Sunday, June 26, 2011

Crafters Are So Special...

It is truly amazing how blogging has given me the opportunity to connect with so many neat people, many who have become very dear and special friends. And once in awhile, I have the good fortune of meeting these special friends in person. Such was the case with my friend, Gene. The two of us got together while I was on vacation in Las Vegas and we spent the day craft shop hopping and getting to know each other. Not only is she an amazing and talented crafter, Gene is the warmest, most thoughtful, sharing and funnest person ever!
I recently received this stunning z-fold Asian screen card created by Gene, affirming our very special friendship.
Even more breathtaking irl, my photos don't do this beautiful card justice. Like our new friendship, this card is truly a treasure!

And here's yet another wonderful handcrafted treasure I recently received from another very special friend, Claire...
It's a Hello Kitty tissue box holder! Isn't it absolutely adorable? And in my favorite color...PINK!
Each of the four sides is different, and if you click on the photos above, you will get an upclose view of all the amazing and very intricate details that went into embellishing each little Hello Kitty. Anyone can see that a lot of time, thought and love went into creating this very sweet it!

This next crafting project was one created by Michele F. during a recent Cricut Club meeting...
Michele was kind enough to do a mini demo for us on cutting with Vinyl on the Cricut machine, showing us how easy it could be to dress up a takeout box with vinyl, making it look totally fabulous. I was one of the lucky winners of the boxes she decorated and shared.
Wouldn't you agree...crafters are by far the most thoughtful, sharing and generous people around. And I am so blessed to have them as my friends!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Best Dad in the Universe

When it came time to think up Fathers Day cards, I tried very hard to come up with something "manly" but *sigh* I just wasn't able to make it happen. Had to fall back on my favorite whimsical cards again this year...sorry guys! This first card was made for my dad.
I chose to do a space themed center pleated card using the rocketship from the Nifty Fifties cartridge. To make it look like it was "blastin' off" I added the "flame" from the rocket image from the B is for Boys cartridge. And inspired by Jin's super cute submarine card, I decided to use the panda from Create A Critter to peek through the windows of the rocket.

Here's the card on the inside...
All the stars and rockets were attached to the pleated center of the card using strips of clear acetate to give the impression of them floating in space.
I used my computer printer to print out the individual red letters for Happy Fathers Day then used star images (also from the Nifty Fiftties cartridge) to cut them out. The two small spaceships and smaller stars were cut from the Outer Space Sizzlits Decorative Strip die.
Here's a view from the top showing the top half of the card on the inside with the planets cut from the Superman cartridge. Large purple planet on the bottom half was dry embossed with a Cuttlebug Embossing folder and little green martian is from the Everyday Paperdolls cartridge.
I usually make similar style cards on Fathers Day for both my dad and dh but this year was different. I let my guard down one day and dh got a full view of my dad's card as I was putting it together. "Oh, that's a neat card!" he said. With the element of surprise now gone, I somehow felt compelled to create something different for dh. So this is the card he got instead...
At first glance, no one would ever guess this was a card for a guy. Short on time, and pressured to quickly come up with something different, I guess I wasn't thinking straight. It wasn't until after the card was finished that I took a good look at it and realized...OOPS!...the cuts on the front of the card weren't quite appropriate for a "guy card".
I guess if you read the greeting on the front panel, you might understand why I added the diamond ring, perfume and roses. (The ring and roses came from the Sweethearts cartridge and bottle of perfume from the Paisley cartridge.)
On the inside of the card, I used a floating tabletop pop-up, which I learned to do from a tutorial over at my favorite go-to  place for interactive cards, Carol's Extreme Cards And Papercrafting blog.

A view from the top shows two of the three the I-beams that hold the candy 1-1/2 inches above the card to give the illusion of it floating...
For the inside of this card, the big Sugar Daddy candy (remember those?...mmm...yum!) was created in Design Studio by welding various shapes from the George cartridge.Confetti embellies on the candy wrapper and background are also from George. I used glitter cardstock from DCWV to cut the candy, and the name "Sugar Daddy" is from Mickey Font cut in red vinyl.
Awww...and isn't this little puppy just adorable? She's cut from Cottage Cutz' Shih Tsu Peeker die. I did her in white and left out the fuzzy eyebrows from the original die so she'd look more like our Maltese, Latte. "xoxo" and "love you" were created in MTC using Lettering Delights true type font, LD  Charming Bold, and popped up with foam tape.
So while the front of dh's Fathers Day card didn't turn out too well, I hope he enjoys what's inside! Meanwhile, hope everyone is enjoying Fathers Day with the men in your lives. Don't forget to let those guys know that they are truly loved and appreciated!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Little Ladybug Turns One!

Here's the card I came up with for a baby girl's first birthday celebration we attended this weekend. The invitation was just adorable, with little ladybugs on it, so I thought it might be fun to keep with the theme for her card. I decided to keep it simple, focusing mainly on layering and dimension. I used AR Cena, a true type font, and MTC to weld and create the wording and the shadowing  for the front of the card. Ladybug comes from the Just Because Cards cartridge, grass border from Give A Hoot cartridge, and daisies are from an old 2x2 Quickutz die.
Cut several layers of each image and had fun layering them up with 1/16"  thick foam dots. And well, you know me... I just HAD to add some sort of interactive fun element, right?
LOL, so instead of just gluing little ladybug's wings in place, I attached them to her body with a brad so they could be spread open to reveal a "secret message" for the birthday girl.
Kept the inside of the card short and sweet with just a simple ladybug icon I found searching the internet.
As it turns out, the theme of the party was "ladybugs", and Bethany's mom and dad did a fantastic job of carrying out the theme. The table centerpieces were beautiful little ladybug bags sewn by Bethany's aunt, surrounded by tissue grass and flowers which were really little favor boxes filled with cookies. Darned, I wish I had my camera!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Doggone Special Birthday

Here's the birthday card I came up with for my favorite crafting buddy, Kris. Wanted to start putting to use some of those cute Cottage Cutz dies I've been collecting for awhile now... Decided I would use this cute Party Pupppy and try her on another sliding pop up card.
Cottage Cutz has some of the most adorable die cuts, but sometimes seeing all the tiny pieces that have to be pieced together is a bit intimidating, at least for me. All that chalking, piecing and layering does take some time, but I must admit the results are quite rewarding!
Pulling on the tab on the bottom of the card pulls the background up to be perpendicular to the front of the card and reveals the message.
Tiered birthday cake and stand are from the Celebrations cartridge. Happy Birthday label is from the Home Aceents cartridge.Nestabilities Labels One and Labels One Small were used for the backdrop. Smaller top label was embossed with a Cuttlebug Floral Fantasy folder. Added rhinestones and a heart shaped dewdrop to puppy's collar, and stickles and flat back pearls to the cake for some bling. Balloons were tied down with a few strands of embroidery floss. 

Here's a sideview to get a better perspective of the pop-up.
Now for those who didn't know, I always show my cards to dh for final approval before they get sent out. Since a lot of the cards I make are interactive type cards, this is my way of making sure any pop-ups or moving parts are in working order and that any non-crafting recipient would be able to easily figure out how to open the cards (ie, pull on this tab, open this flap first, etc)

For this sliding pop up card, dh immediately knew to pull on the tab at the bottom, but he kept pulling until the card was completely flat, then giving me a puzzled look,"Uh, something's wrong with this!" When I showed him that he needed to stop pulling once the card was in it's standing position, his advice was "That's no good. Ya gotta put something there so people know when to stop pulling!"
Ok, so here's what we did to remedy to problem....
After sliding the card open to its ideal standing position, I adhered a small square of foam tape to the back to act as a stop, and that seemed to fix the problem to dh's satisfaction.
If the front of your card is heavy with layering and embellishments, the easel back may not be strong enough to keep it in it's standing position and this might be a solution you might want to try too.