Monday, May 28, 2012

How Does Your Garden Grow?


Happy Memorial Day!  I hope that each of you has a wonderful day of remembrance with family and friends planned.  We are looking forward to a busy but nice Memorial Day, or rather a nice continuation of our Memorial Day weekend.  So far this weekend we have enjoyed warm (hot!) weather, work in our yard, dinner with friends, and far too much food (especially given that I am dieting).  Monday we plan to attend a neighbor's afternoon party and enjoy the company of our older son, who is coming to town for a job interview.  Oh, did I forget to mention Monday evening's grilled steaks, Italian potato salad, balsamic green beans and Eton Mess shared with 2/3 of our children?  (If I do a nice table there will be a post tomorrow!).


So even with all of the Memorial Day/weekend celebrating going on today is still Monday and that means it is also a Bitten by the Bug 2 Monday!  Our challenge cut of the week was selected by my very talented design team sister, Julia Moss.  Julia suggested that instead of a specific Cricut cut that we once again go with a weekly theme.  This week's theme is GARDEN.  We had to create a project that included cuts we might see in our gardens.

I am not a vegetable gardener, unlike many of my family members before me, so I did not go with a vegetable garden theme.  I think God put that Farmer's Market downtown for a reason and I have no problem visiting it (and the local super markets) for my fruit and veggie needs.  That being said, I do LOVE flowers!  When we purchased our house it was still being completed by the builder and this gave us a lot of freedom with our landscaping.  My goal was to have something in the yard in bloom year around.   Between shrubs, trees, and flowers we have managed to meet my goal!   The plants with the longest blooming season are my Knockout roses.  I have three colors of knockouts and I love them. So for my layout I chose roses!



I used only two cartridges to create this layout, Close to My Heart's Art Philosophy and Martha Stewart's Seasonal Cake Art.  I cut the word Beautiful using MS Seasonal Cake Art, and every other cut on this layout page was cut using the Art Philosophy cartridge.  It really is the Renaissance cartridge in that it does it all!

I started the layout with a vague idea of roses on a flourish.  I found this great flourish on Art Philosophy and then I used the AP roses on the flourish.  In the lower right corner of the layout I added a little button banner, also cut with AP, and the word You - which completes the phrase "Beautiful You".   The photo mats were two shaped cuts from AP.  And do I even need to tell you where those beautiful butterflies come from?  Art Philosophy, of course.  



I enhanced the layout with fibers by adding strips of lace and ribbon across the page along with some twine around the photo mats and on the buttons.  I used white rub-ons on the top of the page and Prima gem swirls over the flourish cut. I finished the layout with liquid pearl accents and the offset matted photo of my beautiful daughter, Bethany!


Thanks for stopping by today.  Remember that you too can join the fun of the weekly challenge and play along with us at BBTB2.  For more details visit the BBTB2 website

I hope that you will be stopping by later in the week - I have something special for you to announce on Friday!!!

Once again I wish you a wonderful Memorial Day!!!





Tuesday, May 22, 2012

How to Make a Dispenser Box



Hello everyone.  Today's post is in response to the "How did you do that" questions regarding the Dispenser Box from yesterday's BBTB2 post. 

 First, a quick note- a few of you noticed that I had posted the Craft Room cut file for the Dispenser Box yesterday evening. However, around 11:30 pm EST, I updated the design, so if you downloaded the file prior to that time, you may want to delete and download the latest version!! 

I originally used George and Basic Shapes to create my dispenser box.  Having received a number of requests for the cut file, I decided to redesign the cut file using a cartridge that more people might have access to.  The newly designed dispenser box was created using Cricut Font and Basic Shapes - which many of us received for free with the purchase of a Cricut machine.  Note - the digital cartridge is on sale today at Cricut.com!!!


Using the geometric shapes and the welding feature in Cricut Craft Room, I created the three pieces needed to complete the box.  Note: There is one oval on the front of the box that is purposely NOT welded.  It creates the negative arch area for the bottom front.   This updated design is a bit wider than the original box so that it may more easily "dispense".


You will need to complete a number of scores on each of the three pieces.  On the back/lid cut, above, you will need to score the folds for the flaps - begin by scoring across where the top flap meets the back (#1).  Then score the where the three flaps meet the back (2, 3, 4).  Finally, measure 3 inch from your first score and score the fold flap for the front of the lid (5).



For the front cut, above, your will need to score in the areas marked in the photo.  Score the two fold lines on the front section first.  Next you will score the fold on the flaps.


The score lines on the back/top cut are a bit more complicated.  You will begin by scoring 1/4 inch from the bottom edge of the rectangle.  Next, measure up three inches and score parallel to the first line.  Score the between the scalloped areas down to the side edges.  And last, score a line in off of the extended edges - this score line should start at the edge of the extension pieces and come into the middle area where it will meet the score line going across.  See the next two images below for an up close view of where these score lines meet.


You will need to make a few small cuts to the design.  First, cut the area where the extension piece meets the front of the dispenser.  Cut just to the score line.


If it would be easier for you, you can cut out time triangles.


Next you will need to make two cuts on the front of the box.  Measuring from  the bottom edge of the front arch - cut a 1/2 inch slit on each side.  My left side needed to be a tiny bit longer, so do not be surprised if you have to make adjustments.


Now that you have scored and snipped, you are ready to assemble.  Begin by applying adhesive to the extension pieces on the dispenser cut.


 You will slide the dispenser piece into the opening on the bottom of the front area.  Aline the bottom edge and slid the scalloped edges up so that they slip into the trimmed slits.  Affix the extension pieces up to the sides of the box.    The view below is from the inside of the box.


 This is the front view of fitting the dispenser piece to the front piece.

 
Next you will need to put a strip of adhesive across the INSIDE edge of the back/lid piece - apply the adhesive on the area that you scored the 1/4 inch line.


Next, apply adhesive the bottom flaps of the front/side pieces - this adhesive goes on the OUTSIDE.


Finally, apply adhesive to the flap areas on the back/lid cut.  Apply the adhesive to the outside of the cut.


Fold under the bottom flap on your back/lid and line up the scored edge with the score line on the 1/4 inch lip at the bottom of the box.  Ease the sides of the back into the inside of the box and gently rub to seal.  Flip up the 1/4 inch flap and rub to seal.



Your box should resemble the box below.


And while this is a cute little box, it does need a bit of embellishment.  Also included in the updated cut file is a page with the canister cuts I used.  The canister is on the From My Kitchen cartridge.  If you do not own from my kitchen, you can cut a tag and stamp the tag.  Also, if you do not own FMK, go ahead and delete this page from your cut file so that Craft Room does not continue to ask you for the cartridge.


For my canister I used this cute stamp set from Close to My Heart.  This set is called ENJOY and retails for $13.95.  Best of all, this stamp set coordinates with your Art Philosophy cartridge!!!!  See the little number printed beside some of the stamps?  That is size you should make the Cricut cut for the stamp to perfectly fit your cut!!!  Easy-peasy!!  I love how wonderfully easy the stamps are to use with Art Philosophy!!


I used the ENJOY stamp on the front of the canister - close up above.


Here it is, my little hot pink dispenser box all ready for the Splenda packages!!


Before I close, I would like to add one more shameless self-promotion:  You can purchase the Enjoy stamp set, the Art Philosophy Cricut Cartridge, or any of the NUMEROUS stamp sets that coordinate with Art Philosophy at my on-line Close to My Heart store!!! 

Thanks for stopping by today!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Kitchen Challenge with BBTB2


Hello everyone.  Welcome to the third Bitten by the Bug 2 Monday in May!  This week's challenge was once again selected by my design team sister, Julia.  Last week Julia had us use a baked item in our projects and this week she once again stayed in the kitchen.  The design team was instructed to use a kitchen cut in their projects. 

I decided not only to use a kitchen cut - the cute canister on the From My Kitchen cartridge, but I also cut a 3D dispenser box (using George and Basic Shapes) to use IN my kitchen!


I like to use Splenda in  my morning coffee, but I hate having either the big Splenda box or a rectangular Splenda container sitting out on my kitchen counter.  Somehow I think the counter tops look messy with extra stuff.  In an ideal world my counter tops would look like a landing zone - nothing in site!  But I do not live in an ideal world so I crafted this cut Splenda dispenser.  I confess that I got the idea from the Splenda box itself, which is a flip out front dispenser box.

Using George, I built this three piece dispenser and cut it using Close to My Heart's Dotty for You cardstock - our National Scrapbook Month special.  Dotty for You offers 24 sheets (2 each of 12 designs) of fabulous double sided cardstock at the great price of only $5.00 (with a $35.00 CTMH order).  Supplies are going fast so if you are interested in this great cardstock DO NOT WAIT.



Using From My Kitchen, I cut the canister in teals to coordinate with my peach cardstock.  I used a Made with Love stamp on the front of the canister before adding pop dots to affix the canister to the dispenser box.

The top of the box flips open and Splenda is then loaded inside.  I like this cut little dispenser far better on my counter top than the big Splenda box!!



Thanks for stopping by today.  Do not forget to go by the BBTB2 blog and check out my design team sisters' projects.  They are amazing....  Also remember that we love it when you join us in the weekly challenge by linking your project back to the post at BBTB2!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Happy Birthday Carter!!


Hello everyone - today we are going to wish my nephew, Carter, a very happy birthday.   Carter will be celebrating his fourth birthday tomorrow and I thought I would share with you the birthday card I made for him. 



Here is Carter looking adorable in his Detriot Tiger hat and jersey!




I used three Silhouette Cameo cut files to create this fun little boy card - the great castle cut, the knight, and of course that little green dragon inside the card. 

I cut the base castle card at 6 x 4.5 inches, using five colors of cardstock - two grey tones for the castle, black for the gate, red for the turret points and inner shield, and blue for the outer shield.  I finished the castle with black doodles and dots.

The knight was cut in three colors of cardstock - dark grey, medium grey, red and sparkle silver paper.

The dragon has a case of chicken pox - or at least he has a case of the dots!  I used a scrap of fun green paper to cut the dragon and then I attached him to the inside left cover card.


The inside left of the card is stamped with the same stamp set I used to stamp the castle front, Close to My Heart's Card Chatter - Birthday.  This is a great stamp set because it comes with several different birthday phrases that can be mixed and matched and retails for $17.95.   While you are checking out this great stamp set at my on-line store, take a few minutes to look at the May National Scrapbook Month Special - Dotty for You!!  With a $35.00 order (and the Birthday Chatter stamp set will put you half way to that total) you can add Dotty for You to your cart during checkout for $5.00!!!


Here is one last look at Carter's card.  I suspect I may not be on my brother's happy list when Carter opens his birthday gifts from Uncle Doug and I.  In addition to a fun ride on toy, I got him a big super-soaker water gun to play with this summer!!!! 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Downton Abby Layout with the Cameo


Hello everyone.  Remember back in March when I shared the photos of my Downton Abbey Birthday Get-together with the girls?  My blog post was actually about the great moustaches and treat cones that I had made for our Downton marathon, which you can read here.  Well, fast forward to yesterday....

I finally made time to sit down and scrap my Downton B-day photos!!!  I used my Silhouette to cut the embellishments and letters used on the layout.   Have I mentioned that I ADORE my Silhouette Cameo?  I honestly cannot believe I took so long to begin using it.  I am completely hooked and could only be happier if I discovered that I could use the Cameo and my Expression 2 at the same time (technically I should be able to do this, but I have not actually tried).


I found a great cut at the silhouette store - the "Nice stache" cut pictured above.  I also found the fun film strip during the same silhouette store shopping trip.  I had some of the moustache photos printed in wallet size and they *just* fit the frames in the strip!  How perfect were those cuts for this page?
 

On another trip to the silhouette store (I do like browsing there!) I found these three vintage women - Perfect for Downton Abbey.  Those who watch the show on PBS know that there are three adult daughters in the show.  I have named the women in the cut after the characters: the woman with her hand on her hip as Lady Mary, the defensive posed woman in the middle is Lady Edith, and Lady Sybil is on the right - looking to her future beyond Downton Abbey.  I "had" to add the three women to the page.

I used several flourish cuts to embellish the page, as well as a really pretty font to cut my title phrase:  Downton Abbey Night.


I hand trimmed a photo of the popcorn cones and added it to right-hand page.  After I took the photographs I went back and found one of our moustaches and added it to the right hand page, beside the 5 x 7 inch photo, over the swirls. 

My friends and I had decided that for scrapbookers, we needed to be better about documenting our time together.  Well ladies, I am making a start!!!


Thanks for stopping by today and viewing my Downton/Birthday layout.  I will be back tomorrow as I have more new projects to share with you....

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mother's Day Tablescaping And Great Meals


Hello everyone.  I wanted to share some Mother's Day photos with you and once again show you how we can use our electronic cutters to enhance our tablescapes. 

This may look like a very simple breakfast, but let me tell you, to me it was fabulous!  I have been dieting for the last two months and I have been limiting my intake of breads and of course, no fatty meats.  Doug and I worked together and made Cranberry-Orange Pecan muffins and Morning Star veggie sausages.  The muffins were fat-free, until I decided that they would be even better with pecans.  And guess what?  I was right; they were fabulous with pecans!


The Morning Star sausage was interesting.  The sausage flavor was good, especially when combined with the muffins, but the texture was a bit odd.  However, that did not stop me from enjoying my muffin and sausage links!

I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut these lovely beautiful muffin/cupcake wrappers.  I found them at a site suggested by my friend Susan Miller:  Monica's Creative Room.  Monica has some of the most beautiful and detailed cuts - be prepared to be completely amazed!!  Anyway, on Saturday afternoon I cut a few of the muffin/cupcake wrappers to enhance our morning muffins!


And as wonderful as breakfast was, it did not hold a candle to dinner.... Dinner was an amazing dinning experience.  When asked what I wanted for Mother's Day, I told my daughter that I wanted for her to make a nice dinner for us.  Bethany likes to cook and she was excited to take on the challenge. We invited my friend Kimberly to join us as she had enjoyed brunch with her own mother, but would not be seeing her out-of-town daughters on Mother's Day.


My big contributions to the evening included setting the table, making the dry rub for the meat, and whipping the filling for the trifle.  Bethany did everything else on her own, except for slicing the meat (as you will see shortly).


I chose to use my pink Bordallo Pinheiro dishes from Portugal for dinner.  I went with a pink and red color palette - pink dishes on red chargers with pink and red toile print napkins!  And red roses on the table (thank you, Doug!)!  I used the new Cricut cartridge, Tablescaping Spring & Summer and cut my own red and pink napkin rings.  I added a pink center to the red flower napkin ring and added stickles dots to better define the centers.  The napkin rings worked well with the red and pink colors.


We used stem dessert dishes for our raspberry-cranberry jell-o salad - Yes, DO think 1970's - but I still love this jell-o salad!!!   Bethany did a great job of making dishes that I really do enjoy!

Below is a better view of the napkins with floral napkin rings.


 Bethany snapped a quick photo of Doug, Kimberly and I as we were about to begin our family style dinner.... the foods are on the table and ready to pass.


And now I have saved the best for last, Bethany's menu:  Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Cabernet-Mushroom sauce (that was FABULOUS!), Poached Asparagus, Twice Baked Potatoes, Raspberry-Cranberry Jell-o, and an amazing Strawberry-Mascarpone Trifle for dessert!!!  Everything, and I mean EVERY-THING was just wonderful!!!  Bethany did a great job on this meal.  And it was so fun to be served such a lovely meal in my own home!!!


 The dessert...  Careful that you so not drool on your keyboard!!!


Doug's job for the dinner was to assist Bethany if needed.  She called for Dad's help with the electric carving knife - and then pushed him out of her way, over onto the rolling cart.  And as you can see from this photo,  Duncan is praying to his doggy-deity that Doug might slip and drop a hunk of beef tenderloin onto the kitchen floor!!!



Sorry Duncan....




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Supplies are going quickly so do not wait until the end of the month to order your Close to My Heart National Scrapbook Month Special - Dotty for You.  With a $35.00 order at my on-line store, you can purchase this great cardstock set during checkout for only $5.00.  If your order reaches $50.00 you can also add the Stamp of the Month during checkout for an additional $5.00.  So for $10.00 you can add 24 sheets of fabulous cardstock and the stamp of the month set!!