Monday, November 29, 2010

And the winner is......




....me!!!
What a wonderful experience it was participating in my first Blog Hop. I met so many wonderful people, and picked up some great ideas/inspiration as we head into this holiday season. Thank you, to all who stopped by at CardMonkey to check out my cards, and my joy in making them.

I am tickled that so many fellow crafters have chosen to "Follow" my blog too! I consider myself the biggest winner here, but ...

I do have blog candy to give away!! Tonight, the random drawing for the Free (Tah-dah!!) custom cozy cover for your Cricut Expression, in a color combo of your choice, embroidered with the name of your choice is........

(drumroll, please)...

JOSIE0602 (Tracy)!!!

Tracy, I will send you an e-mail as soon as I post this to my blog, and hope you will let me know what colors you'd like me to make your cover, etc.


For those who didn't win the blog candy this time, stay tuned ... I'll be offering more covers, and different candy from time to time. 'Tis better to give than receive, right!!? And I have been blessed just by having you here.
OK, for those wanting to see another card, here's a relative quickie that I made recently. Here is a partridge in a pear (??) tree, cut ... if I recall right (which isn't always or even often!) ... with Cricut Christmas Card cartridge. The tree was cut in brown.
To make this interesting with mixed media, I fussy-cut the partridge out of an old gold rib knit fabric, like that found in a recycled holiday sweater. I cut the body of the bird from the ribbing going in the horizontal direction, and the wing was cut and glued over it (fabric glue) in the vertical direction. The delicate antennae was glued in place using gold metallic Stickles.
Have you ever tried mixed media like this -- fabric or something else on your cards? Tell me about it! Or better yet, show me!
Thank you again for all of the Blog Candy participants. Stay tuned!!

Another use for the baker's twine

Thank you to all of CardMonkey's followers -- old and new, gold and silver -- for your very sweet comments about my Gingerbread Slider card posted for my first-ever blog hop, the Christmas Card Blog Hop sponsored by Jennifer at Crafty Card Gallery.


I've read and enjoyed every one of your comments. They're inspirational and keep me going when the Craft Loft (upstairs) gets cold and lonely.


If you're just joining in on the "hop" ... still feeling bloated from too much turkey? ... it's not too late to get in on the fun and have a chance to win that handmade cozy cover for your Cricut Expression. The random drawing will be tonight at 8 p.m. EST, so be sure to leave a comment, etc. .... follow the directions on the blog hop post, two down from here ... to get your chance(s) to win.


And for those who requested baker's twine, your 5-yard freebie is packaged up and in the mail. If you'd still like to get in on this gift (Merry Christmas!!), just send me an e-mail at cardmonkey@comcast.net with your name and address. I still have plenty more, in case you want to try it on today's featured card.


OK, on to the card: The image (candy cane) on this card came from the Make The Cut User Gallery, an SVG-file that was downloaded. I like the simplicity of it. If you don't use or have MTC and want to locate a candy cane in one of your Cricut cartridges, but don't know where to start looking for it, go to Cricut Search. (That's a clickable link to Shawn's great site at http://www.cricutsearch.com/.) If you lose that link, go to the blinkie I put on the sidebar. Cricut Search is an invaluable tool for those of us with a bunch of cartridges and little patience or time to scroll through the books. More on that later!


I wrapped the cut candy cane in baker's twine to give it that peppermint feel, and topped it with a green bow. How cute is that? And easy-peasy too! The sentiment is cut from Cricut's Joy of the Season cartridge.


A little sidenote on Cricut Search, with a shout-out to Shawn and her team with compliments for their hard work. Yesterday, I was working and demo'ing my Cricut at my new retail store (http://www.263marketplace.com/) in Warminster, PA. My Gypsy was giving me headaches, though I brought a few cartridges with me -- but just the cartridges, no overlays, no books. The Cricut Search feature on my laptop enabled me to scroll through to the cartridge I was using and to have the book electronically, and to see all the images.

Incidentally, at the Marketplace, I'm selling my cards and corner bookmarks -- but believe me, I'd have to sell an awful lot of them to make the rent. No wonder Hallmark stores have tens of thousands of cards!! I'm also selling off part of my collection of Byers Choice Carolers (see their website by clicking HERE) at half of retail, and far less than these babies are worth on the collectible market. All of the ones I am selling are retired and valuable, at only $40 each. If you're a collector or just want one or two to start, contact me!

Also, I've teamed up at my retail store with a terrific scrapper named Chris Webb. Chris owns/operates ScrapConcepts, which sells and has FREEBIES for printable embellishments and digital scrapbooking. Chris is adding a "Craft Fair" part of her site where interested cardmakers can sell their wares without the fees of other online sites. Click on Chris's link above for more info.


But I digress! More on Shawn at Cricut Search ... Shawn tells me that she is adding a position locator for each page ... that would be really helpful, because it was a guessing game for me without the overlay. Some of Cricut's newer cartridges (see Car Decal, as an example) highlight the button position in red on each page. I'm pretty sure Shawn told me that she will have a numbering system. THANKS Shawn for putting in this work for us!!


Another shout out ... Right now, I have all of my cartridges stored in a not-so-portable drawer-bin system, arranged alphabetically, with their books and overlays in shoeboxes below. It worked when I wasn't hauling them to/from the shop which is just open on weekends (Fri, Sat, Sun). I'm now going to get myself at least one -- probably two -- Scrap'NTotes for those times (the shop, and crops) when I want to bring all my cartridges. Thank you to Marlo Letterle for her insight in developing this system (see blinkie at right for more info on that). It's on my Christmas wish list!!

OK, back to bed ... for those who know me, I have just two more days at my old day-job before having the rest of the week off, and starting the new day-job on Monday 12/6. I am hoping to spend this week cradling my new grandbaby -- my first! -- if only she would make her entrance to the world. She's too warm and cozy in Baby Mama, I think. Hurry up, Charlotte!!

In the meantime, more time for cardmaking!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas Card Blog Hop Continues Today!

Good Sunday morning, Friends!

Are you totally exhausted yet from all that Christmas Card Blog Hopping that started yesterday?

Many thanks to Jennifer at Crafty Card Gallery for arranging the hop with more than 30 card makers. It has been so much fun to see what others are making -- it's inspirational to us all!

I totally appreciate all of the warm comments left on yesterday's official post for the Blog Hop ... and I'm delighted to have gained a few "followers" as a result. More than 50 of you have sent e-mails asking for the directions on how to make slider cards, so I have created a "page" here on the blog with those directions. Go up to the top of the right hand column and you'll see "Requested Tutorials" and find the Slider Cards "toot".

The Hop continues today, so scroll down one more message to see the post and the opportunity to win Blog Candy! Yes, a free custom-made cover for your Cricut Expression! The random drawing for that will be on Monday night, so hurry and post your comments.

As a special bonus to all of you gingerbread fans, today I am posting an adorable gingerbread man card made by my darling daughter Emily (still pregnant with my first grandbaby, due momentarily!). Emily used the Cricut "Stretch Your Imagination" cartridge for this gingerbread man, hand-faux stitched using white pen, and stamped the sentiment using a stamp found in the dollar bin at Michael's. She sewed/tied on baby buttons for the embellies using red/white baker's twine. Cute!!

Don't have baker's twine? Leave me a comment here and send me an e-mail with your snail-mail address to cardmonkey@comcast.net and I will send you 5 yards of it totally free! (Ok, if you want to send me a buck back for postage, that would help, but it's not necessary!) Just my way of saying "thanks" for following along and joining in this crazy world of papercrafting. (Note to my best friend, Star, who follows this blog: I'll get your baker's twine out ASAP!!!)

If you haven't yet hopped, please continue to read on and get in on the holiday fun! Make it a wonderful day!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Christmas Card Blog Hop

Today, just in time to be featured on the Christmas Card Blog Hop, I've finished an ambitious Christmas card and all of its instructions. So pull up a chair and I'll show you a great little slider card where you can put a greeting or a recipe (as I did) or even a gift ($$) card. Use your imagination!



Don't miss the info on CardMonkey's special blog candy for today's hoppers! Scroll down!!


Here is the basic recipe for this slider card:

Solid cardstock (heavyweight) cut to 8.5"wide x 7.5"high. Shown here in red


Solid contrasting cardstock (mid-to-heavyweight) cut to 3.75"wide x 6.5"high. Shown here in cream



Patterned holiday paper (light-to-mid weight) cut to 3.5"wide x 6"high. Shown here with holly leaves

Gingerbread men/ladies: One large, 3 medium. I cut the large one shown here using an old Sizzix die. I cut the medium ones shown here using a QuikCutz man/lady set (2x2).


Other items to embellish your card and gingerbread men/ladies. I used rick-rack at the bottom, which I embellished with gold Stickles. The large gingerbread man is holding a sign made using a Whiff of Joy stamp/die set, a toothpick and a bead to cap the toothpick. He is also decorated using a Martha Stewart holly punch, pink dots punched with a regular hole punch and dotted with pink Stickles; black pearls for his eyes; and a bow.

I created the "Gingerbread Greetings" banner using Adobe Illustrator software on my computer; I colored it with Copic markers.

On the slider insert, I placed a recipe for Gingerbread cookies.


If you would like specific instructions on how to make this slider card, just leave a comment and let me know ... I don't want to get overly detailed here during the hop. But if you want an illustrated guide including score lines, how to make the gingerbread man slide, etc., I'd be happy to post instructions on another post off-hop. Be sure to check back in ... or send an e-mail to me at cardmonkey@comcast.net. (Update on Saturday night! After more than 50 requests for them, I've posted the complete instructions here on the blogsite, on a separate page marked: "Requested Tutorials: Slider Cards." Go back to the home page, and look at the right hand column, top, and click on the new page.)


Special CHRISTMAS CARD BLOG HOP candy is being offered by CardMonkey as your reward for staying out of the mall, and joining us today!


Here's what you can win: Your very own custom-made Koozie Cover for your Cricut Expression!! Yes, yes, yes! CardMonkey will venture over to her sewing machine and make for one lucky winner a dustcover for your Expression, made in the complementing color of your choice, embroidered with the name of your choice! Keep it or give it away to your favorite Cricuteer ... makes a terrific, custom Christmas gift!


How to win:


1. "Follow" this blog for one chance to win.


2. Add a comment to this post for a second chance to win. Please let me know you're a follower in your post so I know you joined in. We all like affirmation, so let me know what you think of this card.



3. Link to the CardMonkey blog in your website or blog for a third chance to win, and let me know about it.



Okay, now on to the hop!! Here is your next stop in the hop (click the name):



Lezlye


If you've happened upon CardMonkey randomly and haven't started at the top, here's the official entrance ... go to:


Crafty Card Gallery


If you're hopping around, here are the other participants with links to their blogs in case you've gotten lost along the way. There are some of my very favorite bloggers included, so you're bound to enjoy!


Shawn (YAY, for CricutSearch.com!!)


Courtney


Martha



Carley


Meighen


Giselle


Lisa


Kinder Stampo


Kelly


Sandy


Laura


Nicollette


Lisa


Jessica Lynn


Miss Adri


Debbie


Jan


Joanne


Sandy


Melanie


Vicki


Jamie


Courtney


Sharon


Holly


Holley


Shelley


Paula


Susan


Shelley


Shelly



Friday, November 26, 2010

Snow Globe Santa


Good early morning, shoppers!

Were you one of the Christmas shoppers who wait for "Black Friday" for deals to do your Christmas shopping? Or were you one who spends the day decorating for the most festive holiday of the year?

Or, like many of us, were you in your craft room finishing up your handmade Christmas cards to get them in the mail soon?

Well, I would like to be one of those who lay on the couch all day suffering the ill-effects of too much turkey, stuffing and desserts (yes, plural!), but I will be out at the 263 Marketplace in Warminster, hawking my wares. I am not currently selling my cards, as I've come to the realization that I'd have to sell a LOT of cards to pay the very reasonable rent. Instead, I am selling off a good bit of my collection of Byers' Choice Carolers. And they have been moving! YAY!! Share the love!

....and I've been spending "spare" time just making cards for the pure pleasure of it.

Here is one (above) that is one of my favorites. It features a "snow globe" that I made by printing a vintage-looking image of Santa, using my inkjet printer, and mounting it under a cardboard ring. I then took some superfine glitter mixed with anti-static powder -- about a 1/2 teaspoon in total -- put that on top of Santa and covered it with a piece of acetate cut to fit over the cardboard ring. I added another cardboard ring on top of the acetate for extra stability, and covered it with a red cardstock "medallion" cut using the Cricut Cake Basics cartridge.

I made my own paper ("I Believe") on my printer. I mounted it on more red cardstock, and embellished it with a strip of velvet ribbon.

I really like how this card came out, and hope you do too. Whatever the day brings to you, may you find peace and happiness!

p.s. -- The baby countdown continues! We're still awaiting the arrival of our first grandbaby, a girl her parents plan to name Charlotte Grace. The sweet bundle is not "due" until December 2, but her mom and dad -- and GramE and Poppie too! -- are SOOOOOOOOoooooo ready!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Using transfer tape


Good morning, Fellow All-Things-Paper-Fans!


This morning, I will show an intricate cut where the placement of the letters was made possible only with transfer tape.
I use many different programs for my paper cutting ... and am very bad about writing down which one I've used to make a card. I think I got this design in the Make-The-Cut gallery.

The swirly letters forming the Christmas tree are beautiful, don't you think?


But the cut is so intricate that the lift-and-paste would take forever, if it was not for transfer tape. Most of the time, this "repositionable" (easy release) wide tape is used to assist in the placement of vinyl letters on a wall. I bought a 5" wide huge roll of it from the Provo Craft display at a recent Creating Keepsakes Convention.


To use this tape, first cut your design. I then remove the off-cuts -- that is, the paper surrounding the cut design. Then, carefully lay the tape over your words or design while it is still on your Cricut mat. Burnish/rub the tape so that the letters will adhere to the tape. Gently lift the tape (with the letters or design affixed) and turn the tape over, adhesive side up.


Now, apply glue to the underbelly of your design, but not to the tape.
Next, affix the design to the cardstock you are using. For my card, I cut the design from a soft green, and affixed it to an opalescent cardstock. Let the image dry! Come back later, and remove the transfer tape. Voila! Don't be tempted to try to remove the tape before the adhesive is dry -- be patient! (This is always the hardest part for me!) Later, embellish your art as you wish. I used red gemstones.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Operation Write Home Challenge

'Tis the Season ... for love!

Well, while it seems everyone else is busy making Thanksgiving cards, I have been making Valentine's Day cards. Why? I have joined the volunteer movement at "Operation Write Home". This fantastic nonprofit group provides handmade cards to soldiers overseas, so they can in turn send them home to loved ones for the holidays.

One of the most popular holidays, when our brave men and women protecting our country want to remember home-and-heart is Valentine's Day. The deadline for submitting Valentine's Day cards is January 7. So I am hoping to put together a community crop to get assistance in making the cards to meet my personal goal of 500 cards.

This is just one of the Valentine's Day cards I've made. The card is layered -- lavendar base, silver matte, lavender on top. Adorned with a heart cut from a Cricut cartridge ("Sweethearts", I think) and then an oversized "love" cut from another. The center heart is Stickled -- allowable on cards for the soldiers. (No glitter is allowed as it may fall off onto a soldier's uniform and catch the light at night -- potentially hazardous when at war.)

If you'd like to join the cause and contribute Valentine's Day cards, you may either send your cards to me for inclusion in my challenge, or you may send them to OWH directly. See their website for more info (click this link). THANKS!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Embroidered baby apparel

Well, these aren't exactly cards ... but they send greetings and spirit, nonetheless.

Here are two of the baby items I recently embroidered for the
grandchildren born in the family of my next-door neighbor.

Aren't they just cute!? After I purchased these clothes, I learned how to make them with a quick dyeing method -- using spray-on dyes! I'm anxious to try this, like I need one more hobby!


Not to worry ... back to cards tomorrow! Have a good Monday.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Unconventional way to use a punch

Good morning Fellow Papercrafters!

This morning I will show you a card I made where I unconventionally used a Martha Stewart Around-the-Page paper punch to build a holiday wreath.

Here, I took the "Laurel" corner punch I won as part of the full set (thank you Diane Campbell Payne @ Capadia Designs, and the good folks at Martha Stewart Living!).

Using only the corner punch, I punched out approximately 50 "corners" from which I trimmed the bases into rounded images, leaving the Laurel leaves intact. Then I laid a circle of paper adhesives in a wreath sized circle on white cardstock, and glued down the corner-punch pieces to form the wreath.

I punched two small holes, using my Crop-A-Dile, for a place to tie the ribbon bow. Then I further embellished the wreath with a few gold pearls I had on hand, and stamped the greeting inside the wreath. The stamp is from a holiday set I recently purchased from Whiff of Joy, in Switzerland. Isn't the internet a wonderful thing, connecting all of us around the world through a common interest?

I cut the white cardstock to size, in this case, to fit onto a 6x6" card. I rounded the corners, and layered the white stock onto an accent red cardstock.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Birthday Greetings

Hello Fellow Cricuteers!


You may have noticed in my prior posts, I haven't made many birthday cards. I don't know why that is -- perhaps I am just caught up in the seasonal moment that I forget that I use more cards for birthdays than anything else.



For this image, I cut the shaped card using white cardstock and my new Cricut Christmas Cards cartridge. This leaves a frame opening. The clown image -- fussy cut and layered with popdots -- is from ClickArt Online. His (her?) balls being juggled are enhanced with gems, and the text below was fussy cut from a paper image.



Cute, quick and jolly!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thanksgiving Time Design



Hello friends and fellow paper enthusiasts!


Fairly soon, our refrigerators will be more stuffed than a turkey at Thanksgiving! All that work and preparation will be (swoosh!) eaten in far less time than it took to make the meal.

Are you getting ready for the T'day too?


Here is a cute paper wrapper for a wine bottle .. perfect for a hostess gift. I used the "Thanksgiving" cricut cartridge, and wraped twine around the bottle. I affixed a beautiful charm from Mark's Fine Papers.
Here's a close-up of the charm.




Long Time, No See!

Hello, Friends and Followers! Gosh, I didn't realize how long it's been since I last posted on my blog. Let me catch you up...