ARRRRR!

This is one of my first projects using the newly released Cricut Imagine art cartridge called “Buccaneer”. One comment I’ve heard from more than one Imagine user is that they wish the colors printed more vividly. Well, ProvoCraft must be listening, because the levels of saturation and color gradation of the artwork on this cartridge is spectacular. If you want vivid, striking color–this cartridge is a must-buy. Anyone who has young boys and teens will find this cartridge truly adorable. If you happen to be a pirate or piratess, you’ll have to walk the plank if you don’t purchase this one. Pirates, mermaids, 3-D treasure chests, pelicans, alligators, ships, flags, sharks, parrots….it’s a real a little bit of everything matey!

The cardstock base is Stardream So Silk! mica in Fair Blue. The decorative mat paper is from Basic Grey’s “Marrakech” collection. The sentiment stamp is from a Stampin’ Up! set called “Beware Pirates”. The inside stamped images are from an SU! set called “Ocean Commotion”. I think I’m in love with this boney little pirate….







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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.




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.




Cartridge Spotlight: Creative Memories Cheerful Seasons

I have a confession to make. When I first found out about the two new exclusive Cricut cartridges to be released by Creative Memories, I thought for sure that my favorite of the two would be “Reminisce Accents” hands-down. Don’t get me wrong–I adore both of the cartridges. But, I have to say if I were going to recommend a great “basic” shapes and themes cartridge to a Cricut newbie, “Cheerful Seasons” would definitely be it. This cartridge is bursting with great seasonal images, alphabets, titles, and lovely (and easy) layering pieces.

I thought I would share one of the card projects I created with “Cheerful Seasons”. This time it’s a Thanksgiving card (though there is a pumpkin involved…imagine that!). I used my Cricut Gypsy to layout the pieces of the pumpkin cut and sentiment that I wanted to use. The pumpkin pieces were all sized at 4″. The “Thankful” sentiment was cut at 1 1/2″.

Again, I adore my Gypsy because you can layout your pieces on the mat where you want them–grouping similar color cuts and ultimately saving paper. For a color palette, I used all Stampin’ Up! colors: Early Espresso, Wild Wasabi, River Rock, and Peach Parfait. (TIP: Peach Parfait seems an odd choice at first thought, but the color is really brilliant for pumpkins, squash and the like.)

I knew that I wanted my cardbase to be made of Kraft cardstock. The trick was finding just the right background paper. I actually took several of my paper pads from their (humongous) storage shelf and flipped through them. (Aside: Can I just say what an absolutely fun and relaxing activity flipping through paper pads is? Is it just me? Nah…I know you addicts get my vibe, lol.) I finally narrowed it down to this gorgeous piece of velvet flocked decorative paper from K & Co.’s “Handmade Garnish” collection. The texture and finish on this paper is amazing (and probably difficult to discern from these photographs).


With all the choosing completed, all I needed was my trusty Zig Two-Way glue pen and my 3M ATG 714 adhesive gun to start layering my card together. The sentiment I cut from River Rock cardstock was too light (in my estimation) when I was putting my card together. So, I took a Papertrey Ink Vintage Touch ink block in Chai and sponged the top of the sentiment. The final touch was a sequin and pearl flower accent from Creative Charms. When it was all together, I was really pleased with the end product. I usually only make one-off cards, but I may actually make several of these because I really love them.








Finally, a whole-hearted recommendation: I have to admit that I was fairly ignorant to the company and line that is Creative Memories. When I heard about the exclusive release of these two cartridges, I had no idea how to go about getting them for my collection. Luckily, one of the weblogs that I love and visit frequently happens to be run my a wonderful woman who is a Creative Memories Consultant. If you don’t already have a consultant or need an outlet to purchase these wonderful Cricut Cartridges, I highly recommend shopping with Ms. Diane Campbell Payne over at Capadia Designs. She has a great storefront and is a dream to work with.

Until next time, Crafties!

Abundant Harvest









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Materials Used: Stampin’ Up! cardstock in Early Espresso, Crumb Cake, and Whisper White; American Crafts decorative cardstock from the “Craft Fair” collection; Papertrey Ink “Vintage Picnic” stamp set; Papertrey Ink Swiss Dot satin ribbon in Dark Chocolate; Webster’s Pages Sparkler Button in Chestnut Brown; Imaginisce I-Rock Glam Rocks in Pearl; Tsukineko Memento ink in Tuxedo Black; Stampin’ Up! Stampin’ Write markers in Pumpkin Pie, Wild Wasabi, Soft Suede, Creamy Caramel, Barely Banana, and Early Espresso; Stampin’ Up! Modern Label punch; Stampin’ Up! Tag Corner punch; Stampin’ Up! Scallop Edge Punch; Stampin’ Up! Stampin’ Dimensionals, 3M ATG 714 adhesive;

Spooky (Life Gets In The Way)

First and foremost, I want to thank all of my readers and friends who were worried about my unplanned disappearance. Thank you for the concern–and for continuing to check up on me. Nothing major on my end. It’s just one of those unplanned stretches where life seems to get in the way of your crafting time. (I shouldn’t complain, as I’ve been on a streak for a while–and I suppose it was just my time.) But, hopefully, I’ll be back to a more routine posting schedule and the fun and games will resume post-haste.

Today, I want to share with you a simple card project that highlights one of the new Stampin’ Up! two-step punches. I’ve always had a “thing” for owls and this Two-Step Owl Punch (#118074, $ 16.95) is just adorable. It also gives me an excuse to make a card in celebration of one of my favorite holidays–Halloween! The card base is Stampin’ Up! cardstock in Pumpkin Pie (5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″, scored at 4 1/4″). The decorative mat is from the new Die Cuts With A View (DCWV) stack “Midnight Spell” (4″ x 5″). I used the punch and some scrap pieces of leftovers from other projects to create the owl. The sentiment stamp (“Spooky”) is from the clear mount Stampin’ Up! set entitled “Wicked Cool” (#120600, $ 14.95) and was stamped with StazOn ink in Jet Black.

One of the things that I loved most about this card is that you can manipulate how you put the owl’s eyes together from the punched pieces. In this instance, I wanted the owl to look like he was scared of the black raven sitting next to him…and hence the “Spooky” sentiment. I think I just managed to capture that mood.





L’Amour

This past week has been a frustrating one on the creative front. Have you ever felt like the factory is open, but the steam to run the engine is out? That’s been me in a nutshell. Several projects floated around in my head, but I just couldn’t get motivated to get them from the mental drawing board to fruition. I really don’t like that feeling, but I suppose you can’t force it when the tank is running on empty. The good news is that after cleaning my house this morning, I finally cleared the block and started playing.

For this card project, I used one of my new Stampin’ Up! 2010-2011 stamp set releases called “Artistic Etchings” (#120573, $ 14.95).

I used a piece of Papertrey Ink Kraft cardstock cut at 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″, Tsukineko Memento ink in Rich Cocoa, the medallion image from the “Artistic Etchings” set, and the Stampin’ Up! acrylic block “D” to create a random background pattern on the kraft cardstock.



The other images I chose to use are the Eiffel Tower and “Amour” sentiment from the same stamp set. I used another piece of kraft cardstock (2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″) to stamp these images with Tsukineko Memento ink in Tuxedo Black.

To assemble my image layers, I used a piece of Stampin’ Up! cardstock in Early Espresso (3 1/2″ x 4 1/2″), a piece of decorative paper from SEI’s Windsor Collection (2 3/4″ x 3 3/4″), and scored my base cardstock at 4 1/4″.

For a final decorative touch, I used a vertical strip of Tim Holtz tissue tape. (If you have not experimented with the tissue tape, I highly recommend it as a very interesting and versatile focal point for many different types of projects. Japanese washi tape is also a great embellishment.)

For the final steps before I adhered all of my layers, I used a bit of Colorbox chalk ink in Chestnut Roan to stain the edges of my Eiffel Tower piece and the Stampin’ Up! tag corner punch to cut all the corners of my layers and card base.