2014 AccuCut Craft Grandemark Challenge

Hold on to your britches! This is a long post. Whew! I just made my entry into the 2014 AccuCut Craft GrandeMARK Challenge by the skin of my teeth. There were literally seconds to go before the contest was closed on May 4th. But I finished!!

Envelope & Pocket Explosion Box


The Story

Having seen contest entries from previous years, I had in the back of my mind that I wanted to be sure and enter the GrandeMARK challenge this year. So when I received the AccuCut Craft email on April 1st, officially opening the contest, I mulled over ideas for a few days, and then started plotting out what I wanted to use to make a unique explosion box:


I started by going through my dies and writing down a list of envelope, card, and pocket dies that could be incorporated into an explosion box. I measured, considered, and wrote a prototype list (white paper above) of how the box could go together. At about that point, I got the highly-anticipated email from AccuCut Craft announcing their spring 50%-off-all-dies sale that I live for every year. Eureka! I just knew I could get some great dies (particularly the flowers) to accent and build the box layers. Also, I planned out a few custom dies and submitted an order to AccuCut’s Custom Shape Pros department to help me build the box. I knew I’d be cutting it close!! I received my shipment of AccuCut dies on Thursday, May 1st, and the custom dies on Friday, May 2nd. By the time I assembled the parts of my project in one place, I had just two days to decide on paper and exact construction for all the layers, and plotted out a second paper for each layer (peach paper above.) My family didn’t see much of me for those two days. Thanks to my husband for keeping the kids fed and occupied! My craft room was a war zone of stacked dies and paper scraps by the time I was finished. It was dangerous to walk in there.

I chose Bazzill Basics Vintage Lace paper collection and selected coordinating cardstock colors in my project:

Additional Bazzill Basics cardstock colors used:
Berry Blush, Piglet, Passionate, Berrylicious, Marigold, Palm (retired color, Pear could be used as a substitute,) Parakeet, Hillary, Aqua, Lagoon, Sawdust, and Kraft. Both Sawdust and Kraft have the wonderful fiber flecks in them.

Cream cardstock with tiny fiber flecks – French Paper Co. Speckletone True White. This is absolutely my FAVORITE cardstock for doing mats in cards and for tag projects. It’s similar to Bazzill Basics Sawdust and Kraft (which are probably also made by French Paper Co, but I’m not sure), but True White is a wonderful off-white color and bridges both bold saturated colors and neutral tones. I would LOVE it if Bazzill Basics would add True White to their paper line (hint, hint!)

Now let’s analyze the project layer by layer:

Outside


Dies used:
Box lid & base – custom die designed by me and made by Custom Shape Pros
A7 Envelope #4 – sides of the outer box layer
Border – Flourish – decorative scrollwork on the lid & base
Pocket Window & Tag #1 – green pocket & tag on the sides
Flourishes #1 – dark pink flourishes on the sides of the pockets

Top of Lid


Dies used:
Polka Dots Texture Plate – I embossed the outer mat and one of the pink layers of flowers with the dots plate
Square Card Mats – the printed word mat
Holiday Flowers – I used this shape to make the leaves. I also used an embossing stylus and drew veins on the leaves.
Flowers #6 – Largest flower layers, medium pink
Flowers #29 – dark pink flowers
The next few layers are also Flowers #6
Flowers #21 – the green polka dot flower
Spiral Flowers – the 3d rosebud in the middle

Layer 1


This layer has many sublayers. Dies used:
A7 Envelope #4 – sides of the outer box layer and is also the first inside layer
Square Card Mats – the cream-colored mat
Antique Accents – the antique frame and inside mat
A7 Cards Frame – the medium pink mat on the back side of the A7 bag sleeve
I hinged the sublayer on the right to the A7 envelope with solid mat/frame from the Nameplates #12 die.


A7 Jacket Card #3 – inside the A7 envelope is a pullout card.
A7 Cards Victorian – mat inside the A7 Jacket Card
Photo Corners #1 – accents on the mat
Nameplates #12 – decorative frame on the front of the A7 jacket card


A2 Card Mats Rounded – on the backside of the A7 victorian mat is a journaling/photo card, stamped with Hero Arts CG526 Large Notebook Paper stamp.
Border Ribbon – decorates the bottom of the mat/card


On the backside of the A7 jacket card is a 4×6 journaling card. In the explosion box, there are four sides, which means four different journaling cards.

Bag Sleeve – the light pink pocket
A7 Cards Victorian – mat inside the A7 bag sleeve
A2 Card Convertibles – mounted on the front of the A7 bag sleeve
The front of the card has a trimmed 4×6 journaling card, each side of the box layer has a different card.


A2 Card Pocket Tag – The inside pockets of the card. I only die cut the pocket portion, then glued it to the A2 card.
A2 Card Mats – cute ribbon-edged pullout mats on the inside of the card
3×4 journaling cards on the front of the pockets

Layer 2


Dies used:
Notecard Petal #1 – this is the box base for Layer 2, the half-circles also make a pocket for a pullout tag
A7 Convertibles Pocket Card – this is the main card attached to the petal card base, the pullout card is also part of the die set
Convertibles Frame Insert – this goes inside of the A7 pocket card die, so that it makes a window when the card is cut out.
Border – Flourish – decorative scrollwork on the front of the card


A2 Card Mats Rounded – the pullout tag at the back of the card
Leaf Texture Plate – the embossed texture on the pullout tag
AccuCut Zip’e Slim Tabs 42114 – retired die, has the tab shape that is at the top of the pullout tag
Flowers #26 – The little pink flower at the top of the tag
Antique Accents – the little green antique frame on the half-circle shape of the petal card base

Layer 3


Layer 3 box base – I hand-cut this with my Scor-Pal Scor board. First I cut a square 7-3/8″, then scored it at 1-1/2″ and at 5-7/8″, turned it 90 degrees and scored it at the same measurements. Then with scissors I cut out the four corners. This will give you an explosion box base that is 4-3/8″ (matches the A2 envelope width), and the four flaps are 1-1/2″ x 4-3/8″.
A2 Envelope #4 – this is the main shape glued to the Layer 3 box base. Cut from tan kraft cardstock, it is sandwiched in the middle of the A2 card shapes and almost disappears. I cut off one of the flaps to create an open pocket
A2 Card Foldout #3 – this is the dark pink (Bazzill Basics Berrylicious) card on the front of the envelope


A view of the opened card. I LOVE, LOVE the velcro dot closure, and use it a lot on my cards and other projects. You can find them in my eBay store – Becky’s Craftroom


A2 Card Mats – the cream pullout mat. The retired AccuCut Zip’e Slim Tabs shape is on top.


A2 Card Pocket & Tag – on the backside of the tan/kraft A2 envelope is mounted this card shape with the pullout tag
Border Crown #2 – decorative edge on the pocket

Layer 4


Explosion Box – Outer Bottom – This is the Layer 4 box base. I die cut the box bottom, then die cut the 3-7/8″ square sides to form the pockets for the front and back of each side of the box. The front pocket was trimmed 1/4″ off the top, the back pocket was left full-sized. I glued down the squares with 1/8″ Scor Tape (also sold in my eBay Store) right at edges to give me the most room in the pockets.
A7 Card Mats Frame #2 – I took a 3-1/8″ x about 6″ strip of cardstock and placed the top edge just over this die shape. That gave me a tag with a decorative edge at the top. “treasured memories” twill ribbon is by Creative Impressions. Many of the ribbons used in this project are from Creative Impressions.
Border Scallops – Decorative edge for the pocket


This is the back side of the layer.
Library Pocket & Card #3 – This is the pullout tag for the back pocket

Layer 5


Album Envelopes – Hinged to the outside of Layer 5, is this cute little pocket envelope. I used a simple rectangle, scored in the middle, then glued to the front of the pocket envelope, then to the underside of the layer box base.
Border Scallops – Decorative edge for the medium green hinge


The back side of the pocket envelope, each one has a different 3×4 journaling card


Album Explosion Box – Inner Bottom – This is the main orange base of Layer 5. Pockets were created using the Clear Cuts Mat dies of the set
Gift Tag #3 Large – The green pullout tag
Border Interlocking #1 – decorative rick rack strip at the top of the tag


The back side of the orange box layer, another Gift Tag #3 is used at the pullout tag

Layer 6


Layer 6 box base – I hand-cut this with my Scor-Pal Scor board. First I cut a square 5-1/2″, then scored it at 1-1/2″ and at 4″, turned it 90 degrees and scored it at the same measurements. Then with scissors I cut out the four corners, but left about 3/8″ strip attached to each side of the fold line so that when I folded in the 1-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ flaps, those strips would help create a pocket on the back side of the box/layer sides. This will give you an explosion box base that is 2-1/2″ wide (matches the Pocket Notch & Tag width), and the four flaps are 1-1/2″ x 2-1/2″.
Pocket Notch & Tag #1 – glued to the inside of the layer box base, this helps for the sides of the box layer
Antique Accents – I place a folded piece of patterened paper right on the inside line of the smallest frame shape, and the gave me a foldout mini card


A view of the back side. You can see the pocket created by the box base and the pocket die cut.
Border Scallops Decorative – decorative edge on the back pocket

Layer 7


Layer 7 box base – I hand-cut this with my Scor-Pal Scor board. First I cut a square 7-5/8″, then scored it at 3″ and at 4-5/8″, turned it 90 degrees and scored it at the same measurements. Then with scissors I cut out the four corners. This will give you an explosion box base that is 1-5/8″ wide (matches the Pocket shape from the album die set), and the four flaps are 1-5/8″ x 3″.
Album 5-1/2″ x 5-1/2″ #2 – The pocket shape from this set forms the back and front of this layer.
Gift Tag #3 Small – the pullout tags for the pockets
Spiral Flowers – the 3d rose in the middle
Holiday Flowers – I used this shape to make the leaves.

The back sides of the layer, used different patterned papers on each side.

Whew! That does it, a full description of the dies used in this project. Please leave a comment if you liked my project or if you have any questions. Thanks so much for looking!
Becky

FMS132 – Snowflake Card

Today I’m participating in the online blog, Freshly Made Sketches, sketch #132. I had this great Bazzill Bling teal cardstock lying around, and had been playing with some of my AccuCut snowflake dies, so this is what I came up with this morning:

The swirls background was done with the AccuCut Swirls Texture Plate. I also used an old Stampin’ Up! Taken With Teal ink pad to sponge the snowflakes and enhance the swirls on the white background. The greeting is from Hero Arts CL342 Everyday Sayings.

Pyramid Box Samples

I needed to make some sample projects of what could be done with blue pyramid box die cuts. Shirley, these are for you!


For the star box, I embossed the red stars and white mat on top with the AccuCut Swirls embossing plate. I drew silver spirals on the red stars with Silver Stickles. And I lightly inked the white swirled mat from a blue stamp pad.


A close-up of the top of the snowflake box. I embossed the lighter blue mats with the Cuttlebug Snowflakes embossing folder, added some snowflake die cuts on top, and wrapped the box with some silver-edged sheer ribbon.


Also, here’s an idea for a little graduation favor box, the Treat Wrap Bag. Granted, it needs different candy, but today all I had in the house was Easter-themed chocolate. Still tasty, though!

Pyramid Box Projects

I just got my new shipment of custom dies from AccuCut, and made these really cute boxes from the pyramid box die set. Basically, it’s a resizing of AccuCut’s Box Pyramid #3 BX925. I wanted a box that was as large as possible, but not too large for 12×12 paper. The base is 4-7/8″ square when folded, the top opening is 3-3/8″ square, and the box stands about 3-3/8″ high. I made three different samples:

Here is a spring or Easter box. Cardstock is Bazzill Bling Feather Boa and the striped patterned paper is Hippity Stripe from Echo Park Paper Co.’s Hippity Hoppity line. The daisy on the side is also new from my custom layering daisies dies, sizes 1.5″ up to 5″, in 1/2″ increments. The handle was also cut from a new custom die shape, a resizing of AccuCut’s Borders #2 die BR571, the scalloped shape. Their shape is 3/4″ wide, and mine is 1″ wide. I attached the handle with a 1/4″ circle gold brad and then covered the brad tails on the inside of the box with 1″ circle cut with a circle punch.


Here is the box filled with Easter grass and mini plastic eggs.


Here is the pyramid box, purse style. I used the AccuCut Borders #2 die BR571, 3/4″ wide, for the handle and blinged it up with Hero Arts 7mm Gems. Cardstock was Bazzill Basics Bling Feather Boa for the handle, Granny Smith for box top, and Chablis for the box bottom. Also used was AccuCut die CV210 Convertibles frame for the top mat and I used my new layering daisies dies to make the flower on the top, inking the edges with an old Stampin’ Up! Pink Passion ink pad.


Here is the graduation favor box. I cut a box bottom and box top from Bazzill Basics Raven, then added a 6″ square for the top. The circle is cut from a 3/4″ circle punch. And I handmade the mini tassel. You can see the instructions on my How to Make Tassels post.

A view of the inside of the box. Fill it with goodies for the lucky graduate!

How to Make Tassels

Here’s a brief overview of how to make tassels, then we’ll look at it in detailed steps:

Okay, let’s take it step by step:

First, take your string or yarn and wrap it around a flat object or card. Here, I’m using DMC Floss, size 5, Topaz 725, 25m or 27.3yards, and I’m wrapping it around a piece of chipboard that is 2.5″ tall. I chose to make a fatter tassel, so I wrapped it 50 times around. 40 wrappings is more typical, but you can adjust it according to how fat you want it. Also, be sure to not wrap too tightly or you will have a hard time getting your tassel off the card. Plus, you have to be able to get a loop underneath all those wraps.


Next, take a piece of string and make a loop. I used a 12″ piece of string. Slide the loop under the wraps.


Now put the tail of your string through the loop.


Pull the tail tight


Now slide your wrapped tassel off the card.


Next take a long piece of string (I used 16″), and place it under the tassel, one side longer than the other for wrapping around the tassel.


Tie the two ends of the string around the tassel once, but don’t knot it.


Take the long end of the string and wrap it about six times around the tassel. The end of the string is lying on top of the tassel.


Now bring the end/tail of the string around to the back and then through the middle of the eye, or hole, of the tassel.


Take a pair of needle-nose tweezers, a small crochet hook, or make a tiny hook with a paper clip, and slip it under the wrapped string. Hook that tail you just brought through the eye/hole.


Now pull that tail down and through the wrapping.


Pull the tail tight, then push the wrapping up towards the top of the tassel, adjusting any loose strings as needed.


Now cut all the loops at the bottom.


Trim the ends as needed. My tassel is now about 2-1/8″ to 2-1/4″ long and ready to be attached to my project. You can knot the top two strings or leave the ends loose, depending on how you are going to use the tassel. What length of string was needed to make this tassel? I guesstimate it was 290″, or about 8 yards. I purchased this skein of string for $1.69 at JoAnn’s Fabrics, and I should be able to get 3 of these mini tassels out of that. That makes each tassel about $0.56 each, plus tax. I think once you get the hang of it, you will probably be able to make a tassel in under 10 min. Here is a sample of how I used mine to decorate a graduation favor box:


I tucked the ends under the top circle (which has a Glue Dots Pop Dot underneath, very sticky) and trimmed off the extra string.

Criss-Cross Leaf Card

Yep, took my new AccuCut NC228 A2 Criss-Cross Card die set to Mary’s on Saturday, and we cut a bunch of cards with her big paper stash. I added the cream strip to the card band and some leaves I cut with my Pazzles (Maple Leaf 2 from CD03 collection) then embossed with a stylus and my stamping mat. I don’t know what brand the paper is, but the greeting comes from the Hero Arts CL434 Just Find Me stamp set.

Local Crop for April & My Pinterest Boards

Okay, this is almost redundant, since I’ve put a link to it in my permanent column on the right, but I’m kind of excited about the boards I’m creating on Pinterest. In particular, my Dies I Have board will be great for giving people an idea of the shapes I can cut for kits and special orders. Plus, it will give my local crafting buddies a place to see what I can bring to crops or what they can pop on over to my house to cut.

It’s time for another local crop. Here is the info:
Saturday April 12, 2014
10am to 5pm
LDS Church on White Mountain Blvd in Rock Springs

Hi ladies! Let’s get together for a special crop in April. I’m calling it the Spring Cleaning Swap Challenge. It will be like the usual crop, just sitting, talking, and working on whatever projects you want to bring. But we’re going to add something fun to the mix with a swap challenge! Let’s all make a dent in our paper stashes by bringing patterned paper to swap. Everyone who wants to participate in this portion of the day needs to contribute 10 sheets of patterned paper. Then you get to take out 10 sheets from the big pile of paper, but we’ll take turns picking one at a time until it’s all gone. Anyone who has more paper to swap can have another round of swapping. We can have as many rounds as you want, just as long as everyone puts in and takes out the same number of sheets of paper each round. I’ll have 10 samples of things you can quickly do with a 12×12 sheet of paper featuring the dies I will bring that day. If you want, we can even vote on who makes the cutest project with their swapped paper. Should be fun, hope to see you there!

P.S. As usual, feel free to bring a treat or snack to share. Thanks!

Friend Card Band

I had some scraps left from yesterday’s card, so I used them to add bands to this A2 custom card shape I had AccuCut make for me last year. It’s based off their VC102 Shadow Box-Landscape die set. Also used was Bazzill Basics Bling cardstock (thus the shiny surface), a 2-1/4″ scalloped circle punch and a 1-3/4″ circle punch, both by EK Success. The friend stamp on the front is from the Stampin’ Up! set Lexicon of Love, and the interior friendship saying is from the Hero Arts CL434 Just Find Me set.

Flower Smile Criss-Cross Card

Here’s today’s little project. Just got a shipment of AccuCut dies, and did a little card today with the A2 Card-Criss Cross NC228 die. Lois, Sheila, and I were at Mary’s last Friday for our weekly get-together and I peeled the wrapper off the die for the first time. It was so fun to raid Mary’s stash and pop out some cards really quick. The design of the card shape and how it has the great mat for the front, plus the card band, make it easy to decorate. And I love the rounded top of the insert as well. It’s all about the details.

The pink cardstock is Bazzill Basics Bling and the patterned paper is an old Imaginisce line, Baby Powder, #000736 Tiny Tantrum (dots are one side, stripes are the other.) The stamped “smile” greeting is from the Stampin’ Up! set Wonderful Words II. The flowers are part of my custom AccuCut die set, layered daisies, coming soon! I will have sizes of this eight-petal daisy in 1.5″,2″,2.5″,3″,3.5″,4″,4.5″, and 5″, plus a great 5.5″ square daisy card that will double as an album page. Can’t wait till it arrives, probably about April 4th.

Where have I been for nearly six months? Well, as seems to happen every year around November-ish, I just get overwhelmed and burned out and it takes me a while to get back on my feet. Since I run my own small one-woman business and want my blog to feature all the fun things I like to do with my dies and all the wonderful paper that is out there, I don’t want my blog to turn into a place where I ramble on in detail about my personal issues. But I’d like to briefly mention that I struggle with depression/anxiety and want anyone out there who also struggles to maybe get some inspiration or ideas on coping with their “crazy”, as I like to call it.

So, one of the things I’m learning to make myself do is to take things in smaller pieces, and try to remember the things I do accomplish and not get so upset about all the things I can think to do, but can’t get done. Just like so many others, whenever I get on Pinterest (my boards) I can start pinning and reading about various projects, and then blink to see that several hours have gone by. Not very productive being an idea-collector sometimes, but I did find something useful – a simple blog that I kind of found inspiring. It’s called Krafting With Karen and it seems like she does a simple little post every day. I’d like to do the same, just enjoy simple crafting without trying to make myself accomplish Mt. Everest every day. So here goes, my first post this year, and hopefully there will be many more.

OWH – Glitter & Dimensionals

Well,it’s always good to be reminded of OWH card standards. Here’s a good discussion of glitter and OWH cards: http://operationwritehome.org/owhtv-week-120-dimension-and-glitter/. Glitter is dangerous to heroes abroad, because it easily rubs off on them and makes them visible to night vision goggles. I’d made these cards, thinking Stickles was okay, but I wasn’t sure so I posted a question on the OWH Facebook page. Stickles is still too “leaky” when it comes to glitter, but it turns out I could fix it with Diamond Glaze (Glossy Accents is the same thing) and I put it on liberally then rubbed the cards when it was dried to be sure. Here’s my fixed card that I made at Mary’s:


I cut this with my custom AccuCut A2 die, one of my new ones. Love it!!

There’s also a great OWH video on dimensionals, made me rethink some of the cards I’ve done. I’ll have to fix a couple, the brads and layers are too thick:

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