Wednesday, August 31, 2011

More butterflies and a reminder...

Things will be a little different on the blog for the next week or so.  I'll be sure you have a morning email but I will be taking a "family time" break for the wedding and only occasionally checking email, comments and Facebook messages.  I started this blog in 2008 and I've posted every day since January 1, 2009 so there is a lot of information here!  I'll be linking you back to some posts that you may not have seen - especially if you are a new reader of my blog.

The butterflies above are digital images that I extracted from a photo of a piece of embroidery I found at a rummage sale.  You can read the original post from May, 2010 HERE.  I used the Creative Memories StoryBook Creator Plus 3.0 software and now I have a unique digital element that I can add to my pages and projects.

I wanted to remind you that the Creative Memories "DigiWow" Sale is ending today.  You can save 50% on the software (by download) and 30% on content.  Here is a LINK to the sale page on my CM personal website.  There will be an upgrade to the software later this fall and you will need to have the 3.0 version to be able to upgrade.  To get a really good look at the digital content, click HERE to find the index of PDFs for all of the various options.

I am doing a bit of sewing today - finishing up one of the last wedding projects.  When I get back from the wedding I have a couple of fabric projects in mind to make - I wonder how many of you also sew?

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Butterflies for a cheerful card

Butterflies are a favorite of so many people.  I thought I'd use a few different types of butterflies for my Design Team post for the Creative Charms blog.  Please stop over to the Creative Charms blog HERE and be sure to leave a comment. Once again, I have little giveaway for someone who comments here or on the Creative Charms blog (leave a comment in both places to double your chances).

You do not have to be a follower to win, however, if you like my blog and want to show your support for my work, please do follow or subscribe.  I also have a Capadia Designs Facebook page HERE and if you "like" that page you will see my daily posts in your news feed. 

I haven't heard from the last winner, Diane.  Please check my last Creative Charms post HERE and contact me as soon as possible with your mailing information.

The giveaway winner from the comments on the last Creative Charms post is Carolee.

Please send me an email at with your mailing information.  I'll be sending you this Creative Charms  Sparkled Butterfly Medley .

For this card I used one of the scalloped rectangles that I printed and cut on the Imagine, using the All Wrapped Up cartridge.  These bright colors just make me smile!

I used the large butterfly from the Sparkled Butterfly Medley which matches the paper nicely.  There is a flat area on the back of this butterfly and I used several glue dots to attach it to the card.

I attached the green butterfly brad from a 3D Sparkly Garden Brad set by piercing a hole in the layer of printed paper.

The white butterfly from a Gem Garden set is easy to attach with a medium glue dot - I just put the butterfly on the roll and lifted it carefully to keep the glue dot neat and flat.

I wanted to add this sentiment cut from DCWV glittered cardstock with the "Friends Forever" Cuttlebug Combo set.  As you can see - there is not enough contrast for the sentiment to be read easily.

I tried making a mat from some American Crafts white pearl cardstock with a rectangle Nestability die.  The width is just about right but the shape is too tall.

Fortunately, I also have a set of the long rectangle Nestabilities and one of these was a much better fit.

The sentiment is raised on some foam circles - this makes a better balance with the large butterfly at the top of the card.  I also added some tiny gradient gem stickers to the row of half circle fan shapes and used one more gem sticker to dot the "i" in "friends."

The shades of blue and green in this paper are favorites of mine and I was happy to realize that I had several Creative Charms items that coordinate perfectly.

It was a beautiful clear and sunny day Monday - it's hard to believe that the storm went through and caused so much destruction.  We are very lucky to have no serious damage and it looks like there will be no problems with our travel plans.  Thanks for all the good wishes you have been sending for the upcoming wedding - we are looking forward to a wonderful celebration!

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Bright and Cheerful - after the storm...

We did not have any major problems from the arrival of hurricane/tropical storm Irene on Sunday.  There was lots and lots of rain and very high winds but our power stayed on so that is a big relief.  Many people in our area do not have power so we are very lucky.  I hope that things get back to normal for everyone soon.

 Today is my day to post on the Scrappy-go-Lucky blog and I made a quick and simple card using the All Wrapped Up Imagine cartridge.  You can see the card and read the post HERE.

I do have a couple of tips to share.  When I made this card I planned to make it an A2 card so I set the height on the Imagine touchscreen at 5 1/2 inches.  As you can see in the photo above, the actual height was a little less than 5 1/2 inches.

The width was 8 inches instead of the standard 8 1/2 inches.  This isn't a big difference but you should be aware that the size of the cuts on the Imagine doesn't always match the numbers you select.  I had a similar problem when I tried to match up a shadow cut that I made from the Heritage cartridge on my Expression set at 4 inches with the top layer cut that I printed and cut on the Imagine, also set at 4 inches.

The colors and patterns on the All Wrapped Up cartridge and so bright and cheerful - I decided to make some extras of the scalloped mat layer filling the shape with a variety of the patterns.  These will be handy for making quick cards.

Just a few more days to go before we leave for the wedding - so I am going to be pretty busy finishing everything and packing.  I haven't been able to keep up with all of the email that has come recently but I will eventually answer everything - thanks for your patience!

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hurricane Irene approaching

The entire East Coast is caught up in following the progress of the Hurricane Irene.  There is a state of emergency declared for most places and many people have evacuated from the shore towns and low lying areas.  We rarely get this type of weather here and I was very surprised to see a local jewelry shop boarded up for the storm.   In our area it will be a "tropical storm" instead of a hurricane but high winds and lots and lots of rain are expected.

Since we have been warned about possible power outages, I am trying to get all of my wedding items finished as fast as I can.  I had planned a schedule to complete everything before we leave for California but I hurried up to get all of the most essential items printed and cut on Saturday. 

I am using the Silhouette SD for most of the items because there is a certain font that we are trying to use consistently for all of the wedding items and I can print and cut this font with the Silhouette Studio program.  There are a couple of items that I may cut with the Cricut which don't need the font as part of the design.  Do you think that my Silhouette mat will survive?

By reading through forums and message boards I have discovered that the Cricut mats that are cut to fit can be used in the Silhouette.  Fortunately, I just bought some of the large mats (12 x 24) in the last big sale at when they were only $5 for a pack of two.  I am also a little worried about the blade since I don't have a spare. I don't think they are readily available locally (particularly since no one is supposed to be going out in the storm and most stores are closed).  If we have to, we'll move on to Plan "B" for a few items!

I did get a couple of nice packages this week.  My new "Sophie" cartridge from the Cricut Circle arrived Thursday and the "All Wrapped Up" cartridge for the Imagine that I ordered a week or so ago arrived Saturday.  The bright colors on this cartridge are so pretty - they will chase away all thoughts of the bad weather!  I'll have more to share about this cartridge tomorrow.  I will be posting here and on the Scrappy-go-Lucky blog as long as I have power and internet service...

I hope you are staying safe and dry!  If you are in an area far from the storm please send some positive thoughts this way.  There have been a lot of flights cancelled and we need to get to California!

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Tri Shutter Card - always a favorite!

There are so many different interesting styles of cards.  I think people really enjoy receiving a card that pops up or moves in an unusual way.  I have recently had a couple of requests for directions on making the "tri-shutter card" and I thought I would do a quick post with links to my tutorials and some examples of this style of card.  I have been writing this blog for over three years and there is a lot of information that you can find by reading older posts.

You can find my directions for making these cards at THIS POST.  You can make these very quickly and easily without using anything but a trimmer and a scoring board.  It is possible to cut the pieces with a die cutting machine but I prefer to cut my pieces manually.  The measurements are quite simple and you have more control over the placement of the design on your patterned papers when you cut them the "old fashioned way."  You also need the full width of the 12 x 12 cardstock and it can be tricky to get the mats loaded accurately in the machine to produce perfectly aligned cuts.

You'll find more photos and directions at THIS POST.  There are many variations for cutting the extra layers.  If you are in a real hurry you can use an interesting patterned glitter cardstock for the base (this is from the DCWV Animal Crackers stack) and eliminate most of the layers.

Click the photo to see more about this card
Click the photo to see more about this card

There are so many ways to personalize these cards - if you have never tried making one, I hope you might be inspired to start.  The directions are simple and once you have folded up one card it is very easy to remember how to do them.  Once you master the basics you can focus on having fun with the decoration!

Right now we don't know whether to prepare for a hurricane or the wedding - so we are doing both!  I hope you have a safe weekend and that the storm stays away from you.

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Friday, August 26, 2011

Happy Birthday Pop-up

I only have time for a very quick post today.  If you live in the path of the Hurricane Irene please be careful.  We hope that we are far enough inland to miss the worst of the storm but it looks like this will be a very dangerous weather situation for many people.

In addition to my fascination for intricate cuts and lace details, I have always loved pop-up cards and books.  These can be designed with the Cricut software but it is very time consuming and difficult.  When I got the Silhouette SD, the package included a card for some downloads from the library.  Many of the items were things that I could easily design by myself but when I found this intricate birthday pop-up I just had to have it.  It cost only 99 cents and I know I will use it over and over.  The file does include some embellishments but I decided to use just the basic cut.  (It was hard to restrain myself from adding Stickles to the candles!).

This is the outside of the card.  Since there is a great surprise inside I kept this very simple.. I cut the paper so the words "Happy Birthday To You" would fall across the top of the card.  Then I added a white layer to make a crisp border around the birthday paper.  The paper is from a DCWV summer stack from a couple of years ago.  A few gem stickers on top of the presents are the only embellishments on the front of the card.

Next month (after the wedding) I plan to try designing some special pop-up cards.  It may be challenging but I think it will be fun! 

I hope you have a nice weekend and that this hurricane decides to head out to sea...

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Just a little something...

We are starting the ten day countdown until our oldest son's wedding!  Things are getting finished but there are so many last minute details - as there are with any big event.  It is very exciting and I hope you all understand that my availability will be limited for the next couple of weeks.

I spent most of Wednesday finalizing the details of the projects I am doing for the wedding.  There is a lot of printing and cutting involved and I have found that the Silhouette SD  and the Silhouette Studio software are incredibly helpful for the bits and pieces (place cards, tags, menus, programs, etc.) I am producing for the rehearsal dinner and wedding.

The Silhouette software allows me to design something like a placecard, set up a template and then fill in the various names I need.  Then I can print these on my regular printer and have them cut, perfectly centered, on the Silhouette.  The machine uses registration marks that are read with an optical sensor to get perfect alignment.

The photo above shows the first thing I ever cut using the print and cut feature.  It cut exactly on the edge - just amazing!  The other feature that I really appreciate is that the Silhouette will cut a circle as a circle and can cut a nearly perfect scalloped circle - something none of my Cricut machines have every been able to do.

I can't do a full review of this machine and the software until after the wedding but I wanted to share this "quilt" that I designed using the digital image that I posted last week (here is a LINK to that post).  I just dragged the image into the program and set it to fill the page.  Then I added a gradient rainbow pattern to fill the background.  I think I will have a lot of fun experimenting and discovering new ways to design with this program.  It's great to be able to combine my digital projects with the ability to cut out images that I create.  I have a lot of files that I have designed but haven't been able to test cut yet - watch this space!

I hope that those of you on the East coast are taking care with the hurricane coming - it looks like we all are in for some rough weather!

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

An Easy Wedding Card

Yesterday I shared some tips about putting together layered Cricut images.  While it is fun to build some of the complicated cuts, sometimes you don't have the time to spend making an intricate embellishment for your card.  I always keep an eye out for great deals and for this card I used one of my "finds."

I went "mall walking" with my father-in-law quite a while ago.  (A local mall opens early to allow walkers to get some exercise before the stores are open).  While I was there, I had a chance to stop in at a shop called "Papyrus"  (I think this is a national chain) and they had a table of clearance items including some very pretty embellishments.  Each packet was 50 cents (and I believe the original price on this packet was $8.95).

The detail and embellishment on the cake was terrific.  I found the perfect compliment to the floral shapes in the Cuttlebug Cricut Companion set for "Once Upon a Princess."  If you aren't familiar with these sets of four embossing folders (2 large, 2 small) that coordinate with certain Cricut cartridges, you can see them HERE on the site.  I used the large all over rose design to emboss the top layer of this 5 x 7 inch card.  The paper is a pearl finish paper from American Crafts cut at 4 1/2 x 6 1/2 inches and the embossed layer is placed on top of a pink layer of DCWV textured cardstock cut at 4 3/4 x 6 3/4 inches.

 My quick tip for today is for working with pre-made embellishments like these.  They generally come stuck to a clear sheet of acetate.  Just leave them on the backing but snip the acetate to separate them so you can try different placements for the embellishments.  When you have decided on the positions, you can place each item individually and the adhesive will still be strong.  Sometimes it is a good idea to add an additional glue dot or other adhesive if you think that the item feels loose.

I added a sentiment to the inside of the card and in just a few minutes I had a very pretty card to send.  It was difficult to photograph this one to show the shimmer of the paper but I think you can get an idea of the shine.

Just a quick post today - my time is limited.  I am in the middle of many wedding projects that I can't share just yet.  Thanks for your comments on my post yesterday about the machines and software that you are using.  There are many choices, all with their advantages and disadvantages.  I have been extremely impressed by the accuracy and intricacy of the cuts I am getting on the Silhouette SD and the print and cut feature is fantastic.  I will have lots more to tell you about my experiences in a few weeks.

My thoughts are with you if you were able to feel the earthquake on the East Coast on Tuesday or are in the path of Hurricane Irene - it certainly has been a crazy year for extreme weather conditions.  Take care!

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Few Tips for Layered Images

I have accumulated lot of Cricut cartridges over the years.  There are thousands and thousands of images that I could cut from them.  As someone with a "collector" personality I used to think I'd like to have them all.  However, the cartridges started multiplying too quickly for me to keep up!

There is a wide range in quality in the cartridges.  Some have been beautifully designed and are full of great images and others are rather disappointing in both the quality and complexity of cuts.  I dislike a cartridge that is marketed as a "full" cartridge and then has many empty key slots or entire keypad levels that repeat the same shape (one older example is the Sweet Treats cartridge).  Some are very specific to subjects that don't appeal to me and some have what I consider to be distorted images (examples are Shall We Dance and All Sports with very oddly proportioned figures).

I have always enjoyed designing with the shapes on the cartridges.  I have worked with the Design Studio program and the Gypsy from the time they came out and I have shared and taught others many of the workarounds I have figured out to achieve design goals that are difficult to realize in these programs.  Despite years of requests, there are still some very fundamental things that can't be done with Design Studio, the Gypsy or even the new Craft Room.

Lately I have been using other software programs and other machines to accomplish some of the things I can't do with the Cricut machines and software.  I am finding ways to get the results that I want from my designing with precision cuts, easy shadowing and a host of other design benefits.

I was thinking about the reasons I still keep using the Cricut now that I have tried some other options.  One important reason is that I haven't seen anything that truly compares with the ease of use for creating a multi-layered image.  The fact that you can make a very complex and lovely image like the one on this card without using a computer is very appealing (even though I really enjoy working on my computer!).

So, if you have waded through that rather long winded introduction, today I want to share a few tips on cutting and assembling an image that requires many colors and cuts to create all of the parts of the design.  This sweet little girl is from the Kates ABCs cartridge.  I don't own this one but I was able to borrow it from my neighbor (who was excited to realize she had something I don't! Thanks, Nancy!)

 I chose the image by looking through the handbook.  With the newer cartridges, the handbooks are a little easier to follow.  There is a picture of the main images fully assembled at the top left and just below that is a tiny keypad with the key for this image highlighted in red.  The colors given to each layer help you to see how everything is meant to fit together.  If you haven't made many of these images it is sometimes easiest to do the first one in the same or similar colors.  There are six cuts needed to create all of the pieces for this image.

 Whenever you are cutting an image that is made up of pieces cut from various keys, you need to make sure that you cut everything at the same size.  Just set your size dial once and then don't touch it again until all of the bits are cut out.  I used 4 inches for this cut and it fits nicely on an A2 (4 1/4 x 5 1/2 inch) card.  You must be sure that you DO NOT have the "real dial size" button selected when you are cutting images to layer.  If you use "real dial" all of the pieces will be cut at the size you chose and the layers will be far too big to work.

 Here are all of the pieces that are needed to produce this image.  There are 20 individual cuts and some are very tiny!  It is a good idea to put all of the pieces on a plain piece of cardstock or even to leave them on an old mat that has a little bit of stickiness to hold on to them until you are ready to assemble the image.

Before you start to glue anything you should do a "dry fitting" to make sure you know exactly where the pieces go and to figure out the order in which they should be added to the base.  There are usually tiny webbing cuts on the base of the image to help you see where to put the layers that will be attached.

 When you take the pieces off the base to start gluing, be sure to flip them over so the glue is on the back.  I use a glue pen (my favorite is the Creative Memories Precision Point Adhesive) and dot adhesive all over the little pieces.

You need to remember to add the layers gradually and build the design up.  In this example, there are seven layers by the time you get to the center of the flower by the bow on the little girl's hat.  Using a liquid adhesive will help you to make minor adjustments as you put each piece in place.

Once I am sure where each piece goes I flip most of the pieces and add the adhesive.  Some are very easy to slide into place but some are a bit more challenging.

Here on the hat you can see the cut marks that serve as guides for placing the upper layers.  Sometimes you need to be extra careful to line up the shapes.  For example, the flower on this hat is irregularly shaped and only fits properly in one direction.

When you get to the places where there is a tiny dot to add, I find it easier to put the adhesive on the spot where the dot should be placed and then move the dot over and drop it into position.

Adding the glue to the lower piece makes it much easier to keep everything lined up nicely.

Sometimes the reason for a layer is a little bit difficult to understand.  The pale pink layer on the bottom hardly shows through the two tiny cuts on the brighter pink coat but the lines do add some depth to the image.

 It takes some patience but before too long you will have a lovely multi-layered image that you can use for a card, page or other project.  If you want to add more dimension to the cuts you can use chalk or ink to create shadows.  I like the clean cut look but it is a matter of personal taste.

There are centers in all of the flowers, however, I decided to add just a few pearls and gems for a subtle shine.  This card is a side fold and the blue paper is cut at 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 inches and adhered to the card front.

Even if you have carefully cut your card base and the top patterned paper layer, you may find that they are a bit off.  If so, you can just make a tiny adjusting cut along the edges of the card to make sure that the paper and cardstock are even.

It does take some patience but the entire process from paper selection to final card is not too lengthy.  I do wait between steps for my adhesive to turn clear so I am less likely to smear it on the front of my cards.

I hope this was helpful.  There are many videos showing crafters assembling cuts but a lot of my readers have told me that they prefer the "words and pictures" style of learning.  I do have some videos coming soon - but I probably will not post them until  after the wedding.  I am also eager to show you some of the things I have been able to make for the wedding using my Silhouette SD and the Silhouette software. 

Please leave me a comment if you have any questions or just want to tell me what you think of some of the other die cutting options available to crafters today (or coming soon).  I wonder how many of you also have more than one machine and use multiple programs to create.

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