Sunday, March 30, 2014

Hello Kitty Baby Blocks

Had another go at the baby blocks card, this time for the birth of a co-worker's new granddaughter. I really love that this card is so super easy to put together. You can find the video tutorial by Papercrafter 45 here.
Since baby's mommy is a big fan of Hello Kitty, I picked up a sweet Hello Kitty quilt (shown in the background) from "Moe Moe and More" and of course had to make a card to match!
Cutfile for paperpieced sweet baby Hello Kitty was created in MTC using a freebie image found over at  Also used MTC to create the alphas on the blocks from New Times Roman font. Squares on the blocks were done by embossing plain white cardstock using Cuttlebug's Love Language embossing folder and a 1" square punch.
On the backside, I added baby's name, "Hilina"i" a lovely Hawaiian name which translates to mean "trust". All baby toy cuts (rattle, diaper pin, duck) are from Cricut New Arrival cartridge, and heart and flower are from the Cricut George font cartridge.
The card looks like this when flattened, ready to slip into an envelope with room enough on the bottom to add a little sentiment. This blocks card is so quick and easy to do that I'm sure I'll be using this as my "go to" card whenever I need a baby card, maybe with just a quick change of the character on the front...

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Japanese Milestone Birthday Card

Here's another one of those open front sliding pop up box cards I always have so much fun putting together. This one was created for my dad's milestone 90th birthday, so I went with the typical Japanese symbolic "good luck, long life" theme.
The base of this card is the same as for the sliding pop up box but with the front panel cut down to create the "open" look and the top edge of the back panel cut into a scalloped edge. I also added tabs to the side corners of the box to make it easier to "push" the box into its open position and "pull" it back to its flat closed position. If you're interested, I have the template for the basic sliding pop up box card posted here.
For the front of the card, I used Japanese iconic symbols known as "Sho Chiku Bai" or Pine - Bamboo - Plum. I added the "Sho" or "Matsu" or Pine (symbolizes long life) to the left side,
and "Chiku" or "Take" or Bamboo (symbol for strength and resilience) together with "Bai" or "Ume" or Plum blossoms (symbol for hope in adversity) to the right side. The pine and bamboo icons are images I purchased from GL Stock Images and converted into cutfiles using MTC. Plum blossoms and centers are from mini punches from Punch Bunch, and branches were cut using a Quickutz branch die.
The cut for the kanji "fukuju" (good luck and long life) was created in MTC using a free image file from Kanji
And my favorite cut on this card, the crane or "tsuru" (symbol for good fortune and longevity) is also an image file from GL Stock Images renderered into a cutfile with MTC. Swirly cloud cuts are from a Taylored Expressions die.
I glued the crane onto a few of the cloud cuts, then adhered it onto the sliding mechanism in the center of the box.
I must admit it took me quite awhile to gather all the images and create all the different cutfiles for this card, but in the end I was pretty happy with how this turned out. Well worth the effort, for my dad's very special birthday!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Happy 2nd Anniversary

March 3rd is a special day for our family, not only because it's Girls Day but also because it's the day my daughter and son in law got married 2 years ago. I like that it's a date I won't ever forget, but *sigh* I guess as long as I continue making treats for Girls Day, my card to them will unfortunately continue to be late every year... 
For their 2nd Anniversary, I decided I wanted to give a try at making one of those neat flying easel cards I've been seeing posted on many blogs recently...
Unfortunately...due to my poor planning and hurry to get this done, I just couldn't get my flying easel card to work out the way it's supposed to. After attaching the heart shaped photo onto the frame using clear fishing line, I couldn't get it to sit correctly in the frame as I hoped it would. I liked the motion of free spinning photo in the frame, but at rest, the photo always ended up facing to the side instead of face forward as I wanted. I guess it has something to do with physics and balance. In the end I gave up and used a strip clear acetate to hold the photo in place instead. I still got the effect of the photo being suspended in the frame, but lost the fun spinning movement. Guess I'll just have to give the spinning easel card another go later when I'm not so late.
Here's a closeup of the top of the heart frame; if you look closely toward the center top you can see the strip of acetate I used to hold the photo in place inside the frame.
The lacy heart frame was created in Make the Cut and the doves and streamers were cut from Cottage Cutz Dove with Ribbons die. Copics were used to add shading to the doves and color the ribbons green. I used a Sakura Gelly Roll Stardust pen to add glittery accents to the ribbons and heart frame and added flat back pearls to embellish the frame.
Martha Steward layered arches edge punch was used to create a lacy border embellished with more flatback pearls to act as the stop for this easel card. "Happy Anniversary" sentiment and shadow was created in MTC using CAC Shishoni Brush font.
Here's how the front of card looks when closed flat. Fancy corners were cut from LaLa Land's Filigree Corner die.The emobssing you see peeking through the heart window behind the photo is the negative piece I got from cutting that window, embossed using Cuttlebug's Jamara folder...the same embossing that we used to create the couple's wedding invitations 2 years ago. 
I used the embossed heart piece to create a heart shaped card and adhered it to the inside of the main card so it would show through the heart shaped window.
And finally, a shot of the inner heart card open with our best wishes for the happy couple. Although this card didn't turn out quite as I had imagined, I'm hoping my daughter and son in law will like it. The photo of the couple I used is from their engagement shoot prior to the wedding and hopefully this card will help to trigger some wonderful memories for them.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

A Girls Day Special Treat

Just had to share these EXTRA SPECIAL Girls Day treats I received from dear Lorna this week. I swear, this sweet lady's brain is filled with the neatest, freshest and most creative ideas!
She had our entire workplace squealing with excitement when she brought these adorable treat boxes in to work on Girls Day. Lorna used Sister Stamps Sitting Minako image for this, colored with Copics and dressed in a washi paper pieced cute! She added a little table with a tiny bonsai tree (digital image from LaLa Land) to the side of Minako as an accent and even a beautiful decorated shoji door as a backdrop. Sweet little "Happy Girls Day" sentiment tags are from Dandelion Designs Kokeshi Candy cling set. 
The "stand" is really a box...with lots of yummy Japanese candies tucked inside! Lorna always spends lots of attention to details on all her projects, and as a result, everything she creates is nothing short of spectacular.
And how about these cutie patootie lollipop holders! Oh no, not just your ordinary lollipops, ladies...those are yummy Chupa Chups pops inside there. Don't you just love how she used Dandelion Designs Kokeshi Candy stamps to decorate these...washi paper pieced kimonos on these too! A BIG thank you from the heart to sweet Lorna for always sharing her amazing treats with us. You always brighten our day at work and make us all feel so special!!!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Hina Matsuri (Girls Day) Goodies

Happy Girls Day! Today, March 3rd, we celebrate Girls Day, also known in Japan as "Hina Matsuri" (Princess Doll Festival) or "Momo No Sekku" (Peach Festival). Although Girls Day is not a big celebration here, I have many fond childhood memories of my parents putting up the beautiful tiered display of hina ningo brought back from Japan by my grandmother to celebrate. I recall it was quite an ordeal; it took them several hours to assemble the tiers and make certain that all the dolls were arranged in their correct position on the tiers. I remember getting so excited watching the whole assembly process and being so happy when it was done...LOL...even though I was absolutely FORBIDDEN to touch or play with any of the dolls! To this day, memories of this traditional holiday continue to warm my heart and I have even begun a small collection of miniature girls day dolls.
To celebrate Girls Day this year, I put together a dozen of these small gift boxes filled with chocolate filled manju cookies and green tea cream wafers for passing out to friends and family. I fell in love with this adorable stamp image of Misaki chasing sparrows recently released from Sister Stamps and knew it would be perfect to decorate the boxes. I used Copics to color and paper pieced her kimono with digital washi paper. Cut out images were adhered with foam tape to pretty printed cardstock from Best Creations Kimono line. Then added Gold Smooch to the obi and a bit of glitter to the kimono with a Gelly Roll Stardust pen  for a subtle bling.
Printed paper from My Little Shoebox and red cardstock embossed with the plum blossom folder from Cuttlebug were used to decorate the box cover panels.
Here's how the box opens up...

This is my adaptation of the "Origami Fold Box" which I first saw posted on the Scor-Pal website. The original box by Vicki Hook is about 3 inches square, but since I needed a flatter, but slightly wider box, I tweaked the measurements of her template a bit to get this. My box ended up being 4 x 4 with a depth of 1.25 inches. I also added a 1/2 inch overlap on the gatefold cover. Will probably post the template for this later...
Of course our furbaby Latte and her "girlfriends" got treats too...
Thought these would be perfect as a Girls Day surprise treat for her doggie girlfriends! Can you imagine?!!! Salmon Sushi for doggies!

These are the bags I decorated to put the dog sushi in...
Cute little paper pieced dog is a svg cutfile called "Puppy Love" purchased online from the Too Cute By Jessica site. Sakura border and tag were created by welding the sakura file from the Cricut Pagoda cartridge together in Design Studio.
And finally, here's a photo I dug up from the archives that I wanted to share...

This is a photo of my daughter (now married) posing in front of the Girls Day doll set that was brought back from Japan by my grandmother nearly 60 years ago. We haven't taken the set out to display for many years now, but I'm hoping that it will still be in good condition to pass down when she too has her first daughter.
Hope you crafty ladies had a wonderful Girls Day! After all, you know, all of us who still like to play with paper, scissors and glue...we're all still little girls at heart, right?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Valentine Pillow Box

I was tickled beyond words to receive this adorable little Valentine surprise treat in the mail from my sweet friend, Patti. My apologies for not having posted this sooner, didn't get a chance to take photos till this weekend...
Got my first peek of this pillow treat box a couple days after Valentines Day on Patti's blog. I remember thinking how CUTE they were, and loving how she embraced Shabby Chic with Asian styles by using Dandelion Designs' Kokeshi doll head stamped image together with pretty lace, glittery hearts, and sheer ribbon. So you can imagine how delighted I was to find this in my mailbox a few days later! One of the things I really liked about this pillow box is it's unusual size...can't tell from the photos, but this sweet box is 8 inches tall! Love how simply tweaking the size of a box can often give it completely different look.
Just got to thinking...tomorrow is Girls Day (3/3) and these sweet boxes would be perfect for that as well! Thank you Patti!