IHEART Ants!

Here is my second DT projects for the Crafty Awesomeness Challenge which is sponsored by Sasayaki Glitter this month . this is the same image my son watercolored for his thank you card.. it’s so piggin cute..and somehow Gina must be psychic. These fun ant dies from Gina Marie Designs were in my packet with my last order..just in time for this project.

This isn’t a die set I wouldn’t normally have ordered…. but they are fab for this image and I love how this turned out.  They are one of those fun sets that you don’t know you need, till you get them. 

Image is Image #13 – Heart Ants printed on Canson Mix Media 9×12icon paper and colored with Zig Clean color markers
Ants are cut from 65lb black Recollections card using Ants Die Set by Gina Marie Designs
Flowers are acetate die cuts colored with Chameleon pens and some beads glued in the center.
The lattice is part of a set called 3 Trellis Mats by Clive Couter on CraftsUPrint, the set has a bunch of cuts so it’s a handy one to have for allsorts of projects.  I cut these on my Cricut Explore using 65lb Recollections card.
Adhesives used were Zig Photo Tape and Zig 2  way glue


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I will be compensated for purchases made through affiliate links on this page


Velvet and Acetate fairy layers birthday card

This is one of my latest  cut file purchases ..isn’t she cute.  I decided to go with a bold contrast look and  chose silver glitter for the card base, an acetate window and black velvet paper over 110lb card stock to create this cute card. The Fairy topper was cut on the Cricut Explore from a CraftsUPrint cut file.   The texture on this card is quite cool…. smooth acetate, fine textured glitter  card and then the lush velvet… makes for a great tactile card.

Details and links to supplies below.


Fairy Background Topper Silhouette by Lyn Simms

Cut on the Cricut Explore

SEI Black Velvet Paper 12×12 sheets in Michaels Specialty paper section

110lb Georgia Pacific Card Stock from Walmart

Adhesives used were Zig Photo Tape & Zig 2 way glue

The Acetate sheet is 9×12 Dura -Lar pad from Grafix Arts

Silver Glitter card is from a 3 pack at a local Dollar store, surprisingly good quality and sturdy enough for  card bases. 🙂

The No.5 is cut on the Cricut Explore

I will be compensated for purchases made through affiliate links on this page

Floral overlay border edge acetate card

This is one of the new  CraftsUPrint  cut files I picked up and made into an acetate panel card.  It’s another cut file by Tina Fitch called Swirl Sided Card and it is available in various cutting machine formats. I cut this on my Cricut Explore using Recollections Black card for the background and  110lb Index stock for the swirls.  I bet it would
look gorgeous with black velvet paper on White too.

I scored this at an offset so that I could add in an acetate window and bottom border, then added in some  small punched flowers with pearl centers.  Then I finished it off with a sentiment die from my recent Ebay Haul, again in 110lb white card stock.

cup_floraledge_wmd

 

What I love about these style of cut files is that they are very flexible and can be used in various ways, not just the way the original file comes.  I moved the score line and added a window to this one with a base strip.  But I also ran a quick test piece through my Cricut to show you  how you can switch it out from cut to write and achieve effects like this too.
cup_cut_file_ds
This is  a Zig Embossing writer pen, they don’t fit the original  pen holders for the Cricut… but they work fantastic in the Chomas Creations  Adapters I have. This is the Marker Adapter and so far it has fit all of my Zig pens  from my Memory System Collection and the embossing pens. That means it also fits the Zig Chalk Writer pens….which I love.  You can see some pictures from past projects below this post. Please Note…. the Adapters do not fit the Explore ONE as it has a different holder and housing from the Original Cricut Explore, the Air and ..possibly the Air 2.  These adapters are available for a variety of machines, so if you have something other than an Explore… check the  site and see if your machine is one of them.  There is however an Engraving tip for the Explore ONE.

zig_emboss_writer

I didn’t powder up this sheet so you can see some stray embossing powder…. That was deliberate.

A. it was  a test piece… and B. It gives me the perfect excuse to  show  people who are new to embossing powder  what to expect…and  how to avoid this.   If you are embossing projects, you need to coat your paper with a resist prior to stamping, or writing with embossing inks.  You can buy special little powder puffs, but I find Johnson’s baby powder works just as well.   Simply dust a thin coating over your paper before you emboss.  I use an old makeup brush, or an old face clothe… sometimes just my hand.

 

zig_emboss_writer2
Anywho… just thought I would show you a few extras while I shared my latest card.  With all the new Cricut owners again this holiday, I thought it was a good time to show off  some of the fab cut files that are available to machine cutters and also some of the cool accessories and extras that you  may not have seen before.

Details on where to get the products used in this post are listed below.  If you have questions about something specific… feel free to add a comment  🙂

I will be compensated for purchases made through affiliate links on this page

Products Used:

Cut File Swirl Sided Card by Tina Fitch, available at CraftsUPrint.

Small flower die is a cute little insert that comes with the Gina Marie Designs  X Stitch Rectangle Die set.

Pearl Cabochons are sold as nail bling .. but these and the rhinestone and studs I have are great for crafting projects too.  I linked to a previous post  that has all of the details on this bling.. for anyone interested. Also if you do a search for Rhinestone, it pulls up a bunch of past projects that they have been used on.

Acetate sheets  25 sheet pad 9×12″  by Dura Lar

Sentiment Die Sentiment die set

Recollections card – Michaels
Chomas Creations Cricut Explore Adapters 

Cricut Explore die cutting Machines

bigshot

 

 

 

 

Sizzix Big Shot

 

Zig Embossing pen can be  bought as single or in a multi tip pack with chisel, Calligraphy, brush, scroll and writer tips for hand applications too.

Cricut Black Friday Deals are coming…are you ready?

Ok..so who is ready for some Cricut Deals?  If you are totally new to Cricut you are in for a treat…. but I would imagine most all of you are already well aware of the Cricut Explore range of cutting machines.

The possibilities are endless… wedding decor and invites, Vinyl decals, Tshirt decorating, card making… home decor, gifts.. whatever you  are into.  There are so many projects on this blog that include the Cricut Explore’s functionality  .. like the  3D layered image mounted on a slate base… or  the card projects, scrapbook pages and framed art.  I can cut, write and draw.. and if you like specialty pens…  you can do fab things with fabric pens, embossing pens and more.

This machine cuts velvet paper, vellum, shrinkydink, card, vinyl and so many more  crafting media .. and the new upgrades to Design Space that are coming… oh baby.  I am so excited … and did I mention the Cricut Explore Air 2 that just came out?   I have the original Expression and an Original Cricut Explore… but this Air 2 …. oooh lllllaaaa la.. yes please !!!

 

Here’s a list of the upcoming deals and coupons you can expect  for Black Friday….  I will add more  and some Cyber Monday deals in the next day or so.

 

I will be compensated for purchases made through affiliate links on this page

Floral Border acetate front card

…another one of my new cut files from  my latest haul at CraftsUPrint.  I modified the  cut piece afterwards to change it up and use my acetate.  I bought the acetate sheet with  this type of design in mind, so when I won the  Bob Pot … and saw these fab over the edge cut files..  yeah .. come to momma !
I have a bunch of different designs..so I’ll be making quite a few of these this week as I bought some of them with specific projects in mind.cup_acetate2_wmd cup_acetate_wmd

Acetate Tulip Border Card

Another one of the fab cut files I found on CUP and grabbed with my Crafty Bob Crazy 5 minute Game winnings is this “Border Edge Card 15” by Clive Couter, he has some great designs in this style and with a little nip and tuck they make the perfect borders for Acetate card. I have been wanting to try this for ages and when I saw his designs I knew they were exactly what I was looking for.

The CUP file was cut on my Cricut and then I used my trimmer to split the file in three pieces and the center part discarded. A 1/2inch score was put on the main panel to create the flap/hinge and the border was glue to the other edge of the acetate.

The image is by Cute As A Button “Wooden Shoes” and I knew as soon as I found this border, that this was the image I wanted to use for this card. She is colored with a mix of Chameleon, Zig Kurecolor and Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Pens.

This is my Inspiration Card over at the Cute As A Button Inspiration Blog this month… Thanks for checking it out 🙂

caab_dutch_tulips_wmded

cuptulip

 

 

“Border Edge Card 15” by Clive Couter

 

This is the original file  which I split into sections to form the card base above.  A versatile design that can be used in various ways and projects  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Supplies:

 

Challenges entered:

worldwideopendesignteamchallenge

art-journal-journey.blogspot

stempelgartenchallenge

www.simonsaysstampblog.com

moo-mania.blogspot

 

 

 

 

 

 

I will be compensated for purchases made through affiliate links on this page

 

 

Cute manga style magnet

I was playing around with my magnetic sheet from CraftingAbility again…  this one was die cut using a dual stitched set. Only the frame is magnetic, keeping it lightweight and economical.  I used the center portion on another project which I posted a few days ago. You may have read about the possibility of grab bags coming available… and this would be perfect for these kind of projects.

She may end up being another “abandoned art” project… we shall see 🙂

SD_FF_magnet_wmd

Image – Scrapper’s Delights Sakura 1
Printed on Georgia Pacific110lb Index card
Colored with a mix of Chameleon, Zig Kurecolor  and some Marvy detailer.
Hearts are  punched from SEI red velvet paper
Adhesives used are  Kuretake Photo tape  and a white glue
Front panel was a scrap cut of Grafix Dura-Lar acetate
Magnetic Frame   –  magnetic sheet by ImageAbility available at Ziggyboard.com
Dual Stitched dies  by Lil’Inker Designs

SDFF_Aug5

 

 

 

This is the current image for the Progressive Challenge… grab yours and come join us 🙂

Scrapper’s Delights Facebook Group

Scrapper’s Delights Store

Scrapper’s Delights Challenge Blog

 

 

Challenges entered:

classicdesignteamchallenge

thesistersofcraft.blogspot

yourscrapbookplace.blogspot

digistamps4joy-sa.blogspot

 

I will be compensated for purchase made through affiliate links on this page

 

StazOn-stays on acetate, unless you need to wipe it off :)

stazon

I have never bought this brand before, but had read that it was the best one for stamping on acetate.. so armed with my 40% coupon.  I went to Michaels to get some StazOn and happened to find one un-opened pack of Grafix Dura Lar on the shelf. Not sure if it was the thickness I was looking for, I was hesitant.. but a gals gotta try these things right  LOL.

duralar

 

 

Now in my local store this is  kept with the art pads,  not near the inks, stamps and papercrafting section… and the front of the pad on Michaels.com is not the same as the pad I bought.  Mine looks like the one pictured left.  It is 9×12 and 0.05 thickness.

I didn’t think it was really going to stand up unassisted by a card frame… but I scored it anyway and damned if the  fully acetate, top folded card didn’t stand up just fine …. 🙂



 

Now the ink… that is definitely interesting.  I was not expecting it to smell of almonds, but sure as hell when I unwrapped it  I had a sudden flashback to my cooking class in school the year we made Christmas cakes.  It smells like Marzipan  LOL.  I was a bit dissapointed to find that almost all of the craft stores do not carry this ink in many colors, it’s mostly only available online…. Michaels only had Black and Brown.  BUT I just had a quick search and it appears you can get  Stazon Opaque  White at Joann, so I may have to take a wander over to my local store and see if I can pick that up while they have a good coupon available.

anywho..back to the StazOn ink on acetate

So you bit the bullet and bought some acetate and decided to try stamping on it using StazOn… looks great….dries almost instantly, doesn’t smudge.  Fantastic….And then it happens… you slip slide and blur your stamping *sigh  there goes a nice piece of acetate right?…. WRONG!

If you are new to Acetate, or StazOn like I am….and of course some of you are already old hands at this so will shrug and  think.. “what, you didn’t know that *rolleyes ”   lol

.. but for the rest of us .. “no .. we didn’t”.

Never fear, Walmart is your friend.  I have a $2 bottle of 91% Isoprpyl alchol from the pharmacy section that I use for all sorts of projects and as a blender sometimes for my alcohol markers.  Just pour some of that one and it will lift that ink right off and you can rescue that acetate and redo your stamp. Just bear in mind what you are using to wipe it off and don’t scratch your acetate

It works great on my shaker card windows too… so I can see me having some fun with this new ink 🙂

…..so if you mess up stamping on acetate with your StazOn…. you can clean it off and have a do-over.


From my quick little test.. THUMBS UP for StazOn, I like this ink a lot 🙂


Shaker card tutorial.

Ok.. this is the tutorial I have been wanting to build since I did my first shaker card with the new windows.  Oh how I LOVE these new shaker card windows.  You ladies who have already received yours…I know you are shouting “AMEN sister!”to that one LOL.

I can’t even remember how I got into this big search for a supplier ..I remember  looking a few times and thinking about it, then looking some more for settling on this particular supplier.  The first time we tried this in a card challenge…. oh what fun and games we had, all those layers and shakies sticking to everything.. but it was a lot of fun and definitely a great looking card…. once you got it right 🙂 .. anywho I digress.

So.. this tutorial is  based on 3 inch circular windows…. and at this point all of the instructions are going to assume that is what you are using.  Of course if you don’t have them… you will have to  modify the instructions and find an alternative method to achieve the same look.. but  at least you will get some ideas 🙂  and when you get sick of layers and stuff sticking to other stuff, or leaking out…  come back and see us and  we’ll point you in the right direction to buy some  :)p  Later when the Square and other shapes and sizes become available…. the concept of this tutorial will be the same, and the Free cut files will become available for purchasers of them too.

Ok, lets hop to it and get to the fun stuff..making something super cool.  Now part of this tutorial is going to be about this fun new style of shaker card I came up with… the  game card.  And again, the concept is the same for any style of shaker, the difference is in whether your card face has holes, or no holes in the design.

 Ok..what are you going to need…

Machine wise… well that is up to you. If you have a Cricut Explore,  there are  basic SVG files for you to download and import into Design Space.  If you have another die cutting machine that will import graphic files.. there will be Jpegs you can use.  If you have an old Cricut Expression… and it can cut a 3 inch circle in a  piece of card.. you have yourself a window base.

Now.. if you don’t happen to have any of those choices available.. never fear.  I have it on good authority from my ladies,that the Spellbinder standard circles Lrg & Sml sets work perfectly.

 

 

They are currently available on Amazon for $11.99 for the small and $11.44 for the large, if anyone else is like me and bought a totally different brand of circular dies that DO NOT fit lol.

**This link has affiliate code embedded and will produce revenue from sales generated.

For those of you who do not have a machine and do not want to purchase dies either.. never fear.. we have a method for you too … where there’s a will there is always a way..right !!

Ok.. now to the fun stuff.  First of all you need a design that will fit into the 3 inch circular space the window will cover.   Once you have that, you need to choose between a regular shaker card and a game card.  If you bought the windows through me, you already have the necessary “parts” for the game card, if you choose to make one.  Included in your packet was a small package of Ball Bearings.  If you got your windows elsewhere.. Walmart or Amazon or any number of places sell BB’s and ball bearings.

Rule of thumb I use for the game cards is:

Toddlers 2 balls
Youngsters 4-6 balls
Teens and Adults 6-10 balls
Nerds and Egotists 10+  balls

Ok.. now to the next decision;  overlay, or underlay….either method works, it just depends on what resources you have available and the  way you want to decorate your main card base.
tutorial_overlayIf you do not have a cutter and you don’t have dies.. you are pretty much going to be stuck with the overlay method, unless you want to cut your circle by hand… which you can of course if you want to.

Overlay just means that you are sitting the window on top of the finished piece..and you will need to find a way to hide the flange ( the lip that runs around the base of the window and you glue to the card.  If you do not have a die cutter to cut a circular frame, you could use something like a ruffled lace, or other embellishments to cover it up.

In this example I have a circular frame that I cut out… you can see the edge of the flange .. that is intentional so you can see it’s the overlay method.

tutorial_underlayUnderlay –  This is where you will feed the window through from behind, effectively masking the flange  with no added frames or embellishment needed, except for aesthetics.  If you want to emboss your surround, or do a design in print and cut, or have the center design extend beyond the confines of the window.. this is the easiest method to use.  **See examples at the bottom of the tutorial.

Ok,  so now you have your image and you have decided on overlay, or underlay.. now we get to decide on  shakies, or game card.  If you are going to build a regular shaker..  you are pretty much ready to start printing and cutting

tutorial_cutsThis image shows the pieces needed for both styles… overlay and underlay  AND both types.. standard, or game card.
Bottom left game card image layer
Top left game card padding layer.  The padding layer is just to give the holes depth, so the balls don’t slip out TOO easily. You can add more than two layers if you want to make it easier, specially on the game cards with 6 or more balls. That can be varied depending on the recipient. Top middle  This is the backing piece for  the game card, once the balls are inserted.. you will need something solid to keep them in.  You can either cut a separate piece to fit the front panels, or glue directly to the card base.  I prefer to cut a separate layer so that the shaker game is sealed and I can flip it over to position it, without trying to keep the balls from escaping. Remember to avoid getting glue on this back section where the holes are, specially if you are using tape runners to attach layers.. No one likes sticky balls.. right?
Bottom middle This is the  image background used for a regular shaker card using the overlay method.
Top right  a plain cut card for use with the underlay method.. if you plan to emboss or decorate with inks or stamps etc.
Bottom right is another overlay, this time however it already has a decorative Faux frame and border which was  cut on the Explore using the print and cut feature.  This was designed in a graphics program before being imported so I could have a text frame.

lastly….and lying around of course is a very simple circular frame which can be used to hide the flange of an overlay… or just to decorate the top of an underlay for effect.

Of course you can design simple cut files in Design space very easily..and now they have released the fill feature.. that makes for some fun and unique designs.  Now you do not have to center your window.. I just did for these designs, but bear in mind you will need to accommodate the flange when you move the circle cut out around your design and you don’t want it  showing between the edges of your layers if it’s too close to the edge.

Game card –  glue the two layers with holes together and line them up.  Attach your window, using the overlay or underlay method of choice.  If you are using the underlay method, don’t forget to add glue to the top and bottom of the flange so it sticks to both the image layer and the overlay. The overlay method also makes it easy to align the circle correctly, as the overlay should line up with the other two layers ….ok, now let it dry if you used a wet glue.  It’s very easy to get impatient with these and want to play with them and test them before they are ready… sticky balls,..sticky balls.. no one wants sticky balls.!!!  I should know…. I had to shake my first one for about 2 hours till they finally stopped sticking together inside my game….what can I say….I’m a Scottish Aries and patience is not on even my list of “non existent” virtues.

Ok so are we all good this far?   Feel free to ask questions on the message board, or in the comments section below.  You will need to be registered for either/both options… but we don’t bite : )

Don’t worry ..we are getting towards the end of  War n Peace -Crafter Edition

Ok .. so now you have waited patiently and your  glue has dried, you won’t  have to worry about sticky balls.   So flip your window over and assuming you cut big enough holes for the balls to sit in during the game.. you should be able to pop those balls right in from the back… much easier than trying to  pop them in and then glue the windows to the base… trust me…. these lil suckers…. if you drop  em on a non carpeted floor…. GONE !!! like magic.. Don’t worry about that one extra layer of card you have to cut.

I promise, it beats the alternative..I live in an apartment with wooden floors in the area I craft… let me rephrase that… UNEVEN wooden floors in the area I craft in.  I know somewhere in the vicinity of my crafting carts and my computer desk … there are at least 3 Escapees I haven’t found yet.  I have a pot of 6000 of these suckers…I can afford to have a few strays to hunt down later, most of you don’t ! LOL

Ok… so here are a few sample cards ..  in the coming week or ….so…. there will be some step by step projects for creating these cards from start to finish … Right from coloring the image, to completed cards.  Lots of pictures and videos for anyone who finds reading instructions hard to follow.

Again, if you have any questions.. hop on over to the message Board and we’ll  get you fixed up 🙂   We’d love to see your shaker cards too.. so if you make any.. come on over and show us your pics.

card_challenge_Laundry bear fishy_kisses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Images used are :

Laundry Nanavic  This was a September Challenge Card over on the message board.

Bear
– Ornate background is a CUP cut file by Lizzie Mayne, Bear image is a stamp that is hand inked

Fishy
–  KennyK  isn’t she too adoreable, she was one of my my Bi  Weekly challenge submissions.

Upcoming shaker card step by step projects will feature images from KennyK, Bugaboo stamps and freedeariedollsdigistamps.  If you are a digi artist and would like to see your work featured in some of the Crafting Circle projects.. come find me on the message board and PM me a link to your site and portfolio 🙂

And stay tuned for an upcoming review of my new graphics tablet 🙂   I’m having a lot of fun with that.  For the price.. it’s pretty dang cool.

Super Excited … found a supplier for shaker card window inserts

If like me you are sick of salvaging retail packaging to make your shaker cards… you are in luck.  I found a supplier for shaker card windows !! my first batch should arrive before the end of the month and I can’t wait…and the good news is .. I’m sharing !!!

I just got my sample pack in the mail today and it’s awesome… I got 7 different shapes and sizes to try out.  I’ll be repackaging windows into smaller quantities and selling them along with free access to some decorative frames SVG cut files to fit. The first shipment will be 3 inch circular windows and should be here by the end of the month… after that I will probably be stocking some rectangle and squares. Later on I’ll introduce mixed packs for those of you who want to try out different shapes and sizes.

I’ll be selling these in various quantity packs to suit a wide range of card makers, from hobbyist to professional crafters.  If anyone is interested in being notified when these are ready leave a comment.  Please don’t leave contact info in the comments. I shall update with sample cards and  information on where you can buy these, at a later date.  Perfect timing for Christmas 🙂