Monday, January 31, 2011

Fairy Cut Winner Announced!

Congratulations to NIKKI T at!  She was picked at random by Fairy Cut administrators to receive the free software license awarded to one of my followers.  Nikki, you should have received an e-mail directly from the manufacturer with your license number and authorization code.  We're looking forward to seeing what you cut with it!  Please share your new cuts with us.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Getting ready for some football!

Hello, fans and followers!

I've been spending time learning the new Fairy Cut software and also working on a special post for next weekend's "Feel The Love" Blog Hop hosted by Jaime at Glitter Stamps and Paper Oh My! My project's a surprise, wait 'til you see ... check back next weekend!
In the meantime, I want you to see what I made yesterday using Fairy Cut software, easy-peasy, in preparation for next weekend's Super Bowl.
I Google-searched the team logos for the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers, and saved the .jpg files I found. Next,using Fairy Cut, I created a new file for each of the team's logos and then in minutes, separated the colors/items, rasterized and cut the elements. I ran each element through my Kyron sticker maker for quick/easy adhesion. In very little time, I had six each of the logos you see here -- each is about 4" wide.
I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to do with these yet. I may laminate them to use as coasters during the game; I may enclose them in a party invitation; or, I may make a banner or some sort of table decoration with them.
What are your ideas? Have you any craft cut for the Super Bowl?
Don't forget: 1. Enter your comment to the NEXT post, introducing Fairy Cut, for a chance to win a free Fairy Cut license, a $99 value.
2. Next Friday (2/4/11) starts CardMonkey's Fairy Cut Fridays. On these days, I'll show projects cut using Fairy Cut. Comments made on Fairy Cut Fridays will be tabulated and every month (until further notice), I'll be giving away another Fairy Cut license to a loyal follower, chosen randomly for the prize. Each month, you can earn up to four chances to win this prize by leaving one comment on every Fairy Cut Friday post.
3. I'm a Blog Stop for the "Feel the Love" Blog Hop 2/5 and 2/6/2011. I'm working on quite a post/project for this event. Look for it, coming soon!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Fantastic Fairy Cut: Expand Your Design and Cutting Capabilities Easily! AND Here is A Chance to WIN the program!

If you have been using a Cricut and have just basic knowledge of your computer (which I assume you do, since you are reading this blog!), you may be ready to venture into the world of creating your own images to cut using your electronic cutting machine.

By using some of the available software products with your Cricut, you are no longer limited to the images only available on cartridges. You won't have to buy any cartridges other than the first one that came with your machine. And once you learn the software, and link your computer by cable to your Cricut instead of (or in addition to) your printer, your scrapbooking cuts are limited only by your imagination and your time.

For about a year or so now, I have been using, first, Sure Cuts A Lot ... and then Make The Cut. Both were relatively simple to use and have pros and cons. NOW I've discovered "Fairy Cut" software designed with Cricut users in mind. I first saw it mentioned on a European scrapbooking website; intrigued, I sent an e-mail to Fairy Cut offering to use it and review it here for you. My e-mail was promptly answered ... wow! ...

I downloaded Fairy Cut, and within 5 minutes I was cutting my first card, and posted it to my Valentine's Day Cards Blog Hop! The cards I am showing here are the cards I made one morning, from scratch to finish -- including learning the software -- in less than 4 hours.

My honest opinion is that FAIRY CUT is the easiest-to-use, intuitive programs of all the Cricut cutting software available on the market today. I've used them all and prefer Fairy Cut.
Fairy Cut is compatible with the Cricut Personal, Cricut Create, and Cricut Expression; it is not yet compatible with Cricut Imagine but (and here's a BIG plus for me), Fairy Cut has incorporated a Print and Cut feature, with and without crop marks, so you can easily use your regular printer and Cricut cutter without having to invest in a Cricut Imagine or its expensive cartridges!

Fairy Cut's program is built on same "platform" as the software used with professional graphic programs like those that run Pazzles Inspiration and Bosscut Studio. It imports .wpc and .pdf images alike. And it has a "freehand" design feature, correction tools, and a library of images that make creating unique images EASILY a snap. REALLY!!

Here's another plus: Fairy Cut's tutorial videos are some of the best out there. You can access them via, or through YouTube (Search: Fairy Cut Software).

On my blog here, I've posted on a separate page my favorite Fairy Cut video; you can find it by going to the top right corner of my blog where it says "Requested Tutorials". The second one down is the YouTube link to the video that shows how to make a card with lattice patterns. Truly very easy to follow.

Another Fantabulous Asset: My NEXT favorite thing that Fairy Cut has done is provided a full PDF version of its training manual. You can download the manual by clicking the Fairy Cut logo at the top of this blogpost. It's 70 pages ... very detailed with lots of illustrations that are very easy to follow. It's a terrific reference tool to this VERY powerful program that allows the inner creative Goddess (or Fairy!) come out in each of us.

And LASTLY ... I always save the best for last! ... Fairy Cut has given me one free software license (a $99 value) to give away to one of my loyal followers!

TO WIN this great blog candy:
1. Submit a comment to this post, answering this question: What image would you most like to cut that you haven't found on a Cricut cartridge?

2. Be or become a follower to this CardMonkey blogsite. I plan on making my FairyCut cards a regular feature on Fridays -- "Fairy Cut Fridays" ... and I hope it will be interesting and intriguing to you. Come along with me while I uncover all of the possibilities in this great new software.

One follower will be chosen at random by Fairy Cut, using, on Monday, January 31, so please leave your comment not later than Sunday 1/30 at midnight Eastern Standard Time. Winner will be announced here and contacted via e-mail to access your License Number and Access Code at Fairy Cut.

THANK YOU to William Rodier at Fairy Cut for making this gift available to one of my followers, and for providing me my copy of the program so I could use and review it for you. Guillaume, j'adore ce logiciel!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Blog Candy Winners Announced!

Winners, winners! We've got winners!!

First, thank you to all who participated in the Valentine's Day Cards Blog Hop. It was the first hop I hosted, and it was such great fun, I'm sure it won't be my last. (If you'd like to be in my next hop in February, please leave a comment here, or e-mail me at

Now, first I'll let you know the results of the poll to determine which of my 16 cards respondents liked the best:

1. Love Tree ... run away winner. And (gasp!) it was the easiest one to make. To make it, I used the "Fairy Cut" Cricut-cutting software that was recently introduced. I will be writing up a review of the software next week and posting to this blog; a commenter to that post will WIN a free copy of the Fairy Cut software license (a $99 value) that was given to me by the manufacturer to award to one of my loyal followers. So stay tuned, you'll not want to miss this one!

Next, allow me to divulge the BIGGEST WINNER here, and that's ME! I earned 34 new followers as a result of this blog, and I've gone to each of those follower's blogs and am now following them as a result, too. Through YOU, I gain so much information and inspiration. THANK YOU for this wonderful community.

NOW for my Blog Candy Winners:
I have a Valentine's Day basket for each of three winners. Each basket contains a new-in-box Cricut cartridge, a DCWV Calendar kit, a package of three large bottles of Stickles, a package of Valentine's-ready glitter paper, and an extra little treat from my stash. What a goodie basket!

The winners, chosen at random, are:
Cindulu2u -
Angela R -
Anna -
I will send each of you lucky winners an e-mail. You have a week to reply by e-mail to me (click the e-mail heart next to your name, above or write to to send me your USPS address and I'll get your gift pack out promptly. Thank you for playing along!
One more winner: I gave those bloggers who served as Hop Stops an extra opportunity to win a special prize: one of CardMonkey's custom-made Cricut Cozy Covers. By random pick, the winner is Shawn Mosch of, and her site Congrats, Shawn! Please send me your USPS address ASAP, and let me know what text you'd like embroidered on your cover.
Again, I sincerely appreciate your participation in the blog hop, either as a "stop" or a hopper. Your comments on my creative work here inspire me to do better things ... your company keeps me warm in the winter chill. Being linked to your blog stimulates new ideas. :-)
....Til next time, stay calm and carry on!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

It's time for a little ♥

Update: The Valentine's Day Cards Blog Hop is now over ... thank you all for joining the 14 fine scrappy ladies volunteered to be your Blog Stops along the way.

If you'd like to revisit any of the hop stops, I will leave up the addresses of our Hop Stops for a little while longer:

1. Ellen (Me!)

2. Shawn (CricutSearch!)

3. Elaine

4. Angie

5. Darlene

6. Taylor

7. Shawnee

8. Nikki

9. Sarah

10. Jaime

11. Sarah

12. Liz

13. Selina

14. Angie

I hope you ♥'d the journey.

Friday, January 21, 2011

UPDATE: Just my 16 ♥ Cards ...

Update: The Valentine's Day Cards Blog Hop is now over, so I'm editing the original post for the sake of brevity. I will leave up all 16 of my cards for you to see, but I'm taking out blog info and editing down the recipes for each card. If you need more info on how to make each, please send me an e-mail at

Cricut cut, printed sentiment.

Cricut "Love Struck" Cartridge
Cricut "Love Struck" Cartridge, Martha Stewart eyelet lace punch

Fairy Cut fontsFairy Cut image from Universal Scrapbook

Fairy Cut tree from Universal Scrapbook, hand-punched hearts

Cricut "Simply Sweet" cartridge

Fairy Cut font, Prima flower, Creative Charms brad
October morning paper

Cricut cartridge

Cricut "Paper Pups" cartridge
Fairy Cuts image from Universal Scrapbook

Fairy Cuts image from Universal Scrapbook

Make The Cuts conversion of an online (free) image

Fairy Cuts image from Universal Scrapbook

Fairy Cuts font with Jolee's stickers embellishments

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sweet eats

I couldn't resist lifting and reposting this wonderful picture, taken from my favorite blog EVER, Capadia Design by Diane Campbell Payne.

If you are not a follower, you MUST join up. Can you believe how luscious these cookies are -- and Diane writes that she made them using a Cricut cartridge?! I am clueless as to which one, so I'll be watching for her answer!

In the meantime, let these cookies remind you that this weekend will be our Valentine's Day Cards Blog Hop. Scroll down to older posts for more info, or click on the cute cupid picture in the top right of this blog. Looking forward to seeing you back then, starting on Saturday at 7 a.m.!

And when you're not blog hopping, MAKE COOKIES!!!!

Monday, January 3, 2011


CardMonkey is pleased to announce the following blog candy winners, chosen randomly at the close of the New Year THANK YOU CARD blog hop. Winners, you should have received an e-mail from me. Please respond with your full name, mailing address, etc.

BLOG CANDY #1 - One dozen handmade brads was won by KIM at

BLOG CANDY #2 - Super box of embellishments, a grab bag goes to JESSIE at goodjessie.

BLOG CANDY #3 - Handmade flowers were won by Elaine at

BLOG CANDY #4 - Cricut cartridge ZOOBALLOO goes to Jennifer at partridgelu at

BLOG CANDY #5 - a package of four mini-embossing folders as well as one standard A2 Cuttlebug embossing folder goes to SillyP at cornerstone cs dot net.

BLOG CANDY #6 - A full, new set of 36 Bic permanent markers will be sent to Shawnee at s j penkacik at

BLOG CANDY #7 - a Thank you stamp, an embossing "Danke" folder, and cut butterflies are going to Janet at

GRAND POOHBAH OF ALL Blog Candy during this hop....

A HANDMADE, Custom Cricut Cozy was won by BECKY DUNHAM
of Becky, please let me know the colors in which you'd like me to make your cover, and what text you'd like me to embroider on the front.

Winners, congratulations. Please be sure to send me your address ASAP. THANK YOU!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The LAST card of this post...

May as well make it a Lucky 7, ehhhh??!

This will be a quick post (for me!). It's another Simple Simon card -- done with embossing (Cuttlebug) the swirl pattern onto a pre-made card. Then I cut the butterfly and its shadow, using the Cricut Cake Basics cartridge. You'll note that I added antennae -- jewelry wire -- onto which I put Swarovski crystal beads. I dressed up the butterfly by applying Stickles glitter glue (I lovethat stuff!!!) and affixing a computer-generated sentiment.
This card would be easy for me to mass produce, as I usually have a flock of butterflies hanging around my Craft Loft. Whenever I have scraps leftover, I do a quick-cut of a butterfly and I keep them to use on random quick cards whenever needed.
(I know! You'd think I'd cut Monkeys! Or that my blog would be named "CardButterfly" instead of CardMonkey!! Speaking of that ... I just picked up the cutest monkey Cuttlebug die. You'll be seeing that cutie popping up soon!)
BLOG CANDY, Card 7: Additions to your "thank you ensemble" ... you'll be getting a thank you rubber stamp (mounted on wood), the Cuttlebug Thank-You embossing folder, and ... some butterflies!
For more information... how to win the Blog Candy, entries into the Grand Poohbah drawing, and next stops on the hop, please see the next post. Dinner is in the oven, and I'm rushing!!!

CardMonkey's New Year's THANK YOU CARDS Blog Stop Summary ... so far!

Dear New Year's THANK YOU CARDS Blog Hoppers,

You've been very patient with me -- indulgent, even! -- while I unload the many ideas I have for Thank You Cards. So far, I've posted six this weekend, and have offered BLOG CANDY for each of them. In case you haven't been following along, allow me to update. Later today, I may be posting additional cards and candy -- I am having WAY too much fun on this hop! THANK YOU (!!!) for participating!

To see any of these cards better, click it to enlarge the picture.

Card #1, Flower with Printed Stem; Blog Candy - a dozen of CardMonkey's handmade brads for Valentines' Day and Spring/Easter cards.

Card #2, Thank You Times Three; Blog Candy - an embellishment grab-bag. I just put this together from my stash and it is a terrific prize!

Card #3, Floral Frame; Blog Candy - a dozen or more of CardMonkey's handmade paper flowers like the ones shown on this card.

Card #4, Masculine Non-Frilly; Blog Candy - a new, in-box, never used Cricut ZOOBALLOO Cartridge, like the one used to make this card.

Card #5, Simple stamped/embossed; Blog Candy - a set of four mini (2x2) Cuttlebug folders with a diecut in a box, and an extra A2 Cuttlebug folder.

Card #6, Thanks A Bunch; Blog Candy - a new, never used set of 36 permanent markers by Bic in multi-colors, including the green color such as the one used to highlight the front letters shown here.

To win any of the Blog Candy shown here:

1. Post a comment to any of CardMonkey's postings for the New Year's THANK YOU CARDS Blog Hop (this is the fourth, so scroll down if you're looking for instructions on making the cards shown above.) Please indicate which card you're commenting on, and which (if any) blog candy you'd like.

2. Yes, you can post more than one comment. Right now, you can get up to six entries ... and you can be in the drawing for each of the Blog Candies. Please note: To be fair and fun, you can win only one of the blog candies. If you're posting for more than one flavor of candy, you might want to indicate your first preference of candy in case your name is picked more than once. Luck happens, you know!

3. If you've posted comment(s) before, yes, you're already in the drawings. Don't worry, I'm keeping track of all the comments and participants on a spreadsheet. Drawings will be random. All of your comments are sincerely appreciated!! YOU inspire ME!

4. You'll get one extra entry if you either become or if you already are a CardMonkey follower. Please indicate such in your comment. You do not need to be a follower to win ... I only want you if you want me, LOL! ... but it does improve your chances of winning.

5. For each comment you post, you'll have one entry into the Grand Poohbah Blog Candy -- a CardMonkey custom-made Cricut Cozy Cover like the one shown in my original Blog Posting. You pick the colors and words you'd like embroidered; design is mine. A winner of blog candy may also win the Cozy Cover, no fears!

6. Be sure to leave me a way to contact you! I'll do my best to hunt you down, and I will post the winners on Tuesday (drawing is Monday 1/3/11). If I don't catch up with you within 10 days, I'll have to draw another winner.

Continue on with the Hop: Your next stop is to the amazing blog of Miss Adri, at Ma Cherie Creations. There are more than 30 stops along the way (I think I'm the craziest stop along the way, thankfully!!), so if you get lost, please go to the start of the Hop at Jennifer's Crafty Card Gallery. And thank you (!!!) Jennifer for arranging this weekend's fun hop!!

AND FINALLY ... I am arranging an "I ♥ YOU Valentine's Day Blog Hop" for the weekend of January 22-23. If you would like to participate as a Blog Stop -- even if you've never done it before! -- please send me an e-mail at I will be sending out all the particulars as we get closer to the weekend.


Ellen (aka The CardMonkey)

Updated - Now it's DAY 3 on the New Year's THANK YOU CARD Blog Hop!

Good evening, Blog Hoppers! Well, 1/1/11 is done, and so am I. I've been up all day ... went to bed at 3 a.m. after the New Year's Eve celebration with hubby, up at 6:30 a.m. with the dogs. Egads. I want to say that I did succeed in keeping my first New Year's Resolution -- and that is to spend the entire day in my pajamas, something I haven't done (when healthy!) in probably 25 years!

That doesn't mean I was unproductive, oh no (I wish!). In addition to hopping and making cards to share with you, I'm working on cleaning the Craft Loft, shampooed the bedroom rug, cleaned 2 bathrooms and the kitchen top to bottom, did 2 loads of laundry (not that this was going down to the river to beat the clothes on a rock!) ...
So I have just one more card to post for today, and sad to say, it may be my last of this hop, we'll see. But I do have more Blog Candy too, so let's get right to it: A not-so-simple card...
Card #6: Thanks a Bunch

This is a card cut with Cricut's "Walk in My Garden" cartridge. This is a relatively large card -- 6" wide by 5" high, folded. The outside was cut with the sentiment reversed out of the violet background. The inside pops up. The way I made this was to do an "M fold" in the middle of the card, so it forms a gutter where you can stand your flowers or whatever (birthday cake, Christmas tree?).

In this case, I put a row of hyacinth, accented with Martha Stewart glitter inside. The inside sentiment (...a bunch) was set off by a row of glitter at the bottom. (Sometimes, I am just in a glitter mood!) To make this row of glitter nice and straight, I simply put a line of thin double-stick adhesive and pressed fine glitter onto the one side. I learned that if you really want the glitter to stick firmly, put a piece of waxed paper over the glittered tape and run it through your Cuttlebug or other embossing machine.

Now for the Card #6 Blog Candy! To qualify, add a comment (even if you've already posted during the hop before) to say what you like about Card #6 and that you're interested in winning the accompanying Candy. Become a new follower or tell me you're already a follower and you'll get an extra chance at the Grand Prize, the grand poobah of hop-a-paloozah prizes, a custom made Cricut Cozy Cover in your choice of colors and embroidered message.

The Blog Candy for Card #6 is a full set of 36 permanent fine-line markers by Bic, in all the colors of the rainbow and more! Ooooh-ahhhhh! Brand new, never used, in package as shown here.

I hope you all have had fun hopping this weekend, and that you'll stop by from time to time again to see what new stuff I'm cooking up in the Craft Loft. Today, I filmed a Tutorial on making brads with the I-Top that I may be posting soon, and maybe, just maybe I'll break out the Cricut Cake some day in January! oooooh, ahhhh! Do you know you can cut more than fondant with it? You can cut cheese and ham in designs for crudites; pasta or burritos for other nifty munchies; even ceramic slip for tiles or to accent pottery!

ALSO, please note: Blog winners will be picked on Monday, January 3 in the evening. Please comment by 6 p.m. 1/3/11 to be eligible for prizes. Winners will be notified here, and if you've left a method for me to e-mail you, I'll send an e-mail too. Winners have 10 days to send their "snail mail address" or I'll have to pick a new winner. Remember, now 6 different blog candies will be awarded plus one Grand Prize winner will be randomly selected for the Cricut Cozy. Good luck!

Here's the post from earlier today (below) with updates:

Click on any of these pictures to enlarge the image.

Card 1: You Made My Day; Blog Candy: A dozen handmade brads
Card 2: Sweet and Simple; Blog Candy: An embellishment grab-bag
Card 3: With Gratitude Floral; Blog Candy: A dozen handmade flowers
Card 4: Masculine thanks; Blog Candy: Cricut ZOOBALLOO cartridge
Card 5: Simple Swiss Dot; Blog Candy: Cuttlebug embossing folders
Card 6: Thanks a Bunch; Blog Candy: Bic Marker Set of 36 colors

1. You may comment on each card, to get a chance to win that card's candy.

2. With each comment (up to 6 allowed so far), you get one entry into the Grand Prize.

3. You get an extra chance to win the Grand Prize (Custom Made Cricut Cozy ... see my post at the beginning of the hop, "older posts", for a picture of a Cozy I made this weekend) by either becoming a new follower, or stating that you are already a follower.

Day 2, Card #5:

Again, a sweet and simple card ... one my husband may like because it's not too frilly!
To make this card, I stamped the sentiment on a pre-made white A2 card. I punched a hole in a royal blue piece of cardstock to layer over the sentiment. It still looked a little plain to me, so I cut a slightly larger hole in a medium blue cardstock; I ran the medium blue cardstock through my Cuttlebug Swiss Dot folder. A few small rhinestones to underline the sentiment finished it off.

Time for BLOG CANDY! In exchange for your comment on Card #5, you'll receive one entry eligible for the accompanying Blog Candy which is (drumroll, please)

Cuttlebug Folders! I have a darling set of four (2x2") folders in a box, and I'll throw in one standard A2 folder as well. Remember to read the instructions to get additional chances to win the other candy posted for this weekend hop-a-palooza!
Pop the champagne corks, 2011 is going to be a great year!

Don't forget to continue on the weekend's BLOG HOP! Your next stop is at Miss Adri's blog. Click this LINK to be taken there ... and be sure to check back at CardMonkey's site for more thank you cards and an amazing amount of candy!! Pow-Pow-Pow!! {{fireworks}}

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's THANK YOU CARDS Blog Hop - Day 2:New Year's Day!

Check previous post for these cards:

Card 1: You Made My Day; Blog Candy - A dozen handmade brads
Card 2: Sweet and Simple; Blog Candy - An embellishment grab-bag
Card 3: With Gratitude Floral; Blog Candy - A dozen or so handmade flowers

And now....

Hoppers, the message on Day 1 started to get too long and unwieldy to edit, so I hope you don't mind my continuing the fun on this new post.

Officially, it's now DAY 2 of the Hop -- Happy New Year! I hope you all kissed your honey and called your loved ones to wish them the best in 2011.

This is CardMonkey's Card #4 on the Thank You Card Blog Hop. If you missed the previous cards, please do scroll down to see "Older Post". I wouldn't want you missing out on the previous CANDY and inspirational ideas.

This very simple card was in response to my Dear Hubby's reaction to Card #3, the Floral card. "It's nice, but very girly," he said. So I huffed myself back up to the Craft Loft to try to make a Thank You that was masculine.

I'd be remiss if I didn't give a shout out to Cricut Search for help on this card. My Sistah Shawn advised on her post (at Crafty Chic's blog, link HERE) suggested that we hoppers search the term THANK YOU on her site. There, I learned that Cricut's Zooballoo cartridge had this very nifty THANKS image already in card format. Believe it or not, it was the first time I used that cartridge that's been in my collection like forever, and I would never have looked if it wasn't for Cricut Search. So thanks, Shawn!

I loaded my Cricut mat with a 12x12" sheet of navy blue paper, hit "Fit to Page" and the CARD option on the THANKS key, hit CUT and TAH-DAH! How easy-peasy is that?! I lined the card with a sheet of regular yellow paper, and just because I could, I faux-stitched an outline using a white pen.

WIN BLOG CANDY! Okay, if you've been following along, you can look for the picture of the Hershey's Kiss on my blog for the featured BLOG CANDY in exchange for your comment on that Card. SO for Card #4 here, I will send one lucky winner A BRAND NEW, in box, UNUSED Cricut ZOOBALLOO Cartridge, just like I used to make this card!
(Yup, I just won it on eBay just for you! EBay is my favorite spot to purchase Cricut cartridges NIB [new in box] at reasonable prices.)

To win: Post a comment here about Card #4, for one chance to win the matching Blog Candy. If you comment on the other cards (1-3), you'll get an additional chance to win that matching Candy. Become, or let me know you are a follower, and you'll get an additional entry to the GRAND PRIZE (Cozy Cover).

Please continue on the Blog Hop by visiting Miss Adri. (Click name to be taken there.) Enjoy the trip and be sure to check back here at CardMonkey for additional cards and candy posted throughout the weekend!