Archive for 3D

Renewed passion

Sorry that it’s been quite awhile since my last post. Motherhood has been a huge — great, but huge — time suck. But, recently, I have been inspired to carve out some “me” time. Two things happened that got my creative juices flowing.

First, I offered to deliver birthday cards for all staff at my son’s elementary school on behalf of the PTA. The principal’s birthday happened to be one of the first of the year, and I gave her a card assembled from some of the scrapbook elements swaps I hosted eons ago. She was so delighted that I was itching to design original creations.

Then, this past weekend, I got my chance. I had auctioned off a card-making party at heritage camp this past summer and a friend who owns a post-adoption services organization purchased it as an activity for her twice-yearly adoptive mom’s retreat. Quite convenient since I had planned to attend anyhow! I talked her into letting me do something beyond cards, so I made three fun, simple projects that were adaptable to a variety of tastes and crafting abilities. The retreat was this past weekend and my nine fun-loving companions seemed to have a ball with the crafts, despite the fact that I was completely off my game (because I was extraordinarily sleep deprived and admittedly rusty).

Here are the projects we did, with simple instructions. I wish I had taken photos of the ladies’ finished creations, because they were all unique and wonderful!

Joy Fold Card – Click here for instructions

Mini Cork Board – Click here for instructions

Explosion Box – Click here for instructions


Tulip “Bouquet” for Teacher Appreciation Day

I found this cute “from the whole class” idea at Family Fun, so I offered to make something similar for Teacher Appreciation Day at my son’s preschool, which, incidentally, is today. (Actually, it’s Teacher Appreciation Week, but I’m delivering these bouquets first thing in the morning.)

After much brainstorming and trial-and-error, I came up with what I think is a significantly improved version of the “gift-card flower.” I created a self-pocketing tulip, opted for patterned (and textured) paper, and skipped the green plant in favor of a cute metal garden planter and chocolate. Really, who wouldn’t want chocolate?


My lacking photography skills really don’t capture how charming these turned out (despite my considerably-less-than-perfect flower arranging skills, which rival only my photographic prowess–ha!), but you get the idea.


The only problem may be that there are too many flowers, which make the bouquets look a little cluttered, especially since I have so many patterns at play. Given that these particular tulips, however, are stuffed with grateful words and goodies from appreciative families, I think that’s just fine. If I were to make this bouquet for a different occasion (say, for Mother’s Day or a bridal or baby shower), I might limit the total number of tulips per planter to somewhere between 6-10 for a cleaner look, or fewer if you want the look to be crisp and modern.

Here are basic instructions to make a dozen-flower bouquet.


12 pieces single-sided patterned scrapbook paper, each cut to 3-1/2″ x 7″
12 large bamboo skewers (or long floral picks)
green floral foam
medium-size garden container for base (e.g., planter, bucket, watering can, etc.)
crimping tool
adhesive tape runner
single-sided tape (e.g., Scotch tape)
individually wrapped candy
wire cutters or other tool that can cut through bamboo skewer
Optional: large corner rounder
12 pieces of cardstock, cut to 2-3/4″ x 7-1/2″
small corner rounder



With wire cutters, trim bamboo skewers on flat end as follows: trim 2″ from 2 skewers, 3″ from 2 skewers, and 4″ from 1 skewer. Leave all remaining skewers at full length.

For each tulip, score patterned paper sheet at 4-1/2″ on the long side. Adhere tape runner (glue) to edges only of the smaller section. Hint: to create a narrow adhesive strip with a standard size tape runner, place papers tightly side-by-side (patterned side down) and apply tape runner to seam. Then separate and continue. Fold at score mark and press glued area shut, creating a pocket. Fold pocket in half lengthwise (without a hard crease). Use scissors (or large corner rounder) to round bottom (folded side of pocket) and cut tips of petals at opposite end by cutting what is essentially a curvy “V.” (I personally prefer the variation that comes from cutting freehand, but if you really, really don’t think that you can do this without a template, leave a comment and I’ll try to post something to share.) Unfold and run through paper crimper. This texture adds a nice dimension, hides any creases that may have been created, and helps to give the flower a more curvy shape.


To assemble flowers, run pointed end of skewer through middle of pocket and poke through bottom. Use a piece of Scotch tape to adhere top of skewer to inside front of the pocket. Do not adhere to back or flower will fall forward. Hint: if using multiple patterns, determine flower arrangement prior to inserting different length skewers.


To create the card insert, score the cardstock on the long side at 3-3/4″ and fold in half. Use corner rounders to snip the corners on the non-fold edge. Write a note, decorate the card, insert gift card or other small, flat favor, and insert, open-end down into flower pocket. Optional: some gift card holders are small enough to fit inside the pocket without protruding and you can write a note on the blank side of the gift card holder instead of making a card insert.

To assemble flowers in container, first fill container with floral foam, leaving 1-2″ of space at top of container. Arrange flowers by inserting skewers firmly into foam. Use flowers with shorter skewers at the front and fill in with progressively longer “stems” towards the back. Once completed, arrange candy to hide foam.



I also wanted to thank a few special staff who have been so very kind and loving to my son, so I whipped up a handful of single-stemmed options just from our family. The inspiration for these came from my former flower creations like chocolate vases, in which I created flowers from assembling punched shapes. This simple sunflower is made from 20 oval punches (petals), 2 large circle die-cuts (center), and medium and large oval tag die-cuts (leaves, which fell down for this photo, but normally sit somewhat upright). I particularly love the way the thinner single-sided scrapbook paper lets the light shine through.

There are about a million ways to vary these ideas, so feel free, as always, to CASE (copy and share everything). Please just link to this page and give credit to the concept (Family Fun) and my original designs. Enjoy!

I’m baaaackkk…

Valentine's Day Teachers Gifts

I was beginning to think that my crafting hobby was a lingering, fuzzy memory from a past life. Then, a few months ago, I finally organized my long-awaited, cozy craft room, but I felt far too overwhelmed by too many supplies. Rubber stamps seemed completely daunting. And it was hard to remember what item was in which drawer. I felt like I was going shopping every time I looked for something.

But, last month, my son’s preschool hosted a grandparents day picnic and asked parents to bring a boxed lunch in a decorated a shoe box. I had several tin lunch boxes in my stash, so I went ahead and did a very basic design with patterned paper and a few embellishments on a couple of purse-style tins. They were too basic to warrant a photo, but Nana and Noni loved them.

With my confidence renewed, I was inspired. I tabbed through magazines, marking cards that I wanted to create. (Cards have a real appeal because they’re small, easy, and offer instant gratification.) But special occasions were flying by, work deadlines were pressing, and I just couldn’t carve out any significant time to wrap my head around a creative project.

I had these fab containers taunting me (from Wall Words, those vinyl removable sayings) and I had to do something with them. I thought I might decorate and fill them with goodies for Joe’s teachers, but Valentine’s Day rolled around and they were still sitting there, untouched. And I showed up at my son’s school Valentine’s party empty-handed. I came home from the party determined to at least make an effort. I found an easy recipe for a quick, homemade white-chocolate-almond-cranberry bark, then did a simple paper wrap and added a few embellishments and a tag. I was able to deliver them back to the teacher before they went home for the long weekend. I think they turned out pretty cute for someone who is baby stepping backwards into her happy hobby.

Baby favors

favorboxesjmbaby007-web.jpgI mentioned before that I was addicted to explosion boxes, didn’t I? They’re just so easy and fun to open!

Well, I had to come up with favors for a friend’s baby shower, so explosion boxes were the obvious choice. And given everything else going on in my life, I needed it to happen quick and easy so I could ship them out asap. So…

I made 2″ explosion boxes out of double-sided designer series paper (from spring 2006, I think…) and decorated with a big retro flower punch and buttons.

The biggest problem for me was coming up with a decoration for the top. My friend is having a boy. And my mind was drawing a blank when it came to “boy” stuff. Besides, I really (really, really) wanted to use this flower punch, so I compromised. favorboxesjmbaby005-web.jpg

I used (baby) boyish colors (celery and bashful) and mostly patterned papers (even for some of the flowers). Given that the favors are for women, I decided that flowers — simple flowers — were a good choice.

Now I need to figure out what to include inside the boxes. I can’t ship anything meltable (chocolate, candles). Hmmm…. Any great ideas?

Next up…thank you cards appropriate for business. Stay tuned…

[Re]Mixed Bouquet

Distressed Emboss??

OK, folks, I’m not sure if I created a new technique (or discovered an existing one I didn’t know about), or if this is a total flop. You tell me. (Seriously, I’m pretty thick-skinned.) I decided that I hated the old frame matte in those springy colors (I’m such an “earth” person), so I revamped it into something that I might actually use.

First, I inked the entire matte with Old Olive (craft) ink. Once that dried (with the help of a handy dandy heat gun), I stamped the rose from Mixed Bouquet in Versamark around the frame and sprinkled on gold embossing powder.

But…the excess embossing powder wouldn’t shake off. (That craft ink has to be really, really dry. Think days.) I brushed off as much as I could without knocking too much powder off of the images and heat set it anyhow. The mottled effect was kind of groovy, and I liked the subtle emergence of the roses here and there. So, I repeated the embossing with a chocolate embossing powder for some pop. (Oddly, this time, the craft ink was dry and the excess didn’t stick.) I actually liked it, so I decided to leave well enough alone.

I think it’s got potential. I’m calling it “distressed embossing,” unless, of course, the technique already exists (please, someone clue me in here).

The art of CASEing

Explosion BoxOne of the fabulous things about the rubber stamping community is that we’re crafters who love what we do so much that we always encourage others to try new things. And we never hesitate to show others the ease and beauty of our crafts. One of the best ways to expand our horizons and improve our skills is to push our limits. To do that, we often Copy And Share Everything, or CASE.

The bevy of projects in the annual (and soon to be semi-annual, woo hoo!) Stampin’ Up! Idea Book & Catalog is a great starting place to CASE others’ ideas, but sometimes I need different or new fodder to spark my creativity. Sometimes I find great ideas for patterns in catalogs or advertisements. Sometimes I turn to stamping or paper crafting magazines or other publications. But often I find myself surfing the Web and I always end up at splitcoaststampers.

Last week, Beate did a tutorial on one of my favorite projects: explosion boxes. I already knew how to make these in any size, but I found inspiration there nonetheless. I loved her use of Au Chocolate designer series papers along with Mixed Bouquet.

I wanted to give Mixed Bouquet, one of my favorite retiring sets, a final farewell. Besides, I needed the inspiration for my first-ever {blog candy} that Alison won a couple of weeks ago. (Yeah, yeah, I did it backwards. Next time, I’ll make the candy first, then give it away…I get it.) I hope she thinks it’s worth the wait (fingers crossed)!

Nesting Explosion

Nesting Explosion Boxes openSo I decided to CASE Beate’s project, but with a little twist. I used one of my favorite colors ever, Cool Caribbean, which is also retiring along with the rest of the In Color lineup (another adieu). Then I looked over at the little Russian nesting doll in my stamp room and it occurred to me that maybe a nesting set of explosion boxes could be a fun thing too.

So this is what I came up with. If you like it, feel free to CASE it for personal use. Shake it up, change it, make it your own. Have fun and share it with a friend. (Just be nice and tell folks where you got your inspiration, especially if you post in on the web.) Complete recipe and cutting dimensions available here.

Folks, my apologies for the long delay since my last post and delays in my responses to any personal emails. I expect to be able to reply to emails shortly. Custom orders may be delayed, but you will receive an email from me in the next several days if that is the case. Life is, once again, in overdrive. If you’d like to read about the crazy stuff in my personal life, you can visit my adoption blog.

Something for mom (or grandma, or…)?

Mother Clipboard

This is one of the projects we made at my last stamp class. I couldn’t resist this gorgeous color combination in shades of sherbet (click on image for recipe).

The basic layout is the same as my Chipboard Clipboards, but this time I used the double-sided paper from the Spring mini. Aren’t these stripes just scrumptious?? As with the previous edition, these are intended to be photo magnets. Perfect for the fridge!

Here’s an idea: simply replace the word “mother” with “daughter” or “son” or “family,” trim a favorite photo to 3×3 and clip in for a Happy Mother’s Day! Or, make for each of the (grand)kids and I’ll bet they find a favored spot on the fridge!

Alternative: the clip is completely removable, so you could alter both sides with different (seasonal?) colors. Then mom/grandma can flip it over for a change of scenery!

Take it or leave it?

Mixed Bouquet Matte
I have mixed feelings about this Mixed Bouquet frame matte. I hesitated even posting it here and I didn’t put my watermark on it (Images copyright Stampin’ Up!). Originally I thought it would look nice in a stamp room with some kind of saying inside (“inspire” “create” or a nice phrase?). The matte is big (11×14) and will hold a regular-sized sheet of cardstock, so I figured that printing something out on the computer would be ideal. But I’ve been going back and forth about it. One minute I hate it, the next I love it. Right now, I hate it. I can’t tell if it’s the ink colors (click on image for a list)? The vanilla background? The gold matte liner? The stamp set? What do you think?

Seeking Inspiration

wallet cardFirst of all, my apologies for the lack of photos lately. I haven’t had much time to stamp, and I got a little sidetracked with my beaded spoons the one time I allowed myself some “free” time. Between work (which suddenly became full-time) and a bunch of crazy adoption stuff, life has been a little more than wacky here.

I have been trying to come up with a great idea for Alison’s {blog candy} surprise. But I’m in a bit of a creative funk, so I started going through projects I had already made with the Mixed Bouquet stamp set. What I found was this coolio card/wallet thingy (which isn’t going to Alison, but is in the mail to someone else as part of a bigger “order” hint hint).Wallet Card Open

I’m just looking for Mixed Bouquet inspiration…and I have some ideas knockin’ around my my noggin, but you’ll have to wait awhile longer before they become a reality. I promise, though, I’ll post the second I create the surprise…

I had intended to upload this wallet card several weeks (months?) ago, but it somehow fell through the cracks. But I know y’all are dyin’ for some photos since you’re just downright tired of my ramblings, huh? So, here’s some fodder for creativity.

The pattern is an SU! original, I believe, although I did make some adjustments. The SU! design required “mini” envelopes that come as part of a set of cards and envelopes (not sold separately). But that didn’t make any sense to me. I certainly wasn’t going to buy a combo pack, use the envelopes, and get left hanging with cards that had no envies. So I used mini square envelopes instead, but I really like the outcome.

The basic measurements: cut base to 4-1/2 x 12 (score at 1-5/8, 2, 5-3/8, and 8-3/4), cut black pieces to 5-1/4 x 3, score at 1), cut colored insert pieces to 4 x 2-3/4), cut outside band to 1 x 9-7/8 (score at 2-5/8, 3, 6-1/2) . You can probably figure out the rest.

For a simplified version of a photo wallet (made from 8-1/2 x 11 cardstock), check out these instructions on splitcoaststampers.


spoon handles
I had a little get-together with a couple of my stampin’ buds. The talented Micki (one of my downline) made these gorgeous beaded serving spoons at Christmas and then promised to show us how to make them. Last night, we finally had the chance to learn how to create our own yummy servers.

My first attempt (far right) is for my MIL for Mom’s Day. (The similar one on the left is for my GMIL. Think their both red-hatters?) Neither read my blog, so it’s pretty safe to post here. 😉

green and white spoons

I  was so addicted that, even after the gals left, I stayed up until 3am playing with beads. This is what I came up with. I had a bunch of my own white and clear beads, so the white spoon was the product of me trying to use up my own stash. I wasn’t thinking of this at the time, but Dan mentioned that it would be good to use at a wedding. Hmmm…. (I was just being practical and thinking that white went with everything, silly me.) I wanted to make another one for a friend’s birthday, but I couldn’t decide what colors I wanted to use, so I just started beading randomly. I’ve had a green thing going on lately, so the green one kind of emerged on it’s own.

The spoons are relatively easy to make, especially if you’re comfortable working with wire. (I admit that I am not a bead person, which was evident when I managed to jiggle a bead case open, nearly dropped it, and beads went flying. Part of my early morning hours were spent hunting down seed beads on my basement floor…) But, I can handle wire and a pair of pliers, so I managed okay.

What you’ll need: stainless steel serving utensil (MUST have hole at top of handle), 20-gauge stainless steel (or silver) beading wire (1-2 yards, depending on size of utensil), assorted beads (different sizes and shapes, including small and medium seed beads for filler), beading pliers (needle nose pliers especially), patience.
red hat spoons

To start, wrap the wire around the base of the handle. Leave about 1-2″ of wire on the short end, then twist twice tightly (like a twist tie). Leave the short wire alone for now (we’ll come back to it later). Wrap wire around back of handle tightly (bead only on the front of the handle), then add as many beads as will fit across the front. Wrap wire around back of handle tightly, and repeat until you get to end of handle with hole. There are several finishing options. The easiest is perhaps to do a “figure eight” back and forth through the hole, adding beads when the wire is on the front of the handle. When the handle is full, wrap wire several times through the wire on the back of the handle (sort of like tying a knot). Secure and finish off by using needle nose pliers to create a spiral. Make sure wire is tight and will not unwind. Use needle nose pliers to make a spiral with the extra wire at base of handle.

Rather buy one? I bet Micki would happily make one for you (she’s definitely a beader and probably has great taste in bead selection). Or, I’d make ya’ one too, especially since I’m still selling everything I can for our adoption fundraiser.

Random thought: I might have to rename this blog “craft talk” if I keep deviating from the paper crafting stuff — oh, who am I kidding, the second I get my hands on the new SU! catty, it’ll be ALL stamps ALL the time!

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