Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Hanukkah Oh Hannukah!

One of our favorite evenings of the holiday season is celebrating the lighting of the menorah with our DSIL.  He cooks a delicious traditional meal and serves it elegantly in the dining room.  We always have to grab the latkes before Master J devours them all!

Way back in Spring, I bought some beautiful blue holographic foil with the idea of incorporating it in this year's Hanukkah card. When I pulled it out, I realized that the circles and dots would present a challenge in the design of the card.  In the end, I kept it very simple and used a card from Artfully Sent.

The innies:-

Not too many details today as I broke my wrist and typing left handedly is excruciatingly slow!  Boy, do I have rotten timing or what?  Thanks for visiting today.  : )  Christine

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

80 + Santa's Sleigh Treat Boxes - Check!

Fifty or so report cards due to be carried home in little Kindergarten backpacks midway through December meant that I never had time to craft any of the cute treat holders that land in my Pinterest feed.  How I longed to make the Peppermint Patty snowmen or the Santas with candy filled dangling legs for all my Kinders!

When I retired, I began a new tradition - The Great Pre-Christmas Craftathon and this is my third season of treat making for friends, co-workers and the OHM children.   : )  : )  : )  This year I really, really wanted to make a sleigh containing chocolates and candy and here it is!

And here are my Notes To Self on mass production treat crafting with the Explore!

*  Keep the container simple.  There are some beautiful sleigh svgs available with wonderfully ornate runners.  Choose a relatively simple design like the one I used this year from Lori Whitlock.  The runners are glued on the side of the sleigh body rather than supporting it from underneath.  Much easier to mass produce!

*   Choose a design that does not waste paper even though there may be extra construction steps.  Since the sleigh side pieces are separate from the body, I could get 3 small sleighs from one sheet of 12x12 card stock.  Gluing the pieces together was easy and worth the paper I saved.

*  Choose a design that 'ungroups'  in order to save yourself from the work of eliminating pieces by using the 'hide contour' button.  I liked using different patterned paper for the body of the sleigh and this was very easy to do by changing the color on the Design Space canvas.

*  Do not try to cut ALL the pieces at once.  My browser/router/DS/computer configuration does not like me to make more than 9 project copies so I go back and re-cut a mat as many times as needed by clicking on its icon and making 9 at a time.

*  Add embellishments punched from scraps of paper and don't forget the MISTI for stamping the sentiment.

*  When selecting the candy for the treats, include DH's favorite kinds so he'll volunteer to pack the treats for you.  LOL!

Thanks for visiting with me today.  Happy Holiday Crafting everyone!  : )  Christine

Friday, December 4, 2015

First Batch Done!

Just popping in to share the first (overseas!) batch of cards. 

This design comes from Mary at SVG Cuts and was a lot of fun to put together.  

Thanks for visiting today.  : )   Christine

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Turkey Tails!

Two of my favorite Cricut carts are Create a Critter and Create a Critter 2.  Besides being cute, the images are very, very easy to piece together by building upwards from the shadow base layer.  (Not all systems work this way!)   I used the shadow layer from the Thanksgiving turkey image in CAC 2 to create a little pocket on the November treats for the OHM children.

After much experimentation and a new appreciation for my tendency to collect adhesives, I used a combination of glue dots and Scor tape to keep the candy in place. 

The treats are so, so cute but... since my estimation skills are non existent despite having taught this skill in Kindergarten, I now have a giant bag of left-over Jolly Ranchers!  Any ideas?   Thanks for visiting with me today.  : )  Christine

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Thank You Veterans

Like most Brits of certain age (!!!) both my parents served in WW2.  I grew up appreciating how different my life would have been had it not been for the service of those who fought.  I grew up witnessing the terrible physical and psychological effects of that service.

In many countries around the world, we will honor Veterans for their valor, their patriotism and the sacrifices they have made for all of us.   In Britain and other Commonwealth countries, the poppy symbolizes the service of our Veterans and people will proudly wear poppies on their coats and hang poppy wreaths on their doors.

So, today I am sharing a home decor piece which uses the poppy from the Cricut 3D Floral Home Decor cart on a simple frame from the Simply Sweet cart.

This particular flower has very few components and is easily put together.

 I am a firm believer in softening the fibers of the card stock petals with the ball roller on an old mouse mat.  I do this on the underside of the petals because I think it makes a more natural, softer flower.   I like to ink the edges and gently darken the center edge.  A nice 'blob' of liquid adhesive holds the rolled center in place and I have a plastic clamp that holds the pieces together until they are set.  Then I roll the petals around the barrel of the ball roller to add more dimension.

I embossed the cream card stock with one of my favorite embossing folders - the Anna Griffin Poppy folder.   I cut the frame twice and sandwiched the embossed card stock between the two frames for added strength.  The sentiment was written with the Explore using Soiree Lettering, Grace Script font.

This was such a lovely project to work on and I appreciate the opportunity to share with you. Remember to thank a Vet!  : )  Christine

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Sweet Treats for the DGDs

Like many crafters out there, I have svg files sitting on my computer that I just HAD to have.  A couple of weeks ago, I actually unzipped the SVG Cuts Toil and Trouble file from its resting place and made the witch shoes.  Here they are: -

The lovely, glittery, sturdy cardstock from Recollections at Michaels whispered my name as I was wandering the aisles looking for crackle texture paste and I popped it in my cart totally forgetting that I had discovered no easy way of gluing it together.  

Eight million glue dots later, I was semi satisfied although, as you can see, after I took the photos, I had to go back in with my markers and fill in white spots on the edges!  I have to say that the shoes are very easy to put together and while I think about it, I do have some white faux leather cardstock that would make great bridal shoes for wedding favors.  Hmmm!

Thanks for visiting with me today. I'd better go see what damage the first frost has wrought on my plants.  : )  Christine

I am linking my shoes with the Sweet and Yummy challenge at Craftin' Desert Divas.  Lots of inspiration here for next year's Halloween treat holders.  : ) 

Friday, October 30, 2015

Thanksgiving Table Place Name Holders

Several years ago, I made place name holders from the newly released Thanksgiving cart.  They were much admired and a couple even disappeared!   It's way past time for an update to my Thanksgiving table and so I went looking for ideas on Pinterest.   I found some very cute teepee holders and was reminded of the teepee cards I made last year.  Aha!  I had seen an easy peasy teepee card on Collette's Digi-re-doo-dah blog that I was sure I could create in Design Space and here it is: -

It's basically a 6 inches wide by 3 inches deep rectangle with a 1 inch triangle welded on the bottom edge.  There are score lines from the center of the top edge of the rectangle to the triangle point, to one of the bottom angles of the triangle and to both bottom corners of the rectangle.  The panels are triangles welded together and you need two large and two small panels.  I glued the 2 small panels and one of the large ones in between the score lines as shown.

The next step is to apply glue to the top edges and fold into a pyramid shape. The second large panel was adhered on the glued side to conceal the join.

After pushing in the score line between the two small panels, the teepee will fold flat (well, flatish!) for mailing or storage.   Easy peasy!


Now the fun part - embellishing!  The "Give Thanks" sentiment comes from Artbooking, and the wheat and feather cuts come from the Thanksgiving cart.  I left the tips of the feathers unglued so that I could insert the place card.  The leaves are cut with dies from Sunny Studios because I just love the added definition to the edge that you get from a little steel die.

Here's just two of the place card holders.  I'm eschewing matchy-matchy this year and making them with different designer papers for the panels.  (I learned the hard way not to use a paper with an obvious one way pattern!!!!)  And, if one or two disappear again, I won't be scrambling to find a piece of paper to match the rest! 

  It was simple to make a larger card sized version of the teepee place name holder and I'm glad to have this easy peasy template in my DS files.  Thank you for visiting with me today.  : )  Christine

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Think Pink

This week's challenge over at BBTB2 was, ummm. challenging!  This vintage, British born lady, could not imagine EVER sending a card featuring lingerie, pink or otherwise!  It took me three rejected and dejected designs to come up with a card that I could actually envision sending to someone and here it is: -

I've made word shaped cards before using phrases from the Wild Card cart, but this time I started from scratch and used the 'text' feature to write the words "think" and "pink."  I used the Carousel font since it has a lovely chunky shadow layer.  I ungrouped the shadow letters and manipulated them until they overlapped and then welded them together.  Using small triangle shapes, I covered up the smaller gaps between the letters so that the shape had a more cohesive look and welded again before  duplicating and flipping the image.  Aligning the two shapes one on top of the other, I welded them into one shape.  I added thin rectangles to fill in the fold line and welded again.  Lastly,  I added the shadow layer from the ribbon from the Pink Journey cart and welded all the images together.

I think next time I try this technique, I'll fill in more of the gaps between the letters and see if that gives it a more structured look.   (I want to try this with my grandchildren's names - won't that be fun?)

I wanted to keep the card as uncluttered as possible, but could not resist a rolled rose from the Flower Shoppe card and these tiny bead butterflies that have lived in my embellishment box for years just waiting for the right card!

One last look: -

Do go see here to see what the DT created for this challenge.  Their imaginative projects are part of the reason this card was so challenging! 
I am also linking my card with the BCA awareness Pinky Linky at DL Art.

Thanks for visiting with me today.  : )  Christine

Oooops!   I did not read the rules properly at BBTB2 and since this card doesn't have lingerie OR a lady, I removed it from the link up.  Ah well! This card was a terrific learning process and I loved making it. : )   

Thursday, October 22, 2015

A Last Halloween Card

I recently received another HSN shipment of Anna Griffin mix and match embossing plates and I have NO idea how I'll ever use all of them!  However, this shipment did include a "Trick or Treat' sentiment and I was inspired to create a card that is not 'cute.'

I used paper from an old Carta Bella collection and some coordinating stickers and die cuts.  Kinda, sorta different.   Love that black, shiny paper!

Hmmmm!  Think I'd better check out some 'sophisticated' cards on Pinterest.  Thanks for visiting with me.   : ) Christine

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving Spinner Card

My DH sighs when another Product Release video from Jennifer McQuire pops in my mailbox and I start "Ooohing and Ahhhhing."  But, my reaction was different this week when I saw the Mama Elephant stamps and dies and the spinner card Jennifer had created.  "I can do THAT with my Explore!" I cried and DH sighed but with relief this time.   Here it is:-

I was so pleased that the Bitten by the Bug 2 challenge blog decided to continue for a while and I was determined to participate in the Turkey and Canadian Thanksgiving challenge.  Coming up with something a little bit different from the inspirational projects offered by the DT was difficult until I saw the spinner card and envisioned a turkey revolving in the card!

I cut the card base from Tags, Bags, Boxes and More 2 but in resizing the card I stretched the circular window.  I used the Hide Contour button to delete it and sliced another circle using the shapes button.  I used the circle that sliced from the card to create two circular frames for inside and outside the card.  These frames hide the knots that attach the thread that spins the turkey.

I cut the turkey from Autumn Celebrations.  One of the images is mirrored in the Edit panel and then adhered together over the thread.   (Who needs two stamps and dies? Haha!)  The pumpkins come from Create a Critter 2 and are contoured and shaded with my markers to add dimension.

The sentiment also comes from Create a Critter and the cooked turkey inside the card comes from Simply Charmed.   I embossed the front of the card with a Darice folder called Fall Leaves because it features lovely maple leaves.

If you'd like to try this card, my file reference number is:-

Thanks for visiting with me today and I hope all my Canadian friends had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.  : ) Christine

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Crazy Bird Halloween House

Why is this pretty princess so apprehensive?   Well...

It started out as a project using the 'fill' patterns in Design Space.  Ever since I sadly disposed of my Imagine, I have waited, not very patiently, for this feature to be added to Design Space and finally, here it is!  The patterns are available after you flatten your image in the Layer Attribute panel and then the edit button brings up a slider bar that allows you to scale the pattern:-

 Be aware, however, that the size restrictions on the image you can print and cut also limit a pattern filled cut.  (Go here for more details.)

So, having decided to make a birdhouse (a free pattern from Bird's Cards new svg shop here.) using one of my favorite bark patterns from the Snapshot Nature Imagine cart, it occurred to me that I could use up some of the (many) crazy birds that I watercolored by adding them to the birdhouse.  Naturally, I could not stop there, and the whole Crazy Birds Halloween Birdhouse was born!  Here it is:-

And, of course, the reason that the pretty princess is so apprehensive about Trick or Treating at the birdhouse is that those crazy birds went way over the top with their decorating!  Can you tell I had fun, fun, fun, fun, fun with this project?

I used images from A Child's Year, Monster Bash, Classroom - October and November, and Creepy Critters carts.  One last view with the tealight glowing:-

I am linking my birdhouse with the 'Anything Goes Challenge #111' at Decorate To Celebrate challenge blog.  Check it out!  : )

Thanks so much for visiting with me today.  : )  Christine

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Hello Kitty Halloween Shaker Card

My sister came down last week and we had a lovely 'catching up' visit!  Cocoa was very happy that Katie had a new doggy cousin to pester and chase instead of being the sole recipient of her attention.

Jan brought down a box containing cards that I'd made for her over the last ten years or so.  Hmmm!  Thankfully,  I've learned a lot about paper choices, color selection and design over the years.

I found time to work in my craft room today and quickly transformed it from its unnatural tidy state to its usual comfortable muddle and mess.   I have been playing with the new flood fill feature in Design Space and really like being able to adjust the size of the pattern to 'fit' the design.

Since I was using Halloween confetti inside the shaker, I needed to allow plenty of space inside the  mechanism.  I cut a circle of black craft foam and sandwiched it between the patterned paper, the acetate, and the black construction paper circular frame.  My trusty Explore cut all the elements perfectly and good old Glossy Accents glued it all together.

Here's the inside: -

You'll see that for once, I added the HK nose but I'll confess to cutting it in white and using a Distress marker to color it pink.  LOL!

Thanks for visiting with me today.  Hope you like this year's HK card!    : )  Christine

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Leo's Lanterns

We're back to reality after a wonderful camping trip in Crater Lake National Park.  Visiting this park has been on our 'to do' list FOREVER and finally, this year, we made it!  The lake is wonderfully blue and the geology absolutely fascinating. 

Every time we stopped at a pull-out, the view took our breath away.  And every time we got out to take pictures, Katie popped into the front seat and sat looking extremely bored, with her front legs draped over the steering wheel!  She reminded us of a tour guide we had while we were doing one of those "If it's Tuesday, we must be in Lucerne" bus tours around Europe. 

Although I packed my Explore, the wifi at the campground was intermittent and the update confused the heck out of the internet connection!  Fortunately, all was well when I got home and I have enjoyed playing with the flood fill feature.   More on that later!

Also while we were away, Leo, part owner and co-developer of SVG Cuts, opened up a new site of his own called Dreaming Tree and offered a bundle of three amazing Halloween lanterns which, of course, I had to have!

The designs on the lanterns are amazing and cut with great accuracy.  Leo has included a Supply List with the files which is very useful and he does have a video tutorial on the web site.  I love the look of the printed vellum. Note to self - let it dry for a LONG time before cutting the pieces apart!

That said, I had a hard time gluing the pieces together because IMHO, the panel openings are too wide, and the supporting structure too thin.  I had glue everywhere until I switched to my good old Zig pen!   Nor do I like the closure at the top - it's hard to insert the last tab.  Leo recommends  a very cool set of LED lights that are remote controlled but these are over my budget, I'm afraid.  I guess I'll reconcile myself to the fact that these are to be one time only decorations!   Oh no!  That means more crafting!!!!

I'm off to work on the other lanterns in the bundle.   : )   Thanks for visiting with me today.   : )   Christine

Thursday, September 17, 2015


DH is in Seattle for a couple of days and I have Katie sitting duties.  All that entails (sorry!) is keeping her entertained so that she's NOT tearing round the house chasing Cocoa down and wrestling with him, because she's not really supposed to do that for at least two more weeks.  (I really should have taken the vet up on his offer of extra Katie sedatives...)

Anyway, I was able to creep up to the Craft Room while she slept and play with the Triple  Easel card again.  Isn't this fun?

This card is for Master J's mom who taught him a totally inappropriate Girl Scout song about tombstones, that he absolutely loves!  The tombstones feature absolutely dreadful puns - the kind my Dad relished telling his grandchildren for their predictable reactions - 'Dawn Under,' 'Lon Gawn' and my favorite 'Al B. Bach.'

I cut the tombstones from the Life's a Party cart, the zombies and hand are from the Zombie digital set, and the spider webs from A Frightful Affair.  I used the Art Deco font to write on the top layer of the tombstones.

I am linking my card with the Fun with Puns challenge at Die Cuttin' Divas.  Go take a look at all the DT creations but be prepared to groan!

Thanks for visiting today!   : ) Christine

Edited to add   : )
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