Karen Burniston Pop it Ups Designer Challenge - Christmas in July

Last month the Designer Challenge was to use Pop it Ups for Christmas (or other winter holiday) cards. All of the projects can be found on the Elizabeth Craft Designs blog here.

For my project I created a Pivot Accordion card and posted a video for how to make this card, plus a second video for how to assemble the Holiday House die. Here are the videos:



Somehow I managed to let an entire month go by without posting this project on my own blog. (eep!) Here are the photos and supply list:


The patterned papers are Echo Park's "Winter Wishes" collection.

Supply List:


16th Birthday Cards for Karl and Emma

Really?! I mean, REALLY?!!! 

How did my twins get to be sixteen?

I'm pretty sure this photo was taken on Tuesday:


But on Wednesday ...


In a couple of weeks they will start their Junior year of high school.


Emma is currently much into Marvel and the Avengers, so for her card I decided to use the new Lorna Label Pop it Ups die along with Chilly the Penguin, dressed as Captain America:


I also used the Katie Stars Frame Edges, including the little stars that drop out of the edges, and the Outdoor Edges to make the wavy edge. After stamping the birthday greeting I used one of the decorator dies from the Fancy Accordion to cut it into a fun label shape. (Supply links at the end of the post)

For Karl's card I made an homage to video games and music - his two favorite things.


Once again I used the Lorna Label Pop it Ups die and embellished with Hoppy the Frog and the glasses from Props1. I made the headphones by cutting two black eye sockets from the Hoppy die and then shaping them into a headphone shape and hand cutting a U-shaped connector. I used twine for the cord and a print-out of an iPad photo. 

Here are some shopping links for the dies used in both cards and the clear stamp for the front of Emma's card:

John's mother is in town visiting and gave the kids SIXTEEN $5 bills each! That was quite a treat and they grew more and more giddy as they kept counting. She also took a photo of the four of us before we all went out for celebratory dinner. Once again, I'm not sure how this was Wednesday...


When I'm pretty sure this was Tuesday...

Kids stairs


Happy Birthday to my beautiful babies!

Happy 40th Birthday - I am the one who knocks...

My little sister turned 40 this week. Yep, my LITTLE SISTER. *gulp*

The fun thing about 40th birthday cards, though, is how black and morbid you can make them. I love that! Some of you may recall the card I made *cough3yearsagocough* for my friend Gretchen's 40th 

Gretchen Bday2

For my sister Julie's card I decided to pay homage to the best show ever: Breaking Bad.

When I designed the Props 1 die I kept thinking how much the pieces could look like Heisenberg with the addition of a goatee. This was a perfect occasion to test that theory, making age "40" the one who knocks.

I looked up a periodic table online to pick some elements to use in the computer-generated title. 


I used the decorator dies from the Oval Accordion to cut an oval shaped window into the front of the card. The Heisenberg pieces (Props 1 + a goatee) are glued inside the card to a decorator oval that becomes the center of the 40 when you open the card.

Oh, and it pops up. Of course.


I used the new Lorna Label die, turned sideways to animate the numbers. The 4 is glued to the box platform and the 0 to the label. I trimmed the label down so it was just a rectangle behind the numbers, not a shaped label.

More elements for the computer-generated Happy Birthday greeting, some black glitter lines to edge the interior and Glossy Accents on Heisenberg and I was done. Oh, and I made a little foldover closure with a couple of hidden magnets, but that's entirely optional. It works great without the closure, too.

The finished card is 5.5" x 5.5" square.


By the way, if you've got a man in your life who has watched Breaking Bad, then this is definitely the card you should make for him. John saw it and was totally jazzed about it - thought it was the best card ever. 

When I created my titles, goatee and the 4 to match the sizing of the ovals I saved my work into a handy PDF file if you want to give this card a try. Shopping links for the dies you'll need are below. The new dies (Props 1 and Lorna Label) are going to show on the website as "Sold Out" but that really means "Coming Soon" - they will be available in local independent stores and online within the next week or so.

Download Heisenberg Happy 40th Pieces

As Jesse Pinkman would say: Yo, happy crafting, b-

VIDEO Tutorial: Floating Clouds Pivot Card

Today I'm teaching a technique for mixing in transparency panels with a Pivot Card die for a floating effect. This works especially well with clouds, but you could do this technique with any shape cut-out (think butterflies, flowers, etc.)

The star of today's card is my new nephew, Michael, born last week to my brother and sister-in-law. Awwww!

Here is the video tutorial:


What I particularly like about this technique is how the cloud holes create the visual interest and no further decorating is needed for the backgrounds. Quick, easy and economical!

Hello Sunshine front

The sun and greeting are from the same Lawn Fawn stamp set (supply links are at the end of this post) and I created shimmer on the sun by coating it with Glossy Accents and then dumping some Diamond Microfine Glitter over it while it was wet. The greeting is stamped in black ink and embossed with clear powder.

Hello Sunshine front

Another economical feature of this card is that it only requires two die sets - the Katie Label Pivot Card and the All Seasons Tree (for the clouds)

Hello Sunshine front

In the video I also show an alternate version of this card, this time in a Birthday theme using the new Hoppy the Frog die (available in stores and online mid-July 2014) The Happy Birthday greeting is a Peel-off sticker.

Hello Sunshine front

For this card I mixed in the larger decorator Katie Label that comes with the new Katie Label Accordion die (available mid-July). It includes the stitching die as well. The beauty of the two Katie Label dies is that the decorator pieces can mix and match between the two die sets but do not duplicate.

Hello Sunshine front

To convert Hoppy into a tree front I cut him from white, orange and patterned green paper and used the white portion for his chin and belly, the orange portion for his feet, eye sockets and mouth, and the green everywhere else. Rather than use the eyes die that comes in the set, I hand cut two almond-shaped pieces of black cardstock and dotted them with a white gel pen for the catchlights. I brushed a littel tan ink over the white parts for distressing and shaded the green portions with a Copic marker. As a final step I snipped off one of his legs and let it hang down from the stick so it would look like he was clinging to the branch.



Everything for the baby version of the card is available now, either at your local stores or online. Shopping links are provided below.

To my American readers, have a safe and happy 4th of July tomorrow!

Summer 2014 Pop it Ups Class Projects

I'll be hitting the Texas highways in a few weeks to teach a Pop it Ups card class throughout northeast Texas. I'm bringing along my daughter, Emma. This will be her first time helping me teach the classes, although she is very familiar with making the kits!

You can take this class all over east Texas or join me in Kansas or Colorado. 

First up, the House Pivot Card. I have hired my friend Jenn Mock to help me make kits and we decided this was an excellent opportunity, with so many Texas stores, to "Texasify" the greeting. Students who prefer a non-Texas greeting can swap out. (NOTES: Stamper's Ink and Simple Pleasures will get an alternate greeting. Scrapp'n Savvy will get an alternate card)


Next we'll use some of the brand new Summer Release dies. The Lorna Label pop-up die, Poppy the Owl and Props 1 are all new and will be available just in time for this teaching tour. 


The third card uses the brand new Spiral Circle Pull Card die plus the Clock and Gears. This die is very versatile, combining a z-fold opening mechanism with a traditional pop-up interior. It can be cut anywhere along the fold of any size card, and the spiral is optional. The possibilities are endless! Plus, the new Clock and Gears die fits just perfectly on it.


The last card will be a Christmas themed Katie Label Accordion featuring both of the new Katie Frame Edges - the Holly and the Stars. It also incorporates some new ECD dies - the Holly Flourish and the Merry Christmas. The Outdoor Edges are used to make the little cluster of pine trees on Page 3. This can easily be converted into non-Christmas with a few modifications, so don't feel like you can't take the class if you don't celebrate Christmas. 


All four of the cards in this class are A2 sized (4.25" x 5.5") when folded and will fit in standard A2 envelopes and mail for a single stamp.

Here's what you need to bring to class:

  • Scissors and a paper trimmer
  • Adhesives! Adhesives! Adhesives!
    • Tape Runner 
    • Strong 1/4" tacky or scor tape
    • Fine line glue pen (my favorite is a Fineline Applicator bottle, filled with any brand of dries-clear easy flow PVA glue)
    • Mini glue dots
    • Pop dots
  • Paper piercer
  • Sanding tool
  • Optional: Brayer to press down the Frame Edges on the Accordion 
  • Optional: Inks for inking edges - you are always welcome to add ink to projects
  • Optional: smart phone or camera for taking photos of the 100 sample cards on display
  • Optional: print out the card photos from this blog post to refer to in class. You will receive a small color photo of each card in your handout, but many students prefer having big photos.

Everything in the kits is pre-cut, which allows you to try a lot more dies than if you were cutting everything yourself. Take a look, for example, at the House Card kit - 29 pieces just for this card! 


You also receive a detailed handout with supply lists, cut sizes and instructions for re-making the cards, perhaps in a completely different color scheme. 

Hope to see you there!

*SNEAK PEEK* Summer 2014 Pop it Ups Release (part 2)

A couple of weeks ago I showed a Sneak Peek Part 1 of the Summer 2014 Pop it Ups die release and I'm back today with Part 2. All sixteen dies in the Summer Release will be in stores mid-July 2014. Elizabeth Craft Designs will also offer these dies on their website for people without local stores. 

This Part 2 Sneak Peek shows the remaining six dies and I've put together an introductory video for them:


Pivot Cards are quick and easy interactive cards where the designs pivot from the front and back of the card into the interior to create both the front and inside decoration in one fell swoop. The newest Pivot Card is the Evergreen Pivot Card (#912). This 8-die set will work year-round for outdoor scenes and also includes stars, ornaments and a gift when using it for Christmas trees. Each of the decorator tree dies has a different emboss feature - swirls, wavy lines and dots.

912 - Evergreen Pivot Card

The Outdoor Edges (#914) die is going to work great with all of the Pop it Ups dies to create borders and edges for all your outdoor scenes. Use the wavy hills edge to make snow, hills or even just a decorative edge to a card.

912 - Evergreen Pivot Card

I named the newest general pop-up after my late grandmother, Lorna. She also loved owls, so I thought it fitting to add Poppy the Owl to the card for the packaging. I think you'll really like the features of the Lorna Label - specifically how large it is for decorating. A box platform below the label sticks out a little further into the card, giving you two levels to decorate. There is a stitch die included to make this a 6-die set if you separate it from the slightly-larger decorator die. Leave them connected if you prefer having perfectly-aligned stitches every time.

912 - Evergreen Pivot Card

The Holiday House is a 10-die decorator set and there are lots of ways to combine the pieces into different style houses. Use this die on any of the general pop-up dies OR it will fit perfectly on the House Pivot Card (#902) die, either with just these pieces or mixed in with the pieces from the other house. The little string of lights from this set will also work great on the Evergreen Pivot Card to add lights to the trees.

912 - Evergreen Pivot Card

The Clock and Gears is another decorator die that will work great on its own or combined with the Pop it Ups dies. It will fit on the Circle Accordion #769 or the new Ring Accordion #904 or the Spiral Circle Pull Card #916. The numbers can be used individually and/or nested back into the holes for an inlaid look. Use the Roman numerals to create a second look to the clock, if desired. This is a 3" circle die, so a nice size to fill space on cards or layouts.

912 - Evergreen Pivot Card

And finally, the Spiral Circle Pull Card. This is a bit of a hybrid die - it has a Z-fold opening mechanism like a swing or flip card, but opens to a traditional solid card fold on the interior. It also has a hidden surprise inside with the optional spiral. There is a built-in closure system to keep the card closed so you don't get an accidental reveal. To open, simply pull. I will create a separate video on this card because there are so many options for it. It is a Pop it Ups die, which means you decide your card size and placement along the fold. An easy trick is just to add 3" to the width of your desired finished card size. For example - if you want the card to be an A2 when folded, (4.25" x 5.5") you would start with a 7.25" x 5.5" piece of cardstock. If you want the card to be a 6x6 when folded, you would start with a 9x6 piece of paper. You can also make interesting doubles and waterfalls with this die and the spiral can be used to make 3D roses. (See? It needs its own video!)

912 - Evergreen Pivot Card

 With these six dies and the ten from Sneak Peek Part 1 you can now see the entire Summer Release all together. It includes:

  • Five new interactive dies - two accordions, one pivot, one general pop-up and one pull card
  • Four new Frame Edge dies to fit Accordions - two for Katie, one for Oval, one for Fancy 
  • Three new Character dies - Poppy the Owl, Hoppy the Frog, Chilly the Penguin, plus Props 1 to fit all of the Characters.
  • Two new decorator dies to embellish the pop-ups (or use on their own): Holiday House, Clock & Gears
  • One new set of edge dies - Outdoor Edges

Retailers are receiving all of the price lists, item numbers and pre-order information this week, so check with your local store to encourage them to get their orders in. Elizabeth Craft Designs will ship to stores in the first part of July with the goal to have them available in the stores by July 15, 2014.

June *Secret Word* Giveaway Winners!

For the June Designer Challenge the theme was Photo Accordion albums. My team of 11 plus 3 guest designers took on the challenge to use any of the Pop it Ups Accordion Album dies for any length/theme album as long as it incorporated photos.  


If you missed the Designer Challenge post last week, I encourage you to check it out. It's packed with inspiration on a variety of themes, including a new video tutorial from me for adding clear pages to albums, plus several team members used the two new Accordions coming in July: the Ring Accordion and the Katie Label Accordion.

903 - Katie Label Accordion903 - Katie Label Accordion

For the June Secret Word giveaway, members of my mailing list were instructed to use either the word Katie or the word Ring (or both) in their comment so they would be automatically entered into a random drawing to win one of the available now Accordions (Circle, Oval or Fancy) plus a set of companion Frame Edges to fit (Square w/Circle, Oval Dots, Oval Flourish or Fancy Frame Edges).

SW Giveaway Prizes

Since I had two teaching trips in May, I was unable to get a newsletter out with the Secret Word Giveaway so I promised my subscribers that I'd give away TWO prizes for June. A random number generator chose these two lucky winners:

Lisa G.:

At first I liked the look of the Katie label best, but I could see actually having a ring on my desk with pictures. It is very fancy looking and would class up my messy desk.

Carol S.:

I really enjoyed the video showing how to use clear pages with the Katie design. It was also great that you showed us how you fixed the card when it broke. Keep up the great work.

I will be e-mailing Lisa and Carol to find out which of the available-now Accordion Albums and Frame Edges they choose for their prize and then the dies will be sent from the warehouse in Colorado within a week or so.

Congratulations, Lisa and Carol!

If you want to join in the fun of the monthly Secret Word giveaways, plus stay informed of videos, new products and teaching dates, simply join my Mailing List by clicking the button below. You will receive one e-mail a month, normally on or around the Designer Challenge date. For July the Designer Challenge theme is Christmas (or other winter holiday) in July, and the team's projects, plus a new video from me, will be posted on the Elizabeth Craft Designs blog on July 16, 2014. (All the new Summer Release dies will be in stores by then!)


For Email Newsletters you can trust

Lots of Pops (or should I say Lots of Hops?)

Today I've got a fun Pop it Ups card featuring the new Hoppy the Frog die. Hoppy is part of the Summer 2014 release and will be in stores mid-July. Elizabeth Craft Designs caters to independent retailers, so definitely ask your local store to order the new dies.

You will be able to order online and for some people that's their only option if they have no local stores. It's always nice, though, when you can pick up a product and hold it in your hand before purchasing, so let those local stores know that you're interested! 

909 - Hoppy the Frog

Hoppy the Frog is one of the three new Character Dies. Here is the introductory video for the Characters:


For this card I used Hoppy on the front of the card as well. I embossed the cardstock with the Trendy Tiles 1 Embossing folder, which looks good both embossed and debossed, so it's perfect for backing cards, where you'll see both sides. The Hoppy styling for the front of the card is just two staggered detail layers  with no shadow layer. I also used the stitched and circle decorator dies from the new Ring Accordion and the flourish from the Agatha Edges die.


This is an A2-sized card, opening from the top (so 4.25" wide by 11" long, folded at 5.5") I die cut the Lots of Pops die into a slightly smaller piece of green patterned paper and cut the bottom edge with an Agatha Edge. I styled Hoppy a couple of different ways, just playing. The dark green Hoppy on the right edge was embossed with the Trendy Tiles 1 embossing folder and put together with pop dots. The greeting stamp was a gift from my friend Margene, who thought it was right up my alley. She was right! 


For jumping Hoppy, I simply cut his legs from the side of his body and glued them back on in a different position. I created the jump lines using a Sharpie marker on transparency and attaching it to one of the pops. The fly is a decorator die that comes in the Hoppy set.


Although Hoppy and the Ring Album (for the stitched circles) aren't available for another few weeks, the rest of the Pop it Ups dies are available now. Check your local store or use these shopping links:

Lucy the Linebacker

"So what's going on with Lucy today, she has a linebacker injury?"

Two, actually.

Both knees. 

It started with just one knee, and then because she was favoring it so much (and tearing through the house barking, jumping and wrestling with Katie) she blew out the other knee as well.




We adopted Lucy from the shelter in August 2008 and they estimated that she was about 10 months old at the time. She has gray hair now (join the club!) but otherwise has aged pretty gracefully for being nearly 7 years old.

But unfortunately her summer is going to be spent having knee surgery, recovering from knee surgery and then . . . 

having knee surgery again.

While my summer will be spent paying for knee surgery, recovering from paying for knee surgery and then . . .

paying for knee surgery again.


In other news, John wanted a throwback 2012 Team USA jersey to wear during the World Cup for his Father's Day gift. The kids and I worked together to reproduce the jersey in card form as well.


Time for the game! Go Team USA!!!!!

The Characters celebrate Halloween! (in June)

If you missed this week's Sneak Peek (Part 1) of the new Pop it Ups release coming to stores July 15, 2014, you may be seeing the new Character die sets for the first time. Here is the introductory video:


Summer Release is when we introduce dies that can be used for the fall and winter holidays. With product design you're always working six months ahead with ideas, classes and samples - it's pretty funny, actually! So as the kids start summer vacation I'm pulling out Halloween papers!

I created three Halloween samples using the new Character dies and even though the newest dies won't be available for another month, I've mixed in a lot of existing Pop it Ups dies that are available now.

For example, this first card uses the Lots of Pops, Oval Flourish Frame Edges and All Seasons Tree dies. (Supply links follow each card)

My concept for this card was to have Poppy the Owl wear a Ghost costume when the card was closed. The ghost is hand drawn and cut with a craft knife through both layers (white spiderwebs and black spiderwebs) of the card's front so that I could fill the opening with a larger piece of vellum sandwiched between the layers. A circle punch worked perfectly for punching the eye holes into the vellum before sandwiching. To finish the card's front I cut four Oval Flourish Frame edges from orange cardstock and created the frame. 


You'll see in the photo above that Poppy's eyes shine through the ghost costume when the card is closed. Open the card and a pop-up scene is revealed, complete with spooky tree and Poppy in a Groucho Marx mask.

When I cut the Lots of Pops into the bats patterned paper one just happened to line up with the upper stairstep platform. I hated to cover it up, so instead I wove the brown tree trunk (just a folded piece of brown cardstock) underneath the stairstep and glued it to the back side of the stairstep. I added a hand cut wider section for the base of the tree and branches from the All Seasons Tree.

The Props 1 set includes the glasses and mustache and I thought it would be fun to make a Groucho Marx mask for Poppy so I used his beak cut-out, cut from a flesh color and flipped upside-down, to be the nose. Poppy is attached to another All Seasons Tree used as a branch.


With the Lots of Pops die you can choose which "pops" to expand and which ones to leave collapsed. I only used the big center pop and one of the stairsteps (for the tree) and left the other three pops in the collapsed position.


Die supply links:  

Next up is a different look for Poppy the Owl and Hoppy the Frog - realistic textures!

I wanted to show how nicely you can mix pages between the existing Circle Accordion Album (available now) and the upcoming Ring Accordion (available mid-July 2014). I used the Ring Album for the outside pages and the Circle Accordion for the center page. The inner circles on both albums are the same size, so assembly is a breeze. The outer square on the Circle Accordion will have to be trimmed down on the bottom edge to match the base of the ring page, but it's a quick and easy modification with a trimmer.


For this album I also used a large corner rounder on the center page. When I photographed this project I was losing light and the silver tray was off balance. I didn't notice the album not resting evenly on the tray until I was editing the photos. The album does stand up nice and even on a flat surface.


The Characters are definitely drawn in a cute, cartoonish way but I wanted to show that they can be styled in a realistic way by simply changing their eyes and choosing realistic textures for their bodies. In this case I printed some owl feathers and frog skin photos and then die cut them. For Poppy's eyes I used two different circle punches, since I did not want the little cut-out in the eyeballs. Hoppy's eyes are made using the detail layer die to cut green circles, then hand cutting an almond shape from each circle and gluing them over a black circle. For both Characters I added tiny Glitter Dots for the catch lights and coated the eyes with Glossy Accents.


Die supply links: 

One more Halloween-themed Character project to show. I loved making this one, where each Character is wearing a mask of one of the other Characters. Ha ha ha! What fun!


I used the new Ring album to make a four-page album but mixed in some of the decorator dies from the Circle Accordion album. None of the decorator dies duplicate between the two albums, so by mixing them you get a lot of sizes!


The masks are cut from Shimmer Sheetz so they have that authentic plastic mask sheen to them. I hand cut the little trick or treat bags and drew their little faces on with a black pen. Some black and orange twine spun together made perfect mask cords and handles for the treat bags.


Die supply links:


Sneak peeks also allow customers to plan and budget for items they know they'll want to purchase. For this release, I split the Sneak Peeks into two parts - showing the first 10 dies now and the final 6 in a couple of weeks, closer to the ship date. 

Another perk to Sneak Peeks is that the amazing Designer Challenge Team, who has been making samples with the new dies for the last month or so, are now free to share those projects on their blogs. How do you find them? The easiest is to "Like" the Karen Burniston Designer Page on Facebook, where I post daily links to new projects using Pop it Ups dies.

I've also added a new Pinterest board dedicated to Character samples.

So how about it? Which of these Halloween ideas is your favorite?