I did it! I actually made a birthday card for my sister Julie and, if I get it in the mail today, it will arrive by her birthday on the 10th! Whoopee! I did it! On time and handmade . . . that NEVER happens!
Of course, she reads my blog, so it won't exactly be a surprise, but the real card is better than a photo, I always say.
(No really, I always say that!)
Here's her card. (click the photo to make it bigger)
Sizzix Supplies Used: Pop-up Cake Die, Birthday Set #2, Frills, Fancy Flourishes, Scalloped Circle, Mat Board; and 656120 Birthday Phrases clear stamps
Other Supplies Used: Colored Transparency (Midwest Products); Clear Plastic (Grafix) (for the centerpiece of the cake, to make it "disappear"); Patterned Paper (My Mind's Eye "Confetti"); Elastic (Michaels); Fuzzy brad (Creative Imaginations); yellow paint; small pearl rhinestones; tacky tape; Zip Dry glue; cardstock
I love using transparencies for the side tiers of the cake because they tend to "unfold" at the sides, creating a near-perfectly-round appearance. The transparency I used was from Midwest Products. When using a transparency, you're looking for something pretty thin, like an overhead or printer transparency. The colored type like Midwest's are usually found at art supply stores or hobby stores.
I had an e-mail discussion with Jane the other day about how to make the cake pop-up as round as possible. It is difficult to do, because the tiers need creases so they can fold flat. Once that fold is in those tiers, they aren't going to pop-up perfectly round anymore, and a slight "almond" shape will occur. Overall it's still an impressive pop-up, recognizable as a cake, and if your recipient complains about the slightly oval shape then I suggest removing him/her from your "deserving-of-handmade-card" list! (heh)
But, that said, you can certainly get "nearly-round" by using materials that unbend easily, like a flexible transparency. You can stamp, ink, paint or cover the transparency with ribbon if you don't want a see-through cake. Also think about other materials that unbend easily, like fabric with freezer paper ironed to it.
Another option is to disguise the side bends by covering them with an embellishment (just forward of the fold, not on it) or ribbon fringe.
The best thing you can do for your cakes, though, is to build them out of a sturdy cardstock using the reinforced instructions that can be downloaded in the sidebar to the left. Also think about making the card itself stiffer than usual so that it wants to open up fully flat, not with waves in it. I've been using mat board for my cards, but you could also use chipboard or even just a couple pieces of cardstock. Try to get a nice stiff card that wants to open up fully flat, much like an actual cake board.
And now I really must run to the post office! Tra-la-la!
RKQOTD (Me: Hey Karl, do you think my arms look a little more muscular since I've been doing so much Wii Active? Karl: giving my tricep a poke Well this part underneath is all flappy. The top part looks good, though. This bottom part though . . . it's really flappy! Me: Don't be shy. Tell me what you really think!)