Planning for the Christmas Time Crunch

Hello everyone.   I took a few days away from serious, hard core crafting to deal with my annual allergy attack.  I have NO idea what I am allergic to but it always hits me at this time of year.  I finally went to the doctor yesterday and she prescribed two new drugs that seem to be making me breathe a bit better.  I will be happy if I do not cough all night!!!

I did mange to finish a few Christmas cards that I started earlier this month.  I want to have all of my Christmas cards ready to mail by December 1st and that means I should be working on them now, before the rush of the Christmas season.  Today a going to share another Close To My Heart  Workshop On The Go - the Pear & Partridge Christmas Card Kit (G1043), the kit I used to make the cards photographed here.  I adore this kit; it has all of the materials needed to create 15 Christmas cards (five cards each of three styles) including cards and envelopes, stamps, ribbon, gems, cardstock, and instructions.  You only need to supply ink and adhesive!  

Of course being me I had to make one or two changes to the basic instructions - I changed the shape of the cardstock on which the images were stamped.  I used Cricut Artiste and cut decorative shapes and I liked this look far better than the rectangles suggested by instructions. 

In the card below I made two changes - the shape of the stamped cardstock and the color of the ribbon.  The Workshop On The Go comes with two spool of taupe colored ribbon - used on the card above.  For the card below I changed the ribbon to cream twill ribbon.  I think red would have worked also.

On the card below I once again changed the shape of the stamped cardstock as well as the ribbon color.  I used CTMH red ribbon and I like the final result much better. 

If you have not looked at the CTMH Workshops On The Go, you should go take a look at them all by CLICKING HERE.  There are scrapbook page workshops, card workshops, the previously shown Advent Calendar workshop, and other home decor workshops.  I love the WOTG kits!  I think they are a really smart value.  You receive the stamps, cardstock and embellishments to create the projects.

Thanks for stopping by today.  I will be back tomorrow with news for September!

Advent Calendar - CTMH Kit With Extras

Hello everyone!  I have so been looking forward to sharing this project with you since I completed it last Saturday!  This advent calendar was so easy to make - seriously! - using the Close To My Heart Workshop On The Go Advent Calendar kit.  Everything you need, except the Cricut Artiste cartridge, black ink and glue, come in the basic kit.  With the Workshop On The Go Advent Calendar kit you can create the basic Advent Calendar project pictured below.  Very cute, right?

Because I like to kick-it-up a notch, I decided to take my Advent Calendar Workshop On The Go to the next level.  I changed one drawer color and I added additional details using Cricut cuts from the Art Philosophy cartridge and assorted stamps (including the Art Philosophy stamp set).  I also added ribbons and twine to dress up a few drawers. 

Materials used to create my Advent Calendar:

From CTMH-
Assorted tiny Christmas stamps

Additional materials:
Twill Ribbon
Gem strips
Artificial greenery
Pop dots
Hot glue gun

As I stated above, I began with the basic Advent Calendar Workshop On The Go (WOTG).  Using my Cricut machine and the Cricut Artiste Cartridge I followed the instruction in the WOTG and cut 25 drawer pieces.  I used the cardstock included in the kit, cutting five drawers in each color.  After completing the cuts I decided to change the color of one set of drawers - I substituted Colonial White cardstock drawers for the brown, using CTMH Colonial White cardstock so that the "weight" of the cardstock would match the other drawers.

I continued following the instructions and using the stamps provided in the kit, I stamped the borders and numbers onto the cardstock drawers. Next the drawers were scored and the chipboard accents were added. Per the WOTG instructions, instead of using glue or other traditional adhesive, I used Liquid Glass to adhere all of pieces together. While Liquid Glass was designed to be a high glass finish, it also is a FABULOUSLY effect, very permanent glue. I used Liquid Glass on the chipboard pieces and on the drawers themselves during assembly.

The flowers that I used on my Advent Calendar were cut using the Art Philosophy cartridge and stamped with the coordinating flower in the Art Philosophy stamps.  I used a foam mat and a stylus tool and shaped the flowers and leaves.  I then added gems to the center of the flowers and affixed the flowers and leaves to a few of the drawers.

I used the same basic technique for the flowers on top of the Advent Calendar, except I did not cut leaves and instead cut a small version of the same flower to create layered flowers.  The smaller top layer of flowers were also stamped with the Art Philosophy flower stamp so that only the center of the stamp appeared on the small flowers.  The layered flowers were then hot glued to the faux greenery.

I covered the outside of the Advent Calendar box with CTMH Pear and Partridge cardstock.  I measured the width of the sides then added 1/4 inch to wrap around the back before cutting my cardstock.  Working on one side at a time, I applied a thin coat of Liquid Glass to the outside of the calendar box before applying the cardstock and smoothing.  I repeated this process until all four sides were covered (see photo 1 at the top of the page).  After the Liquid Glass had dried, I applied a very thin coat of Liquid Glass over the cardstock covered sides for added protection and a slight gloss.  I finished the box/frame portion of the Advent Calendar by adding strips of red gems around the edges to frame the drawers.  And of course I used Liquid Glass to adhere the gem strips to the box.

After letting the calendar box completely dry, I inserted the drawers into place.  I then cut a short length of faux greenery and hot glued the greenery to the top of the calendar box.  A length of one inch wide ribbon was looped through the greenery before the 3D flowers were added.

I truly like this project so much.  The Workshop On The Go Advent Calendar is not difficult at all to assemble and the extra embellishments were also easily assembled and applied.  I HIGHLY recommend that Advent Calendar Workshop On The Go kit - I had such a fun time building this project and I will continue to enjoy it each December for years to come!

Student Teacher Notebook for BBTB2

Hello everyone - happy Monday!  With so many children returning to school this month and next my sweet design team sister, Brenda at Bitten by the Bug 2 selected the theme BACK TO SCHOOL for this week's challenge.  I had a couple of ideas about what I could do with this theme - a back to school treat bag package, college apartment layout, etc.  But then I decided to do something for my daughter, Bethany.  Bethany is in her final semester of college and is currently student teaching/interning second grade at a local elementary school.  I thought Bethany might like a little memory notebook from her student teaching experiences.

While at the Creating Keepsakes Convention earlier this month, my friend and roommate Toby gave me a  SEI chipboard notebook she was sure I would find a use for.  And Toby - you were right - I did find a way to use the book!  The book was a perfect canvas on which to build Bethany's memory notebook. 

I used two cartridges to create all of the cuts used on this notebook - Cricut Artiste and Art Philosophy - both of which are available at my CTMH on line store.  I also used cardstock from the CTMH Scholastic and CTMH Avonlea lines, stamps from the Art Philosophy set, and the alphabet font A Typeface by CTMH.

I filled one of the vellum pockets inside the notebook with additional shapes and cuts so that Bethany will have extras as she assembles her notebook.  I also added empty tabs to each section of the book and left an open edge so that Bethany may title her sections.

There is an elastic band that wraps around the notebook to hold it closed.  I left that in place as Bethany thought it would be useful with all of the notes and memorabilia she will be adding to the book.  And her opinion - when she saw the completed notebook she told me she really liked it and expecially likes the pockets, pull out extended pages, and all of the places to add notes!  Yeah....!

One final note, I used CTMH Burlap Ribbon to create a pennant shape for the cover.  And... I discovered that you CAN stamp on burlap!! 

Be sure to go by the BBTB2 blog and check out all of the Back to School projects the design team created!  Super-cuteness!

Remember that we are down to the last week of my special offer - Anyone who orders either of the CTMH Cricut cartridges from me this month will be entered into a drawing for $50 in free CTMH merchandise of their choice.  Also we have two stamp specials - the stamp of the month and the double stamp set for National Stamping Month.  See my CTMH link above for more information.

Thank you for stopping by today.  I will be back tomorrow with a project that I am SUPER-EXCITED to share with you!!!  I spent several days planning and two days working on tomorrow's project!!

Loralie Christmas Card

Hello everyone.   Today I have a new Christmas card to share with you featuring a Loralie Christmas stamp - High Fashion Holiday.  I have used this stamp before and could not wait to share another project with this festive Christmas belle.  On the previous version my belle had light hair and a fun plaid Christmas dress (click here to see the previous post).  In this incarnation my festive belle is greying and sporting her favorite holiday little black dress.

I used Copic alcohol marker to color the image and a Copic fine liner pen to add doodles and dots.  I finished the stamp by adding small red gems to the image.  I mounted her with pop dots on a green bazzill matting.

Using my Close To My Heart  Art Philosophy cartridge I cut the double layer sentiment tag above.  I stamped the sentiment with the Close To My Heart Merry & Bright stamp set.  This stamp set is just adorable and this was my first use.  Next time I plan to have fun with the wreath and birds!

The cardstock used in this project is a combination of Bazzill, Teresa Collins Christmas, and scraps from my scrap stash!   I would have added ribbon, but I wanted to be able to mail this Christmas card without additional postage!!

Thank you for stopping by today and letting me share my Loralie holiday card with you.  I will be back tomorrow with another project to share.

Vintage-ish Card with Artiste & Embossing Powders

Hello everyone.  I have a new Cricut Artiste cartridge project to share with you today.  The colors in this project are a bit outside my normal comfort range, but I truly like the end results.  Every product used on this card except the lace, ribbon, burgundy embossing powder and beads are available through my Close To My Store. 

All pieces of this card were cut using Cricut Artiste, including the two shaped cuts on the front.  The focal stamp used is from the Jardin set, a new Parisian themed set in the fall/winter catalog.  I used the butterfly and flourish image and stamped it in clear embossing ink onto the printed cardstock shaped tag.  I then used two different colors of embossing powder - metallic gold and burgundy.  I applied the burgundy first to the top area of the stamped image - the words and the butterfly - avoiding all other areas.  I then added the gold powder over the rest of the stamped image.  After removing the excess embossing powder, I heat embossed the entire stamped image.  I inked the edges of the tag and adhered it to a larger cut of the same shape.

For the top layer of the card I used the same technique except I only used one color of embossing powder.  I used clear embossing ink and the stamp on the lower left in the photo below (from this month's Stamp of the Month set - Baroque Borders).  I stamped in two opposite corners on the card and a used burgundy embossing powder.   I love using a repeat pattern of these stamps to create embossed backgrounds. 

To embellish the card I added several different elements.  I cut two flowers using the Cricut Artist cartridge and using the quilling tool I rolled the cuts to create the flower pictured below.  I added the pearl and sparkle beads to the flowers as added embellies.

I used a gold metallic shimmer spray and sprayed the flowers and card front to add a fine layer of shimmer to the card.  Into the photo below you can see an up close image of the embossing and the shimmer mist.

I used CTMH's new mini pigment pads to ink the edges of the shaped mats.  There are four sets of the pigment pads and they are the same colors as our large ink pads.   Not only did I ink the edges of the shaped tag cut, I also used the mini pigment pads to change the color of my lace.

The lace I used on this card was a bit too taupe in color so I used the Honey mini pigment pad to color my lace!!

The cardstock used to create this card is also from Close to My Heart and is call La Belle Vie.  The set contains six sheets of printed cardstock and six sheets of coordinating solid cardstock.  I purchased this set to create art for my guest bath.  I have a fun French themed bath and thought I could created some framed art with these cardstock and stamps. 

Thanks for stopping by today for another Cricut Artiste project.  If you have not already purchased your Cricut Artiste cartridge set, I would be happy to help you with that.   Just click HERE to access my CTMH on-line store and have the cartridge shipped directly to you. 

As a reminder, anyone who purchases a CTMH cricut cartridge from me in the month of AUGUST will go into a drawing for $50.00 of free CTMH merchandise of the winner's choice!! 

I will be back tomorrow with another project to share!!

Silhouette Tuesday & Scrap Room Re-Org

Hello everyone.  Today I have a Silhouette Cameo vinyl project to share with you.  For those of us who are Cricut lovers, you may ask why I have a Cameo.  The truth is I love the delicate cuts and cartridge-free format.  I am constantly amazed at the detail the Cameo can create.

Today's project is called a Spilt Letter design.  I confess that I only found out about split letter designs recently - on the Silhouette Cameo page at Facebook.  I attempted to find a split letter design cut file at the Silhouette site, but came up empty.  So, I decided to try to created my own!

I had previously purchased a large glass hurricane and very tall candle at Hobby Lobby to create this fun gift for a friend.  I took two of my existing Silhouette files and combined them, along with the letter G and created my vinyl cut file. The delicate cuts came out fabulously and while transferring the vinyl to the glass was a slow and delicate process, it was also not difficult.  In the end, I think this is going to make a great birthday gift for a friend!

Other than crafting, I spent quite a few hours last week/weekend reorganizing my scrap room.  I find that each year following the Creating Keepsakes Convention in Charlotte that I have new supplies to find homes for and the urge to purge a few out of date supplies.  This year I added some furniture moving into the put way and purge equation.

Previously all of the furniture in my scrap room was placed around the walls, leaving the middle of the floor empty.  And while this looked neater, cleaner and more spacious, I found it to be less that convenient for every day crafting.  I was constantly back and forth across the room from cutting machine to work desk and back.    I placed my cube desk piece in the middle of the room to create a U-shaped work area.  My new arrangement enables me to stay in one location and have just about everything I need within reach.  And while the photo below is slightly misleading, I still have enough space to left to have a Cricut Imagine work station and eleven storage cubes beyond the desk..... Sweet!

Thanks for stopping by today.   I hope you enjoyed my Silhouette Cameo vinyl project and the brief peek into my scrap room.  I will be back tomorrow with another Cricut project to share with you.

Vacation Layout for BBTB2

Hello everyone!  Welcome back to another Bitten by the Bug 2 Monday!  I have so much to share with you this week - it is going to be a fun week of projects, some made with the Cricut E2 and some with the Silhouette Cameo.  Ohhh, I can't wait!  But first we have to deal with today...

As I said, today's layout was created for the weekly BBTB2 challenge.  This week's challenge was selected by our team co-leader and wonderful person, Carole.  Carole choose the theme "Vacation" and asked us to create a project of our choice using any Cricut Cartridge.  I choose to create a layout and used the Cricut E2 and two Cricut cartridges - Celebrate with Flourish and Base Camp.  I used Teresa Collins Fabrications line of cardstock (along with Bazzill solids) to craft these two pages. 

Some of you may recall that last spring Doug and I took a bit of a get away to the Smoky Mountains, staying at the Waynesville Golf and Country Club.  Spring was in bloom and the weather was fabulous and we had such a nice time.  When planning my scrap pages for this trip, I decided to use large printed photos, bold cardstock patterns and very little embellishment.  I truly wanted the layouts to feature the photos.  And while the layouts are a bit sedate (for me), I do like them. 

Other than the title, the only Cricut cut on this layout is the golf bag from the Celebrate with Flourish cartridge, and even this I hand trimmed to simplify (and fit my space).  I cut four layers of the golf bag, then cut the clubs again in white to add "heads" to the clubs. 

The title was cut using Base Camp and dark green Bazzill cardstock.  I wanted the title to be bold and pop out on the green prints used on this page.

Thank you for stopping by today.  Please remember to visit the BBTB2 blog to view all of the fabulous (and I do mean fabulous) projects the design team created this week.  I am truly the slacker of the team this week!

Before you go I would like to remind you that Close To My Heart has some fabulous deals for you this month:

You’ll love this double set—two D-size sets in one envelope—which includes nearly 50 trendy images that makes it easy to capture the everyday moments in your life. The double set has a retail value of $35.90, which drastically increases the value of your qualifying purchase! Have twice the fun stamping during National Stamping Month with our new, exclusive It’s Your Day double stamp set!

Dates: Offer valid August 15 (9:00 am MDT) – September 30, 2012 (11:59 pm MDT)

This month's Stamp of the Month, Baroque Borders, is available for a limited time only and can be yours for $5.00!! With a $50.00 order you can add BOTH the Stamp of the Month and the It's Your Day Double Stamp sets for $5.00 each!!!

If you purchase the Cricut Artiste cartridge for $99 for the set, you can add the Stamp of the Month and the Double Stamp set deals. The three sets combined have a retail value of $182.85, yours for $109.95 (plus s/h and tax) That is a saving of $72.90! You will have the Cricut Cartridge, the three sets of chip board that come with the cartridge, the three sets of stamps that come with the cartridge, the Stamp of the Month set and the National Stamping Month double set - 6 sets of stamps!!!

Close Out Item Must Haves

Hello everyone.  So sorry to be MIA for a few days.  I have been trying to reorganize my scraproom and make the work space more practical.  Sadly, when I move the furniture, I seem to eliminate floor space.  I cannot decide if it is better to have little walk way with a U shaped work area, or more space with an open floor area.  Sigh....

In the midst of my scraproom mess - uhmmm - organization(!), I discovered some fabulous sale items at the Close To My Heart "While Supplies Last" store section.  Above is our 12x12 window album on sale for only $2.00!! Seriously, $2.00!!!  The album comes in red or brown and features the three screw closure system.  However, also on sale are the snap binding systems for $1.50!!!  The albums come without page protectors, but where else can you find a quality album for $2.00???

We gave two spools of ribbon on close out, each on 20 yard spools.  The cranberry color ribbon - above - is perfect with the cranberry ink and cardstock!!  The colonial white color ribbon below is a great neutral.  Each color is on sale for $4.00!!!

If you plan to make Christmas cards or Christmas scrap pages, this next item is a must have!  This set of 100 Holiday Craft Buttons is on sale for $3.00!!!  Seriously!

There are several other items in the "While Supplies Last" section of my on-line store.  I will share one more and then let you go do some fabulous sale shopping. The clear card set below contains 8 clear cards and 8 cello envelopes.  If you would like to create unusual cards, this is a must have item.  They are currently priced at $3.00. 

I am going to confess that I ordered a few albums, the ribbons and the buttons, as well as a few other assorted ribbons. I thought you too might like to know about the close out items before they are gone!!!

Thanks for stopping by today - I am off to try and make peace with my scrap room!!! 

Silhouette Christmas in August?

Hello everyone!  I am going to take a break from the Cricut Artiste cartridge today and share a Silhouette Cameo Christmas card with you.  I found this fun nine tile cut at the Silhouette store and thought it could be adapted to be an adorable Christmas card front.

After cutting the basic pieces and assembling the tiles I matted the tiles on the dark green square.  I wanted a white matting behind the dark green so I added the white rectangle with a fun lower edge.  I dressed up the card by adding two buttons with red and white twine.  I used a shimmery heavy red cardstock for the base card and attached the card front to the card.  And that was it - a fun and easy Christmas card!!

One more word about Christmas cards - I tend to made several styles and themes.  I like the traditional nativity cards I had previously shared in the THIS post, as well as the fun style of another tri-fold card I shared in THIS post.  The three different styles of cards are intended for three different groups of recipients.  I will be crafting some really pretty poinsettia cards in the coming weeks and they will be for yet another group of recipients.    Also, I tend to make multiples of each card!  I made four of these fun Christmas tile cards, eight of the nativity cards and six of the fun tri-fold cards!  

In the coming weeks I will be sharing more Christmas cards.  If you see something that you like, feel free to save the photo and make your own version of the card.   I hope to create something that appeals to each of you!

Close To My Heart

You’ll love this double set—two D-size sets in one envelope—which includes nearly 50 trendy images that makes it easy to capture the everyday moments in your life. The double set has a retail value of $35.90, which drastically increases the value of your qualifying purchase! Have twice the fun stamping during National Stamping Month with our new, exclusive It’s Your Day double stamp set!

Dates: Offer valid August 15 (9:00 am MDT) – September 30, 2012 (11:59 pm MDT)

This month's Stamp of the Month, Baroque Borders, is available for a limited time only and can be yours for $5.00!! With a $50.00 order you can add BOTH the Stamp of the Month and the It's Your Day Double Stamp sets for $5.00 each!!!

If you purchase the Cricut Artiste cartridge for $99 for the set, you can add the Stamp of the Month and the Double Stamp set deals. The three sets combined have a retail value of $182.85, yours for $109.95 (plus s/h and tax) That is a saving of $72.90! You will have the Cricut Cartridge, the three sets of chip board that come with the cartridge, the three sets of stamps that come with the cartridge, the Stamp of the Month set and the National Stamping Month double set - 6 sets of stamps!!!