Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year

     As we ring in the New Year I would like to thank all of you who have stopped by and left such wonderful comments. I hope your visit here has been inspiring, insightful and at times, left you with a smile on your face. With that said, I thought I would leave you with the December "kids" who sometimes feel lost in the spirit of the holidays around their birthday but who really warm our hearts with their presence. Before I share the pics of the birthday celebration I also want to let you know there were 2 more birthdays this December: our grandson Nicholas who turned 5 years and our oldest son Michael who turned 38. Although they live in Florida we think of them always. Here are the birthday honorees:
Ben hiding!
Just in time to blow out the candles. Ben turned 5!!!

Steve (my baby) turned 23 years

Ok, so it wasn't Sammy's birthday. His party was on the only day we have had snow; October Halloween Storm. What the heck, we can sing Happy Birthday again!

Cece turns 2 years December 28th.

Last but not least, Steve's girlfriend Renee whose birthday is today! Happy New Year and Birthday Renee.
I hope you all have a wonderful and safe New Year.

Merry Christmas, Tag #11

     I only wish this season I had more time to try out these awesome techniques Tim Holtz showed for the 12 Tags of Christmas...2011. Although I only had time to complete 4 I know I will continue to try some of the other tags and the great projects he shared.
     This tag by far is my favorite. I always loved this angel image yet for some reason I just hadn't found the right project. I started with Art Philosophy cartridge by ProvoCraft and cut the tag @ 6.25". The background is so easy to make. I used cream glossy card stock and some alcohol inks. The Salt Boat Blue and Stream alcohol inks go together perfectly.
     Next I used a piece of craft plastic and stamped this beautiful sentiment: The most precious Gift of Christmas arrived in a very small bundle with no bow." You have to use Stazon ink or one that can be used on slick surfaces.
     The stars are really cool to make. Unfortunately I only had Shrinky Dink material in white. Tim had used the clear one and the effects are so stunning. Don't worry, I will be getting some to try the other techniques.Any way I like how these stars turned out. First, when working with shrinky dink material you need to cut your images 3x the size you want the shrunken article to be. I cut my stars from "Tis The Season" cartridge @ 2.25", 2.50", 2.75" and 3". this yields finished stars at 1" or less. Here's the fun part. You need to heat UTEE, Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel in a melting pot. Ranger sells these and they are great. All you do is heat the utee, drop your shrinky dink material in the pot and watch it shrivel and squirm! Once it flattens out (in seconds really) gently remove from pot with tweezers and place on a craft mat or another non stick surface to cool. It really is that easy. I finished it off with some Creative Charms rhinestones and also used a gold detail heat embossing to the horn and halo. Add a bow and you are done. Whew, I can't wait to try some more tags.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Believe Tag With Tim Holtz

     I am so excited how this tag came out! This was tag #10 in Tim Holtz 12 Tags Of Christmas. The main technique for this one centered around making a transparency with packing tape! I'll explain more about this later. First I'll begin with the basics for this tag.
     I made my own tag using the  Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge.The tag was cut @ 6.25" but, where did that beautiful sheet music come from you ask. Well the Imagine More cart and my Imagine. I have big plans for this machine in the new year. There is a beautiful gold sheen on this tag which the picture does not do it justice. This is accomplished with a mist of Tattered Angels Heirloom Gold. The corners also have a heat embossed filigree design using distressed ink in peeled paint and a gold embossing powder. To complete the tag I used Tim's paper distresser and then inked the sides with Antique Linen distress ink by Ranger.
     I am fortunate enough to have the Expression 2 by Provo Craft but must admit with the holidays I haven't had much of a chance to use it, that is, until now. The machine comes preloaded with the Cricut Alphabet so I decided this font was perfect for the letters in "Believe". I used a scrap piece of paper from DCWV because the colors were just perfect. I ran the letters through my Xyron "X" which made it so easy to attach the letters.
     Here is the best part of this tag, the acrylic charms! I used the seasonal stack from Tim Holtz for the images. This is by far the easiest transfer I have ever made. First, you cut out the image you are going to use and then place a piece of clear packing tape over the image.Next place the image in a bowl of luke warm water for about 30 sec or until the paper begins to separate from the back.You want to gently rub the back to remove the paper leaving the image affixed to the tape. Once it is dry you want to lay it down on the sticky side of a piece of foil tape. Just a word about this.I used foil tape I had on hand from Home Depot. This is not a good choice. The reason is that by removing the paper from the image, it should allow the metal to show thru for a wonderful vintage look. Be sure you purchase one that when you  remove the paper on the foil   it has a metal colored backing. The foil tape I have was white on the back once the paper was removed. This still looks good but would have been great had I used the right foil. Since I made this tag I have noticed the type Tim used where the Tim Holtz line is located in my Michaels. I think it is by Essentials.
     To adhere the image to the front of the charm you will need to apply a small amount of glossy accents to the charm and then burnish the image to the charm. After this dries you just trim it with either scissors or an Exacto knife. I finished the edges off with a gold foil pen.
     As you can see I attached these to the tag with small brads and some twine. In order to complete the look I used some small gold bells that I attached with some raffia. However it some how did not look complete. I rummaged through my supplies and found this twig of red berries and they just seemed to go perfect. Guess I will be doing a lot more transparencies this year, lol. You should really give this a try.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tim Holtz 12 Tags of Christmas #6

     Ok you are not missing the other tags. I watched Tim Holtz 12 Tags of Christmas and played along when I had the supplies or time. (You know what I am talking about in regards to time at Christmas time, lol). Anyways this tag REALLY intrigued me because of the drill punch.
     I am always looking at Tim's section in my local craft store and saw this thing that looked like a huge hinge. I thought, what in the world does he use this for? (Guess I should have looked at the header to see what it was, lol). You can only imagine how thrilled I was when I saw Tim use it on the video for Tag#6! You use it to drill holes in soft metal. How cool is that!
     I decided to use this on an ornament. The wonderful thing about Tim's Tags is the inspiration he gives you. I had this glass ball hanging around and although I thought it would be nice, it didn't have the glitter I was looking for. I held onto it and decided it would be perfect for this technique of Tim's. Boy was I right!
     Thank goodness I had Tim's adornment with the wreath. I thought I could use it for something and then, along came Tim's 12 tags.First I started to drill the hole using the hand drill. The wreath was then painted with green acrylic paint and then distressed with Tim's sanding grip. After, I added some red berries also with acrylic paint. I used Ranger embossing ink to the whole wreath and covered with Kaleidoscope transparent embossing powder by Stamp N Stuff and heated the wreath to set the powder. The colors are just gorgeous!
     The inside image is from Tim's Seasonal Stack that I covered with paper glaze then cut to fit inside the wreath.You can tell from the top photo the image is of a wonderful winter countryside.I finished off the ornament by tying a red cording and a small jingle bell. After adding a white sheer bow to the top it is ready to hang. Thanks Tim for being the inspiration behind this ornament.

Tag 1 Tim Holtz 12 Tags of Christmas

  Ok, so now I get to play and share a few of the projects I learned from Tim Holtz fabulous 12 Tags of Christmas! I just love all the techniques he shared this season and it's the first time I have been able to play around.
     This first tag had some great techniques including some new ones as well as some I always love to use. I cut my own tag using Art Philosophy @ 6.25" which is the equivalent to the manilla tag Tim sells.The first part is to emboss the tag first with a dry embossing and then to add some embossing ink and white opaque embossing powder. The effect is a nice pearled sort of background. Of course that is followed by distressed inking Antique Linen) after a little distressing. I love Tim's sanding grip. It seems to give you nice control and is easy to apply just the right amount of pressure without sanding away too much of the paper. Oh I forgot to mention I used the snowflake embossing folder from the cuttlebug.
     I thought I would use the "Let It Snow" phrase from Winter Frolic so I cut it @2.25 from some glittered card stock I had. I also cut the shadow from a metallic silver card stock from my stash, lol.The snowflakes are also from the Frolic cart.
     The challenging part about this cart is the pinecones. I searched all over to find this die of Tim's but to no avail. So I searched my cartridge "library" and settled on a cut from the gypsy font. I need a LOT more practice,lol. After some distressing inks and shaping, I added some Martha Stewart crystal glitter and some of Tim Holtz' snow cap paint to the edges. Although I am not too happy with the finished product, I know with some practice I will do better.
   I forgot to mention I used a strip of Tim's Seasonal Pack for the music sheet and also distressed the edges with Vintage Photo ink. The final touches were a few leaves cut with martha's leaf punch and some bling and pearls to jazz it up!
     I completed the tag with a nice ribbon and a snowflake brad. I can't wait to do more of his tags!



Saturday, December 17, 2011

Ben's Birthday Cake

     The month of December is a REALLY busy one for us.You see not only do we have all the activities of Christmas but we have 6 birthdays. Dec.7, 13, 19, 22, 28 and also the 31st! The ages they are celebrating are 5, 5, 23, 38, 2 and 22. I feel so bad for them because it's almost like the birthday is set aside for Christmas. So with that in mind I have always made sure the presents are wrapped for the right occasion and there is a birthday cake. We have plenty of cookies for Christmas but birthdays deserve a cake!
     We don't get to see Nicholas who turned 5 on December 7 since he is in Florida however we did send his gifts. Poor Benjamin who turned 5 on December 13th FINALLY had a party. You see it usually snows or his third birthday was supposed to be a big party however we were hit with a major ice storm and most of us were without power for 3-5 days. Chuck e Cheese to the rescue for some of us, lol. I believe last year there was also a snow storm. So this year the weather co operated and the party was a blast! (Literally, they did laser tag)!
     I had just gotten the Cricut cake machine in (great deal) so this is my first attempt using this machine. I used the Buccaneer cart since it was a pirate party. I think there is going to be a learning curve!
     I had my own gum paste (tinted brown) for the skull and cross bones. The blue and white is a sugar sheet that I thought would be good to work with, wrong! it dries too quickly and is brittle. Even though I got it on sale, I don't think I'll use this again.
     I was fortunate enough to find some pirate themed candles to add to this. How cool are these banners? I made a lot of them because.....
     I made cupcake boxes for the kids party at the laser tag party so each kid would have their own cake. Ben's was extra special with the "Shiver Me Timbers" pattern for the cart. I made a little insert for the bottom of the wrapper to raise the cupcake up. The insert was cut from Sweet Tooth Boxes. I forget which cart I used for the actual box. Just a word of warning if you print your own cardstock with the Imagine, it is not waterproof. I placed the cupcakes in the wrappers just prior to bringing to the party.
     Here's the handsome and ever playful Benjamin who is now officially 5! I will show you the rest of our birthday bashes as the month goes on. Off to practice with my Cricut Cake!!!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Glass Etching

     Do you ever wind up with a collection of other peoples baking ware and don't know who it belongs too? I have a solution. This year I went to several Tastefully Simple parties and bought a bunch of their famous Beer Bread. If you've never tried it , it is fabulous. You can also substitute any carbonated beverage in place of the beer!
     Now, I just love to add a personal touch to my gifts (who doesn't,lol) so I thought I'd pair the bread mix with a personalized bread pan. I picked up a bunch and was so pleased to find they were made in America. Believe me that is a rarity!
     I used the Cricut cart From My Kitchen to cut the "bread" oval @ 1.5". I used contact paper since it was cheaper by the roll and I knew it couldn't be used again so I didn't want to waste my ProvoCraft vinyl.
     Next step was to apply the etching cream. as you can see I put it on fairly thick. Oh before you do this be sure to tape off any edges so you don't accidentally spill over with the cream. I used painters tape so it would come off easily. Also be sure to protect your work area.I left it on a good 10 minutes.
     I really wanted to personalize these, so on the other side I included the family initial. The only problem is when you have a letter with cutouts, ie, A,B,D,O etc.No problem, I just used Provo Craft's transfer tape to hold the "middle" in place! once you adhere it to the glass with the vinyl you remove the transfer tape.
     Here's the finished product. I also added a holiday potholder and wrapped the bread mix. I can't show you how the letters came out, these are gifts after all. This makes a really special gift. What are you giving?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Ornament Boxes

Christmas Ornament Boxes

     Well have I ever been busy, lol. Along with trying to do Christmas shopping, filling ornament orders and doing Birthday shopping/baking, I haven't forgot I had promised to show you the packaging my ornaments come in.
     First I ordered some clears boxes from These turned out to be the perfect size but, they needed something to hold the ornament in place. I hope you realize by now that there isn't anything you can't do with a Cricut! I used the Sweet Tooth Boxes cart and used a cupcake holder cut at 6.75. The patterned paper was done using Santas Village cart and I even made a matching tag. I just love how the Imagine can resize the images to the appropriate size object so everything is proportionate! One thing if you plan on making these is to use a sturdy cardstock for the base.
     We have 6 December birthday's (ughhh!) so I finally bought a Cricut Cake to kind of help me out yet I haven't had a chance to play yet. This week I have to dive in so I'll post pics on how I do, wish me luck!!!
     Also Tim Holtz is in full swing with his 12 tags of Christmas and can I just say WOW! I hope to complete a few and I'll definitely share these gems as soon as I finish. I think it's going to be a creative week!!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Mr. And Mrs. Claus Ornaments

     I am totally in love with the new ProvoCraft cartridge Santa's Village. When I first saw this cart I was in awe of the fantastic images and rich colors in the graphics. I knew I wanted to make some ornaments and it has taken me a while to figure out how to transform what I have in my head onto the glass ornaments!
     I tried waterslide decals but I was not happy with the results. They looked like a sticker I put on glass. That is definitely not my style, lol. I tried doing the images on card stock but I was not happy with that attempt as well. Sometimes my ideas just pop in my head will I'm in the shower and that is what happened this time. Finally, success!!! Okay, okay here are the pics and details. Without further ado: Tada......
     Isn't he fabulous? Believe me the picture does not do him justice! I started with clear glass ornaments that have a flat front. I stocked up with them several years ago @ M's end of the year sale. I used beacon's Glitter It! glue and Martha Stewarts Glitter to finish the inside of the ball and to set the stage for my design.
     I finally realized the I could use the printable vinyl that came with my Imagine cricut machine to print my artwork. Brilliant idea! I cut it at 1.6" and found it was the perfect size for my ornament. I then just cut a plain circle out of the vinyl and layered the image in the middle. Once it was afixed to the glass ball I used Triple Thick Gloss Glaze by Americana on top of the image and let it dry overnight. I had tried other finishes but they had a tendency to pool or drip of the edges. Some of the finishes needed more than one coat or were not thick enough for what I wanted to accomplish. This finish was perfect.
     One note about this finish is that youhave to brush it on. I globbed it on and it does have a few air bubbles doing it this way. However it seems to give it some character with the air bubbles, almost like it is snowing. Wait a minute, why not make it snow? I pulled out some stickles and added some to create the illusion that it is snowing! Another great idea!!!! I used a gold cording to hang the ornament with and voila, it's done.

     Aren't these just adorable? You have Santa, Mrs. Claus, the Toy Shop and there are images to use for penguins, trains, rocking horses, reindeer etc. the possibilities are endless. I will be adding these to my etsy shop as soon as I figure out the shipping, lol. Hope you enjoy these and don't be afraid to leave a comment and tell me what you think!

Thursday, November 10, 2011
     The wonderful Cricut couple is giving away some awesome prizes in honor of their 500 followers. You heard that right 500 followers. If you are not a follower of theirs then you should be. They have wonderful projects and tips to share. So head on over, sign up to follow if you don't already and share some love!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Chalk Holder

     With the holidays coming I thought I'd make a few teacher gifts. A while back I bought these chalk painted flower pots and decided it was time I did something with them. They were a clearance item from Pottery Barn so I boght a few. I have one that holds my cricut markers but thought they would make a perfect holder for chalk to give to a teacher.
     I cut the images of both a girl and boy in vinyl from A Childs' Year cartridge. The shadow layer is in white whereas the top layer is in red. I also cut the image a third time out of card stock but cut the "apple" part off so I just had the leaves to work with.
     The bottom was sort of plain so I added a simple white picot ribbon and a few clear rhinestones. Add a box of chalk and you have a simple teachers gift! I do have a few for sale in my etsy shop. By the way, the snow is 5 days since our historic October snow storm. Maybe I'll get a lot of crafting done this winter.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Three Wisemen Card

     As you can see I am on a roll with my Christmas cards this year. The more I do the more intricate I am getting. This is my new favorite for the week, lol. Fortunately I had cut these out in anticipation of our possibly losing power. It is truly a miracle that THIS time we didn't. However you can still see the snow that is left over and this is 5 days later.
     This time I went with a 5x7" card base. The card stock is a cream with a nice sheen to it. The image was cut using the Inspired Heart image @ 3" and the background is from a pale blue glossy card stock.I really love using embossing of all kinds on my cards and this has both dry and heat embossing.The background is Swiss dots whereas I used heat embossing for the stars in the upper right hand corner as well as the sentiment "Unto us a child is born".  The embossing powder is a detail silver and really makes a statement! Both stamps are from Inkadinkado.
     The flower was cut from Flower Shoppe cart by ProvoCraft.  I cut them @ various sizes: 1 3/4" and 1- 1/2". I used a DCWV stack and Donna Salazar's technique with the tulle and added some of her Pixie Dust Glitter. I assembled the card by using silver thread to sew the image and background together before adhering it to the card base.
     I thought the flower would balance the stars off and the colors just seemed to fit.It gives it a quiet elegance don't ya think?
     I also added a sentiment on the inside and used a rich blue ink. It says: "Peace on earth will come to stay, when we live Christmas everyday." I just love this sentiment. It would be wonderful if we could have that warm feeling year round, don't you agree?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Nativity Card

     This is one of the religious cards I made for this upcoming Christmas season. I just love the simplicity of it. The green cardstock has a nice sheen to it as well as the cream background. I decided to emboss the cream card stock with the swiss dots cuttlebug folder to add a little texture to the card. (I love texture!)
     The Nativity image is from Cricut "Inspired Heart" cartridge. This cart is amazing! I also made another Christmas card from this cart but I'll have to show you when it's finished (it's still a work in progress, lol).The cartridge has some great cuts especially for sympathy. I have a lot of ideas for those.
     I also added a gold card stock star but can't remember which cart I cut that one from. (guess I'm going senile!). I wanted a somewhat primitive look so that's why I chose the brown background paper but it needed to be dressed up a bit. I happen to have a lot of this textured ribbon so it just finished it off nicely.
     I have been adding sentiment inside some of my cards lately and found this one in a book i recently purchased.Say It With Style is a great book of quotes and it is great for card makers. I bought mine through Annies Attic. Hope you like this latest offering. I have some new photo emulsion I am trying on my Yudu Cardmaker screens. I am getting ready for when my Word Collage cart arrives because I have big plans for this cartridge, lol.

Joy Christmas Card

     It seems forever since I shared anything with you, lol. I did promise to post some of my latest projects so I thought I'd get you in the mood for the holidays with one of the cards I recently made.
     I had a lot of fun designing this card. I decided to use my Spellbinders die of these cute little frames. They were perfect for the JOY letters. For those of you that follow me you might remember the Nautical invitations I made this summer. Well I had some of the silver card stock left so I wanted to use some of it up so I used it for the JOY and the bar to hold the letters. The letters were cut from cricut Base Camp @ 3/4" and they fit perfectly. The ribbon is from my stash as well as the prima pointsettas. I also had some bakers twine sitting around and that really seemed to brighten this card up!
     Hope this puts you in the mood to start thinking of those holiday cards. Do you do religious, seasonal , scenic or jolly cards for the holiday? I'd love to know!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Thanksgiving Day Cards

     Alright, I'm back in action. I have some new Thanksgiving Day cards to share with you. These are a little different from the ones I usually make. I always search through the clearance bin at Michaels and I found some Tim Holtz seasonal packs. These have some awesome images with such a wonderful vintage look. So I decided to go with it.
     As a member of the Cricut Circle, one of the perks is that you receive exclusive carts. The latest one is called Sophie and that is where I found the die cut of the leaf frame. It was cut @ 4.53 x 3.44" on a beautiful burgundy background. I love how intricate these cuts are. I chose certain sections to highlight with diamond glaze for a glossy  look. I also added a beautiful orange card stock as a backing and trimmed it with a rust picot satin ribbon topped with a velvet trim.
     I also had some glittered leaf embellishments that I added to the corners after I distressed the edges with some ink. Don't ya just love my ceramic turkey? I actually have two of them which are my candle holders for the big feast!
     I just love these images. This is so nice with the turkeys in the background.
     This has to be my favorite image in this group. I love the cornucopia maybe because i make so many of them at work for the holiday!
     I also decided to finish this off with an inside verse that was printed in brown on a parchment paper. I have decided to add some greetings on my cards this time. It adds weight to the card but gives it a nice finishing touch.
     What do you do for family traditions at your house? I'd love to hear if you'd like to share!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fabric Flowers

     I have so many projects to share but so little time. That's the story of my life,lol. Just a quick update, my mom is still in rehab but comes home Wednesday which is not soon enough for her. In the meantime I have made her new curtains from material she has had sitting around forever! I also had a chance to mat and frame some of her wedding photos to hang in her bedroom. She will be so surprised.
     Anyways, a while back when I was making all those aprons, I had a pile of scraps. (You know how I hate scraps)! I had decided they would make cute flowers for headbands.
     First off I used spray starch on both the front and backside of the fabric. I know all the directions say to use an iron on interfacing but with small scraps that would be pretty tough. I thought if I sprayed it it just might be stiff enough to go through my Sizzix machine. I used Tim Holtz Tattered flowers and it went thru without a hitch.
     Sorry but I forgot to take a picture of the next step. I sprayed the flowers with Beacon's Stiffen Stuff  and then while it was still wet I scrunched them up to give them a ruffled petal look. Once they were dry I layered about 8 layers to get a nice fluffy flower and added a brad to the center for a little bling. The mix and match patterns made some great flower patterns. All I had to do was to use some Beacon's 3 in 1 craft glue to adhere them to the headbands. If you haven't used this glue before I highly recommend it. It grabs quick and dries fast.

     As you can see they match the apron. Hope you enjoyed this quick post. Promise I'll be back shortly with some elegant Thanksgiving Day cards. If you can't wait for the post you can see them in my etsy store.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mom's Cane

     Hi all I'm back again, did you miss me, lol! I've been pretty busy with a lot of family stuff however I am never too busy that I can't sneak a craft project or two in. Mom's doing better with her pneumonia and is anxious to get back home. In the meantime she is in a lovely rehab center until the end of next week. Although she is not too happy about staying longer I must admit I am some what relieved since this has been the perfect time to go into her small apartment and do some much needed cleaning and reorganization for her. Unfortunately she has been declared legally blind and at 86 years old having been a voracious reader this is pretty tough for her.

Friday, September 23, 2011

New Classes

     Ok so it's fall and that means back to class. I love taking classes on line @ My Creative Classroom. This session I decided to learn how to make different types of flowers using useful materials. These products include duct tape, grunge board, leather and denim. There is even flowers made out of soda cans and some with wire!
     See if you can guess what these are made from!

     I'm off to make some more!
     Hope you all have a great week end. Hugs!!