Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Cricut Tortillas

I bought some Great Value brand tortilla and fajita shells at the Walmart a few days ago to play with something other than icing using my Cricut Cake (Her name is Betty, btw)...

Anyway, I used Cake Basics blackout/shadow whatever-it-is feature. They cut.... well, useable, I guess (using pressure:3, speed:2) but they would rip anywhere close to an air bubble. Yes, the dinosaur looks extremely awkward.
So then I used a rolling pin to squish the tortilla to the mat a little, and this is what happened:
Quite lovely, indeed. The air bubbles are a bit of a problem, and the fact that it's a tortilla so detailed shapes are impossible. Anyway, I read somewhere on the Cricut MB that they were going to try using butter instead of vegetable oil to hold down the shell. Big mistake. Not only did the pieces not want to cut, it also left a mess when I was trying to pull the images off the mat. Note to self: Do NOT use butter.
The Husband and I then decided (yes, he had gotten interested and was watching and cooking hamburger meat at this point) to see what would happen if we cooked the tortilla shell before cutting. This is the result.
As you can see it looks messy... but...
once I pulled the edges away, they actually looked pretty good. The dino even has arms this time! I tried a few more with various degrees of cooking, and figured out that the tortilla cuts best if it's uncooked and squished firmly onto the mat, or lightly cooked (so that gigantic air bubbles haven't formed and it's not as stiff as toast). Those both worked well. The heart shapes cut out the best, by far. I also was able to cut out a perfect triangle. The fish was really cute. The dinosaur and flower (Sorry, we ate lunch before I took the picture, I ate the flower!) were almost too detailed to cut well, but I think a higher quality of shell might help that issue.
And last
Here is my fajita-heart filled with meat and cheese. I couldn't figure out how to make the shells stick together to form a pocket, so I spread the edges with cheese and melted them in the microwave for a half minute. Super delicious and fun!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Tear-Kitty

Tonight I was going through some more stuff (working on my sister's book takes a toll on my creativity... I keep going between that and various small projects!) and decided to try out the Tear Kitty stamp set from Peachy Keen Stamps. I've had them (tear bear, kitty, bunny, reindeer, faces kit) since 2008 when the husband was overseas and was bored crazy; about every six months I run across them and try to make something that actually looks half decent. Soooo this is what I created this time.
I follow the directions- I promise!- yet I just can't figure out how to make them cute! This one looked awful, so I drew lines around the edges to give it a cartoonish look. I had originally chalked the poor thing with light brown, but once I added the legs (which don't seem to look right, either) it all blended together, so I re-chalked them blue. *Sigh* I think I give up for the evening. I left them out so maybe tomorrow, or later tonight, I'll feel inspired to try again. I've seen so many adorable creations, I just can't seem to figure out where exactly my difficulties lie (or is it 'lay'? lol)

What I've Been Up To

Here are a few cards I've worked on in the past few days. The first one is an easel card I made using some scrap cuts from the project I've been working on for my sister using K&Co. paper.
The next two are using the Create-a-Critter cuts I love so much! Here is an easel card I made for the husband. I love the blue Stickles water and the little gold heart brad holding it up.
And here are a few I made that need cute phrases on them.

And after getting a few new goodies from Stampin' Up I had to try out the tree stamp. I embossed the green background using my Cuttlebug, and used a cute Martha Stewart lattice punch I got on clearance from Walmart to cut the vellum background. It's much more beautiful in person, trust me! 

Using Gypsy Weld Feature

Here are a couple of papers I cut using the weld feature on my Gypsy. For the green page I used Heritage cartridge (a floral branch and leaves). I stretched rectangles from Plantin Schoolbook to make the border.

And here it is after I peeled it off the mat. I don't plan on using an orange background with it, but the paper was convenient... this is what it looks like with a 12x12 sheet behind it.
For the next one, I used Pagoda for the cherry blossom branch and dragonfly. I used the 'hide' feature to hide one of the dragonflies. Once again I welded the pieces together. I didn't create a border on this one; I'm not sure which I prefer. Having a border definitely made it easier to get off the mat, but I kind of like the freedom of not having one with the second cut.
And here it is on a piece of paper I had laying out for another project. The colors look good together!
Anyway, I thought this was a pretty awesome feature, considering buying a piece of cut-paper similar to this at A.C. Moores is around $1.99 each! I will definitely have to keep this (easy) project in mind the next time I need a detailed layout!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tri-Fold Card

Tonight I was going through my older scrap paper, and after being inspired by posting the album a few days ago I decided to use up the last of the pieces by making my very first tri-fold card. I think it turned out really well!
Here is a close up. The words "family," "strength," and "forever" came from the kit, along with the blue background pieces. The rest came from my cricut and imagination!
I told my husband that I fell a little more in love with my gypsy/cricut tonight... the words "these are the moments" was cut using gypsy font welded together. I had to shrink the letters to less than an inch. Look how good they turned out, especially considering how tiny they actually are (and the fact they're welded... it's not even a standard image!!) The word peace in the bottom corner came from Joys of the Season.

Here's another dimensional view. I also really liked the framed tree. The chipboard tree was from the kit, I trimmed it to fit in the frame from Heritage. You can't really tell that it's thick. The bow is also on a chipboard circle. The other two plain circles actually have glitter paint (like stickles) on them; they're from the kit as well.
I love the detail! I am going to miss having this kit- I had never made anything from a kit before the album, and I'm definitely going to miss having the scrap pieces laying around to use for another project. This is definitely one of my favorite things!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

In Progress Album

Shhh... this is my secret project that I worked on yesterday, today, and will continue into the near future! It's completely UNFINISHED so no judging! I just want to share what I've created thus far. Last night I used chipboard cut into 6x6 squares and leftover K&Co paper (and my trusty bind-it-all) to make an album. I cut out some designs with my Cricut on gold paper. Then I inked the edges for character. By that time my hands were sticky and filthy, so I quit. Today, though, I worked on it. I was having a lot of trouble being inspired, though, so I thought, "Hmm... what do I have pictures of that would look good in here?" My answer... absolutely nothing. So I went and checked my Facebook! While I was there, I realized my (gorgeous) older sister has a ton of pictures of herself on facebook, and she's quite lovely in them. Soooo I printed off 18-20 photos (of her 5,000) using the "false color" button on my Word for Mac program in various sizes. I matted them onto the same gold paper I had cut some designs out of, and from there I began my adventure of making her a book. Depending on when I get it finished, it might be a birthday present. Or I might just give it to her when she's having a bad day (after all, who doesn't enjoy looking at pictures of themselves!?!)
You can clearly tell I'm no where near being done- even the pictures that have photographs aren't done.... neither is the cover. I just needed a break and wanted to post something, since I didn't yesterday. At all. So anyway, lovely pictures!

Random Joys

I didn't post any yesterday (I worked on something though!) So I'll post twice today. One thing I did today was make some chocolate-covered strawberries. Yummy! They don't look elegant, but they are definitely tasty!Ahhh finally! I love my UPS man, even though he doesn't usually swing by my house until around 7pm. Anyway, I had ordered the new Cricut Cake apron and oven mitts with my Cricut Rewards points (And I'm glad I had bookmarked the page; the aprons sold out quickly!) They FINALLY came in the mail today (7-10 working days is FOREVER in the summer!)
Aren't the absolutely adorable? I know I use those two words way too much, but it seems to be the only way I can express how much I love love love this. The apron of course is pure decoration, but the oven mitts are surprisingly well-made. Tomorrow I might bake something and play with my Cricut Cake just so I can wear them!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Critters

Aren't these just so cute?!? I finally got a chance to play with one of my newer cartridges, Create-A-Critter, which is turning out to be one of my new favorites! Most of the creatures have 3 layers, plus an optional shadow, which makes them super easy to cut-out and put together. A little bit of ink around the edges gives them character, and they're done! I made the husband a card using the frog, so I don't have a picture of him (trust me, though, he's awesome!) I cut each of these at 3" to play around with. I taped a few others on some tissue-paper-wrapped items I'm sending to a friend, along with the artwork for her nursery (see the previous post for that adventure).

Requested Artwork for a Friend's Nursery

One of my friends is having a baby in July, and asked for some help decorating her baby's nursery. I was super-excited about helping; the only problem was that she lives across the country. Soooo all of this is based on a few pictures she sent me of the comforter from Wal-Mart. I think they turned out well.
This was an extra surprise for her, I cut-out the baby's name using Plantin Schoolbook (Tall Ball) on a sheet of 12x24 Walnut-colored vinyl from Oh My Crafts. The stars are from Learning Curve and the road border was from Everyday Paper Dolls (and matches perfectly with the theme).
This was the comforter all of the artwork was based on. Isn't it cute as can be for a little boy?
Here is the first picture. They're all 4x6 matted for 5x7. I love the little airplane from New Arrival. I think it matches quite well! The cloud is popped out onto the matte for a little extra coolness.
I LOVED the dumptruck from Everyday Paper Dolls. One of the piles of dirt is popped out.
And here is another of the 5 total creations. There wasn't a bulldozer on ANY of my cartridges, so I used various shapes and my Gypsy to weld one myself. I think it's my favorite! I hope she enjoys all of the decorations; I wish I was there to see them hung. She promised to send me pictures! :-)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Framed Art


Here are some cuts that I've got currently hanging in my hall. I cut them using A Child's Year cartridge, the background paper is, um, I don't remember! And the frames were from Wal-Mart. They match the frames in our downstairs bathroom (at the end of the hall) with a Venetian feel. If you notice, the paint for the hallway was color-matched using the curtains that are hanging in my craft room (so when the door is open, the color flows from the hall into the room).

The picture of the little girls reminds me of my wonderful childhood friends playing in the yard together. I especially love the "patchwork" background from various paper patterns.

Vinyl Lettering

Here are a few projects I've done around the house using my Cricut and vinyl (I love ohmycrafts.com's brand of vinyl that cuts perfectly!) The first picture says "Have a place for everything and everything in its place!" It's a perfect saying for my craft room. I used Opposites Attract for the font.
The second photo is the door to my craft room, also using Cuttin' Up. The scissors cut-out is from Locker Talk. I used orange vinyl. (This was actually my very first vinyl project, when we first bought the house!)
The third picture says "Home is where your story begins." I used Plantin SchoolBook for the words (Tall Ball) and the birdhouses from Stretch you Imagination. This adorable quote is over the inside of my front door. On the outside in the same space I have our address written in word-form (Can't post my address to the world, though!) I will say that it's fabulous, though, and it's probably one of my favorite things I've ever done (Also one of the most commented-upon, as it's the first thing many visitors see).

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Deep Rooted Love Album


A friend of mine bought me this beautiful paper-set for Christmas, so I made an album (5 1/2 x 12 inches) for her with it using chipboard for the pages, my bind-it-all to bind it all together, and of course my Cricut to cut out the adorable tree on the front, as well as several other decorations in the book itself! I also used some ribbon to accent some of the pieces. I absolutely loved the way it turned out. Each of the 10 pages has several places for her to post photos using double-sided tape or a photo-safe glue-stick.

So, here it is...

This will be the place I post all of my random craft projects to determine where I fall, exactly, in terms of ability. I plan to see if/how I'm improving, understanding things I should do differently by accepting constructive criticism, and to document my projects before I give them away (or throw them in the trash!). This blog will also help verify how responsible I am. There might also be some ramblings about crafting and possibly the world in general between posted projects because I get excited over things that no one else in my family/friend circle cares about. Consider this my outlet!

Some of the projects I plan to post are cake decorating, scrapbooking, wordbook/albums, card-making, and other general paper crafts. I might throw in some other randomness as well. Who knows?!? Anyway, enjoy.