Monday, October 31, 2011

Just the Ticket! - November Stamp of the Month Blog Hop

Hello and welcome to the stamp of the month blog hop.  This month, we have over 50 talented consultants sharing ideas for our Cherish the Day stamp set.   If you've come here from Jen Rubio's blog, you're on the right track.  If you want to move along, Doreen Guilfoyle is up next in the lineup.

I am loving this set of 44 stamps - I've got ideas for almost every month of the year already!  The first project I knew I needed to use this for is a birthday card for my hubs.  His birthday is early in December, and I know if I don't get one done by early November, I will wind up scrambling at the last minute as I get all caught up in holiday stuff.  This stamp set was just the ticket for an addition to a manly card.

I began by making a 8" x 3.5" card base from our Kraft cardstock, and added pattern papers from the Lucky paper pack.  I cut ticket shapes from my papers using the recommended 1" ticket from the Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge.  (Don't let the ticket shape be your last stop, though - these stamps would be great on several of the tag and other shapes from the cartridge.)  I stamped the main ticket using the December and 6 stamps, and embossed them with Outdoor Denim embossing powder.

To complete my card, I also used a bracket from the Milepost Shapes package, a Foundry Ribbon Slides (turned over "backwards"), and ribbon & a photo turn from the Sunset Mini-Medley.  I distressed the Milepost Shape using both Outdoor Denim and Olive ink pads.

Now all I have left to do is create a great little gift certificate for him from the kids & me, and sit back and let his birthday roll around!

Now, be sure to head over to Doreen's blog and see what she made to inspire us this month!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mini Christmas Gift Tin with Echo Park Paper

So, the other day I was trying to be productive and clean up the scrap room, so I can really dive in and get some projects done for Christmas gifts.  As I was putting things away, I happened to see laying on the desk a hinged-lid bandage tin and a Tim Holtz knob.  Laying right there next to each other, they called to me to make something with them, so of course I did!  Here it is:

LOVE it!  I was totally inspired by the Season's Greetings collection from Echo Park Paper.  As soon as I pulled out the papers, I knew the poinsettia paper was the one to use.  So, to make my tin coordinate, I lightly sanded it down then sponged some parchment colored paint on to the areas that would show.  After it dried, I adhered the paper using Scor Tape.  My sentiment on the front was from the sticker sheet, but since I wanted to put it over ribbon I stuck it to chipboard first and cut it out to give it some dimension.  I inked the edges of it and the green border sticker using black ink.

Here are some more detail shots:

The black gingham ribbon is from my stash.  The poinsettias are from Making Memories - I added some yellow brads from my stash and blinged them with Yellow Stickles from Ranger.

The knob was added by marking my center, then punched it with my Crop-A-Dile.  The tag is from the sheet of adhesive chipboard shapes, and I just left the backing on the base piece.  I then tied it to the knob with some Doodlebug twine.  The clear adhesive gems are Bitty Sparkles from Close To My Heart.

Here's one last view from the top:

This is the perfect size for a special gift card or an earring box.  I wish I could tell you where to geet your own tin, but I have been pretty unlucky in locating a source (mine came from a warehouse-type sale).  If you have kids in your house, an alternative is buying tins of novelty bandages that come in tins.  Of course, these will all require sanding and painting for most projects.

Thanks for stopping by today!  Hopefully, I will be posting more soon with the ramp up to Christmas I have a great excuse to find time to craft!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Cricut Thanksgiving

Welcome!  I have another Cricut project for you today, using one of my favorite seasonal Cricut cartridges.  The Thanksgiving Mini cartridge is useful for all kinds of goodies.  So far this month I have made a pretty garland and some Thanksgiving helpers, and I'm sharing them all with you here.

First up, my leaf garland.  I have a grapevine tree in my kitchen; it's a bit like a Christmas tree made of grapevine, but it stays out all year long.  I just got it last year, so I am slowly adding to my stash of decor for it to wear.  This year I made a garland of leaves using the leaf cut on the Thanksgiving cartridge.

Using my Gypsy, I hid all of the interior cuts on the leaf so I was left with just an outline.  I then copied it multiple times on my virtual mat so I could cut several at once.  I pulled a variety of papers from my stash in Fall colors, including some colored vellum, some suede-finish paper, textured cardstock, and some American Crafts glitter paper in Leaf.  (I used a stamp pad to ink the back side of the glitter paper in case they flipped over some.)  After the leaves were cut, I used various colors of Stickles to add some swirly veins to the leaves.  Once the Stickles were dry, I punched holes in all of the leaves, then tied them onto some hemp cord a few inches apart. Then all I had left to do was wind it around my tree!

Next are my little Thanksgiving helpers.  Did you know that this cartridge comes with napkin ring and place card designs?  (In fact, the place card is useful for any occasion as it has a simple flourish design.)  Here's the napkin ring and place card design:

To fit my paper napkin & plasticware, I cut my napkin ring at 1", but I would definitely go larger for a cloth napkin or larger paper napkin.  They are easily joined together at the back with Scor Tape.  I cut the place card at 2.5", as well as the place card layer.  I cut the layer from black CS and adhered it to the card, then added Stickles to it.  I used Distressed Stickles in Scattered Straw, Spiced Marmalade, and Fired Brick.

When we celebrate at my parents' house, there are usually over 40 of us with an equally large amount of food.  It gets hard to keep track of what everything is, so I thought the place card would also make a great way to label the various foods:

Using my Gypsy again, I hid all of the interior cuts on the place card layer.  I copied it to a second one then resized the copy slightly smaller to fit inside and joined them together.  Then I selected the pie cut and fit it into the place card layer cuts and welded it there.  I also cut the pie layers at the same size as the pie.  After adhering the various layers to the place card, I dressed it up a bit.  I again used the Scattered Straw and Fired Brick Distress Stickles on the pie, and I added Frosted Lace Stickles to the steam.  I plan to make more with some of the other cuts on the cartridge to take with me so everyone can label their not-so-obvious dishes!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Christmas Cards with Cricut and Copics - feat Echo Park Paper and Graphic 45

Wow, I can't believe it's been two weeks since I posted!  We've had nasty colds making the rounds at our house keeping me busy... anyway, this month on the Cutters Creek blog we are featuring die-cutting.  So I decided to bust out my Cricut Expression.

One of my favorite things to do with my Cricut for cards is to make nice mats or frames for images.  So, I thought I would show you one of each on some Christmas cards I made.  Just a quick note: I use my Gypsy for this purpose, but if you have Design Studio or Cricut Craft Room, you can use them in the same manner.

First up, an elegantly simple card using papers from Graphic 45's Christmas Emporium paper pad.
5x7 card base

I started with a kraft card base.  I chose my design from the "Santa Express" sheet of images, cut it out, and measured its height & width.  Using my Cricut Gypsy, I chose a frame I liked from the Elegant Edges cartridge that had a similar height/width ratio. (Remember, Kim can special order just about any cartridge you want!)  I then "unlocked" the height and width fields so they wouldn't adjust together.  I then adjusted the height and width independently until the inner opening of the frame was approximately the same size as my cutout design.  (Slightly larger is great!)  I then cut the frame using some coordinating cardstock.

I then cut a 4.5"x6.5" mat from the green side of the "Merry and Bright" sheet.  I distressed the edges of all of my papers and my card bases using a sponge tool.  I adhered the green paper to the card, then layered on the frame using the ASI Kool Tak clear foam squares.  Next, I adhered the cutout design within the frame.  Finally, I added a touch of Polar White Flower Soft to my holly for added dimension.  VERY easy!

My second card takes a bit more time, but totally worth the effort for its beauty!

5x7 card base
I began with my vintage Santa stamp.  Mine is from Close To My Heart.  Using the transparent ruler in my Cricut Tool Kit, I measured the approximate size of my stamp image.  I then chose a doily mat I liked from the Elegant Edges Cricut cartridge, and used my Gypsy to resize it until it was an appropriate size for my image, and cut it out.

I stamped my Santa image with Memento Tuxedo Black, colored it with Copic markers, then added his hat band and pom pom using white Liquid Applique sprinkled with clear glitter.  Note: to get this effect, sprinkle the glitter while the Liquid Applique is wet, then let it dry for a couple of hours before you heat it with your embossing gun.  I then distressed the entire image by sponging on some distress ink.  I also used the ink on my Doodle Bug twine so it would match better.  I stamped a small holly image on scrap as well, and colored & cut it out to use as an accent.

I used papers from Echo Park Paper's Season's Greetings 6x6 paper pad to create my background.  I used a brick Texture Fades embossing folder to create my accent piece on coordinating cardstock, then added additional dimension by distressing with multiple colors of ink.  I edged all of my paper pieces in black ink, since my image was stamped in black - it helps tie everything together.  I assembled the card, and popped up the image using the Kool Tak clear foam squares.

If you're interested, here's a list of specific Copic colors used in the Santa image:
E000, E00, E11, R20, R24, C2, Y17, YR04, YG63, G99, R29, R35, R39, and 0 colorless blender
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