It’s a Bust

It’s a Bust
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Any kind of surgery is a big deal and I believe it’s normal to feel apprehensive before going under the knife. So, when a friend of mine was days away from a breast-reduction surgery, I made her this card to… show her our support. ;-) Long ago, a friend held an all-you-can-create card buffet where we could use her supplies to make replicas of the cards she designed and pay one low price. I was too uptight to make the bra card and I didn’t know how or when I would ever use it. As I’ve gotten older, some of my friends have dealt with delicate female issues such as breast cancer, reconstructive surgery and breast reductions. Now I know where I could use a bust shaped card.

So, when the time came to make a card for this situation, I tried to remember the shape of the card my friend designed and came up with this. No Cricut machine was involved in this. This card was hand-drawn from my imagination and hand-cut.

Bust Card with Pearl NecklaceI used some retired Close to My Heart rosette ribbon and nestled some faux pearls between some of the roses with Glue Dots. With my Cuttlebug, I used an embossing folder to add a feminine pattern to the top.

Bra CardHere’s another picture of the card with better lighting:

It's a Bust

 

 

 

 

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Nice Mustache

Nice Mustache
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Last month, I had the pleasure of seeing my favorite Aussie, Peter Brewer, when he flew to San Francisco to speak at a real estate conference we both attended!

Peter Brewer - photo by Nate Ellis

Peter Brewer – photo by Nate Ellis

If I had time, I would create a special card for every friend of mine, but that’s just not feasible. So, when I knew I was going to see him and his famous mustache, I wanted to make him a card.Hey, man... nice 'stache.The pictures look dark to me, but I any filter I put on the photo changed the colors drastically, so I left all the photos untouched without a filter.

Mustache cardI am often inspired by popular songs and pop culture, so I probably got the phrase, “Hey man, nice ‘stache” from the Filter song “Hey Man, Nice Shot.” It was easy to pull this card together because I’d designed it in my head first. Using paper from DCWV “The Guy Stack” cardstock and my Cricut Explore, I cut the mustache and had the machine write my phrase with a pen.

Hey, man... nice 'stache!When my husband and I got into town, we discovered Peter and Tara were having dinner near our hotel, so we stopped in and surprised them. It was nice to hand The Mustached One his card before the fast-paced conference week began.

Peter loved his card!Hurray for friends!

Photo Aug 20, 12 51 22 PM Peter approved of this mustache card.

Nice 'stache!Thanks for reading my blog!

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Social Media App Ornaments

Social Media App Ornaments
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I guess it’s Christmas in July since I’m blogging about the social networking iPhone app icon ornaments I made back in December of 2012. I meant to blog about these in early 2013, but time slipped away from me and today it seemed like the right time to share this post with you.

Social Media App Icon OrnamentsMaking ornaments or using craft foam were two things that weren’t on my radar at all when my friend Katie inspired me with something on Facebook. She shared a picture of some social media ornaments on her wall and said, “I totally need these for my office!!” I commented below with, I love those, too!! How cute!! I think I could make them and so could you, Katie!” It wasn’t long before our friend Debra private-messaged me and asked if she could pay me to make a set for Katie and a set for her. I liked the challenge, accepted it, and shopped for my material so I could come up with a price for the secret project. Once everything was agreed upon, I got to work and just figured out how these were made. I had never worked with craft foam and discovered how fun it is to cut, but also how tricky it can be. One dent from a finger nail tip and the foam is not good enough to use.

I looked at images of the Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Foursquare iPhone app icons and printed them to approximately 3″ x 3″ and then proceeded to cut out certain elements of the icons with a craft knife. I traced the cut-outs onto the craft foam and carefully cut around them for each ornament. I found that using Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue works well for creating these ornaments.

iPhone App Icon Ornaments

One set of social media app icon ornaments Once Katie received her surprise in the mail, she shared this:

Katie LanceKatie is very influential in the social networking platforms – especially across the national real estate agent community. After the cat was out of the bag, word got out and I was approached by an acquaintance who is the creator of one of the well-known REALTOR conferences. He asked me to give him a quote for ten sets, gift-wrapped and mailed to real estate speakers all across the country. I agreed and got to work! I shared a picture on Instagram and as the word got out, I collected several more orders! It was an accidental success and I think I made a total of 105 app ornaments.

The ornament factoryI also made a few of these limited edition Klout app icon ornaments for a few friends.

Klout app icon ornamentsIsn’t it cute on the Christmas tree?

Klout app icon ornament on a Christmas treeIf you are interested in getting a price quote and placing an order, please leave a comment below and I will get in touch with you.

iPhone App Icon Ornaments

Photo Jul 25, 11 13 33 PMThanks for reading my blog!

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Baby Card for Beckett

Baby Card for Beckett
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Do you remember this card I made for my friend Anita? I blogged about it here: Hand-Cut Paper-Pieced Baby Announcement

Handmade paper-pieced Pregnancy / Baby Announcement Card via CardsByStephanie.com

Handmade paper-pieced Pregnancy / Baby Announcement Card via CardsByStephanie.com

The good news is she successfully delivered her (huge) healthy and happy baby boy! I wanted to make a special card for Anita and Patrick’s new baby, so I looked at some pictures of the nursery Anita had shared online. She put so much love, effort and care into the special touches that brought this adorable room together. This card is a nod to little Beckett’s nursery.

Welcome, Beckett! Baby card with "Lifting Spirits" CTMH stamp setI used the cheerful Lifting Spirits Close to My Heart stamp set for the airplane and clouds. Is anyone else concerned that there’s no one flying the plane? I told Anita a teddy bear is flying it (totally normal) but he leaned over to tie his shoe when this picture was taken. I stamped the airplane onto the cardstock first and then stamped it onto scrap paper. I trimmed around the stamped image and stuck it onto the airplane with washi tape to temporarily mask it. I should have used a sticky note or the masking adhesive designed for this! Then, when I stamped the clouds over the airplane, it caused the clouds to look like they were behind it.

I used Copic markers to color this. I have forgotten everything I learned about coloring with alcohol markers in high school AP art and college.Baby Card made with CTMH ifting Spirits stamp setDon’t you just love this cute orange and white button that anchors the sentiment banner in place? Anita is very talented at sewing, so I thought adding a button was appropriate.Orange and white button - welcome, Beckett!I made a little string of pennants from orange cardstock that I hand-cut and drew designs upon with a white gel marker. I used glue dots to lay them over the embroidery floss I stapled down with a mini stapler.Orange pennantAnita shared this cute pic she took of the card in the nursery and she plans to display it on one of the shelves made from vintage suitcases:Anita Kissee's photo of Beckett's CardsByStephanie cardThanks for reading my blog!

Beckett's airplane card

 

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Happy Birthday Stacy!

Happy Birthday Stacy!
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Today is the One and Only Stacy L‘s birthday! Stacy and I became instant friends a little over nine (!) years ago when we met through the Depeche Mode message boards. We’ve had many fun adventures together, including meeting Depeche Mode backstage. Yeah, I had to bring that up again because I’m still thrilled that happened!

With each birthday card for Stacy, I feel compelled to outdo myself. Who’s to say if I really achieve that? What I do know is that each card has a completely different feel to it and it’s always a surprise to Stacy. This year, I wanted to do something with the really cool illustration of Stacy that her good friend Shaz Justice of Lollipop Labs Studios drew. Stacy has used it as her cover photo on Facebook, and I think she’s also used it as her avatar. I had a friendly conversation with Shaz about it, and she was all for the idea of me collaborating with her to make Stacy a special card. I should have asked her for the file so that it wouldn’t be so pixelated, but I just snagged it from Stacy’s album of cover photos on Facebook.

Here’s what I came up with. What do you think?

2014 purple birthday card for Depeche Mode fan StacyI used a (way too dull) craft knife to cut Stacy out of the printed .jpg and popped her off the page with double-sided foam adhesive.

Stacy - Depeche Mode Fan - illustrated by Shaz JusticeI found the perfect washi tape spools for the card! Stampin’ Up! had some Halloween washi tape on clearance, and my order just arrived, so I used the skull washi tape and some purple patterned washi tape from We R Memory Keepers and laid them onto the card, along with some ribbon I bought years ago. I always planned to use it on a card for Stacy.

Special 2014 birthday card for Depeche Mode fan StacyAren’t the pennants cute? I folded washi tape in half over the threaded silver beads and snipped them into little triangle shapes. They were kind of floppy, so I pinned one down with a glue dot.

Close-up of Stacy's purple birthday cardI added a cluster of embellishments to the lower left corner. I used a mixture of retired Close to My Heart products and embellishments from my local craft stores.

Embellishments on Stacy's birthday cardHere’s another view of the card. Isn’t Stacy adorable? I love how Shaz illustrated her!

Washi tape + skulls + illustration of StacyI almost never decorate the inside of a card, but this time I did! I added another cut-out of Stacy and layered her over some washi tape.

Stacy - illustrated by Shaz JusticeThere was still plenty of room to write my sentiment inside.Inside of the card: Stacy - illustrated by Shaz JusticeI used my tiny Tim Holtz stapler to attach the wire-threaded silver beads.

2014 birthday card for Depeche Mode fan Stacy      Here’s one last picture I took of the card: Custom birthday card for a special fan of Depeche ModeStacy enjoyed the card and the concert ticket we bought for her. We got to see New Order LIVE last week for our very first time! She shares the same birthday as Ian Curtis, the late singer of Joy Division who died the same day as Mt. St. Helens erupted. Photo below, by Stacy.

Stacy's Depeche Mode birthday card and New Order concert ticketThanks for reading my blog!

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Happy 1st Wedding Anniversary

Happy 1st Wedding Anniversary
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This is the week of my husband’s and my wedding anniversary, so I wanted to blog about what I did for him last year. The chalkboard effect has been very popular for the last few years and 2013 was the year I finally played around with that look and I still love it in 2014. Someday, when we look back on my first wedding anniversary card and gift to my husband, we’ll say, “That style is SOOO 2013!”

Traditionally, the first wedding anniversary gift is paper and that be interpreted so many ways. For the paper crafter, it meant I would make him a paper scrapbook of photos and moments from our first year of marriage. We take a lot of photos and share them online with friends, so I picked the highlights from the year and printed the photos on glossy paper and made a mini album of memories. The photos are pulled secretly from his Facebook account so that both sides of the stories were represented. What was really special is that he made me a video “scrapbook” with photos from our first year together! We both made each other surprise scrapbooks! That was pretty sweet.

I’ve always described myself as a reluctant scrapbooker. I just can’t get into creating fancy layouts that feature the perfect balance of embellishments, photos and journaling. It’s just not me! Until I met my husband, I’d only made two mini scrapbook albums and I gave those away. They commemorated someone’s baby shower and a vacation she took with her family. I’d never been inspired to make a book of memories and moments until I married My Dream Come True, Dale. The joy and love I feel everyday I’m his wife causes me to be inspired to create more things, and it’s his loving support that continues to fuel my creativity. My style is more of a smash-book where I select the best photos and print them on glossy photo paper, then I trim them and stick them onto pages with minimal journaling.

Here’s what I surprised my sweetie with last year:

1st Wedding Anniversary DIY Gifts: a mini album & a cardI’ll share more about the 1st anniversary card in another blog post because today I just want to share details about the mini album. I’d had this small 6″ x 6″ Close to My Heart album in my stash for a few months. I got it on clearance and with just 8 page protectors (for 16 pages), it didn’t seem to daunting to try it as a mini scrapbook.

Five-Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand Six-Hundred Minutes mini albumI was happy when I thought of using a line from “Seasons of Love” from “Rent,” the Broadway musical. Dale LOVES musicals, so writing the number of minutes in one year (from the song) was a nod to his love of musicals. I used regular black cardstock and smeared it with ink from my White Daisy Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad and some white colored pencil scribbles I blended with Kleenex. Then I wrote in “chalkboard fronts” with an assortment of white markers, pens, a Gelato, and colored pencils and secured the edges with washi tape.

How do you measure a year? 1st anniversary mini album.How do you measure a year? In photos and in love!! I found the “1” charm at Craft Warehouse. There was a collection of metal numbers on clearance a few years ago, and I knew I could use them for something! This was the right embellishment for this project.

"1" charmI used the AWESOME Rhonna Designs app to embellish photos with sayings and trendy clip art. I also used the Diptic collage app to make some collages of photos. Then, I printed them onto glossy photo paper and trimmed them to fit my 6″ x 6″ pages.

Photo made with the Rhonna Designs appI used Close to My Heart Memory Protectors™ 6″ X 6″ Flip Flaps because I needed a few more pages! It was helpful to add flaps where I needed to extend some pages.

CTMH Flip Flaps were used in my projectThere were a total of two used because I needed 4 more pages!

CTMH Flip FlapsYou may think your spouse wouldn’t want “a girly scrapbook” as his anniversary gift, but my guy was touched and he loved his surprise scrapbook. Rather than having several scrapbooks to sift through of different events in our lives, having a little smash-book mini album was much more palatable. It won’t take hours to pour through the photos, and that’s one thing we both liked about this gift.

Thanks for reading my blog post!

 

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Golf Word Collage

Golf Word Collage
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This is the next one in a series of four canvases I made as Christmas gifts for my husband’s family last December.

My brother-in-law is an excellent golfer and he’s very passionate about his all-time favorite sport. My husband and I can’t help but think of his sister’s husband whenever we see something golf-related. When I discovered that my Cricut Word Collage cartridge had a golf lover’s word collage, I just HAD to make a special piece of art for him as one of his Christmas gifts.

Golf Word CollageIf you want to learn how I made this collage, please look at this blog post: NYC Word Collage. It has the steps listed so that you can make your own canvas wall art!

Another view of the golf word collage

Here is another view of the 8″ x 10″ canvas art I made for him. The cute green chevron paper came from the Chevron Paper Pack from Hobby Lobby and it’s a must-have if you’re into chevrons.

Golf Word Collage made with the Cricut Expression machineThanks for reading my blog!

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Flower Word Collage

Flower Word Collage
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Last Christmas, I made word collage wall art for my husband’s family. Today I’d like to show you the word collage I made for his Grandma. She loves flowers and she’s especially talented with nurturing orchids and keeping them alive. Her house is always nice and warm, which is what orchids need to survive.

Flower Word Collage

I used the Cricut Word Collage and my Cricut Expression machine, along with brown vinyl. To see how I made it, please read the instructions in my NYC Word Collage blog post. Needless to say, Dale’s grandma loved her handmade Christmas gift and I felt happy making another custom gift for her.

Word Collage made of Flower NamesThanks for reading my blog!

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NYC Word Collage

NYC Word Collage
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My brother-in-law and sister-in-law live in the heart of New York City, just a block from Times Square. How’s THAT for a cool place to live? A year ago or so, when visiting home, my husband’s brother brought me some NYC maps, Broadway show flyers, menus and other goodies from The Big Apple. I don’t think he imagined I’d turn them into crafts for him, but I did! I used a map of New York City and used Mod Podge to attach it carefully to an 8″ x 10″ canvas. It was just one of the pieces of art I made for Dale’s family last Christmas.

Close-Up of the NYC Canvas ArtHere’s how I made the gift: I took a blank 8″ x 10″ canvas and applied a thin layer of Mod Podge with a foam brush. Then, I applied a thin layer of Mod Podge to the back of the map and while everything was still wet, I placed the canvas face-down onto the back of the map. The trick to getting Mod Podge to stick is to attach a wet surface to another wet surface. Then, I folded the rest of the map around the four sides and attached and trimmed the map and let it dry for 30+ minutes. You could do the same thing with scrapbook paper.

NYC Borough Word CollageThe next step was that I used the Cricut Word Collage and selected the New York collage image. I didn’t need to use software to do this, but when I cut vinyl, I like someone else to figure out the ideal speed and pressure for my machine. I made this project in December, before the Cricut Explore and Design Space existed, so I used my Cricut Expression machine and Cricut Design Studio to determine the proper size for cutting this project from black vinyl. Once it was cut, I weeded away the extra scrap I wouldn’t use and carefully applied the vinyl words to my dry canvas with transfer tape. Once any bubbles were smoothed out, I applied three layers of Mod Podge, allowing at least 30 minutes between each coat.

NYC Word Collage / Canvas Wall Art

The final step was spraying the finished canvas with a sealant. I sprayed this outdoors and let the canvas air out for a few minutes before bringing it inside to cure for at least 24 hours. Since I was mailing this (along with their other gifts) across the country in the dead of winter, I let the canvas cure for a few extra days. I wanted to ensure it was very well set and wouldn’t stick to the tissue paper and gift wrap.

NYC Word CollageThanks for reading my blog!

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The Cat’s Out of the Bag

The Cat’s Out of the Bag
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A few months ago, a friend text me to tell me some very exciting news: she and her husband were expecting their first child!! My husband and I were in the car on our way to a child’s first birthday party when we got the news and we sent this in reply, to convey our excitement. Stephanie and DaleWe were sworn to secrecy and once she announced her wonderful news on Facebook, it was time to make her a card I’d designed in my head. I have a big orange, fluffy kitty and my friend and her husband have a cat named Curry and a kitten named Cheddar and both are golden-orange. What can I say? We love orange cats!

I sketch out card ideas in the Penultimate iPad app sometimes. I would rather sketch on paper, but I don’t carry the same notebook with me, so it’s hard to find illustrations, designs and ideas again later if I don’t put them all in one place – and if I misplace the notebook. Penultimate syncs with Evernote, so I have my sketches everywhere I go. The problem is, my hand drags across the screen when I draw, and that marks up my drawing – even when I have the wrist protection feature (in the app) on. As a result, I have to hold the stylus at a very awkward angle so my hand doesn’t touch the screen and that’s why all my card sketches look like a child drew them.

Here’s where the card idea started to become a reality.

The making of my "cat's out of the bag" card

The making of my “cat’s out of the bag” card

I knew I could hand cut everything, but I thought I would see if Cricut Design Space had any shapes that would work. If I could use my Cricut Explore machine, it would save me hours of work. Sure enough, I found a good shape for a bag and a really cute cat shape that would work. I used those images, plus a fun background patterned and letters to design, cut and create this custom card.

Here’s the paper bag-esque card I mailed in a kraft cardstock envelope.So...When she looked into the bag, she saw this little fella peeking at her!Cat peeking from the bagAs she pulled the cat out of the bag, she revealed the message on his tummy!The cat's out of the bag!Isn’t he sweeeet?Orange kittyThe back of the kitty revealed this message:Message on the back of the catThis is the back of the card sleeve:The bagFinally, here’s the side of the card sleeve:Folded grocery bag card

I was so excited to see she loved the card!

She loved her cat card!Thanks for reading my blog! :-D

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