Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Cards- Exploding Boxes,and Never-ending Cards

Hope everyone had lovely holidays!  Ours was relaxed, once the Nutcracker performances that my daughter was in were over!  Today we visited with my hubby's sister and her kids, and exchanged gifts between the kids.  At the ages our kids are, we pretty much do gift cards anymore.  I decided to do some fun cards for them to put their gift cards in.  One niece also has a birthday in late November, and we were late with her card, so I went ahead and did two for her.  I made exploding boxes for the two nieces' Christmas gift card, a never-ending card for the nephew (age 8) for his gift card, and also a never-ending card for the November birthday niece.  What's a never-ending card?  Oh, they are SO cool!  This is another one that my BFF Kendra told me about.  Here is a video that tells you all about it.  Basically, you fold and turn, and fold and turn, several different ways until you are back to the beginning- thus, it never ends!  They are really not complicated to make at all, but like the exploding box, it can be time-consuming to embellish them.

Here is Maggie's birthday card:

I didn't take pics of every view that you get when you fold the card each way, it was too hard to hold the card open for each shot!

Here's the never-ending card for the nephew:

I thought he would enjoy playing with one of these cards instead of an exploding box (he's 8).  He seemed to like it!

And finally, here are the exploding boxes for the girls:

It was so good to see all of them today!  They only live an hour away, but with their busy schedule, combined with our busy schedule, we just don't see each other as much as we should.

My vacation has only a few more days in it :( and I am going to try to make the most of them!  I want to do some work on my shop, as well as a few more projects around the house.  Hopefully I can get at least most of the stuff done that I want to!  Guess we will see...I always tend to plan more than I can actually accomplish!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Exploding Box Card

Happy Holidays everyone!  I hope everyone is enjoying the season!  Now that I am on vacation for the next two weeks, I sure am (or I will be, once I catch up on my sleep!)

My BFF Kendra showed me another neat card that I just had to try, the exploding box card.  She made one this week for a birthday party that her daughter was going to, and the picture of it was so cool, I really wanted to try it myself!  As it happened, my daughter also had a birthday party to go to, so it was a good excuse to make one.  It is not nearly as complicated as it looks, though embellishing it certainly can be time-consuming.  Meredith and I had a lot of fun making this one.

Here is the outside:
You take off the lid, and get this:
I used a mix of turquoise, purple, black and white, along with some animal prints.  Kendra used some zebra print in hers, and I shamelessly ripped off the idea. ;)  I got a neat pack of animal print papers at Michaels- it came with zebra and cheetah prints in different colors.  At some point I will have to find something to do with pink zebra and lime green cheetah print papers!  Each piece on the inside contains a sentiment, such as "Cool" and "Cute"- words to describe Meredith's friend.  There are three layers, and the inside layer says Happy Birthday.  Meredith made an origami star box to put on the inside, and in it we placed a little ornament with her friend's name on it.  You can see it a bit better here:
We embellished the inside with flowers, butterflies, and various gems.  Lots of bling in this one!

I wish I had gotten a picture of the whole present once everything was wrapped.  I used a black and white zebra print wrapping paper on the gift box, along with a turquoise ribbon, then this box card was attached to the top.  It really looked cute, if I do say so myself!

As I mentioned, I'm off work for 2 weeks- woohoo!!  I'm really hoping to have some time to do some crafting.  I am making an attempt to clear out my bookmark stash of old designs and come up with some fresh, new designs for my shop.  I also want to get some cards done- maybe get a head start on Valentine cards!  I have lots of ideas of Valentine cards that incorporate pressed flowers that I am anxious to try.  I will be sure to share what I come up with!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year to all!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Birthday Gift Bag

Hello!  As the holidays have gotten closer, lots of stuff has gotten in the way of my crafting, so I haven't had much to show lately!  In fact, all I have done since my mom's birthday card was a little gift bag for my daughter's friend.  She had her birthday party last weekend, and we got her a gift card for Claire's.  I thought it might be nice to do something besides just stick it in an envelope, and I remembered a cute little origami purse from a book I picked up recently at the UBS.  Origami Boxes by Florence Temko has lots of neat boxes, and what's nice is that there are very explicit instructions for the origami-challenged like me!  The purse is basically a triangle box with a handle added.  I thought it had a lot of potential.

My test worked out great, though small- using a 9x12 sheet of paper yields a box a little smaller than standard gift card dimensions.  We looked for some cute gift wrap that we could cut larger than 9x12 to get a bigger box, but there is very little selection out there for gift wrap anymore.  Remember when there was an entire asile in Target devoted to gift wrap?!  No more- I guess the trend has shifted to gift bags nowadays.  That doesn't help those of us who want to make our own!  Even Michael's only had a few designs, most plain, and not what we were looking for.  Since we were there, we decided to just pick out a scrapbook paper to make the small box, and would figure out a way to cram the gift card into it.  I had in mind using a cute patterned paper, but Meredith had other ideas.  She found a bright turquoise, fluffy gift bow that she just HAD to have, and wanted to use a matching paper for the box, so that is what we got.  It did present a challenge- since it was card stock weight, it was harder to fold, so if I had it to do over again, I would definitely go with a lighter weight paper.  All I did was fold the box- Meredith decorated it and made a little gift tag as well.  Here it is:

You can see that the poofy bow is fastened to the back, and it is larger than the box!  Here is the bow side:

Meredith's friend liked her gift a lot, and I think she liked the packaging too.  It was fun to try something different!  I'd love to try this again with a larger sheet of gift wrap.  Maybe we'll try it for some Christmas gifts!

That's it for now.  Not sure what's up next- I hestiate to plan much, since things are going to be so busy for the next month.  I am thinking about making some bookmarks similar to the ones I made for my son's band section leaders, just with the school colors and logo, but without the names and instruments.  The band boosters are holding a holiday bazaar on the evenings of the winter concerts and are looking for vendors for them.  I'm not sure I'd want to go and have a whole table to myself, but I thought about donating some bookmarks for the band boosters to sell at their merchandise table.  We'll see how much time I have between now and then!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Bunch of Stuff- Bookmarks, Mini-Cards, and MojoMonday #214

Happy Veteren's Day Weekend!  It has been lovely to have a 3-day weekend, and it's always good to honor all of the veterens who have served our country!  Shout-out to my nephew Nick, who is in the USMC- we miss you, Nick!

Well, as Veteren's Day meant a day off work for me, it gave me some extra time to catch up on crafting.  I mentioned before that my mom's birthday is coming up, and I wanted to make her a card.  I made one yesterday, but I just did not like how it turned out.  I hadn't yet tackled the MojoMonday sketch of the week yet, so since I wasn't happy with what I came up with, I decided to use the sketch for my mom's card.  Here is the sketch:
And here is Mom's card:
It is similar to the card I made for my friend E last month, as it uses some of the same paper, and the same type of flower.  This was the first flower I made for E's card, which I deemed to large for that one, but I like it on this one.  Hopefully Mom will like it- and I hope it gets to her on time!

Next up, the mini-cards from the winter/holiday mini-card swap that I hosted at the PBS Swappers paper crafting group.  I realized waayyy after the fact that I completely forgot to take a picture of my cards before I mailed them out to the other participants!  So, my BFF Kendra was good enough to snap this pic of my cards for me.  Thanks K!

The top one, with the peppermint stripes, has a little peppermint drop embellishment on it in the lower left corner.  I found these buttons at JoAnn's, and just took off the back hardware so that it was a nice flat surface to glue it on.  The other two are variations of designs I've used before for other things, so no surprises there.

Finally, I have some new fall bookmarks!  Yesterday, my daughter had a friend over, and the three of us went out around the neighborhood and collected leaves.  I can't believe it has taken this long for the leaves to really fall off of the trees this year!  Anyway, we got lots of really nice ones, and I spent a good amount of time pressing them with my MicroFleur.  I have a very healthy stash of fall leaves now!  I made several bookmarks, and just listed 5 of them in my Etsy shop:

Next, I'd love to try some note cards with fall leaves, like the ones I did with pressed flowers.  I might experiment with that later this weekend if I have time.

One piece of exciting news- I was accepted to the Salem Etsy Sellers team on Etsy recently, and it seems like a great group!  They were actually having a craft fair today, though I came in a little too late to be able to participate.  But hopefully there will be others in the future.  It would be so much fun to meet other Etsy sellers from my area!

That's all for now- see you soon!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Masculine Holiday Card and Recipe Card

Hello!  Life got busy all of a sudden, and I haven't had any time to do any crafting for a couple of weeks.  I've been printing out the sketches for MojoMonday and CardPatterns, but haven't had time to do any more than glance longingly their way as I rush by to get something else done!  Well, hopefully things will settle down soon.  There's a holiday at the end of the week- hooray for three day weekends!  Also, I'm hoping (fingers and toes crossed) that work will slow down enough that I can take Thanksgiving week off.  Hopefully I can catch up then!

I did squeeze in a couple of quick projects this past weekend.  I had signed up for a couple of swaps in the PBS Swappers group, but forgot when they were due.  I checked this weekend, and oh my, I am right up against the deadline for both!  The first is for a masculine holiday card, due to the hostess by the 10th, and the other is a favorite recipe card, due to be in the mail to the hostess by the 10th.  Either way, the 10th is Thursday, so given that time is short during the work week, I had to get busy this past weekend.  Here is what I did:

The first card is for the masculine holiday card, obviously.  I was really stumped for this one...I always have difficulty coming up with a design that is specifically for men!  I picked up this striped paper a couple of weeks ago at JoAnn's, and thought that paired with the black, it made for a decent pallete for a masculine card.  I cut the red paper out with a deckled rectangle Spellbinder Nestabilities die, and also the sentiment boxes.  I used a pair of rough-edged scissors to cut the edges of the striped paper for a similar look.  I had a tough time with what to do for embellishments, and finally settled on these two ornament stamps, which I did in gold and silver.  Once finished, I still wasn't sure, so I solicited the opinion of my 15 year old son.  He liked it, so I guess it's ok!

The recipe card holds a recipe for chocolate chip pumpkin bread.  The original recipe came from Cooking Light, however, I modified it, and used my modified version on the card.  It is double-sided, with the ingredient list on one side (shown above) and the instructions on the other.  The card base is brown kraft paper, followed by a pumpkin orange layer, and then the recipe printed on white.  For embellishments, I punched leaves out using two different MS punches in off-white, and sponged ink on to give them fall colors.  I used the same stamp pad that I used for the fall card, so it is a similar look.  It's simple, but autumny, for one of my favorite autumn recipes!

My next project will be a birthday card for my mom, whose birthday is the 16th.  Hopefully I can get to that one this weekend.  My hubby's birthday is the 18th, so maybe I'll try to squeeze one  in for him too...although technically he already got his gift- a trip to Colorado to see an Oregon Ducks game a few weeks ago.  Plus, he sees my cards all the time anyway!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

MojoMonday Sketch #211 and Custom Bookmarks

Happy Sunday!  Last week was a super busy week, so I did not get to last Monday's MojoMonday sketch until today.  Hopefully there is still time to post my entry!  I'm not all that thrilled with it, but I challenged myself to do these sketches each week, so since I went to the trouble of making a card, I might as well put it up, if I still can.  Here is the sketch:
My card:

I had trouble with this one.  I attempted another card with different paper, and it just wasn't happening, and I kept seeing a snowflake there for the circle in the bottom right corner.  So this is what came of it.  The lighting was not great when I took this pic, but the card base, as well as the outer border of the sentiment box, are dark purple.  There are definitely things I would do differently on this one if I had it to do over, but at least I have something to submit.

My other project this weekend was something for my son.  Marching band season is coming to a close, and this coming week they will be wrapping things up and as part of that, will be having some celebrations of the end of the season.  My son is coordinating gift packages for his section leaders, which entails collecting some donated gifts from each of the saxophone players, for the two section leaders.  Initially, I thought to donate a couple of floral bookmarks, but since we had some time, I asked him if he'd like custom bookmarks for them.  Long, long ago, I made my son this bookmark:
so I thought to do something similar for the two section leaders.  He wanted the school logo on the bookmark, so that somewhat dictated the color scheme.  I couldn't figure out a good way to put both the logo and a saxophone on one side, so I decided that double-sided bookmarks were in order.  Here they are:
Josh was really pleased with these, and I hope the section leaders will like them!

I know I still need to take pics of my mini-cards and post them, and will try to do that next time.  Also, I have a new CardPatterns sketch, so I will be working on that this week.  It is interesting- it looks a whole lot like one of the gift envelopes I've been doing, so I might try to do something with that.

One LAST thing- I am offering a coupon code for my Etsy store on my Facebook fan page, good until October 31.  Please become a Facebook fan!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Giveaway at My Slice of Life

Hi everyone- just a quick mid-week post to tell you about a giveaway that my friend Christy is having over on her blog, My Slice of Life.  Enter to win a YUDU Cardshop, valued at about $60!  Check out this link to enter:

There are three ways to enter to win, so make sure to check it out!  Good luck everyone!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

CardPatterns Sketch#137

Morning!  Just a quick post here to get my CardPatterns sketch card up before heading in to work.  Here is the sketch:

Here is my card:
Last week I was into neutrals, and I guess this week it's jewel tones!  I've had this patterned paper for awhile- it is from a DCWV pad that I got last year sometime.  I love this one- two of my favorite colors combined!  The flower is from a punch, with a purply iridescent jewel in the center.
That one Cuttlebug embossing folder is getting a good workout these days, since I have used it twice in the last week!

I still have the sketch from MojoMonday for this week to do- I started something last night but ran out of time, and I'm afraid it's going to have to wait another couple of days...we have concerts for my kids tonight and tomorrow night.  I will also take pics of my mini-cards soon, since they are all done- yaay!!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Pressed Flower Cards- Finally!

I've been kicking this idea around for a loonnnnggg time, and finally buckled down and turned out some product!  One evening this past week,  I was sitting in a VERY long and boring meeting, waiting for my turn to make my presentation, and took the opportunity to flesh out some design ideas so that when I had time, I would have a plan and could make the most of the time I had to spend crafting.  It worked out really well to have those notes to refer to!  I spent a good couple of hours last night making four sets of pressed flower cards, two per set.  I have more design ideas that I will work on later, but I wanted to finally get started on this and get some items in my shop.  I just listed them in my Etsy shop, and am excited to see if they get many views!  I checked out the competition, and didn't see any cards quite like mine, so hopefully someone will like them!

So, I finally did it- I got cards into my shop!  Yayyy!

I am so happy about this, I am offering a coupon code, just for my blog followers!  Use coupon code YAYCARDS to get 20% off your entire purchase.  This is for anything in my shop, not just cards!  Coupon code is good until the end of October.

In other news, I made a set of mini-cards for the holiday/winter mini-card swap, so just two more sets to go!  I'll post pics when I get them all done.  I have ideas for the other two sets, so once I get to work on them, I should be able to knock them out pretty quickly.

I just printed out the new sketch posted today at CardPatterns so tomorrow I hope to have some fun with that.  See you soon!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Birthday Card for a Friend

Hello!  I had an unanticipated mid-week project come up this week, and wanted to share what I did with it.  My friend, E (of the M and E anniversary card in July) has an October birthday.  I have known this for many years.  I am kind of funny with birthdays (warning: digression ahead)- I am pretty good about remembering what month they are in, and usually remember around when they are, as far as beginning, middle, or end of the month.  But apart from my immediate family members and a couple of close friends who I've known since childhood, I don't remember exact dates so well.  This was the case with E's birthday- I know it's October, somewhere in the middle, and that's it.  Last year, I manged to get her a birthday bookmark within a week of her birthday, purely by luck.  This year, I got a Facebook alert the day before.  Aha!  Facebook IS good for something!  Since her birthday was mid-week, I did have a little bit of leeway, but wanted to get a card done for her so that it was ready to go whenever I can get it over to her this weekend.

Now, unlike the anniversary card, I did not have any trouble coming up with a design for this one.  I have known E for a number of years and know her tastes pretty well.  She is bright, energetic, intelligent, beautiful, kind and generous, with an outgoing, friendly personality.  She is the type of person who will strike up conversation with the person standing in front of her in the grocery store checkout line, and by the end of the conversation you'd think they'd known each other for years.  It's a skill that, as an introvert, I have admired in her for years!  So when I think of E, I think of deep, rich, vibrant colors and textures that draw the eye and make you want to keep looking at them.  I know that E favors jewel tones, just like I do, so this was fun for me to pick out papers and colors and come up with a design.  When I first started thinking about it, my mind went immediately to purple...deep, rich plum-toned purple, maybe combined with a deep blue or green or teal, some gold, lots of texture, shine, the works.  I didn't have anything like that in my paper stash, so a trip to Michael's was in order.  Luckily I had some coupons that came in my email just the day before, so yesterday after work, I stopped in to pick something out.  I could not find anything close to what I envisioned, but I did find a pad of scrapbooking paper that had a lovely paper with a glittery floral pattern.  The color is somewhere between red and purple- I've been trying to figure out what to call it, but haven't quite pinpointed it yet.  It's not as pink as raspberry, not as red as cranberry, not as bright as fuschia, not as purple as grape.  Well, you be the judge!
Mulberry, maybe?  I guess it really is more red than purple, but there are definitely blue tones to it.

So here is the breakdown.  Deep reddish (burgundy?) card base, followed by an off-white layer, which has an iridescent finish.  The left panel is the patterned paper, while the right is a coordinating solid reddish (maroon?) paper, which I embossed with the Big Shot and a Cuttlebug embossing folder.  If it looks familiar, it's because it's the same one I used on this card.  I ran into a bit of trouble, because the paper was longer than the embossing folder.  I had to emboss it in two sections, and consequently the bottom section, which was only about 2 inches, had to be embossed upside down.  Hopefully it's not obvious- it is partially covered up by the flower anyway.  I chose that embossing folder because of the viney design, which was sort of similar to the floral patterned paper.  This card design, by the way, was inspired partially by this card, which I didn't even realize until after I was almost finished with it.  Anyway, the middle piece has the same deep reddish (merlot?) paper for the outer border that was used as the card base, followed by the lighter paper, which is the same as the embossed panel. I punched the corners of the outer piece with a lace corner punch.  The sentiment box is the same off-white iridescent paper as the layer over the card base.  I stamped the sentiment and flourishes in an eggplant pigment ink and heat embossed them with the sparkly iridescent embossing powder.  The ribbon that separates the two panels is a shiny satin ribbon that worked perfectly with these colors.

I have to tell you about this flower.  A couple of weeks ago, I had a dream about making a card with a white flower on it, wherein the flower petals were crimped.  Now, I didn't own a crimper, though I had looked at them before in the craft stores.  A couple days after that, I was at Michaels with a pocket full of coupons, and decided to just take the plunge and use a 50% coupon on it.  So I did, even though I did not have a use for it at that time, being that my dream was non-specific about what card I would use it on.  So fast forward to this week, when it was time to make an embellishment for this card.  I looked over all of my punches and Sizzix flower dies, and none of them were really what I had in mind for this card.  My dream came back to me, and though I didn't have anything that was exactly like the flower petals in my dream (which were wider at the bottom, and more blunt), I figured I could work with what I had and come up with something.  So I used the same flower dies that I used for these poinsettias, and simply cut the petals apart so that they were separate, then crimped them using the paper crimper.  I glued the petals together at the center to form the flower, and finished it with a large pearl in the center.  I experimented with and additional layer of petals, but in the end, the simple 5-petal flower looked the best to me.  Instead of leaves, I went with ribbon ends peeking out from beneath the flower.  Here's a close-up:

On the inside, I stamped and embossed a sentiment in the same eggplant ink.  I used two layers for the inside, which I corner punched with the same punch from the sentiment box frame on the card front.
I had a lot of fun with this card!  I hope E likes it.  I wished her Happy Birthday on Facebook yesterday, and she responded back that she can't wait to see the card, and said that she still has the anniversary card on her pantry door.  How sweet is that?!!

Next time I will have some mini-cards to share, as that is next on my agenda.  Also, tomorrow is Saturday, which means a new sketch from CardPatterns, so we'll see what I can do with that!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

MojoMonday Sketch #210

Hello!  I'm still crankin' out the sketch cards!  This one is for MojoMonday Sketch #210.  Here is the sketch:

And here is my card:

I decided to try a Get Well card for this one.  The mom of one of my daughter's friends had surgery yesterday, and I thought I would make a card for her and wish her a speedy recovery.  I loved this floral paper on sight- I found it a JoAnn's last weekend, and was so glad to have an opportunity to use it!  Love the colors- they are so rich and autumn-y.

Here is a close-up of the sentiment:
I ended up cutting the sentiment out a little off-center, so that I could fit a small embellishment.  I stamped the leaf with a tiny leaf stamp, using the same Kaleidacolor stamp pad that I used for my fall card awhile back.  I think it's cute!

I'll be working on my holiday mini-cards this week, so next time should have at least one to share here.  I got the cutest stuff at JoAnn's for one of them, and can't wait to put that one together!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

CardPattern Sketch #136

I am having so much fun participating in these sketch blogs!  With a sketch as a guide, it is so much easier to come up with ideas for colors, patterns, etc.  Sometimes I get stuck just getting started, and that's what is so great about using a sketch- it gives you that start!

So here is CardPatterns sketch for this week:
And here is my card:
I went with a simple palette for this one in shades of brown, tan and creme.  I used the same striped pattern in two of the tiles, only reversed the direction the stripes are running in each.  I punched the corners of the center rectangle and its frame with a lace corner punch, stamped the sentiment and the little shape below it in brown pigment ink, and heat embossed them.  I couldn't resist adding the little flower in the bottom left corner.  I made that with two layers punched with a 4-petal MS punch, and added the leaves in brown, also punched with a MS punch.  The center is a little brown brad.  I embossed the leaves with an embossing tool to give them some veining.:
Lately I find myself really looking forward to Saturdays, when the new CardPatterns sketch is posted, and Mondays, for the MojoMonday sketch- I can't wait to see how the sketches will inspire me!

Next I need to get going on my mini-cards for the winter/holiday mini-card swap at the PBS Swappers group.  This is the second swap that I am hosting there- the first was the fall cards last month.  The mini-card swap requires sending three mini-cards to each participant.  I have one design developed, and have ideas for the other two, so need to get to work on those.  The swap goes through the end of the month, so I have some time, but things are getting to be so busy lately, I don't want to leave anything to chance!

That's all for now- see you later in the week after the new MojoMonday sketch is posted!

Monday, October 3, 2011

CardPatterns Sketch #135 and MojoMonday #209

This is the other card I completed over the weekend.  I used sketch #135 from CardPatterns.  Here is the sketch:
 Aaannnnd, here's my card:

Whaddya think??  I've been playing with designs that incorporate pressed flowers, and this is my favorite one yet!

Also, I managed to eek out a card for the MojoMonday Sketch #209 this evening!  Am I a busy girl or what?



This one was fun!  I tried out my Xyron machine for the first time for this.  The large snowflake was cut out on the Big Shot with a Sizzlits die.  Then I ran it through the Xyron, and sprinkled a silver sparkly embossing powder on the sticky side, then heated with the heat tool.  I did the same with the smaller snowflakes, which were punched from a small 1/2 inch punch, and I used iridescent embossing powder for those.  Here is a close-up:
I used two different embossing folders on this card, polka-dots on the white, and a snowflake pattern on the light blue.  I like the blue, white and silver combination, and I've been dying to try out the snowflakes, so this was fun to do!

If I can stay on the roll I seem to be on this week, I might attempt another card with this design.  Apparently the first week of each month is contest week, so there are prizes given for some of the cards submitted!  I don't know if I have much chance of winning, but it is fun to participate anyway!