Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Owl Easel Card

This card is for the Wednesday Challenge at the Cuttlebug Challenge blogspot.  I am on the Cricut Design team but we sometimes do "cross over" to do other projects.  Ironically, it wasn't until I finished that I realized that I had completely forgotten to use the Cuttlebug!

The Challenge was to make an Easel card.  This style of card is just different enough to make people excited about receiving your "unusual" card, but really not much more work than making a standard A2 card.  For the base, I cut an 8.5 x 11 sheet of cardstock in half vertically to create a piece 4.25 x 11 inches which is then scored at 5.5 inches to create the base card.  The front of the card is then scored again at 2.5 inches from the bottom of the front side. An additional piece of cardstock cut at 4.25 x 5.5 inches is adhered to the lower part of the card front which then creates a hinge for the easel effect.

We were using paper from the My Mind's Eye Quite Contrary Collection. I also used various shades of Core'dinations solid cardstock for the owl and sentiment.

I set up the file to cut all of the design pieces on one 12 x 12 mat in Design Studio.  The file is actually set up on two 6 x 12 mats for users of the smaller machines.

The owl is from the Give a Hoot cartridge.  I used "hide selected contour" so I could cut the legs and the flower circles for the eyes in different colors.

 The flower and the sentiment are also from Give a Hoot.  The scalloped rectangle is from Graphically Speaking and I altered the proportions slightly in Design Studio to fit the A2 card size.  You can load the paper for each mat on the 12 x 12 - just turn the mat 180 degrees and load the paper in the proper positions to cut the second page of the file.

I keep all of the pieces on the mat to make it easier to assemble the image without misplacing a tiny beak or leg.

I cut a strip of paper 4.25 inches x 2.5 inches to decorate the bottom of the inside of the card.  The I put the sentiment on the flower shape and raised it with foam squares to create a "stopper" to keep the easel top from falling down when it is folded.

The owl is also on foam squares so the wings can flutter a bit!  With the owl background paper this made me think of ET "hiding" in the toy closet(!).

If you would like to use my file to cut all of the decorative pieces you can download it here.

Owl Easel Card

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Quick Wave Card

This simple card is made from the offcut from a project that I finished up today (but you won't see that one until Thursday).  I hate to waste anything and I love the bold graphic look.
I needed to cut some waves for my other project and placed three rows of the wave border from the Life is a Beach cartridge on a single mat.

This is the piece of cardstock that was left after I removed my wave cuts. 

I used my Creative Memories Precision Point Adhesive to add glue to the design cuts and let the glue dry to clear.

Then I carefully positioned the offcut on a plain white A2 card.  I aligned the wave ends on the right side with the right side of the card.  Once I smoothed everything down I made a few snips to cut off the excess.

Sometimes a bit of adhesive will get on the front of your card elements.  A handy tool to have to take care of this is a gum eraser.  Creative Memories sells them as "pick up squares" because they will lift off excess adhesive to make your projects look neater.  Mine is a bit dirty right now.  You can snip off corners as you use the eraser to expose a fresh area that will clean up adhesives.  These are available for a dollar or two in most art supply stores and craft stores with art departments.

The card could be embellished, but I like the pure simplicity of the images.  This card would be great to jot a quick note to a friend.  You can be happy knowing that you used up something that otherwise would have been discarded.

Thank you all for the lovely comments you have been leaving on my review of the Martha Stewart Score Board.  If you want to be included in the giveaway, please leave your comment on the original post - here is a LINK.  Those responses are the only ones that will be included in the drawing.

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Monday, June 28, 2010

Martha Stewart Score Board - Review and Giveaway

I recently received an email asking if I would like to try the Martha Stewart Score Board.  I actually had one of the boards already - I bought it in New Jersey when I was visiting my sister.  Since I hadn't really used it much, this gave me a chance to take it out and investigate a bit.  I did accept the new board so I could send it on to one lucky blog follower!

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will know that I often use a Scor-Pal scoring board.  I bought mine several years ago and at the time the price was $39.95.  I believe that they are now selling for $29.95.  The list price for the Martha Stewart board is $19.95 and when I checked today the board was available for $15.39 on the Martha Stewart site HERE.  I bought mine at Michael's with a 50% off coupon and paid $10.

I am a firm believer in scoring - I score everything.  I often see videos where people fold their cards on a flat surface and just smooth the fold with a bone folder but I prefer to actually score the line before folding.  I think this gives a crisper, more professional finish.  Whenever you score, remember that you always fold toward the "mountain" of the score (the bump that goes up).

The Martha Stewart Score Board come with a bone folder and a handy envelope making tool.  The plastic is ivory in color and there are scoring lines at 1/8 inch intervals all along the board.

The envelope making tool stores neatly in the base of the board.

On the left side the board is closed.  The edges are ruled in both directions at 1/8 inch increments to match the grooves.  There is a 1/16th mark to offset the paper when you need to make a slightly different type of score.  This mark helps you make a lid to fit a box with just enough room to slide over the base.

On the right side the board is open.  It is 12 1/2 inches wide which makes it a bit more versatile.

With the larger scoring area and missing right side, you can score large items like this bag from the Plantin Schoolbook cartridge which was cut at 11 inches on a 24 inch mat.

There is a compartment at the top of the board where you can store the scoring tool and a few other items.  There is also a chart with some basic card dimensions with instructions for cutting and folding.

 At the other side of the compartment the chart gives cutting and scoring information for basic boxes.  It is quite handy to have these references.

The envelope tool makes it easy to create traditional envelopes where the sides fold in to a point.  It slides into position at the top left corner of the board.  The standard envelope sizes are listed along with the size you need to cut the paper and the scoring lines for each envelope.

The board also comes with a pamphlet that gives the directions for a card, envelope and box.

The envelope making procedure is simple - you score at the listed dimensions and turn the paper 90 degrees to complete each score.

The score lines intersect to form triangles and you snip these away with scissors.

Here is the scored and snipped paper ready to fold into an envelope for an A2 card.

You apply adhesive to the flaps and fold up the envelope.   You need to be careful that you don't put any adhesive beyond the limits of the overlaps.

The envelope you make is large enough to accommodate a card with bulky embellishments like these buttons.

I followed the directions and made an envelope for a 6 inch square card.  The procedure is exactly the same but the paper will extend over the top edge of the scoring area.

The finished envelope leaves a bit of room all around the card - a very comfortable fit.

One of the main reasons I bought the Scoring Board was to have the ability to score in small even intervals as easily as possible.  The lines on the Scor-Pal are mostly 1/2 inch apart which is fine for some, but not all projects.

 I wanted to do some paper pleating to make rosettes.  I cut strips of paper about one inch by 12 inches.  I was able to make score marks at 3/8 inches and then every 6/8ths of an inch beyond that.  (I counted one, two, three, score, one, two, three, skip across the top.

Then I flipped the paper and scored in the opposite direction on all of the "skipped" lines.  This creates a pattern of "mountain" and "valley" fold lines.

Each strip is accordian folded as shown.   The scoring makes it quick and easy to get an accurate fold.

The two strips are adhered together with an "up" fold matching a "down" fold.

 When both ends are joined the circle looks like this.  You need to compress the folds and flatten the circle to form the rosette.

I cut a scrap piece of cardstock at 1 1 /2 inches square and added adhesive and a large glue dot.

I aligned the pleated paper and pressed the rosette into the glue.

This is the back side of the rosette.

You can add any decorative center that you like. The sequin cluster flower is from Creative Charms.

The score board is also helpful in making sure that your card has square corners and that your added layers are correctly aligned.

The scores and folds produce a nice crisp rosette or pleated flower.

The blue and white dotted paper is by Martha Stewart, the red gingham is discontinued Creative Memories paper and the center polka dot brad is from Creative Charms.  I added the "4th of July" cut at 2 1/2 inches from the Stand and Salute Cricut cartridge.

I found that the performance of the Martha Stewart Score Board was very similar to the Scor-Pal.  The folds did seem to be sharper and I think this is due to the thinner edge of the included bone folder.  You would need to be careful not to apply too much pressure and tear the paper if you were scoring lightweight paper.

The most used scoring lines (such as the 4 1/4 inch mark for a vertical A2 card) are not distinguished in any way.  You could add a dot or sharpie mark to help you find the lines you need on a regular basis.  I liked the envelope maker and the fact that all of the most used information is at your fingertips (no need to check a printed guide or look up measurements online).

I think that the Martha Stewart Score Board is a useful addition to the craftroom.  Even if you already have a Scor-Pal you will find the "extra" lines are very helpful and eliminate the need to shift the paper between scores. On a purely aesthetic note, I like the ivory color better than the gray of the Scor-Pal. The price is extremely reasonable and you are quite likely to be able to buy it using a coupon for an even better deal. 


I would like to send the brand new Martha Stewart Score Board that was sent to me to one of my readers.  All you need to do is to leave a comment on this post.  If you would like to follow my blog or become a subscriber and receive daily email updates please sign up at the top of the right side column.  Please leave only one comment and be sure that there is a way for me to contact you (message board name, blogger profile or email address with "at" and "dot" written out to help avoid the possibility of spam reaching you).  Thanks to Martha Stewart Crafts for providing the Score Board for the giveaway.

I will draw a winner on the 4th of July from all of the comments left before 11:59 p.m. July 3rd (Eastern Daylight Time).

I'll be sharing a few more projects using this tool during the next week or two.  The possibilities that the full set of score lines create are very interesting.

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Sunday, June 27, 2010

A little more Digital Magic!

I only have time for a quick post today.  I hope you had a nice weekend. 

I love to learn new things.  As I was working on a few other projects today I came across a website organized by an international group of Creative Memories consultants with a focus on all things digital.  It is called "Pixels to Pages" and this LINK will take you to their website,

I was totally taken by the photo globe template and lesson that is available on their site.  For all of you who just bought the StoryBook Creator Plus 3.0 software - you will be able to do things like this!  Isn't it amazing?

If you are ready for a change from the digital projects, I have lots of more traditional things to share in the coming week, starting with a product review and giveaway - be sure to check back later on Monday to find out what I will be reviewing (and what you can win!).

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Saturday, June 26, 2010

How to make the Bee Happy Card

Using both my Creative Memories digital program (StoryBook Creator Plus 3.0) and my Cricut Design Studio for a project is combining the best of both worlds.  I have high hopes that eventually I will be able to create a digital design and then have my Cricut cut it out automatically.  Until then, I have figured out a way that works for me to get the printing and the cuts that I want for my projects.

Several people had questions about the "digital coloring" I talked about in yesterday's post (here is a LINK).  I will try to do a video so you can see it in action soon but here is a quick explanation with some pictures.  (Remember you can click on any image to make it larger).

In the Creative Memories StoryBook software there is a ribbon called "cut and fill."  In the cutter section there is a tool called the "magic wand" which can be used to make the process of taking apart the image quick and easy.  I always make the image as large as possible to make it easier to work with it.  The "digital coloring" is done by clicking the "magic wand" tool in each area of the design that you want to color the same color and isolating sections of the design.  After a section is selected (you will see a moving dotted line around the edges) choose "cut around the selected area" and repeat this process for each area of the design.

You may need to adjust the sensitivity values to get a clean selection of each area.  When all of the areas are separated you can fill them with digital paper or a color and add any effects that you would like to use.

Once you have filled in all of the sections, you highlight them all in the elements bar and group the image back together again.  Then you can resize it as you like.  If you want to change a color after resizing, simply ungroup, change the fill for that section and then group again.

This is what the bee looked like before I grouped the pieces back into one image.

The same process can be used to alter some of the word art in the program or that you find from other sources.

By using the magic wand to select each piece of the phrase, you can divide it into sections that can be separately filled with color and apply shadows and other effects.  Every piece of digital content you have can be endlessly altered for unlimited creative possibilities.

Once I was happy with my image, I set up a full 8 1/2 x 11 page to print.  I wanted to use this image on an A2 card and put it inside a scalloped circle so I knew that three inches would be a good size to use.  I could fit six 3 inch images and two 2 inch images comfortably on the page (the two inch images can be used for another project - I just don't like to waste space!).

I chose this scalloped circle from the Graphically Speaking cartridge.  If you don't have Graphically Speaking you should really take a look at it - it is full of all sorts of interesting titles and images and is good for both scrapbooking and cardmaking.

I used a three inch circle in Design Studio to determine that a 3 3/4 inch scalloped circle would be a good fit.  I set up a mat to cut nine scalloped circles at once.

On a second page in the file, I placed a three inch circle centered in the lower right quadrant of the mat.

It was a tight fit to get nine scalloped circles on the mat due to the "no cut zone" around the edges of the mat.  I used textured Core'dinations cardstock for the scalloped circles and to insure that the cuts were clean I set the machine for multi cut 2 in Design Studio.

I placed a 6 inch square piece of cardstock in the lower section of the mat and cut the circle from page 2 of the file.  I taped one edge of the paper directly to the mat with masking tape.  I then pushed "load paper" to move the mat out so I would have room to work.  DO NOT push "unload paper" or you will have to start all over again!

After I removed the pink template circle cut, I placed one of the bee designs under the piece of pink cardstock and aligned it with the cut opening.

Then I carefully flipped the template piece of cardstock back and let it rest on the other side of the mat. 

I pressed cut in Design Studio and the machine cut a perfect circle around my image.

When I removed the excess cardstock I had a cute bee medallion ready to adhere to the yellow scalloped circle.

Before unloading the mat I cut the other five bee designs using the same method of centering the image below the template and then flipping it out of the way for the cut.  I can make five more of this simple card very easily now and I have three extra scalloped circles and two smaller bee designs for more projects.

I cut a piece of ribbon about 22 inches long and tied a bow around the front of the card.

Strategically placed foam squares raise the medallion above the ribbon without actually sticking to the ribbon.

Here is one more view of the card - I added just a dot of Stickles on the end of each antenna.

The sales on Creative Memories digital software and other items and the Lettering Delights digital items both end Sunday the 27th.  Links to the sale are in THIS POST.  If you have any questions about any of these products, please do not hesitate to email me.

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