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

Mother’s Day Goodness

I hope everyone had a lovely Mother’s Day! My husband and I spent the day with my Mom and Dad. After Mom opened her gifts and her card, we had a lovely time sitting outside enjoying the gorgeous weather, looking at birds, and reminiscing.

I wanted to share some lovely creations my sister, Paula, made for our Mom and Mother-in-law. Paula has been creative since childhood. I didn’t enter the world of creating until much later in life – at least when it comes to arts and crafts. I wrote songs on my keyboard starting in 5th grade and I still enjoy creating songs, but I didn’t start working with paper until 2010. That’s when I received a Cricut Expression from my husband for my birthday. My sister can draw, paint, crochet, knit, make flower arrangements, design, sketch, cross-stitch, sew (clothes, curtains, pillows, etc.), and you get the point! 😉 She’s very talented in all mediums and I like to think my cardmaking came from her inspiring work throughout our life together!

Paula and her husband visited us for her birthday recently and we spent a wonderful day at Michael’s picking out items for Mother’s Day. My mother had mentioned that she wanted to get an orchid for the formal living room. I mentioned this to Paula at the Michael’s store and we found life-like orchids in a gorgeous purple hue and a fitting ceramic pot. I was leaning on my sister to make this a beautiful arrangement and she succeeded! She even removed the taped up leaves to separate them for a more realistic look. I can’t believe it’s artificial and Mom can display this for many years to come!

Purple Orchids Arrangement - artificial

Close Up - Orchids

Paula also made a silk hydrangea wreath as a gift from her to Mom. Our Mom loves hydrangeas and has a blue hydrangea bush in her yard and so did our Grandmother (my Mom’s mother) who has since passed away. Paula found some beautiful hydrangeas in soft blue and cream and added smaller cream and light blue flowers for interest. She found a nice wreath base, some lovely textured ribbon for the bow, and added three butterflies for the finishing touch. This is my favorite wreath Paula has made – it symbolizes the lovely women in our family and continues the tradition of our shared love for hydrangeas.

Hydrangea Wreath

Close Up

Close Up View

And last but not least, here is a bird cage flower arrangement Paula made for her mother-in-law. I love the various shades of pink! Isn’t the bird cage a nice find at Michael’s? It’s so pretty and the butterflies are the perfect complement! I’m amazed that Paula was able to complete all three gifts in one evening. She made it look so effortless!

Bird Cage Flower Arrangement

Bird Cage Arrangement

Close Up

Thank you Paula for making Mother’s Day so special for our family!

Love you sis!

Vanessa

Many Thanks to “The High Note” – Giveaway Goodies

Darilyn is the creator of The High Note blog and a talented crafter of beautiful creations using vintage sheet music. She recently celebrated her one year blogiversary and over 100 followers! For this special occasion, she offered a give-away of goodies she’s made over the past year on The High Note such as:

  • Shredded Antique Sheet Music
  • Custom Note Cards
  • a Music Wrapped Candle

I was the lucky winner of these awesome goodies and received a bonus set of heart and flower die-cuts! Darilyn has been so gracious in letting me share with you what I received.

Darilyn's Vintage Sheet Music Creations

Darilyn's Vintage Sheet Music Creations

Shredded Vintage Sheet Music

Mom Note Card

Heart and Flower Die-Cuts

I look forward to using the shredded paper in my 3-D projects from the Tags, Bags, Boxes, and More 2 (TBBM2) cartridge and the die-cuts for my cards! The lovely candle will be displayed on my piano, and the Mom Note Card will be given to my sweet Mother who also plays the piano! Thank you so much Darilyn for these wonderful items! I love how your creations were carefully packaged! It was so much fun opening the box and looking at each beautiful piece!

Darilyn sells her creations on Etsy at http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheHighnotedotnet.

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

Pinky, Sparkly Birthday Card

Here is a 5 x 7 birthday card I made for my sister. It’s really girly and was easy to make using the flower stickers from American Crafts Dear Lizzy 5th & Frolic. The fun cloud paper is from Michael’s Recollections All Seasons Cardstock Paper (8.5 x 11 stack). I trimmed a sheet down to 5 x 7 inches and adhered it to the white card base using my pink Scotch ATG gun.

Pinky, Sparkly Birthday Card

Side View

The grass layers (base and base shift)  were cut from Straight from the Nest (SFTN) at 2.5 inches. The bottom grass layer was adhered directly to the card base and then I used foam dimensionals to raise up the top grass layer that has the flower stems. I used The Paper Studio’s Celebrations paper pack for the grass and for the word “Celebrate”. The Celebrate layers (phrase and phrase shadow) were cut from SFTN at 1.5 inches. The Zig 2-Way glue pen does a perfect job for these smaller, intricate cuts. I added a pop of bright pink 1/8 inch ribbon and tied a bow. I punched 2 butterflies out of yellow cardstock using a punch from Emagination. I glued one directly to the card base and then used a glue pen on the center of the top butterfly so I could raise its wings a bit. Before adhering the top butterfly, I coated it in Clear Rock Candy Distress Stickles, let it dry, and then used Liquid Pearls White Opal to add some more detail.

Celebrate Birthday Card

I like how this card came together easily but with fun, girly colors and lots of sparkle. For a quick 5 x 7 envelope, use “Just Because Cards” and cut out the third envelope on the bottom row of the key pad at 7 1/4 inches. For these larger envelopes, a 12 x 24 mat and longer paper are needed. I use 11 x 17 cardstock from Desktop Publishing Supplies. I also used Design Studio to rotate my envelope 90 degrees to have the envelope cut lengthwise. I hide the score marks before cutting for a cleaner look and use my score board to score the folds. A 7 1/4 inch envelope leaves plenty of room for the 5 x 7 card that may have slightly raised dimensional layers.

Envelope (JBC)

Envelope JBC 7.25 inches for a 5x7 card

“Celebrate” Birthday Banner for My Sister

Hello all – I wanted to share a banner I made for my sister for her recent birthday. She and her husband came up for a lovely birthday celebration at my parents’ house. We displayed the banner on Mom and Dad’s fireplace in the formal living room.

Crate Paper On Trend Shoebox Thickers - Pink

I used Cricut’s “Straight from the Nest” cartridge to cut out the banner using two sheets of patterned paper from American Craft’s Dear Lizzy 5th & Frolic. I wanted to spell out the word “CELEBRATE” so I cut out 5 triangles and four toppers out of pink paper and 4 triangles and 5 toppers out of floral paper (all at 4.5 inches). I like alternating my toppers against a contrasting paper.

Birthday Banner

The glittery letters are also from American Crafts but from their “Crate Paper – On Trend Shoebox” line. They’re called ‘Thickers’ which are glitter chipboard letter stickers. These are pink (rose) and matched the Dear Lizzy floral paper well. Using the stickers made this a quick and easy banner to make. I adhered the banner toppers to the base using my favorite glue pen – Zig 2-Way Glue. Since the banner holes cut out too small, I enlarged the holes with a 1/8 hole punch and then threaded 1/8 light green satin ribbon through each banner piece and tied bows at the end.

We secured the banner to the fireplace with glue dots but this proved to be insufficient, so Mom came to the rescue with some extra-strong masking tape! It stayed up all weekend! 🙂

Banner Layout - pink paper

Banner Layout – pink paper

Banner Layout - floral paper

Banner Layout – floral paper

Close Up

Just an update…

Hello all! You’ve probably wondered how I fared with my Cricut Design Studio installation on my new computer. Well, I’m happy to say that it was a success and DS works great with Windows 8! It’s worked so well that in the last two days I’ve created 7 projects! I can’t share them with you yet because they are for family members who watch this blog ;). I made a couple of items for my sister’s upcoming birthday and some items for my mother and mother-in-law for Mother’s Day which is coming up quick! I’ll be able to post some of the items on Monday and then the rest will have to wait til the following Monday. I can hint that I thoroughly explored the Tags, Bags, Boxes, and More 2 cartridge using many of its features. More details on that soon. I also made an item from the Fancy Frames cartridge. And I had a lot of fun using Dear Lizzy embellishments and paper I received from Northridge Publishing during their 30 Days of Holiday Giveaways. I can’t wait to share these projects with you because I used a mixture of Cricut cuts with ephemera which is not really in my comfort zone yet. Sometimes I get tunnel-visioned and think that everything has to be a Cricut cut other than some buttons and ribbon.  I’m starting to like using these handy embellishments because there’s not so much cutting to do to finish a card. 🙂

I also wanted to let you know of a handy resource I found on Cricut.com. Did you know they offer “live help” so you don’t have to sit on the phone waiting for Customer Service? I was able to get my DS software activated on my new computer in less than a literal minute. It was so quick and easy I couldn’t believe it! I’ve only been able to find this tool by logging into my Cricut.com account. When I log out of Cricut.com, I can’t access my account to see the Live Help link. So this may only be available to registered users, but creating an account is free and available to anyone. Their “live help” is available Monday – Friday 9 am – 5 pm MT. If you create an account and you’re logged in, just click on your name near the upper right of the screen. This will open up your “account” and should land you on the “General Information” screen. Near the bottom of the screen should be a greenish rectangle for “Live Help”. If you click on this box, it will open a chat window with a customer service representative.

I’m off to take some pictures of my projects! I look forward to when I can post them! They are girly with fun, bright colors! They make me smile! 🙂

Vanessa

Cricut Design Studio Update

Well, I’m a little disappointed in Provocraft right now. They are the makers of Cricut and Design Studio (DS). I use Design Studio in almost every project and today I learned that they will no longer provide cartridge updates. Sidenote: my laptop recently had its graphics card fail (google HP DV9500 with Nvidia and you will see many complaints about failing graphics cards that prompted lawsuits in the US and Canada) but that’s another story. 🙂 Well, I had to buy a new computer – this time I went with the old reliable PC that will actually allow you to replace a graphics card unlike my laptop. So while trying to install the Design Studio software on my PC, I went to Cricut.com to check on a DS update and found the following:

ATTENTION Cricut Design Studio Users:

In order to focus our attention and resources on creating and improving the Cricut® experience, we will not be providing further updates to the Cricut DesignStudio® software. In addition, any cartridges released after April 11, 2013 will not be updated to appear in the Cricut DesignStudio® software. We will still offer support, but there will be no additional content updates for the Cricut DesignStudio® software.

I currently own 17 Cricut cartridges and they are all older cartridges so I’m good there, but this means if I buy a newly issued cartridge, I will not be able to use it in DS. I feel that Provocraft is trying to force us to use their online program, Cricut Craft Room (CCR). I have tested CCR out last year and I didn’t like it. Maybe it has improved since then but I don’t want to find out until I’m truly forced to (unless I finally take the plunge and buy a Silhouette Cameo). Oh no, I would have to change my blog name! 😉 I’m used to DS and I don’t want to have to learn a new program, plus I like that I don’t have to be connected to the internet to use it, unlike CCR.

If anyone has any information on CCR that might sway my opinion, I would really appreciate your comments. For now, I’m waiting for Monday to come when Cricut’s DS Support is open to activate DS on my new computer. Since it’s already registered to my laptop, I have to get a new activation code for the new PC. It’s always something!

Thanks!

Vanessa