My First Spiral Rose and Miniature Envelope – Thank You Card

So here I was on Memorial Weekend playing around in my craft room and getting stuck on how to embellish a card from Cricut’s “Just Because Cards”. The card design I chose to work with features a ladybug and a phrase called Cute As a Bug (key 25), but I wasn’t happy with the choice of papers I used for the card base so it took me in a completely different direction. Since I had chosen to use Colorbok’s Rosewood patterned paper, I just couldn’t envision a cutesy phrase and ladybug being incorporated. The paper has a vintage feel so I wanted to play up on the femininity of the paper. Side note – I got the Rosewood paper pad from Wal-mart for only $5.00.

My Leap Into Spiral Roses

I’ve noticed on Pinterest that spiral roses are becoming quite popular on cards, so of course I had to try my hand at it to see if I could even do it. I thought the general concept of cutting a spiral out of paper would be easy but I found myself looking for tutorials after I messed up a couple of sheets of paper! Thankfully, I found this lovely blog called Kay’s Kreative Korner that kept me from pulling my hair out. Thank you Kay for the lovely tutorial. I found your instructions to be more helpful than some other sites I visited. I used a pencil to get me started in rolling the pink spiral and then finished rolling it by hand. I followed Kay’s tip on inking the edges so I used brown ink and a sponge dauber. I think it helps add some shadows, allowing for the spiral layers to be more noticeable. I then adhered the finished flower together using Zip 2 Way Glue.

So now I had my finished spiral rose and I decided to add a large pearl in the center to help hide my flower’s lacking center! Then I realized that my card needed something else so I cut some leaves using my Mother’s Day Bouquet cartridge in various sizes (1 inch, 1 & 1/4 inches, and 1 & 1/2 inches). This helped embellish the rose but I had a lot of white space on the front of the card and I knew I needed a sentiment and something else that would go with the vintage feel.

“Miniature” Inspiration

Inspired by thoughts of Scarlett at Blue Purple and Scarlett, I made a tiny envelope to slip a literal Thank You note inside! Scarlett’s blog features adorable miniature stationery sets complete with a miniature folder to hold the tiny envelopes and note paper! She created several designs and each has a unique feel to it based on the style. If you check out her site, you will be inspired!

To make my miniature envelope, I used my Wild Card cartridge and used the Scallop envelope (key 1) cut at 1 & 1/2 inches. I also cut the corresponding envelope liner at 1 & 1/2 inches. When the envelope is closed it measures 1 & 1/2 by 2 & 1/8 inches and when open it’s 2 & 3/4 by 2 & 1/8 inches. It’s so tiny and cute! I used a small piece of cream cardstock for the little note and used a “Thank You” rub-on for the sentiment. I then trimmed the note to fit the width of the envelope (just so it can be tucked all the way inside if desired). The note isn’t adhered, allowing for more fun at moving it around 🙂 ). I inked the edges with brown ink to age it a bit and stuck it into the envelope at an angle so the sentiment can be read. The envelope is raised up with foam dimensionals.

For the inside of the card, I adhered another mat layer of Colorbok’s Rosewood paper and trimmed some roses out of the remaining 12×12 sheet. I inked the edges of the rose image to add some dimension against the mat. I tied a pink bow around the middle of the card to complete it. I like the journal feel of the inside of the card. There’s plenty of room for someone to write a handwritten message, adding to the vintage design as well. Before computers and store-bought cards (I’m thinking Victorian and earlier eras), people corresponded with handwritten letters and would bundle them together with twine or ribbon for safe keeping. And instead of blogging, they wrote their thoughts into well-worn journals. I miss that tactile notion of putting pen to paper and this card makes me smile thinking about those romantic, older times.

Thanks for looking!

Vanessa

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Papier-Mache Easter Egg Baskets

This project channels memories of a fun Easter craft my 5th grade class completed so many years ago: papier-mache Easter egg baskets. I wanted to come up with a cute project to share with my husband as we celebrate Easter this Sunday and I thought of this “too long forgotten” idea. I also made a third one to share with family. Since it has been many years since I made this craft, I found some articles that helped me find a good glue paste ratio and other helpful tips. These lovely articles can be found near the bottom of this post.  As we get closer to Easter, I will make dyed Easter eggs to go in the basket of treats.

Basket Supplies:
  • balloons
  • tissue paper
  • scissors
  • Elmer’s glue (4 ounce bottle)
  • water (4 ounces)
  • foam brush
  • Tupperware bowl with lid
  • newspaper (to protect your work surface)
  • small glass bowl to hold your balloon
  • X-Acto craft knife
  • Easter grass or shredded paper
  • candy
  • small toys
  • die-cut flowers
  • small brads
  • hot glue
Instructions:
  • Cut tissue paper into squares such as 2×2 or 3×3 inches. Since I made three balloons, I cut four sheets of white for the first layer, then two sheets of blue, pink, and purple for the second and third layers.
  • Pour a four-ounce bottle of Elmer’s glue into a Tupperware bowl (with lid). Add a 1/2 cup of water (four ounces) and thoroughly mix to create a 50/50 diluted glue paste.
  • Blow up your balloon to desired size and tie off the end in a knot.
  • Using a foam brush, coat a small section of the balloon with the glue paste.
  • Apply a square of tissue paper and then coat with more glue paste using your foam brush. (For my first layer, I chose to apply a white tissue layer for the entire balloon creating a white liner.)
  • Apply more glue to a small section of the balloon, add another square of tissue paper, overlapping as you go for added strength, and then coat with more glue.
  • Repeat this process until the balloon is covered with the first layer of tissue paper.
  • Hang to dry for at least an hour. (I used binder clips to attach them to a curtain! String or clothes pins will work great too.) While you wait, snap on the lid to your glue paste container to keep it usable for the next two layers.
  • Once the first layer is dry, repeat the tissue paper application process for your second layer. (I used blue, pink, and purple for the second layers of my three balloons).
  • Once again, hang to dry for at least an hour and then repeat the application process for your third layer. (I kept my eggs solid-looking by adding more blue, pink, and purple).
  • Hang to dry overnight.
  • Grabbing the balloon’s knotted end, insert a needle into the knot to slowly deflate the balloon and pull out the balloon remnant. (See tip #6 below for how I ended up doing it).
  • Use scissors and/or an X-Acto craft knife to cut out a basket opening. (I personally don’t trust my hand cutting skills, so I used an egg shape (measuring 4 x 5.75 inches) from the Designer’s Calendar cartridge. I then traced this template onto the papier mache egg with a pencil before cutting out the opening).
  • Using your left over glue paste, apply a couple of layers of tissue paper over the small hole left from the balloon knot.
  • Add decorations to the basket as desired. I chose die-cut flowers with small brads and hot glued them along the opening. I used Cricut’s Mother’s Day Bouquet cartridge for the flowers and leaves.
  • Now for the fun part! Add Easter grass, candy, dyed eggs, and a small toy!
Tips I learned while completing this project:
  • When applying your tissue paper, cover the edges of the knotted balloon area as close as you can. This will leave you with a smaller hole to cover once the balloon and its knot are removed.
  • Using a Tupperware bowl with lid is an excellent idea to keep your paste from firming up too much or drying out while waiting for each layer to dry. I got this idea from Pastiche’s article at Zujava (first link below). She also suggested using a foam brush to apply the glue paste and it worked perfectly!
  • I found it helpful to prop up my balloon using a small glass mixing bowl while I added the tissue paper layers. It also keeps it protected from the newsprint covering your work table.
  • Luckily, the four-ounce bottle of Elmer’s glue was exactly enough to finish three balloons. If you’re doing just one or two balloons, you should have plenty of glue paste left over.
  • It doesn’t matter what color balloon you use to cover with tissue paper since the balloon will be discarded in the end.
  • I found the needle deflation to be too slow, so I used a pair of scissors to cut a small hole. The balloon tended to stick to the paper layer as it deflated and caused some sides to cave in. Not to worry! Once you pull out the balloon, you can blow air into the remaining hole (like you would with a plastic soda bottle) and pop the sides back out!
  • Three layers of tissue paper creates a fragile egg but if treated with care, it should make for a nice Easter treat presentation and can be stored in a box to protect it for future use.
  • Before adding the grass and treats, the fragile empty egg wanted to roll over onto its back. Once I added in my treats, the added weight kept the egg propped up and actually created an indentation in the bottom paper wall. (Updated remark: after Easter passed and the treats were all gone, the indentation left in the bottom of the egg kept it propped up even while empty, so I won’t have to create feet or a base to prop it up for future decor).
  • I read that if you want a truer egg shape, yet a bit smaller, then a water balloon is a good choice. I used regular balloons that could be blown up to a larger size which is a personal preference.
  • The first two links below offer nice alternatives to the egg basket design. They made smaller papier-mache eggs filled with goodies. One has a hinged lid; the other has a string you can pull to open the egg to see the surprises inside. The third link shows a design similar to mine, yet it is a literal Easter basket that can be carried around for egg hunting. It has a corded handle and even feet to prop the egg up! She used newspaper, tissue paper, and paint on the inside of her baskets. The last link is by Martha Stewart designers and shows how you can cut the tops of the eggs with an X-Acto knife for a cracked egg look.

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Paper Flower Bouquet with Birthday Card

My lovely mother-in-law is celebrating her 75th birthday! For this special occasion, I wanted to make her a nice keepsake so I made her a paper flower bouquet and a birthday card in pinks, oranges, and greens using my Cricut Expression. I would like to apologize in advance for the long post that is forthcoming below. There are so many details on the bouquet, card, and tag that I want to share with you; but, it’s also for myself so that when I create another one in the future, I can look back and see how I did it! 🙂 Thanks for your interest and patience! LOL

Bouquet

The bouquet flowers were cut using Mother’s Day Bouquet. I cut seven layers of each flower from 3 inches to 1.5 inches (decreasing by a 1/4 inch each time). Here is a chart showing which flowers I used from the cartridge. It also shows how many of each flower were cut and the sizes.

The bright pink container, butterflies, floral styrofoam, spanish moss, 1/8 inch dowels, and sponge daubers to ink the dowels were bought at Hobby Lobby. I had the rest of the supplies in my stash. I used one of my favorite paper pads, Poteeka Soufflé (Paper Studio), for the flowers, along with pastel cardstock from Colorbok (bought at Wal-mart). I used a 1/16 hole punch on the flower centers and secured the layers with small pastel brads. The brads save on glue and you can fluff up and move the layers around as you wish! I also used a pencil to curl the petals down a bit.

The dowels were inked using a green stamp pad and a sponge dauber. I inked the dowels first so that they would have time to dry while I cut out all of my flowers and leaves. There are a total of 22 flowers and 22 leaves but each flower has seven layers. To save time and paper, I cut two types of flowers using one 12×12 sheet of patterned paper. Then repeated the process for two other sets of flowers and another color of paper, and so on.

Some flowers are solid and some are mixed with two colors of paper for variety. I just had fun mixing and matching. Now that I am calculating my total of flowers, I guess I ran my mat through the Expression 11 times to get 22 flowers. I stopped at 22 because that is the lucky number of dowels that fit the styrofoam inside the container. I had inked 30 dowels but couldn’t fit all of them without them hitting each other! So I will save these dowels for a smaller bouquet. Since the dowels are skinny, I was able to snip them to my desired lengths with a wire cutter.

One challenge I faced when starting this project was how to adhere the flowers to the skinny dowels. I wanted the flowers to look “3-D ish” and I was determined to find a way to glue the flowers on top of the dowel and not flat like a candy sucker. Because the dowels are so thin there wasn’t much surface area to secure the flowers to them. I knew I wanted leaves in the bouquet so instead of gluing the leaves to the backs of the flowers, I glued them to the dowel first. This created more area for hot gluing the flowers. Wild Card has a wonderful leaf icon (key #25) that has a cut line in the center which helps you fold the leaf over the end of a dowel. So I cut 22 leaves at 4.5 inches in light green cardstock and then placed a dab of hot glue on the end of each leaf and folded/pinched it around the end of the dowel and held it until it was “set”. Then I hot glued the completed flowers to the leaf/dowel and it worked great!

The bouquet is finished up with light green ribbon, pink and green butterflies, and spanish moss to hide the green styrofoam.

Bouquet Tag

I made a tag marking the special birthday year using the Sweethearts cartridge and Design Studio (DS). The brown layer is 3 inches and the white layer was scaled down to fit on top using DS. I hid the contour lines for both tag holes prior to cutting. Once the tags were cut, I inked the white layer with brown ink and glued it down to the brown base. The tag comes with a corresponding heart-shaped tag enforcer. I cut this at 3 inches, adhered it with my Zig 2-Way glue pen, and then lined up my 1/8 hole punch over the hole in the heart to punch through the layers of tag. The word “Happy” is from Straight from the Nest, the numbers are from Storybook, the “th” letters are from Wild Card, and the ladybug is from Walk in My Garden. The ring securing the tag is a fun, circular paper clip.

Card

All of the cuts for the card are from Straight from the Nest (SFTN) except the numbers “75” which are from Wild Card. I love the cute banner which was cut at 1.5 inches. I used a 1/16 hole punch and mini brads to string the banner along the corner. I used Poteeka Soufflé  paper on the card to match the bouquet. I inked the edges of the light blue mat with brown ink. I’m really liking this inking technique. 🙂 I used a white gel pen to add some cute dots to the images. The card is 5×7 and I cut out an appropriate sized envelope using Just Because Cards. I added another banner to the envelope and hand wrote “MOM” with a fine tip marker.

Whew! That’s a lot of words for one post. I hope you stayed with me until the end. 🙂 Thanks for checking it out!

~Vanessa