Paint Chip Butterflies

When have you turned into a craft supply hoarder? When you pull paint chip cards out of the trash and recycle them into art! 

A couple of days ago, I cleaned out our file cabinet and ran across some paint chip cards. My first inclination was to throw them away, so in the trash bag they went. Luckily the trash bag was new and only had old magazines and non-confidential papers in it because a pang of anxiety shot through me as I contemplated projects these paint chips could be used for. *Yes, I know I ended a sentence with a preposition and yes, I’ve turned into a hoarder :). I look at packaging, gift bags, wrapping paper, and bows in a whole new, recyclable way now. So I pulled the paint chips back out and put them in my craft room for safe keeping.

Yesterday, my sister reminded me that my sister-in-law’s birthday is coming up so last night I played around with a card idea. I thought of those paint chip cards and found a pretty one with varying shades of pink and cranberry. I tried my Emagination butterfly punch on the card and it worked perfectly so I punched out as many butterflies as I could for future uses. I used four on the birthday card (one butterfly from each shade of color). I adhered the butterflies in the order of their shades from light to dark using small foam dimensionals that I cut in half with scissors. I also folded their wings back to simulate flying.

The card measures 5×7 and uses plain sheets of cardstock in Kraft, light green, and cream. The oval background is from a Sizzix Birds and Wreath embossing folder set. I used Versamark (clear embossing ink), cotton swabs, and chalk pastels to color in the embossed image. I then cut out the image with scissors and adhered it to the card base with foam dimensionals.

The flower layers and teeny-tiny light green brads are from Michael’s and the larger brad is from Hobby Lobby. For the birthday sentiment, I stamped ‘Happy Birthday’ (TPC Studio) in pink ink and when dry, I ran it through my Sizzix Texture Boutique using a Cuttlebug Swiss Dots embossing folder.

Thanks for checking it out!

Vanessa

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Masculine Nature Card

With the arrival of Spring comes this nature-inspired card that plays with shading and the notion that sometimes less is more. I used Craft-T Chalks and a clear embossing pen to achieve this water color effect. These particular chalks aren’t permanent but there are some advantages when using a clear embossing pen. The embossing pen acts as a chalk enhancer which adds depth to the colors, creates a water color effect, and seals the chalk for a no-smudge card. And most importantly, the non-permanent chalk allows me to erase mistakes with a standard pencil eraser. I still want to get my hands on permanent chalk but I digress!

If you would like to try this method, here are some tips.  Emboss your cardstock with an embossing folder of your choice and then color in the embossed sections with a clear embossing pen (I use Rangers Inkssentials). Work in small sections so that the paper is still damp to accept your chalk. If you don’t want to damage your chalk applicators, use Q-tips to work in the colors. For the grass, I applied two shades of green to one Q-tip (one color next to the other) so that I could blend them together effortlessly. This adds more depth to the grass. Don’t worry if you get chalk powder over the un-embossed, dry parts of your paper. A quick erase using a standard pencil eraser cleans up the unwanted “coloring outside of the lines”.

Card Supplies

  • Cuttlebug “Bird Call” Embossing Folder
  • Clear Embossing Pen
  • Q-tips
  • Craft-T Chalks (turquoise, dark green, lime green)
  • Pencil Eraser
  • Cardstock (cream, brown, kraft)
  • Twine
  • Button
  • Adhesive Tape Runner
  • Dimensionals (foam tape)

Candy Canes and a Wreath Card

Hi all! This is an A2 sized Christmas card using Sizzix’s Wreath embossing folder (from the Birds of a Feather & Wreath set). I colored in the embossed image with Bic’s red and green fine tip permanent markers (don’t have any Copics yet :)). Then I applied Glossy Accents to the colored image and waited for it to dry. I added adhesive pearls in two sizes to the leaves. The candy canes were cut using Cricut’s Christmas Village cartridge. I flipped one of the candy canes and cut them in alternating colors. Since the Christmas Village cartridge doesn’t have any layering options, I used Design Studio to hide the contour lines of two canes to get a solid color (one white, one red). I then cut two unaltered canes so that the “holes” would cut out (one red, one white). After I adhered the layers together, I ran them through a Cuttlebug Swiss Dots folder. I crisscrossed the canes with some adhesive and then added a double loop bow in green Christmas ribbon. I made the bow using my homemade version of a “Bow Easy”. I adhered the candy canes to the card using dimensional foam tape. The cream cardstock was also trimmed on the corners using a corner rounder punch before being adhered to the red card base.

Birds of a Feather – A Simple Christmas Card

This is a simple yet cute Christmas card using only two colors – red and white. I used Sizzix’s Birds of a Feather embossing folder to make this A2 sized card. I used a corner punch for the bottom corners. It’s finished with red and white gingham ribbon.

Halloween Jack-O’-Lantern Card

Here is a cute little jack-o-lantern card from Cricut’s Wild Card cartridge.  I have been eyeing this one for a while but put it off to the last minute.  It’s the only Halloween card I’ve made and I put it in the mail last night to be sent to my sister who lives 5 hours away.  Just thought it would be a cute “hello” from me to her.

All cuts are 5 inches (card details and envelope), except the bat and spider which are cut at 2 inches.

I have noticed around the internet and on the Cricut Message Board that there’s some confusion on how to assemble this to get the black to show up behind the pumpkin carvings.  The easiest method for me was to cut the card twice, once in blackout using black card stock and one in the regular mode showing the carvings for the eyes and mouth in orange card stock.  I then used a paper trimmer to cut off the orange jack-o’-lantern section to lay on top of the solid black pumpkin.

The web was trial and error.  At first I used silver glitter glue but it made the web warped and weak and I didn’t want to wait until morning for it to dry.  So I cut it out again in black card stock (5 inches) and used my Zig 2 Way Glue Pen to completely cover it and then sprinkled on silver glitter.  I shook and thumped the covered web until it was hard to get any more glitter to come off.  Hopefully it will travel well in the mail!

Below is a gallery of more pictures.  Just click on the thumbnails to see a larger version.  I also show how I highlighted the matching envelope using a clear ink embossing pen and chalk.

I entered this in Mary’s Cardz TV challenge: http://cardztv.blogspot.com/2011/10/cardz-tv-cricut-cardz-challenge-94.html.

Thanks for looking!

Vanessa

Butterfly Sympathy Card

A dear friend of mine lost her father last month and this is the card I made for her and her family.  This was my second attempt as the first just didn’t reflect what I was trying to express to her during this difficult time.  She has always been there for me and now we live quite a distance apart.   I wish for her peace and comfort, and pray that time will help heal the sorrow she is feeling.

Card Details:
The lavender card base is 5X7. The wreath embossing is an A2 Sizzix folder from the Birds & Wreath Set. I colored in the wreath using a Rangers clear ink embossing pen (working in small sections so it wouldn’t dry too fast) and then I applied green and purple Crayola chalks with Q-tips.  I cut the butterfly and cage from the Cricut Lite Bloom Cartridge at 3 1/2 inches. The black and lavender card stock came from Wal-mart in 8 1/2 x 11 sheets. The lavender satin ribbon is from a ribbon scrap pack from Paper Studios. The cream card stock is from a ream I got from Desktop Publishing supplies. The “Thinking of You” is a rub-on I had in my stash. The butterfly is embellished with Lavender Stickles and three light green adhesive gems.

I typed the sentiment in Word using Edwardian Script and printed it on a 5×7 sized sheet of cream card stock which I then trimmed down just a bit with a paper-cutter so it would fit on top of the other mat layers (went 1/8 inch inward around all sides for each mat to show the layers of mats). I used a corner rounder from Paper Studios on all corners of each mat and card base before adhering everything together.

Thanks for stopping by,

Vanessa

Paper Pumpkins

I was recently inspired by Linda Kaiser’s blog, “The Paper Boutique”, where she featured 3-D paper pumpkins that she made last year from strips of card stock.  Linda has a great video tutorial that you can check out here: http://paperboutique.blogspot.com/2010/10/how-to-make-3-d-pumpkins-using-card.html.  Written directions can also be found on the Martha Stewart website: http://www.marthastewart.com/271331/paper-pumpkins.  I found both sources to be helpful when attempting my first pumpkin, but Linda’s video offered some handy tips on designing and making three sizes.  I made a large, medium, and small pumpkin using DCWV’s Linen Closet glitter card stock.  Then because I am a traditionalist at heart, I just had to make an orange pumpkin, so I used two-toned orange card stock and alternated the strips’ colors and embossed each one with a Cuttlebug Swiss Dots folder.

I used my Cricut to cut out leaves from the Storybook cartridge and the stem from the Wild Card cartridge.  I used a hot glue gun to adhere these, but you can also use Martha Stewart’s leaf template and her directions for making a stem out of crepe paper.  Martha’s instructions don’t require adhesive because you secure the leaves and stem with brads.

I used the following measurements for 3 sizes of pumpkins:
Small – 12 strips of 6” x 1” card stock (3 inch string length between 2 brads)
Medium – 18 strips of 9” x 1” card stock (4 inch string length between 2 brads)
Large – 24 strips of 12” x 1” card stock (5 inch string length between 2 brads)

Thanks for looking!
Vanessa

Autumn Wreath ~ Made From Cricut

Autumn is my favorite time of year and I am slowly realizing the change in weather here in Georgia.  The hot peak of the day isn’t as brutal and the evenings are becoming lovelier to sit outside and enjoy the cooler breezes and watch my cats play in the backyard.  Soon we will notice the leaves starting to change color and that is when it will really hit home that fall is here.

This weekend, I will be dragging out my autumn decorations so that I can enjoy them a little longer this year before it’s time for Christmas.  While thinking of decorating with my wreaths and ceramic pumpkins, I decided to try my first Cricut project – a paper autumn wreath using my Cricut Expression.  Until today, the only things I had ever made with this incredible machine were cards.  So this is what I made using the Wild Card and Accent Essentials cartridges.

Details ~ I used two leaf shapes from Wild Card (pg. 43 – both leaf icons) and made the wreath base from Accent Essentials (pg. 33 – <Accent2>).  For the wreath, I hid the contour lines of the inside cuts so that just a solid wreath shape would cut.

Sizes ~ The maple leaf was cut at 6 inches, the elm leaf was cut at 4 inches, and the accent wreath shape was cut at 10 inches.  Note: I cut the wreath shape out of sturdy card stock twice and glued them together to stiffen up the base.  More wreath layers can be used of course, if desired, or if you have a deep cutting blade, chip board would work great.

Texture and Color ~ I used my Sizzix Texture Boutique to emboss the leaves with a Sizzix Damask folder and a Cuttlebug Swiss Dots folder.  Then I used a hot glue gun to adhere the leaves in a random pattern (varying the colors, textures, and leaf shapes).  I went in one direction (I personally favored working counter-clockwise) and worked my way around the wreath base.  Where there were gaps or something else needed after staring at it a bit, I added more leaves.  I used three 12×24 sheets of Cricut card stock in shades of yellow, golden-yellow, and orange and used Design Studio to fill up the 12×24 mat with repeating leaf cuts.  For this wreath, I ended up using all of the leaves I cut.  There were 18 orange maple leaves, 18 yellow maple leaves, and 30 golden-yellow elm leaves for a total of 66 leaves.

Screen Shots via PDF ~ Attached are screen shots of how the leaves and the wreath base were cut in Design Studio.

To finish the look, I used some buttons and rust colored ribbon from my stash and adhered it to the bottom with a hot glue gun.

This is my first project, so please let me know how I did.  Thanks for looking!

Vanessa

“Birds of a Feather” Flock Together – 2 Sizzix Embossed Cards for Comparison

Last night I made two A2 size cards (4.25 x 5.5 inches) featuring the Sizzix embossing folder called “Birds of a Feather”.  For the blue thank you card, I embossed the image on the actual card base and didn’t add anything else to the image.  The image is so pretty that it can pretty much stand on its own.  Embellishments from the ribbon, rub-on, and a corner rounder punch finish off the card.   For the pink “Thinking of You” card, I embossed the image on a beige linen mat.  I then “colored” in the image with a clear embossing pen by Ranger Inkssentials, making sure to work on small sections at a time.  I then applied chalk using cotton swabs while the clear ink was still damp.  The clear ink helps seal in the chalk, creating a water-color effect.  The chalks used are regular Crayola chalks that can be bought at a dollar store or grocery store.  I used red, green, and blue chalk on the image.  The red actually looks like a darker pink so it worked well with the ribbon and the pink card base.

The sentiments for both cards are “miniMARKS” rub-on transfers from American Crafts.  Both ribbons are also from American Crafts called “Dear Lizzy Value 24 Pack”.  The embossing machine I used is called Sizzix Texture Boutique which I got from Amazon for around $35.00.  It only embosses (no die-cutting) but I can always use my Cricut Expression to cut what I need.

This embossing folder is such a cute image, and just by changing the paper or ribbon, it gives it a different feel.  Also, by changing the direction of the card base cut using the paper trimmer, you can have the A2 size card open from top to bottom or from side to side.  Using pastel 8 1/2 x 11 card stock from Wal-mart, I was able to cut two A2 cards out of the blue paper (opens side to side) and two A2 cards out of the pink paper (opens top to bottom).  I will save the extra cards for other projects.

Tip: To get an A2 that opens from top to bottom, take your 8 1/2 x 11 paper and cut it length-wise at the 4.25 mark.  This will give you a 4.25 x 11 shape that when folded in half (top to bottom) results in a 4.25 x 5.5 sized card.  To get an A2 that opens from side to side, place your paper on the trimmer so its laying width-wise (11 x 8 1/2) and then cut it in half at the 5.5 mark.  This will give you a 5.5 x 8.5 shape that when folded in half (side to side) results in a 4.25 x 5.5 sized card.  Each 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper will make two perfect A2 sized cards with no paper waste (cards must open the same way: top to bottom or side to side to achieve this) and only requires one cut on the trimmer, followed up by one fold with a bone folder.  A2 sized cards are perfect for Cuttlebug, Sizzix, or other brand embossing folders that are sized A2 or smaller.

Thanks for looking!

Vanessa

My Hubby is the Best Hubby in the World!

Yesterday I wasn’t feeling too well (a cold is coming on) and my husband, Glen was still enjoying the last day of his vacation from work but he decided to get dressed and go in to town.  I stayed home to convalesce and when Glen came home, he surprised me with cold medicine from the grocery store and goodies from Hobby Lobby.  Here’s some history ~ over the last few weeks, I had mentioned to Glen that my Cricut mats were getting pretty used up and that I would just order some from Amazon.  The last time we went to Wal-mart, we learned that they only carry the small 6×12 mats which will not fit my Cricut Expression.  I made my last two cards securing the paper down with Scotch tape.  So apparently, Glen not only listens to my mundane conversations about non-sticky mats but he pays attention to my card making hobby as well.  To my amazement, he knew exactly what to buy.  He came home with two new 12×24 mats (because he knows I love to make my own envelopes) and two new 12×12 mats.  And that’s not all!  He bought me two sets of Sizzix embossing folders!  One is the Corners and Damask Set containing: Corners, Damask (A2) and Damask #5 (A2).  The other is the Birds and Wreath Set containing: Birds of a Feather (A2) and Wreath, Elegant (A2).    I can not wait to try out these new folders!  I was surprised he knew which folders to buy.  My Sizzix Texture Boutique embossing machine only takes A2 and smaller folders and he bought the right size.  I was impressed.  Glen’s hobbies involve mechanical and woodworking tools.  Over the years, I have learned what his favorite brands are but I am still not sure what to buy without a cheat sheet containing item numbers to help me get the right stuff.  Yet, my loving husband apparently knows the tools I use to make the cards I love.  It says a lot about someone who cares enough about you to know what you love and need.  I gave my husband two hugs and a kiss on the cheek because the gift of love was so apparent in his trip to the store.  It wasn’t just the items he bought me but that he truly cares about my interests.  The cold medicine was just as special too.  So thoughtful, so loving.  Glen truly is the best hubby in the world!