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Double the pop-up balls, double the fun!

When I made this monster card I mentioned that the pop-up ball die would also work to make recognizable characters, like Ernie and Elmo. I decided to try my hand at it. I would have done Bert and Ernie, but Bert has that dome head, which would be possible with the ball, but not easy.

However, after finishing the card I realized that I really shouldn't be reproducing these characters, which are certainly covered by copyrights and trademarks. Whoops.

So . . . because it turned out so cute and I really want to share it, I am going to ease my guilt by requiring that anyone who copies this idea must commit to purchasing a ton of officially licensed product for the party. This might include napkins, plates, party hats, a banner, an Elmo cake, and thank you cards. Deal?

(click the photo to make it bigger)

Owen SS Invite 

Sizzix Dies Used: Pop-up Ball, Scalloped Circle, Mat Board

Other Supplies: Scenic Route "Appleton" papers, Felt (Hobby Lobby), Cardstock, Zip Dry glue, Red-liner Tacky Tape, rickrack, six #16 rubber bands, computer font "Geneva", elastic (Michaels)

I also wanted to share a link for some great envelopes. I purchased these 7.5" x 7.5" translucent envelopes from Action Envelope and they arrived yesterday. I love them! Perfect for my ball cards, which are generally 6x6x0.5". (In the case of the double ball card above, I increased the gutter to 7/8")


RKQOTD (Me: Wow, this ladybug has been hanging onto my window for quite a while now. She's going to end up far away from home! Emma: Hey Ladybug - if you're going to ride the bus, you owe us 50 cents!)

"Princess" Birthday Cake Card (instructions, too!)

I thought I would save it for her birthday in August, but then she walked into my studio and saw it in progress.

EMMA: Hmmm. I appreciate that you made the card pink, but I don't own a dress like that. Also, you owe me for the photo shoot.

Yes, she charges me for photo shoots when I, for example, interrupt her lazy Sunday spent sitting on the couch reading a book about Greek Mythology to say "Hey Emma, I need a shot of you from the waist up for a card I'm working on." "That'll be two dollars."

Happy Birthday, Sweet Extortionist!

(Click the photo to view larger)

Emma Princess Birthday Card  

Sizzix Dies Used:  Pop-up Cake, Birthday Set, Birthday Set #2, Ribbons, Flourish #2, Mat Board

Other supplies: "Sonoma" Paper and Stickers (Scenic Route), Crown stamp (Rubberstamp Ave.), Fringe Ribbon Trim (Michaels ribbon aisle), Cardstock (Core'dinations), Flower brad (Making Memories), Glittered Chipboard Letter Stickers (Creative Imaginations), rhinestones, elastic, brown ink pad, printer transparency, glitter or Stickles, strong red-liner tacky tape.

How to:

  1. Cut a 6x12 piece of patterned paper for the inside of the card. Fold in half. Die cut and construct the Cake structure in the fold of the patterned paper following these instructions: Download Reinforced Cake Instructions and Troubleshooting Guide.

  2. Cut three 1-inch strips of printer transparency and trim them to the correct length for each tier of the cake. Apply a thin strip of tacky tape to the top of each strip and press the fringe ribbon trim to it. Add the completed tiers to the cake. Trim the length of the ribbon fringes if necessary.

  3. Die cut two ribbon borders, two mirror-image Flourishes, and emboss the Happy Birthday image from Core'dinations cardstock. Glue the ribbons to the top and bottom edges of the card. Trim the flourishes and glue them above the dress, leaving room between them for an age. (I used numbers cut from Scenic Route paper) Highlight the "Happy Birthday" message by brushing the raised letters with a brown ink pad. Add stickers for "Sweet Princess". Embellish with rhinestones.

  4. Stamp the crown on scraps of cardstock and cut it out. Embellish with small pearl rhinestones. Add a photo to the top of the cake with the crown on top of the photo.

  5. Prepare the mat board for the back of the card by first punching a hole near the edge and threading a loop of elastic through it. Secure the mat board behind the card with strong adhesive. Cover the back with patterned paper and add the "She thinks she can fly" sticker in the center.

  6. Prepare the mat board for the front of the card by first covering it with patterned paper. Pierce a hole through the mat board in the location of the brad. Add a small pop-dot over the pierced hole and re-pierce the hole through the pop-dot, too. Add the flower brad through the pop-dot and through the mat board. Now secure the mat board to the front of the card using a strong adhesive.

  7. Finish the decoration on the front of the card by embossing the cupcake on Core'dinations paper and sanding the top. Add tiny pearl rhinestones. Highlight the flame with glitter or Stickles. Add ribbon die cuts around the rectangle to create the scalloped edge. Glue the finished cupcake to the front of the card. Add a name with chipboard stickers.

  8. Keep the card closed by stretching the elastic loop from the back of the card up and over the brad on the front of the card. Use a 7.5 x 7.5 square envelope for mailing. (Extra postage will be required)


Stampin' Up! Bowling Invite (easy)

In "how weird is that?!" coincidences, I was mapping out a bowling invite in my head while out running errands the other day. Emma was at the library and it was too early to pick her up, so with an extra 15 minutes to spare, I figured I'd pop into Dollar Tree and see if anything caught my eye. Lo and behold, they had a little bowling toy! For a buck! I had planned on making the pins myself, from cardstock, but this was a fun substitute. Still, if you can't find a cheap bowling toy (or don't feel like drilling holes through the pins to attach them) you could certainly make the pins from cardstock. That's how I did the big pin on the front of the card. (click to make it bigger)

Bowling Invite SU 

Stampin' Up! Supplies used:

113439 Big Shot Die Cutting Machine
113478 Extended Cutting Plates
116759 Pop-up Ball Die
104294 Sticky Strip tacky tape
114992 Independence Day stamps
113995 Jackpot paper
103133 Real Red ink pad
101179 Basic Black ink pad
108589 Neutrals variety cardstock pack -1.5 sheets Black, 0.5 sheet Very Vanilla, 0.5 sheet Whisper White
107217 3/4" hole punch (for finger holes)

Substitute SU! supplies for non-SU! supplies:

To make bowling lane (I used ribbed felt): 106531 Sahara Sand cardstock and 114531 Woodgrain Texturz plate OR 101618 Crimper

Brad for closure (I used something from my stash): 112572 Star Designer Brad

"You're Invited" and party info (I used a computer font called Sister Frisky): 115046 Please Come stamp set

Bowling pins scattered around ball (I used a toy from Dollar Tree): 106529 Whisper White cardstock (cut into pin shapes) and scraps of Jackpot paper for stripes

Mat board to make card sturdy (I used Sizzix brand): 110713 Book Basics Large chipboard, cut down to 6x6

Other Supplies used: fishing line (John's tackle box), red elastic cording (Michaels), 3 inch circle punch (for invite info), office brad (for inside the bowling ball to make it spin), 3 #16 rubber bands (to construct the ball)

Step-by-step Instructions:

  1. Cut three 6x12 strips of black cardstock and run the strips (one at a time) through the Big Shot using the Pop-up Ball die. Keep the scraps of cardstock and set aside.

  2. Construct the ball according to the package directions until the six sides are attached to the base hexagon. Add the rubber bands to each hole, but do not stretch them to their neighbor yet. Pierce a small hole on both sides of the three interior "shelves" and tie a piece of fishing line through the holes.

  3. Pull two ball sides up to their finished position to decide the location of the finger holes. Punch the holes using the 3/4" hole punch. Hold one of the top hexagons in place to determine the location of the third hole. Punch it through one hexagon and then hold a second hexagon over it and punch the hole in the same position. Hold one of the punched hexagons in place over the top tabs of the two punched sides and mark where the top tabs will need to be trimmed away (so the top hole isn't obscured). Use the punch to trim off any part of the top tabs that will show through the hole.

  4. Complete the ball construction according to the package directions. Make sure that the six fishing line ends are outside the ball. For the pins, either construct them out of cardstock and paper, or use a toy set. If using a toy set, drill a small hole through the top of each pin and tie them to the ends of the fishing line.

  5. Cut a 6x12 strip of Very Vanilla cardstock and measure in 5.75" from each side and score to fold. (This leaves a 1/2" in the center to make a "thick" card) Open the card and add a 3.5" x 12" bowling lane in the center. (Use ribbed felt brushed with brown ink, or make the lane with tan cardstock and a texturizer or crimper) Add two thin strips of black cardstock, cut from the scraps in Step 1, to both sides of the lane to act as gutters. Hand cut small triangles of Jackpot paper and punch little circles for the pin locations. Glue those in place over the lane.

  6. Determine the location for the ball and attach the holed hexagon using an office brad. Secure the finished bowling ball to the holed hexagon using Sticky Strip.

  7. Add the party information to the center of the lane. Also stamp the smaller star three times with Real Red ink onto Whisper White cardstock. Cut out the stars leaving a small white border. Attach them to the bowling ball.

  8. Prepare the chipboard/mat board for the back of the card by securing a small loop of red elastic (about 3" total) to the top edge. Use a brad, eyelet or strong tape to secure the ends to the back of the chipboard. Use Sticky Strip to attach the chipboard under the card. Add a thin strip of leftover Jackpot paper inside the card to cover the exposed chipboard.

  9. Prepare the chipboard/mat board for the front of the card by covering it with Jackpot paper. Add a brad to the top of the board for the closure. Add a 2.25 x 6 strip of black cardstock to the front of the card. Create a bowling pin with Whisper White cardstock and scraps of Jackpot paper. Stamp the large star with Real Red ink on Whisper White cardstock and cut it out. Also stamp the small star with black ink and cut it out. Layer the pieces, along with a "You're Invited" greeting, to the front of the card. Use pop-dots to elevate the bowling pin, if desired. Use a ruler and black pen to add a border around the square.

  10. Attach the finished front to the front of the card using Sticky Strip. Cover any exposed chipboard inside the card with a thin strip of Jackpot paper. Stretch the elastic from the back and over the brad to keep the card closed. Tuck any stray bowling pins into the card.

  11. Use a 7.5" x 7.5" envelope (I vote for a clear envelope!) to mail the card. (Extra postage will be required)

Bonnie (*she's awesome)

So one of the things on my to-do list is to help Bonnie get her own blog going. She really has mad crafting skillz, but when it comes to technology . . . well . . . have I mentioned her mad crafting skillz? Heh. (Actually, judging by the way she navigates her iPhone, my guess is that she'll have no problem setting up a blog!)

In the meantime, though, I get to post her gorgeous creations on my blog. Lucky me! Here are some of her pop-up cards: (Click the photos to make them bigger)

Hello Tree Card Bonnie 

Papers from Jillibean Soup. Sizzix Dies used: Pop-up Tree, Birds & Branches, Endless Love Alphabet

Time with Friends Card Bonnie 

Sizzix Die used: Pop-up Heart

Bonnie Relax Card

Sizzix Die Used: Pop-up Beach Chair

Amazing. Awesome. Thanks, Bon!

Elegant Birthday Cake Card

Blue Brown Birthday Card 

Papers: Brown with spots, Teal with spots (Bo Bunny), Other papers (Memory Box), die-cut cardstock strip on center tier (Bazzill), cardstock & mat board (Sizzix)

Other supplies: "Make a Wish" stamp (Stampin' Up!), "Happy" letter stickers (Making Memories), "birthday" rub-ons (Creative Imaginations), flower rhinestones (Kaiser), Stickles, silk flower, elastic, brads.

Sizzix Dies Used: Pop-up Cake, Ribbons, Decorative Swirls, Birthday Set #2

Spinning Platform Card (A2)

So one of the things that I'm asked a lot about the pop-up dies is "What size card do I use?" and then, the natural extension, "What size envelope?". Some of the pop-up dies look best in a 6x6 card. You can certainly go with a bigger rectangular-shaped card (like a 6x9), so it will meet the requirements for a standard letter, assuming it doesn't weigh more than an ounce, is not thicker than 1/4 inch, and isn't bulky or rigid. So basically, it's pretty hard to send a pop-up card for a single stamp, no matter what size you make the card, you see?

And, after all, these aren't your average greeting cards - they're something special, and wow-ish, and if you care enough to make something that special for someone, well they're worth a little extra postage, aren't they? (See how I spun that?)

But yes, the envelopes can be tricky. You can use standard sizes, like A2, A6, A7, A8, A9, make your own, or find a local source, say Xpedx, that carries unique sizes, like squares. I just placed an order for some 6x6 and 7.5x7.5 envelopes from an online source, but I want to make sure they arrive and that I like the quality before recommending the website.

One pop-up die that fits nicely in an A2 (4.25 x 5.5) card is the Spinning Platform Die. It will fit in an A2 either way (vertical or horizontal) but a horizontal A2 will allow for a bigger embellishment on the platform. For this card, I used a Movers & Shapers die to create a horizontal A2 with a diagonal window frame. The embellishment that is on the platform is visible through the window when the card is closed. Open it and the medallion spins up into place and announces "Thank you". I also hung a little heart tag from the edge of the medallion. I was definitely inspired to knot the ends of the ribbons by Bonnie (*she's awesome), who is the queen of knotted ribbons.

(click the photo to make it bigger)

Peacock Thank You Card 

Supply list:

Paper & Stickers (Little Yellow Bicycle "Zinnia"), Flower Rhinestones (Kaiser), "Thank You" rub-on (Scenic Route), Cardstock (Sizzix)

Sizzix Dies Used: Movers & Shapers 4-pane Window, Spinning Platform, Scalloped Circle, Lovely Flourishes, Bigz Tags

RKQOTD (snippet of conversation overheard between Karl and Emma KARL: ... and so regular brains can use cold logic and the ability to learn from our senses. Worms don't have regular brains . . .) I didn't ask. I try not to ask.

Home Sweet Home!

Here's a card using the Pop-up House die and the Pop-up Tree die together. For the tree, I didn't use the pop-up part - just a flat tree attached to the back of the house so it will stand up with the house. Then I hung a swing from the branches. (I made the swing from one of the fence boards and used string from a tag) As always, click the picture to make it bigger:New Home Card 

The papers here are: Jillibean Soup (birds), Fancy Pants (House paper on front of card), Scenic Route (pop-up house and roof), American Crafts (flowers in flower boxes) and Sizzix (cardstock and mat board)

Other supplies: pre-made fence (Hobby Lobby Christmas aisle), felt (Hobby Lobby), rub-ons (Scrapworks & Making Memories), ribbon for curtains (Making Memories), elastic, black bead for doorknob & heart button (Michaels general craft aisles), Decorative-edged scissors (Fiskars)

Other dies used: Circle Scallop, Textured Impressions Baby Set #2 (for flowers on roof), Textured Impressions Argyle (for tree foliage)

Oh yeah, and I should mention that on this house as well as the Halloween House, I use the rectangles that come from inside the windows as shingles on top of the roof.

Also check out the post before this one, which has some new Pop-up Ball cards.

Pop-up Ball Cards (redemption!)

OK, so after the fiasco that was my engagement ring card, I felt that I needed to redeem myself with a couple of cool cards using the Pop-up Ball Die.

This first one is a Stampin' Up card, using Jackpot papers and Card Games stamps. (click on the photo to enlarge it)

Game Night Card 

So the idea here is that you can pick any door to open for an answer. I opened them all for the photo. The ball spins, so it's easy to turn it and pick a door, any door. I had fun making the Magic 8 Ball. I tried getting all the answers from Emma's actual Magic 8 Ball, but it kept giving me the same ones, so in the end I went online and found them all. There are 20 answers, but I only had 12 ball sides, so I picked my favorites. I saved the formatted triangles in a PDF file for anyone who wants to copy this card idea. Here's the file: Download 8 ball answers copy

Speaking of Stampin' Up, my friend Holle had some Sesame Street monster cards made with SU punches at her house the other day. It got me thinking about making a monster from the pop-up ball, so here's what I did. I didn't make it any specific monster, just my own creation, but you could certainly style the ball after Elmo, Oscar, Ernie, etc.

Monster Ball Card 

For my monster (click the photo to make it larger) I first made the ball from green cardstock. Then I ran my green felt through the Big Shot with the die and cut the individual panels for covering the ball. The eyes are back-to-back googly eyes with a small spring inserted between them. I bought the springs at Home Depot in a variety pack. I put the eyes back-to-back so that when the ball is flat (see lower right photo) and the springs fold in, he still has eyes. I also added little googly eyes in some of the happy birthday letters. The papers are all Scenic Route.

So there. Better, huh? No diamond-encrusted toilet seats this time! I can learn! I can learn! Heh.

RKQOTD (On our Father's Day hike today ME: Karl, grab Lucy's leash but watch out for the cact . . . KARL: Owwww! I just put my hand on a cactus! ME: Let me help you get those spikes out. KARL: Ow. Yikes! Ow! There's one. Do this finger next. You know . . . it's funny when it happens on cartoons, but in real life it's not funny to put your hand on a cactus!)

But it looked great on the shower door . . .

I sketch ideas in the shower. It's too hard to resist - those foggy glass sides are just begging for a doodle or two. If I ever mysteriously disappear it might be a good idea to fog up the bathroom so my latest brainstorms show up on the shower door. "I see that she was thinking of a pop-up toaster - but it looks like she couldn't figure out the slots. Let's check Bed, Bath and Beyond!"

Yesterday I shower-sketched a card idea where the Pop-up Ball die would become a diamond ring when you opened it. I had it all figured out - the ring part would pivot on a brad so it could hold the ball closed, with the center of the ball visible inside the ring, and then you would swing it out into position, releasing the ball, and it would look like a ring! Brilliant!

But I failed to consider a few things, like clearing the ball in the flattened position, yada, yada, yada. (Won't bore you with the technical problems) Suffice to say that I had a version of the card well on its way to being done when John entered the room.

JOHN: Cool disco ball!

ME: It's not a disco ball - it's a diamond. Like in a diamond ring! See this part here - this is the ring. Get it?

JOHN: Wait - THAT part is the ring? And someone's giant fat finger would go through there?

ME: Well it's a card, silly. It's conceptual. Nobody will actually WEAR the ring. Chuh.

JOHN: If you say so.

ME: I'm going to put a die-cut bird on the front and say "A little birdie told me . . . you're engaged!" or something like that.

JOHN: How about "A little birdie told me . . . you bought a diamond-encrusted toilet seat!"

ME: You have no vision.

So I made what changes I could, to try to get it looking as much like a diamond ring as possible, but overall I'd say this is not my finest performance. Just alright for me, dawg. I think an "A for effort" is warranted though.

Engagement Card 

Stampin' Up! Birthday Cake Card

I had such fun with the wedding card with transparency sides that I thought I'd do one in a birthday theme, too.

I used all Stampin' Up supplies on this card, except for the buttons, because I didn't have SU buttons, and the transparency, which was just a printer transparency cut into one inch strips, stamped with Staz On ink, and colored with Sharpie markers. The card stays closed with magnets. (Basic Grey)

I love the Big Birthday Candle set, and was happy to find that the candle is exactly the right size to fit inside a transparency cake. Plus the whole thing will fit in an A2 card. I also used Urban Garden paper, white cardstock from the Neutrals pack, Itty Bitty Backgrounds, Ballet Blue and Mellow Moss inks and white grosgrain ribbon.

Birthday Cake Card SU 

(click on the photo to make it bigger)