Wednesday, October 26, 2011

New toy!

 Here's a picture of the box.  I won't bore you with the operation details of how to run this thing.  Youtube is a much better resource for researching these binding tools.  It came down to the Zutter Bind-it-all or the "Cinch."   I went with the BIA because it is smaller, weighs less, has rectangular holes, and seems to make the round rings stay round better than the Cinch.  And the BIA was available locally so no waiting for mail, no shipping, taxes, or duty to ramp up the cost.  I have no experience using any of these machines.  I figured if I ever wanted/needed round holes, I could just measure it out and use my "crop-a-dile" tool to do the holes and use the BIA to close the rings up.
 These are my first attempts using the machine.  I had a pile scrap 8.5x11" paper kicking around, mostly white space, wasted printouts and junk notices.  I cut them in half, and folded each half.  Depending how much white space/print, I sorted them to leave the folds inwards or outwards before punching.  As you can see below I goofed one and made the scrap cardboard the wrong way out.  Now they're handy little scratch note books.

I've been hunting for youtube of how someone easily pops the rings off to reuse them without bending them all up.  I'm sure some smartie out there has done it and hasn't posted their secret, yet!  I learned these are not quite practical size because the O-rings (binding) are 1", they are a bit too big and clunky for a purse.  Overall they are a satisfying first attempt.
I really want to make some scrap-book paper junque journals next.  There's many pretty journals on youtube for junk-journals, smash-journals, art-journals, mash-journals...  They're all about the same concept, yet very visually interesting tools.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Online Canadian Swarm ~ exchange

The deadline for this has already passed, but I was so pleased with how these turned out I wanted to share.  I can't seem to get rid of the underline to start this post, you'll just have to believe me, I tried.

Halloween cricut Cut exchange ~ read on: 
Participants need to commit by Oct 13, ready to mail by Oct 24, 2011.
Choose a layered or plain Halloween theme image, cut it out about 3-4”.
Use a minimum of 3 embellishment types of your choice: bling, glitter, glitter glue, ink, stamp, pen/gelpen/marker, paint, emboss/deboss, stitch, distress…

BUT, you must show & tell.   Baggie and include with each cut a short print out your contact info (real name, MB name, anything more you want to include is your choice) info of the cut (from what cart, what you did to it) to enclose with your swap.  At 3-4” these will make a nice card accent or scrapbook layout accent, while not being too small to have some fun decorating.  Bonus "feel good points" if you try a new-to-you technique you have always wanted to try.

What is this sparkle stuff?  
Hard craft foam shapes, rubbed together, yields textured sparkles.  I learned of this from the circle messageboard and been wanting to try it on something.
Using my gypsy, I cut out some  monsters from the "Paper-doll Dress up" cartridge.   I used the cricut pens to "draw," and hid the faces on another screen to cut out the shape.  I randomly glued the outline & stringy lines to simulate draped fabric, then sprinkled the foam sparkles across the wet glue.  Dipping the wet glued paper into the sprinkles makes gobs of smeary mess.  The blue & white paper is scrap paper for easy clean up.
Here's a before & after picture of the foam sprinkles detail.  I used recollections brand shimmer paper, I think its quite ghostie looking.
   Here's the completed trick or treaters.  I used green sparkle jems for the eyes.  I altered the bag to make it a little more "squat" looking with the gypsy, so it would hold more loot!  I used the same marker technique I used on the costume.  The bag is not permanently attached so people can put it in left or right hand as they please.  The little body underneath was too naked looking so I used green marker to make little shoes, and brown marker for soles.  They're almost 4" tall, cute lil spooks!
 The beauty of this challenge is, when using at least 3 different details, it becomes more visually interesting.  That is what makes cricut cutouts so versatile, jazzing them up with embellishments.

Participants sent their swap SASE to a circle member.  Ooops, I just realized I didn't send the cut information with mine, 
too late now, its in the mail.  
One more post coming, to show what I receive from the swap :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Canadian Online Swarm ~ Challenges 1 & 2 of 4

I did eventually complete the challenges for the swarm, albeit completely out of sequence.  I was inspired to take some autumn pictures with the lovely showcase of fleeting colours.  As always, click on the pictures to "bigify."

Challenge 1 of 4
Saturday Oct 1, 2011.  Autumn or Thanksgiving themed card
also National cardmaking day
Using all 3 criteria create a card with 
1.  punch at least 3 “holes” anywhere (square, round, large or small) 
2.  use vellum/plastic/transparency  
3.  Use a Cricut cut, your choice of image.
Using my gypsy, I cut the card from "Sophie" cartridge at 8.79" x 5.5".  I used the Chomas Creations mini gel pen holder to write "It's Pumpkin Time" at 1" height, font from "Blackletter" cartridge.  With a second screen on the gypsy I had the cut layer arranged to match the pen.  I like how the cut out sort-of looks like an exclamation point.  I backed the "holes" with printed vellum from my stash.

Challenge 2 of 4

Friday, September 30, 2011  In memory of summer, RIP 
Create a scrapbook layout with all 3 criteria:  
1.  flowers, butterflies or bugs, at least one cricut cut  
2.  stitching  (your choice how:  hand, machine, rubons, stamped or doodled) 
3.  a favorite quote

 Normally I do not prefer fall, primarily because it is a harbinger of winter.  The last picture shows this 2 page scrapbook layout, 12x12 size pages.  The next 2 pictures show the left and right pages.
 The quote is from a page of vellum quotes, DejaVues brand.    
"Sunny Days" was cut using gypsy "celebrate with a flourish" cartridge.  It is 5.36" x 2.73", green base, yellow, orange, and burnt orange for layers.  I used Sakura Glaze 3D ink pens to doodle around the punched butterfly & dragonfly, to doodle fill in blank areas of the cut out, and to do the "ribbons" of colour at the bottom borders.
 I used 2 small punches (shown) to do the spray of leaves, I kept the balance of colours yellows and oranges, from scrap paper from the "Sunny Days" title, with about 1/4 green.  I randomly rolled several strips of re-positional dot adhesive glue across the bottom of the page, then rubbed some away irregularly before sprinkling the leaves across.  I just pressed them down with my fingers, picked up the pages & tapped off the loose ones, repeatedly until I was happy with the visual effect.  All supplies were from my stash, I do not know the brand of background paper.
hmm, I wasn't expecting the background paper to blend into the carpet so mysteriously.
I've got 2 more posts to share from this swarm; my swap contribution, and my return swap mail.  It was a push to make myself do the challenges.  Joining in is great motivation to jump in and do something.  I'm glad I did!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Trick or Treat

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Last year no one could stay home to hand out candy for halloween.  This is the sign I made with black and red cricut vinyl with my Gypsy and little cricut.  I used vinyl so I didn't have to mess around with glue to put the words on the cardboard.  All images are from Happy Hauntings cartridge.  Trickortreat was cut at 11.41" wide x 3.59"  high.  The words are about 2.92" high and I took some time to skew some letters crooked, up and down, and some are enlarged or shrunken to make it more authentic looking.

It says "Trick or treat, take 1 if you are bad, take 2 if you are really bad, if the basket is empty then someone before you was really rotten."  My son & I went T&T ing and came back 3 times and only once was the basket empty.  I figured it was better to try to participate rather than get egged.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Canadian Online Swarm ~ Challenge 3 of 4

The Challenge:
Sunday Oct 2, 2011.  Silly pet or animal scrapbook layout ,
A favorite stuffed toy is okay too.
Using all 3 criteria:
1. Use texture: fuzz, fibre, ribbon, string, thick paint, emboss/deboss…
2.  lumps/bumps: lace, buttons, folding, popdots, pop-ups…
3.  Use at least one cricut cut, your choice of image.

I intend to do the rest of the challenges, but I am running out of time, the deadline is October 10, 2011.  Some of you know I have been in slow motion from a bad cold for September so its very nice to be doing a little more now that I'm feeling better.

 Using the cricut, gypsy, and "French Mannor" cartridge, I cut out the scalloped sheet from "coordinations" paper.  It is 2 sided, but it has a coloured core so the paper can be manipulated different ways to allow the core colour to show through.  I started off doodle embossing on the 12x12 rubber sheet I got with the embossing tips from Amy Chomas Creations product line.  Check out my posts labeled "cricut tricks" if you are interested.  I used my old Fiskars dry Embossing table kit, aka "Scrap Boss" as the base surface.  I couldn't find my distress tool kit so I improvised with the cricut tool kit, the little spoon tool has a very sharp tip, perfect for doodle scraping the paper.  I will definitely try that again.
 I used the gypsy to cut the kitty from "four legged friends" cartridge at 6.4" x 3.55"   See the grey star paper, it was a nice surprise to see it made the perfect accent for Boomer colour.  I used some of the trendy twine I won from the last swarm, "blueberry" colour, some thread for whiskers, and foam dots to lift it off the page for some dimension.  I doodled the checkerboard pajamas with cricut markers after running the tip of the marker around the cut to dull the bright white borders of the cutout.   I'd never used cricut markers this way and highly recommend it.  The stubby end and thick plastic holding the nib makes it almost impossible to scribble the marker off the edge. 

 Boomer is modeling some cool socks that I made by running some dollar store socks through the serger to make narrow tubes 2 years ago.  I saw them blogged as an April fools joke a few years ago & thought it was so funny!  He did not prefer the closed toe socks and became adept at pulling them off very quickly.  Conversely, he didn't mind the leg warmers since he could still walk and climb, however hysterical his gait was initially, hee hee!  He's such a good sport, he really doesn't mind.

 "The cat's Pajamas" was from "meow" cartridge, but I reduced the right & left border manually with scissors.  
It took the whole afternoon puttering along but it was so relaxing to make this fun layout.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Getting ready for Halloween

 Aren't these great?  I used my Gypsy to make the hand as big as I could to cut out on my little cricut for the 6x12" mat.  I cut 4 hands out of posterboard.  I glue-gunned them onto used chopsticks, both sides for stiffness.  I used Plaid brand glow in the dark acrylic paint, & while it was wet I sprinkled it with Martha Stewart glow in the dark glitter.  
 The Glitter seems to glow brighter.  eeeerie & spooky, just the look I was going for!
Sorry, another sideways picture.  Don't they look great sticking out of my planters?  

Friday, October 7, 2011

Canadian Online Swarm ~ challenge 4 of 4

I'm so far behind I could be starting to circle...  Well, life does this, I've been sick for about a month and am slowly getting on my feet again.  Sept 30th I started an online Canadian Swarm in the Canadian Chat on the Cricut Circle message-board.  The only real thing Canadian about it is that members have to visit the Canadian Chat to see what has been posted.  I had big plans to have examples all ready to show, nope, cough cough cough, life got in the way.  I'll be posting what I finally made while showing what the challenges were.  Completely backwards from how I'd planned, but oh well, that's life.

Monday Oct 3 2011. Challenge for Canadian Circle Online Swarm 
Create a 3D haunted house: 
It can be spooky or cute, but not autumn or Thanksgiving. 
Use any bag you like as long as it can stand on its own.  
It must be embellished with cricut cuts, stamps, etc however you like. This could be a luminary, a gift bag, an ornament, part of a Halloween village…

My entry is very basic, I had lots of ideas but very little energy so here is one entry I completed.  
 I used the little tote bag from "wrap it up" cartridge, cut "fit to page" which is 9.5"  I somehow folded it up wrong side out, but you can't see that until you're really looking so I will just proudly ignore that detail, LOL!  I "cut" the matching pumpkin layer first with a cricut red marker to outline, then with the blade to cut.  I rough trimmed a scrap of yellow vellum to put under the face and used foam dots to raise the layer up so it looks like its glowing.  I finally used some "goosebumps clear texture spray" from my stash just begging to be used.  The picture below shows the pebbly texture it gives to the face.  Unfortunately it warps vellum, and despite masking off the background I got a bit on the bag above the stem. Oh well.  I tried.
It will make a cute candy treat bag for an unsuspecting neighbor soon enough...