Wednesday, March 31, 2010

All sorts of Butterflies

I am heading home today and will soon be back to a more normal schedule.  Before I leave for the flight, I thought I'd share a few butterfly ideas...

A few people asked about the butterfly on the card I shared yesterday.  If you have a Marshalls, T. J. Maxx or HomeGoods store near you, you should check to see if they have some items from Brides on clearance.  I found those pretty butterflies in a pack of 12 for 99 cents.  These butterflies are a sparkly brown, beige and green and they are a great match with the colors of the DCWV Linen Closet stack.

I also found another set in sparkly silver and pink  (and a "mystery" $2 item that I will tell you about in another post soon).

On my trip I saw some beautiful real butterflies - I enjoy trying to capture them with my camera.  It can be tricky to focus and catch them before they fly off!

One card that I have not yet tried on the A Child's Year cartridge is a butterfly shaped card.  This screen shot shows the keypad location.

I was a little worried about the delicacy of the butterfly as the entire card but I had a few minutes to play around with my Design Studio before the flight and realized that you could create a blackout layer to fill in the area behind the head by using "hide selected contour."  (The area will stay hidden since I also always hide the "tick marks" for folding the cards).

You can also create the two butterfly layers and then adhere them to a plain A2 base card - there is one located on this cartridge as shown in this keypad view.  This will prevent the delicate tail pieces from bending.

When you select the butterfly card at 5.5 inches you will need to adjust the values in the Shape Properties box slightly to make it fit on the A2 base layer.  This screen shot shows the values I used for the preview shot.

I can only use solid colors in the preview but try to imagine the top layer in a lovely print.  I am eager to get home to my Cricut to test this!  By adding the butterfly to a plain card there is plenty of room to stamp a sentiment in the left or right corner.

Tomorrow is Sweet Treats Thursday on the Cuttlebug Challenge Blogspot and there will be some tasty projects created by the Design Team to inspire you.  You may even want to use your kitchen for some of these projects (hint, hint...)!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Thanks for your patience...

I will be going home tomorrow - I want to say thanks for your patience while I have been away.  You may remember that I recently shared a photo of some cardstock and ribbons in some of my favorite colors.  I had hoped to write up one of the posts showing how I used these but my internet connection has been somewhat problematic and my time limited.

Here is a quick peek at a close up of the butterfly on this card.  When I get home I will fill you in on all the details along with the other part of the project.  I know that a lot of people are busy with Easter preparations and many school age children have Spring Break this week so I imagine that many of you don't have much time right now to check your online sources of inspiration and information.  I just want to be sure that those of you who do count on getting a morning email from me have something to look at!

I will have lots to share when I get home and I will soon be able to tell you about some of the exciting new projects I am working on!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Signs of Spring...

I am still away but will be home soon.  I thought I'd share this photo to show that Spring is truly arriving.  I always enjoy the first buds on the trees.  I may get a chance to be online later to share one of the projects I did before I left - but the day could be hectic, so I am sneaking in a quick post! 

I wanted to let you know that Twisted Papers has some great specials going on right now.  You can have free shipping on orders of $25 or more until March 31st or you can save 40% on merchandise (excluding digital downloads and Designer Shops) until midnight Easter Sunday (April 4).  If you haven't already seen the free downloads for March you will want to try these - they are great for last minute Easter projects.  There are also special free downloads on their FaceBook Page each time they add another 100 fans.  If you make a project with one of their images and post it on their FaceBook page you can also have a chance to win a month's subscription for 500 free downloads - the details and rules are all listed HERE (just scroll down a bit to see them).

I hope your week is off to a great start - I'll try to check in later...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Sunny Sunday

This looks like it will be another very busy day and I don't know if I will have a chance to be online to finish up the post I had planned for today.

I thought I'd share this sunny photo and let you know that things are going very well.  I also want to mention that I haven't been on Facebook for several weeks, so if you are waiting for a response to a friend request or to see an update from me please be patient - I won't be able to get back to Facebook until sometime late next week (so don't take it personally!).

Have a great Sunday!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Butterfly Get Well Card

Doesn't this butterfly just make you feel happy? I think it is the perfect thing to cheer someone up.  Felt and stitched embellishments are very popular and this one is part of a set from Creative Charms.

Here is the full view of the card I made.  It is another simple card but there is a bit of a twist with a Design Studio tip involved.

I started with the mat on the shift of the card feature on A Child's Year.  When you cut this at 5 inches it fits nicely on an A2 card.  The very next key to the right has what appears to be a blackout version of the mat but it doesn't fit perfectly when cut at the same size.  (I am not sure if it was intended to be a blackout or just a solid version of the image that was not meant for layering).

By using "hide selected contour" in Design Studio, you can create a perfect blackout.  You need to left click on a line of each of the small cutouts to select it (the line will turn pink and dotted) and then right click and select "Hide Selected Contour" from the bottom of the pop up menu (the line will turn a very pale blue and will not cut).  (Here is a LINK to a video I did about Hide Selected Contour if you would like more help).

Here is the full black out version in preview.  Of course, I had to try a few variations...

You can choose to hide alternating cut outs - in this example, I left the corners open and hid every other opening.

Here is the color preview of  this variation.

You can also do the opposite version, hiding the corners and continuing the alternating pattern.

Here is the color preview of this variation.

I chose this variation to cut my layer.  (Once again, I punched out some flower shapes to save for another card or project).

I added the two mats to the plain white card.  The green layer is a shimmer cardstock and matches the tiny green lines in the design of the top layer.  The pink top layer is from a K & Company "Sweet Talk" paper pad by Brenda Walton from a couple of years ago. (I really like this stack and bought several.  If you remember the mobile I did for Valentine's Day I used a lot of the paper from that group - here is a LINK if you missed that post).

The butterfly is from this set of embellishments from Creative Charms - it also comes in blue.  Here is a LINK to the page on their site where you can get the details.  (There is a lot in this set - you'll see one of those brads on another project soon).

I punched a circle from some glitter cardstock to help set off the butterfly.

The butterfly is adhered directly to the circle but the circle is raised up with foam squares.

I added the "get well soon" sentiment in the same glitter cardstock.  The sentiment is from the Cuttlebug "Everyday Greetings" A2 embossing and die set.

Here is one more view of the completed card.  Pretty paper, a great embellishment and a little design studio magic can help you make a special card to brighten someone's day when they are under the weather.

The file is simple to create but if you are in a hurry or would like to see how I set it up you can download my file from this link.

Card Topper Variations

Friday, March 26, 2010

Dramatic Black and White (with a little red)

Sometimes all it takes to create a nice card is a great piece of paper, ribbon and a special embellishment.

This dramatic black and white paper is from the American Crafts "Amplified" collection.  I believe it came out in the Winter of 2008 and I am not sure if it is still available.  The black and white flowers are from the Creative Charms Simplicity Collection.  The red ribbon is from Costco.  I always check the ribbon when I am at Costco - they have some beautiful choices and the price is so low - less than $10 for 50 continuous yards.

The black and white patterned paper needed a bit of an edge for definition.  I punched some birds from the matting layer.  Ever since the new Nursery Rhymes cartridge was announced, I can't get some of the songs out of my head - these could be some of the "four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie"!. (The birds are not for this card - I will use them for another project.  You can get double use of your cardstock by using this simple trick whenever a layer will be hidden - this will work on nearly every card that you make with layers).

The ribbon from Costco is nearly always wired ribbon.  It will work better on a card if you remove the wire.  This is very easy to do and you can reuse the wire if you save it.

I matted the patterned paper and wrapped the ribbon to the back.  You can use the ATG adhesive on the ends of the ribbon to stick it to the back of the layers.

Here is the plain card with the sheer ribbon.  I like the way the patterned paper shows through a bit. 

When you add the flower the card looks all dressed up.  In our town there is a black and white dance at the high school each year and it took place last weekend.  I imagine that is why I thought of putting the card together when I came across the paper while I was picking up in my craft room.  It is interesting to think about how ideas connect in your mind!

You could add a sentiment to fit the occasion or just use this for a notecard.  Have a great weekend - I'll check in each day if I can.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Don't mess with the Bunny!

I am going away for a few days and I am not sure how easily I will be able to get on the internet.  Today I had a lot to do to get ready. I prepared projects to post while I am away so I hope I can get them online!

I went to town, had my hair cut (it looks very different!), bought a few gifts and found these scissors at the candy store.  I am sure that I have a couple of dozen pairs of scissors - but I just had to add these to my collection. They are so cute and they actually work!

They are predicting snow again here for tomorrow - surely Spring will be back soon!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Funny Frogs Card

This quick and simple card is sure to make someone smile.  I just couldn't resist the frogs - they are so funny!

The paper I used for this card came from the K & Co. "Actopus to Zelephant" stack.  There are extremely cute animal prints on one side and lots of interesting patterns on the back of each sheet.  I cut out the center of the shimmer cardstock and used it on another card since the top layer will be hidden.  Here you can see the back of my two layers ready to be stuck to the card.

I wanted to use glitter cardstock for the sentiment. I saw this phrase on the Beyond Birthdays cartridge (an oldie but goodie) and I liked it, but I was a little concerned about cutting it so small in the glitter cardstock.  I thought about it for a minute - it seemed very familiar...

I realized that the same phrase is on "Everyday Greetings" Cuttlebug A2 embossing and die set.  I knew that would be quick and easy so I used the die instead of the Cricut this time.  The small piece of yellow cardstock is needed to help the sentiment stand out on the busy paper.  I inked the edges just a bit for contrast.  I added the butterfly in one of the "flight paths" on the paper.  The butterfly is from Creative Charms.

The frog could be saying "hi there" to the butterfly - or the card could just be saying hi to a friend.

I have a few projects that I hoped to finish up for Scrappy-Go-Lucky but they are not quite "ready for their close up."  I do want to remind you to check out all of the great projects the rest of the Design Team has been posting.  Jane in particular has been very busy and has created some lovely projects that you are sure to enjoy.  Mandy also has a great giveaway going on this week - you won't want to miss the chance to win.  Just click HERE to see what she is giving away...

I had a lot of "crafty" time today, but I still haven't been able to get to everything I wanted to do - could someone please add some more hours to my day?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

One of my favorite color combinations...

I have been working on many projects, some new designs and tutorials, and also managing a lot of "real-life" things that need to be done.  We had another dull rainy day here so I pulled out some of my favorite colors to brighten things up.  I can't share what I made just yet, but I think these are so pretty that I decided to post a "sneak peek" to show you.  The papers are primarily from the DCWV Linen Closet paper stack.  This combination brings the Tiffany blue boxes to my mind (but it is not quite the same).  I am very partial to that shade combined with tan and brown.

I have to make this a super short post.  I will try to get to all of the most recent emails and requests tomorrow - the past few days have been a little crazy so I have a lot of catching up to do. I hope you are having a good week.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Double Birthday - a little late...

I suddenly realized that I had missed sending cards for a significant family birthday - our twin niece and nephew turned twelve this month and I wished them Happy Birthday when we saw them just before their birthday but then totally forgot to send cards!  So, these cards will be late - I hope they will like them (along with the "flat" presents inside!).

The inspiration for our nephew's card was this leftover piece of blue mirror cardstock. (I cut the accent stars for the card yesterday from this and the negative space looked rather interesting - sort of modern and space-age...).  I had a piece of the green shimmer cardstock left as well, so I started with those two pieces.  I rounded all of the corners on the green cardstock and decided to round just two corners on the blue piece.  I added an extra piece of white cardstock to the back of the blue layer so that only white would show through the openings.

I happened to have an extra "Happy Birthday" cut from Lyrical Letters in my "leftovers" box.  I thought the star shape was very similar and would be great for the inside of the card.  I had misplaced the dot for the "i" but a tiny green gem fills in very nicely.  To make things coordinate, I wanted to cut his name using the same font on Lyrical Letters (the "Connected" font).

The first time I cut the name I used this bronze metallic cardstock but it was too dull and the card did not balance nicely.

I looked around and found this pack of foil cardstock I bought a while ago - there are two types of texture in this, one is ribbed and the other more of a woven effect.  There was a nice orange/copper color so I chose that to coordinate with the orange "Happy Birthday" inside.

I welded the name and then adjusted the size to 3.5 inches long and 1.5 inches high.  As you can see, this is very small and the upstrokes in some of the letters are very thin.  You have to be extremely careful in lifting a cut like this from the mat.

It was very difficult to get a photo with the shine on both the blue and orange cardstock showing.  I hope you can get an idea of the effect from this photo.  Since I had already adhered the bronze name I simply layered the shinier orange one right on top.  This actually gives a nice raised effect.

For our niece's card I wanted to use this piece of glitter cardstock with cupcakes.  It was left from a larger piece in the DCWV Sweet Stack that I use quite a while ago for a project.  I used the Core'dinations gemstone cardstock again for the pink layer.  Since I knew that my cupcake layer would cover some of the pink gemstone cardstock, I punched out a few flowers that I can use on another project.

I added some bright green dotted ribbon, first wrapping a piece around the layers before adhering to the card and then tying a bow and attaching it with glue dots.

I added her initial cut from the Storybook cartridge at 1.5 inch in a deeper pink shimmer cardstock.

I also cut the "Birthday Girl" from the Storybook cartridge for the inside of the card in the same deep pink shimmer cardstock.  The dot for the "i" is connected to the "t" but I added a tiny diamond to accent it.

 Lyrical Letters and Storybook are two of my favorite cartridges - I very often can find just what I need for a quick card on one of them.

A small bit of enabling - I just got the sale flyer for Jo-Ann's in the mail today and Cricut cartridges are $39.99 each from April 1 -3.  Also, cardstock is on sale at 5 for $1 on the same dates so here is a chance to stock up on the Core'dinations Gemstone cardstock