of the Cricut cartridges, I just couldn't resist.

For this card, I used the hippo and birdie from Create A Critter, lambs from the Easter Seasonal Cartridge, and cake from Simply Charmed. Balloons were cut from the CottageCutz Birthday Pup die.

I used a simple pop up to attach the cake to the inside of the card. The balloons were glued onto a piece of clear acetate on which I drew in the balloon strings with a Sharpie. Acetate piece was then adhered to the back of the cake.
Hippo and lambs were attached on an angled pop-up. The concept of creating an angled pop-up is simple; fold the card in half and cut an angled strip from the fold. On the other hand, getting the desired angle was a bit trickier and took me a few tries on scrap paper before I got it just right.
Hopefully dd's fiance enjoyed this silly birthday greeting... even though he got a year older, I hope he'll always remain a little bit of a kid at heart.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

QR Code Fun

Not too long ago, one of my favorite bloggers, Carol of Extreme Cards and Papercrafting posted a project where she wove strips of paper together to replicate a QR code birthday message for a friend. The weaving project was way out of my league, but the novel idea of using a QR code (Quick Response code) to send a message really had me intrigued! That's when I knew I just had to do a "techie" anniversary card for my geekie dh...

I went over to the QR Code Platform site recommended by Carol to generate a couple of messages, printed them out and added them to my card. The QR code reader is a free app dh has on his Droid, so when he scanned the code on the front of the card with his phone, the message  "Happy Anniversary!" appears. Very cool! To keep with the techie theme, I used robots from the Robtz cartridge to represent the two of us. Cutfile for the gears were created in MTC using an image found on the web.
Then to add to the silliness, I used a slider on the inside of the card so the pink robot would slide on over to get closer to the the blue robot as the card is opened. You can find the instructions for this "Moving Card" shared by Lynn  from Ben Franklin Crafts on her blog. Thank you, Lynn!
Lastly, I added my second QR code ("I Love You!") to the inside of the card. Wow! I can hardly believe that we've been married for 31 years's been a wonderful journey and I'm so very fortunate to have spent it with my best friend!

Friday, November 4, 2011

For My Favorite Swinger!

Here's a kind of silly but fun little card I made to help celebrate dh's birthday last month...
Decided to use a recessed window for the front of my card for the monkey to peek out of. He comes from the Create A Critter cartridge and his banana from Preserves. Tree branches are from ZooBalloo, and wooden sign frame from Pooh and Friends. Happy Birthday sentiment is Ariel font, created and welded in MTC.

Here's how the card opens up...

A little difficult to simulate the motion with stills, but basically the little monkeys swing down on the vine as the card is opened. Yes, it's me trying to practice doing the old "v-fold pivot" mechanism again! You can get a better idea of the construction and workings of this mechanism illustrated and explained by Carol over at Extreme Cards and Papercrafting. Even after many tries at this, I still haven't figured this out completely. It usually takes me several tries at moving the position of the pivoting arm around before I can get it to swing just right. LOL, but when I finally got it placed correctly, it was so much fun to open and close the card (again and again...) to watch the monkeys swing!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Trick Or Treat, Smell My Feet...Here's the last of my Halloween Treats!

When I first saw this adorable Cottage Cutz die, I thought it would be cute to use on tags to accompany my Witchy Shoe favor boxes. But after cutting out all the little pieces on this, I knew there was no way I would have the time!
Ended up making just one card using this die...gonna just have to put this die away for now and hopefully have more time to play with this again next year!
So instead of spending time on the tags, I decorated some gift bags for Halloween treats for Latte's doggie friends. A lot less pieces involved, and a lot quicker to put together!
Jack-o-lantern for this came from the Paperdolls Dress Up cartridge, and the doggie cut actually originates from a Christmas Dog and Sled Cottage Cutz die.
My last Halloween "project" for this year were these Jello treats I made to share at our Cricut Club meeting and for dh and I to take to work...
In keeping with the Halloween color scheme, I used orange Jello for the cream cheese layer and lime jello for the top. Decorated them with Jack-o-Lantern Peeps, which I cut apart and added green icing to for the stems.
And finally, here are some of the wonderful treats I came home with from our Cricut meeting on Sunday...
Red Velvet cupcake (delicious!) shared by Jean...she topped them off with a cutie patootie ghost from 3 Birds On Parade...
A plethora of Halloween treats created & generously shared by the Cricuteers!

A fun spooky pop-up card and adorable decorated snack cup from my special friend, Kris. Check out this card...see how the ghosts pop up from the mansion when you pull up on the tab? Very, very, COOL! And isn't Hello Kitty just adorable dressed up in her 3-D pumpkin outfit? LOVE it! Hope you are having a fun Halloween!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

For Fashionista Witches...

Okay, so I was all set to make little milkbox haunted houses to fill with Halloween treats this year... but then I came across these wickedly adorable Witches' Shoes created and shared by Cindy Louh on her website, Skip To My Lou.  There was no way I could pass up giving these a try!
I used the templates Cindy shared and had MTC trace them into cutfiles with scorelines. Used Bazzill Bling cardstock to cut the shoes so they'd have a bit of sheen to them. I especially loved that Cindy included a lining template for the shoes...I used some freebie  Halloween digital papers snatched from My Grafico to line my witchy shoes...really makes them look festive, don't you think?
Dressed up the front of the shoe with some black tulle dotted with stickles glitter, a sheer ribbon bow and some ghoulish shapes cut from a Cuttlebug Halloween die then glossed up with JudiKins Diamond Glaze.
Shoes were then filled with cellophane sleeves of deliciously sinful chocolates, wrapped in black tulle. Put together  a little over a dozen of these to share with my fashionista "ghoul" friends...a little time consuming, but so much fun to put together!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bone Rattling Fun

It's Halloween weekend already and I'm still trying to finish up all my projects! Honestly, I thought I started early enough this year, but everything seemed to take longer than I had expected. This fun card for dd's fiance was the first project I finished. I think it's called a double slider box card and it was inspired by one I received from my dear friend Kris two years ago. (See Kris' card here ) Loved Kris' card and have been wanting to try this but never had the chance till now!
See the green ribbon loop on the right side of the card? Pull on it and...
*Surprise*! Out from the left side slides a box filled with treats!
How cool is that! You can find the template for the box shared by Sharon (Sweetiepeas) on the Splitcoast Stampers forum. I have to admit that when I first got a look at Sharon's template, I thought "NO WAY"! In fact I had to stare at it and study it several times before I got enough nerve to attempt it. Don't worry...once you get started on it, it really isn't as complicated as it looks! I went ahead and created a cutfile for it in Design Studio using the George cartridge so I wouldn't have to worry about all the measuring next time I decide to do another one...maybe for Christmas? 
Front of the card was fun to do! Tombstones, tree and sentiment are from the Happy Haunting cartridge, stickle glittered moon was cut from a circle punch, and bats and skeleton are from old Quickutz dies.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A "Berry" Special Someone

This was a simple card created for a friend at work who was recently blessed with a sweet baby girl. She named her new daughter "Ichigo", which is Japanese for "Strawberry"... so of course I couldn't resist using San-X's Berry Puppy for her card.
I used MTC to create cutfiles for Ichigo's name (Arial font) and Berry Puppy. (I thought it would be cute to add "chan" to baby's name, a suffix used by the Japanese to names when referring to young children.) Baby's name and puppy were cut several times and layered with foam tape for dimension. Used my Copics to add the details and shading.
For the base card, I used the round doily cut from the Cricut Cake Basics cartridge welded in Design Studio.  Strawberries are from the Simply Charmed cartridge and tiny scattered hearts were punched using a Fiskars hand punch.
When I first learned my friend had named her daughter "Ichigo", I thought it was such an unusual name for a little girl...but then, Gwyneth Paltrow named her daughter "Apple"... so maybe this is a new trend? When you think about it, there are so many cute strawberry decorated things for little girls out there...and I'll bet little Ichigo already has a roomful!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Manhattan Rose Birthday Card

I'm not much into stamping anymore, but I still enjoy looking through the SU catalogs for all the other goodies they have to offer. When this Manhattan Flower embossing folder first became available a while ago, I knew I just HAD to have it, but it took me this long to finally decide it was time to play with it! Inked up with SU's Pretty In Pink stamp pad and ran it through my Big Shot on white gold cardstock and really liked the resulting embossed image.
I then cut out the roses and thought it might look neat layered inside a recessed window card. First saw this type of card created by my blogging friend, Michele over at her blog, My Simple Crafts, and just had to try one too. The tutorial for this by Lynn Mercurio is over at Splitcoast. Pretty much an easy card to do, and happily simple to alter, which I had to do since the roses wouldn't fit into the window using the original measurements. Roses were layered onto a piece of cardstock embossed with a Cuttlebug embossing folder from their Asian bundle and added a butterfly cut from SU's Beautiful Wings Embosslit die.
For my frame, I really wanted to use my Martha Stewart double loop edge and corner punches, but got frustrated when I realized it can only do set sizes (duh!), none of which would fit my window. After moping around a bit I finally had an "aha!" moment and decided to cheat a little...I used my punches to punch out the smallest rectangular frame it could create from black cardstock. I then scanned the punched frame, saved it as a .jpg image, and imported into Make the Cut to render into a cutfile. In Make the Cut I simply re-sized my frame to the size I needed to fit my card. If you look closely, you'll see that the cut is no where as precise and clean as an original punched frame, but heck, it was good enough for me!
Here's the inside of the card. For some reason, I really didn't like how the recessed window pops out on the inside of the card so I ended up covering the entire inside right panel of the card with a "box". Used another embossed rose and a couple leaves, punched and run thru a crimper to embellish. Added the sentiments and it was ready for giving to my dear mil on her birthday. Took me a while to put this togther, but had fun and learned so much!