Friday, July 30, 2010

The New Girl

There is a new girl in the house and she is mean, nasty and CUTE!!! Behold.....Fluffers:

Basically, like all of our cats, she was a stray that I brought in and cleaned up. She was absolutely infested with ticks and fleas. So much so that you could part her fur in any part of her body and see 2 or 3 bugs and their eggs. She had two flea dips and a thorough comb through with a flea comb and tweezers and she is as good as new! Here she is checking out my cricut machine:

So this week I made a trip to Michaels and finally got something that my lazy butt should have had ages ago. A Cuttlebug! There was a good sale so I picked up some metallic acrylic paints, D'vine swirls cuttlebug folder, some paper stacks, new Recollections vines and glittered ginko leaves, K & Company alphabet stack and the 12" x 24" K & Company stack that was on clearance. Here is my awesome haul:

The stacks are K & Company Life's Journey and DCWV Travel cardstock stack. I prefer the colors in this stack for fall rather than the actual DCWV autumn stack. They are a little more natural.

This week I cranked out some projects that I am very happy with. The first was a card using the new French Manor Cricut Cartridge. At first I was wishing that there were more layers to the images on this cartridge but once I started working with it I realized that half the fun was laying glitter, jewels and color on. It allows for a lot more creative license than my lazy butt was originally planning on working with but here is what I came up with:

And the inside:

The card feature on the cartridge was perfect and the chandelier, lion, borders and frame were a blast to sparkle up. I'm loving this cartridge more and more. In fact, I also used it to make a page for my Aunt and Uncle's wedding gift album:

I used the border feature and layer from the Eiffel Tower page 68 of the booklet and cut it using the fit to page feature which calculated out to 5". I inked the edges of the piece and adhered it to the blackout piece using Elmer's Craft Bond spray glue which is my go-to for intricate large pieces. I Then matted the photo using the K & Co Ancestry mat pad and used the diamond pieces from the cut out to create a border on all four sides. The mat is also inked using chocolate brown chalk ink. The bling is from Recollections and the die cut metallic flowers are from K & Co Handmade collection. The paper is Moda for Daisy D's in Antique Parchment - Paisley and the cut outs where done using Basic Grey paper in Mandarin Slice from the Marrakesh collection. The smaller flowers are popped up on 3-d Zots as well as the little Butterfly.

Next week I will be having a furry house guest and will also be embarking on an adventure in San Francisco. Also can't wait to share more on the bigger project that I've been working on!
Later Gators!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Exploring the French Manor and California Foothills

cSo as many of my crafting colleagues know, the past couple weeks have marked the launch of the Cricut Circle community and the receipt of the elusive French Manor cartridge (formerly European Decor). Now it has been fairly consistent of Provocraft to adhere to two styles (excluding fonts): cute/fun/cartoony and ornate/vintage/classic.

Examples of cute/fun/cartoony cartridges are:

  • Create a Critter
  • Disney Licensed Cartridges
  • Cricut Lite Meow
  • Mini Monsters
  • Once Upon a Princess
  • Life is a Beach
Examples of ornate/vintage/classic cartridges are:
  • Storybook
  • Nursery Rhymes
  • French Manor
  • Cricut Lite Botanicals
  • Summer in Paris
  • Heritage
Of course there are more and there are also cartridges that bridge the gap (Wild Card, Serenade, Cindy Loo) but these are generally the two main styles that Cricut art generally fall into. The big trick is making both work for your style. Seeing as the new French Manor cartridge is a very specific style and is an exclusive cartridge to members of the circle, many members who have received the cartridge are lacking inspiration. So after much soul searching and creative manipulation in the deepest recesses of my imagination I have come up with the following projects featuring French Manor:

The first is a piece of wall art I made for my Mom to hang at work. She loves to decorate her workspace and I love to provide the means to do that so here is her new welcome sign:

My inspiration was Sleeping Beauty's castle in Disneyland. The blues, golds and creams of the castle coupled with the ornate detailing fit perfectly with the European feel of this cartridge and the gorgeous font of the "Wilkommen" cut. I used Recollections Precious Metals card stock in the bronze and pearl /to make the cuts and mounted them on a 12" x 12" piece of paper from the DCWV Old World premium stack. The border pieces are cut using the Fit to Page feature and are from page 49 of the cartridge booklet and . The screen piece (page 54) and layer were cut at approximately 4 inches. Then the text was cut from gold card stock at approximately 1 1/2".

To adhere intricate pieces like the screen to the pearl backing I like to use Elmer's Craft Bond spray permanent adhesive. It is acid free and water resistant. I typically find an old box that I received a package in and spray in there in order to contain the mist of glue. Otherwise I might put it inside a garbage can with a new bag and spray there.

The next project I created is an addition to the wedding gift album for my Aunt and Uncle's upcoming wedding:

The paper is from K & Company and is in the Que Sera Sera 12" x 12" stack. I also used K & Company adhesive chipboard flowers from the Urban Rhapsody collection. The leaves are from the Prima Jewel Box Leaves collection in Faberge. And I used a large variety of stickles to embellish the cuts and the design of the paper, including the butterfly, berries and foliage. As for French Manor cuts I cut the peacock from pg 46 at 6" and the border to the photo is from pg 55 and was cut using the Fit to Length feature twice at 4" long and twice at 5" long.

I have found that chipboard that already has adhesive on the back tends to fall off pretty much immediately. So I always apply my own adhesive in addition to the factory applied adhesive. My go to glue is my ATG 1/4" which is what I used for the flowers above. Other than that, any glue runner or Scotch permanent double sided tape in the yellow package should work.

Other than racking my brain for ideas for the beautiful French Manor artwork I have also been continuing to love the Cindy Loo cartridge. I made the following double page layout but have not yet decided what photos to feature:

I have also embellished a little box that contained makeup brushes featuring the cut from Cindy Loo pg 59 at 4 3/4" on the lid and the cut on pg 60 at 4 3/4".

Also the flower in the box is handmade. I will look for the tutorial and share it in my next post.

In other life news I am currently working on some big things in terms of discovering what my new career will be, having ran like a bat out of hell from a career in accounting. It does involve design and embracing my creative side. I'll be sharing more in my next post. 

I have also been re-discovering the outdoors by hiking, swimming and kayaking by my home in the gorgeous, hot California foothills. My current favorite place to explore is Folsom Lake and have been absolutely loving and enjoying every bit of it. Here is a picture of me on a hike above the big, beautiful, blue lake. This is right after a hike and right before I went for a turn in the kayak's along the lake shore followed by a relaxing swim to cool down. Best part about it all? Losing weight and getting tan!

Talk to you all soon!