Sunday, October 31, 2010

Christmas Cards-Cuttlebug

Oh my gosh!  When I saw this card by Cheryl B. aka, Ladybug919, I knew I'd found the card that would be ours this year.  I love the clean lines on it, it looks very simple but does take some time to get your lines embossed on the Cuttlebug.  Thanks, Cheryl,  for sharing it!

It's an A2 size card.
The shiny red paper is cut at 5.25 x 4"
White for the door is cut at 5 x 3.75"

Martha Stewart branch punch was used for the wreath
Premade red bow
Brass brad for door knob.

If you click on the image of my template you can easily read the measurements on where to draw your score lines.

From the LEFT side of your paper, mark at:
 1 3/8"
 3 1/4"

Then rotate your paper and mark at:
Do this on both the top and bottom.

Using your Scor-Pal just emboss on the lines you've drawn. Note that you don't score all the way to the edges where my dotted  lines are showing.

I drew the lines on the back side of my paper so that the raised embossed lines would be on the front.

Those little red bows are a life saver!  Every year I search through the Christmas ornament aisle at Hobby Lobby and pick up a couple of packages of these to have on hand.  No way would I take the time to tie such a small bow!  And even if I did, they'd not be uniform in size.

It's too late for Halloween this year but can't you see doing this same door in a brown textured paper and putting  "OPEN IF YOU DARE!" on it?

Things I love OR Save your $$$

Here's a list of things that I love and use every time I make cards.  The investment I made in these items has really paid off.

Quilt Sense 9" clear acrylic ruler, it's marked in 1/8" increments to make it perfect for trimming paper

Olfa rotary cutter and mat --I use it all the time

BIC markers--much less expensive than other brands, decent selection of colors, doesn't streak like a water based marker

Scotch ATG 714 tape gun--has literally saved me hundred and hundreds of dollars on adhesive

3M 987 tape for the ATG gun--although the product information sheet doesn't list this tape as being acid free, it contains the same adhesive and base as the acid free ones.  I get mine from Framing Supply.

Color Box cat's eye shaped ink pads--Chestnut brown is the one I use the most for shading edges of paper

Cuttlebug--it took me a while to spend the money on this but using it adds so much dimension to a card that I've never regretted the investment

Marvy corner rounder--after trying 3-4 different corner rounders, this one is my favorite.  It's small, easy to carry to stamp club and has stayed sharp for over 2 years.  When this one bites the dust, I may  get a corner chomper.  My hesitation on the corner chomper is the amount of space it takes up.

Scor-Pal--this was one of the first tools I invested in.  I use it every time I make cards.  I keep looking at the MS version since it's marked in smaller increments but can't justify buying it since my Scor-Pal is working just fine.

Guillotine paper cutter--mine is an old fashioned one made of wood.  It's about two feet square and takes up an entire shelf in my room.  DH found it at a garage sale quite some time before I began doing  cards. 

OTT light--sits on my worktable and it's great for matching red and blue colors!

Homemade pop dots--Okieladybug came up with this idea, there's a video on her website about how she makes them.  Much cheaper than store bought ones!

JetMax cubes--this was my Christmas gift to myself last year.  I had all my papers stacked inside a huge cabinet.  It was difficult to access and to see what color the paper was.  Now, with the cubes that  are divided into 1/4ths, I have my paper separated by colors in Cropper Hopper plastic storage.

Design Studio software--love it, use it all the time and don't remember how to use my E without it!

Cricut Expression--may be last on my list, but definitely not least!  Originally I bought the baby bug because of the cost.  It got retired within a year and now I only use my E.

Okay, now here's MY list of definite SAVE YOUR $$$$$ ITEMS.  These are things that I thought I had to have and never use.

Cheap shape cutting scissors--out of the dozen pairs I've picked up there are only 1 or 2 that have stayed harp enough to cut paper

Memories Direct paper cutter--it's sort of a track mounted rotary cutting system.  You slip different shaped  plastic cartridges onto the clear ruler's track and pull it toward you like a table top paper cutter.  The blades wobble, don't cut cleanly and are a pain in the butt to change.  On the bright side,  I use the mat that came with the system every day on my worktable.

Nestabilities--what a hassle!  By the time I get one positioned and figure out the "sandwich" you need to use it in my Cuttlebug, I can fire up Design Studio and cut the same shapes.  I'm glad I used a 40% off coupon and that they don't take up too much room!

Just Rite stamps--love the concept of having the holder and changing out the sentiments but it's almost impossibleto fit the rubber rings into the slots on the wooden holder.  The round wooden holder slips in my hand and I can't use my Stamp-a-ma-jig to position these stamps.  My set came with a box full of single alphabet stamps to use so you can personalize the stamped image.  Yeah, right! Even using a pair of  tweezers,  the little letters won't go into the slots.     This is a definite, save your $$$.

Blending stumps--these I got to use with my Prismacolor pencils.  Every time I went to HL I'd search to see if they had them in stock.  Then at the doctor's office one day I noticed their wooden Q-tips in a  jar and asked the nurse about them.  She gave me a package and since then I've ordered them  through our local drug store.  I like them much better to use with Gamsol.

Precut shapes to embellish--Paperwishes has some weekly videos which demonstrate their products.  I got so excited about their precuts that I ordered a ton of them.  Now they're sitting on a shelf waiting for some inspiration to use them!

Cheap ink pads--these probably came from the Dollar Tree.  Ink is something that you definitely get what you pay for. Cheap ink means less pigment. 

Martha Stewart glitter--thank goodness I got this on clearance at Wal Mart.  Glitter is not my friend.  By the  time I get it onto a project, I have it all over my work table and me.  The last time I used it  I  walked out of here looking like an 80's disco queen!  It was on my clothes, hair and face.  I thought  I had cleaned it all off but I went out that evening and my friends made comments about how sparkly I was!

I'd been asked what I thought was the best/worst things I had purchased and so there you have it.  This is just my opinion about how I've spent my money and what works for me. 

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Thinking of You Card

I enjoy making basic cards.  Since I do not know who they will be going to I try to make them as cute as possible without being too specific.  This is another one based on one I saw on the Splitcoast Stampers site. 

The black and grey one looks like a good sympathy card, in my opinion.

The piece with the circle cut out was done using George and Design Studio.  I have a cut. file made that will cut 6 card fronts with the opening which speeds up making the cards a lot.  The rectangle is 5 x 3 3/4" with a 2 3/8" circle centered inside it.  I used a SU 2" scalloped circle punch to mount the 1 3/4" stamped sentiment.

The sentiment is one of the Just Rite stamps that I thought I had to have. Believe me, I won't spend any more money on those round stamps.   I hate changing the images out on them!  The little rubber circles don't fit into the groove easily so it's a struggle any time I change them.  Plus, I can't figure out a good way to use my Stamp-a-ma-jig to help with placement.

 Nestabilities are another purchase that I regret making.   They're way too much trouble to use in my Cuttlebug and when I'm doing cards it's all about fast and easy!  LOL!

Stamp Club Challenge Paper

The first Thursday of each month Okieladybug and I go to a stamp club.  We're offered the chance to buy sheets of paper and challenged to see what we can make out of it.

October's paper had swirls on it that looked like steam coming off a coffee cup so I knew as soon as I saw it that I wanted to use some coffee cup stamps I've had for some time.

This one uses the cut. file from one of the beautiful retirment cards I received.  It took me some time to re-size it in Design Studio to make it small enough to fit onto the card but it's a simple enough file that there weren't too many shapes that had to be resized.  I think it works perfectly!

I chose to stamp the sentiment on the inside of the cup and leave the inside of the card blank since this will go into my Cards for Soldiers box.

The geometric design paper is one of the challenge sheets.  It just did not inspire me and this was about all I could decide to do with it. 

This month's papers are two sided cardstock.  The back side of this one is the lime green that I used to mat the center onto. I still have a metallic stripe with red on the back that I'm trying to decide what to use it for.

Again, this is a CFS card so it's left blank inside.

The only challenge paper on these three cards is the brown!  I felt guilty not having made very many with our papers this month so this afternoon I got out my SU stamps and the paper with the trees on it.  I found it at HL during their last paper sale and immediately thought about using the little pickup with it.

Scor-Pal card

While looking around on Splitcoast Stampers I found a card using a Scor-Pal done by "racing girl".  It was such a cute, simple layout that I knew it would be one I'd like to do.  Her card used a floral image but I didn't have one that was small enough to stamp four times across the width of an A2 card.

I used Martha Stewart inks, Scor-Pal for the embossed lines and some stamps I had on hand.  The little swirl beside the sentiment was done with a SU orchid opulence marker.

The image I used is approximately 1" in diameter.  To keep the images centered I measured across the width of the card and made tiny pencil marks at 1 3/8", 2 3/4" and 4 1/4". 

The lines were embossed, measuring from the folded edge of the card at 2 1/4" and 3 1/2".

I stamped the green image onto the card base and then onto a scrap of white cardstock, cut it out and pop dotted it onto the card.

This is a layout I'm sure I'll use over and over again.  I can see cupcakes and Happy Birthday, a little Studio G dog stamp and some dog bones, etc, etc.  It's a very versatile card that can be adapted to just about any occasion.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Butterfly Card

Cards magazine, November 2010 issue has a great butterfly card on page 61.  I had totally forgotten about buying the Martha Stewart stamp/punch combination until I saw the card.

The colors on this just don't please me.  I may re-do it with some other background paper since I tried numerous orange and blue inks to stamp the butterfly and am just not satisified with the results.  The butterflies are stamped on the cream cardstock and then stamped and punched out.  There are a total of six of these cards and some have the butterflies pop-dotted and some don't.  But, they all have the shadow stamped on the base.

The stamped images just looked too blah so I used my Gelly Roll Clear Star pen to add some glitter to them.

I used SU Bashful Blue ribbon, Brocade Blue ink, some paper self-adhesive lace and my Tim Holtz ruler to do the holes around the butterflies and some shaped scissors to add a little edge to the blue piece.  The edges were inked with Chestnut Brown.  (Hope this makes Okie happy 'cuz she thinks you have to ink everything! LOL!)

Retirement cards

Pat V.  used her Wild Card cartridge to make this pretty card.  She even made the envelope she mailed it in, which is something I never do!  The butterfly on it is soft, muted colors and is just a perfect accent!

Ande Jean's mauve and cocoa brown card has a lacy border punched front.  Very pretty!  The pink/brown combination is one that I like to use.  There are two absolutely perfect drops of liquid pearls on it!

Thanks you guys!  I love each and every card I've received!

Floral paper card

Very simple rectangle of the pretty floral paper.  Just added a bow.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

CFS Christmas card

The colors on this one didn't photograph well.  I used true red for the sentiment and it appears orangey in the photo.

It's an A2 sized card that was inspired by one in Cards magazine a couple of years ago.  The sentiment was computer generated.  Pine cones are clip art images that I printed on Kraft paper, cut out by hand and inked the edges. The sentiment and the pine cones were pop dotted over the ribbon.

Accent Essentials was used to cut the 1 7/8 x 2 1/8" scalloped rectangle.

The background paper was run through the Cuttlebug and tiny red brads were added to each corner.

Are these any better?

I think the last one looks like a circus tent! 

Leave a comment and tell me which one looks the best! 

I don't like this card!

When I saw SU's That's Funny stamp set I thought I'd really enjoy having and using it.  Each time I get it out I can't seem to find any inspiration for it!

Why doesn't anyone make a good brown marker?  SU's colors are just either too dark or they turn out streaked when I color an image with them.  My BIC selection doesn't include a good one either. 

The peanuts were colored with SU Creamy Caramel and looked weird so I stamped the image onto some brown paper and cut them out.  Mounted them onto the card with pop dots.

I don't like this card!  It's lacking some "oomph", for sure.  It may just go into my "iffy" box!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Floral Border Card

While shopping at Michael's on Saturday I found a project idea sheet that had a card on it similar to this one.

I knew it would work great with the floral paper that I'd just purchased.

It's an A2 card.  I used a Cuttlebug folder on the Old Olive background.  Computer printed the sentiment and double matted it on pop dots.  The dark purple ribbon came from Ribbons and Bows, Oh, My.  It's my favorite place to order ribbon.

Christmas Cards for Soldiers

Stocking was cut from the Very Merry Tags cartrige.  Cuff was run through Cuttlebug.

I used two different CB folders on this one.  Computer printed the sentiment and added some Stickles and ribbom

Simple cards that I made multiples of.  Computer generated sentiment, punched with oval punches, tree was stamped and cut out by hand.

Retirement card IV

Diana*C took the time to send me this one!  It's always a nice surprise to open the mailbox and find a handmade card!

I do not know which cartridge the images came from but I really like the font she used.

Thanks again you guys!  I've loved each and every card you sent!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Vinyl words on dining room wall

Last March our kitchen got a complete remodel, new cabinets, floor covering, and appliances.  It was quite a project and I love my updated kitchen!  The old cabinets were dark wood and I had HARVEST GOLD COUNTERTOPS AND SINK!   So, it was definitely time to do an update!

I decided to purchase a dual fuel range so that I can have an electric convection oven and gas cooktop.  We've been married over 40 years and for the majority of that time I've had an electric cooktop.  It's been a struggle for me to convert back to cooking with gas!  I have undercooked or burned more food than I did as a teenager when I was teaching myself to cook!  LOL!

My dining area had wallpaper and I stripped it off and had the walls textured and painted.  I missed the pattern afterwards and had a hard time deciding what I wanted to put up for wall decor.  My original idea was to do a 50's diner theme but I couldn't find signs and items that I liked.

Then I thought about doing some vinyl words with my E and came up with this.

It turned out so well and was very easy to put onto the wall but the area above the patio door was just a huge white blank space so I added this:

None of my Cricut cartridges had a wine glass so I used Design Studio and made my own.  Cursive 101 was used for the words and I had a sheet of wall stickers that had grape clusters on it and that's the image in the center.

Here you can see them both.

A full view of the dining area.

Close up of the signs I found at Hobby Lobby to break up the big white wall!  I fell in love with the little fat chefs and they had him on so many cute kitchen items that it was hard to decide which ones I'd have a place to put them.

Now that I'm retired and the weather is starting to cool off, I intend to start experimenting baking bread again. I LOVE to bake bread!  I usually get carried away, bake way too much and wind up having to give it away. 

Years ago I took a pie crust class.  I got a great recipe to use that makes enough for three single crust pies so while I was perfecting it and making pies about every other day, my neighbors loved me, for sure!

Up until DH retired eight years ago, he worked overseas.  He was gone five weeks and then home five weeks and we became accustomed to that schedule.  While he was gone I didn't cook much at all and while he was home we would eat out quite a bit.  When you live in a remote area like Siberia or Indonesia, getting to have some good old KFC or Pizza Hut pizza starts to sound really good!  So, over those years I've just about forgotten how to cook.  Now that my time is my own I want to get back into the habit of cooking our dinner again.

One real incentive to eat at home is living in a small town where restaurant choices are small.  We have fast food places and only 3-4 places where the chairs aren't attached to the tables to pick from.  While the kitchen was being renovated we ate in them all!  Both DH and I traveled so much with our jobs that we got to the point where we'd rather have a bologna sandwich at home than a meal at Red Lobster. 

Now that the kitchen renovation is finished, we're starting to update the rest of the house.  My carpenter should be here this week to start work on the living room and bathrooms.  As soon as he's finished, new floor coverings will be put down throughout the house.

Hopefully, before Thanksgiving all the work will be done and we can get back to normal living!

Kitchen details:  cabinets - Cabinets to Go
                         hardware -  Home Depot
                         countertops - high definition Formica
                         range - Kenmore Elite dual fuel
                         sink - Kohler

Old kitchen from appraisal photo


Suspended ceiling and snack bar were eliminated.  I reconfigured the layout of the kitchen.  Never knew why the original owner had the builder put the dishwasher in the center of the wall!  It was too far away from the sink for me.  My cooktop was beside the refrigerator so I was constantly turning and walking across from the sink.  In the new kitchen, my stove sits where the dishwasher was and the dishwasher is on the left side of the sink.

Retirement cards III

The mystery about the retirement cards was solved yesterday at the swarm in Norman.  Okieladybug and I were talking about all the pretty cards I've received and she confessed that she's the one that had asked for you guys to send them.

She had done a post on the MB asking if anyone was interested in making cards, saying to PM her for the details.  I thought it was kind of strange that she didn't email me since she knows I make tons of cards for charity so I sent her a PM telling her I'd send her some.  She told me that she was asking for cards for her neighbor, Naomi, who's had some health problems and is now in an assisted living center but she didn't give me an address.  So, I just told her I'd send Naomi a card at her home address---and forgot to do it!  LOL!

Avra, aka Swimmom
This card from  Avra, aka Swimmom, uses a Cuttlebug folder that I haven't seen.  It's a perfect accompaniment for the paper she chose.  The writing in the background behind the colored image is an Irish blessing.  I love the red/black color combination.  As you can tell from the cards I make, I tend to do a lot of two color card fronts.

I now have a padded folder full of handmade cards I've received from MB members and will enjoy looking at them for a long time!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

More wonderful retirement cards!

Oh, you guys!  When I got our mail today I was absolutley blown away when I found four more wonderful cards from the Cricut message board members!

It meant a lot to me to read the nice notes inside from each of you!  And I hope you all know how much I appreciate your kind words!

The coffee cup card came from Scrappydoo2---I need to find out which cartridge has this mug on it.  Love it!  She must know how much I enjoy a really good, hot cup of coffee while I'm back here making cards!

Mary101 sent me this cute little mouse all laid back and taking it easy.  It's going to be nice to enjoy some of this myself in the coming days!  (and she set EYELETS!--one of my least favorite things to add to a card since they tend to come out "whonky"!

Daniella sent me this masterpiece!  I had seen another of her cards like this on the MB and added it to my list of things to scraplift!  LOL!  Now I have an original to study and figure it out! My photos just do not show the details on these cards!    She added stitch lines in metallic ink around the outside border and even the inside is decorated! My name is cut from shiny metallic gold paper---very classy looking!

The Cricut Fairies from the MB sent me this cutie!  They know I like bling so they had to put some on it, of course.  The pink and green combination is one of my favorites too.  I really like the way the cardstock is layered on the front and I'll never be able to tie a bow that neatly, for sure!

The envelope that this one came in even had cute Calvin and Hobbs and Archie postage stamps on it!

Thanks again to you guys!  You definitely made my day!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Purple Cards

Really no details needed on these.  They follow the two color inspiration cards from yesterday.

Retirement cards

Can you imagine how surprised, and pleased, that i was today when the mail arrived and I found these?  I'm sure that joyfullycrafting must know that I collect shoes and that's why she sent me this great embellished high top boot!

DianeD hopes that I enjoy my new found freedom!  Right now I'm still tied up trying to dispose of my building and get all the fixtures moved out, etc.  But I'm hopeful that by the end of the month my days will be totally mine.

Thank you both for the wonderful cards and wishes!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

More two color cards

Just a little change

After looking at the butterfly card, I decided it needed just a little something.  Using a roller ball pen I added just a tiny border of doodles and I think it helps to break up the transition from the patterned paper to the black.

I forgot to mention that I did use the Cuttlebug die to cut a black shadow for the butterfly and pop dotted it. 

Is today Tuesday?

I'm not certain what day it is...and I don't have to care any longer since I retired as of last Friday.  After owning and operating my own business for over 6 years, Friday was my last day!  Whoopee!

Of course I have great plans for my free time.  I've been participating in a "sunrise stretch" course at our local Vo-tech for the past few weeks and want to take a couple more of these classes each week.

We're so fortunate to have a church in our town that has opened the doors on their wellness/fitness center to the public at no charge!  While the weather was too hot to do much outside, I did take advantage of their indoor track.  But, soon discovered that it made me feel like a gerbil on a wheel!  LOL!

The fitness instructor from the Vo-tech teaches classes at the church's center two afternoons a week so I want to incorporate these into my routine.

In the next few days we'll begin some remodeling on our house.  Houses built back in the 60's and 70's had popcorn ceilings and I get the chore of scraping that mess off the living room, hallway and bath.  New floor coverings will go down throughout the house and we're updating our heat and air systems too.

It will probably take me until Thanksgiving to get everything cleaned and back in place.  My major dread on doing this is, of course, my craft room.  What am I going to do if I can't scrap for 2-3 weeks?  If things get too bad, I may pack up and go to our lake cabin and hide out until things get done!

Today I was so frustrated trying to come up with some inspiration for more cards that I went on a blog hop.  Joan  Robertson, a SU demo, has a neat blog and she provided today's inspiration.

She suggests using a single color and a neutral for card fronts and letting your embellishments make the card stand out.

Yesterday I "rediscovered" my Cuttlebug so I used the butterfly die on a couple of these.  One of the butterfly cards has some Glossy Accents on it that look murky because they weren't dry when I made the photos.

I did use SU paper and punches on these.  The Hello stamp came from a set I've had for some time.  The main color is Old Olive and the neutral is black.

Using two sheets of 12 x 12 paper I was able to get eight card fronts.