Showing posts with label panda. Show all posts
Showing posts with label panda. Show all posts

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Chinese Thank You Card

One and a half hour to go before we leave for the kids' last Chinese class for the year, and I realize that I forgot to make a card for the teacher. I did buy her a gift card but how dare I space out on handmade card!

Almost instinctively, I flipped open my laptop and while Cricut Design Studio is taking its own sweet time to load up, I started to look for my Pagoda cartridge. I found the box while CDS was still loading, and finished looking through the handbook just before CDS finally loaded up. I thought this card would be a breeze to make. Just a simple thank you card for the Chinese Teacher and I had assumed that the Chinese character for "Thanks" would be on Provo Craft's only Asian-themed cartridge. I was flabbergasted that I was not able to find it on the handbook. I even went through the book twice and searched through the Keyword feature on CDS. No Chinese "Thank You" on the Pagoda cartridge? Epic fail, Provo Craft!

Annoyed, I closed CDS and opened Make-The-Cut. I found the "Thank You" character online and traced it in MTC. Sized it for a quarter-fold sized card and clicked on the "Cut" button.

I needed the negative image to make the card but I was not willing to waste the positive image. I had some scrap pieces of clear Contact Paper from my canvas project so I placed it over the character-cutouts and rub it until they stick onto the contact paper.

Using my spatula, I gently coaxed the cutouts from the mat.

So now I have the positive cutouts ready to be used for another project.

For the sake of those who are not familiar with Clear Contact Paper, this is how the backing looks like. You can buy a roll at most mass merchandisers (e.g. Target, Walmart) for a couple of dollars.

Just to illustrate in this blog that the positive image cutouts can be used, I peeled off the contact paper backing and applied some glue to the cutouts while they are still stuck on the contact paper.

Once I decided where I want to place them, I lay down the contact paper and gently rubbed down the cutouts. When I am confident that the images have stuck onto my cardstock, I slowly peel away the contact paper.

This is a simple but effective method to save cutouts that cannot be welded into a single piece. I had also used the same trick to save the words left behind from cutting the "Campground" label from my last classroom project.

So, what did I do with the negative cutout from the Chinese characters? Well, I layered it onto a piece of black cardstock and adhere the whole thing to a card front that was previously embossed with Sizzix's Three Dots embossing folder. To finish the card, I adhered a 2-inch Create-A-Critter panda onto the card with mounting tape to give it some dimension.

There were 2 corners of the Chinese characters that I had missed putting some glue on, so I reapplied some glue carefully on the red layer and voila! A Chinese Thank You Card is done. :-)
To download the MTC file for the Chinese Characters for "Thank You", 

Please note that you will need Make-The-Cut program to open the file. This file will not open in Cricut Design Studio.

Enjoy. :-)

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tutorial: How I paint on canvas

That's right. The title of this post is "How I paint..." and not "How to paint..." because I am not an artist and I am pretty sure that I am doing something wrong here. I managed to get my critters on canvas using my way but if you know of a better method, do tell. :-)

To begin, let me just say that I have tried the "freezer paper method" but it did not work for me for canvas. The freezer paper did stick somewhat but it really wasn't sticking like it does on t-shirts. In the end, I thought it was more trouble than it was worth so I decided to do this my way.

Also, if you are doing this for the first time, be aware that it takes quite a while to finish the project. You need to allow the paint to dry before applying a new coat. This is not a project to do when you are pressed for time or when you have to babysit an impatient 4 year old. 

Having said that, here we go:

These are the supplies that you'll need. Well, except for the eraser, which you might not have a need for. I'm not sure why I even put that in the picture. You will also want to have some Painter's Tape too. I forgot to include that in the photo above. Remember: No to eraser, Yes to Painter's Tape.

I bought the 8"x8" canvas from but you can easily find these in Michael's and probably Joann's. The Create-A-Critter panda was cut at 6.5". Just place it in the center of the canvas, hold it down with one hand and...

..paint the first coat of red with wild abandonment.

This is how my canvas looked like after the first coat.

After the paint dries, do the exact same thing again with the same stencil to paint a 2nd coat of red. If you feel like it, go ahead and paint the 4 sides of the canvas too.

Once the red paint has dried,  place the 2nd stencil and hold it down with painter's tape.

This time go over the canvas with white paint.

When that dries, go ahead and paint a 2nd coat of white. Then, clean up the edges with some red. I used a #4 round brush for this but you can use any paint brush you are comfortable with.

Acrylic paint is pretty thick and it dries quickly. Once you remove the stencil, you should see that the thickness of the dried paint forms an edge that helps to define the outlines. Imagine that when you run your fingers over the white paint, you can feel where it ends. That is useful because it helps to guide the paint brush later.

To paint the eyes and nose, tape down the new stencil and trace the pupil (eye) with a pencil. This is to define the area to NOT paint when you start with the black layer.

You can use your paintbrush to paint the black.

Next, remove the stencil and replace it with the negative, as seen in the next picture:

Time to paint more black. Again, use the paintbrush for this and not the foam brush.

You can start with the ears...

...then the arms, and finally the legs. Or you can start with the legs. Or the arms. I won't judge. Promise. Just remember to paint 2 coats of black. Or not. Since black is so....well, dark, you might get away with just one coat. I painted 2 coats on mine.

Finally, fill in any rough/unpainted areas and paint the sides with one more coat of red.

Put your paintbrush down, crack a huge smile and make everyone nearby address you as "The Artist".

Final step: Once the paint has dried, hang it up, then stand back and admire your handiwork. Give yourself a pat. You have painted a new art piece for your home.

That's it! Even though it's a little time-consuming, I found painting to be rather therapeutic. Give it a try and do come back to share your new art work. You can find all the supplies at Michael's and probably even Joann's. Just go buy your supplies and come back here to download your stencils and you are ready to paint!
Download stencils here:

I used Cricut Design Studio to weld the base layer with the 1st layer to make the  3rd stencil shown in this post. You must have the program in order to open my file.
I hope that you enjoy this tutorial.

Have a Great Wednesday!

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Monday, April 26, 2010

Sunny Days (Panda Family)

Although I had fun painting the panda family, I realized that it can only be enjoyed by whoever visit my house, and even then only when they go to the kids' playroom. I decided to use the same layout for a card so that the receiver of this card may enjoy the panda family just as much. :)

This square tri-fold card measures 5.5" x 5.5" when fully folded. I used MTC to weld (and then flip) the pandas before further welding it with an oval for the card front. To make the card base, I welded the card front with two 5.5" x 5.5" squares for the remaining sides of the card.

The pandas are cut at 1.5", 2.5", and 3". The sun was cut at 1.5". The (Paper Pups) clouds are cut at 1". I used Sesame Street Font for the sentiment. I welded the letters and made a shadow layer using MTC. If you would like the MTC file for the card base, just let me know. I would need to clean up the file a little but I would be happy to share if there is interest. 

Have a great Monday and hopefully we all have mostly sunny days this week. :-)


Edit to add:

I've had several requests for the card base so here it is:

Panda Family Card Base (MTC required)

Just click on the link above and follow the directions to download the file. Please note that I used Make-The-Cut software to make the card base. You must have the program in order to open the cut file. It will not work in Cricut Design Studio.

When you open the cut file in MTC, you will be able to cut out the cardbase, the half-oval card front, and the 5.5" square for the second fold. The card base measures 16.5" when it is fully opened up so do make sure that you have a piece of cardstock that is long enough. All images are from the Create-A-Critter cartridge except for the clouds (Paper Pups) and sentiment (Sesame Street Font).

Please leave a comment to let me know if the download works (if you download the file) or if you have any other questions.

Enjoy! :-)

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Panda Family

I had so much fun painting Pan-Dee on canvas I thought I would do it again but this time with his family. 

The blank canvas is from Michaels' and comes in a pack of two. You can often find it on sale for $5 for the pack. Using the Create-A-Critter cartridge, I cut out the panda image in 3 sizes. I wished there was an easier way to do this but the freezer paper method (using fabric paint) that worked wonderfully on t-shirts did not work as well here. I don't know if it is because that the canvas has been pre-treated with Gesso but for some reason, the freezer paper does not stick to the canvas. I decided to do this the old-fashioned way. I used the Cricut cut-outs as a stencil and traced around it with a pencil onto the canvas.

I put several coats of acrylic paint for each color and I thought it turned out pretty well. So I forgot to put a flower on Mama Panda but I think I can get away with gluing on a Prima flower on her later. By the way, the clouds are from the Paper Pups cartridge.

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