Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Some much needed sunshine!

Just when I was feeling quite low, my dear blogging friend, Audrey, sent me a little ray of sunshine.  Audrey, you yourself are a constant ray of sunshine to me, and this award means so much coming from you!  Your creations inspire me, and your positive attitude and generosity are truly to be admired.

I'm supposed to pass it on to 12 other bloggers, and I will in a separate post, but first, I hope you will indulge me and allow me to pour my heart out and cleanse my mind.  It's a tale of how a a blogger can seem so put together online (at least I hope I seem that way) and be falling apart behind the scenes, and about how crafting can truly be much-needed therapy during tough times.  I've gotten so many wonderful emails from many of you asking me how I manage it all and how I find time to be creative.  As you will see, I don't always manage it well - and it's OK to have those times, especially when you have such a great support group like I have in so many of you. 

As most of you know, yesterday was my debut on the Tuesday Treats blog.  What most of you don't know is what went on behind the scenes.  Last week, just as I was just getting ready to put my project and tutorial together, my 16-year-old niece went into the hospital with a mysterious, life-threatening infection.  It presented as viral meningitis, but tests ruled that out.  The doctors were then unsure what it was and began calling other hospitals.  In the meantime, my sister - a pharmacist - insisted that they put her on antibiotics.  Thank God they did!  By the next morning, they had determined that she had something called parapharyngeal cellulitis, which is extremely dangerous.  The doctor told my sister that she probably wouldn't have made it through the night if they hadn't given her the antibiotics when they did.  Knowing how worried I was, I can't even imagine how my sister and brother-in-law felt!  This all came on the heels of a very stressful month at work due to a big project.

So, by Sunday night, I knew that my niece was out of the woods and resting at home, and I had to get to work on my videos!  I took half a day off from work on Monday to go home and make them, but due in part to my exhaustion and emotional state and in part to the electronics gremlins, it took me forever to get them made. It was one of those days when it seemed like everything I touched went wrong - camera battery was dead, tripod broke, my video software had gotten corrupted and had to be reinstalled, and a host of other small things.   I finally thought I had it all together and started, only to have to restart 2 more times.  By just before midnight on Monday, I finally had everything uploaded and ready to post.

The next morning, I discovered that I had done the wrong page assignment - flashback to high school nightmares!!!  But this was worse because it meant my mistake had messed up the person that was supposed to do the popcorn box cut, so now she had to scramble to change her plans.  I felt just horrible, but she graciously accepted my apology and told me it gave her a good excuse to go to the craft store and buy more stuff...LOL!  Thank you Elizabeth aka Emonty!  You're a doll!

Then last night at about 11:30, something made me think about the cartridges that I used on the popcorn box card, and I jumped out of bed to get my Gypsy and check it.  Yep, I had used both Plantin and George, but I had only listed George on the post (plus TBBM, of course).  I know few people have both Plantin and George, so I had intended to only use one of them. In fact, I had hoped to only use TBBM for everything but the envelope and lettering.  I figured that you could always find a ready-made envelope or use one from another cartridge, and you could use any font for the lettering.  In my hurry to get the files finished and uploaded in both DS and Gypsy format, I forgot to check. 

This morning when I got to work, I got online for a quick check of the comments on my blog, and there was a post that I did NOT intend to post yet!  It's about a project that is in progress, but not yet complete.  Instead of clicking on "save" after writing it, I must have clicked on "publish."  I don't even remember doing it.

Soooo....tonight I will be working on 2 versions of the project - one for George owners, and one for Plantin owners.  Of course, you'll have to have TBBM for either.  If you already downloaded the one from yesterday and don't have all 3 cartridges, check back tomorrow and I'll have the "fixed" ones uploaded so you can download the one you need. 

If you've read this far, God bless you!  I felt that I owed you all an explanation for my recent mental lapse.  I'm forgetful in the best of times, and the last month has not been the best, by any means.  The good news is, I have a saint for a husband, a wonderful family, and good friends - both online and in real life.  And of course, I have my crafting.  I think I need a vacation!!  Thank goodness I have a wonderful trip with my husband coming up in May.

Finally, I just want to say that having all of you to design and blog for keeps me motivated and happy, even when the things are tough, so THANK YOU to all of you, my newfound friends!  

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My debut on Tuesday Treats, and I brought the POPCORN!

Admit it, you've done it, too - bought some craft item in the store because it looked really cool, then stashed it away and never used it. Well, about 6 months ago, I was looking in the paint section at my local craft store and picked up a 6-pack of Tulip Puffy Paint. Now, I was no stranger to puffy paint. I had used it long ago on various projects, but the bottles had long since dried up and been thrown away. So why did I buy more? Simple...the package said "puffs like popcorn." What a fabulous idea that I just HAD to try - but never did. Never, that is, until Pam gave me my Tuesday Treats assignment, and it was the popcorn box from TBBM! I KNEW I bought that puffy paint for a good reason!

My original idea was to make the box and attach "popcorn" all around the edges, then fill the box with movie candy, a package of microwave popcorn, and movie tickets. This idea rattled around in my brain for weeks, but I could never really picture it in a way that I thought I would like. Then I ran across a card online that was basically a sleeve with a slide-out card, and this idea was born! I'm thrilled with the outcome, and I have a few ideas to use with it, though I'm sure some of you will think of others. Please share them if you do so I can post them here and on Tuesday Treats as updates.

Here are mine:
"We go together like popcorn and movies." (borrowed this one from a stamp)
"POP on over to the theater for a night at the movies, on me." (enclose movie theater gift card)
"POP on over for a movie night and slumber party."
"Popping up a good time......"
"Popping up good wishes for you...."
From Melanie: "Popping by just to say..." (Happy birthday, thank you, congratulations, etc.)

So, pop yourself some real popcorn and pull up a seat to watch the videos. Happy crafting. Just try not to get butter on your projects!!

Cartridges: TBBM and either George or Plantin
UPDATED: the zip file will include a cut file for either George or Plantin, along with TBBM
Popcorn Card files for Design Studio
Popcorn Card files for Gypsy

Click here to watch the video on YouTube in full screen

Click here to watch video on YouTube in full screen

Click here to watch video on YouTube in full screen

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Funny Bunnies have BABIES!

If these little critters look familiar, it's because they're the spittin' image of their parents, Bonnie and Benjamin the Funny Bunnies!  They've been reborn in miniature to dress up a plain old candy bar for Easter gifts for my co-workers.  After all, good things really do come in small packages! 

You can probably make most of the parts with scraps of paper and cardstock, but you'll need a fairly large piece for the wrapper itself.  I recommend a lighter weight paper for the wrapper and cardstock for the bunny parts.  You'll also need 1/4" googly eyes, and I use ink and sponges to add dimension to the pieces, and Stickles to add some sparkle.  I used clear Stickles over the pink cardstock.

I didn't make a tutorial, because the assembly for the bunnies is exactly like that for the gift bags, so if you missed that one, be sure to watch it for tips.  For the wrapper, just wrap over the existing one on the candy bar and adhere on the back, then glue your assembled bunny on the front.  Quick and easy!

Cartridge Needed: George
Funny Bunnies Candy Bar Wrappers file for Design Studio
Funny Bunnies Candy Bar Wrappers file for Gypsy

Cricut Kisses and Crafty Wishes!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Ms. Bright Side Award and 5 blogs to visit

The owner of K-E Kreations recently blessed me with a very kind gift - The Ms. Bright Side Award! She wrote on her blog, "I would like to pass this award on to the following wonderful bloggers who always inspire me, have great words of wisdom, and who simply share fabulous tips to make me a better crafter."  As I told her, if I can be "Ms. Bright Side" in just one person's life each day, that makes me smile!

You all know that I love to design and share my designs with you.  My "payment" is not monetary, but in the lovely comments and response that I get from all of you when I share a new project.  All of you are the reason that I blog, and the reason that I share projects, tips and advice based on my own crafting experience.  To receive awards is the icing on the cake, and very sweet icing at that!

Upon receiving this award, I'm supposed to list 10 things that make me happy, list 5 pieces of trivia about myself, and pass the award on to 5 fellow bloggers.  So, here goes...

Ten things that make me happy:
1. My husband
2. My children - including my new son-in-law (Love you Andy!)
3. My pomeranians, Roxy and Lulu
4. My "sweet" little cat, Sugar who adopted us one cold, rainy February day when I just couldn't leave her outside
5. Crafting, of course!
6. Traveling and seeing new places with my husband
7. Chocolate
8. Real, authentic Sangria and Spanish food (thank you Emilio's Restaurante')
9. Fresh raspberries

Trivia about me:
1.  I'm an ex-kindergarten teacher, then preschool director, but I left that profession 11 years ago for my current job.
2.  I've known my husband since we were both 3 years old, we started dating at age 15, married at 20 and have been married almost 30 years now.  He is my best friend and loudest cheerleader!
3.  I'm a Coach purse addict and I don't want intervention.
4.  I do at least one Sudoku puzzle a day to TRY to keep my brain sharp.
5.  I can't stand to kill anything, so I take spiders and other bugs outside instead of squashing or flushing them.  My co-workers call ME when there's a bug or crawling critter to be gotten rid of!

And the 5 bloggers that I want to share this award with are:
1. Audrey, Cute and Some - Audrey is a constant source of encouragement and cheer in my life, and a true friend that I hope to meet someday! Maybe at CHA in Chicago??  I'm working on DH on that one! Audrey often leaves comments for me on my blog "just because."  On top of being just a downright amazing person, Audrey is SUPER talented, and she's becoming a regular featured crafter in the Cricut Chirp! Be sure to check out her blog and become a follower.  You'll be happy you did!

2. Cheryl, Cheryl's Window - Cheryl and I have so much in common, and she's another internet friend that I'd love to meet.  We seem to have the same taste in both crafts and men - both of our husbands like comic book superheroes!  She's incredibly talented and a natural teacher.   Please stop by her blog and have a look around.

3. Pam, The Bug Bytes - When someone needs help with a Gypsy, everyone over on the Cricut message boards knows that Pam is the woman with the answers!  If she doesn't already know the answer - and she usually does - she will find out for you.  Pam is also the co-creator of Tuesday Treats, where a new designer every week presents a project and tutorial.  Pam is a talented crafter, but we all treasure her most as the message board teacher and cheerleader.  Give me a "P"...give me an "A"...give me an "M"...PAM PAM PAM, we love ya' Sweetie!

4.  Elizabeth, 217Creations - Lately, Beth has been blowing me away with the lace pages she's created!  She has an incredible eye for design, and she's sweet as can be, too.  She just posted a project she made as a designer for Weddings With The Cricut that is so gorgeous that I wish I'd thought of it before my own daughter's wedding last November.   I don't think Beth's brain ever stops creating because she presents one stunning project after another!  Be sure to visit her blog.

5.  And last, but by no means least, Shelia aka SassyLady, She's a Sassy Lady - Sheila was one of the very first message board members that befriended me, and she continutes to be a source of encouragement, support and inspiration.  She's also the scrapbook layout QUEEN!  I'm contantly in awe of the gorgeous pages she does!  Sheila, you rock!

Monday, March 22, 2010

FIXED: Mini Easter Egg Box

I had some reports that the flap on the mini box lid was cutting off in the Design Studio version, and sure enough, it wasn't welded.  You can either click on it and select "weld" or you can downlaod it again below.  That should fix it!   I'm at work now and don't have my Gypsy with me, but I think that one is OK.  You should still check it before you cut.  Just open the file and click on the preview (eye) icon.  It might take it a minute to "build" the preview, but once it does, only the lines that you want to cut will be red, and the others will be grayed out.  The score marks will be dark black, as they are not welded.  If you find that any part of the Gypsy files isn't correct, PLEASE let me know by leaving  a comment under this post so I can fix it ASAP!

Thanks to those who notified me about the problem!
If you missed the original post for this project, just scroll down to the post from March 20, 2010 below this one.  You can find the files for Gypsy there!

Easter Egg Box files for DS

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Pair of Easter Egg Boxes

I've already confessed my love for Cadbury eggs, but my husband loves them even more. He looks forward to them all year long, and I love surprising him with them.  I wanted a pretty little package to present them in, so I designed this egg box, and then I thought a mini version would be cute, too.  It holds the small eggs that you find in bags, and I used the Butterfinger ones here - my favorites!

I didn't tie them closed in my photos because I wanted you to be able to see them clearly, but you can use your imagination and pretty ribbons to really dress them up for a beautiful presentation. You will also need a piece of clear acetate for the window.  I save it from any and every kind of packaging that I buy so I'm recycling and it doesn't cost me a thing! 

Who wouldn't love to receive a pretty box of chocolate eggs - big or small?

Cartridge Needed: George
Easter Egg Box files for Design Studio
Easter Egg Box files for Gypsy

Cricut Kisses and Crafty Wishes!

Monday, March 15, 2010

A Cheeky Little Chick

I think I'm finally out of my creative slump!  I've had a few Easter projects on the drawing board, but just didn't have the motivation to cut and post them.  Today, I decided to snap out of it, and I like what happened!  After introducing you to the Funny Bunnies, this cheeky little chick demanded her own 15 minutes of fame, so here she is, all ready for Easter!  I think she is looking quite egg-cellent! 

There's no tutorial, but if you missed the one for the bunnies, it's pretty much the same process, so you can check it out.

If you download the files, please leave me a comment, and if you make her for a gift bag, Easter egg hunt bag, scrapbook layout or other project, PLEASE take a picture and send it to me!  Thanks for looking!

The only cartridge you need is George.
Cheeky Chick files for Design Studio
Cheeky Chick files for Gypsy

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Lacy Easter Egg Basket With Ribboned Handle

I literally dreamed up this little basket Friday night and I'm so egg-cited with the final result!  You should be used to my bad puns by now - my husband makes me do it...LOL!  Anyway, I had a dream about giving them to my co-workers, and I was dying to make it when I woke up Saturday morning, but I was out of town at my sister's. Luckily I had my Gypsy with me, so I started designing it on my way home in the car Saturday night.

I love the delicate look created by the overlay and the ribbon-threaded handle.  It's small enough that it only takes a handful of chocolates or other goodies to fill it up, but it's big enough to hold a chocolate bunny or even a small gift, and the reinforcement of the ribbon threaded through the handle and around the body of the basket makes it sturdy enough to hold them!  I've included some rick-rack (not used in mine) in the file to give you some decorating options to make several baskets that look different, or so that you have a less frilly version for the males on your Easter gift list. 

I didn't make a tutorial for this one because it's pretty simple, but here are the basic instructions:
1. Cut, score and fold basket base and overlay.
2. Adhere overlay to base, matching edges and holes in bottom. Attach rick-rack, if desired.
3. Apply adhesive to tabs on basket base and assemble sides, gently curving to follow egg shape.
4. Adhere handle to sides of basket, aligning holes. Beginning at top, center of handle, weave ribbon in and out of holes until you have gone all the way around back to the center (you will need about 28-30"). Tie bow on top.
5.  Use Stickles to "paint" the design as shown.  The colors I used are Yellow, Eucaplyptus, Orange Peel and Star Dust.  I left the flowers unpainted so the pink of the base would show through.

That's it - simple but elegant! If you have any questions at all, you can either leave it in a post below or you can email me.  Please do comment if you download it, and as always, I would love to see photos of yours!

Cartridges: George and Basic Shapes, Easter 2010

Easter Egg Basket File for Design Studio
Easter Egg Basket File for Gypsy

You might also like my Bunny Basket if you missed him!

Cricut Kisses and Crafty Wishes!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Funny Bunny Gift Bag

I saw some adorable Easter gift bags on my last trip to Wal-Mart, but as they always are, they were a little pricy.   I took a long look at them, remembered some pretty pastel gift bags I already had, and I decided I could make them.  After all, the price isn't the only thing that matters - people love something that you have taken the time to make for them, right?

I had a lot of fun making these "funny bunnies."  It took me back to elementary school days with construction paper, glue and crayons.  Only the tools are a little more sophisticated now.  Back then, adding glitter to something meant Elmer's glue and loose glitter and paper cones for dumping the glitter back in the jar.  I've been a messy crafter all my life, really diving in, not afraid to get my hands dirty, so I inevitably ended up with glittter and glue in my hair and on my clothes.  Whoever invented Cricut, Xyron, Stickles and similar products have made me a happy girl, indeed!  With a whole craft room full of supplies at my disposal now, I still find the simpler projects to often be the most satisfying - and adorable!  And so, I give you Bonnie and Benjamin - my funny bunnies.

This project is simple enough that it didn't need a tutorial, but I thought some of you might enjoy watching the process with some of the techniques from my stamping experience. Besides, I got a shiny new camera Saturday and was dying to take it for a test spin!  I'm still working on camera placement and lighting, but this video is decidedly better than the last - and you can watch it in HD!

I hope you enjoy these little critters.  I can see them used in SO many ways, so use your imagination and send me your pictures!  And as always, a comment is very much appreciated if you download the files.

Cartridge(s): George
Funny Bunny files for Design Studio
Funny Bunny files for Gypsy

Watch Video Tutorial

Cricut kisses and crafty wishes!

I'm a Beautiful Blogger!

Did you think I had gotten really vain?  I was just SO excited to get this award by not one, but TWO followers!  The first one came from one of my favorite people on the web - Thank you Audrey from Cute and Some! I have gotten to know Audrey in the past month or so, and she is so kind, generous, spiritual, friendly, creative, talented...the list could go on and on!  Please go visit her blog.

Before I could even finish this post, I also recieved the award from Sparksgal at My Crafty Place.  Be sure to check her out, too. Sparksgal, you have no idea how this makes my day!

The rules are that I have to list 7 things about myself, so....
1.  I'm addicted to coffee!  I roll out of bed every day craving it, and I usually have 3 cups before 10:00. After that, it's Diet Coke.
2.   I love Pomeranians!  I have 2 girls now, but I had 2 boys for 16 years, and I miss them terribly
3.  I love Disney!  I have lost count of how many times I've been to Disney World - it's at least 40.  I used to run a forum on AOL for Disney fans, and we did twice-weekly chats with Disney trivia games every Saturday night.  I made some great friends there, and still keep in touch with some of them 10 year later!
4.  I love books and reading
5.  I love movies, especially in the theater.  My husband and I try to go to one at least every other week - sometimes more.
6.  I love the theater!!  My husband and I try to go to NYC at least once a year to see a couple of Broadway shows...and to shop and eat!  It's such a great city!
7.  I am the Community Services Manager for a large planned community - over 2700 homes - and I love my job!  I also happen to live in the community I work for, so it's like getting to help my own neighborhood and getting paid for it!  My main responsibilities include: monthly newslettter editor, web site administrator, boating rental programs, pavilion/facility rental programs, boat registration for about 600 boats, and all community events.  I throw 4 parties a year for a mere 1500-2000 people, complete with live bands, food, beer and wine, and fireworks once a year.  My husband calls me the party girl...LOL!  I do a bunch of other stuff, too, but most of it's boring.

So, now you know a little more about me - maybe more than you wanted to...LOL!
Thanks again to Audrey, and to all of you who have made my blog take off the way it has!  I never dreamed when I started this blog in November that I'd already have almost 600 followers!  Thank you all!

Now I'm supposed to pass the award on to 15 other bloggers. This is going to be so hard because I follow some really amazing crafters on their blogs.  Narrowing it down is going to take some effort - oh, my brain is hurting already!  I am listing some here that aren't just Cricut sites.  I also follow stamping and digital scrapbooking sites, so I hope maybe sharing some of them will help you to find something new!   Please visit them and leave them some love!

She's a Sassy Lady - The title of this award fits Sheila perfectly. She's a beautiful person who does beautiful work!  If you're a scrapbooker, you need her on your blog list!
The Bug Bytes - Anybody who owns a Gypsy needs to "meet" Pam.  Questions about your Gypsy? Pam's the go-to gal!  Pam is also a co-creator of Tuesday Treats.
Cheryl's Window - Cheryl makes gorgeous Cricut creations, and she's just getting started on making video tutorials, but she's a natural!  Take a look!
217 Creations - Elizabeth is one of my MB friends and a truly sweet, generous lady who also happens to be a very talented crafter!
Design, Create, Inspire - Crystal aka MyaMagoo is my Canadian MB friend and the other co-creator of Tuesday Treats.  She is a wiz with the Gypsy, and she shares her files for free!
Waltzingmouse Makes - Claire designs some gorgeous stamps, and she's a super nice gal, too. She is the original designer of the Three Kings Box and graciously allowed me to create it in Cricut and share with all of you!
Summertime Designs - Some of the most beautiful digi-scrapping stuff on the web
A Southern Belle's SVGs - I always try to support anyone who shares their hard work for free, so check her out if you use SVGs
My Crafty Life - Dan is another generous crafter who gives away lots of freebies!
Just Give Me Stamps - A very talented stamper
Kwerner Design - She has an amazing eye for design!  Check her out for card ideas!
Kevin and Amanda - Digital Scrapbooking and great photography tips!
Okie Lady Bug's Scrap-n-More - A Criut lover's favorites list just wouldn't be complete without Okie's blog!  Check out her post from February 18 for a Mardis Gras mask that is to die for!
Royal Things - Cindy's work is some of the most beautiful I've seen.  To be truly inspired, you MUST check her out!
Miller's Ink - Lynn does gorgeous cards!  Being a card maker myself, I love to follow her blog. Check her out!

About Me

My photo
Midlothian, Virginia, United States
Lifetime crafter, beginning with sewing clothes for my troll dolls when I was 5. Stampin' Up! demonstrator since 2000. Wife of almost 30 years to my high school sweetheart and planning on 30 more! Mom to 2 great kids and one awesome new son-in-law. "Mom" to 3 furkids, Pomeranians Roxy and Lulu, and a Calico cat, Sugar aka "Miss Fattypants." Addicted to all things Disney!