Thursday, May 31, 2012

Kards for Kids - Kit Creations

Our wonderful Kards for Kids Organizer, Bela, sent the Smiley Team some card kits to make cards for the children at Toronto's Sick Kids Hospital.  Here is the kit I got for a girl:

And here's what I made with it.

Bela had included these stamped blooms, but I thought they looked like firecrackers or starbursts.  I used the same general sketch design as my nephew's monster birthday card.  I coloured the girl with my Copic markers and I used a clear sparkle gel pen to make the starbursts shimmery.

For my other kit, I got a design for a boy:

These are very bright beachy colours that are way out of my comfort zone!  Luckily, Bela made sure all the papers and components of the kit were perfect matches for each other, so I could use anything and it would still look right.  No colour conundrums for me!

Most of my cards use a fairly linear design, but especially my masculine cards.  I coloured this guy with Copics too.  I was going for some light ethnic skin, but he may just look super tan.  That's okay too!  I coloured the sufboard blue before I did the water and then realized how it blends away.  I need more Copic colours!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Stitch-bound Dog Mini Album for Charity

This is a stitch-bound dog mini album that I created for the Speaking of Dogs online auction taking place in October 2012. Speaking of Dogs is a Toronto area dog rescue.  I have made two albums for them previously, both coaster style, ring-bound albums.  (You can see the first one in this post and the second in this post.  Those ones sold for between $10 and $15.  100% of the proceeds goes to Speaking of Dogs.)

This one is stitch-bound.  I have made 3 stitch-bound albums so far.  (Well, one is still in-progress and the other is here (with video).)  I started this one over the Christmas Holidays 2011, knowing it would take me a long time to finish for October 2012.  Since I want to submit it to the Accucut Craft 2nd Annual Grandemark Challenge, I had to polish it off earlier than anticipated!

I used a belly band as the closure.  I liked this idea because it allows for expansion in the thickness of the album as stuff gets added to it.  I left it fairly plain with minimal embellishments. This way, a non-scrapbooker will not be overwhelmed and will (hopefully) find it easy to just add pictures OR a fellow scrapbooker will have space to add their own flair and style.

This album has only 3 "signatures" which are the folded pages that I stitched together.  3 signatures creates 11 pages (4 x # of signatures - 1 because the back page is glued to the back cover.)  With tags and flip pages, there are  45 spots to put your combination of journaling and photos, counting the inside front cover. This album will hold wallet photos (2 x 3 inches and 2.5 x 3.5 inches) and mini photos (3 x 5 inches).  (For a tutorial on the stitch-binding technique, click to see this video: Stitch Binding Tutorial video.)

The signatures were made with the Accucut Craft "Cards-Filing" die.  I folded my paper over before cutting to make them into file folders.

I added hinges for some flip-up pages.  Once you add the patterned paper, you don't notice the hinge pieces.  The large tags in this album fit wallet sized photos and are made from the Accucut Craft Gift Tag #16.  I cut the tags a little shorter than the full size.  I used papers from Michael's (I didn't pay attention to the brands) and a 4 x 6 mat stack from K&Co.  I used a whole sheet of dog-themed sticker images from the Sandylion outlet store which I got for dirt cheap.  (Correction: Sandylion was purchased by Trends International and the outlet store is now "Stickers'n'More".)

These smaller tags were made using Accucut Craft's Gift Tag #4.  Keep an eye on the Speaking of Dogs site this fall.  You can bid on this album at a HUGE discount price!

JUMP TO MY VIDEO CHANNEL to see the whole album.

(Want to make one of these yourself?  You can buy the file folder die cuts in my Etsy Shop.)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Dark Lace Mailbox

I constructed this mail box from the Pennants #1 die for my third entry to the 2nd Annual Accucut GrandeMark  Challenge entry.  I used the smaller pennant for the front and back of the mailbox, used a chipboard base and sides (heavy chipboard from Accucut Craft too) and added a domed piece of patterned paper in between. The patterned paper is a nice weight from Basic Grey's "Little Black Dress" Collection.  I used two: one for the outside and a similar but different one for the inside of the lid.

I don't own any trims besides flat ribbon, so I used my one and only Stampin' Up! border punch on black cardstock to make the border.  The 12 inch paper was just shy of the height of the dome that I needed, so a border was necessary.  I added some punched dragon flies and butterflies from the same black cardstock and created their "flight paths" from Annabelle Stamps black sprinkles in 2 sizes.

The mailbox is big enough to hold real mail.  The small pennant die is 4 by 5 inches and I made the mailbox 10 inches long.  An A2 envelope and a No.10 envelope both fit in there just fine!

I used black crochet thread and a couple of brads and a half inch circle punch to make the tied closure.  You wrap the thread under the half inch circles in a figure-8 pattern.  On the inside of the lid, I put a butterfly to cover the brad.

I'm submitting this project to both the Accucut GrandeMark challenge and the Basic Grey challenge #68: Anything Goes!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Monster Birthday Card

Since working with my Annabelle Stamps sprinkles again earlier, I decided I need more colours.  So, I went the website and picked some sprinkles but I also tossed in a stamp to make the shipping worth it.  (The shipping was actually SURPRISINGLY low!)  I got Lil Monster's Balloon and made my nephew a 2nd Birthday card with it.

I used another card for inspiration but it was late at night when I was searching and I forget who it was (sorry!).  This card meets the Crafty Cardmakers Challenge #68 to use balloons.  I popped him up on some foam tape to help him stand out.  I also used Glossy Accents on his eyeballs.

I really enjoy this stamp.  His sweet and goofy little face is fantastic.  I stamped a whole bunch of him to try colouring in different ways.  I tried the "no line" colouring technique but it didn't turn out as I'd hoped.  I should have used an outline pen for his mouth and maybe some grey in the eyes.  (I attached the no-line one to another card and will donate it to Kards for Kids in Toronto's Sick Kids Hospital.)

For the brown Lil Monster, I used four Copic markers (three in the crown and two in the shirt and balloon.) My main brown that I use the most (sand) ran out by the end.  So, I decided to try something else:

I used only two purples and the blending pen on this one.  One purple is a violet purple and the other is a super pail violet purple (fairly pinkish like lilacs).  I used Copic Xpress It paper because I knew I had to soak it well in order to get only two colours to blend.  I think it turned out okay!  Now I know I can pick up only two shades as I build my collection and fill in the blanks later when I have a good representation of colours.

Hope you like him.  I think he's adorable!  So glad I picked this stamp.  There are a few version of Lil Monster in different settings if you are smitten!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Snowmen Shaped Cards

I know - it's summer and I'm making snowmen!  I only have so many Accucut dies to enter the 2nd Annual Accucut Grandemark Challenge with, so work with me here!  I used the Album Builder Snowman die set to make these shaped cards.  Not particularly imaginative, I know, but the die is just so darned cute!

I was going to stamp a flourish on the outside or a message, but I didn't have a nice light blue ink.  I have a chalk ink but it was way too faint.  I used my Frost Blue Copic marker to line the edges of these cards.  The hearts are cut from felt and are popped up with foam tape.  I put little faces on the inside too and the message goes on the belly.

So, then I tried to think of something a little more imaginative for these snowmen.  I made an accordion holiday decor banner for the word Joy.

On this one, the middle snowman's hat is cut from sparkly black felt and I used the Album Builder Snowflake die set to make the centre snowflakes for the letter "O".

It is still not super creative, so I decided to try one other thing.  I used the tip from an Accucut Craft video to make this garden stake snowman couple for holiday decor.  I bought the pail and some flower foam at Dollarama along with the plastic beads.  Even the "stakes" are from Dollarama.  They are barbeque shish-ka-bob skewers.

You could decorate the pail too, but I liked it plain like a true ice bucket.

Since I used that video tip, these snowmen can be removed from the stakes and still stand on their own.

I have more challenge entries in the works!  I've constructed a 3D project.  It took so long to figure out the construction that I'm drawing a blank on how to decorate it now that it is constructed!  Accucut just released some new dies.  None of them are "must have" for me, but I do so *love* their new 3D lantern die.  If I win the contest, it's going on my shopping spree list!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Garden Door Cards

This set of garden doors is my first entry to the 2nd Annual Accucut Grandemark Challenge.  I didn't get to play in the first one because I hadn't bought my Grandemark and dies yet.  I am excited to participate in this one.  I have lots of ideas but only so much time!

I bought the Pennants #1 die to make banners.  I haven't made any banners yet, but I have lots of other ideas for this shape.  Here's the first one:

Doors!  I used the smaller pennant to make the inner door.  I folded the bottom up before I cut, so it would be a longer door.  I unfolded it and used it as a template to cut my inner doors.  On some, I drew the wood grain on with a stylus.  On others, I used pre-embossed felt as the door.  The flowers are my own design, but I built them based on a smaller flower punch I have.

These doors were inspired by ClaybyKim on Etsy.  I have had her fairy portals in my favourites for some time.  Now that my husband has offered me the larger spare bedroom for my scraproom (instead of the smaller one I am using), I've been redesigning colours in my head and buying decor.  I bought these two doors with custom colours for my new room!

The pennant die looks like the domed-top door.  This was my prototype door:

I felt the debossed wood grain just wasn't any where near as stunning as Kim's doors.  Plus, the clockwork hinge is one of my favourite aspects of her doors.  That's when I went to the embossed felt:

Does it look good next to its little buddy?  Did I do it any justice?  I used the border on the album builder snowflake die from Accucut Craft to make my hinges.  I tried some with individual hinges and some with a whole giant hinge:

I think it works on this door because the flower centers are also black.  Those are my sprinkles from Annabelle Stamps that I talked about before.  I also tried glittering the edge on this.  It looked really gaudy when I first did it, but after I finished dressing up the door, it didn't look as bad because it was less in-your-face.

While I was storming up versions of these doors, an iCraft challenge for daffodils was brought to my attention.  So, I made a Daffodil door too.  The challenge is for cancer awareness.  That's an issue near and dear to my heart.  (After this one, I made a pink version for breast cancer as well.)

If you vote for my daffodils on iCraft, I win a $100 donation in the name of my choice to the Canadian Cancer Society.  For me, it would be my mom.  Just click here: "my daffodil entry" and, when the voting begins, there will be stars at the bottom for you to rank my entry.

It was a lot of fun designing these!  I am working on my second submission now - it's almost done.  I have at least one more to do after that for sure.  I have more ideas too, but it will depend on the time I have.  The submission deadline is May 31!!

I can make these doors into Christmas and Halloween doors too!  They are on the large side though, so I don't think I would make my whole Christmas card list of them, but perhaps a few.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Card Kits for Kids - May 2012

As part of the Smiley Team for Kards for Kids for Toronto Sick Kids Hospital, I have put together some card kits.  Here's what our team leader, Bela, told us about it:

"After a hard day of Chemo and/or Radiation, the children are able to choose an item from the "Treasure Box" as a small token to say, "You were brave today."

So, Bela is looking for some card kits from the Smiley Team to put in the Treasure Box.  These ones feature images I made on my BossKut Gazelle.  I drew them large so there would be room for colouring.  I tried to include at least one boy's card!

I used some border and corner punches to add interest.  I also made this stamped one from scrap papers left from my custom butterfly table signs order.

I hope the kids enjoy these simple kits!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Things with Wings - Custom Orders

I've been working on some custom orders.  It was very hard to keep up through busy season at the day job.  I have an understanding client, however, so I have had an extension on the large custom order.  I have two shipments left of that one.

Here's the work in progress on a small custom order I squeezed in for a non-profit organization.  I made some table signs for their event taking place later this month.

These are punched butterflies from a Fiskars squeeze punch.  I got a deal on the punch from Scraptime when she no longer wanted it.  I always wanted to try the squeeze punch to see how much easier it is to punch.  Let me tell you, it is WAY easier!  For my feeble skinny arms, the button punches are the most difficult and, after that, the lever punches.  (Sometimes I put my button punches on the floor and step on them!)  The squeeze punch is a squeeze motion in your hand which not only feels more natural, but is MUCH easier to put some oomph in to!  Plus, since these are designed to be held with the punch out part facing up, it is easier to see what you're punching (unlike button punches).

Here is the latest colour combo of my large custom order of "Make a Wish" fairy cards:

I named it the "Open Sea Fairy".  I like the swirly blue-green paper (from Basic Grey).  It's like the turning waves.

I've taken time off in May only because I have a lot of accrued vacation.  Since the firm merged with a larger firm, the new employer doesn't like us keeping accrued vacation.  So, this is my after-tax season treat to myself.  I've taken time off in May so that I can a) get my next shipment of fairies out and b) participate in the Accucut Craft 2nd Annual GrandeMark Challenge!  I already put one entry in (more on that later!), but we can enter as many times as we like.  So, I'll be getting my craft on later this month.