Sunday, February 22, 2015

Chinese New Year Treats

Gung Hay Fat Choy! Based on the traditional lunar calendar, Thursday (February 19) marked the first day of the Chinese New Year and the beginning of Year of the Sheep. Baked up batches of hubby's favorite almond cookies again this year and put together some Year of the Sheep boxes to put them in for giving to friends and family.
I chose to make octagonal boxes again this year to hold my cookies, just a little bit different than the ones from last year. Got the freebie cutfile for these from SVG Cuts. I really liked the unusual shape of this box...difficult to tell from my photos, but the bottom half of this box gently flares out to give it a slightly wider base than its top. Also liked the idea of the shadow box type window on the cover...the original box from SVG Cuts comes with a pretty heart shaped window which I swapped out for a lantern shape instead.
Another unique design feature I love on this box is its wide scalloped edge lid.
The lantern shapes for the window were created by welding rectangle and oval shapes in MTC. The cover on this box is four layers thick...a top red cover layer embossed with a folder from Cuttlebug Asian bundle, a shiny gold foil layer for the window frame, the mat gold inset embossed with a plum blossom folder also from the Cuttlebug Asian bundle, and finally the slightly larger black cardstock layer which peeks out from the edges as a border. 
I chose a Chinese papercut style design for my sheep and added the character for "sheep". I'm always intrigued by the intricacy and details on Chinese papercuts and was thrilled to find an image that could be easily rendered into a cutfile and cut on my Silhouette machine.
An interesting and amusing thing I came across while searching the web for inspiration for my cookie box this year...the Chinese character and word "yang" apparently refers to any member of the sheep genre, which explains why many of the Chinese zodiac images for this year look more like "goats" than sheep. Many refer to this year as being the "Year of the Goat". I thought this was especially funny since  earlier I had mentioned how hubby (who was born in the Year of the Sheep)  was so insistent that this was the Year of the RAM", not "sheep". LOL, wonder how he would feel about being called just an "OLD GOAT"?!!!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Special Delivery Valentines

Happy, Happy Valentines Day! This year I made these fun post office drop box type mailboxes to help me share the love with special friends and family. The svg cutfile for these adorable boxes were designed by the super talented Mary Kowal, and may be purchased at her site, SVG Cuts. Love that all the pieces needed put this project together cut so clean, and that assembly video tutorials are provided for every project.

I used Bazzill Bling Feather Boa for the mailbox bases and some fun heart patterned cardstock from MMBI to decorate the front door and side inset panels. The round medallions on the side panels were designed using Calibiri and Armonioso fonts in Microsoft Word and cut out with circle punches.

On the front door, I added a paper pieced teddy from the "SWAK" file from Designs On Cloud 9. Thought he looked so cute peeking out of his little envelope filled with hearts!

Then a "Special Delivery" banner with scalloped heart and flower accents were created in Make the Cut and added to the top of the mailbox.

The finished size of this is quite large, 6-1/2" tall, 5" wide, 3-3/4" deep...but what I loved most about this is how the door on the front drops down so you can fill these up with lots of goodies! I baked up a couple batches of Cranberry Shortbread cookies (recipe from Craisins website) and filled each mailbox with over a dozen cookies with still lots of room to spare. Unfortunately, with the day for Chinese New Years falling so close to Valentines Day this year, I only had time enough to make ten of much fun to put together but a little time consuming...darned, wish I had gotten started earlier!
Hope everyone is having a wonderful time celebrating the love this weekend!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

"Whale-Come" Baby!

Here's a card I recently made to celebrate the birth of a co-worker's grandson. Before he was born I found out that his nursery was being decorated with a nautical theme so I tried to keep with the theme for his card.I was happy to learn that baby's name was "LOGAN"... a five-letter name, which meant I could use the same building blocks card template I had created for the last baby card I made again...yay!
On the front of the card, I used the cute whale cut from Cricut's B is for Boy cartridge together with a sailboat cut created in MTC from an image found on the web. Scallop edge borders to simulate waves were created in MTC as well. I used adhesive foam squares to pop the layers of "waves" to try to create the look of different depths of water for the sailboat and whale. Background cardstock was embossed using Sizzix Stars and Swirls folder.
This is what the Building Blocks card looked like on the inside. Busted out my old Quickutz dies to decorate the inside of this card....Mini Blossom font die for the alphas on the blocks and 2x2 dies for the dolphins.
Here's the view from the top. As you can see, I completely snipped away the thin cardstock pieces between the blocks (which normally fold towards the back of the blocks) and replaced them with a single solid piece of cardstock in blue in hopes to make the card a little bit more durable.
I won't lie and say this was an easy card for me...LOL...anytime I have to take out my exacto knife and ruler to make a card you can bet I struggled! But I did have fun with the decorating and maybe if I do this a few more times, I'll eventually get the hang of it?