Saturday, February 22, 2014


Have you noticed how the number of sites that offer cutting files for electronic cutting machines has grown? One of my favorite places to visit that I only recently discovered is the SVG Cutting Files site. If you enjoy making treat boxes and other cool 3-D items as much as I do, you really need to check this site out! I promise you won't be disappointed! This little One Armed Bandit treat box was one of the first projects that caught my eye...and I knew I just HAD to have it!
Putting this together wasn't as difficult as I thought it might be. I used Tacky Glue to assemble it which allowed me time enough to move and adjust the pieces to fit just right. Finished size was about 3-1/2 inches tall and 2-1/2 inches in depth and width.The funniest thing is that the first thing everyone who sees this box wants to do is to pull down on the handle. Unfortunately, as real as this slot machine may look, the handle can't be pulled up and down like a real one. It's a good thing I used strong glue! The lid is at the top and the box can be filled with about chocolate gold coins or $$$ for friend going to Las Vegas on vacation?
I originally made this as a fun way of presenting my mil with her Christmas gift last year. Would have been even funner if I could have figured out a way of having the handle go down and have money fall from the bottom! But since I was short on time, here's what I did instead. First I used an exacto knife to cut an opening at the bottom of the slot machine where the money would normally fall from. Next I printed our message onto a piece of paper slightly narrower than the cut opening and rolled it onto a thin strip of cardstock slightly wider than the opening. The rolled message was then dropped into the box from the top and fed through the cut opening. Lastly, I adhered another thin strip of cardstock wider than the opening to the other end of our message. (The cardstock strips glued onto both ends of the message prevents the message from pulling completely out of the box or completely falling back into the box.)
Here's what it looks like with the message pulled out. LOL...*SORRY* No automation here!...the recipient has to manually pull out the message from the bottom. Pushing back on the message strip allows it to roll back into the machine. I was just thinking that it might be kinda fun to roll up one or more $$$ bills attached end to end to be pulled out instead of a message. Now, if only someone could figure out a way of having the handle pull down and push the message out...oh, wouldn't that be so cool!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

You Got Mail, Valentine!

Valentine mailboxes were the hottest thing several years ago and though I really wanted to try making them, me being the S-L-O-W crafter that I am, I never got around to it till now. Decided to finally try one as a Valentine surprise for my daughter and son in law. Cutting file template for the mailbox comes from My Scrap Chick and I was pleasantly surprised that it came together pretty quick and easy.
Funnest part is embellishing, of course! Went with their wedding "lovebirds" theme again with this cute dollar cutfile from Country Life Graphics for the front lid. Added a simple border all around the bottom edge using the Martha Stewart Layered Arches edge punch.
Then on the back of the mailbox I added a bit of personalization using a cutfile created in MTC using Beautiful ES font.
Here's the mailbox opened. I really like how you can line the inside of the box with coordinating patterned paper to give it a finished look. Of course one of my favorite things about this mailbox is the flag. I kept mine simple with just hearts and rhinestone borders, but I've seen some really fun ones others have done up real fancy. I used a glittered brad to hold it place and I think it's so cool how you can position it up or down.
Had so much fun putting this together that I decided to do a few more to share with friends and family...
Ended up making twelve more mailboxes...LOL! What was I thinking?...and "bearly" finishing in time.

I used a paper piecing cutfile called "Mac and Cheese" from Treasure Box Designs for the teddy on the front covers...
 ...and "Hugs n Kisses" on the backside is a Cricut cutting file from the Create A Critte 2 cartridge.
And here's the insides... I sized the mailbox template so my boxes were 5 inches long and 3-1/2 inches high...plenty of room to hold a dozen cookies or more. Wrapped the  cookie filled mailboxes in cellophane bags tied with a bow and they were ready to go!

Oh, and of course I couldn't forget Latte's poochie pals....
Their doggie treat bags got decorated using an adorable doggie cutfile called "Puppy Love" from Little Scraps of Heaven Designs.
The original image is of a Shih Tzu puppy, but I left off the patches and made her all white so she'd look more like our own little Maltese furbaby, Latte. TR Candice font was used to create the "Ruff you!" sentiment in MTC.
Valentines are always fun to make and pass out, but nothing beats receiving a special Valentine, right?
My dear sweet friend Lorna always spoils us at work with all her beautiful handmade creations, and her Valentine surprise treat this year was this amazing wishing well! Love everything about this sweet treat box and can't get over all the little details Lorna added to make this so extra special...the lacy cut border on the roof, the ribbon wrapped poles, sweet heart flowers and grass, and of course cute little Heart Key Marci from Lala Land Crafts, beautifully colored. Ummm...can't wait to open this up so I can enjoy the pretty little decorated cookies tucked inside the well!
Hope everyone is having a wonderful Valentine's weekend sharing the love!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

More Crafts for the New Year

Gung Hay Fat Choy! Friday the 31st marked the first day of the Chinese New Year of  the Horse. As you may already know, one of the traditions of this celebration is the passing out of red envelopes filled with money. These envelopes or "lai si" are fairly inexpensive to buy and nowadays come decorated with some of the cutest designs that I usually don't bother spending the time to try to make them.
But after seeing Leanne's super cute and clever New Year hidden message tag holders, I thought they would make great lai si  as well. Had to give it a try! Plus this was the perfect chance for me to finally ink up one of my favorite Sister Stamps images.
I used washi paper for the front of the tag holder and used a Spellbinders nested die to cut the round window for the stamped image to peek out of. Pulling the tag out of the holder reveals a "hidden message" on the inside of the holder. What a neat idea, Leanne!
I colored the Sister Stamps Lion Dance image with Copics and gold Smooch and placed it on a circle cut slightly larger than the window. Added the Chinese character for "good luck" cut on the Silhouette just above it. Then I added a little pocket on the backside of the tag to hold the lai si money. Got these done just in time to mail to my daughter and niece for New Years!

I have a couple more crafty New Years projects to share...
My sweet friend Lorna wowed us once again with her amazing creativity!
Her New Year surprise this year was a stalk of Heavenly Bamboo in it's own little box filled with candy. How cute is that! She used a plastic florist tube to hold and keep the Heavenly Bamboo alive. And I love how she embellished the "box" to look so festive! Can you see the tiny beaded charm hanging from the bamboo on the back of the box? Take a closer look...
Yup! It's a stack of Japanese New Year "kagami mochi" with an orange on top! How does she come up with these things? Simply amazing!

And finally, this last crafty New Year of the Horse creation is from my plastic canvas stitchin' mom...
This is one of those fun block style perpetual calendars, made from plastic canvas stitched with yarn. I apologize for the bad photo and cluttered background...had to snap this picture on my phone since I forgot to take a photo of it before I brought this to work. I think these block calendars are so thinking of trying this with paper one day...
Till next time, best wishes to all for a year of good health, prosperity and much happiness in 2014!