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February 2016
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Crabby 'til my Coffee - Kelly's birthday card

My dear friend Kelly Booth came for a visit this week. We've had so much fun! On Wednesday I took her to Brazos Bend State Park to see some alligators. It was a little too cold for them to be sunning themselves all over the paths like normal, but we did see some big ones in the water, plus 31 babies on the bank.

KellyKarenMossyGator BabyGators
On Thursday it was cold, rainy and windy, so we spent all day in the studio. Kelly made an adorable cupcake & coffee card and we filmed it for a video! Check it out on Kelly's blog here: Cupcake & Coffee Card & Video. I was pleased to discover that Kelly and I have the exact same style of messy-table crafting! Ha.


Today it was my turn to make something. I wanted to create a coffee-themed card for Kelly's recent birthday that I could also use for the Spring Coffee Lover's Blog Hop, that ends today. Here's that I came up with. The saying is computer generated and I saw a plaque with this saying in a beach gift shop and thought it would be perfect for Rocky the Crab and the coffee items.


The pop-up die is the Hanging Charm Pull Tab and I also used the Coffee Stage it Stencil and the Coffee Bean Embossing Folder. The little beans in the woven basket are fussy-cut from an embossed piece of brown cardstock and then glued in the basket.


For Rocky I wanted the coffee cup to be out further from his body so I chopped off his left arm and used another right arm. The woven basket is from Props 7 with the handle chopped off. The coffee cup is one of the charms that comes with the Hanging Charm Pull Tab set and I chopped off the hang hole from the top. I didn't use the frame that comes with the die and used it just for the mechanism to animate Rocky. Here is a side view, showing how the card works. 


The heart charm also comes included with the Hanging Charm Pull Tab die set. The paper is an older piece of Basic Grey paper from my stash. Learn how to assemble the Hanging Charm Pull Tab die set by watching this video:


Elizabeth Craft Designs products are sold at independent craft stores throughout the world, or find the product online here:

Stage it Stencils - Watch and Win!


Elizabeth Craft Designs is sponsoring a great giveaway this week. You may win all 6 of the Stage it Stencils by simply leaving a comment on the introductory YouTube video. The winner will be chosen by random number generator and announced on the Elizabeth Craft Designs Facebook Page on Friday, March 25, 2016. 

For convenience, I'm embedding the video with a player here on the blog post, but to leave a comment on the video itself (to be entered into the drawing) you'll need to click to watch the video on YouTube and leave your comment under the video itself: Pop it Ups Introducing Stage it Stencils


S001S-001 Coffee Stencil - This stencil was designed to coordinate perfectly with the Cup Pop Stand die set. The coffee bean pattern is easily repeatable in all four directions for bean patterns of any size, and the flourishes are sized to fit both across the cup and around the saucer to create a china pattern. For the sample card shown, I used a dark brown ink sponged through the stencil for the bean background. I then used white texture paste through the straight line of flourishes for the cup itself, and translucent texture paste for the semi-circle flourishes for the saucer. Once the paste dried, I used a blending tool with some light tan ink over the saucer to highlight the pattern.



S004 - Paisley Stencil - I wanted to design some generic all-over pattern stencils for doing card fronts and backgrounds behind (and on) the pop-ups. Paisley is a great generic pattern but can also have a real western flair. This card front uses translucent texture paste through the stencil onto a pink piece of cardstock and then, once dry, I used a dark red ink with a blending tool over the entire background. I used the Western Edges die set to add horses and barbed wire and then added ribbon and a metal horseshoe charm I found in my stash. Glitter lines create the perimeter border.


S006 - Swirly Flourish Stencil - Here's another all-over pattern that I felt would work great for elegant cards, whimsical designs or even to resemble frosting when used with the Cake and Props 8 die sets. Another great way to use stencils is to emboss their pattern into cardstock. Simply set up your machine with an embossing sandwich (the same sandwich you would use for embossing a wafer thin die) and use the stencil instead of a die for embossing. For this tag, I used a core cardstock, which means it was gray on the front, but white inside. After embossing the Swirly Flourish stencil into the cardstock I sanded the top of the cardstock, which revealed the white core on all the flourishes. I also embossed some glossy white cardstock for the heart.


S003S003 Medallion Stencil - if you've followed me for years then you may recognize this medallion. It's one that I drew for a Sizzlits set in my second year at Sizzix. (long since discontinued) I've always liked this medallion and was thrilled to have a reason to bring it back - slightly modified to work as a stencil. I envisioned this stencil being used for elegant, regal, artsy and masculine looks. It would work well for travel, graduation, wedding or perhaps even sympathy in the right colors. For this tag I used translucent paste through the stencil, let it dry, and then added the various colors afterward, creating a resist appearance for the background.Adventure_Awaits_Tag_KB


S002S002 Flower Stencil - this is a very popular stencil because of the versatility of an all-over tight flower pattern. On the tag below I used two different colors of sparkle glitter paste through the stencil. This is a pattern that repeats easily by moving the stencil and lining up the flowers to continue on. This flower also resembles jacks (the child's toy with the ball) and would work well for floral designs, but also for fun vibrant kid cards.



S005 Partly Cloudy Stencil - this one is so useful for filling in sky scenes. You've got several sizes of fluffy clouds on top and four flat-bottomed clouds at the bottom. You've also got a sun and a flock of flying birds. I used this stencil on this Oval Pull Card by tinting white texture paste with blue paint for the clouds that would be added to pieces of white cardstock, and by using white texture paste for the clouds on the blue cardstock. 

The Design Team has been loving the stencils and based on the strong response we will definitely be adding new designs in the future. (So buy a big storage ring! Ha!) 

Elizabeth Craft Designs products are sold worldwide at independent craft stores or you can also purchase online. Here are some direct links: 

Spring Coffee Lovers Blog Hop - Super Sponsor

image from coffeelovingcardmakers.comHead on over to Coffee Loving Card Makers blog to join in the fun this week of the Spring Coffee Lovers Bloghop. I am a Super Sponsor of the hop and donated a prize of these four coffee-related Pop it Ups products: Cup Pop Stand wafer thin die set (creates a pop-up coffee cup OR use the pieces on flat cards), Coffee Stencil, Coffee Bean Embossing Folder and Coffee & Tea Clear Stamps.

image from image from image from image from

Here's a video from CHA with a demo of the Cup Pop Stand die set 

You can find Pop it Ups products at your local independent craft store selling Elizabeth Craft Designs products or through these online links:


March 2016 Pop it Ups Designer Challenge - Pull it!

Welcome to this month's Designer Challenge where we are taking on a theme called Pull it! I challenged the team to create a card using any of the three Pull Card dies OR the new Hanging Charm Pull Tab die set. 

For my card and video I decided to make a Pop Post video. Pop Post cards are made very specifically for someone in my life and this month I chose my niece Hannah, who recently celebrated her 16th birthday. Hannah is very musical and also really loves corny puns. See how I used the Oval Pull Card to animate a musical pun in this video. The techniques in the video (embossing using a stencil, an Oval Pull Card with window/clear slider/ double reveal area) can be adapted for cards of any theme. 


In the closed position the card measures 5" wide by 6" tall, so it will fit easily int an A7 (5x7) envelope and mail for a single stamp. The slider arm is cut from recycled blister packaging, making it clear and durable. The musical rest is attached to the end of the slider arm. 


When the card is opened, the "Stop" flips over and out of the way, revealing the rest of the pun, which slides across the card, revealing a cupcake decoration. The musical rest also slides across the card until it's over Baker the Beaver's head.

KarenBOPCOpenFor the greeting, I knew that Hannah would appreciate the notes for "happy birthday to you" in place of the words. I used a white gel pen and a ruler to draw the staff and then drew in the notes. The back of the card is where we will write our personal note and sign the card.


Want to give this card a try? Check with your independent craft store to see if they carry Elizabeth Craft Designs products. You also have the option to purchase online. Here are some links:

2016 DC Long Banner

The Designer Challenge Team created wonderful inspiration for the dies that pull. If you're new to our challenges, let me mention that each of their names is a direct link to their blog post for that particular card. You'll find more photos, supply lists, even general instructions, by clicking those names.



#916 Spiral Circle Pull Card Inspiration



Kelly Booth starts us off with this adorable birthday card with a St. Patrick's day theme. She used the Pull Card Edges die to cut the flower paper (made with the Flower Stencil) to fit the card. There are so many fun details to this card.


Karen Aicken made a very fun gatefold double using the Spiral Circle Pull Card. She keeps the card closed with a belly band and decorated with her (signature) Ring Frame Edges 1 as banners, and the Cake Pop-up used flat inside the card. 


Raquel Mason provides some great masculine inspiration with this Spiral Circle Pull Card featuring the Clock and Gears and Props 1 die sets. She also incorporated the new Through the Lens papers by Els van de Burgt. 




#974 Rectangle Pull Card Inspiration



Fran Sabad made this gorgeous tulip Rectangle Pull Card and incorporated the lacy Paris Edges for an extra feminine touch. Her coloring on the stamped image is perfection!


Caz Counsell created a larger card for this spring-like card featuring a window cut into the Rectangle Pull Card, gorgeous colors, and plenty of butterflies. The What's Up? clear stamps create the greeting. 


Raquel Mason used this month's challenge to create a fun boy birthday card for her son's friend. Using the spinner die (included with the Rectangle Pull Card) she was able to spin up a star with the birthday boy's age. Love these colors!




1109 Oval Pull Card Inspiration


Summer Hills-Painter made a gorgeous Easter card with a fun technique where she created a gatefold card. For the left panel, she created a window and through it you can view the closed Pull Card (right panel). This is a fabulous combination of folds and look for this as an upcoming tutorial by Summer.


Shelly Hickox is amazing in how she can craft a scene using fussy cut images from detailed papers, like Graphic 45. This beauty uses the slot and slider to pull across the Hot Air Balloon. The What's Up? clear stamps fit the theme perfectly.

SH_shelly hickox pop it ups balloon card

Kelly Booth normally creates her own patterned paper with background stamps and/or stencils, but challenged herself this month to work with patterned paper. Clearly she is a natural! This fun birthday card features a gorgeous plaid paper and very fun versions of Jinks the Monkey.


Sandy Diller used the Oval Pull Card to make a birthday card with a huge balloon bouquet and Lucky the Rabbit attached to the slider arm so they move as the card opens. The interior greeting is revealed as Lucky slides across the card. So spectacular!


Caz Counsell provides some masculine inspiration with this oversized Oval Pull Card with manly colors and textures. The Trendy Tiles 1 embossing folder is used on this card as well as Happy Birthday and the decorator pieces from the Cake pop-up. Els' Through the Lens patterned cardstock works so well for masculine cards.

CC_Masculine_Birthday_OPCFran Sabad got very clever with combining features of the Pull Cards. She used the Oval Pull Card for the structure and then added the spinner die from the Rectangle Pull Card to animate Jinks. This is such a fun card!


Frances Byrne always finds the perfect patterned papers to match her themes. This gatefold double Oval Pull Card has a nautical theme and the waves in the pattern are perfect. She added dies from Joset and Els and used the Pull Card Edges for the scallops. What a great Father's Day card!


Sandy Diller got very clever with this adaptation of the Oval Pull Card. She turned it into a vertical pull and used two slots/sliders to pull up a gaggle of Hot Air Balloons, revealing the greeting. Absolutely amazing!

SD_Just flying by OPC



1104 Hanging Charm Pull Tab Inspiration



Kelly Booth made this fun birthday card by combining the Hanging Charm Pull TAb die set with the Hot Air Balloon. I love how her greeting cloud is also animated.


Karen Aicken also used the Hanging Charm Pull Tab die to animate a solid object, making this beautiful Easter card that also includes the woven basket from Props 7. This is so pretty!

Fran Sabad chose a great combination of colors and patterns to make a Hanging Charm Pull Tab card using the included coffee cup charm. She added a heart to the cup's sleeve for a great look. I love how she created the two-part greeting with the Coffee & Tea clear stamps.


Frances Byrne finishes out the challenge with this fun Easter card featuring Lucky the Rabbit on the Hanging Charm Pull Tab. What a great idea to use a clip die to extend the pull tab for easy operation. She also used dies from Joset and Suzanne on this adorable card.


Thanks for joining us for this month's challenge and I hope you feel inspired by all these ideas to make cards that pull!

Happy Crafting,

image from

John's Birthday Scramble

So there's something you may already know about me . . . shocker . . .I'm a deadline girl!

Give me a deadline and I'll meet it - usually by the skin of my teeth, but I'll meet it.

Don't give me a deadline and I'll advance 50 levels in Candy Crush and watch a bunch of HGTV. 

One time I mentioned to John that it doesn't help my cause that I often produce my best work under crushing deadlines, thus giving me no penalty for my deplorable lack of time management skills. He replied that I may simply be unable to work ahead, that it is the deadline itself  that unlocks my creativity. 

Uh oh.

He may be right.

Wise beyond his years, that guy.

Or maybe wise FOR his years, since he's been getting pretty old of late.

His birthday was yesterday, a Wednesday, and I was right proud of myself for figuring out what to get him during our bike ride last Saturday, when his Fitbit watch was out of battery (AGAIN!) so he was unable to track his exercise. We got Karl an Apple Watch for his birthday last summer and at the time John mentioned that he might like one, too. He doesn't buy himself technology, though. He still has an iPhone 5, despite daily e-mails from Verizon begging and incentivizing him to upgrade. I considered upgrading his phone, but I wasn't sure what he would like, so instead I decided to get him the Apple Watch. I ordered it from Apple on Monday and with free 2-day shipping it was set to arrive on his birthday and all would be well.

Except . . . it was "out for delivery" ALL.FREAKING.DAY!!! And you have to sign for it, so there was no leaving the house to go pick up the cupcakes or drop off a package at the post office that HAD to go out yesterday.

Oh, and I had a deadline for work, too, so I had to finish that up before I could even think about making a birthday card.

I couldn't even take a shower until the kids arrived home from school, for fear that I would miss the doorbell. When the kids got home from school I was able to leave the front door attending to them and run the errands, but still the UPS truck didn't come.

John left work early and called me to say he was only a half hour away.

Emma and I looked at each other in horror, realizing that we had NOTHING for him. No card, no present. OK, yes, we had cupcakes, but nothing else.

So we sprang into action. We found some pieces and parts of pop-up Cake cards left from CHA Make 'n Takes and built the basic structure of the card. Emma colored the greeting and cut the decorator pieces for the cake. 

"Can you cut out a Liverpool bird for the top of the cake?" she asked me. Sheesh! Of course she would have that very sweet but time-consuming personalization idea.

So I found an image online, traced it SUPER QUICK, shrunk it and cut it out on my e-cutter. Whew! Inside of the card done.

For the front of the card I had an idea to make an Apple Watch for one of the Characters. I used the little apple from Props 7 and styled it like the Apple logo on a small piece of black cardstock. We found an assembled Jinks the monkey, stole a cupcake from an assembled Baker the Beaver, and Emma cut out a party hat from Props 2. 

Unfortunately John arrived home before we had quite finished the card, so we had to claim that we were working on Emma's Government homework in my office and needed absolute privacy.

"I think he's onto us" I said to Emma when we returned to my office.

"Because you're a terrible liar!" she replied.

We also had to admit to John that we couldn't go to dinner yet as we were waiting on the UPS truck and that it was now highly probable that it was not coming. He didn't mind.

But we spoke too soon, because I heard the truck just after 6 pm and was standing on the front stoop jumping and giggling when the driver walked up with the package.

Emma wrapped the present while I decorated an envelope and took some quick photos of the card. Despite the scramble, we somehow managed to leave for dinner NOT empty-handed!

Once again, saved by a crushing deadline!



John chose a local Italian restaurant, Hasta la Pasta, for his birthday meal.

I should note that it's been raining, non-stop, for two days now. And if you don't believe me, just check out the curly locks on these three! Emma says she's tired of trying to tame her hair and is just embracing the curls. 


I, on the other hand, as evidenced by this blurry selfie, have stick-straight hair that will not hold curl, even if I were to get a perm, as I tried many times in my teenage years. People say that Emma looks like John and that Karl looks like me, which I think is mostly true, but Karl definitely got John's curls!


I hid the gift in my purse because we knew that John would recognize the box shape, especially since he knew that it was delivered by UPS and that I had to sign for it. He's no dummy, despite his advanced age. Heh.

Sure enough, as soon as we gave it to him he said "Hey! I recognize this box from YOUR birthday, Karl!" He also commented that he and President Obama now have the same watch. (Which he knows from watching "Comedians in Cars getting Coffee", mind you!) 


Everyone was stuffed from dinner so we decided not to go for the cupcakes when we got home. Well, everyone except Karl, naturally.

"I'm just going to make mine into a cupcake sandwich and eat half of it" he declared.

"What's a cupcake sandwich?" asked John.

"It's when you cut the cake part in half and move the bottom to the top so the frosting's in the middle," answered Karl, while demonstrating. "Ymfou gmet frmosrming in emvery bite!" (You get frosting in every bite)


"Wow!" said John, laughing and impressed, "Did you invent that?"

"Nope. Life hacks." 

Ha! Good times.

Happy Birthday, John!