Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Embellishment Shopping Tip


Sometimes you can find embellishments for your crafting projects in stores that are not generally thought of as "craft stores."  I happened to stop in a Pier 1 Imports recently and found some great gem flowers.  They are very similar to the flowers I used to get from Creative Charms.


These little flowers are sold as "table scatter" for parties.  I thought the bright spring colors were very pretty.  The box holds about 150 of the flowers and it was $4.50 and then 20% off.  This was before Easter - if you find these in the store now they might be further reduced.


I've already used some flowers to decorate the bunny candy holders.


I also used four flowers to cover the spots where the handle connects to this basket on the inside...


... and the outside.  This helps to keep the handle anchored and also adds a bit of decoration.


The basket is from the Easter Seasonal Cricut cartridge


The design actually has small circle cut outs in the top scallops.  This photo shows one of the baskets with the original design - I used "hide contour" to eliminate the holes when I made kits for a class in the heavier purple cardstock.  I need to try cutting this basket with the Explore to see if the circles will cut more neatly and will be centered on each scallop.


The Easter Seasonal Cricut cartridge is also part of the Image Library Subscription (it is called Easter 2010 on the list).


In addition to the gem flowers, I bought a box of 30 iridescent white, pink and purple sequin balls for $4.95.  These are also called "table scatter" but I have another idea for them.  Can you guess what it is?

Are there any "non-craft store" places where you have found interesting embellishments for your projects?  I'd love to hear about them and I am sure other readers would too.  Just leave a comment to share your "finds" with everyone!

I seem to be coming down with a bit of a cold - just as the weather is getting better.  I suppose it could be allergies, they say this is a bad year for them.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Free April Scrapinar

https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?ii=1345041&c=ib&aff=230427&cl=100873

What is the most important thing about scrapbooking?  Sure it is fun to play with papers, stamps, die-cuts and inks and try out all sorts of techniques but in the end, the photos and the stories behind them are what really matters.

The next free Scrapinar produced by Lain Ehmann of Layout a Day features Lain herself sharing some of her methods for creating easy and fun pages that capture the stories that you want to tell.

A Scrapinar is a live event, approximately an hour long, with a presentation and then time for questions and answers.  These monthly events are FREE but you must register in order to attend.  If the time or day does not suit your schedule, there is a recording available to watch for a few days after the event but you MUST register to be on the email list to get the link for the recording.

You can register by clicking HERE to go to the Start With Story sign up page.

If you don't know where to start when you sit down to scrapbook or feel that something is missing from your layouts and want to get your stories down on paper and document your life, this session, on April 28th is for you.  Don't forget to register HERE so you can attend or catch the recording

It's been a busy weekend with both Easter and Patriot's Day.  Monday was a holiday for us so I'll be behind all week long - does that happen to you when there is a Monday holiday?

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Patriot's Day Parade


The weather cooperated for a great Patriot's Day in Concord and the Boston Marathon.  Here are a few photos from the parade.


Fife and drum groups come from all over to march.  Their costumes are interesting - each group has a distinctive look.


Many local organizations also march in the parade.  These are some of the cast members for the Concord Players production of Spamalot.


These "soldiers" marched with great precision - look at all of the feet in exactly the same position.


Sometimes the parade stops for a bit while the groups are at the reviewing stand.  This group stopped right in front of us.  I was fascinated by their hats.


The back of one hat can be seen here.  I wonder how these are made and why they have the "false front."


This group costumed as doughboys from WWI sings throughout the parade.  They all have flags attached to their backs.


The parade marches through town, out to the Old North Bridge and back again - it is the only parade I know of that has an "intermission."  There are lots of vendors selling all sorts of souvenirs.  I always see this man with his baskets of flags and three-cornered hats.


The little children are so interested in everything that goes by.  One of the men with the Concord Battery talked to them for a bit while waiting for the parade to move again.

We didn't go to watch the Marathon this year.  It was a relief to see it go smoothly after the terrible attack last year.  The schools are now on break for the rest of the week so I may see more of some of my little neighbors.  I hope you had a great weekend.

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter


Have a Joyous Easter.  We'll be at sunrise services at the Old North Bridge and later will enjoy time with family. 

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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Free Files for Bunny Candy Favors


I hope you are having a great Saturday.  We have a lovely sunny day here.  I promised to redo the file I made in the old Design Studio software for the Cricut Craftroom and Design Space programs.  You will need to have the Doodlecharms cartridge to make these bunny candy holders.  For full assembly directions (very simple to do) see the original post HERE.


The scoring in the Design Space program has been improved.  The stylus goes across each score line twice and this made a score line that was very easy to fold.  The scoring is not as deep as the scoring you get when you use a score board and scoring tool but it works just fine for folding along the lines.  I think this scoring ability is a great feature of the Explore.


I made three test bunnies.  If you use double sided paper, the inside will be cuter!  The bunny on the left had a carrot pattern on the inside.  I folded the center bunny to put the carrots on the outside.  I think it is too large a pattern for the size of the bunny.  A more regular and relatively small paper pattern will make the bunny look nicer.


I used ribbon around the base of the original bunnies.  For a quicker alternative, try using washi tape.  It wraps around the base neatly since the base is 1/2 inch and most washi tape is about the same width.



The Cricut Craftroom file can be downloaded HERE.

If you have a Cricut Explore, here is the link to the Design Space file with score lines:

https://www.cricut.com/design#/canvas/project/16630678

Happy Easter!

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Easter Bunny Candy Holders


These cute bunnies make great last minute candy favor holders for your Easter celebrations.  I designed these back in 2009 using the Doodlecharms cartridge and a rectangle.  You can see the original post HERE.



The Doodlecharms - Life image set is available to cut for free until April 23 in both the Cricut Craftroom and Design Space.  Cricut offers free images each week and you can find them by clicking the "Make" title at the top left of the Cricut home page (HERE).


This type of box is simple to make.  You just put a rectangle on the mat (I used a 2 x 5 inch rectangle) and then size the shape you want to use for the box front and back at about four inches tall.  Add the first shape and then copy and paste or duplicate that shape and flip it to create the opposite side of the box.  The area of overlap between the shape and the rectangle should be about two inches at the center of the rectangle.


After you score and cut the side to form the box it is easily held together with tacky tape or ScorTape at the sides.   There are more photos and directions on the original post HERE.

I created this file in the old Design Studio software.  If you'd like to try to make your own file, it is really pretty simple.  I put together a file for the CraftRoom and the Design Space but I didn't get to test cut the new files yet.  I'll post download links as soon as I have a chance to check the files on Saturday.

I hope you will be able to spend the holiday weekend with friends and family.  Our weekend is a day longer since Patriot's Day is celebrated on Monday.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Update available for Silhouette Studio V3


At the beginning of this month, a new version of the Silhouette Studio software was released.  There were a number of issues with the program as released and on April 16th an update was released.  The changes and fixes are extensive and I haven't had a chance to try everything yet.  I will post more tips on the new version once I have spent more time with it.

You can download the updated version from the support page HERE and find the release notes detailing all of the changes for version 3.0.343 HERE.


The free shape of the week from Silhouette is this set of Easter Photo Props.


You will probably want to save an image of the set in a size large enough to see how all of the bits and pieces go together to make the various items.  You will need to ungroup and regroup various shapes and also to add colors to get the proper look for your project.  I have started to get spoiled by the fully assembled and colored images that you add to the Design Space work area when using the Cricut Explore - the plain red outlines in the Silhouette Studio look odd to me now.




There are also some daily free shapes available from the Silhouette Store.  I am not sure how long these will be free or how many will be added.  It is a good idea to just keep checking the Online Store for freebies.  You can find the links posted on the Silhouette Facebook pages HERE if you are a Facebook user.


If you don't use Facebook, you can quickly find any free shapes by choosing "Browse All Designs" at the top of the page and then setting the Sort option "Price - Low to High" using the drop down menu.

I hope to have some time to sort through the changes but we will be busy with family for the holiday weekend.  Have you dyed or decorated any Easter Eggs yet?  Do you use hard-boiled eggs that you later make into salad or do you empty eggs before decorating them?  I bought a new type of coloring kit that I haven't tried yet - maybe on Friday I'll have a chance...

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