Friday, April 30, 2010

Pink Butterflies to say hello

Here is another quick and easy card made by using a background layer from a cardstock stack and a couple of great embellishments.

The pink layer on the card was cut from the top right of this sheet of cardstock from the DCWV "Sweet" stack.

I recently posted this card where I used a piece cut from the center of the sheet of cardstock as a background layer.  This left all of the decorated corners available for card tops.

The glittered swirls reminded me of the flight path of a butterfly so I added two felt butterflies from this set called "Blooming Garden" by Creative Charms (here is a LINK to the page on their site where you can find these).

I decided to add the "hello" from the Cuttlebug A2 Combo "Everyday Greetings" and I cut it from several types of pink glitter cardstock (I kept trying until I found the one I liked!).

I originally thought the darker pink would be the best color but it didn't match the butterflies as well as I thought it would.  I ended up choosing the "hello" in the middle - it was cut from patterned glitter cardstock and was "just right" to coordinate with the butterflies and the glittered swirls on the cardstock.  The lightest pink was too bright and made the background look muted.

The layer piece was cut at 3 7/8 x 5 1/8 inches.  When it was placed on a plain white card base it looked a bit lost.  The brown body of the larger butterfly also seemed out of place in the pink and white card.

Adding a dark brown layer (cut at 4 1/8 x 5 3/8 inches) frames the card nicely.  I did ink the edges of both layers just to hide any white core that might show from the sides.

Tomorrow is National Scrapbook Day - there are many stores and online sites offering specials and activities.  If you plan to be scrapping I hope you have a great time.  We have family plans this weekend so I won't be able to participate or host a celebration.  I will be having a special event later this month - I'll fill you in on the details as soon as they are finalized!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

How times have changed...

Thursday night was Family Night at the church rummage sale (AKA La Ramahge.....).  Several family members live about half an hour away from us and are very involved with this sale each year.  We try to donate some things and then attend and buy more things, that end up getting donated the next year know the cycle!  We didn't do very well with the clearing out and donating this year, but we did do some shopping.

I found an issue of Creating Keepsakes magazine from 1998 in the book section - for 10 cents.  I picked it up to see what I could find out about the changes in scrapbooking and papercrafting over the past 12 years. On the back cover was the ad for Provo Craft that appears at the top of this post.  They were advertising templates for "scrapbook stenciling" - a far cry from an electronic die cutting machine!

These adhesive backed die cuts from Provo Craft were also featured as an innovative product.  Digital scrapping was just beginning and a long article about adhesives had no mention of an ATG gun.  The layouts that were featured look old fashioned by today's standards with lots of solid colored die cuts and sticker letters.  It made me wonder what we will think of the pages we are doing now in ten years or so...

I found all sorts of other "treasures" and I will be using some of them for future projects.  These cute thank you notes have tiny baby carriages with buttons for wheels.  This idea can be adapted for other vehicles.

I got a couple of these square decorative charger plates for 25 cents each.  They will be beautiful decorated with some vinyl cut outs along with some gems and candles for the holidays.

 I also got several sets of cork backed coasters to alter and some large acrylic box frames. I have a very specific use in mind for those frames - I hope it works!

 There are a few other items that I will be incorporating into my work.  It is always a good idea to check out church sales and other very inexpensive shopping venues - you never know what you might find!

 Some Facebook information...

Many people who are regular Facebook users have been asking me about a "fan" page.  I had one that I started to set up months ago but hadn't updated or made public.  It is now public and if you would like to participate in the discussions, challenges and Design Studio help that I will be offering on the page, I invite you to join.  There is a badge in the side column that will take you to the page with a click.  This page is called "Capadia Designs" and is for updates and craft discussions. 

If you want to be my "Facebook Friend" you can send a request to "Capadia Diane Campbell Payne". There is also a badge for this profile in the side column.  If you were a friend on my original "personal/close family/old friend" profile "Diane Campbell Payne" please understand that I will be moving my "crafty" friends to the Capadia page.

 Please be patient with me as I get all of this Facebook organization figured out.  I do have some exciting plans for future events that will be available through the Facebook page.  I have a lot to learn but I can always ask my sons for help in navigating Facebook - our older son has a Facebook member number of  294 so he has been on Facebook from almost the very beginning!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Pastel Paisley Thanks

Paper choices are so important in determining the overall impact of a card.  This card is nearly identical to the one I posted yesterday (I did change the sentiment) but I used pastel colors from the Core'dinations Gemstone cardstock for all of the cuts.  Instead of white pen stitching, I used tiny gems.  All of these choices make a big difference.

Here are the pieces of the card.  The blue card base is Papertrey Ink "Spring Rain" cardstock.  For an A2 card, it is cut at 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches and scored and folded in half.  The pink layer is cut at 4 1/8 x 5 3/8 inches.

I used Design Studio to figure out the sizes I needed but then cut the images directly from the machine.  (Yes, I actually pushed buttons on the keypad both today and yesterday!)  The paisley pieces are cut at 3 1/2 inches and the sentiment at 1 1/2 inches real dial size- if you forget to push the real dial size button you will get a teeny tiny cut like the one at the top left!  You need the real dial size for the sentiment because the cuts on the Wild Card cartridge are calculated to cut at the proper size for a card made at the size set on the dial.

Here is the assembled card - once again, it is a bit plain and needs something to give it some spark.

First, I added a five petal flower with sparkly accents.  This flower is from the Creative Charms Dream Garden collection - here is a LINK to the page on the site where you can see more of these embellishments.

I used three glue dots in the center of the flower to be sure that the sparkled flower would be securely fastened to the card.

For the next stage of embellishing, I used these gradient gems from Creative Charms.  They come in many colors and can be found on THIS PAGE of the site.

First, I added a small, clear gem to alternating "bumps" on the paisley.

Next, I added pale pink gems in the opposite set of bumps.

I used one of the larger gems at the pointed end of the paisley.

Finally, I found a pink, heart shaped gem in my stash and placed it in the heart shape in the sentiment.  I showed you all the incremental changes so you could see that it is possible to make this card very simply or add more and more bling - depending on the degree of decoration that you find pleasing.

This photo of the two cards together shows what a dramatic difference color choices and embellishing can make.  Which card do you like better?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bright and Cheery Thank You

I am really enjoying the Straight From the Nest cartridge.  It is full of all sorts of interesting images - so much more than just birds!

I liked the look of this paisley and decided to use it to make a quick "Thank You" card.

As always, I used Design Studio to help me figure out the sizes and placement of the images on my card.  This screen shot shows my A2 size guideline rectangle and the shapes I would be cutting from the cartridge.

I used this "Thank You" sentiment from the Wild Card cartridge.  The sentiments are sized to fit a card made at the default size on the slider bar so I needed to check "Real Size" to get a true size.

 Here are all of the pieces of my card.  I cut the white card base at 4 1/4 x 11 inches and folded it vertically.  The red cardstock layer is 4 1/8 x 5 3/8 inches.  I used Core'dinations cardstock for all of the card elements.

There is not a layer for the flower separate from the stem.  I considered cutting a second flower and hand trimming it but then I remembered these string flower brads from Creative Charms.  This LINK will take you to the page for these flowers.  (Be sure to take a look around the site - they have some good specials right now).

The five loops of the string flower fit the five petals of the Cricut cut perfectly.

The brad fastens in the center hole, however, since the hole is oversized, I added some glue dots to hold the flower in place when I assembled the cuts.

 Here is the card with the layers assembled.  The image is oversized and has a big impact - particularly in these strong primary colors.

When I added the sentiment the card was complete but I thought it looked a bit plain.

I used my white Signo gel pen to add some dots on the paisley.  (I would probably be more careful to plan out the positioning or use both dots and lines if I make this card again).

A few more dots in opposite corners finish off the card.  I think I will try this card in some different color combinations.

It is rainy and unseasonably cold here - fortunately they are predicting nice weather for the weekend.  Don't forget to stop over to the Cuttlebug Challenge Blogspot to enter the great giveaway this month - the top prize is a Cricut Cake.  There are just a few days left to enter - you can get all of the details at THIS POST.  You can also have a chance at winning a Gypsy from Scrappy-Go-Lucky - the details and rules are at THIS POST.   Good Luck! 

Monday, April 26, 2010

Digital Daffodils

Daffodils are some of my favorite flowers and they are blooming all over our town.  We have several varieties in our gardens and I took some pictures a few days ago with the plan to turn them into digital elements that I can use for my projects.

This is the picture I started with.  It was a bit windy so I had to hold the flower still to get a clear image.  I used the magic wand tool in my Creative Memories StoryBook Creator Plus 3.0 software to eliminate the background.

After I had carefully dropped out the background, I saved the daffodil image as a .png file.  Then I could start having some digital fun!

I copied and pasted the daffodil and created a "seven sisters" group (this is the name of a quilt pattern).  Just to be different, I changed the color of the center daffodil to purple.

Next I duplicated the groups and created another seven sisters grouping that is a bit more irregular.

I expanded the group and added a green glittered background.

Then I repeated the group four times to create this pattern.  The possibilities are endless as you repeat, recolor and regroup the single daffodil image.

Here is one more example where I used the flower to create a pattern on a gingham background, added a border with burlap texture and added some digital overlays with light shadows in the corners,  I could print this image to use as a note card front..

The images in this blog post are all screen shots at low resolution.  If you would like to have the .png file for the daffodil at full size you can download it at the link below.  I'd love to see what you make with the flower if you try some experiments similar to mine.

If you have any questions about the Creative Memories software and do not have a Creative Memories consultant already, please do not hesitate to contact me.  If you have the 2.0 version of the software you will want to upgrade and the upgrade is available for $9.95 until the end of this month (the normal price is $19.95 for the upgrade).  The full 3.0 program costs $64.95 if you do not have the earlier version to upgrade.  Here is the LINK to my CM website.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

This card may look a bit familiar...

Yesterday I shared a card I made by simply "fussy cutting" a piece of cardstock with an interesting design, inking the edges and adding a sentiment stamp.  I was thinking about the card and I realized that the designs on the pages of a cardstock stack could serve as templates or sketches for creating additional cards.  I decided to make a Cricut version of yesterday's card and this is what I came up with.  It is not a direct copy but it was certainly "inspired by..." the DCWV cardstock that I used for the first card.

I remembered that there were a couple of birds on the Home Decor cartridge that were not exactly like the printed birds but had a similar "look."  The bird with the taller tail is located at this keypad button.  I sized it at 3 1/2 inches.  (There is a bird on the "Create a Critter" cartridge that is very similar to the bird on the cardstock but I do not have that cartridge yet).

There is a second, shorter bird located on the shift of this button.  I cut this at 1 1/2 inches.  Home Decor is a Solutions cartridge with fewer creative features than a full cartridge.  There is only a shadow and a shadow blackout option for each bird.  In planning the layers, I realized that I would need an extra layer to get the colors to work out as I envisioned them.  I needed to flip both birds to have them looking in the correct direction.  If you have the personal Cricut, there is no "flip" button but you can simply turn the paper over so the right side is facing the mat to flip your cuts.  If you have Design Studio, you can flip any cut by using the software.

Once again, I used Design Studio to plan out my cuts.  The guideline rectangle makes it easy to determine the sizes that will work for the card front.  I looked around on my cartridges for a sentiment that I liked and that would suit the space available.

I chose the "i like you" on the Wild Card cartridge.  Wild Card also has a "you are so special" phrase cut which would have been closer to the stamped sentiment on yesterday's card.  I used the Core'dinations gemstone cardstock in pink for the sentiment.  I like the soft shine the gemstone cardstock has and it cuts well in the Cricut.

I cut each bird four times - the shadow, two shadow blackout cuts and the top image.  This photos show you all of my cuts. I used Core'dinations cardstock and the details cut neatly.  The thin legs are challenging but there were no cutting issues.

I used some small and very sharp scissors to snip off the legs on the two top layers and the beak on the center layer so the birds would have yellow legs and beaks.  The photo above show the pieces after the "amputation" was performed.  When the four layers are glued together, they produce a bird that feels like a thin chipboard embellishment.

When you cut the shadows for the birds, the width of the shadow piece increase as the size of the cuts gets larger.  The difference in the thickness of the shadow for a 1 1/2 inch bird and a 3 1/2 inch bird is significant.  You can see this in the photo above. 

I hope that Design Studio may eventually be updated with an option to create a shadow in whatever width you choose.  This would be a particularly great addition if you could shadow (or more accurately, outline) any item on a Cricut cartridge by clicking a command in Design Studio.  The ability to create a shadow of the width you want with one click would be a very exciting option to have.

 I used some of the cardstock left from my original 12 x 12 sheet as the background.  I wanted a patterned pink paper (say that three times fast!) for the rectangle on the right side of the card.  I found this sheet of cardstock in the DCWV "Sweet" stack.  I trimmed a four inch strip on the side with the cake (another good potential card topper) and cut a piece at 2 3/4 x 3 3/4 inches.  Then I rounded the corners and inked the edges.

This photo shows my inspiration card and the Cricut version side by side.  I had fun trying this experiment and I will probably do another simple card and Cricut card combination soon.  I have lots of stacks to look through!