Sunday, December 6, 2015

Birthday Surprises

Another short post today to share a few of the sweet surprises I received for my birthday this year. This is the amazing card I received from my bestest crafting buddy Kris. Without question, this has to be CUTEST Tsum Tsum card ever!

And of course, being from Kris, this had to be another fun interactive card. We've all seen those neat cards that look like smartphones and iphones...but this is the first time I've seen a phone card with a game on CLEVER!!! Kris made this adorable card even more special by making it into a Penny Spinner card. If you look very closely, you can detect the curvy track for the spinner. It's hard to see because the backing panel is printed with an image identical to the front panel and Kris took the time to perfectly align the images. See how the Mickey Tsum spins along the track to the bottom? SUPER COOL!!!

Mmmmm!!! Don't these cranberry scones look scrumptious? Let me tell you, they are! My dear friend Heather baked these sweet yummies for my birthday...lucky me! You know how scones are usually dry and crumbly? Not these! Move over, Starbucks! Heather's scones are my absolute favorite...moist, buttery, melt in your mouth deliciousness!

Then to make my special day even more special, my little Latte came to visit me at work again this year for my birthday! Awww....I always love getting these adorable puppy bouquets from hubby!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Happy Pumpkin Pie Day

OMG, OMG...can you believe it? The holiday season has already begun... and as you might guess from this late post, I'm struggling to keep up!
Nice to know that at least one of my friends is organized and on the dear sweet friend Lorna brought this beautiful and amazing pumpkin pie creation to our workplace last week just before Thanksgiving. I thought it was so clever how she put it in a plastic take out box to deliver. Oops! Sorry, looks like someone grabbed their piece of pie before I could even snap a picture of the whole pie.

Here's a shot of an individual slice of pie. Each slice is a wedge shaped box, filled with treats! I love how she added strips of brown cardstock to the bottom of the box and a scallop edged piece of cardstock to the lid to resemble the crust. The sweet paper rose reminds me of whipped cream, and the swirly embossing really makes this look so yummy! And the little banner on top of each slice of pie reads "happy pumpkin pie day" adorable is that!

Hope that everyone had an enjoyable Thanksgiving spent with family and loved ones this year. I am thankful and truly blessed to be surrounded by dear friends and family who have always given their loving care, support and thoughtfulness throughout the years.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Life With You Is Still SO Sweet!

Hubby and I celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary last month and this is the card I put together for him.There's an ongoing joke around our home that he's the "Smoothie King" because he blends together the absolutely yummiest smoothies for us every weekend... acai, strawberries, bananas, pineapple, yogurt and kale...mmmm...YUM! He jokingly calls me the "Smoothie Monster" because I can slurp up those delicious smoothies he makes in no time flat. Even before he has a chance to sit down to enjoy his own drink, I'm already half way done with mine and begging for more!

So naturally, when I spied this adorable "Sweet Smoothie" cutting file over at Marjorie Ann Designs, I knew it would be perfect! All the paper piecings were cut on my Silhouette from white cardstock and colored using Copic pens. I used the Cuttlebug "Wicker Weave" embossing folder for the background on my blender mouse.

I decided to try another slider style card; this one is called a "Peek A Boo Slider". Found a very detailed and easy to follow photo tutorial for this shared by Norma on her blog, From My Craftroom. If you do a search on her blog, you'll find many of the beautiful Peek A Boo style cards Norma has inspiring! In addition you can find her video tutorial for this card over at Splitcoast Stampers

As this card is opened, a panel with a new image slides over the first image seen in the window to replace it...neat!

And here's the card fully open with the new image... mousies slurping up their smoothie!

Just love these cute mousies from Marjorie Ann Designs! See the mousie on the bottom with the pinked cheeks and eyelashes? That's me!

A word about the mechanics about this with most slider type cards, this Peek A Boo Slider card works best using flat images that are printed or stamped onto the sliding panels. Layered paper pieced images like the ones I've used here tend to get caught onto the sliding mechanisms making it difficult for the card to open and close smoothly. For this card I did a fix by first, adding 2 layers of adhesive foam on the top and bottom edges behind the inside panel. This prevents the paper pieced images from getting snagged onto the edges of the window by allowing the panel to slide about 1/8th inch away. Next, I added a 1/4th inch spine to the slider piece and the back panel (indicated by the red arrows) to accommodate the extra thickness from adding the foam. And lastly, I added a tab (blue arrow) to hold the inside and back panels together to keep the sliding mechanism in place. Took a bit of extra work, but this made a huge difference on how well this card opened and closed. Now that I've finally figured out a solution, I think I may be doing more of these fun slider cards again!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Star Wars Mania Awakens

I think I've mentioned before how I go a little crazy every October with so much stuff going on...hubby. my daughter, and my son in law's birthdays, as well as our wedding anniversary. This year I decided to cheat a little. Since hubby and my son in law's birthdays are only a few days apart... and since thinking up new guy cards makes me stress... and since they're both Star Wars geeks... and since I figured they wouldn't really mind... they both got cards that looked the same on the front.
With all the anticipation and excitement of the new movie being released in December, I thought it would be fun to do a Star Wars themed card.

For the front of the card, I knew I wanted to try to and recreate something similar to the signature scrolling text effect seen at the opening of all Star Wars films. Seemed like it would be a simple enough thing to do, but I soon learned otherwise. The few tutorials I found on the web explaining how to achieve this effect on paper were way too technical for my pea brain (angling each line of text by x degrees and sizing by x points...). In the end, I decided to just place my text into a trapezoid shape, sizing and angling each line to my own liking. Spent way too much time doing this. Not perfect, but good enough for me.
I then used MTC to make a cutfile of this, had my Silhouette cut a stencil onto black cardstock and backed it with some shimmery white cardstock. Found images of the TIE fighter and AT-AT robot online and created cutfiles for those as well.

Now for the FUN part! Inspired by a  wonderful Halloween card created by my dear friend Kris (which I promise to share in a later post), I decided to do a version of Jan Tinklenberg's "Marvelous Magical Marquee Card" on the inside. Unfortunately, still photos can't capture the full very cool sliding effect of this card as it's opened. If you haven't seen this card in action, you definitely should stop in over at Jan's blog, Stamps Paper Scissors to see how this card slides as well as a video tutorial for it.

As this card for my son in law is opened, the "iris" covering the round window slides open to reveal everyone's favorite villain, Darth Vader..."MUAH HA HA HA!"

Found the link to this very cool free svg for Darth on Pinterest here.

Interactive sliding cards are always fun to make, but most of the time they are designed to work best with flat stamped images, and not so much with layered paper pieced images. Often I find the sliding mechanisms tend to get snagged or caught onto paper piecings, hindering the slider from working smoothly. For this particular card, I remedied the problem by adding two layers of foam tape onto the background around the image. This kept the slider about 1/8" above the image and the waxy backing layer of the foam tape provided a smooth surface for it to slide open and closed without getting caught.

And here's the inside to hubby's card...

As the card is opened, the iris lens parts to reveal little Yoda...

Got the cutting file for Yoda from the "Galaxy Friends" set over at Cuddly Cute Designs.

Pretty much happy about how these birthday cards for the guys turned out. Even happier still that I saved myself a whole lot of stress by making two cards that were similar, but still different enough for my two favorite guys!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet!

It's here! Halloween, that is. Made some fun little cauldron treat holders for giving out this year... but unfortunately I only had time to make half a dozen of these. We just got home from vacation and  I really had to scramble to put something together for Halloween. Thank goodness these were pretty quick to do!
Got the cutting file for the cauldron template from  the Feeling Lucky kit from SVGCuts. It's originally intended to be a "Pot of Gold" treat holder for St. Patrick's Day, but designer/creator Mary Rudakas suggested it would work as a cauldron for Halloween too. So that's what I did! Just did a little tweaking... The original pot was easy to assemble but looked just a bit too "blocky" for my liking so I added a petal layer over it to give my cauldrons a more rounded look. Also enlarged the template to fit onto a 12 x 12 inch make sure I could get those witchy legs to fit inside! The cutting file for those funny witchy legs comes from Miss Kate Cuttables.

Bagged my Halloween cauldrons in cellophane and added a funny topper to finish...

And now...the GOOD STUFF! Look at all the Halloween goodies I scored...LOL, and I didn't even go TRICK or TREATING! 

My sweet and crafty GHOUL-friend Lorna treated me with a bag of handmade goodies! Here's her candy filled spider box created using her candy box punch board. Totally LOVE how she very cleverly hung the smaller spider over the top!

And even more spooky treats from Lorna! These little surprises feature stamps from Dandelion adorable the way she added jack-o-lanterns and witches hats, then colored them up in Frankenstein green, adding scars to their faces for Halloween. 

And from my super baker GHOUL-friend, Heather...the CUTEST decorated shortbread mini cookies ever! I know, I know...too CUTE to eat, right? But let me tell you, they're SUPER yummy too!

Last, our furbaby's Halloween costume this EWOK Latte! Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend of spookiness...keep safe and have fun!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Patti's Disney Magic

On a recent visit, my dear friend Patti of Creations By Patti blog presented me with a most fabulous gift...this totally  jaw dropping, AMAZING Disney themed album!

Everything...every single page, from the front cover to the back is meticulously, carefully thought out and put together beautifully! This is the front cover with a very cool Viewmaster reel that actually spins...and a film strip frame to slide in photos to personalize it.

Are you ready for a magical tour of this amazing album? This is the inside cover and the first page of the album with side pockets beautifully embellished with a glittery castle and Mickey head. Don't you just love this Disney themed paper? Each of the tags inside the pockets has room to add photos on the backside.

Here's pages 3 and 4. Page 3 on the left flips up to reveal a pocket with more cool journaling tags. I love that cute camera! Page 4 flips open to the right with another pocket and journaling tags.

Page 4: Another glittered Mickey head, this time used as side pocket; and Page 5: Mickey head on this is a magnetic closure which opens to reveal lots of space for vacation journaling and more photos.

Pages 6 and 7: Two more beautifully decorated pages that flip open to the side with additional pockets and space for special memoirs.

Page 8 on the right is a pocket page; Page 9 is a creative gatefold. The colorful arrow embellishment is another magnetic closure to keep treasures securely inside its pocket.

Page 9: Opens up to layered waterfall style photo pages. Back cover: pocket on the right holds a mouse ear topped tag and flips open with lots of room for vacation memory keeping.

And top it all off....each page in the album is topped with glittered mouse ears...index file folder style! Very, very cool!

I can't even begin to say how touched I was to receive this amazing gift from Patti. All the time and love she invested in creating this work of art shows and is truly appreciated. This special album will most certainly be a treasured keepsake in our family for a very long time.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

A Simple "Just Because" Card

You know how excited crafters can get when their kids do crafty stuff...well, I'm no different. When I recently learned that my daughter had suddenly taken an interest in the latest crafty craze of decorating planners, I got all excited. I know this sounds silly but I got so excited that I went out shopping for all sorts of cute stamps, stickers, washi and decorative tapes to send her so as to fuel her interest in her new hobby. And of course with all the goodies I had to send a card, right? I guess it's called a "Thinking of You" or "Just Because" occasion, no reason...just because...

Wanted to mail the goodies out right away so had to keep the card quick and simple. I used the Cuddly Critter Koala cutting file from Cuddly Cute Designs...and by using black cardstock to cut his ears, eyes and arms and legs, I changed him to look more like a cutie panda instead of a koala! Then I added a little banner for him to hold by creating the flags in Make the Cut, adding the letters, and stringing them onto some embroidery floss.

Then on the inside, the cute and simple sentiment that explains the missing letter on panda's banner...
Later my daughter told me how she sadly searched the envelope her card came in for the missing "U", thinking it had fallen off...until she read the sentiment inside. Yes, dear daughter...I'm sadly missing "U" too!

Monday, September 21, 2015

"JAVA" Happy Birthday!

You know you're a Starbucks addict've racked up so many drinks and gold stars that you could be a Starbucks Gold member twice over...who me?!!! Well, not ONLY me! My dear friend Heather is one too, and so for her birthday, I got her a Starbucks reusable cup and gift card so she can keep rackin' up those gold stars even faster.
Found what I thought was the perfect cutting file for her birthday card over at Marjorie Ann Designs called "Morning Coffee"...a set of five of the cutest mousies with their coffees. I chose to use the mousie with the takeout cup and pastries on this card....breakfast of champions, right?

I used white cardstock to cut all the pieces and Copics to color them up. This was a great alternative to using colored cardstock, especially since I didn't have any gray cardstock on hand. For the Starbucks logo on the cup, I simply imported the icon to my publishing program, reduced the size to fit, printed it and cut it out. Paper pieced mousie was then adhered to a label from Cricut's Elegant Edges cartridge.

Mmm...don't these Copic colored pastries look almost good enough to eat?

Added mousie and pastry paper piecings onto a Surprise Sliding Pop Up style card.

Pulling up on the ribbon at the top of the card makes the mousie on the front panel slide back and up to a standing position while revealing the sentiment underneath. The neat thing about this type of card is that it also makes a very cool gift card holder. The sliding tab attached to the ribbon pull was just the right size to attach my gift card to. Just thinking now how this might be a really fun way to give gift cards for Christmas!