Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Christmas Cards 2017

I didn't have time to do too many Christmas cards this year as I took a spur of the moment trip to visit my daughter, son-in-law and grandson in the midwest for a week...my prime producing week. But, I had made just one of a few of these cards, which I really enjoyed.

This vintage Santa in the chimney box card was given to my daughter's family. I used digital paper to print the brick paper for the chimney, which turned out just as I'd hoped. The pattern for  this card is from SVG Cuts Christmas Box Cards SVG Kit. I made a couple of revisions (I tend to do that a lot, even though they are usually subtle changes). I wanted to be able to see the darling gift box behind Santa, so I cut it off of the box, and reattached it at an angle, so that it showed up a bit more.
These box cards fold flat to fit in an envelope. The designer always makes envelopes that are custom sized for her cards and box cards.

This beautiful amaryllis box card is another SVG Cuts project, from the Yuletide Box Cards SVG Kit. This one is stunning in person. I couldn't get a photo that matched how beautiful it looks for real. I made seven of these. I added the little flower on the back by shrinking the flower on the front of the card and taking parts of the stems and reducing the size of them as well. They were really easy to make, and were visually so pretty.
This is another one of SVG Cuts box cards. It's so adorable. I used some clear Glossy Accents on the headlights to give it dimension. This little truck is in the Christmas Eve SVG Kit. It so cute. The little driver's side door actually opens. Again, it folds flat like the previous ones I've posted here so that it can be put into an envelope for mailing.
This adorable trailer card is made by Bird's Cards/Bird's Designs. She offered this cut file for free here: Bird's Caravan Card. I used digital paper from Cosmo Cricut called Dear Mr. Claus. Digital paper is awesome because you can shrink the pattern down to any size you want so that it better fits your project. I also opened the flag banner in Photoshop, and put ornament elements on each flag, then did a cut-2-print. The width of this trailer is 5".  I shrunk it down from it's original width of 7".
This sweet little card is a Sizzix die designed by Lindsey Serata. It's the Tri-Fold Card, Ice Skater. I put lots of glitter on it, but had a hard time photographing it so you could see it.
Lastly is an "Eclipes" card, named for the shadow behind the wording. The words are cut out of the background, and added back in the same spot but popped up. It's a fun effect, and I'm looking forward to trying it again.

Hope you all had a lovely Christmas holiday with family and friends surrounding you.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Vintage Heirloom Christmas Tree: Take 2 (white)

Here's my second Vintage Heirloom Christmas Tree. I was getting ready to cut it out in solid white when I saw a new paper design by Adrienne Looman called Mistletoe Kisses. I liked it so much that I decided to see how a print would look on the project. I buy digital paper, mainly from Snap Click Supply (and usually on One Buck Wednesday!). Tree pattern is from SVG Cuts.

I love the way it turned out. So different than the green one, which I love too!
The photo of the tree with the lights on shows a pink tint to it, but you can see from the photo above that there is no pink in the project (or in the light bulb). I was told it was probably the white balance, but I'm not sure that's something you can change with an iPhone photo.
And, when it got even darker, the tree got even pinker! It didn't look pink at all in reality, but it's sort of cool. I'm thinking a pink tree could be awesome.
This has turned into one of my favorite projects. I'm sure I'll be making more of them. The completed tree stands 17"-18" tall.

Merry Christmas Tree!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Heirloom Christmas Tree

I think I have found my new favorite project. The Heirloom Christmas Tree is designed by Mary at SVG Cuts. I can't fathom her brilliance in designing this pattern so well.  She definitely has an engineer's mind. This is a take on the ceramic Christmas Trees from the 50's. My husband remembers having one in his home.
 It's amazing how it all goes together. The instructions give you a visual as to mountain and valley folds which make the pieces almost fall into their peaks. There are eight sections of two pieces each, so when broken down and assembled it's very logical. The tree sits atop the base, so if you need to change the light bulb it's easily accessible. It has an electric candle light inside that illuminates the little bulbs and the holes in the tree.
Here's a view of the bottom, showing the hole where the candle light goes.
The base of the lamp is fairly straight forward. The very bottom has three layers of cardstock, so it feels sufficiently sturdy. Mary suggested getting an LED bulb which has low wattage, but is much brighter. I think I'll invest in one of those.
Here are a couple more views!
As an afterthought, I decided to replace the glitter paper star at the top of the tree for one that is used for the actual ceramic trees (like the bulbs). I noticed that before when I lit it up and it was dark, the star was just lost as there was nothing illuminating it. This star doesn't light up a lot, but it does light up a little bit, and in certain light it's quite bright. It seems that the LED bulb illiminates outward very well, but not so much upward. The star is really quite pretty. It is made by the same company that makes the bulbs (Darice). It took a little maneuvering and thought to get a little insert piece I made  into the top of the tree, since the bottom of the tree had already been closed up. But, with some trial and error I was able to make a tool out of a dowel and a piece of chipboard, and insert the little piece into the top so that the star could be inserted into it.
Hope you enjoyed this Heirloom Christmas Tree. You can  get the pattern to make one yourself by clicking the links at the top of this posting.

Enjoy decorating and planning for Christmas! I sure am!

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Give Thanks - Cornucopia

Thanksgiving is at our house this year, so when a new challenge came up on the Sizzix Eclips FB page that mentioned home decor as one of the options, I immediately thought of making a centerpiece for the table. All of the cut files used are from SVG Cuts (svgcuts.com).

I've always wanted to make or even just have a cornucopia, so here is my version.
The cornucopia is in the Happy Thanks SVG Kit. I needed it a bit larger, so I scaled it to 150% of the original. I cut a separate set of the panels and put then on the inside as well. It's about 9" at its full length.
The pumpkin comes from the Bedtime Stories SVG Kit. This one I made a bit smaller, at 85% of the original. The top comes off of the pumpkin, but I chose to glue it shut.
The acorns are really my favorite part of this project. They come from the Acorn Autumn SVG Kit. I had made a couple of them in 2012 or 2013, and loved them. For this project I needed a smaller acorn, so I made two of them at 50% of the original.  Some files just don't work well if you shrink them that much, but this one worked great. And, as you can see, they are little boxes. How cute are they? Here they are with their "mommy." I just want to pinch their cheeks, or their caps or whatever!
The leaves were made with various SVG Cuts collections/kits, as well as some from the ECAL shape library. I designed the paper and printed it myself, and then did some extra inking on them as well. And, the little banner was made in Photoshop.

I'm so grateful to be able to create these fun projects. And I'm thankful for friends and family who are so supportive of my crafting.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Magic Card

This is truly a magic card; well, at least to me. I had a hard time mailing this birthday card off to my grandson because I was having so much fun playing with it. It looks so complicated, but I couldn't believe how easy it was to make. Another thing I liked about it is that it feels substantial and the panels lay flat so nicely.

The base will take you less than 5 minutes to make. However, depending upon what you do for the panels you'll be adding quite some time to that.

Here's a quick video of this interactive card.
And, here are some stills of each panel. This panel opens like a gatefold card, vertically.
To reveal the third panel, open this one horizontally, like a sideways gatefold.
This third page opens vertically once again. The upper and lower center rectangles on this third panel will show on the fourth panel as well.
And then this fourth panel will open horizontally yet again, to reveal the front of the card.
The paper I used for the panels is digi paper by Carte Bella called Space Academy. My grandboy loves planets and space, so I carried the theme throughout. As fast as the base was to make, the panels were intensive mainly because I altered them a bit to fit the designated spots and personalized some of them as well. For example, on the third page I put said grandson's photo in the spaceman suit in the upper right small square.

The base of the card is made with four 3"x6" pieces of cardstock.  For this card, I used 6 of the large squares. Normally there would be eight, but I wanted to do the wording on pages 3 and 4 to be separate from the center photo. If  you use 8, you'd need to realize that the top and bottom half of the page 3 squares will also show 4th page. Then, there are 24 of the very small ones. Again, there are places where these small ones could be replaced with the rectangular pieces. You'll be able to decide that as you start adding your panels.

And, finally, I made an envelope that I customized from the digi paper. The pattern for the envelope is from SVG Cuts, and I cut it using my Sizzix Eclips 2 electronic cutting machine.
And, here's my grandboy in his birthday gift (he's way into dress-up). After he opened his card, and before he opened his spacesuit, he said, "Maybe I will be an astronaut for Halloween next year." His mom and I agreed that it could be a possibility. Needless to say, he loves it.
Hope you enjoyed my card. You can find patterns with sizing on youtube. I've seen it called the Never Ending Card as well, so you may find something by searching that. Happy crafting!

To Infinity and Beyond!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Sew Cute Sewing Machine

I'm sharing today this darling vintage sewing machine that I made for my sis-in-law. She's a quilter and had shared a different cardstock sewing machine that was posted on a quilting site. It was cute, but I remember seeing one that had a more vintage look. I went online and came upon a photo of a darling sewing machine posted, by coincidence, by a good crafty friend of mine, Misty (her blog is: cardsbygeyda.com, January, 2017 post).

The cut file for this sewing machine is from Cre8iveCutz.com. Of course, I had to put a couple of my own ideas into it. Firstly, I decided I wanted the box and extension to be really strong, so I made it in chipboard. And, added a real metal (So cute. I think it's Tim Holtz) drawer handle as well.
I have to admit, I made a huge mistake making the basic bones of the box. I had to throw it away, as I glued too fast and too many prongs at the same time. Word to the wise: Take your time and glue only two prongs at a time! It made all of the difference.

Thankfully, I hadn't put on any of the overlays on it yet, so only had to cut the basic machine, the inside part of the wheel and the spool holder.
One more note here: Having made this and experienced a massive fail the first time, I would suggest a small change in the pattern. It will be most helpful if you add a score line parallel to the bottom front fold line/score line. So, you will have two parallel lines on the bottom piece going from front to back on either side of the square hole that the needle comes through. The line would be .6525" from the front bottom score line, as shown in the following photo. It's very difficult to turn that corner without a score line. So, whether you score it by hand prior to applying the bottom to the front and back of the sewing machine, or you add a score line into your cut file (which is what I did), it will be quite helpful in putting it together.
 I found an image of an old J.&P. Coats thread spool, and altered it to use at the top of the spool using print-2-cut with my Sizzix Eclips 2. The spindle that holds the spool was open at the top, so I added a piece to close it off.
Here's the drawer open. The chipboard makes it so strong and substantial, and I'm so glad I went that route.
To make it a bit stronger, I made overlays for the top of the machine and the bottom, so they are two layers thick of cardstock. And just a note, the wheel on the right side of the sewing machine spins around freely.
I used a gold metallic cardstock for the needle guide and the head of the machine. I embossed it, and put some alcohol inks on to antique it a bit.
And, that's about it! Thank you, Misty, for answering all of my questions and for the support! You are the best!

Thanks for taking a browse. I enjoyed the process and the outcome so very much!

Be Sew Happy!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Custom Chipboard Boxes

Firstly, I needed a box for an odd-sized gift, but I couldn't find one that would work. I got it into my head that I didn't want to put the gift in a giftbag, so I decided to make a chipboard box on my own.
The box was sized to hold 8 sets of acrylic stamps. It is about 2" high, 5.5" deep and 11" wide, and has a magnetic closure on the front. Here it is:
The box is covered with Basic Grey's Serendipity and Shine On cardstock. I combined two different papers and added the rik-rac pattern to separate the two papers on the top. By the way, I use digi paper and elements, so I can alter in Photoshop to use as I see fit. I also put a strip of Tyvek along the hinge edge of both boxes to make them more durable.
The box fit the stamp sets perfectly (from SMS).
Also, I made a quick enclosure card from the same cardstock.
Regarding the second box, I had been looking for such for some time. The new Eclips cutting machines don't have a tray pull-out like the original Eclips did, so I wanted to set just the right size box or container in front of the machine. Mind you, the cutting machine works fine without a tray, but I got used to it on the older cutter. I've looked on-line and looked in every store I've been in for just the right size box for months, but nothing was the right size. I don't know why it took me making the box above to think, "Why not just make your own box for the Eclips2!"
This box was made with cardstock by Glitz (Pretty in Pink), again printed myself from digital files. I faded out some of the pink before printing. It is 2-1/2" tall, by 4.5" deep and 9" wide, and again has a magnetic closure.
This fits just perfectly in front of my Eclips. It's also quite functional, as I can keep my extra blades and my pen holder housing in the box.

Fast forward a couple of days: This sweet box did not work in the capacity for which it was made. I think it was too tall, and was made with textured cardstock. These two factors, either alone or together, caused too much "drag" for my mat to feed though the machine, so I scrapped that idea. But, instead I decided to use it on my desk for other purposes, and to modify/add to as follows:

 I made a couple of small boxes that fit into the box so that I have some compartments. It's perfectly functional and I love seeing it on my desk.
I'm so happy with it! Didn't realize I needed it until I revised it.

So of course, now I had to make another one to take place of the previous. I made this box 1/2" shorter and 2" less wide, the dimensions now being 7" wide/4.5" deep/ 2" tall. I printed my cardstock on the smooth side instead of the textured side. I've tried it with my Eclips 2 and it works perfectly. And, all of my cutting machine accessories still fit perfectly.

The cardstock used for this one is Carina Gardner's Apricot & Persimmon (digital paper purchased from Snap Click Supply company).

 I learned a little bit after making each one. Love the way they turned out. However, I'm amazed at how long I can spend making each box. Way too much time, that's for sure. These would never be economical to make to sell, as the time to make them would be prohibitive. But, that won't stop me from making them again. Very fun and I love the finished product.

Live and Learn!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Safari Adventures at the Zoo

Lucky me, I got to have my daughter and grandson for an entire month! My husband bought me a zoo pass that lets me take one guest in with me, and my grandson is free, so we ended up at the zoo six times. I wanted to document the visits, so the photo album I had started in a workshop at the Scrapbook Expo in Anaheim, hosted by Pine Cone Press, was the perfect opportunity to do so.

The Graphic 45 Safari Adventure paper gave the perfect backgrounds for the book. As all G45 paper, it's simply gorgeous. My sis-in-law and I were lucky enough to be at the Expo on a day when Diane, the owner/designer of Graphic 45, and her children were there. She knew we had taken the workshop, and asked that we post our finished project. So, here you are, Diane! We so enjoyed talking with her. She is so gracious, and her daughter and son were lovely as well.

Here's the front of the book:
I purposely did not use a lot of embellishments, pop dots or dimensional foam pieces on this project, as was demonstrated in the workshop, since it is for a 2-1/2 year-old who might fuss with them and also because I wanted it to slide in and out of a bookshelf without worrying about it getting damaged.
 This book has lots of little flap openings, such as in the bottom right of the photo, which lifts up and displays another photo underneath.
I think my grandson was probably more interested in the statues of the animals that he could play on than he was with the live animals.
I think he fancies himself one of the monkeys! Hanging on bars was the funnest.

Another fold-up flap proving that "snacks" really are what the zoo is all about.
 This gorgeous G45 paper collection is beyond beautiful and just perfect for this project.

The back inside cover had a waterfall photo album, which worked out great for a nice grouping of photos.
Oh, and speaking of snacks, the really special one was getting a soft serve ice cream treat. Note: We didn't get one for each of the six trips to the zoo...only two! But, it was definitely a highlight!
Thanks for taking a look at our zoocation! We loved going to the zoo and meeting up with so many friends and their kids. I miss this little guy and his mommy already.