Saturday, July 28, 2012

Sakura Spell Out

Have you seen Dandelion Designs' adorable Sakura Alphabet set? It features tiny kimono clad girls each holding sakura bearing an alphabet. Uh, did I mention these are tiny? Coloring them up are pretty quick because they are so teensy, but better make sure you have both a sharp pair of scissors and eyes to cut them out!
Nevertheless it was fun putting them together to spell out words...for this card, I lined them up and had them spell out "A-R-I-G-A-T-O", which means "thank you" in Japanese.
Used foam tape to pop the girls up and placed them into another recessed window card. For the backdrop, I scattered mini sakura cut from my mini Punch Bunch punch onto red cardstock which had been spritzed with Tsukineko Gold Shimmerz. After adding the gold and red border accents, my card still felt like it needed something more. Went thru my stash and found some gold mizuhiki cord, and decided it was finally time to learn how to do something with it. Found a tutorial  over at Zakka Life and was able to make my very first "awabi musubi" or Josephine knot, a Japanese symbol of good luck. It was just what my card needed!
On the inside, I used Chopin and Gabriola fonts for my message and embellished with a border of sakura cut with the WikiCAPS die and Nellie Snellen flower centers punch.
I must say it was quite satisfying to get this card done. Had a chance to get my hands inky from stamping again, and even learned to do a mizuhiki knot...LOL, and guess what, no electronic cutting machines used to create this card!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Origami-fold Tote...Supersized!

Not too long ago my sweet friend Ev did a tutorial for us at one of our monthly Cricuteer Club meetings for a little Origami fold tote bag. Using only a piece of 6x6" cardstock, ribbon, a hole punch, some adhesive and a few quick folds, Ev showed us how easily it was to make her adorable treat bag.  The best part is that no cutting was involved in constructing it!  The finished size of the mini bag was 2-1/2" x 3", the perfect size to hold a snack size candy. I really liked the mini-size but wondered how it would turn out using a larger sheet of cardstock?  At our next meeting, Ev had the same Origami tote to show us, only this time she had used a 12x12" sheet of cardstock...I totally loved this larger sized bag (5x6") even more, and knew I'd have to make a few too...
Originally I wanted to post a link to a tutorial for this tote, but after exhaustive searching online neither Ev or I could find the original tutorial. Ev did find a video tutorial by Kim Burmeister for a "gift card purse" which uses very similar folds which you can view here.
Only difference is for Ev's mini tote bag, she scored at 1-1/2" and 1-1/2" for the first set for scorelines and 2-1/2" and 2-1/2" for the second set of scorelines. For the supersized tote which uses 12x12 cardstock, we scored at 3" and 3" for the first set of scorelines and 5" and 5" for the second set of scorelines. Follow Kim's video for instructions on the folding. Then on the inside of the bag, the side panels were adhered to the front and back panels so the bag would sit upright.
As always, adding the embellishing touches was the funnest part. The little panda and shadow on the front were created in MTC, cut in several layers and popped with foam tape. Red sakura flower was handcut from the patterned cardstock and adhered to the front of the bag with more foam tape. Red flower shaped eyelets were used on the holes for the handles to give it a finished look.
Really liked the larger size of this tote, as it turned out to be the perfect size to fit the bags of yummy macadamia nut puffed rice candies I wanted to share with my friends. Loved that these bags were so quick to construct and that they can be easily made in different sizes by simply using different sized squares.
*edited to add: Just received an email from reader Janis U. who found and shared a link to instructions for this tote bag by Jonathan Phillips. Thank you, Janis! It has good illustrations to help explain the folding for this tote, but you'll probably want to use the scoring instructions provided above.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Fenghuang: the Auspicious Chinese Phoenix

As you might imagine, coming up with a card worthy enough to send  my blogging pal, Patti for her birthday was quite a challenge for me. If you've seen any of Patti's amazing creations on her blog, you know what I mean! For starters, I knew it had to be RED (her fave color) and Asian (her fave theme).
After much deliberation, I finally chose to go with a tri-fold screen card. I knew I had to fix and tweak the original cutfile I used to make my first tri-fold screen card to fulfill an earlier cutfile request, so this gave me the opportunity to test the file before sharing it.
For my background papers, I chose papers from the Garden Zen collection from Lettering Delights(red) and the Dreams of Japan collection from Jazzy Patterns (pink). The seal on the bellyband is simply a Chinese long life sticker framed with a Martha Stewart Caning Pattern punch.
And here's what the card looks like in the inside... I decided I wanted to use an image of the auspicious phoenix, a legendary symbol of good fotrune, opportunity & luck to Asian cultures. It took many hours searching the internet but I finally came across an image I liked and felt would be suitable for rendering into a cutfile. Cleaned it up in Photoshop and MTC easily created the cutfile.
Metallic & glittery mylar sticker paper adhered to cardstock were used to cut out the phoenix, which I popped up with dimmensionals onto a background embossed with one of the folders from the Cuttlebug Asian Bundle.

I especially loved all the intricate cuts on the phoenix, and it was such a joy knowing my Silhouette machine would not disappoint me!
Inside sentiments are computer generated and printed, using AR Decode and Chopin fonts, then cut into panels by the Silhouette. Added gold Robin's Nest dewdrops to the feet of the center screen as a final touch.
Had fun putting this card together, and amazingly I was able to get it finished and in the mail in time for Patti's birthday! Hoping she likes it as much as I had fun making it....

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

RAKs: Cricut Club & a Special Friend

Just a quick post to share a few goodies I recently recieved from the creative ladies in our Cricut Club during our monthly get togethers. From left to right: sweet mini totebag by Ev, a double pocket treat holder by Aileen, and up front an adorable star shaped Eeyore tag by Sharon. Both the mini totebag and treat holders are made from single sheets of square paper, simply scored and folded...just like neat is that! It's so much fun that everyone always has the neatest and most creative ideas to share and inspire us all. Thank you, ladies!
Oh, and take a peek at this collection of super cute holiday themed treat holders! All of these were meticulously put together by a new friend, Lorna who works upstairs in the same building where I work. Without fail, this amazingly creative and sweet lady has a new surprise to share with us for every holiday. All the time and love she spends stamping, coloring, cutting and creating each of these special treats really shows and makes them so special...thank you from the heart, Laura!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Celebrating Patti!

Today is my best blogging buddy's birthday...and what better way to celebrate than to showcase a few of the treasures I've recently received from her. Many of you probably already frequent her blog, Creations By Patti...and know what an awesome and multi-talented crafter she is! Patti is full of life, effervescent, and one of the sweetest, most fun-to-be-with persons I have ever met.  In my eyes, she's of celebrity-status, and I feel humbled and fortunate beyond words to have her as a friend.

First, take a closer look at this very special notepad holder that I received during Patti's recent trip to the islands...this is truly a work of art and nothing short of amazing!
The large red adornment and coin on the front...almost looks like carved gemstone. Love how it sits on the red border strip, constrasting so beautifully with the black and gold  background. Notice how everything is edged in gold for a wonderful finished look. And on the inside, a repeat of the red border with more coins...
Details, details,'s all about the attention to little details, like these neat metal charms hanging from the spine of the note holder, that always make Patti's creations so unique and special!
Next, the cards...I fell in love with this particular card when I first saw it posted on Patti's blog. So you can imagine how excited I was to be the recipient of this! Stamped image is Lady in Aviary from Stamp Out Cute. Patti's coloring skills on this is fabulous and I love all the gold accents!
This second card in my favorite color features a cutie little Japanese girl stamped image from MFT. Patti gave her a folded crane, paper pieced kimono and even a new clever!

 Awww...isn't this little panda just adorable?
Open her up and see that she is actually a post it note holder...CUTE! Love it!!!

Thank you so much, Patti, for always generously sharing your fabulous and fun creations. I hope all the happiness you always bring to others comes back to you today! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GURL!!!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Butterfly Kisses

I am so lovin' that there are so many companies coming out with thin metal dies! With such a large selection of beautiful and intricate dies to choose from, my collection has been steadily growing. LOL, now I just gotta start using them!
So for my sil's birthday card, I decided to finally try out my Cheery Lynn's small Exotic Butterflies set. This comes as a set of three different butterflies, as small as ones on a punch, but yet so delicate and detailed. Wanted to have their wings "pop" from the card without having to worry about them getting squished in an envelope so I put them in another recessed window card.
The flowering branch cut is from Cricut Home Decor cartridge. I used plain white cardstock to cut the flowers and branch, and colored them with Copics to give them a softer color. Butterflies were cut from Bazzill Bling Pearl cardstock, and inked with Tsukineko Brilliance inkpads to maintain their pearlescent sheen. For the background I used Bazzill Bling Diamond cardstock inked with Tim Holtz Distress Ink. Flatback pearls were used for the flower centers and butterflies. Martha Stewart Doily Lace edge punch was used for the bottom border, and font for the greeting is Tangerine.

On the inside, I played with the Solly Pop font again, this time to create a pop up birthday greeting.
Repeated the doily lace borders, added another flowering branch cut and used a label from Cricut Lacey Label cartridge for my sentiment.
Still have quite a few more thin dies that I've purchased but haven't had the time to play with...guess I'd better get crackin' so I won't feel too guilty about buying all the new ones I keep adding to my wishlist!