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Monthly Archives: March 2012


April is going to be a crazy month! Between birthdays and communions, starting work full-time again (mixed feelings on that one!),two trips (one work related, one for fun) AND Easter, I think that there’s something I have to do every single day. I wrote a list of the projects I needed to work on and the first ones I tackled were the birthday cards.

I started off with my godson’s card. Since he is a twin, I thought it would be easiest to make two of the same card. That way I could cross two people’s names off my list! I don’t like doing that because the boys are different and have different separate interests. But, for the sake of time, I did it this way.

I went though all of the stamps that were birthday related (much easier now since I reorganized my stamps!) and came across a set with three different presents. I decided I wanted to emboss the background with the presents and I chose a Martha Stewart glittery blue embossing powder. If you use the glitter embossing powders, it is harder to tell when the powder is melted. Unfortunately, I had that trouble with the background of these cards because of that.

After I embossed the card, I chose another stamp that has an owl with Happy Birthday on it. I used broken china distress ink on a scrap piece of paper to change the color of the paper and then stamped the owl image twice onto it. Then I took the postage stamp border from EK Success and punched around the edges of the stamped image. I also used a lighter piece of blue paper that I ran through the Cuttlebug with the Allegro folder (I think that’s what it is called – it’s the one with all the music notes) and then put a pop dot on the back of the owl image and attached those pieces to the card.

For the inside I used red Chalkbox ink to ink up a Happy Birthday stamp. I used another shade of blue paper to cover the inside (I made a mistake on one of the cards so I needed something to cover it up) and stamped the Happy Birthday in red. Under that I wrote each boy’s name on their own card and then signed it.

The last step was to put a design on the envelope. I chose a longer stamp that has cupcakes across it. I used Black Momento ink to ink up the stamp and then stamped the image on the outside flap of the envelope. I then wrote the boys’ names on their envelope and that’s it!

The card’s design is relatively simple and it didn’t take me a long time to make them both. The most time consuming part was the embossing. There are some mistakes on the cards, but I am sure that two 8 year old boys aren’t going to notice!

Here is how they turned out:cardenvelope

Using Kate’s ABC’s to make an Easter card

This year I decided to make everyone an Easter card. When it came time to make one for my goddaughter, I wanted to do something less traditional than an Easter bunny or some Easter eggs since most of my other cards are going to feature those images. I looked at my Cricut cartridges and saw Kate’s ABC’s. Never having used it, I thought maybe this was the perfect opportunity.

Kate’s ABC’s has classic girl images. They almost remind me of Holly Hobby type images – sweet little girls and cute accessories. It features shoes, hats, purses, animals little girls love (rabbits, cats, goldfish) and cute phrases. If you are doing an alphabet scrapbook, this one has phrases for every letter (s is for shoes – my favorite!!).

As I went through the images, I found a little girl sitting on a patch of grass, wearing an overcoat and a hat holding a bunny. It had a very spring feel to it and with the bunny I thought it would be perfect for Easter. Using Girl4, I cut the base out of brown, Girl4 shift in green, Girl4 layer 1 in dark pink for the under part of her coat and hat, Girl4 layer 1 shift in light pink for the  for the outer part of her coat and hat, Girl4 layer 2 in beige for the skin tone, Girl4 layer 2 shift in yellow for her hair and the center of the flowers. All of the cuts were made at 4 inches. There are some intricate cuts around the grass so I used medium speed.

Once all the pieces were cut out, I started to assemble them. First you place the green layer over the brown layer. The flowers from the brown layer are separate and you don’t have to use them. The next step was to glue all of the skin tone pieces on, starting with the face. You can glue the hair directly to the face or glue the face to the brown piece and then the hair to that. Place the feet and the one hand on the brown piece. It’s nice because when you cut the layers, there are little marks that get cut to show you where the next layer’s parts will be placed.

Before I attached the coat, I ran the light pink through the Cuttlebug with the Swiss Dots folder, just to give it a little dimension. I then glued the light pink pieces to the dark pink pieces for both the coat and the hat. I assembled all three flowers (two go above the grass and one goes on her hat). The image was complete!

My next step was to apply it to the card. When I was placing it down, I thought that there needed to be something underneath her. I chose a blue strip of Bazzil card stock that I had in my scraps. I also used the same ribbon I used on the other Easter card – it says Happy Easter and each letter is in an egg. I may add a small sun to the top right corner, but I haven’t found one I liked yet. For the envelope, I took my maroon chalk ink and inked up the large Easter egg stamp I have and placed it on the flap. All that is left now is to write a message to my goddaughter on the inside of the card.

When I got this cartridge, I was a little hesitant to use it because of some of the designs like this one. They are intricate and time consuming to put together. But once they are done, the image is adorable and well worth the time that it took. Usually I spend so much time on the concept for the card that I go with more simple images from the Cricut. I really like the way this turned out and I think I will be using Kate’s ABC’s to make more cards. I like that the booklet uses a different color for each layer so that when you are trying to figure out what color to make each layer, it’s much easier. With some of the cartridges, I have to guess and I don’t always guess right. That leaves me frustrated. But ProvoCraft seems to have changed that on the newer cartridges and it makes completing a project much easier. If you are looking for a really sweet cartridge to make images for anything for a little girl, this is one I would recommend. The boy version of this is Nate’s ABC’s.

Here is how the card turned out – I’m very happy with it!Card and envelopeCard

As always, please feel free to leave a comment. Thanks for stopping by!

Busy Bee! Reorganizing and Easter Card

I haven’t had time to post a lot of projects lately because it’s been crazy over here! I’ve been calling it wedding sweatshop lol. Some of the things I can’t post until after the wedding (I don’t want to give away any of the surprises for my sister’s guests who might read my blog!) and other things won’t be posted until much later. In between all of the wedding related items, I did have some time to work on an Easter card and to (re)organize my stamp collection.

I’ll start with the stamp collection. At first I was using two of the large photo/paper boxes that you can find at Michael’s or AC Moore – one to hold the wood mounted stamps and the other for clear stamps. The problem with this is that when I needed a certain stamp, I had to dig through this huge box of stamps and usually it was one that was at the bottom of the pile that I needed. (Of course – why would it be easy?) I got fed up with doing that so I decided it was time to rearrange!

I took all my stamps and divided them into categories. I have holidays, wedding, travel, animals, words/phrases/letters, girls night out (shoes, purses, and a stamp set called girls night out!), patterned, etc. This will make it easier when I am working on a holiday card or layout – I can just grab the box with all the event related stamps and am ready to go. I then placed them into the smaller photo/shoe boxes and placed them around my desk. Before I stacked the boxes two high, but inevitably I would need something from the bottom box every time! So I rearranged the desk so that the shoe boxes line it instead of being on top of each other!
For right now I have just done this with my stamps. Eventually I would like to place my stickers and embellishments of the same themes together with the stamps, but I just didn’t have the patience yesterday. (All the stickers are in two binders and already divided by categories).

After the clutter was removed from my desk, I was able to work again! I started on an Easter card and immediately came the scrapper’s block. I had a bunch of stamps that I wanted to use, but I wasn’t sure where to start. I looked at my background stamps and chose a circle pattern. I wanted to emboss it, so I stamped that with VersaMark and used Martha Stewart yellow embossing powder to create the background. I then used my Spellbinders Nestabilites die (label one), took the largest die and cut out a pink shape for part of the background. I then took the stamps and used bright and pastel colored inks to stamp the different sized eggs all over the pink paper.

Originally when I stamped the eggs, I used a light purple for one of the large eggs. It hardly showed up on the paper, so I reinked the stamp with a maroon color and was able to go right over where the first stamp had been. This is one of the major advantages to using clear stamps. Since you can see through the block and the stamp, you can usually go over your stamped image with ease if part of it didn’t get stamped or if you need to use a different color ink.

Ok – back to my project. I picked up some Happy Easter ribbon the other day and knew I wanted to use it at the bottom of the card. Once that was adhered, I placed the pink shape on the card and decided it needed some more elements. I then took a scrap piece of blue paper and inked up a basket stamp with VersaMark. For the embossing powder, I chose one of Martha Stewart’s glitter embossing powder and it shows up almost clear with a sparkle! I really liked the effect. Next I took the x-large cameo punch from Fiskars and punched out the basket to be placed on top of the pink cutout.

I wanted the pink egg paper with the blue basket to be offset, so I needed something to go on the left side of the card. After going through my Cricut cartridges, I landed on an image of a chick popping out of an egg. The egg was embossed with Swiss Dots and then placed over top of the chick and glued on to the front of the card, next to the other image. (I think this image was from Create a Critter, but I can’t be sure!)

When it came time for the sentiment, I realized that all of the Easter stamps I had were too small. I picked up a bunch from the $1 bin at AC Moore and the sets are tiny. So, I again went through my Cricut books and found the phrase A Lovely Easter to you (from the Wild Cards cartridge). The phrase was cut out from a scrap pack of paper I got on sale at AC Moore. I picked up paints when I was there a couple of weeks ago because I wanted to start adding paint to some of my projects. I bought a teal, purple and a green color and thought – maybe I should paint the words? I did and once they were dry, I adhered them to the inside of the card. The last step was to take a wooden Easter stamp I had, ink it with maroon chalk ink and stamp the image on the outside flap of the envelope.

It took me awhile to come up with all the pieces to this card, but I do think it came out cute. Here are some pictures:
Card front Card and envelope Sentiment Sentiment and envelope

Hope you enjoyed this card! Please feel free to leave any comments – thanks for stopping by!

Using the Cuttlebug for program fans

I have been starting to use the Cuttlebug more and more for projects lately. When I bought it right after Christmas (thanks to some gift cards that were given to me by my sister and future brother-in-law!) I wasn’t sure how much I would use it. I think I tend to have an obsession – I buy something and then use it a lot and amass lots of its accessories. Then I tend to forget about it and come back to it months later.

So lately I’ve been on a Cuttlebug kick. I guess you can say its thanks to the two who originally helped me buy it! My sister purchased the program fans from AC Moore and was trying to figure out what to do with them. The groom’s mom and the groom both agreed that they would look better with a picture in them. My sister, her fiancé and I all took a trip to AC Moore to try to find a punch that would work with fans. But, most punches only come up a couple of inches from the bottom of the paper and the Martha Stewart punch around the page punches don’t have openings large enough for a picture. What a dilemma.

I came up with a solution that I thought would work, but my sister’s fiancé wanted to ask the lady who worked at the store. She came up with a circle template and circle cutter that would cost almost $30! Then someone (not me!) would have to sit there and cut out 44 circles. He said he would do it – but everyone knows what that means! I can’t see him sitting there cutting out all those circles.

So we went back to my solution. The Cuttlebug. Sizzle makes these Nestabilities dies that will cut or emboss shapes and gives you a range of sizes (usually 5 to 8 die cuts in each package). I took them back over to that section and they decided that they wanted the oval package. Normally they are $24.99. It was one of AC Moore’s Midnight Madness sales where they offer 20% off everything and the dies were already 40% off.

First, they printed whatever they wanted on their fans, leaving room for the picture. Then they punched the fans out and taking the paper trimmer, cut down the folding line. I was given the front half of the fan to be run through the Cuttlebug with the correct size oval. Even though I had to run 44 of them through the machine, it only took me about an hour. If we had gone with the circle cutter and template, who knows how long that would have taken! (Plus I can never seem to get a good circle cut out of those things. Could be user error though!)

They asked me to do one more thing before giving the fronts back to them, but I will wait until after the wedding to reveal the final fan!

Hope this helps you find another use for your Cuttlebug! Happy scrapping!

Wood grain

I just love the look of wood grain. I have several different background papers that feature it – even a purple wood grain one! So when I saw an embossing folder by Tim Holtz for Sizzix that had one brick wall and one wood grain folder, I immediately got it.

Once I got the folders home, I wasn’t sure what to use it with. I typed in wood grain embossing folder into YouTube and there were a couple of good videos that came up. The one I liked most was Britta Swiderski’s where she creates a floor pattern from the wood grain embossing folder.

I tried to emulate what she created in the video. First, you cover a piece of plain white card stock in tea dye ink. Next you run that through the Cuttlebug with the wood grain folder. Then you take vintage photo and use the ink blending tool on the paper.

The next step is to score the paper. First you turn the paper over and line it up on the scoring board. I made score marks every half-inch. Once the paper was completely scored, I turned it so that the lines I made were now horizontal as opposed to vertical. Then I put score marks in to make it look like hardwood floors.

After all the scoring is done, run the Vintage photo ink direct to paper and the lines really pop! If necessary, use your ink blending tool to smooth out any areas where there might be too much ink.

The only problem with that is that the Tim Holtz embossing folder looks like one piece of wood enlarged, where as the paper tray ink one Britta used looks more like the true grain so that if you are making a door or pieces of the floor, it looks more realistic. I guess that means a trip to Hobby Lobby once I can drive far again! (For those of you that don’t know, they opened up a Hobby Lobby in Vineland, NJ right across from where the ShopRite is located. I can’t wait to go check it out – I hear people talking about it on their YouTube videos, but I’ve never been to one. So excited!)

Anyway, here is a look at what the final piece looks like. I will attach it to a card or scrapbook page soon! Thanks for stopping by! As always, feel free to leave comments or questions.

YouTube is the best – and the worst!

How can YouTube be both the best and worst tool for my creativity? It is a great resource for coming up with new ideas, but it can also be overwhelming. There are so many different tips that you can pick up. I have learned so many new techniques just by typing in one or two of the items that I want to use in a layout.

However, lately I have become overwhelmed, not by the products themselves, but by the styles of the scrapbook pages that I have seen. I have started following a couple of designers whose style of scrapbooking I really admire. I have tried to emulate their way of scrapbooking, but I just can’t seem to get it correct. And then I get frustrated.

Sometimes too many ideas are worse than not enough. The styles I like are all different and as much as I try to match them in my pages, I feel like its not right. After trying to recreate a bunch of pages, I realized that it’s because it’s not my style. While I like looking at other designers’ layouts and trying to find some new inspiration, each scrapbooker has their own unique style. I think my problem is that I was trying to copy someone else’s work rather than incorporating aspects of it into my work.

Some designers use a single picture on the page and cluster their embellishments around it so that most of the page features the background paper. While I really like the look of this style, it isn’t me. I like the “more is more” approach. I think of the background paper as just a base to put my pictures on rather than the focus of the page. I like adding lots of embellishments like pieces I made from the Cricut, stamped or embossed images and/or titles and journaling.

YouTube is great for picking up tips and techniques. I will use it for learning how to use new products. However, I now know that everyone has their own style and you should stick with what works for you. There is no wrong in scrapbooking! Enjoy picking up new ideas from scrapbook,but stay true to your style. Happy scrapping!

Making an explosion box

I have seen these boxes on plenty of YouTube videos but I have never tried to make one. At least not until today. I think that it is a cute idea if you are giving someone a smaller present, like a gift card or to make it for a holiday as a table decoration.

To start the project, you need three 12×12 sheets of coordinating card stock. I chose a teal, blue and a purple. The teal paper was left at 12×12, the blue is 11 3/4 x 11 3/4, (Place the paper in the paper trimmer and cut off 1/4 inch off two sides)and the purple is 11 1/2. Then you take any one of the three pages (this step needs to be done on all three sheets) and place it in your scoring mat so you score the paper at four inches from the left edge of the paper. Turn the paper 1/4 of the way and score at 4 inches again. Do this so that you will have 9 boxes on the page. After you have done that on all three pages, cut the four corners off at the score line so that you have a T shaped piece of paper left.

Once you have your 3 T pieces, you will then glue the pieces together at the middle square. This leaves the other pieces free for you to decorate any way you like. I added colored card stock, embossed pieces, ribbon and other decorative items to my piece.

Next you need to make the top. This is where you have to experiment because it all depends on how thick the card stock you used is. What I did was measure the side of the box when the pages were folded up to make the box and then added a 1/4 inch. I think the paper I cut was a 6 1/4 x 6 1/4. I scored the paper at 1 inch and did the same thing as I did for the three papers – turned the page 1/4 turn and scored again at 1 inch. Once it is all scored and folded, take two opposing sides and cut on the two scored lines. Don’t cut them all because you will have cut out the squares and you need those to hold the sides of the lid together. Fold all the edges and glue to shorter pieces down so that the lid is complete.

Here are some pictures of the partially completed explosion box. I will finish decorating it when I know who I am going to give it to. I just wanted to try making one and I think that it came out cute!
Box AfterExplosionZebraJournalingBorderSideCenterTop decorated

Hopefully this gives you an idea for a unique birthday card or centerpiece for a party. I saw explosion boxes decorated for Halloween and Mother’s Day. Feel free to leave comments or questions!