Snowglobe shaker

I wanted to make Christmas cards for Dave’s family this year, and I knew his mom loves snowglobes.

I didn’t have any snowglobe dies or circle dies, but Cricut Access ended up having everything I needed.

I used two circles (one larger than the other) to get the green glitter frame. Then I took a snowglobe image and used hide contour to get just the bottom stand/piece. I also cut the words “merry christmas” out of gold glitter.

For the globe filler, I used print then cut for the snowman with his cute little broom, and cut the dachshund and trees out of pattern paper. I also inked around the edges of the dachshund for shading – something I shamelessly copied from Youtube cardmakers. :p Turned out pretty cute, if I may say so myself.

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Tragically, the card never made it to Dave’s mom. It got returned to me in the mail as undeliverable. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I’ve been having trouble with sending mail to the US and only one of my Christmas cards made it last year. I’m keeping the card, and may hand it to her in person on my next trip…

Discovering Jennifer

I just discovered Jennifer McGuire and my mind…is…blown. Specifically, I watched her video tutorial on inking embossing folders. The ink gets stamped into the “valleys” of the embossing, creating this beautiful contrasting effect. You can then run an ink pad over the raised areas to create striking designs.

After watching her video, I was inspired to create a card using that technique, and an additional two more using the supplies I had on hand.

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For the first card, I used an embossing folder from Sizzix and Memento Dew Drop inkpads. These are so inexpensive, so it was a good choice for me to start building up a collection of inks. It helped that they were available in a physical retail store in Singapore (Made with Love) so I didn’t have to wait for them to be shipped or buy them sight unseen.

I inked up an embossing folder and placed my paper inside the folder, making sure not to move the paper after I set it down on the ink. I ran the inked embossing folder through my Cuttlebug using the basic embossing sandwich.

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Then, I used a contrasting color to ink up the raised ridges of the cardstock. I found this technique worked best when you use a light color for the lowered portion and a bright or more vibrant color for the raised portions.

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I am not fond of the mustard/olive piece but it was good practice!

Then I trimmed my piece down and adhered it to a top folding card base in cream/ivory.

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For my second card, I first ran my white cardstock through my Cuttlebug with an embossing folder (no ink this time!). I stamped the dotted circles to create my background and added two strips of glitter green cardstock to tie the card together. I stamped a simple “hello” sentiment to finish the card.

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For my last card, I used a memento ink pad to “smush” ink all over the background – on hindsight, I was a little light handed. I then used a darker color to ink up the edges to create some definition. Then I used the same dotted circle stamp and a flower to create a simple design on the bottom right corner.

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I still have a LONG way to go when it comes to creating cards. I can see my proportions are off, my finishes need work, and there are definitely more efficient methods to do what I’m doing. Still, I’m happy with what I made given the limited supplies I had and am excited to make more!

Floral inspired watercolor card

Today’s card is notย a shaker card but is inspired by a floral arrangement I made. I’m not an expert and have never taken a class but I visited Far East Flora’s cold room recently and fell in love with the beautiful blooms I saw. I had to take some home with me and display them in a vase.

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Those purples made my heart happy.

This card is also inspired by the wave of watercolored background cards that have been sprouting up on YouTube

Watercolors are gaining popularity with cardmakers because of their ability to blend easily and for being relatively inexpensive compared to other coloring mediums (e.g. Copics, Tombow markers, Prismacolor pencils). While artist grade watercolors can get pricy, you can still get beautiful results with cheaper sets.

Although YouTube videos make it look so easy, I’ve find watercoloring intimidating. My dad is an amazing watercolor artist and comparatively, I’ve never had that natural talent for art.

Mistake #1: Not using watercolor paper

My first error was using sketchbook paper instead of watercolor paper. My cardstock warped quite a bit due to the combination of liquid paint and my heat gun. But, I used LOTS of adhesive to correct the warping and everything turned out ok. ๐Ÿ™‚

Mistake #2: Not letting the first layer dry before adding more color

I was impatient to layer colors and flicked some black paint on the piece before the purple/blue had dried. The resulting effect was a black smudge instead of tiny black dots. Not a bad effect, just different from what I initially planned.

Mistake #3: Trying to make my own embellishments

I really wanted black glitter embellishments, so I used a hole punch and black glitter craft foam. Unfortunately, it ended up looking a bit like mold. I did end up peeling off the black foam and replacing it with silver sequins eventually, but never got an “after” picture.

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The sentiment was cut from purple shimmer cardstock and vellum with my Cricut Explore Air. If you don’t have stamps, dies or fancy machines, try buying stickers or cutting out label style printed sentiments.

For anyone who’s a beginner cardmaker, remember that you don’t NEED all the fancy tools out there to create beautiful cards. Don’t let a lack of supplies stop you from expressing your creativity or spoil your enjoyment. And if you make mistakes, like I did, it’s ok! Our cards are Handmade, not Hallmark, after all. ๐Ÿ™‚

Children’s Day

We celebrated children’s day at the office today by having an indoor scavenger hunt for our coworkers’ children. I offered to set up a make and take card station as the final stop in the hunt. Not that I’m a cardmaking expert after making a grand total of 3 in my lifetime, lol, but I thought it would be a fun activity for the kids.

Plus I totally needed an excuse to buy a small embossing machine – the Sizzix Texture Boutique.

I pre-cut card bases and frames and set up stations for each step (e.g. stamping, foam-taping, embossing).

Their favorite station was the embossing one (duh). So many “oohs” and “aahs” when the textured paper rolled out of the “magic machine” lol.

I was so busy helping little hands with glue, scissors and other bits that I didn’t get to snap many pictures, but my coworker kindly allowed me to use some of hers (faces blocked out for privacy):

ย I had such a blast thatย I’m considering doing this again. When I was a kid, I had ZERO confidence in my artistic abilities, so much so art homework made me cry. I remember my mom and sister helping me complete my art projects late into the night before they were due. Thanks to my Cricut, I’ve discovered that art can be an enjoyable, fulfilling activity and I create to relax. It was really amazing to be able to share that sensation with others, especially young minds, and introduce positive art experiences to them. ๐Ÿ™‚

Valerie’s birthday shaker + Cricut

Shortly before I left Seattle, I was going down the Youtube rabbit hole (you know what I mean – you start with one video, and 2 hours later, you’re watching a cat ride a Roomba). Somehow I happened on a video demo-ing the Cricut Explore Air. Mind instantly blown.

I think I watched a few more demos and downloaded the Design Space software before I brought my very own Cricut home from Joanns. I was leaving the country in a month, so, total impulse buy. I *think* I initially bought this to quilt…even though I hate quilting…anyway, it was THE BEST impulse buy ever, ok?

The machine came home with me to Singapore. Handy tip: It IS dual voltage, and the power slot is compatible with a standard laptop charger (non-Apple). I put it in my checked baggage in the original packaging and box and it survived the 20hrs+ trip from SEA-SIN. ๐Ÿ™‚

So, after my shaker card adventures with a manual die cutting machine, which I greatly coveted, but don’t yet own, I decided to try making one with the Cricut.

My coworker Valerie’s birthday was the day before a work event that was kind of a big deal. Our team was called in to work on that Sunday, so my manager got her a cake and I promised a card for the team to sign.

Here it is on all its shaker, sequinny glory:

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My “present” shaker card for Valerie’s birthday.

Not bad for a first try, right? No sequin casualties were reported. They stayed safe in their little shaker pocket, even at the hands of my coworker’s 7 year old.

I’m totally addicted, guys. ๐Ÿ˜€

 

 

 

First ever shaker cards

I made two shaker cards! I didn’t cause a fire, I didn’t lose important fingers (or unimportant fingers, for that matter) and there was no blood shed.

The group met on Sunday afternoon at the food court at Funan the IT mall. It was a small group of ladies and I was definitely the most inexperienced of them all. The instructor was so patient with me, and only laughed at me like one time lol. (It was totally deserved, so all is good.)

Shaker card #1:

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My ink blending is so splotchy. I don’t know how the instructor did hers so seamlessly. Goals!

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Shaker Card #2:

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I was so tired at the end of the session that when she asked if I wanted to re-stamp the sentiment, I said no lol. Hey, it’s shabby chic(k)!

Check out that amazing embossing (that’s the raised bits of paper) – isn’t that cool?! It’s like magic watching the paper roll out of the embossing machine. I need one of those doodads in my life…