Sunday, October 19, 2014

I have a love/hate relationship with computers

This has been a very stressful week!

Tuesday night, while I was asleep, Windows did an update....and crashed my computer! AAAAAGGGHHHHHH!!!!!

It took several days of trial, error and cussing for hubby to finally determine the only way to restore me to the modern age was to reset my computer back to factory settings. You have no idea how much you rely on your computer or how much info you have stored on there until it is gone!

Thankfully we do back-ups on a regular basis and as it so happens my computer had been backed up the day before so I lost passwords and such but none of my pictures or documents. THANK GOODNESS!

We are slowly reinstalling programs but right now I only have the bare minimum going on.

My biggest loss? My contact lists. For some reason, hubby never set it to have those backed up. So, if we are friends and I normally email you from my Tunnel13 account, unless you email me, you will never hear from me again. Sorry. :-(

Since everything I have been doing has been on my Cricut Explore which has to have the computer to work, I was out of creating mode for several days. I could have gone old school and used my Expression but I have to admit that I am not sure I could even do that. I was so used to using the Cricut Craft Room on my Expression that I haven't used handbooks and overlays in over a year! lol

Instead I spent time thinking about what I would like to make. And my brain moved to the Print then Cut feature and how I am not as giddy about it as everyone else and why is that? Well, it just seemed to not be something I would ever use. That is until I had one of those V8 moments.

If you have been around here for a year or more then you know I used to make lots of ATCs and such (damn Cricut for distracting me all this time! lol) And I used clipart A LOT! Well, DUH, my Explore can send those to the printer and then cut those out for me! Why didn't this dawn on me before???

I counted, I have 23 clip art CDs! I need to haul those puppies out and get busy!  :-)

As soon as hubby got the computer working again I reinstalled Cricut Design Space and had him install my Photoshop Elements and the printer and I was off and running. Yay!


Both of these angels come from the Victorian Images Volume Two CD by SummertownSun. I think they now sell on eBay under the user name of Lunagirl. If you like Victorian era cards and photos you need to check them out. The image quality is wonderful and their prices were always very good.

The Volume 2 CD has holiday cards and images for Christmas, New Years, Thanksgiving, Halloween, July 4th and Patriotic, Devotional and Religious images. The have other holidays on different CDs.

These angels were stand alone images (no background) so I thought they would be an easy place to start. The explore can accept jpg and png files. The CD has all jpgs so you can load them right into Design Space or, in my case, I lightened the color a bit first in Photoshop Elements, because my printer prints really dark, and then saved them and moved them into CDS.

I think the Explore did a fantastic job cutting them. It cut every little bump and ruffle far better than I could lol

And last week I lied, not intentionally. lol  I realized that I still needed another Thanksgiving card. I was so sure I was done with Thanksgiving. Obviously since I have already started my Christmas cards (see angels above lol)

I found this step card file at Pretty Paper Pretty Ribbons.
The Turkey is from My Community and the 'Thanksgiving' text is from Close To My Heart Artiste

It was a quick and easy card that looks really cute on display.

I have one more goodie to share.

The new Anna Griffin Christmas Kitsch cartridge arrived while I was in computer limbo. Talk about chomping at the bit to cut something!
This adorable snowman and the Merry Christmas text are both from that new cart. It has lots of wonderful vintage (30s-50s) images and card designs.

I thought he would enjoy a good snow storm so I embossed the background with Darice's Snowflake folder and then lightly sanded to expose the white core of the cardstock.
I love it!

I hope I get a few minutes of crafting time this week but I'm not too sure it will happen. My employer is sending me into a training class for the next 3 weeks. Ugh! Wish me luck. lol

I hope you all have a wonderful week.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

How can I be behind if it is only October???

It bugs me that all the stores have put out their Christmas displays and we haven't even celebrated Halloween yet?  Christmas ornaments mixed in with the Halloween candy is just wrong!  It makes me feel like I am behind and I have to stop myself from going into panic mode. Hmm, is that it? Are they pushing our subconscious into thinking we are running behind to send us into a panicked shopping frenzy? OMG I think that's it!

Well I am NOT behind! As a matter of fact, I am ahead!
I mailed my Halloween cards this past week and last night I finished the last of my Thanksgiving cards and have already begun designs for my Christmas cards. (my card list only has around 20 names so I have plenty of time to get them done).
Shopping...well that is another story but you can't go shopping if you have no idea what to buy people lol

So I have a few cards to share today. (of course I do, it seems like that is the only creative outlet my mind has these days)

I found out that my college roommate went and got married (secretly) so even though it happened over the summer I still wanted to send her a little something.

This is the Cake box card from the SVG Cuts Autumn box card set.  When I bought this set I honestly thought I would never use this design and yet, here it is lol

Just like the Thanksgiving box, it has gorgeous battenburg lace cuts. And the little flowers add just the right simple yet elegant touch.  I tinted my flowers using watercolor pencils and glitter glue dots in the centers.
I hope my old roomie likes it.

For Halloween I adopted the practice of just making a stack of cards. An idea came to me, I created a card. So everyone got something different. I really liked that. I didn't get bored with making them (as I have in past years....the same card over and over and over UGH!) so I am using that idea again for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Here are my last 2 Thanksgiving cards of the season.

Again from the SVG Cuts Autumn box card set this is the Fall Leaves box card. It is a mixture of printed and plain cardstocks and I shaded the leaves with chalks....none of which shows in the photo lol

And my favorite of the week....from the same box card set, the Apple Crate box. Isn't this adorable?!
I used several printed cardstocks for the crate and sign and I shaded all the apples with chalks and added highlights with a white Prismacolor pencil. This one is going to be really hard to let go. I may have to make one for myself!

But we have more than just Thanksgiving coming up. My sister's birthday falls on Thanksgiving day this year.

Sometimes she likes cute, sometimes not so I have no clue how this card will be received lol

This gift box image comes from Birthday Bash. The text is included in the image but they show it as horizontal. I thought it looked better on an angle....maybe because of the dots on the paper. Also, I noticed that I hadn't glued on the dot for the 'i'. I finally found it this morning and got that sucker glued on! lol

The text didn't have a shadow but it really needed one to stand out with those dots so I duplicated the layer, did 'hide contour' to get rid of the bow and cut the words from black cardstock and used them like a drop shadow.

So here is the cute part that I am not sure how she will handle lol
The card base is from the new Close To My Heart Artfully Sent cartridge. I wanted to make a birthday pop-up card. The cartridge has full card images but you can mix and match or delete parts completely as I did here. The card had 3 cupcakes.

I removed the cupcakes and added my smiling birthday cake which comes from Simply Charmed. I embossed the icing to give it that swirl and added shading to the cake and candle flames with chalks. I then attached him to the pop-up square using a wobble...yeah I might have gone too far with the cute on this one lol

The confetti is called 'party horn' and also from Simply Charmed. I duplicated it a couple times to get extra confetti to toss around. :-) 

So, now onto Christmas....well the cards anyway. :-)
Enjoy your week, don't go into panic mode and make time to create!