Monday, July 14, 2014

CASE Study and a Die-Cutting Challenge

Hello all!

Today I have a quick card to share that I made for the CASE Study Challenge blog. This month's muse is the always-amazing Shari Carroll. Her card for this week is incredible - lots of intricate die-cutting, some butterflies, and a lovely color scheme. I tried to incorporate some of these elements into my card:

I decided to break out some great Simon Says Stamp products I've had for a bit but haven't used until now: the wonderful Butterfly Drift die and the Butterfly Friends stamps and matching dies (for the sentiment). I cut out the die about 5 times and then glued them all together to make it dimensional. I LOVE this technique but it can be time consuming...and gluey. =) I inlaid the patterned pieces inside the outline. One of the things I loved about Shari's card was the patterned paper scattered among the die-cutting, so this was my take on that. I liked the butterflies so much that I actually considered not putting a sentiment on the front...but I like the extra pop of color from the die cut piece. 

With all this die-cutting I realized my card also qualified for the Virginia's View challenge this month, which is all about die-cutting. This is a newer challenge blog that I've been following since the start but this is my first time getting a card done in time to enter! It's a really fun blog with lots of cool guest designers and inspiration. Check it out!  


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Gift Bags

Happy Easter, everyone!

I hope everyone is having a lovely Sunday. In Seattle we're actually having a sunny day after about four days of rain in a row so it's been a nice break for the holiday. I've spent the day getting ready for my family to come over, since I took over all the Easter duties this year: getting candy and baskets, roasting some lamb, etc. I decided that I didn't want to buy baskets this year...we never keep them for the next year and it just seemed like a waste, and besides I thought it might be fun to make something to put the candy in. I decided to get out my seldom-used-so-far We R Memory Keepers gift bag punch board and make some bags for candy. (Btw, the WRMK envelope punch board is, in my opinion, the Greatest Tool for Cardmakers Ever. Last year it unseated the previous champion, the Martha Stewart Scoring Board, finally breaking her 3-year undefeated streak. I LOVE that thing) The problem with the gift bag punch board, however, is that if you follow the instructions exactly, it only makes really skinny bags, which I didn't feel could hold enough candy. =)  So, inspired by the feats of engineering achieved by Jennifer McGuire with the aforementioned envelope punch board (see her awesome envelope boxes here), I set out to bend the gift bag punch board to my will and force it to make larger bags.

The trick, I soon discovered, is to use two pieces of paper, and make two bag halves instead of one whole bag as the board instructs, and then put them together. This does present the problem of needing two identical pieces of paper (or could have a sort of Two-Faced bag and that might be kind of funky). I just used plain cardstock for my bags and then decorated them after the fact. I've laid out a little tutorial for this, but since I don't have any video equipment it has to be a photo tutorial, so this is kind of long. You have been warned. =)

After doing some measuring of a standard sized gift bag I figured out that a piece of paper cut to 10 inches wide and 10 and a half inches tall would give me a bag about 7 inches wide and 9 inches tall. To make things easier you could just cut your paper to 10 inches square and it would just make a slightly shorter bag. Put the paper into the punch board with the 10 inch side up against the top of the board, and punch:

You will need to score the entire width of the paper horizontally, so I just did it all at once so I wouldn't forget, moving the paper across the board and scoring it using the horizontal score guide on the board:

Now for the tricky part....because I wanted the bag to be about 7 inches wide, I needed to make my first score line at 7 inches across the paper. Since there's no guide for this on the board, you need to lay a T-square or ruler across the paper and line up the 7 inch mark with the "L" score mark of the board. I like to use the scoring tool to make sure they're lined up:

Once you've got it lined up, remove your ruler and score along the score line:

After this part, you can follow the board's instructions for making the side of the bag: you line up your score line with the notch on the board, punch, and score the side and triangle lines as shown:

Then you slide the paper over and line up the side score line with the notch and punch to shape your bottom tab. The last little half-inch or so is going to be a tab for assembling the bag later. 

At this point, even when I'm using the board in the standard way, I like to get out a larger scoring board to extend the score marks the entire length of the paper. 

Then you can add the ribbon holes, if desired. First line up the edge of the paper with the notch on the reverse punch, and punch to put one hole in what will be the front (or back) of your bag. 

Then line up the side scores with the notch and punch:

You are now left with one half of a bag. It should look like this:

Repeat this whole process with another sheet of paper....cutting, scoring and punching in the exact same way. You should end up with two identical halves, like this:

The next step is to assemble the bag. You want to use some strong adhesive, like Scor-Tape. I placed a line of it along the folded edge of the tab, so that the cut edge of the other half of the bag will stay flush. 

Somehow I didn't get a picture of this, but you want to take the other half of the bag and line up the edge without the tab along the side score line where your adhesive is. Then apply adhesive in the same way to the other tab, and fold the bag in half onto itself, so the edges line up again. 

You assemble the bottom just like any bag made with the board. I like to apply the same strong tape to the two side tabs, and one of the long tabs. 

(See that torn paper on there? That's where I applied the tape too far from the would have been exposed and the bottom of the bag would have been sticky. You will not do this. Right? =) Don't Do What Donny Don't Does!

Fold the two side flaps in, and then the long flaps so that you get a nice bag bottom like this one. Ta da! A nice gift bag with plenty of room for candy or goodies. =) 

Here's some photos of the bags all embellished and full of candy, and some close-ups of the embellishments:

Congratulations! You made it to the end of this post! =P There're no prizes, but I will say I admire your perseverance. Hopefully you can make some of these awesome bags. It seems complicated, but once you make one and see how it all comes together it makes a lot of sense. After making just two bags, I was cutting and punching the rest like an old pro. 

Happy Easter all! =) 


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

CASE Study Challenge

Hello all!

First up, I should mention there will probably be some change coming to this here blog. I've already changed the name and address but the look of the blog will probably change as well as soon as I figure out exactly what I want it to look like. =) But in the meantime, I have a card to share:

I made this card for the CASE Study challenge this week. Here's the inspiration piece:

I love all the die-cutting on this piece, but instead of dies I decided to break out a WPlus9 set I've had for a while and never used. I also took inspiration from the color scheme of navy, light blue, red and yellow, but softened it a little bit to use with the flowers in my stamp set. I always love cards with these diagonal sentiments but have never made one so that was fun too. Here's a close up so you can see the paisleys a little bit better. ( light wasn't that great. =P ) 

I think that's all for today....thanks for looking!


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A CASual Return (Hopefully)

Hello all! 

Well, there has been some serious blog neglect going on here for the past...uh...year, really. I had a grand total of 8...that's EIGHT, mind you....posts to this blog in the entire year of 2013. And none...that's ZERO, mind you....since last June. Wow. That is some impressive neglect. It isn't that I haven't been crafting, but I definitely lost the motivation to post to my blog. I'm working out some things in terms of streamlining the posting process, so hopefully I can dust off this ol' blog and get it working again. =) 

So to start off, I have made a card for a challenge. In the last several months, I have been drawn more and more to a clean and simple style of cardmaking. Along those lines, I started following the CAS-ual Fridays challenge blog, and this is the first time I've actually made a card in time for the challenge. This week's challenge was to use at least two shades of gray. I actually had the idea for this card before seeing the challenge, and I was going to make it on some beautiful dark navy cardstock...but I actually like the gray better. =) Gray (and it's shiny cousin, silver) is one of my all-time favorite colors, but I never would have thought to use it as a card base. I'm glad this challenge came along to steer me in a new direction. Here's the card:

I had this idea to do a bunch of stamping with white embossing on a dark background, and then I thought it would be more interesting if I did some solid images with the Brilliance Moonlight White ink, which creates kind of a shadowy shimmer. The pieces on the sides are from a gorgeous DCWV glitter paper pad. All of the stamps are from the set in the Simon Says Stamp February card kit.  

Thanks for looking, and hopefully I will be back very soon!