Extreme Cards and Papercrafting

First Time Visitor?

How to Make Pop Up Cards

to review the basic techniques of pop up making.

File Formats

for tips on using my files with cutting machines.

Jan 2, 2009

Making Kaleidoscopes in Photoshop

Change a photo from this

to this

photoshop kaleidoscope

Download the free Mehti Kaleidoscope 2.1 Plug-In.

Drag (or Copy/Paste) the file into your Photoshop Filters folder. I use Photoshop Elements so the path looked like this (yours may vary slightly). C:\Program Files\Adobe\Photoshop Elements 7.0\Plug-Ins\Filters

Open Photoshop. Open a photo. Click on Filter. Scroll down to Mehdi. Hover on Mehdi to pull out Kaleidoscope. Click on that. A tool box will open. Experiment with the sliders until you like what you see.

Here are a couple more I made.

kaleidoscope

kaleidoscope

I needed three different pictures to make the flexagon in Esther K. Smith's new book, Magic Books & Paper Toys, which I'll show in my next post.

Dec 17, 2008

Seven Snowflake Pop Up

Remember the Seven Flower Pop Up ?

The flower parts are little six-petal cups. Six sides...like a snowflake? Hey, why not?

The seven snowflakes go together just like the seven flowers, but you have to take a few precautions.

Start by cutting eight-sided flowers, exactly as if you were making the seven flower pop up.

Make additional cuts to turn them into snowflakes. Don't remember how to cut snowflakes? Instructions here.

Do not cut away the basic petal shape at the top! When I made my snowflakes I made the mistake of cutting random shapes, ending up with some that didn't have any paper left up at the tips where they needed to be glued together.

Here are mine. Some of them worked better than others.

Yes, your snowflakes will start with eight sides.

Following the directions for the Seven Flower Pop Up, cut out one section of each snowflake, then glue the two end sections on top of one another. Each snowflake will form a little cup.

Fold each snowflake in half. Make sure you have one full "petal" in the middle of each folded flake, not two full petals side by side.

Yeah, I did that wrong the first time, too.

Stack and glue the snowflakes to each other as shown in the Seven Flower Pop Up directions.

The snowflakes don't pop as vigorously as flowers do because the cuts soften the paper a bit. I think that's a good thing.

If I make this again I will choose papers in a variety of the very palest of pastels. I think it will be prettier and certainly easier to figure out what I'm gluing to what. (All those white pieces just blend together in a big mush when you're working with them).

More Snowflakes to Make

Ben and Jerry's ice cream theme snowflakes

Origami Snowflake all folds, no cuts!

Vintage Snowflake Patterns

Quilled Snowflakes

Snowflake Maker online snowflake creator/time waster

Snowflake Bentley: the man who photographed snowflakes

Tijeras Snowflakes Look for the pictures hidden in the cuts. archived directions

Swing Card with Sliceform Snowflake and Sliceform Snowflake in a Snowglobe both by JennieBean

Origamic Architecture Snowflakes

Dec 14, 2008

Sliceform Christmas Tree Tutorial

sliceform christmas tree
My Christmas card for 2008 contains a sliceform pop up Christmas Tree similar to the three-slice tree available from Some Assembly Required. You can purchase their designs precut, as rubber stamps, as stencils, or as dies. Check out all the creative ideas on their Cool Projects page.
However, I wanted to cut the trees with my Craft Robo, and I couldn't see myself assembling 100 three-slicers, so I made my own two-slice tree. I had to simplify somewhere!
How to make the trees

Download template and print.
Go to Jan Fox Designs for a link to free cutting files. Please email me for cutting files.
You will need to draw your own tree branch details on the pattern sheet. I have provided you with a general outline and the position of the sliceform slots. Draw branches on one large tree and one small one, then duplicate on the other large and small tree outlines.
Cut out pieces. Cut slots. If you are planning to make a pop up card with the tree, score tabs on the small trees. (If you would like a free-standing tree model, cut off the tabs.)
I found it easier to assemble the tree starting with the smaller trees.

Lay out the smaller tree shapes. Notice you have two pieces with slots only at the top, and two with slots at both the top and bottom. I will refer to these as "top-slot" and "mixed-slot". Arrange them in this order: Tree #1 = top-slot with a tab (brown); Tree #2 = mixed-slot with a tab (beige); Tree #3 = top-slot without a tab (yellow); Tree #4 = mixed-slot without a tab (white). Before you start assembling you will want to fold the tabs up, out of the way.
Hold Tree #1 in your left hand.

Slide Tree #2 onto it. You will slide the right-most slot of Tree #1 and the left-most slot of Tree #2 together.

Now add Tree #3 by sliding it onto Tree #2. The left slot of Tree #3 slides onto the right slot of Tree #2.

Stand the three attached pieces upright (fold those tabs up if you didn't already), to form three sides of a box, and add Tree #4. It slides onto Piece #3 and Piece #1 to form an open box.

Now look at the two large tree pieces. The mixed-slot large piece is Tree #5 (green). With the model upright and open, slide in Tree #5 from the top. It attaches to the center slots of two smaller trees that are opposite each other. It can go onto either pair, it doesn't matter.

Slide the last piece (orange) on, at a right angle to Tree #5. This is the tricky one. Start by sliding together the center slots of the two large trees. As you get close to the tops of the smaller trees start working the side slots of the big tree onto the center slots of of the smaller trees.

Top view

The model can be flattened two ways, along either of the two diagonals of the square formed by the trunks. You need to collapse the model so that the tabs are on top of one another, not side by side.

Glue tree to card
Draw a gluing guideline on your card, at a 45° angle to the card fold. The tree is glued to the card in the same manner as the Gingerbread House (see detailed instructions).

Spread a small amount of glue on the tab of Tree #1. Glue tree to card, aligning the tab edges with the center of the card and the guideline you drew.
Spread a small amount of glue on the tab of Tree #2, as shown. Close card and weight it until the glue has had a chance to dry.

Open carefully!

Dec 10, 2008

Christmas Card Grammar Rant


Aargh, it's the invasion of the misplaced apostrophes! On a Cake Wreck, it's amusing. On a Christmas card? Um. Well.

People! Once and for all, there is no apostrophe in the plural of your family name. There, I've said it.
When I get a card signed "From the Smith's," that little voice in my head says, "From the Smith's what? House? Computer? And which (singular) Smith is it from?"

But you don't have to believe me. Here's the official word, courtesy of Capital Community College Foundation , along with some guidance if you need to get fancy--like all of you with names ending in S and X and so forth.

When a family name (a proper noun) is pluralized, we almost always simply add an "s." So we go to visit the Smiths, the Kennedys, the Grays, etc.When a family name ends in s, x, ch, sh, or z, however, we form the plural by added -es, as in the Marches, the Joneses, the Maddoxes, the Bushes, the Rodriguezes. Do not form a family name plural by using an apostrophe; that device is reserved for creating possessive forms. When a proper noun ends in an "s" with a hard "z" sound, we don't add any ending to form the plural: "The Chambers are coming to dinner" (not the Chamberses); "The Hodges used to live here" (not the Hodgeses). There are exceptions even to this: we say "The Joneses are coming over," and we'd probably write "The Stevenses are coming, too." A modest proposal: women whose last names end in "s" (pronounced "z") should marry and take the names of men whose last names do not end with that sound, and eventually this problem will disappear.

Ha ha, just don't change your name to one of those names.

Dec 8, 2008

Smells Like Christmas Spirit

Finally finished the Christmas cards. I made almost 100. I can't remember the last time I was done two whole weeks before Christmas!

Shameless Plug: You can vote for me (or hey, someone else if you like) in a Christmas card contest on Tip Junkie. Look in the left hand column. I'm #10 (Carol's Extreme Card).



More about this year's card.

More about cards from other years.

Tutorial for sliceform tree.