Friday, September 28

My Tuxedo Card Makes It BIG!!!

...or All dressed up with somewhere to go!

Woo Hoo! I just found out that my Tuxedo Card is going to be published in the February/March 2008 issue of Paper Trends magazine! Yay! I'm so excited! I'm very proud of this card -- it's one of my more complicated creations. It's gratifying to know that editors of a craft magazine also found it publish-worthy.

Those of you who have expressed an interest in creating your own Tuxedo Card are in luck! My template and instructions will be included in this issue in their Step-by-Step feature. You just have to wait a little bit longer...

Once again, I had to temporarily remove all images of the card from this blog and my online portfolio until May 2008. But don't worry... I'm sure my faithful blog readers will find some mention of its arrival on newsstands in February...

Thursday, September 27

In the Dog House...

This, Ladies and Gents, is a birthday card... for a dog!

Yup! That's right! I designed this for my client, Corey. Corey is my sister's dog -- a Black Lab, Great Dane mix. He was invited to his friend Thor's birthday party. Thor is a Golden Retriever. Happy Birthday Thor!

This card was almost entirely paper-pieced. Some of the elements - like the sign above the door, the "shingles" and the photo - were created using Photoshop. I also added shading to some of the different paper pieces before printing and cutting them out. For added dimension, I used my favorite little trick of adhering some of the elements with foam tape. The only non-paper product that I used was the dog paw print stickers on the inside. The design was based on a combination of clip art and my own creations.

I designed the card so that you can't see any of the "gifts" from the outside of the dog house. But once you open the card, you'll find everything a dog could wish for! I included "indoor plumbing," toys to play with, and every pup's favorite treat -- a pile of bones! Not to mention the love of a good human.

In retrospect, I think I should have swapped out the photo for a poster of a French Poodle, but what can 'ya do?

Wednesday, September 19

Guten Tags

This was my third entry in Paper Craft Magazine's online "hello-themed" Gallery Idol contest this past April. For this "card" I decided to create a series of tags, each printed with the word "hello" in a different language. I also used a technique called dry embossing using Lasting Impressions' stencils to create the various 3D elements on each tag. I added color and contrast to my images by highlighting them with ink. I also added dimension to my project by using various levels of foam tape to adhere my elements. I accented some of the bugs with vellum wings and "antennae" made from silver florist wire. Finally, I bound all the tags together with two very large brads.

Want to see more of this project? Check it out in my online portfolio!

To learn more about dry embossing, check back for a future post...

Wednesday, September 12

Floral Hello Card

This is another card that I designed for Paper Craft Magazine's online Gallery Idol contest in April. I had fun with the color scheme and I like the bright, cheery feel that I get from this card. I hope you like it too!

Another relatively quick and easy creation, the base of this card is a 5"x7" piece of patterned cardstock folded to reveal an inch of the coordinating inside pattern along the bottom. I adhered letter stickers to white cardstock which I then trimmed, leaving an 1/16" border around the letters. I "stitched" buttons to paper flowers with florist wire reinforced with adhesive dots. I then adhered all the elements to the card with additional adhesive dots. Finally I added rub-on swirls for an elegant, but playful touch.

Bonus Tips! I used small embroidery scissors for the fine, detail cutting. Also, When cutting out shapes with scissors, move the paper, NOT the scissors. In other words, your scissor hand should only be opening & closing the scissors in long, smooth strokes. Your other hand twists and turns the paper, guiding it into the scissors. This results in smoother, neater cuts.

Tuesday, September 11

Letter from Janice, plus her Army of Hawaiian Shirts

WOW! I just received these photos from Janice over at Arbor Acres United Methodist Retirement Community in North Carolina. Boy have they been busy little bees! They've created a whole army of Hawaiian Shirts for their Fund Raiser! Janice also sent me this lovely thank you letter to share with all of you...
Dear Fellow Paper Crafters,

Thank you so very much for rising to the occasion to assist with the Hawaiian Shirt project for the Meals on Wheels Senior Services Fundraiser: The CARibbean Cruise which will be held on Thursday September 27th at Arbor Acres United Methodist Retirement Community in Winston-Salem, NC. I received 22 shirts from you and am thankful for your support.

I’ve cut out and made 60 shirt kits for my residents and we are getting together next week to make the shirts and place our labels in them. I ordered a 3 in block photo stand from Oriental Trading and we spray painted it Ancient Ruins Stone paint which looks just like Sand and these will be our stands to place the shirts in for display on the tables.

And I would like to thank you, Janice, for giving me and my readers the opportunity craft for such a worthy cause! All I can say is that you and the staff and the residents of Arbor Acres did an AMAZING job with the shirts. They all look WONDERFUL! I'm sure your CARibbean Cruise fund raiser will be even more successful!

p.s. Enjoy one of those cute little umbrella drinks in my name!

Monday, September 10

New Math for New Parents

Just in time for school, here is a quick lesson in New Math for Prospective Parents...

I made this card a few years ago for my best friend's baby shower. It was a very quick card to assemble. The most challenging aspect was finding the perfect clipart of a chalkboard. Luckily I was able to find one that was a vector image. The great thing about vector images, is that you can scale them up or down without losing image quality. So I was able to scale the chalkboard image to the perfect size for my 6"x6" card.

For those of you who are not familiar with the term, a vector image is an illustration composed of lines and curves to form an image, like a WMF or EPS file. This is opposed to a raster image which is made up of pixels, like a JPG file. All photographs are raster images.

Then it was simply a matter of adding the text in Illustrator using an appropriate font (I chose Marker Felt) and printing it out on white cardstock. I then attached the chalkboards to my card base along with some adorable animal stickers and Voilà! My card is complete!

I wonder if my Sister the Math Teacher will object to my skills at addition???

Click to enlarge.

Friday, September 7

Cards from Heidi and Susan

Hello Dear Readers! I just wanted to share with you a couple of beautiful handmade cards that I received recently...

Heidi in Virginia sent me this lovely card as a "Thank You" for sharing my Hawaiian Shirt Template. (Those of you who frequent Paper Crafts Magazine's gallery and message board recognize Heidi as GiftsByHeidi.) I love the dry embossing and the monochromatic color scheme of this card!

To see more of Heidi's beautiful creations, check out her Paper Crafts Showcase.
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Susan Neal designed this gorgeous card, which appeared in Paper Crafts Magazine's April 2007 issue. She sent it to me as a "Thank You" for my tip on Easy Faux Stitching.

Susan titled her card "Wedding - Blue Jewels." I love the rich colors, so non-traditional for a wedding card. And how could your eye NOT be drawn to those sparkling gems?!

To learn more about Susan, check out her Paper Crafts Celebrity Profile.

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Thanks to both of these lovely ladies for sharing their creativity and talents with me! I really appreciate the gift of your cards!

Wednesday, September 5

Pocket Cards

I got this quick and easy Pocket Card idea from the Feb/March 2003 issue of Stamper's Sampler. It's so simple, you really don't need a template (but I'm providing the link anyway...) Simply fold a rectangular piece of cardstock in half so that the fold is at the top. Then fold up the outer corners and secure as desired.

I designed this card for Paper Crafts magazine's online Gallery Idol contest back in April. The challenge was "Hello Cards." For this entry, I went with a "stationery" theme. I used double-sided cardstock to create the card base. I then printed out "Just a note to say..." with a green background on cream cardstock to get the "reversed text" effect. I added a "hi" brad over a paper flower to complete my sentiment. Finally I secured my pocket together with ribbon and added a silver letter charm.

For the pockets contents, I created three miniature, personalized letterhead in Photoshop, which I then tucked into the pocket. I also added small images of postage stamps which I cut out of a USPS catalog, mounted on white cardstock for stability and trimmed with decorative scissors. The last of the contents of my pocket include a miniature envelope, pen and paper flowers with brad centers.

Here are some additional Pocket Cards that I have created in the past.

For this one, I used dimensional
stickers and secured it
with a trio of ribbons.

I filled the pocket of this
Mother's Day card with silk roses
and added a gold heart charm
to the ribbon closure.

Here I used vellum stickers which I backed with white cardstock for opacity. I then attached them using foam tape for added dimension.

There are so many ways to customize this card! The pocket can hold small trinkets for a birthday party or a baby shower. It can also be used to hold a gift card. How about food-themed embellishments with a restaurant gift certificate inside? So many ideas! I hope you're inspired to create your own!