Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Akemi Mini Album

 It's almost Release Day!  Woo Hoo!  Are you guys excited?  I'm bursting to share with you my final project for this release!  But before I do, just wanted to thank our Guest Designer Donna of 3 Umbrellas for helping us with this release.  Thank you Donna!  And thank's to my girl Debi, who did an awesome job as well!

On to my project.  As I mentioned earlier, you can use this image for other things besides Easter projects.  I decided to make Akemi a mini album for her and Daba.  I found this cool tutorial here... for a Pocket Page mini album. 

I've been dying to use these Basic Gray papers but tend to want to save them- for what I don't know.. so I broke down and finally decided to use them on this project.  I guess I felt safe since it was for a photo album and wouldn't be lost forever in a card that was given away. Stupid yah?  That's how I feel about most of my paper.  I think you also call that "hoarding".

Here's the cover of the album.  I really wanted to put Akemi on the cover, but it looked a little plain by herself.  So I added this cool new Memory box tree die and added on this mini flower by All Natural Accents.  I wanted to achieve the cherry blossom look but not sure that I did. To make the flowers pop a bit, I added some stickles to each flower.  I guess it's hard to tell from these photos, but they do sparkle in real life.

I also added Akemi and hand wrote "and Daba" under it.   Here's a close up of Akemi.

Here's the inside of the album. 

On each page, there are 3 pockets you can add inserts to.  I am thinking of adding photos and journaling on the inserts.  Or maybe I'll have Akemi add her own journaling while I add the photos and embellies.

Oh one more thing... the tab punch is by SU.  I love that punch!  Oh one more thing.... I finally used my Cinch!  I must say that I LOVE IT!  Anyone want to by my Bind It All?

I hope you liked all of our projects for this release!  Again wanted to thank Debi and Donna... don't forget to check out their blogs for more inspiration and candy on Debi's!  The wait is almost over!  Have fun stamping and let me know if you've posted any projects- we'll add them to our facebook page for everyone to see. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Masa Easter Basket

 Hi Everyone!  Did you see who our Guest Designer was for this Release?  It's my idol... Donna of 3 Umbrellas!  I love Donna's work and have been such a big fan since I first saw her work.  She has gotten me to buy many many stamps that I don't think I normally would have.  Maybe I should call her the "Enabler"!  Nah- only kidding!  Let's just say Donna's work has really inspired me to simplify my projects.    PLUS Donna loves bunnies just like Akemi (and me).  Since I knew she loved bunnies, this release was just the perfect fit for us.

So today's project was inspired by this youtube video tutorial on Origami Easter Baskets.  I thought this would be the perfect project for this image.  It really wasn't that hard to do and you could also use it as a box by not putting on the handle. 

There's those chickies again!  Getting into mischief in the origami Easter basket!  hee hee hee. 

Here's a close up of Masa and the bunny.  I just love that bunny image!

Be back tomorrow with another Akemi project to share with you!  Don't forget to check out Donna's and Debi's projects for today!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Daba Treats

Ohayogozaimasu!   Welcome to our release week where we share our Release #6 projects with you!  As usual, Debi will be helping me out this release (thanks Debi!) along with our very special guest designer!!  Any guesses?  Well, I'm a HUGE fan of her's and originally asked her to help me out with an earlier release, but it worked out better that she help us with this one.  Here's a hint.... she loves BUNNIES!  Ok... go check her out here... and then come back and read the rest of this post.

BTW- if you haven't entered to win our Release #6 stamps yet, check out our introductory posts for each image and follow the rules on the Akemi post.  I got a kick out of reading everyone's "daba" and Easter stories, so thank you for sharing them!

 I have another Daba story to share... On Akemi's first trip to Disneyland, we allowed her to take Daba with us.  He accompanied her all through the Magic Kingdom and she even figured out how to transport him around without having to really hold onto him.  She zipped up her jacket and kept his head popped out so he could see- just like a baby kangaroo.  Here's my sis w/Akemi- see how Daba's peeking out?

 More evidence... You can see Daba's ear's peeking out of her jacket in this photo w/Minnie.

Well, after all that fun, we were heading home.  I was exhausted and was pretty much falling asleep at the airport.  I guess both me and my husband were not paying attention, cause when we got on the plane, we did a "Daba check" and couldn't find him!  My husband decided to get off the plane and look for Daba.  Luckily he came back w/Daba in hand before the flight took off.  He found Daba at Security.  Good thing no one took him or they didn't throw him away!  What a good Daddy yah?

Ok, enough Daba stories.  You want to see projects! So I was doing a bit of experimenting to see what Easter treats will fit nicely into these candy stick bags.  I LOVE these bags- can you tell?  Easter is particularly fun since the Easter colors are so pleasing to the eye.  Since Daba is smaller than the rest of our stamps, he fits really nicely on top of the stick bags.  Right now I'm liking the Cadbury Mini Eggs the best (mmmmmm... Mini Eggs!) I think it's cause of their color.  I like how the jelly beans fit nicely but I didn't like the colors too much. I think last year's regular M&Ms were the best.  I'll have to go find a bag of those now.

Here's a close up of the Daba's.  I even added in some grass and dot flowers to the scene cause he looked a little lonely.  Do you like my chickies?  I found them at Ben Franklin.  They wanted to jump in the picture... or did they just want the chocolate?

So my best idea that I wasn't able to execute was to put bunny Peeps into the stick bags!  I tried it on the widest bag, but they didn't fit!  Bummer.  I thought I bought a wider one, but couldn't find it.  Hopefully I find them before Easter!

Anyway, hope you enjoyed today's project.  Check back tomorrow and Wednesday on this blog, Debi's blog and our Guest Designer's blog for more Release #6 fun!  Oh...and Debi might have some candy... I'm just sayin.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Introducing... Masa!

 So are you liking our new release images?  Hope you are enjoying them so far.  Our last image for this release is a little boy named Masa.  Masa is named after one of our friend's son.  He is a good kid that listens and doesn't give any problems.  I guess this image reminded me of him since the image is being nice to the bunny.  The real Masa is always nice to Akemi even though he is much older than she is, and takes the time to include her, when others his age would probably think she's a pest.

Masa is our only true Easter image.  The rest of the images in this release can be used for other things, but the eggs just make unmistakeably Easter.  Although, I'm sure you could do some altering and change it up a bit so that it wasn't so Easter-ish.  Hmmmm, got myself thinking now!  Hopefully I can come up with something soon to surprise you.

 On to the project... I'm not sure why, but for some reason, these milk cartons remind me of Easter.  Is it because Robin Eggs always come in cartons?  Whatever it may be, I felt compelled to match up Masa with the carton. This particular carton was cut from a Sizzix Pro die, which is larger than your standard pint sized milk cartons you get with school lunch.

After I colored and cut out Masa, I popped him up using some pop dots.  Then I looked at the carton and the top looked to empty.  I tried going through all my dies and punches to see what would work and I settled on this banner stamp set by Lawn Fawn.  Inside the flags, I stamped "Happy"... mainly because "Easter" wouldn't fit (not enough space on the face of the carton). I think it worked out OK.

Here's a close up of Masa and the bunny... since the carton was green Doodlebug paper, I decided to go with yellow grass instead.  The grass was punched out using the Martha Stewart grass boarder punch- one of my absolute faves!  Afterall, aren't Easter baskets filled with grass that is all different colors?  Even though I tend to buy green grass, I see it come in pink, purple, and yellow too.

Ok I gotta share a funny Easter story with you.  One year I must've been REALLY bad. I don't recall what it was exactly that I did, but I remember being told that I was soooo naughty that the Easter Bunny would probably not come that year... I guess I WAS bad since he never showed up!  What a bummer.  Believe me, I was really good every year after that!

So, now that you've met all of the new releases, time for more candy!

1.  Follow the directions on the Akemi introductory post.  Remember to leave a comment on this post by 2/29/12 11:59pm HST.
2.  Tell me what your favorite Easter or Spring memory is. I can't wait to hear!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Here Comes Daba!

 Welcome to our 2nd Introductory Post for Release #6!  Today I want to introduce to you a very special image.  His name is Daba and he has a lot of sentimental meaning to our family.  In the Akemi post, I told you about Akemi's special relationship with Daba, but now I'll tell you a bit more...

"Daba" is what Akemi started referring to her favorite bunny whenever she wanted him.  We sort of figured it out by trial and error. I think she initially referred to him as "Jaba", but later it evolved to Daba somehow.  Everyone in our family knew that Daba was Akemi's bunny, but as our family grew, "Daba" became a term not only for Akemi's bunny, but also for a child's special item that they can't do without.  For Akemi's cousin (Nobu), it's a washcloth- yes, believe it or not it's a washcloth.  I don't know how my sister-in-law trained him to want a washcloth, but it seems to do the trick... and it's any washcloth- so even if they lose one, he'll make do with another.  Lucky yah?  We are not so lucky with Daba- it has to be him or Akemi knows!!!

My niece (Mei Lin) also has a "Daba", which is a stuffed dog.  I think his name was first "Wolf Wolf" but is now "Lacey".  My brother and sister-in-law bought a 2nd Lacey, but Mei Lin knows which one is the real one and which one is the imposter!

So now the term "Daba" is also a generic term for a child's special item.  Amazing how we make up our own language yah?  Ok, enough about Daba... you probably want to see my project right?  Well, today I have some gift tags that I made for each store that ordered Release #6 images from us.  I sort of cheated by buying pre-made tags!  I couldn't resist... Target had a set of tags in 4 patterns that were so cute.  Daba was small enough to fit on the tag, so I thought, Why Not?  Here's a "group shot".  ha ha ha.

Here's the four different colored tags so you can see what I mean. Cute yah?

Ok more details... Added in some punched grass from my MS grass border punch and topped it off with a tiny flower by All Natural Accents and added some Stickles to it to make it sparkle.  Punched a heart using a Paper Shapers Heart punch and stamped the sentiment which was actually one long strip that I cut in half so that it would fit on the heart. Sentiment was by Studio G.  Popped up Daba using pop dots and finished it off with some ribbon.  Here's a close up of one of the tags.

Part of the reason I love this image is the pose!  I have to admit,  Sis gave me 12 bunny images, so I had a hard time choosing which one to release.  She initially gave them to me since it was Year of the Rabbit when I started making calendars, so I have 11 more to share with you at a later date (if you guys like bunnies!).    I think this one was my favorite, so that's how he got picked.  I also love the fact that you can leave them white and just do some minor coloring and you're done!

Sorry, that turned out to be a pretty long post!  You are probably waiting for the freebie right?  OK here's the deal:
1.  Read yesterday's post on the general rules, deadlines, yadda yadda.
2.  In addition to the rules, tell me a brief story about you and your favorite toy.  I have a good one about Akemi and Daba that I'll share later.  Let's just say she has a really great Daddy!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

It's Akemi-chan!

As my daughter would say...."FINALLY!"  She has been patiently awaiting this release for months now and the time has finally come for me to introduce Akemi to all of you.  Akemi means something to the effect of bright and beautiful, but according to Reverend, it also meant something about a beautiful child born in the morning?  Well, that's not why we picked that name... Initially, we wanted to name Akemi after my mom (remember Miyono?), but Mom didn't like that idea, so I asked her to pick a name if she didn't want us to name our daughter after her.  Her first suggestion was Kiyomi, but that was my sister's name, so we went with her 2nd choice,which was Akemi.

There is a very special reason why this image was named after her.  You see, I had asked my sister to come up with some images featuring kids with pets, and she took it a step further and transformed this idea and personalized it for Akemi.  My daughter's BFF is her stuffed bunny "Daba".  Daba has been a faithful companion since Akemi's first Easter and they have been inseparable ever since.  I just love how this image features Akemi showing her stuffed bunny to a real bunny... priceless!

Here's the very first project I made using Akemi.  I covered a pressboard frame with some of the washi paper I got from Japan.  Added a punched gold strip and then placed Akemi over it. If you are wondering why Daba is plaid looking and is colored pink, you'll see why in the next photo....

So here's Akemi with her BFF Daba.  This was shortly after she got Daba- I can tell because he's still pink and still has a nice bow.  Well, the bow is long gone and Daba is now a brownish pink color.  You can barely see his checkerboard pattern anymore, but Akemi can still tell it's him.. She just smells his ears and she can tell.  If you've ever read the story of Knuffle Bunny, you understand the relationship between Akemi and Daba.

Here's Akemi shortly after she turned 1.  Now that she was more mobile, she dragged Daba along wherever she went.  I have more stories about Daba that I'll share a little later.

So even though we are releasing this image at Easter, you don't have to use it just for that.  To me it's something I can use year round and also in my scrapbooking.

So now that you know a little about Akemi and Daba, you'll understand why this is my favorite image!  I want you to have a chance to win this stamp too, so here's all you have to do:

  1. Publicly follow this blog if you haven't done so already.
  2. Leave a comment on THIS POST by 02/29/12 11:59pm HST.
  3. Just for fun, tell me if you had a favorite toy you couldn't live without.
I hope once you get Akemi, she will become your favorite image too!  Good Luck!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Coming Soon- Release #6!!!

Can you believe that we are at Release #6??!! It seems like we just started selling stamps a month ago, but now we are at our 6th release!  I know we are still around in large part because of all of you out there, so just wanted to say "Arigato" before I show you our Release #6 images...

So I'm sure you have already peeked at these kiddies already no?  Well formal introductions start tomorrow, so check back soon to get the scoop on these characters.

Oh and don't forget... each Introductory post will include some candy, so don't forget to enter!  See you soon!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Can you believe that Valentine's Day is just around the corner?  Just got back from my trip and Valentine's day is in my face!  Luckily, I made this project using Miyako before my trip, so I have this to share with you now!

When I made the Keitaro candy bouquet, I had already made this one using Miyako.  I really wanted to make a pink one and thought Miyako would go better with pink and Keitaro with the red.  Found these pink puffy styrofoam hearts, butteflies and heart lollipops.  Then I added in my homemade flowers (SU Sizzix die) and Hershey Kiss rosebuds.  To make Miyako stand out a bit, I cut a doily using my Papertrey Ink doily die and added the Tim Holtz Paper Rosette die and mounted Miyako to that.  Even though everything in this bouquet is pretty much pink I like the way it turned out.

Here's a close up of Miyako-chan.


Hope you do something fun for Valentine's Day!  Be back soon to tell you all about Release #6!