Sunday, November 30, 2014

It has been a BUSY week!

This past week was a very hectic week. I am not talking about Thanksgiving, I only had to supply the pie and rolls. And Black Friday was probably the most relaxing day I had (and I was out shopping! lol)

This past week was my annual Christmas baking week. I try to take this week off from work every year so that I can get all my Christmas cookies baked and stored in the freezer.

Some years I am more productive than others but this one wasn't too bad. :-)

I baked 6 varieties of cookies and a batch of scones!

We have molasses Scottie Dog Spritz, Pumpkin scones, Chocolate Chip, Miniature Peanut Butter Cups, Traditional Shortbread, Christmas Tree Spritz and Molasses Crinkles. Yum!!!

I know what you are thinking,  6 batches of cookies is really not that many spread over a week. And I agree. But I got bored with baking about halfway through the week and parked my butt in my craft room for a while. I was on vacation after all!

Cricut was having a huge sale on digital cartridges AND I had a $10 off coupon for digital so I picked up the Winter Woodland cart for somewhere around $5. And played! These 2 cards are made entirely from that cartridge. And I added glitter! I very rarely use glitter but these just seemed to be begging for it. :-)

The backgrounds are both embossed with Darice folders. On the left is the Snow Background, on the right is the Snow Swirl. I then lightly rubbed them with CTMH White Daisy pigment ink to make the snowflakes stand out. I love them and I hope the recipients do too. :-)

Have you noticed that owls are back? They were really popular in the 70s. You saw them everywhere....and I couldn't stand them! But they have flown back into fashion and now I love them. Cricut has lots of adorable owls in their images like this little guy on the left from one of the Create a Critter carts. I used Crystal Lacquer on his (her?) ornament to make it shiny.
And how about this CUTE little guy from Miss Kate's Cuttables on the right? Hoo can resist those eyes?

I worked on a gift too. This is a small glass block (only 5 inches) that I made for my parents. I frosted the block with Armour Etch and then applied the vinyl. I want to mail it out in the next couple days so they can display it during the holidays. The lights are battery powered and only 15 lights on the string which is nice for such a small block.

But I am not done yet!

In a moment of relaxing, I decided to browse Pinterest. Within a few moments I saw a pin from a friend that sent me running back into my craft room. The pin was of a Christmas card I think....although I am not entirely sure as it was a dead link so I couldn't read about it. But it triggered me into a vinyl project.

Here is my front door. I think it looks great. Hubby likes it but is bummed that he can't hang up a wreath (because it would almost completely cover the vinyl). Oh well, too bad. Maybe next year lol

You would think that would be enough for a week (well not even a full week.....from Saturday to Wednesday!) but NO. That darn Pinterest!!!

A friend keeps pinning altered Altoid tins....and they are so cool! I had to give it a try.

I created the interior first (thinking I would probably damage the exterior if I did it first)

I used my Cricut Print then Cut feature to cut out the tree. No more fussy cutting by hand for me!
The window is from the Christmas (Noel) cartridge. I used black paper for the background and splattered it with white acrylic paint for snow.

I needled felted the teddy bear and the gift box is cut from the Sweet Tooth Boxes cartridge. I was amazed that the Explore could cut it so small. The box is under an inch tall! ( I ended up remaking the box as it was too large to close the tin. I recut the same image but now the box is about 1/2" tall!)

The tree and Santa images are from Victorian Images Volume Two clipart CD from Summertown Sun. It is full of thousands of Victorian images and cards for Christmas, New Years, Thanksgiving, Halloween, July Fourth & Patriotic, Devotional and Religious images. If you ever see it on eBay (which is where they sell all their CDs) grab it. You will not be sorry! You can find their eBay store here. No affiliation, just love their stuff! Very high quality!

This is the front of the tin. Do you have any idea how hard it is to photograph shiny metal? lol

I used foil tape (found in the furnace duct work department of Home Depot and probably other hardware stores). It is really foil or tin tape (the edges can very sharp so watch out). It is super sticky on the back. You can read a tutorial on how to apply it to your lid here.

I embossed a portrait of a vintage Santa (another image from my clipart CD).

I love how it all came together and I am thinking I need to get busy and create some of these for gifts.

I guess I better go get busy crafting! I hope everyone has recovered from too much turkey and too much shopping. Now get back in those craft rooms and get those presents done! ;-)

Friday, November 14, 2014

I am addicted to Pinterest!

My muse has been on vacation for the past few weeks. I blame the training at work. I know I didn't want to stick around so it's no surprise that my muse took off on a holiday.

All week I have been longing to get back into my art room and create. And yet, lately, I haven't been able to come up with anything new and different.

That's is where Pinterest comes in. I get bored and uninspired so I begin browsing, hoping something will jump-start my imagination.

I came across this pin from

A clear tag! How cool is that?!
I figured I would make one after work today....but this turned out to just be a jump-start for me.

I have lot of Cricut cartridges. And they all come in plastic boxes that you have to cut open. I save the plastic from the front and back of the boxes. You just never know when you might need some clear today :-)

I came up with an idea that instead of a totally clear tag, I would create a scene with a window.

I cut out 2 tags. One for the front of my tag, the other for the back and sliced a rectangle out of each one to create a window.
This is the front tag, the front window frame and a piece of the packaging plastic.

I centered and glued the window frame then used my ATG to place the plastic.

I am creating a winter scene and I want snow building up on the window panes.
I used painters tape and taped off the panes. I then pounced acrylic paint onto the plastic. (the X is to remind me which side of the window I want the snow)

Still working on the back of the window I headed out into the storm to gather more snow.
Ok, I grabbed an old paint brush and splattered up a good blizzard. :-)

But I realized that if the tag is handled much the 'snow' can scrape off the plastic. So I taped down another layer of plastic for protection.

Doesn't it look like a snowy night?

Time to add the back tag. I first embossed it with the stripes folder from Cuttlebug's Retro Kitchen set. And then splattered it with snow.

The tree also received a dusting of snow as well as some shading on the branches which will be seen through the window.

Time to assemble the back.
I free-handed the snow on the ground and lightly shaded the bottom layer (although you can't see it very well).
And I added the cute little bird.

Now to assemble the front!

I dry brushed some acrylic gold paint to the layers of the tree.

Then decorated it, gave it a cute pot to stand in and added Minnie relaxing and taking a bath.

I free-handed the baseboard and floor (which was embossed with CTMH stripes folder).

I can't decide if it looks better against a dark or light background as different things show up against each.

I am on the fence about the tree. I think I need a more realistic looking one. But other than that I am really happy with it.

Here is a list of all the cartridges I used:

Tag: CTMH Art Philosophy
Window Frame: Christmas
Christmas Tree: Winter Frolic
Outdoor tree: Mini Monsters
Bird: Straight From the Next
Cat: Meow
Pot: Walk in My Garden
Holly (which is up under the bow): Joys of the Season

Here is my Design Space file if you want to try one yourself

And if you would like to purchase the Art Philosophy cartridge you can do so here.

I hope you all find some creative time for yourselves. It keeps us sane as the holiday rush begins. (and I have not even begun shopping yet!!!!)

Until next time.... :-)

Saturday, November 08, 2014

So glad to be back!

I told you all about my computer issues the last time I was here.
Well, right after that my employer had me go through training for a new skill set. UGH!

Don't get me wrong, I love learning new things and the more I know the more secure my job is BUT....3 weeks of sitting and listening to lectures, taking tests and being audited on my performance makes for very LONG and STRESSFUL days!!!

I have had almost zero art time!

But yesterday training ended so now I am FREE!!!!!

Hubby's birthday fell right in the middle of my training time so I had to squeeze in a few minutes every day for a week to complete part of his gift.

My husband collects, restores and uses vintage and antique 35mm cameras so I thought this box from SVG Cuts would be the perfect gift.  It comes from the Instant Memories kit. I thought it was going to be difficult but it went together really quick (it would have been much quicker if I had more than 30 minutes to work on it each day but such is life).  BTW hubby LOVED it!  :-)

I didn't have time to make anything else during my training time....until this past Thursday night. I was so stressed out from class that I told hubby I was going to lock myself in my craft room or punch something. He agreed that I needed some major ME time and didn't argue. :-)

Over on the Let's Learn Cricut Explore facebook group they are having a challenge for the month of November. You have to use the new Slice feature in your project.  I like the slice feature and have used it off and on since it was released over a month ago so I decided to make something and enter the challenge.

I used the slice 3 times on this card.
I used a circle from the Celebration cart to slice a hole in the top of the snowflake to turn it into an ornament.
I then used an oval from the Cricut Craft Room Basics to slice the opening in gold ornament.
And then I sliced an oval in an oval to make the blue frame on the gold ornament.

Slice Slice Slice....I feel like a ninja!  heehee

The cuts from this card are:
Gold Ornament: Anna Griffin's Seasonal Soirees
Snowflake: Christmas
Blue on Blue ornament: Anna Griffin's Winter Wonderland
Oval: Craft Room Basics
Circle: Celebrations (but Craft Room Basics has one too)
Rectangle: George and Basic Shapes (and again, Craft Room basics probably has one)
Holy Family: SVG I made myself :-)

I embossed the background with Darice's Snowflake background and the bakers twine comes from Close To My Heart.

Turns out that making one card was not enough to completely relieve my I made another!

And since I was slicing, I sliced all those snowflakes out of the blue background. No gluing down all those little points :-)

I couldn't tell you where all those snowflakes came from. I just searched through My Images in Design Space for 'snowflake' and came up with dozens. (I own something like 10 Christmas carts lol)

The snowman is from A Quilted Christmas. I will say that I had to do a little tweaking on him. The image groups his nose, scarf and buttons onto one cut (thus 1 color) which I thought was ugly and boring. Beside, who's nose is the same color as their scarf and buttons??? (it isn't really obvious in the photo but his nose is orange and his scarf is bright red....not the same color! lol)

So, I used the Hide Contour feature and split them apart so that I could make each part a different color.

I embossed his scarf with a Cuttlebug border folder from the Organic Flourish set.

Yesterday I was FINALLY released from training (I had 100% accuracy on all my audits and tests in case you were wondering lol)

I celebrated by making a fun card....probably just for me since the subject matter is one of my all time favorites.

Rudolph and Clarice!

I have been watching Rudolph every year since it first began. I can even remember my dad plopping me in front of the TV all excited about a Christmas show that was coming on (it was a totally new thing back then). I think I was 4.

No Christmas season is complete without Rudolph! I own it on VHS and 2 different DVDs (I don't like to take any chances of missing it lol)

The reindeer and tree all come from Miss Kate's cuttables.
They were each the freebie of the day one day this week but you can still get them from Miss Kate. They are now 50 each....still a bargain!

The tree is actually part of the Glittery Trees set which has 3 trees not just this one. :-)

I used Tattered Angels white Chalkboard Glimmer Mist on the snow mound and snow drape on the tree. I also misted the bright green under layer on the tree to tone it down a bit and give it a little shimmer. Tone it down it didn't, give it shimmer it did lol

I then used chalks to add a little faint blue shadowing under the tree and reindeer to ground flying around yet Rudolph!  (BTW why do only the male reindeer fly?)

Don't forget to mail your Thanksgiving cards! You worked so hard on them you want to make sure you get them sent.  :-)

Remember, as we move into the hectic holiday season, to take at least a few minutes a day to just relax and enjoy the moment.

Until next time. :-)