Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I just pimped my Cricut!

I recently bought a vinyl sampler pack and have been itching to try it. So this morning I whipped out my Opposites Attract cartridge and monogrammed the front of my bug. I kept it fairly simple for my first go-round, plus I wanted the colors to match my future color palette so I stuck with black. I cut a 5" cursive 'L' in black, then shadowed it in gray. I stuck both layers on the front panel and added some adhesive rhinestones for bling. It was easy to stick on, and seems like it will be fairly easy to remove when I get around to upgrading to the E.

As a bonus, my sanity will be saved at open crops now that I don't feel I have to keep such an eagle eye on my Cricut. Who is gonna try to walk off with this thing?! The only downside is that I feel a little like Laverne DeFasio with my big ol' 'L' on there, but I suppose a lot of croppers won't even get the reference. Sometimes it pays to be part of the over 30 crowd!

Shameless plug: I bought a sampler pack of 32 sheets of 6x12 vinyl from They also have a promo code right on their website for 20% off, so I think I spent about $28 including shipping. I thought this was a great way to try the vinyl and see a bunch of the colors in person. Their vinyl is also rated for outdoor use, so go ahead and pimp your ride too. OR your front door, or your garage door, or...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Spring Ahead

I'm saving my sanity and leaving the nasty weather behind! I joined a Spring page kit swap and have been spending time creating some fun items to send in my swap kit. After the first item, I was liking it so much I'm making a second set for me! In order to share my good time, here are some pictures of my swap items, as well as some brief instructions for how things were made.

Title was cut using my Cricut and the Calligraphy Collection cartridge. I used Dutch Blue and Amethyst textured cardstock, and some hand dyed cardstock for the letters. (I'll explain how I did that below.) I edged the Amethyst CS with Hydrangea ink and a glue pen, and glittered it. I added grommets to the holes and tied ribbon through.

I decided it,s not so much my style after I finished it, so I did not make a second one. I'll have to come up with something a little different for myself!

All of the stamps used are from Close To My Heart's March stamp of the month, Butterfly Wings. These are now my favorite butterfly stamps (and I have several, lol). I created these gorgeous specimens using more of my hand dyed paper (directions below). First, I stamped the image using Hydrangea ink. I used a brighter ink than what I wanted because the glitter will mute the color somewhat. Next I cut out my image, leaving just a tiny bit of border. Then I stamped the image again using a Tsukineko Glue Pad, then glittered it. (FYI, the glitter sticks better if you press it into the glued image with your fingers.) Finally, I added a little rhinestone to the head. These little beauties will make some great dimensional accents!

Here's a journaling box I made using the same hand-dyed paper and Dutch Blue CS. I stamped using Petal ink, except the butterfly, where I again used Hygrangea. I added white photo hangers and ribbon for interest. Scalloped edge is made with a border punch from Stampin' Up!

Hand Dyed Paper Instructions
To dye my own paper, I first made my own alcohol ink wash. I used dye based reinkers, rubbing alcohol, and spray misters. The spray misters come in a 3-pack and are usually sold where they sell stamping ink. I made blue and purple, putting several drops of reinker in a mister then filling it with alcohol. After putting the sprayer in, I gave it a little shake to mix. I laid white cardstock on some newspaper and sprayed the CS until I got the colors I desired. The paper will curl some, but you can lessen this by ironing it with a craft iron and laying something heavy on it for a while.

For this photo mat, again I just used some of my hand-dyed paper, and backed it with Dutch Blue CS. The corners are really a Close To My Heart Edge Anchor, split in half. I used baby blue brads instead of the matching ones from the Edge Anchor package, and added some rhinestones as well.

Here's my favorite thing, glittered pattern paper! (We use 6x6 in these swaps to save postage.) I used the hand dyed paper, and stamped Hydrangea butterflies and Dutch Blue swirls. I then restamped the images with the glue pad and glittered them. Be sure to only do a few at a time or the glue will dry before you get the glitter on!

For my final item, I hand stamped some ribbon to match. It was so fun! I remembered I had some Fabrico fabric ink in light purple, so I stamped the smallest swirl from this set and the word "Spring" from another set. I heat set the stamping with my iron.

Let me know if you need better instructions for anything! All Close To My Heart Products are available on my website under the online shopping link. If you need help locating other products, hust let me know!
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