Friday, April 30, 2010

My Copycat Card

Good Afternoon, everyone!  I am really looking forward to all the ideas and fun we can find online for tomorrow's Scrapbook Day.  One of these days I am going to have to get my own video camera so I can make some fun contributions.  I think this year though, I will just stalk all my favorite blogs and see what challenges and treats are in store.

Today though, I felt like making a card.  (Imagine that!)  I visited Connie at her blog and fell in love with her latest card.  I really wish I had some cool Stampin' Up tools, but alas, I have their very outdated ink pads and pens along with various other brand items and I really can't keep any of the items straight.  So, when it comes to "recipes" for my cards, I am at a loss.  But, if you are like me you will just improvise with what you have and see what you come up with!  And, that is what I did today with Connie's gorgeous card.



I used my Cricut's Plantin Schoolbook Cartridge and cut out the flower and leaves using the italic setting.  The "doily" behind the flower was cut using the rolypoly setting and the certificate setting.  I really am not crazy about the way it turned it, but don't have a corner punch for any of my border punches so didn't know how to make the turn.  The stamp was from a $1 bin I found at Craft Warehouse.  The brand is Studio G.  I used the Flourishes Floral embossing folder from Sizzix on my background papers.  I also created the button brad out of the patterned paper using my Imaginisce I-Top Brad Maker.

I made a Mother's Day card the other day, but have decided it will go into my card box.  I think I will put this one out in the mail to my mom today.

How would you like to be included in a blog hop? It may bring more traffic to your site. If you go all the way down to the bottom of this page, you will find the information on how to be a part of it. A little hint though...I couldn't quite figure out how to "add" my blog info to the mix, but discovered the little blue froggy dude at the very bottom...click on him to get started. Then copy and paste the code listed in step 2 and place it into the html of your blog. (I inserted it into the layout)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

ATG 714 Gun

I just ordered my ATG Gun!  Woot Woot!  I hope I love it.  Everyone who has one has seemed to rave about them.  My darling husband informed me this morning that he was giving me $100 to spend on crafts.   That is something fairly rare...so I decided to finally break down and buy one.  I found a place online that seems to have fairly good prices for adhesives and the guns themselves.  The place is called Crop and Stick.  I have never ordered from them before so have still to learn how good their customer service is, but fingers are crossed that it is excellent!

How would you like to be included in a blog hop?  It may bring more traffic to your site.  If you go all the way down to the bottom of this page, you will find the information on how to be a part of it.  A little hint though...I couldn't quite figure out how to "add" my blog info to the mix, but discovered the little blue froggy dude at the very bottom...click on him to get started.  Then copy and paste the code listed in step 2 and place it into the html of your blog.  (I inserted it into the layout)

An Award

I was surprised and happy to find that Nicole sent me a blog award today.  Thank you so much!


Here are the award rules:


1. Post the prize on my blog.
2. Mention the blogger who tagged me.
3. Give the prize to 5 friends.
4. Post on my blog the link to their blogs.
5. Announce everyone on their blog.
6. Make a list with 10 things that I like.

So, here are the 5 blogs I am choosing today.  And can I mention it is really hard to narrow these things down to just 5, because there are so many wonderful blogs out there!

Constantly Stamping
Mariam Satchell
Scrappy Mel
The Paisley Turtle
KinderstampO

And now to share 10 things that I like:
1.  I like the beach...especially the wild and windy ones where I grew up
2.  I  like to hike and be in the mountains
3.  I like spending time with my family...my sons are my whole world and my husband is my very best friend!
4.  I like being and feeling creative...and sharing it with others
5.  I really like comments left at my blog.  It brightens my whole day to see I picked up a new follower that cares enough to stop by and see what I am up to.
6.  I like really thick novels
7.  I like a clean house and a manicured lawn.  (just because I like it, doesn't mean I always get it though)
8.  I like Lauren Luke cosmetics and make up tutorials
9.  I like the TV show LOST and don't know what I will do when it is all over
10.  I like researching topics online that I find interesting

Wow, that was hard to think of 10 specific things. I hope it wasn't too boring!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

An Etsy Update

Just a quick mention that I lowered a few of my prices over at my Etsy Shop and am now offering free shipping on the 1st item to all addresses within the United States.  There is a small fee for any additional items and shipments out of the country.  I would love for you to go and take a look!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Explosion Boxes!!

Following the wonderful tutorial that Nicole posted, I was able to build some really cute explosion boxes.  Can I just say her video tutorial was excellent and I am really glad to now know how these go together.  They are really very simple; just take some time to put together.  Anyway, here are mine:
I made three.  Each contain pictures of my 3 adult sons and are going to be gifts to my daughters-in-law at some point in the future.  So, if Kristiana, Elisha or Olivia are reading this...the cat's out of the bag! :)  (I don't think you will mind too much?) 

In case you are one of the few people that are really not sure what an explosion box is all about, I will fill you in.   Once you remove the cute lid to the box, something wonderful happens.....

All the walls come tumbling down and a fun scrapbook in box happens.  This one is about my oldest son, Jeremy.  He is now 25 and almost a daddy!

Here is a close up on a little envelope I made with a photo hidden inside.

Something I incorporated in all of the boxes for my sons was some information I gleaned from them at an early age and added to their scrapbooks many years ago.  I thought it would be fun to add this as some fun journaling.

This box was made for my 3rd son, Jordan.  He is 20 and serving in the Coast Guard.

I used my cricut frequently while putting these little pages together.

The 3rd box was made about my son, Brandon.  He is my 2nd son, 23 and attending college.  I used some of the same elements for each of these boxes, but it was fun to find how differently they looked with each application.

Here is a close up.  Even a boys' page can have a little bling on it.  :)

I tried to be a little creative and make a family photo into a flower pot, then I was able to use a few extra photos as the "flowers".  Kind of different.  Hopefully Brandon won't mind too much that he is a flower AND has a page with "bling"!

I guess you could say in my home this motto has always been true.  My 4th son, Trey, who still lives at home asked me if when he gets married someday I will make his wife one of these too.  (he's 14!)  Kind of cute....I told him he can never get married....at this point, he's okay with that!

If you like this idea and want to make one for yourself, go watch the tutorial by Nicole and be sure to tell her I sent you!  :)
~Shelley

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Mother's Day Card

At the link I shared in my post yesterday, I found a really inventive and cute technique to incorporate a ribbon flower right into the card. Here is what I came up with in my attempt.



I found the "how-to" tutorial at this blog and a cut file to use with Design Studio using the Plantin Schoolbook cartridge at this blog.  The cut file definately improvises on the technique, but I like the idea of being creative with our Cricut machines. I also made the small tag using Plantin Schoolbook.  The strip behind the tag was made with a border punch and I added some embossing with the Swiss Dots Cuttlebug folder in my Texture Boutique.  To finish it off, I made a large circle of the same cardstock to cover the ends of ribbon inside my card.  I thought it looked much more finished that way.

I really love this look and intend to use it again and again. What do you think?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cut File Wallapalooza!

I am not really sure what wallapalooza means, but it seemed appropriate when I came across this blog that has a plethora of links to free cut files for Cricut Design Studio.  I knew there had to be some amazingly crafty people out there willing to share their creations.  The bonus to it all is, they worked the kinks out for us.  So enjoy!  I have to get back to browsing over there now...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Design Studio

I received my Cricut Expression as a Christmas gift and very soon after I purchased the Design Studio to use in conjunction with it.  Here it is now 4 months later and I finally got up the nerve this evening to give it a try.  Because I wasn't really sure what I could accomplish with it I viewed some tutorials over at youtube.com and came to the conclusion that other than welding letters together, I haven't seen very many creative ideas.  I must have been looking in the wrong places, so really need to explore the possibilities alot more.  If anyone out there knows where I can see this software in action, please send me your links.  I want to get my money's worth out of this product!

I did decide to venture out on a limb and see if there was something I could come up with.  Using my borrowed cartridge Accent Essentials, I came up with this card by welding a couple shapes together to form the base of the card and repositioning the inside cut on the front after it was cut out.  Cutting a duplicate of the back, I was able to fill in the back of the front of the card cut.  I added some bling and ribbon after doing a little embossing and sanding of my coredinations cardstock.  I love this brand of cardstock because it has a different color core than the top layer, so when you emboss, sand or tear the paper, a contrasting color is able to peek out.


I am not sure what I am going to do when I have to return this borrowed cartridge.  I am really enjoying it's basic shapes and flourishes.  I think it is one of the very first cartridges made for the Cricut, but it really has a lot of versatility that I am enjoying.  I hope it is still possible to buy this one.

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Card Set

I finally have decided on which cards I am going to put into my card set I mentioned a few posts ago.  It came down to these, with the addition of the MPS Green, Pink and Black submission I posted previously.  Here they are:
Watermelon made with Doodlebug Charms Cricut Cartridge
Close up of Lollipop flower I made and centered with a handmade button brad with coordinating paper.
Flower made with Accent Essentials Cricut cartridge
Ribbon roses were handmade with satin ribbon.  Tutorial coming up soon!
Close-up of Rose made with Sweethearts Cricut cartridge. 
I put each top layer through my Texture Boutique, using the Swiss Dots Cuttlebug folder.  A little dab of Cotton Candy Stickles was added on each dot...just because I can.

The cards seem to have a spring flower theme except for the watermelon card.  I didn't intend to do that but I guess I have flowers on my brain lately.  Plus, the deadline is next Tuesday and I have a busy weekend ahead of me, so thought I wanted to wrap things up with the items I had already created.  I would love your opinions!  Please feel free to leave a comment and if you are a new reader, please become one of my followers and share your blog with me.

Happy Crafting!  ~Shelley

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Yes...Another Post Today

I am so excited about this cute bracelet I made today that I had to come in and show it off.  I am considering trying to sell these things, but am not sure yet.  I know I will wear it. I really liked this one:
Beadwork is kind of addicitng!


Girls' Camp Card...and One I Forgot to Share

First of all, a shoutout to Nicole who has a giveaway going on at her blog...go check it out!:)

Last week a friend of mine came by to ask if I would design an invitation card for the young women in our church to attend girls' camp this summer.  Their theme was following the "Survivor" reality TV show.  I took on the challenge.  I really had no idea what to come up with.  If I had a camping cricut cartridge or camping stamps...I might have been able to figure this out a lot easier.  But, since when do I take the easy route?  (Ok, frequently...) 


This is what I came up with.  I went online and found the Survivor logo and tried my hand at copying the look of the lettering.  I then made a stencil of that.  I also looked for the Young Women's logo (the torch with the face in the flame) and made a stencil of that.  Then, I kind of put them together.  It wasn't easy making a very feminine torch look tribal, and I added some stickles to it because I couldn't resist, but I think it looks okay.



I had to make 30 of these puppies.  That took some time.  But, they are done!  Now to get back to finishing up the card set I have been working on all week.  In the meantime, here is a card I forgot to post here.  It was added to the Pink Gallery a couple weeks ago.  I made it with the Doodlebug Charms cartridge.  I thought it would be a fun get well card.  Enjoy!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Scrapbook Layout

I thought I would enter a scrapbook challenge...I have never used the sketch concept before, but this is what I came up with.
I have to admit that I have always been more about getting as many photos as I can onto a page, so it was difficult for me to place only 1.  Ah well, it was a good exercise I think.  Sometimes though, I have wondered where the "photo" went in photo album when sometimes these layouts are more like "craft" albums. :)  It's fun, isn't it?

MPS Challenge (Pink, Green and Black)

I decided to try my hand at the latest challenge over at My Pink Stamper.  My mind was a bit blank as I thought about what I wanted to create and then I made the mistake of looking at a few other submissions.  I only consider that a mistake in that it can sometimes lead to copy-cats and lookalike projects.  That is fine of course, we all learn by following others' examples, but I wanted to come up with something that was mine and of course once I peeked at a few others I felt I wouldn't be very original.  As usual...I did too much over-thinking!  Anyway, this is what I finally created.  It's kind of cute, albeit rather simple.  I made a few extra to include in the card sets I mentioned in an earlier post.

The green in the photo looks a bit more like sage than it really is.  In reality it is more of a springtime/mint green.  Ah well...as usual my photography skills will be the ruin of me.

I made the flower using the Accent Essentials Cricut Cartridge.  I borrowed this cart a few days ago and have been trying to get as much mileage out of it before I return it. I applied some stickles to the middle layer on the flower, a black brad in the center and the paper and ribbon were some very old scraps I had from the stone-age when I first started scrapbooking and cardmaking.  In another words...I have no idea where they were bought.

Give me your opinion?  It was fun to have a contribution. :)

As a sidenote:  After submitting, I went and looked at many of the other submissions after all.  Wow...some very talented crafters out there.  You are all so awesome! :)

~Shelley


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Jewelry Making

Yesterday I tried a craft I have never ventured with before.  Jewelry making.  I am not sure why I never have, but I think it probably has something to do with my belief I could never make anything I would actually want to wear!  But, I was noticing at the craft store they had some very pretty glass beads and when I was at an apparel store the other day and priced a simple little bracelet at $30...it made me start to think.  So, I bought some basic tools and here is what I came up with.  Remember, this is my FIRST attempt at this, so don't expect too much!

As usual, my photography skills leave a lot to be desired but here are a few closer views.



I am actually wearing this bracelet today.  So, was it cheaper to make it myself?  Yes....but I predict an addiction to beads coming over me that is quite similar to scrapbook paper.  In other words, it could get very expensive!  And, how many bracelets does a girl need?  Well, you tell me.....how many does a girl need! :)

I am working on a card project today.  I volunteered a service for an upcoming service auction at my church.  I volunteered a set of handmade cards.  It's been kind of fun to just sit and make random cards; and for every one I made I have been sure to make another for myself.  Actually, I think I might donate 2 sets because it seemed as easy to make 4 of a kind and make it more worth my while.  I usually assembly-line when I am crafting anyway.  It's always good to have a sample to keep for future reference if you want to make it again and it never hurts to have a few already to go when an event comes up.  Fun, fun, fun...I will probably let you see them tomorrow if I get them finished today.
~Shelley

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Water Lily...sort of

As promised, I have a new tutorial for you.  I really had to improvise on this one because of my lack of the correct die cuts to make it look just right, but all in all, I think it kind of worked as a Water Lily hybrid.  If you don't mind thinking outside the box, that is. :)  To see a very good video Tutorial of this done with the correct tools and much better instructions than my poor attempt at photography could produce, please feel free to visit Connie.

For now, here is how I tweaked things to make it work for me.  To begin with, here is the finished product.  I decided to display it on a pillow box I made using the Easter Cricut cartridge.  The box has a bunny rabbit cutaway on the front, but I covered it with black paper; knowing I would have embellishments that would hide my patch job.  You may have a pillow box die on another cartridge that would be more user-friendly.  But, we work with what we have...right?  The finished flower is quite dimensional, so you will probably want to use it on something that is more of a gift or display item.  I can't see me using it in a scrapbook or any other project where it would get smashed.

So here is how I made it:

To begin with you will need a minimum of 4 flowers in each size.  I used the Cricut cartridge Accent Essentials (which I had to borrow...thank you Pat!).  You really want a daisy shape, but as I didn't and couldn't locate that, I used the closest I could find. Remember though, I am going for a hybrid of a water lily here...so it's all good.  (wink)  The sizes I used were: 2.75", 1.75", 1.25".  I also cut out 1 extra shape for the lily pad at 2.75".  On the smallest flower shape, you will want to use the feature that has the center cut out.  You will also want to take your basic hole punch and cut out 1 center of the middle sized flower.


Taking the smallest flower shape, snip through at any spot so that it looks like this:


Apply glue around the center hole and carefully roll the flower around on itself.

Continue on with the other small flowers, adding them to the existing ones until all are wrapped around making the flower center.

Next, you will need to curl up the petals of the remaining flowers.  I used the end of a paintbrush, but a skewer would also work.

Using a dimensional pop-up adhesive, (in this case I used the foam ones because they aren't quite as thick as others) begin layering the flowers together.  Try to off-center them slightly as you build up so it gives the petal effect.  Sort of like this:

Continue on with the middle sized flowers, reserving the one with the hole punch for last.

Apply glue to the bottom of the smallest flower and smash it into the hole of the reserved flower.  Using the dimensional adhesive, attach this flower as well.  Scrunch and arrange your petals the way you want them to look. 
Using your adhesive of choice, center the flower onto the lily pad.

Ta-da!  And there you have it.

I hope you enjoyed this flower tutorial.  If you would like to see more flower tutorials or crafts I will be working on, please become a follower of my blog.  Feel free to link me from your own blog as well.  And as always, I LOVE comments, so keep them coming!

~Shelley

A Few Things to Share

I am proud to be included in Robyn's Pink Gallery at My Pink Stamper.  Before I ever owned my Cricut, I was watching her tutorials to learn the ins and outs.  Thanks for including me Robyn. :)

I will post a new flower tutorial later this morning.  Actually, I am not sure how much of an actual tutorial I will do this time, but I will at least have something new to show you all.  But, for now, here are a couple cute things I made recently I thought I would share.
The flowers were cut using the Plantin School Book cartridge.  The large button center was created with the Brad maker using the coordinating paper.

This victorian inspired card was made using the Love Struck cartridge.  It was my way of showing that just because this cart was created for Valentines Day, these special cartridges can be used for other occasions as well.

Using the Easter Cartridge for the Lily and the Plantin School Book for the box, I made this simple treat box.




I decided to show a few pages of a little photo book I created.  The cover was made using the Sweethearts cartridge.  I also used my Texture Boutique and Coredinations cardstock on many of the pages.  I put it all together with my Bind-it-all.  Kinda fun.