Saturday, October 29, 2011

One of those weeks.

Ever have one of those weeks? You know the type where a "force quit/restart" option would have really come in handy? Ugh... this was one! I was planning to wow you all week with amazing cards and projects done with my knock the socks off the Cricut Silhouette Cameo. I've been awaiting "Cameys" arrival for almost 3 months since I pre-ordered her. Don't worry Cricut friends I have nothing but love for my little bug but I wanted the ability to also cut anything I wanted font/image/print & cut/etc wise so I made room in my heart, and my crafting table, for a Cameo.

She arrived last Friday and my first cuts left something to be desired but I figured there must just be a learning curve and left her to the weekend. I won't bore you all with long, rambling, whiney, pouty, angry rantings (I've already done that to my new Silhouette friends). Let's just say that my Cameo didn't work correctly out of the box and now I'm stuck waiting around for a backordred replacement blade housing to be sent before support will help me further even though I already purchased a 3rd party holder and it doesn't work either.

Next I updated my macbook pro to Lion finally, not realizing that in doing so I'd lose the ability to use timemachine with my NAS drive for backups. I hate Iomga, we'll leave that rant at that.

So between Cameo woes and issues with my storage drive I've been a bit grumpy. Hopefully things will improve this coming week and I can just forget this whole past week even happened :D

I did use my cricut to make up a few Halloween cards, please let me know if you want any details on them.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Distress Inks

I promised you some organizing tips so here is my first. Are you familiar with the Tim Holtz distress inks? If you are I don't need to tell you how amazing and versatile they are, if you aren't then OMG am I about to enable you. We'll start easy, google them... set aside a few days for this, because you WILL be reading and looking and then going over to youtube to watch videos and asking yourself how you lived this long with out them, then you'll start reading up on which ones you must buy, stop there... you need them all. Ok ok, I don't own them all, you can probably do without a few of them ;)

Here are two cards I used them on, I can't take credit for the designs as both are cased (if you know where I found them let me know so I can give credit, I can't remember and I only had the images saved).

Both were cut almost entirely from my go to white cardstock with my cricut (see link, it's awesome and so cheap!) and then colored with the distress inks.
On the shell card the only part not cut from white paper and colored with distress inks was the sand paper background behind the shell (yes I used real sand paper, I love doing that with beach themed cards... just remember to use your junky scissors and NEVER your diecut machine)

Needless to say I adore my distress inks, and I needed storage for them. Look what I came up with!
It's a Stanley brand tool organizer (see thinking outside the craft store again paid off) You can find it here on Amazon Tool Organizer. It's the perfect depth for the inks (and yes you can leave the lid on if you want, since I hung mine on my pegboard I didn't feel the need but if you want to keep it on the floor or your desk you can keep it closed with the lid). I printed off the ink names on labels and then labeled all 4 sides (so I don't have to pay attention to which side is facing out when I put them back) and then sponged some color on each one as well.

Speaking of sponging... if you have inks you need a way to apply them, I really like the foam applicators you can get from Tim Holtz as well and while I like his applicator tool it was getting really old switching out the sponges every time I used a different color and buying one for each color would have cost far too much. Little shopping at HD solved that problem as well. I purchased a single piece of wood and then marked and cut pieces, used my sander (but a sanding sponge would work too) to remove the hard edges and then applied a layer of double sided foam and a piece of velcro. Just like that I had an applicator for each color! I think they are even easier to use then Tim's tool since the handle on that just got in my way holding it.
I'll be back to post again soon with my storage solution for my collection of Cricut cartridge booklets.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Organization, Distraction, & A Review

I'm attempting to organize some of my chaos in preparation for my big new arrival on Friday (more about that on Friday). As always happens I keep finding myself distracted, not by my little darlings this time (they are tucked into bed) but by all my pretties and the ideas in my head. For instance tonight I'm trying to find the top of my work table, I'm pretty sure it's somewhere under all these paper scraps. Of course I realize I need to put away the couple little things that came in the mail today, and well come on... if you get a new crafting toy you MUST play with it (that's a rule isn't it? I'm pretty sure it must be).

So before I dive into telling you all about one of my new toys I have another Candi fact to share with you, right after my love of glitter comes a love of shiny objects. I coat everything I can in glossy accents, and epoxy stickers... ohhhh I <3 me some epoxy stickers ladies (and any gentlemen who might be reading this, no discrimination here folks). I don't really buy all that many because (I'm cheap) I can't part with them, and because my 7yr old swipes them (she's a worse horder then I am!). A few months ago I found out about the epoxy bottle cap stickers, and immediately I realized I could make my own little round epoxy stickers. I bought a 1" hole punch and ordered some epoxy stickers from etsy and love making them. Long semi-aimless story later... I found out about the Epiphany Crafts Shape & Button tools this past week. Interest peaked! After spending the required countless hours reading every blog post about them I could find and watching youtube videos I felt that I needed to have one. I really wanted the button one but J's was having a 40% off sale and only had the round, so I ordered the smaller one.

Welcome back to the present. If you read all of that and are still reading go ahead and take a break, grab a coffee and come back for some photos and a review.

Side note, love the DCWV stack here, it has the perfect combo of papers for all your Halloween card making needs, cutesy stuff for the littler ones and more mature papers for adults all in one stack!

As I was saying... I decided to try out the "epoxy shape tool", I'm all for gadgets but let me save you a few dollars right off the bat. Don't buy it. Oh but its round and cute and lines up the epoxy sticker and punches the paper and pushes them together and bla bla bla. Yeah yeah yeah, I know I told myself all that too, which is why I bought it. Buy the epoxy stickers, they are great... thicker and even cheaper then what I found on etsy. Then buy yourself a 1/2" circle punch and call it a day. The tool might not be huge but it takes up space and is awkward to store, and look at my little shape. The poor thing has extra paper sticking out past the epoxy circle. This wasn't a fluke, I made 3 more and all were the same. GRRR now if I was just winging this with my own punch and their shapes I'd say it was acceptable but using their tool and their epoxy and they should be the exact same size and line up PERFECTLY.
For comparisons sake here is a 1" that I made with my own punch and stickers from etsy
See, it's perfectly lined up even without a tool to assist me. The 1" circle of paper and the 1" epoxy are both... wait for it... ONE INCH. I'm going to have to buy or borrow a 1/2" punch to see if the punch is off with the Epiphany tool or if its the epoxy stickers.

Now all of this said would you believe I was still thinking about the button version of this tool. I know I know I just said to save your money but come on, custom buttons... I mean have you SEEN the buttons? Then in a moment of brilliance (or desperation, hey don't judge) the little light bulb went off. I have a big bite ( you know the giant hole punch we all swore we'd use to set eyelets but we just use as an industrial hole punch?) That bad boy can punch though anything so ... hmm.... see where I'm going with this yet?
EKKKKKK!!!! Can you stand it? Oh I can't stand it... SOOO CUTE! Yup, I turned my epoxy circles into epoxy buttons with the big bite. CHOMP! (oh and no that little circle didn't come out perfect, I took a nail file and filed off the extra paper)

So... I didn't get any actual organizing done but hey we still had fun right? I promise to be back tomorrow with some actual organizing tips for you! In the mean time want to see my whole box full of little creations that I've made when I was supposed to be organizing? (see the little button & epoxy shape, they made it to the box tonight too LOL)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Couldn't wait any longer, rolling flower garden

Remember the sneak peak from a few days ago? Did you wonder what I was doing with the big ol' felt flowers and how on earth they had to do with Halloween? Here's the answer:
My 18month old daughter is going to be a bumble bee for Halloween and this is her rolling flower garden. Last year it was a rolling pond, and while it just about killed me to pull all the pond embellishments off I decided it was easier then trying to sew a new one (I avoid sewing like the plague if at all possible LOL). Here she was last year as a dragonfly, as you see the flowers survived and are part of the garden this year:
We had our first Halloween excursion last night (Greenfield Village in MI) however I didn't get any good photos as the sun set to quickly, but fear not I'll be bombarding you with images of my 2 little monsters in their Halloween best soon enough :)

Spooktacular Sparkletastic Halloween Luminary

Ohhhhhh can you stand the glittery goodness? Ekkk I can't take it :) You guys know how much I love glitter and the idea for this luminary has been in my head since I made my first one.

I started my design the same way as my last luminary. I used the rectangle from George & Basic shapes and then used images from Happy Hauntings and Wild Card for the panels. Each panel is sized 4x6 and I welded two together with a tab.

I knew I wanted a sheer glitter background and there is only one way to do an even application of glitter, with a Xyron. If you use glitter for any projects you MUST have one of these, or several in different sizes! I use my 2.5" model the most for small glittered words and embellishments but as my inside panels (cut from acetate sheetsaka report covers bought in bulk on amazon) were to big for that I had to use this bigger one. All you do is run it through, then peel off the plastic and you're left with a perfect layer of adhesive. Stick it to the back side of your panel and then grab your glitter!

I used Martha Stewart glitter and a trusty coffee filter and glittered them up. As you can see you get a perfect even layer of sparkle (ohhh swoon).
After you've done all of your panels apply some strong adhesive (I like using redline tape) as close to the score line as possible and stick your panels together.

As before I think adding a stand really elevates (hahaha pun intended) the project. Again I made a simple base from a piece of 4.5x4.5 paper scored 1/4" all around to give a thin lip once folded, instead of cutting paper "feet" this time I decided I wanted to use wooden beads. I colored them black with a sharpie (so they would be flat black and not glossy and ok maybe because I was too impatient to paint them) and then just used glue dots to attach them.

Side note, I'm totally rocking the black polish... so what if I missed the trend by 5 (10?) years? My daughter asked me to paint them black in the spirit of Halloween and I did, and OMG I love them!
These are pretty quick to create and so much fun, I hope I've inspired you to give one a try!

Showing all 4 sides:

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Paper Rosette Wreath

The lighting has been awful in our house this week, I will try to update these photos once I get better ones but I wanted to post something! Here is the Halloween wreath I gave you sneak peaks of a few days ago. The little elements all have something special done to them as well, either flocking, glitter, glossy accents, or crackle accents (which I'm loving lately, check it out on the little cauldron and the skull which also had a tiny bit of shading done with distress inks).

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sneak Peaks

Hi everyone!

So it turns out I'm a terrible blogger ::sighs:: I want to post, but something always comes up. I hope to make it up to you with a couple new posts this week. Though I haven't been posting I have been crafting :)

Both of these are Halloween projects though they have a very different look/feel ;)

First off a picture of the current state of my desk, now you know that I really am creating in chaos here! Scary right? I have no idea where my Cameo is going to fit when she arrives in a week or so... time to clean up!

Sneak peak project 1:
Pen for size reference only, handmade (well with some cricut template assistance because I'm pathetic and can't freehand draw petals) felt flowers. Not very Halloweeny (hehehe I said weeny) I know, but I promise they are for Halloween ;) Photos of final project to come tonight or tomorrow!

Sneak Peak #2:
Any ideas yet?

How about now? As soon as I get some photos of the finished project & maybe a few embellishment close-ups I'll post those too!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Rosh Hashanah Card

Quick post showing a Rosh Hashanah card I made for my IL's. I wanted to go with the apples & honey theme but realized I didn't have any apple paper. Since I wanted to make the card and send it the next morning I didn't have time to go shopping... or did I? This was my first time ever using digital paper and I love it! I found this print as part of a digital pack on etsy. I was thrilled when I immediately received a download link. The seller has some great freebie files and lots of fun digital packs too, you can find her items here: Shery K Designs I highly recommend her and will absolutely use digital paper again soon!. The beehive and bees are cut with my cricut (Kate's ABC's for the bees, and I'm blanking on the hive). The words were actually made & color matched with Silhouette Studio software (I don't have my Cameo yet but I love the software). Can't wait till later in the month when I have the machine to go with it. Of course I had to pop dot the wings on the bees and add some stickles :)

I have some fun non-paper crafting posts coming up soon that I've been busy working on.