3D Thursday: home for the holidays?

Week four of my 3D Thursdays. I wasn’t sure I would manage to keep it up, but I have stuck with it (sorry!) and am having fun making little glittery things. Well, today it is one very little, very glittery thing.

I have used a Tattered Lace Shop die (bought last year) to make a Christmassy something. It could be purely decorative, or another Advent calendar piece, or even an alternative Christmas card or tree decoration.

Firstly I printed out some music score from the Hearts and Roses Christmas digikit using Serif CraftArtist. With uncharacteristic foresight I actually thought about where to position the die, so I have musical notes in the right places, as opposed to featuring the gap between the staves. Hurrah!

Next to crease and glue the shop (hereafter known as the ‘house’) together. I inked the house corners in silver to define them a bit more. For the roof I wanted a different colour and texture so opted for some silver glitter cardstock, cut to size, the edges trimmed with decorative scissors and then stuck over the existing roof. Like double glazing. Ignore the fact the windows are open to the elements. This is a house for tiny yetis. I also used the same scissors to cut slivers of glitter card for the base.

holiday-house-1

The wreath is highly technical. It is made by twisting a silver pipe-cleaner around a pen to form the circle, dolloping on some tacky glue in a very heavy-handed way and then dunking in a tub of glitter a few times so it gets a bit clumpy looking, like wet snow. Mission accomplished!

holiday-house-4

The finishing touches are a string of sticky pearls to gussy up the gable end and a banner greeting raised up on a double layer of 3D pads. Add one twinkly battery tea light and ta-dah!

If you fancy having a go you don’t need a die to do this. There are plenty of free templates for houses available. You might even already have a cookbook with a gingerbread house you could use. If anyone does make one I’d love to see!

Supplies: Tattered Lace Essentials Shop die (retired); Clearly Besotted Mini Basic Banners stamps (Christmas selection) and die; Brilliance Starlite Silver pearlescent ink; pearls from The Ribbon Room

 

3D Thursday: not Teas-day then?

Gift wrapping is an obsession for me. Not to the extent it used to be before I got into paper crafting, but still, any present I am giving has to look good or I, and it, cannot leave the house. I don’t always go to these lengths for every gift, but I do like to have a small stash of interesting and/or pretty bags, boxes or other containers on hand. Things that will hold a couple of those hand creams that look like tubes of paint, maybe a pot or two of nail colour or some makeup. Or even tea, come to think of it! Things that are a pain to wrap, or seem more like a pampering gift if they are presented together.

This tea cup was made using my new-ish Cricut. I still haven’t played with it all that much so I’ll do a mini review some other time, but as I had the Tags, Bags, Boxes & More 2 cartridge I figured I would browse through that for a suitable 3D project. This cartridge is jam-packed with exactly what it says – boxes, bags and tags, and I chose the tea cup.

There were a couple of teething problems (and three wasted sheets of good cardstock) before I got the cutting achieved. I will say here and now that I did not help this situation. I don’t have things set out very well at the moment: you need to use your pc/laptop with the Cricut Explore and currently my Cricut is positioned behind my desktop screen, so I keep having to walk between the two to follow the steps. Once I sort this out I expect it will go a lot more smoothly! Another issue was that this image required use of a scoring tool first, but I couldn’t actually see that mentioned on the screen anywhere. I may have missed it in all the wandering about of course. Anyway eventually I worked it out and I got what, I have to say, is a great cut, and in my opinion much better than I achieved on my old Cricut. Cue the happy dance.

Construction is pretty obvious, although you have two different sized circles and had to work out which was for the cup base and which for the saucer. The physical cartridge came with an assembly guide, and again I couldn’t see this on my screen anywhere, but I am sure you can get help with the more complicated shapes from Cricut’s site or YouTube if you need it. For my plain white test run version (should really have done this first rather than waste pretty card) I used the large circle for the saucer and smaller for the tea cup, but it should have been the other way around. Obvious, really, but there you go…

When I felt I knew what I was doing I moved on to a spotty Tim Holtz paper. It was a bit of a struggle to get the larger circle to fit the tea cup properly and in the end I just stuck it on and trimmed it down once dry. This worked fine and has given a neat finish so no worries.

Now for some decoration. I have cut into some doilies and snipped out the centre circle to give me a curly strip. This is stuck to the inside of the cup and underside of the saucer using double sided tape, pleating it as I go to make a frill. This also helps to ease it in and cover up where you join the next strip.

If I had more time I might have added flowers or something, but the deadline is upon me and 3D Thursday cannot run over to Friday. It’s the law. I made do with a little tea cup shaped tag I cut from the reverse of the Tim Holtz paper with a Spellbinders nesting die set.

Typically the only tissue paper I could find was spotty red, but actually I like the contrast. Sorry it is a bit wrinkled but I don’t crave blogging photographic perfection enough to get the iron out.

These are great for favours, or a shower, or work colleagues for Christmas, and they look really cute if you make lots in different colours and patterns and pile them together. Cellophane or large cello bags (the kind we put cards into) are also really handy if you want to have them all enclosed but still want to show them off. And of course you don’t need a cutting machine to make paper or card tea cups, there are plenty of templates available.

 

 

 

 

3D Thursday: something advent-agious?

A few days ago a friend told me she had bought herself an advent calendar with a difference. Instead of pictures, or chocolates, it would give her daily presents of a favourite cosmetic brand. I have to confess to a touch of the green-eyed monster here as it is also made by one of my favourite brands, but at nearly £70 including delivery it is not in the budget for this year.

However, the idea of a daily treat for adults through December sounded pretty attractive. Why should the kids have all the good stuff? I think it would be fun to make an advent calendar for your other half, sister, brother, parent(s) or friend. Anyone, really!

So I pulled out my Tonic Advent Treat Squeeze Box die set. I have had this for a long time now – from whenever it first came out, I think. It is one of my all-time favourites, and still available. The box takes moments to make and all the recipient has to do is gently squeeze two opposite corners for the treat to fall from the bottom. And of course you can keep them plain or gussy up as much as you like.

squeeze-box-tgrio

If I am meeting girlfriends for lunch at Christmas I will make a few up and load them with a swanky truffle or wrapped sweets. You can also use them for small gift items such as makeup or jewellery, but maybe not for anything too precious as one squeeze and it could be lost! Also you don’t need to confine their use to Christmas or Advent: just leave the numbers out and you have year round table favours or dinner party treats, or just gift wrap. I have seen them, or something similar, made into Santa, or Rudolph, or a bee, a pig, a cow…Pinterest has loads of ideas for novelty triangular boxes.

This one is the simplest. Just gold card, a scrap of red I had previously embossed and a ribbon loop. You can omit the loops of course if you don’t plan on hanging them on the tree. I just like the extra texture and detail!

squeeze-box-plain-gold

This one is made from a scrap of Anna Griffin card. I wanted to use invisible thread to hang the jingle bells, but I can’t see it anywhere! Clearly it is living up to its name. I made do with white thread, which then broke on me once I had the bells in place, so a bit of keyhole surgery was called for. I had added a second holly leave but then decided it looked like the box had aspirations to be a windmill, so I removed it.

squeeze-box-silver

This third one is a bit more vintage looking. The paper is from Trimcraft’s North Pole collection. I bought it last year but I have seen it still around this year too. Personally I like a bit of glitter with vintage, but I know it is not for everyone. I had tried the number 4 in one of the other papers from the pack but it just lacked impact, so I cut another from red and glued it over the top. Maybe those last three words describe the effect well!

squeeze-box-north-pole

Of course if you fancy doing something like this you don’t need a die. Any small boxes, bags or envelopes can be adapted and decorated, ready for your advent treats!

 

3D Thursday: Retail Therapy

Welcome to 3D Thursday!

Some people may remember a little while ago I was asking how other bloggers plan their posts, do they have a structure, do they schedule ahead and so on. Whilst reading the responses (and thanks again to everyone who took time to comment) I began to get a few ideas in my head, and one thing I realised was that I wasn’t posting anything much other than cards, yet I love making 3D objects too. Maybe this was worth pursuing?

I decided I would try a regular 3D-something post each week and see how I go. Hopefully I will at least make it to week 3 anyway. The irony of failure to do this would not go unnoticed.

Not wishing to raise anyone’s expectations for the future, not everything will be quite on this scale, but on week one I thought I may as well go all in.

tl-retail-therapy-patisserie-2

This is a Tattered Lace Retail Therapy shop. Cake shop, obviously! Well they say if you want to write about something, start with what you know…. And this will be something of a novel because I thought I would write a review, of a sort. Non-crafters, feel free to look at the pretty pictures only! Well, anyone can really….

tl-retail-therapy-patisserie-detail

This was my first attempt. I bought the bundle which gives you dies for the shop exterior, three different interiors and a CD-ROM with images to match the dies, backgrounds etc. There are absolutely tons of dies so lots of scope to change the look of your finished project every time, should you wish. The detail for the shop exterior is amazing – all sorts of different architectural features, hanging baskets etc to play with.

I started off by looking at the CD-ROM, which is a Click, Print, Go! product. This should mean you just open, browse through the selections and then print your choices. You do not want to resize the images as they are made to fit the dies. However, the running programme does not work with my Windows 7. I had contacted Tattered Lace about this in the past and to be honest I was a bit let down by their response. I felt that if they knew it was a problem then they should mention it, or fix it. Maybe I just got them on a bad day, but whilst waiting for them to get back to me I found my own solution. I copy into Serif CraftArtist, and although the image sheet comes in too small I just resize it to exactly A4 and it works fine. If you have had the same experience and have got CraftArtist then this may work for you too. I was hoping the issue might have been fixed by now, but I still have to go through the procedure with this new CD-ROM. It works, but it takes longer and means I have to wade through lots of file folders instead of whizzing through screen images. Because of this I didn’t go through everything on the disk, just found some colours I liked and made a start.

I chose a bright blue and soft green combination, and cut the shop shell first. Be aware that if you have colour on only one side of your card, because you will be folding two parts (the canopy and the support at the base) back on themselves, you will end up with white showing, as you can see on the base in this shot here.

tl-retail-therapy-white-base

For the canopy you are likely to be covering it with lovely scallop shapes anyway, and for the base I just covered it with some more of the blue. It’s not a problem, just don’t think you have done something wrong! Of course though you could use some card coloured on both sides. The construction is pretty obvious, and included on the packaging anyway.

 

Now for the shop window! The images look weird when you print them, some almost unrecognisable. It’s a bit like a party game…hmmn…what might that be…but don’t worry, they are actually pretty genius. Helpfully all the dies are labelled, but I did have a few head scratching moments trying to match them to the printout. Once you have that sussed, just centre the die on the image and cut it out. It is amazing how an out of focus blob suddenly turns into a scrummy cake! I was majorly impressed with this. There may have been a dance…

tl-blog-to-sponge

You also have shelves, cake stands, a little menu board, a tea service, loads. All the images have a couple of little notches that slot into slits on the shelves to help them stand upright. Nice!

I thought it would be clever to attach the base at the right hand side only to a piece of card big enough to then fold in half at the left hand side once all the detail had been added in, thus making my base card.  Like this…

tl-retail-therapy-card-attached

When will I learn? NEVER try to be clever. The lovely stiff card I was using simply did not want to fold close enough to the card edge for my liking, giving me a semi-spotted small rim down the spine. So I chopped it off instead. Probably a much better idea to stick a very slightly smaller (by a couple of millimetres) card to the back afterwards, or just provide a pretty die cut shape (with double-sided tape to affix it) that the giver can write on.

There are some helpful instructions on the Tattered Lace website, in the Downloads section. I didn’t look at these until after I had finished of course. I should have checked them out as it has cleared up the mystery of the cake stand construction for me!

I haven’t had time to make a second one yet. They do take a while, but if you like construction projects it is, honestly, great fun, and the end result is pretty darn fab. I know plenty of people who would love to receive one of these, and the images won’t just be restricted to shop fronts either, as the die cuts can easily be used for other projects. Would I recommend the product? Absolutely, definitely, yes. Do I want all the other shops they are teasing with? Absolutely, definitely, yes! Will I leave you with one more picture? Why not!

tl-retail-therapy-patisserie-detail-wonky

Supplies: Tattered Lace Retail Therapy Store and Retail Therapy Patisserie dies and CD-ROM; strong white card, glue and red liner tape