Monday, May 14, 2018

Secret Garden

When I learned that a family member was going to be celebrating her 75th birthday, I set out to build her a special card to commemorate the occasion.  The card turned into an explosion box featuring her love of gardening, tea and all things vintage!  Her garden is so beautiful that it was featured in a magazine years ago.

I used a variety of svg files, dies and punches to create my project.  I started by using the Easter Explosion Box from Dreaming Tree as the base.  I only used the main body and lid along with the panels to go on them.  I cut the panels from glittery hydrangea paper from K & Company which I've had in my stash for many, many years. The garden is bordered by huge hydrangea bushes and so I wanted to include some in the project.  The tag is cut from a Tim Holtz die and the butterfly is from a layered punch by Martha Stewart.  I embellished the butterfly with some Liquid Pearls by Ranger.

I also wanted to include a dramatic flower on top of the box instead of using a bow.  I've been wanting to make the peony from Dreaming Tree's Love You Mom collection, so I Googled it to make sure that blue peonies actually exist and they do - they're quite beautiful!

Next came the inside where I went with a completely different color scheme than on the outside.  Here's a bird's eye view with the lid removed:

The centerpiece for inside the box is this rose-filled teacup; the svg files for the cup, saucer and spoon are from the SVGCuts Tea For You & Me kit.

I cut the small rolled roses out of three different shades of pink cardstock using a Sizzix die. I added a floral foam block inside the teacup, glued some Spanish moss over top of it and then hot glued the roses on top of that. I added the tea tag which I created from a scrap of Tim Holtz paper and some numeric rubber stamps.

The doily underneath the tea cup is a Tim Holtz die. I added an extra rose and a little greenery leftover from another project, also from a Tim die.  It's hard to see in the picture, but I wrapped a thin gold washi tape around the base of the tea cup to match the gold handle and gold foil in the paper print on the outside of the cup. I embossed the very end of the spoon and added a little pearl to embellish.

I originally wanted to make some offset flaps on the corners so that it looked sort of like a lacy napkin underneath the tea cup. I converted these beautiful lace banner pennants from Bird's SVGs Tea Party collection by adding a tab to the top of the banner for gluing into the box.  Unfortunately I didn't take the width of the saucer into consideration when designing the project and when I tried to add the flaps at the corners, the wouldn't fold up properly.  I didn't want to waste them, so I just used them in alignment with the outer flaps, although I would have made them larger if that was my original plan.

I embellished each flap with a pearl and a piece of Tim Holtz ephemera that matched the project.

For the outer flaps, I used a pink and purple, lightly glittered piece of K & Company paper for the panels and edged each panel with a strip of lace cut with a Tim Holtz die.  I added some white liquid pearls along the edges as well.

On each outer panel I added more ephemera, mostly from Tim Holtz, as well as some Chit Chat stickers, also from Tim.  

On the last panel, I cut out a little envelope and tucked in a tiny card that I stamped with a Happy Birthday sentiment, added a ribbon pull tag, signed the back and added a little velcro dot to close.

Oh, and I forgot to mention the butterflies on the inside!  They are all from Martha Stewart punches. The larger ones were glued to some acetate strips which I glued to the base, so when the box explodes open, the butterflies flutter around a bit.  I cut the base layer of the butterfly with leftover patterned paper and the top layer was cut using vellum.  I added some liquid pearls to these too.  

I packed this up and put it in the mail last week. The recipient absolutely loved it! I'm so glad because it was quite a bit of work, although I enjoyed every minute of planning and executing it so it would turn out how I envisioned.  

Every project leaves me with a list of things I'd change, do better or remember to include next time. I think that's part of what makes it fun and helps us grow artistically.  I really enjoyed being able to mesh many different svgs, dies and other supplies into one cohesive project.

Well that was a long post, so thanks for hanging in there if you've made it this far. I appreciate you taking the time. Thanks so much for stopping by!  Until next time...

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Truly, Madly, Deeply - FINALLY!

Grab some snacks and sit a spell, this is going to be a long post. You've been warned! 

When I first got a sneak peek of the Heart-Shaped Lantern that would be released in the new Truly, Madly, Deeply collection from Bird's SVGs, I was dazzled. I couldn't wait to build one of my own! 

Bird very cleverly created a separate cut out for the central vellum heart so that it could be embossed in an embossing folder - so cool!  Around the same time, I was watching a Jennifer McGuire video about alcohol ink lifting where she made some beautiful patterns on vellum. I was intrigued to try it and figured why not give it a go on my lantern.

So I inked up a piece of scrap vellum with some red and purple alcohol ink, grabbed a lacy Tim Holtz stencil and tested it out. Fun technique! 

Next I inked up my vellum heart and did the same thing. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of the heart after the ink was lifted, but you can see it in the finished lantern.

For the body of the lantern, I kept thinking about what colors I would use to really make it something that would fit into my home decor. I have some black wrought iron furniture with antique gold accents and I thought that might look really great.

I embossed the lid panels with a similar lacy Tim Holtz texture fade (embossing folder) and then rubbed over the embossing with some antique gold wax. I love how the embossing is highlighted this way.

I built the rest of my lantern and also rubbed some of the gold wax around the panels and edges and called it done.  

I liked it, but I just felt like it needed something else. The gold wax didn't come out as well on the body of the lantern as I would have liked. I put it on display and have been lighting it up every night for a week while I pondered my next step. 

Today, inspiration finally struck. I re-cut the offset panels for the outside of the lantern, but this time I used some Tim Holtz metallic kraft paper. I embossed the pieces, painted them with black paint and then wiped some away to get a worn brass look. I glued them to the lantern and now I'm so very happy with it!

Here's a view from the side:

You might wonder how I embossed the large front panel as it doesn't fit through most embossing machines. It's a trick I read about years ago and this was the first time I actually tried it. Rather than putting the embossing folder though a machine, you can roll over it with a rolling pin, or in my case, a brayer. 

The impression isn't as deep as if you ran it through a machine, but it's good enough!  I put a tan embossing mat down on my craft table and then the embossing folder with the paper inside of it and then went to town rolling over it with a LOT of pressure.  Persistence paid off though, and I think the embossing really makes this project come to life.

I added a color-changing electronic tea light inside and it looks magical as it cycles through every color of the rainbow. Watching it glow reminded me of a very unique place I visited as a teenager. 

I grew up less than an hour from Yale University and one of our high school teachers took us on a class trip to the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. From the outside, it's an unusual looking building (photo from Google images), but nothing really spectacular. But notice all those square-ish panels...

...they are made of thin marble and when on the inside of the library on a sunny day, the whole place absolutely glows. It's really beautiful and something neat to see if you ever get the chance. You'd never imagine that looking at it from the outside. (Photo from Google images)

So now that I've taken you on a trip down memory lane, you can see why the lighted lantern reminded me of that beautiful glowing marble.

Still with me?  I'm almost done rambling on, I promise!  

If you've made this lantern, what did you do with all of those leftover hearts from your cutting mat? I couldn't bring myself to throw them away! 

Using some painter's tape, I carefully transferred the rows of hearts and glued them to a piece of 4" x 5.25" cardstock. Once they were all glued down, I ran the whole panel through my Cuttlebug with an embossing folder. Then I glued it onto a gold glitter pre-made A2 card.  Now I've got an extra card for the next time I need one. All I'll need to do is add a sentiment to the front and it'll be ready to go. 

I really appreciate the fact that you've stuck with me this far. I hope you didn't run out of snacks! Thanks for stopping by and I'd truly love to hear what you think of my lantern if you'd like to leave a comment below.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Batty for you!

I used a free Halloween file from Birds's SVGs to make the front of this card - the bat background can be found here. The svg is a square originally, but I stretched it to fit the front of my card and it really didn't distort the images. The sentiment is one I created in Cricut Design Space using one of my favorite free fonts, Milkshake, from I went with eye-popping pink and purple for a fun Valentine's color scheme.

Speaking of eye-popping, you know that heart-eye emoji that is so popular on social media to express our love of whatever we're looking at? I totally used that idea when creating the inside of the card. 

I never got around to making the awesome Bat Pop-Out card from Bird's SVGs Creak 'n' Shriek collection last Halloween and was just looking for a reason. I'm also a fan of silly puns, so I thought this was a good one to use for Valentine's Day.  

I used some clear Wink of Stella on the wing 'ribs' to add a little contrast and shine. The teeth are cut from white glitter cardstock and really sparkle. I even painted Ms. Batty's toenails bright red with some Nuvo Drops so she's well manicured for the holiday.  

I love the surprise of opening a Valentine's Day card to find a silly bat making heart eyes at you!

Other sentiments that might be fun with this one include:

- Love you the moon and bat
- You drive me batty
- I want to have your rabies!
- I bat you don't know...
- Love bites

And while I was making the bat, I was thinking about the Shark Pop-Out card from the equally fun Jawsome collection, also from Bird's SVGs.  

You could add heart eyes to him too or maybe some sparkly red lipstick to make it a she-shark! Here's a few sentiment ideas for that too:

- You're a fin-tastic Valentine
- Love bites
- You're so cute I could just gobble you up

Thanks for stopping by to check out my batty Valentine's card. I'd love to hear what you think!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Mini Winter Wonderland

This is a very quick post to show a project I made yesterday. It was 100% inspired by Richele Christensen's Winter Wonderland project which can be found here.

I still want to make the full-sized project at some point, but for now I've made a smaller, card-sized version using the same Tim Holtz Sizzix dies and some Chibitronics lights.  In my haste to create, I didn't think to take a picture of the circuit I set up, but it was a pretty easy one.  I used 3 white lights under some vellum to give it a bit of glow.  

And now I can't stop playing with the on/off  'switch' as it's so much fun to see this light up over and over again. I'm like a kid with a new toy!

I love this so much I'm not sure if I'll be giving it away or keeping it for myself. It's like my own personal version of a fidget spinner.  Lights on, lights off, lights on, lights off!  

One more picture from the side so you can see the pretty glitter that doesn't show up in the other shots.  

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Oh Christmas Trees!

I'm sure that just about everybody making one of these Heirloom Christmas Trees from SVGCuts has a memory of one of the ceramic Christmas in their home when they were growing up.  My grandmother made some of the most amazing ceramics projects and we had a beautiful ceramic tree with toys around the base that I can remember from 30+ years ago. I couldn't wait to make a paper version for myself!

I'll try to keep this post relatively short, but include some details on what I did differently.  I really like the idea of a tree trunk for the base, so I used an inked embossing folder to run the base panels through my Cuttlebug.  I used some lightly glittered green cardstock for the tree which adds a pretty sparkle, and popped on some red bird bulbs in place of clear to add to the woodland character I was going for. 

I really wanted my star to have a little glow to it, but was planning on using the candle lamp as my light source, so had to get creative with how I'd throw some light out the top. I added vellum to the backside of both of the star pieces and inserted a tiny little piece, probably only about 1/4" long from a drinking straw in the hopes that some light would carry upwards.  It worked! It's not terribly bright, but it does give the star a nice glow I think.

Next up, a red tree for a family member who just adores the color red.  I think she's going to love it!

I made a a white glitter star using Tim Holt's Dimensional Stars thinlit die. I cut out two of them and glued them back to back to get one very dimensional star.

After making the trees, I kept thinking about adding some toys under them to mimic the tree my grandmother made so many years ago. Then an idea hit.  

I couldn't have a tree without a train!

Yes, it's a real working train and a relatively inexpensive one at that!  I found this Westminster Train in a Tin on Amazon and had to give it a try. It's remarkably powerful for a little battery-operated train. I was holding off on this blog post until my train arrived and once it did, I realized that the track wouldn't go over the cord from the candle lamp! So I built a little tunnel that I could lay the cord over top of and the train goes right underneath. It was a quick little project that I didn't even use my cutting machine to do. I'll definitely be dressing it up at some point, but it's good enough for now. I was in a hurry to test out my train!

I have one or two more trees to make, but now that I've done a few, they should go together pretty quickly.  

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, November 17, 2017

It's Christmas-TIME!

And how do I know it's Christmastime?  Because I have a Christmas clock of course!

This super adorable Gingerbread House Clock file is from the Bird's SVGs Christmastime collection.  Here's a picture of the whole collection - fabulous, right? 

I chose to make mine with red accents but could really picture this in a number of different colors.  

I changed mine a little bit by adding a gingerbread snowflake to the face of my clock. This is a Cricut image from a cartridge called When It's Cold Outside. I sized it to 3.3 inches wide. I thought it was just perfect for the face of the clock. 

I also added a little peppermint candy (from Cricut Joys of the Season cartridge, cut at .75 inch wide) to the second hand of the clock, so as every second passes, the candy twirls a little bit.  

The hands that came with the clock mechanism were originally gold, but didn't show up very well against the gingerbread snowflake, so I coated them with some red Stickles and now they show up quite well and sparkle too!

And how could I's also a luminary! The whole house lights up if you add some LED tealights or a light strand inside.  I don't have a picture of mine lit up yet, but here's the picture from Bird's website. So great!

You may have noticed the pretty little white Christmas tree sitting beside my house. This was created using the FREE Swirly Christmas Trees file which is also from Bird. 

I sized mine to 7 inches tall and cut out six of them on my Cricut. Then I scored them down the center, folder them in half and glued them together to make the 3-dimensional tree.  This was originally Bird's idea, but mine is smaller than her original tree.  

Of course the Snowflake Christmas Tree in the Christmastime collection would look great with this project too. I've just been wanting to try my hand at one of the swirly trees and I think the swirls in it match the icing swirls on the clock so nicely.  

Last but certainly not least, I made the cute little Gingerbread House Card which is also from the Christmastime collection.  

I have family members who are locally famous for their annual gingerbread creations. A picture of their project always seems to end up in the newspaper every year. This is the perfect Christmas card to send to them. I just happen to have an appropriate rubber stamp sentiment for the inside too:

Whew, long post, but hopefully you enjoyed it if you've read this far!

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check out this collection from Bird's SVGs. It's a really neat one. I loved being able to build my own special seasonal clock and it was so easy!