Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Free Scrapinar for August

The free Scrapinar for August, presented by Lain Ehmann of Layout A Day, is all about embossing folders.  The expert this month is Becki Adams and she will share her tips for getting more mileage out of these craft room staples.  Scrapinars are live, online events that you can enjoy from the comfort of home - don't you just love the internet?!

The Scrapinar will be held on August 26, 2014 (next Tuesday).  These events are always fun - there is a bit of introductory chat, a video presentation by the expert and then plenty of time for questions and answers.  If the time of the presentation doesn't fit your schedule, no worries - you will be able to access a recording for a few days after the event.  However, you must register HERE to receive the follow up email with the link to the recording.

Here is a card that I made quite a while ago which uses two different folders on three layers (you can see more details about this card in THIS POST).   I am hopelessly addicted to embossing folders and my collection of folders is starting to spill out of the bins that I keep them in.

I am looking forward to this session and expect to be inspired to make better use of what I have.  I hope to "see" some of you in  the virtual classroom next week!  Click HERE to register and mark your calendar for next Tuesday (local times for the continental US time zones are shown on the registration page).

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This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product using the link I may receive a commission. I only participate in affiliate programs for products that I use or can recommend without reservation.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Win a Cricut Explore machine!

(sponsored post)

If you have been reading about my experiences with the Cricut Explore that I bought in February and thinking about all of the things you could cut (and those perfect circles and scallops!) you won't want to miss this chance to win a Cricut Explore.

All you need to do is to sign up for the Cricut Newsletter by August 19th (next Tuesday) and you will be automatically entered into a drawing to win an Explore.  Use your email or login with Facebook and you will automatically be subscribed to the newsletter and be entered for the giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The free images to cut this week are the subjects from Locker Talk  - these would be handy for decorating school folders as the kids are getting back to school.  You will find the free images available for you to use in the Cricut Craftroom or Design Space when you log in to your account.  They are free for just a week -next week something new will be available so be sure to get those projects done now!

There is also a sale on over 100 of the most popular image sets and cartridges.  You can find them HERE

Mats and blades are on sale for 30% off this week - click HERE to find them.  I haven't changed the blade on my Explore yet - the new German Carbide Premium Blades are amazingly durable!

If you shop on the Cricut site this week, you can get free standard shipping on all orders in the continental US by using the code SCHOOLSHIP! (all capitals and don't forget the exclamation point!).

Birthday week is continuing at our house - I'll have some more cards to share soon since I don't like to post them on the blog until they are received! 
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This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product using the link I may receive a commission. I only participate in affiliate programs for products that I use or can recommend without reservation.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Happy 80th Birthday Box Card

August is a month full of birthdays for our family.  My father-in-law turned 80 in June and my mother-in-law just had her 80th birthday on Friday.  My husband and both of our sons have their birthdays this week - it's always a hectic time!  I made a simple box card for my father-in-law's birthday (you can see it HERE) and I decided to make a "fancier" one for my mother-in-law.

The box cards that Mary at SVGCuts has been designing are very clever and fun to put together.  I decided to use the party card with the balloons from the Summer Box Card SVG Kit. (affiliate links)

Color and paper selections can give a card a totally different look.  This is the sample card from the Summer box card set.  I decided to change the colors and make it more sparkly and elegant for a milestone birthday celebration.

I uploaded all of the pieces for the card into the Cricut Design Space.  The first time you do this for a card or project from SVG Cuts you need to add each file separately.  Once you have uploaded all of the pieces you can create a Design Space file with the full set to save for future use.  You do need to use the PDF instructions that are provided in the download to make all of the pieces the correct size.  If you are not sure how to do this, there are detailed instructions in THIS POST from May.

I chose a variety of papers in blue, green, silver and white.  Most of the patterned papers were from K&Company collections that I had on my shelf (some are from several years ago). This is the outside of the card with all of the layers added before forming the box.

There are three interior pieces in addition to the balloon decorations for the back panel.  I used glitter cardstock and added tiny bows and bling to make the card sparkle.

Adhesive foam dots and pieces of string taped to the back of the balloons give even more dimension to the card.

The strings are tied and fastened inside the card.  Some more adhesive dots add yet another layer to the card back.

When I first put the balloon piece down, something didn't look quite right...

I moved the strings to the fronts of the overlapping balloons to make a more realistic looking bunch of balloons.  The strings were taped below the knot and trimmed.  (One note on the sizing - the interior panel for the back of the card is listed as 3.2 inches wide but I found that it should be 3 inches to fit with a thin border as shown here - it is mostly hidden by the balloons but it does show from the side and will look more consistent with the other panels if you make it 3 inches).

Here is the side view of the card once it was assembled.  SVGCuts has excellent assembly videos to help you with their projects.  Once you have put together a few box cards it is very easy to do.

This photo is a little dark to help you see the shiny white dots on the balloons, cake and envelope.  The glitter cardstock is from DCWV - it is called "Dazzle" and cuts beautifully in the Cricut and other machines.  There is no loose glitter to worry about since the manufacturing process for this glitter effect does not embed glitter - the glitter effect is much finer and incredibly sparkly!

I added a sentiment oval from Craftwork Cards to the banner and raised it with some adhesive dots.

A few extra clear gems are sprinkled here and there for a finishing touch.

Even the back of this card is pretty with the glittered flower cardstock.  I didn't add the optional white panel that is included in the file.

When people first see a box card they are amazed that something that folds flat can become so three dimensional.  I usually put them in the envelope with the flaps folded down like this, especially if the sentiment is on the flap.

If you prefer, you can fold up the flaps to help make the opening of the card even more of a surprise!

I added the "80" to one of the white balloons with numbers I cut from the same silver glitter cardstock with an old set of Sizzlits dies (I had already closed my computer when I realized that I didn't cut the numbers and these were the perfect size.  Sometimes a quick roll of a metal die through a manual die cut machine is the fastest solution).

The card was a hit and it even matched her outfit!  One of our young nephews said he couldn't believe that Grandma was 80 (even though he did believe that Grandpa was 80...).  I think he has a way with the ladies already!

SVGCuts frequently offers a new kit as a free gift with purchase for a limited time.  Until Wednesday, August 13, 2014, you can get this great Haunted Forest Kit for free when you spend $9.98 or more in the store.  Just add it to the cart along with your other items that total at least $9.98 and then type "FREEGIFT" in the coupon code box when you check out.  All files are available for download as soon as you check out.  Click HERE to go to their site and find some amazing files!

Summer is winding down fast - I keep seeing photos of kids going back to school.  They don't start until after Labor Day here.  I have taken more time off than usual this summer with a lot of family events taking priority.  I'll probably be back to a nearly daily posting schedule again this fall.  I hope you haven't been wondering what has happened to me - you'll see a lot more posts, projects and tutorials and a new subscriber freebie soon!

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This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product using the link I may receive a commission. I only participate in affiliate programs for products that I use or can recommend without reservation.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Gilroy Garlic Festival

Last weekend we were in California visiting our son and daughter-in-law.  We happened to be there for the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival.  Kelly is from Gilroy and we had heard a lot about the festival - particularly the wide assortment of food offerings that include garlic.

Gilroy is the "Garlic Capital of the World" and this was the 36th annual Garlic Festival.  It is held on the last full weekend in July each year and, in addition to the food, there are three stages with entertainment, arts & crafts booths, cooking demonstrations and competitions, and all sorts of activities for kids.  You can find the festival website HERE if you would like to know more about the festival.

Our nephew (the tall one second from the right) is working in San Francisco this summer and he came along to the festival with one of his classmates from Michigan.  It was a hot day so I grabbed this photo just as we arrived (while everyone was relatively cool and relaxed).  You can see the huge Christopher Ranch Garlic truck behind them.

The Official Gourmet Alley is in the center of the festival.  There are a lot of choices including several combo plates if you can't decide on just one item.

One of the highlights for me was the amazing garlic bread.  Volunteers work to assemble this delicious treat (it was so good that we gobbled it all up before I thought to take a photo).

There is a row of grills where huge frying pans are used to saute the garlic.  The cooks are called Pyro Chefs (see the red apron).  I can't imagine how hot it must be for them but they seemed to be having fun.

What would a festival be without a queen and her court?  The Annual Gilroy Garlic Festival Queen Pageant is held to choose the Queen and includes personal interview, talent, an evening gown competition, and a garlic speech (of course!). The Queen and her court represent Gilroy at various events leading up to the Festival and, as I read on the website, "most importantly, they spend all three days at the festival having a garlicky good time with fellow lovers of the pungent bulb."

Every so often, the Gourmet Alley Pyro Chefs do a "flame-up" which is very impressive and just a tad frightening!

In addition to the official Gourmet Alley offerings, you can find many other food choices around the grounds.  This combination of signs gives you an idea of the "garlic on everything" atmosphere!

There are several places where people line up to take photos with iconic backgrounds such as this inflatable garlic mascot.

I spotted  live version of the garlic man walking around (with a guide to help with navigating through the crowds).  Another job that looks like a very hot way to spend the day!


There are several cooking competitions - the Great Garlic Cook-Off takes place in a large pavilion with grandstand seating.

When we got to the pavilion where the competitions were held they were announcing the winners.  The seats were filled but we could see some of what was happening on the jumbo screens.

I noticed quite a few people carrying their own shade.  Some with regular umbrellas and others with pretty parasols.

There may have been booths selling these as well.  It certainly helped to be out of the sun whenever possible.

Just getting a chance to sit down in the shade of the trees made a big difference.  The heat is dryer than we are used to at home - but when you are standing in the sun it is hot!

This rain tent also was popular.  When you stand inside you get sprayed with a fine mist of water and it cools you as it evaporates.

I can't figure out if this activity would cool you off or make you get even hotter.  Kids were able to walk on water in these inflatable "hamster balls."  You have to be just the right size (shorter than me!) to try this.

Gilroy has several "sister cities" around the world.

Some of them have their own celebrations of garlic!

There is a shop for garlic and memorabilia set up in a tent.

You could buy posters for the festival in this booth. There is an official poster each year and also an art competition to design a poster.  You can see the winners HERE.

I was tempted to buy some garlic to bring home but I didn't want to risk breakage or crushing in the suitcase which could lead to garlic scented clothing!

There were lots varieties of garlic headgear, including this sombrero type hat...

...and a beret.

My favorites were  the garlic crowns (but I don't think they gave much sun protection).

This t-shirt sums up the Festival quite well!

The Garlic Festival has raised over 10 million dollars for charity since it began in 1979.  Thousands of volunteers help each year to make it such a success.

These bobble heads (collected over the years by Kelly's mother) help to celebrate garlic after the weekend is over.  We had a great time at the Festival and lots more fun with family for the rest of the weekend.

The Garlic Festival reminded me of the Grange Fair that I grew up with.  My parents were very active in the Grange and it was an August tradition to help out at the Fair.  Do you have a Fair or Festival that you have attended for years?  Have you ever done a journal or scrapbook page about it?  I think I will try to find some of the Fair photos (and maybe even some of the ribbons I won) and make a few pages to preserve those memories.

Have a great weekend!

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