Life Is All About The Gumballs…

Today’s card is a tip of the hat to the days of our innocence. I had so much fun putting it together, I felt like a child (which of course is an accusation I’ve faced previously). There is something about gumball machines that just makes a person happy and gives you one of those perma-grin smiles. When I was exploring the handbooks for the latest batch of Cricut cartridge releases, this image just jumped out at me. I used the “Wrap It Up” cartridge and my Cricut Imagine to create the layered image. This is one of the first times I’ve experimented with using the built in color palettes that come with each Imagine cartridge to “color” my image layers (as opposed to using various colors of cardstock). Using the print and cut function, I ended up with the colored layers that were quite easy to piece together. As I was putting the image together, I had a thought about the gumballs themselves. Of course, the cartridge prints out different colored circles to lay out as your gumballs with this image. But, I wanted a bit more pop and interest with the overall look. So, I rooted through my stash of mini round head brads and found some sparkly “gumballs”. I used a paper piercer to punch through the layered image and attached each brad. (The back looks like an accident in a dental brace factory!)

The base cardstock for this card is Stampin’ Up! in Brilliant Blue. The decorative paper (which recalls the gumball theme) is from American Crafts. The ribbon is from Papertrey Ink’s “Enchanted Evening” collection. For my sentiment, I created a scalloped badge out of felt (also from Papertrey Ink). Inside the card, I used a piece of decorative paper from Crate Paper that looks like those pages we all learned how to write on (Big Chief, anyone?). I thought this paper echoed the whimsy of the gumball machine–and I think the stains and smudges in the print are simply charming.

As a further note, I should add that I highly recommend the Cricut “Wrap It Up” cartridge. If you are one who tries to limit your cartridge buying (i.e. NOT like me, lol) to necessities, this is one to add to the “must-have” list. There are some terrific images, the layering is fairly simple and the artwork is highly versatile for many different events and uses. This is also a great cartridge for a Cricut Newbie.




Advertisements

The Colors Of Forever

This card project is an explosion of color. In fact, for a while I wondered if it was too much color. Everyone I showed it to seemed to like it; But I have to admit, this is way more color than I’m use to working with. Though, I suppose pushing one’s boundaries is a good thing–sometimes. What’s interesting to me, in particular, is the variations and types of color used in the card. From alcohol inks, metallic inks, color spritzes, and a bold background color–the colors give the card a sense of texture without the actual bulk of layers. This weekend, I played around with alcohol inks and surfaces quite a bit. This was one of the projects I worked on.

The cardstock base and ribbon is Stampin’ Up! in Dusty Durango (which is a very in your face color). The cardstock mat is a piece of Stampin’ Up! Glossy White cardstock (4″ x 5″) with the corners punched with a Martha Stewart poppy corner punch. I used a Tim Holtz alcohol ink applicator and felt pads to apply Ranger/Tim Holtz alcohol inks in Shell Pink, Red Pepper, Meadow, and Gold Metallic to create the splattered background. The floral die-cut is made from dotted Grungeboard that was cut with the Tim Holtz Alterations/Sizzix die called “Tattered Florals” and my Cuttlebug.

After I cut the floral piece, I used Clearsnap Smooch Spritz Ink in Cherry Ice and Gold Glow to add the color and sheen to the flower. After it was completely dry, I went back with some Smooch Ink in Gold Lame and highlighted the dotted portions of the flower. A few pearls, crystals and a sentiment later, I ended up with this card.






On The Edge

Last night, I finally got around to playing with some of my new Tim Holtz ‘On The Edge’ dies. You will recall that these new dies are part of a collaboration between Sizzix and Tim Holtz for a new line called “Tim Holtz Alterations”. This die is unique in several ways. First, it is a new size and shape for the Sizzix line. The dies are 6″ x 2 3/4″ in measurement and are designed to cut a perfect 5 1/2″ border (which of course is the standard A2 card size). Each die (with the exception of one) actually features two cutting edges–one on each side of the steel rule die. You can use them in tandem–or simply use only one cut. For this project, I experimented with the die called ‘Ornate’.

I chose to use Stardream So…Silk! mica cardstock in Fair Blue for my base (cut at 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″, scored at 4″). The decorative paper I chose for the front is from Cosmo Cricket’s “Material Girl” collection (cut at 5 1/2″ x 4 1/4″). I adhered the decorative paper before I began to cut with my ATG 714.

I used my Cuttlebug and On The Edge Die on each end of my cardstock, making two decorative cuts by simply reversing the die on each pass.



Flipping the cardstock back to the front side reveals the shape my card will take. I really love this set of coordinating cuts. They remind of the top of a pagoda.



For the embellishment of my card front, I combined some velvet leaves from 7 Gypsies with a felt flower from Heidi Swap. I also used a sequin, silver bead and crystal floral center from Prima Marketing. I adhered the pieces of my floral embellishment together with Glue Dots and then used All Night Media 1/2″ pop dots to adhere the piece to my card front. I used a piece of Pebbles grosgrain saddle-stitched ribbon to complete the effect. The sentiment is from Stampin’ Up! and was stamped with Papertrey Ink’s Enchanted Evening ink. The final touch was a Jenni Bowlin journaling block to the card’s interior (as the color was very deep for writing to show up clearly).








There are a total of six (6) Tim Holtz Alterations ‘On The Edge’ dies released thus far. Of course, I had to add them to my craft tool collection. From a card making perspective, I would highly recommend these dies to anyone. They are versatile with dual cuts. They’re easy to store and use. They work with your Sizzix Big Shot or ProvoCraft Cuttlebug. But most importantly, they give you the ability to really jazz up the look and edges of your cards for a very unique look. The dies released thus far are: Brackets, File Tabs, Ornate, Plaque & Postage, Scallops, and Scrollwork. Each die retails for $13.99.

I hope you all have an incredible weekend ahead. Don’t forget that the next Giveaway (see sidebar) will close this weekend. As always, Keep Crafting!

Gift Bag Goodies

Sometimes, I get so wrapped up in working on card layouts, designs and construction, that I “forget” how fun it can be to put your mind into a different frame of reference in the paper crafting world. As I’ve confessed before, I started paper crafting mainly through my interests in decoupage and scrapbooking. However, with the advent of such wonderful toys as the Cricut Expression, Cuttlebug, Making Memories Slice and countless other innovations and tools, those interests definitely took a back seat to my love of paper piecing and cardmaking. Though, I have challenged myself to starting creating and sharing scrapbooking layouts at some point, if you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you know I’m mainly a cardmaker, paper junkie, Cricut cartridge collector, and tool geek. (That is–I am a geek. I love new tools. But, I’m definitely not a tool. Or at least, I hope not.)

This weekend I had a bit of a challenge. I was asked (never mind that it was at gunpoint, lol) to create something to go into party gift bags for a newly teen-aged girl. Not, I’m not sure if my friend thought I could relate because (in rare instances) I’ve been accused of being a teen-aged girl–or maybe, that was just acting like one. Goodness knows I’m quite a few years removed from the target audience age in physical years. But, I put my teen girl thinking cap on and came up with this little favor that I think came out quite cute (or “radiculous”, as I was later informed). My thought was that teen girls love to write down phone numbers, important “guy” information, mash notes, and practice their future married names. So I thought if I could come up with a small (yet chic and functional) memo/brag book, it might work perfectly in a teen gift bag.

I knew when I was planning my design, I didn’t want just a plain shape (e.g. circle, square, or rectangle). Then while looking through some of my tools, I happened across my Sizzix/Stampin’ Up! exclusive Top Note Bigz XL die and the proverbial light bulb dinged above my head in a pretty white thought bubble. Of course, knowing I had to make approximately 30 of these “things”, I wondered if I was asking for trouble? After a quick bit of playing, the only major hurdle I found was that I would have to lop off one end of the Top Note die-cut so that I’d have a straight edge to ensure that my Bind-It-All would properly bind all the pages together.

So for each book, I needed the following supplies: (2) covers cut from a piece of thin chipboard, (4) pieces cut from decorative paper (Tim Holtz Retro Grunge Stack) to cover the inside and outside of my chipboard covers, (10) notes cut from Stampin’ Up! Whisper White cardstock for the inner pages, (1) piece of 1/2″ black o-ring binding wire to fit six punched holes, adhesive, my Cuttlebug to run the die through (repeatedly), a paper trimmer to trim the edges, wire cutters, my Bind-It-All 2.0, and finally, some type of embellishment for the front cover.


I knew going in that the recipients were all female, but I didn’t want to choose papers that were necessarily “girly”. I had just received two pads of the new Tim Holtz line of papers and I thought they had a mod, yet gender neutral look to them. I used 3M ATG 714 Gold adhesive tape to adhere the covers together. I punched all the covers and page inserts with the “A” setting on my Bind-It-All. I recommend punching your sets of front and back covers together as sets so that your alignment will be perfect. Also, remember that you really want to choose a double-sided decorative paper, as you will have to flip over two of the cover sheets to make the alignment work. (My inside cover sheets were the reverse print on the front side “targets” paper.) Binding them all was really not that difficult, just a bit repetitive.





For the final step, I wanted to find an embellishment that would look great on the front cover of each book. A bit of rooting around and I found these wonderful stitched felt floral pieces that worked like a charm. There are three individual pieces on each book (the pink three petal flower, the double green leaf, and the green/white floral center.

(FYI: The felt pieces are from the Stampin’ Up! Mini-Occasions catalog: #117266 Sweet Pea Stitched Felt, 52 pcs. for $7.95. You can order them from your favorite SU! Demonstrator, or as always visit my on-line Stampin’ Up! storefront by clicking on the “Contact Me” link on my sidebar.)

Using SU! Stampin’ Dimensionals, I added the floral felt pieces and they gave a nice pop of color and dimension to the books. The final book dimensions were 3 3/4″ x 4″.

As always, thank you for stopping by, writing notes, leaving comments–and generally brightening up my day. Keep Crafting!

*************

GENERAL NOTES & NONSENSE:

01. If you haven’t yet entered the “Home Is…” giveaway, your time is rapidly shrinking. Entries will close later this week. It’s a great package including a Cricut cartridge, a Stampin’ Up! stamp set and paper pad. For all the details, seed the link in the sidebar or at the top of the page.

02. How good was last night’s episode of ABC’s “Brother & Sisters”. Gosh, I love this show!

03. Am I the only one who is going to miss “Ugly Betty”. It such a shame because the show’s writing and acting has been at a creative peak this year.

04. If you haven’t checked out the new album by Ben Rector entitled “Into The Morning”, you really should. It’s a terrific piece of work. I can’t stop listening to it since I downloaded it from iTunes.

05. My pick to win “Amazing Race 16”: Jet & Cord!