Friday, February 26, 2010


So, I know I'm not the only one that has trouble with sympathy cards.  One of my husband's coworkers lost her husband recently, and a teacher as my son's school lost her home to fire.  I was challenged to make a card that was thoughtful, pretty and somewhat solemn.  There is this fine line between beauty and cheerfulness that we try so hard not to cross when making this type of card.  I am happy with my results.  I made 5 of these and a week later I only have 2 left.

The bird stamp is from unique boutique and the sentiment is computer generated and reads:
When the future seems overwhelming, remember that it comes one moment at a time.

I am in love with this sentiment.  It is appropriate in so many situations.  I hope you like this card and it inspires you to create something today!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Monkey Valentine

My Valentine for Mason.  Black is embossed with swiss dots, red is border punched with a  MS punch.  Not sure of the name.  Colored with Copics, and yes, I know I need practice, thanks for noticing!  The monkey is from a dollar stamps set from Joann's.  My Favorite Aunt Kak found me that last one.  Gosh I love that woman!


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Wedding thank you.

So I couldn't wait to share the thank you that I originally designed for the wedding set.  I love this card.
I used the curls and swirls bg stamp for the white bg and my new MS border punch for the bottom. (I threw away the box and didn't label the punch.  If you know the name, please share)  The thank you ovals and scalloped oval are cut using scal and my cricut.  The thank you stamp is from Inque boutique's Elegant Paisley set and the branch is from Silhouettes.  So tell me, do you prefer this one, or the one the bride chose (shown below)?

Wedding set teal and gray.

Today I want to share with you a wedding set a coworker of my dh requested I make for her sister's wedding.  They wanted something very simple, and while it was hard, I was happy to oblige.  The wedding colors are (obviously) a dark silver gray and teal.  I was forced to make another Hollo's run to get just the right shade. =D

The finished size of the invite is 5x7.  The teal layer is 4.75x6.75.  The second gray is 4.25x 6.25.  The white layer measures 4x6 and is stamped in Brilliance Starlite silver with the Swirls and Curls BG stamp from Stampabilities.  The printing goes on a vellum overlay that covers only the white.  It is finished with a sheer white ribbon with 2 dainty silver stripes.  The BG swirls show through just enough to create a very elegant effect. ( I took a pic without text because I don't know how to "white it out".)

In my next post I will share the thank you that I first designed that got initial approval, but got nixed in the end (after I had much of the paper cut).  The bride wanted something VERY simple.  This is not at all to my taste, but it isn't my wedding either =).  I had originally planned on putting an image in the white space, but the bride asked me to leave it blank to put her thank you message in and make it a postcard type thank you instead of a folder.  The writing space is small for me, but I like to write long, flowery thank you's.  I do like that this is a bit different and it truly fits the bride's style!

Finally, the response card.  Simple.  Finished size measures 4x6.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Valentine Pixie

Hi!  Today I am sharing a valentine I made for my sweet husband.  The red layer is embossed with the Swiss Dots CB folder.  Black is stamped with Stampabilities Swirls and Curls in Brilliance Moonlight white.  The image is Pixie pie is catching hearts from the Pixie Dust Studio.  Colored with copics.  I won't bother to list the copics, because I am brand new to copics and I doubt you will want to copy my less than beautiful coloring.
I just love the black, red and white together.  I am challenging myself to use them together more.  I hope this inspires you as well!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Build a Light Box

Hi! Today I want to just leave a quick post to share how I made my light box.  My pics aren't great, but it's so simple, I don't think the pics are that important.

All you need is a cardboard box, some white fabric or tissue paper, a box cutter and a piece of posterboard. My box measures12.5"*12.5"*19".  It seems to be the perfect size for taking pics of cards, but you can use what you have on hand.  Depending on what you are photographing, you may want your box to be smaller or bigger.

First, measure in one inch from the edges of the top and the sides of your box.  Cut a window on the top and sides, leaving that 1" border.  It doesn't have to be perfect.  I'm not good with a box cutter, so I just did my best. (dh watched me like a hawk, waiting for the blood to start spurting, but I insisted on doing it myself!)
Next, cut a piece of white fabric or tissue paper to cover the openings.  I used white flannel because I had it on hand.  
If you use tissue paper, you may have to  layer it to get the right light diffusion.  I used hot glue to attach it to the outside of the box.  Pull it tight. It shouldn't warp the box, but you don't want it so loose that it casts shadows.Cut your posterboard hot dog style to fit the box.  You want a gentle curve at the bottom back of the box, not a crease.  This will give you a seamless look.  I used masking tape to attach my posterboard, only at the tippy top.

Right now, I only have a few lights .  I point one in the top of the box and the other in the side.  I face my cards toward those lights.  Because I was only using what I had on hand, I just have CFLs in the lamps.  I will trade them for a daylight bulb when I get to the store.  I will also pick up a couple more fixtures, probably clamping shop lights from Home Depot or Lowe's.

This picture is shot in the box, using only my flash.  I wanted to see what would happen without the outside lights.  My flash really washes it out.  I do like how white the bg looks, though.

This is taken using the outside lights as well as the flash on my camera.  Some people will tell you not to use your flash, but with my camera, I get the best pics with it.  Maybe this won't be true when I get more lights, but for now I just do what works!  I will continue to tweak.  I hope this helps anyone who has been thinking of building a light box.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Light box

So, I'm not sure what rock I've been hiding under, but I just found out about light boxes for photography.  I didn't want to spend money to buy one (although one of those collapsible tents would have been nice) nor did I want to wait for one to show up in the mail.  I decided to make one from a cardboard box, some white flannel and a piece of posterboard.  It is soooooooo cool, and didn't cost me a dime!  Check out my photo comparisons.





So, what do you think?

M&M birthday cake

So, we took Mason's m&m birthday theme to the extreme with lots of bright colors, balloons and m&m's galore.  This banner is bright cs cut into 11.5" circles cut with my cricut.  I then cut out the letters in m&m style and glued them on.
Here is his personal cake.  My sister, a friend and I put all of those m&m's right before the party.  Notice the little M for Mason!  For the guests we made chocolate and vanilla cupcakes frosted in bright m&m colors and sprinkled with powdered sugar through a cricut cut stencil to look like m&m's.  Never one to underprepare, I made 48 cupcakes.  Oh, well.  We had cupcakes for breakfast!
Mason is just eying his cake.  We blew out the candle and you can tell he is just wondering where to start!
See the adorable birthday hat I made?!  I forgot to put it on him, and when I remembered, he just wasn't having it!  The puff is a yarn pom pom I made, and of course all of the paper is cut with scal and cricut.
Okay, enough of the hat, mom!  Let's eat!
My little boy made quite a dent in that cake!

All done!  Thanks for visiting, and thanks so much for all of the thoughtful comments that have been left over the last few days.  Every time the little red light on my BlackBerry flashes, signaling that one of you left me a sweet comment, I smile.  Thank you for making me smile!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Cuttlebug giveaway at SVGCUTS

I love  They have awesome free files for SCAL, and great, reasonably priced files for purchase.  Check out my princess card featuring one of their designs.  And now they are giving out some blog candy! Check it out!

treat bags!

Wow!  Two days in a row!  Today I want to share the treat bags we handed out at Mason's first birthday party. They are pretty simple and not nearly as embellished as I would normally make, but I had to make 30 of them at 11:00 and couldn't go to bed until they were finished, so you get what you get (one of Michael's favorite sayings).

We decided on an m&m themed party since Mason loves m&m's (thanks Gramma!)  One baggie has m&m's and the other has m&m themed magnets.  The big ones are images I found on Google images and printed, the small ones are m's I cut with my cricut, glued on m&m colored paper.  Then I just used Tombow Mono Aqua to attach the paper to the back of a glass half-marble, hot glued on the super-tiny rare earth magnet, and there ya go!

A word of caution, make sure to keep these tiny magnets away from small kids.  Mine are adhered really well.  Remember when all of those magnetic toys got recalled because of kids swallowing them?  If you use a small, powerful magnet with small kids, there is always some risk.  Just be careful!
My sis and I wrote the poem.  She was in the car making her four hour trip home, and I was babysitting a friend's kids.  It was an interesting conversation, to say the least.

Being 1 is so much fun.
There's lots of things to do!
I climb the stairs when Mom can't see,

and sneak some kibble too!

I skipped right past the walking,
and now I run so fast!
Can't wait to see what next year holds!
More trouble than the last?

Here's a bag of goodies,
to leave you with a grin.
With love from Mason Cade.
Let the fun begin!

Okay, so I never said I was a poet!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Princess Elise and the 4th Birthday tea

Once upon a time there was a princess named Elise who had an Aunt Jennie who loved her very, very much.  Aunt Jennie wanted to make her 4th birthday very special, but since she lived in a far away kingdom, she couldn't be there to celebrate with princess Ellie.  What she could do is to send beautiful and very "princessy" invitations for the princess' friends!  Each on comes complete with a wand.

I cut the card with scal, but I didn't save the file because it was so simple.  The main card is just 2 circles welded to a 5x5 square.  The white half circles are one 4.5" circle cut in half with a very narrow rectangle.  The castle is an svg from and it comes from a bundle pack of princess birthday.  When I get more of the things from the bundle, I will post them.  I hope this inspires you!  I was inspired by this cute card by RennieC1

Overall invites

I am so excited to share with you the overall invites I used for Mason's first birthday party and the SCUT file I used to make them.  The file has 3 pages, one for the overalls, themselves, one for the pockets and neck band and one for the "t-shirt".  For mine, I borrowed my famous Aunt Kak's distressed stripes cuttlebug folder for the texture on the front.  I was going for a corduroy  to match the adorable overalls he was to wear for the party!  The neckband is actually a circle that is cut to fit.  The cuffs on the pants and t-shirt are simply strips I cut with my paper trimmer and then trimmed to fit.  Play around with it to find a width you like. My pockets are glued at the sides and bottoms and are actually functional.  The snail and I love you message are removable.  Enjoy, my friends!  And don't forget, you can change the colors and make an adorable little girl card, too.  (I hope one day I will need girl cards!)

Bear Hug Valentine

I have been searching for ideas for my son, Michael's, kindergarten Valentines.  I was sure I wanted to do something with robots (to use a new set I just had to have).  During that time, I saw an adorable Bear Hug card. It was on Splitcoast, but I can't find it anymore.  From my memory I tried to recreate it into an SCAL file.  This is what I came up with. Here is the link to the download if you want to try it out.  The file has 2 pages and they are labeled with a darker brown and lighter brown so you know which is which.  I used googly eyes, and I drew on the nose and mouth.  I will put a greeting on his belly, but Michael hasn't chosen what he wants them to say.  The arms are scored at 3" and 6 7/8", and don't forget to ink your edges.  I did one with clean edges and I hated it!  It sure is a lot of inking when you are making 24, but worth it, I think!  One more thing, I popped his nose out with dimensional adhesive.  It really pops. Happy crafting and I hope you enjoy!

Here comes the Bride!

Ok, so it's not me.  I already found and married my prince charming, but when a coworker of my husband asked for help with her sister's wedding invites, I jumped in head first!  She thought she knew what she wanted, but I couldn't wait and I wanted the fun of designing myself, so I worked this up, and guess what!?                             She loved them!

Here they are, so simple.  I don't think they need much explanation.  I didn't have a swirly bg stamp, so I used a cuttlebug folder and put together a bunch of my swirly clear stamps.  The printing is on vellum.

Her colors are a darker teal and dark silver, so I will have to tweak the colors a bit.  This is as close as I can get with what I have.  Do you know what that means?


Let me tell you, this is heaven to a papercrafter!  I was just there on Saturday, and I can't wait to go back! So, Aunt Kak, it's a date! And thank you for introducing me to my Nirvana!