Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sister Stamps Release #11: Valentines Day Treats!

Remember how I mentioned before about how versatile the new Sister Stamps Chinese Zodiac animal stamps can be? Well, with Valentines Day just around the corner, I just couldn't resist using the new Year of the Monkey and Year of the Sheep stamps to start working on my first Valentine goodies for the year!
I put together this darling little monkey one first. Simply colored him up with Copics, cut him out and placed him on this "Flatbacked Treat Box". Double heart cutout was created in MTC by welding two heart outlines together; added a bow, a tiny punched tag (EK Success), and a cute Valentine sentiment on a scalloped circle (Spellbinders Nestabilities). A few more cute Valentines sentiments came to mind that might be perfect for this as well. How about... "Bananas For You"...."Let's Monkey Around".... "To My Favorite Swinger"... lots of possibilities!
Had so much fun with the first one that I just had to make one using the Year of the Sheep stamp too! Outline heart and "Love Ewe" in the background are cutfiles created in MTC (LD Charming ttf). And of course the creative possibilities with this adorable Year of the Sheep stamp are limitless... Thank "Ewe" cards, Happy Birthday to "Ewe" cards, "Ewe" are Special cards...just to name a few. ("EWE" know what I mean? LOL, sorry, I couldn't resist!)
The original template for this "Flatbacked Treat Box" comes from Patti Gilliam over at the Splitcoaststampers Tutorial page. There's also a video tutorial by Beate Johns which I found helpful on the bottom of the same page. I think Patti G's box is just the perfect size for holding Hershey Nugget chocolates, but since I wanted to use Dove Chocolates in mine, I adjusted the sizing of the box a bit, decreasing the depth to 0.5" and length to 3.5". The finished height of the entire thing is 4.5" and is just the right size to hold 3 Dove Chocolate Hearts.
Although I created my re-sized box as a cutfile on MTC, the template is simple enough to do with a paper cutter or pair of scissors...
Using a sheet of cardstock 5.5" x 8", you can use this MTC screenshot to create and handcut your own template for this box. The numbers in red indicate the placement of the box flaps as well as the scorelines. Score your cardstock first then trim down to the scorelines as shown for the box flaps. Or if you prefer, as always, the cutfile for this is available just for the asking.The instructions for assembling the box are the same as provided on Beate John's video tutorial. Very quick and easy!
And if you haven't had a chance to do so yet, you must go check out the fabulous project samples for this new release created by the other guest designers as well as over at the Sister Stamps blog!
Laura:  By TKG
Debi:  Crafty Buzz

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sister Stamps Release #11: Year of the Sheep

Yay! It's time for another Sister Stamps new release. This time I'm back with the second pair of Chinese Zodiac stamps, the Sheep and Monkey, which will be available for purchase this Friday.
I've decided to share a birthday card I came up with using the Year of the Sheep stamp...isn't he adorable? This one holds a special place in my heart because my mother in law, hubby and myself were born in the year of the sheep. Ooops....did I just give away my old age?
For the background paper on the front of the card, I added the years associated with the Year of the Sheep (Gabriola ttf) onto some red tone digital paper purchased from Lettering Delights. Thought it was kind of fun that you can customize and print up your own paper that way. Used Copics to add a bit of color to my sheep and placed him on a circle on which I had printed "Born in the Year of the Sheep" (Calligrapher ttf) using the WordArt function in Microsoft Word.
Over to the right of the main image, I added a gold tabbed "flap" which I embossed using the Spellbinders Asian  M-Bossalities folder. Kanji for "hitsuji" or "sheep" is a cutfile created in MTC from a Google Image search.
Then inside the little tabbed pocket, I added a little removable insert which describes some of the personality traits associated with people born in the Year of the Sheep...
And here's a shot of the inside of the card with the Happy Birthday greeting. Thought this would be kind of neat card to give to someone born in the Year of the Sheep. Of course you could do this same idea using any of the Chinese Zodiac animals for friends born in any other year!
Okay now, don't forget to go visit the blogs of my fellow guest designers today for more fun ideas for this new Sister Stamps Release! Click on the links below to take you directly to their sites:
Laura: By TKG  
Please come back to visit again tomorrow, I'll have yet another Sister Stamps Zodiac project to share with you!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

A New Year of Inspiration

Want to share a couple New Years goodies I recently received from my crafty friends! This super cute New Year card came hand delivered from my crafty buddy at work, Lorna. Thank you, Lorna, your sweet card really brightened my day! So super kawaii, don't you agree?
Here's what this cute circle swivel card looks like on the inside... just love all Lorna's extra special touches on this card that make it so special, including Sister Stamps Kiyoko's washi paper pieced kimono, the gold embossed background (Spellbinders), and all the hanging lanterns (Pagoda Cricut Cartridge and Memory Box die).
Then I received some happy mail from my favorite crafty pal in SF... this beautiful desk calendar from Patti of Creations by Patti! Patti always has the knack of making simple look so fabulous! How does she do it?! The little kimono girl (Dandelion Stamps, Butterfly Frame) looks so adorable peeking out from behind the calendar....and I love the pretty border (Martha Stewart Floral Crochet punch) that peeks out from the bottom!

The neatest thing about this calendar is that it came in the mail, folded flat in a standard legal size envelope. See the lines of double stick tape...all ready for me to assemble!
Wow! I am truly the fortunate one, to have such sharing and crafty friends! You ladies have really got my mojo going and ready for another New Year of fun crafting...thank you so much!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Peeking Puppy "Open Down" Birthday Card

 I'm a bit behind on posting my projects due to the holidays. Alot of my family celebrate their birthdays at the end of the year but with all the excitement of the holidays, I haven't had a chance to share their cards till now. Today's card is the one that got sent to my daughter back in October, right before Halloween...
It's been awhile since I've done one of these type of cards...don't know what they're called, but I've decided to call it an "Open Down" card, simply because unlike most pop up cards that open "up" this one's a little different in that it opens "down".
The front page of this card is the layer with the two wrapped gifts. The puppy and balloons peeking from behind are on the inside layer of the card...
And when the card is opened "down", you see the popped up layers inside...a birthday cake and more presents! The concept is simple enough but it always takes me so long to figure out the layers and the sizing of each layer that I usually don't have the time or patience to make this type of card.  The cake is a cut from Cricut Sretch Your Imagination cartridge, balloons are from the Celebration cartridge, and the the label inside from the Elegant Edges cartridge. Bows for the gifts are a Google image search find, rendered into cut files by MTC. And of course the familiar little puppy is a MTC cutfile created from my own rendering of our Maltese.
Here are a couple shots from the side and top of the card showing the three layers inside and the tabs behind the layers that hold them in position, similar to a basic pop up card. I used MTC to create the shadowed layers for the card and placed each layer 3/4" in front  of the other. 
The original concept of this card is not my own, but from a Hallmark card purchased a long while ago. As mentioned before, the basic card is really simple, and in retrospect it may have been quicker and easier to simply hand cut the shadow layers on this rather than spending time creating a cutfile...will have to try that next time!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Fan Swing Card

Here's yet another swing/swivel type card I created using the MTC program. This time I decided to try something a little different and experimented with a fan shape for this birthday card for a very special friend. Getting the fan to be centered on the closed card was a little bit of a challenge but I think I finally got it to where I'm pretty happy with it.
Fan insert was cut using my Cricut and the Pagoda cartridge, sized in Cricut Design Studio to fit my card. Japanese kanji character "kotobuki" for "congratulations" and "long life" was cut on the Silhouette using a cutfile created in MTC.
I used the Sizzix Birds and Branches decorative strip die for the leaves and branches and medium and small Carl Sakura punches for the cherry blossoms. Flower centers were punched from a Punch Bunch mini flower center punch.

Here's the card opened to show the inside. Orignally the card looked kind of bare on the inside, so I decided to add my very first "ningyo-gami" or "Japanese paper doll" to liven it up a little. 

She was actually pretty easy and fun to make. I used tutorials I found on Pinterest like this one by Lina Conde and this one by Melanie Gray Augustin. Need to play around and practice a bit more with this, and hopefully, when I get better at it I may want to try a project showcasing these type of paper dolls.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Fabulous Pagoda Cascade Card

I'm sharing with you today what I consider the most fabulous handmade birthday card I have ever received in my life. And without a doubt, this incredible cascade card was created by my very special and talented friend Patti, of Creations By Patti.
I've had my eye on, and pinned what I thought were some really pretty cascade cards on my Pinterest board for quite awhile now, with the hope that I'd like to try one someday...but none of them even come close to being as clever and elaborate as this one. Woo Hoo! You can just imagine how excited I was to receive this stunningly beautiful card from Patti during our last visit to the Bay area.

Here's a view from the top of the card at a different angle to show all the intricate attention to detail that went into putting this card together...each piece of the red traditional torii gate, the Japanese girl, her kimono and teapot... every bamboo stem, each leaf, painstakingly inked and pieced together to create this very special one of a kind card.

You can find links to all the different svg cut files and learn about the techniques Patti used to create this little masterpiece by visiting her blog here. And while you're there, be sure to check out all the rest of her beautiful creations, guaranteed to amaze and inspire you to no end!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Homemade Christmas 2012

Receiving anything homemade from friends during Christmas is always very special to me, especially since I know from experience how difficult it is to find the time and energy to get everything done during the holidays. Lucky for me, I have crafty friends who (unlike myself) are well disciplined in their time management skills...look at the little treasures they created!

My dear friend Heather (aka the amazing pastry chef) always comes through with the prettiest decorated cookies and yummilicious treats, not only during the holidays but all year 'round!

Awww...isn't this Christmas gift tag from Kris just the most adorable ever? I think I recognize him as the doggie from the Cricut Create A Critter cartridge. Love how Kris dressed him up in a scarf and Santa hat to be festive for the holidays!

Okay, so you had to pick me off the floor after I opened this amazing handmade gift created by my friend Gwen. Everything about this shouts "CUTE"! First check out the header to this little bag of snowmen chocolate treats...don't you just love that peeking Snowman? What a creative and clever way to use her Sizzix and Stampin' Up dies, embossing folder and punches! Now look inside the bag to find three of the most delightful stocking capped snowman Hershey chocolate nugget treats. I'm pretty sure those adorable little snowman caps are fingers to what once were some knitted gloves! CUTE, CUTE, CUTE!!! Now tell me, who's ever gonna eat those chocolates?...not ME!

Then a few days after Christmas, I received another delightful surprise from Gwen...a very classy looking thank you card, eh? Who wouldn't recognize that frosty beard, red belly and shiny buckle!
A warm and fuzzy thank you to all my very talented and crafty friends who put so much time and love into putting together these delightful holiday treasures. You all made me feel so very special!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Welcome 2013!

Happy New Year! We celebrated the first day of 2013 together with our extended family, spending time catching up on each others' lives, watching the bowl games on TV and eating way too much! I put together a dozen of these decorated gable boxes filled with homemade treats to share with each family. Originally, I had designed a box for my New Years treats back in November during the Sister Stamps Chinese Zodiac release. *Sigh* I had high hopes of getting started early on those in time for New Years, but as you can see that didn't happen!
I fell behind schedule before Christmas and didn't have time to start on the boxes till after Christmas so I had to keep the decorating  down to something quicker and simpler. I used Sister Stamps Year of the Snake image, mounted onto an octogon shaped gold cardstock run through a Cuttlebug embossing folder. Had my Silhouette cut the Japanese kanji character "Hebi" for snake. Red patterned paper background panel is from My Little Shoebox, Aiko Collection.
As it turned out, the original gable box design I had chosen to use back in November was a bit too small to hold my treats, so I ended up changing it at the last minute to this larger one (6-3/4"H x 6-1/2"W x 3-1/2"D), which could easily hold a dozen cookies.Template for this one was also found on the internet and converted into a workable cut file in Make the Cut.
Chinese New Year is coming up soon (February 10th) and these were pretty quick, so I'm thinking I may make up a few more of these....