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

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Halloween: Crackled and Jeweled Floral Sugar Skull Wall Art

 


I FINALLY got back to my craft room to make something last week! After the Summer from H*LL, the near septic abscess that tried to kill me followed by weeks of recovery, a move, and then surgery to remove the abscess host ovary and more weeks of recovery, it hasn't exactly been a productive Summer. But doctors know things and it was almost like clockwork when my energy level finally started coming back around week 5 post-op. 

Supplies: 
  • Wood Art Board (Target Clearance but available at Art Supply Stores)
  • Acrylic Paints (Folk Art and Craftsmart)
  • White School Glue (Elmers but store brand will work too) 
  • White Vinyl, Transfer Tape (Cricut)
  • Jewels (Art Minds, Michaels)
  • Dimensional Glue ( Glossy Accents, Ranger)

Before all of this started, I'd stumbled on these fabulous Art Boards at Target which screamed "buy me" especially since they were on clearance for something like $3 so of course I bought all the ones they had! Seven of them for what two cost at regular price. 


I had this mega pack of purple jewels from a previous project so it became the inspiration for my color choice of Purple, Black and White which will fit right into my primarily Black and White Halloween decor.


 
I painted the board with a coat of Folk Art Violet Pansy. I didn't care about a perfect finish because that's not my thing and besides, I knew I was going to add black with the purple showing through the crackle. 

My go to process for achieving a crackle finish is good old white school glue. I stock up on it during school supply season! Apply it straight from the bottle and then spread it trying to use complete strokes in one direction. 


You want a medium coverage of the glue. Too thin and it won't crackle. Too thick and you won't have a smooth surface. Let this coat dry to tacky. I use my handy craft tool...an old blow dryer set on cool, to speed up the process. You don't want the glue completely dry. Go over the glue layer with the black paint, using the same one direction brush strokes as the glue layer. If you're patient, you can let this air dry. If you're me, grab the blow dryer again, this time set on warm to help the crackling process. 

Q: "Can I use my heat gun?"
A: NO! It's too hot and everything will bubble and peel which might give you a cool effect but it won't be THIS effect. 



Don't worry if the glue shows through. Once dry, it dries clear. Even though I help the drying process with the blow dryer, set it aside to dry completely which gives you time to work on the vinyl piece. I found this image on Creative Fabrica ( Disclosure: I am an Affiliate so if you use this link to purchse, I do receive credit to their store).




Download your image  then bring it into the Cricut Design Space Software ( these files work with all of the different cutting machines but I used my Cricut) and size accordingly. I cut this from white Cricut Vinyl, using my Explore Air 2. 




Weed your vinyl (if you're new to vinyl, weeding is the process of removing the vinyl from the negtive spaces to reveal your image) and then apply the Transfer Tape (this is clear tape, I used the Cricut brand, that allows you to position and apply the vinyl to your surface). 


Position your transfer tape lightly on your surface until satisfied then use a scraping tool ( I use the one that came w/ my first ever Cricut or they sell them at craft stores and you can also use an old credit card etc. ) to apply your vinyl to your surface. Peel off the transfer tape.  I do this slowly vs ripping off like a bandaid in case there are spots the vinyl isn't sticking. It allows you to maintain the positioning and fix any issues. 

Then it was time for the jewels! I used a strong glue (Glossy Accents by Ranger) to adhere these and just randomly placed using the different sizes and shades. 


Et, voila! 



I haven't hung it up yet because I haven't started my Halloween decorating yet but I absolutely LOVE how it turned out and I have some other projects planned using this color scheme! Happy Haunting Season! 




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Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Papercrafting: Layered Egg Easter Cards

 


I will singlehandedly keep the Post Office in business because as much as I love and use technology, I will always make and send handmade cards. And since no matter how hard I try, I can't make cards that only require basic stamps, I'm their best customer!  

I had fun with my newfound knowledge of creating layered files in Cricut Design Space and did a series of layered Easter Eggs in a pastel palette. 


Supplies: 

I will also singlehandedly acquire every Michaels Hot Buy Paper Stack which, did I mention...are buy one get two free this week? 

Since all of the papers complemented each other, it was easy to play with different combinations. I ended up doing some in blues/turquoise, pinks and lavenders, and yellows/oranges/green. 


I cut the top layers of each using the glitter paper, layering using foam tape on either one or two layers of coordinating plain paper. 



For this one I used two layers of glitter paper. 


I had some paper butterflies in my embellishments stash but I didn't have enough so I made some more by cutting them on my Explore Air 2 and adding self adhesive pearls to match the original!



The Post Office employees hide when they see me coming! WHAT is she mailing now?! 



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Saturday, March 27, 2021

Papercrafting: Layered Bunny Mandala

 


This week's party continues here .

This post contains a referral link for which I may receive free products. 

I mentioned in this week's party post that I love Creative Fabrica as a source for fonts, graphics, and SVG cutting files and that they offer one of each of these for free each day. I downloaded this one when it was free the other day ( it's still available here but no longer free). 

I was excited to play with it and I'm excited to show you how it turned out!

Supplies: 
  • Scrapbook papers 
  • Electronic Cutting Machine ( I used my Cricut Explore Air2, these files also work in Silhouette Design Studio)
  • Spray Glue
  • Frame


Downloaded the file to my computer and imported into Cricut Design Space as follows: 





Click on image on the left side of the design panel, Click on Upload Image. 



Click browse to go to where you've stored your file, and then select the SVG file. 


Your file will appear in your recently uploaded files and then select Insert Image. Once it's on your canvas, then you can re-size as desired. I sized mine 8x8 for a 12x12 frame. 



All three layers will be shown . For me, it's easier to work with one layer on the screen at a time so I can keep straight which layer I want in which color. To hide the layers you don't want to work with, click on the eye icons until only the layer(s) you want is shown. Then you can send to cut each layer. 



I did the background layer in turquoise glitter The middle layer in pastel turquoise. The top layer in cream. 



Since each layer is so detailed and delicate, I used a spray adhesive to attach them. I like the repositionable kind in case you need to adjust. 



Here are the first two layers glued together. Repeat the process to attach the base layer. 



Since this file is so intricate, I kept the background simple to let it stand out, using the same cream scrapbook paper as I'd used for the top layer. Framed in a 12x12 shadowbox frame!


And now I have this very cool new piece to add to my Easter decor and I love it! What do you think? 

Follow The Yellow Brick Home

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!