Saturday, January 24, 2015

Yakudoshi Koi

Once in awhile events occur that make me stop and think, " I that OLD already?" Such was the case when we recently received an invite to a Yakudoshi birthday party for the "little boy" who was the ring bearer at our wedding..."WHAT? He's 41 years old ALREADY?!!!"
Mark's birthday invitation was a lovely Asian style card with a picture of a koi on it, symbolic in Asian cultures as representing strength and overcoming adversity. Very appropriate, since the Yakudoshi years are considered the turbulent years in one's life, and the reason for the big celebration being a way for friends and family to bring good luck.
I decided to go with the koi theme and was happy to have the chance use the cutfile I had created a while back for my dad's koi birthday card again. Remembering the difficulties I ran into last time, I spent a little extra time re-working the original cutfile so it would cut cleaner; and chose a thinner, text weight paper with a less porous, smooth pearlized finish.. Much more pleased with the results this time around!
Then instead of trying to color the koi, this time around I cut a blackout image from some pretty orange prismatic paper (Best Occasions Prismatic Paper Pack). Really liked how the shimmer of this paper reminded me of the shiny reflection of scales on koi swimming in a pond. I added a little dimension by using foam tape to attach the fish to their gold foil shadows.
Adhered the koi and a layered cut of the kanji character "fuku" for good fortune in a recessed window card with a half inch depth. (Tutorial for this by Lynn Mercurio at Splitcoast Stampers, here) For the background inset, I used blue pearlized paper and Spellbinders Asian M-Bossibilities folder to create the Asian wave pattern.
Kept the inside of the card plain and simple. Just added a mini red envelope for a monetary gift, held in place with a gold gift card holder, cut using Jaded Blossom's Gift Card die. Had fun putting this card together; and I hope it brings enough good luck to help our grown up ring bearer sail through his yakudoshi year with ease!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Welcome In the New Year with Bamboo and Pine

So excited today to share this amazing New Years surprise my fabulously creative friend Lorna brought by for me on our return to work after the holidays.
Lorna created this beautiful arrangement of bamboo, pine and flowers known as "kadomatsu" (which translates to "Gate Pine"). Displaying "kadomatsu" at the front entrance of your home or business is a Japanese tradition which is supposed to ward off evil and bring good luck for the New Year. Lorna used cardstock to create the different lengths of bamboo (representing heaven, humanity and earth); added sprigs of pine (for longevity and endurance); cherry blossoms and a paper chrysanthemum (cut on her Silhouette) for a splash of color; and tied everything together with twine...just like the real thing!
But that's not all...turns out that this amazing paper kadomatsu arrangement by Lorna is more than just a display...the stand is actually a box with a drawer that slides out, filled with yummy treats! WOW, right?!!!!
And this is the lovely thank you card that came along with it.

Lorna stamped and colored up images from Dandelion Designs brand new "Teeny Weeny Garden" set to create this irresistibly kawaii scene for her adorable it! Lorna's limitless imagination and talent to always come up with the funnest, one of a kind projects is truly remarkable. I'm can hardly wait to see what she'll create next!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A Homemade Holiday

I was excited to receive so many wonderful homemade surprises from crafty friends once again this Christmas! Scroll down to get a closer look at each little treasure...
Handcrafted cookie goodness from sweet Heather...we look forward to these adorable decorated cuties every Christmas...YUM!
A trio of holiday angels from amazingly creative Lorna! Seriously, this girl always blows me away with the MOST original ideas. I would love to peek into her brain to learn how she consistently comes up with such unique and imaginative creations.
Case in point...this awesome embossed four sided pyramid box tree topped with an angel winged Sister Stamps Kiyomi in flight, holding an origami crane! 

And how about this sweet angel treat holder made using Dandelion Designs kokeshi head with a condiment cup covered with a lace doily for her body? Yes, amazing....very amazing!

This adorable Christmas card and super sweet coaster calendar were created by my best blogging pal from the Big Island, Karen of Have A Scrap Happy Day blog. She puts together the cutest cards with beautifully stamped and colored images, always perfectly paired with die cuts and lots of fun embellishing. 

Simply LOVED this really unique and special swing type card from dear Aunty Mollie. Don't think I've ever seen a card like this before....definitely need to ask her about how she created this beauty next time I see her! The glittery trees on the front are epoxy stickers...they really add such an elegant touch!

Here's a closeup shot of the super cute bag my gifts from Kris came in. Awww....totally adorable, right? Kris always does the best paper pieced creations. Love all the embossing on the background and layered tree... and who could resist that super sweet Santa teddy?
And OMG! How cute is this Pochacco tag that came with Kris' gift? Kawaii to the max!

Uh, oh! Cuteness overload!!! That's what I thought when I first saw this lovable little elf on a thank you card from sweet Gwen. I believe this little feller's a punch art creation...completely and very creatively paper pieced together using many different paper punches....ingenious!!!!

My last card to share is this amazing thank you card created by Patti of Creations By Patti blog. Darn! I tried very hard, but was unable to capture the subtle glittery shimmer on the background of this BEAUTIFUL irl!!! And of course that kawaii paper pieced happy snowflake had me all smiles!
I was thrilled and delighted to receive so many wonderful homemade cards and goodies this year. All the time and thought and love spent on creating each of these is truly appreciated and certainly warmed my heart this Christmas. Thank you so very much!!!!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Ramming in with the Year of the Sheep

Happy New Year! A big hearty welcome to the Year of the Sheep...or Year of the hubby would correct me. All just a matter of semantics, but I guess men prefer to be called "Rams" instead of "Sheep". Hubby and I were both born in the Year of the Sheep, and that could be the reason why he was more concerned than usual when I was putting together some things to share with our family at our annual New Years luncheon.
I could tell that he wasn't particularly pleased when I made the 2015 Year of the Sheep easel calendar card earlier last year...(too cutesy and feminine?) Then while I was searching for an image to use to decorate treat jars for New Years, he made a comment about rams and horns.
Okay, about a ram with horns that's still a little bit cute?
Hubby was pleased.
Had MTC create a cutfile for the ram (by Daikonko) and Japanese kanji for "hitsuji" or "sheep" with shadow layers. Images were cut on the Silhouette Cameo, paper pieced and adhered with foam tape onto a circle shape which had been run through one of the embossing folders from Cuttlebug's Asian Bundle. Wrapped a strip of red/gold washi paper around the bottles and tied a bow on each.
Still had a couple unopened boxes of cereal left from Christmas so we used it to make up another batch of cereal snacks, this time using Asian flavors and adding macadamia nuts. Filled a dozen quart size bottles...I just love that these bottles are pretty much quick and easy to decorate.
Hope everyone had a fun and safe holiday season!  Being that 2015 is "our year" hubby and I are looking forward to a GREAT YEAR for all our friends and family!