Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Spirelli Fun

Just before I left on vacation, a blog reader contacted me to see if I had a file for an adjustable "32 bump" scalloped circle. I have done several adjustable scalloped circles but none with that exact number of "bumps." She wanted it to do some Spirelli designs. Spirelli designs are done by winding thread around a shape in a pattern that forms interesting designs on top of the shape.

I didn't have time to make an adjustable scalloped circle with that many bumps before I left but I did take a look at the Accent Essentials cartridge to see if there were any shapes that would work. I found several...

This floral shape already has 32 bumps and can be used directly from the cartridge - just set the size to the size you need.

I found two other shapes that had 16 divisions - you could use these as is for a different look but I decided to use Design Studio to make 32 division shapes.

The shapes are highlighted on the keypads above and below.

Here is a quick explanation on how to do this - there is a tiny bit of math involved! When I was getting ready to work on the scalloped circle I had to figure out the degree of rotation for each segment. You do this by dividing 360 by 32 and the result is 11.25.

Here is the shape as it appears directly from the keypad. You need to check weld for this shape and then copy and paste it to created the additional points.

The Shape Properties box will look like this for the original design - notice the "rotate" box says "0" for the first image.

After you paste the second shape (while it is still selected with the "handles" around it), change the value in the "rotate" box to "11.25" and then press "enter" or simply click on the mat

When the second shape is rotated it will look like this - you now have 32 evenly divided points.

Above you can see the shape that will be created when you preview it on a blank page.

Here is the cut shape. I decided to test this out and looked around for some thread. I found several metallic spools that I originally bought to do some machine embroidery and quilting embellishing.

I really like the glittery shine of the colorful metallics - I got these threads at a fabric store and I am sure there are lots ofother options you could try.

I didn't have any directions but it was pretty easy to figure out some patterns to try. On my first example above I alternated the points and wrapped the thread straight across (skipping 16 bumps) for the center design. Then I chose another color and wound on every point, skipping 8 bumps. Finally, I used a third color and wound on every point, skipping 12 each time.

This screen shot shows the three shapes I used - the two on the left required a second layer and the 11.25 degree rotation of the top layer.

I set up some files to cut 12 of each shape on a 12 x 12 page and I cut each one in two colors - so I had 72 of these to take along on vacation. I put them in zip lock bags and also put a roll of tape and the threads in another bag and put them all into a gallon zip lock bag. Very simple and light to carry on the plane and I could use the tape cutting edge to cut my threads when I changed colors..

When I was tired of reading or working with the Gypsy, I could pull out the bag and do a few of these. I tried various combinations of colors and different patterns for winding the threads.

The look can be very different depending on the number of layers you add and the density of your pattern.

It can be a bit tricky to do the variations where you skip less bumps - a little harder to keep the pattern going and to prevent the thread from sliding to the points.

You need to be sure to wind tightly but not so tightly that the paper buckles. I taped the thread to the back of the paper to start and finish each design.

If you have Accent Essentials, why not give this a try. I think you can make some files quite easily from the information I gave you, but if you want me to "clean up" and post my files, leave a comment and I will be happy to do that.

You need to decide the size you want when you start making the file - since there is a rotation involved you can't "group" it in Design Studio. I can do this on the Gypsy now (I did one tonight!) but we are waiting for the update to allow the Gypsy files to be shared and to move files to Design Studio and vice versa.

Have fun with these - I am thinking about actually finding some directions to see if I am missing anything about the method for making these designs!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Jet Lag - will post project tomorrow!

Earlier today I said I'd be back later with a "crafty" post. The day was very busy with all of the "just back from vacation" errands and chores so I finally got a chance to sit down to do this tonight.

However, I am struggling with jet lag - can't keep my eyes open - so I will have to do a full post after I get some sleep...

Here is a "sneak peek" at something I used for the other Cricut related project I took with me on my vacation.

PLEASE NOTE If you are leaving a comment to enter the Workbox Giveaway, please be sure to leave your comment on the correct post. Only comments left on the Workbox Giveaway post dated August 28, 2009 will be considered for the random drawing (click on the words to go directly to that post).

Home Again - lots of catching up to do!

We are back in Concord. It was an incredibly long day yesterday - between our complicated travel arrangements (two flights), the time change and unpacking I was up for about 24 hours in a row. I went walking with my friends at 6:45 a.m. (12:45 p.m. according to my body clock) and have lots to do today to catch up on everything.

When I got home from the airport, I approved over 500 comments for the Workbox Giveaway - click the link - you won't want to miss this!

Remember, only comments left on the Workbox Giveaway post will be used to select the winner from my blog, so click the link or the photo of the Workbox to see all the details.

The winner from my blog will get to choose a Ribbon box or the ScrapMaBob and will then be one of ten finalists for the chance to win a Workbox in their choice of color and style. What an amazing prize!

I'll be back later today with a "crafty" post - I want to show you something I took with me on the trip (in addition to the Gypsy!).

Monday, September 28, 2009

Back To Boston - Day Twelve

Up early for a flight from Milan to London and then changing planes in London for the long flight back to Boston. I think the Gypsy will keep my busy as we fly (or maybe I will be sleeping to "recover" from our vacation!)

The final variation - more elements added and more contours hidden to complete the circles around the edges.

Here you can see the last six of the cards - we could keep going, but I think it is time to move on to another starting image. I will also have photos to share from Italy - and some new design ideas!

I hope you had fun making some (or all) of these cards!

A File a Day - Card 12

Win a Workbox from the Original Scrapbox

A few days ago I told you all that I had been asked to be part of a great giveaway - I am so excited to let you know that it starts today! You can enter to qualify for the amazing Workbox giveaway taking place on October 12, 2009.

Enter on my blog from September 28-October 8, 2009

Enter to win your choice of a Ribbon box or the ScrapMaBob
The winner on my blog will then be eligible
for the amazing Workbox giveaway taking place on October 12, 2009.

I am giving away either a Ribbon Box or a ScrapMaBob (these are so handy!) on my blog.

The winner will then be entered into the Grand Prize Giveaway--
a Workbox in their choice of color and style.

How would you like to own every crafter's dream organizing system? The Workbox does it all for Scrapbookers, Stampers, Cricut lovers (there is a special place to store it), Quilters, Artists, anyone with a creative bug could fill this thing up!

The whole thing folds up, hides the mess, and then easily moves wherever you need it to go on wheels. This is a sturdy piece of furniture which will hold everything imaginable in a beautiful storage space.

The Original Scrapbox will give away ONE Workbox to a lucky person. There will be 10 finalists selected from 10 different blogs to be entered in the final giveaway.

Do you want to win a
Ribbon box or the ScrapMaBob

and be a
finalist in The Workbox Giveaway?

Simply leave a comment on THIS POST and be sure to give me the information I would need to contact you if your comment number is selected by the random number generator. If there is no contact information, I will run the random number generator again to choose another comment. You do not need a Google account to leave a comment - you can check "Anonymous" and leave your information in the comment itself. Only comments left on THIS POST will be eligible.


You may make 1 extra entry each for doing the following (Please make a separate comment for each thing you do): No purchase necessary to enter. Entries that do not follow all of the entry requirements will not be considered.

  • Visit The Original Scrapbox website and choose your favorite product. Leave a comment here and tell me what your favorite is and why you would like this product.
  • Become a Facebook fan of The Original Scrapbox here.
  • Facebook the contest and share the code for $100 off shipping: 100writes
  • Tweet about this contest with link backs here and share the code for $100 off shipping:100writes (copy and paste right into the text box).
  • If you enjoy my blog, subscribe to my feed and/or become a follower (if you already subscribe or follow just tell me this in a separate comment).
RECEIVE 5 ENTRIES FOR THE FOLLOWING (Make five comments for each of these entry types that you complete)
  • Blog about this contest with a picture of the Workbox. If you have a private blog, it will not be eligible for this part of the contest. In your blog post, please use the tags: The Original Scrapbox, Scrapbook storage, Workbox.
  • Blog about any other item offered from The Original Scrapbox and include this information word for word: Enter this code when you place your order to get $100 off your shipping: 100Writes
*All comments on my blog are moderated, so if yours doesn’t show up right away, don’t panic! I check all comments before I post them to my blog.

Please note that the contest is open to residents of the UK and EU countries as well as the United States and Canada.

Everyone can win - if you don't win the giveaway but decide to place an order to purchase the Workbox you can enter this code to get $100 off your shipping: 100Writes

More ways to enter:

There are 9 other awesome bloggers holding a contest to choose the 10 finalists for the Workbox Giveaway. Stop by their blogs and enter for more chances to win.

Rachelles Writing Spot
Make It and Love It

Vanilla Joy

Auntie Thesis

The Mommy Files

My Organized Chaos

Life As Lou


Cricut Christmas

On October 10, 2009, I will announce the name of one winner who can select their choice of the Ribbon Box OR the ScrapMaBob and then go on for the grand prize drawing for The Workbox.

The drawing for the Workbox will take place on October 12, 2009 on

I am lucky to have a finished basement with plenty of room for my studio but I think one of these Workboxes would be fabulous for someone with limited space who needs to scrap in the main part of the house. If you have young children you can simply close it up when you are done working and keep all of your supplies safe and sound. You can also hide the mess!

I wish you all good luck - someone will be getting an incredible prize!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Day Eleven - Leaving Lucca

Today we will drive back to Milan and tonight we will stay at an airport hotel so we can catch our flight in the morning.

This variation is done with the same pattern as yesterday but now the center contours are not hidden for a lattice effect.

A File a Day - Card 11

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Exploring Lucca on Saturday - Day Ten

Saturday already - a week gone and only a couple of days until we will be back in Boston.

The outer contours are all hidden creating another interesting pierced front card with an argyle sort of pattern. Little images stamped in the circles would be cute...maybe cupcakes?

A File a Day - Card 10

Hello from Italy!

We are now with our friends outside of Lucca - and I finally have a good internet connection. I have been sending a few reports to the Cutting Above blog about my travels with the Gypsy so if you want to see a bit of what we have been doing you can visit Cutting Above (click for a link) and see those posts. You can also find out how the Gypsy is working out for me so far. Don't forget to sign up for the chance to win one of two Gypsies that will be given away by Cutting Above (this link will take you to the giveaway post).

When I picked up my email I found something very exciting - I was asked and have agreed to be part of another great giveaway that I know a lot of you will be interested in. Be sure to check on Monday, September 28th (the day we fly home) to see all the details and find out what you can win!

As you know, I designed the variations on a single Cricut image series of cards to post each day while I was away. I was happy to see that they have been appearing as scheduled. I hope some of you have been able to try these. If you do not have the Wedding cartridge you could search your cartridges for an image that has some interior lines that can be hidden and try something similar. I'd love to see what you have made with these files.

Remarkably, my prediction of what we would be doing today was correct and we are heading in to Lucca to go to the market - I wonder what I will find.....

Friday, September 25, 2009

Relaxing in Lucca - Day Nine

Friday already and time to sit around the pool, play golf or go shopping. Maybe all three!

The contours for the circles are hidden and there is a little trick to get the diamond shapes in the center to cut. You could add two sets of letters for monograms (or inchies or flowers...).

A File a Day - Card 9

Thursday, September 24, 2009

From Siena to Lucca - Day Eight

We will drive to Lucca today and settle in with our friends for the weekend. With a little luck our friends from Milan will drive down to join us and we will be making homemade pizza in the outdoor "forno."

Hmmm - if I get up early and can get an internet connection I can watch the HSN World Gypsy Launch this morning.

Now there are two rows of three with a filigree effect. One is turned 180 degrees and they are welded together. This reminds me of old iron gates - maybe we will be seeing some.

A File a Day - Card 8

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Last Day in Siena - Day Seven

This will be our last day and night in Siena - we are looking forward to seeing our friends in Lucca.

Now the outer contours are hidden to create a pierced card front.

A File a Day - Card 7

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Exploring Siena - Day Six

Exploring the area around Siena today - villas and wineries. I am sure there will be lots of photo opportunities.

Now the center contours are hidden and some monogram letters added (are you starting to see a pattern)?

Here are the first six cards - they are going to start getting a bit more complicated!

A File a Day - Card 6

Monday, September 21, 2009

Leaving for Siena - Day Five

We will be driving to Siena and moving to a hotel for a few days - We haven't seen this area before and I can't wait to do some exploring.

Now there are three smaller elements welded in a row for a border - this could be use vertically or horizontally.

A File a Day - Card 5

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Weekend in Milan - Day Four

I imagine we will be having a day of museum visits and good food - a quiet Sunday.

Now more contours are hidden and a monogram is added - once again, any font will do.

A File a Day - Card 4

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Day Three - Arriving in Milan

Our friends will be meeting us at the airport this morning. We can't wait to see them.

Today there are two elements - one is rotated 180 degrees and they are welded together.

A File a Day - Card 3

Friday, September 18, 2009

A File a Day - Day Two

We will be staying at a London-Heathrow Airport hotel tonight - our flight to Milan leaves in the morning. Today there are more hidden contours and a monogram letter added - I used Storybook but any font will do. Here is the file.

A File a Day - Card Two

Thursday, September 17, 2009

On the way to Italy...

If you read my blog regularly, you probably remember that I was trying to decide what to do about my daily blog posts while we are on vacation in Italy. I made a resolution to post at least once every day in 2009 and the record is unbroken so far. I have set up something that I hope will be fun for you -with a little luck this will work (!)

So my clue from yesterday's post - AFADWIAA - means "A File A Day While I Am Away" (don't ask me how to pronounce it). All you need to play along is any Cricut machine, Design Studio and the "Wedding" Cricut Solutions cartridge.

This screen shot shows the single element we will be using - in a variety of combinations and using some Design Studio magic to get completely different looks.

Here is the element cut out in a size suitable for an A2 card.

I will be back on the 28th of September (and I will be trying to check in with a few posts from the road with my Gypsy) so there will be a total of 12 files. I will post the first one today just to get things going.

The posts are short and sweet with a photo and the file each day. I have used solid cardstock and no embellishments for the test cuts - consider these a base to begin your own creations. I'd love to see what you make - especially if you complete the whole series.

Don't forget to watch the Cricut Gypsy World Launch on HSN on September 24th.
It starts at 12:01 a.m. Eastern (that will be 6:01 a.m. in Italy - maybe I will be able to see it online).

Here is variation #1 - just a few hidden contours.

A File A Day - Card 1

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Some nice things that happened today...

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that I am about to leave on a long anticipated vacation. My husband and I will be going to Italy to visit some friends and do some site seeing (and of course I'll be taking lots of photos). Visiting friends - both old and new - is one of my favorite things to do. Today I got to meet an internet friend who has also been a student in the Design Studio classes Jen and I teach through our Let me Show you How to Do that blog.

Pam and her husband are here in Concord on a visit from California - Pam's first time to this part of the country. They invited me to join them for breakfast and it was so much fun to meet the real person behind the computer connection! After breakfast and a quick tour of town to point out a few restaurants that would be good places for dinner, they dropped me back at my house and went off to check out all of the historic sites in our area. Of course we needed photographic evidence of the visit and Pam said it was fine to share these photos - just ignore my wild hair - it was not a "good hair" day!

When I got back to my house there was something waiting for me on my front porch - can you guess what it was? It's something that will be great to take with me on vacation....

Yes - it's a Gypsy - thanks so much to Provo Craft for sending this to me to preview, review and share with you. I've just started to work with it but I can already see that it will be a great way to pass the time on the transatlantic flight - and so light and easy to carry along.

This photo shows all of the contents of the box. The carrying sleeve is really bright and colorful. I think the color scheme of orange, yellow and pink that was chosen for the Gypsy is a perfect fit for a new and innovative product.

I know everyone is eager to know more about the "nitty gritty" details and I am in the process of writing up my initial review for the Cutting Above blog. Remember, you can enter to win one of the two free Gypsies that ProvoCraft has provided to celebrate the launch of the Cutting Above blog and the Cricut Gypsy World Launch on HSN on September 24th.

I will be posting a few times from my vacation (when I have internet availability). I will let you know how I am getting along with my new "G." I have the idea that I could be making scrapbook page titles as I visit places and then be a few steps ahead of the game when I get home and print my pictures. So watch for a few photos of me "crafting on the go" - you can guess "Where's Gypsy?" (look for landmarks).

I have one other surprise in store for you - can you guess what AFADWIAA stands for?

I'll tell you tomorrow...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New and Exciting - don't miss this!

Would you like to have a chance to win a FREE Gypsy?

Then you need to check out the new blog - Cutting Above

I am happy to let you know that I am a member of the Design Team for Cutting Above - a great new resource for industry news, reviews, tutorials, videos and just about anything related to papercrafting and die cut machines!

Provo Craft is a sponsor of this new blog and they have generously donated not just one but TWO Gypsies to celebrate the Cutting Above launch and the Cricut Gypsy World Launch on HSN on September 24th.

To read more about the Gypsy and take the device for a virtual test drive, visit the Provo Craft Gypsy web site.


To find out how you can win a Gypsy click HERE and read all about it on Cutting Above!

Spread the word!!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Scalloped Circle (adjustable)

Today I have a "utility" file to share. These are files that are helpful for certain projects but just not terribly exciting to look at!

I got this Creative Memories punch a while ago - it is one of the newer ones. I sometimes wonder why I still buy punches when I have a Cricut, but there are times when a punch is handy - particularly if you want to "fussy punch" a certain design.

Here is the view of the bottom of the punch - it is quite large and sturdy.

There is a switch on the bottom that allows you to choose a plain scallop or one with extra holes in each "bump." If you want more information about this punch, you can use this LINK to my CM website.

I like the punch but I wanted to be able to layer it, so I turned to my trusty Design Studio to create an adjustable file that would match the scalloped shape.

While it is a simple shape with only eight "bumps" it still takes quite a while to create it as an adjustable file. You need to keep all of the elements in the same selection box and nudge them around with the arrows. You also need to work at a size where your smallest element is one inch or larger since you have to use the slider bar to set the size. Oh how I wish for a "group" function in the program whenever I start on one of these files!

The layers worked out very nicely - scallops are tricky because you need to get the angle and the depth of the indentation right if you are trying to match an existing scalloped shape.

The file has three sizes already set up for you - the original 2 inch size of the punch and 2.25 and 2.5 inch layers. You can copy and paste and resize the file using the Shape Properties box or the handles.

There are so many variations possible once you start adding layers! Below you can see two punches from the CM punch on the left and the 2 inch, 2.25 inch and 2.5 inch variations on the right side.

I made this file with Plantin Schoolbook - I may not have time to do a George version before we leave on vacation but you can probably figure it out by using the Plantin file as a guide. Let me know if you need help and I will try to do a tutorial after I get back (we leave on Friday!).

Simple Scalloped Circle (8 bump adjustable)