Sometimes, simple is best.
These cards were nothing more than cut, fold, cut, paste.
I used my nifty Cricut, from my nifty Sister-in-Law.
But I have been known to find a good movie and cut letters out by hand.
So a fancy machine is not required.
Enjoy your day!
Today, I have a confession, a bit of history, and my latest card.
My confession: This is the third time that I have started a craft style blog. Third time is the charm, isn't that right? The first two times never felt quite right because I constantly felt like I was trying to do too much, or I was not being true to myself. I knew it too, so I rarely told people that I blogged.
This time around, I am having tons of fun. I am enjoying the process and not trying to be anyone but me. If you are one of the few people who encountered one of my former blogs, you may see some familiar photos if they relate to a current post.
Today, I'm sharing some old photos so that you can see the progression to today's card.
I have loved origami for as long as I can remember. My Dad taught me how to fold a lily and a fishing boat when I was a kid. Then he gave me some books to learn on my own. My Maternal Grandparents lived in Japan until they retired, and visits to see them always meant purchasing packs and packs of origami paper. In 6th grade, one of our projects was to teach the class how to do something. Anything. I taught my classmates how to make origami containers. When Hubby and I got married, I folded dozens and dozens of cranes to hang from our arch. (Not much compared to the 1000 my Cousin folded one year and mailed to me from Taiwan! I think she folded them all in a month.) So yeah, I love origami.
In 2010, while trying to figure out what kind of card to create for all the important Dads in my life, I decided that adding a touch of origami made the most sense. I found directions for an origami tie, and started having fun.
In 2011, I couldn't stop thinking about how much fun I had creating the necktie cards. So I made them again.
But this time, I added vests.
They coordinated with that year's origami dress Mother's Day cards.
This year's cards had nothing to do with origami... :)
In one of my Friday Praise Reports, I mentioned that we got Hubby a new suit. The alterations were finished over the weekend, and we were able to bring the suit home. Hubby looks FINE. Mario is the gentleman who fitted Hubby for his new suit as well as the two other suits he owns. Mario worked with one of Hubby's Aunts for many years, so he is essentially family. Hubby asked me if I would make one of my tie cards for Mario to thank him. Hooray for a great excuse to make one of my favorite cards!
Mario is a suit man, so I couldn't stop with just a shirt and tie. I had to create a jacket too!
This month is my Sister-in-Law's birthday month. I'm pretty sure she has super powers. She is a full time Mom and wife, a lot-of-the-time labor and delivery nurse, and the owner and creator of all things at Love Deliveries. She can do pretty much everything...and she can do it well. I tell her she is crazy quite often. But she is crazy in the most wonderful way.
You should check out Love Deliveries for some fun gems like this crazy cute tie bib. I love these!
Or this beautiful quilt.
Or this sweet cupcake shaped oven mitt. Isn't it darling?
We celebrated Becky's birthday over the weekend.
A fabulous girl needs a fabulous card!
I created an envelope for the top flap so that I could tuck in a card that had extra space for a personal message.
The squirrel was cut with my Cricut (an amazing gift from Becky!). The flower and heart shapes on the miniature gifts, and the rounded corners were cut with punches. All of the other details were cut and shaped by hand.
Thank you for visiting. Come back tomorrow, and we'll talk about dessert!
I'm learning how to quilt.
It's something that I have always wanted to do.
When I found out that my Sister-in-Law quilts, and my Mother-in-Law quilts, and that they are both connected to a whole network of quilters, I was really excited.
For the past three years, I have been attending an annual quilt day at my church and a quilt retreat that is held close to the middle of nowhere. In that three years, I have finished hand-piecing the front of a wall hanging, and machine sewing the top of a table runner. My Mother always picks on me for hanging out with quilters all the time but having no finished projects.
The thing is, quilters are REALLY nice people. They love having show and tell sessions, and are always so supportive and encouraging. My first quilt day, all I had to share was a little nine-patch square, and the quilters cheered for me as though I had finished a king size quilt. Every six months, the quilters gather again, see my additional couple squares and cheer as though I finished another king size quilt. It's really quite lovely. You can only imagine what it's like when someone really does share a king size quilt!
Tom and Madge are two of our quilt mentors that attend the quilt day and the quilt retreat. They are the cutest couple. They are kind, hilarious, encouraging, generous, and God-centered. Madge always has fun activities planned that include prizes. Lots of prizes. Madge also likes to plant encouraging little notes by everyone's seat when they aren't paying attention. During our gatherings, Tom will service anyone's sewing machine. For free. He is skilled with all types of machine problems and user defects. If you're interested in quilting, and you don't have a machine, Tom and Madge will make sure you get one. It will either be free or an insanely amazing price depending on the machine and the circumstance. They are always full of energy and filled with ideas.
This week, Tom turned 70.
Madge threw him a big open house style party.
Tom has many other interests, so it was a "Trains, Planes, & Automobiles" themed party.
The cake was tasty!
There were several cute stations around the yard with fun things to see or do.
I thought this mini car show was so adorable.
Here is Tom's train set. They had wooden house forms available for kids of all ages to decorate and add to the scene. Tom made the bridge out of a bed frame!
Here is a photo of one of Madge's quilts. Isn't it darling? I just kept staring at it and getting excited about all the fun little details.
It was a privilege to be able to celebrate such a special day with such a fun couple!
p.s. the bunny from the card was cut with my Cricut, using the "Give a Hoot" cartridge.
As promised, here is the experimental card I made on Friday!
Hubby's friend recently bought a new house. To celebrate, he had the guys over for a poker night.
I have always wanted to try my hand at an exploding box greeting card. A quick search and you will find tons of fun examples. (Jinky's Crafts is probably the queen of exploding box cards. Her cards are unreal!)
I knew that Hubby's friend would be the perfect guinea pig for my first experiment. Making a box seemed easy enough for me. The tricky part was that this was a card to celebrate a new HOUSE. I wanted a roof on my box. I needed to do math... The horror.
Somehow, a roof was created and adorned with poker chips.
A FULL HOUSE!
It is so much fun to be a dork. :)
The card was far from perfect. And apparently, the playing cards were accidentally detached shortly after the card was received. However, I had a blast making it, and I now have tons of notes so all future attempts will only get better!
Come back tomorrow to see another exploding box card! It's not bigger, but it just might be better.
Before you leave... since we're on the topic of FULL HOUSE. Have you seen this gem?
When I was in elementary school, I would often roam around the house with a very special envelope. I liked imagining it was a cute little purse. The envelope itself was quite plain. It was wrinkled and worn from being handled so much. It was also stuffed with birthday cards.
Even as a child, I had a great appreciation for paper, greeting cards, and hand-written messages. I'm not sure when it started, I just know that one year I decided to start collecting all of the birthday cards I had received and carrying them around. I would find a spot to curl up and carefully pull out each card. As I went through my cards, I would put them in a special order. Sometimes, I ordered them by size. Sometimes, I ordered them by my favorite images. A couple cards and one special letter written on Little Twin Stars stationery always received extra attention because of the time taken to write a lovely message.
My animal greeting cards needed envelopes. I made envelopes with scrapbook paper so that they could be as cute and whimsical as the cards themselves. They will also make a much cuter purse for anyone as weird as I was. (You're right, you're right. I'm still weird. Hooray!)
Now I'll tell you a secret. I use the Martha Stewart Crafts Scoring Board and Envelope Tool to make my envelopes. It makes it so fun and easy.
Here's another secret. I wish I was paid to say that, but I wasn't. It really is a great tool. :)
I saw this lovely elephant mobile while surfing the internet. The simplicity of it was striking.
I also discovered these adorable love owls.
See how both animals were created mostly with circles? I love that.
Obviously, I had to see what other animals I could create with simple shapes. And obviously, I had to make them into greeting cards!
I cut a bunch of circles and ovals in various sizes and had some fun.
While circles or ovals were used as a base for each animal, I didn't limit myself to those two shapes.
These cards make me smile. Hopefully they will make a few other people smile too!
Have a lovely day. Thanks for visiting!
I love technology. I really do. To think I can connect with people all over the world by just pressing a few keys continually boggles my mind. The thing is, it's easy to press those buttons without thinking, isn't it? To just randomly send a photo or a :) or an lol just because we can. It's not that those texts don't mean anything. They do. But there is something very special about a handwritten note.
To me, writing a note by hand is different. It takes thought. It's very intentional. Even if it is just a few words, it takes effort. We have some handwritten love notes scattered around our home that have been in the same place for years. House guests passing through probably think we're weird, but that wrinkled, toothpaste-stained note stuck on our bathroom mirror always makes me smile. My Hubby took the time to dig up paper, a stamp, and inkpad, and a pen to write a few sweet words to me. That is more meaningful to me than a million texts I have saved on my phone.
I thought it would be fun to make a few mini notecards for when texting just isn't enough. The characters were cut with my Cricut machine. The cards, envelopes, and box I cut and folded by hand.
As a kid, my best friend Lauren lived two streets away. When we first met, she lived right around the corner, but then my family moved...two whole streets away.
Both of us were kind of dorky and a little bit nerdy. I leaned more closely to the dorky side. She leaned more closely to the nerdy side. She might disagree, but I promise it's the truth. We both had pretty huge glasses throughout our elementary school years, which probably helped enhance our dorky nerdy side. Somehow, Lauren managed to escape braces and really bad perms. I was not so fortunate.
We felt that we were far too creative to play board games like other kids. (To be honest, that's what Lauren thought, but I had too much fun being creative to argue.) Instead, we spent a huge bulk of our down time together on two activities.
1. Making yarn bugs.
2. Playing mailbox.
Lauren's Mom had this yarn stash that we were given access to one day. We discovered that we could cut small pieces and tie them in colorful multi-legged knots or rub little pieces between our fingers to make fuzz balls. These were our bugs. We took our yarn bugs very seriously. Our bugs lived in special jars. Hours were spent creating a million variations and trading them. This phase went on longer than you could imagine.
Playing mailbox was our other favorite indoor activity. Our mailboxes were emptied Band-aid tins. (Remember when Band-aids came in little tins instead of cardboard boxes?) Using any supplies we could find, we would create mini-catalogs to send each other. We offered inches of yarn or embroidery floss, placing tiny samples and color choices next to rows of check boxes. We offered original artwork, or stickers created from cut-up magazines. Boxes would get checked, catalogs were sent back, and orders were received. We spent countless afternoons playing, and it never seemed to get old. Actually, I not-so-secretly wouldn't mind another afternoon of playing mailbox.
An activity that occupied much of our time outside our homes, was dance lessons. Lauren took just about every dance class available. I was only enrolled in tap and ballet classes. For a few years, we took semi-private tap lessons together. It was so much fun. All of our steps were written down in little notebooks, and we would practice in her basement. One year, our theme for the final dance recital was the Irish Jig. We each had a big sequined shamrock that sat on top of our heads and a cute white tutu-ed costume trimmed in green and more shamrocks. A photo of us in those costumes has become quite legendary in our families. We even recreated the pose for another photo more than twenty years later.
Today is Lauren's birthday. To celebrate, I just had to make her a card that pays tribute to that special dance we did and our many years of friendship. Judging from my glitter job, I was also channeling my inner 8-year-old. :)