Saturday, April 30, 2011

I Did It!

The Gadget Queen has struck again.  "We" (that's how Queen Elizabeth I referred to herself and it just sounds so ROYAL!) have purchased the brand new available for only a limited time CRICUT EXPRESSION 2 that launched on Monday on HSN.  "We" were thinking "we" did not need it but as "we" watched the presentation on HSN "we" got WEAK!

So, GQ is getting herself a brand new E2.

 HSN was offering it at a pretty good price which was $344 with free shipping.  Apparently HSN had something like 9000 machines and amazingly SOLD OUT...I don't believe they are getting more but I could be wrong about that. 

The new E2 comes preloaded with 4 cartridges.  Now, I know I never buy cartridges at retail of $89 each but if I did then I would spend $356 on those same cartridges!  So really...Provocraft is practically paying me to take the machine!  (I'm good at justifying things...)  I see that E2 will retail for over $550 when it's available elsewhere.  Now I know that the price will come down but I figured the price HSN had it at was pretty reasonable.

So...what's so great about it?  Well one thing is that it has a touch screen so no need for overlays.  Setting are preloaded for various paper types which was also a nice new feature.  There is a light to show the cutting area.  Another thing is that it's smaller than the original Expression.  I think the feature that sold me is that it will cut images from the Imagine cartridges.  It does not print but it will cut.  I thought that was another really great feature of this which the original Expressions does not do.

Here is a video that shows all about it:

I'm should be here by the end of next week....and then "WE" will begin playing with it!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Living the Country Life

I'll admit it...I'm not really a country girl...I'm perfectly happy in the city...I love buildings, exhaust fumes and people!  But I do enjoy the out of doors and can enjoy the countryside for an afternoon or two...
I am also enjoying the series being posted at one of my favorite blogs, Creations With Christina. Christina has made 3 different cards this week with the Cricut Cartridge, Country Life including one made with her Gypsy.  I have yet to make 2 of the cards she has shown but I did make this cute little clotheline card tonight.  It is also from the Country Life cartridge and  has LOTS of pieces.  I think if I made it again I might make it large enough for a 5x7 card!  That way my pieces would be bigger, of course... There is nothing very fancy about this card although it did take a while to put together once the pieces were cut.  I added a little bling and used a sentiment from a Stampendous stamp set.  Not so Easy Peasy because the little "clothespins" were little INDEED and difficult to pick up and work with...but I love a challenge!  Sometimes with my scissors, tweezers, glue, and other assorted tools I feel like a surgeon!  I think I need a scrub nurse to hand me my instruments..."SCALPEL"...or maybe "GLUE STICK!"  Wouldn't that be great?! :)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

JetMax Cube

Like most scrappers and paper crafters I am also addicted to organizational products!  I always think it will magically make my life simpler...but of course organization is only good if you maintain it!  So since I do not maintain my organization I am always re-organizing!
I have picked up a few of the JetMax cubes at Michael's when they are on sale (which is often!).  I picked this 4 drawer unit up the other day to use for my static dies (Spellbinders, Paper Trey Ink, Sizzix, Cuttlebug, etc) as well as my embossing folders.
I put it together all by myself.  They are easy and the directions are good...
The only problem I had was that MY HUSBAND did not put the electric screwdriver back on the charger so it was DEAD and I had to use an "OH MY!" manual Philips head screwdriver!
I opened the box and extracted all the pieces which were all marked with letters of the alphabet (how clever!).
Basically you take one A and screw it together with 2 Bs, etc.  Easy to follow directions, thankfully!
(Bad photo ALERT!)...
Here are some of the pieces.  They are sitting in my favorite chair because I needed to assemble in the comfort of my living room!  I could have assembled it in my craft room which have made better sense because of course once I got this all put together I had to carry it to my craft room!  It's a good thing I am in such great shape because these little cubes are heavy! (Joking....about being in great shape...not about the pieces being heavy!)
So I started assembling...

Heheheh...half way there...all 4 sides on and secured.
And above with a partially assembled drawer...
3 drawers to go!

I did finish it and all 4 drawers in in and ready to be filled!

I am going to use it to store my embossing folders and my static dies (like Cuttlebug, Paper Trey Ink, Spellbinders, etc.)  I need a better system than I have now so what I plan to do is to make file folders and label.  We scrapbookers and paper crafters love labeling don't we???

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Baby Crib!

We have been looking for cribs for our new little girl to be born in a couple of months.  We have been looking at several but this one ... a 4 in 1 crib has caught our eye.  What do you think?
I think it looks great and the reviews are good...

New Products for Coloring!

I don't know about you....but I love to color.  I color with my grandson frequently!  Being only 19 months old he doesn't quite get the whole coloring thing...his favorite part, I think, is  just taking away the crayon I'm holding and turning the page in the coloring book!  But we still have fun and color often.

I was at Archiver's the other day and they had a little packet of stuff that looked like this:
I looked at it but then decided to pass it by...but a few days later I was back there again and decided to use my 30% off coupon to buy it.  What is it you ask?  Well, it's a method for blending colored pencils and this set is offered by Inkyantics.  It gives a similar look to watercolors without the tendency for your paper to warp.

What comes in the little bag?
You get an instruction sheet (most valuable!), a bottle of Gamsol which is odorless mineral spirts, 2 blending stubs, and some sandpaper on a stick. does this work?
First of all you stamp your image with any dye based fast drying ink.  You can use waterproof ink but it isn't necessary.  I think that is great right there.  If you use watercolors you need to use waterproof inks or else your image will bleed all over the place and the last thing we want is a bleeding image!  Anyway, stamp your image and let it dry a few seconds and now you are ready for the fun to begin!
You can use any colored pencils...just don't use watercolor pencils. Take the color you want to use and outline your shape (on the inside of your stamped image lines...does that make sense?...I hope so!). 

Then you take your  blending stuf and touch it to the'll see your stub absorb some of the mineral spirts.  Next you take the stub and lightly go over the penciled lines to sort of break down the wax in the penciled mark.  You will start moving your stub in a circular motion and it will pull color towards the middle.   

Whoopsie...that photo is a little blurry but hopefully you get the idea.  Complete this process until your image is the way you want it.
Another not so great photo but maybe you can get an idea of the blending.
I then cut it out and did another identical image and then glued the centers to each other and mounted them on  some black cardstock cut into a 3x3 card. 

I curled up the petals of the flower to give it a little more dimension.  I finished this little gift enclosure card by tying some floss through a button and using a couple of Glue Dots to adhere it to the flower.  And that was it!
Archiver's also had some nice pencils for purchase but they were rather pricey so I waited and bought a set at Micheal's with a 50% off coupon.

OH...and what is the sanding block for?  Well, when you are using the blending stub it tends to pick up the color you are blending so you use the sander to sand off the inked end and keep your stub nice and sharp!  Easy Peasy!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ahhhh....the Country Life!

I love, love, love Creations With Christina! Christina puts up the cutest projects...I especially love her cards and mini albums.  One talented lady...she is!  She often does series videos of Cricut cartridges and yesterday she launched her first one on the Country Life cartridge.  I had bought it several months back after seeing a cute card she made with wash hanging on a clothes line but had yet to really use this cartridge. 
In yesterday's video she talked about the cartridge and discussed some of the features of it.  She posted this beautiful card you can see HERE.
I decided to make one,'s my version made with Making Memories Boho Chic papers.  I used a little piece of Hero Arts bling for the flower. I used my Tim Holtz distresser to scuff up the edges a bit.  I had this houndstooth paper for the longest time and never found a good use for it but thought it was perfect for this country, vintage look!  I put a little ribbon between the two papers and then put her on some foam tape to raise her up a bit.  Isn't she sweet?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Banner Card

Banners are quite the trendy thing in paper crafting these days...actually the trend has been going on for quite some time.  You can find paper with banners on it, embellishments and of course, some cute stamp sets out there!  I love this set by Hero Arts aptly named Friendly Flags.  It is a wonderful set of clear cling stamps with great quality which you would expect from Hero Arts. 
Friendly Flags Clear Stamps (Hero Arts)There are stamps for many occasions such as Hello, Thank You, Happy Birthday and more.  I like to take stamps like this and stamp them on printed paper and cut out the image.  That's exactly what I did here!  No intricate or tedious cutting...snip, snip, snip and I was done!  I knotted a piece of ribbon to use as a line to hold my flags and used my little Tim Hotlz tiny stapler to adhere them in sort of a windblown haphazard manner. 

Advantus Tim Holtz Idea-Ology Tiny Attacher, with 100 Tiny Staples I just love, love, love that stapler...if you don't have, don't walk to your nearest store and grab one up...but only after you get your irock!  I used some leftover scraps from a Cosmo Cricket pad for this EASY PEASY but happy little birthday card.  And seriously???? It maybe took 5 minutes maximum to make it...and 4 minutes of my time was probably spent looking for my scissors!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Cupcake Toppers

For our Easter dinner I made some carrot cake cupcakes (carrot cake is a favorite of mine!) and I couldn't find my cookie press machine to ice them so that they'd be cute! Where is that thing???  Anyway, I just iced the cupcakes with a spatula thingy and they just looked so darned ordinary!  Well, we can't just have ordinary, can we?  So...I whipped out these cute little bunny toppers with an image from my Doodlecharms Cricut cartridge...cut out the bunny head and a shadow...glued them onto a toothpick and voila(!)...Not Your Ordinary Cupcakes!  You can't see from this photo but the Cricut actually cuts little marks for the whiskers, the eyes and the nose. I don't know which I liked best...the carrot cake, the toppers or the to die for cream cheese icing???
(It could be the icing!)
Oh...and for the purist...well, they really aren't "cupcakes"...they are really more like "oval cakes".  My daughter had a cake tin that made egg shaped cupcakes or cakes so that's what we used!  Cute!

Wishing You All...

....a very Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Loving the i-rock!

The i-rock (I feel the need to capitalize it but it really is left in lower case...sort of weird to me...but oh well...) Anyway, I quickly got off subject there...back to the i-rock. Here is what it looks like:

Cute and very pink!  AngelCakes' Grammy mentioned she had gotten one and was impressed with it so I used a 50% off coupon at Michael's and got one!  If you don't have Michael's or Joann's near you here is a link to one at
The i-rock is manufactured by a popular company called Imaginisce which makes all kinds of wonderful srapbooking and paper products.

So.....WHAT IS AN i-rock you ask?

It is a little battery operated tool that heats up and permanently affixes bling on your paper crafts as well as fabric and the website states...even furniture!  You set your bling in place where you want the button on the side of the i-rock which heats up the tip (NOTE: DON'T touch it to see if it's hot.  It is! Experience is speaking here!) Touch the tip to your bling and the heat transfers through it and melts the adhesive at the base and viola(!)...your cute little gems and nailheads are glued down FOREVER!

I use mine all the time now because I DO LOVE really has become one of my favorite tools!  Run...don't walk to get yours now!!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Last Easter Card to Share

I also made a couple of these at Archiver's on Wednesday.

I used the Tim Holtz die for the beautiful can see more about it here: Tim Holtz Rosette Die. I am really loving this die...and another thing I love is that I bought it and am actually using it (and more than once!).  I used coordinating papers from an 8.5 x 8.5 stack of a K&Company papers.  K&Company often has double sided papers and those work great for dimensional crafting!  I cut a few strips of paper and ruffled it to look like ribbon.  I used the Stampin' Up Word Punch to stamp the Paper Trey Ink Easter sentiment on and added a little bling to with my I-Rock.  What is an I-Rock?  I'll tell you about that's one of my favorite tools!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Cupcake Wrapper Flowers

I spent yesterday back at one of my favorite places...ARCHIVER'S!  It was a girly day...spent with my good friend AngelCakes' Grammy for a day of paper crafting.  What a great day we had and whenever we can walk out of there for $50 or less we call it a miracle!
I worked on a few more Easter cards including these two similar cards.

I used the papers from the Stella and Rose Mabel 6 inch deck which I've talked about before (you can see it here: Mabel Stella Rose Collection 6X6 Pad (My Minds Eye)).  I've used almost all of the paper in that stack making various's been very good to me! :) do you make these cute cupcake wrapper flowers?  Very easy.  Take your wrappers and fold them in half (you should have a semi circle)  Fold one side towards the center and the other side to meet it and you will end up with a cone shape.   Put a mini pop dot at the pointed end to hold the "flaps" down.  Take a punched circle (I had a once inch scalloped circle with me so I used that) and then begin to layer your "petals" around the circle...overlaping as you go.  When you're done with a layer or two around...turn the flower over and from the back begin to open up the petals to give them some dimension.  You just sort of fiddle with them until you get a fluffy flower.  Since these are made of smooshy paper I think they would mail beautifully!
I put a button with some twine from Jillibean and punched a flower with a paper scrap for the center of the other (and put a little bling on it). 
You can see the twine here:
The cupcake wrappers I used were white and I sprayed them with Glimmer Mist until quite wet and then dabbed them with a paper towel to remove the excess. 
The sentiment is done on a piece of coordinating paper and was punched with a Stampin' Up punch and the "Easter Wishes" stamp was from Paper Trey Ink.  A little sheer green organza ribbon finished it off!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Easter Card

Sometimes I create something and don't like it.  (Refer back to my WHERE'S MY MOJO? Post!).  Sometimes things just don't seem to come together.  I made this card and didn't love it...but the more that I look at it now I think it's really sort of cute! I am patting myself on my back saying "Great job, Susan!"  OK, not really but it is actually a cute design I think.
This happens to me on occasion...I'll make something and think it's awful...put it down...come back the next day and have a totally different outlook!
So here is a simple Easter card:

I used We R Memory Makers printed papers and Core'dinations Cardstock which is some of my favorite cardstock.  I used some ruffled American Crafts that stuff!
I cut the butterfly out with my Cricut...this image was cut from the Graphically Speaking cartridge....I think he looked really cute with some extra bling on him.  He's all dressed up in his Easter BEST!  I put a little foam tape under his body and slightly bended his wings so that it looks like he just alighted on the card. The scalloped ovals were cut with my Fiskars punches and inked to give them a little more pop.  The stamped sentiment is from Close to My Heart. I used the Cuttlebug A2 Embossing Folder-Birds & Swirls which gave a wonderful embossed design on the cardstock.
I really like these colors and I love the layered Cricut butterfly.  I think it makes for a bright and fun Easter card!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I LOVE Unity Stamps!

I just love Unity Stamps.  They are cling red rubber stamps that you place on any acrylic block.  They are so nicely get wonderful sharp images with this line of stamps!  I have way too many already but love adding to my "collection".
This card was made with the Material Girl set which was done in coordination with Cosmo Cricket (another favorite line of papers and embellishments!).
You can see the full stamp set here: 

I also used this really cute mini deck from Cosmo Cricket:
Which has the cutest papers in it as you can see from my card!
I stamped the cute little girl image on some printed paper and then cut it out to adhere to another stamped image done directly on a piece of kraft cardstock.
I punched a scalloped edge to the mat to give it something extra, colored in the girls hair with a brown marker and her shoes with red.  Stamped the sentiment...plopped it on some foam tape and there you have it...a cute card!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Butterfly Card

I think this little bug on this card looks like a dragonfly and not a butterfly but I've been told that it IS A BUTTERFLY! 
What do you think?

For inspiration I used the Card Making with Cricut (Annie's Attic: Paper Crafts) book which is a great price at Amazon right now for $9.51...great buy!  Anyway, that book is great and gives you all types of occasion cards and you can see the one I "scraplifted" right on the front cover.  I used DCWV Mango Frost Stackwhich are fun and brilliant colored papers. I added a few touches with a Gelly glitter pen and added a little bit of bling.  The cartridge used was the Cricut Walk In My Garden Cartridge. I also used the Swiss Dots Embossing Folder from Cuttlebug which you can see below.  I just ran the circle through my Cuttlebug and there ya have it!  Love this folder and use it often.
I really think this card making book by Annie's Attic is a great idea book...give you how to's and the cards are good starting off points for your own creations.  Annies Attic also came out with a similar book filled with scrapbooking layouts and is available for a very good price here: Scrapbooking with Cricut (Annie's Attic: Paper Crafts)  I rarely follow the ideas to a "T" but like I said....they are a wonderful starting off point!
I also save this design out on my Gypsy so I have the right sizes to whip out additional cards when the need arises!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Slider Card for Box of Blossoms

Another card we worked on was a slider card.  I have made these before cutting cardstock and using baggies or zip lock bags for the slider mechanism.  There are many videos up on youtube that give instructions for making these.  BUT, during my class the other day we were given a precut and pre-scored slider card which, I believe, was made by PineCone Press. Now, if you click on that link you will see the slider cards are for sale but it looks to me like you only get ONE for $6.00.  That seems a bit pricey to me...I don't know that I would pay that much for one when I can make one pretty easily.  Nonetheless it was nice to have something so easy to assemble.
This is how the naked (ooooh la la!) card looked when it was assembled:

Here it is opened up:

Here's the finished card closed up and then opened so you can see how the insides come spilling out (sounds so graphic!):

These cards would be wonderful to place a gift card on one of the slider parts for the upcoming graduate!
This was so easy to do...I cut my background papers so they'd fit the dimensions of the card (just 3 pieces).  

Then I took some of the scraps I had and tore three circles at different sizes so I could stack them.  Again, you aren't looking for a perfect circle so don't be too fussy with it!  In the sample that Archivers gave us it looked like the flower had been ceased a bit, but what I did was spray it with water until it was wet and then wadded it up or crumpled it  into a ball...opened it up, let it dry and then stacked the flower "petals" one on top of the other finishing with a little sentiment.  I made two of the dimensional leaves which I already showed you how to do yesterday.  So if you didn't get those little tips...go to the post for yesterday!

Here's a great video for watching how to make one from a piece of cardstock on youtube: Double Slider Card.  Dawn (who did the video) used grocery bags to make the slider mechanism but I would recommend baggies or Zip Lock bags as they are clear and you don't have to worry about any part of it being visible.

And another great online freebie.  I subscribe to PaperCrafts magazine (you can order it here: Paper Crafts (1-year auto-renewal) ).  I love that magazine!  Lots of great card making ideas.  Each month they also provide a freebie download of sentiments that can be printed on your home computer and then cut out to place in a card or on a scrapbook page.  Here is this month's which includes Mother's Day and Father's Day sentiments: PaperCrafts Sentiments.  Scroll down towards the bottom of the page and then you can download and save out either a jpeg or pdf file.  I just love "King of the Grill"! 

And that's all the blogging you're going to get from me today!  The dust bunnies are calling me!


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Wonderful Giveaway at DCWV

Die Cuts With a View (DCWV) is hosting a fabulous giveaway.  Check it out at:
DCWV!  This is also a wonderful blog to follow if you are a DCWV addict!

Another Card for the Box of Blossoms

I told you that in the Archiver's Box of Blossoms class we handmade several flowers.  One was the torn flower we made that I showed you yesterday.  Another flower was made with tulle.  I don't know about you but I love tulle!  Just so festive looking.  Anyway here is the tulle flower card we made:
And it is totally easy peasy to make!  First you take a circle punch and punch out a circle because that's what you do with a circle punch!  I punched mine out of cardstock with a 2 inch circle punch but you could do any size of flower you want, I imagine.  Take a few pieces of tulle...for this they were about 15 inches long but I did have a bit of overage.  The tulle shown here was a peach color and a turquoise color.  Knot the two pieces together tightly at one end and trim as close to the knot as you can.  Take your punched out circle and cover it totally with adhesive.  We used double sided tape like

This is my favorite tape although I also like Scor-Tape, too.
One nice thing about the Scor-Tape over the red line tape is that you can tear it...the red line tape must be cut with scissors.  The Scor-Tape has a sort of funky smell to it....But both work about the same.  I tend to like the really thin 1/8" tape which works well with most ribbons.  It is very tacky and you have no problem with your ribbon slipping.  I hate slipping ribbon!  (I was at the class the other day and one woman was removing the red liner from the tape before trying to put it in place . WRONG!...what a mess she made and she had tape up to her elbows!....lay your tape in place with the sticky edge AND THEN REMOVE THE LINER!  But you already knew that, right?...I mean we are NOT amateurs!)

By the way I paid $3.99 for a small roll of the 1/8" red line tape at Archiver's but Amazon has MUCH better prices! I LOVE Archiver's but I love a bargain better!

Back to the flower...cover the flower with your adhesive of choice but you don't want something that is fast drying because you need time to work with the tulle.  Adhere the knotted end of the tulle to the center of the circle and then loosely wind the tulle and adhere it in a spiral fashion to the circle.  You don't want to wind the tulle tightly because you wouldn't see the two colors.  Of course if you want the colors to blend by all means wind tightly! 
I think it's so cute...and I think rhis card would mail really well since it's soft and smooshy!

Happy Crafting!


Friday, April 15, 2011

Finished Box!

I worked on finishing out the little cardboard box I made in the Archiver's class.  I simply tore some papers for the front (followed the Archiver's design...not my own idea!) and then made 3 little rosettes!
Here's the finished box:
Isn't it cute?  And don't you love those flowers?  I know I do...3 Dimensional flowers are so trendy in papercrafting right now!  These flowers were pretty easy to make and I know I'm going to use this technique many more times.
You basically take a square of paper...I think I started with a 2 1/2 inch square.  Tear it into a circle won't be perfect but that's fine.
As you can see...mine looks more like a square circle! HAHA! 
Next you tear the circle into a spiral. It sounds complicated but it is not.  Just tear in about 1/2 inch and keep going round and round until you get to the middle.  Your finished spiral will look something like this:

From the outside piece start rolling it up tightly.  When you have it rolled into the center, let it uncoil a bit and it will look like this:
Put a little dab of hot glue (or any adhesvie) on the center of your spiral and glue your flower to it.  Then you can go back and curl your "petals" if you desire.
I love these and they are pretty easy to make!  I think they look best with solid cardstock or two sided paper. What do you think? Do you think they are adorable?
And here's another card we made with the same flower technique:

We also learned how to make cute little but very simple leaves.
First you get the paper you want to use (of course you HAVE TO HAVE PAPER!).
You can free hand a leaf or if you have an Cat Eye Ink pads around they are the perfect shape for a leaf.
Cut them out and you can distress them.  I love the little Tonic Studios Tim Holtz 370 Paper Distresser. It's inexpensive and easy to use.  You can see mine in my picture here:
It is a great little just rub the edges of your paper with the tool and it makes it all gloriously messy looking!
THEN...and this is very cool...fold the leaf in half lengthwise and then accordion fold it.  Kind of like this:
Then you can open them up and have the cutest dimensional flowers made out guessed it...PAPER!
Here is the finished box with a few cards in it:

More later!