A birthday card for a Slots Queen!

My friend, Ruth, has a sister-in-law who loves trying her luck at the slot machines. So, when she asked me to make a birthday card for her sister-in-law, I immediately thought of this wonderful Mo Manning image, that’s simply called, Fairy 2.

As always, I finished all four sides of my card. I think it gives them a really nice polished look.

If you would like to order this card, just leave me a comment at the end of this post. The cost is $10 + $3 postage and handling. I can customize your special card with the recipient’s name; add a special verse;; and, use any colour scheme you like. If you can imagine it (or even if you can’t), I can make it!

Frame_Slots Fairy card for Anne Marie (6)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I just love this fairy, who seems to have Big-A Attitude! She was so much fun to colour with my Copic markers. And, of course, lots of my signature sparkles!

Frame_Slots Fairy card for Anne Marie (4)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And inside it says. . .

Frame_Slots Fairy card for Anne Marie (14)

While you’re here, have a quick peek at some of my other cards–you might see something you like. Keep in mind as you’re browsing that any of the images that you see on my ATC’s can also be used to create a special greeting card.

Big yellow trucks birthday card!

Frame_Jack's 4th birthday-construction trucks (14) What little boy doesn’t love Big Yellow Trucks?

There’s an adorable little boy, named Jack, who is turning four this month. This year, Jack’s passion is trucks. BIG trucks. BIG YELLOW trucks! In fact, Jack loves everything to do with construction. When his grandma asked me to make his birthday card again, this year, I was delighted. This was my first big-yellow-truck-card experience!

I wanted to make this card really special, so that Jack would love it as much as his presents. My first thought was of my Cameo. I love having an excuse to slip into the Silhouette America library of images. Within seconds I had found a set of four construction vehicles. Just what I was looking for–and four, for the price of one. Yayyy!!! Best of all, I had a brand new blade in my Cameo!!

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I chose the dump truck for the front of the card, and added a sign that says, “Jack’s Construction Company.”

I used Stampin’ Up’s Whisper White card stock for the trucks and coloured them with my Copic markers. I used two or three shades of deep yellow to add some texture. Next, I used a brown ink pad to add some “dirt” to my construction trucks. The hub caps are plastic discs that I found in my stash of craft supplies.

I cut “glass” windows out of the cello packaging from one of my tape rollers and added some big presents in the back of the truck to make it more festive. The ground is made from torn brow paper that I ran through my Big Shot. A bit of brown glitter glue gave the sand just the right amount of sparkle.

I really wanted Jack to be surprised when he looked inside his card, so I used all four of the construction vehicles! The birthday wish says, “Have truckloads of fun on your birthday!”

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Here are some close-ups of the inside panels. I added dimension by popping up all of the trucks and clouds with pop dots. I love pop dots!

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The dump truck is filled with “sand,” that I made using torn pieces of brown card stock,  covered with brown glitter glue.

I added a little yellow envelope on the back with a folded card inside–just perfect for grandma and grandpa to write a special birthday message for Jack. I attached the front and back panels with  ” rusty hinges,” in keeping with the construction theme.

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I had a lot of fun making Jack’s card, this year. And, now, just for old-time’s sake, here’s a flashback to the card I made last year for Jack’s third birthday when he was a “fireman.”

 

Is the honeymoon over with you and your Silhouette Cameo?

In most relationships (specifically, the romantic kind) there are two phases: the honeymoon phase and reality.

During the honeymoon phase, all you can think about is your new love. Your sweetheart is your “everything.” Your pulse quickens when your eyes meet; you quiver when your hands touch; you just can’t stop thinking about him. You want to see the world, together; you want to experience everything life has to offer…together. You might even neglect long-time friends in favour of spending time with your him.

Well, that’s exactly what happened with me and my Cameo. I fell for Cam and I fell hard!  In fact, I had pretty much decided I would end my relationship with my “Happy Birthday” stamp and I would, forevermore, cut the words out on my Cameo and glue them onto my cards. And, I vowed to forsake all die-cutting shapes and let Cameo take over.

I got hooked on buying Cameo shapes. In fact, it got so bad that I could barely sleep on Monday nights waiting for the weekly Tuesday half-price sale. All I needed was my Cameo. Just me and my Cameo…and four or five hundred Cameo shapes…and some paper. Yes, I was in LOVE!

Ah, but I did say there were two phases to a relationship, remember? Okay, well, that second phase, known as reality is kind of important. That’s the phase during which your sanity returns. That’s when you remember that there ARE other things and other people in the world besides your Honey Bunny… in my case, Cam. Oh, don’t get me wrong, this return-to-sanity phase doesn’t mean you fall out of love. Nope, not at all. It’s just that those crazy-happy neurochemicals in your brain start to settle down and you begin to act normal, again. Remember normal?

So, what inspired me to write this article is the fact that today, after a year-long honeymoon with my Cameo, I realized that there are many other colours in the rainbow and many other tools in my craft studio. I was making a Christmas card and trying to glue the 14 letters of “Merry Christmas” onto the front of it without getting glue on the cardstock. Like that’s ever going to happen!

As luck would have it, I glued my index finger to my thumb and had to stop to pry them apart and scrub the glue off. It was at that moment that I happened to noticed, sitting way up on a shelf, a card that I had made last year. It, too, had “Merry Christmas” on the front. But, I had done it the old-fashioned way, using a beautiful stamp and a rich pearl embossing powder. The stamped sentiment on the card just happened to catch the light, giving it a  look of sheer elegance.

And, my point is…

What did I learn from this (you ask, hoping that there really is a point to my story)? I learned that, while my Silhouette is great for some things, it is just one of the many tools in my studio. I also learned that, if you use the same tools all the time, you can get stuck in a rut and start turning out cookie-cutter projects.

So, the honeymoon with Cam is over and I’m sane, once more! I’m still in love with my Cameo, but it I have returned to Planet Sanity, and it’s good to be reunited with my wonderful family of crafting tools.

Nowadays, I use my Cameo for cutting out:

  • large-scale sentiments for scrapbooking (not the little fiddley ones, unless it’s absolutely necessary)
  • multiple copies of the same shape
  • intricate cuts that would either be too frustrating or take too long to cut out by hand (or simply impossible, as in the case of doilies) Note: I found the “Sunshine and Lollipops” photo on-line and I have used it only in this post.
  • vinyl stencils–the Cameo is, of course, the master of stencil-cutting

I know that me and my Cameo will enjoy a long and happy future, together, now that I have realistic expectations for our relationship. Like they say, “no man can be everything!” Well, I guess one tool can’t do it all, either!

A last few words of caution, which I offer based on my own experience:

  • always take whatever is free (i.e., free shape-of-the-week)
  • try not to get carried away when buying shapes–even if they are half-price. A lot of those shapes that you think you will use one day, will likely sit in a folder, forgotten. So best to buy on an as-need basis, even if you do pay the full $0.99. It’s cheaper, in the long run
  • use your shapes creatively. I have often modified shapes to suit my needs
  • before you buy a new shape, check your library to see if you have one that is similar
  • don’t forget about your die-cutting tools, like your Nestabilities and your punches–they are often quicker to use than the Cameo.
So that’s my two-cents’ worth for today. I hope I gave you some food-for-thought. If you have some Cameo or other crafting advice that you would like to share, please leave me a comment and I will be happy to share it with my readers.

Birthday card for my son, Neil

Neil is 41…holy cow, that makes me almost… 50!

This is my son, Neil. He is every mother’s dream! He is a wonderful son, who calls me several times a week just to chat. We have long and fascinating conversations about everything under the sun, from philosophy to quantum physics to dog-training and everything in between.

He is a great husband to Jenn and a fantastic dad to Ashleigh.

In the cold weather, he wears long underwear,  an extra sweater, a warm hat, scarf, gloves and boots (he did that even as a kid and, more surprisingly, as a teenager!).

He does all the cooking at his house; bakes and decorates cakes; knows everything about cars and astronomy. He loves nature and will pull over to the side of the road to admire a particularly beautiful tree.

He once called me on my birthday to wish me a happy day and said he would be over as soon as he had finished servicing the brakes on his car and had showered. The next thing I knew, he was at my front door, all clean and shiny, holding a family-sized Aero Bar with a lighted candle in it. (The party and cake came on the weekend). Now, isn’t that just the sweetest thing, ever?

To top it off, he loves children, elderly folks and animals. He always holds the door for people (of every age), looks them in the eye and gives them a big smile.

He plays the guitar and is such a comedian that he can keep us in stitches for hours.

He’s a guys’ guy and a renaissance man, all rolled into one.

And last, but not least, he gives the best hugs–when Neil hugs me, I know I’ve been hugged! Happy Birthday, my wonderful son!

Here is the card I made him. I should have photographed it on a dark background, rather than on a white envelope…but, you get the idea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To embellish the inside, I repeated the white stitching that I did on the front. What would I do without my gel pen! I also used my white gel pen to write my personal birthday message to Neil on inside of the card (but I kept that part between me and Neil). The pocked on this style of card can also be used to hold a gift card-holder. Sweet idea! You can view more of my hand-crafted cards and other projects on Pinterest.

Paper sizes explained…finally!

No more wondering about paper size!

If you are new to paper-crafting, you’re probably a bit confused about the terms A4, A5, and so on. You probably do know, however, that they refer to paper size, card size and even binder size. Trying to keep them all straight isn’t easy, right? Well, here for you–and for me–are some charts that I put together showing just what these paper sizes are in both metric and imperial measurements.

Let’s start with the most common paper names:

And now, for the really tricky ones:

I’m so glad I finally posted this information. My plan is to put these charts in my “binder of handy information,” so it will be at my fingertips for quick reference. I hope you find it useful, too.