April 23, 2010

Such a Tweet House

***WARNING...LOTS OF PICTURES (oh, and words)  ***

Hello, my Sassy friends.  Today is my turn as a guest designer on She's a Sassy Lady and I'm so excited to share this card with you.   My name is Cheryl from http://www.cherylswindow.blogspot.com/, but my friends call me Cher - so you should too!

Have you ever had those projects that you were able to visualize in your head and even sat down and designed, but didn't realize your design was illogical and flawed until you actually cut it and saw it in 3D?  This little project was one of those!   I had this vision of a little birdhouse-shaped card and sketched the card front out on my Gypsy.   Then went into all the detail of copying, mirroring, flipping, welding, etc...only to find out that, duh, that isn't going to work.   I wasn't even going to share this fact with you, because, of course, I want you all to just think I'm a genius like all these other talented crafters, but ....Hey, it might be good to realize some of us have those moments.  Sometimes, I can design a project and it all comes together first try.  Most of the time, however, I have at least 2 prototypes or drafts if it's something new, especially if I'm going to share my .gypsy file with you.   I'm a very hands-on visual person and I need to see and touch my design projects most of the time to ensure they come out the way I want.   I keep scraps for this and /or use paper I ended up not liking or extra from previous projects.  
Here is just an idea of my beginning design flops for this project.  Please remember that I did say I use scraps or discard papers.  These colors and patterns would not have been a final project. 

My final card came out even better than I originally had envisioned.  I adore this little chickadee and wanted to create a whimsical type of birdhouse.  Thank you to my friend, Katie, for the flower top idea.   After my initial ideas of a birdhouse-shaped card did not come out as planned, I decided to make it an easel card.  Follow along for directions.

When designing this card on my Gypsy, I was able to use only one cartridge, Straight From the Nest.   I used a square for the house background with a corner frame rotated an an angle for the roof line.  I then added a small rectangle to the bottom of the house base and a circle as the hole in the birdhouse and welded all but the circle.  The card base for the back was made by doubling the height of the birdhouse base rectangle.  I used the branch and layers as a stop/rest for the easel part of the card.
For the layers, I created the mat for the card easel base as well as the front layer for the birdhouse and the bird with its layers.  I was able to do this by looking through the pages to ensure that I had the birdhouse front and little door perfectly aligned.  You can see that in the picture just above. 

 I also created the strip for the grass layer and the leaves layer for the branch.  You could just as easily replace this grass strip with a border of grass from this cart or any other cart with grass - or how about a tiny picket fence?  This picture above is with the Preview "on".

If you do use my file, I added another page to include two identical roof top layers.  Rather than the flower roof top, you could just as easily cut out the additional layer(s) to emboss or decorate as desired.  With all of the flowers, I decided not to add another layer because of the additional weight it added to the top of the card. 

I had this great paper to use for the front of the birdhouse.  It is Core Impressions by Cosmo Cricket.  It is wonderfully embossed 12x12 Core'dinations papers and I loved that little knot in the wood grain.   

Here are the images cut out with chosen papers set to align with images on mat.

Take large rectangle base and score at 2 1/8", 2 1/2" and 5".  The extra score mark at the beginning allows us to have a small ledge in the back to help balance the top-heavy card.   The 2 1/8" and 2 1/2" scores will fold back and forth each way as the card folds down to close and folds up to sit open.

Fold pieces and burnish with bone folder for crisp edges.  Here you can see that ledge I mentioned.  Only that top fold will be glued and then ledge will fold in opposite direction when opened. 

For this type of layering, I prefer to use a liquid glue such as Beacon's 3-in-1 or Helmar's 450.  This will give you some wiggle room as far as being able to 'slide' your layer right into place before drying and yet it will then dry really quick and does not buckle.  

Attach birdhouse shape to top fold making sure to align the bottom edges when top is folded so that bottom fold at 2 1/2" is folded.  See where the liquid glue comes in really handy?   I used Core'dinations paper for this also, so that is why the back is green and the front is brown.  It adds such a nice little dimension and cuts really great on the Cricut. 

See how the folds flip direction as you open it?   Note:  The 2 1/8" fold is not necessary if the card is not too top heavy or you find another way to weight down your base of house.   This is how I found it to sit best with this design.  

Attach layered rectangle to card base as a mat.  This is a great area to add extra personalized note.   Attach front of birdhouse to card front making sure to align the circles (again, liquid glue here). 

 Put layers together for leaves and branches and the chickie bird.  I folded the edges up just a bit on the leaves for texture.  I did the same to the wing for the chickie.   I also colored lines onto the wing and colored in the beak with a Copic Spica pen.  I love how that added some glittery goodness without much dimension.  I wanted a subtle effect here.   A little black pearl for his beady little eye. 

Here is why I only cut a strip instead of a grass image.  I wanted to play with my new Martha Stewart fringe
scissors that my LSS talked me into when I took a class there last week.  LOL.  Frivolous, but SWEET!  Cuts so nice and makes perfect little cuts in NO TIME!
 Glue on the grass and add some dimensional foam to the chickadee.  I also added the black circle ring around outside of birdhouse door at this point and stamped my sentiment "Thanks, Chickie!" on the front of card.  This stamp was from Papertrey Ink's Handwritten Notes collection.  (I absolutely love this set for quick sentiments)

I chose an assortment of white Prima flowers and spritzed with just a little Glimmer Mist.  I wanted mostly the white to show through here for my design.  I used different shapes and sizes for my desired effect.

I used my heat gun to quickly dry the flowers.  It doesn't take much at all, especially if you don't over saturate your flowers.  I then started layering them from the bottom by folding them in half and applying with GlueDots.  (I did use a variety of adhesives here, huh?)   I started with the larger flowers toward the bottom and got relatively smaller towards the top.   I chose one small flower for the top and added a little extra bling.  Don't add something too heavy here.   After adding all the layers, if you need to 'fill-in' a few spots, this can easily be done with a small flower folded and slipped between the layers.

Finally, add the little branch about 1/3 of the way up so that it acts as a stop for your easel card and so that it will still peek through the window when closed.   TaDa!   Isn't that adorable?   And I'm so excited because it did turn out even better than I originally had envisioned.    This is a little larger than standard card, but will fit nicely in a 6 x 9 envelope.  So, one more time, here is the final card.

I would absolutely love it if you made this card and shared your version with me. If you would like a copy of the gypsy file, please leave me a comment and click HERE for the file.  Thanks for spending a little time with me and I hope you enjoyed the chat.   If you have ANY questions, please stop my blog and don't hesitate to ask.  

Thanks for stopping by and for all your sweet words of encouragement.
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