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April 2011

(GIVEAWAY) UStamp with Dawn & Friends: Classes, Clubs & Camps (Oh my!)

Remember how I was asked by Dawn Rapsas to be a Guest Designer for her Big Shot Brilliance event? Well that event is in full swing and we're having a blast! In fact, I'm having so much fun connecting with the fabulous crafters, that when Dawn asked me to design for her next event, I jumped at the chance!

It's Early Bird Pricing time right now, and you can find out all about this event on Dawn's site:

Opening Day Website Invites go out

April 29, 2011

Last Project posted May 18, 2011


My projects will feature the Stampin Up! Pop-up dies. (In other news . . . water is wet!)

The online event is worldwide (it's so fun to hang out in the Chat Room and meet new friends from all over the world!) and features a new project posted every 12 hours, complete downloadable PDF tutorials for every project, (Pssst: I also post exclusive video tutorials for my projects!) a gallery where you can post your own re-creations of the projects, live chats, prizes, tips GALORE . . . it's really a wealth of information and inspiration if you are a demonstrator or fan of Stampin Up! products.

But wait - it gets better. Dawn has given me THREE FREE REGISTRATION PASSES to give away on my blog! Just leave a comment on this post and I will draw 3 random winners on Saturday morning, April 2, 2011 at 8 am, CST. That gives you three days to get your comments in.

I will annouce the lucky winners on Saturday, giving everyone else time to register for Early Bird Pricing if they so desire. Here is the website again:

 Good luck everyone!

Pop up Cards - Flip up Flower, Zig Zag insert, and Inky Antics HoneyPop

About a week ago I got an e-mail blast about a new product for sale at my local scrapbook store - Inky Antics' HoneyPop Paper. As a pop-up enthusiast, I knew immediately that I had to have some! Inky Antics has designed some adorable stamp sets to go with this paper, (follow that link to check them out!) but of course I wanted to use it with my Sizzix Pop-up Dies

First up, I've used the new Bigz Flip up Flower, which will be available in stores in May.

657132 flower packaging small 
 The Flip-up Flower is a Bigz size, so it will retail for around $20 and here is why you need this die:

  • All the pieces are cut at once. (You will probably want to go back through and cut your stem again in another color, but you can construct the flower with a single cut if you use double-sided paper.)
  • EASY (insanely easy) quick construction.
  • Put your flower anywhere! Because this is a pull tab pop-up, it does not require a card fold to operate. This means you can put your flower on the outside of your card, if you prefer.

So how does it work? Just pull the tab and the flower flips open into a full flower, giving you a little hidden area for a photo or message. You can also add a greeting or message to the inside of the petals.

On this card, I die cut a circle from pink HoneyPop paper, cut the circle in half, and then used one of the halves on the inside of my flower "card", so that it would pop-up into a 3D flower center when the tab is pulled. (click to make it bigger)

If Friends were Flowers card

I used the "If friends were flowers" portion of the greeting stamp (The Stamps of Life) on the card and then stamped "I'd pick you" on the petals inside the flower when it pops up. The little puffy bird and birdhouse are KI Memories Puffies and I so loved the stitched edges of the bird that I used it as inspiration for styling my die cut bird in the next card. The branch and flower for this card came from the bird die (link in the supply list below)

Supply List: Sizzix Bigz Flip-up Flower die, by Karen Burniston (available May), Sizzix Originals Bird w/Branch and Flower die, by Karen Burniston (available NOW), My Mind's Eye "Stella" paper, Bazzill Dotted Swiss and Bling cardstock, Inky Antics HoneyPop paper. The Stamps of Life greeting stamp Creations2Fill, black ink, clear embossing powder

For my next card, I noticed that one of the scraps of HoneyPop paper on the table could be pulled around into a rosette flower, so I added a button and created a card using the Bigz Card, Zig-Zag insert, which will also ship this May.

Zig Zag Card Insert

I covered why this die is a must-have in this post:

 Here is the card using the scrap of HoneyPop, my KI-inspired bird, and some bright, fun colors! (click to make it bigger)

Bird Thinking of You Card
In the lower left photo above you can see how thick the HoneyPop flower is. I needed a card with a double-fold, or river, to accomodate the thickness of the embellishments. So for my Zig-Zag card insert, I only glued down the bottom half of the insert, using the lower fold in the matboard as my official card fold. Then I trapped the upper part of the zig-zag card insert behind a piece of rickrack (the rickrack is only attached to the matboard on the ends) so the top half of the zig-zag card insert can slide and move as the card opens and closes.

The Bird w/Branch and Flowers die is available now at Crafter's Home independent scrapbook stores. It is steel-rule, so you will be able to cut alternate materials with it. I cut my bird and flowers from blue felt and the branch from real wood.

Supply List: Sizzix Bigz Card, Zig-Zag die, by Karen Burniston (available May), Sizzix Originals Bird w/Branch and Flower die, by Karen Burniston (available NOW), Styled Labels die, by Tim Holtz, Dot Matrix Texture Fade, by Tim Holtz, The Stamps of Life stamp sets: Quick2Border, Monogram2Build, Sizzix matboard, Stampin' Up! inks, Core'dinations cardstock, Inky Antics HoneyPop paper, embroidery floss, felt, rhinestones, buttons


Video Tutorial: Pop-up Cake Die

At long last I have made a video showing assembly of the Pop-up Cake die . (cue applause)

Because it has several steps and requires a lot of adhesive, it will take about 15 minutes to assemble the cake die. Knowing, however, that you don't like watching 15-minute tutorials (stats don't lie, yo!) I sped it up so it will only take 7 and a half minutes to watch the video. Plus, it's kind of fun to watch me assembling the cake lightning fast. Smokin'!


Here is the finished card from the video:

Black Red Congrats Cake 
Sizzix supply list:

Bigz XL Pop-up Cake, by Karen Burniston (AVAILABLE NOW!)
Originals Bird w/Branch and Flower, by Karen Burniston (AVAILABLE NOW!)
Sizzlits sets - Celebrate & Flower, Swirl & Butterfly , by Karen Burniston (May 2011 ship)
Bigz Clear Scalloped Circle, by EL
Mini Bird and Cage set, by Tim Holtz
On the Edge Ornate, by Tim Holtz
Texture Fades Pattern & Stitches Set A2, by Tim Holtz
Texture Fades Damask & Regal Flourishes, by Tim Holtz
Black Matboard

Other Supplies:

Rubber stamps ("congrats" "best wishes" swirl on top tier) - The Stamps of Life
Grunge Paper, Metal frame, ball chain, mini paper clip - Tim Holtz for Advantus
Luminarte paints - Creative Imaginations
Patterned Papers, border punch-out - My Mind's Eye "Meadowlark"
Cardstock - Core'dinations
Scalloped Ribbon Border Punch
- Stampin' Up!
Write-on transparency (top tier) - Office Max
Inks - Ranger & Tsukineko (Staz On for swirls, top tier)
Slot Punch - EK Success
Tacky Tape - Therm-o-web
Stash items (source unknown) - bead, elastic, eyelets, metal flower brad, rhinestone, pearls, white acrylic paint (top tier, back of transparency)

I'll finish with a few close-ups. The bird die is steel-rule, so you'll be able to cut thicker materials with it. It is available NOW at your local independent Crafter's Home scrapbook store.

 01 black red cake card front

On my card, I die cut the bird from red cardstock and then embossed it with a Texture Fade folder. Then I used Poppy Red and Heavenly Luminarte paints on it. The "congrats" word came from the Banners4All stamp set from The Stamps of Life. That same stamp set has the "best wishes" greeting and then I also used the Swirls2Build stamp set for the top tier.

 02 black red cake card closure

The closure was born from necessity - my first idea didn't work! I thought I could just shove the tip of the Ornate edge through the slot, (LOVE my EK Success slot punch!) but I underestimated the pop-up power of the cake, so it just popped right back out again. (grrr!) Never one to admit defeat, I came up with Plan B - use my slot punch to add cut-outs on the sides of the Ornate point and then use elastic around it. Adding the bead was (pardon while I pat myself on the back) a stroke of genius, right? Because it's easy to grab, that's why!  

03 black red cake card cake

Final photo is the cake. You can see me assemble the cake in the video, but in case you don't want to watch it (why not?) I will tell you what's going on here. The cake pops down. That requires folds in those tiers and thus you will always have a slight amount of "footballing" when the cake pops up. Still, it's a 3-tier cake that POPS UP and you sent it through the MAIL, so if your recipient is unimpressed because of a slight almond shape when viewed from above, well . . . one word . . . Hallmark. Heh.

But . . . you can do a lot to minimize the footballing. Here are my best tips, all of which I've used on the above cake:

  1. Use chipboard or matboard or a few layers of cardstock for the card itself. Heavy cards will hold themselves open much better than light ones. The card has to be open fully flat for the cake to pop up all the way.
  2. Reinforce the center piece. You need a strong center piece to support the cake. Download the Reinforced Cake Instructions PDF  (also in this blog's sidebar) for a photo of a crumbling center piece - it ain't pretty! Also reinforce the outer fold connections on the tiers with a staple or mini-brad. Constructing your cake on a "cake plate" first can really help you reinforce those connections.
  3. Choose materials for your tiers that resist folds. Transparencies are awesome for the cake tiers. Paint the back if you don't want a see-through cake. (Or don't - this card just runs with it! So does this card.) Grunge paper also works great. If you're going to use paper, then run it through a crimper so the folds appear to be part of the design OR back it with transparency OR add an embellishment just forward of the folds to disguise them.
  4. Add a spine, or "river" to your card. I use three parallel folds in the middle of my pop-up cards - normally 1/8" between each fold, making a 1/4" river in the card. This allows the cake tiers to remain slightly rounded when the card is folded. Helps a lot!

One last piece of advice . . . BUY THIS DIE! It was released two years ago, so I'm sure the clock is ticking on its longevity. Check your local store, or contact your Stampin' Up! demonstrator to buy the SU! version of this die, which assembles the same way. I will say that this die, despite its material and construction requirements, remains my very favorite pop-up die and the one that I have made the most cards with.

Cake collage 

EDITED TO ADD: I totally stole the idea of collaging all those cake cards from my dear friend, Gretchen, from this post!

UStamp with Dawn and Friends Big Shot Brilliance opens tonight!

Just got this reminder e-mail and thought I would pass it on:

  If you have not registered yet, you still have time to jump in!!

Don't miss even one minute of the BIG FUN!! 


Join us for UStamp with Dawn & Friends!! Big Shot Brilliance...projects to DIE for!! 


 To see a list of all the FABULOUS Designers and to learn more about the event...

Visit to jump in today!!

Domain Mapping and other stuff I'm no good at!

My apologies to anyone who has checked my blog today and discovered a 404 error or some other problem related to my "tinkering".

Remember how, years ago, I claimed that I was designing a new website? (Emphasis on "years")

It's time to take down that sorry excuse for a website, so I attempted to get to just redirect right here to until such time as I can become a vampire, my kids are grown, and/or I grow two extra sets of hands. (Also, I think they should replace Two and a Half Men with a sitcom about a six-handed vampire crafter whose kids are grown) (Why do they never consult me?)

But getting back to my point - all this DNS and CMAP and things of this nature are confusing, yo!

And not quick.

You're supposed to wait, like, 48 hours for the changes to propegate through the internet, or blahblahblah something I didn't read properly.

I waited about 48 seconds!

The results were not satisfactory.


I've changed it all back. (I think)

In a "what have I done?" panic I called my highly underpaid (by me) webmaster, aka Brian my superbrother, to fix my mistakes. He assures me (in the tones of a Jimmy Fallon SNL IT tech) that he can return it all to proper working order and redirect my URL without my "help", and was nice enough to point out ("MOVE!") that he told me that very thing ("MOVE!") in an e-mail before I started said tinkering.

That guy's a gem. I should pay him with more than cooking tips and Girl Scout cookies.

I should make some sort of pop-up computer thank you card! YES! I'm sure he would LOVE THAT! Cash is so impersonal . . .




Pop-up 3D Hanging birdcage card (Tim Holtz)

Was there any question that I was going to try this? Ha.

After all the response to the large Tim Holtz Birdcage Card, I had to try my hand at animating his NEW mini bird and cage die set!

This card is A7 (5x7) and made out of matboard with a double fold (or "river") so there's space inside for the pop-up. (You can always click these photos to make them bigger)

01 Sm Birdcage Card Closed 
The large bird is from the Tim Holtz Artful Flight stamp set (#69), from Stamper's Anonymous. It is stamped in black ink on Grunge Paper (TH Advantus), embossed with black powder, and cut out. The branch is a new TH die, and the flower, which is also cut out of Grunge Paper, then inked and overstamped, is one of my dies that is AVAILABLE NOW - the Flower Bouquet with Vase die. A Muse Token (TH Advantus) hangs from a small safety pin (TH Advantus) from knotted ribbon (Creative Impressions)

When the card is opened . . .

02 Sm Birdcage Card Open 

Crazy, huh?

Oh, but wait - what's that little semi-circle cut out at the bottom of that tag? Let's pull it and see what happens!

03 Sm Birdcage Card Lifted 
The whole tag lifts up, which also lifts the hanging sign , since it is attached to the back of the tag, which suspends the mini birdcage and allows it to open into a 3D birdcage.

05 Close up

On this closer view (click to make it even bigger) you can see how I animated the birdcage. It is 6 birdcages (2 full, 4 partial) and is assembled much in the same way as the large birdcage in the earlier tutorial, only without the Christmas Tree behind it, because I didn't need a base.

I've used the Flower Bouquet with Vase die on the tag, cutting the vase itself out of Grunge Paper and then embossing, inking and spraying with Luminarte spray (Creative Imaginations) for a pretty sheen. Just like the Butterflies #4 die in the Journey Acrylic Card post, the Flower Bouquet with Vase die is a steel rule die, meaning it will cut a variety of thicker materials. The die only cuts HALF the vase, which means you can adjust the width to your liking by simply sliding the fold closer to the cut, but you will need to disguise the crease after die cutting by running it through an embossing folder. (Here are ways you can disguise the crease: Ways to disguise the crease)

Now let's talk about how that tag pulls up. I've used one of my dies that is AVAILABLE NOW (Check your local independent Crafter's Home store): the Small Pull Tag Frame which has just moved to the Sizzix Outlet. (Stuff moves fast, yo!)

656999This is the Bigz version of this die and it looks like you'll need to grab it while you can, because it's on the way out. (There is a brand new Bigz XL version of this die that will be available in May)

So the way this die works is that you pull the tab and it folds into a little 3D frame and a little cute item pops up in the frame as shown at the right. There is a Sizzlit set that was designed to fit this die and it's also in the outlet: Mini Occasions Set

HOWEVER, you can also use the Pull Tag to animate an object by simply covering the frame opening with your new object and then using the Pull Tag to lift it up, as I've done on my card.

04 Sm Birdcage Card Side View 
When you use the die for the mechanism only, you won't need to assemble the miniature pop-up inside the frame. (because it wont be visible anyway) Instead, use the pull tag itself as a hidden message area. It's always a good idea to stamp or use rub-ons for your greeting so there aren't any catch points on the pull tag.

 Here's a quick one minute video of this card in action:

Most of the supplies have been listed along the way, but I should mention that the patterned papers are both Tim Holtz (Advantus) and 7Gypsies. The "Live the Life" greeting is also a Tim Holtz product as are all the metal objects and the elegant flourish die. The "beautiful" word is an old Basic Grey rub-on from my stash.

"Journey" Acrylic Pop-up Card featuring Butterflies #4 & Tim Holtz products

The other day I posted a preview of one of my upcoming Sizzix die designs, the Bigz Zig-Zag Pop-up Card, which will be available in stores in May.

Here's another way to use that die, by cutting it down to just one of the mechanisms to animate a larger object.

01 Journey Card Closed

This card is made from two 5x7 sheets of clear plastic. I punched holes through the plastic using a Crop-a-Dile and then attached hardware hinges with long reach eyelets.

02 Journey Card Closed Side View 

The front of the card features a mixture of my dies (flourish, butterfly) with Tim Holtz dies (label frame, filmstrip). A full supply list is included at the end of the post.

03 Journey Card Partial Open

As the card is opened, the large ticket starts to raise and rotate toward the right, revealing the inside greeting, which was hidden by the ticket when the card was closed. Also notice that one of the flourishes that appeared flat when the card was closed is now expanding into a spiral pop-up.

04 Journey Card Open 

When the card is opened the hand and ticket raise all the way up and the flourish spirals open and suspends two butterflies. I wanted this card to convey adventure, journey and flight. It would be suitable for travel, but also for any life changing event - graduation, retirement, changing jobs, etc.

05 Journey Card Pop Up

Above is a side view showing the small portion of the pop-up die that I used to animate the hand/ticket. A visual further down will show how I cut the pop-up die.

06 Journey Card Close Up 

The above close-up shows the inside label frame, cut with a keyhole and then embossed with a Texture Fades folder. This label is actually attached to the FRONT of the card, face-down, so it is visible when the card is open. By attaching it to the outside of the card, the inside is a smooth surface for the ticket to glide across, with no catch points. Also notice the small metal key that hangs from the ticket.

07 Journey Card Close Up 2

The greeting portion of the card uses the same label frame die, this time with no keyhole. All three of the label frames were cut from Real Wood, a Creative Imaginations product, and embellished with stamps, inks, rub-ons and/or embossing. The "ADVENTURE" word was stamped (The Stamps of Life - check the supply list for a link) and "awaits" was added with stash rub-ons. 

Let's talk about my dies that are used on this card. The butterflies were cut using a die that is AVAILABLE NOW in stores: Originals, Butterflies #4   656997 Butterflies #4 Originals Packaging

What's particularly nice about this die is the value. Because the largest butterfly is made by folding the paper and lining the fold over the edge of the die, I was able to fit THREE butterflies on one small Originals die. This die retails for just $11.99!

PLUS, it's STEEL-RULE! What's so great about that? It cuts all your thicker materials, like grunge paper, chipboard, etc. and your alternate materials, like wood, fabric, vinyl, transparencies, etc. Basically anything you can cut with a pair of scissors can be cut with a steel-rule die.

On my card above, I first glued the patterned paper to Grunge Paper and then cut the butterflies using the Butterflies #4 die

The flourishes were cut using one of my brand new Sizzlit sets, that 657126 SMALLwill be available in stores in May. Sizzlit sets are great for their value as well, because although you are limited to just one sheet of relatively thin material, you also get three dies in a set and because the dies are so thin, they store in a fraction of the space.

As for the mechanism for the pop-up Ticket/Hand, I used the Bigz Zig-Zag Card, shown below, which will be available in stores this May. After die-cutting, I used scissors to remove just the right side of the die, enough to grab the mechanism but not much else. I glued that portion inside my acrylic card and separated the center fold with scissors so it could span the gap. Because this small mechanism has to support a relatively heavy object, I reinforced the three folds with packing tape. 

Zig Zag Portion 
  Click on the continuation portion of this post to see a full supply list with links.

Continue reading ""Journey" Acrylic Pop-up Card featuring Butterflies #4 & Tim Holtz products" »

Help Stephen and WIN two tickets to Creative Escape 2011!

The service project for Creative Escape is now up on the CE website here: Help Stephen & Win 2 CE tickets!

Boy making cards for 180,000 troops

Ten-year-old Stephen Goodman, a fifth-grader in Surprise, Arizona, wants to send a thank you card next to military personnel. Not to one platoon, or to just one division, but to every actively deployed service member in the U.S. military. Stephen said he thought of the idea while spending the summer with his grandparents in Phoenix. “My grandpa went to Vietnam and didn’t get any cards, and he felt forgotten,”

You have from now until July 1st to help Stephen reach his goal, help say "thank you" to our brave military personnel who are deployed overseas, AND, by doing those two awesome things, you get entered into a drawing to attend Creative Escape and bring a friend! The LAST Creative Escape, I might add.

Here's the link to the details again: Help Stephen & WIN 2 CE Tickets

So who's with me? Got some extra paper sitting around? Own every paper crafting tool ever invented? Got a couple of kids who need a break from video games to get in touch with their inner crafter? Need a great Spring Break activity? I vote YES! YES! YES!

I'd love to see comments from anyone who is going to participate.

Thanks for helping Stephen!

Another new pop-up die preview: Zig-Zag Card Insert

Last month I posted about one of my new SIMPLE pop-up dies shipping in May 2011, the Scalloped Circle Card Insert.

Here's another simple pop-up insert in the new collection, the Zig-Zag Card Insert.

Zig Zag Card Insert

This die is a Bigz size, so it will retail for around $20 and here's what's awesome about it:

  1. SIMPLE, one-piece, single-cut construction 
  2. Completely generic - put anything on the tabs to make them pop-up
  3. Fits in an A2 card (half a 8.5x11 piece of paper) or larger

Another cool thing is the action on this die. The pop-ups are cut at an angle, which means whatever you put on them folds inward, but pops outward. It's always fun when something extends past the edge of the card upon opening.

These card inserts will work great with pre-made embellishments, dies or photos on the tabs, but for rubber stampers, they are especially useful, since they are completely generic and you can animate all your favorite stamps (quickly!) with one die - never make the same card twice! (Or do - these assemble so quickly you'll be able to send out handstamped pop-up holiday cards!)

Yesterday I got a chance to play with some adorable coordinated stamp sets from The Stamps of Life by Stephanie Barnard and made two cards using the Zig Zag insert:

This first one, the birthday card, uses craft sticks on the tabs to create poles for a suspended pennant banner. You can click the picture to make it bigger.Birthday Banners CardSupply List: Bigz Zig-Zag card insert, by Karen Burniston (May Ship),  BRAND NEW Bigz XL Card, A2 w/Decorative Edge die, by Brenda Pinnick (in stores now), Stamps of Life stamp sets: Quick2Border, HappyBday2You, banners4all, Swirls2Build, Patterned Papers: Loolah, by Creative Imaginations. Inks: Stampin' Up! Stash items: rhinestones, craft sticks, magnets

This next card went together in 10 minutes!

Coffee Card 
Supply List: Bigz Zig-Zag card insert, by Karen Burniston (May Ship), Bigz Scalloped Circles #2 Stamps of Life stamp sets: coffee4Two, Hello2You, Backgrounds2Build. Inks: Stampin' Up! Stash items: cardstock, ribbon, tag, beads

One thing to notice about this die is that the items fold inward and they will cross each other when flat, depending on the height of the items. It's always a good idea to paper clip your items to the tabs and test the mechanism first to make sure that your items will be hidden by the card when closed, and that they will fold inward without getting tied up with each other. I've found that if you tilt the items or move them toward the outside of the tabs, you avoid entanglements.

A final card to share . . . but this one needs some set-up.

In the days leading up to the CHA trade show, me and my wonderful friends (you're the best, Gretchen, Bonnie, Tara and Rene!) were all working on samples at our respective residences and sharing pictures via text messages. I had made three cards in a row using the same adorable princess collection of papers. (I'll post those cards when I blog about the third new card insert: the Floating Frames)

Finally, Tara couldn't take it anymore. The text exchange went as follows:

TARA: Put down the pink and green and nobody gets hurt!

ME: My next card is going to be very dark and twisty! It's all black and white. Narry a pink nor green.

TARA: All hail the dark side but I will require proof of some kind . . . just sayin'.

ME: Here ya go . . .

Just a Note Card 

TARA: Love it!! I stand convinced. Are those marshmallows with daggers in the background?

ME: Fly swatters.

TARA: Even better!

The supply list for the black/white card includes the Zig-Zag insert, my new medallion Sizzlit (also a May ship), Teresa Collins paper and Basic Grey alphabet stickers. Unfortunately, I really have no idea where the fly, greeting and fly swatter stamps came from - I've had them for years in my "bizarre" stamp bin. However, I'm going to guess Rubberstamp Ave. on the greeting at least - looks like them!

So that's the Zig-Zag insert. Up next . . . the Floating Frames! (Where I rock the princess cute look . . . just sayin'!)