Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Let It Snow Card

I saw this card on Jane's Doodles blog and thought it would be a good winter themed card for Operation Write Home.

Make The Cut software was used to set up and cut the blue card front.  The font I chose to use is Bazooka".  I like the way having the white paper behind the cut out letters looks.

The snowman image is a piece of free clip art found online and colored with Promarkers.   I added some snowflakes with a white gel pen.

Monday, October 29, 2012

30 Minute Cards

 A Tim Holtz die was used to cut the scalloped trim.

Dance in the Rain Card

I used grey Memento Ink to stamp the butterflies on the background, printed the sentiment and added the vintage image.

The mat cardstock is from a Coordinations family pack.  These are no longer available, which I hate, since they contained three graduated shades of one color cardstock per pack.

I experimented using different stamps and ink colors in the background and settled on this combination.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Cherry on Top Card

The cherries are from the Preserves cartridge.  The sentiment is a stamp I've had for a long time and I colored the cherries with BIC markers.  The background paper is from the cardstock Shirley and I found at Tuesday Morning during their big paper sale.

Blue Bird Card

The sentiment square was done using Excel; the bird is a Stampin' Up punch.  The background paper is silver metallic and black, the trim strip is white with silver metallic lines.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Pink Cowboy Boot Card

Just playing around with Make The Cut software and a free SVG file.  Every time I use the MTC software to do lettering I'm so glad it has such a simple shadow feature for your letters!

Oak Leaf Card

This card was inspired by one done on a Stampin' Up demos blog.  

Using Design Studio and the George cartridge, I placed a 5 1/4 x 4 inch rectangle on my mat and then resized the oak leaf from B is for Boy to fit and cut it from white cardstock.  I used pop dots to lift it off the green card base and I added some green pen stitching for dimension.

Then I cut the oak leaf again from some embossed  green cardstock and adhered it across the bottom.
The sentiment is a Tim Holtz stamp that I placed onto a shape from Elegant Edges. I inked the edges of the shape and pop dotted it also.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Coffee Cup Card

Inspired by a card seen on the Hero Art stamps website, I used Savory and Suburbia to cut the coffee cups and Excel to generate the sentiment.  The steam above the cups was done with an EK Success punch.

Converting a Photo to a Watermark

The things I see on Pinterest!  Today someone pinned a method to take a photograph and turn it into a watermark using Microsoft Word.

I use Word a lot and never knew this formatting option was available.

(1)  Insert a photograph into a Word document.
(2)  Select Format
(3)  From the pull down menu, choose photograph
(4)  Under Image Control, use the pull down menu and change it to watermark

It took this image I found online..... 

 this watermark on a card front.


Emboss Resisit Leaves Card

Today I experimented doing a resist inking technique over embossed images.  I stamped the images with Versamark ink, added embossing powder in various colors and then heat embossed them.  The background paper was done with Stampin' Up's En Francais background stamp.

What I learned is, given the type of cardstock I use, Tim Holtz distress inks soaked into the surface too quickly, while Memento Ink performed more as I wanted.

My first trial was clear embossing powder with Tim Holtz fired brick red ink.

The pigment in the Tim Holtz ink didn't wipe completely off the embossed images, leaving them sort of tinged with color.

The second combination was white embossing powder and the fired brick Tim Holtz ink.  The ink didn't stain the embossed image but since the embossing powder is opaque, the background paper isn't visible.

The third experiment has black embossing powder and the same red ink.  I think this one looks better than the white.

My favorite combination is clear embossing powder and Memento Ink.  The ink didn't soak into the background paper so much, leaving more of a shadowy look which is more of what I was trying to achieve.

This is an easy technique to use.  Just pick a stamp that is relatively solid; an outline stamp won't work well unless it's a really thick outline.  There won't be enough surface area covered with the Versamark ink for the embossing powder to adhere.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Cards That Make Me Go "Hmmm..."

Sometimes I get an idea for a card in my head and it just doesn't translate well onto paper.
 This is one of those cards that makes me go "Hmmm...". 
I don't totally hate it, but it didn't turn out the way I thought it would.

My aim was to do a card that could be used for a tween or teenager.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

So Sweet Card

I used George for the brown hearts and Artiste for the pink hearts and the rectangle. 
The sentiment stamp is one I've had for some time.

The rectangle is pop dotted for dimension.
This card is based on one seen in a back issue of Cards Magazine.

3 Birds Card

I studied the image of the bird with the umbrella on the 3 Birds cartridge for over 30 minutes and never did figure out all the pieces included on page 30 of the handbook!

Somehow, they must think you need a base the exact same size as the components as well as a shadow.  Just seemed like a wast of paper to me so I eliminated the base and just used the shadow.

Falling Leaves Card

Inspired by a card seen in Cards Magazine, I used Bloom to cut the branch from some newsprint cardstock and then shadowed it with a dark brown. 

The leaves were made with a Martha Stewart punch; the sentiment was done in Hallmark card making software. 

I added some pen stitching around the outer edge of the smallest mat for dimension.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Candy bucket

This is for my niece's birthday.  I used Make The Cut for the lettering.  Wow!  It's super simple to get perfect shadows added to your cuts with it!

Her favorite color is purple so I cut the letters out of shiny purple cardstock and then shadowed it with a lighter shade of purple.

The silver mylar curly ribbon doesn't show up well in the photo.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Embossed Leaves Card

This is my version of a card designed by Dawn Griffith and featured on her blog. 

I used Sophie cartridge to cut the leafy stem; two different Cuttlebug folders for embossing and added some ink around the edges and across the embossed background.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

My Vinyl Experiment

Playing around with Make The Cut software this afternoon, I decided to cut an image that was shared on the MTC forum.

This is my first experiment in cutting vinyl for one of our vehicles.  It's a perfect decal for Fred's truck since he's an avid gun nut!

Of course I didn't consider that I'd be reflected in the rear window while making the picture! 

Vintage Chickens Card

The vintage chicken image is clip art that I sized and printed in card making software.  I embossed the background paper with a chicken wire folder.

Snowman Card

Found this cute little snowman on Pinterest this morning.  By using Microsoft Word, I was able to print four per sheet in black and white and then I colored them with Promarkers.

Here's the inside sentiment.  I wanted to use one that wasn't specifically for Christmas.

Friday, October 19, 2012

I Need to Get Back Into the Crafting Mode!

Last Sunday, we drove four hours to Bentonville, Arkansas to pick up our 14 month old grandson, Cooper.  Our plan was to keep him until Wednesday and make the grueling eight + hour round trip to take him home.

Cooper is such a happy child, and plays quite well on his own, but now he's walking and we don't dare turn our backs on him for a second!  When he figures out how to climb over the baby gate into the kitchen or wriggle around the barricade keeping him from going down the hall, I'm screwed!

My son, Cooper's dad, travels with his job.  He's part of the catering crew for Jason Aldean's concert tour and is gone as much as eight weeks at a time so he doesn't get to spend enough time with Cooper.  He was in town this week and came to our house and spent two days.  It was good to see our son and it was really good that he got to spend so much time with Cooper.

Because our son was coming down, we kept Cooper an extra day.  He's never stayed this long with us and he was starting to really miss his mommy.  He was ready to go home by Wednesday night so I was doubly glad that our son was here with him. Cuddling with daddy seemed to pacify him.

We were to take Cooper home Thursday afternoon, scheduling our arrival to coincide with his mommy getting home from work.  But, DH got sidetracked and we didn't get to leave as planned.  He was so late getting home that it would have been almost 9 p.m. by the time we reached Bentonville and probably 3 a.m. by the time we'd arrive back home.  Melissa, Cooper's mommy, was anxious to get him back and really did not want us to keep him one more day.  (And, by the fourth day, grandma was worn pretty thin herself!)

Our friend and neighbor, Ken, is a pilot and he volunteered to fly us and Cooper to Bentonville and save the long drive.  Melissa wasn't too keen on the idea of her baby taking his first flight in a small aircraft, but we plunged on with that plan.  I decided not to make the flight since it was just going to be a quick turnaround.  So, grandpa was in charge.  We had all possible events covered: plenty of water in a sippy cup, a full bottle of milk, snack crackers and cheese in case he was hungry, a bag full of diapers, wipes and ointment and even a plastic bag in case he became airsick.  All this for a flight that was to last about an hour!

Once he was strapped into his car seat in the plane with grandpa at his side, he promptly shut his eyes and slept all the way!  The takeoff and landing didn't bother him a bit.  In fact, he cried when they had to take him out of the plane!

Today I slept late to recuperate a little from playing grandma all week.  Now I'm rested up, the house has been pretty much reassembled and I need to get back into the crafting mode!

With Provocraft dragging their feet getting Design Studio updated, I've become really disenchanted with the company and decided it's time to learn to use another type of cutting software.  I have the older version of Make The Cut installed on my computer and have been experimenting with it and my Expression.  My friend, Shirley (Okieladybug) has been giving me pointers to get me going.  She's much more computer savvy than I and figures out software without any help at all.  I need a written manual, video presentations and even hands on training to wade through all the options!

The investment I've made in Provocraft products is pretty substantial and I have no complaints about the way the software and machines perform.  I'll continue to use the Expressions and Baby Bug I own until they break or until my version of Design Studio no longer functions.  But, I'm through buying new cartridges from Provocraft since they seem to be putting all their time and efforts into pushing CCR.

So, now that Cooper's safely at home and I've rested, it's time to delve back into the MTC software and get familiar with how it performs.

Happy crafting to everyone!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Red Lobster's Cheddar Bay Biscuits

I recently mentioned that we'd had dinner at Red Lobster and I did not eat a single one of their biscuits.  I was asked if I ever made them at home, and I do occasionally, so here's the recipe, Mary H. Hope you'll give them a try and let me know what you think.

They're super simple to make and we really do like them!  I do add some parsley flakes into the dough even though the recipe doesn't call for any.  I never measure the garlic powder, but probably use closer to 1/2 teaspoon in the dough since we like garlic so well.  Mine are also baked in a pan with the sides touching rather than on a cookie sheet.  When they're done, I just drizzle the butter and garlic mixture over the top and serve.

Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits

2 1/2 cups Bisquick baking mix
4 tablespoons cold butter
1 heaping cup grated Cheddar cheese
3/4 cup cold whole milk
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Brush on Top
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
pinch salt

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Combine Bisquick with cold butter in a medium bowl using a pastry cutter or a large fork. You don't want to mix too thoroughly. There should be small chunks of butter in there that are about the size of peas. Add Cheddar cheese, milk, and 1/4 teaspoon garlic. Mix by hand until combined, but don't over mix.

3. Drop approximately 1/4-cup portions of the dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until the tops of the biscuits begin to turn light brown.

4. When you take the biscuits out of the oven, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small bowl in your microwave. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and the dried parsley flakes. Use a brush to spread this garlic butter over the tops of all the biscuits. Use up all of the butter.

Makes a dozen biscuits.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Baby Card

My neighbor asked me to make a card for a "grandmother shower".  A group of ladies are going to present the future grandmother with some baby items to have at her house.

I used New Arrival to cut the word "baby".  It's part of the phrase "baby shower" on the cartridge and I was able to eliminate the "shower" and make the shadow as well in Design Studio.

The yellow and white flowers are done with punches. I added some pen stitching to the edge and was done.

I matted the sentiment "Tiny little thing, great big blessing." for the inside.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

"Hot Mama" Card

Another card using Suburbia cartridge.  The woman was cut at 4 inches and the letters at 2 inches.

This cartridge has a lot of good "pre-welded" words to combine to make different phrases.

Scooter Card

The scooter is from Suburbia cartridge cut at 2 3/4".  I added some little punched flowers to balance out the sentiment. 

If I use this scooter image again, I'm going to have to cut an extra one in black and hand cut out the tires.  I think this image lacks a lot of details; you get the gist of it being a scooter, but it's too one dimensional to me.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

My First Card Using Suburbia!

My Suburbia cartridge arrived almost a month ago and I've been waiting for it to be included in an update for Design Studio so that I could use it.  I never use my Expression without Design Studio and have pretty much forgotten how to use it unless I do use Design Studio.

The software provides a virtual Cricut mat and I know exactly how large the image is going to be, how it will fit onto an A2 card front,  and how many I can squeeze onto a single sheet of cardstock.  Truly, I do not know how anyone can use their Cricut cutters without it!

The fan is on page 60 in the Suburbia handbook.  It was cut at 3 1/2" and pop dotted for dimension.
The sentiment I used is sort of lame but it's all I could come up with since I was in such a hurry to play with the cartridge!

Now that I'm certain the cartridge works well in Design Studio, I'll spend some more time selecting images and make some more cards!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Red Solo Cup Card

The original of this card was seen at Scrap My Stash.  I modified mine by using clip art images of an actual red solo cup and then adding shadows with a Promarker.

The sentiment was printed in Hallmark card software and pop dotted for dimension.

If you're not familiar with Country and Western music, an artist named Toby Keith has a song about drinking from a red solo cup.  Since he's from Oklahoma, it's a very popular song here. 

  ***I've never listened to it but have read the lyrics online.**** 

Monday, October 8, 2012

30 Minute Card

The butterflies were done with an EK Success three step punch and pop dotted onto the card front.  I printed the sentiment and cut it into the banner shape by hand then added some pen stitching.  Definitely qualifies as a 30 Minute Card.

Card was inspired by one seen online.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Happy Apple Card

Who knew there was a perfect apple on the Home Accents cartridge?  I certainly didn't until I was scrolling through my Excel spreadsheet that lists the shapes by cartridge!

I cut the apple using Design Studio so I was able to use the "hide contour" feature to eliminate cutting the apple, stem and leaf all one color.  Then I cut the stem and leaf section from green cardstock and colored the stem with a BIC marker.

The apple is inked with Chestnut Roan.  As I was doing the inking, I slightly arced the top and bottom center of the apple to allow me to ink the indentation.  This makes it seem more prounounced.  Then I added some white gel pen work onto the eyes and edge of the leaf.  The face is a Peachy Keen stamp.

The sentiment was printed in Hallmark card software.  I even added the background in the software and printed it too!  I don't know why I haven't done this technique before!  It makes perfectly good sense to do it this way instead of just printing the words onto white cardstock and then having to cut mats to go behind that.

Seems I'm using my computer more and more and buying fewer stamps to use.  Not only do I enjoy having the option of changing my fonts, I don't have to figure out where to store the stamps and I save tons of money! 

Fairy Card

The fairy is from A Child's Year cartridge, cut at 3.75 inches.  I added some bling onto the star and the fairy's wings using a gel pen, it's just not showing up in the photo.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Acorn and Leaf Card

The leaf and acorn came from the B is for Boy cartridge and were cut at 3 inches.  The sentiment was printed in Hallmark card making software.  A Cuttlebug folder was used to emboss the lower part of the acorn and a Promarker for highlights on the acorn cap.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Express your concerns with Cricut products!


I've been told that's an old address for PC.  Here's another one.  I'm going to re-print and send my original letter to this address also.

10876 South River Front Parkway
Suite 600
South Jordan, UT  84095

This is the letter I mailed today.  After asking customer service three times and reading all the complaints on the message boards, I did a little online searching and found this address.  I truly believe that a tangible piece of paper carries more weight than any kind of oral or electronic communication.  I worked for the largest food wholesaler in the U.S. and received hundreds of emails a day so I can attest that even important ones get overlooked!

If everyone who's got a complaint with Provocraft would write a letter maybe we'd get something done.  It's evident that the company is not reading the questions and complaints on the message boards. 

I'm frustrated with waiting on some kind of action by Provocraft to resolve the issues with Design Studio!

Mr. Nathan White
Chief Operating Officer
151 East 3450
Spanish Fork, UT  84660-8507

Re: Design Studio update

Dear Mr. White:

I’m writing this letter with the hope that you will address some of the issues I’m having regarding using my Expression, Design Studio, and the website.

Over a month ago I purchased a cartridge, Suburbia, and have contacted customer support three times to see when the font update for Design Studio will be done to include this cartridge.  Each time, a very courteous representative has told me that the update is being worked on and isn’t ready, but should be done within a week to ten days.

The update has not been done.

Since the maintenance that was done on the Cricut message boards and,
the link for updates for Design Studio is gone; I cannot register my cartridge, and the cartridge library has been removed.

Not all the cartridge handbooks are listed under the “shopping” tab on and most potential buyers of cartridges rely on the library to view the images before making a purchase.  It would be beneficial to have the library back.

I have made a substantial investment in Cricuts; I own three machines as well as over 75 cartridges and Design Studio.  I was assured that support would continue for Design Studio, but this hasn’t been the case since the maintenance on the website.

Would you please take a few minutes to go onto the Cricut Chat message board and let the members know when we can expect the update?  I know that the Gypsy owners are anxious for this information also.

Linda Guild

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

30 Minute Card

I saw this card designed by Kelley Eubanks posted on Pinterest.  Of course, I had to use five different Cricut cartridges to cut all the exclamation points but it can still be done in 30 minutes.  It will be perfect for a tween or teenage card.

Three Squares Card

Inspired by a card done by Linda Fisher, I used punches for the flower and the leaves and just layered some small squares into the diamond pattern.  The flower centers and the black dots were made with a Pearl Pen.

Although in the photo the paper appears to be cream colored, it's a pale yellow.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Monday's Cards

A couple more of the simple cards I'm concentrating on for now.  Bloom cartridge was used to cut the daisy, the pink flower was done with Stampin' Up products.

I would have classified both of these as 30 Minute cards, but my Expression decided it did not like the green cardstock for the daisy stems!

Both cards were inspired by ones seen online.