Monday, August 29, 2011

Blog Candy Winner!

Hi friends and fellow crafters!
I am so touched by all your wonderful comments! Thank you everyone for hopping with us this past weekend. It was so much fun! A BIG thank you again to Kristen for hosting this.
I used and the number drawn for the MS punches is 14.
Congratulations to Kim M who said:
"Fantastic project - those flowers are gorgeous!"

Thanks for the kind words! I'll be emailing you for your info! Congrats again!

Thank you again for hopping with me!
Happy Crafting!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Welcome To The Fall Blog Hop With The Circle Sisters!

Happy Saturday Everyone!
Welcome to the Fall Blog Hop with Circle Sisters!
Hi Friends and fellow Crafters!
Thanks for stopping by my blog today! I am so excited to be hopping with you today! This is my first hop along with my Cricut Circle friends. My sweet hubby surprised me last year with a membership to the Circle, and while I was not sure at first, I have had so much fun that I renewed this year! If you are hopping along with us, you should be coming from the very creative Gamma's blog. If you've just happened to come across my blog, please check out each of these talented ladies participating in today's blog hop. Kristen's blog is the beginning of the hop, so jump on over to see her fabulous blog, then follow along to enjoy the amazing creativity of the Circle sisters! A big thanks to Kristen for hosting this hop! Here's the line up for today's hop!

1. Kristen
2. Michele
3. Roberta
4. Mary
5. Renee
6. Carolyn
7. Gamma
8. Colleen (You are here!)
9. DoodleDiva
10. Kimberli
11. Lisa
12. Gonecampn
13.  Momto2cuties
14.  Scrapalette
15. Dana 
16. Darcy
17. Lavendergal

My project for today's Fall Blog Hop was inspired by the September issue of Cricut Magazine. The entire magazine is fabulous this month! The first project I tagged as I read through it was on page 12 by Janet Wilkins. She created a beautiful flower cone. I was in the process of planning a scrapbook layout for the hop, but quickly changed gears! To make this cone, I used:

Cricut Machine
Flower Shoppe Cartridge
Celebrate With A Flourish Cartridge
Floral Moss
Glimmer Mist
Ranger Alcohol Ink
Stickles (Black and Diamond)
Distress Inks
Paint ( I used a Ranger Dauber)
Bamboo Skewers
Hot Glue Gun

The cone in the magazine started with an 8x8 square. I fiddled with the 8x8 paper for about 10 minutes before I gave up and rolled a 12x12 piece of paper into a cone in less than 2 minutes! LOL! I am not sure why I couldn't master the 8x8 cone, it just wasn't happening! The paper I used was from K&Company, Susan Winget: Nature. It's a beautiful collection of paper that I had in my stash and was thrilled to find a great project to use it with.
I used my Crop-A-Dile Big Bite and punched a hole on each side.  Well, I thought it was on both sides. Turned out, one of the holes was almost in the center of the cone...I decided to work with that, so I punched a third hole where it should have been the 1st time around, (Don't laugh, it can happen to anyone! Ha-ha!) and added eyelets to all three holes. I took a leaf brad and this little metal leaf I had for I can't remember how long, and colored it with Alcohol inks.
I wanted to use some fringe ribbon, but didn't want to use the cream color, so I dyed it with Oregano Alcohol ink. I applied it directly to the ribbon.

I cut two strips of paper to wrap around the bottom and tied some twine around it. I also added a piece of K&Company Adhesive ribbon to the bottom. For the top, I added the fringe ribbon, but it needed something extra, so I added a piece of rust chenille ribbon. I put the leaf brad through the metal leaf and attached it to the spare hole. (I'm calling it a happy accident!) I tied bakers twine twisted with natural twine through the eyelets to make the handle.

I cut my flowers at different sizes ranging between 2.5 and 3.5 inches. Flower Shoppe is a wonderful cartridge and if you don't already own it, I would recommend it to anyone who uses flowers in their projects. I have a ton of Prima flowers, but since Mother's Day Bouquet and now Flower Shoppe, I am thinking it's time to donate the primas as I barely even look at them when I working on a project. I used a mixture of papers on the flowers. I used assorted distress inks on the petals and pieced the flowers together with Scotch quick Dry Glue and brads. I sprayed Glimmer mist on the flowers and shaped them when they were wet.

Using Celebrate With A Flourish, I cut 2 scarecrows at 3.75 and 2 apples at 2.75. For the flourished layers, I used Dark Green SEI Velvet paper on the Scarecrows and SEI Red Velvet Paper on the apples. I layered them and used some stickles to add some sparkle.
I painted the Bamboo Skewers and hot glued them to the backs of the flowers, scarecrows and apples.

I arranged the flowers and used Floral Moss to fill in the blank spots. Here is a close up.
I originally planned on making a pair, but due to some gal named Irene, I got stuck doing Hurricane preparation today. I have everything I need for the matching cone, so I hope to put the other one together this weekend. I loved this project so much, I was planning a Halloween themed cone on my Gypsy while I was waiting at the Doctor's with my Mom this morning.
Speaking of Halloween, how about some blog candy?

As soon as school begins and the weather turns cooler, I start thinking of Halloween. I've been like this since I was a child. For my blog candy, I have  four fun Halloween punches from MS to give away. Leave me a comment to be entered. I will draw a number using on Monday, provided we have Internet service....

Your next stop on the blog is DoodleDiva You are going to love her blog! I know she has a wonderful creation to share with you!

My crafting assistant, Ozzy, and I thank you for hopping with the Cricut Circle Sisters and Friends today! I hope you have a wonderful day and if you are in Hurricane Irene's path, please be careful and stay safe!
Happy Crafting!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Cricut Circle Monthly Challenge

Hi friends and fellow crafters!
I have finally decided to enter a monthly challenge at the Circle Blog. Here are the rules:

AUGUST MONTHLY CHALLENGE: Create a Scene Challenge!

There are so many fun Cricut cuts available on our cartridges including trees, buildings, backgrounds, flowers and more! For this next challenge, we want to see you utilize these cuts by creating a scene on your project.

The random winner of this challenge will receive a $150 Credit to!

The Challenge: Create a project of your choice utilizing your Cricut Cut Images to create a scene! (You are not required to use it, but your latest Circle Exclusive cartridge, Pop-Up Neighborhood, has tons of great images for building a scene!) Your project must include at least 2 different Cricut Image Cuts.

Rules and Guidelines: Circle Blog Challenges are open to Cricut Circle Members only. You can create any type of project you would like (tag, altered project, mini album, etc.) but your project must be newly created for this challenge and include at least 2 Cricut Image Cuts. You must submit a project to be entered into the Challenge Prize Drawing.

How to Enter: Submit your entry using the InLinkz tool found at the bottom of this post. Please post your full name along with your entry. Entries are due by 9:00 pm MST on Tuesday, August 30th, 2011.

Prize: This month the winner will receive $150.00 in credit to

Winner: The winner will be selected randomly from qualifying entries using and will be announced on the Cricut Circle Blog on Thursday, September 1st, 2011.

I have to admit, this was truly a challenge for me. I love paper crafting, but scrapbook pages don't come easy to me. I really don't know what my hang up is with 12x12 pages, but as much as I love seeing other crafter's work,  putting a layout together just eludes me. Now let's add having to create a whole scene, I feel a panic attack coming on just thinking about it and I have my pages finished! LOL!
I suppose I could have made a card, but I don't think it would have been too challenging for me. Not being one to take the easy road, I went with a full 2 page layout! I found some inspiration in my record collection. Yes, I still prefer albums, but I do have an Ipod, and this song is on it, so let's say the inspiration came from the Ipod, shall we? One of my all time favorite songs is by the late Gary Moore, and it's called Parisienne Walkways. There are two versions. My hubby, the musician, loves the instrumental version. I admit, it is beautiful. I prefer the version with the late Phil Lynnot's (from Thin Lizzy, yes I am THAT old!) haunting vocals. Parisienne Walkways. Here is a YouTube video, in case you are curious.
I used several cartridges on this. The Hat Shop, Bakery and Lamp Posts are from the Circle cartridge Pop Up Neighborhood. Everything used was in my stash. The papers I used on the buildings are from Die Cuts With A View Luxury Stack, an oldie but goodie stack! The background sky is from Me and My Big Ideas. The background paper is from DCWV Far East. I had wanted to give the appearance of a wall or more buildings as you walked, so this paper was perfect.
I added some extras to the buildings. I used an EK success scallop punch to put the awnings on the
Bakery and the Hat Shop windows. I also added hand cut curtains on the Hat Shop's upper floor windows. The window box, birdcage and the potted plants are from the lite cartridge, Bloom. I cut the images in white and colored them with copics. I added some stickles to the flowers for sparkle, although you can't really see them in this picture. I used a piece of Bo Bunny Abbey Road for the plants, but again, cut the shadow and pots with white cardstock and colored them with copics. I used Crystal 3-D lacquer on the pots for some added interest.

I cut the shopper from Forever Young and dressed her in Basic Grey Paper from my 6x6 stash box. Her poodle is cut from Summer in Paris. I only used the shadow for the pup, then flocked her tail, paws, and head. I added a gold collar and bow on her tail with stickles. I used a piece of junk chain that I had laying around for the puppy's leash. Very chic......
I did the same thing with the cakes in the Bakery's windows.I cut them in white and colored them with copics. I used a Glitter Snow Writer for the icing, it adds a nice texture to it, then topped the cakes off with 3-D Crystal Lacquer.
I cut the Eiffel Tower from the Summer In Paris seasonal cartridge, and added some Jolee's hot fix Crystals to it with my I-Rock tool.

The cute couple are from the Sweethearts Cartridge. They remind me of the lyrics, "Those summer days spent outside corner cafes" from the song. That sad printing on the Bakery Door is mine...It should translate to the Cake Shop. It's not so bad, I just took a poor photo of it! LOL!!!
I had a spot on the end of the 1st page that was open, and I thought it needed something there. I used Just Because Cards and cut the bike out. Yep, that's more of my chicken scratch.
I wanted a cobblestone look for the sidewalk, so I ran a piece of great cardstock through my Cuttlebug with a Tim Holtz embossing folder. I used Burlap distress ink on it to bring out the pattern.

I added printed lyrics from the song, and a block from Word Collage that I used a Chomas Pen to print with my E-2. I originally wanted to use my Imagine to print it, but for some strange reason, when I would load the paper on the print only setting, it just sent it out the back. I had these pens for about a year, and had never used them, so I finally tried them out.  I like the results. I had really wanted to use my Calligraphy Collection Cartridge for the title, but it tore when I was cutting it, so this worked for me...

So this is my entry into the challenge. I think it took longer to create than Notre Dame! LOL! I suppose that is why it is called a challenge!
Thanks for stopping by my blog today!
Happy Crafting!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Using My Stash Challenge

Hi friends and fellow crafters!

Over at the Cricut Circle Message Boards, there is a challenge to use only our stash until September 1st. I jumped at this challenge because I have way too much stuff! Here are the guidelines for the "Using My Stash Challenge"
**adhesives and tape can be purchased
**blades and mats can be purchased
**ProvoCraft products, such as cartridges, folders, dies, and machines are allowed
**something that is needed to complete a project
**No impulse buying or just because you have a coupon!

I have stuck completely to the guidelines. I have even been on a self imposed Cartridge ban, although my Mom offered to buy me the new Close To My Heart Art Philosophy Cartridge from one of my best crafting buddies, Belinda. If you haven't already picked this one up, I fully recommend it! Contact Belinda at her CTMH site if you need a rep to order from. You can also see some of her wonderful artwork at her blog.
So for my first card, I used my Harry Potter Digi Stamp from Simply Betty Stamps to make a card for one of my dearest friends. We haven't gotten together since Christmas and I was missing her. She is a fellow Potter Nerd as my DH calls us, so I knew she would appreciate this one! The background paper is from K&Company Happy Trails. I love my K&Company paper! LOL!  I FINALLY used some Tim Holtz paper that I have been hoarding forever to make a doily cut from Art Philosophy! The front sentiment, "Accio" for non-Potter nerds, is a summoning charm used when you want something to come to you. I printed that and the sentiment on the inside with my computer,  and grunged it up with some Tim Holtz Distress Ink in walnut. All of the embellishments have been sitting around my craft room for quite some time. The swirls are Prima Say It With Pearls that I had to have for something ages ago. I was right, it makes a great spell shooting from Harry's wand. I have had it so long, that package was collecting dust! The Hello embellie is from 7 Gypsies that I picked up when my LSS closed 2 years ago. The beads are from Basic Grey, and the flower is Prima.
Here is the inside of the card.
Naturally, I colored Harry with my copics. I used some Diamond Glaze on his eyes to give the glasses effect.

Next are two cards for the family of a fellow Circle member. Her daughters lost all their belongings in a horrible fire. Another Circle member asked us to make cards for her daughters and young Grandson who thankfully is OK, but traumatized.  I made him a card using my Imagine and the Buccaneer cartridge. The card has 2 wobbles (that I made) on it. The boat wobbles and the pirate in the look out wobbles.
I tried to get a picture of it in motion, but it just wouldn't take. It is fun to watch the pirate wobble as the boat wobbles, too. I hope her grandson likes it. I am also sending him a little something to cheer him up.
The whole card is Imagine except for the back and the inside top which are K&Company Happy Trails paper. I used Life's A Beach for the word Ahoy, ran it through my vagabond using a cuttle bug folder, I think it's bubbles and used Diamond glaze to give it a wet look. I also outlined the letters with copics. The O in Ahoy is from LAB, I thought it was a sun, but I am not so sure! The waves are also from Life's A Beach, and I ran them through the vagabond as well. I used a white gel pen to add the dots to the waves. I used MS glow in the dark glitter that I got on clearance a year or two ago (it was a good deal for 1.99 and it's a big bottle!) on the sails. Here is the inside of the card.
I computer printed the sentiment, then distressed the daylights out of the papers. I cut a couple of "V's" into the paper in various places, ran some black copic marker around the distressed edges, and used Tim Holtz Distress inks, walnut, old paper, antique linen and burlap to give it an aged look. I tied some  baker's twine around the sentiment because I had it sitting in front of me on the table. Then I added another pirate on it just for fun. It turned out to be one of my favorite cards that I have made.

The last card is for her daughters. I used my Imagine and Lori's Garden, which I owned even before I had an Imagine! The paper is K&Company Gypsy Baby Paper. The ribbon has been sitting on my desk for sometime now, and I was so happy to finally use it. No more moving it around!
I used my copics on the image to change a few colors on the bird and flowers, then used Diamond Glaze and sprinkled MS Chunky Glitter on it. A couple of years ago, there was seller on eBay where I got about 6 or 7 sets of MS glitters for about 4.00 each, plus free shipping. It feels good to be finding reasons to use it!
The cuts on the inside are from Art Philosophy. I just love this cartridge! I changed the color of Thinking of You (I am pretty sure it's from Paper Lace) with a copic. Then I shined it up with some Diamond Glaze and added a glittered flower with a skittle center for a little extra pop of color.
The horrible rain that we had here made it nice for me to create these cards. It was even better knowing that everything is from my stash. It's amazing how much I have acquired in just 4 short years of paper crafting.
Thanks for stopping by the blog today. I hope to continue posting using my stash creations until September 1st. I still have a couple pieces of Berry Sweet paper left to use! LOL!
Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Berry Sweet Makes A Return!

I don't want anyone to think that I have forgotten about finishing that blasted K&Company paper pack. I just needed to place the challenge on hold for a little while. I still haven't bought any paper, so the paper ban remains in full effect! I needed to make another Birthday Card for one of my Mom's friends, so out came the Berry Sweet paper! This girlfriend is 85 years young, and she loves when I make her cards. She loves dolls, so I make it a point to use some type of girl image on her cards.

This sweet image is from Make It Crafty and she is called Summer Dreams.  I colored her hat and dress with RV00, RV01, RV02, RV04, RV06 and FRV01. Her hair is a mixture of Y21, YR23, YR14. YR24, E97, and E99, Her skin is the usual, E0000, E000, E00, E001, E11, E93 and R20. I used a white gel pen to add some dots on her sandals and hat.  I kept her monochromatic because I knew the paper was very busy. I used some daisy ribbon I had for the bottom. I cut the corners and the shapes on the card using my Teresa Collins Sophisticated cartridge, Enjoy the Seasons Imagine Cart for the colors and my Imagine. I popped the Summer Dreams girl up using Pop Dots. I cut Happy Birthday using Paper Lace and my Imagine.
I decorated the inside of her card with the Berry Sweet Papers and a computer generated sentiment.
She was so happy to receive the card and made quite a fuss over it. Seeing how much my Mom's friends enjoy receiving handmade cards truly makes me happy that I started this hobby.
I am entering her in a challenge at Make It Colourful Challenge 29 The challenge is to color using Pinks!
Thanks for stopping by my blog today!
Happy Crafting!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Adventures with Shrinky Dinks

Hi Friends and Fellow Crafters!
Did you ever have one of those crafting experiences that you just have to share so that you can prevent your crafting friends from suffering the same fate as you? If you scare easily, read no further, but if you wish to avoid the pain I have suffered over that past week, come with me on this journey...
A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned I was in my first online swarm at the Cricut Circle Message Boards. I had so much fun, and even won a fun prize from my fellow Circle member Sara. When you participated in the swarm, you were asked if you wanted to be in a swap. It has been ages since I did a Cricut Swap, so I went ahead and signed up for a charm swap. Easy, right? Twenty-five charms by August 13th. Totally possible. Or was it?
Last week, on the swap thread, most members were saying they were using Shrinky Dink material and their Imagines. Sounded awesomely simple, pick an image from my Snow Angel Cart, place material on mat, cut, bake, done! So here is how it went for me.
Mt first attempt

I tried the imagine cart ornament first, blech...
Next I cut an ice skate from my Trim the Tree Seasonal Cart, and colored it with copics. the color was very light when I colored it, but I had the bright idea to add Holographic Embossing powder and heat it with a heat gun after I baked the shrinky dink. Another blech...
Next came a trip to AC Moore and I broke my spending ban, I picked up Grafix White Shrinky Dink Material. Using a coupon, it was under $4.00 so I didn't beat myself up too much about that. My Mom picked up a package, and I picked one up. That would give me 12 sheets. I figured that would be plenty to cut 25 images. Plus, I just knew that it would work great with the Imagine, or would it?
Here's what happened
Yuck. Then on top of that, I ended up tossing some material out because I had no idea I could wipe it off and use it again. Thanks to my Circle friends, I found out that it could be re-used, so I dug it back out of the trash! Since it was already cut, I couldn't use it on the charms, so I'll stamp or color them with copics some other day. (or year!)
Next came some great advice from my friends at the message boards. Test the Shrinky Dink material by licking my finger and when press it on the paper, it will stick on the side to use.
That worked! I made sure I had the right side, sanded the material and tried again. I had better results, but for some reason, the first image on my material still had the line running down it. I decided that I wanted to use this cute snowman, but even cutting on multi cut 3 with the Imagine, it was still giving me trouble and I ended up tearing about 12 snowmen trying to separate them from the material. Back to the message boards I went, where I read to make sure to clean the blade often. Sure enough, my blade had a powder substance on it that was what was causing me all that trouble! Thanks to Sara for that helpful tidbit!
I decided to switch to a round image and tried again after going to AC Moore and buying even more Shrinky Dink material. This time I was on my own at the store, but I had $10.00 off a purchase of a $25.00 art supply purchase. Seems that Shrinky Dink material is considered kids crafts. Thanks for nothing AC Moore! LOL!
I left my extra Shrinky Dink materials behind, and went home with one package that I used another 40% off coupon on.  I attempted to use Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel on my charms like a fellow swapper Nadia, did, check out her blog here, it's awesome. Here's how mine turned out
Yeah, it's not your eyes, that's how it turned out. Cloudy...I tried going a different route and slowly added the UTEE, this is what happened
It got bubbly and was uneven. It wasn't as cloudy as the first ones, but ick, not swappable at all. Maybe, I thought to myself, Diamond Glaze could work if I put it on slowly.
That doesn't work, unless you seal the charm first. LOL! Back to the message boards, and I got some great ideas about sealing them with spray sealers. I had a can of Duncan High Gloss sealer, so back to oven I went, made about 14  more, and off to spray them. The 1st one turned out great! I gathered up the other 13 or so and here's what happened to all of them
Yellowed! The whole lot of  'em! So here's what I was left with

What a bubbled, yellowed, cloudy, bleeping mess! LOL! By now it's Thursday night, and my sweetie is out jammin' with his band. I can't leave my Son and my Mom alone while they are both awake, so I get up early Friday morning before my son, and run out to Michael's, which is less than 10 minutes from me, grab a can of Krylon Triple Thick Clear Glaze, and head back home. My son is still sleeping, and my Mom felt like she helped out, so I am officially on a winning streak! I cut 20 charms, but didn't take into consideration the 1st one that smears as I mentioned earlier in this post. Still not considering the loss of material, I spray all the charms I have so far, and yeah! They look fabulous! I lost a couple of them, but still, they turned out good, right?
I was well on my way to having them finished and ready for mailing by Saturday, until I went to cut more of them and realized I was out of White Shrinky Dink Material!!! Oh No! I walk into the craft room, grab my Gypsy, open a new project. I chose the Circle Logo from Everyday Cricut, and a Santa Hat from Joys Of The Season, weld them together, size them to 3.5 inches and grab the Grafix Matte Shrinky Dink material that I originally had sitting in my craft area. I tape it to my mat and cut it on my Imagine! It needed one slight tweak, I had to set the multi-cut back to 1, because it tore the material at 3. Once I had the first cut the way I liked it, I copied the image to my Gypsy file page and cut away. I was able to cut 30 of them with the 6 pieces from the package that I already had! I finally had what I considered to be an acceptable swap charm! Now, with fingers crossed, I hoped I could finish them without the drama from the past 4 days!
Here's what I used ( I also used Candy Cane Stickles, but it was MIA for the photo)

I colored my Circle Logo with copic colors G17 and RV29. I decided to try embossing powder one more time and used red Zing on the hat after I colored it with the copic. It adhered nicely to the copic. I baked them at 300 degrees for about 6 minutes.

When I took them out of the oven, here's what they looked like

I didn't think I wanted to send them like that, the Zing looked OK, there was some sparkle, but, it could be better. I grabbed some Candy Cane Stickles and added it to the hat. I let that dry, then used some Diamond Glaze on the Circle and added MS Peridot Glitter. That looked pretty, very sparkly. The hat need something extra on the trim, so I used a Glitter Snow Writer on it and I was done!!!!!  I used my Imagine and Snow Angel Cart to cut cards for them. I used a dollar stamp to add Happy Holidays to the cards, and pierced them. Finally, I used some floral wire to attach the charms. Here is the finished product
And here are 25 of them!
I put them in ATC sleeves and they are ready to be mailed tomorrow!
If you have been considering making shrinky dink charms, I hope you will not have to ever follow in my footsteps! It was quite the experiment for me, and I still don't really know why everything went so wrong at the start. Maybe my Circle Charms were meant to be, well, Circle charms!
Happy Crafting!