Sunday, January 30, 2011

More Cuts from the Florals Embellished Cartridge

Just to show you some other designs besides the butterflies. *Ü*
There are several flowers and medallions as well as some pretty birds. I didn't get to a bird one today. Again, no cards made with these yet, I'm just playing to see what they look like in real life. On that top left one, I think I angled it wrong, so tilt your head to see it as the rectangle shape I think it really is, as I'm feeling too lazy to take another picture. I'm still using the colors shown in the booklet, but I'll bet it would be fun to play with colors to see these in other combinations. I also think some of them are just itching for some bling, too. That will have to wait until another day.

I'm not sure if you are aware, but it's CHA weekend (Craft and Hobby Association conference) in Los Angeles. I've been kind of following some of the announcements, especially in regards to the Cricut. Apparently this is the 5th anniversary year for Cricut and they've come up with a limited issue anniversary version of the Expression and an Expression 2. It appears the new Expression kind of combines the technology used in the new Imagine machine (minus the printing aspect). And I hear you can use Imagine cartridges in the new Expression for the cuts on those cartridges. They are also developing a new online feature called the Craftroom, where you can design using the online program and then cut the images out (if you own the cartridge, that is). It's an online version of the software called Cricut Design Studio. This new Craftroom is supposed to be free. So some interesting developments with regard to the Cricut this year. DCWV has some fabulous looking paper dresses (life sized from the pictures I've seen) that are pretty incredible. It will be fun to hear what else new is coming down the pike. *Ü*

We've been enjoying some unusually mild weather here in CO recently. Friday it was in the 60s!! But, winter is definitely poised to make a comeback as there is a system on the horizon which will have our temperatures tumbling down into the single digits and possibly below zero. I keep joking though, they are making such a fuss over this system that it may just stay in the 40s! (wishful thinking, I'm sure). Tuesday is the day it's supposed to hover around 0 and that's the day where we have parent teacher conferences and Amy has a Girl Scout meeting. So we'll be able to fully "enjoy" whatever comes our way. LOL

I hope you are having a lovely weekend and a great start to your week. Stay warm, wherever you are.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Oh Man, I Shouldn't Have But...

I am SO glad I did! LOL Because I don't know when the cartridges will be on sale again and I simply couldn't wait. Provocraft came out with several new Cricut cartridges last week and the minute I laid eyes on the cover of one, I knew it was a must have for me. Joann's sale on the cartridges ends on Saturday, so I've been on the lookout for these new cartridges. Today I checked the Michaels in Brighton. Nope, they weren't out. Thought I was out of luck for sure. But a salesperson (I thought) walked passed me, said good morning and asked if I was finding what I was looking for. I said no, actually, and explained what I wanted. She said she had one (they only got the one in, and they ordered 10) in the back room. Then I asked if she'd honor Joann's sale price. She said she'd have to double-check with the other manager (ohhh, how lucky, a manager stopped me). I always have the latest ads tucked in my purse and when she asked to see it, I was able to whip that baby right out. So, yes, they did honor Joann's sale price! I was giddy!

Wanna see why I was so gosh darn happy? Here you go:

Squeeeeeeeeeeal! Sorry, I just couldn't help myself. Now you see why this is a must have for me (and there are other butterflies, flowers, medallions and lots of cool stuff). LOL These are from the new Florals Embellished cartridge. I had SO much fun cutting and putting these together. And they are big. These are cut at 3 inches but the wing span on that first one is around 5 inches. I didn't even get to the point of putting them onto a card, I just wanted so see what they looked like. For the most part, I followed the colors shown in the booklet with CTMH cardstock. Usually I try to ink the edges before I put them together. Today I was just too darn impatient for that step and I think they still look pretty good. Fun, fun, fun.

I noticed there was a silhouette function. Hmmmm...they looked cool in the booklet, so I cut each one to see what they looked like in real life., love, love them!
I am a super happy camper!

So, Valentine's stuff got put on the back burner for the moment. Hope you forgive the delay. *Ü*

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Couple of Valentine Goodies

Hello! I hope you are doing well this wonderful Wednesday.
Just yesterday I tucked away the last of the winter type decorations (for going up to the attic) and have been thinking about things to create for Valentine's Day this year. I haven't actually made it up into the attic to pull out what I already have(or to put away the bag I just packed up, shhhhh). That would probably be a good idea, huh? Tomorrow will probably be the day. Today I was working on this card:
I was completely smitten with this card I saw on Courtney Lane Designs. This is a fun blog to read if you are interested in seeing projects made with the Cricut.

Anyway, I thought it would be cute to make this card (well 2 of them) to tuck into the girls' lunch boxes for Valentine's Day. The only thing is, I really, really liked the look with the polka dot paper. Only, I don't have any polka dot paper like that. And neither do the local stores apparently, I looked. But I DO have PSE and lots of digi supplies. So, I searched and found this overlay by Katie the Scrapbook Lady (she doesn't sell her designs anymore, though). She has a great blog if you are interested in checking it out. So, I printed off a sheet of the dotted paper. Yay! The cut is from Paper Lace and is cut at 3 1/2. Then I tried to pen-stitch with a white Signo pen. Um, I'm pretty rusty at it, so please forgive if it doesn't look all that great. I cut little bits of Holiday Red cardstock to glue behind the open hearts and snipped away the excess. There were solid black hearts and I decided to fill them with red Stickles. I added a bit of pink Stickles to the small open heart after I glued the pieces together. And I popped the heart with pop dots, although you can't tell in the picture. All in all, I'm pleased with this little project. I hope the girls will be pleasantly surprised (and not embarrassed).
Last week I worked on this little project. Very simple, but I like how it turned out. I and U are from Storybook and the fancy heart is from my new Lacy Labels cartridge. The frames are from the Dollar Tree. I just bought new ones, since I tucked the JOY ones away with the Christmas decorations. It's hard to see, but there is a rose on the heart and a little bitty piece gets cut out to be the rose. I put glue on it and sprinkled some Martha Stewart glue onto it and stuck in place. Since I don't really have any Valentine themed paper (that I could find) I just used white cardstock run through the Cuttlebug with the heart shapes. Works for me to add a little texture and interest.

I have more ideas that I want to try, the trick is to actually get to them. I hope to do so very soon!

Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a great day!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Love Card

Hi There!

What's this? Another card? You betcha!
Why is it that the "simple" cards take so much time to finish? I know...because I'm never sure what to leave off, so I fiddle and futz with it for way too long. LOL I still think this one needs "something," but cannot figure out what will look good. I ran out of time, so I thought I'd share and get your take.
I got myself a new Cricut Cartridge today. It's the Lacy Labels Cricut Lite that is available at Walmart. I've had my eye on it for a little while and got a little cash from a friend for doing something nice for her. I didn't want to take the cash, but she insisted and she specifically said to get something just for me.I didn't want to upset/offend her by not accepting her "donation." So, I did. And I just love the cuts on this cart. All the pieces you see in the focal image are from that cartridge. No, they weren't all shown together, they are a mix and match of different cuts. I ran the glittery piece through my Xyron and added Martha Stewart glitter for a bit of bling. I think I will get some good use out of this cartridge. It seems like a good one for card making and for well, labels. LOL

Thanks for stopping by. I sure appreciate the visit and hope you are having a terrific day.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pretty In Pink

Hello there!

I made it into my craft space today and was able to pull together this card using another one of those cute images Alanna sent me. 
I actually colored the image yesterday, but this time I just used my Prismacolor pencils and odorless mineral spirits. I feel like I have a little better control when I do. LOL I added the Frosted Lace Stickles again, but not to cover up any boo boos, just because I like the look.

The rest of the card is pretty self explanatory, but if you have a question, feel free to ask. The paper is from Making Memories (I've had the pack in my stash for at least a couple of years), as is the heart pin.

Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate the visit! Have a great rest of your Wednesday.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Be Mine...

Happy Tuesday to you! I hope you've had a great start to your week. The girls were off school yesterday due to MLK day and we went to Amy's friend, Hattie's, 10th birthday party. Oh my, she's in double digits now! And it seems like yesterday the girls were in Kindergarten. The time sure is flying by. 

Today I worked on cleaning up around the house after the weekend tornado that is my family blew through. But, I made sure to have enough time to wander into my craft space. I even got a card made. Whoo hooo! And this is after I cleaned up in there first, too. I had scraps of paper every where from my last crafty efforts. So, I spent some time putting those away and neatening things up before I sat down to mess it all up again. LOL

Last month I received the sweetest of surprises from my blogging buddy Alanna. She sent me some fun embellishments for my crafting including some fun ribbon and a jar of flowers. She also included some stamped images for me to color! She is so sweet to have done this. Thanks so much Alanna! Anyway, I have been itching to get some coloring time. Last week, or maybe the week before, I did sit down to try my hand at coloring an image she sent with markers.

To be honest, I really thought I screwed up my first attempt. I only have a couple of Copics (for coloring faces), but after trying to color the sweet image with my Sharpies and Bics, I am understanding more and more the appeal of the Copics. If only they weren't so darn expensive. The face came out fine, I think, but the  Sharpie pen nib makes it really hard to not have the ink bleed into other spaces, which is what was happening. The image looked really sloppy and I almost pitched it. But I set it aside instead and came back to it later. I got the idea to cover up those areas with Stickles. So, I used Frosted Lace to add some bling and cover up. I think it worked pretty well. 

I also practiced my sewing a bit and after a couple of messed up attempts, came away with a card I'm pretty happy with.
I was completely inspired by this card on the Playing With Paper blog. Andrea creates awesome cards using digital images all the time. She is on the creative team for Mary Fran (among other design teams) at NitwitCollections, which is how I came across Andrea's blog. You're in for a real treat if you check it out.

My card ended up taking a slightly different path than Andrea's, but not for lack of effort on my part. I wanted to CASE it, but the image of my little girl was a bit too large for that layered look. I discovered via Andrea's blog, that there is a digital file of my image(and the one Andrea used), so I may have to buy a few as I sure think they are adorable. They are By Lori designs called Lollipops and you can find them here. Their names are Gracie and Ella and you'll have to scroll down to find them. As you can see, I sewed on the card and that silly sewing machine foot I found made it way easier for me to get in fairly close to the edge of the paper. Yay.

The white flower "ribbon" is also from Alanna and I thought they added some fun texture. The pin is a Making Memories one I've had for along time. The twine is the DMC floss twisted together. The sentiment is from PTI. The organdy ribbon is CTMH. I ran the sewed piece of cardstock through the Cuttlebug after I stitched on it and attached it to my card base.

Whew, that's an awful lot of explanation for one fairly simple card. Like I said, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. Hope you like it, too.

Tomorrow is Wednesday already. Hope it's a good one.

Thanks so much for stopping by. I sure appreciate the visit. Hope to see you again soon.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Long Time No See...

Yikes! I didn't mean to be quiet for so long. In fact, I've had good intentions to get into my crafty space just about every single day and for some reason or another it simply hasn't happened. So, I don't have much in the way of crafty goodness to share.
I made this card to send to Kathi to celebrate the birth of her granddaughter, Marla Jean.  I'm really happy with how this version turned out. The owl is cut from the Paisley cartridge on my Cricut.  The papers are from Nana's Nursery.

I said this version because I attempted to sew on my first version and that attempt ended up in the garbage. Aside from the sewing being just plain bad, I realized that I was seeing mostly the holes in the stitching and not the stitching itself. My needle was too big and was making the holes too large. Ugh. I changed the needle and I think my stitching will look much better. Another problem I had was that I couldn't get close enough to the edge of the paper while stitching with the sewing machine foot I was using. I looked for one I knew I owned that would make it easier to get closer to the edge, but I couldn't find it. THAT led me on a quest to replace it. After spending way too much time looking for the foot I wanted(apparently they don't sell it anymore), I gave up and decided I'd just practice. Well, a thought popped into my head that I had a little box of sewing tools tucked away in the machine cabinet I have (but don't use as a sewing machine cabinet due to space). Lo and behold...there was that silly foot. Wish I'd have thought of it first, would have saved me some time and frustration. Oh well, I have the foot  on the machine. Now I just have to get into the craft space and start practicing.

One thing I have been doing is playing this fishing game on the Wii. I never would have thought I'd enjoy it so much, but I do. There are 10 lakes to fish and you open up the next one by placing in the top 3 of a tournament. You get to play the tournament only after you earn enough reputation points(catching fish earns you points). I've not been playing constantly, but regularly. I have opened up each lake and earned the "privilege" of participating in the invitational tournament. Which apparently is fishing for specific fish on five of the lakes. Yeah, I started it and am getting completely skunked! LOL It's a pretty cool game (obviously) and I've learned a lot of how to play through trial and error. Just yesterday I realized I have also caught all but one species of fish in the game. I'm gonna have to hunt down the one I haven't caught yet. LOL I don't play during the day, but more in the evenings after the girls go to bed. I've also played the Cars game, but keep driving into walls, so I don't feel like I've gotten the trick of that game yet. I know, I'll have to practice more. LOL

Let's see what else? Amy had her choir performance the other night. It was really neat. There are 72 kids in the choir and they sound fantastic. The theme of this one was songs from around the world. I am so completely impressed that the kids learned all the words to these songs which were all so very different from the songs we are used to. Amy even had a small speaking part and did a great job. I took pictures, but they came out pretty bad. You know the whole bad lighting at night deal. I might be able to fix them in PSE, but haven't done it yet.

Other than that, not a whole heckuvalot going on that's worth sharing. I just wanted to pop in and let you know that I am indeed still alive and will do my best to get into my crafty space soon so I have more to share.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have a great day!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Letting the Cricut and Paper Do The Work...

Thanks so much for the encouraging comments about my cards and my chattiness. I'm glad I'm not too annoying with all the chit chat I engage in. When I type, I feel as though I am chatting with you, that's for sure!

We just got home from dinner and a quick visit with Dave and Tracy. Steve is trying to figure out his new Wii game, so I thought I'd post the cards I was able to make today when Steve and the girls went to the Museum of Nature and Science for a bit.

Since I was able to use my new cartridge, I guess I'd better reveal which one I got. It's a Martha Stewart version called Elegant Cake Art. Yes, it's designed for use with the Cricut Cake machine, but you can use the cartridge in any machine! I had never really looked at the Cake cartridges, not realizing you can still use them in the regular Cricut. Martha Stewart punches are really great and this cartridge has a ton of great designs you can use for papercrafting. So, without further delay, here are the FOUR cards I made today! {If I was smart, I'd space them out, but I can never do that so you get to see them all in the same post.) They aren't super complicated, but I'm pleased with how they turned out. Also, I didn't stamp at all, I just used paper from Cotton Bloom and Green Tea. I did ink a lot of the edges to cut down on the white you can see in the cuts. Hope you like!
This first card uses a part of a sheet of the Green Tea paper with that design in the corner. I cut the butterfly with the cartridge at 2 1/2 inches. You can probably guess when I saw that butterfly, I had to have the cartridge, right? This card is 5 x 7 in size and I just added a few pearls to "finish" the card. Wasn't sure what sentiment I wanted to use on it, so I left it blank.
This next card is my version of the design of one of the tiers on the cake on the cover of the box/booklet the cartridge comes in. I like that you can cut the borders either 1 x 6, 1 x 9 or 2 x 6 (or 9). They fit together really nicely. The paper is from Green Tea. And the pearls got quite the work out today. *Ü*
Another tier on the cover cake has this similar design. I liked the border running across the accent piece. I cut two sizes of the "square" because I wasn't sure which would fit better. I really liked how they looked stacked, so I kept them after inking them with Honey ink. The flourish is what I chose to use rather than a monogram on my inspiration picture.

And finally, there are doilies on this cartridge too!
This paper is from Cotton Bloom. This doily is cut at 4 inches and I almost put it on a 5 x 7 card. But when I was punching out the pieces I realized the one scallop area didn't cut all the way through (not sure why, could be my mat or maybe the blade I just changed didn't seat itself at first), so rather than trash the piece, I cut off the errant part and decided I liked how it looked on the smaller card. I almost added some ribbon, but in the end decided I liked the look of the doily too much to hide part of it with ribbon.

And there you have it. I think this cartridge is going to be a go to one for lots of cards. Yay! I can tell you I never used my Cricut all that much prior to the past few months. Why? Well, some (okay, a lot) of the images on the first cartridges are a little goofy, and I bought several font carts thinking I'd use them for paper scrapbooking. Those carts don't have much beyond the letters. But in the past few years, the designers have been putting together some really fun stuff. And it helps to get inspiration from blogs that showcase projects using the Cricut and now they have the magazine. Lots of inspiration around nowadays, which is what I definitely need to get my juices flowing.

Thanks so much for stopping by. 
I'm a little bummed that the Broncos ended the season with a loss, but I'm relieved the season is over so that they can work on rebuilding the team to be one worthy of cheering about. Tim Tebow (the rookie quarterback) has flashes of great skill and he sure gets the crowd into the game, which is good, but he's still pretty raw. Even when I get bummed, I remember it's just a game and there's always next season, right?
(and aren't you glad you won't have to listen to me talk about the Broncos for a while?...LOL...)

Have a great start to your week!
The girls don't go back to school until Tuesday as tomorrow is a Teacher Work Day (not sure the smarts in planning that right after they've had two weeks off, but I'm not on the calendar creating committee, so I guess I shouldn't complain, right?)


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year and a Couple of Cards

Happy New Year to each of you! I hope you are looking forward to a wonderful New Year, one with no mistakes in it yet (to paraphrase Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables).

I've managed to create a couple more cards to share. I might have gotten more made if we hadn't cleaned up and put away Christmas today. Things look a little bare at the moment, but that's okay. It gives the eyes a chance to rest after the fullness of holiday decorations. (At least, that is what I am telling myself). If nothing else, it does feel good to have that chore done with.

This is my version of this one on Lea's Cupcakes and Sunshine blog. Mine doesn't have quite so many pearls, mainly because I don't own any of the flourish-y pearls, but I rather like my plain and simple version. 

Hmmmm, wondering if the butterfly needs some antennae? I cut these butterflies with the Cricut and I'm going to guess and say from my new Paisley cartridge. It had a head and antennae, but I cut them off thinking I didn't need them for the look I was going for. The larger butterfly was cut from vellum and then I searched for my Prisma glitter (out in the garage). I ran it through the Xyron and sprinkled it with the glitter. The papers are from Cotton Bloom (DCWV). The ribbon is from Michaels and I like how it picks up the subtle green. I'd have tried yellow, but I didn't have any wide yellow ribbon. Thinking of You is from a Verve set, Grateful Elegance I believe. (gonna have to start taking notes, I'm thinking, for I am having a harder time remembering just what I used).

I've not been as frugal lately as I usually am with regards to papercrafting purchases. I'm going to blame it on the holidays. I got the Paisley cartridge for a steal at Michaels a week or so ago. You are not going to believe me when I tell you that I bought it for...$19.99! I kid you not! Please tell me how I could ever pass that up. It was some clearance deal and maybe this particular store wasn't supposed to put it out, but they did and it rang up for that low price. I was eyeing another one, but then frugality won out and I am happily content with this cartridge. And just today, I picked up another cartridge, but I am going to be a tease and not say which one just yet. Joann's is having a New Year's sale and the price, while not as good as $19.99, made my purchase less than half price. I don't think they'll go on sale again for awhile and I figured I'd get while the gettin' was good. I'm giddy over it, but didn't get to play with it as much as I wanted to today (remember, we cleaned up Christmas). Maybe tomorrow? I made one other purchase today that I'm quite happy with. Michaels has their paper packs on sale for 40% off. Well, the other day I got an email from them that had a 25% off coupon you could use even on sale items, good for today only. So, I picked up the other new DCWV stack called Green Tea for a bit more than 50% off. Love the colors in this stack, too. 

Yea, I'm chatty today. I've thought about limiting my posts to just the cards, but I don't think I can do that. Sorry to those who feel like I talk too much. I guess they can just look at the pictures and move on, right?

Okay, here's my second card
Another uber simple one, but I like it. This brown pattern paper is in Green Tea. The label is cut from the Storybook cartridge. The star....George and Basic Shapes (I think, I cut them the other day and I put all the stuff away). You can't quite tell in the picture, but the star pops up a little. I scored those lines (obviously) and then folded them so the star would be more dimensional. The lines are inked with Chocolate. The sentiment is from Birthday Brackets (Stampendous). 

Tomorrow is Steve's birthday and I thought I might give this to him. I think he'll like it. He honestly doesn't say much about what I create, so I'm not sure if he will or not. Although today I was going to toss a Christmas decoration that I didn't like anymore (remember that wild and crazy pompom covered ball I made...let's just say it didn't grow on me) HE say he liked it and wanted to keep it. Well, okay then.

I have to share this with you because I'm tickled about it. For Christmas this year, several new Wii games ended up under our tree. One being a fishing game (that came with the fishing pole) and another being a Cars (as in Lightning McQueen) game. I was thinking maybe Steve might enjoy the fishing game and it might get him started on playing the Wii. Well, he tried the fishing game, but hasn't figured out how to cast all that well yet, so he's not as eager to play that one, although he'll watch us. No, the game that he really likes to play is the Cars one! And let me tell you, he's good at it, too! Much better than the rest of us (maybe that's why he likes it so well, huh?) He even played it for awhile after the girls went to bed. LOL So, for his birthday, I got him another game, this one is a flying one, where he can fly airplanes. It's a Tom Clancy version game. Tom Clancy is an author who's books Steve really likes to read. I'm told the storyline in the game is similar to his books and the guy who sold it to me has his own game at home. I hope he'll like it. 

And about that fishing game? I am really enjoying it myself. I'm figuring out how to cast and have earned enough reputation points to participate in tournaments. So far I've unlocked two new lakes because I placed well enough or won those tourneys. Not too shabby for a gal who won't even bait her own hook when she goes fishing "in real life." LOL Don't ask me how I did it, but the biggest fish I've caught so far weighed 40 lbs! I can cast almost as well as Amy now. hee, hee.

Okay, I think that's enough blather for one day. 
Hope your first day of 2011 has been terrific!