April -May 2017 Artists Challenge

Due to the late start to the April Challenge I am going to extend this one through till the end of May.


Not feeling very  chatty this month….. so let’s just jump right in  with the new theme.  I’m feeling a little emotionally overcharged this month ..so….

The Challenge theme for April – May is:

“A Mother’s Love”


Inspirational ideas…  for those who may need them.

Mommy snuggles and bedtime stories
Bandaids and boo boo’s
Pregnancy & Childbirth
Knitting /croheted booties and blankets
Child playing dress up in mommy’s clothes
Mom cleaning up a kids mess… toys, food etc
Rocking baby to sleep
care packages from mom
homeschool mom

Whatever springs to mind when you think of all the things your mom did, because she loved you.  Or if you  never experienced that… all the things you wished she had.  If you are a mom… all the things you do for your kid unconditionally.  If you are the mom to an angel baby… HUGZ xxx hang in there. Whether it’s laundry, soccer mom, student teacher….. Mothers day is coming up May 14th, 2017 and all those snow babies are on their way, surrogates will be blessing couples with the gift of life….   Let’s see some images celebrating all of these awesome women.

RULES

  • Each artist may enter up to 10 individual NEW digital stamp images per given theme.
  • Images can go on sale as soon as they have been entered into the challenge.
  • You may add single images, or link to a blog post with up to 10 images..but each image must be entered in the challenge linky individually.
  • You may showcase the images in color, or projects on your blog links should you wish to show off  inspirational images too.

Easy Chalkboard Vinyl humorous signs

I needed a break from cleaning up and had a play with some fun signs.. nothing major, just some fun signs with some fun images. I popped a square piece of Cohas Adhesive Chalkboard Vinyl onto an 8×8 wood canvas/blank and added some of the fun images I got from CraftsUPrint designer Gordon Fraser.  These were watercolored using Gansai Tambi paints  and H2o brushes on Canson Mix Media Paper.

It’s really easy to  swap images in and out…. if you don’t want to keep a permanent image on it, just use a 2 way temporary bond glue.  Great way to make motivational signs for yourself, or other family members.  I just  wrote on mine with blue and white Zig wet wipe Chalk Markers, which cleans right off with a wet rag. You could of course use a more permanent pen which they also  make, that comes off with window cleaner.  I deliberately didn’t prime my chalk pens, to keep it more  rustic and not so intense.

This vinyl comes in 12×12 sheets, or pre-cut labels in various shapes.  I like the 12×12 sheets  because I can cut this on my Cricut Explore if I want something a bit fancy and also write on it on my Cricut.. because let’s face it, my handwriting sucks haha…. or pop it in a 12×12 Scrapbook page frame if I want something bigger.  I have the labels too and they are awesome for  labeling jars etc with my lil man as gifts.. lots of fun shapes.

When I want a more permanent sign, I confess I usually  run it through my Cricut first to add the text..

 

Cohas Chalkboard vinyl 12 x12 sheets (formerly Ziggyboard)

Zig Chalk Pens

Zig 2 way glue

H2o Brush

Gansai Tambi

beach-dudess digital stamp

Right now you can get access to the Treasure chest  with a  £15  order, plus £5 voucher on orders over £15 ( ends 27/3). 24 hour vault access and free mothers day clipart.. as well as the usual bonus game and entry into the Bob Pot Prize…

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Christmas card with Black Velvet Poinsettia panel

I love how this one turned out …   this is another one of my CraftsUPrint cut files  from a recent purchase.

I used the single panel for this design and cut it from SEI Black Velvet Paper. I adhered it to a sheet of Canson Mix Media and colored the panel with Zig Clean Color markers I trimmed it to size and inked the edges. I made a 5.5×8.5 card base with 110lb card stock with a black boho cut layer and a red and white polka dot layer and popped the image topper on that. I added a corner die cut by My Little Paper World.

What I love about this design is that the negative left after the main cut on my Cricut Explore is equally stunning and would be perfect for another project, or to make a matching envelope. I hate wasting paper.. but specially this Velvet lol..so it’s fabulous for this type of project..
Supplies:

BARGAIN ALERT
Currently the 12×12 Velvet paper is available online at Michaels for $1 per sheet instead of $1.99.

Crafts U Print Cut file “DL Filigree Framed Foliage Z card

Cricut Explore

Zig Clean Color pens ( water based )

Zig Photo Tape

Zig 2 way glue

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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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CraftsUPrint Cricut SVG cut file Catch up!

I had a bunch of new files before Christmas that I didn’t get to  make up….so I decided to play catch up and zipped through a few of them tonight. One of them was already cut, another was already made up..I just didn’t get a chance to photograph it.  The other two I had made up, but messed up … so these were remakes and I actually like these versions better anyway LOL.

Now bear in mind I get SVG’s because I have a Cricut Explore, but most of these designers design in multiple formats for various cutting machines.  So when I refer to design space or Cricut,  that doesn’t mean you can’t use these cut files too…check and see.

Also… just an FYI, these files are not always as standard.  I  import them into Design Space and tweak them a little to suit my own needs. Changing cut areas to write, duplicating layers and using the contour tool to remove the cut outs etc to create a solid background on layers…  moving score lines to give a 3/4 fold etc.  So please bear in mind most of these files come with a center fold and are  set up for cutting, not writing.  If you are new to the Cricut, you may not know how  to modify things like that yet… never fear..it’s not rocket science.



Ok first one  was a remake… I originally started with a watercolored background in the cutouts, looked great but I bombed it when I stuck in on the inside… so take 2.. has a vellum insert and some cute pink ribbon detailing.  I scalloped the card on my paper cutter for a softer edge.

This cut file is: floral card 2 by Clive Couter, I have a few of his designs and really enjoy using these.

Next is a  simple little hello card. I had pre-cut this on green glitter card with the intention of using a Christmas design, but Christmas is long gone… so I just switched out that idea and  used a stamp from one of the new Layering sets by Hampton Arts.  I die cut the circle with a die from some Steampunk gears I picked up on Ebay.  It is stamped with Stazon and colored with Zig Clean Color… and a simple little “Hello” die sentiment, again an Ebay buy.

 

This cut file is from: over-the-fold-cards-1 by Lyn Simms

The next one was  done on black card using  a Zig chalk pen and pencils and I added an oversized die cut sentiment. I also flipped it on it’s side.  You will need a Chomas Adapter to use the Zig pens to write and draw on your Cricut Explore.

 

This cut file is: floral-over-the-edge-5
by apetroae-stefan

This one I duplicated the layer, welded  the holly leaves and  then  moved the score line to create a half fold hard.  I would probably have added in some red cabochons for the holly berries… but to be honest.. I have no idea where I stuck them lol.

 

 

 

This cut file is: over-the-edge-christmas-holly by  apetroae-stefan


 






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Quick n easy last minute Christmas cards…

I picked up a bunch of new cut files last night ..and despite the shenanigans of the day….

..for those of you not on my Facebook.. 50 degree drop in temps, broken window all in one day… not fun

BUT … despite all that I did actually get to  knock out some quick last minute cards.

christmascard_collage

These are so quick and easy to put together and very quick CAS, clean and simple cards …and the files are so easy to  tweak to suit your needs.

so here you go..  I have a few more in progress… but here are the 4 I knocked out earlier. I’m having a glitter card session, for a little holiday glam.  Cut Files are from CraftsUPrint Designers.

cup_bow_wmd

cup696512_1577

 

This one is a “bow” cut file by Lyn Simms.  It’s a 3 piece cut file, which comes in various formats.  Mine is a SVG file and I did mine on black Velvet Paper. It has a soft flexible feels to it so won’t get damaged in transit. This velvet paper cuts like a dream on the Cricut Explore and just looks so cool.

I added in a black and Green contrast strip which I ran through a striped Darice embossing folder on my Big Shot.

Added in a  black and White floral pattern from my Recollections Black & White paper pad. Mounted it all on a basic Recollections card from a multi pack.

Popped on a glitter card sentiment… and Voila…one quick  fun Holiday card.

 

 

cup_silverbells

cup741713_1051

 

CHRISTMAS BELLS OVER THE EDGE 2 by Apetroae Stefan

Another really classy, quick card  you can zip through really quickly if you  need a last minute card.  I adjusted this in Design Space to accommodate a square base, but that is one of the great things about these cut files. they are so versatile, putting  your own spin on a basic template is so easy.

I just cropped this design and removed the score line to make it fit a square background. It’s cut on a Silver Glitter card stock and mounted on a black base.  Very quick and classy card which looks great with or without sentiments and embellishments.  This is definitely a timeless design that you can use year after year with so many variations… it will never get old.

 

 

cup_goldbells

cup748100_1051

 

Another Classy CAS card by Apetroae Stefan  “christmas-bells-over-the-edge-4”
…again I modified this to suit a square base, but this time I kept it more like the original template and the score line wraps around the back of the card about half an inch.

More glitter card and black… sorry, I love these high contrast color combos on simple cards.

Again no sentiment for me, but you could easily add one and swap out the black for some acetate, or another color.  Super quick to make, justa  quick cut, fold, tape to insert.. VOILA !!!  of course I didn’t forget to make you a card !!! *angelic face

 

 

 

cup_poinstettia_wmd

cup696711_2228

 

And lastly.. for now at least… this super simple Poinsettia design.  Poinsettia Floral Card by Judith Henry-Grammys Designs

The cut file comes in 4 parts: base, background, flower and circle frame.

I went with another classy black and gold combo.  Love how this one turned out  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

I still have 11 more new cut files to go… so expect to see more of those  soon…  I love these quick and simple  designs, specially the over the edge ones, they work extremely well with my digital stamps  to create fun and interesting cards.

Adhesives used  – 

http://www.craftingability.com/product/mesh-permanent-photo-tape-dispenser

http://www.craftingability.com/product/2mm-fine-tip-2-way-glue-pen

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still need some last minute Christmas cards?

Check out the new Friday Freebie from Bugaboo Stamps… isn’t he too cute.  He’d be great for some Clean and Simple “CAS” cards.  While you are there be sure to check out all the New releases, half price till  Tuesday !  and enter the current challenges.bug_decstockingsanta-hohoho

Latest Haul – New Zig Pens

I picked up a handful of new pens to try out.   By now you all know I love my Zig pens.. these came from a different supplier, I picked these ones up from Blitsy as I was looking to  try out their service…and of course hoping for a pair of the most coveted Golden Scissors.

Alas .. no golden Scissors this  time

… but I have 3 more orders coming…. so you never know.  Last night’s sleepover was fun… I am tired  today, but it was totally worth it haha.

blitzig

so .. here is what I picked up.

Some of the Clean Colors I have been wanting to try… I picked 4 colors I thought I would use most.  I thought these would work great for the Power Poppy Stamps.

2 Chalk Writers ..I had chalk pens  in my Memory System kit, but the white one had different tips to these. I love these chalk pens and the fact they fit in my Cricut Explore with the Chomas Adapters… is totally awesome.

I also picked up some metallics Black, Silver and Gold .. these are also writers and have the fab fine tips I love…AND fit in the Cricut.

I spotted a Millenium Pen and had to give those a  try too..it is like a fine technical drawing tip… much like Precise V5 or the detailer pens.

and last… I grabbed a couple of packs of Daubers.

Looking forward to playing with these … so stay tuned for some projects and more indepth look at these soon.

You still have time to go grab some great deals.. Free Shipping on orders over $29.99 AND

new faster shipping/processing times too…. 🙂

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Cheap dies and Shrinky Dink…. surprisingly pleasing to the eye.

When you are on a budget…and a very tight one…. sometimes you just have to give things a try and hope that cheap doesn’t always equate to “crap”.  Now don’t get me wrong, these imported dies are most often NOT of the same ilk as the big brand names you are used to… BUT for the price… they are pretty dang good.  They probably won’t last as long, but you should easily get your money’s worth out of them.  As you all know I am not a huge flowery cutesie kinda gal, so I’m not going to be using and abusing these as often as some people would.

I ran these through my Big Shot on regular card and on Shrinky dink without any problem… well I say no problem, my Big Shot ( ok..it was probably me lol ) accidentally realigned one of my dies over another and when I ran it through .. you could tell it had bent the back of the die … BUT I have to say in all fairness it still cuts perfectly.

Ok ..sooo here it is a very CAS test card with my new dies.  The flowers were cut on Shrinky Dink and shrunk, then colored with Chameleons and a rhinestone centered glued in place. If you want a smoother look to your coloring.. color THEN shrink.

The foliage was cut on 110lb scrap card stock and has embossing for veins… you just can’t see it in this photo.

Butterfly is a spare Gina Marie Designs cut from the “Butterfly & Beautiful Die set”  that I had and thought suited the 3D nature of this card.
ebay_dies_shrinky_wmd ebay_dies_wmd

 

See this sellers store for more dies

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Challenges:

artimpressionsstamps 193-cards-to-die-for

Essential item – the Crafter’s Toothbrush

I just got a fab new  Gina Marie Die today, well two actually and  a few more on the way lol…. but that is a whole nother blog post.  Today I want to introduce you to this one particular die.   Ok, so what has that got to do with Crafter’s Toothbrushes I hear you mumble… and what the hell is a “Crafter’s Toothbrush” anyway!!  something crazy, new and expensive that I just have to add to my craftroom??

Never fear….we shall get there…. be patient grasshoppers.  This is more for the new crafter’s, but may be useful to some seasoned veterans who haven’t already discovered it.

The new die I  got today is this one  “LACEY LATTICE RECTANGLE DIE SET”

gmd_latticeI have to admit I did get a good giggle from the description… not only do I love Gina’s Designs and her prices are fabulous… but she’s honest to a fault lol.

“PLEASE NOTE!  The inner lattice panel is VERY tiny and petite.  That means you could need to shim or use a precision plate and that there will be LOTS of little pieces.  I like to be honest about my products.  It is a beautiful set and cuts great you just need to have knowledge to make it work best with your machine.”

Now we all have those dies that have  the most gorgeous designs,  but take forever to weed out the offcuts…   well you might…. LOL .. NOT ME haha.

I have the almighty Crafters Toothbrush.

Ok enough messing around…   a quickie video to show you all how quick and easy it is to clean up these  gorgeous intricate cuts. My regular Sizzix cutting plates are shall we say a tad worn and as warped as I am….so you wouldn’t really see much, so I skipped right to the clean up.

I ran my new dies through my Big shot on said old and warped plates… no shims needed, using 110lb card stock.  I  popped them  out of the Big Shot, now pay attention… this really helps.. DO NOT pop them out of the dies.  If they pop out anyway.. not a huge deal.. but it’s quicker if you keep them in the dies. Specially if you didn’t get a good, clean all over pressure cut the first time round.

Flip that baby over die side up  and here comes the Crafters Toothbrush … old, new, electronic, Colgate, mickey mouse .. who cares… grab a toothbrush and  brush the back side of your dies…and watch those tiny pieces pop right out.

(no audio needed unless you have a toothbrush fetish ..I recorded this last night while everyone was in bed ..so no voice overs) 

If you have a few reluctant ones…   you can used the  brush in an up and down motion to pop them out.  For those overly reluctant ones that didn’t get enough pressure, I find a quick re-run through my Big Shot will fix that right up… then flip and continue with your tooth brush.

When all of your weeding is done… pop the cut out of the die and there you go.. one clean die cut lacy piece..  nice n easy 🙂

Always keep a toothbrush in your tool  box…. 🙂

New Projects coming over the weekend with the new Gina Marie Designs dies  that just arrived in the mail 🙂

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