Tuesday, July 10, 2012

"Enjoy the Moments" Blog Hop featuring Above Rubies Studios products - July 10

It is my great pleasure to participate in the first "Enjoy the Moments" Blog Hop, held to introduce you to the unique and special products of Above Rubies Studio (ARS).

ARS, owned and operated by the sweetest Megan Elizabeth, first came to my attention for its instructional DVDs. At about the same time I got my first ARS DVD ("Cricut A-to-Z"), I signed up for the site, and now I receive weekly Tuesday Tutorials, and Tips and Tricks on Thursdays. 

I have quite the collection of ENJOYED MOMENTS to share with you here today... Grab a cuppa'Joe, kick back and have fun. And don't miss the BLOG CANDY I'm offering to those who follow/comment (see far below!).


I have to tell you -- I had so much fun working on this challenge that I couldn't stop myself!  Megan Elizabeth at Above Rubies Studio has so many great products that I wanted to try it all ...

First up.... my ZENTANGLED SVG CUT...

I got re-hooked on ARS when Megan started selling SVGs -- she also sponsors Freebie Fridays! I've collected a few of these freebies in my ARS Library. One of the SVGs available now for sale at ARS is the beautiful butterfly I used for this project. (The SVG is just the outline of the butterfly.)

Using my Silhouette Cameo, I cut the SVG using plain ivory cardstock.  Then, I went crazy with a black pen and a technique called Zentangling, which is a meditative form of doodling. Zentangles are typically in black and white (says Certified Zentanglers -- who knew?!), but I
love coloring mine with Copic markers.

So that's my first project for today, Enjoying the Moments, with a cool beverage through a straw made beautiful with an SVG from Above Rubies Studio and enhanced by me ...  What do you think?

Truth be told, after I finished my SVG project for this post, I received my order of PAPER LAYERZ from Megan Elizabeth. I wasn't really sure about Paper Layerz, as I'm a pretty good paper piecer. But this unique paper makes piecing fun, simple and less time-consuming.

The concept for PAPER LAYERZ is nifty -- 9 coordinated colors have been expertly selected and appear in 4" blocks together on one page. The sheet is double-sided, with a single complementing color on the reverse of the 9 color blocks.  Let me show you....

Select your paper from the stack ... lay it on your mat ... decide what layers you want to cut from where. To cut (I used ProvoCraft Cricut's "Create A Critter" cartridge), I used the blade arrows on my Cricut Expression  to move my blade housing to go each "start corner" and cut each image from the appropriate color block. This saved a lot of mat load, cut, unload, reload time!  In image #1 (far left), you see the whole stack; in image #2 is the paper I chose, affixed to my Cricut mat. Image #3 (center) shows the remaining paper after I cut the images I wanted and lifted the off-cuts from the mat. Image #4 shows the cuts left on the mat, and also shows that my first try here wasn't 100% successful ... my larger alligator's tail ran off the color block (I later paper-pieced it to fix), and two of my reindeer I accidentally cut too small.  In Image #5 (far right), you'll see my finished cuts, pieced and ready to use!

I think one of the very clear advantages to using Megan Elizabeth's PAPER LAYERZ is that you can keep all of your paper pieces together on the mat while working on assembly. With other papers, you have to remove your cuts from the mat to switch to the next color. Thus, you risk losing those itty-bitty little pieces of a cut, e.g., the reindeer's nose.  With PAPER LAYERZ, I kept the first layer (base, shown in Image #1 (far left, here) on the mat and applied my glue directly onto the cut while it was on the mat.  Then I layered the second cut (Image #2) and the third (brown) layer (not shown). Next -- and again, my initial Layer #1 has never left the mat -- I adhered the itty-bitty nose and scarf. At far right (Image #5), you see the reindeer cut used on my Christmas card.  Can you say Caaaa-ute?! 
Now, if you're anything like me, you HATE the notion of wasting even the smallest amount of designer paper!  For instance, it unnerved me that I didn't think of something to cut with that left'/center salmon color paper.  Here's a question for you -- What's the smallest bit of paper you'll save for reuse?  For me, I must say, I use practically all of it.  I trimmed down the leftover scraps into squares and rectangles and then I punched (circles, snowflakes, flowers) the smaller pieces. I wasn't really sure what I was going to do with these scraps until I decided to challenge myself to only use ONE piece of Megan Elizabeth PAPER LAYERZ for as many projects as I could muster.  By the time I was said and done, the scraps (Image #2) had been used up to the point that the leftovers (Image #3 here) were the tiniest amount for the recycling can. And even still, I'm thinking about retrieving those colorful scraps from the trash can and mulching them up in my paper shredder to use as padding in things I mail ... am I completely nuts!
The first card (Image #1, left) I made incorporated the square-and-rectangle cuts that were the largest. I arranged them in a mosaic pattern. Again, from scraps, I punched leaves and built a tree branch for the birdie to sit upon. This bluebird has a little movement, courtesy of the Action Wobble on which she sits.    The second card used the smaller bits that had been punched into circles  For the third card (Image #3, right), I punched Snowflakes and "snow flowers" out of the smallest bits of paper I hoarded. The sentiments here on all three cards are computer-generated and printed. Which is your favorite card and why?
 Here are each of the cards, close-up:


Believe it or not, I made all three cards (including their embellishments) with just one sheet of designer MEGAN ELIZABETH PAPER LAYERZ(12x12"), 3 blank cards, and one sheet of plain white cardstock for the sentiments.

I hope you'll try Paper Layerz and that you find it just as easy and FUN to work with.  AND HERE'S YOUR OPPORTUNITY:

BLOG CANDY!!!  Just for YOU, I bought an extra pack of 24 sheets of Paper Layerz from Megan Elizabeth, and I'm offering it up for grabs to a randomly chosen person who follows these three steps:

1. Follow my CardMonkey blog (you're here!) by any method, and just let me know which way you do...

2. Leave me a comment on this post (yup, you're still here!) that includes a way to contact you, AND answers...

3. ...one of the three red/bolded questions in the photo captions above. No need to answer all three (but you can if you want!), just pick one...

Thank you for sticking with me on this long post ...

Once you're done here, hop on over to your next blog stop at the fabulous JEN.  When you're all said and done hopping, BE SURE to go over to see all the fabulousness that Megan Elizabeth has in store for you at Above Rubies Studio!

Here is the entire blog line-up:

Shawn: http://craftychicsblog.blogspot.com/
Ellen:   http://www.cardmonkeyspaperjungle.com/
Jen:     http://www.javajencreations.blogspot.com/
Cheri:  http://www.djssundries.blogspot.com/

Paulette: http://scrapalette.blogspot.com/
Court:  http://www.courtscraftcorner.com/
Cara:   http://caramiller.com/
Britten: http://www.twoatatimedesign.com/

... and finish off by going to see all the new wonderful crafty stuff at Above Rubies Studio @
Megan Elizabeth: http://aboverubiesstudio.com/

Wait ... before you buy ... did you see that I'm now an Above Rubies Studio Affiliate?  Click on the ARS link at my sidebar to be taken to shop. When you do, I'll get a small commission for the referral, and it will keep me in paper for another day, YAY!

DeFiaNtLy DiFfeReNt & CreAtiVeLy Yours,


Jennifer McLean said...

Hi sweertie,
How's the foot?? I thought I'd enter on the off chance, luck likes me... I'm obvously a follower (GFC and Linky), you know how to find me ;o) and I like the Christmas card because Christmas is my THING. It's my fave time of year and I love how everyone is a little nicer for a while.
Hugs my friend,

Tina Campbell said...

I love the Merry Everything card! Just for the sentiment, but I like the bird card to with all the bright colors. TFS-I have this paper and need to dig it out and give a try. For cuts is looks like the perfect piecing paper.

Cheri said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shawn Mosch said...

Sistah, you take the cake! I cannot believe you made all of those from ONE SHEET of paper!!!! Oh, and if you are crazy for saving the scraps of paper, then I am crazy too. I will save scraps that are about an inch . . . they work for a patchwork background like you did on your bird card.

I think I like the bird card the best, but I do have a bunch of circles (scraps from other projects) that I could used like you did on the alligator card.

Love ya!

Shawn ~ Above Rubies Studio Affiliate Program Success Coach
Crafty Chics Blog
MyCutSearch.com ~ Find your Cricut images FAST!
Webmasters Earn Money Here!


Super cute cards!! My favourite wuld have to be the first one(bird) I love the color blocking in it very cool!! I am already a follower!!
sierrababy08 at hotmail dot com

Unknown said...

I started following you using bloglovin.

Unknown said...

I love the alligator card. The googly eyes are too adorable!

Unknown said...

Thank you for showing us how to use Paper Layerz. So AWESOME!

Unknown said...

Oops! Contact me at Pooh.Fanatic@gmail.com. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Wow what a fantastic post! I love your brillant and detailed explaination of Paper Layerz! Words really don't do enough to describe how fabulous this paper really and truly is...and did you know that Megan INVENTED this idea of putting those squares on one sheet to make die cutting SOOOO much easier!!

I really love how you posted the pics of your cute cards in the little colored boxes. You gotta show me how to do that!

Jen said...

Awesome creations, Ellen! I too am a scrap saver -- 2" x 2" is about as small as I save them.

marg0006 said...

Like the Christmas card because the embossing and sentiment are perfect.

marg0006 at verizon dot net
Loving Scrapper101

Ladybug said...

I love all three of your cards but if I had to pick JUST one, becuz my life depended on it (LOL), it would have to be the li'l reindeer. He's just tooooo stinkin' cute!! :-)

About the smallest piece of paper I save --- 2" x 2". Yeppers! Just never know when you might need to punch out something! :-)

And. . . if you're "nuts" (pecan- wise), then I'm a coconut!!! LOL

I'm a lonnnnnng time follower!! :-)

Thanks for a chance to win your blog candy!! :-)

Stacey said...

LOVE love love everything you created!!! And yes, you may be a little nuts....but you are among good company in the mixed nut bowl :)

shalbgewachs at sbcglobal dot net

Anonymous said...

So cute!! My favorite is the holiday card....I love anything with snowflakes. I try to save any pieces over playing card size... but sometimes smaller if I can see a purpose or really love the paper and can't bear to let go of it... I am impressed with all you did with one sheet of paper. Very inspiring! Oh, I am following you on Pinterest. Thanks, Jennifer Martin

lindave said...

I came from my cut search site, as part of the blog hop my email is lindareynolds952@comcast.net I like the reindeer card.

D- said...

First of all I hate to throw away any paper scrap (I guess that is why I have 3-12x12 Iris scrapbook holders full of scraps. I've been trying to do better and recycle anything that is 1x2-3 in.
Nuts? You? No way. I have my recycle bin right under my table and am constantly digging thru there to find that tiny piece I need.
My fav card is the bird one. I love the patchwork and that you cut and pieced him and the leaves with the design paper.
I am an email follower and you can find me at...
dmcardmaker at aol.com

Java Jen's Creations said...

First of all, I have to tell you that you knocked this one out of the park!!! Your explanation of Paper Layerz is outstanding!!!! I'm so glad you did that because I think that will help so many people make the decision to purchase this awesome paper! I have been a follower of your awesome blog for quite some time - if I HAD to choose a favorite card, it would be the adorable little reindeer!! Too cute!! Thanks for sharing such a rockin' post!!
javajen1 at hotmail dot com

Unknown said...

I am new to your site and a fairly new blogger, been scrapping for a while, my new GOD sent friend turnt me on to alot of things and I must say I have been HOOKED... I am now following you...I will return more than often.. I love the birdie card, because it has to do with nature, nature is a way to brighten any one up, and plus the little birdie is so CUTE!!!!! Awesome work
awashingtontx34 at gmail dot com

Tina said...

Hi, I am a new follower by email. The birdie card is my favorite though it was hard to choose! Thanks for the chance to win.


Janet said...

I really like all the cards you make and I just signed up for emails from you. I save most paper scraps too! Great explanations and I LOVE the paper layerz! God bless!

Marissa said...

I follow you by email, and my favorite card has got to be the reindeer. He is SO stinkin' cute!

rissaflor atyahoo dotcom

Cheri said...

I am a new follower. My favorite card is the bird one. I really like the quilted effect of the card. Super job!

DJ's Sundries

Lynn Mercurio said...

Wow, Ellen, this is quite a post with so many wonderful creations and great instructions. Looks like you had a fabulous time and your projects show it!

Anonymous said...

Having such type of incredible blogs provoking the people to come and visit this site and comment. Thanks for allPaper Shredder site

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