Friday, May 28, 2010

Hot Dog!

June's just around the corner and with summer coming, I can't help but want... a party! Tad's gamely letting us host a little barbecue/potluck next month, to bring the neighbors together. We'll also celebrate the boys' 10th birthday party.

We did the same thing last year -- a neighborhood food fest with a little "Happy Birthday" party in the middle. It was very low key and just felt right (as opposed to the big themed partyzilla with decorations, clowns, goody bags, etc. Okay, I'll admit, I have done the over-the-top parties myself, but as they are a little older now, it feels right to take it down a few notches)

The hot dogs were my nod to frugality this year -- we're in the beginnings of a major home renovation, so we're a little budget conscious right now. The important thing, I think, will be getting together our friends and neighbors and having a good time.

The invitations are a simple cutout, with the front piece pivoting away from the back on a brad.

The artwork was free.... I found it in a big book of clip art that I already own.

Does anything say summer like a hot dog in an envelope?

These bright yellow envelopes were leftover from a long ago firetruck-themed party invitation I did for some friends. The sunny hues just scream SUMMER!


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mmmmm.... yummy twine!

Have you, like me, been seeing baker's twine EVERYWHERE?

Sure it's divine and oh-so-yummy, but what's the deal? It's just string, right? And the prices that I'm seeing for it just seem outrageous ($10 for 100 yards? $.30 a YARD???) Forget it!

Then I found the deal of a lifetime (and by lifetime, I mean I'll be using this spool for an entire lifetime!) at $9 for 3,200 yards!


Of course, you have to spend almost that again for shipping, but still...

Get your own at:

I plan to use this on EVERYTHING. I started with some new packaging for my card packages.

Check it out:

I like the cheerful red and white twine against the natural brown tissue paper.

What do you think?

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Saturday, May 22, 2010

World Cup Soccer Mania Invitations

A mom contacted me asking for invitations for a World Cup Soccer-themed party for her son.

I came up with the above -- the artwork just begged for a spinning invitation style, which worked beautifully.

The flags of all the countries competing this year really look wonderful on the perimeter of the wheel.

I doubt if I'll get anyone else wanting to purchase this invitation (World Cup is just not as big a deal in the States as it is in the rest of the world), but thought it worthwhile posting a generic version just to see... I'd love to see this artwork used again.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Make a Pop-Up Card Starring Your Friend!

What's better than getting a pop-up card?

Getting a personalized pop-up card!

When the neighbors threw a party to celebrate four of the girls' birthdays, I made them these special cards, based on my Oompa Loompa card.

With your friend's picture, you can make a birthday card, I love you, just because, thank you... anything!

How can you do it? First download these three pdfs:




Print these three pdfs onto two pieces of cardstock. The "Extras" file is printed on one piece. Print "Outside" on one sheet, turn it over, then print "Inside" on the other side.

Take a bone and score the Inside piece where it will fold, along the dotted line. Trim the Inside/Outside piece using the crop marks printed on the "Inside" piece. Fold along the score with the blue starburst on the inside.

Cut out one of the labels on the light grey lines (pick the one you want, either "Happy Birthday" or the blank one that you can write your own sentiment on).

Score the rectangular strip on the Extras sheet on the dotted lines. This will be the support for the pop-up. Cut it out and fold along the scores to form a rectangular "box."

Apply glue to sections "C" and "D" and adhere to the inside of the card, as shown below, lining up the crease with the crease of the card.

Hold down the rectangular piece as shown (side "B" will have no glue on it (yet) and will be held down flat on the card. Side "A" and the blank side will be facing up. Apply glue to side "A" then fold the card shut. When you open it, the rectangular piece should be in a box-like shape as shown on the lower right photo.

Open the card nearly flat so that you can easily apply glue to side "B."

Now you can attach the cut out photo of the person of your choice to the rectangular support (make sure to test to make sure that it is not so tall that it sticks out the top when the card is folded).

Here's the same card with my friends, Don and John on the inside -- aren't they cute?

Adhere the label on the front with pop-dots, so that it stands out from the card a bit.

I love pop-dots...


Monday, May 17, 2010

Girly Skull Invitations

I'd purchased this girly skull artwork for this hipster gal at work. We were throwing a baby shower for her and the artwork seemed to suit her somewhat goth style much better than the typical cutesy bears and pastel bunnies.

This artwork lay fallow for a long time, but as I'm one of the cheapest people in the world, I decided to repurpose it for a birthday party invitation.

What do you think? For a teenager's sweet sixteen party, when the teen is striving for a less-than-sweet image?

It's worth a shot, anyway! We'll see how this one goes over. 

Friday, May 14, 2010

Record Invitation

My in-laws will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this fall.


They want to go back to the church to renew their vows (which they refer to as "returning to the scene of the crime"), which makes me a little weepy with sentimentality every time I think about it. They've been through a lot over the years and to think that they want to stand up in front of everybody and vow that they'd do it all over again... it makes me realize how special they are.

Of course, I've jumped on the chance to do the invitations.

We're talking about playing the music of their past at the reception and I'd love to do period appetizers (devilled eggs, shrimp cocktail, ramaki -- I may have to encase something in jello).

To fit with the period feel of the rest of the celebration, I'd love to do a spinning record invitation, that looks like an old time 45. It was sparked by this clever invitation, that my friend Carol, of Extreme Cards sent to me:

Isn't it lovely? Check out this link to read more about this beautiful wedding.

Here's the initial proof -- I think it turned out pretty good! Now I'm working on a fake record album cover to slip it into...

Man I love doing what I do!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Stork Baby Shower Invitations!

New baby shower invitations!

Just a simple cutout design -- no clever paper engineering tricks, but I've been finding these kinds of cutouts to be popular right now (my Knight invitations are outselling all my other invitations by a huge factor right now) and they're relatively easy to cut out and make...

I found a cute verse for the inside: Ten little fingers, ten little toes. Boy or girl? Nobody knows..."

I'll have to figure out some alternate verses in case they know it's a boy or a girl. And, of course, I can work with the customer if they'd like something different, but it's helpful to have something to start with.

I love this baby art!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Oompa Loompa Pop-up Card

My coworker, Gil, made a terrible mistake when he bragged to me about the fantastic Oompa Loompa costume he wore for Halloween that year.

From then on, I harrassed him, sometimes daily, begging for a photo of him in this amazing costume.

"Gil, can you send me a photo of you in your costume?"


"Just a teeny little glance?"




His responses became very predictable. And finally I got the message.

Happily that's not the end of the story. A girl with a working copy of Photoshop can do just about anything! 


With a mole strategically planted in his work group, I obtained a digital photo of Gil's face. A Google search yielded a lovely drawing of an Oompa Loompa that I found online -- you can purchase a "life-size" cutout of this character for your party at this lovely online shop that hopefully won't be mad at me for using their artwork for a personal project.

A little Illustrator work and some cutting and pasting and application of a simple box pop-up mechanism (explained here by my friend Carol, however I cut a strip for the pop-up rather than have it cut out of the background):

And voila!

On the front, a birthday riddle:

Oompa Loompa doompadee doo
I've got a clever riddle for you.
Oompa Loompa doompadah mert
Who do you know that's getting older than dirt?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Dragon Cards

I had a mom contact me to do invitations for her son, born in the year 2000, making him a dragon.

Coincidentally, my twins were born in the same year. Twin boys born under the sign of the golden dragon kind of made my Chinese mom's head explode a little bit with fortuitous omens. I mean, seriously. She's never been big on Chinese superstition but suddenly she was channeling the Joy Luck Club (Extra folds on the babies' arms meant they'd be happy. Nipples spaced wide apart? They will be smart. Once I caught her checking out the backs of their heads but she found nothing there to report.).

In any case, the astrological sign of the dragon is something I'm familiar with!

My customer picked out the dragon of her choice, for this custom invitation and I did this:

We'll see what she thinks!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Crafty Wonderland!

This past weekend was Crafty Wonderland!

Last year, they organizers changed from a monthly format to one that is much less frequent, but they have a lot more vendors and it's more of an event.

It was wonderful! So many fantastic vendors, tons of creativity! I met a gal who does lasercut pop-up cards, Sarah of candyspotting.

She was so friendly! I loved talking to her about papercutting, admitting that I had a little craft robo, but that it certainly couldn't touch what her lasercutter could do -- the detail and intricacy was amazing.

I took her card, as I wanted to check out her website and she asked to see mine.

Imagine my surprise when she said that she knew my work! She said that she'd seen my cards on Etsy and even at Powells!

I feel famous....

My boys loved making their own buttons at the craft table -- some very fun DIY projects! I made a pair of bottle cap fridge magnets.

I picked up some adorable barrettes for the neighborhood girls, four of whom were having a combined birthday party that afternoon. And I drooled over the many other wonderful offerings...

All in all, a very fun afternoon.... Crafty Wonderland is again just wondrous!