Sunday, October 31, 2010

Making Square Envelopes

I found a blog today called She's Crafty that has a good tutorial on making your own square envelopes.  Maybe it belongs to one of you?  I thought the information might come in handy for Imagine users.  Since we can not manipulate rectangle shapes to fit a 5 1/2 x 4 1/4 card front yet, I have been making a lot of square cards lately.   This very informative blog shows how to make a 3", 4" and 5" envelope.  Here's the link:
If you have the Martha Stuart Score Board, there are directions for making a 6 inch square envelope included.
I know they're not all that hard to do and some people don't even use a template, but it helps me to have some sort of a guide or reference.
If anyone does know how to create a rectangle to fit an A2 card on the Imagine.....please let me know!

You're Tweet!

Today was a lazy day where I couldn't stand the thought of housework or laundry so I holed up in my craft room and played with the Imagine.  I liked the little birdie on the banner from the Best Friends cartridge that said "You're Tweet" so printed and cut that out. This past week I've been digging through and trying to use up a lot of my scraps because they are getting out of hand.  I found a piece of brown and pink circle pattern paper that matched the birdie pretty well.  The bird is actually more on the pink-ish side than what it appears in the photo.  I used my Janome Sew Mini to sew the scrap onto the card front.  The paper is so pretty and the pattern is busy enough that I thought it looked just fine without adding any more to the front.  However, because the front didn't have a strong focal point, I wanted to add a bold image to the inside and chose one from the Three Birds on Parade cartridge.  It was so much fun to use the patterns and color pallet from the Imagine cartridges with the regular cartridges.  I tried several combinations and each one really gives the image a different look altogether.  Ultimately, I decided to just keep it simple and chose solid colors for the bird and a small scrap of matching accent paper to mat the sentiment.

It took awhile to finish this card only because it was so much fun playing around with all the possibilities.  Sometimes I think having so many scrap supplies and tools actually causes decision paralysis.  Lol!

Thank you for looking and please come back again soon!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Flickering Tea Light Treat Bag

With Halloween just a few days away, I really enjoyed creating this little treat bag that lights up for the CC Blog contest.  It was fairly easy to make and one of the few times the finished project ended up looking just as I had envisioned it. 
The bag is from page 75 on the Mini Monsters cartridge .  It is cut at 8.5 inches and required the 12 x 24 mat.  Hide contour was used to eliminate a few unnecessary inner cuts.  I scored all of the  marks but did not fold the bag. The front, back and sides of the bag were measured and then I cut decorative paper about 1/2 inch smaller for each of the four sections.  I adhered the decorative paper with my ATG and added faux stitching along the zig zag top with a white pen.
Next, the pumpkin was cut at 4.75 inches with a matching shadow.  The eyes, nose and mouth were outlined with a black sharpie and then a white pen was used for highlights.  The shadow needed to be trimmed to allow light to shine through, so I took an exacto knife and cut away the middle leaving just a rim of the shadow.  The rim/shadow was then glued to the back of the pumpkin.  Taking a sheet of vellum, I used the direct to paper method and applied straw colored Tim Holtz Distress Ink.  It is slow drying and I was impatient, so used a heat gun to quick dry.  Trimmed the vellum to fit the back of the pumpkin and then adhered with quick dry glue.
I used the ATG to assemble and adhere the bag together.  The inside was lined with aluminum foil so it would help to reflect more light and make the tea candles appear brighter.  I just set the two battery operated flickering tea candles inside and then created a removable "shelf" about 4 1/2 inches high.  The shelf just loosely sits inside and serves as a raised bottom which allows the lights to shine through the vellum underneath and still provides support for the shred and candy on top.

Unfortunately, the picture doesn't demonstrate how the lights inside flicker and make the pumpkin appear to be lit up.  This picture was taken on the night setting on my camera and does at least show the glow coming from the face cut outs.

This pic was taken fully lit and just shows the true colors of the bag.  

Wishing you all a safe and and Happy Halloween! 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Digital Delights

A few years ago I purchased Photoshop Elements 7 at my local Costco and it included a bonus CD called Learn Digital Scrapbooking.  My purpose in buying PSE7 was mainly to use it as a photo editor to enhance my pictures that I use for traditional scrapping.  I had never given any thought to trying digital because I figured it would be too complicated.
One quiet evening I decided to take a look at the bonus CD and was surprised at how well it was done.  The instructor, Linda Sattgast, gave step by step instructions for both PC and Mac users that were clear and easy to follow.  Before long, I was able to create digital layouts on my own and I've been hooked ever since.
The thing I like best is that it's economical.  Scrapping Kits are usually around the $5 range and have several papers and elements that can be used over and over again.  You'll never run out of your favorite paper again!!  Colors and patterns can be changed to suit your needs.   Many blogs offer free kits as well.  I also like the freedom that comes with knowing that any mistakes I make are so easy to correct.  Just a click of two of the undo button and my project is free of any scrapping blunders without ruining an expensive sheet of paper.
If you've ever considered digital scrapping I would highly recommend checking out Scrapper's Guide website and take a look at some of Linda's tutorials.  Some are free and some you pay for.  There is a  weekly email you can sign up for that offers free lessons.  I also joined the Premier membership which includes 4 video lessons , a newsletter, a digital kit and a pre-designed book of quick pages to download  each month for the price of $35 per year.

Here is the link to Scrapper's Guide: 

This is one of my first digital layouts made when Addison was about 9 months old.  It is made from a kit by my favorite designer Irene Alexeeva.  It was inspired by a quick page created by her and I just added a few of my own touches and the most important element....Addy!!   If you like dreamy, ethereal artwork then you will love Irene's kits.  You can visit her blog and if you like what you see she has links to her online store from there:

Another layout inspired by Irene Alexeeva's kits.  I believe this one was a sample I saw on her website and I duplicated it.

I have some more pics to share but it's getting late so will have to continue another day.  Thanks for stopping by and have a scrap happy day!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Fun Finds At Tuesday Morning!

Decided to stop by Tuesday Morning today and see what kind of treasures I could find.  There were lots of scrapbooking goodies to sort through and several name brands I recognized.  I bought three packages of Making Memories Curling Tags.  I still love those things!  I saw the Slice but at $129 didn't think the price was discounted all that much.  In the store's flyer they had the Design Runner package that included the machine to create your own text.  It was a great value at $99 but they didn't have any and I already have all that anyway.  In addition to the curling tags I also bought three other items:

The Paper Gator
The Paper Gator is a discontinued item but I don't understand why.  It works fantastic!  I rounded the corners on a stack of text weight paper that was 1/4" thick and it cut through it like butter!  I can see using this tool often when making mini books.  My only disappointment with this purchase was that it only came with the 3/8" blade.  There are 3 other sizes available but since it's discontinued they're very hard to find.  MSRP listed on the box is $49 (I believe that was an error...with 1 cutting blade I found it on the internet for $29).  I purchased it for $19.99 which is a fair price.  I compare it to purchasing the Zutter Round It All for around the same price and it also only cuts one size.  This item will cut such a big stack of paper that it seems to me a better value.

Dremmel Hot Glue Gun
This glue gun has a comfortable grip and feels sturdy.  It has two temperature settings - high and low.  It comes with a couple more nozzle sizes and has a no drip cover.  It has a light. The thing I liked best about it was how nicely designed and well balanced it is.  It is so easy to just set it down and not have to worry about it tipping over. The price is $14.99.  Not the cheapest glue gun I've ever purchased but for the quality it's most definitely a fair price.  I'll bet this gun will be able to handle any project!

 Possibilities Laser Guide & Trimmer
Sometime awhile back I saw a laser ruler in one of my craft mags and really wanted to buy one.  They were not only pricey at $19.99 but never could find them locally and didn't bother to do the internet research to purchase online.  I am so challenged at writing in a straight line or placing items on my cards or layouts in a straight line that I thought it would be a very useful tool to have around.  Just turn on the laser and write or place your items and everything should be straight without having to get out the old ruler and pencil.  Two rulers could be purchased and then locked together to form a nice square corner and to aide finding  center point on a piece of paper.
When I saw this item today and it was a one piece unit with two lasers AND a cutter I was totally stoked!  The lasers are turned on and off with the pink-ish button on the bottom.  Move the laser's position with the sliders located on each clearly marked ruler.  In the picture I used an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper and set the top slider to 4/ 14 and the side ruler to 5 1/2 to find center point.  To use the horizontal laser as a writing guide, simply move the vertical laser slider all the way to the left or right and it will be out of the way. When finished using the ruler, it folds and locks for easy storage. MSRP listed on the box is $29.99 and Tuesday's price is only $9.99 which I considered a steal. This item is my Deal of the Day and I highly recommend it.  Hmmm...I'm loving this tool so much -  could it be a future blog candy?  What do you think??

What a fun day shopping!  I wish every day was Saturday afternoon at Tuesday Morning. 

Simple Halloween Card

Several weeks ago I attended the Circle Meet Up in Arizona.  What a fun time!   Got to meet some very nice people from PC and from my local area.  We exchanged calling cards and Halloween cards.  With Halloween just around the corner,  I thought I'd share the easy to make card I did.  Just used some patterned paper and ribbon on the front and cut the spider from Paper Doll Dress Up.  The verse inside took longer to think up than the card did!   Not sure if the photo will be clear enough that it's readable so here it is: 

Big black cats, vampire bats
A witch stirs her brew
Ghosts of white, haunt the night
With a frightening "BOO!"
Monsters roam, in the gloam
Up and down streets
At your door, wanting more
Halloween Treats
Keep Handy, some candy
To make things alright
When spooks come and want some
On Halloween night!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sometimes Life Stinks

One of the first mistakes I made when using the imagine was misunderstanding the True and Relative size options.  I had an idea that True meant real dial size was on and that relative meant all the cuts would be layered proportionately.  The problem was I couldn't tell when the option button was highlighted with green or white, which color meant the function was activated.  To test this out, I used the cute little skunk from the Nursery Tails cartridge.  I touched the relative button until it turned green.  I figured green meant "go."   Nope.  All the layers were the same size.  Tried the same cut again highlighting the button to white and all the layers were proportioned to fit together perfectly.  Ahhhhh.....success was mine!  I promptly stuck a yellow sticky note with directions right above my imagine so I won't forget which is which in the future.  Many of my sister scrappers who are also over fifty may understand and appreciate the need for lots of sticky notes. <grin>
Not wanting to waste the extra cuts made during my experiment, I decided to put together a card.  I  cut an un-layered image of the skunk scene for the front and used the extras to make a pop up inside.  The verse says "Sometimes life just stinks!  Hope your world is smelling like roses again soon!!"  I thought it would be cute to give to someone who may be having a bad day or going through some rough times.


Cartridges Used:  Nursery Tails for the skunk scene and Micky and Friends for the rose in the skunk's hand.
Cardstock:  Just scraps from my scrap bin

Thanks for stopping by and I hope that your day ends up smelling like roses!  <smile>

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Something To Crow About - Imagine Review

I ordered the Imagine at the HSN launch and was so excited for it to arrive that I couldn't sleep for a week!  When it arrived on a Wednesday, I was dead tired both physically and mentally from work and decided to wait until the weekend when I was more rested to open the box and set it up.  That very same evening, as I sat on the computer longingly staring at the box, I couldn't stand it any more and ripped into it.  I figured I could at least drag it out of the box and set it on the counter and eyeball it up close and personal for a few days.  First, let me say it is HEAVY (at least to me it  DH fell off of a roof a few weeks ago and suffered a broken shoulder, wrist and rib so he couldn't help and I wasn't sure I could lift it from the floor to the counter top myself.   There was no need to worry. My adrenalin kicked in and I hoisted that puppy up there like it was a sack of feathers!  DH came in an commented on what a beautiful, professional looking machine it was and I wholeheartedly agreed.  After gazing at it for a few more minutes I decided to watch the set up video to be better prepared for the weekend.  It looked pretty simple (even for technology challenged me) so I stopped the video after each step Jinger explained and repeated the instructions on my machine. Fifteen minutes later I was making my first cut.  Unbelievable!!   
Now, several weeks later, I have made more cards than I've made in the past two years.  The machine is fun, easy to use and produces professional looking results that still have a handmade touch to them.  
The amount of time that I save not having to search for coordinating colors of cardstock and patterned paper is what I love.  It's not that I don't enjoy doing that - I do.  I love paper!!  It's just the time factor...I have very little to spare. This machine saves me time and even though there is more cost involved for ink, the time saved allows me to enjoy creating and producing more projects.  It works for me!
By using the layer option, the pre-made images can be broken down into individual pieces and from there the sky is the limit on what you can do with them.  My example is my "Something To Crow About" card.  I like the title, which was pre-made, but wasn't sure what to do for the main image.  Just cutting two additional crows and increasing their size was a super easy solution.
I know my info is pretty basic, but that's what I am.  A simple scrapper!!  Lol.  If I can figure out even the most elementary tricks I get very excited and I hope it will be info that will help someone else who may be techno challenged like me.

Thanks for looking!  Talk to you all soon!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Think Pink For Future Generations

Welcome to my first blog post!  This is a special day because not only is it my first post, but I finished my project to enter into the Cricut Circle Blog Think Pink contest.  This layout was so much fun to do but let me begin by telling you that it did NOT turn out the way I originally intended.  I'll bet that's happened a time or two  to most of you as well.  <grin>

 When I read that the theme of the contest was going to be Think Pink  I was motivated for three reasons.  First is to support the fight against a devastating  disease like breast cancer and second is that I love the idea of celebrating the strength of women.  Our strength is often underestimated.  The third reason is that I love, love, love the color pink and one of my favorite color combinations is black and pink.  It reminds me of that candy, Good & Plenty.  I knew right away the focal point of my project would be my sweet 2 year old grand daughter, Addison.  She is often the inspiration for many of my projects.  I wanted to create a whimsical piece to frame and display in my craft room that featured Addison surrounded by a Good & Plenty background.
First I printed off a 5 x 7 pic that we had taken of Addy about 3 months ago at a place in our local mall called People Pictures.  They did a fabulous job of capturing her personality.  Next I selected my color pallet which was pretty, black and white.  Instead of cutting out the oval candy shapes like on the Good & Plenty box, I decided on circles.  Using my Gypsy and George, I cut out a mat full of various shapes and sizes of circles.  I cut out two butterflies from the Stamping cartridge.  I wanted to use black and pink ribbon and started rummaging through my stash and was excited to find just what I needed.  It was ribbon I've had forever that I purchased in a big box from Costco several years ago.  Gotta love these contests because they motivate me to actually USE my stuff!!  Amazing!!  Woohoo!!

Ah, but I digress......So I have placed the picture where I want and am playing around with different arrangements of the circle and butterfly embellishments.  All the while I'm looking at Addison's picture and how bright her eyes are.  They are as shiny and bright as I hope her future will be. Then I start to think more about the theme of this contest and how I wish there were a cure for not only breast cancer but all cancer so that Addy's future could be as bright as her beautiful eyes.  My Good & Plenty theme was kicked to the curb as the project took on a life of its own and became Think Pink For Future Generations.  It comes from my heart because I truly do hope and pray for a cure for all of the women who are currently affected and to protect our future generations. 

Thanks so much for stopping by my little place on the web.  Please check back often.  I am looking forward to sharing many more projects and ideas!

Bazzill black paper
Stampin' Up Positively Pink
Generic white paper that I've had for years
Cricut Cartridges:  George, Stamping and Stand and Salute
Prima Flowers
Irock Bling
Costco ribbon
Martha Stuart Bubble Bath Punch Around the Page
Art Institute Glitter (on the butterflies...hard to see in the pic but they sparkle!!)