Heirloom Va-Va-Voom…

Today’s card project is a bit different for me…in several ways. The genesis of the idea came from an image that I absolutely fell in love with on the new Cricut Imagine Colors & Patterns cartridge entitled “Heirloom”. The image is a terrific collage print featuring vintage dress forms, wire dress forms and corsets and is done in a palette of corals, dusty pinks, creams and carmine red. It’s an ultra feminine piece of artwork–and a terrific find with the hot crafting trends of vintage shabby chic and steampunk regalia.

One of the very first things I did was print out a 12″ x 12″ sheet of this paper on some textured white Bazzill cardstock. I set it aside for a bit trying to decide where I was going with it. In the mean time, I was exploring another soon-to-be favorite Cricut cartridge called “Elegant Edges”. This is a must-have cartridge for those of you who are always looking for decorative frames and picture mats, as well as unique journaling blocks. As I was exploring the oblong frame set to find a shape for a card front, I was inspired to use my Cricut Imagine to combine the artwork of “Heirloom” with the scalloped open-detail oblong frame from “Elegant Edges”. I used the color palette from “Heirloom to print the backing solid color shadow frame for my scalloped piece.

Once I had a mental image of what I wanted, I started building the card using some red mica cardstock as the card base. I cut a 4″ x 5″ mat from the 12″ x 12″ sheet I had printed and used the Martha Stewart Crafts “Optic Dot” corner punch to take the corners off of my mat. Rummaging through my stash, I found a terrific Stampin’ Up! edged ribbon in Riding Hood Red that really went well with the design of the card. The corset die-cut is from a set of foiled elements by Kanban Arts. The sentiment is from a Stampin’ Up! set called “Chic Boutique”.

The end result is a bit intimate and definitely boudoir-ish. I think it will make a great general purpose “girlfriend” card. With a little adjustment it would also make a great invite for a bachelorette party (if I may say so).



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Winner–Giveaway #16: Pack Your Bags

I’ll be the first to admit, I think this was definitely the most challenging puzzle giveaway I’ve had to date. That’s not to say it was impossible to solve–and many of you made great progress. But, choosing a winner was super simple as there was only one entry that managed to get all of the correct answers! So who’s the very savvy girl? Hmmm…before I get to that, let’s take a look at the answers.

01. I am museum which holds the world famous painting ‘Las Meninas’ among its collection, as well as the largest collection of Spanish paintings in the World. Where am I?
Madrid, Spain

02. I’m located on the North Island and known as the City of Sails. Where am I?
Auckland, New Zealand

03. I was designed by Daniel Hudson Burnham and became an icon in my city. Some say I am also responsible for the phrase “23 Skidoo”. Where am I?
New York City, USA

04. I’m located on the Burrard Peninsula and contain the landmark Robson Square. Where am I?
Vancouver (British Columbia), Canada

05. Unscramble me: LARVA ACE SAUCE ZEN. Where am I?
Caracas, Venezuela

06. I was established as a trading town by King Gustav I of Sweden and originally named Hellssingeforss. My official languages are Finnish and Swedish. Where am I?
Helsinki, Finland

07. I am a fictional French speaking Belgian detective appearing in 33 novels. My creator and Guiness Book of World Records title holder was born here. Where am I?
Torquay (Devon), England

08. I am a symbol of eternal love and a mausoleum. I am also the World’s finest example of Mughal architecture. Where am I?
Agra, India (the building in question is the Taj Mahal)

09. Unscramble me: OBSIDIAN ALIEN. Where am I?
Bali, Indonesia

10. I am the capital city of this country that shares borders with the Atlantic Ocean, Angola and Botswana. Where am I?
Windhoek, Namibia

Thank you to all of those who took the time and effort to play along. As always, I really enjoy coming up with ways to torture entertain you. Be on the lookout for Giveaway #17 shortly.

So, who is the Mistress of Maps? The winner of a brand new Cricut “Pack Your Bags” cartridge, a selection of Imaginisce “Scooter’s Vacation” paraphernalia, a LaBlanche “Dogwood” silicone stamp, and some secret surprises is….Ms. Kristie Maynard. Congratulations on your mastery of geography Kristie! If you would please forward your contact information, I will get your prize package on its way to you. Again, thanks to all who participated.

Giveaway #16: Pack Your Bags

For this giveaway, we’ll be taking a virtual tour of some of the World’s most well-known tourist destinations. Your task–should you accept it–is to use the list of clues provided to determine the city and country we are visiting. When you think you’ve found all ten locations, submit your answers via the e-mail link on the sidebar (one entry per person please). Entries will be accepted until 12:00 a.m MST on Saturday, April 30, 2011.

For your sleuthing and miles of travel, you’ll be rewarded with a special travel-themed prize package. Among your goodies: a brand new “Pack Your Bags” Cricut cartridge, a set of Imaginisce’s “Scooter’s Vaction” embellishments including mirrored sticker, three-dimensional stickers and rub-ons, a LaBlanche silicone stamp entitled “Dogwood” (not pictured) and a few surprise goodies.

Your Travel Itinerary:

01. I am museum which holds the world famous painting ‘Las Meninas’ among its collection, as well as the largest collection of Spanish paintings in the World. Where am I?

02. I’m located on the North Island and known as the City of Sails. Where am I?

03. I was designed by Daniel Hudson Burnham and became an icon in my city. Some say I am also responsible for the phrase “23 Skidoo”. Where am I?

04. I’m located on the Burrard Peninsula and contain the landmark Robson Square. Where am I?

05. Unscramble me: LARVA ACE SAUCE ZEN. Where am I?

06. I was established as a trading town by King Gustav I of Sweden and originally named Hellssingeforss. My official languages are Finnish and Swedish. Where am I?

07. I am a fictional French speaking Belgian detective appearing in 33 novels. My creator and Guiness Book of World Records title holder was born here. Where am I?

08. I am a symbol of eternal love and a mausoleum. I am also the World’s finest example of Mughal architecture. Where am I?

09. Unscramble me: OBSIDIAN ALIEN. Where am I?

10. I am the capital city of this country that shares borders with the Atlantic Ocean, Angola and Botswana. Where am I?

(REMEMBER: Your answers should include the city and country of where your clue takes you. Bon Voyage!)

Architectural Digest…

As I have discussed previously, I am a great fan and student of architectural symmetry, design and aesthetics. I can sit and look at photographs and books of geometric designs cast in plaster, marble, metals–and be mesmerized by the intricacies of line, curve and shape. One of my particular favorite architectural elements has always been the finial. Finials are typically carved from stone and are thoughtfully used to emphasize the apex of a gable or any distinct ornaments at the top, end, or corner of a building or structure. However, finials have been taken from architectural devices and now grace everything from clocks, curtain rods, and bedposts.

My love of finials is one of the reasons I thoroughly enjoy the Cricut cartridge called ‘Ornamental Iron’. There are so many terrific wrought-iron gates, windows, and architectural elements on this cartridge–and they lend themselves to a bounty of project ideas. The two images on today’s card project are both from this cartridge. Originally, I had two separate projects in mind when I cut the pieces. But as I played around with the design, I ended up loving the contrast of both images on one card. While slightly masculine in appeal, this card is just a great general note card that grabs the eye.

The layered finial piece (which is also reminiscent of a vase or urn) was cut and printed at 4″ with my Cricut Imagine. Using the RGB codes for the Stampin’ Up! color palette, the shadow layer was done in Basic Black (R-0 G-0 B-0). The finial was done in Chocolate Chip (R-111 G-84 B-75). The final decorative layer was done using a pattern from the Cricut Imagine ‘Best Friends’ art cartridge. When I cut the wrought-iron window (which was going to be for a different project), I used Not Quite Navy (R-63 G-109 B-125). But that color was not going to work with the rest of the elements on the final card. So I took a sponge dauber and some lacquer black ink and changed the appearance to a glossy black finish. The decorative background paper is from Basic Grey’s ‘Curio’ line. The base card stock is Stampin’ Up! in ‘Early Espresso’. The interior journaling block paper is trimmed from a piece of Prima Marketing paper from the ‘Annalee’ collection. I used my Zutter 1/2″ Round-It-All tool on the corners of the base cardstock and card mat.

The completed project reminds me of a decor tableau–a giant urn sitting in front of a floating screen in some decadent Moroccan love nest hideaway. Pillows strewn on the floor in front of an intricate wall treatment, with a cadre of menservants feeding me grapes and fanning me with giant maribou feathers. Casablanca, here I come. At least a boy can dream…




Missing Hoo…





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Materials Used:

Stampin’ Up! Cardstock in Early Espresso
DCWV Foiled Cardstock from “The Naturals” Stack
Stampin’ Up! Cardstock in Whisper White
Stampin’ Up! Cardstock in Crumb Cake
Papertrey Ink Stamp from “Mega Mixed Messages” Set
Tsukineko Memento Ink in Rich Cocoa
Cricut Imagine
Cricut “Campin’ Critters” Cartridge
Stampin’ Up! RGB Color Codes
Stampin’ Up! 1″ Square Punch
Stampin’ Up! Scalloped Square Punch
3M ATG 714 Adhesive
Zig Two-Way Glue Pen

Giveaway #15: Winner!

Can I just say that I have a bunch of savvy and smart readers! Nearly every entry I received in the “Freshly Picked” giveaway had all the correct answers (including the bonus). The correct unscrambled herbs and spices were:

01. my sorer a
(rosemary)
02. red navel
(lavender)
03. cedar iron
(corriander)
04. died well
(dill weed)
05. karma clad comb
(black cardamom)
06. lamer songs
(lemongrass)
07. no rag rat
(tarragon)
08. legal in
(nigella)
09. love me banner
(lemon verbena)
10. orders his ah
(horseradish)
11. cheaper pinups
(sichuan pepper)

All of the correct entries were placed in a random draw and the winner of a new Cricut “Freshly Picked” cartridge is Ms. Susan Beauchaine.

Congratulations Susan! If you would please forward your mailing information, I’ll get your package on its way. Thank you to all who participated. I really appreciate all of the participation and comments. Be on the look out for Giveaway #16 very shortly…we might be going on a trip. Hmmm….?

Je Vous Adore

I must apologize for the delay in getting this entry posted. Unfortunately, Mother Nature was apparently upset with the Southwest desert U.S. After having a few days of temperature readings below zero (and incredibly, -21 with the wind chill factored in), the aftermath was nearly as cold as the event. I had three separate broken water lines (…and only two thumbs to plug the holes with, lol). It’s been an icy floody mess around here. But, like all things, this too shall pass.

The good news is that today’s card project is so pretty, it made me forget the bone-chilling cold–for a bit at least. This card is also one of those happy accidents where a combination of not-so-likely Cricut cartridges provided an interesting collision. In the end–and pardon my frankness–this card is beautiful.

I used one of the Spring 2011 seasonal mini-cartridge releases, “Mother’s Day Boquet”, to create a layered flower piece that serves as the focal point of this card. The image I used was the flower on Row 1, Key 5. I cut four layers: 4″, 3.5″, 3″, and 2.5″. I used my Cricut Imagine to do the cutting and one big advantage to doing so is the ability to create custom colors and/or patterns on designs from the regular Cricut cartridge line. Earlier, I had been working on an Imagine project using the Cricut Imagine “Country Carnival” art cartridge. While I was debating what solid color I wanted to print my flower layers with, I had the idea to experiment with pattern using the “Country Carnival” cartridge. One of the patterned paper images I love on this cartridge is a vintage newspaper layout that is dotted with spots of bright color in the form of trailing rose bushes. It provides for vivid pops of color, while keeping with a chic vintage look. Using some white Bazzill cardstock (corduroy textured), I cut my flower layers using the “Mother’s Day Bouquet cartridge and the pattern from “Country Carnival”.

I further enhanced the vintage look of the layers by using some Ranger Perfect Pearls Mist in Heirloom Gold. I really love the formulation of these Perfect Pearl mists. I’ve tried other color spritzes, washes and sprays–and usually the results are messy and not aesthetically pleasing. But, I have had tremendous success with the Perfect Pearls. I anchored my floral layers with a giant faceted jeweled brad from Creative Charms. I used a Martha Stewart bone folder to curl my petals to provide dimensionality and visual interest.

The decorative paper for the card mat and the inside of the card is from Graphic 45’s “Le Romantique” collection. The card base and ribbon are from Papertrey Ink in Pine Feather. A little dimension and a strategically placed stick pin provide just the right finishing touches on the front. On the inside, I used a kraft journaling tag from Maya Road to provide an area for personalization.


Overall, I was really jazzed by the modern meets vintage look of the overall card. The bloom looks like it is growing right off the card front–and in these frigid temperatures it is certainly a most welcome sight.