January 30, 2012

Cookie Monster Shape Card

What's more fun than snowballs? This card is for my little grandson who will be turning 3. He loves the Muppets, almost as much as his Daddy did. And of course, Cookie Monster has always been a favourite.

This shape card is 5-1/2 inches high. The image in the handbook shows Cookie with his hand up, waving. When I saw that, I knew he needed to be holding another snowball. But the best part is the inside!

The card opens to show the flip side of Cookie, with his favourite snack... cookies!

The directions are rather long for this card. If you have any questions about how I made it, feel free to leave me a comment. It took a lot longer than it should have. But now that I've figured everything out, I'll know better how to pull one together fairly quickly.

How can you NOT smile, just looking at this little guy? Go ahead, I dare you. Try to keep from smiling. See what I mean? LOL

P.S. Notice the snowball trim on Cookie's scarf? Had to!

January 24, 2012

90th. Birthday

The best cakes are always made from scratch!
A 90th birthday is special, indeed. I wanted the front of this card to be elegant and uncluttered. And what better theme than a sumptuous cake!

This gate-fold card size is 5-1/2 x 5-1/2". The base is white with pink matting, then a layer of floral. The show stopper is the very special cake with its shimmery silver cake stand.

The hardest part was deciding which cake to use. Some are too casual, loose or cartoon-like. After what seemed like hours pouring over various cakes on the cartridges, I decided to make my own, using shapes from a variety of cartridges.

I started with a cake shape from Straight From The Nest, then removed all the details. But the shape had sharp edges which none of my cakes have ever had, so I added rounded corner pieces (from George). This hugely improved the cake, making it more lifelike. Next, I made a smaller top layer (rounded rectangle, also from George). The full width of the widest layer  is about 4 inches.

When the cake was done, I was pleased with the result as it was different than any other cake available on a single cartridge.

Cake Stand
The cake stand HAD to be beautiful. You can't imagine how excited I was to find this lovely scroll-y one on the Straight from the Nest cart.

I cut the cake stand from heavy CS that looks and feels like brushed aluminum. The open cut work of the stand needed some backing for extra strength and body. For this I cut a blackout of solid pink.

Decorating the Cake
This was so much fun! After toying with various flowers, silk, sparkly or cut, I decided to emboss the cake with flowers that mimic the ones on the printed background. A row of pearls nestled at the bottom of each layer completes the cake. On top, sit the large numbers cut from the same silver as the stand, and backed by pink.

The verse inside just happened to go with my cake theme. I prepared the poem on the computer and printed it on cardstock, not paper. Then I trimmed it to fit the card centre, 5 inches square. Corners are punched with the MS lace punch. For the inside left and right flaps, I did not want a lot of extra bulk. I kept it simple by giving them a layer of the same pink print paper as the front.

Cartridges and Tools Used
George and Basic Shapes - cake layers and corner pieces
Straight from the Nest - cake stand
Storybook - "90"
Cuttlebug with Stylized Flower folder

January 1, 2012

Christmas Day Birthday

Double The Fun

Anyone born on Christmas Day will always have to share their celebration with everyone else. And while you might feel you are overshadowed by all the hoopla of Christmas, or your uniqueness is not being fully appreciated, there ARE some perks. In our family, we always have a special time of day when we have birthday cake and birthday gifts for my son. And of course, the highlight of this time is our singing the "Happy Birthday" song... in four-part harmony. We often sing a reprise at the end because we are so thrilled at our own singing, and it always makes us laugh when we hold the note extra long at the end. The birthday person has to wait patiently, while the candles burn down. That's how we do it.

For this card, I combined one of my Son's favourite Christmas activities, i.e., bringing home the Christmas tree, with happy wishes for a wonderful birthday.

The perfect day for bringing home the Christmas tree is one when it is snowing big fluffy flakes. The background is a snowy embossed cardstock. The truck is from Heritage. For the tree, I used one from Joys of the Season... just a plain tree shape. A basic triangle shape would also do since the whole thing was being covered by pine branches (punched). See full list of carts used, below.

Truck size: 4.56w x 1.79h.  Wheels are 0.78w x 0.72h. They are not perfectly round on purpose.
Banner:  7.0w x 2.58h. I used the road shape and made it long enough to stretch across the whole card width.

I cut the truck twice - once from sparkle red, and once from plain red for the backing. It shows through around the fenders. The window is blue vellum. I made the black wheels using a circle shape and adjusted the size to fit. The hub caps make the truck more realistic.

I did not plan on making a banner. It is actually a snow covered road. But once I placed the truck on it, I knew it was the perfect spot for the "Happy Birthday". So I cut a new one, making it deep enough to accommodate the letters

"Happy Birthday" Tip
Using my Gypsy, I selected and sized the letters, placing them on top of the road where they would be cut out. No other embellishment or emphasis was needed. I like the understated birthday greeting. To make the letters follow the road shape, I used the kerning feature and slanted the letters left or right, appropriately. The outer letters (H and Y) are slanted the most, and the letters closer to center are barely adjusted at all. This technique was totally necessary, didn't take long and made a world of difference.

Cartridges Used
Heritage - Truck and "Son" sentiment
Wheels - George & Basic Shapes
Tree - Joys of the Season
Road shape - A Child's Year
Happy Birthday font - Quarter Note
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