A Garden of Friends

This is was a fun card to make because I got to experiment with my techniques and use up some of my hoarded items.  To start off…the background.

When I was making the background for my Feeling Royal card, I went through some trial and error before getting the alcohol ink effect I wanted.  In fact, I used up an embarrassing amount of glossy cardstock sheets.  Alas, those suckers ain’t cheap, so I saved all of the “bad” ones.  So for this card, I grabbed one of those bad boys and got to work.  It already had a pretty blue base color.  So I put some purple and green alcohol ink on a fresh felt pad and dapped it all over the glossy cardstock.  Then, I added some blending solution to the same felt pad and repeated the dabbing step to get some nice marbleization.


This makes me wish for a huge flower garden

My sister, Briana, sent me a gift recently that was wrapped in tissue paper.  Most of the sheets were plain white, but there were some with silver polka dots.  For these flowers, I used one sheet of each tissue paper.  (Of course I hoarded the rest.)  I folded up each sheet so they were a little wider and about the same length as a Sizzix decorative strip die, specifically the Tim Holtz Tattered Flower Garland die.  I cut out all of the flowers and leaves in each color, but ended up only using the flowers with the rounded petals.  Starting with the smallest size, I stacked a few die cuts in varying sizes onto pink brads.


A close-up of the flowers and the background

Both the sentiment and wheelbarrow are stamped from the Penny Black “Friendship Flowers” clear acrylic set.  The double fish-tailed pennant was cut out from the Cricut Creative Cards cartridge.  My wheelbarrow was watercolored using the Tim Holtz detailer water brush and various distress inks.


“if friends were flowers, I would pick you”


Think I’m starting to get the hang of watercoloring

This card has been entered into the following blog challenges:
“All The Pretty Flowers” from Craft Hoarders Anonymous
“How Does Your Garden Grow” from Try it on Tuesdays
“Flowers and/or Feathers” from Pile It On
“Vintage” from Chocolate, Coffee, and Cards
“Sentimental” from That Craft Place
“Make Your Own Background” from Simon Says Stamp (Wednesday)

Categories: Cards & Tags, DIY, 'Cause You Can! | Tags: , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Lemon and Lime

As mentioned in my With Sprinkles on Top post, I love the Simon Says Stamp Lick It die set.  Today I’m using another die from the set, called Ice Cream Cone Parade.  I ran the die through my Vagabond 3 separate times to cut 3 different colors of paper.


What a yummy color palette

This card has been entered into the following blog challenges:
“Goldenrod, Kraft, and Chartreuse” from Cupcake Inspirations
“STAMPtember Hop” (Use SSS brand) from Simon Says Stamp (Monday)
“Repeat Repeat” from Papertake Weekly
“Something with Circles on it” from Craft for the Craic
“Sequins Celebration” from CAS on Sunday
“Celebrations” from Brown Sugar

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By the Beautiful Sea

I deliberated for a while on what to do with the lighthouse.  I finally decided to not color it in.  This puts the focus on the beautiful/natural seaside, and pushing the manmade structure into the background.  What do y’all think?  Should I have colored it or do y’all like it as is?  Honest opinions only!  Promise I don’t need my ego boosted…that’s what a husband is for, haha!


What a serene seaside scene

CTMH, distress, stamp…Using the clear Ranger embossing pen, I drew small wisps on the water around the rocks and heat embossed with white embossing powder to make foamy water caps.  The powder stuck to the CTMH pigment ink.  I brushed away some, but left the rest because it looked like water spray.  The cliff is watercolored with more Ranger distress inks.


Detail of watercolored cliff and ocean white caps

Sentiment upon a pink cloud.


“By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea.”

This card has been entered into the following blog challenges:
“I do like to be beside the seaside!” from Less is More
“Nautical” from Country View
“Stamp It” from Simon Says Stamp (Wednesday)
“Clean and Simple” from Ooh La La
“Anything Goes” from Papertake

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Feeling Royal

Peacocks are perhaps the most elegant avian.  It comes as no surprise why they have graced so many royal gardens.  What a treat is must be to see a male spread his tail feathers in person!  I seem to recall seeing peacocks roaming free around the grounds of some place I visited as a child, but am not quite sure where.  Mom, maybe you can help me with that one…?

Inspiration for this card was found in a few sources, but primarily in this photo from the Inkspirational challenge for this week.  I just love that vibrant blue!


Link for challenge is below

However, I was also very excited to try Tim Holtz’s alcohol ink ghosting effect for this month’s tag tutorial seen here.  (Not to worry, this isn’t replacing my monthly tag.)  The general concept is you tap alcohol blending solution over a stencil and then apply a light colored alcohol ink.  It didn’t quite turn out the way I was hoping.  The damask stencil lines were not very crisp.  Probably because alcohol blending solution is, well, a liquid.  But isn’t that the fun in experimentation through crafting:  taking something “eh” and making it beautiful.


What a fancy fowl

So what do you think, did I achieve beauty?  Maybe it was the pearls that did the trick.  The stamp is from Inkadinkado and is called Papercut Peacock.  (Hmm…wonder how they came up with that name, lol.)  The sentiments are from Tim Holtz’s Words remnant rubs.


discover beauty / shine brightly / heart and soul /
imagine peace / dreamer of dreams

This card has been entered into the following blog challenges:
“Photo Inspiration” from Inkspirational
“Luxury” from Addicted to CAS
“12 Tags of 2014 – September” from Tim Holtz
“Stamp It” from Simon Says Stamp (Wednesday)
“Be Bold” from Simon Says Stamp (Monday)
“Black and White with one color” from CAS on Sunday
“Clean and Simple” from Ooh La La
“Anything Goes” from Papertake
“Anything Goes” from Brown Sugar

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Tim Holtz August 2014 Tag

I made this tag based on Tim Holtz’s August 2014 tag seen here.  He uses a multitude of techniques to include texture paste through stencils, distress embossing powder on the edges, and sewing film tape onto the tag (I used measuring tape).  Although my tag may look nothing like his, I did mimic his methods.  And I believe Tim’s hope for the challenges is that we take his techniques and make our own art.  Hope ya’ll enjoy my “artful” interpretation for this month.


The background before I started to embellish


A vintage seamstress twist on Tim’s Aug. 2014 tag

Items used:
• dressform is from Summer in Paris Cricut cartridge
• DecoArt texture paste
• from the Stamper’s Anonymous Tim Holtz collection:
- haberdashery stamp set
- measured and harlequin layering stencils
• from Tim Holtz Idea-ology:
- ruler ribbon
- “artful” metal charm
- hanger clip
- safety pin/trinket pin
- mini numerals
- crinkle ribbon
• from Ranger:
- broken china colored distress paintstain, and ink
- mustard seed colored distress paint and stain
- picked raspberry colored distress paint
- scattered straw distress embossing powder
• buttons, lace, tulle, and sewing thread all from my stash

The Details


A cute tutu made out of lace and tulle


In case you’re wondering, 5′ 7.5″ is my height


Texture paste and ribbon seemingly make one continuous ruler


Distress embossing powder in the corner and all edges distressed

This tag has been entered into the following blog challenges:
“12 Tags of 2014 – August” from Tim Holtz
“Dressing Up” from Bitten By the Bug 2
“Use your punches and dies” from The Crafter’s Cafe
“Button it Up!” from Craft Hoarders Anonymous
“Bingo” *lace, charm, and blue* from Chocolate, Coffee, and Cards
“Summery Colours” from That Craft Place

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Wings of Faith

I stumbled across this quote from J.M. Barrie recently and thought it was just beautiful.  I’ve have always had a thing for butterflies and flight, so this really spoke to me.  I fiddled with the phrase in Microsoft Word until I got a format I liked.  Then, I printed it onto regular printer paper and cut it out.  On the back of the paper, I lightly traced the letters with a pencil.  Then I flipped it over and rubbed a scraper over the front to transfer the pencil to my card.  Finally, I wrote over the pencil with a marker.

Some creative, but simple, stamping went into the rest of this card.  The butterflies are from the Stampin’ Up Watercolor Minis set.  They are actually 2 stamps overlapped for a great dimensional look.  The butterfly in profile was done by inking only 1/2 of the stamps.  The flowers all come from the Stampin’ Up Easy Elegance set.  To achieve this look, I inked the stamp with all 3 colors before stamping.  Using ink pads, I carefully lined it up so only the stems were green and the petals were pink.  (Markers could be used instead of ink pads.)  Then with a slightly darker pink marker, I inked the petal edges blending the colors directly on the stamp.  If your inks have dried some, rewet them by huffing or breathing warm air onto the stamp.


“for to have faith is to have WINGS”
- J.M. Barrie

This card has been entered into the following blog challenges:
“Word Play” from Country View
“Summery Colours” from That Craft Place
“Summer Days” from Vintage Stamping
“Spring or Autumn” from The Squirrel and the Fox
“Anything Goes” from Brown Sugar
“Anything Goes” from Simon Says Stamp Wednesday
“Anything Goes” from Cute Card Thursday

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Red All About it

Call me a tree hugger if you like, but I don’t like to be wasteful.  I save most of my paper scraps for future projects and recycle the ones that aren’t salvageable.  I recently cut out this image to use for a background on another card and was left with 224 little triangles.  It would be such a shame to toss so many perfectly cut triangles.  So the result was I designed another card to use them, well just a few of them.


From the Edge to Edge Cricut cartridge

My background was done in 2 layers.  First, I inked victorian velvet distress ink with a round blending tool through the Tim Holtz Bubble layering stencil.  Second, I used a Stampin’ Up marker in baroque burgundy and marker spritzer to mist some splats of color.  Both the cover and inside sentiments are from the Stampin’ Up Cheery Chat set.


Inside sentiment: “Sharing in the happiness of your wonderful news!”

Each triangle was inked with Ranger perfect medium, then dipped into a homemade mixture of gold perfect pearls and ultra thick embossing enamel (UTEE).  After heat embossing, they were glued down with Tombow mono aqua liquid glue (by far my fav liquid glue).


Glitzy emboss

This card has been entered into the following blog challenges:
“Best Wishes/Congratulations” from Pile it On
“Use your punches and dies” from Crafter’s Cafe
“Monochromatic” from Crafting for all Seasons
“Luxury” from Addicted to CAS

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Desert Garden Stationery

Sorry for the delay this morning.  I love Time Warner internet when it works.  Too bad it stopped working nationwide last night.  That’s the 2nd time this month.  And with us living on a military base, we don’t have any other options for internet service.  Grrr.  But on the positive side, when it is working, it’s lightening fast.

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Witty Wednesdays with Christi

One of our Exploring Cricut and More followers asked this question recently.

”Have had the Explore for about a week.  Used my Expression 2 for years and did center cut of photos for my scrapbooking pages.  Do a lot of birding around (next up is Africa) and center cuts make a great looking frame around bird photos.  I was wondering if you or the crew have a way to get a design lined up on the canvas to insure a perfect center cut of a photo.  The designs do not have guide lines that seem to be of much help.”

I have already answered her via e-mail, but I thought I would share my answer with all of ya’ll, as well.  Although I love my Expression 2, I never have used the center cut feature.  So my answer won’t be a way to adapt the technique to the Explore but rather how I would achieve the same result.

Let’s say your picture is 4″x6″ and the part you would like to cut out is 3″x5″, which leaves 1/2″ of excess on all sides.  Open cricut design space and insert an oval image.  Go to the edit toolbar and change the size to 3″x5″.  You may need to unlock the sizes, otherwise every adjustment you make will keep the image proportional and not the size you desire.  This is achieved by clicking on the lock icon until it opens.  At this point, there is no need to worry about positioning.  Where the image is on this screen is not where it will cut on the canvas.


Only set the Size and not the Position while in this screen

Click Go and the matt preview will pop up.  In this screen, you can move the oval to whatever position you desire.  Click on the oval and a cursor box will surround your image.  Align the cursor box so the top left corner is at 1/2″x1/2″ on the screen.  Now, place your picture in the top left corner of your cutting matt (aka 0″x0″).  Load your matt and cut like normal.

Something to notice is Design Space creates a border of about 1/4″ around the matt where it will not cut.  So if you want to cut an oval placed directly in the corner of your picture, you will need to move the oval (and your picture) to another spot on the matt.  It may require some basic math, but ya’ll are some pretty smart folks and will have no issues.  Also, remember that each solid line represents an inch on the matt.  So even though the font is teeny tiny, you can count the lines to compare the matt on the screen to your cutting matt and make sure everything is lined up perfectly.


Note, my image is actually set to cut at the 1”x1” mark

Another method is to ignore everything I just said, well at least the stuff about alignment, and just cut the oval in the default position onto some scratch cardstock.  Then, you can use this to “frame” your image to cut exactly where you want it to.  This is very useful if your desired image isn’t in the center of your photo.  In the example below, you can see that my picture is very crooked.  However, the flowers I want to show off are perfectly framed.  Just remember to line up the cardstock on the matt in the same spot each time and remove it before cutting.


It doesn’t matter if the photo is crooked on the matt as long as your image is properly framed

I made a stationery set using a dozen pictures I took when Matt and I visited the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona.  The scalloped oval I used to frame my pictures came from the cricut Baby Steps cartridge, but obviously anything will work.  The paper I used is the 8.5″x12″ Southwest cricut cardstock.  One sheet makes 2 A2 cards plus a random extra 1″x8.5″ strip.  I just love how the colors coordinate so well with my desert flowers.


A whole set of 12 desert beauties

Categories: Cards & Tags, DIY, 'Cause You Can! | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

With Sprinkles on Top

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Challenge Week

This is week’s challenge over at Exploring Cricut & More is “Happy Birthday!”  We would love to have you join us this week.  And if you do, your project should include some sparkle or glitter just for some extra pizzazz!

While I’m a big fan of glitter glues (such as stickles), I personally have always shied away from dry glitters.  No matter how careful you are, they inevitably make a huge mess.  But lately I’ve been in the mood to “break stash” and try new things.  So I dug deep into the dusty corners of my shelves and found some pink and blue glitters.  They were such yummy colors that I thought they would make great sprinkles for some birthday ice cream.


Happy happy happy birthday!

I used the Simon Says Stamp Ice Cream Cones die* for this project.  But rather than simply paste down some die cuts, I altered it up a tidbit.  Using the Ranger Inkssentials white opaque pen, I drew the waffle texture** on each cone.  I lightly traced the scoops with a pencil and then filled in my lines with some gesso.  It gave the ice cream some texture without being too heavy, like a texture paste would be.  Then, while the gesso was still wet, I added glitter to each scoop.

*If you like to coordinate, this die is part of the Lick It set.  I just received mine and can’t wait to make more ice cream related projects!
**Another side note, the die will also emboss a waffle texture on cardstock.  Look at how cute it is on Kreative Kymona’s card here.


Gesso give the ice cream scoops some texture

This card has been entered into the following blog challenges:
“Use Your Stash” from Try it on Tuesdays
“A Craft Item you have never used before” from Craft for the Craic
“Best Wishes/Congratulations” from Pile it On

Categories: Cards & Tags, DIY, 'Cause You Can! | Tags: , , , , | 10 Comments

Circus Elephant

This card is cut out with the Cricut image:  Father’s Day Card Circus Tent.  Despite the name, this image can be used for any occasion.  It cuts out a single layer so you can embellish it any way you wish.  I chose to make it into a child’s birthday card.


The outside when card is closed…

I love this adorable elephant from Miss Kate Cuttables.  The full name of the svg file is “Elephant w/ Heart Balloon.”  There are multiple layers to cut.  However, I did not cut out the black layer and instead used a piece of sewing thread as the balloon’s string.  I thought it gave a more fluid look.


…middle flap (What a cutie!)…

The stamp is from “More Great Greetings” by Stampin’ Up!  I cut out the confetti from shiny paper scraps.


…and the inside

This card has been entered into the following blog challenges:
“Circus” from Make My Monday
“Feature a Creature” from Crafting for All Seasons
“Primary Colors” from Pile It On
“Spots & Dots” from Papertake
“Anything Goes” from Brown Sugar
“Anything Goes” from The Squirrel and The Fox

Categories: Cards & Tags, DIY, 'Cause You Can! | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

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