Friday, January 25, 2013

PTI's January Blog Hop: Black Backgrounds

When I saw PTI's January Blog Hop to use a black background,
I immediately thought of this book that my son got for Christmas. 
He loves it, and because of it, he now likes all things robot.  No card ideas popped into my head and I didn't have any pictures to scrapbook, so I decided to make him an interactive felt quiet book using a whole bunch of PTI's dies.  To say that this was a labor of love is an understatement.  I stopped counting hours several days ago, and all I know is that I haven't gone to be before 2 AM for the last four days.  Ironically, the idea for all of the pages in the book (and several more that I ended up not doing) popped into my head in probably half an hour's time about a week ago.  Thankfully, I quickly jotted them down because I created the pages almost exactly as I'd drawn them.  Just wish the mechanics had been as easy to execute as they were to scribble down.  
(P.S. This was made with mostly stiff felt and A LOT of dies.  Mostly for my own records, I wrote down what dies were used on each page, but that makes this post very wordy and kind of boring...sorry!  Feel free to skim. :) )
I designed the cover page to look roughly like the cover of the book.  I cut "Book" with PTI's Script Alphabet Dies and just trimmed off most of the extra curves/loops.  "R" was created with PTI's Eyelet Lace Border, Lighten Up, Notched Flowers, and Block Alphabet dies.  I used the "o" in the Block Alphabet to cut the circle out in the notched flower.  I used PTI's Button Up #1 Dies for the "B" and another Notched Flower Die for the second "O".
 These are pages 1 and 2.
This little robot's arms, legs, and neck pull in and out.  The arms, legs, and antennae are made out of PTI's Eyelet Lace Border dies and the hands/feet are from the Simple Circles Border Dies.  It was a lot harder to create this than I thought.  After many trials and errors, I ended up painting kabob sticks black and gluing them to the backs of all the moving parts, so they would slide in and out better.  I also sewed plastic from a left over stamp case on the black background under the body to further ease the sliding motion.  The head is a hexagon die and the gears are flower dies that I just trimmed the tips of all the petals off, so they would be flat and not curved.
I love this next robot.  He turned out exactly as I had envisioned AND I didn't have any trouble making him.  Everything worked perfectly the first time.  His body is made out of two of the frames in PTI's Fabulous Frames Die Collection.  The gears are made out of PTI's Notched Flowers and Block Alphabet Dies and a flower from Sizzix's Flower Layer's #3.
As you can see in the pictures, this one is a lift-the-flap.  All the layers lift up to eventually reveal several little sequins that I sewed in.
The next two pages are to "Build-a-Bot".  It just now occurred to me that I was going to put that title on the right side page, but I forgot.  Anyway, all the robot parts (heads, bodies, arms, and legs) have Velcro on the back of them and are housed in two pockets made from PTI's Favor it Box 2.
All the parts are meant to mix and match, but I did design them as whole robots, so that's the way they are pictured.  The blue and green robot is made out of PTI's Simple Circles Border (legs), Eyelet Lace Border (glasses, arms), Mat Stack #1 (body), and Fabulous Frames (head) dies.  Oh, and the gear is made with Sizzix's Flower Layer's #3 (again, with ptrimmed ofetals trimmed flat).  The red and green robot is made from PTI's Chevron Stripes (arms, legs), Tag Sale #5 (body), Simple Circles Border (the hands, feet, and doodad on his head), Button Up #1 (eyes, gage), and the negative cut tiny circles from the Eyelet Lace Border Die (eyes, doodad on his head). 
The last build-a-bot uses PTI's cloud dies (feet) and 2 1/4" oval dies (head).
Now for pages 5 and 6.
Page 5 is a robot made from PTI's Movers and Shaker's zipper dies.  The body zips open, so you can pull out a bunch of robot parts (made from PTI's Tiny Tags dies and Sizzix Flower #3 dies).  I also used PTI's Button Up #1 dies (gages, elbows, wheel shaft) and the negatives from PTI's Favor It Box 2 (bottom wheel) and Eyelet Lace Border Die (eyes).
You might be wondering why this last Robot is a bit grumpy looking (or "gumpy" according to my son) instead of the more cutesy ones I made first.  Well, we're fans of the children's tv show "Wild Kratts."  My son always requests to see the "robopes" (the villain's robots), so I pulled up a picture of the Zach Bots and made a simplified version for the last page.  This is what they look like on the show: 
The last page took me four tries to get the spinner to work right (it's a lot harder when you're working with felt!), but the robot does indeed move up and down along the curve and spin around.  Everything for this robot I just cut out myself, except for the mouth which is the "o" from PTI's Block Alphabet dies and the arms which are one of the lamp bases from PTI's Lighten Up die collection.

Phew...that's it!  I'll be impressed if anyone made it this far. I haven't given the book to my son yet (I'm waiting until Valentine's Day), but I hope he enjoys is at much as I think will.  Thanks for visiting!  Okay, one last collage to sum it up. :)

PTI Dies: Notched Flowers, Tag Sale #5, Mat Stack 1, Lighten Up, Eyelet Lace Border, Simple Circles Border, Chevron Stripes Border, Button Up #1, Block Alphabet Die, Limitless Layers 1 3/4 Circles, Limitless Layers 2 1/4 Ovals, Movers & Shakers: Zippers, Tiny Tags, Favor it Box 2,  Fabulous Frames, Cloud 1 & 2, Script Alphabet Upper Script Alphabet
Sizzix Dies: 2 1/2" Hexagons, Flowers Layers #3
Other: Felt (from Hobby Lobby & Michaels...most of it is stiff felt), square black brads (MM), sequins, pinking shears, several colors of thread, double-sided fusible webbing


  1. So fun! :) love all the felt u used!

  2. HOLY TOLEDO!!! He is sure to love it- what a sweet, thoughtful & unique gift!
    Still picking my jaw up!
    (and wild kratts are awesome!)

  3. Oh, wow! This is amazing-- so creative and fun!

  4. Wowsers! What a lot of work you put into this! Great job!

  5. Fun! I'm sure he will enjoy it. - Irma

  6. WOW! WOW! WOW! Your son will LOVE this! LOVE the title with the bolts and mechanical stuff! Just FAB!

  7. Oh, my! What a lot of work, and how wonderful!

  8. A wonderful interactive present.

  9. This is so crafty! Very cool project!

  10. OK. I'll vote you for 'Queen of the Creative Universe'. This is the sort of thing that we think of, and don't often have the courage on which to follow through.

    There is good news/bad news about having a mother with your creative gifts. The good news; LUCKY SON! The bad news; the rest of the world will be a little dreary having grown up in a home like yours. Next life I'd love to be your kid. This really is exceptionally creative, and you are kind to have shared how you did it, especially after all that work making it. Thank you so very much for taking the time and effort to blog your masterpiece.

  11. A keepsake, for sure. Each element a work of genius! Thanks for sharing.

  12. Wow! This book is priceless! I know it was a labor of love. You will have to pass it down to your grandkids someday (if it survives your kids). Just wonderful!