Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas Tree Explosion Box

Merry Christmas all!  I'm sharing today a project I made last Christmas for the director of a show called Traditions of Christmas, which takes place in San Diego. I did this show with my daughter, and it was such a nice way to spend time with her and with the amazing members of the cast. The pattern for the project comes from SVG Cuts in their December Gifts SVG Kit, a great kit that would be worth owning!  There are lots of other goodies in the kit that are darling as well.

The top portion is a "cap" that holds all of the sides together. 
After taking the cap off, you peel the layers, revealing a photo album!  It's really enchanting and so fun to make.  It takes a lot of paper and is not a quicky project, but is a wonderful keepsake.
 After opening the second layer a little box is revealed.  We chose to fill it with one of the director's favorite candies.  A little snowman sits on top of the box, which opens and is hinged.
Here's a little closer look, where you can see the director, Kim, in the gold dress, and her little girl, Izzy, in the red dress (Izzy played a baby doll in the show). Izzy really loved opening it and playing with all of the flaps and then trying to close it all up. I altered the little Santa's list to include both of her children's names.
Here's a close-up of the little box on the inside.  I added around 30 photos to this one, but you can add or subtract to that as you wish.  Thanks, SVG Cuts, for such an incredible pattern, and for the great instructions for making it.  It looks so complicated, and is really easy to put together.  Enjoy!

We Need a Little Christmas, Right This Very Moment!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas Tag Swap

This is the last swap of the year for me.  I need to start concentrating on the holy days ahead.  This was the first swap a few of us SVG Cuts girls had done over at Crafty Swaps and Challenges.  It was really fun, and they are a great group of ladies over there.  Before these were done and mailed out, I thought I'd be putting the tags on Christmas gifts, but I just couldn't give these up because they are so beautiful and such pieces of art.  So, I'm going to make a flag banner with them, and display it with my Christmas decor.

Here are our tags.
Aren't they pretty!  Thanks Kathy H., Jeannie L., and Amy M.  All of your tags just make me happy!

It's beginning to look at lot like Christmas!

Thanksgiving/Autumn Swap

This swap has turned into my favorite.  Don't think I ever realized how much I appreciated the fall as much as I did this year.  I'm not talking about the weather in way-too-sunny-and-warm San Diego, but just the gorgeous colors that go with the season.

Here's our groups ATCs.  They were just wonderful.

Here's mine!
And, here are close-ups of just a few of the individual swaps in my group.
Jeannie L.                                    Debra V.
Laura M. (Waterfall)                      Kim M.
Trina S. (Jiggle Turkey)
 Thanks so much to all that participated.  Love getting fun ATCs in the mail. 

Longing for those autumn leaves to fall

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy Retirement, Sis!

This is a little gift I made for my sis-in-law, who just retired.  I'm so excited, because now we'll get to do some crafting together.  She's such a busy and talented lady, who loves scrapbooking and quilting.  But, mostly she loves her kids and grandkids, and is always looking for new things to make for them or with them when they visit.  So, I made this little box from SVG Cuts Sew Crafty SVG Kit
It's just darling.  Used some embellishments from a digi paper kit I had, a button, and the Epiphany Craft scallop tool.

 Liked the little saying, "a day spent crafting is a good day."  I love the paper pack used for this project.  It's called "it's the little things" by Designs by Lili from  Love it.  This little box held a gift card to Joann's, so my sis-in-law could choose to use it on either paper crafts or fabric.
I made the bag for this from SVG Cuts Big Boutique Boxes SVG Kit.  I used the same paper kit for it also.
 Thanks for stopping by!  I think it's time to start posting for Christmas!  Love this time of year.

Where would we be without those so dear to us!

Misc Birthday Cards Fall 2012

Just thought I'd share some of the birthday cards I've made recently.  This first one was designed by me for my brother-in-law, who happens to play the ukulele and is known as "Ukulele Bob."  I made a flat small box that I glued right onto the front of the card, into which I inserted a set of ukulele strings.
Next are a couple of cards that were made from SVG Cuts Christmas Cheer SVG Kit.  I know they were meant to be Christmas Cards, but I just left off the Christmas part and used them as birthday cards for my lovely niece, Tracy, and my sweet friend, Julie (two of my favorite people).  These cards were accompanied by, of course, a Starbucks gift card.
This is a card I made for my Auntie's 80th birthday.  It was made with SVG Cuts Iris Fold Card SVG Kit, which is really one of my all-time favorite kits (I think I've mentioned that in my blog before...redundant, I know).
And, lastly, is another SVG Cuts card that I made real fast for my daughter to give to a friend of hers, but I was a bit late and she had already bought a card.  I was so happy, because I ended up really liking it, so now I can give it to someone else!  This came from the Breezy Backyard Lever Cards SVG Kit, and was the card with the sail boat on it.  I left the sale boat off and put a flower in its place.  The flower is also an SVG Cuts pattern that had two layers, and I just added another level in between the other two in a medium size.
So, that's it for this posting.  See you back real soon for another post.

Share a thought today!

Halloween ATC 2012

Here's the next ATC swap for SVG Cuts.  Halloween, of course!  Wow, my outlook on Halloween has really changed this year.  I've been loving all of the Halloween themed projects.  However, due to time constraints, I made mine pretty simple this time. Just 4 pieces.  And, I have to say it made the entire swap so enjoyable.  OK, so part of it is a friend who challenges me to get things done in a timely manner (thanks Jeannie!) so I'm not stressed with deadlines.
My submission is a simple one made with files from SVG Cuts.
 Here is my group (plus a couple extras that were sent to me by kind friends).  They turned out so cute and so fun!  Some of the detail and techniques used were amazing.
I just have to share the one made by Amy.  She did a small interactive one that was so stinkin cute.
Thanks to everyone who participated.  Now on to fall!

Don't turn off the lights!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Creepy Chandelier!

Here we are at such a fun time of year.  I'm so excited to show you my rendition of a Spooky Chandelier.  It was so fun to make.  It was made for the Halloween Challenge over at SVG Cuts Facebook.  All cut files were to be used from five kits/collections (I used four of them).  Here's a little description of how I went about it.
The body of the chandelier was the tree (used upside down) from Hazel's Wicked Witch Craft.  I opened the tree in ECAL and duplicated it, flipped one over book style, let them overlap a bit and welded them.
I cut 12 of these.  I scored down the middle so it would fold into a 90° angle.  (6 one way, and the other 6 flipped opposite since they were not identical).
After creased, I glued them in four groups of three. I then placed the four sides together (trees upside down) and paper clipped them.  At this point, it sat for about a week so I could figure out in my head how to install the luminaries.
 I combined two copies of a flourish from Gothic Flourishes SVG Collection and welded them together.  They were embossed, and inked with silver, then bronze. Then applied them to all eight 'tree trunks.'

The luminaries are from the Midnight Jamboree SVG Kit.  I revised a little because I was afraid they would be too tall.  So, I cut the top part off (Thanks for showing me how, Linda Hurley!).  Also, I welded a small square on one of the 'fence' areas, so I'd have stronger support to hold the luminaries.  Then cut a small slit on the side and bottom.
To make the attachment a bit stronger, I took some 24 gauge wire, folded it in half, and inserted it between the two sets of tree branches.  Then, when I put the branches into the luminary, I bent the edge of the branch and the wires in opposite directions.  After attaching, I added another bottom and side piece to the inside of the luminary to hold everything in place and hide the wire.
I was almost done, but I started thinking (I hate when I do that!).  I decided it needed some crystals.  So, I looked through the kits/collections allowed in the challenge, and found the treat cones in the Party On Elm Street SVG Kit.  Bought some acetate.  Opened the cone in ECAL, shrunk it way down, made a scrunched down one and flipped it up, then welded one side, and scored the folds.  They were really little to work with.
Used some jump rings to attach them to the chandelier, and...I think I'm just about done!  Added a couple of spiders from Spooky Silhouettes SVG Collection and Hazel's Wicked Witch Craft, as well as some spider web to top it off.
Here's a photo against a white wall.  You can see some details, like the spiders, that are hard to see on the black background, but you can't see the spider webs.  I duplicated the spider with the eyes and put red tissue paper between the layers at the eyes so they glowed red.  I used some tarnished-looking chain to hang the chandelier.

Hope you enjoyed it.  I loved making it!

Don't be afraid of the Dark . . .

Friday, October 5, 2012

ATC Swaps - Summer and BTS

Joined my first ATC swaps this summer with some of the ladies at the SVG Cuts forum.  I'd never done this before and it was such a fun way to share with people and get fun things in the mail!  For those not familiar with what an ATC is, it's an artist trading card, a small card 2.5"x3.5" that you make for a number of people and swap.  They are done with pretty much any art medium.  I've seen them with painters, photographers, graphic artists, etc.  We have begun one through SVG Cuts, so there will be a mainly paper cutting art.

The first one we did was an Ocean/UnderTheSea Theme.  You could use any medium you wanted, and do whatever you wanted.  Being new, I stuck to my tried and true SVG Cuts files.  Here's my submission for the swap.

That little sand dollar was less than a half-inch wide, so you can imagine how intricate my cutter can cut.  I love my Sizzix Eclips!

There were seven of us in our group, and all of the ATCs turned out great.  We even had one that was hand painted!  It was truly a piece of art, and I felt honored to get it, as I can't draw a stick figure. Here are the submissions for the swap.

The next ATC swap was a Back to School swap.  Everyone again had full reign on what they wanted to do, as long as it was 2.5" by 3.5".  And, just imagine, one of the swaps came all the way from Greece!  Mariela put each person's name on the front in Greek.  Her's even opened up and had a globe and a paper airplane and other items on the inside.  It was wonderful!

Here's my submission on the BTS swap.

I always brown-bagged it when I was in elementary school, and was quite envious of anyone who had a lunch pail.  At one point, I was given a hand-me down lunch pail with this exact plaid print.  I found the print on the Internet and printed my own paper for it.  I loved that lunch box.

Again, we had some wonderful submissions for this BTS swap.  Here's a photo of our groups submissions.

Read the subjects on the little Report Card.  It's just darling.  I feel sort of "out of touch" with the BTS theme, as my daughter is married and in grad school.  But, it was still so fun to revisit this time and share with these talented ladies.  I'll be posting again a couple of weeks, as we are now in the midst of our Halloween ATC swap!  I've received a couple of them, and they are fab!

Back to School = Peace and Quiet!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Fall Banner Swap

This was such a fun swap in which to participate.  Amy (Aimitup) asked a few of us to participate in a trial swap, to see if it would be feasible to do it on a larger scale.  The theme, of course, was FALL, and we each made four copies of one letter, and then mailed the other three to the others.

Here's how it turned out.  I love it!

Amy sent us our backgrounds and the letters (and outlines), and then we each decorated it as we saw fit.  She also gave us a color photo of the other participants' blank banners, so we could get a feel for the color scheme.

Elizabeth's was the first one, the F:

Amy did the A (just realized while typing this that "A" is for Amy!):
I did the first L:
And, Brigit (Brigit's Scraps) did the second L:
I honestly think this is one of my most favorite projects thus far.  I love looking at the banner.  It turned out so wonderful.  We all put  the banners together any way we wanted.  Brigit put wooden beads between the flags, and I liked the idea, but didn't have any.  So, I made more of the acorns and cut a bunch. Each one is 6-7 thicknesses of paper, and the twine goes through the center of each one.  Amy used eyelets, and then tied them together, and it looked awesome.

I hope we get to do another one for Christmas!

The falling leaves drift by my window. . .

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

It's Fall!

Well, in word and calendar it's fall.  But, being from Southern California would make one question this.  It has been so hot here!  I am so looking forward to some milder weather (notice I'm not asking for cold weather, just not this hot stuff).

So, my first fall project is this sweet acorn designed by Mary at SVG Cuts in the Acorn Autumn SVG Kit.  It's a little box, and I think I may be doing quite of few of these over the next couple of months.  There's a video tutorial for it that shows you just how easy it is to make.  I used a Fiskar's texture plate for the top.  Thanks for taking a look!

Fall has arrived!  Bundle up!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Farmer's Market Time

Well, it's the perfect time of year to get some wonderful fresh veggies and fruits from your local growers.  We are lucky here in town, as we have a different farmer's market in a different location pretty much each day of the week.  I love the fresh veggies, the beautiful and unique flowers and the artisans that present their treasures at some of the locations.  That being said, the new challenge over at SVG Cuts was to make a card using their cut files, for any occasion/theme (except for some major holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas).  And, the  Farmer's Market is the theme on which I decided.

Here's the final result.  To get a feel for the size (or lack of size) the dimensions of the card are as follows:  The height, all the way to the top of the banner flags on either side is 7".  The width, as opened in the photo, is 9-1/2".  When folded up, it is 4" across.  Each of the banner letters saying Farmer's Market are close to 1" tall.  So, it's pretty tiny, even though the photo would have you believe otherwise.  I'll go through some of the steps and show some close-ups below.
 I started out by choosing the papers I wanted to use.  I will say that choosing papers is probably the most time consuming part of a project.  I chose the Garden Variety Paper Pack by Cosmo Cricket, and I used the digital version purchased from Jessica Sprague.  What I like about the digital forms of paper is that you can size the pattern to fit what you're using it for.  This card is fairly small, so I was able to decrease the size of the pattern in order to see more of the smaller objects.  Also, I like to be able to print out only the amount of patterned paper that I will be using, so as not to use excessive amounts of ink.  Here's a screen shot of two of the pages I printed for this project (please note I did not use one of the papers on here as it was from a different pack).
Once I printed these out (11x14 paper), I cut around each pattern.  I then began to set up the pattern pieces I was using onto the virtual mat in the ECAL software (software that runs the Sizzix Eclips Cutting Machine).
At this point, I got my mat and placed the pieces of copied paper over the place it would be on the screen mat, using the grid marks to make sure the pieces I cut would fit each of my paper swatches.
I did change my mind a couple of times, so had to re-print a few small pieces and recut them.

Then, it was time to start assembling the card.  I used my Xyron sticker machines to put adhesive behind all of the background pieces and place them on the card.  I love the Xyron because you get this thin covering of adhesive that does not glop or run like liquid glue, and it is a permanent adhesive and very strong.  You just have to be sure to get it on straight the first time, because IT IS PERMANENT!
I made the Farmer's Market banner pieces in Photoshop, printed them out at 2"x 8", and then folded each piece in half, then cut between the letters.  I then cut the inverted V out last, so it would match the back perfectly.

I began making all of the veggies and fruits.  I used elements from the following SVG Cuts collections:  September Afternoon SVG Collection (baskets), Veggie Garden Pt. 1 SVG Collection (all veggies), April Avenue SVG Collection (bird), Summer Street Carnival (card base), My Happy Garden Hideaway (grass, spade, ladybug, signs), and 24 Valentines SVG Kit (strawberry).  Love my SVG Cuts files.  They are the best, cleanest, most amazing svg files you'll find.

Here's a close-up the banner portion of the card.  I used Sew Easy Fancy Floss (yellow and white) from We R Memory Keepers for the hanging flags.
Here's a close-up of the peas.  These are made very small, so each pea was cut separately and was about 1/8".  The full length was the pea pod was about 1". The grass is no more than 1/4" tall.  My Eclips cut it all without a hitch.  It's pretty amazing.
And, lastly, here's a close-up of the carrots.  Each carrot is about 1-1/8", and the greens on the top are just under 1/2".
So, there you have it.  Hope you enjoy it.  It was so fun to make.

Support your local farmer's market, friends!