Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Fourth of July!

It looks like we will have a hot day to celebrate the Fourth of July - our fingers are crossed that the rain stays away so we can enjoy the Picnic in the Park.  This photo is from last year's bike and stroller parade - it's always fun to see the decorations and watch the kids go by!

Saturday we had a nice time with our nephew Scott.  He spent the day with us (Aunt Diane Camp) while his parents took his older brother and sister to their summer camp.  They all have grown a lot since last year.  We took a photo in the front yard (in the same spot as last year) to help keep track of how the twins are growing up.  They are now at camp in Maine for a couple of weeks.

 We had all sorts of plans for the day - at the top of the list was making a  Harry Potter "Hogwarts" castle.  There is no Harry Potter Cricut cartridge (I bet that would be popular!) but there is a great 3D castle on the "Once Upon a Princess" cartridge.  I set up a file on the Gypsy to cut the castle as large as possible on 12 x 12 cardstock (without separating sections that are already on the same key).   The height of 8 1/2 inches worked perfectly for this castle.  You could make it even larger by hiding lines and moving sections around on the mat.

Scott very quickly caught on to the process of loading, controlling the cut with the Gypsy and taking the pieces off the mat.  It took seven pieces of 12 x 12 cardstock (three light gray, three dark gray and one green) to cut all of the pieces we needed.

We used the 12 x 24 inch mat so we could cut more pieces at the same time.   All of the pieces fit on 12 x 12 cardstock but the roof key was a tight fit.  It looked like we would run into the "uncuttable" area of the mat so I shifted the paper to the one inch mark on the 12 x 24 mat and had no problems with the cut.  (This is a handy trick for things that almost fit.  I also could have turned the set of images on the diagonal but by simply shifting the paper and keeping the image straight I ended up with a more useful "scrap" piece).

There is a lot of scoring and folding to do but the directions in the handbook are easy to follow.  I thought the construction was very clever and well thought out - you couldn't really make a mistake if you looked carefully at the images in the book and had everything lined up the same way.  This is the interior section of the castle.

The tabs that hold the sections together are made to look like shields and fit into the design nicely.  The last stage is a little tricky and having two pairs of hands was helpful.  We started out using the Martha Stewart Score Board but switched to the Scor-Pal because it was easier to see the lines that we needed to follow.

Here is the bird's eye view of the castle.  We used 1/4 inch and 1/8 inch Scor-Tape for all of the seams and it worked out very well.  The only place that was a little tricky was attaching each green roof to the turrets.  It helped to keep the flaps almost straight so they could connect to the inside of the roof when it was lowered over the top - the space is too small to reach in from below to line up the tabs.

Scott tells me that there is no drawbridge at Hogwarts - you could use "hide contour" and change the doors if you wanted to.

Here is a view of the side and back of the castle.  We were both pleased with the way it turned out.  I thought we might do a second version that Scott could decorate by drawing on it while the pieces were still flat but we ended up going to see Cars 2 in 3D - lots of 3D in our day!  (The movie was great - Scott said it was a "5 star" and it "exceeded my expectations" so I think he really liked it!)

The castle can be decorated after it is assembled but it will be trickier to do any writing or drawing - maybe some stickers will work to personalize the final result.

Once Upon a Princess is an older cartridge and one that I resisted buying for a long time since I have no little girls at home and I really don't like those little people with the upturned arms and pointy feet!  I did get it on sale last Black Friday and now I am very glad to have it.  The castle is great fun to make and can be made (as we did) in different colors to look less girly.  There are lots of the elements for a Princess Party (3D wands, tiaras and crowns, invitations, cute word art, treat bags) in addition to the inevitable cupcakes with smiling faces.  There is also a wonderful teapot shape and the "tag" feature key is full of interesting shapes that layer nicely and are perfect for journaling boxes, as a card front or (cut smaller) for sentiments.

I hope you have a lovely holiday.  If you have a chance to leave comment and a "hi" for Scott that would be great - I think he will be checking the blog to see the photos of our castle.

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  1. I love the parade pics that you share every year!!!

  2. I think the castle is amazing Scott. You did an awesome job. In our lives we have a grandma's camp and aunt millie's camp. Love the parade pic also. TFS Happy & Safe

  3. I love the finished Castle! Scott, you did a great job. I love Harry Potter as well, so know you will enjoy the castle. You looked like a pro using the cricut! Would love to see what you and Aunt Diane create next time!

  4. Great castle!! Scott looks like he's a natural. Love the color choices.

  5. Hey, Scott,
    What a beautiful castle you made. You did a great job and we are all proud of you. I have that cartridge and will try and make it. Thank you for sharing your great project.

  6. Hi Scott! Great job on the castle. The size of it is impressive. I've never used the 12 x 24" mat. This castle gives me incentive to try a larger piece.Sounds like you had a fun day at Aunt Diane's.
    Nancy Jr

  7. Great job on the castle. I've often thought about getting a 12 x 24 mat and this is the perfect reason why! Happy 4th of July, Diane!

  8. Terrific castle! I think you make a great team. Scott you were a wonderful partner to your aunt. She's one of my favorite cricut experts. Happy 4th!

  9. Hi Scott! As I was looking through pictures my 8 year old son was envious of you working on the cricut. When he saw how cool your castle turned out he really wanted to try it! Haha - guess I need to do more cuts with my boy.

    Thanks Diane for showing this! Because I have 3 boys I don't have that cart but we would be able to get use out of such a detailed but easy to put together element like the castle!

    A Harry Potter cart would be interesting, but the cart that would really make my day is Scooby Doo ;) I'm currently making wall art from the Cars cuts and the boys asked for Scooby next. They'll have to settle for SpongeBob :(

  10. Scott - your castle is awesome. We made a quiddich field one time. It might make a good addition to your castle some day.

  11. Great pictures. Scott I love the castle it is so awesome. Hope you had fun making it and spending time with Diane........
    Have a great 4th Of July. Hope you get to enjoy a lot of fireworks.

  12. Hey, Scott! I think you have the BEST end of the deal there, going to Camp Aunt Diane. Where else would you find a counselor who had all those supplies to make a cool Hogwarts castle??! You did a spectacular job!!!! You could probably make some Hogwarts flying on brooms if Aunt Diane showed you how to use really thin wire to make the guys look like they're flying over the turrets!!

    Aunt Diane, which camp is it that the twins attend? For many years, my DD Emily attended Maine Teen Camp and enjoyed it A LOT.

    ...that is, ALMOST as much as she would enjoy Camp Aunt Diane.


    Ellen ♥ CardMonkey

  13. Hello Scott and Diane,
    Happy July 4th. I hope that you all have a great day. Scott, your castle is fabulous. In the pictures your Aunt Diane posted on this blog you look like a pro using the Gypsy and Cricut. I made this same castle for my granddaughter's 5th birthday last year. She had a princess party, so I used lots of images from this cartridge. Scott, I have read about your adventures at Aunt Diane Camp from previous visits and look forward to seeing what you do on your next visit.
    Best Wishes, Karen

  14. Happy 4th of July! What a great castle, Scott!! You did an excellent job helping Aunt Diane create that. Your friends are going to be impressed when they see it! Have fun!

  15. Hello Scott. You did an awesome job on the Hogwarts School. Hope you all have a great 4th!!

  16. WOW! Scott I love the castle - you certainly did a great job, I know my grandsons would love one. Thanks for sharing - Kindest regards kendell

  17. Diane & Scott

    Looks like you both had a super day;First making the spectacular castle and then seeing Cars2

    Great job on the castle!!!!

  18. Your castle turned out amazing!

    Scott, how lucky is it to have such a fun and "crafty" Aunt!? You must love coming over to her house to see what kind of cool projects you can make with her wonderful toys!

    Have a GREAT 4th! I hope it doesn't rain on you!

  19. Awesome castle! Have a great holiday!
    carolyn in nebraska

  20. Scott, what a great job you did on the castle! You are very creative!


  21. Great Job Scott ! Aunt Diane camp sounds like more fun then Maine anyway. You have inspired me cause I am having my own Aunt Diane camp for 3 weeks at my house. 3 nieces/3 nephews ages 6-15.. I'll have to think of some crafty projects to do with them. Have a great day .. Diane

  22. Ellen <3 CardMonkey, Scott's siblings go to Maine Arts Camp in Unity Maine. It's a non-competitive camp for campers 8 - 15 years old (Scott is old enough but not interested yet) and they can choose their own activities from a big list. There are a lot of crafty activities as well as things like archery, baking, kayaking, robotics, rocketry... They love it!

    Scott had a great time at Aunt Diane Camp! Unlike last year, when it was a weekday, this year his uncle (my big bro) was there, too, so Scott had even more fun with TWO grown-ups catering to him!

    I will show Scott all the comments. He loves to be featured on the blog. I need to look at last year's blog to compare how my twins have grown. My daughter had been living w/undiagnosed celiac disease for a couple of years, we think, and now that she has been on a gluten-free diet since October she has shot right up.

    Thanks again, Diane, for the great camp! It would be rough for Scott to spend all day in the car!

    Your SIL Melanie

  23. I have found last year's post from Aunt Diane Camp!
    My kids have really grown!

    Debbie from Sugar Land, I'm sure Scott would love to know how you made a quidditch field. He hasn't seen the blog yet (too much wii Harry Potter to be played, apparently), but I mentioned the quidditch field and he said "I wish Aunt Diane had THAT cartridge."

  24. Scott, You did a great job on the castle. All of my family are very big Harry Potter fans. We can hardly wait until July 15!!! We use to go to the book store for the midnight releases of the books. After the last book was released, we had a big party 2 weeks later to discuss it. We all dressed in costumes. It was so much fun! Enjoy the final movie!

  25. Wow Scott, you did an awesome job on that castle. The colors you picked are very masculine. They ought to name the cart Once Upon a Prince!

  26. Great job Scott and Diane of course lol. I also made this for a boy, I made it for my godson's Prince Party and in similar colours too.
    Kim xXx

  27. I haven't been by to visit for a while and i am glad I popped over on this post. The castle turned out great.

  28. Great job on the castle, Scott. I can see that Camp Diane is big fun.


  29. Great job on the castle and color choices. I just got this cartridge and I have girls (grandchildren) to use it for.

  30. Fantastic castle, Scott! Looks like quite a project.


  31. Absolutely awesome job on the castle! Very well made and great guy colors! I think Harry would be proud. Happy Independence Day!


  32. Scott, you did such a great job! I love this, I have never seen this castle made. Thanks for showing us how to do it!

  33. Scott you were such a good helper with the castle. Looks great.

  34. Hi Scott- Great job on the castle.

    Diane thanks for sharing your day with your nephew with us.

    Great pictures, makes me miss the good ole U.S.



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