Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I Heart My Dogs Word Book Mini Tutorial

Word books are so much fun to do still.  I found they are very easy to create in Design Space.  The open area is easy to work with.  Remember - the fewer letters in the word book the easier it will be to read.  More letters mean the book needs to be smooshed together closer and the letters will overlap more.

Just start with a square and size it to your liking.  I make mine 5" tall and 2" wide to start so is now more of a rectangle.  Duplicate the rectangle once for each letter in the word book and drag aside.

Insert text.  I chose to do mine one letter at a time but you could type the whole word and then separate the letters to alter each one.  Take the first letter and resize it so that it is about as tall as your rectangle. Adjust the width to your liking. It helps to unlock the proportion lock. It should over lap the rectangle enough to be able to weld. Chunkier fonts work much easier than thinner ones.  I used Cricut Keystone.  

Once the first rectangle and letter look good, duplicate both the letter and the rectangle and set aside.  They will be needed later.  Weld the rectangle and letter together.

Grab the next rectangle and drag it on top of the first welded piece. I start with it being the top layer. I prefer to use the mouse and resize images by dragging. The sizing can all be done from the edit panel as well. Make sure to keep the height at the correct measurement and increase the width either by dragging or using the edit function. Once it is wider than the bottom welded piece, I move it to the back and adjust the length to my liking.  The length should be just slightly shorter than the letter on the first welded piece. Take the second letter and place it on the new rectangle.  Make adjustments until it looks correctly placed - either by changing the length of the rectangle or the size of the font.  Duplicate the letter and the second rectangle, set them aside and then weld the second rectangle and letter together.

Keep going in this fashion until all letters of the word are complete.

Before cutting, eyeball the length of the longest welded piece.  If longer than 11 inches select all and lock the proportion  lock.  Resize until the widest welded piece fits in the allowable cutting space. I believe the actual cutting space is larger than 11 inches but I'm too chicken to push the limit!

The book base (all the welded pieces ) are cut from thin chip board or cereal boxes. The duplicate copies of the rectangles that were made will be used to cut out decorative paper to adhere to the fronts of the chipboard welded pieces.  The duplicate letters created will be adhered to the front of the welded letter piece to give it more definition.  Place the duplicate letter on top of the duplicate rectangle that is adhered to the chipboard welded piece.  For the back pages of the book, cut the welded pieces again but this time out of decorative paper instead of chipboard.  Either mirror the image or use double sided paper.

I am not sure where the paper clips, frames and embellishments originated from.  I made them all but they have been in my stash a long, long time.  If memory serves right, it could be Tags, Bags, Boxes and More or possibly a Sizzix die.

The Bind-It -All was used to hold the book together.  I don't use that tool nearly as much as I should.  It does a great job but every time I go to use it I have to get the manual out and re-learn it.  sigh....

Note to self:  Buy new light box.  This one is really ugly.

Below is a screenshot of part of the file. The duplicate rectangle pieces are lower and you would need to scroll to view.

  My first attempt at sharing a file so hopefully it works. 

Tim Holtz Tattered Flowers

Sometimes I just feel like sitting around and creating embellishments to add to my stash for future use.  Tonight I played around with Tim Holtz regular sized and jumbo sized Tattered Flower die.  As much as I love my Explore, there are times when the Tim Holtz Vagabond is my tool of choice. I love the simplicity of just choosing a die and cutting without having to sit at my computer and  make choices on an image, size and arrangement.  With a die - it is what it is. 

The vintage grunge style of Tim Holtz has long been one of my favorite looks.  I am slowly building up a collection of his Alterations dies.  They don't have the value that a Cricut Cartridge has because you only get one image.  I have to really like the cut before I'll purchase and it has to be something that would be able to be used for multiple project themes.  You can never go wrong with flowers so the Tattered Flower dies are a must have for any TH fan.

For these flowers, I cut burlap, lace, old sheet music, card-stock and corrugated cardboard to form each flower layer.  I used German glass glitter on the leaves.  It has so much more sparkle than regular glitter and easier to work with.  Fine glitter doesn't go flying everywhere!  Unfortunately, the pictures do not do the glitter justice for how beautiful it truly is.  Must be my lighting.

The jumbo flower is about 5 inches across without the leaves or tulle bow included.  It's big enough that it can be used for a home decor project.  Not sure what I want to do with it yet but kicking around a few ideas. 

The regular flowers are about 3 inches across without leaves or tulle bow. The smallest is created just by omitting a few bottom layers.

Jumbo Tattered Flower

Regular Size Tattered Flowers
Thanks for looking and please come back often.  I plan on keeping the ol' blog up to date with all my crafting projects.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Something to Crow About Again!

In my post from a few days ago I had mentioned how much I enjoyed the Cricut Imagine because of its ability to cut layers from printed images.  All of the cards I posted in 2010 were made with the Imagine.  I was so sad - even mad - when PC discontinued the machine and no more cartridges were made. Well, imagine my surprise today when I did the Hot Fix for the DS update earlier this week and now I am able to use all those cartridges again the way the were originally intended! Yes!! The Explore and DS will now print, layer and cut all of my favorite images from the Imagine cartridge library.  I am beyond thrilled and have now officially forgiven PC/Cricut for all of their previous offenses.

Original card made in 2010 with the Imagine

Screenshot of images to recreate the same card in 2015 with Design Space and the Explore

Why get excited over being able to use cartridges that are 5 years old?  I never did really explore my way through all of them so there is undiscovered territory. It's also like being reunited with  an old friend. The cartridges have been lined up on my shelf, unusable for years and now they have come to life again.  Oh happy day!