Wednesday, December 29, 2010

PPC Grand Creations Runner Up!

I entered the book I made for my daughter for Christmas at Picture Perfect Creations - Crafty Challenges Blog in their Specialty Challenge #2.  The call was for anything Christmas-related and "Gabriel's Tale" fits the bill!  I just clicked over a few minutes ago and was totally shocked to see that I was a Grand Creations Runner Up!!  Now there is no prize or cash or anything else related to this challenge.  But to be recognized by your peers as creating something "unique and inspiring" is the greatest reward. 

Thanks . . . I just had to share my excitement with folks who would understand!

Card Class #3

It has been awhile since our card making group met.  With our move and the holidays we went on hiatus until after the first of the year.  I totally forgot to upload the pictures and share the creations from our third class that was held in late September with you.  The ladies decided they wanted to create two feminine birthday cards and they wanted to learn to rubber stamp and emboss.  Both birthday cards ideas came from the Splitcoast Stamper's website.  If you've never checked out their galleries or tutorials, click over and do so -- they are amazing!

Unfortunately, I do not have any cut dimensions or paper resources for you -- somehow my notes on this class got lost in the shuffle of moving.  Sorry!

This is our rubber stamped and embossed card.  The dove stamp is by DeNami Designs and is embossed with a gold ultra-thick embossing enamel and a "Winter Wonderland" embossing powder.  The pine cone is stamped in brown and clear embossed -- the tip was hit with a bit of detail gold powder.  The pine branch is embossed with a Topiary embossing powder and tipped with detail gold.   "Peace" was also embossed with detail gold.  The dove was stamped on a separate piece of paper, cut out and pop-dotted over the pine cone and branches.  It was matted on ivory and then on a hunter green folded card.  The inside is lined with an ivory parchment-like paper and has a Christmas sentiment stamped and embossed in gold.


The text circle and inside text were computer generated and then cut out.  I created the terra cotta pot in Cricut Design Studio and then trimmed the sides on an angle to look like a pot.  The flowers and leaves are from "Walk in My Garden" and were cut using papers from my scrap "stash."  The ribbon is not only decorative but helps hold the card inside the "pot."

This cutie of a cupcake is from Create-A-Critter.  The scalloped border is from either the Easter 2010 or Mother's Day 2010 cartridges -- can't remember which!  The inside was lined to give the pop up some stability and stamped.  The coil was hand cut and the cupcake and other embellishment is from a K & Co. "Cupcake" dimensional sticker set I purchased at Wal-Mart.

Sorry I am so sketchy on the details of these cards.  If I find my notes, I'll update this blog post with the details. 

Thanks for taking the time to look at our creations -- leave me a comment and let me know you were here!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

"The Real Meaning of Christmas" Challenge

The challenge that Melin at Cooking With Cricut set before us this week was to create something that represents the real meaning of Christmas.  It needed to feature a manger, nativity, angels, Christ's birth or some other Christian theme.  

I decided to create a board book for my daughter.  Using her Children's Bible, I retold the story of Christ's birth -- but from the angel Gabriel's viewpoint.  Believe it or not, I only used two Cricut cartridges for this entire project --Paper Doll Dress Up and Plantin SchoolBook. 

Front Cover

The board book measures 6" x 6" square and I don't remember where I purchased it from (I've had it for a number of years). 

All of the card stock used was from my scrap paper "stash."  The patterned papers are as follows:  Covers - Colorbok, Blue Celebrations; Pages 1, 2, 11 and 12 - Paper Pizazz, Clouds; Pages 3, 4, 5 and 6 - Scrap-Ease, Granite Blue; and Pages 7, 8, 9 and 10 - Paper Pizazz, Blue Sponged.  These papers have been hanging around my paper cabinet for years (since the late 90's at least)!  The stamp on the front cover is another oldie but goodie by PSX.

(Remember, you can make the pictures larger by clicking on them.)

Pages 1 and 2

Pages 3 and 4

Pages 5 and 6

Pages 7 and 8

Pages 9 and 10

Pages 11 and 12

Back Cover

I tried to keep the story simple enough for a beginning reader, without being too "babyish."  At 6 years old, Demi has a real aversion to anything she considers to be "babyish"  -- "I'm a big girl now, Mom, not a baby!"  is a constant comment at our house these days. 

Please pop on over to Cooking With Cricut and see what my fellow "Chefs" have cooked up!  And don't forget to check back there every day until Christmas for Melin's 25 Days of Cricut ideas and free cut files.

I hope you enjoyed my little story and whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, something else or nothing at all . . . my wish for you and yours all year long is that you may have hope, find peace, and experience the love of family and friends.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Visit to Santa

We took our six year old daughter and our seven month old grandson to see Santa Claus at the local Mall today.  It was the first year that Demi actually sat on Santa's lap without tears or bribes!  And it was Dylan's first trip to see the jolly old elf.  They both looked so cute, I just had to share a picture or two!

Demi's very first Christmas she was just 8 months old.  We took her to the Mall to visit Santa and she was totally enamoured.  She couldn't figure out who this guy with the white beard, glasses and funny looking hat was.  I managed to capture the most precious picture -- it remains one of my most favorite pictures  I've ever taken . . .

Demi, Christmas 2004

. . . until today.  This picture is a close second . . .

Dylan, Christmas 2010
Dylan, at 7 months old, is not quite sure who the old guy with the beard is either!  I couldn't believe it when he looked up at Santa -- and I couldn't believe I was able to capture it.  There is nothing quite like seeing an old, familiar figure through the eyes of a child! 

My wish for you and yours this holiday season is that you may recapture the joy, the awe, and the innocence of Christmas.  May a Christmas song sung by a choir or your favorite artist bring a tear to your eye, may a child's Christmas morning glee bring a smile to your face, may the time spent with family and friends fill you heart with joy and may the true spirit of Christmas bring you comfort and peace.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Stockings & Stuffers Challenge

This week at Cooking With Cricut our challenge theme is "Stockings & Stuffers, Gift, Gift Cards, Stocking Stuffer gifts or a project with a stocking on it or in it."  Whew!  This challenge was so much fun that I made two things for it!

The first item is a gift card holder.  I used the Accent Essentials (snowflake), Calligraphy Collection (letter "y") and Joys of the Season (stocking and tag card) cartridges as well as the Cricut Design Studio.

The tag is 7" wide by 4" tall.  There is a "tag" card on the Joys of the Season cartridge, but it is hinged on the end and I wanted mine to hinge on the top side like a card.  So I laid it out in Design Studio and welded two tags together.  Easy peasy!  The papers are all from my scrap stash -- so I have no idea who made them.  Sorry.  But, I sure do love using up my scraps!

The stocking is cut at 2 1/2" and has pale green bling on the cuff.  The snowflake is cut at 2 1/2 " also and is blinged out with clear rhinestones.  The "y" is cut at 2 3/4" and is outlined using a white jellyroll pen.  I also did some pen "stitching" around the edge of the card.  I tied a bow using a silver metallic cording and a metallic red ribbon and curled the ends around a pen.  It is adhered using a glue dot.  On the inside of the card I measure the gift card and then cut slits to slide it into using a notch cutter by making memories.  Rhinestone bling and ribbon purchased at Michael's.

The second item I created is a stocking stuffer for my 6 year old daughter.  Demi has loved snowmen since her very first Christmas when she received a stuffed snowman.  My Mom started giving her snow globes for Christmas each year and she now has a growing collection.  Dee and I always give her a snow-related Christmas ornament of some sort and we usually paint a snowman figurine for her too.  It is my Florida-baby's greatest wish to go and see snow!  So I knew that anything I created for her had to have snowmen and snowflakes featured. 

After spending most of the month of November sick, I had plenty of empty Sucrets Cough Lozenge tins left over.  They are the perfect stocking stuffing size!  I cleaned up the tin, removed all the labels and got to work.  Some more paper from my scrap stash covers the lid exterior and interior.  The snowman is cut from the Doodlecharms cartridge.  His hat and scarf are from the Paper Doll Dress Up cartridge (the groom's top hat and the pirate's sash).

I glittered the band on his top hat with some fine green glitter (Michael's), inked the details, gave him some rosy cheeks with a little bit of chalk and added two rhinestone snowflakes (Michael's).

Then I got to work creating the gifts to go inside the tin.  Demi is such a girlie-girl!  She loves playing dress-up, jewelry, hair accessories, and make-up.  No make-up in this gift but she did get her wish for some "dangly" earrings! 

I beaded a bracelet and a pair of "dangly" earrings, made a snowflake pin and a matching barrette.  I think she'll love them!

Don't forget to pop over to Cooking With Cricut and see what my fellow "Chefs" have created for this challenge.  Oh!  And make sure you check back there daily -- Melin is giving away free cutting or digistamp files everyday until Christmas as well as ideas for beautiful layouts and cards as part of Cooking With Cricut's 25 Days of Cricut countdown! 

Monday, December 13, 2010

My Crafting Assistant

Some days you never have help when you need it . . . . and other days . . . well, other days you just have too much help!

This is O'Malley . . . Thomas O'Malley (can you name that Disney film?).  He is about 7 years old and is a total Mamma's boy!  So wherever I am, O'Malley is usually there too.  He has recently decided that he needs to sit in front of my computer screen when I am typing or in the middle of whatever project I happen to be working on.  One of his favorite things in the craft room is the Cricut -- what a coincidence, it's mine too!  He especially loves to watch the cutting head go back and forth and the mat go in and out. 

So if you spot a stray cat hair or two or a feline paw print on any of my projects -- it is intentional.  My assistant likes to add his own special touch to all my projects! 

P.S.  Check back Wednesday to see my completed challenge projects (that's one of them in progress there next to O'Malley) for Cooking With Cricut.  And pop on over to CWC now to see Melin's 25 Days of Cricut project and freebies!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

John Deere themed Baby Shower

My brother, Andy and his wife, Brooke are expecting their third child and first son in late January.  They have two beautiful little girls, Layla (3) and Lexie (1 1/2)  that you have seen previously on my blog.  My brother has collected John Deere tractors and various other John Deere paraphernalia since he was a little boy and he has always said that when he had a son he wanted his room to be a "John Deere" room.  So a John Deere-themed Baby Shower was a given!

The shower invitation measures 7" wide by 5 1/4" tall.  The gingham background and text was printed on my computer using Microsoft Publisher.  The tractor and barn are both Cricut cuts from the My World cartridge.  All of the card stock is from a Recollections pack I purchased at Michael's.  The tractor is cut at 2 3/4" wide by 2" tall.  The barn is 2 1/4" wide by 1 3/4" tall.  I did the pen embellishments using medium white Jelly Roll pen and a black Sakura Pigma Micron (05 nib).

Dee made the most amazing three-tiered John Deere cake that I've ever seen!  It was absolutely perfect and delicious!  The top and bottom tiers are white cake with yellow buttercream icing and the middle tier is chocolate with a chocolate mousse filling and green buttercream.  The cupcakes are white cake with yellow buttercream. 

I created the "Welcome Baby Evan" ring for the cake board using New Arrival (baby feet), Mickey Font and the Cricut Design Studio.

The cupcake wrappers are from the new Cricut Lite Cupcake Wrappers cartridge and the tractor picks were cut from the My World cartridge.  This is the first time that I've used the Cupcake Wrappers cartridge and after some trial and error -- cutting the correct size for the cupcakes Dee made -- it was really quite easy.  I love how you can cut a back piece that shows through the decorative wrapper. 

 The cupcake wrappers were cut at 8 3/4" inches wide and the tractor picks are approximately 3" wide.  (We purchased the John Deere ball cap picks  and the John Deere logo plaques on eBay.)

Andy and Brooke loved the cake and all of the details and now all there is to do is wait for baby Evan to make his appearance in January!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Cooking With Cricut Challenge: No Red or No Green

Our challenge this week at Cooking With Cricut was to create something Christmas-y that did not have the traditional red and green included.  You could use one or the other, but not both.  Do you know that in all of the 100's of sheets of scrapbook paper I hoard own that I only have one or two pieces of holiday paper that has neither red or green on it!  You have to understand . . . I'm a pretty traditional girl when it comes to Christmas.  You won't see pink or purple or turquoise or any other wild color on my tree!  I love golds, silvers, reds, burgundies, greens, blues and shades of white and ivory.  So this challenge took me a little while to wrap my mind around.

This weekend we were still unpacking boxes in our living room and sun porch so that we could have the house looking nice for the holidays.  One of the boxes that I unpacked had two metal milk cans that measure about 6 inches tall.  (Our friend, Kelly, gave them to me following a banquet she catered -- they were part of the table decorations.  Kelly is always bringing me neat containers or leftover decorations that she thinks I might be able to repurpose or use in some way!)  For some reason, that little milk can stuck in my subconscious and I thought about it periodically Sunday as we decorated the house for Christmas.  When we hung up the stockings our daughter, Demi said "Mom, I hope that I get Hershey's kisses in my stocking this year!"   WHAM!  All of a sudden I knew what I was going to make for our challenge this week!!!

Okay, I know . . . a terrible play on words -- but it turned out SO cute!!!  And my 6 year old will just love it!

The cow is from the Create-A-Critter cartridge as is the word "Joy" on the can lid.  Miss Cow was cut at approximately 3" w x 2" h and was made completely from card stock scraps.  "Joy" was cut at 1 3/4" w x 3/4" h and is also from scraps.  The trees are from the Doodlecharms cartridge and are cut at 2 1/2", 3" and 3 1/2" tall -- they too are from scraps; the patterned paper is "euphoria/bless" by basicgrey.  I jazzed up the trees using my ZIG 2-way glue pen and some fine white & silver glitter.  The background paper is by Ellen Krans for me and my BIG ideas.  The ribbon is one of those mini-spools that Joann's carries in their scrapbook section.  The rub-on transfer letters are miniMarks by American Crafts and the font is called "Kate."

Make sure you click on the link and travel over to Cooking With Cricut and see what my fellow "Chefs" have come up with for this challenge!  And don't forget CWC is giving away a free cut file or digistamp every day until Christmas as part of Cooking With Cricut's 25 Days of Cricut.  Not only do you get a new freebie every day -- but great ideas, too!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

25 Days of Cricut at Cooking With Cricuit!

Cooking With Cricut is presenting 25 days of Cricut. Each day they will be featuring a project and a free cutting file or digital stamp. Be sure to snag the freebie while you can, as they will only be available until midnight. Then they are gone and the next one will come up at 10:00 am EST. 

You've got to click over and see all the beautiful things Melin is creating -- I think some of the Design Team will be adding items, too.  Don't miss out!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

"Deck the Halls & Trim the Tree" Challenge

Our challenge theme this week at Cooking with Cricut is "Deck the Halls - Trim the Tree."  As I sat and pondered what to create, I remembered a particular photo of my daughter "helping" decorate the tree when she was about 2 1/2 years old.  Perfect!  I've been working on her scrapbook on and off (more off than on) and decided to create a scrapbook layout as my challenge contribution. (Click on the photo to see a larger view.)

The patterned paper is by Elizabeth Brownd for K & Company; solid card stock - Bazzill; vellum - source unknown; ornament and package stickers - Jolee's; holly stickers - Creative Memories; and gold metallic ribbon purchased at Michael's.  The Christmas tree is from the Cricut  Joys of the Season cartridge and is cut at 6" tall. 

The quote was printed from my printer on vellum and reads:  The sparkle in a child's eyes of wonder and delight, shines brighter than the Christmas lights glowing in the night. ~ Anonymous.

I clearly remember the night this picture was taken in 2006.  Demi was so excited to help decorate the tree, she had been too little the previous year ~ the bead garland was her favorite!  All decked out in her Christmas-y pajamas with a Mannheim Steamroller Christmas CD playing softly in the background, we decorated our tree.

That was the best gift we received that year . . . the joy, wonder and amazement of the holiday reflected in our two year old's eyes as she hung and re-hung ornaments on our tree.  This Christmas I look forward to decorating the tree with our now 6 1/2 yr. old daughter.  It's fun to pull out the ornaments and hear her say "I remember this one, Mom!  I got it the Christmas I was 3!"  And I have a surprise for my dear daughter, this year we will set up our Lionel O gauge train under the tree.  It has been in storage since she was born and I think she's finally old enough to learn how to set it up and run it properly!

Please click on over to see what my fellow "Chefs" have created at Cooking with Cricut for "Deck the Halls" week!