Showing posts with label Recollections. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Recollections. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Every Child Should Be Celebrated On Their Birthday: Box of Balloons

 


April was a blur for me with getting my mom back to full health. So with doctors appointments and follow-ups ( many, many, MANY follow-ups) I didn't have a lot of time and even less energy for creating. But on a stop at my regular Starbucks, I got the jolt I needed and not just from the mobile order I was picking up. 

This location that has become my go to during the pandemic (shout out to the Hayden & Thompson Peak store in Scottsdale) and is partnering with an organization called Box of Balloons which works to provide Birthday Boxes to kids who might otherwise not have a birthday celebration. That hits my heart.

I LOVED my birthdays as a child because my Mom and Dad always made sure they were special. This was back in the day when parties weren't events planned like the D-Day invasion. Home, friends, family, but always special. Always a theme with matching invites, decorations, cake etc. I tried to make my son's special because that's what I knew and my husband, whose experience was different, was initially confused but loved making our son's birthdays special too. 

So when I saw this drive for decorations, favors etc. I knew I could put my skills and my tools like my Cricut Explore to good use for a good cause! There's a reason why I grabbed up the "Happy Cake Day" Hot Buy paper stack at Michaels! 


Supplies: 

  • Happy Cake Day Paper Stack ( Michaels )
  • Jewel Glitter Paper Stack ( Michaels  )
  • Paper Scraps
  • Cardstock 


This Happy Cake Day stack is SO much fun. You really need to get it if you see it and no I don't get a commission! It's just a great stack. Foiled and plain papers that all coordinate with each other and so much fun. 


There are a few pages with panels like this that you can cut for multiple cards etc. LOVE these in all of the paper stacks I buy. So I trimmed some from this sheet and another similar one to use as the focal for each card. 

Using cardstock I had on hand ( this was also a great way to use up existing supplies) I cut all the cards 5x7 and kept things fairly simple cutting the coordinating paper panels for the card to 4.75x6.75 and 4x6. I had fun just picking coordinating papers from these stacks and my stash. 




Everything's better with glitter right? So I grabbed my paper scraps which were the perfect size to use to mat the focal panels I'd cut. They really make the cards look festive and fun. I was having so much fun, I ended up making about 3 dozen cards!

But wait! The other thing perfect for birthdays are tags and what's a better way to use up paper scraps than making tags? 


I grabbed a bunch of coordinating scraps and from the larger pieces, I cut some Balloons and Stars using my Cricut Explore and just had fun mixing and matching all of the paper scraps and cutouts. I layered the diecuts and attachd with foam dots to give the tags some dimension and then added bright ribbons. 



I couldn't forget the great team at my go to store. I LOVE the Starbucks Mobile App which allows me to order ahead, pop in and pickup my drink and I must go there enough because different baristas recognize me by name and know if my drink is ready, being worked on, that I want a straw etc. So I also made a long overdue Thank You card for them!


I had this cut file in my collection and used the Slice function in Cricut Design Space to add some coffee beans. I added a couple of the balloons left over from making tags since they're doing the Balloon Box drive, and  used a sheet from another favorite Recollections Stack, "Let's Wander" along with light green glitter paper and white cardstock. 

Being able to do what I love and give back to kids to hopefully make their day just a little brighter was EXACTLY the infusion of inspiration I needed. We're all in this world together. 


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Saturday, March 20, 2021

Cardmaking: Easy Card No Fancy Tools

 


This week's link party continues here!

As I've written before, I love my amazing crafting tools like my Cricut Explore Air2. But sometimes I also love the simplicity of making something that doesn't require tools.  Here's how you can make an easy card with just some pretty papers and a few basics. 

Supplies: 
  • Scrapbook Papers (I used the Let's Wander Stack by Recollections from Michaels) and some paper scraps from previous projects. 
  • Cardstock. I used 110lb Cardstock, Recollections, Michaels
  • Stickers. I used one sticker from a pack by Crafter's Square from Dollar Tree
  • Embellishments. Crafter's Square, Dollar Tree. 
  • Double sided adhesive or tape runner
  • Paper Trimmer or craft knife
  • Scoreboard / bone folder or if you don't have, you can use an empty ball point pen


First, choose your papers and what you want to use for your card's focal. Stickers are great for this, especially those on clear backgrounds. I found these at The Dollar Tree and for $1 you can make multiple cards. 


Trim your cardstock to 7x10 inches then score in the middle at 5 inches. I use a scoreboard for my cards but you can easily place your cardstock on a magazine , use a ruler as a guide, and use an empty ballpoint pen or something else pointed enough to score your fold but not cut. 


To make the focal for your card, place the sticker you've chosen on a piece of cardstock then trim it to size. If you don't have a paper trimmer, again a ruler and a craft / utility knife and easy peasy. 

Cut the main decorative paper you've chosen to 4.75x6.75 (I used a pink swirly sheet) then mat your trimmed sticker focal on another piece of the same paper and mat with a solid ( I used a scrap of black cardstock). 

Since I've been at this a while, I have a TON of paper scraps from other projects but if this is the first card you're making, choose some coordinating sheets from the paper stack and play around. I grabbed some of my scraps and cut to sizes that worked with my trimmed focal. 

Assemble. Hint: I always assemble my layers before I attach to the card itself. So in this case, I put my matted focal on top of the scrap with the bows on it, then attached to the silver dotted paper, and finally on the pink swirl background. Then attach to your card. 


I always like to finish with some bling or some dots of glitter glue etc. In this case, I used a sheet of rhinestone embellishments by Crafter's Square from The Dollar Tree. They are really expanding their line of crafting materials and you can't beat the price! 


Lots of cards to make with all of those rhinestones! Most of the teardrop shaped ones have the little round ones attached. I used these for the bigger bows. For the smaller bows, just dotted with some other smaller rhinestones in my stash. This part is completely optional. 

But see? Easy, no fancy tools, and when you can get a beautiful stack of papers like the ones in this Let's Wander pack (currently on sale at Michaels 70% off!) then you don't have to spend a lot to make some pretty things! 









Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Tutorial: My New Granddog and How to Make a Layered Monogram in Cricut Design Space

 



My son is almost done with his PhD and is focused on writing his dissertation. He's wanted a dog since he left for undergrad, and the timing was finally right for him to adopt and he found the cutest 8 month old shelter pup and is in total love! Of course being a Maker and a Mom, that meant I was going to make him something special, and I'm so happy with how this turned out. 

Now that I too have more time since I retired last year, I've been focused on growing my skills and learning new things.  I'm totally obsessed with layered cut files like the ones I've shared from Maggie Rose. I will have a couple more projects coming using her designs. And there are soooo many talented people out there making these, but since childhood, I've been one of those people who wants to know how to do things myself as well! I watched some You Tube videos and read some tutorials, but my brain works how it works ( ask Mr. Chocolate) and I had to figure out what made sense to me. In the event that your brain works like mine ( I'm sorry!) hope the tutorial in this post is helpful. 

First things first. Meet "Spinach Boy". The shelter was on a vegetable name kick and that's what they named him when they took him in. Poor guy was sick and sad but he's fully healthy now. PhD son wasn't sure he was going to keep the name but when they finally met he felt it suited him. He's calling him "Spinny" but his official name remains Spinach Boy. 


The "S" monogram can also work for "Socks" since he has a thing for them! Now for my attempt at a tutorial which I hope makes sense. Also on my list is making videos so look for one of those in the future. Since I haven't mastered creating an exportable SVG file yet, these instructions are specific to Cricut Design Space

Supplies: 
  • Three sheets of scrapbook paper (I used a glitter sheet, a plain sheet, and a textured sheet) for Monogram
  • One sheet of scrapbook paper for background ("Let's Wander" paper stack by Recollections, Michaels)
  • Cricut Cutting Machine (eg. Explore Air, Maker, Joy.  I used my Explore Air2)
  • Foam Squares or small dots
  • Shadowbox Frame (I used a 12x12 frame) 

Both because of the name and because my son is also into plants, I went with a green palette with silver accents. Silver for the base, solid green for the middle layer, and textured green for the top layer.



Layer One: 
The first layer you'll create is your base layer. For this tutorial we'll call this the "Weld" layer since you're adding a shape to the letter and you want to create one piece for cutting. 
  • Open Design Space (this tutorial assumes basic familiarity with the software) 
  • Upload or Select Text to generate the letter you want to work with. 
  • Size as appropriate
  • I matched my colors to the color papers I chose because it made it easier for my brain to remember what was needed for each layer
  • On the left side of the Design Space window, look for Shapes. Click on, select the shape you want to add. You can see I chose a star. 
  • Size the image as appropriate and using your mouse, place where you want it on your letter
  • What I did learn from one video is making use of the right hand tool bar. This is where you will see the images you've brought into your project. To work with specific images for specific steps you can select from here vs clicking on the images themselves. When you hold your CTRL Key down the space on the right side turns gray so you can see you've chosen it. In this case it's the star image and the S. 
  • While holding your CTRL Key click "Weld" on the bottom of the right hand side of the screen
  • This fuses, or welds, your two images into one



After Welding: 

After you've welded your image you can see how this is now one combined shape. For the next step, duplicate your welded image, change the color, and close the original by clicking on the little eye symbol that corresponds to it. Again, changing the colors of each layer helped me with this! 

Layer Two: 
Layers two and three will use the "Slice" function which is located to the left of the "Weld" function on the bottom right of the Design Space Screen. These will remain grayed out until images you want to use are selected. 


You can see here, I changed this now welded layer to green. 
  • Again insert a shape ( I used the star again and sized slightly smaller than the welded star). 
  • Position the star shape as appropriate
  • Hold CTRL Key and select the star and the welded S and click "Slice" 
Now this is where I got frustrated. Once I hit slice the first time, it didn't appear anything had changed. By accident, I moved the S and that's how I figured out it had actually worked. 



The shape you previously inserted along with the shape you sliced out all appear as one until you move your image around and can see the white space. Several swear words resulted from this until I accidentally moved the image! You can keep or delete these images depending on whether you're going to need then again for your next layer. 

Layer Three: 
As you did after you welded layer one, make a duplicate of your sliced layer two, change the color to keep things straight, click on the eye symbol to close layer two. 

  • Upload or select any additional Design Space images you want to use. 
  • For this layer I added a paw and a dog bone 
  • Repeat the "Slice" process for Layer Two
Here are my three separate layers: 





Now you can click on the eye symbols for any of the layers you've closed, overlay them, and then click "Select All" in Design Space or via CTRL Key to select as outlined above, lay them atop each other and you can see how all three layers work together and if satisfied, click "Group" just to ensure if you change the size of any layer they all stay in sync. 

(Ignore that my star is green here...I changed the color after I got the screenshot)

Then if you're satisfied that this looks like you want it, send your project to your machine to cut each layer. 


To assemble, use foam dots or squares in between the layers. I was lazy and just punched a couple of extra stars from scraps but you could easily cut these using your machine. 

I selected a coordinating background paper and framed in a 12x12 Shadowbox frame! 



And now, I may become a layered cut file maniac. I need my brain to slow down and stop thinking of everything I want to know how to do all at once! Like how to export these. And how to edit videos. And and and....

I hope this made sense! I figured if I was having a mental block others might be too. Or, could just have been me! Wouldn't be the first time. For sure won't be the last! 😂

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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! 




Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Valentine's Day: Pink, Grey, Cream Valentine's Cards

 


Less than two weeks until Galentine's and Valentine's Day! When you love making cards, it's easy to make them for those you love. 

I tend towards non-traditional colors because I'm contrary like that. This year, I went with a color palette of Black and White, Cream and Grey and Pink. I backed into my palette when I found some great stickers at Dollar Tree last month. 

With these COVID variants, we're going out even less than before which wasn't that much to start and it will be another cozy home celebration for us. 

Supplies: 
  • Cardstock (Recollections 110lb Michaels)
  • Scrapbook Paper (American Crafts and Pink Paislee)
  • Focal Sticker (Dollar Tree)
  • Paper Trimmer
  • Adhesive 


I found this sheet of wood stickers at Dollar Tree. I love the natural hearts and although I'm not much of a pink person, I really wanted to use those too because I knew I had the perfect papers in my stash! 


I did some on cream cardstock with coordinating grey and cream papers. I had scraps from cutting the cards to size (5x7) so I ran them through a damask embossing folder that matched the pattern of the paper. Makers hate waste!. I kept these simple because the papers were so pretty so just adhered the natural heart to a white scrap, matted with a grey scrap and done! 


I'm physically unable to avoid black and white. It's true! My doctor confirms. OK no, but...it's my thing. So for this one, I used a striped silver on silver paper, American Crafts XOXO paper, the pink hearts and done!


For the pink cards, white cardstock, coordinating papers by Pink Paislee, more natural hearts and done! 



Those of you who know you're getting one will just have to see which one you get! 😛