Saturday, August 1, 2015

A few cards

I know it's been a while since I've posted. I've taken a blogging break and focused on my crafting. However, I wanted to share a few cards I completed. The first three of these have been done by more well known bloggers, but I loved them and had to make them myself! 
This one was inspired by Jennifer McGuire who is my idol. She's the reason I got into card making and is ridiculously talented! 
This one was inspired by Nichole Magourik who is another amazingly talented card maker! 
This is also a copy of one of Nichole's cards. 

These next few are created by me, but with inspiration from fellow bloggers. 
This one was heavily influenced by a card by Nichole again, but I put my own spin on it. 
This one was designed by me for my husband's little cousin's birthday. I thought super heroes were perfect for a 6 year old. It took forever to make and it's a shaker card. 
And last but not least, I made this one for Heidi Swapp who lost her son recently. This one was all me! 

So this is what I've been up to! I go back to school in less than two weeks and won't have any time for crafting, so I'm gonna get back to it! Thanks so much for stopping by! ❤️

Sunday, July 12, 2015

MISTI Diecut Stamping Technique

Hi friends! I've been sharing a lot of my cut files to use in design space for the cricut explore for use with stamp sets and have mentioned that I use the MISTI to line the stamps up perfectly on the diecuts. However, the method I used was just to temporarily adhere the diecut to a scrap piece of paper and eyeball the stamp on top. It was very time consuming and sometimes frustrating. Well, no more! Thanks to a video by Kristina Werner I have a new method that I'm going to share with you today! 

I'm using Mama Elephant's "Three Amigos" in this tutorial. I just love this set because it's so versatile! The set comes with a bunch of little sentiments that can be stamped inside the signs the critters are holding. Not only can they be used for cars making but inside your planner as well! I plan on using them to mark important events and anything else that needs to stand out. 

The first step is to stamp the image you're using into a scrap piece of paper. 
Then you want to use the negative space of the cut, and line it up perfectly around the stamped image with equal spacing all around.  
This is the most time consuming part. Well, at least for me because I have a type A personality and I'm a huge perfectionist, haha. Next, simply insert your diecut back into the negative space. It will fit just like a puzzle piece. 
Re-ink and stamp your image and you're done! Perfect everytime! And so much faster than trying to line up the stamp on the diecut by hand! This technique has saved me so much time that I decided to make a bunch all at one time and keep them in a little container so they're ready when I want to color and make a card or stick one in my planner! 
I've stamped them all on watercolor paper because I tend to use distress markers and water most often. 

I hope this tutorial was helpful. If you are considering purchasing a MISTI but are on the fence maybe because of the price tag or whatever, seriously buy it! It's one of the best investments I've ever made for my craft room! Comments are always appreciated and thanks so much for stopping by! ❤️

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Stamp with me - July

I'm entering into the Mama Elephant's stamp with me July card contest. This month's challenge is to create a card with a rainbow theme. I had just gotten the "In my Heart" set and really wanted to use it. Out of all the cards I've made thus far, this one is definitely my favorite!
I started by making the star cut file on my Cricut Explore. Inspiration was from Mama Elephant as they have a full card die that cuts an arch of stars similar to the one I made. Then I cut a piece of Neenah white card stock to 4.25 x 5.5 and used my distress mini inks and round ink blending tools to create a diagonal rainbow. I used Abandoned Coral, Spiced Marnalade, Mustard Seed, Cracked Pistachio, Mermaid Lagoon and Seedless Preserves in that order. Once the ink was dry I adhered the star cut background over the ink, stamped the sentiment in Versafine Black ink, and added the little girl and shooting stars from the "In My Heart" set with foam tape. I painted the cut out stamped images with distress markers and cut them using a cut file I created with Inkscape and uploaded in Cricut Design Space (all files from this set are below for you to download). I then adhered the card front to a 4.24 x 5.5 top folding card. 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Pop-Up Shaker Card

Hey there! I know it's been a while since I've posted. I've been too busy crafting to sit down and write about it. I have a lot to share and wanted to start with this sweet card I made for my aunt who's husband (my uncle and godfather) passed away a few months ago.
I started by creating all my cut files on my cricut explore (available to download below) and then cut them out and stamped them. I knew I wanted a shaker card and was originally was going to make it so you could see it on both sides, but changed my mind in the end. I cut the card base from a piece of 110lb white card stock and used the Simon Says Stamp stitched circle die to cut the circle near the bottom right of the card. I love these dies because they create a stitched edge both around the inside and outside of the cut line. I used a piece of a scrap book page for the clear window and added the stamped bones and a few Simon Says Stamp Moonshine Sequins. The background of the window is a piece of watercolor paper that I inked up with the new coral color distress ink and attached to the window with foam tape. I only used one layer and I really should have used two. 

Mama Elephant has a die you can purchase to make pop-up cards, but I don't own it so I decided to create my own with my cricut. It was really easy actually and I'm sure you could do it too! I knew I wanted grass on the inside, so I welded a grassy border to the top of a rectangle and attached a score line about an inch and a half down. I then added four more score lines, these ones verticle,  and placed them in pairs where I wanted the pop-up feature to be. I made them a little more than a half inch wide. Lastly, I changed the vertical score lines to cut instead of score. This picture may help you understand:
This allows you to crease along the score line, but push out the two pieces so you can adhere your images which makes them pop up when you open the card! 

The sentiment on the outside of the card was stamped with Vera Fine and heat embossed with Hero Arts clear embossing powder. The two hearts are stamped in Hero Arts shadow ink in Pale Tomato, covered with Wink of Stella and then I added Glossy Accents so it would match the heat embossed sentiment. 
For the inside of the card, I cut a piece of watercolor paper to 4.75 x 6 and did a watercolor wash with Mermaid Lagoon and Tumbled Glass Distress inks. Once it was dry, I trimmed it down to 4 x 5.25. I cut the clouds from the Lawn Fawn stitched cloud die and the rectangle stitched die by Simon Says Stamp so the stitching would go all around the clouds. I adhered the bottom cloud flush with the top of the watercolor paper and glued only the top edge of the second cloud on top so it would give it a tiny bit of dimension. I didn't want to add more foam tape as the shaker piece was already adhered with a lot of it. I colored the puppies with distress markers and blended the colors out with a brush and water. I added the grassy pop-up feature and glued the puppy on the outside and the two on the inside with Ranger Multi Medium Matte. The sentiment on the inside is from the stamp set as well and is stamped with Versa Fine black ink (my fav).

I have a few more simple cards I'll be sharing soon, as well as some more cut files from the Mama Elephant stamp set "In my Heart." Thanks so much for stopping by. Your comments are greatly appreciated! :)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Some "Happy Mail" For You!

Hi friends! I'm still waiting on my "Playful Pups" stamp set from Mama Elephant, but I figured while I was waiting I would make more cut files for some of the stamp sets I already own. I bought "Happy Mail" when it was first released at the beginning of the month, but haven't gotten around to using it yet.
But how adorable is this?! I put him in my Erin Condren life planner (still haven't gotten my new one yet and I ordered on release day - never again). I colored him with distress markers which are my new love. I just ordered a bunch more and should have them today. 
Each of the files are separate, but you can weld them together in design space to make either of these images. I wish I would have put the bunny a little further down on the log, but now I know for next time. 

Just a tip, I've made these files with only two outsets (see my previous post "Happy Girl" for a how to), so I highly recommend using a MISTI or another stamp positioning tool to line your stamps up properly. Meaning, the outside border isn't very large so it does take patience to line the stamp up properly once you cut out the file. Especially with these because many of the images are really tiny. If you decide it's too small, you can use your stamps to make your own so you can make the outset larger. Again, just check out my tutorial in my previous post.  

So I hope you enjoy these files! I should get Mama Elephant's "Playful Pups" set in the mail today, so I'll be working on those next as well as some older sets I have. Happy stamping! Thanks for stopping by! ❤️ 

Photo of all the images:

Free SVG files:

I am sharing the cut files that I have created with my blog followers; if you do not follow me all I request is that you do. To use the files in Design Space they must be resized. However, all you have to do is change the width and the height will automatically correct to be proportional.
**NOTE** These are only cut files and do not contain the stamped image inside. To use them properly you must own the stamp sets.

Bear download - width 1.511
Bunny (left) download - width 0.960
Bunny (right) download - width 0.991
Stump download - width 1.580
Squirrel (right) download - width 0.691
Squirrel (left) download - width 0.505
Bird (left) download - width 0.770
Bird (right) download - width 0.680
Bird download - width 0.501
Banner download - width 2.647
Flower download - width 0.669
Butterfly download - width 0.280
Letter download - width 0.613

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Father's Day Card

Hi again! Just popping in really quick to share a clean, quick, simple card I made for my husband from my son for father's day. Those of you who own Cricut Explore's are lucky enough to be able to heat emboss anything you want, and I will share the secret with you! The entire sentiment on this card was heat embossed!

All you need are some Ranger Perfect Medium pens (pictured below). I found mine at my local JoAnn Fabrics, but I'm sure you could find them at any craft store. I just used the perfect medium pen in place of a regular pen in the Cricut Explore to write out my sentiment and then quickly removed my paper from the mat and poured embossing powder on it. I emphasize quickly because even though the ink stays wet for a decent amount of time, you still want to try to get the powder on there as soon as possible to get the best results. 

Also, another tip for heat embossing: make sure you use some sort of powder tool to prep your paper before you put it in your Cricut. I use an EK Success powder tool. This decreases the static cling so you don't end up with powder where you don't want it. This is especially true when using darker colors. 

Feel free to leave a comment letting me know what you think, if you already knew about this technique already or not, or if you have any questions! I'm waiting on my new Playful Pups stamp set from Mama Elephant, so I will have more cut files to share soon. Make sure you keep an eye out for that post! And as always, thanks so much for stopping by! <3

Friday, June 19, 2015

Anniversary Card

The 18th was my husband and I's four year wedding anniversary. I can't believe it's been 4 years! So, I was really excited to have an excuse to make a card and this was the first idea I had because my husband loves fish. I think it turned out pretty good. 
I didn't take a bunch of pictures like I normally do. I was kind of rushing to get it done seeing as I started the day before our anniversary, oops. I started with a light blue piece of card stock that I cut down to 5x7 and some distress inks in tumbled glass, broken China and peacock feathers used in that order from top to bottom. I smeared the mini ink pads on my craft sheet, misted the ink with some water and then smooched my card stock into it making sure to wiggle it a little to blend the colors well. 

I used my Cricut Explore to cut out the fish, plant and sand and then edged and shaded them with my distress inks and mini blending tools. I adhered the sand in place and then used the largest stitched rectangle from Lawn Fawn to die cut out my card front. 

I used my Cricut again to add the sentiment on the front. This is tricky, but I designed the sentiment in design space and attached it to a rectangle the size of my card front. I then carefully lined up the card on the mat so that it would write where I wanted it to and I stop the machine right before it starts cutting. You really have to keep an eye on what it's doing so it doesn't try to cut after it's finished writing. It ended up a little lower than I planned but it looks ok. 

I cut out the heart from a project life die set, and wasn't sure if I wanted to keep it or not. I ended up changing the color to a lighter red and adding wink of Stella and some glossy accents. I also put a dot of glossy accents on both of the fish's eyes. I then popped the fish, plant and heart up on foam tape and then adhered the card front to a Kraft paper card base that I cut and scored with the Cricut. I forgot to take a picture of it, but I wrote happy anniversary on the inside with the Cricut as well. 

Well that's pretty much it. I know I was supposed to post this the other day but I got caught up making a cover for my friend's Erin Condren planner and my husband's Father's Day gift. Make sure to comment if you would like to know more about either of those projects. 

I should have my Playful Pups stamp set tomorrow - I'm so excited! So I'll be sharing more cut files very soon! Stay tuned, and as always thanks for stopping by! ❤️  

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Shaker Card

This isn't my first shaker card, but it is the first one I've blogged about and honestly it's only the second one I've ever made. It didn't turn out exactly how I had wanted, but that's how we learn, so I'm going to share it anyway! That and I put a lot of time into it.
I have quite the obsession with these adorable little giraffes from Wplus9 lately! And the balloon that comes with the set was the perfect size for a shaker element!  I started with creating my cut file for the balloon using Inkscape and then uploading to Cricut Design Space (this file is linked below for you to download). I used my Cricut to cut a 4.25 by 5 inch piece of watercolor paper with the balloon cut out as well as some faux stitching I created with dashed lines. Now, I am a huge fan of faux stitching, but no matter what I do I cannot get it to look right with my Cricut. So, I ended up purchasing a big shot and some lawn fawn stitched dies, but I didn't have them at this point. 

I did a blue watercolor wash for the background. I made sure to go darker than my last card since it was so hard to see in the last one. I made the mistake of cutting the card first, so I ended up with a small white border around the edge. 
I then added my giraffe I colored with distress markers and some water to the center of the card and stamped the bottom of the balloon on the circle to make it actually look like a balloon. I also stamped the string that comes with the stamp set around the giraffe's waist so it looks like the balloon is carrying him. The string wasn't quite long enough, so I attached the two pieces by drawing a line with a black micron pen. 

I apparently have an obsession with sparkly texture paste clouds too, because I added them to this card also. Here you can see the stencil I created with my Cricut (man I love that machine), and the giraffe hiding behind it. 
I wanted to heat emboss my sentiment on some heat resistant acetate with white embossing powder, but when I went to fuse the two pieces together with my fuse tool to make the shaker pocket it wouldn't melt together (duh because it's heat resistant!). So, I ended up stamping the sentiment with black stazon ink on an empty scrapbook page that I cut up. Then I used a cut out of the balloon as a guide when fusing the two pieces together, as you can see in the picture below. 

I don't know if it was the kind of scrapbook pockets I used, or of my ink is drying out, but no matter how many times I re stamped my sentiment it just wouldn't look right. Oh well. I then used some Pretty Pink Posh sequins and some Martha Stewart confetti to fill the pocket and then fused it closed. I used some Ranger Multi Medium Matte to hold it to the back side of the front panel.

By this time (this card took me a few days to finish), I had received my big shot and Lawn Fawn dies. So I cut my card base with the stitched rectangle and some yellow card stock from Hobby Lobby. Finally I cut out some craft foam (I use craft foam when I have a bigger area to cover) and a few pieces of foam tape, adhered it to the back of my card front, and put it all together. 

I know I posted a pictures of this card a while ago on IG, so sorry it took so long to get this post up. I'm currently finishing up a card for my husband; our 4 year wedding anniversary is tomorrow! So stay tuned for that one! And as always, thanks for stopping by! ❤️

Free SVG files:

I am sharing the cut files that I have created with my blog followers; if you do not follow me all I request is that you do. To use the files in Design Space they must be resized. However, all you have to do is change the width and the height will automatically correct to be proportional.
**NOTE** These are only cut files and do not contain the stamped image inside. To use them properly you must own the stamp sets.

Balloon to stamp on (entire image) download - width 2.372
Balloon only (what I used above) download - width 2.327

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Coloring Challenge

I've recently discovered a coloring challenge by Kathy over at The Daily Marker, which is geared towards taking just a few minutes out of every day to color something - anything. You can use any medium you would like, and you don't even have to complete a project! Now that's right up my ally. Especially since with an active 19 month old it's hard to get more than 10 minutes to myself most days. But here he is wanting to color with me. How adorable is that?! I just love him soooo much!

I've been dying to use my new stamp set, Party Animal by Wplus9, so I chose it for my first piece. 
I kinda did a bad job cutting it and the ink smudged but I didn't learn about this coloring thing until after I was done. Oh well. He's still adorable! Next, I decided to also do the standing giraffe from the same set. This one cut and stamped much better.
With the first one I used more of an orange for the base, but this one I started with a yellow. I think I like the first one better, but you only learn by trying different things! He turned out pretty bad. It's my own fault for sticking him in my planner right away and not giving him time to dry first. I'm also learning it will look different when dry, oops. 
 I was trying to add shadow and shading and apparently used way too much. Oh well. I'm working on the same little guy for a card now. First I had my obsession with elephants and now it's giraffes, haha. I'm super excited about this project though, and can't wait to share it with you guys! Stay tuned! Thanks so much for stopping by! ❤️

Free SVG files:

I am sharing the cut files that I have created with my blog followers; if you do not follow me all I request is that you do. To use the files in Design Space they must be resized. However, all you have to do is change the width and the height will automatically correct to be proportional.
**NOTE** These are only cut files and do not contain the stamped image inside. To use them properly you must own the stamp sets.

Sitting Giraffe download - width 1.507
Standing Giraffe download - width 1.609

Monday, June 8, 2015

Pretty Pink Posh Watercolor Blog Hop

So this is super exciting - my first blog hop! Pretty Pink Posh is hosting a watercolor blog hop open to everyone! For more info on the hop click here! Now, I want to preface my card by saying I only found out about it on Friday which is when it opened for submissions. So, this card was done on a whim with an idea I had as soon as I looked at this adorable stamp set from Wplus9 - "Unforgettable." Without further ado, here it is:
Sorry about the terrible lighting. I am just a newbie, so I don't have amazing expensive lighting and cameras. The watercolor background is a lot bluer in person and all of the clouds sparkle. 

The first thing I did was paint the blue background with some cheap watercolor from Michael's on watercolor paper I taped to a mixed media clipboard. Next I used a cloud stencil that I made myself on my Cricut explore and added Ranger Texture Paste, making sure to not add the paste in the area I wanted to stamp the sentiment later. While the paste was still wet I sprinkled on some Judikins sparkling embossing powder and set it aside to air dry. When it was dry I zapped the embossing powder with my heat gun. 
Next I used Inkscape to create a cut file for my elephant and balloon image to use with my Cricut. I don't own a manual diecut machine, so I made do with what I have. Side bar: I wrote a blog post about how to make your own cut files for the stamps you own - you can check that out HERE.
I then scribbled Distress Markers onto my acrylic block and added water so that I could paint my image. I only used two colors: festive berries for the balloon and weathered wood for the elephant. 
After my adorable little guy was painted and set aside, I stamped the sentiment in Versa Fine Ink and added Hero Arts Clear Embossing Powder to make it pop a little more. 
Then came the trimming. When I first started I didn't think I was going to like the way the water colored background was going to turn out so I didn't pre-measure the piece of watercolor paper - I was just playing around. However, I ended up liking it so kept going with it. I just trimmed the white edges off my card front, temporarily adhered it to a piece of red card stock by the paper studio and eyeballed it. 
So I really loved how the clouds turned out with the sparkle embossing powder, but I wanted more sparkle. Using a Jennifer McGuire technique, I added Versa Mark and same embossing powder to the edges of my red card stock (this is why I temporarily adhered the card front earlier) and basically made my own glitter paper! 
Finally I added my elephant on foam tape to the card front and glued that down with my ATG Tape Runner. For a finishing touch, I added the adorable three star stamp from the Unforgettable Stamp set by Wplus9. I followed the curve of the elephants body all the way down to the sentiment. Here's another shot of the finished product on my craft table:
My husband thinks it looks too plain 😞 I told him he doesn't make cards or craft so he has no idea how much time and effort goes into something "plain" like this and the people who do will understand and be able to see the work I put into it. I hope I'm right. Please let me know your honest opinions! Don't forget to subscribe/follow, and as always thanks so much for stopping by! ❤️


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Saturday, June 6, 2015

Happy happy girl!!

I cannot express in words how excited I am right now!! I just created my own cut files to use in my Cricut explore using Inkscape so that I can get the diecut stamped image look that I love so so much! Look!!
These are by no means perfect as it was 2am when I was doing this so it was tough for me to line them up well. I'll get the hang of it with more practice. 

And I want to preface this by saying this is in no way my original idea, although I did think to myself that there had to be a way to copy my stamp images and create a file instead of having to purchase a manual diecut machine and all the matching dies just to get an amazing cutout of my stamped images. Then I found the Craftsby2 tutorial on how to make your own and if you'd like to see that video you can click HERE.

Now I do want to add that I had to do things a little different than how craftsby2 explained. The first few steps are the same: scan your image at 300 dpi and do any editing without changing the image size (leave at 300dpi) and then import to Inkscape. They then show resizing the image by 30% which I did the first few times but at the end it kept turning out to be only a half inch big and my image was at least an inch maybe an inch and a half so I knew that was wrong. I changed the way I edited the scanned images but the results were alway the same! So finally I decided not to resize it at all and that fixed the problem. 

Ok step 4: go to the path menu and select "trace bitmap." This creates an outlined copy of your image when you click on the image and move it over. You can then delete the original image, you won't be needing it anymore. 
Step 5: select your outlined image and go to path and click on "outset." This increases the outline of the image. Craftsby2 grow this path by 4 steps (select outset or use control + zero four times), but I didn't want it to be that large. The first time I did three times and then next I only did two. I like the two better. Keep in mind the larger you make it the easier it will be to stamp the image onto the cutout. I have a MISTI though so I didn't think I would have a problem if it were smaller. 
Step 6: once you've made it the size you want, click on the nodes icon on the left side menu (second from the top) and delete any of the inside nodes that you do not want to be cut. You can zoom in to get the tiny ones and hit undo if you make any mistakes. 
Step 7: Save your image as an svg and do a vector upload into design space. One thing to note, you must check the image size in Inkscape and once you put it in design space resize it if necessary. This is done in Inkscape by selecting the image and at the top it will show the size in pixels per inch - just change it to inches/centimeters and there's your size! 

It seems extremely difficult and like it would be a pain in the you know what, but once you do it once or twice its a breeze! I can't wait to upload the rest of my images into design space! 

And here's one more picture because it's simply adorable not to mention PERFECT!

I hope all this made sense. Remember you can always watch the Craftsby2 tutorial if my directions don't make sense. Some people are just visual learners. Let me know if you have any questions I would be happy to help! As always, thanks for stopping by! ❤️

Thursday, June 4, 2015

A little about me

 Since I'm just sitting here while my husband dyes my hair I thought I would write another quick post. 

I am a 29 year old mom to an amazing 19 month old boy named Chase. He is my world and my inspiration for every thing. I work full time for Geico but I wanted to better myself so I also go to school full time at night for my RN. With my super busy schedule it's hard to find time to do anything crafty, but to keep my sanity I try to squeeze in an hour or so a week while I'm in school. Everyone needs a little "me time." This is where efficient planning comes into play. Now that school is done for the semester I get to go crazy in my craft room. Here is a pic from the beginning of my spending spree (there's a lot more on my desk now):

I've always been a creative person and used to do traditional scrapbooking when I was a teenager, but then life got in the way. Thanks to school I got back into using a planner and that's when I discovered what a huge planning community there is out there. Through Facebook groups I discovered Erin Condren and that opened the door to everything else. That's how I found out about Project Life which is another of my loves. Then, one day I found Jennifer McGuire on YouTube and she's been my enabler for everything else - stamps, card making techniques, inks, embossing, etc. I basically love it all. Currently I'm obsessing over elephants and absolutely love these stamp sets from Wplus9:

Which reminds me, Wplus9 is releasing new stamp sets at midnight EST! Better believe I will be sitting in front of my computer at 11:55 which is in less than an hour where I'm from! So excited! Better go find my credit card... 

I'll be doing a post soon on a congratulatory card I'm doing for my newly pregnant friend so stay tuned! Have a wonderful night, and thanks for stopping by! ❤️

My first post

I've decided to start a blog. I'm not really sure where or how far it's going to go, but I love to write, I love my son, I love to take photos and I love to craft so it will probably be a combination of these things! I want to share my craftiness, things toddler related and maybe some random things in between! My fav crafting activities at the moment are planning, project life, and creating cards!

For my first post I wanted to share how I used my Sweet Stamp Shop weekend stamp in my Erin Condren Life Planner just because it turned out pretty awesome!
I used the Simon Says Stamp mini hybrid inks in Audrey blue and Malibu and I am in love with the combination! I'm really enjoying the June colors and don't understand why so many people don't like them! I got such a great imprint because I used my MISTI (most incredible stamp tool invented). I don't know how anyone can live without this thing! I inked it in the lighter color first, then inked every other letter with the darker color, using a baby wipe to wipe off any area I got ink where I didn't want it. 

The "to do's" are stickers I created in design space with my cricut explore. The one thing I do not like with the explore is the fact that the color on the screen never matches the color it ends up printing. Drives me nuts! I have to print a few times to make sure I have the right color before I create my actual sticker. 

Well, I guess that's enough for my first post. I'm no Jennifer McGuire, she's my idol btw, but I hope you all enjoyed it! Let me know what you think! Thanks for stopping by ❤️