I Promise It’s Me and I’m back…

This is my attempt at ‘dusting off the old cobwebs’ on this blog. I’ve missed you buddy and I’ve missed my blog friends even more. Though you have not seen me here lately, some may have seen me in a different forum. I’m a monthly contributor at Die Cut Crazy, a monthly digital magazine for die cut lovers. I thought I would share some past magazine projects with you as a way to say ‘hello old friends’.

DIE CUT CRAZY JULY 2013

Chalk Coloring Method - Mini Notes

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DIE CUT CRAZY AUGUST 2013

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DIE CUT CRAZY SEPTEMBER 2013

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DIE CUT CRAZY OCTOBER 2013

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If you’re interested in learning more about Die Cut Crazy (DCC), I hope you check out their website and their Facebook page. They are a growing magazine which is getting better and better with each issue! I’m so tickled to be a part of this journey. The contributors are a wonderful group of women (though I hope to see some crafty guys join up too)! And Stephanie, the Editor, is so sweet and helpful. She and her lovely husband, Jeremy, make the magazine magic happen with each issue. Not only is the magazine filled with contributors’ tutorials and photos, but there are card and scrapbook galleries for even more inspiration. If you’re feeling crafty ladies and gents and want to share your creations, send DCC an email. You might find yourself in their next issue! More details are provided in their post here.

Die Cut Crazy (DCC) offers three ways to purchase and download – via iPhone, iPad, or PDF. To check out the details in iTunes, click here. For a PDF version, click the DCC website here. The PDF version is perfect for those like me who do not have an iPhone or iPad. Just pay 99 cents and the issue is yours to keep on your computer. Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy!

My final note is to say how much I’ve missed my fellow blog buddies and visitors. I hope to ‘see’ you again soon. I have a lot of blog visiting to do to see what you all have been up to.  I’ve missed your talented creations and want you to know how much you inspire me.

Thank you,

Vanessa

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Father’s Day Card with Treat Box

Father’s Day has passed but I wanted to share a Father’s Day Card with treat box that was published in the June issue of Die Cut Crazy. Thanks Stephanie for letting me share my project! I used Cricut’s Tags, Bags, Boxes, and More 2 for the card and shirt box.

TBBM2 - Father's Day Card and Treat Box

Shirt Box - TBBM2

TBBM2 - shirt treat boxes

TBBM2 - Tie Tag Father's Day Card

Here are some exciting updates happening at Die Cut Crazy (DCC):

  • The digital magazine is now available for the iPhone in addition to the iPad.
  • It’s being tested for the Android platform.
  • A PDF version is in the works and will be available soon at their website: http://diecutcrazymag.com/.
  • They’re offering a two month free subscription. Click on the link for more details, but hurry, the code is only good through July.
  • They’re hosting a summer themed challenge. Submissions are due in 2 days – sorry for the late heads up. The winning entry will get a Sizzix Texture Boutique embossing machine!
  • Die Cut Crazy now offers card and scrapbook galleries to showcase your projects. If you would like your project to be published in DCC, send them an email at diecutcrazymag@gmail.com.
  • Die Cut Crazy is on Instagram. Their name is @diecutcrazy. If you tag your posts with #diecutcrazy, they’re happy to share them with their followers and in the magazine.
  • Follow Die Cut Crazy on Facebook to receive further updates.

It has to be romantic… and masculine?

So, my husband and I will be celebrating an anniversary soon and it’s time for another masculine card but one that also expresses LOVE. Sigh! I’m starting to think that a romantic masculine card is the trickiest of all the masculine card categories! When my creative well runs dry, I tap into inspiring sources. Usually a quick tour through Pinterest ends the drought, but sometimes it’s just good to visit your blog pals. It’s amazing how many delightful and inspiring cards are hiding in people’s blogs of all places! 🙂

So with renewed vigor, this is what I came up with after being inspired by Sarah at The Handmade Card Blog. Please check out her elegant anniversary card here. I love her patterned paper choices underneath her punched out hearts and that gorgeous woodgrain paper from Simon Says Stamp. I tried to mimic the look using a woodgrain folder by Tim Holtz but used a darker palette of kraft cardstock framed by mats in black.

Studio Calico Polaroid frame; Cricut Sweethearts heart

Recipe

  • Kraft and black cardstock (A2 sized card)
  • Sizzix Texture Fades Tim Holtz – woodgrain embossing folder
  • Heart aperture – Cricut Sweethearts cartridge (2.5 inches)
  • Studio Calico “Yearbook Collection” Polaroid Die-Cut Frame
  • Studio Calico “Darling Dear” 6×6 patterned paper (underneath heart aperture)
  • Amy Tangerine Remarks “Cute Overload” Puffy Heart Sticker
  • Red Baker’s Twine (Martha Stewart)
  • White Gel Pen (wrote in the year)
  • Dimensional Adhesive

Masculine Anniversary Card

Sending wishes that you’ll be inspired by someone or something today!

Vanessa

Two Hearts – Anniversary Card

Here is an A2 anniversary card I made for my parents’ 46th wedding anniversary! It’s a simple card with only two die-cut hearts from the Sweethearts cartridge but I think the colorful paper does the rest. The pretty blue card base is from Michael’s Recollections Preppy Beach cardstock and the cheery patterned paper is from American Crafts’ Pebbles Seen & Noted.

2heartsanniversary

I love the chevron paper! Is that an old trend now or did I make it in time! 🙂 I cut two of these chevron hearts at 2.5 inches – gluing one onto the card and popping the other one on top with dimensionals. I offset the left heart cut at 3 inches to have it go off the page a bit. I’m liking this style.

I used Fiskars All Year Greetings Stamps and StazOn Black Ink for the sentiment and a corner rounder on the bottom edges. I finished it off with baker’s twine from Martha Stewart.

The timing of this anniversary card with Jo’s Fun-day Friday Challenge worked out great! FFC #4 is “Anything Goes!!!!” To check out the challenge on Jo’s blog, click here.

Thanks for looking!

Vanessa

BBQ Under the Oaks – Wishful Thinking

You know how you have an idea in your head and you envision it to be fabulous without really thinking about logistics or other little issues such as weather? Perhaps you did think of rain but you didn’t count on excessive heat that normally occurs in August.

Sometimes you have to admit defeat and give in – make little concessions and realize what’s more important such as comfort and just being with family, instead of how pretty something would have looked under the oak trees during a summer evening in the south.

I was having a Martha Stewart (MS) moment. This happens occasionally and as I get older I’m learning to set my eyes on more realistic goals. But recently I had a MS slip up once again in preparation for a “Family Celebration”. We were celebrating my husband’s birthday, Father’s Day, and my parents’ 46th wedding anniversary in one big event. We were going to have a family BBQ on my parents’ farm underneath some stately oaks covered in spanish moss, but with temperatures reaching 96 and air so thick you could hardly breathe, comfort won out and we went with Plan B to have the BBQ inside.

So the mason jar tealight extravaganza we were going to hang from the oak trees was nixed and a two layered banner I spent hours on wasn’t used. Instead we had an indoor BBQ at my parents’ house and it turned out perfect anyway. We had a wonderful time and the food was amazing. We had grilled hamburgers and sausages from the guys, and baked beans, potato salad, fresh broccoli salad, deviled eggs, Strawberry Cheesecake Salad, and homemade cupcakes from the ladies. And more importantly, everyone was comfortable – no gnats or mosquitoes, and no sweltering heat.

If I had thought of it, I could have brought my banner over and hung it on Mom’s fireplace. Instead it sits hanging on my fireplace as if it were still waiting to be transported to the pasture to be hung between two pine trees. The mason jars are sitting in my Mom’s guest room. I guess I’ll save them for another event when it’s cooler – maybe in the Fall. My sister added ribbon to each jar and they turned out so pretty but for now we’ll just have to use our imagination on how it would have looked illuminating the old oak trees.

Here is a pic of the unused banner. Using a bbq/picnic theme, I went for the Kraft and gingham look.

banner

The banner and its toppers are cut at 7.5 inches from Straight from the Nest and the letters spelling “Family Celebration” are cut from Storybook at 2.5 inches. The red gingham paper is from DCWV’s “Nana’s Kitchen” stack. The banner base is cut from 8.5 x 11 Kraft cardstock. I was able to fit two banner triangles on one sheet and used 9 sheets in total. I threaded short pieces of twine, knotting them at the back, to connect all the banner pieces together and then added two longer lengths of twine on the ends for hanging.

Family Celebration Banner

Now back to the MS moment that did work – I tried out a new recipe I found on Pinterest and it was a hit. Family members asked for the recipe and I would like to share the source and recipe here. It’s a perfect summer dessert and I will definitely be making it again. It’s called “Strawberry Cheesecake Salad” found on “Mommy’s Menu”. The only alteration I made was to leave out the bananas. You’re supposed to add in the bananas right before serving but I did a taste-test in between and fell in love with how it tasted just like Strawberry Cheesecake without them.

Strawberry Cheesecake Salad
Serves about 10

12 oz. whipped topping (I used Cool-Whip)
1 small package of cheesecake pudding powder
3 (6 oz) strawberry yogurts (I used Yoplait)
1 lb fresh strawberries, sliced
*3 bananas, sliced (add just before serving or they brown) – (I omitted this step)
miniature marshmallows (add just before serving)

In a large salad bowl stir together whipped topping, yogurts, and pudding powder. Let this set up in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. Wash and slice strawberries. You can add strawberries to salad or wait to add them with sliced bananas and marshmallows just before serving. Keep refrigerated. 

Strawberry Cheesecake Salad

Note – it doesn’t say how many marshmallows to add so I tried half a bag and stirred and then I just went for it and added the whole bag of miniature marshmallows. It turned out great and as it sat in the fridge an hour before the BBQ, the marshmallows got softer in the pudding mixture and got even better. This salad reminds me of Watergate Salad or what we call here in the south, Pistachio Fluff. It uses the same idea – cool whip, pudding mix, some kind of fruit, and miniature marshmallows.

I also made cupcakes in honor of my husband’s birthday and tried out a new cake mix – Betty Crocker Supermoist Cake Mix, Golden Vanilla. It made a wonderful cupcake and I will be using this brand again. I couldn’t lay my hands on my favorite buttercream icing recipe so I used the one listed on the back of Domino’s Confectioners Sugar but it turned out too sweet. I had my mother-in-law and sister taste it and we all thought another stick of butter would mellow it out. It did and it was delicious! I will now use this altered recipe for future cakes:

Icing Recipe (I doubled Domino’s Recipe and added an extra stick of butter)

Makes Plenty of Icing for Piping Swirls onto 24 cupcakes:

7 1/2 cups – (2) 1 lb. boxes of Domino® Confectioners Sugar
1 1/2 cups – butter (3 sticks), softened (Land O Lakes salted)
8 tablespoons – milk
2 teaspoons – vanilla extract

In a large bowl with electric mixer at low-speed, combine sugar, butter, milk and vanilla. Beat at medium speed 1 to 2 minutes until creamy. If desired, add more milk until frosting is spreading consistency.

Many thanks to my sister for adding some fun colors to the icing – neon green and blue using McCormick’s Neon! Food Coloring. She piped on swirls to all of the cupcakes while I made the Cheesecake salad. We had a great time cooking with only a few stressful moments in getting everything done in time to be carried over to our parents’ home. The cupcakes were tricky in transporting, but overall they fared well.

cupcakes

Birthday Card – FFC Sketch Challenge

Hello! I have never done a sketch challenge before but thanks to Jo at Jo’s Scrap Shack, I took the plunge and I’m so happy I did. My niece’s birthday is coming up so I decided to use the sketch as my inspiration to make Amber’s card. She is turning 11 and growing up so fast!

Ice Cream Sundae Birthday Card

If you want to check out the sketch to see how I did, go to Jo’s post here. Every Friday, she hosts a Funday Friday Challenge (FFC) and everyone is invited to play along! This sketch challenge ends June 7th, 6:00 pm CST. Winners will be announced on Monday, June 10th.

Ice Cream Sundae - JBC

Card Recipe

Cricut’s Just Because Cards – Sundae (3.5 inches)

Cricut’s Fancy Frames – Frame and oval (4.25 inches)

Cuttlebug Embossing – D’vine Swirls & Swiss Dots

Glossy Accents

White Gel Pen

Adhesive gems

Dear Lizzy Ribbon

Dear Lizzy 5th & Frolic Thickers (foil letter stickers)

Assorted papers (Recollections All Seasons, Colorbök, and Kraft cardstock)

Inside message printed in Word

Inside of Card

Die Cut Crazy Magazine – Contributor

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Hello all! I have some exciting news to share with you. I was recently contacted by Stephanie Shock, the Editor of Die Cut Crazy, to be a contributor. Die Cut Crazy is a monthly digital magazine currently available for the iPad. Here’s a bit about the magazine: “Get creative and exciting ways you can use the art of die cutting sent automatically to your iPad. Die Cut Crazy is a digital only magazine created for those who have been bitten by the die cutting bug. Explore the many mediums, not just paper, that you can create with using your die cut machine and die cut products. Check out the magazine and find out what is making everyone Die Cut Crazy!” Source: http://diecutcrazymag.com/about/.

My Father’s Day project will be featured in the June issue. I’m so excited for this opportunity to be published! I send my heartfelt appreciation to Stephanie for her interest in my work.

If you would like to check out the magazine, visit the iTunes store and search “Die Cut Crazy”. Or check out the iTunes preview here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/die-cut-crazy-mag/id590620928?mt=8.

Once you’ve downloaded the free app to your iPad, you can then purchase a subscription through the Newsstand. Various subscription plans are offered.

For more details, check out their website: http://diecutcrazymag.com/. They have already published issues for the months of February – May 2013.

Thanks for checking out my bit of news! I appreciate your support so much!

Vanessa

Set of Mother’s Day Cards

I made Mother’s Day Cards for my dear Mother and Mother-in-law. The first one I want to share is the hummingbird card I made for my Mom. She loves hummingbirds so I made her this inspired card using the Cricut Pagoda and Tags, Bags, Boxes, & More 2 (TBBM2) cartridges.

Hummingbird Card - Pagoda, TBBM2

Last weekend, I found DCWV’s Nana’s Kitchen Stack at Michael’s on sale for $4.99. I used the pretty floral paper for the card and envelope (TBBM2 page 34 card, page 35 envelope). The card originally has small circles that cut out on the the card’s spine but I hid these in Design Studio (DS). The scalloped card base is cut at 4.5 inches from TBBM2. I cut a second card base in light blue cardstock to serve as a liner and adhered it inside the card. I must not have scored the liner perfectly centered to match the floral card base because it sticks out on the front but the two layered scalloped edge is a happy accident.

Card and Envelope - TBBM2

I used Accent Essentials to cut out the two circles on the front of the card (3 and 4 inches) and one more 4 inch circle for the inside message. The leaves are made from two Martha Stewart punches – Frond and Vine Trim. The hummingbird is cut from the Pagoda cartridge at 3 inches. I added Distressed Clear Rock Candy on the hummingbird and Stardust Stickles on the wing. The flower layers are from the dollar bin at Michael’s and the button brad is from American Craft’s Crate Paper “On Trend” line. I used Cuttlebug folders on the circles on the front of the card – Swiss Dots and D’vine Swirls. The “MOM” alpha stickers at the bottom right of the card face are from Dear Lizzy 5th & Frolic.

Mother's Day Card

I wrote a personal message to my Mom in Word and printed it on a 4 inch circle and adhered it to the inside of the card. I then punched out more fronds and adhered them with a Zig 2-Way glue pen. I cut the corresponding envelope in TBBM2 a little larger than the card base because there’s dimension on the card. I cut the envelope out at 4 3/4 inches.

Inside Message

Envelope - TBBM2

The second card is for my Mother-in-law. I used TBBM2 again for the card base and for the mini pizza box. The flower embellishment is very dimensional so I made the pizza box to put the card in. I used the card feature on page 24 at 5 inches. I also used the “Happy Mother’s Day” phrase on page 41 at 5 inches using a pink Cricut Gel Pen. To get it to print on the inside of the card, I rotated the Mother’s Day phrase 180 degrees to print it upside down.

Mother's Day Card  - American Crafts lines

Inside of card

Cricut Gel Pen (Pink) - TBBM2 phrase

The pizza box is cut at 9 inches (page 68). I cut this out in one piece so I used Cricut’s pastel 12×24 cardstock. There is the option to cut sections 1 and 2 and adhere them together for a larger box. I used 1/4 inch Scor-Tape to assemble the box. I decorated the lid with the Mother’s Day phrase layers cut at 2.5 inches (page 41).

TBBM2 - Card and Box

The paper used on the card and on the box’s lid is Dear Lizzy 5th & Frolic. The paper is two sided (green and pink). The paper flower is from Crate Paper’s On Trend. The gold scalloped border on the card face is from Dear Lizzy 5th & Frolic’s Accent and Phrase Sticker book. The glittery alpha stickers (Thickers) are also from 5th & Frolic.

Mini Pizza Box with Card - TBBM2

Mother's Day Card

I’m entering the hummingbird card into the following challenges:

Fantabulous Cricut Challenge (Challenge Me Monday – #159 Mother’s Day – create a Mother’s Day card). Deadline: 7:00 pm (CST) May 12, 2013.

Cardz TV Stamps DT Challenge #29 (“There’s No Other Like My Mother” – make a card, layout or craft project for Mother’s Day!) Deadline: Noon (EST) May 16, 2013.

My Craft Spot Challenge (Monday Post #96 – For Mom – create something special for Mom). Deadline: May 13, 2013.

Happy Mother’s Day to everyone, everywhere! 🙂

Vanessa

Mother’s Day Tea Cups

First I want to wish everyone a very Happy Mother’s Day! I also want to send special Mother’s Day wishes to my sweet Mom and Mother-in-law! For these two lovely women in my life, I made each of them a paper teacup filled with chocolate using Cricut’s Tags, Bags, Boxes, and More 2 (TBBM2). I cut both at 11.5 inches (or fit to page size). This will fit on a 12×12 sheet of paper. I used Dear Lizzy 5th & Frolic paper for the cup with leaves and Pebbles Seen & Noted paper for the cup with flowers. Both 12×12 sheets are double-sided with polka dots so I assembled the cups and saucers using both sides of the paper for a coordinated look. I learned an important tip when using the scoring tip. You have to make sure you turn off “Fit to Page” when scoring or the score lines will not line up where needed. I forgot to turn off “Fit to Page” when using the scoring tool so my scoring was off, but luckily the score lines weren’t that visible so I used the cuts as they were and manually folded the tabs on the cup by hand. I used Glossy Accents to adhere the pieces together and it held wonderfully!

Mother's Day Teacups - TBBM2

I made little tags for the cups that coordinated with the paper patterns. For the leaf cup, I cut a 1.5 inch leaf with its shadow from Accent Essentials. I used a 1/16th hole punch on the stem. For the flower cup, I cut both layers of a 1.5 inch flower tag from TBBM2.

Paper Teacup 1 - for my Mom

I stamped “love you” to the back of each tag using a small stamp from Fiskars All Year Greetings. I used twine to tie the tags to the cups’ handles. I filled each cup with paper filler and Dove milk and dark chocolates.
Back View

Paper Teacup 2 - for my MIL

Back View

I’m entering the teacups into the following challenge:

Cardz TV Stamps DT Challenge #29 (“There’s No Other Like My Mother” – make a card, layout or craft project for Mother’s Day!) Deadline: Noon (EST) May 16, 2013.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Vanessa

A Parisian Keepsake

A Parisian Keepsake

My sister and her husband are going to France this summer and will be touring Paris and Normandy on a river cruise! I decided to make her a birthday keepsake for their upcoming trip. The Fancy Frames cartridge has an easel that reminds me of the Eiffel Tower so I cut out the pieces at 9 inches using black cardstock. After learning that one layer of 12 x 12 black cardstock wasn’t going to support my dimensional “post card” without bending at the easel’s legs and falling over, I had to get creative using my thicker 8.5 x 11 inch black cardstock and Cricut’s Design Studio (DS). Since this is much smaller cardstock and the easel contains two panels in its image, I used DS to hide the contour lines on panel 1 so that just panel 2 would cut. I repeated this process on a second set of panels but now hid the lines on panel 2 so that just panel 1 would cut. This now gave me one of each panel using two sheets of 8.5 x 11 cardstock. It was necessary to go through this process for each panel because even though they look the same, their tabs hook in opposite directions when assembled. Because of my first mishap with the easel buckling under the weight of the embellished post card, I decided to cut the panels out twice so that I could glue two layers of cardstock together for more strength.

Fancy Frames Easel Panels - 9 inches using 8.5x11 cardstock

The third panel image for this easel was much simpler. I didn’t have to hide any lines since the panel and the trim piece fit on one sheet of 8.5 x 11 cardstock. I wanted the panel and trim piece to cut out twice so I placed two sets on the DS mat and added a sheet of cardstock to each end of my 12 x 24 cutting mat. Remember to line up your paper on your cutting mat to mirror how it looks in Design Studio so that it cuts out correctly. To cut from Design Studio, you click on the scissors icon.

Fancy Frames Easel Panel 3 - 9 inches using 8.5x11 cardstock

The easel experience taught me a few things. On my first attempt, I thought I would be helping myself by gluing parts of the easel panels together at the tabs. I even glued the trim piece on as well. This may be fine for thicker layers of cardstock but for just one layer I think it added to the buckling because the easel’s feet that hook together couldn’t splay out – they were now glued together and couldn’t distribute the weight. This is a personal opinion and I do admit that my postcard was much too heavy for one layer of cardstock.

Fancy Frames Easel - front view

So as previously mentioned, on my second attempt I chose the thicker 8.5 x 11 sheets, cut every piece twice, glued the two layers together, and then assembled the easel like a puzzle. I opted not to adhere any tabs or feet together. The entire easel can be disassembled for storage and put together again when desired. I like this option much better and I can happily say that the two layers of cardstock on each panel did the trick. I also learned that you don’t have to glue the tabs to keep this thing together. The tabs hook nicely and can easily support the weight of an embellished card or other paper artwork.

Fancy Frames Easel - side view

Fancy Frames Easel - back view

So now that the easel part is over, let’s move on to the little postcard, artwork, or whatchamacallit! 🙂 It’s not a card in the greeting card sense. It’s a 4.5 x 6 piece of black cardstock with patterned papers adhered on top, and then embellished with paper flowers, chipboard (this added to the weight :)), and a 4 inch oval stamped with an Eiffel Tower image I found at Michael’s.

Parisian Postcard Artwork

Supplies for the postcard:

  • Black cardstock
  • DCWV’s “The Bella Armoire Strack” – sheet of glossy black patterned paper; sheet of scripted cream paper for the oval
  • American Craft’s Dear Lizzy 5th & Frolic line: paper flowers with pearl bead centers; printed chipboard shapes (polaroid, arrow); Remarks Sticker Book – Accent & Phrase Stickers (floral heart); floral paper with polka dotted strip
  • StazOn Ink – Jet Black
  • Inkadinkado La Tour Eiffel stamp
  • 4 inch Oval – Fancy Frames cartridge

Fancy Frames Easel with Postcard Artwork