Wednesday, January 8, 2014

New Quilling Book available March 4, 2014

For those who quill, I am very excited to tell you I'm an author now! Please visit my new blog, Paper Zen to find out more. I won't be updating this blog anymore - thanks so much for all your support! It's been wonderful to have you cheerleading me on!


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Friday, August 9, 2013

Printable quilled thank you card and envelope

Dear Crafting Creatures readers, I want to say thank you!

I started this blog years ago with my friends to inspire each other with our projects. I've been the only one adding to it for some time, and the name Crafting Creatures doesn't suit my new direction. I will continue blogging in my spare time, but now it means more to me than a hobby. I'm taking my paper on new paths and I really hope you'll follow me there, as I will not be updating this blog anymore.

My new blog is Paper Zen, which describes both how tranquil I feel when working with paper, and the enlightenment I hope my work gives others.

I'm indebted to you, kind reader, for giving me wonderfully encouraging words to keep going. To return your enthusiasm, I'd like to give you my quilled Thank You card and matching envelope. It'll be for sale in my Etsy shop afterwards, so grab it now by visiting Paper Zen!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Damask Chair Party Favor Box

Although I'm more of a tomboy than a girly-girl, I did save every wedding party favor as a little girl, dreaming of the day I would marry my sweetheart. I don't know why I have such a thing for boxes, but I do love how it's hiding a small surprise. The ones I love most serve double purpose, whether to be decorative or in this case, to show a guest to their seat.

I used a heavyweight vellum which allows the damask pattern to be seen yet not obstruct the guest's name. A square tag is glued to the front, with a couple's special day and message.

The 1.75" cube has a chair backing that is 4.25" tall. Two boxes can be cut from a single sheet of 11 x 8.5" paper. In this example I've used Silver Stardream cardstock. The font used here is Great Vibes.

Damask patterns have always been used in classic decor in such a broad range, and I struggled for quite some time to have the design be strong enough to hold the name tag. I also think it looks just as complete without the name tag, so it's perfect for occasions other than weddings.

My Damask Chair Box is now available in my Etsy store for instant download. I've saved the files in SVG, DXF, MTC, and PDF formats. Thanks so much for your kind comments!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Video of Mystery Box

I shot a video of opening the Mystery Box, (All Things Paper book by Ann Martin) and the publisher, Tuttle, has now got it live on their site. Click the "Product Video" tab to see how it works!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Kite Ribbon Storage Hanger (SVG, DXF, PDF, MTC files)

I don't have ribbon fever, but I do save the ones I'm given with gifts because they are still re-usable for other gifts or even my cards.

I used to save the scraps in small plastic bags to keep them from fighting, but when I'd discover it wasn't long enough, I'd have to re-ravel it – or if it was right, I'd have to deal with all the kinks.

So I made my own with 4 layers of cardboard (the thickest my Silhouette can cut) and glued them together for strength and rigidity. You can also use poster board, chipboard, cardboard, even cereal boxes - whatever your machine or hand can cut. I added white vinyl to the two outer sides (before cutting) of my cardboard to give myself a neutral, white background, but I can imagine my kites and their ribboned tails against a light blue sky background too.

I love how the ribbons are stored with thicks and thins in orderly columns. Threading the ribbons through the 3 lines was quick to do, but also quick to remove too! They don't slide off (unlike my shirts on plastic hangers) and I can visually guage the length, color, width at a glance for my project. It now hangs in my craft room closet, kink-free!

I'm offering my Kite Ribbon Storage Hanger in the following formats: SVG, DXF, MTC, and PDF (for hand cutting if you prefer).

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day (3D die cut card)

My dad wears a ratty, tattered vest and even though I've given him new ones, he still keeps wearing the old one anyway. He doesn't wear a bow tie, but I think he'll get a kick out of this card anyway.

I've been experimenting in the realm of "printables" and this is made of 3 pieces - the bow tie, shirt, and vest, cut from 1 sheet of letter-size paper on 80lb cover stock. It was fun to shade the bow tie and give it a sense of 3D while really giving a 3D shape. Details in the buttons and stitching was a cinch to print. It helps keep the vest flaps down when the card is closed. I've written my message under the shirt, which is removable.

Somehow I quite like the back as well simply for its minimalism. He's a man of little words, so I'll see what kind of reaction I get during tonight's dinner.

If you'd like to cut this card by hand, I'm selling a "printable" and "cuttable" file on Craftsy.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Monster Bookmark - Free Die Cut (SVG, DXF, PDF)

I'm showing Ann Martin's book, All Things Paper, to family and friends, and as I flip to my project in I realized I could simplify my life with a bookmark.

There are many wonderful monster ones out there but I wanted ear flaps so they stuck out for easy finding. I added a dash of color in the eyes, so some quick marker strokes were all that was needed before gluing down the triangular flap.

Download a free compressed file containing SVG, DXF, and PDF files for personal use. Please leave me a comment if you have some time - I love hearing if you're inspired to make something.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Mysterious Stationery Box, All Things Paper

Open, says me! I can finally open up and share more about my Mysterious Stationery Box, which was included in Ann Martin's wonderful book, All Things Paper. Being the eagle-eyed blogger she is, Ann was able to call upon creatives all around the world who work with paper, and showcase just how versatile paper can be.

My project is based on a common Japanese box (Karakuri Bako), which is traditionally made of wood and fabric to hold jewelry in evenly divided compartments. The mystery behind it is how the lid is double-hinged, allowing it to reveal the main compartment (above), and the smaller side compartments (below).

I make the lid stay closed snugly by gluing panels that just friction-fit within the compartment. I shot a video showing how it works that I hope Tuttle will show it soon on their site. This isn't the first time making this box - actually I made it as my grad project while attending Emily Carr College so many years ago. I didn't have money to buy the best materials back then, so when Ann asked me to create this project, I have to admit I was eager to re-do it with proper materials.

Lineco Binder Board did exactly as advertised. Lineco's board scared me at first because after applying glue to most of the surface, it did bow, but flattened itself out as it dried (I used to apply Lineco glue to matte board, then pile on phone books and wait overnight).

In the photo below I'm protecting the compartment with scrap paper while applying glue to a tab with a brush, another splurge since college and one that I was so pleased with because it allowed me to control the amount of glue better than spreading with a credit card. The Japanese patterned paper is made by hand and I was assured it will not tear even with repeated use because of its long fibers.

This project can be daunting for beginners, but I hope it inspires you to look at paper as a strong structural component to your creations.

Another project in this book that caught my eye immediately was Allison Patrick's Phone Book Letter Holder. I love how she's given the diminished Yellow Pages a new life. Simple yet stylish, using materials around the house - my favorite combo.

Want to win your own book? Simply visit Ann's giveaway post!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Flights of Fancy - My Favorite Pop-ups

I've always wanted to make a pop-up book – not design one, because my mind doesn't think this way – but I've always wanted to see how the mechanism worked just for the sheer magic of minimalism at its finest.

This swallow is a design by Jessica Tice-Gilbert who makes the most wonderful "how to" video that takes away any intimidation of making pop-ups. The wing rotates!

So when Paper Poet's Meet Up Group theme was Birds of a Feather, I interpreted it loosely and chose to make pop-ups I've admired over the years.

1) I used paper I had on hand. I had a stack of pre-cut metallic pearl colored card stock which I scored into an accordion fold for the spine. The inner page elements are all cut from Daiso's colored paper, which was perfect for colors and thickness.

2) I loved how inkjet printing on it still allowed the metallic sheen to come through, as if the blue itself was metallic.

3) The message of hopeful love is so obvious and engaging in Mari Kumada's Pop-Up Valentine.

4) Robert Sabuda's Bird comes flying out of its house.

5) The Angel by Robert Sabuda always evokes an "ahh" from my readers.

6) Even though most didn't think this dove silhouette qualified as a pop-up, I love it for it's minimalism and how it evokes a quiet peace for me. It's an invitation for Christian Blanken by Agitprop.

7) I thought the Ark by Robert Sabuda could be seen as flying the high seas, but anyway, I just loved how all the animals are on different planes yet it's all one sheet of paper.

8) I made line drawing outlines of each page and added credits to my book. I'm so grateful to all these amazing designers for sharing their work. I loved making my small version of their world.

If you haven't tried making your own pop-up book, I hope you'll be inspired by these examples.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Happy Mother's Day Card (die cut tea cup)

My mom has kept and treasured the handmade cards I crafted for her as a child. There's no better #1 fan than the person who has reassured my fears and advised me to do what made me happy.

I tend to be very structured in my designs, even though I have always admired more free flowing pieces. So I'm trying to push beyond my comfort zones and this is my first experiment.

I sketched my ideas, imagining how the layers of colors will come together. Stardream and Daiso paper is wonderful to cut even with a dullish blade and somewhat fine lines, because there aren't any residual fibers of paper sticking out in tight corners.

It's amazing how an idea can end up being so much more labor intensive than I imagined. The finer lines makes a smaller area for gluing, so the flowers simply take more time to secure. The graphic designer in me wants to simply print the color, even though I enjoy the look of layered paper. However, I can't dispute how well it looks overall when it matches the teacup perfectly.

I'm still working out the kinks on my 3D teacup, but I like how it comes off the page. I wanted to make the "tea" shiny and wet looking so thought of using some glitter nail polish.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Monday, April 29, 2013

Quilling birthday cards

I have a few birthdays coming up. Felt like doing something spring and vibrant.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Die Punched Leaves and Daiso Paper

Someone recently asked how I made the leaves for my 3D Daisy Cake. I punched paper with this flower punch, then snipped out 5 petals. Then I used my quilling needle to score a line in the middle and gently folded it in half before gluing under the daisies.

The paper I used comes from Daiso. Shades of red, orange, and yellow are sold in a pack called "Warm", while blue, green, and lilac are "Cool". This is a 5x7 inch size and several sheets of each color is included. Larger sizes are also available for the same amazingly affordable price of $2, but you get less sheets of each color. The weight is not too light, not too heavy - just fantastic for my accenting paper crafts. The color is carried out through the entire sheet,  not just printed on the surface, so you don't get a incongruent core of white, especially if you plan to make your own flocking.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

3D Coffee Cake Birthday Card

This was a par-boiled idea, but I was making espresso the other day and realized the grounds are quite fine, so of course I thought of flocking. I have a birthday for a guy coming up and he loves coffee (it's not as easy for me to make cards for guys for some reason). I thought of making a coffee cake and covering my cake with grounds, then topping it with real whole coffee beans.

I tried using double sided tape, but the grounds (unused) wouldn't stay on. The glue holds an amazingly thick layer of grounds when I did a test. So I put down light blue vinyl on the cake where I didn't want coffee. Unfortunately the glue stayed on the vinyl too. So I had to apply the glue carefully before dousing with grounds. It's a good thing I used brown paper so any bare patches blend in.

Now that it's done, it makes me think of a chocolate mocha cake – plus it's like scratch and sniff sticker, except no scratching is needed!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wedding Cake Card by Kelly

I'm not a bling personality, but I have to say this wedding cake card by Kelly, ( got my attention. It says everything a bride wants their special day to say, an event to remember for all time.

Although the background is neutral and allows the flowers to take center stage, the glitter makes a splashy show all on its own.

Kelly explains in great detail how she made this 3D cake card with glitter and what materials she had to change up to make it work. I love how she explains things so thoroughly, like all her posts on her blog.

Thanks, Kelly, for generously allowing me to show your card on my blog!


Thursday, April 18, 2013

DIY Flocking

I've been seeing flocking all over the stores (and some ingeniously decorated nails). It's kind of like colored, fluffy, cotton candy, but in teeny pieces. I didn't want to buy more things, so my first thought was can I make my own? Yes I can!

I borrowed the microfine shredder from the kitchen, wadded up some paper scraps from Daiso, and shredded away. In case I didn't cover everything, I used the same color yellow as a backing, covered it in glue and dipped into my paper flocking (tweezers are helpful!). Then I glued it to my daisy flower, which then decorated my 3D cakes.