Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Wedding Thank You Card

The wedding of my youngest son took place last weekend.  It was a beautiful affair designed by the bride and aided by her mother.  For all the work she did and hospitality she shared, I wanted to send 
my son's mother-in-law a handmade thank you card. The wedding colors were dark green, gold, and white so I chose them for the card. The symbol throughout the wedding was a butterfly because that is our family 'mon' (Japanese crest). When I 'discovered' the butterfly and floral die/embossing folder in my stash, I knew they were perfect to use on this card. (I believe I got this set from a craft magazine.) 

  I made two versions of this card just to play with the layout. The printed floral paper from a Kaiser Craft pad (available at HM BFC) is slightly different on each card. I wanted the light green parchment paper to stand out more on the top card so I rubbed the embossed portion with gold metallic rub-on paint (from Ben Franklin Crafts).  The 'thank you' was die cut from gold foil paper and adhered easily because it was run through a Xyron sticker maker. The butterfly dies were used to cut the gold base parchment and perforated frosted parchment top.  The tiny white flowers are vintage ones I found in an antique shop...always be on the look out for pretty bargains.  I think both card versions turned out very well and are suitable for special thank yous. The second card will be added to my thank you card stash which gets depleted so quickly.  Everyone is so generous and kind to me!

Friday, March 15, 2019

Puffer Fish Birthday Card

 When I saw the Avery Elle puffer fish stamp and die sets in the red tag clearance bin at the Hilo Ben Franklin Crafts, it was a no-brainer that it would be coming home with me.  The KaiserCraft Deep Sea decorative paper (from HM Ben Franklin Crafts) was used for the sea urchin-like background, but I miss measured the dimensions so I had to make another version of it with bubbles in the background to see if it would look better.
 I think I like the placement of the pieces better on the larger size card, but I like the sea urchin background better. My favorite part of the stamp set is the sentiment which fits nicely on a Lawn Fawn die cut banner. I used a Lawn Fawn circular die to cut the candle print paper which came from a Dandelion Designs 12x12 paper pad (Hip Hip Hooray?)
 The Avery Elle stamp and die sets also had a fierce but funny shark which I colored with Copic pens and inserted into the card with the birthday greeting.  I enjoyed making these cards because they were easy (very little coloring or cutting). They will be kept in my birthday card stash and be good for most of my oldie but goldie friends. LOL!

Monday, March 11, 2019

Pineapple Thank You Card

 Because pineapples are such a popular icon now, I considered purchasing the Sizzix die for awhile before I decided I couldn't resist it.  I thought I could use the die to make charming thank you cards to send to my mainland friends. The bumpy texture on the fruit was made with a Sizzix embossing plate that I discovered in the red tag clearance bin at HM Ben Franklin Crafts in Hilo. (I got lots of bargain items including dies, stamps, inks and even Ken Oliver pigment powders!)
 The pineapple print paper (Dandelion Designs) oval was cut with the die from the same Sizzix set.  After stamping the 'Mahalo" on yellow card stock paper, it was fussy cut and glued onto the oval.
 Unfortunately, I didn't think of where I would write my message as the texture on the fruit made it difficult to write on.  I decided to use an oval die from my Spellbinders set to cut two yellow ovals and join them at their tops to form a card to write my thank yous.  When I make this card again, I will stamp in light brown ink a texture to mimic the rough pineapple skin.  This will allow for a large smooth writing surface.  In any case, I did like the final look of the pineapple card and I think it might make a good stand up card for a table at a baby luau or local wedding.  I can imagine the menu and/or seating list printed on a paper and attached to the card. Remember that pineapples are the symbol of hospitality in different cultures so this die is a useful one for many occasions. Enjoy the sweetness of a crafty life!

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Out of this World Card

This card was started because of the desire to experiment with the Yupo paper and Ranger Alcohol Inks that I saw on the Joy of Crafting.  The beauty of the inks on the non-tree paper is breathtakingly 'out of this world', so of course a space themed card seemed appropriate.

First, I sprayed the paper with Isopropyl alcohol and then dripped some ink on it. After the Ranger inks dried, I flicked on some silver Liquitex ink.  I die cut the circular track and stamped the Lawn Fawn images on marker paper. After coloring the images, they were die cut with the LF dies.
The My Favorite Things tab was adhered to the astronaut and to a card stock piece inserted behind the circular track.  Actually, a small round sticky foam piece could be used instead of the MFT plastic tab. This set up allows the astronaut to go around the track and spin around.
The sentiment was stamped on a Lawn Fawn die cut banner. The planets, rocket and banner were adhered to the card with sticky foam dots.
If there was one thing I would change about this card, it would be to make a second inked Yupo paper to put behind the circular track so that it would not be as noticeable a the solid blue of the card blank.  I'm definitely going to use the Yupo paper and alcohol inks again because of the luscious colors that can be achieved. I see beautiful ocean scenes in my future cards. You should give this technique a try. I know you won't regret experimenting with the explosion of colors that will delight your eyes.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Beautiful Day Bicycle Riding Slider Card

It's not a beautiful day in Hilo...it's pouring!  To combat the dreariness of the day, I decided to make a happy springtime card.  I've had the Lawn Fawn 'bicycle built for two' stamp and die sets for awhile (maybe from last spring...heeheehee) so it's about time I used them to make a card.
Rather than having a static scene, I decided to use an Ellen Hudson slider die to cut a channel in the grass. By attaching a My Favorite Things replenishments piece between two thin sticky foam pieces and dusting the back of the foam piece with cornstarch, I was able to attach the bicycling pair to the slider piece. The weather changed the lighting in this room so this photo is a bit 'overcast'.
The clouds were made by cutting out masks using the Lawn Fawn cloud dies. The masks were then placed on the damp watercolor paper card base before applying the blue distress ink with a scrunched up paper towel. Oh yes, the grass was cut with a Lawn Fawn die.  The sentiment came from the same LF set and this set also has the parts to make a lovely wedding card. My favorite part of the the card is that the dies cut out every thing including the spokes of the bicycle!  After finishing this card, I feel more springy and the rain has stopped....yay!  Crafting makes you happy and chases the gray clouds away.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Girl's Day Shadow Box Card

Even though I don't have any daughters or granddaughters, I still like the Japanese tradition of celebrating Girl's Day on March 3rd (third day of the third month). Eating pretty, sweet mochi is my favorite part of the day.
I also love making shadow box cards. They remind me of dioramas I used to make for the library book competition....miniature scenes were my thing.  Lawn Fawn's shadow box die set makes it super easy to produce the frame work.  I used a Kaiser Craft printed double sided card stock because it had a sweet cherry blossom design. 
All the images and the sentiment came from a Mari and Me wooden handled stamp that's been in my collection for years.  I stamped the kimono part on a piece of printed origami, fussy cut it out and glued it on to the girl before fussy cutting her out.  Copic pens were used for coloring the rest of the pieces before they were attached to the die cut green paper pieces.
The neatest part of this card is that it folds flat for mailing.  I think you'll have fun making shadow boxes too.  Look for the Lawn Fawn die set in HM Ben Franklin Crafts. Oh yeah, don't forget that you can attach a mini calendar to the back of the card.....if you have any calendars leftover...LOL!
Happy Girl's Day!

Saturday, February 23, 2019

"Omiyage' Bringing Home a Gift of Thanks

Local folks know that when you return from a trip it is customary to bring home gifts for family, friends, and those who helped to make your trip enjoyable.  This gift is called an 'omiyage'. I really should make decorated 'omiyage' bags before I go on a trip....but you know how time doesn't allow this.  Therefore, after returning from the Tucson Rock and Gem Show I had to make a quick bag and tag. These were inspired by the Japanese minimalist style and used just a few sheets of origami paper.
I used a Sizzix circle die set to cut the 'o'  and wrote in the rest of the of the word freehand. Using a die from my frequently used Little B tag set, I did a similar design on the tag which I will use on plain handled bag. The 'o' could be cut with oval dies but I felt the circle 'o' had a more Asian look.

I hope this post has inspired you to make simple, quick 'omiyage gift bags and tags.  They really only take a few minutes and will make the recipient feel very special and know that you are grateful for them.  Okay, go use up those origami paper scraps!

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Real Lavender Resin Pendant and Watercolor Greeting Card Kit

 Here are two more gifts that are going to another birthday girl.  The first one is a resin pendant made in a flat rectangular silicon mold. I filled it with real sprigs of lavender from a Hokaido lavender farm. I added some pieces of rosemary (from my windowsill herb pot) because the lavender leaves all fell off in transit.  I think the combination of plants looks rather realistic.  Not in the supplies photo, but truly necessary, I added a few drops of gel cleanser to release the pendant from the mold.  In the bottom photo you can see that the BD gal will also be receiving a watercolor kit that I purchased at HM Ben Franklin Crafts.  This Faber Castell product has all she'll need to make some super watercolored greeting cards. Included in the kit are watercolors, a paint brush, stencils, a pen, blank cards and color pencils.  I think this is a great way to get someone started in designing greeting cards. It would be good for passing time during a long trip....I think I'll get myself a kit for my next plane ride!

Friday, February 15, 2019

Let's Eat Cake!

 Here are two versions of birthday cards using the same Penny Black image (from Patisserie stamp set).  Even though the images were stamped on the same marker paper, it's amazing how much brighter the card on the left looks.  I think I like the card on the left better because it didn't require fussy cutting.  I do like the daintiness of the doily and the 3D effect of the purple waxed cord leash (Elements from HM BFC) on the righthand card.  A Lawn Fawn scalloped die was used to cut the white rectangle on the outside and inside of the left card.  Copic pens were used to apply color to the images.  Click on images to see details up close.
 These are the insides of the cards.  I made them differently too.  They were stamped with two of my 'ancient' wooden handled rubber stamps.  The rectangle shape on the right was die cut with a Spellbinders die and stamped with a Hero Arts ombre ink pad. The rainbow colored sentiment on the left was made using a Colorbox pad sold at HM Ben Franklin Crafts.  Embellishment dots on the left card are Darice acrylic stickers (from HM BFC). The sparkly dots on the righthand card were made with Nuvo Glitter Drops. (This colored liquid is similar to Stickles but the tip is smaller so very tiny dots can be made....love them...gotta get more colors!)  Although it is easier to make identical cards when you need multiples, it is so much more fun to play around with different versions...a good time to come up with new techniques.  Celebrate card crafting!

Monday, February 11, 2019

Squirrel Love Valentine's Day Card

 Not sure why squirrels were the animals used for these Neat and Tangled Valentine stamp and die sets, but they were so cute I had to use them for my hubby's Valentine's Day card.  (Aren't squirrels hibernating during the winter?) I found the perfect woodgrain card stock ( Simple Stories) in my stash of Valentine papers. It was simple to stamp the images with Momento waterproof black ink and color them in with Copic pens.
 Using the matching dies I cut out the images and the heart shape with a Spellbinders die.  The parts were adhered with double stick (Heiko) tape (pruchased at HM BFC) or foam sticky squares. The sentiments were from a Crate Paper stamp set and the Neat and Tangled set.  The green slope was cut with a Paper Smooches die. 
 This card was very simple to create and turned out fairly close to what I imagined....so happy when that happens! I hope you'll take the time to show your sweetheart(s) how much they mean to you and make them a handmade, heartfelt Valentine's Day Card. Send a little love today!

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Valentine Candy Resin Jewelry

 I had an idea that I wanted to encase Valentine candies in resin to make jewelry.  I had a hard time locating the conversation candy hearts that are my childhood memory of Valentine sweets. It turns out that NECCO (New England Candy Company) is no longer making them (out of business?). The only similar ones I could purchase locally were by the Brach candy company.  Sadly, they were of poor quality with rough shapes and faint words.  My husband did find some better conversation heart candies online, but they will arrive after Valentine's Day....sigh!  Anyway, I used silicon molds (from HM Ben Franklin Crafts) to form the resin hearts.  For the tinier molds I encased Wilton cake decorations and cookie/cake sprinkles. The HM BFC resin department also has artificial sprinkles that I used in some molds.
 I am pleased with how these projects turned out especially the purse charms.  I plan to resin onto the back of the solid charm a photo of my twin grandsons.  TIP: If your resin charms have rough edges you can file them down with a glass nail file.  Happy Valentine Crafting!

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Gifts for a February BD Girl

 As I was wrapping up the gifts for one of the February birthday girls, I thought you might like to see what I'm giving.  I found the neatest kit at HM Ben Franklin Crafts for a Herbarium. "What's that?", you ask.  I think the name is a made up one, but the kit makes an awesome floral arrangement in liquid that is encased in a jar.  All the parts are included in the kit...so fabulous.
 Ironically, I was planning to make this glass globe pendant (that was demonstrated at HM BFC recently).  Doesn't it match well with the Herbarium?  It was easily made using the glass globe kit, straw flowers, sparkling threads, and LED/UV liquid resin.  I think the pendants demonstrated were filled with a liquid (like the substance used in the Herbarium) but I chose to fill mine with resin so that when it is hardened in light, there is no risk of leakage.  I really love the sparkling threads because they add just the right amount of mystery to the globe.  I hope you'll consider giving some lucky person a birthday (or Valentine's) gift of something to craft  and something you craft for her.  Enjoy shopping at the locally owned HM Ben Franklin Crafts!
P.S. The pretty lavender wrapping paper is from Celebrations and comes on a giant 10 meter x 750mm roll. The paper is nice and thick with a velvety embossed surface.  The floral ribbon was purchased at HM BFC.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Make A Birthday Wish

 While working on Valentine projects, I realized that I had a few birthday cards to create for the month of February.  Here's one I came up with using an AI (Art Impressions) stamp set that depicts middle aged bakers decorating a giant cake.  I thought this would be perfect for the recipient.  I used a solid pink card stock ( Paper Accents Pink Stash Pack from HM BFC) to make the card blank. (This pack is a real bargain because you can cut each sheet in half to make 80 cards!)  I didn't realize what a delicate job it would be to cut out this image so you may want to stamp the image onto a blank circle to avoid the cutting hassle.  To camouflage my inaccurate cutting I glued a paper doily behind the image.  The image was colored with Copic pens and the sentiment was die cut with a Spellbinders set.  Inside the card I stamped the sentiment, "We're Not Getting Old We're Getting Awesome" and on the back of the card I stamped "Aged to Perfection".  Both sentiments came with the AI stamp set and seem perfect for this card. In the bottom photo is a new Lawn Fawn product that I purchased at HM Ben Franklin Crafts.  It is a chamois-like rubber stamp cleaner. I am happy to say that it works very well to clean off the ink even in the crevices of intricate stamps.  Well, one BD card down, a few more to go.......

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Maple Leaf Resin Charm

 A few years ago a neighbor gave us a miniature Japanese maple tree.  I always think the leaves are so delicate and artistic.  The last time the tree was in its full glory, I collected a few leaves and pressed them between heavy books.  I used an silicon oval resin mold with a built-in hole peg (sold at HM Ben Franklin Crafts) to make the charm. The UV/LED light liquid resin is a Padico product, but there are many light hardening resins available at HM BFC too.  I filled the mold in three steps and hardened the back before removing the charm from the mold.  Any imperfections were corrected with additional resin and/or filing with a glass nail file.  Finally the charm was attached to the charm pull (from HM BFC)  with a large Beadalon jump ring. This is a simple project which will bring a smile to the recipient especially if she gave you the tree. Saving a blossom or petal from a lei, bouquet or prom wristlet is a sweet way to immortalize the occasion. May your life be crafty and CHARMing!

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Sweet Life Mini Calendar Tags

 This set of calendars are not Valentine themed so they can be used as tags for any occasion gifts.  The Newton's Nook stamps inspired the sweet treat look for the accordion pleated 3" x 3" calendars.  I sprinkled pigment powders onto 3"x 8" damp watercolor paper to get unexpected results.  Once dry, I scored and folded the strip at 3", 6", 6-3/4", and 7-1/2".
 Please click on the images to see them close up.  To add some color and texture, I tied on some novelty ribbon/yarns from my collection of fibers.  The mini calendar were purchased online from Vippies.
 The backs of the tags were stamped with the sentiment that came with the stamp set.  Tip: To keep my die sets with the matching stamp sets, I always tape the packages together.  To add a whimsical touch to the calendar tags, I used Glossy Accents (available at HM Ben Franklin Crafts) to adhere the 'fake' candy sprinkles (from the resin section of HM BFC) around the calendars.  I think these mini calendar tags will be perfect year round to add a little something-something to a special gift.  Crafting makes life sweet!