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New Holiday Pop-up Dies

Greetings from muggy Orlando! Just thought those of you who aren't at the show might like to see the new pop-up die release and some samples. 

Christmas Pop Up Panel 

And then here are some decorated samples: (click the photos to make them bigger)

Santas Sleigh Sample Card CHAS 09 

The above card uses both the Pop-up Sleigh Die and the Santa and Bag Sizzlit set, which is sized (and notched) to fit the sleigh perfectly.

Colorado Card Bonnie 

Bonnie's Colorado Card showcases the linking pop-up Snowflake. It will link together in a variety of ways to create snow sculptures inside a card. If you have a 6x6 card, you can create a 4-flake sculpture, but if you have a large card, like on a layout, you can make one that is much larger:

Snow Day Hooray Layout 

Next we'll look at the Candle die, which works well for Holiday, Birthday, Hanukkah, etc.

Believe Christmas Card 

Owen Birthday Boy Layout 

The Owen layout above also shows the Pop-up Gift.

Simple Gift Card Holder 

Next comes the Pop-up Christmas Tree.

Hip Holiday Card 

And finally the Pop-up Snowman:

Holiday Greetings Card 

You can get creative with the Snowman:

The Weather Outside Card 

Cowboy Christmas Greetings 

OK, that's what I've photographed so far. I also have some great samples from Tara and Bonnie that I'll be sharing as soon as I get a chance to take pictures.

Got to head over to the show for the final day!

Website will be back soon!

I had the same e-mail address for almost 9 years. And while that's good, in a way, because people can always get in touch, it's bad, in a way, because you can't remember (and update) 9 years worth of websites and businesses that use that e-mail as their only way to contact you!

I did not tell Domain Zoo that my e-mail address had changed.

Consequently, I got no notice that my website domain was expiring.

Consequently, my website went down.


I'm working on getting it back up. Should be back up today, I hope.

And after the CHA show I'm going to work on a brand new website.

Pop-up Cake Card - Teal/Black Flower

As I have mentioned in the past, the Pop-up Cake Die will give the roundest shape if you construct the tiers out of a material that has some plastic in it. Something that wants to unbend, not hold a crease. Transparencies work great, but you may not want a see-through cake. When I came across a whole display of KI Memories' Sheer Delights at the scrapbook store I got very excited. They are perfect for the cake! They have cool colors/patterns and a frosted appearance. If the frosted look is still too transparent, then just paint the back of them with acrylic paint. For my card, I used the Curls 2 Sheer Delight with white paint on the back. I used three 1" strips for my cake, so I will be able to make three more cakes from one sheet and can choose other paint colors to alter the look.

Another couple of tips - if you use a stiff card (I use mat board) and add a closure (I used elastic attached to the back of the card and stretched around the right side), then you don't have to squish the cake entirely flat inside the card. Notice the side view in the upper right corner of my photo montage. See how the cake tiers aren't completely flat? That helps them unbend into a nearly-round position (notice the top view photo, second down on the far right, and how slight the side bends are)

I've anchored the "Reinforced Cake and Troubleshooting Guide" file in the left sidebar, so if you haven't already downloaded it, please do so. Also, that file is meant to be shared - send it to anyone who has the cake die, print it out and use it at SU! parties where you're incorporating the cake die, give it to your friends who might be thinking of buying the cake die, etc.

(click the photo to make it bigger)

Flower Birthday Card  

Sizzix Products Used: Pop-up Cake, Swirly, Scalloped Circle, Birthday Phrases Stamps, Mat Board

Other Products Used: Sheer Delights plastic sheet (KI Memories), Bling cardstock (Bazzill), Dotted Swiss cardstock for cake structure (Bazzill), plain black cardstock, black ink, flowers, beads and bead pins, jump rings, flower rhinestones, white paint, elastic for closure

Yes, I realize that I'm in a "Cake + Flourish" rut. There's something about flourishes around the cake that just makes me happy. Somebody stop me!!!

I'm leaving for the CHA show on Sunday. Come see me at the Ellison/Sizzix booth if you get a chance, where I'll be demo'ing six new pop-up dies!

RKQOTD (Karl: Hey Mom, I think someday I'll invent a new operating system for elderly people. Me: Oh yeah? What would make it different? Karl: Well, for one, anytime you plugged in a new device it would pop up on the screen and say "New Fangled the name of the device and then the word Device", because old people use the words "new fangled" a lot. Also, there would be real-world comparisons to explain what a kilobyte, megabyte, gigabyte and trillabyte are, since old people wouldn't be familiar with those terms. Me: I'd buy it!)

Tara's Gothic Mansion

Tara brought me this masterpiece this week. Before she brought it, she sent me an e-mail that cracked me up:

This was the conversation between myself and my husband, I swear!

 Me: “Honey, does this look like a haunted Gothic Mansion”?

Russell “No, it looks like a haunted Gothic cottage”?

Me: “There’s no such thing as a Gothic cottage”?

Russell: “As a matter of fact “Gothic Cottage” is a division of Pottery Barn aimed at providing disaffected youth, you know, the ones who dress in black and wear  raccoon make-up, with tasteful home accent pieces, and matching drapes and towels”.

Me: “REALLY”! (thinking strange marketing maneuver)

Russell: “No, just kidding”.

Me: “Come on, seriously”.

Russell: “It looks like the house the Munsters would have to move into if Herman got laid off and 1313 Mockingbird Lane was in foreclosure”.

Me: “You remember the street address of their house”?

Russell: “Hon, I am a serious student of 60’s TV Sitcom trivia”.

Me: “Wow, the things you find out AFTER marriage”.

So without further ado . . . Tara's Gothic Mansion (or Cottage)

(click the photo to make it bigger)

Tara Gothic Mansion 
Sizzix Dies Used: Pop-up House, Pop-up Tree, Birds & Branches

Amazing! Tara, you're amazing!

Pop-up Ball Project: Chinese Dragon (Invitation or New Years!)

So here's the story.

Debi Adams, who is one of the talented Sizzix Creative Team members, made a Chinese dinner invitation card using the pop-up ball die. I had that beautiful card with me for several demo's, and people always commented on how much they liked it. It is a gorgeous card!

So it was no surprise when Cheryl, who reps for Sizzix in Hawaii, and for whom I was making a pop-up ball sample, sent me the link to Debi's card and said how much she loved it. I told her that I would do my best to copy Debi's card for her.

Now when I had that card, even up close, I always assumed that the Chinese characters on the lantern were stamped. They were so perfect! Imagine my surprise to see in the directions online that Debi had drawn them with markers!! Of course she did. It's not enough to be wickedly talented with dies and colors and ideas . . . she has to also have mad drawing skills that apparently include the ability to sketch Chinese characters!

Alas. I have no such abilities.

So I wasn't going to be able to scraplift Debi completely.

Instead, I decorated my pop-up ball as a Chinese dragon. I figured it would make a good Chinese New Year card, but CNY isn't until February, so I made it a dinner invitation like Debi did. We are celebrating Emma studying abroad in China . . . someday. (She's only in 6th grade, but just in case)

(click the photo to make it bigger)
Chinese Dinner Invitation 

Sizzix supplies used: Pop-up Ball, Ribbons, Cherry Blossom Branch, Mat Board

Other supplies used: Patterned paper (black w/dots, Scenic Route); Cardstock (Core'dinations), Gold shimmer cardstock (for cherry blossoms, DCWV); Ribbons, chopsticks, brads, rhinestones, yellow and green paint, computer font, velcro, Zip Dry glue, tacky tape, three #16 rubber bands

Step-by-step Instructions:

  1. Cut a 6x12 strip of patterned paper, find the center, and make two score lines that are each 1/8" from the centerline, creating a "thick" card with a 1/4" gutter.

  2. Cut three 6x12 strips of red cardstock and run them, one at a time, through the Big Shot using the pop-up ball die. Assemble the ball according to the package instructions. (Note: the spinner base will not be used for this project - the dragon will be attached stationary)

  3. From the scraps of red cardstock in Step 2, die cut several diamond ribbons and glue them around the edges of the card, skipping the gutter. Glue the die-cut ribbons so that half the diamonds are on the paper and half are sticking out beyond the paper.

  4. Use scraps of cardstock to create a nose, mouth, teeth, eyes, whiskers and horns for the dragon. Glue the pieces onto various "planes" of the completed ball, making sure that they are never glued to both sides of a fold or seam. Verify that the ball will fold flat before permanently gluing the embellishments. Add large rhinestones for nostrils. Use an embossing stylus to dot yellow and green paint onto the dragon for further decoration. Attach four long ribbons to the back of the dragon to act as the tail.

  5. Adhere the completed dragon inside the card. Glue the ends of the ribbons to the left side of the card, making sure that there is enough slack for the ball to fold flat.

  6. Reinforce the stickiness of the self-adhesive mat board with strips of tacky tape and adhere one black mat board behind each half of the card, avoiding the gutter. Die cut cherry blossom branches from gold cardstock and decorate the front of the card.

  7. Cut two chopsticks to 7" in length. Decide where they will cross and mark the edges of the connection with a craft knife. Notch out the top of one chopstick and the bottom of the other at the connection point so they will nest together like Lincoln Logs. Glue the chopsticks together.

  8. Wrap a piece of red ribbon around the connection point and attach the ribbon to itself with two black mini brads. Glue the chopsticks in place on the front of the card and wrap the ribbon around the card to the left, gluing it down on the back of the card. For the other end, bring it up around the right (opening) edge to determine the proper length. Fold the ribbon back on itself and secure with two black mini-brads. Add a circle of Velcro under the ribbon using tacky tape and one of the mini brads. Add the other half of the Velcro to the front of the card, using tacky tape and a mini-brad. Keep the card closed by wrapping the ribbon to the front and attaching it to the Velcro.

  9. Open the card. Print a greeting or invitation info onto white cardstock and glue it inside the card, making sure that the brad prongs from Step 8 are covered by the cardstock. Complete the decoration inside the card with gold die-cut cherry blossom branches and tiny red rhinestones.

  10. Mail the card in a 7.5" x 7.5" envelope (available from Action Envelope). Extra postage will be required.

RKQOTD (while IM'ing with Karl. Me: Hey, I like the latest song you gave me. Karl: You do? I think it is about life and love problems - like the blues.)

Julie's Birthday Card

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)

Pink Birthday Cake Card 

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!)

Stampin' Up! Soccer Ball project

This project could be used as-is, or the entire petal-fold envelope could be attached to a layout.

(click the photo to make it bigger)

SU Soccer Ball 

 SU Soccer Ball extra image

Stampin' Up! Supply List:

113439 Big Shot Die Cutting Machine
113478 Extended Cutting Plates
116759 Pop-up Ball Die
104294 Sticky Strip tacky tape (to construct the ball)
115010 Just Soccer stamp set
113706 Certified stamp set
106532 Basic Black cardstock- (1) 12x12 sheet + (1/2) 8.5x11 sheet
106529 Whisper White cardstock- (2) 12x12 sheets
101697 Glorious Green cardstock- (1) 8.5x11 sheet
102482 Real Red cardstock- (1) 8.5x11 sheet
112580 Clips assortment- (3) clips - one of each style
105245 Twill tape - (5" piece)
109132 White Stampin' Emboss powder
100005 Heat Tool
101179 Basic Black Classic ink pad
102283 VersaMark ink pad
105319 Silver eyelets- (2) eyelets
108341 Spiral punch

Other Supplies Used: (3) #16 Rubber Bands to construct the ball, (1) office brad to make the ball spin, (3) jump rings to hang items from the ball and twill, "crystal" Stickles glitter glue (could substitute glue and SU! glitter), white pen for journaling

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Cut three 6x12 strips of white cardstock and run the strips (one at a time) through the Big Shot using the Pop-up Ball die. Prepare the three reinforced ball sides according to the package directions. Once all six sides are ready to be added to the base hexagon, stamp some of the sides with Certified stamps using black ink. Now add the sides to the base hexagon. Do not complete the ball construction yet.

  2. Cut four solid hexagons from the 8.5x11 sheet of black cardstock using the Big Shot and the Pop-up Ball die. Make one of the hexagons smaller by using a ruler and craft knife to trim about 1/8" from all six sides so it will be smaller than the top of the ball. For the other three hexagons, cut them in half and glue one half to the edge of a ball side. Trim away any of the hexagon that falls over the edge. Glue the other half to the neighboring ball side, repeating the trimming process. Repeat with the other two hexagons, spacing the black "spots" evenly around the ball.

  3. Stamp the soccer ball and cleat onto scraps of white cardstock and cut them out. Pierce small holes near the tops of two ball sides and hang them like charms from jump rings. Complete the construction of the ball. Add the trimmed black hexagon to the top of the ball and journal on it with a white pen. Clip a small picture to the ball using the solid metal clip. Set the completed ball aside.

  4. Construct a petal-fold envelope from the 12x12 sheet of black cardstock using this template: Download Pop-up Ball Envelope Template (Also can be found under "Links" sidebar at

  5. Stamp all petals of the envelope, front and back, randomly with Certified and Just Soccer stamps using Versamark ink and embossing the images with white powder.

  6. Cut a 6.5 x 6.5 square of Glorious Green cardstock and stamp the soccer ball randomly all over the square using Versamark ink. Glue the completed background inside the petal-fold envelope. Cut a 2.25 x 6.5 strip of black cardstock and use the Spiral punch along the top and bottom edges to create a filmstrip. Embellish with small photos. Glue the completed filmstrip inside the petal fold envelope.

  7. Collapse the ball and hold it inside the envelope to determine where to add the spinning base. Add the spinner base using an office brad. Attach the ball to it using Sticky Strip.

  8. Fold in the smaller petals and then the larger petals. Determine a location for the binder clip and cut two slits through the petal to slide the back of the binder clip through. Secure it to the petal using Sticky Strip or a strong glue. On the opposite petal, cut a slit and weave the twill through it. Attach the twill to itself using a silver eyelet.

  9. Weave the other end of the twill through the paper clip. Close the card and slide the paper clip over the binder clip to judge how long the twill tape should be. Leave enough slack so the paper clip can be easily removed from the binder clip. Secure the twill to itself using another eyelet.

  10. Stamp the soccer ball in black ink onto Real Red (*or use your team's color) cardstock and cut it out. Embellish with glitter. Hang from the front twill using a jump ring. Cut a 6.5x6.5 square from the remaining red cardstock to glue to the back of the card to stiffen it. (Optional: stamp the square with soccer balls and Versamark ink just like the green square)

  11. Slide the completed card into a 7.5x7.5 envelope for mailing (extra postage will be required) OR glue the completed card onto a scrapbook layout.