going batty for boxes

It’s been too long since I designed some boxes, so I thought I’d make up for that today.  I wanted to give some special treats to volunteers who work for me; but I needed a suitable container to put them in.  Here is what I came up with.

treats for the ghosts and goblins

The two boxes pictured above are one piece creations.  I love this type of box because it’s easy to put together and just right for a small present or other treat. Each box is approximately 2.5 inches square and 1.25 inches tall.

Here is a photo that shows the scorelines and tape placement on the box.


Be sure to start your tape close to the inner edge so the corners of the box stay put.

Attach the middle flaps first then the top ones.  That forms the bottom of the box.  Each box snaps together like a miniature cake box and closes with a snug fit.

You can use contrasting paper or vellum underneath the cutout on each box.

Would you like these files?  Please click HERE for the pumpkin cutout box and HERE for the bat version.

I’ll do some of these boxes for the upcoming holidays.  If you have a favorite cutout in mind for one, just let me know and I’ll see what I can come up with.

Anyone know any good ghost stories?

more halloween designs

I decided to try my hand at a Halloween design with creepy crawly things.  Here is what I came up with:

Of course, I made it my own with a little bling on the spider web, courtesy of Martha Stewart jewels. The papers are from American Crafts (silver), DCWV (purple, orange glitter, white bats mat) and Best Occasions (pewter). The card base is Staples 110lb card stock.

If you’d like my svg file of the trio of bats and the mat, please CLICK HERE.

The svg file of the web is HERE.  FULL DISCLOSURE: I did not create this file and can’t remember where I got it. I did a search on the Web tonight and couldn’t find this file.   If this is yours, please let me know and I’ll link to your blog so people can see your work.

I hope you can use these.  Please leave me a comment.  I’d love to know what you thought of my card.

it’s the great pumpkin….

I grew up reading the Peanuts comic strip and was in awe of Charles Schultz.  He always seemed to zoom right in on whatever kids were thinking and feeling. I remember that every fall, there would be several references to the Great Pumpkin as well as Charlie Brown’s inevitable suffering at the hands of his antagonist Lucy when he tried to play football.  Long after I became an adult, I still looked forward to watching the television specials about the special group of kids that everyone knew and identified with. One year while I was teaching high school choral music, we performed “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” and I was able to relive those memories once again. My Dad and I loved everything about Peanuts and the gang.

So, here is my personal tribute to the brilliant Charles Schultz and his band of brothers (and sisters.)

By the way, if you’d like the cutout panel of the pumpkin, please CLICK HERE to download the svg file.

Dad, if you’re listening, this is for you, too.

another butterfly

Even though it’s not spring anymore in DC (and heading for fall rather quickly), butterflies are still running through my imagination.  Here is another card I designed this week.

I used my favorite USPS overnight envelope for the framed butterfly panel, and also for the bottom mat. The coral glitter card stock is from DCWV. The clear jewels are from Martha Stewart.

I can imagine a group of these panels in different coordinating colors in pretty frames for a little girl’s room.  What do you think?  The panel is square so I’m sure you can adjust the size up or down.

Would you like my “Framed butterfly in flight” svg file?  Please CLICK HERE and help yourself.

Butterflies are nature’s ballerinas.

framed butterfly – new svg file for you

I’ve been exploring the possibilities of using butterflies in my card designs and came up with this one:

simple but lovely

I’m back to using recycled materials in my cards.  The framed butterfly is made from my favorite, a USPS overnight envelope, and the black mat is a piece of a shopping bag that I ran through my crimping tool.  It has a few small areas that are slightly scarred and I actually think that adds to the charm :).

OTHER MATERIALS and TOOLS: DCWV Glitter Card Stock in Aqua, Staples 110lb card stock in yellow (card base), Scor-Tape to adhere the various layers (of course!) metal studs from Joann’s, and my trusty Xyron to adhere the butterfly cut to the black mat.

If you’d like the svg file for the framed butterfly, please CLICK HERE and help yourself.

I can almost imagine an actual butterfly in flight, one of the true wonders of nature.

christmas in august – it’s never too early!

I love summer.  I look forward to the relaxed pace of the summer months, the warmth, the extra hours of sunlight.  Even though we’ve had many days this year with temperatures over 90 degrees, I still love it.  But I still think of what the future brings.  By the time the holidays come around, I’ll be so busy with concerts that I may not get to my Christmas cards until after they are over (my usual state of being.)  So, here is my attempt at starting the process early.

Here is my first Christmas card design for this year.

My contemporary take on tradition

I used ribbon weaving on this card, along with a window effect for the green of the tree.  The card is designed as a 4 1/2″ square panel that uses 1/4″ wide ribbon on both sides. In case you’re wondering, the mats are 4 1/2″, 4 7/8″ and 5 3/8″ square. The entire card is 5 1/2″ square (my favorite size even though it costs more to mail.)

SUPPLIES: Staples 110 lb white card stock, American Crafts Foil card stock (red, green and silver), red 1/4″ ribbon, 1/4″ wide Scor-Tape to secure the layers, Jolee’s Bling (the red star).  No recycled materials this time but I’m getting to it.  Stay tuned for more cards in this series.

SPECIAL TOOLS: a brayer to make sure the layers make even contact with each other.

This is a very easy card to make but I think it looks very nice when it’s all done.

Please GO HERE to get the svg file for the front panel.  Enjoy!

I can already hear Christmas carols in my head.

i’ve been published!

People say you don’t know what you can accomplish unless you try.  This week is a great example of that being true.

A few weeks ago, I submitted a card design to Scrapbook News and Reviews, a great online magazine. Last Friday I got an email telling me they had accepted my Red White and Blue Star card for their current issue. If you want to see it, you’ll have to go to their website and purchase the online magazine.

Now I can say that I have been published in two online magazines.  (The other one is JazzReview.com – I have been a member of their interview staff since 2002.)

This is SO cool.  I think I may have stumbled upon another sideline.

weavng in and out

Last week, I did a quick post with a file that had the potential for ribbon weaving.  This method caught my attention a few months ago when I did a Valentine design that was warmly received by several people who follow my blog.  (Thanks for commenting!)  This week, I spent some time exploring and here are two new files I came up with.

I mounted each panel on a series of mats so you can see the “finished” look.  I’m not sure what I will do with these yet.  I could use them for cards or even make a trivet.  I thought I’d try one as the top panel of a gift box. I think these would look lovely as a collection of small framed pictures on a wall.

The first design features a medium size stitch panel that can accommodate 1/4″ wide ribbon (on sale at Michaels this week!).  If you size the panel to be 4.75″ square, the slots will be just right for this size ribbon.

A rainbow of color!

The second design is a variation of the first.  The “stitches” are now shorter and create a different look.  Again, please size the panel to be 4.75″ on each side.

Tiny spots of bright hues!

To secure the ends of the ribbons to the back side of the card stock, I ran a piece of 1/4″ wide Scor-Tape along the outside edges of the first and last slots in each row.  It is very easy to anchor the tape this way.  Be sure to gently tug the end of each ribbon so it lies flat on the right side of the card.

This is a very inexpensive project.  The needed supplies are listed below:

  • One 6″ by 6″ piece of card stock of your choice
  • Eight 8″ pieces of 1/4″ wide ribbon (NOTE: I left a long tail on the ribbon while weaving to make it easier to manipulate.)
  • Two 4 1/2″ strips of Scor-Tape (or adhesive of your choice).

You might use a piece from a lightweight gift box or stiff shopping bag as your base.  My white base started life as a USPS overnight envelope.  I’m going to try a shoe box one of these days and finally use my deep cut blade.

Here are both svg files, free for your enjoyment.  HERE is the medium stitch file.  HERE is the small stitch version.

Now that I’ve done these two designs, my mind is starting to think of new possibilities for this technique.  How about ribbon embroidered Christmas ornaments?  Stay tuned and see what I come up with.  If you’d like to suggest an idea, please do!  I love new design adventures.

happy birthday, america!

I’ve been busy all weekend rehearsing for the annual broadcast of “A Capitol Fourth” on PBS. The headliners have prepared their performances for tonight’s live show from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building.  I’ve done this show for many years and am always excited and awed by the spectacle. I feel privileged to be able to take part in this annual celebration of our nation’s birth.

Since I have come home every night completely wired from the activity, I’ve been staying up to design a new Fourth of July file. Even though it’s a bit late to use this for Fourth of July cards, I hope you like it and will consider using it next year. You could also size it as a scrapbook page overlay and put a photo in the star opening.  See, I’m not that late.

If you size this file as 5 inches square, you can weave 1/4″ ribbon through the holes for a neat embroidered look.

For now, I’ll just post a screen shot of the file; but later I’ll post a card that makes use of it.

You can thread narrow ribbons through the slots for an embroidered effect.

If you’d like the svg file of this card panel, please CLICK HERE.

It’s time for me to get ready and report to the stage in DC.  I hope your July 4th is filled with fun and joy!

going around in circles

This is a very quick midnight post while I have a minute.  Work has been very busy lately.  When is it not busy?

I made a new card of a member of my Board who just got out of the hospital. He is a mathematician so I think he’ll appreciate the geometry of this card:

Would you like the svg file of the interlocking circles? CLICK HERE.

Have fun with this!