Saturday, December 25, 2010

In the Nick of Time (...barely!)

Our family Christmas cards barely got to the post office in time this year. (Note to more paper piecing for Christmas cards!) Those little reindeer from Create A Critter are adorable, but piecing together 180 reindeer (2 per card) took way too long to do!
Our card this year was a swing style card. Took me a while to figure out, but I managed to create a cut file for it in Design Studio, which made cutting and scoring the card base pretty quick. I used Bazzill Bling (Feather Boa) for the base card and patterned paper is from the Provincial Princess collection at Lettering Delights, printed on ice gold text.
Holly and leaves are from a Martha Stewart punch, trees are Quickutz, and as mentioned earlier, the reindeer are from the Create A Critter cartridge. Font is LD Charming Bold. As a final touch,  a small red rhinestone was added  for one of the reindeer's nose.  Sadly, I didn't have time to do anything much else creative this Christmas, except matching tags for take out boxes filled with cereal mix for dh to take to work....
and a half a dozen more gingerbread houses, this time in a larger size, so I could fill them with pizzelles.

The larger sized houses were about 3-1/2 inches wide on the bottom. Photo on the left shows the relative comparison in size.

Wrapped these in cellophane and shared them with friends. Really had fun making these larger sized houses, they were a lot easier and came together a lot quicker than the earlier tiny version. Only wish I had more time to make more! Maybe next year...
Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas this year! And here's our Latte....

wishing everyone a "Merry Chris-MOOSE!"

Friday, December 24, 2010

Cricut Club Holiday Gift Swap

This is the stationery set I put together for our Cricut Club Holiday Party gift swap this year. I've always loved the cute decorated note pads I've seen posted by others and have been wanting to try one too. Been on the edge for a long time now about getting a BIA but read so many negative comments about the system that I hate to spend the $$$ for it. Instead, I decided to try a method shared by my friend Iris, where I used my 1/4 inch hole punch and a sheet torn from the store bought notepad as a template for the hole placements. For the notepaper holder, I used a tutorial shared by Stampin' Gal Val. The rose border on the note paper is a Darcy Hunter digital image colored with Copics, scanned then printed. The die cut bears are also Darcy Hunter digitals, imported into MTC and rendered into cut files. Filigree corners on the notepad are from a Cuttlebug corners set.
Also want to share all the great gifts that were created by the rest of the club members for the swap. Everyone is so super creative, and it was such a joy to see what they came up with....
Here are just two pages of a scrapbook album put together by Lynette...beautifully done and so much work!
A darling stocking shaped gift card holder by Aileen....
An exquisite brocaide ribon wreath crafted by Bonnie (left); and a sweet panda checkbook/stationery set by Kelly (right)...

A super cute Hello Kitty acrylic cup by Michele F. (left); and a fancy embellished waterglobe frame by Robyn (right);

An adorable pair of potholders, sewn & stenciled by Pat (left); and a set Christmas tags, too pretty to use by Laura (right)...

A fancy folded hexagonal box filled with goodies by Kris (left); and a delightful mini purse set crafted by Ev (right),

A very cute and cool Roladex Birthday Reminder by Iris (left); and lovely decorated plaque by Cindy (right)... 

 And more Hello Kitty treasures! A sweet pink embellished clock by Brian (left); and a complete collection of stationery accessories from Cheryl.

In addition to the gingerbread houses I made, we each also received a sweet and clever hot chocolate/candy cane holder shared by Iris and cute Hello Kitty treat bag from Cheryl!
 It was so much fun seeing all the wonderful gifts everyone came up much creativity going on, and so much fun learning how each was creaated!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Gingerbread Villa

Inspired by an adorable milk carton birdhouse box recently created by my friend and fellow member of our local Cricut Club, Aileen H., I thought I would try a gingerbread house version to give out as favors at our Cricut Club Holiday Party. I was also inspired by a fabulous haunted house created by Michele of My Simple Crafts and this darling gingerbread house by Teri of big Ideas Fron A Little Girl. For mine, I used Design Studio to enlarge the milk carton cutfile I had used earlier this year to do my Easter milk carton boxes so the bottom would be 2-1/2 inches square.
The biggest challenge for me with these gingerbread houses was to figure out how to do the roofs. I knew I wanted to do it in a way such that the recipient could get to the goodies inside without destroying the whole house, but I couldn't remember how Aileen had done the roof on her birdhouse, and unfortunately, I had not yet seen the houses created by Michele and Teri.
My snowtopped roof was created by welding circles of various sizes to the edges of a rectangle, using the George cartridge and Design Studio. Scored and folded this 1/ 2 inch along the long edges and then in half. Notches were cut at the center point and mitered so that the angle of the roof would fit the top of the milk carton. The roof was then attached to the house by punching matching holes in the roof and milk carton and threading  ribbon through to hold it in place. I liked how the finished roof turned out, but truthfully, I knew it would be a pain to put back together once it had been opened.
Decorating the sides of the gingerbread house was fun. Welded circles to one edge of a rectangle in Design Studio for the snow border, welded a circle and a square for the door. Gingerbread boy is from the Paper Dolls Dress Up cartridge, frame for sign from George, peppermint candy from Simply Charmed, and trees and candycanes are old 2x2 Quickutz dies. I really liked Teri's idea of adding a sentiment to the back, but since I didn't have a stamp, mine had to be computer generated using LD Charming Bold and 2 Peas Flea Market fonts.
When I was finally ready to fill my gingerbread houses with candy, I stopped short of gluing the bottoms closed as orignally planned, thinking how difficult it would be to re-assemble once the roof had been taken off. Decided to try a slotted bottom closure by cutting off a square piece from each of the bottom flaps. Happy to say this worked perfectly, providing a really easy way to get to the treats without having to worry about any re-assembling afterwards. Wouldn't recommend using this type of closure if the contents of the box were too heavy, but for candies and treats, this works like a charm!