Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Okay, I know it has been forever since I posted.  Being a full time working mom makes it a little hard to get to the extra stuff sometimes.  I was definitely inspired by something a little unusual recently though... tissue boxes - specifically Puffs brand - which have super-cute patterns on them in stores now.  Check out this simple, but really cute one.  The box is mostly plain, but it has these super cute circular patterns made up of purple teardrop/pear shapes.  

So, I thought that instead of simply tossing this in the recycling when the tissues were gone, I'd do something more creative with it and "upcycle" it.  Fun, right!?

My first step was to determine what part of the pattern I wanted to use.  Sometimes, I'm just a little lazy, and my circle punch was a really easy way to catch part of this pattern, so I used it repeatedly around the tissue box to capture the center, smaller part of the circular pattern.  When done, I had a bunch of these fun circles to play with.

Utimately, I decided to use them on a girly disco card.  The dense circle pattern was reminiscent of a disco ball, and I had a stamp set from My Favorite Things that I was just dying for an excuse to use.  The purple teardrops in the pattern on the tissue box also became the inspiration for the purple to pink color palette on the card.  I chose three of the Puffs punchouts (I nearly always group in threes) and added a little bling to the center.  My Disco Queen was stamped with staz-on and colored with water color pencils. I then used a blender pen to achieve the look I wanted.

All in all, I'm happy with how the card turned out.  You'd never know that the circles came from a tissue box and not some fancy designer paper pack!  Next time you are looking for a little inspiration, take a look around at things you might normally consider trash and see if there is a way you can turn it in to something that can brighten a friend's day.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Not a card, but I still got my hands messy!

My eldest child just turned eight.  My how time flies!  She really wanted to make a cake with me for her birthday.  So, she helped to make the cake mix and I did the decorating.  We decided a butterfly cake would be fun to make, but I didn't want to spend the money on a shape pan.  Instead, I used a loaf pan and cupcakes to make the shape.  Here is the process:

Divide your cake batter between a loaf pan and a cupcake pan for six cupcakes.  Follow timing instructions for the two different types of pans.  My cupcakes were done 10-15 minutes before the loaf pan.

After baking, allow to cool and remove from pans.  Then, take the loaf pan and trim the corners off to create the body of the butterfly.  Keep two of the corners you trimmed.  Leave a little flat area on both the top, bottom, and each side.

Ice it on the top and all sides.  I used white cream cheese icing.  You'll need to "dirty ice" it first, chill for a bit, then add another layer of icing to ensure no crumbs are seen.  Ice both of the corners that you kept as well.  Ice the cupcakes.  I left mine in paper wrappers, but you could remove them.  

The loaf you trimmed becomes the body of the butterfly.  Center it on whatever pan you want to use.  Two cupcakes plus a corner you trimmed become the upper wings on each side.  One cupcake becomes the lower wing on each side.  Once you have them in place so that they resemble wings, you'll need to place another layer of icing over the top so it covers all of the seams between the pieces.  Don't worry about it being perfect since you'll be adding decorative frosting as well.

Decorate the rest of the butterfly with colored frosting.  I used the pre-made colored frosting tubes from the grocery store, with the tips that you can purchase for them.  You'll have more color options if you mix your own.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Masking tutorial

Summer is winding down, but you can still create summery cards to brighten someone's day.  In this tutorial, you'll learn how to use masking to lay one image on top of another without letting colors bleed or blend.  Then, you'll follow the assembly of the rest of the card.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cricut CTMH Art Philosophy Cartridge flower

I loved making this card... lots of distressing and muted colors... my favorite!  The dimensional flower was cut from my new Close To My Heart Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge, as were the layers.  I've been having so much fun playing with all the shapes and dimensional elements that you can make with that cartridge!  It is well worth the $99 when you consider the stamp sets and dimensional elements, which coordinate with cartridge shapes, included with the purchase.  I added a little ink to the edge of my rolled flower, and then for fun, I added some fuzzy yarn fibers as the flower center.  The yarn flower center coordinates nicely with the color of the butterfly.  As you can see, I sponged the edges of the layers on the card with ink that coordinated with my Kraft cardstock.  This card was really quite simple and quick to make, but has a lot of detail when you look closely!  The dimensional flower adds a very special punch.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Are you ready?

The holidays are just around the corner, so I'm making sure that I incorporate a few holiday cards among my other types of cards that I make.  This one was a BIG experiment.  If you've watched my card making for a while, you'll know that I just can't resist using Stickles.  They are a type of glitter glue that come in a vast array of colors.  I've been addicted to them for years.  So, I took the opportunity to break in a new stamp set by experimenting with my Stickles.  Close to My Heart has this awesome stamp set, which you can get for FREE with a $75 purchase during September 2011, called Pair-a-phrase.  It is a double set that has an image and a phrase that generally goes with each one.  This adorable snowman and cute phrase that goes with him is just one example of a an image/phrase pairing from this set.  I stamped my Snowman first, and then colored the entire image with Stickles!  It was such fun!  It may be a little too much bling, but is there ever really too much bling?  It also gives a ton of texture to the snowman.  I had never colored an entire image, in multiple colors like this, with only Stickles!

This card really is a ton of texture everywhere you look and touch.  It has an Cuttlebug embossed background patterned paper, which I then added some small snowflake images to.  Snowy cutouts adorn the front as well, which also have some Stickles added to them.  All in all, it was a fun card to make!

Are you ready for the holidays yet?  Have you started prepping for holiday gifts in any way?

Friday, August 19, 2011

another mushroom

This one is a bit brighter and includes a sentiment.  The sentiment is tied to the image, but in a subtle way.  Do you get it???

Saturday, August 6, 2011

In the spirit of Gen Con

So, all of my geeky pals know that Gen Con is this weekend.  For those that don't know or have no clue what I'm talking about, Gen Con is THE major gaming convention.  Board games, role plays, video games, even LARPing.  Look that last one up if you don't know what it is, it's a riot - and no, I don't LARP.  Anyway, my husband spent yesterday at Gen Con, and I spent the day crafting at home with the kids.  We'll all go to family day at Gen Con just like we did last year and have a great time.  I'll wear my Super Mario fire flower T-Shirt and my new mushroom earrings for the occasion.  The kids will wear video game or Star Wars shirts too.  Walk around Gen Con for about two minutes, and you'll see tons and tons of geekwear T-shirts... which hopefully don't stink too much since some of those folks will sit around and play games at Gen Con for about 24 hours straight!  You'll also see some amazing costumes as well.  Last year, we saw Darth Vader, Stormtroopers, a variety of monsters, costumes that looked like they would fit in at a ren faire, and many others as well.

In the spirit of all that is geeky, I made a card that has a subtle geek theme.  It uses stamps from the Gnome Garden set that Close to My Heart has in its catalog.  The first time I saw this set, I immediately thought of Super Mario Bros!  The mushroom isn't as cartoony, but it is in the same spirit and evokes the same feel.  If you have ever played a Mario game, you'll know that they often trapse through grassy lands with flowers, which is represented at the bottom of this card.  This is also a more masculine card, which is always a little more challenging to make.  The autumn colors that I used in both the papers (kraft card base, several autumn colored cardstock colors, and one patterned paper from CTMH) and inks help to give it a more masculine feel.  I colored the mushroom image, grass, and flowers with a variety of CTMH autumn colored markers.  For a final whimsical touch, I selectively slightly swiped my paper directly against an olive ink pad.  It gives a grassy look to the areas with the mushroom and the trim along the bottom.  Some funky green yarn adds a final bit of texture to the card and makes it a special present for the receiver!

Card Recipe:
kraft cardstock
cardstock in Close to My Heart Autumn colors
Close to My Heart pattern paper for front panel
Gnome Garden stamp set
Staz-On inkpad (so when you color, it will not bleed)
olive inkpad
markers in Autumn colors