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March 2010

Kathy Thompson's Heart Tree

It is very unusual for me to post twice in a day, and if you've jumped here from Facebook and are looking for the Sock Monkey card; scroll down.

But do stop for a moment and admire Kathy Thompson's creative take on the Stampin' Up! Heart Sculpture Tree card that I posted a while back.

Kathy writes:

I love your tree die cut.  I was going to make your valentine tree, but it wasn’t working too well for me.  My Stampin up demonstrator gave me the directions.  This is what I came up with instead.  I think it turned out pretty cute.  I made a card and a box.  This picture is the card opened.  Keep coming up with those great dies.  Kathy Thompson

Notice Kathy's description of her tree as "pretty cute". Oh the modesty! I consider her tree a masterpiece and quickly e-mailed her to see if I could post it on my blog. She said yes! Kathy doesn't have a blog (yet, heh heh) but do please leave her a comment here if you are so inclined. Perhaps we can encourage her to start one so we can see more of her creations!

Thanks for sharing, Kathy! And Happy Valentines Day!

(Click to make it bigger)

Kathy Thompson Heart Tree

Edited to add: Kathy's tree is also being featured on the website of her friend and SU! demonstrator: Carol Taggart


Pop-up Sock Monkey Birthday Card

Transcript of Blackberry Messenger Chat:

Karen: If I buy you two new pairs of socks, can I cut up a pair of your existing ones?

John: Go for it. If you haven't already.

Karen: I was waiting. Scissors are poised! Your new socks are thick and squishy. It was a good trade!

Notice that he didn't ask why I wanted his socks, or why they had to be his existing socks instead of the new ones I had obviously purchased. (Answer: Color - couldn't find new ones the color of a sock monkey)

Men, in general, and John, in particular, are not very curious creatures!

The Pop-up Snowman die, like all the pop-up dies, is a steel-rule die. This means that you can cut all sorts of alternate materials, like fabric, felt or the upper part (not the feet) of your husband's well-laundered socks. (I used color-safe bleach and hot water) For my sock monkey, I cut the pop-up pieces out of cardstock and then out of the socks. I glued the sock-pieces over the cardstock pieces and then assembled like normal. The ears, mouth, arms and legs are cut by hand and glued on.

(Click to make it bigger)Sock Monkey Birthday Card 

Sizzix products used:
Bigz XL Pop-up Snowman die, by Karen Burniston
Originals Pumpkin Toy die, by Brenda Pinnick (for the hat)
Bigz Ovals die
Bigz Ovals, Scallop #3 die
Textured Impressions Birthday Set #2, by Stu and Rachael Bright
Textured Impressions Dots & Flowers Set, by Rachael Bright & Emily Humble
Bigz Clear Circle, Scallop die, by E.L.
Birthday Phrases Clear Stamps, by Dena Designs
Little Sizzles Matboard

Other products used:
Patterned Papers by My Mind's Eye "Breaking Free"
General craft/source unknown: pom-pom ribbon, ink, silver rhinestones, elastic, eyelets, fabric, socks, buttons

A couple of construction notes:

  • The socks are going to make the pop-up very thick when folded flat. The "river" or thick binding area of my card is about 7/8" thick. I made it by first folding the interior (teal spotted) patterned paper in the middle. Then I measured half my river distance (so 7/16") in each direction and made another fold. I cut my matboard to fit the space from the outer fold to the edge of the paper, leaving the river space open with no matboard.
  • I always complete the insides of my cards first. The pop-up base is lined up to the center fold as usual. However, because the sock monkey is a lot of weight for that little base piece, I reinforced the connection with mini-brads through the base/matboard.
  • Once the inside of the card is complete, I close the card and then wrap my outer paper around the closed card, noting where the outer paper hits the edges of the matboard. I remove the paper and make score lines at those locations. Now glue the paper securely to the front matboard and the back matboard, but use no glue in the river. Notice when the card is open that the outer paper (which is longer) will bow in the river, making a "U" shape.

RKQOTD (Me: What if Gram came to visit and didn't bring you any presents? Emma: I'd be fine with it. Me: Good answer! Gram coming is present enough, right? Karl: Right! Me: quoting Allison Strine Because we love Gram to the moon and back! Karl: Yeah! Emma: Well . . . the moon isn't very far away, speaking in space miles. Me: Would it be better to say we love her to Pluto and back? Emma: No. It would be better to say that we love her to the next planetary nebula and back!)

Pop up Birdhouse Welcome Card

Do you own the Pop-up Christmas Tree die? Did you put it away with all your Christmas stuff? Well you need to dig it out, baby, because it's perfect for an RTM card!

What's an RTM card? RTM = Rob The Mechanism!

The pop-up dies are just 3D tools. They allow you to build stuff upwards instead of keeping it all flat. By covering the pieces of a pop-up die with other shapes/dies, you can change them into a completely different theme. This following card uses the mechanism of the Christmas Tree to create a pop-up from the NEW Sizzix Birdhouse die, by Stu.

(Click to make it bigger)

Welcome Birdhouse Card

Sizzix Products Used:
Bigz XL Pop-up Christmas Tree die, by Karen Burniston
Bigz Birdhouse die, by Stu
Bigz Bird w/wing die , by Stu
Bigz Vine w/leaves die, by Stu
Sizzlits Decorative strip, Birds & Branches, by Emily Humble
Textured Impressions folder set, Arglye, by Stu & Emily Humble
Sizzlits Decorative strip, Hayseed Alphabet, by Build-a-Bear Workshop
Little Sizzles matboard

Other Products Used:
Patterned papers - Crate Paper, Jillibean Soup
Cardstock - Bazzill
Decorative Brad - Creative Imaginations
General Craft/Source Unknown - rhinestone, elastic, ink, craft stick, ribbon, colored pencils, eyelet, elastic

After covering the pop-up pieces with other shapes, you'll need to turn them over and use a craft knife to cut the notches and slots through the new shapes, too. This allows you to construct the pop-up in the usual manner.

The pop-abilities are endless! (See what I did there?)

Pop-up Pool Party Invitation

I made this little clown fish several months ago to be one of the rollover buttons on my new website. You know . . . that new website that's been "coming soon" for way longer than "soon"?! (heh)

He's been sitting on the shelf looking at me sadly ever since - practically pleading to be finished into a card. Well, little clown fish, who I hereby name "Meno" (notice that his fins are ever so symmetrical - not at all like the beloved Disney character of a similar, but entirely different, name!) your day has come!

(Click to make it bigger)
Summer Fun Pool Invite 

Sizzix products used: 
Bigz XL Pop-up Ball die, by Karen Burniston
Summer Fun Textured Impressions set, by Brenda Pinnick
Bigz Flourish #2, by Stu
Bigz Super Crescent Tag, by E.L.
Little Sizzles 6x13 matboard

Other products used:
(3) #16 rubber bands
Patterned papers by Imaginisce (Lucy Bird)
Dew Drops by The Robin's Nest
Zip Dry glue by Beacon
"Marker Felt" computer font
Cardstock, acrylic paint, rickrack, transparency, inks, elastic, eyelets

Meno is going to be traveling this year. Bonnie and I are making some pop-up samples for the It's Cheaper Than Therapy booth, which sells primarily Sizzix products (with great discounts and specials) for their 2010 conventions. I've known Maria, the owner, for many years. In fact, her store was the first scrapbooking store I visited upon moving to Colorado 9 years ago. So if you're attending any conventions this year, Scrapbook Expo, CK Conventions, Great American - do check if Maria has a booth.

RKQOTD (Karl: Mom, this next homework problem says I have to make up my own dictionary question. Me: OK, so just flip through the dictionary and point at a word randomly and use that one. Karl: OK. Here's one: "Kingston". My question will be "What is a kingston?". Me: Sounds good. glancing over I see Karl write "What is a kingston?" on his paper. And then, after a pause, he adds "(not Sean Kingston)")

Who dat? Pop-up Card

We lived in New Orleans for twelve years and believe me, they know how to throw a party down there! I went to many a great Superbowl party in New Orleans and yet never once were our beloved Saints on the field . . . until now!

I can only imagine the partying that will be spilling into the streets in New Orleans this weekend!

Geaux Saints!

In honor of this unprecedented (but hopefully repeated) trip to the Superbowl, I made (naturally) a pop-up card:

Saints Who Dat card

Sizzix dies used: Pop-up Spinning Platform, Fleur-de-lis (altered to look more like the Saints logo), Go Go Boots alphabet, Dots Textured Impressions folder

Other products used: Grunge paper (Tim Holtz; Advantus), Letter eyelets (Making Memories), Rub-ons (Karen Foster, Cosmo Cricket), Varsity sticker letters (Creative Imaginations), Patterned paper (unknown), General Craft Items (ribbon, paper bag, ink, gold leaf, cardstock, matboard)

RKQOTD (ME: noticing Emma's stocking cap w/ear flops  Emma, you have that hat pulled down so low, you look Canadian! EMMA: grinning Bacon, eh?)

Heading to the U.K.

The trip is just two weeks away and thus; I freak!

But let me tell you what I'll be up to in the U.K.

First up is a class for the Chepstow Pink Scrappers on Saturday, February 20th. Louise mentioned the other day that there are just 2 class spots left, so do hurry and contact the CPS if you want to join in the fun. Here's a "Sneak Peek" of what we'll be making:

Happy Her Sneak Peek

It's a double-page spread in a "Girl" theme with a large Spring/Summer pop-up scene revealed behind a big gate-fold card on Page 1. The title is optional as you will receive an entire sheet of chipboard letters in your kit.

Speaking of the class kits . . . they're fabulous! Thanks to Sizzix and Creative Imaginations for sponsoring the kits with donations and discounts. The Creative Imaginations papers and embellishments are from Christine Adolph's My Girl line, with rich saturated colors and beautiful foiling. The kind of papers that you can barely stand to cut or cover!

It's going to be a very fun Saturday in Wales, so do please join us if you can!

Next, from February 21-23rd, I'll be attending the Stitches Trade Show in Birmingham. Stop by the Sizzix stand (Ellison Europe, F03) where I'll be demo'ing and showing samples of the Pop-up dies in action!

And then it's on to the Inspired Retreat, where I'll be teaching a Retailers workshop and two Student workshops, all generously sponsored by Imaginisce and Sizzix. I can't show pictures of those classes yet, (must keep the mystery alive!) but if you're attending the retreat, check your e-mail in the next few days for Sneak Peek photos and "What to Bring" lists for those workshops. The event is sold out.

I've also been doing some design work for other teachers/stores, so check with these folks for other pop-up class offerings:

Lance at Rusty Pickle - two mini-album classes - Winter and Tropical

Scrap 4 Fun, the Netherlands - Summer layout class for March retreat

Over the last month, I've designed six new classes and I've got to say . . . I miss teaching! I took 2009 off to concentrate on getting the Sizzix Pop-up Dies up and running, but now I'm ready to dive back in to teaching at events and stores. If you'd like me to come teach at your store or event, please contact me. I'm booking for late summer and fall. 

(RKQOTD: ME: reading a question from "Chat Pack" for kids "What's something that adults do that you think is very silly? KARL: Try out for American Idol when they really can't sing. EMMA: Drink coffee. That stuff smells awful!)