Thursday, January 28, 2016

Love Medallion Valentine Card

 Thanks to everyone for your "welcome back" comments and emails - it's great to be back to blogging and I am still catching up with replying to you all. I have a new Valentine card to share with you today.

This design was made by simply flipping and welding the word "Love" from the Sweethearts Cricut cartridge.  You can make interesting new images with word art from many different image sets.

This is the image (#M4133F) that I chose for the design.  I have had this cartridge for a long time and after I created the card I checked and was surprised to realize that it is not part of the Image Library Subscription.  I will share the file at the end of this post for those of you who who can use itDigital cartridges are also on sale this week for 33% off at (use the code SHOPDIGITAL). These are my affiliate links which means that I will earn a commission if you make a purchase from the site - your price remains the same).

I created two versions of the design - one for a 5 x 7 card and one for a 6 x 6 square card.  This screenshot shows the two versions.  There is some distortion in the square card but the word is still clear.  If you change the proportions too much on a word it can be hard to read.

I use the squares and rectangles as sizing guidelines and then hide them when I cut the file.  I prefer to simply cut my card base and layers with a paper trimmer to make the best use of my cardstock.

Here are the cuts for the two designs.  The "ove" is not connected to the "L" in the original word and I chose to keep them separate.  You could add a connecting piece and weld it to create one continuous image if you prefer.

You could also just use the shape that is created by welding the "L"s.  Interestingly, the square word design produces a rectangular shape and the rectangular design makes a square shape.

I chose a dark red cardstock for the card base and decided to layer it with some sparkly gold and an embossed top layer.  I tried a couple of options for the embossing.  The design on the right is from the "Preserves" cuttlebug set and I liked the way it echoed the foil design in the paper I chose for the word cut, however, in the end the rose design looked better to me.

The folder I used is called "Rosette Cluster" and it is one of the Anna Griffin designs.  I tend to prefer these folders because they will completely cover a 5 x 7 card front.

I hate to waste the center of the pieces I layer on a card front - particularly when I use my favorite sparkly gold glitter papers!  So I pulled out this Anna Griffin die (I am not sure of the name - it was part of an HSN autoship purchase).

The sparkle paper is from DCWV and it has a sort of plastic feel to the back.  I wasn't sure if it would cut smoothly so I ran it through the Cuttlebug several times, checking the back to be sure that the full image was cut.

I ended up with this beautiful piece to save for another project.

These are the cut out sections - some might be used on another card.  The heart shapes on the left are good candidates for reuse.

Finally, this is the layer with the cut out that I used for my card.  Once the card is assembled no one can tell that you used this thrifty trick!

Since my design cut in five pieces, I used another trick to help me align it in the center of the embossed layer.  I took a piece of 5 x 7 cardstock and scored and folded it in half both directions.  Then I added pen marks at the center of each side.  The offcut can then be use to help position the center medallion.  This design has very definite center points which made it easy to line up with the pen marks.

You don't even need to use the offcut for positioning a design that is so clearly symmetrical.

The offcut definitely helps when it comes to placing the "ove" parts of the word.  I know you can "eyeball" it but I think my perfectionist tendencies are showing with this method!

By using the offcut to help you with positioning you get a design with perfect mirror images.

The finished card gives no clue that you saved a beautiful medallion from the gold layer.  This trick works even better because the white layer is embossed so no ridges will show through where the center is cut out of the gold layer.

The card looked a little plain so I tried added a few things at the center of the medallion.  This gold gumdrop embellishment looks fine but the shade of gold was not quite a match for the card layer.

I grabbed my old Creative Memories heart punch and carefully positioned it on a scrap of the red foil paper to center the design.  I added it to the card using a foam square so it is raised above the design.  I think this is my favorite variation.

Which version do you like the most?

I noticed something new when I was checking the site for the cartridge information.  It may have been this way for a while but I just realized it today.  If you are logged in while you are shopping there will be an indication that you already own an image set.  This is helpful if you have trouble remembering which cartridges you have.  However, it doesn't tell me that I actually own the physical cartridge (maybe because I did not purchase it from the the website...). 

If you would like to use this file with your Cricut Explore, here is the Design Space link

I'd love to see what you make!

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Sunday, January 24, 2016

Time for an update!

Hello to all my crafty friends and everyone who has followed this blog over the past eight years.  At long last, I am returning to share paper and other projects, some photography, digital cutting and image files, occasional recipes and travel reports, and some other random things that I find interesting and that I think you will enjoy as well.  I have missed keeping up with the blog and I do appreciate all of you who have emailed or been in touch to let me know that you also missed seeing my posts and projects.  If you are a Facebook or real life friend you probably know some of the things that have been happening in our lives - here are a few highlights of the recent months.

The past year has been full of changes for our family.  As many of you will recall, we started the process of moving from Massachusetts to New Hampshire over a year ago and that became more than a full time job for me!  When you are a crafter you "collect" a lot of things that you know you can use for a project someday.  With a full walk-up attic in our Concord house and a crafting space that had taken over most the lower level of the house, I had a lot of organizing, sorting and moving to do in order to prepare our house for sale.  While we were selling our house, we also took on the build out of the lower level of our new house which was another huge project that lasted much longer than expected.

Our new house sits back in the woods with a very long driveway.  During the record breaking snowfalls of last winter, we had two houses, 45 minutes apart, with snow removal turning into a constant battle.   This photo shows the first big storm at our new house when the "plow guy" couldn't make it up our drive and we brought our snowblower from Concord to clear the way to the house.  I am thinking about everyone who is affected but the storms this weekend and hoping that you stay safe and warm.  Miraculously, it seems to be passing just south of us and we haven't had any new snow here.

In June, our younger son got engaged, and wedding plans were on a fast paced schedule because they wanted to have the wedding while it would still be possible for our older son and daughter-in-law (expecting their first baby) to fly out from California.

The wedding was a wonderful celebration on a beautiful fall day - which also happened to be Halloween!  (I'll share more about the wedding in another post).

We even managed to squeeze in a baby shower on the Sunday after the wedding.

Throughout the summer, work continued in the new house.  This is my new craftroom at a fairly early stage in the work.

Here is the craftroom a few days ago - as you can see, there is still a lot of moving in to do but I am making progress..

I have been very grateful to have my Cricut Explore with the iPhone app which made it possible for me to keep up with cards for family celebrations and holiday gifts for some of our new neighbors.

Even though I had limited time for crafting, I was able to do lots of little things quickly and easily just using my phone (which was great since my computer was having issues that I couldn't sort out for months). 

Our first granddaughter was expected in January but she surprised us all by arriving a month early.  She was tiny but healthy and we are very grateful that she is doing so well.  This photo is from her one week old birthday in her adorable preemie dress that actually fit.

We were able to meet her and have a nice long visit in California earlier this month.  Of course we think she is the cutest baby ever!

It was great to be there for her one month birthday!  She is growing quickly and we can't wait to see her again as soon as we can make another trip.

So that's a very brief "catch-up" on what's new here.  I have some housekeeping to do on the blog and will be updating some of the pages and links over the next week. I also have some new products that I have been using that I can't wait to share.

I'd love to hear how you are doing and what sorts of things you would like to see me posting.  If you have any questions or requests for certain types of projects you'd like to see here, please be sure to leave a comment.  I have some plans that have been on the "back-burner" far too long and I am eager to share them with you all.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product using the link I may receive a commission. I only participate in affiliate programs for products that I use or can recommend without reservation.

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