3D Thursday: calorie free cake!

Well maybe that is not true. Perhaps paper, glue, batteries and plastic do contain calories, but not the tasty, moreish kind. And my alternative title of ‘inedible cake’ sounds rather less enticing.

I like giving ‘alternative’ or unexpected birthday cards and that box is certainly ticked here. Pinterest is to blame again. I decided to make one of the cute little battery tea lights turned into a birthday cake. I had seen a few, with varying degrees of decoration. Mine are, of course, on the less decorated side. Partly from personal preference and partly because I don’t have much time for anything more.

There are no doubt plenty of tutorials out there, but I chose to ignore them and just go for my own version. Sometimes a quick ten minutes in Pinterest can morph into several lost hours! I took a favourite pad of papers (Craftwork Cards Heritage Rose) so I knew everything would go together, something always worth doing when time is short or a deadline looms. For the first tea light cake I simply covered the sides with spotty paper and die cut two scallop circles for the top and bottom. Then I punched a hole roughly in the centre of one and made some small snips outwards from the hole. This allows you to ease the circle over the light bulb, but obviously looks a bit messy so needs covering up again afterwards. Some punched flowers did the trick. I wanted the same scallop circle for the cake base, but you also have to be able to switch the bulb on, so I used a small oval die to cut a neat aperture. Perhaps those tutorials might have given me a better solution for this, but hey, it works! A simple box from the same paper range helps to present it nicely. If I had more time this box would have been a bit fancier for sure.

tea-light-cake-pink-and-box

tea-light-cake-pink

I also cooked up a second ‘cake’, even more quickly. This one was made with a Christmas purchase for the bargain price of £1 for 4 tea lights! They are already covered in a smoky quartz shade of glitter – yum! Basically I did the same thing but used a fancier and slightly larger scallop circle die for the base. Also because this light has little ‘feet’ I just stood it on the base scallop die cut. It would certainly be possible to fix it permanently to the ‘cake’, in the same way as the top layer really, but I think it is fine as it is.

tea-light-cake-glittered

So there we have it. Two cakes, no calories. I did think about naming them “shark infested” cakes actually. It’s the shape of the bulbs…..

 

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Quite..erm..pinteresting?

Whilst I was away from Bloggyland recently, my most ‘successful’ personal creation hit 1000+ pins on Pinterest. I have already posted about this before when it hit 500+ pins and I was cock-a-hoop pretty pleased, and this post is not just another excuse to do that, although I see no reason to be falsely coy or say ‘oh, that old thing?’ Now though, they stop counting, and it just has 1k pins beside it, so, fickle to the end, I have rather lost interest! Maybe, if it ever gets to 2k, I might get excited again. I might also be in a residential home eating pureed vegetables and telling inappropriate jokes, who knows?

This post is more about what does, or does not, get re-pinned. Again, I did mention this previously: I am fully aware that the card is not a work of genius, and it has been made with a very popular and relatively new range of stamps which undoubtedly helped. It is nice, I think, but I am not deluded. It is not ‘amazing’. It is though, perhaps, something which, as a beginner with an interest in card making, you could look at and think ‘yes, I can do that with no problem’. And to be honest I think this of most of the cards I make. I know I generally ‘execute well’, and my work is neat and well finished, but not exceptional. I am ok with that (no choice really!).

But what interests me is: how do we make our pinning choices? Why do we re-pin? Because something is achievable, or aspirational, or just because we may as well save it ‘because we can‘? I have boards and pins for hundreds of things I am pretty sure I may never make, or buy, or visit…. I pin cards that I could never hope to produce the like of if I lived to be 150. Is that just me?

I have a few cards now that have a few hundred pins, but it has taken a long time. I’m sure for other people this happens way, way quicker. For me, I thought to use it as a gauge of what people may or may not like. But here is where I am stuck, and going back to the “what appeals“ question. It seemed to me that Pinterest would be a good way to check this.

Here is my example of the dilemma. Months ago I pinned two cards on the same day, which were, broadly, the same card but upside down and downside up. One has had WAY more pins than the other: 427 vs 110. So is one visually much more pleasing?  If so, is it obvious to everyone except me, and is there a reason? Feel free to say (nicely!) – I’d like to know! I made them so I cannot tell for sure; I do have a slight preference, but it is only slight.

Or, is it just luck? Of all the pins in all the world, someone comes across one of yours, but only one…

I am thinking about doing an experiment. Two cards, in the ‘same but different’ category, probably pretty much the same layout as these. Then I will pin them and wait (for months, I know) to see if none, one or both get re-pinned. I would have made them to include in this post but any creativity I had is hiding behind the sofa this week and refusing to come out.

If anyone else fancies trying the same experiment, let me know and I’ll re-pin yours. Oh, and to be fully scientific (because I have been rigorous so far, right??!) there should probably be a ‘control’ as well, so something entirely different but pinned on the same day. Pehaps even make it a howler, just to see!

If you should choose to accept the mission, good luck, and get sticking! This post will NOT self destruct in 5 seconds…

 

Before I was interrupted…

Here is the card I was going to post yesterday, before the cat intervened. It is the simplest of designs in the most neutral palette. I toyed with adding something else, but decided against it. I know the card is beyond bare, but I figure that in its current form it could be used for many occasions, some happy, some not so. Additional colour, ribbon, pearls, whatever, would define its purpose a bit more. Someone has asked me for a few cards that could be used for illness, sympathy or just for a bit of support in tough times and I thought this might work. I hasten to add this person had no immediate need for any of these or I would not be mentioning it in a post. The sadness or misfortune of other people is not my blogging material.

barest tree

It literally is a single die cut, stuck to a base of the same off-white card. It feels a bit cheeky, really.

Unusually, this time my inspiration was…me! This one below was my first ever card that got re-pinned on Pinterest quite a few times, giving me a bit of a confidence boost to pin more of my own stuff. I think it was because it was (a) Anna Griffin (always popular) and (b) completely achievable for anyone with opposable thumbs!

AG holly die by paperfluff

Supplies: Whimsical Tree die by Spellbinders; holly die from Anna Griffin (it came in a set so I don’t think it had a name of its own); linen effect card from Create and Craft.

 

Tiny bit chuffed

Pinterest is showing how many times your pins have been re-pinned. You can’t seem to do it all the time (although I could be wrong as technology is not my strong suit). So when I was browsing late last night and Pinterest suddenly went all wonky (see my mastery of highly technical terms) and half my pins disappeared (small exaggeration), I had a moment of panic. Followed by relief when they appeared again and a small thrill when I saw that the pin counter was back. Am I wrong to like seeing which of my own efforts have been re-pinned? Which ones are hits, and which are rejects? Am I like Narcissus, staring into the pool of Pinterest?

Aw, who cares?! I quickly looked to see how many times some of my favourite cards had been pinned on by others. Quickly, in case the opportunity was gone in the morning. Furtively too, bizarrely. Did I think it might be some hidden camera show? So, some were pinned a hundred, two hundred times. I was feeling pretty good: it’s nice to think that people like something you have made. We all doubt ourselves, and are our own most critical of critics, so a bit of positive affirmation is no bad thing. It still felt like I was doing something rather naughty though.

Then I got to this one. Re-pinned 575 times. Almost lost consciousness. Probably did a couple of double-takes and some ‘oh my god I can’t believe it’ eyeball rubbing too.Altenew peonies 1Of course I know it’s not a brilliant card. And that the re-pinning will be due to everyone loving Altenew stamps at the moment. And that for some people 575 pins would be a flop. But even so, to me, it feels pretty darn good. It took a (really) long time to pluck up the courage to pin my own cards, and even longer to start doing this blog.  I would just say to anyone who is likewise reluctant, try it. It’s fun, it really is!