Friday, August 26, 2011


It's been pretty quiet around here the last few days. Well, when I say "quiet" I mean "uneventful", because we happen to live in a pretty noisy neighborhood. The Chinese might call it 热闹 (rènào), which means "lively, bustling with noise" (with a positive connotation) - we call it "say goodbye to peace and quiet". But in a city of 23 million people, can you really expect anything different?

One thing I do love about our neighborhood is that we have so many food options within walking distance: Japanese, Korean, Indian, German, French, American, Spanish, not to mention all of the Chinese options. For lunch today we had Thai: green chicken curry, spring rolls... So good. 

The pop-up card above is the result of some tinkering around in Cricut Design Studio. It lays flat for mailing, and then the recipient can simply fold the bottom half of the cardfront at the hinge to make the words stand up. I thought about adding some masking/stamping to the letters, but then decided less is more. I already have someone in mind for this one - hope it puts a smile on their face! 

Cricut / Design Studio / Martha Stewart Elegant Cake Art cartridge 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

MFTT: Girly & Gutsy

This week's Moxie Fab Tuesday Trigger challenge was too great to pass up:

The yellow chairs, black and white rug, fisheye mirror, starburst light fixture... Oh. My. Word. Here's my interpretation:

I cut a starburst shape from a transparency with my Cricut, then glammed it up with rhinestones. (Did you notice the one pink rhinestone in the very center? Had to get that pink in there somehow!) Next, I bent up the "rays" at alternating angles to give it some motion. Here's a side view:

The black background is actually adhesive vinyl, cut with (you guessed it) my Cricut. I really like how the vinyl turned out - I'll definitely be trying this again!

Card Supplies:
Acetate transparency, black vinyl, Cricut / Design Studio / Elegant Edges cartridge (frame) / Storybook cartridge (flourish background), adhesive rhinestones, foam dimensionals

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Happy Days


This past weekend, we were geared up to bunker down in our little apartment as typhoon Muifa barreled towards us. Hubby, who spent part of his childhood in Taiwan (which averages 3-4 typhoons a year), had told me stories of taping windows, grown men being blown off their feet, and sideways-sheeting rain. Now, I grew up in the US Midwest, where huddling in a storm cellar during tornado warnings was just a part of life. But here in this mega-city of high-rises, we certainly don't have any basements to hide out in. As we went to bed late Saturday night, the wind was already beginning to gust, rattling our windows and fluttering the curtains. Imagine our surprise (and relief) when we awoke the next morning to find that the storm had weakened and changed course, leaving only some blustery winds and intermittent showers in its wake!

In honor of that happy news, I've got a little card creation to share:

That red frame? It's from the Cricut "Elegant Edges" cartridge, which has become my go-to crafting item. It's like having scores of Nesties at the press of a button. Each shape has a regular and oblong version with matching frame, plain or decorative-layer options, plus coordinating border strips and decorative-edge book pages. (You can see it all here.) A lot of Cricut cartridges are too cartoony-cutesy for my taste, but this one is a cardmaker's dream!

New to my wishlist is the "Art Philosphy" cartridge. (Check out the handbook for this one!) It's exactly the kind of cartridge I've been hoping they'd make: clean, modern, non-cutesy artwork, with as much content as they could possibly cram into one cartridge. Images, labels, cards, tags, 3D flowers, boxes, pennants, borders, a font...  Unfortunately, it's only available through Close To My Heart as part of a (pretty pricey) bundle, which means no cheap deals online. I like it so much, though, I'm going to have to start saving my pennies. I do have a birthday coming up... Hubby, are you reading this? ; )

Card Supplies:
Stamps: Sassafras Lass "Songwriter", Stampin Up "Many Happy Returns" (sentiment); Ink: ColorBox pigment "Chestnut", My Mind's Eye "Natural" pigment palette; DCWV cardstock; Accessories: Cricut / Design Studio / Elegant Edges cartridge / Fabulous Finds cartridge, embroidery floss, small corner rounder punch, foam dimensionals

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Battening Down the Hatches

Here in Shanghai we're bracing for Typhoon Muifa, which is expected to be the worst storm to hit the city since 2005. The neighborhood guards have been walking the streets with megaphones, advising residents to take precautions, and we've received text-message PSAs warning us to beware of flying objects, flooding, and electrocution. Needless to say, we'll be spending the rest of the weekend cozied up in our apartment, watching dvds and reading a good book or two. Hmm, might be the perfect opportunity for a little Criminal Minds marathon...

Friday, August 5, 2011

Fun With Letters

Hubby and I caught an early matinee yesterday - 3D glasses, popcorn, cokes, the works. Such a fun date! China only allows about 20 foreign films to be shown per year, so seeing an American movie in the theater is a rare treat for us.

On the creative front, lately my eye has been drawn to creative typography - in subway art posters, stationery, print ads, etc. I got an idea in my head, and came up with this fun little reusable mask, perfectly sized for an A2 cardfront:

Which I then used to make this:

I sponged inside the mask using a seafoam green ink, then stamped the letters in red. I think this would also look cool with polka dots, or chevron stripes, even woodgrain - so many possibilities!

Card Supplies:
Stamps: Sassafras Lass "Songwriter"; Ink: My Mind's Eye "Natural" pigment palette, Stamp It Up! pigment (red); Accessories: Cricut / Design Studio / Martha Stewart Seasonal Cake Art cartridge, small corner rounder punch

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

CAS-ual Fridays Challenge CFC13

This week's challenge at CAS-ual Fridays is to create a 4x9" card. That's a pretty big canvas to work with! After a lot of thinking, and even more tinkering, here's what I came up with:

I created the large label shape with Cricut Design Studio, stamped the ends, then used a Cuttlebug embossing folder on the center portion. Here's a closeup of the sentiment:

I used a blender pen to color in the border around the sentiment, then finished it off with three teeny tiny rhinestones. Everything's better with a little bling!

Card Supplies:
Stamps: American Crafts "Hello There" (sentiment), SEI (polka dots); Ink: My Mind's Eye "Sundress" pigment palette, Stamp It Up! pigment (lavender), ColorBox pigment "Antique Pewter"; Cardstock: American Crafts; Accessories: Cricut / Design Studio / Elegant Edges cartridge, Cuttlebug / Seeing Spots embossing folder, small corner rounder punch, blender pen, adhesive rhinestones, foam adhesive