Thursday, January 29, 2015

Celebrate Birthday's with Cricut Explore

My Granddaughter recently had a birthday and we celebrated by going to Chuck E. Cheese.  I didn't let that deter me from making some party decorations.

With flu season at its peak, we always opt for cupcakes.  No germs being spread this way.  Of course, the best way to showcase your cupcakes is a cup cake tower.  I have two towers that I purchased from Amazon for a great price.  I have gotten my money's worth.  I really need to invest in a really nice tower for more formal parties.

Anyway, I love decorating my cupcakes or show case them.  I made a top piece the year before for Taylor's first birthday, this year I opted for a little smaller design, I wanted to be able to put cupcakes on the top layer.  So I used a simple can, some styrofoam and my Cricut Explore.

The wrappers are from the Cricut Cartridge Princess Party, image #M46443, which is part of your subscription.  I cut them at 3.5" H.  This particular wrapper had a cutout, which I removed with the hide/contour feature.  Then added a flourish for decoration.  Instead of cutting the flourish I changed the image to write  instead of cut and used the Cricut purple metallic marker.    This eliminated a lot of cutting and gluing.  
I was able to maneuver them around to get 5 out of a 12x12 piece of card stock.  Place each cupcake wrapper on your mat and move them around, use the attach feature to attach them together and they will appear on the mat just like you want them to.  You may receive a message that the image is too  large for 12x12 mat, just be sure it is within the 12x12 measurements, and shift your paper over about 1/4".   Here is how they were laid out on my mat.

For the topper you are actually making a center piece, except it is really only one sided.  I started to make it viewable from all sides, but I made my rosettes too large for the container I was using.   I started with an empty and cleaned tomato sauce can, with both the top and bottom cut out.  My can opener makes a clean cut that isn't sharp.  If your can opener doesn't do this I would recommend using something else.   I covered it with card stock and  wrapped it with a castle cutout.   

Floral foam works really great for this, plus this foam hold things in place much better.  I had some, but you can pickup a block at Walmart or your local hobby store.  I just pressed the can over the foam to cut out the piece for inside the can.  I pressed it on top of the tower to make an impression of the part I needed to cut out.  I just took a knife and whittled it away until it fit properly.  

I used wooden shiskabob sticks as stakes, I attached the rosettes to the sticks with hot glue.   I stuffed tissue paper between the sticks to hide the styrofoam.  

The Rosettes were from Ribbons and Rosettes, image #M4751F .  I welded three of them together to eliminate too many seams.  My rosettes were cut at 1.75 and 1.50, I would  make the a little smaller next time so I could add other type of elements, such as 3D stars.

I cut out different images that were princess themed and of course a 2 and made her name to decorate the rosettes.  Added a little pipe cleaner, which I rolled around a pencil to make the curly shapes.  

This would be great for any type party you are planning.  Just cut out your decorations to match your theme.  You don't have to use rosettes, you can use anything.  Words, images, or any 3D objects, let your imagination soar.

The best part, is that the tower and decorations are easy to transport and people love cupcakes.  My favorite is the Darn Good Chocolate cake recipe from the Cake Mix Doctor.  I always get high p raises when I bring these cupcakes.  The only thing I do different from Anne's recipe is use Swiss Chocolate cake mix from Duncan Hines and Ghirabaldi mini chocolate chips.  Yum!

Just a couple more days to get this month's Stamp of the Month.  Only $5 with a $50 purchase.

Only 2 months left to make purchases from our Seasonal Expressions 1 Idea Book and if you place an order this month you can get a copy of both Idea books free.  There are two great paper packs available only during this period.

Seasonal Expressions 1 - Dec 1, 2014 - Mar 31, 2015

Please drop by and shop with me!

Until next time,

Happy Craftin!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Quiet Book with your Cricut

I am stepping away from paper for this post.  I wanted to share my last big project, a Quiet Book.  I started working on this in September and had hoped to have it finished for Christmas.  That didn't happen, so thankfully my Granddaughters birthday wasn't far behind.  I finally finished it in time to give it to her for her birthday.

This was definitely a time consuming project, and I finally decided to reduce the number of pages I had planned.  I decided I would create more pages later to add and replace as she grows.  If you have thoughts of doing this for the little one's in your life, expect to spend a few months perfecting it.

Of course, this wasn't the only project I was working on, so it could have taken a little less time, but  in the end it was worth it.  Some of my pages were created using my Cricut Explore and others were cut from templates I found on the internet.  All of my pages were inspired from other work I found on Pinterest.  I added links to the materials so you can see what they look like., but I purchased everything from my local Hobby Lobby, Walmart and Hancock Fabrics.

All of my pages were finished at 10x10", smaller would have been too difficult to work with and larger would have made the book too big for a 2 year old.  The cover was approx 25 x 11, but this is determined by how may pages you add and how much bulk is in your book.

I chose to make a quilted cover instead of canvas type material, mainly because I already had the material from a quilting project.  I added a piece of Decor Bond (Heavy weight interfacing) to the quilt sandwich for stability and shape.  I started with a rectangle a couple inches larger than I needed and once I was ready to put it together I trimmed it down.  Be sure to include about 1" to the front and back for overlapping the pages and of course about 3-4 inches for the spine.   I just made a square a little larger than I wanted the finished product.  I sandwiched my pieces together and quilted in a diagonal direction.  I added a piece oover the back to cover some sewing that was showing from inserting the center piece on the inside.

I used a Decor Bond or a stiff interfacing in my square to give the cover a little firmness.  The pages are held in the book using D rings I purchased from my local sewing store.  I liked the idea that one side was flat, and the pages didn't stick out quite so far.  I don't have a picture but I sewed a piece to the inside of the the book binding area and used button holes to place my rings. I have added links below that I used for instructions and ideas on putting this book together.

I want to apologize for my photos, I dropped my good camera and now I am working with my iPhone or a small little point and shot.  I added a monogram to the front and used 1 1/2" ribbon for the handles.  I used a quilting binding method to finish off my rectangle.

If I ever do another one of these I will think things through a little more, I sort of did things a little out of sequence.  Here are my steps I would follow, I hope this helps.  Quilt your block or finish the cover in your preferred material.  Now you can add your handles, I used 1 large piece of 1 1/2 inch ribbon and put the connection on the spine, since I was going to cover it.  Add the velcro to the front if you are add a closure tab.   Now you are ready to add the pocket, be sure you hem on edge or fold a piece of material in half, with the unfinished edges along the bottom of the book.  You only need to baste this in place.   Add your inside spine to, be sure to already have the button holes in place.  Attach your flap to the back side of cover.  Now add the binding to the outside, make it over lap the front about 1 inch.  Sew a seam down each edge that represents the fold of your book.  Now add your binding all around the cover  making sure the straps aren't in the way.

Here are my pages.  I used a combination of 100% cotton, iron on vinyl (HTV) and felt.  Some of my pieces I attached to Heavy Duty Ultra Firm Pellon (#65 or 70), it is very stiff and doesn't fold well or stiffened felt I found at my local hobby store.  I also, used this in between my pages so they were firm.  

Each page was backed with a fusible Heavy Duty Stabilizer.  This gave me something firmer to attach buttons and snaps to.

All of the above pages were made with my cricut explore except for the mail box and piggy bank.  I could have created an svg for these pages, but it was quicker and easier to just cut by hand.  The dog was from Create a Critter, the shoes are from My Quiet Book, I can't remember where the purse came from, but it was in my subsription.

I also used my Cricut explore for all of the above pages, the last page was put together using iron on vinyl.  

My page sandwich is as follows Finished page,  Decor Bond,  Heavy duty Ultra firm stabilizer, Decor Bond, finished page.  Fuse your blank page to the Decor Bond before attaching your pieces.

I used ric rac trim around the edges and sewed the above sandwich together with about aa 1/8" seam allowance.  My cotton may fray a little, but I figure it will only add character to the book.  I used my Crop-a Dile to put the holes and eyelets on each page.  I cut out a template with my Explore so I knew where to place the holes.

I got the bulk of my ideas from the following websites.  These are just a few, and there are many more techniques.  I have been sewing for a number of years, but it really isn't that difficult to make a quilted cover, search on quilt as you go websites for quick ways to make quilting blocks.  Check out Pinterest and google on Quiet Book pages, you will find everything you need for Free on the internet as far as instructions and templates go.  Plus, there are thousands of ideas and pictures to give you inspiration.  

Hope you enjoyed my little endeavor.

Don't forget in the month of January you can earn extra hostess rewards.  And of course our special celebrating National Scrapbooking Month.

And of course January's Stamp of the Month.  Only $5 with a $50 purchase.

There is still time to get that special paper pack for Valentine's Day.  

Get your CTMH products HERE!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

High Heel Card with Cricut Explore

Hi everyone,

Have I mentioned lately that I LOVE my Cricut Explore?  It is amazing what this machine can do. I wanted to make birthday card showcasing a high heel for my sister, she loves her shoes. I couldn't find one in Design Space that I was happy with, so I started searching Pinterest.  I found the perfect shoe.

This shoe was designed by a very talented lady, Tanya Bell.  The template for this shoe and card is on her blog, StampinT.  she offers her template in a PDF file.  It took a little effort on my part to convert it to an SVG, only because I had never converted a PDF file before, but I finally did it.  Her template includes an open toe and closed toe.

The template was missing a base for the image without using the card, I contacted her and she promptly provided what I was looking for.  I can't share the svg file, because it is not mine to share, but if you purchase this template from Tanya and would like the Svg, please have Tanya contact me and I will send her the Svg to share with her template.

There is also a you tube video on making this shoe, which is a bit different, but is another version.

I just used the shoe, and layered it on top of a piece of card stock I embossed with my Quaterfoil folder from CTMH.  My heel image was sized at about about 4".  The pearls I used were purchased from Hobby Lobby, they are the strip of pearls that are all connected, I just colored them with my CTMH Shin Han Twin Touch markers, these are alcohol markers. I also added a strip of glitter wash tape.

The leopard paper and metallic brown (heel) was from Hobby Lobby, the other card stock was from CTMH, Colonial White and  Saddle.

I wrote the sentiment with my Explore using font Soiree Lettering Grace, the happy birthday was from the stamp set,  from CTMH, #D1475 - Card Chatter, Birthday Occasions.

I think I will make a few more of these for the Diva's in my life.

Don't forget in the month of January you can earn extra hostess rewards.  And of course our special celebrating National Scrapbooking Month.

January's stamp of the month is great for your Valentine projects.

So take a few minute to look over our products here!

Happy Craftin!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Baby Doll Accessories

Hi Everyone,

I hope you had a nice holiday.  Sorry I have been away awhile, but with the holidays and life I just didn't have time to get to my blog. 

Now that the holidays are over I can get back to my craft room to work on non-Christmas items.  I know Valentine's is around the corner, but my grand daughters birthday comes first.  

So I have been busy at my sewing machine working on a little present for her.  She got a new baby for Christmas and it seems she is a good little Mommy.  So I have been searching the internet and found some really great ideas.

I made her a diaper bag, doll carrier, diapers and a quilt.  

The best part was I had all the material in my stash, all I had to purchase was the buckles for the baby carrier and the ribbon for the straps.   I got  both on sale at Hobby Lobby.  Just to let you know I made two of these carriers and 1 spool of ribbon took care of both.

So if you see this and are interested here are the websites that I got my patterns from.

The diaper bag was fromTwelve Crafts Till Christmas.  She has detailed instructions with pictures.   I modified it a little, but I used her basic pattern.  As you can see I didn't put the pocket on the front, instead I put a monogram.  I used the App Monogram It to create my monogram and then imported into Design Space. 

The color of iron-on glitter looked more noticeable before I ironed it on, oh well, it's just for a baby doll and a 2 year old.  I don't think she will notice.

I added a pocket to the lining, the pattern didn't call for it.  I can't even remember how I managed this.

I added a pocket to the back as an afterthought, it was a little difficult, since the bag was already sewn together.  I embroidered a blanket stitch around the edge to hold the edges in place.  This is because I added a very stiff interfacing, I was trying to get the bag to hold a shape, next time, I wouldn't do this.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised how easy this diaper bag pattern was.  

The baby carrier pattern I found on Ribbon Retreat, she also has detailed instructions and pictures.  I didn't make any modifications, but I did notice her sewing instructions showed that the pieces were cut on a fold, so be sure to cut on fold.  

For the belly band I placed the 14" side on the fold, and for the crotch and shoulder straps the 5" and 6" side.  I also used a 3/8" seam allowance.  Her instructions didn't show what size she used.  After all the pieces were sewn together I edge stitched around everything to make the seams more durable.  I am giving this to a two year old.

For the diapers I found a pattern on One Little Project, she provides you with a PDF pattern.  I used cotton material instead of flannel.  I haven't tried the on the doll yet, but she says it will fit a Baby Alive, which is what my Grand daughter has.  

The quilt was all my own, I had some blocks left over from other quilts, I just cut them in half and sewed them in strips.  I cut a few in different places to stagger the prints.  Put it all together, it is about 20x20".  I hope that works for her baby.

So that has been my project for the last week.  Now I have to finish her Quiet Book.  I have the pages done, I just need to figure out how I want to put them together.

On to my CTMH business.  I apologize that I haven't made any paper projects to show how cute the new Heartstrings paper is.  I have some valentine's projects on the burner. I just love this paper, here is a quick peek.  I can' wait to get to using it, there are already some great projects on Pinterest using this paper.

Of course we have the Stamp of the Month.  It's only $5 with a $50 order.

This stamp is a great addition for your Valentine's Day projects.  

If you were on the fence about hosting a gathering, this is the month to do it.  Remember, you don't have to have the gathering in your home, you can host on on line event.  This will allow you a few weeks to get your customers to buy.  In January as a Hostess you can earn extra rewards.  You can earn up to 50% more rewards during this month, check it out.

January is National Papercrafting Month, and CTMH is celebrating  with this great offer.  We have put together a great little kit, with or without the binder.  Click the link below for more information.

Noted Paper Kit

So if you spend $50 this month you get to great items at $5.00 each.  Don't wait, you will want that Heartstrings paper pack for your Valentine's Day projects.  The paper is also versatile enough to be used on other projects too.

Well, enough for today.  I have to get dinner ready, hope to see you back soon.

Happy Craftin!