Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Today's card is a two-for-one.  I posted it on the Gyspy Chat challenge and Raq's Card Challenge - both on the NEW Cricut messageboard.  The sketch came from the Raq challenge and the recipe came from the Gypsy challenge.  Here's the recipe:  1. a holiday card  2. at least two images (tag, spider, web)  3. 1 word (Beware) 4. 1 weld (eek)  5. 1 image stretched (Beware)  6. 1 image squeezed (tag)  7. at least three cartridges (Lyrical Letters, Pumpkin Carving, October 31, George).  I also added Stickles to Beware and a little bling here and there.  The web in the corners is the circle web from PC.  I cut off the circle and then cut the web in half.  I tried the web from October 31 and it was just too delicate at that size.

Family's coming in for a visit so I hope to keep up with my posts.  If not, I'll be back this weekend.

Hugs and Happy Crafting,

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Another Challenge Card and Some Helpful (?) Ideas.

I'll begin by posting my 4th challenge card for Santa's Slackers.  I used Very Merry Tags and an EK Success border punch.  It's pretty simple, but I  like the idea of the tag in the pocket (my rather far-fetched interpretation of the sketch!) and may explore some different ideas along those lines for more Christmas cards.

I really love to organize things - sometimes I organize more that I create!!  Well - I have 68 Cricut cartridges (it was scary to actually count them) and I can't always remember what's on them, especially those wonderful bonus cuts found on the function keys.  I do take the time to go through my handbooks, just to refresh my memory and find inspiration, but sometimes I just need a frame/mat and I can't remember which cartridge to use. 
So this is what I did:  I went through my handbooks with my Gypsy turned on and the 12x24 virtual mat selected.  When I found  frames/mats I knew I would use often, I selected them and placed them on the virtual mat.  I used a default size of 2.5 so that I could compare across the cartridges I chose.  I didn't include Mini Monograms because I'm very familiar with those shapes.  After I filled up my virtual mats (2 pages) with cuts that I had been looking for, I used my Expression to draw the shapes using my Cricut Pens.  That way, I'd have reference sheets with the cuts all together.  I also added the initials of the cartridge following each set of cuts.  It really didn't take that long and I love being able to look at my sheets to compare shapes and sizes and know which cartridge to use.   Now, you may not want to use 12x24 paper.  You could do the same thing on 12x12 or 8.5x11 and make smaller images.

                                          A Reference for Frames/Mats

I added the note "&frames" after the Storybook images to remind myself of that complete function key.

The other thing I've done to help me with cartridge images is to print the preview pages from the Cricut.com website.  If you go to "information" then "Cricut library" and click on the first column after each cartridge, you'll get a single sheet preview.  You can't see the images created with the function keys, so I'll write what the function keys do and also write any "words" or "phrases" that come with the cartridge directly below the image.  I keep all these pages in plastic sleeves and held together with binder rings.

Well, those are my brainstorms for today.  Hope you find them helpful.  Now, I must stop organizing and get the creative juices flowing!

Hugs and Happy Crafting,

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fall is in the Air

I designed this card for the Jitterbuggin' challenge.  I just received the 3 Birds on Parade cartridge so I was excited to use it.  The bird and all of its layers were cut at 2.5 inches.  I inked all the cut edges and embossed the bird's bacground paper and its body. This cartridge is going to be fun.  I'm thinking an " All Through the Year" album would be really cute.  Hmmmmm, I'll have to give that some thought.

Hugs and Happy Crafting,

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Halloween Cards

I'm trying to finish up some projects that have been ignored for awhile so I thought I'd share some pre-blog cards from my files.  I'll start with Halloween cards.  I made a Halloween card when I attended my very first card class - that's where my love for cardmaking began and it just keeps growing!
This was my first challenge card.  The spiders and sentiment are from Lyrical Letters and the Cuttlebug folder is Pumpkin Harvest sanded and inked.  There are jewels on the spider bodies.

This was the first time I welded anything.  At the time, I used Design Studio to copy and weld the spiders, ghosts, jack-o-lanterns, and fence.  All the cuts are from Paper Doll Dress Up and the sentiment is a heat embossed stamp.  I also used the MS Drippy Goo border punch.

These are all stamped images that were heat embossed.  I love using layers of papers!

Another first - the first time I used velum (the bat images are a part of the velum) and the first time I set eyelets.  The sentiment was cut from  patterned paper and then outlined with stickles.

In the next post, I'll share some Autumn cards.  Hope you'll vist again.
Hugs and Happy Crafting,

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Personalized Notecards/Crop Night Kits

My daughter is the assistant softball coach at Texas Tech University.  Every time I visit her I enjoy going to the local scrapbook stores where I can find wonderful Texas Tech papers and embellishments.  During my  visit in August, she asked me to make her some Texas Tech notecards.  So, after forcing myself to complete a pile of unfinished cards from my crop night kits (see below), I treated myself to the new papers and made a few cards for her.  I hope she enjoys using them. 

So, what's a crop night kit, you ask?  The first time I attended a Swarm, I took 2 days to pack everything I thought I needed to take and, of course, I took way too much.  The owner of my Local Scrapbook Store suggested I make crop night kits.  Each baggie (remember, I'm mostly a cardmaker) contains the paper, embellishments, stamps, ink, diecuts, etc. for  cards that I designed at home before the crop.  At my last Scrap-n-Yak, I had 8 different card designs with enough papers cut to assemble 6 of each design.  I came home with 48 Card Fairy and Cards for Soldiers cards completely assembled and ready to mail.  It does take some time before the crop, but I just keep baggies handy and when I have some extra cardmaking time, I put one or two kits together.  That way, on crop night I only have to take my tool kit and my baggies.  I did the same thing for album pages.  I put all the cuts and embellies in 12x12 plastic pockets, one for each page.  I came home with 6 completely assembled pages.  By having your crop night kits, you don't have to feel guilty about chatting (and eating!) the night away.  You'll still come home with completed projects!!

Hugs and Happy Crafting,

Thursday, September 16, 2010

White on White - designed on the Gypsy

Today's card is for the Santa's Slackers challenge.  When I saw the sketch I envisioned a white on white winter scene.  I did add a touch of silver with the ribbon, stars on the trees, and the card mat. For dimension I Cuttlebugged (verb?) each tree with a different embossing folder, popped the center one and also popped the snowflake (Accent Essentials) which was cut from the same glitter paper as the background.  I used George for the trees.  On the Gypsy, I selected the triangle, copied it two more times, and then stretched each one to get the three sizes I wanted. I then copied each tree again.  After I lined three of them up to fit the card width, I grouped and welded so that I'd have one solid base and three trees to cut separately. I also sized the two snowflakes on the Gypsy.
Here's the layout on the Gypsy screen.  The gray lines on the grouped trees will not cut.

The finished card.

A close-up to show the embossing and dimension.

I love that I'm getting at least one holiday card completed each week.  I've chosen several of the sketches to make multiples for Cards for Soldiers so maybe I won't be scrambling to get them completed on time this year.

As always, I'd love your feedback.
Hugs and Happy Crafting,

Monday, September 13, 2010

Jitterbuggin' Card Challenge

This will be a short post today (it's housework day!!!).  Sherri over at Jitterbuggin' Challenge has a weekly sketch challenge.  She creates the sketches herself - such talent.  This week's theme is "Going Old School." We were asked to use the sketch for inspiration and include the primary colors red, yellow, and blue.
I used A Child's Year and Plantin Schoolbook for this 5 x 7 card.  I pop dotted the child and the heart and added a little doodling.

Hugs and Happy Crafting,

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Ready-made Elements - Yes, I use them too.

I just finished a card using My Mind's Eye Lil Robots paper and the matching chipboard elements.  I don't use a lot of ready-made chipboard or punch-out elements, but sometimes companies provide such cute and clever accessories, it's silly not to use them.  I especially love it when JoAnn has a 40% off sale - I snag up K&Co and Marcella by K dimensionals, and I've found some treasures at Tuesday Morning

Here's my Robot card.  I used the chipboard accessories on the outside and inside (not posted) I used a punch-out robot with a speech bubble for the sentiment.  The layout is one of this week's sketches for Raq's card challenge. This card is for a 4 year old boy.

The dimensional sentiment on this next card is from Marsella.  I only had a small area for the sentiment (I was following another sketch for Raq's card challenge) so it worked perfectly.

My last two cards were also made for card challenges. The first one is for the My Sheri Crafts "Thinking of you" challenge.  I didn't use a ready-made dimensional, but I did use prima flowers and a button brad.

This last one is also for Raq's card challenge (we get 3 sketches a week.)  The Hedgie image is colored with Copic markers.  I love Penny Black's hedgehog stamps.  They're so easy to color and the images are always adorable.

Hope you're having a lovely weekend. 

Hugs and Happy Crafting,

Friday, September 10, 2010

Santa's Slackers Card Challenge

Sandi at Sandi's Added Touch and Joy at Purtty Paperz have started a Christmas Card challenge called Santa's Slackers (cute name, huh?)  They are posting a new sketch every Monday in the Cricut Card Forum (www.Cricut.com/messageboard)  and also on their blogs (just click the links above.)  Just think how far ahead you'll be with your Christmas Card stash if you participate.  It sounded too good for me to pass up and I'm hoping that I'll find THE card that will become my holiday card to be mailed to friends and family.

Here is this week's challenge card.  It is supposed to be 5x7 (oops, didn't read that part carefully!), have a cricut cut (mine is the snowflake from Home Accents), and have some bling.  I also used the Cuttlebug Snowflakes embossing folder.

This second card is the first sketch Sandi posted.  It is a square card which I don't often make because square cards require extra postage!  The papers came embossed and shiny so I didn't have to do much.  The sentiment, square, and scalloped square are from Winter Woodland.

I invite you to join in the challenge.  It's a great way to get card ideas.

Hugs and Happy Crafting,

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Two Cards, One Sketch

As I've said before, I love using card sketches, especially when I have quite a few to make in a short amount of time.  I can spend my time selecting just the right papers and embellishments because the layout is done.  Anyway, this card layout was for Raq's Card Challenge on the Cricut mb.  As I was assembling this first card, the second one just popped into my mind.
The papers are from my scrap drawer.  I used punches for the flowers and tag, placing Stickles in the flower centers for some added bling.  Also, I like tearing paper, it adds a different look and texture.

I love using white on white (with just a few hints of pale blue).  Using the Cuttlebug Divine Swirls and Swiss Dots folders added enough dimension to differentiate the papers and I also inked the torn edge of the dotted paper.  The snowflakes were punched and I pop dotted the oval and single snowflake.  The oval center is a brad I had in my stash.

Thanks for stopping by.
Hugs and Happy Crafting,

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Organize, Organize, and Some Helpful Ideas

Okay, I promised a few tips and tricks.  I love to be organized and have the things I need handy.  Most of these are not my original ideas, but I have found them helpful when I'm creating so I thought I'd share.

1.  You know those darn glue strings that often are the result of using your Xyron?  Keep a wadded up piece of plastic wrap handy.  After you've adhered your cuts, just blot the strings with the plastic wrap!  They seem to come right up.

2.  Baby Wipes!  Can't craft without them.  They are terrific for cleaning stamps, both wooden and clear and also the acryllic block that I always seem to get ink all over - okay, my hands and work table as well.  I also use them to clean my Cricut cutting mats.  I can't believe how much additional life they add.  Even when you think your mat has lost all of its "sticky", a good rubdown with a baby wipe will often restore it.  Also, rotate your mats for extra life.  I've been using the same 4 for almost a year.  I treat myself to a new one (and a new blade) when I take a class or am working on a very special project.  IF you're starting with a new mat, pat your hands all over it to release some of the "sticky" so that your papers, especially if they're lighter weight, won't tear.  Oops, kinda got off the baby wipe topic, sorry.

3.  Bling storage - this is MY OWN idea:  I had a photo storage album I wasn't using so . . .

I keep my rhinestones and pearls stored by color - quick and easy to see what I have.

I also use the Cropper Hopper embellishment bags for loose embellies and the small sets of rhinestones that come with some of the acryllic stamps. They stay together with a binder ring.

4.  Clear stamp and punch storage.  Being a retired teacher, I have lots of binders, transparencies, and plastic sleeves so instead of buying the stamp storage albums, I just used what I had.  It's not fancy but it works for me.  The clear sets are placed on the transparency and then slipped into the plastic sleeve.  I keep separated binders for holidays and my Card Fairy sentiments and then two large ones for stamps in general.  My wooden block stamps are in single layers in plastic boxes which stack inside each other.  Note:  I use binders and plastic boxes because a lot of my storage is shelf space.

And finally,

my over-the-door shoe bag for storing border and large punches.  I had them piled in drawers and it was a nightmare finding the one I wanted.  I read about this idea and, problem solved!

I hope you find some helpful ideas.

Hugs and Happy Crafting,

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

And the Card Fairy Missions continue . . .

Today's cards will be mailed to two little girls whose names were given to us as Card Fairy requests.  I used two cartridges that I haven't used very often: Hello Kitty Font and Straight From the Nest.  I really like the layers on SFTN.  Even though I use my Gypsy (especially great for getting the sizing just the way I want it), I find I still refer to my booklets in order to better understand how the layers work.  I keep my booklets alphabetized in snap-ware containers for easy access.  I have also printed out the Preview pages from the Cricut website for each of my cartridges and keep them in plastic sleeves in a binder in alphabetical order for reference.  Sometimes, I'll just sit with that binder and review/remember all the wonderful cuts available on my cartridges.
Hello Kitty and her layers were cut at 3".

The inside cut at 1.5, font and shadow.

This bird is from SFTN cut at 1.5.  I started to use the cartrdge sentiment, but it didn't cut well at the size I needed it, so I made a computer generated sentiment.  I used pop dots between the shadow and the bird body and also on the wing for a little dimension.

Tomorrow I plan to share a few organizational ideas I use and also some handy tricks to make scrapping easier.

Hugs and Happy Crafting,

Monday, September 6, 2010

And the winner is . . .

Thank you, thank you, thank you for visiting during the Cricut Card Fairy Blog Hop.  I hope you got some useful ideas and that you were motivated to join the Cricut Card Fairy Army.  I would especially like to thank those of you who became followers.  I'll work very hard to keep my blog up-to-date and bring you more projects and handy hints as I continue my papercrafting journey.

So, now to name the winner of my blog candy.  Comment number 14 was selected by Random.org.
The winner is  Kristie Maynard.  Congratualations, Kristie!  I'll email you to get your mailing address, then your blog candy will be on its way.  Don't forget to check Crystal's Blog for the grand prize winner.

                                                             Hugs and Happy Crafting,

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Welcome to the "Back to School" Blog Hop

I hope you're enjoying the Second Cricut Card Fairy, Back to School, Blog Hop.  If you're arriving here from Sheryl's blog, then you've already gotten some great ideas!  We just can't thank Regina at The Cutting Cafe enough for her sponsorship.  One lucky hopper will receive three of her Printable Stamp Sets as our grand prize.  The winner will be randomly selected from the hoppers that leave a comment on each blog.

Regina graciously sent me her School Borders . . .Printable Stamp Set to use in my projects.  This is the first time I've used downloadable images and I will definitely use them again - just the image you need with the quick click of a button!!!
In these projects, you'll continue to see my love for layers and the simple design techniques that have become my "style!"
All patterned papers are from K*I. The cartridge used is Graphically Speaking p. 36

The inside cut is the Icon Blackout, GS p. 36 sized in CDS to 4.5x3.5

The sentiment is Celebrate with Flourish using base, shadow, and layers.  The "Star Student" is from Regina's The Cutting Cafe - Back to School Borders Set. 

The inside stars are from George cut in 1/2 inch increments.  The sentiment is computer generated.  Please see my August 31st post to learn how to easily transfer computer sentiments to your diecuts.

This altered composition book uses cuts from Graphically Speaking, p. 51 Type (journal) and Icon and Icon Blackout (star border).  The stars are from George, again cut in 1/2 inch increments.  The printed border is another of Regina's Back to School Borders.

I wanted to make a useful bookmark for the composition book so I used Potpourri Basket, p.62 Bonus feature for the pencil.  I cut the base twice at 3 inches, using the hide-contour feature on the Gypsy for the one of the two cuts.  I cut the layers (bonus - shift) 5 times to get all the colors for the layers.

Using another of Regina's borders, the bookmark is now a handwriting reference.

And here's the journal with its handy bookmark.

Before I send you on your way to Kisatrtle's blog, let me encourage you to find out more about Cricut Card Fairies.  This group of volunteer cardmakers has sent over 650 card requests during the last two years. You can read more about us on the Cricut.com messageboard or contact our Commander, Crystal, by sending an email to cricutcardfairyarmy@gmail.com.

Thanks for hopping along. If you get lost or need to start again, you can go back to Crystal's blog or follow the list below. 

Crystal http://crystalscraftycreations.blogspot.com/
GRKIDDO http://ginathorntonstamping.blogspot.com/
LYNNE http://www.scrapthiscraftthat.blogspot.com/
ScrappyJess http://scrappyjess.blogspot.com/
Kat/Bluerose http://katzdesignz.blogspot.com/
DDDCort http://www.dawnsaddiction.blogspot.com/
KarelJCreations http://www.karelj.blogspot.com/
SherylGreene http://sherylscraftingcorner.blogspot.com/
LarelynSartini http://www.handmadefromtheheart-designsbylarelyn.blogspot.com/ You are here
Kisatrtle http://www.kisatrtleskreativekorner.blogspot.com/
AJoy713 http://adreatravis2008.blogspot.com/
BeeJay http://www.beejaysstudio.blogspot.com/
Pamela http://blog.pamelaosterday.com/

Otherwise, click the link to Kisatrtle above (red link).  Be sure to check back on Monday, Sept. 6 to find out the winner of my blog candy which can be seen in the August 26th blog post.  All you need to do is leave a comment to become eligible.  If you choose to become a follower, that would be wonderful too!!

Hugs and Happy Crafting,

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