Friday, December 30, 2011

Advent Calendar Box

My life stood still when I went crazy during this silly season because I decided to make an Advent Calendar Box for my sons. I was inspired by the lovely ones made by JeanFB at Bluebird Paperie and thought that I would attempt it with this year's beautiful Letters to Santa DSP.

My research on how to contruct this tower of matchboxes showed me that you can either do it with actual matchboxes or with a matchbox die. Hence, the dilemma. I don't have a matchbox die and was not comfortable with putting chocolate/candy (even wrapped ones) in empty matchboxes. Also, I only had the Medium Sizzlits Dies to use for my dates/numbers.

Solution, I constructed my matchboxes from card stock the old fashion way - cut, score, fold and adhere 24 matchboxes in these dimensions: 2" wide x 1 1/4" high x 3 1/2" deep. I chose these dimensions because I wanted the height to fit the sizzlit numbers and the width & depth to fit at least a Matchbox or Hot Wheels car. There are many matchbox templates on the internet but I just pulled an ordinary matchbox apart to get the template. You can find out how to put it all together HERE - a tutorial written by Hermine Koster at Hermine's Place.

Once all these boxes were ready, I became paralysed with fear on how to use my DSP effectively. Sad isn't it? Yup, I sat on this for nearly 2 weeks and by this time, Advent had started and I had to apologise to my boys and promised that they could open 2 drawers a day to catch up. "Yipee", they yelled because they get to have 2 treats per day and so they were patient!

To cut a long story short, I only had half a pack of DSP and by the time I decided to bite the bullet and started cutting into the paper, I realised that I was one 12"x12" short to cover the top and bottom 7"x7" pieces.

Fortunately for me, my upline had a matching piece to spare and I did not have to order in a full pack just for one sheet. Using the DSP effectively was my biggest hurdle as I could not picture how the end product would look like ie. horribly messy or cheery and merry. What do you think?

After all the pieces on, embellishing and making drawer knobs was easy and fun. I tried to stay true to Stampin' Up! only products but in the end, I just grabbed whatever I could find including my husband's fishing reel for its line (heh, heh, heh). For the project recipe, I will list only the SU products as I couldn't even begin to tell you where the other products are from.

project recipe
stamps: Delightful Decorations (121502966), Season of Joy (WM 113023)
ink: Classic Stampin' Pad - Early Espresso (119670), Marina Mist (119668)
card stock: Riding Hood Red (116205 - full pack of 24 sheets required), Marina Mist (121682), Early Espresso (121686), Whisper White (106549)
paper: Letters to Santa DSP (122349)

tools: Big Shot (113439), Sweetest Stem (114513), Timeless Alphabet Junior Alphabet Medium Sizzlit Dies (115951), Swirls Scribbles (113441), Merry Details (retired), Boho Blossoms Punch (119858), Ornament Punch (119847), Decorative Label Punch (120907), 1 3/4" Scallop Circle Punch (119854)
the added pizzaz: Basic Pearl (119247), Basic Rhinestone (119246), Antique Brads (117273), Clear Rhinestone Brads (113144), Square Fire Rhinestone Brads (109112) Square Ice Rhinestone Brads (retired), Brights Designer Buttons (119747), 1/4" Real Red Grosgrain Ribbon (109034), Whisper White Grosgrain Ribbon (109025), Natural Hemp Twine (100982), Cherry Cobbler/White Baker's Twine (123125), Dazzling Diamonds (102023), 2-Way Glue (100425), Stampin' Dimensionals 104430)


The postage piece on your left and the bauble piece below, although beautifully patterned, lacked dimension (I felt). So to add "pop" to those pieces, I cut out random matching images from the DSP and adhered over the top with dimensionals. I've also added Dazzling Diamonds too for more bling.

I hope that I've explained this "pop" part clearly. If not, do contact me for more details but I think that if you refere to the more detailed photos, you will understand what I'm trying to convey. I hope that you've enjoyed my trials and tribulations and perhaps attempt an Advent Calender Box for next Christmas. However, this will make a gorgeous gift box for any occassion - you can make it in single or double layers and decorate to your heart's content. Maybe in a few months time, I may do the same :-)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in 2012

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Favourite Swaps from the Stampin' Up! Melbourne Regionals 2011

Since I posted my swap for the Melbourne Regionals yesterday, I thought that I had better follow it up today with 2 of my very favourite swaps that I received that day. My top most favourite was created by demonstrator, Rachael Hecker and the second one was from a guest of hers, Kylie Slane. Here they are:

Favourite #1 by Rachael Hecker

The photo doesn't do it real justice but I can tell you that this card looks quite pearlescent. The white-ish parts were done in Frost White Shimmer Paint giving it a Mother of Pearl look - very elegant card.

project recipe
stamps: Established Elegance (WM 124966, CM 122532)
ink: Classic Stampin' Pad - Crumb Cake (121030), Jet Black Staz On (101406)
card stock: Basic Black (121688), Glossy White (106555)
tools: Big Shot (113439), Framed Tulips Textured Impressions Embossing Folder (121809), Top Note Bigz Die (113463), Brayer (102395), Boho Blossoms Punch (119858), 1 1/4" Circle Punch (119861), 1 3/8" Circle Punch (119860)
the added pizzaz: Basic Pearls (119247), Frost White Shimmer Paint (116854), Victorian Crochet Trim (118481), 3/8" Black Taffeta Ribbon (119962)

Favourite #2 by Kylie Slane (guest)

This is yet another elegant card. I don't possess the Established Elegance stamp set as I don't normally create vintage style cards. However, I do love Rachael and Kylie's card swaps.

project recipe
stamps: Established Elegance (WM 124966, CM 122532), Parlour Prints (WM 125026), Perfectly Penned (WM 125014, CM 122892), Music Notes Standard Wheel (120327)
ink: Classic Stampin' Pad - Soft Suede (115657), Crumb Cake (121030), Cherry Cobbler (119669)
card stock: Soft Suede (119982), Crumb Cake (121685), Cherry Cobbler (121681), Very Vanilla (106550)
tools: Big Shot (113439), Designer Frames Textured Impressions Embossing Folder (123130), Standard Stampin' Around Handle (102971), Brayer (102395), Large Oval Punch (119855), XL Oval Punch (119859), Decorative Lable Punch (120907)
the added pizzaz: Chantilly Crochet Trim (118480), Crumb Seam Binding Ribbon (122332), Stampin' Sponges (101610)

Hope you enjoyed these 2 favourites of mine.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Stampin' Up! Melbourne Regionals 2011 - Butterfly Surprise

Aside from an annual Australian/New Zealand Convention, each state hosts at least one Regional event per year. I attended my 2nd Regional event in mid-November and this year, I managed to create 25 swap cards compared to only 7 that I did last year. I got the idea for my swap from something that one of my sons did at school and a book I browsed through at Lincraft, combined the 2 ideas using Stampin' Up! products and thus achieved my swaps for this year. What do you think?

project recipe
stamps: Creative Elements (WM 124956, CM120647), Teeny Tiny Sentiments (WM 119185, CM 120024)
ink: Classic Stampin' Pad - Calypso Coral (122939), Lucky Limeade (122935)
card stock: Calypso Coral (124392), Whisper White (106549)
tools: Word Window Punch (119857), Owl Builder Punch (118074) for the medium size circle, Handheld 1/16" Circle Punch, Big Shot (113439), Beautiful Wings(118138), Top Note Bigz Die (113463), Stamp-a-ma-jig (101049), Circle Scissor Plus (112530), Circle Scissor Plus Glass Mat (112531)
the added pizzaz: Gold Brads (104337) or Silver Mini Brads (122941), Blender Pen (102845), Stamping Sponges (101610), Stampin' Dimensionals (104430), 2-way Glue Pen (100425), White Baker's Twine (124262) or thin non SU gold cord

cardessence photo tutorial
 Photo 1
  • Use Circle Scissor Plus to cut out 2 pieces of 3" Whisper White card stock;
  • Stamp images as per photo 1 & 2 (below).
  • Sponge edges as per this photo.
Note: I stamped this piece on both sides but only sponged the top side. Reason: so that when it is stretched out, this piece is patterned  on the top and underneath - not a necessary step but a matter of preference.   

Photo 2
  • Stamp, punch, colour in with a blender pen, die cut, sponge to obtain all the pieces in this photo;
  • Trim the 3" WW circle piece so that it's a fraction smaller - don't worry that it's not a perfect circle as the top piece will hide the uneveness;
  • Use dimensionals to adhere the sentiment;
  • Use a brad to affix the butterfly layers in place on the circle piece; lastly
  • Adhere them to the Top Note die cut piece.

Photo 3
  •  Fold the first (top) piece into quarters.

Photo 4
  • Use a sharp pair of paper snips and cut in an arc from alternate ends as shown in this photo.

Photo 5
  • Unfold gently and assemble as per main (finished) photo.

I hope that this tutorial is easy to follow as it's my first photo tutorial. Let me know if you like this form of tactile greeting card/bauble.

Bye for now,