Cricut 12 Days of Christmas Flash Sale extended! coupons & project ideas

If you still haven’t picked your Cricut Explore up..  you still have time.  Cricut extended their flash sale and you can pick up an Explore Machine, or Bundle and still get it before Christmas if you order by the 16th.

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Deals on the Explore start at $139, there is a deal for every budget…  Shop now and  have yourself a Very Merry Cutmas!  Deals and Coupons  below
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Explore’s aren’t just for the ladies… we’ve had guys on our Message Board too…  Guys who do reenactment and  want to build signs and  props for their events.  Model builders who want to customize their projects with their own vinyl decals, stencils or printable decorations. Woodworkers and  toy makers who  need unique designs to personalize items. so many uses for this machine as well as the  card making and scrapbooking people  usually think of.

Fabulous tool for  Crafty Homeschoolers  and teachers too.  So many Fab designs and things you can use in your daily lessons..personalized reward stickers, labels,  decor,  and so many neat ways to  brighten up Essays, reward charts, certificates, calendars, work books ….and more.

Have a chef in the house? Create fun personalized aprons and storage containers with Vinyl products.

Cricut Design Space has 1000’s of images and fonts available for those of you who prefer digital access over cartridges. **Not All Cartridges are available in Design Space… and Cricut Access

Need something more Unique… they have you covered there too.  Import your own files for Print and cut to add your hand colored digital stamps to your projects, turn them into easy 3D Decoupage designs, make your own stencils and upload your own templates to create stunning card designs, boxes and envelopes using files purchased by fab designers on CraftsUPrint, Dreaming Tree and similar Cut File stores.

Create  one of a kind Scrapbook covers and pages, or framed artwork like this:

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Don’t have a Large Format Printer to  print out super Sized digital Stamps for your project ? Cricut has you covered.  This little lady is printed on a sheet of  11×17 Neenah card stock.
kk_toontimeWant to make  intricate cut  layered cards? vellum flowers?  gift boxes….  here’s a quick peek at some of the past projects you can find on the blog.  Everything from Chalk board vinyl and chalk pens, boxes, intricate cuts, 3D layered images, fabric painting, powder embossing…

 

Make your own magnets with printable vinyl and Magnetic sheet ( also available as pre-cut shapes, perfect  for  gluing your cut projects to).

Draw and Write on Fabric with fabric pens, Create designs for Powder Embossing on the Cricut, love  the Chalk Marker look? .. sorted.  The Adapter I use lets me do it ALL.

Aftermarket Pen and marker Adapter from Chomas Creations  allows you to utilize a wide range of pens for embossing, drawing, fabric design etc.  These Adapters are not available for the Cricut ONE as it utilizes a single cut/writing head feature.  The engraving adapter is available for all Cricut Explore Machines.  My marker Adapter is a permanent fixture in my Explore  🙂
The possibilities are endless.. so grab your Cricut Explore and supplies and get ready to start off  2017 in style…

Cricut December Mystery Box –   rumor has it this has a  lot of really cool foil in it and some Cartridges…

30% off most supplies at Cricut  Stock up  now, once you get started you won’t want to stop.  Great deals in Supplies, bulk buys and clearance.

Extra 10% off everything (excluding Cricut Access and Explore 2) + free standard shipping with code 12DAYS

Home & Family have a promotion  on Facebook right now, including  promo code Hallmark16 for 20% off .  No  details on any exclusions, so you will just have to give it a try.. but it probably excludes Air 2 and Cricut Access?

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

 

Be Beautiful – layered card with watercolor effect

This is my latest project and features  an image by Cute As A Button “Wedding Day” and a bunch of  things from my latest craft hauls.  This is my December Inspirational Project  and also  my No. 3 Sketch with extra credits for the Message Board Sketch Challenge.   Some of the ladies and I are old friends from the Cricut Message Board days and this is a continuation of an old challenge on there. It’s a just for fun  monthly sketch challenge and all are welcome to come hang out and play.

I wanted to try something I’d been playing with the other week, the watercoloring with printer ink.. but expanded on the idea by including some of the new Zig Kuretake Manga ink I just got.  I picked  this particular ink for the fact it was water based, so I knew it would dilute and work with this technique.  It is a fast drying ink that becomes waterproof once dry and  smudge free with Alcohol markers.  Exactly what I need!  I also picked up a Fine H2o brush in this packet…  I have tried cheap versions of these which work.. ok.. but this one is definitely a much higher quality.
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I gave the image a color wash with just water and the printer ink, then I slowly layered in a diluted ink to add in more depth and shadow.   It has a very subtle color because I  diluted it and then absorbed the excess as I worked,  but straight out of the bottle.. this is black as black can be. If you let it soak in instead of absorbing  it … the colors are also more pronounced.

The reason I picked up this ink is because  Artists all have their own style of drawing, some use thinner lines than others and that effects the amount of ink you have to pull from the printed image.  I have a gorgeous set of  Gansai Tambi watercolor paints I could have used..BUT  I wanted to experiment… PLUS these inks are waterproof once dried AND I can use the ink with various writing/drawing tools.

k let’s face it.. I just wanted to play with something new lol.  Wait till you get to see the other bottle of ink I picked up….

I added in some really subtle color on the image using my Chameleon Pens
NU00, BL2, BG1 & GR1.

This image was printed on  a Canson Mixed Media sheet  through the Epson Eco Tank.

ok.. now onto  the card itself.  I am not really  a fussy card maker..  but I do like to play around with ideas and try new things out, so now and then I’ll get a bit “fluffy”.

I had some fab new dies from Gina Marie designs I wanted to try out and so I mixed it up with some of those, some GM’s from a previous order, a die from my latest Blitsy order and some  Cheapie imports from Ebay.  And then I  had a play with my Martha Stewart punches….  for good measure.

Starting at the back and working forward..

Silver Glitter card stock,  local dollar store
Blue Recollections Card Stock  with  Martha Steward border punch set. If you want a continuous border, these punches all come with cutting instructions and sizes so you can get perfect  borders.  For this project I  wanted to play with an off cut pattern, just to add a little interest to the background.
White 110lb index Card
Blue Recollections Card Stock
Image is popped on a layer of Darice Foam
Image is die cut with the new Mini Hearts Square set from Gina Marie Designs

On top of that are 3 cuts from the Gina Marie Flower Branch Die.. 2 were inked with a blue pad..one darker than the other for  some contrast and pearl cabochons were popped in the smaller centers for some subtle bling.

The butterfly and beautiful  cuts are from Gina Marie
The “Be” sentiment is from Blitsy
….and finally the small leafy sprigs came from Ebay.

I used  a mix of glues and tapes… details and links for the products used can be found below for anyone interested.

caab_b_beautiful_wmded

And now for the details:

Image  –  Cute As A Button “Wedding Day”

Recollections 65lb card from Michaels
Lawn Fawn Scripty”Be”sentiment Die Blitsy

Gina Marie Designs “Beautiful” sentiment  & Butterfly Set Scrapbook Warehouse
Gina Marie Designs Mini Hearts Square set Scrapbook Warehouse
Gina Marie Designs Flower Branch Scrapbook Warehouse


Leafy sprigs My regular Ebay Seller
Martha Stewart Border & Corner Punch Set ….Michaels  used to have them or you can get them on Ebay


Chameleon Pens  - ChameleonPens.com
Glitter Card Stock  - Local $ store , 3 sheets for $1.99 silver, gold & green
Recollections card - Michaels

Fine tip H2o Brush CraftingAbility.com
Manga Ink CraftingAbility.com
Photo Tape CraftingAbility.com
2 Way glue Crafting Ability.com

Neenah White  110lb card stock -Amazon
Canson Mixed Media 7x10 pad Amazon
Pearl Cabochons Amazon
Darice Adhesive foam


Card Challenges entered:

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.
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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.

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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.

Oversized HandStamped Autumn background Card

I LOVE this new stamp, it’s a bargain bin $1.50 seasonal stamp from Michaels.  The seasonal stamps they do, they are perfect for my lil guy who loves to stamp…and I get to borrow them too lol.

The image is by ArtbyMiran colored with Chameleons, Zig Kuercolor and some Isopropyl on Canson Mix Media.

Background is 7×10 Canson Mix Media Paper, stamped with one stamp from Michaels using  Craft Smart dye pads and colored with Chameleon and Zig Kurecolors.

Mounted on a card base made of 11×17 Neenah 110lb Index card  using Zig Photo Tape and trimmed to fit.
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I will be compensated for purchases made through affiliate links on this page

 

Challenges:

abitmoretimetocraft.blogspot.co.uk

artbymiranchallenge.blogspot

digistamps4joy-sa.blogspot

Layers, layers and more layers … & that was just the background!

If you ever have an idle moment and have never tried this.. you should give this a shot lol. This will keep you out of mischief….and so will reading this epic length War ‘N’ Peace blog post haha.

7 layers for the frame, tag on another one if you include the fancy corner.. 2 layers for the butterfly and another 6 layers for the  bouquet…. THAT’S A LOTTA LAYERS lol.

But when it really comes down to it.. the worst part is getting everything on straight, oh and deciding which flowers come  to the front and need the most layers lol.   I have to say of all the 3D projects I have done, this image was probably the easier  when it came to  figuring out how to cut the layers.

7 Print and cut sheets on my Cricut later…  and I have the start of my card.  I colored one completely, I like to do that as a reference when I come to build the actual project… plus it gives me a colored piece to use on another project later ..score!

So I colored one… then started  working out my layers while the Cricut was cutting two silhouettes out for sandwiching between the bottom two layers.  Normally I pop my 3D projects with Darice adhesive foam sheet, but I wanted this one to be a bit more subtle…so I sandwiched a few black sheets in for a little additional depth. The final layer of a single flower is missing off this photo.. DOH

pp_3d_layers_wmd

Once I had all my  Cricut cuts done, I started to hand cut away the pieces I didn’t need on each layer.  When I am doing a one off project, I just fussy cut by hand after cutting the main image.  If I am doing multiples I make cut files for my Cricut.  So I fussy cut  my top 5 layers  and then started to color each layer, starting with  the  top.  when I use Darice foam I tend  to to color around the edges of  the  layer below a bit so it won’t show  when assembled..but with subtle layers like these I just  ink up the white edges with a marker.

Once I had it all trimmed up and colored.. next came the hard part… what to mount it on. Now I  like to take a photo, or scan and import it into my graphics program at this point..for several reasons.  A: I like to be able to grab a cuppa and sit back and just look at it and see where I missed blending, coloring etc… for some reason I have a more critical eye  when viewing it that way. B: I like to play around with layout ideas and rather than waste time cutting and trying ideas and potentially wasting a lot of  card…  the girls on the message board will tell you.. me and pattern paper .. not a good mix lol.  I envy you ladies who can pick and mix and match patterns and colors with ease.  I am not sure if it’s my limited choice of papers, or just that it’s not  ever been my taste..but  good lord it’s like pulling teeth lol.

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I started off simply by  putting my original coloring on a white  piece of card and the 3D layers on a black piece… but liked them both for different reasons.. so that was no help lol. So my next move was layers and frames/borders.  I just kept tweaking and adding borders to my image in a graphics program till I started to get a look I liked.

This was my digital rendering

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Once I had a basic idea of how I wanted the frame to look…. that is when I grabbed my cutter and some black and white card and started cutting all those layers.  When I got them all cut, I  took a sheet of 11×17 white card and scored it to make my card base and started layering on the cuts to build the frame (unglued at this stage).  Then it happened…. for some reason it just felt flat, so there I was digging around in my paper cabinet looking for my Black and white collection.  Funnily enough the polka dot paper is the first one I tried … 4 patterns later.. yup I was back to Polka Dots lol.  It just seems classy to me, I did a curtain fold card last  year  in the polka dots and it looked great… so dots it was!

I attached that to the card base with a half inch overlap  at the top, which gives a nice neat look to the top and back of the card. and then came that  time … yes THAT time…  the one where  I always end up gluing all my frames down  skewy.  I blame it on my computer glasses, they aren’t designed for crafting haha.  Just as well for the most part I like to  have my frames tilted on projects lol.  But for this one I needed straight and centered and all that fun stuff…. It’s not perfect, but I think it came out pretty good.  I used my paper cutter to help keep me aligned…yay for paper cutters!!

Ok so all the base layers were on, the flowers layers were all cut, colored and assembled… so on they went.  I had an idea to add the butterfly, but wanted to do a ghost layer. So I actually cut two at once so that the black layer wouldn’t cut all the way through, it is more like a solid embossed layer.  Sometimes if I want to be funky, I do this  double layer cut so the  cutouts from one meld into other layer for a two tone embossed look… it’s kinda cool. Unpredictable at times so a touch of glue is necessary haha… but still looks cool and worth the extra effort.  I’ll maybe show that another time if anyone is interested.

So there was my butterfly…but where to pop it…. top right or bottom left????   I couldn’t decide so asked hubby…. his response… and I had to laugh.  “Top right, I always see Butterflies at the top of flowers… not at the bottom”  He is such a practical wee soul at times, no artistic license or sense from that direction lol.  So  on it went..where butterflies apparently should be lol.

pp_3dframed_watermarkedI didn’t have a particular recipient or occasion in mind, so I am  leaving that blank for now… hence the big space on the left.

So I thought I was done..YAY me.  But  the more I looked at it as I took the photos for this post… I couldn’t help but feel something was missing, it just didn’t seem quite balanced.

Enter Sammy and her fabulous Corner dies to the rescue.  I just happened to have that one single corner cut in my  cuts organizer… BINGO… now I am done!

pp_3d_famed_corner_wmd

Hope you like it 🙂

Base card: Neenah 11×17 110lb Index card
Polka Dot Paper: Recollections Black & White Paper pad
Black and white frame layers: Recollections 65lb solid color packs
Fancy Corner:  My Little Paper World Corner Die  –  8 die set  (Group buy for US option available)
Image: COUNTRYSIDE BOUQUET DIGITAL STAMP SET by Power Poppy
Butterfly:  Gina Marie Designs Butterfly & Beautiful Die set
Colored with: Chameleon Pens
Glue:  Tombow Aqua & Zig Photo Tape
Cutting tools:  Cricut Explore, Sizzix Big Shot ….and scissors

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

Challenges:

corrosivechallengesbyjanet.blogspot

lilpatchofcraftyfriends.blogspot

abitmoretimetocraft

creativecraftcottage

artimpressionsstamps 193-cards-to-die-for

livelaughstamp.blogspot

craftyhazelnutspatternedpaper

digistamps4joy

letscreatechallenges.blogspot.co.uk

Humorous 3 Column Stepper card

Oh what fun I had with this one…. another one of the fun cut files I picked up with my CraftsUPrint winnings  🙂

This card design has so many possibilities; I kept this one pretty “PC”  but the potential for sarcastic humor …. limited only by your own imagination.  The base card itself is so versatile for any occasions… cute, sweet, sassy and downright naughty…. and suitable for any occasion.  I can see me using this design in future projects.

The images, as I am sure most of you are already aware of ….Bugaboo Stamps.  How could I not include good ol’ Stella in a card like this.  These were colored with Zig Kurecolor and Chameleon markers and a touch of Marvy detailer & Wink of Stella.  I then scanned and reprinted them with the border at the size I needed for the columns. I left the space below the images blank specifically for  adding in other  less PC humor,  but of course that is entirely optional.

The CraftsUPrint cut file  by Rae Carr was cut on the Cricut Explore, on an 11×17 sheet of Neenah 110lb card stock to create an oversized card.

The title was designed in PSP and printed  then layered on.

The speedometer features a moving needle for that personal touch..with a cute inlaid pearl heart brad .. to soften the blow LOL.

More details and supply links below.
cup_bugaboo_speedo_wmded

Card Stock:   Neenah 11×17  bought on Ebay

Card Base:
cup694557_1415

 

 

 

“A pair of step cards”  by Rae Carr

 

 

 

 

 

Images:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colored with: Chameleon  Markers, Zig Kurecolor, Maryv Detailer and Wink of Stella

Miscellaneous: 

Heart shaped Recollections brad with inlaid pearl hear from Michaels
Zig Photo Tape

 

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

 

Challenges:

corrosivechallengesbyjanet.blogspot

livelaughstamp.blogspot