Fresh Vintage blog hop coming soon!

<------What is that?

Eileen Hull has organized a new blog hop! This hop will feature all 12 of her new Fresh Vintage Sizzix dies and the first project will be posted September 27th. From there, new dies will be featured every Tuesday and Thursday until all twelve have been featured, ending on November 3rd.

Right now we're still testing the buttons for the navigation system, but by September 27th, that little icon in the upper left corner is going to make it super-dee-duper easy to navigate through all the cool projects. (Thanks for your amazing techie skills, Jen Goode!)

This is going to be fun!

Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop Week 7: Pop-up Treat Bag Topper

Well we've reached the end!

This is the final week of the Blog Hop and we've had a blast! In fact, Brenda, Eileen and I had such fun working together on this hop that we've created a new blog to keep the Triple Play spirit alive. We're soft-launching the blog today, and will feature new projects, tutorials, guest designers and giveaways after CHA (late January). The blog address is: You can also "like" Triple Play on Facebook here:

But in the meantime, let's talk Treat Bag Toppers! This week we're featuring the Scoreboards XL Treat Bag Toppers die, by Eileen Hull.

There are several pieces on this die, so you'll find a topper, label or accessory item for a variety of bag sizes. OR, if you've got a Sizzix eClips electronic cutter on your Christmas list, you can make your own bags, as I did for my project.

Click on the center "play" button (bottom middle of the frame) to play a slideshow of my project for the week. Naturally I was determined to make something pop-up!

If you're interested in static photos, general instructions and a supply list, continue reading after the jump.

Continue reading "Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop Week 7: Pop-up Treat Bag Topper" »

Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop Week 6: Mini Accordion Album Christmas Card

This week we're featuring the Bigz XL Album, Brackets die, by Brenda Pinnick.

I love this die because it has so many combinations. You can use the square frame with or without the nested bracket shape, and then there's a large bracket shape, too. A lot of value on this die.

I decided to construct one of those flippy album thingies (it's a technical term) using the square/bracket nested piece. Hit play on this slideshow (look at the bottom of the frame for the controls) to view my project.

If you're interested in static photos and a supply list, continue reading after the jump.

Oh, and just for kicks I recorded a 30-second video of the album in action.


Continue reading "Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop Week 6: Mini Accordion Album Christmas Card" »

Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop Week 5: Reindeer Gift Card Holder

Welcome back to Blog Hop day!

This week's die is the Bigz XL Gift Card Holder, Pop-up, which is one of the most quick and easy pop-up dies to assemble.

It also has a built-in greeting and a useful purpose.

It really ought to have been easy to create something this week.

It is, after all, my own die design.

It kicked my hiney.

I had a grand plan that involved the GCH cut out of transparency with an elegant prancing reindeer seemingly suspended in the sky. It could work. I know it could work.

But not if I start at 11 pm and don't have the proper weight transparency.

Then, alas, gravity rules.

The reindeer survived, though. He is now prancing atop a more traditional card, which is probably for the best anyway. Plus, I have inadvertently proven my own point about this die going together quickly, since I created this card from start to finish in the last hour.

01 Reindeer Card Closed 

02 Reindeer Card Side View 
03 Reindeer Card Open 
04 Reindeer Card Open 2 
05 Reindeer Card Close up 
06 Reindeer Card Summary

Supply List:

Bigz XL Gift Card Holder, Pop-up die, by Karen Burniston
Christmas & Traditions eClips cartridge, by Scrappy Cat
Frame & Frame Back, by Eileen Hull
Papers by Basic Grey and My Mind's Eye
Snowflakes from Creative Impressions
Scallop border punch from Stampin' Up!
General Craft/Source unknown: rhinestones, ribbon, flocking, cardstock, magnets

Video Instructions: Sizzix Pop-up Gift Card Holder Die #656740

Next week's die in the Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop will be the Pop-up Gift Card Holder.

This nifty die goes together very quickly and is just perfect for presenting your holiday gift cards. Here is the sample from the Sizzix website:


What's nice about this die, though, is that it also cuts a separate label piece to allow easy conversion from a gift-card-holder into a generic billboard die. Here's how it looks as a billboard:

 Billboard sample

Step-by-step picture instructions are included with the die, but if you're more of a visual learner, here are video assembly instructions:

Make sure you come back here on Thursday, December 2nd, to see my Blog Hop project and, via the handy navigation buttons, journey around the ring looking at nearly 60 other ideas for using this die!  

Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop Week 4: Frame with pop-up ornament

Happy Thanksgiving!

This week's Blog Hop die is the Scoreboard Frame and Frame Back Pro die, by Eileen Hull.

This versatile frame comes with a lot of pieces and can be configured in a variety of ways. For my frame, I used the back, easel and larger front frame from the die, and then created a box card inside the frame that, when closed, shows a cute reindeer and the word "Joy" and when opened, shows a pop-up ornament made from the Pop-up Pumpkin die. The frame front is able to be moved out of the way to change the scene, and then put back into place around whichever scene you're in the mood for. Nifty, huh?

You can see all the shots of the project in this handy little slideshow I whipped up (in four hours with hair pulling, adobe tv how-to video watching, and a bunch of texts and calls to my brother). Hit the center play button to start the show and then, if desired, you can hit pause on any slide to examine it closely.

If for some reason the slideshow doesn't play for you, or if you prefer static photos, they are posted below.

A supply list is at the end of this post. Gobble gobble! 

01 Frame ClosedHere you'll see the frame in the closed, or "scene one" position. I've used My Mind's Eye "Holly Jolly" papers and the fun new Basic Grey Eskimo Kisses Deer and Mistletoe dies. The "JOY" letters are cut using the Tim Holtz Vintage Market Sizzlit strip.

 02 Frame Open 1Open the front frame by sliding it off of the magnet on the right and swinging it open. The little beaded "feet" are attached to the front frame. The feet are merely decorative. There is an easel (you'll see it in a later photo) that comes with the die and supports it quite nicely, even with the added weight of the box card. 03a Frame Open magnetsI've drawn in some arrows to point out how this card stays open and closed. I've used strong magnets; a flat one is hidden under the paper/deer at the right side of the box card. The small flap that wraps up over the deer (at right) to keep the card closed uses a strong tube magnet, both for its added strength and also to allow it to be a peg for the front frame to slide over. When Scene 2 is revealed by opening the card, a third magnet will catch it at the left side to keep the ornament open.

 04 Frame Open 3After opening the card to reveal the ornament, the front frame can now be swung back into place and hooked over the tube magnet to stay in place.
05 Frame Open OrnamentBecause I wanted the ribbons to play a starring role in this ornament, I elected to use just 5 pumpkin body parts. This gives more span between the pieces for the ribbons to show up. Still, I needed a big "river" in my card to hold the bulk of the ribbons/cardstock (especially that pom-pom trim). This card measures 0.75" between the two center folds. 

06 Ornament Close UpOne nice thing about having such a huge area between the folds, though, is that it easily accomodates an ornament top without having to figure out how to fold it. The ornament hanger came from an inexpensive ball ornament and I hot-glued it to the card between the folds above the ornament.

07 Frame Back 
I like the built-in easel that comes on the die. You can either glue it permanently open, or, if you're planning on mailing the frame, the easel will collapse.

 11 Frame Mailing

The frame can be mailed in a 7.5" square envelope (I like translucent envelopes) with the ornament and easel closed up. The matboard makes it quite sturdy and unlikely to be damaged (too badly) in the mail. Of course, a bubble mailer is always the safest bet.

Supply List:

Scoreboard Pro Die - Frame and Frame Back, by Eileen Hull
Bigz Pop-up Pumpkin, by Karen Burniston
Bigz Deer, by Basic Grey
Sugar TI folder, by Basic Grey
Originals Mistletoe, by Basic Grey
Vintage Market Sizzlit alphabet strip, by Tim Holtz
Matboard, white
Patterned papers by My Mind's Eye
Magnets by Basic Grey
General Craft (source unknown): beads, bead pins, rhinestone, cardstock, ribbon, ornament hanger, cardstock, ink

Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop Week 3: Rosette Beauty Bloom Flowers (and a pop-up chandelier)

It's Blog Hop day again!

This week we're featuring the Originals Beauty Bloom die, by Brenda Pinnick.

 Beauty Bloom Card Closed

For the front of my card, (6x9 if you were wondering - it's a large card!) I used the Beauty Bloom die to make paper rosette flowers. Here is a side view of the rosette flowers:

Beauty Bloom Card Side View 
They're quick and easy to make, and I've put together a video tutorial at the bottom of this post if you're interested in how exactly I made them.

The frame around the front of the card was made with paper-covered 1" matboard strips, to create a shadowbox appearance for the flowers.

Now it's time to open the card:

 Beauty Bloom Card Partial Open
Beauty Bloom Card Open 
Inside the card I've used the Pop-up Christmas Tree die (by me) to animate the Bigz Chandelier die, by Rachael Bright.

Here's a close-up of the 3D chandelier:

Beauty Bloom Card Chandelier

In the close-up you'll get a sense for how it works. The Pop-up Christmas Tree die was cut out of transparency because I wanted it to "disappear" and just provide the mechanism for the pop-up. Before assembling the clear tree, I glued full chandeliers to the two large tree parts and partial chandeliers to the four smaller tree parts. After gluing the six chandeliers (two full, four partial) to my clear tree pieces, I had one more step - to turn each piece over and use a craft knife to cut away any part of the chandeliers that were covering the notches and slots that are necessary to assemble the tree. Any tree branches that stuck out past the chandelier were trimmed away as well, since all I cared about was the mechanism of the tree, not the shape.

I've used the Pop-up Christmas Tree die in the past to animate a flat die. I did a Video Tutorial: Pop-up Birdcage Cad (Tim Holtz).  If you're interested in learning how to use the tree die to animate flat dies, bookmark that link and check it out later. This card is exactly like that one only slightly easier, because the chandelier has a natural triangle shape like the tree itself, so I didn't have to move any notches or slots - simply cut them back in and assemble.

Back to the card, and then it's time for you to keep hopping! 50-odd great projects aren't going to view themselves! Here's a top-view of the card interior so you can see the rest of the decorations:

 Beauty Bloom Card Open Top View

I've used My Mind's Eye "So Sophie" papers for this entire card, with the exception of the flourish corners, which were cut from a piece of black-text-on-white paper that I found in my stash of scraps. (Source unknown, but you could really use any type of scripty-paper or stamp your own) The caption was made using KI rub-ons. I've used more of the Beauty Bloom flowers to embellish inside the card as well.

Not one, but TWO videos to accompany this post. (Who has two thumbs and loves her new video editing software? This girl!)

First, a 48-second video showing this card in action:


And next a 4:13 video tutorial for making the paper rosette flowers using the Beauty Blooms die. Hit pause at the 1:40 mark and you'll have a visual of all the score lines.


If you're interested in the specific supplies I used on this card, they're posted in the continuation section of this post.

Continue reading "Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop Week 3: Rosette Beauty Bloom Flowers (and a pop-up chandelier)" »

Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop Week 2: Twist Cube Projects Permalinks

When Eileen Hull, Brenda Pinnick and I teamed up to organize a massive Sizzix Blog Hop featuring two each of our dies, (3 for Eileen because we couldn't decide) I wasn't sure how it would go on my weeks. We each invited some of our designer friends to participate, so I only knew my handful of invitees personally. The rest of the list was comprised of amazing designers who craft in a host of mediums and a lot of them wouldn't classify themselves as primarily paper artists.

And even crafters who DO primarily work with paper don't necessarily have experience or interest in making pop-ups.

I've got a bit a specialty audience, I guess is what I'm saying.

And I know that.

So it was hard to let go and trust. I thought that participation would plummet on the weeks featuring my dies.

I was wrong.

Very, very wrong!

I am awed, humbled, and frankly a bit emotional about all the amazing projects posted this week using the Twist Cube die. You've just GOT to hop around and see them all! So much variety. You can either use the navigation buttons in this blog's sidebar to go on a journey around the entire ring (assuming you're here on or close to November 11), OR, for perusing ala carte, I've assembled the permalinks to each designer's project right here, in ring order:

Stefanie Girard - Word up!

Stephanie Barnard - Christmas Ornament

Tara Noel - Postcard Cube

Terry Ricioli - Origami Paper Ornament 

Theresa Cifali - B is for Baby

Tiffany Windsor - Intention Box

Veronica Goff - Pet Photo Cubes

Vicki O'Dell - Graduation Card

Amy Anderson - Holiday Shadowbox Ornament

Ann Butler - Graduation Announcement

Beth Watson - Baby Block Birth Announcement 

Bonnie Bruns - Disney Cube

Brenda Pinnick - Baby Announcement

Candice Windham - It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Carla Schauer - Kids' Artist Twist Cube

Carol Heppner - Romantically Chic Cube

Cathleen Smith - Happy Holidays

Cherish Fielder - Christmas Heart Twist Cube

Cheryl Miyashiro - Christmas Ornament Shaker Box

Cindi Bisson - Snow Globe Diorama

Cindy Rippe - Black & White Favor Box 

Colleen Schaan - Portable Zen Garden

Debra Quartermain - Nested Delight

Denise Clason - Sewing Kit

Dina Wakley - My Loves Twist Cube

Eileen Hull - Pop-up Gift Box

Erin Madsen - Street Lace Friendship Cube

Gretchen Schmidt - Transparency Photo Ornament

Jane Dean - Pop-up Christmas Money Box

Jen Goode - For the Love of Penguins

Jenn Ellefson - Present Pop-up

Julie McGuffee - Four Legged Friends Cube

Julie Fei-Fan Balzer - Rubik's Cube Card

Karen Burniston - Gift Card Presentation Folder

Kathy Cano-Mur - Lucha y Amigo Mini Shadow Box

Kathy Peterson - Pop-up Box Ornament

Ken Oliver - Thinking Inside the Box

Keri Lee Sereika - Surprise Package Ornament

Laura Bray - Gift Cards with a Twist!

Linda Peterson - Empowerment!

Lisa Rojas - A Friendship through the Years

Lolly Chessie - Time for Tea

Lorine Mason - Happy Birthday

Madeline Arendt - We are Family

Meggan Maravich - Painted Christmas Block

Lynda Kanase - Hey Tim!

Michelle Cummings - Pop-up Christmas Ornament

Niki Meiners - Christmas Cube

Phyllis Dobbs - Spot of Color Twist Box

Roann Mathias - Black Magic Cube

Roxi Phillips - ATC with a twist!

Sandy Laipply - Happy New Year Pop-up Card

And to everyone on this list, a heartfelt THANK YOU! for sharing your talents and putting them to work on my die design. You are rock stars!

Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop Week 2: Twist Cube Gift Card Presentation Folder

I am VERY excited to see all of today's Triple Play Blog Hop projects because they're using one of my dies!

This week we're using the Bigz XL Twist Cube die. Die Cuts with a View generously donated black cardstock to pre-cut the pieces for all the designers. Since I have the die, I didn't use black, but I do want to say a big THANK YOU to Erin and DCWV for their support (and participation!) in our hop.

For my project, I wanted to make a really fancy gift card presentation folder. Gift cards for the holidays are always an appreciated gift (and very practical) but I hate losing the opportunity to watch the recipient open a gift. A fancy presentation folder like this provides that "opening" experience. Plus, this can go under the tree with the other gifts with no worries that it will get lost.

Joy card closed 

The folder measures 6" wide by 8" tall and uses a metal closure to stay closed. These types of closures can be found at hobby stores and/or hardware stores. (I think I found this one at Hobby Lobby) The bow is visible through a scalloped circle opening cut into the front of the card. The Sizzix eClips machine, using the centerpoint feature, made cutting that opening an absolute breeze!

Joy card partial open 

The folder is a gatefold card, created with matboard for sturdiness.The bow was created using the Create-a-Bow die, by Eileen Hull. I love that I can use this die to make a bow that perfectly matches my project, in this case, that rustic "Basic Grey Red."

Joy card cube down 

Once the card is open, you'll see that the scalloped circle cut-out is decorated like half a wreath and the bow that was visible from the front is attached to the top of a collapsed cube.

Joy card pull up 
The jingle bells on the end of the ribbon are used as a handle. Pull straight up to expand the cube. Notice that the "for you" tag is attached to the cube itself.


Joy card cube up 

Once expanded, the "for you" tag has flipped over, revealing a "Merry Christmas" greeting.

Joy card gift card 

The "for you/Merry Christmas" tag is actually a pocket, created to hold a standard-sized gift card. Once the cube is expanded, the additional greeting "joy" is revealed below the present.

Joy card twist closed 
To collapse the cube, hold the bottom with one hand while twisting in a clockwise direction with the other hand.

To see this card in action, check out this 90-second video:


I've typed up a supply list and general instructions at the bottom of this post.

Continue reading "Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop Week 2: Twist Cube Gift Card Presentation Folder" »

Sizzix Triple Play Blog Hop Week 1: Scoreboard House as Birdhouse

It's here! It's here!

The Triple Play Blog Hop starts today! The die we're all using is the Sizzix Scoreboards Pro, House, 3D die, by Eileen Hull. I decided to make it into a birdhouse.

Blog Hop Scoreboard House Die 

Sizzix supplies:
    ´╗┐Sizzix Scoreboards Pro Die - House, 3D, by Eileen Hull
    Sizzix 12x12 matboard, white
    Sizzix Big Shot Pro die cutting machine

Creative Imaginations supplies:
    Vintage Oak paper, by Christine Adolph
    Kraft Corrugated paper
    Real Wood, thick birch
    Luminarte daubers, Copper and Mediterranean Blue

General craft items:
    Bird, 3/8" dowel, chain, small book rings, mini brads, dark brown ink pad

Tools and adhesives:
    Craft knife, cutting mat, ruler
    Strong glue or tape runner for adhering paper
    Mini hot glue gun
    Paper piercer

INSTRUCTIONS:Cutting visual birdhouse

  1. Die cut the House from white matboard.  Use a craft knife and ruler to cut a wedge out of one side of the front of the house. Start the wedge about  1/2 inch from the top so the sides stay connected. Once you've cut one wedge, flip it over and use it as a template for the other side of the front. Continue flipping and moving the wedge to cut the same two wedge slices from the back of the house.
  2. Cover the front, back and both sides of the house with patterned paper, covering the door and windows on the front. Brush all the edges with brown ink. Use a mini glue gun to assemble the house.
  3. Cover the roof section with currugated paper and also cut thin pieces of corrugated paper for the front edge of the roof. Attach the small book rings to the roof using mini-brads. Use the mini glue gun to add the roof to the house and the thin pieces to the front edge. Open the book rings, slide the ends of the chain onto the rings, and then close them.
  4. For the front bump-out section of the house, first cover the front and sides with patterned paper and brush the edges with brown ink. Inside the piece, draw a 3/4" circle for the hole and a slightly-less-than-3/8" circle below that for the peg. Cut out both circles with a craft knife. For the peg hole, make slices radiating around the circle. (Like RK eye surgery)
  5. Cut a 3.25" piece of dowel and pierce holes through it to weave the bird's wire legs through. Cut off the excess wire and hot glue the ends. Press the peg through the hole in the front of the house bump-out.
  6. Glue the house bump-out and the end of the peg to the front of the house using hot glue. Hold it in place while it cools/sets. Cover the roof with corrugated paper and glue small strips to the front edge like with the larger roof. Hot glue the roof into place.
  7. Freehand cut a primitive heart shape from thick birch. Dauber the piece with alternating layers of Mediterranean Blue and Copper Luminarte daubers until a pleasing color/sheen is reached. Allow to dry and then attach the heart to the front of the birdhouse with pop-dots.

 Blog Hop Birdhouse front view