Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Happy, happy birthday!


I love to make birthday cards. I don't always get them in the mail on time, but I still love the creative process of making them. This sentiment has been around for a long time in one form or another, but I can remember my Dad wishing me "Hoppy Birdie" when I was a child. I don't know where it originated, so if it came from you, please let me know and I will happily give you credit. Otherwise, all the credit goes to my funny, sweet father, who I am so thankful for and miss every day.

This is an example of one of those times when a stamp just will not do. That’s why I am so thankful for the Duetica Lettering Arts Studio. I can get a very cool look, just using their fonts in basic form, but adding the ability to have a myriad of letter styles within each font family is the icing on the cake. Not only that, you can alter the colors in Photoshop or print out outlines of your sentiment and custom –color them with paint, markers or colored pencil.

TIP: When you’re working with an inkjet printer, it’s very easy to smear the ink when you paint over it. Just add a spritz or two of Krylon’s Workable Fixative, the spray used for sealing pastel and graphite art. I still wouldn’t saturate the paper, but if you let the ink dry, spritz with fixative and then paint, you should have no problems.

Card Front Detail
Other things I am thankful for are my Kellycraft Get-it-Straight Laser Square, the fabulous Duetica Lettering Arts Studio, my Big Shot and all the fabulous dies, Viva Décor products, and Graphic 45 and Bo Bunny papers. They just seem to inspire me to create bigger and better things. This little card may not be bigger (well, it is actually a 6" x 6", so I guess that's bigger than the ones I usually make),  but I think it's one of my all-time favorite designs. The first one of these was made for my BFF Linda Gordon Bradshaw for her 65th birthday October 3rd (I can't believe we have known each other for 52 -count 'em- 52 years!), and I've been making it for birthdays ever since, just changing the colors, papers and embellishments.

The background paper I chose is very busy and not conducive to eyeballing a straight line. Even though your aligning skills may be way up there, it's still hard to get it right the first time with random paper patterns, which can result in damaged paper and extremely frayed nerves. This is where my great Kellycraft Get-it-Straight Laser Square comes in.

Here's how I did it:

Duetica Lettering System Software, Saxi Font
Kellycraft Get-it-Straight Laser Level
Graphic 45 (51/2" x 5 1/2") and Bo Bunny (6" x 12", folded to 6" x6") Cardstock, plus small scraps for punching
Cream cardstock(Stampin' Up!®)
Chipboard, 51/2" square
Big Shot and Caged Bird die, (Sizzix, Tim Holtz Alterations)
Woven Trim, 8"
3D Stamp Paint, Copper (Viva Décor)
Sponge Applicator (Viva Décor)
Inka Gold, Orange, Lava Green, Cobalt Blue, Lava Red (Viva Décor)
Dew Drops (The Robin's Nest)
Distress Ink, Vintage Photo (Tim Holtz/Ranger)
Jute (American Crafts)
Double Stick tape (Sookwang)
Dimensional Glue Dots, assorted sizes
Best Glue Ever (ScraPerfect)
Silk flowers and leaves

Step 1
1. Apply double stick tape to backside of woven trim. Line up 51/2" square cardstock on the  Kellycraft Laser Square and set the guide at 3/4". Remove backing paper from tape and carefully apply the trim slightly below the laser line. Fold excess to the back of the cardstock.

2. Cut bird, cage and wing from Caged Bird die. Apply Inka Gold to bird and wing and edge with Vintage Photo Distress Ink for contrast.

Step 3
3. Apply Viva Décor 3D Stamp Paint to the cage using the sponge applicator in and up and down motion to create an uneven surface. This will not only give the look of aged metal, but also the feel. Allow to dry, then add more age with Vintage Photo ink applied randomly, direct to paper. Apply glue dots to back of cage.

Step 4
4. Using the Kellycraft Get-it-Straight Laser Square, line up birdcage bottom approx. 3/8" from the bottom of the 51/2" square, and adhere in place. Apply Best Glue Ever to openings across the bottom of the cage and add Dew Drops. 

Step 5
5. Use Inka Gold to make the flowers match the background paper. Adhere in place and add Dew Drops with Best Glue Ever. Cut 1/2" circles from scrap printed paper and edge with Vintage Photo ink for the large flower centers. Adhere in place.

6. Cut a small slit in the bird's beak to hold the tag. Slide bird into cage, allowing the head to peek out a little.

7. Print "Hoppy Birdie to You" using the Duetica Lettering Arts Studio software on cream cardstock. I used my finger to add Vintage Photo Distress ink to the edges and across the surface of the tag. Tie hemp around tag, add glue dots to the back and slip between the slits in the bird's beak. 

Step 8
8. Apply large glue dots to the back of the card front and use the Kellycraft Get-it-Straight Laser Square to align it perfectly on the card fold.

 That's it. Easy as pie and it looks like you spent hours on it.


I received product from Kellycraft, Viva Décor, ScraPerfect, Sizzix, Bo Bunny and Duetica Lettering Arts Studio.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Handmade Gifts

Today begins another monthly edition of the Designer Crafts Connection Blog Hop. This month's theme is handmade gifts. Be sure to click on the Designer Crafts Connection button at left to hop forward or backward and see all the wonderful gift ideas from our talented designers.

This little box began life as a chick feeder that I found on Decor Steals. (If you are not on their email list for daily bargains, you're missing out.) When I bought it, I didn't know what it would become, but knew that I loved it.

Chick feeder base
I have to admit that the idea to house the growing pile of charger cords into one container was not mine. I got the idea of containing all the cords from a website that I stumbled onto late one night. I wish I could remember where it was, but alas, my brain is not as good as it once was. (My theory: Our brains are like hard drives. You store a lot of information in there and the more you have, the longer it takes to sort through find what you're looking for. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.) So if housing all those cords in a box was your idea, please let me know so I can give you proper credit.

Since so many of my friends and family are techno-junkies, I knew this little project would make the perfect gift. Just change the paper to make it for a man, woman or young teen.

Anyway, with the addition of some ink, embellishments and Graphic 45 papers, the lowly chick feeder is gloriously reborn as a charger cord holder. I can get the charger for an iphone, camera battery and AA & AAA recharger in this box with no cords left dangling. It can be hung on the wall near the receptacle generally used for recharging or left standing on a table or counter top. No more wondering where you put your chargers and no more masses of tangled cords piled up near the receptacle!

Here's how I did it:

Chick feeder
Graphic 45 cardstock, two coordinating sheets, plus one with blocked images
Telephone Embellishment (Studio 490)
Scalloped Circle (Kaisercraft)
3D Stamping Cream (Viva Décor)
Alcohol Inks, Terra Cotta and Bottle (Ranger)
Inkssentials Blending Tool and felt pads (Ranger)
Alcohol Blending Solution (Ranger)
Liquid Fusion Adhesive
Miscellaneous fiber/ribbon scraps
Assorted beads


Note: All paper edges are inked with Colorbox inks before adhering to feeder.

Apply Alcohol Inks to entire box.
1. Wipe chick feeder to remove any dust.  Apply first color of alcohol ink (Terra Cotta) to entire box and lid and then go back over it with the second color (Bottle), blending as you go. If you get too much or have harsh lines instead of blended ones, just dampen your felt pad with a little Alcohol Blending Solution and pounce over those areas.

Trace the side pattern onto chipboard and trim 1/4" inside the lines.
2. Lay the feeder on its side on the chipboard and trace the outline. Measure and draw lines 1/4" inside the pattern all around. Cut two pieces of cardstock from your pattern, being sure the printed pieces are facing the correct way unless you want the two sides to be different. Trim an additional rectangle the width of the box front. Adhere all cardstock to lower front and sides of the box. You will need to add a separate piece to the box back to completely cover it.

3. Trim the blocked image to fit the upper front and adhere.

4 Apply 3D Stamping Cream to both sides of the scalloped circle. Adhere telephone embellishment and tie it to the box lid handle.

5. Tie several strands of fiber to the box handle. Add beads to the ends.

This is a quick little project and can be done in under an hour if you don't add the beads. That took longer than making the whole project!

Now, go find some chick feeders and you'll be able to cross a couple of gifts off your list, and then go hug your sweetie. Hugs make every day much better!

Note: I received product from Kaisercraft, Viva Décor,Liquid Fusion, Studio 490 and Clearsnap.