Monday, November 30, 2015

Cricut Cyber Monday Deals!

***This post contains affiliate links.  I may get a small commission when you click on these links.  This helps to keep my blog up and running.  Thank you.***

Now that you are all rested up after the holiday weekend, and the mad rush at the stores for the official start of the holiday shopping season, it is time to sit back and enjoy the Cyber Monday deals from Cricut!  Just click on the link below.

Check out the Cyber Monday Deals at Cricut!

Happy shopping, and happy crafting!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Evolution of a Christmas Card

Sometimes you start a project with one idea in your head, and then as you work on the project it evolves into something you were not planning on.  I love these types of projects because it allows you to just work with the products and see what happens.  That is exactly what happened with this Christmas card I was making.


Supplies for this project include:
Bright green cardstock - 8 1/2" x 11" size
Bright green glitter
Tree stamp - I used the one from the Lawn Fawn Critters in the Forest stamp set


To start off I cut the green cardstock in half and folded it in half.  This way I can make my cards 2 at a time.  When I stared off, the original plan was to just stamp the tree on the card, add some accents with the Dimensional Magic and glitter and be done with them fast . . . watch how that evolved.


After I stamped the images I noticed one card had a smudge.  I had black ink on my finger and I must have touched the card.  No worries . . . this is just going to make an opportunity for embellishment later on in the project.  


Back to the tree.  The original plan was to just stamp the tree on the green paper and add Dimensional Magic and glitter for accents.  In the photo below you can see how I added the Dimensional Magic to just a few tips of the tree.


Once added the glitter I felt like it needed more color.  You will see the final look at the end of the post.  So for the next card I stamped the tree and then colored it in.  This helped the tree to pop off of the card base.


I added the Dimensional Magic to the colored tree . . . 


added glitter and left it to dry


After it had dried for a while you could see the color change a little where the Dimensional Magic and glitter combination was, and you could really start to see the depth from the Dimensional Magic start to pop off the page.


Oh, and remember that smudge of black ink?  I decided to cover it with a snowflake sticker.  Add a few additional snowflake stickers and now it looks like I was planning to use the stickers all along, and not that they were there to hide a mistake.


Once I finished the card I liked the addition of the snowflakes, which were not planned for the original project, but I did not have enough stickers to do the large number of cards I wanted to make.  I guess I could have die cut more snowflakes . . . but I really did not want to do a lot of die cutting for this card.

I decided to stamp more trees on white cardstock.  Now I just had to sit a color them.  This is a nice activity to do while you are watching television.  


I still wanted the look of snowflakes without the work of die cutting all of those shapes, so I embossed some white cardstock to be the background for the trees.  I used my snowflake Cuttlebug embossing folder for this.


It is so much fun to take a plain old piece of paper and emboss it.  It adds so much interest, depth and texture instantly! 

Back to the trees.

Once I had them colored and cut out I added the Dimensional Magic and glitter.  Since you have to let the trees sit and dry, once you do a batch of trees you can go and work on another project, do some housework or take a nap.  


Here is a tip for cleaning up the glitter.  Use a piece of cardboard that has a fold/crease in it when you glitter up your trees.  That way when you shake the excess off you can tap it into the crease and then hold that over the glitter container to funnel it all back into the container. 


Thank you to my husband for taking the photo of me getting the glitter back in the container.  It is kind of hard to photograph the process when you need both hands free for cleaning up glitter!


So now you have seen all of the steps.  Now it is time to show you the finished project, and see the evolution of this card.

First the card that was the original plan . . . stamped tree, Dimensional Magic and glitter . . . and snowflakes added to hide the ink smudge.


I think we can all agree it is not the best card I have ever made.

Okay, the next step in the evolution . . . add color to the tree, and still use the snowflake stickers since I did like that addition.


This card is better, and if I was only going to make two cards I might have stopped here and been fine with it.  Since I am sending out more than two holiday cards and I did not have enough snowflake stickers we move on the the next step in the evolution of this card . . . 


I did a closer photo so you can see the embossing and the glitter even better.


Now this is a card I can be proud of, and it was easy to produce several of them.  Each one is a little different since I applied the Dimensional Magic and glitter to different areas or in a different amount on each tree.






Saturday, November 28, 2015

Snowman Card

I don't consider myself a stamper, but I have recently been trying to do a little more with the collection of stamps that I have gathered over the years.  Seriously, I would hate to see how many stamps I would have it I WAS a stamper.

To start off I stamped this snowman image on a white square of cardstock.


I stamped the image a second time and cut around it.  I am going to use this second image as a mask.


I placed the image I am using as a mask over my stamped image, and I used two blue inks and applied them in a circular motion with a foam pad.  This gave a really soft background color.  (sorry the photo is so dark)


If I thought there was too much of one color, I just added more of the other until I got an effect I was happy with.


When I removed the mask it looked like this . . . 


Now I could grab my markers and color in the hat, scarf and ornament.  Once it was colored in I decided to add some dimension to the ornament by adding a drop of Dimensional Magic.  I love this stuff!  It adds just a little dimension and shine to anything.  You can see a drop of it on the ornament in the image below.


Here is another snowman I made.  I have kind of gotten into the habit of making more than one card at a time.  Often I am using a sheet of 8 1/2" x 11" cardstock cut in half as my base, so it just makes more sense to make 2 cards at once.


Once the Dimensional Magic dries it is clear.  I took the next photo so you could see how it gives some shine and a nice rounded shape to the ornament.


For the base of the card I used a light blue cardstock that I cut in half, and then folded each half in half.


When I placed the snowman image on top of the base there was a lot of empty space at the bottom, and I did not know what to fill it with so I decided to trim off an inch of the base and make the card more square.


Then I layered the snowman image on top of some colored corrugated paper.  This added some nice color and another layer of dimension to the card.


Even though there were several steps to this card, it really did not take that long to make.  Since I was cutting everything to make multiple cards that really helped to speed things up.  





Friday, November 20, 2015

Making Money with Cricut

Do you own a blog or website?

Do you like the products from Cricut?

Do you like to make money?

If you answered yes to the questions above then I have a deal for you.  You can sign up for the Cricut affiliate program now and start to earn money this holiday season promoting their great products and Black Friday deals!




You can earn 12% base commission and it is so easy to do.  I do it.  Just follow this link to Join the Cricut Affiliate Program and then pick one of the buttons or banners to display on your blog or website.  Each time that someone clicks on that button and makes a purchase, you make a commission . . . it is that easy!

When you make a project using your Cricut you can add the affiliate links to the information in your post to encourage others to go and purchase the products . . . and then you make money!  Really . . . it is that easy.

Sign up now to Join the Cricut Affiliate Program!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

EARLY Black Friday Deals from Cricut!

If you want to avoid the mad rush and just sleep in on Black Friday, then I have the deal for you!  Purchase your Cricut Black Friday deals NOW!  Just click on the link below

Get Early Black Friday Sales at Cricut!

Happy crafting!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Life

Just a random post about life today.  I am working on cleaning and organizing the home office, which is WAY over due!  We moved into this house a little over a year ago, and we painted this room a warm latte color That bright yellow the former owner had HAD to go!  It looked like Big Bird was in this room.  We went shopping and got new desks and my husband set up the computers . . . yes, we each have our own desks and our own computers.  I found some nice curtains for the room and I thought "we are going to have a nice office put together in no time!"

Well, that is where everything came to a screeching halt.

Some of it was due to the fact that I ended up having a hysterectomy in the spring of 2015 to remove the Essure birth control that I had implanted in 2008.  Some of that was because I had taken on more at my job, and I was trying to prove myself to leadership that I should be someone that moves up in the team.  I wanted to help find solutions, instead of just accepting that this is the way things were.

Then when time became available to work on things around the house, I was kind of "waiting" for the rest of my family to want to be a part of this process.  I mean really, who wants to organize a house by themselves?  And, if I am the only one that does it then no one else is invested in the project, and I will spend a TON of time and energy organizing everything just to have everyone else mess it up again.  (Wow . . . just realized THIS statement fits for work and another situation that has been bugging me too)  Seems like I get asked to organize/run things, but then later told I am being bossy . . . well, no one else even wanted to do the task I am doing!


Okay . . . back to why I started this whole post

So I am in the office organizing and I have the tunes cranked up on the computer and Shania Twain - Black Eyes comes on.  I love this song, so I turn it up even louder.  As I am rocking out to this song I am going through old paperwork from projects and business ideas that did not work out, old resumes were in this pile, and the words to the song started to take on another meaning to me . . . instead of an abusive relationship, think about that whole song in the form of anything in your life that might be called a failure . . . a job, project, presentation, anything really.  We are told to dream big and take changes, but then sometimes when you do it does not work out and it is much like a bad relationship that you just want to get out of.  Sometimes we beat ourselves up . . . sometimes we feel like we were others "threw punches" at us or knocked us down to our knees.  If we stay there and do nothing, we are allowing it to happen.  If we stand up to the obstacles and roadblocks we are saying "I won't live where things are so out of whack.  I'd rather die standing than live on my knees."



So I took things to the "next level" in the office.  I took down the old computer that has been sitting on MY DESK for a year now.  This is the computer that my husband has been saying that he needed to get some stuff off of before we can get rid of it.  Okay, well TODAY it comes off of MY DESK!  I put paperwork of his or my daughter's that has "landed" on my desk at their spots where we eat dinner.

This whole time the thoughts about how I knew my husband would come home and be pissed that there was stuff on his desk now, and the computer was in the storage area, but you know what . . . I HAVE LEADERSHIP SKILLS!  I AM TAKING CHARGE!

This all was going around in my head and I just HAD to write it down and get it out.

Well, guess what happened?  My husband came home, observed all of this and FINALLY took care of another task I have been asking to have done for a year now, which was actually something we talked about before I started in on the office, and was the next task on my "to do list".  It was going to be one of those "you have not done it, so I will, but I know you won't like the way I am doing it, so then you will come in and do it yourself . . . which is all I wanted in the first place"

So . . . sometimes you do have get a little "bossy" for people to know you really mean what you are saying.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

November Mystery Box from Cricut

There is still time to get your Mystery Box from Cricut for November.  Hurry . . . supplies are limited!  Just click on the link below.

Grab the November Mystery Box While Supplies Last!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Cricut Explore Air

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my links.



Want to be able to easily make pretty d├ęcor, personalized gifts, and fun cards for upcoming holidays? Then you need to treat yourself to a Cricut Explore Air™ — Cricut's very popular electronic cutting machine. It's the best DIY crafting tool to be developed since the sewing machine!

The Cricut Explore Air is versatile, easy to use, and allows for very precise cuts. It's also incredibly affordable, especially since Cricut generously discounted the cost by up to $200 on the machine and bundles — just in time for the holiday crafting season!

With the Cricut Explore Air™, you can cut over 60 different types of material, including paper, fabric, plastic and vinyl to name a few. The Explore Air also features Cut Smart™ technology, which allows you to cut a wide range of shapes and sizes with exceptional precision, from ¼" tall up to 11½" wide x 23½" tall.

This Cricut Explore machine is called the Air because it has built-in Bluetooth® capability. This means you can use Cricut’s free iPad app and design anything you want from your iPad, just like you would on your home computer, but with the convenience of being able to take your projects with you anywhere. Then, you can just wirelessly send your project from your iPad to your Explore Air to bring it to life.

While the Cricut Explore Air is impressive on its own, purchasing it with one of Cricut's bundle offerings makes it even more valuable. Each bundle comes with different accessories that allow you to expand your creativity and make your crafting projects even more simple and fun to create. Plus, by purchasing your Explore Air with a bundle, you're able to save a bundle in the process!

Go to Cricut.com and check out the savings Cricut is offering on their Cricut Explore Air™ and bundles today so you can get your very own in time to make this holiday season your most creative one yet!

Create A Critter

Here is a cute little critter I created with the Create A Critter Cricut cartridge.  I made this for my niece's birthday.  I accented the squirrel card with some rhinestone sticker sheets in fall colors.  I actually cut just a portion of the Tie Dye pattern that you can purchase HERE.



Friday, November 6, 2015

Handmade Holidays Blog Hop - 2015

HANDMADE HOLIDAYS hop - HORIZONTAL.jpg



Now let's get to my project!

As I was preparing for this project I knew I wanted to do something with these wine bottles I had, in a red and silver color scheme.  Why wine bottles?  Because this is a craft you can do to give as a gift or if you receive the gift of wine for the holidays, you can create this project with the bottles once you drink the wine.

I also thought it might be fun to do some accent pieces with the foam balls but when I started I did not really know where this project was going to end up.  Sometimes when I craft I need to just gather supplies I think I will use, and then let the project speak to me as it develops.


Supplies gathered:
Empty wine bottles - I specifically used ones where the labels were hard to get off, or that had images etched onto the bottle since those are difficult to use for spay painted wine bottle projects.
Assorted sizes of foam balls
Red and Silver pipe cleaners (you could use a long garland string instead)
Red bead necklaces
Box cutter
Glue


Make sure that your bottles are clean, and remove as much of the label as you can.  If there are metal pieces around the bottle, carefully cut those with a box cutter to remove them.


Put some glue around the top of the wine bottle and wrap the pipe cleaner around the bottle.  I originally was going to use Aleene's Turbo Tacky Glue but I found it was not drying fast enough and I had to hold the pipe cleaner in place until it dried so that it did not pop off of the wine bottle.  Then I remembered I had some Aleene's Quick Dry Fabric Fusion . . . this turned out to be the PERFECT adhesive for this project!  I don't know if it had anything to do with the fact that the fibers on the pipe cleaners were similar to fabric, or just because it dried so much faster, but if you are doing this project I highly recommend the Quick Dry Fabric Fusion.  It will make the whole project go so much faster and easier!


When I had gotten most of the neck of the bottle wrapped my husband came outside (thanks honey for taking some of these photos for me)  I mentioned to him that I originally wanted to do this project with one long garland piece but the Dollar Store I stopped at did not have any.  He asked why I did not just twist the ends of the pipe cleaners together to make my own garland-like strand . . . well, that would have just been too easy . . . why didn't I think of that!

So I sat down and started to twist the whole package of pipe cleaners into a long strand.  Cross two pipe cleaners . . . 


Twist . . . 


Smooth out the overlap so that you don't see where the two pieces join together.


Once the whole package was connected together, this is what I had . . . 


This made wrapping the rest of the bottle SO much easier!  I am not going to show you the finished bottle until the end of this post.  As I would wrap, I would just apply more glue to the bottle in small sections so that the glue would not dry before I finished wrapping the section.

Now . . . what to do with the foam balls.  Let's try wrapping those too!  I had some silver left, so I just stuck one end of the pipe cleaner into the foam ball to start.


Then I started to spiral the pipe cleaner around.  When it got to this point I thought it would have looked really cool if I would have spray painted the foam ball red, or covered it in red tissue paper first and then done a loose spiral like I have in the photo . . . oh well, next time.


Instead I wound the strand tightly, adding glue as I went along to secure it to the foam ball . . but I ran out of silver about half way through, so I twisted on some red to finish things off . . .


Okay, since I have a son who was born in 1993, the ball TOTALLY looked like a Pokemon ball to me, and I could not have that in my holiday display . . . so I did another ball in all red.



For some finishing touches I added some floral picks from the Dollar Store and one strand of beads wrapped loosely around one bottle.  I have a large glass jar at work and I might cover some more of the foam balls to put into that.

Here is the best part . . . well, the best part for me . . . we have a little niche in the wall of our family room.  When we moved into this house just over a year ago I knew I wanted to use it to display something special, and for the past year I have been searching for just the right item for this space.  I think that search may be over.  (sorry for the dark photo coming up next . . . remember, this is in the lower level of my home so the lighting is not great for photography)


I placed one of my favorite Mickey Mouse statues with these wine bottles and it fills the niche in the wall perfectly.  I think Mickey might need a project like this to go with every season.

I hope you enjoyed my project, and it inspired you to create something for your home.  Before you go, we are having a giveaway of over $600 in craft supplies to help you make this holiday handmade.


What an amazing prize package!

 Enter to win using the widget below:

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Make sure to hop to the other blogs to see all of the amazing projects that have been created for this event, and show some love by commenting on their projects.  Check the list of links at the top of the post to see who is next in the line up and Happy Holidays!

#HandmadeHolidays2015

You can find this project on Pinterest by clicking HERE.