Thursday, February 25, 2010

Happy New Year!!

It’s always fun to celebrate a new year, even if it isn’t our own!  The Chinese New Year started this month and it has inspired a flurry of Asian styled art throughout the Pennywise artist community.

These elegant tags by PWA designer Michele Aiello-Zendejas are a stunning sight. 


If you can’t get enough of Michele’s art then be sure to stop by our design team webpage and see more!   She’s a talented artisit with lots to share!


Asian Tag Set by Michele Aiello-Zendejas

Gold Card Stock (90lb)


Cuttlebug Embossing Folder (Asian Flowers)

Floral scroll die cut (Silhouette SD)

Tiger Graphic (Internet freebie) or Rubber Stamp image

Chinese Female Graphic (Silhouette SD Design) or Rubber Stamp image

Tassel or ribbon

Hole punch


Asian Coin

Square flat back rhinestones

Chinese text from a book

cardstock or paper (white and black)

Flower die cuts (Assorted paper punches)

Chinese money envelopes

Clear Mini Microbeads (Pennywise Arts)

O'So Sticky Tape (Pennywise Arts)

Foam dimensional tape

clear glue


1.  Cut one piece of  8 1/2" x 11" gold cardstock into three tag shapes.  Run them through the Cuttlebug with the Asian flower embossing folder.  The tags are longer than the folder, so you have to run them through twice - moving the folder down the tag to cover the entire tag with embossing.  Punch a hole in the top of each tag and apply and set an eyelet into the hole. 

2.  Cut out the images from three Chinese money envelopes.  Adhere them to the tags.

3.  Adhere the scroll flower die cuts onto the tags.  (I used clear glue, you can use whatever works for you.)

4.  Print or stamp the tigers. Cut them out and adhere one to each tag.  

5.  Print or stamp the girl graphic.  Cover the graphic with O'So Sticky Tape.  Remove the protective liner paper from the tape and place rhinestones onto each flower center.  Then cover the entire graphic with mini micro beads.  Adhere the finished graphics to the tags with foam tape.

6.  Punch three large flowers from a sheet of Chinese text.   Punch three medium flowers from Chinese money envelopes.  Punch three small flowers from the back of a Chinese money envelope.  Stack and adhere them to the tags.  Use a toothpick to curl the flowers to add some dimension.  Use a round flat back rhinestone for the flower centers.

7.  Adhere a Chinese coin with a square flat back rhinestone inside of it to each of the tags.

8.  Attach a tassel to the top of each tag. 

Here’s a closer view of Michele’s amazing attention to detail!


Cherub Heart Shaped Box

I “love, love, love” this beautifully beaded and embellished box by designer Michele Ailello-Zendejas! 

cherubboxIn fact, just saying that “love, love, love” made me think of a song that I currently enjoy listening to over and over and over again.  The artist is Jason Mraz and if you listen to it, you’ll be tapping your toes and feeling the “love, love, love” for sure!  It’s my happy song.


But I digress,…… just let the song play while you read on…..

The intricate details of Michele’s box are stunning, numerous and incredible.  She just has that way about her art that keeps me looking again and again and again to discover something different upon each visit.  Michele explains her techniques for this box below, so keep looking and reading!


With the advent of personal die cutting machines like the Silhouette and Cricut, the rabbit hole of possibilities just gets deeper and deeper!   I can hardly sleep at night thinking of all the cool things yet to be tried with my Cricut cutter and O’So Sticky Tape sheets!


Cherub Heart Shaped Box by Michele Aiello-Zendejas


Red Heart Shaped Box (Dollar Tree)

Gold Ribbon or Braid

Cherub Magnet  (Unknown Manufacturer)

Vintage Looking Foam Flowers (Designspirations)

Mulberry Paper Leaves (unknown manufacturer)

Clear Mini Microbeads (Pennywise Arts)

O'So Sticky Tape Mega Roll (Pennywise Arts)

Shimmery Pink paper

Silhouette SD Digital Cutting Tool

Heart shaped flat back rhinestones (unknown manufacturer)

Round flat back rhinestones (unknown manufacturer)

Thick Liquid Adhesive (any brand you prefer)

Beads for feet (optional)


1.  Measure the box to find out what size heart shape you need for the top.  Measure the sides to figure out how much you need to go around it.

2.  I used my Silhouette SD to cut out a lacy heart design on shimmering pink paper.  I also used it to cut long lacy strips for the sides of the heart shaped box.  If you don't have an electronic cutter, you can cut out a heart and then use punches or scissors to make lacy designs.  You could also use a doily or a piece of lace cut to size.  Do the same for the side strips.

3.  Trace the lid of the box onto the paper side of a large roll of O'So Sticky tape.  Cut the tape, peel one of the double sided backings off and place it on the lid of the heart shaped box.  Removed the other double sided backing from the heart shaped piece of tape and then adhered the cutout heart.  Place braid or ribbon around the top of the box to finish the edges.

4.  Pour clear mini  micro beads on the exposed tape.  Do the same for the sides of the box.

5.  Remove the magnet from the back of the cherub and adhered it to the box with thick liquid glue.  Adhere beads to the cherubs wings and drape.

6.  Adhere flowers, leaves, and rhinestones to the box.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Love Letters √

There was so much love to share this month that we couldn't possibly fit it all in before February 14th so we're going to keep sharing the love all month long!   In fact, we have so much love to share that we are literally GIVING it away!  (Keep reading!)


This fun stack of faux love letters by Michele Aiello-Zendejas really tickled me this month.  I knew that Michele had put out a call for envelopes and lots of them but I had no idea what she was up to.


It’s hard to show in the side view but this stack is actually put together as one piece and it even has feet!  I love how it looks sitting on my coffee table, for the moment!  (wink!)

Here is a close up of some of the detail of the flower bunch!


Now about the "giving love away" part.....

You could WIN the actual sample shown here simply by following our blog and leaving a comment there!  It's THAT easy!  The winner will be selected from the blog comments section of this post which you can find at

Isn't that exciting???

Be sure that your comment is on the "Love Letters" post to be entered for a chance to win these fun love letters by Michele!

And while you're there, there are a couple of things you could do to show me some love back, if you don't mind?  Ü

First, be sure to "follow" the blog by clicking the easy link there.  Following doesn't actually require you to do a doggone thing, it is simply a statistic used to show that we have fans and followers that love us.

Also, if you wish you could take a moment to click the "subscribe" button to keep up with all the other fun things we're giving away each month!

To learn how Michele made this fun project keep reading!

Love Letters by Michele Aiello-Zendejas


Assorted envelopes

Flower die cuts (Assorted paper punches)

Love die cut (Silhouette SD)

Heart die cuts (Sizzix Paddle Punches)

Vine die cuts (Silhouette SD)

Tag die cuts (Silhouette SD)

Vine/Scroll rubber stamp (Inkadinkado)

"From My Heart to Yours" Stamp (Inkadinkado)

Clear Dew Drops

Red Micro beads (Pennywise Arts)

O'So Sticky Tape (Pennywise Arts)


Small glass vial

Cardstock or paper (red with white dots, black, red, & white)

Scrap paper or newspaper

Thick Liquid Adhesive (any brand you prefer)

Diamond Glaze

Beads for feet (optional)

Acetate sheet (optional)

1.  Stuff the envelopes with scrap paper or newspaper, so they look like there is a letter inside. 

2.  Stamp a design on the top envelope.  Stack and arrange the envelopes how you want them.  Glue them all together so they don't shift while you are working on them.

3.  Tie ribbon around the envelopes and embellish with die cut vines, die cut tags, hearts, and flowers. 

4.  Use the paddle punch to punch out heart shapes from O'So Sticky Tape.  Remove the liner and dip the exposed adhesive into red micro beads.  Adhere to the top of the envelopes.

5.  Accent the design with Dew Drops and a clear vial filled with micro beads.

6.  Use Diamond Glaze to add dimension to some of the die cuts, such as "Love" and the postage die cut.

7.  For durability, I glued an acetate sheet under the bottom envelope and used small clear rubber plugs as feet.

Asian Thanks

Since February 14th is the start of the Chinese New Year, I thought this would be an appropriate card to share.  It was created by Marj M. a student (and teacher in her own right) that took one of my shaker card classes.  For this elegant card Marj used our ATC shaker card template (free to download here!) along with her octagon shaped die cuts.

Asian Shaker

Shaker cards are so much fun to give because they are interactive and mesmerizing.  It’s like having a card and a toy, all in one!  Ü  

Learn how to make your own shaker card using our simple step by step tutorial.  We also share FREE printable templates of various shapes and sizes on our website HERE.

P.S.  I had this scheduled to post on the 14th, but it got lost in the shuffle somewhere.  I am scurrying to get all the “love” out to you before the end of this month and there is lots of love-ly stuff coming from PWA designer Michele Aiello-Zendejas!