Sunday, September 30, 2012

Kindess From the Heart

Often we hear about how crafters are the most thoughtful and kindest true this is! Recently I ran into a major setback with my computer and the Make The Cut  (MTC) program that I love so much. Julie Flanagan, who hosts the MTC Tutorial Group on Yahoo came to my rescue and saved the day! I do not personally know, and have never met Julie, yet when she read my email about the problems I was experiencing, she generously provided help. Touched by her kindness, I created this card for her.
I saw a card similar to this a long while ago on the Cricut Message board using the flowered heart frame from the Love Struck cartridge. Can't believe I waited this long to give it a try!
Using Cricut Design Studio, I cut the window for the flowered heart frame. Flowers are from Plantin Schoolbook cartridge, cut in various sizes and shaped using an embossing tool. I used a Viva Liquid Pearl Pen to do the flower centers. Stamped sentiment is from Stampin Up's "Heard from the Heart" set.
Here's what the card looks like on the inside... LOL, these "familiar" pink birds were "left overs" from the favors we made for dd's wedding earlier this year...they were cut using Quickutz Love birds die. Their wings and the leafy branches are from Stampin Up's Two Step Bird Punch. Scalloped heart border was created and cut using Make the Cut and Silhouette, and the heart shaped background is acutally a shaped card created using the George cartridge and Cricut Design Studio.
This was a fun card to do...ummm...yes, a little time consuming to cut and shape all the flowers, but fun. Now that I'm finally starting to get the hang of using the embossing tool to do the flower sculpting (without my wrist getting too sore) I'll probably be doing them more often for my cards in the future.
BTW, for those of you who own the Make the Cut (MTC) program, I highly recommend getting into Julie's Yahoo tutorial group. As a member of the group, you'll receive email notifications from Julie whenever there are updates, webinars, and other valuable and helpful tips regarding MTC and your cutting machines.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Gift Bags {and tags} Galore!

Our Cricut Club celebrated our third year together with a gift bag and tag swap. Each of us had to come up with 17 gift bag with  matching tag sets to share with our fellow members. The only rule was that at least one element on the bag had to be cut using our Cricut machines. Everyone's talent and creativity was just amazing, and I'm thrilled to share the wonderful gift bags I received!
The first two bags above were created by Kris (Teddy Bear Parade) and Jean (Mickey and Friends).
 Adorable Hello Kitty bags by Kelli (ladybug) and Patrice (bee)
Teddy Bear Parade reindeer by Pat and Flower Pot (flowers pull out to reveal the tag!) by Aileen.
Straight from the Nest by Laura,  Home Accents by Robyn K., Hello Kitty Greetings by Michele C.,
Hello Kitty Font by Cheryl T., Pooh and Friends by Iris, Dinosaur Tracks by Bonnie,
Create A Critter by Michele F., and Pagoda by Sharon.
Wow, with all these fabulous gift bags in my stash, I'm certainly prepared for any gift giving occasion. Sigh, but truth be told, I think I'd have a difficult time parting with any of these to give away!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Cricut Club Gift Bag 'n Tag Project

The annual "big project" for our Cricut Club this year was to come up with a gift bag and matching tag set to share with each member. I liked the way the Mothers Day gift bags I made back in May turned out so I decided to go with something similar for this project.
This time I used premade handled kraft bags, using the same Lettering Delights Kyoto Kuties cutfile for the body, and washi paper for the kimono. I used a different doll head this time, and again added Action Wobbles for some fun bobble head movement.
The hanging lanterns in the background are from the Cricut Pagoda cartridge, and the corners were cut from a sizzilit die from the Architectural Accents set. For the matching tag, I used the same cutfile of the plum blossom from the kokeshi's hair, simply enlarging it to 3 inches.
Put together 17 of these to share, and after tomorrow's meeting, I should be coming home with 16 different and very cool bags that were created by my super crafty and talented fellow members... how fun is that! Can't wait!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Pinterest Inspired

Do you Pinterest? DD got me hooked on it  and I think it's just the coolest "organizing tool" ever for finding and sharing ideas and inspiration found on the internet. My card today was inspired by one of my very first pins onto my Pinterest Papercrafting's actually an old idea made brand new by talented crafter and blogger, Kelly Griglione on her blog, Notable Nest. Kelly used the idea of a Free Standing Pop Up Card and added her own special twist by using clear acetate for the sliding element, a green word in script ("happy") for a fancy stem, and adding a flower to top it off.

I'm sad that I didn't take photos of this card at different angles to more clearly show how it's put together, but Kelly has a very detailed tutorial with lots of pics to explain how to make your own. I had to improvise a bit since I didn't have all the supplies Kelly used...I used my Silhouette machine to cut out the words "happy" and "birthday" using LD Charming Bold font, and changed up the flower to one that looks more like a rose.
The rose petals were cut with my Cricut from the Mothers Day Bouquet cartridge and sculpted using embossing tools from the Punch Bunch Craft Kit with a foam mat. The shaping technique was learned from many years of repeatedly watching Norice over at Creations Unlimited demo it and lots of practice. Yeah, I know, I still need more practice! There's also a video by Just Laury on YouTube that's quite inspiring.
I attached a brad to the center of the flower to attach it to the top of the acetate strip, then finished off with pearls to hide the brad.

Here's what the card looks like when it's folded flat. I simply tied a ribbon around it to keep it closed. This was a really fun and not too hard card to put together using Kelly's tutorial. Just keep in mind that if you use a heavier flower like I did, you'll need to use a sturdy acetate (or more layers of a thinner acetate) to support it. (Otherwise you'll end up with a drooping flower like I did on my first try at this.) I also had to increase the width (by 1") and height (by 1/4") of the base to compensate for the extra weight of the flower so that the card would stand balanced.
Okay...back to Pinterest to get more fresh ideas!