Monday, November 29, 2010

Whoo do I Love?

I made this page a month ago! I only just now took a picture of it so I could post it.
I created this page for a Sizzix die cut class at Scrapaganza. The die I used is called "Angel Wings". But the projects I created for the class were to show things other than angels... why buy a die you can use only for one purpose? :)

I also used a scallop circle cut from Graphically Speaking on the Cricut, the beak is a leaf from Plantin cartridge. The fonts are Learning Curve and Cheerful Seasons.  The border punch is one of the punch-around-the-page punches.

I am rather fond of this layout! Thanks for looking!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

La Rosa dressform

I've had this metal dressform for some time now. Almost a year maybe? It was originally a sort of off white color with an ugly pink bow in front. I got it cheap at Hobby Lobby though, and never intended to keep it the original color. :)  But, like many plans, the painting of it and then decorating it as home decor never happened... just never enough time you know?

However! I'm in the Cricut Circle, and the Circle Blog's monthly contest (open only to Circle members) this month was to make a home decor item using felt, something green, something cuttlebug and at least one cricut cut. So, I pulled out this forgotten piece and went to work.  It's fairly simple really. I did get my hubby to do the spray painting for me as I had to work long hours on Black Friday. But I cut the roses from felt, the leaves are from A Child's Year cartridge, the flourishes are from Cindy Loo, and the leaves were embossed with my swiss dot cuttlebug folder. This will look very nice next to some keepsakes and photos of our wedding. :)

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I thought I would wish all my crafty internet friends a wonderful Thanksgiving! I am thankful to all of you who are my inspiration! May you have wonderful crafty ideas and projects to be thankful for as well!

Be well!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

SEW EASY - Product Review

I did this review for the scrapbook store I work at, Scrapaganza. I thought I would share the review here as well, in case anyone is interested! It is the Sew Easy Paper Piercing Tool and it's accessories! The manufacturer is We R Memory Keepers.

I thought I'd take a spin with them to try them out and review them for you!  Many of our customers have expressed how they love the look of sewing on scrapbook pages and cards, but they don't want to use a sewing machine to achieve the look. A paper piercer is fine for straight lines or circles with a template, but it's difficult to achieve a more complicated pattern to mimic the zig zag or other stitches available on machines.  Well, We R Memory Keepers has solved that problem for you!

The paper piercing tool comes with the handle, a straight line piercer and a needle (when you open the package, watch out for that needle making a leap for freedom!).  The piercer head comes off, just give it a little twist and pull, and you can switch it out for one of 6 other piercing heads in different patterns. There is also a mat available so that as you roll the piercer over your paper, the mat protects your work surface as well as providing the give necessary for the piercer to poke the paper. The piercing heads come in 6 patterns as I said, for example: a scallop border, zig zag, a "star" or "snowflake" and others. The back of the piercing head package gives 3 examples of how you can change the sewing pattern to make it look different, so save your package back! You can also come up with different sewing patterns on your own if you like, so  these tools are very versatile! 

Now for my review! I bought everything so I could give it a good try out. However, one of the first questions I got on friday from customers was: Do you really have to buy the mat?  So to answer that question, I got out a self-healing mat, a piece of spongy foam packing, a mouse pad and two widths of corrugated cardboard (very thin and standard width).  Using scrap bazzill cardstock, I tested each one with the straight piercer head. The only one of those items that worked was the corrugated cardboard, and only if you went along the "grain" of the corrugations. HOWEVER: I then tested the "star" or "snowflake" pattern on those items and it did not work at all. So, my conclusion is that if all you ever use is the straight piercing head, you could use corrugated cardboard as your mat. But if you use the other patterned piercing heads, you really NEED a paper piercing mat under your paper.  If you already have the Bazzill In Stitches mat, I'm sure that one will work just fine. 

Here are some cards I made using the Sew Easy tools, and a few tips I learned and will pass along!
 I just love scallops, don't you? I had to use the scallop border. Now, here I used the scallop AND the straight piercers. The first thing I learned is that the piercer probably won't go entirely through cardstock unless you press really hard on it, BUT you do NOT want to press really hard or you risk ripping the cardstock. When I practiced with the piercer, I found that it seemed the intent was to lay down a pattern as a guide for you to stitch through. The very tips of the piercer usually pierced the cardstock but you don't get big holes, so you do have to actually poke your needle through. Also, the piercer cannot poke through two layers of cardstock. You can use it on 2 layers but you will only get a pattern as a guide, which was fine for me doing this project, but you should be aware of it!

Also, the floss that is available from this product line would probably work better if you separate the floss... don't use all 6 strands. Use 3 or 2. The thicker your thread and needle, the greater risk you run of ripping through the paper or cardstock you are sewing through, especially the more intricate patterns (see my comments below). On these cards, I used string, and it was a bit too thick for my tastes. I'd rather have had 2 strands of the floss instead, but I didn't want to break open a package just for 2 cards.  Otherwise, I *loved* this tool. Frankly, piercing one hole at a time with a template takes almost as long as the sewing... I'd rather do the piercing with these piercers any day, and save my time for the sewing! Which did not really take me that long by the way.
On the bottom there is the pattern "star" or "snowflake". It's called "Burst" on the package. I love it! But here's what I learned using it:
Definitely you need thinner floss than the string I used or the full strand of floss. Split the floss, it will definitely look better!
I stitched only through one layer of paper, and it was thick cardstock. It cracked easily. My mistake! Use this pattern on thinner cardstock or paper. And don't press really hard as you roll it over the paper. (practice with scraps) I found with this pattern and the thick cardstock and thick string that it was almost too much for the cardstock and there was some ripping between the pierced holes. I fixed this easily by putting some scotch tape over the bursts after I'd sewn them, as I had two bursts start to come apart. You can't tell though once I put the tape on the back to hold them. I think if I'd used thinner floss that this whole project would have looked better.

If you've been looking for an easier way to pierce patterns quickly, and a more portable, easier to use tool than a sewing machine, the Sew Easy tools are it! I highly recommend them!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Scrappinista - Bliss Necklace

Ah, the final entry for this month's Scrappinista Kit club from Scrapaganza.

When I made the layout with the glittered die cut paper, I had cut out a chunk of the glittered paper from behind the photo to save in case I wanted to use it elsewhere. Well I kind of had some sort of jewelry in mind when I did that!
I used a lot of Tim Holtz parts, including one of the new Facets. I backed the facet with the glittered paper and Glossy Accents to adhere it. I also made the earrings the same way, using fragments charms.
I also used one of Tim Holtz' ornate label plates. The oval ones have lots of places to attach danglies and jumprings so it's perfect for this. I backed it with cardstock and this sticker, then filled in the front with Glossy Accents. Baubles from the kit are dangling on either side.

I attached two of the resin flowers from the baubles in the kit to a couple metal pieces I had in my stash so that I could add them in with jump rings.
Guess what! I used my cricut and the Forever Young cartridge to cut the display board for this necklace. LOL!  I used the dress form image, and enlarged it on my Gypsy so that only the top half fit on the 12x12 mat. I cut both thin chipboard and a sheet of black paper and glued them together. A few hat pins to keep the necklace in place and I have the perfect display. :)

Thanks for looking!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Scrappinista - Pooka

Last layout from Scrapaganza's Scrappinista Scrapbook Club kit! lol

Okay, as a designer for this kit club, we're expected to get at least 4 pages out of the kit, preferably 5. This time I was very frugal, and got 6 pages! I did pull an extra piece of cardstock for this page, and I had pulled an extra printed sheet for the Rum Ball page. But that's it really. You will see that this page has a lot of layering, but really, these were all the scraps I had left over from doing the other pages. I just laid them down on the cardstock and started moving them around until I found a pleasing pattern. Easy Peasy! lol

Even the photos had been printed to fill up a sheet of paper so I wouldn't waste my photo paper, and saved for the right scrappy opportunity. When I finished this layout, I had a few scraps of cardstock, a couple stickers and some baubles left from the kit.

Come back tomorrow to see what I did with the leftovers!

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Scrappinista - Rum Ball Rumble

More from Scrapaganza's Scrappinista Scrapbook Club kit!

The Making Memories Sienne line has some browns in it too! One of the papers has some lovely butterflies in browner tones, and I pulled an extra paper that wasn't in the kit that also had browns, a handwriting script one. On the brown cardstock, these papers made a perfect background to pop a single layer of the brighter orange/red printed layer. By this time I was also getting a little tired of the monochromatic, so I chose pictures of my friend wearing a lovely blue dress, and did the title word "Rumble" in blue cardstock with my cricut and the Songbird cartridge. This was just enough color to liven up the monochromatic.

I used a Sizzix die for these 3D flowers, the store just started carrying them, though they are sold out already. :)  A great way to add dimension as well as use up scraps.

Thanks for looking!  (oh yeah, those rum balls were GOOD)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Scrappinista - I Feel...

I love love love this glittered die-cut paper from the Making Memories Sienne line, that was in our Scrappinista Kit this month at Scrapaganza.  I always struggle with scrapping photos of me though, so I ended up keeping this page very simple to let the lovely paper show itself off.
However, I did take 12 inches of white double row rosette ribbon, and sprayed it with copper maya mist. That turned it a little too orangey for my taste so I then very lightly sprayed with a little brown glimmermist, which toned the copper down very nicely. I didn't like the way the double row rosette ribbon lay on my page, so I cut the ribbon down the length of it, and it worked for me better that way. I pinched the ribbon tight where I fastened it to the page, and covered that pinch (where I stapled it on!) with more baubles from the kit.

Yeah, that's me in one of my many belly dance costumes. :)
Thanks for looking!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Scrappinista - Davis 1978

One of the challenging things about a monochromatic line of papers is keeping it interesting as well as finding photos that "go" well with the color palette. In searching through my photo stash, I came across this family photo of my mom and I, and my stepfather and his kids. I'd forgotten all about this photo, as we hadn't been with them for over 20 years, but when I found it, I realized that it had discolored with age to exactly the right color scheme to go with these papers! lol
I cut out circles in two different sizes and "dahlia" folded them as flower type embellishments. I used more baubles from the kit to dress up my paper flowers, as well as some of the die-cut butterflies that are packaged and sold in this line. The packages have 60 butterflies in them! lol
I also used my Gypsy to create a scallop circle border by taking a scallop circle from Graphically Speaking and centering a circle within it. I cut the resulting scallop circle border in half and put the halves on either sides of the photo. Cutting this scallop in a natural off-white cardstock also helps break up the monotony of the color scheme I think.
I also used the alpha stickers that coordinate with this line. The line comes with two types of alphas, a more casual, larger font and this smaller glittered font. Since I'm all about the bling, I chose the glittered font. :)

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Scrappinista Kit week!

I love working and designing for my local scrapbook store, Scrapaganza!  :)
Our store has a scrapbook kit club (Scrappinista Scrapbook Club) and this month's club kit features Making Memories Sienne line of papers. Scrumptious papers is all I can say!  I was not so thrilled with the stickers. They are very pretty and have wonderful journaling words and such, but they are not sticky once you remove them from the sheet. We have had to tell our customers to use additional adhesive to be sure their stickers stayed put. I had no trouble at all with the coordinating alphabet stickers I used.

So, I'm going to post everyday this week with each project from this kit!  My first layout was made using only supplies in the kit plus the title which was cut using my Cricut, and the Opposites Attract cartridge. That cartridge is really effective if used right. I recommend keeping the second (top) word short unless it's cut from paper that will stand out from the background as well as the bottom word. In this case, the patterned paper below the title would have overpowered the top word if it had extended out too far.
I love working with double-sided papers. Our Scrappinista kits always use double sided paper lines. Anyway, sometimes it's nice to find a way you can show off both sides of a paper. On this page I cut six 2 inch squares, folded the side corners in and snipped them in half. Then I lined them up as a border along the bottom of the layout.
The line and kit also came with a package of baubles, so I wrapped the main photo with ribbon and suspended a couple of the bauble gems from the ribbon.

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Batman Party!

My weekend was so BUSY! Not to mention my work schedule at Scrapaganza the two weeks prior! So I had to squeeze in planning my son's birthday party. I only had a few hours while working the crop at the store to whip out the paper decorations. Fortunately my son wanted a batman party and I had the Batman cricut cartridge!  Above is the banner made from the cartridge.
The masks, arm cuffs and a utility belt made from the cartridge.
My son wearing his batman gear and acting goofy! He turned 4 this year. :)

FYI... doing the mask "fit to page" on a 12x12 mat was too big even for an adult. I think I cut Kevin's mask at 7 inches... maybe a tad bigger, and I might have gotten by cutting it a little smaller because the eye holes were just a little wide. I believe I cut the cuffs at 6 inches? His belt is definitely cut at 3inches. He's a skinny boy so we used 6 links only.
I don't have the cricut cake machine and I stink at decorating cakes so I'm pretty proud that I did this. Kevin is allergic to wheat, dairy and eggs (as well as some other things) so I couldn't buy a decorated cake this year. Hence why I had to decorate myself. LOL.... however we did find a boxed cake mix that fit the bill with just a few alterations (Betty Crocker Gluten-free and replace the called for egg and butter). It tasted like a brownie! So, I may need to get me a cricut cake machine since I plan to make cakes and cupcakes now that I have that option! LOL

Thanks for looking!