Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Card - Walking with Friend

The brown has a hard time showing up on my little "staging mat" but it is a brown background card with a circle of red instead of the hot pink that it appears to be.
Supply list:
Paper - Colorbok (card); Keepsake Essentials (red cardstock)
Martha Stewart Circle Cutter
Pencils: KOH-I-NOOR Woodless Color Pencils
Klean-Strip Odorless Mineral Spirits

Card - Hyacinth Flowers

This was the main card to be done for the May 2009 MCPT Card Challenge. I only followed through with three of the five - just couldn't come up with anything "different" enough for the other two. Inside this card, I have a larger version of the "fallen flower" adhered in about the same spot just as an accent.
Supply list:
  • Paper - Colorbok (card); Keepsake Essentials (yellow cardstock); Bazzill white cardstock
  • Border - EK Success Plan-A-Page Template
  • Cuttlebug Embossing Folder - Swirls (just the green and the yellow)
  • Pencils: KOH-I-NOOR Woodless Color Pencils
    Klean-Strip Odorless Mineral Spirits

Card - Busy Mom

Honestly, I was a little fearful when I layered a second droplet of Paper Glaze on top of the bubbles. It remained milky in color until a day or two later. I literally let it sit for three days just to make sure it was completely dry after that! I did mean to run it through with the Cuttlebug Embossing Bubbles Folder, but just forgot until after the fact.

Supply list:

  • Paper: Paper Reflections; Ampad Cardstock
  • Aleene's Paper Glaze
  • Pencils: KOH-I-NOOR Woodless Color Pencils
  • Klean-Strip Odorless Mineral Spirits

Monday, May 11, 2009

Jewelry - Butterfly Necklace

Did this on a whim Saturday afternoon. There was a particular thing I was looking for at Michael's, so went into the Bellevue store and they were in the middle of one of their make it and take it classes. When we went back by, they had completed the previous 'students.' We had the choice of two different necklaces or a pair of earrings. I couldn't resist the butterfly necklace. The shimmer doesn't show up in the you have to have "store lighting" most of the time for that! I still need to redo one part of it, I missed a strand going through that needs to be fixed. I was supposed to be in Lebanon - way across town - by 3pm and I was starting this at 2pm. I was very late to Lebanon.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Tip - Gardening and P-Touch

Last year, when starting the garden, I had these markers. They include a little golf-sized pencil in a package of 25 "T-Labels." You can find them at Wal-Mart for somewhere around $3. I was going to be good about marking everything, but I didn't care for the way the pencil looked, not to mention that without going over it several times, you couldn't really read what it was.

I decided to write it on the backside with a pen and utilize a P-Touch to print labels for the front side making it what was visible. I wasn't sure how weatherproof they would be. After the garden decided it was finished for 2008 and the remains had been removed, I forgot to take in the labels. I just pulled them back out of the ground this week and washed them off. As you can see, they still looked perfect and totally reusable even after going through rain, sleet, snow, hail, sun, and anything else you can think of. They really survived much better than I ever imagined they would. And now they're usable for this year as well. Since I'm planting different things, will just be pulling off the old labels and replacing them with new ones.

I'm usually really bad at seeds, but I decided to try again. I just started some seeds, April 27th, to see if I could get them to survive this time around. I was really surprised at how quickly they're starting to sprout. I've gotten some established plants to plant, but then decided to try Cherry Tomatoes and Sweet Pepper from seeds. Then I also planted some flowering things for other areas. The Cypress Vines and Cardinal Climber Vine have already come up by inches after just two days. It's amazing. They actually grew by an inch within something like four hours the second day. The Cherry Tomatoes have just started emerging today. Those are the ones that I'm really hoping do well. Below is the tray. Some of these may have to be moved soon so the others can have the greenhouse cover - the anxious ones have forced the top off now. Now I just have to see if I can get them to survive and actually produce either vegetables or blooms!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tip - Inventory of Supplies

This has been one of the most helpful things that I've come up with for myself anyway. I carry it with me in my purse all the time. It is an index card notebook that was originally purchased for my genealogy research and I decided that it would work perfect for this. Now if I'm in a store, especially good when there is a sale, then I have a list of what I have, so I don't duplicate any purchases.

I have kept the file, just in case anything were to ever happen to the notebook, but have also put my cell phone number inside it just in case I were to leave the notebook laying anywhere by accident. But within Word, I was able to make tabs for every aspect of my artistic type things using the table format. This is where a little obvious logic plays in. Make a two-row table with five-columns. The 2nd row will be merged together and sized at 3" x 5" (the size of the index card). The five columns, in the first row, should be one-inch each. Now, whether that is the first row or the second row, is up to the individual, just make sure one is five-columns, one-inch each and the other is merged together and is 3" x 5". Think about which direction you want your tabs to face. If you do the 1st row as your tabs, they will be printed facing into the notebook; 2nd row will face outwards. If you do a border line through the table with a light grey/silver color - it will give you a nice guide to cut with. Remember, you only do one tab on each table. The next one, you would do the second tab and so on until you get all of your tabs done. A couple can be printed on one sheet of cardstock. Margins can be minimized since they don't matter in this case anyway so you can maximize use of the sheet. Click here for Dividers file in Microsoft Word format.

I know I'm going to have to add more tabs as I get into the project, but so far I've got the following tabs in my notebook:

  • Beading
  • Books (helps to remember what you checked out from the library or actually purchased)
  • CDs
  • Cricut
  • Cuttlebug
  • DVDs
  • General Crafts
  • Magazines (because some stores have special sales on past issues and it helps to know what you have)
  • MCPT
  • Knitting
  • Polymer Clay
  • Refills (pens, printer inks, p-touch, etc)
  • Scrapbooking
  • Stamping
  • Stencils
  • Software

Word has a page setup for the Index Card size. I've set up a fiile for each topic in my notebook so I can keep a running file going of these. If you've already printed off some of the cards in the file, just make sure to change the printer properties to only print the ones you need. I've put instructions for some projects, so I can refer back in case I see something that might work in place of something else. Just make sure that the print isn't so small that you can't read it! You can test on a plain sheet of paper, so as not to waste the cards, and see which way the print feeds the cards (if they're pre-punched). Also keeping a card with a MCPT reference chart so I'll know what colors I have available at home - works the same with paints. (I also have a larger chart that I keep with my MCPT materials, so I can reference it - will put another post with close-up photos of those and details on the set-up).

I've been working for a while on getting all of my stamps into an 8½" x 11" notebook and hopefully (fingers crossed) I'm also going to be able to reduce those down to the index card size for the little notebook. I would just put the names and numbers of those, but sometimes it helps to actually see the image in case it's similar to another. It's all a personal preference. Some manufacturers have photos of their items on the websites, but sometimes it's faster to just lay things out and take digital photos yourself to add to the book and then you get what you want. I've actually used both. It's still a work in progress and obviously will always be since I'll obviously purchase more and as I use things up. It'll just get easier when I've got the basic of it done and only have to add things here and there.

The notebooks can be found at Wal-Mart for less than $4 and I had already purchased many packs of index cards when I found them on sale. Best to do it when they have back-to-school sales. I've gotten some packs for as little as 10 cents and 33 cents for 100 it's really affordable.

Tip - Shopping Lists in a Photo Book

I gave new life to an old photo book - which I rarely use anyway because of too many photos! These things are easy to find at thrift or dollar stores. I started out with one cover and then changed it to one I designed with the Cricut. The lettering was from Alphalicious and then the scrolls from Wedding Solutions - using two colors of paper and then just linking them together before sending it through the Xyron and adhering them to the black cardstock. The covers are a bit larger than the 4" x 6" photo pages, so measure the cover they have in there before creating your own.

For the inside, I created a base for a 4" x 6" card (to make it cheaper, I just cut down cardstock to the proper size with a paper cutter and saved the scraps for other projects) and just changed the location name with each print. Then on another word file, I created a sheet with 4" x 4" blocks of checklists for inserting into each page. Those are printed on standard copy paper to save on the cardstock. After I fill up one checklist, then I toss it into recycle and put in another insert. Helps if you can get it worked out to print the paper two-sided as well. Just keep your margins evened up for it to work. Obviously, by the photo, I put any current store coupons I may have on the corresponding page.

After I came up with my frequented store list - some are obviously lumped into one such as "Home Improv" (ie Lowes, Home Depot) to save some space. I do still have some empty pages, but lumping those type stores together helped with that. I didn't lump my craft stores together because I'm sometimes more specific with what I want from where. Also at the end, I created an index for the front with an alphabetical list (which they are in the book alphabetically as well) for a quick reference to see what stores I have in the book.

This has been so much easier than having a list or multiple lists just stuck everywhere. Plus I can pull out the book whenever I think of something that I want to get the next time I'm at a particular store! Especially after reading the Sunday ads.

Tip - MCPT Color Chart / Paint

This was briefly mentioned in my post about my little index card notebook. After creating a reference card for my MCPT colors, I realized that it would be helpful to have with my supplies to see what the color would actually look like after blending with the mineral spirits on a larger scale. So I created the 8½" x 11" sheet above.
I utilized the Microsoft Word table feature, and of course Excel could be used in the same manner. Because my pencils didn't have "color names" like a box of Crayola's, I ended up just using a number for each block above where I was going to place the color. Then I created two rows below that - the first more shallow than the second. The first I put a deep color and then the second was just for the blended color with the mineral spirits. I've only been doing this for three months now, so I haven't gotten into mixing colors yet. But once I do, I have plans of doing a similar reference chart for that. Obviously starting off with handwritten notes and then dressing it up a little.
This could be really helpful if you purchase your colors in singles. I may eventually P-Touch my pencils though because the numbers are a little hard to see even though I keep them in their container in numerical order. I think the P-Touch could just make it a faster reference. Would also be good if you paint and have a large inventory of paints for the large scale and the portable book.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Card: Little Girl with Butterflies

It's my day to post all of my Magic Colored Pencil Technique challenge cards. Taylor (the kitten) found that, if he times it just right, my workboard is a good place to sleep - while I'm working! So I had to rush some of them up!

Supply list:
  • Paper: Ampad Colored Cardstock; Momenta Born To Be Wild Girl Cardstock
  • Punch: Martha Stewart Classic Butterfly
  • Cuttlebug Embossing Folder: Floral Fantasy
  • Ribbon: Berwick Offray 1/8"/3mm Lavender

Card - Hedgehog on Bicycle - Party Invitation

I didn't really care for this one. I created one design that I didn't really like, but hated to waste the paper completely, so I utilized the paper I'd already done and covered over what I didn't like.

Supply list:
  • Paper: Ampad Colored Cardstock and Paper
  • Cuttlebug Embossing Folder: Bloom Dots
  • Colorbox Fluid Chalk Pad - Chesnut Roan
  • Microsoft Word: StamPete

Card - Family - Sheep/Lamb

I went through several trials with this one and finally decided on this color scheme. The coloring turned out to be the easy part! I used a q-tip to distress the edges of the "Family" scalloped circle with the same color as the "Family" stamp.

Supply list:
  • Paper: Ampad Colored Paper; Colorbok Cards
  • Cuttlebug Embossing Folder (Border): Frills
  • Colorbox Fluid Chalk - Chesnut Roan

Card - May Your Day Bubble Over With Fun

I'm not sure why I did a purple monkey thing, but I just liked them that way. I may add another close-up photo later on since the Tiny Bubbles emboss didn't show up as well on here. May do that later in the week when I have more time.
Supply list:
  • Paper: Ampad Colored Paper
  • Cuttlebug Embossing Folder: Tiny Bubbles
  • Martha Stewart Circle Cutter

Card - Easter Bunnies with Eggs

These bunnies were just too cute. Shown is the front as well as a portion of the inside.

Supply list:
  • Paper: Ampad Colored Cardstock; Momenta Born To Be Wild Girl Cardstock
  • Cuttlebug Embossing Folder (Border): Frills
  • Stamp: "Happy Easter" Marcella by K 137028 Seasonal Stamps

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Card - Garden Party


This one actually has two layers of dirt and the carrots are raised from the back layer of dirt. It's hard to tell in the photo though. Kind of which I'd done a backing shadow to the letters, but didn't think about it until after I'd already Xyron'd it. Plus Taylor kept wanting to stand on the Cricut! But had to give the little nod to Ricky Nelson.

Supply list:
  • Paper: Georgia-Pacific White Cardstock, Astrobrights Orange, Embassy Colored Paper Dark Green, Brown Construction
  • Carrots: Found image on the internet, printed onto each of the colored papers and a little CPA later...voila!
  • Phrases: Cricut Alphalicious card
  • Dirt: Wavy Scissors, Embossed with swirled stencil

Card/Sign - Go Green / Recycle

I'm thinking about using this one on a little box I put on my table to use for recycling scraps (always too small to punch or do anything else with). It's hard to get a good shot of - actually had to diffuse the flash because it was putting too much light on it. Because the little guy is raised, he'd be a little difficult to put on the scanner!
Supply list:
  • Paper: Embassy Black Cardstock, Embassy Colored Paper in Light Green & Dark Green, Georgia Pacific White Cardstock
  • Phrase "Recycle Recycle Recycle Recycle": Microsoft Word
  • Punch: Martha Stewart Scalloped Circle

Card - Party (Girl)

Supply list:
  • Paper: Embassy Black Cardstock, Embassy Colored Paper in Purple, Light Purple and Light Green
  • Texture: ("It's A Party") Cuttlebug Folder "Spots & Dots"

Card - Happy Birthday (Girl)

Supply list:
  • Paper - Embassy Black Cardstock, Embassy Dark Green & Light Green
  • "Happy Birthday" - Microsoft Word cut with Martha Stewart Circle Cutter
  • Flower - Cricut - George & Basic Shapes cart

Card - You've Got Me Hook, Line & Sinker

I finally completed cards for the March MCPT Challenge over on the Cricut message board. I will still post them all as individual blog posts just so they will have their own labels and such. I made a discovery since my first stab at the Challenge from February. I was working and working and working and it was hard to get my colored pencils to blend. I knew there was something wrong. I went searching on the internet and found another site that specified wax-based pencils instead of water-soluble (which is possibly what I was using). After doing a little shopping, and working with the new March images, it was all better and oh so much easier!

Supply list:

  • Papers - all construction paper this time
  • Texture - Fiskars and Chizzel-It tool
  • Phrase - Microsoft Word punched with Martha Stewart Scalloped Circle Punch (did take a little work to get the size of the words down to fit the size of the punch)
  • Hearts - Martha Stewart Love Punch (paper for hearts were paint samples)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Place Cards - Valentine's Day / Be Mine

Another of the MCPT projects for this month. I went a little different with this one and made them into place cards. These didn't really take as long as I would've thought. Just a little assistance from the computer with the names, a little Valentine's Day ribbon, some plain red paper and plain pink cardstock both accented with white stamped Martha Stewart stamps. The white is a little hard to see in the photos, but has a nice effect in person.

Card - Girl w basket of Valentine's

Another one of the five MCPT February 2009 Card Challenge designs. Played up the wind effect embossing the card using various parts of a stencil. Added in a few little purple confetti hearts that I figured could've blown out of her basket. Left the card blank, so it could be used as a note card around the holiday.

Candy Bar Wrapper - Mice with candy bar & heart design

They're actually phasing out the old paper covered foil wrappers on candy bars and going to an all plastic material so you don't have the two wrappers. Guessing it's cheaper for them to produce this way, but for those that rewrap bars like this, it could be a problem. I was able to find one of the few in the store that still had foil, but had to go up to the 4.4 oz bar instead of the 1.55 oz. - like that's a problem! Even the 4.4 oz bars are going to the one-wrapper system though. Oddly, some are going with a retro design on the new wrappers! The paper is actually shiny like the paper candy bar wrappers - got lucky to already have it in my stash.

Card - Way To Go / It's Your Day

Another for the MCPT February card challenge with another little 3D effect for the balloons from the George & Basic Shapes Cricut cartridge. The phrases "Way To Go" & "It's Your Day" were also both from the George cartridge.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Scrapbook - 8x8 page - Love Is Strange

Note: Grascal bowed out of the festivities. He's not into the whole 'brotherly love' thing!


  • Cricut Cartridges: Alphalicious; George & Basic Shapes

  • Paper: Pink base: Embassy Ampad Colored Cardstock; Patterned: Making Memories Embellishment Paper Cosmopolitan Collection

  • Journaling: Fonts - Balmoral D; Bradley Hand ITC

  • Punches: Martha Stewart Crafts

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Card - Showering You With Love

I thought about this being for Valentine's Day but I guess it could be for anything, even just a thinking of you. This is one of the images being used this month in a monthly card challenge, hosted by a nice lady named Aprile, over on the Cricut Message Board. I've got a few more to do, but I wanted to at least have one up for Valentine's Day.

There are about four layers of plastic (from a plastic cover that came off of some packaging for a paper cutter) to make up the "jar" of glitter hearts (which Taylor made into a frisbee and slung across the room and under tables and chairs...much to my dismay!). In between each one is a layer of foam sheet scraps and confetti hearts in a shimmering color. The mouse on top of the jar has the same number of foam sheet pieces together so he could sit on the jar properly. The smaller mouse and the umbrella only have one layer of foam sheet. Basically everything on the card is raised with the exception of the scattered hearts and the phrase. I just realized that I forgot to replace the shadowing under the mice and the jar, but I guess it does it somewhat naturally. Maybe I should just say I meant to do that?! The reason for the two photos is to display the dimension - top with flash (see the shimmer?), bottom without (see the shadows?).

I started out with this thing on pink cardstock and then I changed my mine and went to lavender instead with a pink lace accent (thanks for the scissors Keith!). Now I'm not sure that it will fit in an envelope very well, but I probably should send it to my Grandmother...she's used to getting things late from me! Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Gingerbread House

These are actually from November 2008. We did these during a press tour for the anniversary of the hotel's Country Christmas. Thankfully, their pastry chefs made the cookies for us beforehand and had the icing bags already prepped. It was a lot of fun!

We had to leave them there overnight so they could set up well enough before carrying home. I made it without any casualties. Just yesterday I noticed that I've lost a gumdrop from the roof and one shingle. And trouble with the licorice around the door. Just a few minor things to fix later. Need to coat it for keep. Still smells of ginger!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Card - Grandmother - Flowers Have Sun

I remember seeing this saying somewhere a few months back and thought it was a nice sentiment. I can't recall if it was actually for a Grandmother or not, but that's how I opted to use it. It was also helpful that I had photos of flowers from the flower beds over the past year and the new Cricut with an also new Alphalicious cartridge. I took some Astrobrights paper and just let it cut various flowers from fully covered mat boards for an afternoon and just divided them by size into clear containers until time to create the card last night. It allowed the process to go a lot faster.

Supplies list:
  • Cricut - George cart - flowers (1", 1.25", 1.5")
  • Cricut - Alphalicious cart - lettering (1")
  • Paper trimmer for square background papers (1.5")
  • Marvy Clever Level Craft Punch LV-SJCP42 Square for photos (2" diagonal cut)
  • Card base - 8.5x11 - Royal Crafts Sonburn II Cover Stock Earthtones collection
  • Adhesives: Xyron (photos, colored squares, lettering); Glue Stick (center of cut flowers)
  • Brads (only used on two front cut flowers)
  • Making Memories Mini Square Tropic Item #26112 key lime
  • Making Memories Flower Pastel Item #30182 larger green of two sizes


Scrapbook - Mini - Friends 2008

This was my first actual project....even though I did start one a while back and never completed it. Our local library has classes from time-to-time. Last October, they had one set up for "Scrapbooking 101" headed up by a representative from Creative Memories. All we were told when we signed up was to bring x number of photographs to use in a page. We didn't know what kind of project, just kind of assumed that it would be 12x12 page. What we ended up with was a folder with three small sample packs with various patterned and colored papers and a 6x6 inch (when folded) card. I assume it is a regular kit for Creative Memories parties. I knew eventually I would do something with the animals, so I took several photos of them and then some others. When I saw what we were going to be doing, I went with the "friends" theme so I could include even the neighbor's cat - which is how Grascal came to live here a year ago when I was taking care of theirs. Anyway, we were somewhat limited to supplies there - since she didn't want to move to the library for the day - and time. We had the CM Circle Cutters, a small CM paper trimmer and then of course our paper, cards and pictures.

I went with decorating the inside of the card first with putting their photos together as well as some of the accents. I had a lot of what I felt was bare space, some I was going to use for journaling later and some I wanted accent paper for but I had run out of what matched. Several of the things I did wait until after the class. I'd run out of the green with dots and wanted to use it for more accents as I had with the blue. I had some similar, but not identical, green paper from a 1-lb. paper pack purchased at Dollar General (for a dollar) and just punched mini holes in it to use as an accent. The circle around Grascal & Taylor's photo was cut using a Martha Stewart Circle Cutter I had at home - I think it lends itself to that type circle. The stamps, for the names of for each, are from a clear stamp set that I already had. It was either from Target or Michael's - can't recall which right now. And of course the children helped out with their paw prints. I did it mainly to document the size of little Taylor's paws - while he's still little. Oddly, he was the most cooperative and came out with the best print!

Each of their photos for the inside was done at regular wallet-size. The ones for the front of the card were done in size between index print and wallet size. The paper for the front was also from that same Dollar General pack of paper. I found a font on the computer I liked and printed it off in a periwinkle type color with FRIENDS 2008 spaced out enough to work with the Scalloped Circle paper punch (also Martha Stewart) and then opted to punch the photos out with the same punch. Went with the order that they came into each others lives.

Unfortunately, since that was done the one I call "Baby" (and the neighbors call "Mama Cat" - it was accidental that she started responding to my just saying baby, not as her name) has disappeared. We think she's hiding out every now and then in the carport over here, but not sure.