Friday, January 14, 2011

Fun and Games for Valentine's Day

(This post originally appeared on the Everyday Cricut blog where I was the Guest Designer for the week of January 10-14, 2011)

Today is my last day as Guest Designer here at Everyday Cricut.  I want to thank Joy and Melanie again for inviting me to share my designs with their readers.  Some of you are old friends and regulars on my blog but I have also enjoyed meeting some new crafters this week.  I hope you will continue to visit my blog, Capadia Designs, so you won't miss some of the projects for Valentine's Day that didn't make it into this week's posts.  I do post daily, so there is always something to see and read about.

I am on the Design Team for Creative Charms and I think they have great products that can be used in so many ways.  Last year they added these "make-it-yours" Vintage Frames to the line. I thought they would be fun to use to make game pieces.  Valentine's Day is all about hugs and kisses ( "X"s and "O"s) so Tic Tac Toe made perfect sense to me!

The metal frames will hold a circle that is 7/8 of an inch.  I don't happen to have a hole punch that size but I do have my trusty Cricut!  You can't set this number on the Cricut when you use it freestanding (the increments are 1/4 inch apart), but with Design Studio or the Gypsy you can set precise sizes for your cuts.  I set up a mat with circles that were .875 in height and width.  In Design Studio you will have to use the "handles" to make a circle this size - you can't type a value of less than one inch into the height in the Shape Properties Box.

Once I had my circles cut, I checked for a nicely shaped "X" and "O" to use for the playing pieces.
I found this cute set of heart, X and O on the Sweethearts cartridge.

 I used the red glitter vinyl again to cut the letters.  There was a comment asking where to find this vinyl - I got mine from Oh My Crafts and I am sure it is sold at other online stores as well.  Here is a LINK to the page on their site - the vinyl is on sale right now for $4.99.  There is nearly always a coupon code - I think "NEW10" should give you 10 % off right now.

I peeled off the vinyl letters and placed them on the white circles in the frames.  It helps to keep the circle in the frame while you are working.  Then I used a piece of tape to lift the dome cover and place it on the frame.  I was trying to keep dirt or fingerprints from getting on the sticky underside of the clear dome cover.

The dome gives a professional finished look to the pieces.  You can see the difference between the covered heart on the left and the plain X on the right.

I am fussy about things and I didn't like the way the pieces could have air bubbles or uneven coverage.  You can see the two colors in the image above.  I think it you are putting a full image in the circle it wouldn't matter but since I was adding another layer I needed to take an extra step.

I used a bone folder to burnish the circle with the letter to the dome - here you can see how it looks from the back.

After burnishing, I was able to get the piece to look like this, nearly perfect and smooth.

Here are all of my pieces after adding the letters and burnishing.  I chose to use the heart with a cut out instead of the "O" because I thought it was cuter!  Once these are attached to the dome covers, it is easy to adhere them to the frames.  I used my ATG adhesive and it was easy to do with no mess.

 I ended up with this set of ten (I saved the two extra frames for another project).  If you are interested it seeing more projects made with Creative Charms please stop over to their blog.  Don't forget to sign up as a follower - they are having a great giveaway this week.  You need to leave a comment on the post linked HERE.  Tell them Diane sent you!

Now I just needed a game board for Tic Tac Toe.  I knew I could easily make it with Design Studio.

I set up the file to fit the frame size by making squares of 1 1/4 inches and cut the frame from heavy (110 pound) watercolor paper.  I used multi-cut 2 times to get a clean cut of the grid.

I also cut a large piece of water color paper at 6 x 6 inches.  I wanted lots of color so I added a pink layer to mat the entire board (cut at 5 1/2 x 5 1/2 ) and also cut a 4 3/4 x 4 3/4 layer to go behind the frame for contrast.

The frame was easy to assemble and there are various options for adding colors and layers as desired.

 I cut one inch circles and used them to back the frames.  The frames come with come with a layer of foam adhesive on the bottom and I simply adhered the circle to that foam circle.  This gives the frame more stability.

I am very happy with the way the playing pieces turned out.  You need two sets of the empty frames since one side will have five possible moves in Tic Tac Toe.  Then you can save the extra two for another project.  The "make your own" Vintage Frames are $2.99 for the set of six.

This would make a cute little gift - I found a little organza bag to hold the pieces but I may try another option that would hold both the board and the pieces.

I had a few people ask about the second style of candy holder I showed on Tuesday.  These are simple and fun to make.  I designed a new one to show the process and you can read about it at THIS POST on my blog.

 I used more of the fuzzy vinyl for the heart outline.  The heart is from the Sweethearts cartridge.

A few people asked about the sentiment on this card.  It is from Lyrical Letters - another one of my favorite cartridges.

Here is a screenshot showing the location of the image.  There are some nice sentiments and card toppers of this cartridge in addition to all of the fonts.

I want to try again to clear up any confusion about Design Studio and Windows 7 - if you have a newer computer with Windows 7, the version of the program on the CD that you purchased will not work.  You should go to the site and download the latest version of the software and simply use the serial number on the CD envelope to activate the software.  Here is  the LINK for downloading the updates.  There are more directions on my blog at THIS POST.

There was a questions about cutting vinyl with Design Studio - I nearly always cut from Design Studio and have no problems.  The setting I use are blade 4, pressure medium, speed medium (though the speed is controlled by Design Studio when you cut from the program).  This creates a "kiss cut" where the vinyl is nicely cut but the backing stays intact which makes it much easier to peel up the letters and use them.

just a little more inspiration...

This is one of my favorite cards from last year.  If you click on the image it will take you to the post.  If you are looking for more Valentine's ideas, you can use the labels in the index on the right side column of my blog.  I am still working on updating the organization, but there are categories for Valentine's Day there.

This is another one of my favorite card designs and you can once again click the photo to see the details.

Finally, this Valentine's day card is a much more traditional one.  I used an image from Twisted Papers and adapted it a bit to fit the card shape.  The lace cut out design is from Plantin Schoolbook.  You can read about this card design HERE.   I thought the hearts on the topiary were just charming!  The Twisted Papers website is currently in the process of being rebuilt due to a major computer issue but the Valentine's images are available now.   If you like vintage - you'll love Twisted Papers.

I will double check to see if there are any other questions I missed.  The answers will be posted on my blog as soon as I sort out the questions!  Please be sure to check back to my blog in the next week or so - there will be a couple of fun surprises announced this weekend and I will also be posting more complete directions, videos and files for some of the projects I have shown this week.

Thanks again for joining me this week - I hope you try some of my ideas and have fun with your Cricut!

(and Happy Valentine's Day!)

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