Sunday, November 6, 2011

NOVEMBER MONTHLY CHALLENGE: Signs of Fall with Texture Challenge!

The Challenge: Create a project of any kind using your “sign/sybmol” of fall (remember, this can be any fall item that brings that fall feeling to you). You also must include some way of adding texture to your project. Whether you use a cuttlebug, distress the edges, ink, stickles, etc. Your project must include at least 2 different Cricut cuts.

For this month’s challenge, I made a card using the Word Collage cartridge as the centerpiece.  The words are created using the Cri-Kits black metallic pen.


I have also included 2 frames from the Close to My Heart Art Philosophy cartridge and the pumpkins are from the Holiday Cakes cartridge.

Texture was added in a number of ways.  All of the cuts were inked to give them depth; the pumpkins were embossed with the Cuttlebug swirls embossing folder; lace and hand-dyed ribbons were added for dimension and to give the card a softer appearance and feel.  I used the unprinted side of a paper from the Everyday Kraft pack from The Paper Studio.  I loved the harshness of the look and feel against all the softer elements.  And, last but not least, another of my mother’s vintage buttons finishes it off.

The holidays are almost here, so it’s back to creating!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

OCTOBER MONTHLY CHALLENGE: Halloween Home Decor Challenge!

The Challenge: Create a Halloween Home Decor project! Your project must include at least 2 different Cricut Image Cuts.

I was excited to see this month’s challenge was a home décor project, as I had already purchased the straw broom to use for Halloween.  Of course, I had no idea what I was going to do with it when I purchased it, as I had only a vague picture in my head of how it might be transformed.  However, a witch’s broom needs all the accessories of the witch herself, so that made the project come into focus.


PICT0405The boots were accessorized with some vintage lace (again, from my mother’s collection), hand-dyed ribbon, rhinestones and small paperclips.


To decorate the hat, I used 4 layers of green tulle, which I sewed together for ease of working with it.  The hat band was enhanced using hand-dyed ribbon and copper glitter on the buckle.  A bow was added to the top of the hat.  (This photo was taken before I realized I hadn’t reset the spider; the first photo shows the spider hanging down, rather than sideways.)


The bow was the final touch and included the witch’s accessories, such as a wand and poison potion.  I used my new bow maker to create the bow, and I learned that you really need ribbon with a wire to make it easier.  Glitter was added to the star on the wand and the “poison” and skull. You cannot see it in the photo, but the bone is white and also glittered.  I think I will go back and add some rhinestones to the bottom of the bottle where the holes are.


The project turned out much nicer than I expected, and looks so much better in person than in the photos.  Now, we’re ready for all the trick-or-treaters tomorrow night!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cricut Circle Weekly Challenge #43: Feeling Gifty

This week’s challenge was perfect since I needed to complete the purse gift set previously posted. 

The Challenge: We all love to receive a little surprise . . . just because! This challenge is all about paying it forward and brightening someone’s day! Create something to give away using your Cricut machine. It can be for a holiday, a season, an occasion, or just because. Be sure to include at least 2 Cricut Image Cuts on your project.


To accompany the purse, I added a matching gift card holder from the Cindy Loo cartridge.  A monogram was used to match the purse, and rhinestones were added for some extra bling.


The cupcake was more for nostalgia than anything.  I used to bake and decorate cakes before I became ill, a task that is too much for me at this time.  Since I could not bake her favorite carrot cake, I decided a sock cupcake would do the trick.


The sock cupcake is not an original idea, but I also cannot give credit to any one particular person, as they can be found on countless websites and done in as many ways.  For mine, I cut the butterfly 2 from the Cupcake Wrappers cartridge at 2-1/2x11-1/2 using the same papers as the gift card and purse.  A think layer of glitter was added to the top edge of the cupcake holder.  I then added some vintage lace and some black hand dyed ribbon; glitter was added to the black ribbon to give it a little sparkle of it’s own.  I wrapped 3 sheets of tulle around the sock and rotated them to create a tissue paper look.  To make the candle, I simply rolled a strip of leftover paper and cut a flame from a yellow piece of cardstock.  The flame was then inked around the edges and glued into the candle base.

Since my friend is a dark chocoholic, I also added some Godiva dark chocolates to the purse. When she received the gifts, she was thrilled and intends to keep them on her desk at work.  She also plans to keep chocolates in her purse all the time to share, as well as show off her gifts.  Nice to know when you’ve created a gift that keeps on giving!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Cricut Circle BLOGiversary: Monochromatic Challenge

This was the toughest challenge for me personally, which is why it is my final entry for the BLOGiversary challenge.  I couldn’t decide what to do, what colors to use, and so on.  A dear friend of mine is turning 70 next week, and I wanted to do something for her, so I did finally decide I would make her the purse from the Wild Card cartridge.  I was excited about this since this would be my first experience with making this item.

The biggest problem came when I was trying to choose a color.  Her favorite color is red, but I couldn’t find enough red papers that actually blended well to give the look I was hoping to create.  After several tries of other colors, I finally found what I was looking for in shades of black.  Although not my favorite color, I do love the elegance of black, so it made a good choice.

Once I started the project, it flowed quite well and was fun to make.  I used Bazzill Basics in black for the base of the purse, then cut an additional top and back piece out of Creative Memories Delight Fashion Diva paper.  I went back to my mother’s stash of vintage buttons and found the perfect one with lots of bling factor for the clasp of the purse, then added rhinestones to the edge.

The decorative monogram area was created using the Close to My Heart Art Philosophy cartridge.   The pieces were sprayed with Tattered Angels Snow Queen, and the frame was given a light edging of glitter. The monogram “L” is from the Walls, Décor and More cartridge and I used glitter to give it a punch.

The specifics of the project challenge:

The Challenge: Create a project of your choice using a monochromatic color scheme. Your project must include at least 2 different Cricut Image Cuts.




I learned a great deal making this purse, and if I were gong to do it again, I’d make a few changes.  First, I’d stitch the decorative paper to the base of the purse to give it a more realistic look, and I’d do the same with the label on the front.  Also, if I were going to do it again in black, I’d use black rhinestones; the crystal one’s get lost in the design.

I know my friend will love it, and I cannot wait to give it to her filled with some birthday goodies.  Now, all I have to do is decide what types of goodies to include.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Cricut Circle BLOGiversary: Recipe Challenge

Sometimes I have to search for the right paper for a project; others it seems the paper dictates the project.  When I opened the package of Basic Gray Jovial Collection Pack, I knew exactly what I was going to do with it, and it was perfect for this challenge.

The Challenge: Use your Cricut machines to create a project using the following “recipe.” It must contain 1) A Title; 2) At least 2 Cricut Cuts, and 3) At least 3 buttons.

The papers in this pack reminded me of Grandmother Taylor-Haas and her handmade Christmas decorations, from the numerous ceramics she made in her 40 years in business, to the adorable sewed projects I still use to decorate my home during the holidays.  She was so incredibly artistically talented: sewing (she was a master seamstress), knitting, crocheting, embroidery work, ceramics, painting, and many I’m sure I’ve forgotten at the moment. 

I wanted to create a holiday project with a very vintage feel, and the ornaments remind me of the one’s my family still hang on the tree every year.  I used the ornaments from the Christmas Cheer cartridge and letters from the Wall Décor and More cartridge.


I placed a gold ribbon vertically over the background paper so that the ornaments would sit on it to match the background.  Each ornament was inked, sprayed with Ranger’s Glimmer Mist, and embellished with rhinestones and pearls.  The letters were sprinkled with white glitter.  The buttons, located in the upper left corner and lower right corner, are some more newly acquired buttons from my mother’s vintage collection. 

So, this one is for Grandmother, who brought so much joy to so many lives in her 90 years. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Cricut Circle BLOGiversary: Exclusive Cricut Circle Cartridge Challenge

Continuing with the Cricut Circle BLOGivesary week challenges, today’s project was one of the harder one’s for me to choose.  While I have enjoyed all the exclusive cartridges available to Circlets, by far my favorite is the Sophie cartridge as I find it creates such elegant cards.  However,

I wanted to maintain my fall theme, but I never liked the pumpkin shape on this cartridge.   I decided that perhaps I’d appreciate it more if I actually worked with it and tried it rather than just judging it.  Having done so, I find that I am rather fond of the little elegant pumpkin after all.  So much for prejudging!

The Challenge: Create a project of your choice with one or more of the Cricut Circle Exclusive cartridges! (French Manor, Shall We Dance, Cricut Everyday, Pop-Up Neighborhood, or Sophie) Your project must include at least 2 different Cricut Image Cuts. And YES! You can mix in other cartridges with your Circle Exclusive cartridges.

I did have another one of those creative opportunities I’m so fond of talking about; after completing the card, I dropped an ink pad right into the middle of one of the sections of the pumpkin.  So, I decided I was supposed to add glitter, so now it does.  I am so glad I have these crafting disasters! 


Monday, October 10, 2011

Cricut Circle BLOGiversary: Cuttlebug Challenge

Today’s project is another one from last week’s Cricut Circle BLOGiversary, which included the additional requirement of using the Cuttlebug machine (an embossing tool), together with the Cricut.  Using an embossing tool, such as the Cuttlebug, allows you to add dimension and texture to a cut.

The Challenge: Create a project of your choice using your Cuttlebug machine as the main focus. Your project must include at least 2 different Cricut Image Cuts.

This was a fun, albeit very time consuming, project for me.  Generally, I have an idea of what I want something to look like when it’s finished, and usually it works out well.  There are those times, though, when things just don’t turn out exactly as I had hoped.  Those are the “it looked better in my head” projects.  Thankfully, this is not one of those projects.


To create the wreath, I used the leaves from the Straight From the Nest cartridge (the 5 leaves are found under the Layer feature), cut approximately 225 leaves from 9 different types of paper (some printed with a design; some plain).  Once they were all cut, I sorted them into 5 stacks by type and assigned a Cuttlebug folder to each one, and all were embossed.

Once the leaves were embossed, I inked the edges of each leaf and lightly inked the embossed area to give it additional visual depth.  Then, all the leaves were spayed using Ranger’s Perfect Pearls Mists in Heirloom Gold.  While the leaves were still wet, I crumpled each leaf to give it additional texture and depth. 


To make the wreath easier to work with, I covered the entire thing in paper prior to placing the leaves on it.  I worked in a clockwise direction and began placing leaves onto the wreath, trying to vary the leave size, shape and color. 

Once the leaves were covering approximately half the wreath, I wrapped the ribbon around it to ensure sufficient space for the placing of the letters and then completed the process of adding leaves.  Four leaves were used as background for the letters to spell out “Fall”. 


I did not use all of the leaves on the wreath; approximately 40 were left.  I had purchased 3 candles for the mantle over the fireplace, so I embellished them with some of the remaining leaves.  I had intended to do this when I purchased them, so it worked out well.  Two of the candles had embellishments when purchased, so I incorporated those along with my leaves.  I also created a few acorns, which I ended up not using on the wreath, so they were added to one of the candles.


I am very pleased with the way the project turned out, and it is definitely better than I imagined it!


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Cricut Circle BLOGiversary: Sketch Challenge

Recently, as I was checking out my favorite blog sites, I came across a note by someone that described how she kept up with all of her ongoing projects.  I remember thinking to myself, “Projects???  I can only manage one project at a time.”  And, then, the inevitable happened:  “I’d never do that!”

Bright and early Monday morning, I was eating my own thoughts.  The Cricut Circle Blog was one year old, and they are celebrating their BLOGiversary by having a different challenge every day of the (past) week.  Well, I’m sure you can imagine what happened next; yes, I have a table full of drawings, supplies for specific projects, cartridge booklets marked and/or opened to certain designs, partially completed projects and a numeric list of which one’s I want to complete first.

Today, I am rolling out the first of the 4 projects I completed for the BLOGiversary challenges: the Sketch Challenge. 

The Challenge: Create a project of your choice using the sketch below. Your project must include at least 2 different Cricut Image Cuts.


The prize for this challenge is a new Cricut Imagine; prizes are selected by a random drawing.  Here’s my entry into this challenge:


In order to create this card, I used the following Cricut cartridges:  Happy Hauntings, October 31st and Cindy Loo.

I’ve still much to do to complete and post the remaining challenges, so time to head back to the Cricut and get to work.

Never say, “Never!”

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Weekly Challenge #42: World Card-Making Day Challenge!

For those who may not know such things, World Card Making Day was held Saturday, October 1st, 2011.  The Cricut Circle challenge of the week was dedicated to honor this festive and creative occasion. 

The Challenge: For this next challenge, we want to see you show off your card-making skills in honor of World Card-Making Day (October 1st). The requirements are simple . . . create a card with any theme you would like using your Cricut machines!

As it happens, I was planning to make my very first cake box and a matching card to send to someone special for all he does for us.  Fall being his favorite time of year, as well as mine, I wanted to use that as a theme.  I chose rich colors with brown tones to make it more masculine.

The box is cut from Bazzill Basics Paper in Preppy Divine Mocha from a 12”x24” sheet, as I wanted a large box.  It was then sprayed with Ranger’s Perfect Pearls Mists in Heirloom Gold; once sprayed, the paper no longer looked dark brown, but rather an olive color in certain light.  Still, it was beautiful. 

The card was also cut from the same papers; additional papers used in this project were from various Fancy Pants collections.  The lettering was cut from the Sentimentals cartridge on gold paper by Recollections.

Cricut Cartridges used in this design were: Tags, Bags, Boxes and More, Close to My Heart Art Philosophy, Sentimentals and Celebrate with Flourish Lite.



All in all, I was quite pleased with my first attempt at a cake box.  The box and the card, while not an exact decorative match, blend together beautifully.  I know he will enjoy receiving them.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

September 2011 Cricut Circle Magazine Challenge: Echo Park Contest

For September, the Cricut Circle Magazine Challenge was as follows:

Use any Echo Park Collection and at least 4 Cricut Cuts from your favorite cartridge in your design.

Seemed simple enough, but I didn’t have any Echo Park products on hand, and there are no specialty scrapbook shops that carried these products in the Houston area.  So, I checked out their products on the internet, but since I had no project in mind, I wasn’t sure what paper to order.  I finally decided on a couple of the packs and was going to wait until the papers arrived to decide what to create.

As it turns out, I was working on something else for the fall, when a happy accident actually determined my project for the month.  I was creating files for a scarecrow on my Gypsy, and could not get the shirt layer to size correctly.  In a moment of brilliance, I realized I wasn’t supposed to get it correct, as it was destined for me to actually “stuff” my scarecrow.  From there, it was easy to create the scene for this challenge.

When the papers arrived, I selected The Apothecary Emporium paper pack.  I used the following Cricut cartridges:  Happy Hauntings, October 31st and Simply Scarecrow to create the scene.



I used red eyes on the scarecrow, the crow and the pirates to give it that eerie pirate feel.  Every pirate has to have some bling, so I added a vintage button (from my mother’s vast collection she generously shared with me) to the pirate’s head gear.  The shirt buttons were also from my mother’s stash of buttons.  The scarecrow’s eyes and the eyes of the jack-o-lantern were stitched with black thread.

The shirt and bandana on the scarecrow’s head were stuffed with fall colored raffia.  I carefully selected pieces and gently poked them in the holes I created.  Once filled, I then added some glue to hold the stuffing in place.PICT0278PICT0276To create the overall look of the scene, I covered a block of foam in paper, then added Spanish moss to give it the look and feel of dead grass.  I found the perfect “tree” in my front yard after a rain storm knocked it from the tree.  I painted the twig in flat black, then sprayed it with CC International’s Iridescent Spray and Sparkle.  (Please note that this item should never be used indoors; only use in a well ventilated area.)  Some of the items were misted with shimmer sprays to give them the added eerie look.  PICT0274

I love the way project came together, and especially the scarecrow.  It was a great reminder to me of what I always used to tell my scrapbook clients when I was teaching classes:  “There are no mistakes in crafting; only opportunities to be creative."

Friday, September 23, 2011

The “Butterfly Award”


My blog was recently honored by Renee (a.k.a., RockinRenee) at “I came, I saw, I created,” with the Butterfly Award.  To say that I was stunned to receive such an award would be a gross understatement.  I never imagined that anyone other than family and maybe a few friends would ever even look at my blog.  Not once did it ever cross my mind that other people would find my work interesting or noteworthy. 

Thank you, Renee, for honoring me with such an award of distinction! 

In order to accept the award, I have to answer the following questions and then pass on the award to 10 others with interesting crafting sites:

  1. 1. Name my favorite color – Purple!  Why?  Are there other colors?
  2. Name my favorite song – Just one?  Why not ask me my favorite group?  That I can answer (“Queen” of course!).   My boys always tease me because I’ll hear a song and say, “Oh, that’s my favorite!”  They then feel compelled to remind me I say that to all the songs.  Guess it’s my version of a Lay’s potato chip: I can’t pick just one.
  3. Name my favorite dessert – Ice Cream
  4. What 'wizzes' me off at the moment?  People who cannot follow directions.
  5. My favorite pet – All of my dogs:  Jewel, Spirit, Dusty and Lefty.
  6. Black or white?  Depends on the circumstance, as I’m fond of both.
  7. Biggest fear – Being caught in a fire.
  8. Best feature – Why, my winning personality, of course!  Actually, I’ve always thought my smile was my best physical feature.
  9. Everyday attitude – It is what it is, so deal with it.
  10. What is perfection? A sleeping baby.
  11. Guilty pleasure – I’d say my Cricut, but I don’t feel any guilt over the pleasure I get from it.
  12. When I am upset I... RANT!

I would like to pass on the Butterfly Award to the following:

  1. Carolyn at My Pretty Poodle – projects with loads of details.
  2. Tami at Tami’s Treasures – lots of cards and scrapbook layouts.
  3. Gabriele at Gaby Creates – beautiful designs, fantastic ideas, gorgeous projects and some tutorials. 
  4. Jen at Confessions of a Scrapaholic – lots of fun card and scrapbook layouts with kids’ themes.
  5. Jan at The Crafty Mermaid – numerous traveling and camping projects/ideas.
  6. Mel at Doxie Mel Designs – love the detail of her designs. 
  7. Kemma at Kemma’s Cards – a new blog with some great stuff.
  8. Ruthie at September Ninth – this is one crafty lady with some super fun projects and tutorials.
  9. Melitta at Canadian Paper Shaper – some nice tutorials and tips for using the Cricut, plus detailed cutting instructions for many of her designs (I love the helmets).
  10. Melanie and Dora at Creativity Moment by Moment – another new blog, but these are two talented ladies!

Congratulations ladies and continue creating!

- Shari


September’s Cricut Circle Monthly Challenge was to create a project that included some type of window element.  Additionally, it had to include at least 2 Cricut Image Cuts.

Being the fall, I was trying to create something that would fit the season.  For some reason, my mind wandered to the old Charlie Brown special, “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!”  I always loved Linus’s determination that the Great Pumpkin was coming, despite everyone else’s negativity. The image of Linus waiting for the Great Pumpkin to arrive stuck in my head, and I began to see a scene of puppies looking out the window at something.

Whenever I create something involved, I always start by printing everything in white to be sure it will all work as I saw it in my head.  When I showed it to one of my sons, he said, “Aw, look, that one is telling his mom that one of the other puppies stole the witch’s hat and broom and is out flying around, obviously having a good time.”  I hadn’t even thought of that!

The dogs are chalked to look like our little“Lefty,” who is likely the dog on the broom.  Lefty is the ultimate carefree, all about the fun, dog.  It would definitely be something he’d do. 

So, in honor of my son, Ryan, I call this “Joyride.”  I hope you enjoy it, too!


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Weekly Challenge #40: Glittery Card Sketch Challenge!

Being a bit of a novice, I haven’t actually participated in many of the Cricut Circle challenges until recently.  This time, it is the Weekly Challenge that inspired me. 

Weekly Challenge #40: Glittery Card Sketch Challenge!

The Challenge: This week we want to see your interpretation of the following card sketch. Please include some kind of glitter or bling on your card.


I love the fall, which is actually quite comical considering I live in Texas and we don’t actually have any seasons other than summer.  What I love about the fall is the colors, the way nature’s palette washes everything to bright beautiful reds, oranges, yellows, golds and even browns.  It makes me think I feel cooler weather, even if today was a record-breaking 102!  So, it was no stretch to immediately see fall leaves in this sketch.

Now, here’s my interpretation of this sketch:


Now, I think I’ll turn down the air conditioner and pretend it’s almost fall in Texas.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

August Magazine Challenge 2011


This month’s Cricut Circle Magazine Challenge was to use products from Cosmo Cricket. 

Contest Rules: Use any Cosmo Cricket product, at least three Cricut cuts, and any Cuttlebug folder. Contest will open on August 20th. Please upload a working link or picture of your project to the blog under the Magazine Challenge tab.

With fall just around the corner, I decided to create a Halloween decoration using the Cosmo Cricket Matilda and Joy Ride paper sets.

I started with a $0.99 Store photo frame:


The plain whitewash frame was painted using Glamour Dust in Tiger Orange.

Next, I added a little Cricut magic!  Here is the final product:


Now, all I need is some trick-or-treaters.

Monday, August 29, 2011

August 2011 Monthly Challenge: Create a Scene

This was designed to be a multi-fold card, but it took on a life of its own and turned into a birthday card/book.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it.