Panorama Egg Tutorial: Swans


I played :).

I pierced a jumbo egg on top & in the front,
used tiny embroidery scissors to cut an oval in front & a circle on top,
& dumped out the egg.

Then I soaked it in dilute blue food coloring with a splash of vinegar
until I got the color blue I wanted for the sky inside the egg
(I hadn’t been planning on coloring the outside of the egg,
but some of the coloring spilled, so I made it all match. I like it :).
I removed the egg from the coloring solution & let it dry.

I cut a piece of the cotton from a medicine bottle & glued (white school glue) it into the egg,
then cut a rounded piece of dark green terrycloth ~1 1/2″ around to simulate grass
& glued that over the cotton.

I brushed dilute green acrylic paint over some dried Sweet Annie pieces
to make them look like bushes/trees
& let them dry.

I glued together paper swans (left over from the miniature landscape box card).
I cut an oval of aluminum foil to fit inside the front of the egg,
colored it with a light blue marker &
covered it with Glossy Accents to simulate a pond.
While the Glossy Accents was still sticky, I added the swans to the pond.
I glued tiny stones & bits of fuzz from the edge of the green terry cloth
around the edge of the “pond” to hide the edges.
I glued a tiny butterfly (cut with the Silhouette) to one of the stones.

I made a bench out of strips of cardstock, cut by my Silhouette Portrait.
Two long strips, folded at right angles, form the edges of the seat & back.
Smaller strips are glued across those for the seat
& more small strips radiate from the center for the back.
The legs are a strip each, glued across the bottom of the seat front to back,
bent down at right angles,
then coiled (quilling) & glued to each other in the middle under the bench.
The arms are one small strip each,
glued to the back with a tiny right angle,
then coiled (quilled) & glued to the seat.
I made a “straw hat” from golden brown paper punched with a standard paper punch.
I cut one punched piece smaller & cupped it with a stylus,
then glued it in the center of a full-sized punch.
A thread tied around it for a ribbon would’ve been nice, but only occurred to me after the fact!
I glued a tiny butterfly (cut with the Silhouette) to the bench.

With tweezers & a quilling needle,
I glued the painted Sweet Annie into the eggshell around the back.
I glued in flowers & painted some of the Sweet Annie seed balls
with white & pink acrylic paint & a tiny brush to look like flowers
then added “flying birds” cut freehand from scrap cardstock (colored with black marker).

I glued in the bench, then glued in the pond with the swans (all with white school glue).

To finish the outside, I glued punched leaves & a paper rose
(which I made some time ago with punched 5-petal flowers)
at the center bottom, covering the rest of the edge of the opening
with 1/8″ white nylon cording from Hobby Lobby.
I glued a paper butterfly (also cut with the Silhouette) next to the cording.
I used the same cording to cover the edges of the hole on top.

The hole on top serves as a “skylight” to help illuminate the scene inside.
I saw the idea online & am very pleased with the way it turned out,
although I think I will cut it a little farther back next time.

The stand is cardstock punched with the “Marta” Multi-shaper punch from Blue hills Studio
& glued into a cylinder.

Miniature Landscape Box Card


Here’s what happened when my dream materialized,
of a miniature garden meeting a box card:


Lift the lid…



(my photos of the inside didn’t turn out, but they’re similar to the…)




Teddy Bears


I can’t get enough of these! One of these days I need to make one for myself so I can just look at it :)! Pictures just don’t capture the magic of them…and that little teddy bear on the swing is too cute! (not that he wanted to stay there–he wanted to jump off & play somewhere else! ;).


The boxes are as large as I can make them from 8 1/2″x 11″ coverstock (final 3D size is roughly 2 1/2″ on all sides–slightly taller than wide).

Lids are cut,  folded & glued (the white rectangles are the tabs that hold them together).

Most of the pieces were cut using a Silhouette Portrait.

The grass is a photo of our lawn.

The water is a photo of the sky, made “watery” with “Glossy Accents”.

The bridge is made by curling a strip of chipboard & gluing tiny twigs of mock orange over it. The railings are cut from chipboard & glued on.

The bench is quilled from strips of coverstock.

The first couple of trees were made using this tutorial, and later ones were made in a similar way, but using branched mock orange twigs taped together with brown floral tape, still gluing on snippets of twine to fill out the “branches” before adding the “leaves” (it was quicker & less messy). Instead of painted sawdust (which I don’t have), I used crumbled dried leaves (mint or parsley, depending which I had in greater quantity). They will fade more over time than the painted sawdust.

The swing is a tiny rectangle of chipboard threaded onto crochet thread–which kept twisting on me! I finally dropped the thread in boiling water & let it dry before using it, which seemed to help relax it. The thread is then glued to the branches of the tree (which requires some patience).

The flowers are mostly punched & shaped with a stylus on a mouse pad. The ones inside are glued around clumps of more dried leaf crumble around tiny stones, both for decoration & to give the sides a little more weight so they fall when the card is opened (the sides still need a little coaxing to go flat).

The teddy bears are cut flat & pasted back to back (so they’re brown on both sides) & shaped to fit the setting.


Swans are folded so the triangle is underneath, holding the “tails” apart. Heads & necks are glued together.

Dogs & sheep are folded & glued at the tabs (the long strip wraps around to form the underbelly). This template also includes a sitting dog, which I don’t have in the photos.

The ends of the bows are folded (rounded, not creased folds) to overlap in the center, where they are glued. The piece sticking out at the center is then folded around (over) the ends & glued.

To sign the cards, I either wrote on the inside of the top before gluing it together or wrote on a little square of paper that I then glued into the top.

If you make something like these, I’d love to see it!

Birthday Magic Box

When I found “magic boxes”, I had to give them a try.



The butterfly is from Silhouette, with a rainbow fill added (I was astonished to learn that although Silhouette doesn’t allow copy & paste between files, it does allow “drop & drag” from almost anywhere!). I brushed them with glue & sprinkled with clear glitter.

The swirl embossing was done by cutting a file I created in Silhouette Studio (which WordPress won’t allow me to upload) and using a stylus to press squares of cardstock into it. A little brush with an inkpad brought out the design.

Lift the lid, and the box falls open:

The text reads:

In Celebration
Nine Months After
Your InCarnation
Happy Birthday!

(“Carne” means “flesh”,
so “Incarnation” literally means “enfleshment”, ie. conception–
the carnation gets its name from being flesh colored)

The green “fill” is a photo of our lawn in bright sunlight under trees.

Carnations are one of my mom’s favorite flowers, so I worked them in with the butterflies.

The carnations were made by folding squares of paper in half twice

…cutting with tiny zigzag scissors (with a cut down the center & each side to make petals)

…pleating the edges against my fingers with a pair of tweezers

…crumpling the petals along the pleating & rubbing the tips against an inkpad

…and layering 8 or 9 sets of these for each flower (gluing them together in the center). A calyx cut from similarly folded green paper finished each one off.

The ovals were also designed & cut in the Silhouette (although I had to finish a lot of the cuts by hand–I was having trouble with my blade with things that intricate).

To make the flowers & butterflies “fly”, I cut strips of plastic left from laminating relic cards (The cards are laminated several per sheet & cut out, so there are scraps of fused plastic from the edges). I bent back about 3/8″ on each end, glued a butterfly or flower to one bent end & tucked the other through a slit in the base of the card. I glued down the bent ends on the underside of the card, then cut a second bottom to glue over them (to hide & stabilize them).

A personalized greeting was written on a separate square of paper & glued into the under side of the lid.

It was a hit!

Nativity-Filled Glass Ornaments

When I came across this post I just had to try it! (follow the link for the basic instructions) I even had a couple of boxes of clear glass ornaments we’d gotten at after-Christmas sales some time ago!

Most of the pictures are from holy cards. I got permission to use some from Holy Card Heaven, found other images online and used some from vintage holy cards I purchased.

Most are two-sided.  I copied the image, reversed one copy & glued them back-to-back so it looks the same from either side. Just be aware that the exposed picture (the one on the outside of the plastic when you roll it) is at risk of getting damaged by the edges of the glass on the way in. Rolling the image around a pencil or fat knitting needle makes it easier to manage (get the roll near the end & stuff the whole thing through the hole in the ornament).

I didn’t have transparency film, but I found clear plastic from packaging (like a blister pack) which was a little stiffer than ideal, but useable (most of what I tried was way too stiff).

The straw was shredded from a 35-cent straw wreath from St. Vincent de Paul.

To add the shimmer I dusted a little ultra-fine transparent glitter into each ball & shook it. Static kept the glitter stuck to the inside of the glass.

For the bows I used a hairpin lace loom, adjusted to 1 5/8″. I recommend this technique (it works with any object with at least two prongs–a fork or meat fork works too). To attach the bows, I used a needle to thread string through the back of the bow & tied the string around the top of the glass ball (not so bulky that way).

The gold bows were made with white ribbon & then spray-painted (I ran out of the other ribbon). I was pleasantly surprised by how well that worked!

The photos don’t do them justice…

I drew the silhouette on the computer (I’m willing to share the file).

These last three are adapted from free files at Paper Model Kiosk:

Svatava Nativity

These last two are 3-dimensional. I attached the holy family to a rectangle of the plastic that just fit through the opening of the ball, put the Holy Family into the larger nativity, rolled the whole thing to get it into the ball & then fiddled with tweezers & a thin knitting needle to get them into the proper shape inside the ball. That was tedious! I wasn’t sure I was going to succeed.
Lamb’s creche

Vintage Nativity

Now I just need 12 sturdy little boxes to keep them safe when I give them as gifts!

Update! December 2014
A bunch of these were sold in a fundraiser to help people afford the trip to D.C. for the March For Life. In keeping with the prolife theme & since most people have their trees decorated before Christmas (when Jesus is still in the womb), I added a new design:
I added a halo to this image, printed it directly on transparency film (42 cents/sheet at Office Max), and glued tissue paper to the printed side of the sheet. That filled in the white areas it needed (otherwise you see right through to whatever’s behind it) while maintaining something of the stained-glass (translucent) effect with Christmas lights around it.

Solomon’s Garden Popup Wedding Card

This is based on images found in the Song of Solomon in the Holy Bible
(aka Song of Songs, Canticle of Canticles or just Canticles):
A garden enclosed, a fountain, mountains, palm, apple and pomegranate trees, doves,
twin fawns, wheat encircled by lilies, roses and grapes.

Those of you who follow “At Home In Our Domestic Church”
will recognize this as an upgrade of the invitation for the “Solomon’s Garden” date!

Although I can’t post the file I used to create this,
(some of the images aren’t mine to share
and it’s a monster file!)
Here’s the next best thing: SolomonsGarden1
The images can’t be edited (although the text inside can), the image quality isn’t as good,
and I used a different image for the “Welcome to Solomon’s Garden” tab,
but it’s the best I can manage online.
I used digital photos of our lawn & the sky for the grass & sky,
& either drew, redrew or edited the other images.
The last page of the file has step-by-step instructions
(please tell me if you can’t make them work!).

The sparkle on the gate is from a “Clear Star” Jellyroll pen
(I use this all the time!)
and the corners were punched with Multi-Shaper punch “Fireworks“.

It’s a basic tab-style pop-up,
but on the front of the card instead of inside
(idea thanks to Vintage Pop-Up Cards, by Taylor Hagerty).

Here’s the card completely closed:

The bottom opens, making the image 3-D
(the deer and wheat encircled by lilies come forward behind the gates–
the photo doesn’t show that very well):

Here’s the inside:

And here’s a side view of the tabs that pop the images forward:

May this get your creative juices flowing!

Paper Phalaenopsis Orchid Tutorial

I’ve always admired orchids, but have never been brave enough to try grow one…then I saw a pattern on Tally’s Treasury and the Butter Orchid kit by Paper Source (which I can’t find on their site anymore).

I had to try it… 🙂

…and here it is!

I want to make a dozen ;).

Here’s the template I designed, adapted from the two sites listed above.


The flowers on the first page can be “ungrouped” and taken apart for pattern pieces, and the colors changed, if you want to try other color combinations.

I wet and dried 110 lb card stock to give it a little texture (ran it under the faucet, then let it sit on a towel until it was dry), then ran it through the ink jet printer for the flower parts (I printed the pot and liner on regular 110 lb. white card stock). The printer needed a little coaxing to accept it…I’ve since made others with plain card stock of different weights & I can’t tell the difference, so I’d say that step is optional!

I used my fingers to gently curl the ends of the 3-fold petals forward & used a crochet hook to gently score a line across the back of the 2-fold petals before curling the top & bottoms backward and the sides forward (on either side of the center). The pink centers are all curled toward their center.

The stems on the individual flowers are 22 gauge galvanized steel wire from Fleet Farm, wrapped in green floral tape. I bent the end of the wire into a 1/4″ hook, hooked it over the 3-fold back petals (hook piece in front) & squeezed it tight with needle nose pliers, then glued the 2-fold petals over the top to secure it (Elmer’s white school glue).

If you didn’t need a stem on the orchid, you could just omit the wire & glue the petals to each other directly–it would be lovely on a card or in a frame!

The center pink petals were only glued at the very center back, between the upper “wings”. The triangular piece was attached with a tiny triangle of mounting tape.

The stem was then arched behind the flower and turned sideways to go along the main stem.

The main stem is 18-gauge floral stem wire wrapped with green floral tape.

For the green bud, the 3-fold green petals (on the page with the leaves) were pierced in the center & the main stem wire fed through. The end of the wire was curled into a tiny circle & glued to the center. Then the petals were cupped & curled toward each other (with the wire circle inside) & glued together at the tips (I just put a little glue at the edges & held them until they stayed together).

The flowers were attached to the stem with more floral tape at the point where the stems turned sideways, and curved to approximate a real orchid plant.

The pot was scored at each corner and glued together at the tabs. The insert was scored and glued together at the edges, but not the top flap. A piece of Styrofoam (from packing material) was cut into a block of roughly 1″x1″x2″ & glued (using Inkssentials “Glossy Accents”–I wasn’t sure Elmer’s would hold), small end down, into the pot. The insert was “closed” (the top flap held in place), held upside down & filled with 5-6 small stones. The pot was placed upside down over the insert & the whole thing gently flipped right side up, shaking to distribute the stones around the Styrofoam (I tried just putting the stones into the pot & adding the insert, but the stones got in the way of the insert). The stones are to keep it from being so top-heavy, so it doesn’t tip over! A hole was pierced through the center of the insert “cover”, and the stem inserted through the hole into the Styrofoam.

The leaves were scored down the center and scored to form veins running roughly parallel to the edge (I modeled them after a photo of a real orchid leaf), then curved by hand. The short stems at the bottom were folded under the leaves & glued to the top of the pot insert on either side of the stem, with the smaller leaves on top.

My printer ran out of yellow ink, so I ended up coloring the leaves with chalks–a bit of a mess! That’s also why I don’t have photos of the process of making the pot–I wasn’t taking them as I went & don’t have the ink to print another one for demonstration purposes–sorry about that!

The top of the pot was then filled with pine bark collected from a stump in our yard.

Let me know if you try your own!