Friday, May 31, 2013

Sister Stamps Release #14: Year of the Rat

Hello again! Today I'm sharing a card featuring the new Sister Stamps Year of the Rat stamp from the Chinese Zodiac Collection being released tomorrow.
I decided to make a special "Yakudoshi" birthday card with the Year of the Rat stamp. According to some Japanese beliefs, the yakudoshi years are specific years of calamity and bad luck; one of the most crucial being the year a man turns 42. Families often hold a large party to celebrate a man's 41st birthday to ward off the bad luck for the coming year. With that being said, if  you're invited to attend a yakudoshi party this year, the birthday boy was born in the Year of the Rat (1972).
Wanted to include traditional symbols of good luck on my yakudoshi the first thing I did was print up the kanji characters for "good luck" or "ko'un" on the background cardstock. I especially liked the stylized look of these characters, found over at It's a great site which offers several free kanji image downloads and even gives suggestions on suitable kanji characters to be used on greeting cards for different occasions.
Next, I chose to use a paper pieced image of a lucky mallot, or "uchide no kozuchi", a familiar Japanese motif used to represent good luck and good fortune. For this, I found a coloring book-like image and had MTC render it into a cutfile.
Once the main panel was completed, I decided to use it on a joy-fold style card. (Tutorial for this by Beate Johns is at Splitcoast Stampers.) Embossed the panel on the right using an embossing folder from the Cuttlebug Asian Bundle and lightly sprayed it with Tsukineko Gold Spritz for a bit of sparkle.
For the back panel, I chose a washi paper that had images of bamboo, pine and plum blossoms...known to the Japanese as "Sho Chiku Bai", which are classic traditional symbols of longevity and resistance to hardship. Then finally I finished off with strands of gold mizuhiki cord tied into a knot to keep my card closed.
For more sneak peeks of this new Sister Stamps release, be sure to hop on over to visit the rest of the're sure to be delighted at all the creativity going on! Just click on the links below...
Laura: By TKG

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Sister Stamps Release #14: Year of the Boar

Thank you for joining me as we preview the release of the next in the series of Sister Stamps Chinese Zodiac Collection. My first project showcases the new Year of the Boar stamp...awww... isn't he adorable? I've colored him up in pink (so I guess he looks more like a baby boar) and used him to dress up this little easel tissue box card I put together.

The inspiration for this tissue box card comes from one created and shared by Kim Weber of Nana's Keepsakes. For instructions on how to put the basic box together, check out this  video tutorial by Dee Slater of Create! with Dee.  I did few changes to Dee's the original design; one was to move the position of the opening where the tissues are dispensed from the center to the edge of the box. (I used Spellbinders Label Four die to cut the opening instead of a punch).  And since I wanted my tissue holder to close up like a card, I extended the base about an inch longer on the bottom.

Next, I attached an easel type card to the top, adding paper roses from All Natural Accents as the stop, and a length of ribbon to keep the card closed. With summer allergy & cold season just around the corner, thought this might be a cute card to have on hand for an ailing friend.
Please be sure to stop in to visit the rest of the DT members today to check out their creative projects using the adorable stamps in this new Sister Stamps release!
Laura: By TKG   
Hope you'll get a chance to come back again tomorrow; I'll be sharing a project showcasing Sister Stamps new Year of the Rat stamp.     

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Mia's One!

This is the card I came up with for hubby's cousin's granddaughter's Hello Kitty themed first birthday celebration last month. Used my Cricut and Hello Kitty Greetings cartridge for kitty and balloons from the Celebrations cartridge. For the "sign" I had MTC create a cutfile using Comic Sans font and my Silhouette to cut. Background panel was embossed using a folder from the Sizzix Hello Friend set. Tiny flowers and leaves were punched using mini punches from Punch Bunch.
Wanted the inside to be fun and colorful, but simple so I chose to do a basic pop up card. Rainbow, clouds and stars are from Cricut Once Upon A Princess cartridge; Hello Kitty with balloons and little birdie are coloring book images rendered into cutfiles using MTC.
If you look closely here, you can see I used clear acetate plastic to pop up Hello Kitty to try to give the illusion that she was floating in the sky with her balloons.
Then to continue with the theme of the party, I picked up the cutest quilted Hello Kitty naptime blanket and matching pillow set from Moemoe and More from a recent tradeshow. Darned, wish I had remembered to take a photo of it! Happy Birthday, little Mia!
BTW, the next two stamps in the series of Sister Stamps Chinese Zodiac stamps is set for release at the beginning of next month. I'll be participating in the introduction of the new Year of the Boar and Year of the Rat stamps so please stop by again on Thursday and Friday to take a peek!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Shiba Inu Birthday Card

When trying to decide what kind of card to make for my niece's birthday, I came across and fell in love with Joanna's super cute Scotty Dog shaped card from Lettering Delights. I thought it was adorable how the Scotty Dog looked with the little envelope in his mouth thought it would make an almost perfect birthday card for my niece (who is away at college and misses her Shiba Inu dearly).  Searching the web I found an image of a standing Shiba I liked, imported it into MTC and proceeded to edit/redraw at the node level into a sitting position. It took awhile, but I finally got it to what you see here. Slowly but surely, I'm learning more and more about all the awesome capabilities of the Make The Cut program!
Sadly for some reason, my Shiba Inu just didn't look right with the envelope in her I ended up doing a switch to an easel card instead, and the envelope ended up on one of the gifts instead of in Shiba's mouth...sigh....
Well, even though my card didn't turn out as cute as Joanna's Scotty Dog, a couple good things did come from creating this card. One, I got more practice and learned a lot about editing images in the MTC program; and Two, hubby actually recognized my doggie as a Shiba, this is BIG...because he often confuses my paper pieced bears with dogs, penguins with ducks, etc. etc...

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mothers Day Accordion Flip Card and More...

Finally had the chance to play with my Sizzix Accordion Flip Album die. Totally inspired after spying Helen's amazing card, I knew I had to try one for our Mothers Day cards this year.

 I always enjoy playing with acetate and had loads of fun putting this together. Love the effect of the butterflies suspended in air, appearing to be flying through the frames of the card.

Using the Sizzix Accordion Flip Album die, each panel was cut three times, once from clear acetate, once from patterned paper, and again from cardstock. I snipped off the center pieces from the ones cut from patterned paper and cardstock, leaving just the outer frames and tabs to glue onto the front and back of the acetate panels.
I wanted my first panel be flat so I used a 9.5 x 4.75" piece of cardstock folded in half and adhered to the tab of the second panel. Spellbinders Labels One dies were used to cut and frame my sentiment for the front.
Then came the fun part of embellishing the acetate panels with the butterflies and swirls. I used Memory Box dies for the larger butterflies and Cheery Lynn dies for the smaller ones. Green leafy swirl border is also a Cheery Lynn die, and the very tiny butterflies on the border are from a Memory Box die.
The one problem with acetate is that it doesn't stay folded flat, so keeping the card in a closed position was a little bit of a challenge. To solve this, I made a separate tri-fold wrap with a ribbon closure to keep my card folded inside. Part of the fun is that once the ribbon is untied, the accordion card inside literally springs open!
For our Mothers Day family dinner out, I ordered strawberry daifukumochi from Made In Hawaii Foods to share with all the moms. Wanted to put them in a pretty bag, but didn't have much time so it had to be kept simple...
Used MTC to create a simple strawberry embellishment for the bags from a line drawing found on the internet. Added a pink satin bow and it was done.

Check out the size of these strawberries! These strawberries covered with an (sweet bean paste) and wrapped in soft mochi were worth every yummy penny...been so craving this ever since our trip to Japan a few weeks ago!
Got one more surprise project of another RAK from our sweet friend Lorna at work...
Cutest little paper teacup ever!
Thought she had used a Sizzix die for this, but learned later that this is all Cricut! Will have to talk to Lorna more to find out the deets, but I'm guessing she might have used a cupcake wrapper die? Love, love the cute little paper rose embellishments she added too. Wow, just can't get over all the wonderful paper projects this girl comes up with! Does she ever sleep? Thank you, Lorna!!!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Happy Boys Day!

Today is Boys Day, when families in Japan traditionally celebrate the healthy growth of their sons.
Here's the card I sent to my son in law this week to celebrate Boys Day. Another recessed window card, this time showcasing a paper pieced samurai warrior helmet or "kabuto", which is typically  displayed during Boys Day. Found a coloring book style image for this by doing a Google image search, had MTC render it into a cutfile, edited it to clean it up a little, and cut it on my Silhouette. I chose pearlized papers and foil cardstock, hoping to give it an authentic metallic look. Used foam tape to mount the finished helmet into the recessed window and added a simple black and gold border to frame the window. No frills for this...gotta keep it masculine, right?
LOL, I know my son in law is no longer a little boy, but he is our only son and I wanted to send a little happy mail just to let him know we're thinking of him!
Before I go, I just have to share a couple pics of a wonderful surprise we received at work on Friday...

...colorful sticks of candy decorated with beautifully colored koi and ribbon made to look like traditional Japanese "koi nobori" or carp windsocks displayed for Boys Day. These precious treats were created by none other than our amazing and talented friend Lorna. Love how she cleverly used her Cheery Lynn koi die to create these! Thank you Lorna, you are too too sweet!!!