Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

I thought I'd get last years Halloween photos done before I start taking photos for this Halloween. Just in time - its Halloween morning, kids have been up less than an hour and they are wanting to put on their costumes. They love to play dress up any day, but to dress up and get rewarded for it with candy - what fun! Last year they were a Dr and a Fireman, this year they are dressing as a pirate and Darth Vadar. I already have all my Halloween papers out, so maybe I'll be a little quicker with this years page. The papers on this layout are from Stampin Up, title is SU rub on and the fence/cat are from Paper Doll (Cricut).


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

3D ornament card and garland

Want your Christmas cards to stand out? Why not make them 3-D? Simply cut 3 or 5 of your focal item, fold in half and glue sides together. For this card I used the ornament cut at 2 1/2 on Joys of the Season ( the bow is also from JOTS, it is from the gift/layers). Christmas trees and snowflakes also work well for this technique. Because they are folded, you can simply flatten to mail. A couple of tips : use stamps to embellish rather than layers, and stamp prior to assembly. I used Flourish stamps from Heidi Grace, and pine branches from Stampin' UP, the paper is cream with burgundy accents - not that you can see from my bad photo! Sorry, its still dark out so lighting is not so good. I used a gold leafing pen for the top and bottom of the ornament.

This is also a great way to make 3D garlands. I made this one with the leaves from Doodlecharms. If you are using an unsymmetrical image, than you must do it in even numbers (use 2 or 4 images) and simple connect to matching side - for the garland I used 2 and connected fat side of leaf on 1 to fat side of leaf on 2. If you are using 4, you can run your sting down the center and not have to punch holes to string it.
flat to 3-D

Monday, October 20, 2008

Tea Box and matching gift card, cricut style

A few days ago I started making these little tea boxes (see two posts down)- a couple people have asked for the DS version of the cut, so I thought I'd post this one that I did with DS, along with the 3 x 3 matching card. The card is done using the "new" ds nudge buttons so it can easily be resized to larger - but remember to resize the envelope too. The trick to resizing envelopes is just using the cursor to move the envelope over your card front (in the case it is the center square only) and use the handles to resize so that the center portion of the envelope is just a bit bigger than your card - don't make it too tight or the embellishments won't fit. I think you could do up to 4 x 4 but bigger than that and you will have to do the envelope on a different page, or just delete it and use one you already have. If you cut the way it is out of one sheet of design paper you can have the inside of your envelope match your card - fun! For the inside pull out of the card, I just cut the card insert out of scrap paper - it should be just a hair under the final card size - for this one just a hair under 3 x 3 - if you make it too small it won't stay put, too big and you can't slide it in and out. The belly band is just a strip of the same scrap - ribbon works well for that too. I think this one will be for a teacher :)
Oh, and one more thing about the cuts - For the box I used george for the shape, and Storybook for the little cutout. If you don't have storybook you can delete the center cut out and still use the file, or have fun adding a center cut from a cart you have! The card and env is from Plat.Schoolbook

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Tea box with Cricut and SCAL

This started as a box done with my new score pal, but I thought it would be fun to try and make the same thing with my cricut. I made one with DS and George, then decided I wanted one I could resize so I made it with Photoshop and SCAL. For an added finishing touch you might want to add a piece of acetate in the box for the window, I'm out right now so I couldn't do that just yet. The box is a great size for small gift like handmade jewelry and nicely fits 4 tea bags. If you have SCAL you can alter the size of the box. Finished size as is for both patters is 3x3 inches.
When folding the box, I have found it best to fold into a box shape first, then fold in the small tabs, then fold the box sides. When I did it in a different order it was hard to get the right angle on the tabs, then things didn't line up just right - no sloppy boxes allowed! I also made a matching petal card with SCAL. I have a petal card done with DS and George a few posts back, but again I wanted to be able to change the size, so I did a new one with SCAL. If you are a SCAL user, the current pattern is to make a 4x4 inch card, if you want a different size, make the pattern double whatever you final card size will for a 5 x 5 card you will need to size patter to 10, for 3 x 3 size to 6. I'm working on making an envelope pattern, leave me a comment if you need that posted too. Enjoy!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Glue Pads vs. Heat and Stick: Product review

I love glitter and when I saw these new ink glue pads come out I was excited to use them to stamp and add glitter to...well, anything and everything! I tried one at a friends house recently and was disappointed in the result, I didn't think it held very well. I bought this Pallet brand one hoping it would work better. Nope, in fact this one worked WORSE. So if you are thinking of buying one, save your money (and they aren't cheep either). I will be staying with my heat and stick powder from Stampin Up. If anyone knows some magical trick - I'd love to hear it. I'm thinking I'll add some Elmer's glue to this pad and see if that works, I'll let you know.

Score-Pal Card Gift Box

I have been wanting a score-pal for quite a while so I was thrilled when I went in my local scrapbook store and the Score-Pal owner was there doing a demo. We made these little 3 x 3 boxes, which were cute and very quick. I was impressed, armed with a large gift certificate and 40% of course, I bought a Score-Pal.
I don't have a great need for 3 x 3 but I DO have a need for card size boxes. My friends and family frequently ask for cards and I love to give them as gifts, but I hate to just hand someone a stack of cards. So I changed the dimensions and make it the size to fit 4 handmade A2 size cards with envelopes -I think you could do six cards with envies if you didn't have ribbon on them like I did. This works great for cardstock paper and REALLY great for double sided designer paper. I also found that if you cut your box and then use the center point function on the expression you can cut designs out of the top so you can see the cards below. If you don't have a score-pal you can still do these, they just aren't as quick. I tried to make a file with design software, but it really only works for the 3x3 because the starting paper has to be 12 inches, so unless you line it up PERFECT, it won't cut right. And really, I can have one of these made by hand in less time than it takes to load the paper into the cricut. I am doing the 3 x 3 though and I will try and post that one with .cut file tomorrow. If you want to do the 3 x 3 by hand (or with a score pal) it just so happens that SCS did a tutorial and challenge : Mini Pizza box tutorial

So for a card box: start with a piece of paper 12 x 8 inches. Score at 1, 5 1/2, 6 1/2, and 11 inches. Rotate your paper and score at 1 and 7 inches. Snip the short score lines, these will make your tabs. Glue tabs in place and your done. If you are a visual learner heres where the lines will be, snip the little ones with the arrows:

So here is my final box (one of many) filled with handmade warm wishes cards
*If you have a circle punch you can ad a little notch to the flap, that just makes it a little easier to open, not critical (see open box photo above)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Getting organized : PC tin with Cricut

I am not a big coupon clipper - I love coupons, love a discount, but it seems like I can never make it to the store with the right one and I just end up with a mess of unused coupons littering my kitchen counter. Then the pile of coupons I grab before heading out the door will likely be:

A: for the wrong store

B: for an item the store will be out of

or C: expired

On the rare occasion that the above criteria have not been meet, then there is a good chance I will forget that the coupons are in my pocket until the next time I do laundry and find all the pieces floating around my drier. SO, I decided that if I simply have a nice way to organize these coupons -by store rather than item-and they are in a cute carrying case - all problems will be solved (yes, well, I used this same logic to deduce that simply having a treadmill would make me skinny...hum...we'll see if my logic pans out this time).

I have lots of these provocraft tins - they were on sale a couple years ago at Joanns for $2.99 and I bought a huge stash that I'm STILL working on. I have been making them for gifts for people either filled with cards or other goodies, I made one filled with Christmas tags one year for a gift, and one for a little girl filled with hair fobbies. In the past I've either used a 1 inch circle punch to accommodate the closure and then fought with the handles or used paint. BUT, since my last one I've started using my DS and cricut, so why not make one that will form right to the shapes in the tin! Well, turns out the tins are not all exactly the same, but the template will get you pretty darn close. Feel free to use my template and make yourself a few tins! I have found that ModgePodge is the best way to stick the paper to the tin, and post-it notes fit nicely on the lid but you have to use super good adhesive (like that red sticky tape) to keep them there. Now if I can just find a smaller pen I'm all set!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Bayered background

I know I need to put this set aside for a bit and move on, but I just can't seem to do it! I've been admiring Michelle Zindorfs' (Click here to see her blog)work for quite a while now, the way she can put colors together is just amazing. I took a stab at following her SCS tutorial for a brayered background sympathy card -its so hard to make a masculine sympathy card. I started with so saffron and added more mustard, some ruby red and then close to cocoa on the edges. I'm afraid it just didn't come out the way hers do (how does she do that?) but I will keep trying.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Martha Stuart rat problems

I just love Halloween and I will admit I am a bit of a Martha fan. So I was very excitted yesterday when someone was kind enough to share this great Martha Stuart site with Halloween sihouetts :
Within minutes my cricut/ SCAL was cranking out the rats and they were all over my house. A few even made their way over to my neighbors house (hopefully they will get a chuckle when they get home from work). If you love those shilouettts that are so popular right now, check it out, they are free and lots of fun!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Rainy Day card making

Today it rained so we were in the house a lot. We bought the boys a new Star Wars Lego video game, so they were OK with staying in for most of the afternoon (after a game of soccer where Andy scored 2 goals!) While they took over my computer, I stamped (and did laundry...fold a load...stamp a card....repeat). The fist was a sketch challenge on splitcoast with my new set - Season of Friendship. I love this set, so simple, with so many possibilities. The second was with Inspired by Nature, and the last was done with my cuttlebug and the chalkboard technique. If you haven't tried the chalkboard technique - try it, its great! There is a great tutorial on splitcoast from a few months ago, but essentially, just stamp image with white craft ink (or emboss and brayer on white craft ink) let it dry, then add chalk. Great for making those images pop of dark colored paper-the photo is not so impressive, but thats my bad photo-ing, not the card or technique. If you don't have white craft you can also use versamark and white embossing powder for a similar effect. TFL.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Witch X-ing : My first SCAL paper peicing project

I could have cut this out by hand 10 times over in the time it took me to create the file, but I was determined to use inkscape to convert a drawing into a paper piecing project. For this project I started with a 12 x12 blank canvas and my drawing of a shoe. I painted the canvas black and added 11 x 11 green paper sponged with black ink. The chipboard letters were purchased - I bought them last weekend because they were glittery and I LOVE glitter-then designed this entire project around them (how insane is that?). I am attaching my SCAL (SVG) file for the shoes. I have updated the firmware on my big bug so I had to do one shoe at a time to fit on my baby bug mat. If you are using the file, remember to do hit the reverse image button before you cut the second one - or you'll end up with 2 left feet :). I plan to hang this on my wall, right next to my broom.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Messy Morning in the stamp room

I think moms who love to craft tend to have kids that love to craft. I took this photo of my boys this morning. Today they are making cards for me, daddy and grandma - with their favorite stamp set: Ahoy Mate (Stampin' Up!). I keep a separate set of supplies in my room just for them- sort of "decoy" supplies so I don't have to worry they will break anything of TOO great a value (some of those supplies are expensive!) Then we can all relax and have fun together. Aren't they the cutest little stampers?