Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy Leap Day!

Happy Leap Day!  What are you going to do with your "extra day" this year?  I think I will finally be able to get into my craft room and test out some designs that I have created in the computer.  We may get some snow this afternoon so it will be a good day to stay home and get crafty!  I think I have managed to prevent getting a full fledged cold thanks to lots of rest, OJ and Airborne.

I recently discovered some Tim Holtz digital  CDs containing papers and vintage elements.  These have been around for a while (copyright 2008) and I don't know how I missed finding out about them until now.  They are from Design Originals. I bought 3 Distressables sets to use for my digital projects.

Paper and Frames
Alphas and Numbers

I have made similar elements from photos of items I found at flea markets and rummage sales.  It's fun to have so many interesting bits and pieces to use digitally.

There is a very eclectic mix of items on the CDs.  After looking through them I am inspired to turn some more of my odds and ends into digital files. 

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you may remember the embroidered butterflies that I made into digital elements using my Creative Memories StoryBook Creator software.

I purchased this piece of unfinished embroidery for a pillow at a rummage sale and carefully isolated the butterfly.  I still haven't had a chance to do the rest of the images (but now that I remembered this project, maybe I'll find the time). You can click either of the images above to go to the original post.  For a few more details on turning a photo into a digital element click HERE.

Great eBooks for Scrapbookers

Do you like to learn through reading eBooks on your computer or iPad?  Are you familiar with Ella Publishing Co.?  They have just released a new book called Stamping Secrets: 7 sensational stamp sets used 21 ways and it is 29% off for today only (which makes the price $7.80).

Stamping Secrets eBook from Ella Publishing

This book features seven expert stampers -  Nichol Magouirk, Ashley Cannon Newell, Lea Lawson, Nancy Burke, Robyn Werlich, Shari Carroll, and Shemaine Smith.  There are 21 projects, 35 stamping tips, 6 step-by-step tutorials and 20 minutes of video instruction included in the eBook.

You may want to check the Ella Publishing Facebook page and their blog for special offers and deals. 

Have a happy crafty day!

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Vinyl - it's easier than you think!

Vinyl is great for so many projects.  I am always surprised to find out that many people are afraid to try using it.  My experience has been that lots of things can be cut more easily in vinyl than in paper.

A reader commented yesterday that she had followed a link to an old post about vinyl from the "You might also like" section that appears at the bottom of each blog post.  This post gave step by step directions for adding vinyl to a tile for display.

I thought it would be a good idea to link back to that post today since many of you may have missed or forgotten it.  You can find the original post on working with vinyl by clicking HERE.

You can find some other projects made with vinyl by checking the labels in the right side column, the code is T - Vinyl for "Technique - Vinyl."  If you click any photo in this post, you should be taken to the original project post.

Vinyl is also a good alternative for lettering in small delicate fonts - it cuts cleanly and already has adhesive on the back. 

I am still in "recuperation mode" from my trip and working hard to fight off a potential cold.  I found some packages waiting for me when I got home and I hope that today I'll have a chance to try out some of the new items.

Lettering Delights  has a "Bundle Up" sale that ends tonight at midnight, Mountain time. All Bundles are on sale with savings up to 80% from the regular prices.  The "Big Bang" bundle contains 100 cut it sets and project sets with over 1600 images that would regularly sell for $497, all for $100. 

You can also use the code BESTBUYBUNDLE for an additional 20% off or, if you have made a recent purchase, you can check your confirmation email for a 25% off code.  (You can "purchase" the current freebie and after you add it to your cart and check out you will get an email with the 25% off code).

These files are for machines that can cut SVGs or the other file formats listed.

Don't forget to check out the latest offers at Blitsy.  If you haven't joined this free membership discount shopping site, please use my link by clicking HERE to join.  They have all sorts of great craft items at good prices.  Items are only available for a week or while supplies last.  Once you are a member, you can refer friends and earn credits for your future purchases.

I hope you have a great day!

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Cute Tile Airplanes ... but can they fly?

This tile sculpture/play area was one of the first things I saw when I arrived in Nashville.  There were a couple of planes, a magic carpet on "clouds" and some butterflies, kites and other things that fly in the mural along the wall.

The conference was great.  I learned about some new things and now I have a lot to think about regarding some future plans for my blog.  I got home late and unfortunately, my seatmate sneezed, coughed and blew her nose for most of the flight.  I am sorry she was sick and I hope I can avoid catching whatever she had.

I think that there will be some new sales starting at Creative Charms today - I will be sure to post them when I have the details.  Right now I need to get some rest.  I hope you have a great day!

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Ikea Design Inspiration

I enjoy occasional trips to Ikea - there is so much to see and I find lots of great items at very affordable prices.  I really appreciate the clever designs and it is always fun to find something that gives you an idea for your own craft projects.

I am also fascinated by the names that they give to each item.  Our house has lots of "Billy" bookcases.  Some of the names can be difficult to remember but I like the challenge!  It is interesting to see how many languages are included in the instructions that come with a product.

This candle lantern has 31 sets of instructions!

The etched glass has a simple eyelet type pattern.  I think it is lovely and it was only $2.99.  If you wanted to personalize this shade for an event, you could easily add gems to accent the pattern.

The design is very clever - the handle reaches down to the base and the glass shade rests neatly on the ring at the bottom.  I added the glass votive holder - you could also use a metal cup tealight.

I created this background for a scrapbook page in the Silhouette Studio software based on the shade design.  I'll try cutting it out next week. 

Remember - inspiration is everywhere!

I'll be flying home today - and then I think I'll be staying put, at least for a little while.  I hope you are having a great weekend.

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Something Silly for Saturday

We have been taking care of a very cute cat while our oldest son and his new wife are in Spain this year.  Jelly has become a member of the family.  We had dogs when I was young and lots of cats that stayed in the barn (I lived on a dairy farm).  I always thought we'd have a pet while our children were young.  However, we were living overseas for eight years and this made it too difficult to keep a pet with the quarantine rules and travels between countries.

Jelly has been the subject of close to half of the photos I take on my iPhone these days.  She is always doing something amusing and it has been great to have a little companion in the house. 

Despite our new status as besotted pet lovers, when I saw this book at Barnes and Noble I had a little trouble believing it was real.  But it is in fact a book that explains how to make crafts using cat hair that accumulates in your house.  As one of the reviews pointed out - it's not any weirder than sheep hair...or is it?

I hope you are having a nice weekend.  We'll have another busy day at the conference and I am sure I'll have lots of stories to tell when I get home.  Sunday will be a full day of travel - it isn't convenient to fly between Boston and Nashville and I have a longish layover in New York.

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Artist Trading Cards - Love

The February theme for my Artist Trading Card (ATC) group was "Love."  Sometimes when the theme is very broad it takes me longer to decide what to do - there are so many possibilities!   (Remember, the only rule for ATCs is that they must be 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches - the rest is up to you).

I decided I wanted to use some washi tape on my ATCs.  The hearts were an obvious choice and I added the red with the rows of dots and some elegant black and white damask tape.  This black and white tape was a gift from Tatum, who is a friend of Mandy at Scrappy-go-Lucky.  Tatum has started designing washi tape and selling it on her website Sawyer's Place (  I'll be sharing more projects using her custom tape designs soon.

I added the three tapes to the base card with a ragged edge at the bottom - I tried to line up the torn edges to look like the tapes had been torn together (some worked out better than others!).

I knew that I wanted to use the idea of "falling" in love so I added three white hearts, which were actually the "leftovers" from this card design (click the image if you missed the post with these cards).

I wanted to add some texture to the card, so I punched some small hearts with a Martha Stewart border punch and cut the word "you" with the die from the Cuttlebug "Love Language" combo set.

I added the red heart and the fuzzy "you" in the white area at the bottom of the card.  Now all I needed to do was to add my phrase.

I typed the words "falling in love with" and printed them out on white paper.  I capitalized "LOVE" and made it red.  It is quite a challenge to keep track of the tiny bits of paper until they are adhered to the cards!

Here is my finished ATC.  They each look a little different since the pieces are so fiddly to work with - but that's fine.

I added one more tiny little red heart in the center of the back where all of the information identifying the card is added.

Here are all seven cards, just before I mailed six of them off to be swapped.

Today is the first full day of the conference and I expect it will be non-stop activity. 

I remember asking if some of you would like to participate in a "virtual" ATC swap - where you create an ATC based on a theme and upload your finished card to share with other blog readers.  I think I'll post the challenge shortly after I return from Nashville.  It will be fun to see what everyone creates (and much easier to do only one for the challenge instead of mailing out groups of cards).

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

On the road again...

Actually, I am in the air again, on my way to Nashville, Tennessee.  I have been doing a lot of traveling so far this year and I am grateful that my husband and son are pretty good at managing on their own. 

My husband has gotten used to my crazy ideas and erratic schedule.  I am lucky that he is also able to ignore dust bunnies - at least until they start their own families!  I wanted to show you the beautiful Valentine card he gave me this year.  I would appreciate any card, but I loved the one he picked because it suited me so perfectly.

The design has lots of leaves with delicate vein lines.  The leaves on the flaps have the design cut out and the leaves on the center part of the card are printed.  I think this is probably a laser cut - I know it is much more delicate than I want to attempt on any of my machines.

I think the design is just lovely and it certainly gives me ideas for creating some gatefold cards.  There are lots of different shapes or designs you could use for the sides.

Here is one more photo that was taken in strong sunlight and shows just how fine the lines are in the leaves.

Do you ever find a commercial card that inspires you to create your own version or variation?   I like to take bits and pieces from all of my experiences and put them together in new ways - like the weathervane design from a few days ago that has endless variations.

I will have had very little sleep since we have to leave for the airport around 4 AM.  I hope I can snooze a little on the plane - I have to be able to keep up with all of those young mommy bloggers in their "cute shoes"!

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Creative Charms Inventory Clearance and Design Studio Cartridge Update

Creative Charms is having an inventory clearance sale.  The sale is starting off with the Loop d' Loop items at incredibly low prices..  You need to buy in groups of six packages for the Braided Daisy and Groovy Petal Medleys - the Fuzzy Daisy Kit can be purchased in single units.
Learn More
1.5" & 2" Flowers
4 Pieces per Package
Inventory Clearance Price - $ .50 per Package Quantities of 6 Only

6 Packages for $3.00
Learn More

The kit includes a 3 1/8" Chenille Daisy centered with a Jumbo Polka Dot Brad, a Daisy Chipboard/Stencil, 6 Chipboard Petals, and 18" Leafy Ribbon

Inventory Clearance Price - $.49 per Package
Learn More

1" & 1.5" Flowers
4 Flowers per Package
Inventory Clearance Price - $ .50 per Package Quantities of 6 Only

6 Packages for $3.00


These prices represent a huge discount and all items are offered while supplies last.  This is your last chance to stock up on your favorite Creative Charms items.

Here are some of my projects featuring these lines.  You can click on the photos to go to the original post for each project.

I layered two Groovy Petal flowers on this card.

The Fuzzy Daisy Kit includes the leafy ribbon I used on this ornament.

More Groovy Petals (with the centers exchanged to gem brads) on this card.

A braided daisy - I love the button centers!

The Fuzzy Daisy has such a nostalgic look - it makes me think of chenille bedspreads and robes.

Groovy Petals come in such cute bright colors!

I added a gem sticker to the center of this Groovy Petal flower for added sparkle.

Two sizes and colors of the Braided Daisy Medley on this woven front "quilt" card.

Another Groovy Petal on this door hanger sign.

The five petal shapes work nicely with lots of Cricut cuts.

Happy Shopping!

Update for Cricut Design Studio available

The February Cartridges have been added to Design Studio.  To update your program, click HERE to go to the update page on the site.  Scroll down to the Cartridge Content Update section and click the download button.

The cartridges to be added are listed above.  The Creative Memories Divine Wedding cartridge is full of beautiful wedding images and great fonts and monograms.  I have had some emails asking about purchasing this cartridge.  It will be available starting on March 1st on my CM Personal Website - it should be on This Page with the other cartridges.

This window will pop up and show the update as V120216.  Be sure to SAVE the update file and then run it so it will install correctly.  If you have Design Studio open when you install the update, you will need to close and reopen the program to see the new cartridges.

When you open the downloaded update file, you will see this screen.  Just click to install the update.  You will have to give permission for the update to install on a separate screen.

Thanks for all of the kind comments about my first oil painting.  It really was almost like a "paint-by-numbers" class since we were following some very specific directions.  I did enjoy it and I may try to do some more painting...someday... 

I'll be busy today getting packed for my trip.  Apparently not only 'cute shoes" but also sparkly evening outfits are expected at this event!  I fly very early tomorrow morning and will try to have posts scheduled for the days that I am away.  I might have a chance to post a few photos while I am gone but they may have to wait until I get back.

I hope you have a great Wednesday. 

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