Showing posts with label Cricut Explore Air 2. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cricut Explore Air 2. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

St. Patrick's Day: Layered Shamrock from Maggie Rose Designs

 



Last December I attended a  workshop where I discovered someone who has become one of my favorite designers, Maggie, from Maggie Rose Design Co. She does a lot of amazing things including creating beautiful layered cut files that she generously shares with her readers. I made another of her designs last month using her Layered Floral Heart

Maggie's recently shared some changes in her life where she's paused her making, if not her designing time, and issued a call for anyone using her latest design to use their Cricut to cut it out and I happily answered that call! I really connect with her style. 

I haven't done a lot of St. Patrick's Day decorating in the past but this year since creating is my full time job, I've been having fun with it and have a couple more projects I'll be sharing. 

Supplies: 
  • Layered Shamrock Cut File ( You'll need to sign up at Maggie's site to get the password to download for FREE!) Trust me, you want to do this as she has some gorgeous files in addition to this one. 
  • Cutting Machine ( Her files work for Cricut or Silhouette) I used my Cricut Explore Air 2
  • Four Sheets Contrasting Scrapbook Paper 
  • Foam tape / Dots
  • Shadowbox Frame
  • Background Paper


I alternated my papers based on how I wanted  the layers to appear, using white glitter, black, gold glitter, and green. All of my papers are Recollections from Michaels. 

Once you've downloaded the design and imported into your design software, re-size as desired and then cut each layer. 



You can see the beauty of each layer as a standalone. I assembled the Shamrock using foam squares.

HINT: I start with the top layer and work backwards because the top layer is usually the most intricate and you want to ensure you don't place your foam squares or dots where they'll show. 



I love how all of the layers work together! 

I knew I was going to frame this like I'd done with the Layered Floral Heart. I used a 12x12 Shadowbox Frame from Michaels. But first, I needed to decide what I wanted for the background! 




Michaels got me again with their "Buy One Get Two Free" Hot Buy Paper Stacks. I have zero willpower when it comes to these. I loved this one called "Let's Wander" (in my house...it's COVID!) which I love with its watercolor and foiled papers. I chose this one. 



I thought the greens and golds went perfectly with the papers I used for the Shamrock. 



Taped it down to the background paper and then assembled it together in the frame. 



I'm so SO happy with how it turned out and it's all because it started with a FABULOUS design from a talented designer! Thank you Maggie! 




Monday, February 22, 2021

Vinyl on Enamel Sign : Forever Incomplete


This will be less of a tutorial post and more of a confessional one I guess the best way to describe it. If you want to skip to the creative part, it's at the bottom!

We were going through CDs, DVDs etc. deciding what to keep and get rid of and one of my favorite ones I kept was Alanis Morisette's "Flavors of Entanglement" which I hadn't listened to recently. It's fun to re-discover why you bought something and as I listened to it, purchased at a different time in my life, I realized why it spoke to me then, but I also realize how much I've grown and why it speaks to me still. 

In particular, one song stands out and it was the inspiration for this project: "Forever Incomplete". I'm now a "woman of a certain age". Young at heart but approaching 60. Seems so weird to write that since I'm fortunate that I get second looks when I give my birth date at the doctor or pharmacy. But facts as they say "is facts". I'm not a person who looks back with regrets but that doesn't mean I don't look back. 

Thirteen years ago when this album came out, I was at a different stage in my life. My son was just starting high school and I was then about 20 years into my career. Because of how life goes, my focuses and priorities were different then than they are now. I was still balancing work and family life. I was also still grappling with the self doubt and insecurities that had plagued me my whole life. 

I grew up, like many of us, with high expectations that I internalized A LOT. I put immense pressure on myself. To achieve academically. To be the best daughter, then wife and mother. To do well in my career and keep rising. To do and have it all and not realize what I was doing to myself in the process. 

It was around that time that I removed myself from my then company's "Top Talent" list. Something I'd been on virtually since I'd joined. I stopped being concerned with awards and recognition. OK a little...I'll always be competitive. That didn't mean I checked out workwise. Oh no. I was still putting in the hours, still hardest on myself, still afraid, as I have been my entire life, of failure. Pressure. Constant pressure. Put there mostly, but not entirely, by me. 

At that time, some of the songs on this CD spoke to me as someone struggling to figure out my life. If I wasn't going to push to become an Executive (the path I was on) then what? My child was getting older, my marriage was stable. I told myself my creative outlets were my therapy. But still...some confusion. some resentment, some sense of loss but of what, I didn't know. And I pushed those things out of my mind because who had time for that kind of self indulgence? So years went by. I continued to try to be the best of all my roles. 

When I turned 50 I said I would focus on me. Fits and starts and feelings of guilt and selfishness but slowly I kept at it. I'd get there right? There was an end point. Until there wasn't.  About 7 years ago, work, which had always been intense, went off the charts. Nothing was consistent except the constant change of leaders, teams, etc.  But hey, our family had its health, we were comfortable, son excelled in college and got accepted to five top tier PhD programs. Three years ago a major move to be closer to my mom. I just kept going. 

Last year  COVID came and really forced most if not all of us to really take a hard look at our priorities. Then my company moved almost all of the remaining jobs in my organization offshore and I found myself in retirement a couple of years earlier than planned during a global pandemic. Where am I going with all of this? 

That regardless of the plans we make or the direction we think we're headed life is never an orderly, bulleted list with a finite end point (OK yes, death!). And that is where I come back to this verse of the song "Forever Incomplete" that hit me and made me shout "YES!" in the car. 


I have been running so sweaty my whole life

Urgent for a finish line

And I have been missing the rapture this whole time of being forever

incomplete


 


I realized that for as long as I can remember I've been chasing things. Running. HARD. Being a good student. Getting a good job. Getting married, having a family, doing well, etc. And life, at least mine, doesn't work like that. I've been on a journey  that may never be complete. I may or may not ever do all the things I want or am supposed to do. And it's OK. I realized that focusing on the next thing, I've at times along the way missed the joy aka the rapture of knowing that it may never be and just live. I say none of that to suggest that I haven't had a joyous life, but it lifted some inexplicable weight. Maybe pressure on myself that was always self inflicted. I've given myself the permission and freedom to just "be" and be incomplete. And it feels great!  

OK now to the project! 

Supplies:
  • Blank Enamel Sign ( Artist's Loft)
  • Silver Foil (JoAnn)
  • Oval Frame (Designbundles.net)
  • Electronic Cutting Machine (Cricut Explore Air 2)

 


I actually bought this blank sign a couple of years ago at Michaels so it's not a current item but there are similar ones online. It ended up becoming the lid of my trash can to keep my then very nosy puppy out because she was obsessed with anything inside! 


I purchased a collection of frames from Designbundles.net which included this one. I flipped the image in Cricut Design Space and then chose a font, wrote out the lyrics I wanted to use, and cut using silver foil from my stash. 


Weeded and then applied the transfer tape and eyeballed the positioning on the sign and then that moment of pause before you adhere it, deep breath, hoping you got it centered! 


Peeled off the transfer tape and done!




Sunday, January 17, 2021

Valentine's: Shadowbox Framed Layered Heart

 



This week's link party continues here.

I've been off to a slow start with 2021 creating. Other than a few birthday cards, I haven't done much. Between some non-Covid health issues and tests, one of my besties testing positive for Covid and worrying about her, and the events of the year so far, I've been stuck. Anyone else like that? Sometimes it just takes seeing something hit your inbox to get you unstuck and that's exactly what happened when I got an email from Maggie Rose Design Co. with a free SVG cut file for a gorgeous layered heart. If you have or are thinking about getting an electronic cutting machine, you really want to check out Maggie's site! As soon as I saw the design I fell in love with it and knew I wanted to make something using it. 

Supplies:
  • Free Layered Flower Heart SVG File, Maggie Rose Design Co. 
  • Five sheets of cardstock 
  • Cardstock for background
  • 12x12 Shadowbox Frame ( Michaels)
  • Foam tape squares (Dollar Tree)
  • Electronic Cutting Machine ( I used my Cricut Explore Air 2)


I went with neutral colors because I may keep this out beyond Valentine's Day. I used two sheets of cream cardstock, one black, one white and grey marbled, and one silver glitter. 

You'll be building your heart from the base layer up so think about that as you're deciding which paper to use for which layer. 

I imported the SVG file into Cricut Design Space and sized to fit centered in the frame. I made mine 9 inches. Cut your layers. 



Once you have your layers cut, you can begin building your heart. I started with a cream layer for the base and used foam tape squares to attach the black layer. 


Repeat with the remaining layers, taking care as you get to the more detailed final two layers to position your foam squares where they won't show. 


This is with the third layer applied and you can see how it's coming together ( oops excuse that errant foam square!). 


When you're all done you can see how all of the layers work together and I was so happy with how this turned out! 




To complete, adhere your background paper to the inside of the back of the frame and then I added a strip of tape to secure my layered heart. In this pic, I hadn't yet attached the layers so they're not lined up precisely. 



One of the skills I have on my 2021 list to learn is how to make my own layered files but as I do that, I remain grateful for Makers like Maggie Rose who share their creations! 



Monday, December 28, 2020

First Post-Christmas Cards: Cream Gray and Turquoise


 

I hope everyone who celebrated had a wonderful Christmas celebration.We Zoomed with our son on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and fingers crossed, his packages will arrive today. Grrr. He took that in better stride than we have! 

I started on my "catch up" New Year's cards ( a couple people I inadvertently missed with Christmas cards) and January birthdays. After making the snowflake card using some Christmas papers, I really liked the color combination so I used it to make the first of my January birthday cards. 



For this one, I used a snowflake patterned paper from Recollections "White Christmas" stack and then an icy bluish / light turquoise Craftsmart glitter paper. I cut snowflakes using my Cricut Explore Air2 from cream glitter paper, and layered using foam dots as shown. To finish, I added an iridescent snowflake sequin and light turquoise snowflake sequin. Simple but fresh and clean for a new year!



I liked the color combination so much I went with it for the first 2021 birthday card I needed. I used the same glitter papers to make the party hats. I'm an "ecumenical" crafter so for this one I used my Silhouette Cameo and an image from the Silhouette online store. It's a layered image so I cut out of three different glitter scraps and then layered to make the hats. I think I'm going to do more of these in other color combos so I have party hats at the ready for future cards. I mounted these on a gray Echo Park Paper and used the Craftsmart light turquoise glitter papers. The sentiment is also from the Silhouette online store, and I cut it using Cricut silver adhesive foil, applied it to a cream cardstock scrap, then a light turquoise glitter scrap, and finished with some silver star sequins. 


Happy last days of 2020. I don't think any of us will be sad to see you go! 





 

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Holiday 2020: Official Santa Delivery Station Ornament and Card

 


As I mentioned in my Giving Locally post, I had a few more ornaments and cards to make for local places I want to thank this holiday season. One of those is our Post Office, which for people like me who live in small towns, is a LIFELINE! 

We don't get mail delivery at home so the joke with friends and family is that a few times a week we hitch up the mules and go into town. We're not that rural...we drive...in a car! 

FedEx and UPS are hit or miss. Amazon is consistent in their deliveries. But out of an abundance of caution, we just have everything shipped to the Post Office and they have received everything from Chewy boxes to vacuums and sewing machines! So naturally I wanted to include them in my small expressions of gratitude. 

I created this cut file in Cricut Design Space but I'm not fancy and have to learn how to create an SVG file which is going to wait until 2021! 

Then cut using my Explore Air2 using glossy black Cricut Vinyl. Then, following the steps I showed in my Using Creativity To Give Back post, used it to make another tile ornament. 




After weeding the vinyl, I didn't want to waste the negative image left behind, so I used it to make the card! 



I applied it to a white scrap panel, trimmed, and then mounted on a peppermint stripe panel, then a black panel. Where the inside of the letters was gone, I used black rhinestones. Bloop! 



Can you tell I'm having so much fun with these?! 


Sharing At: 




Monday, November 30, 2020

Holiday 2020: Using Creativity to Give Back

 


Happy Crunch Time Makers! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and now we are full speed ahead towards the December holidays! I've been having such fun Elfing in my workshop and once I get a few things off in the mail can share some more projects but I can share a few things I've made to show our appreciation to some of our local favorites. This year with the pandemic especially, I am passionate about being grateful and showing appreciation to people who've been there and kept us going. 


I'm also going to share my latest obsession...making Quatrefoil Tile Ornaments. I know these have been popular this season and I too am hooked! 


Like so many, we've limited our eating out because of COVID but we have a local place that offers to go or outside dining. It's been important to us since we live in a small town to support local businesses so this set is for our fave little place called The Grotto Cafe which is part of an art enclave called The Red Truck Trading Company so you can see the obvious theme here! 



We also have a local coffee roastery called ROC2 or Roastery of Cave Creek where my husband gets his coffee beans. They do all of their roasting on site and small town living being what it is, they even use an honor system for their coffee locker. You pick up your beans and slide your money through the slot! 



Being a Seattle girl, Starbucks is in my blood. Literally. If you cut me, I will bleed a non-fat iced mocha, no whip. So while not a local company, my local go to location has the nicest baristas who always have my mobile order ready and are always so cheerful!


I have a few more of these to make but wanted share. Retail and restaurant workers have hard jobs, made harder this year by extreme conditions. I know these are small things but hopefully they will know how much we appreciate them! 

OK now for the tutorial on the ornaments! 

Supplies: (This is going to assume some basic knowledge of working with vinyl) 
  • Digital Cutting Machine and Cut Files. I used my Cricut Explore 2. For the Red Truck ornament and card, I had this image already in my Design Space software and created the sentiment using same. For the Coffee themed ornaments, I used this SVG file from Creative Fabrica
  • Vinyl and Transfer Tape (Green and red vinyl, Expressions Vinyl ; Black Cricut Glossy)
  • Satori Quatrefoil Ornaments. Lowes, $5.98 for a sheet of 15! 
  • Ribbon for bows and hanging
  • Glue gun and glue sticks


These are the Satori tiles I used. They come on a netting that pulls right off the back easily. If you look on Pinterest or different SVG and Graphics sites, you may also see them referred to as Arabesque tiles. They're glazed porcelain so you get a very smooth finish on which to apply the vinyl. They could also be painted or you can use paint pens or Sharpies with a sealer. 

Clean your tile with alcohol or glass cleaner to remove any packing residue, fingerprints etc. Size, cut, and weed your vinyl in your machine's software (eg Design Space or Silhouette Studio).




 Apply transfer tape and position on the tile before you use your scraper to apply pressure to ensure the vinyl transfers. 



There are many ideas of how to apply hangers to these tiles. I remembered too late that I had some flat bails in my jewelry making supplies which would work or you can use wire or as I did, ribbon. I've read some tutorials of people who drilled holes through them but you need special drill bits etc. and I didn't want to deal w/ that! I also didn't finish the backs of my tiles.  I thought I was going to but when the netting came off easily and the back wasn't messy looking, I skipped it. Others have painted, applied vinyl or felt to the back. 


I cut a length of 1/8" ribbon and hot glued to the center of the tile as shown. Then using another piece of ribbon (the black ribbon shown below), placed a dab of glue on the front of the tile, wrapped it around to the back and glued down. To finish, I made a ribbon bow and hot glued to the front. 




I love the shape of these tiles and trust me, there are a TON of cut files out there designed specifically for these! 

Until next time!