Saturday, March 31, 2012

Freshly Picked - rose bush

Seriously!?! Why is it the weekend goes by so quickly? So many projects/ideas/slacking off/misc. things to do and the time just flies by.  ZOOM! It is Saturday night already. 

We've been busy though. More on that later! This post is the first of many about the Freshly Picked Cricut Cartridge. This was one of my early on cartridges...back when I was afraid of my Cricut.  Anyone else out there HAVE to HAVE the thing and then you got it home and made your first cut and said some not so nice words and there it sat because you were disappointed??? That was me.

Freshly Picked. There are so many cute looking cuts on this cart.  I have some in mind that I actually want to use for our outside garden. They are in the back of the book, so I may do some jumping around.

Questions, suggestions, tips, ideas, etc. please leave them in a comment or send me an email. Have you done projects with this cartridge? Link 'em up over at the Facebook page (you can find it on the right) so we can all see them and encourage each other!!!

The first cut in the handbook is an apple tree. It looks quite similar to the rose bush. Since we have rose bushes, I chose the rose bush. The second cut is a cherry tree and it looks like it is similar to the apple tree and the rose bush. Perhaps at a later date I will cut these out. 

All cuts were made at 4.5 inches. It seemed like a good number. It will fit on a 4x6 card and it is big enough to see it. Who knows what, exactly, I will do with these cuts, but card size made sense.

The rose bush cuts are on page 30 of the handbook.

I cut all available layers for the bush itself and both layers for the sign function.

I put it together, and decided I should have used brown paper for the stem of the bush instead of black, but live and learn right?
I also used one of my little ink pads and inked the edges for extra definition. For fun, I added some yellow brads to the 'roses'. I don't think it looks much like a rose bush (with or without the brads) but it is still a cute cut. If you are wondering why yellow, well we have two yellow rose bushes out back. :)  The little green tag, perhaps that should say "tiny" green tag, could say "for sale" or "for you."

The rose bush is now glued on top of the shadow cut.
It is a nice finishing tough, I think. What do you think?
I inked the edges of the sign before adhering the two pieces together. At 4.5 inches the sign is VERY big in comparison to the rose bush.

The geranium cut will be next!
Thanks for stopping in!
Let me know you were here and don't forget to like us on Facebook!

Jen and a sleeping Jynx
linking up here:

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Create A Critter Pig Birthday Card

If you follow on a regular basis, I know you are surprised I made another card with the Create A Critter cartridge. Ha ha ha ha ha! Did you at least crack a smile? I hope so!!!!

I needed a card for a good friend of ours.  She likes pigs, so the decision of what was going on the card wasn't very hard!

Here is the layout of my Cricut Mat...

Page 28 of the handbook. Some notes...

The end result!

The paper behind the pig was white and I ran it through my Texture Boutique with a Birthday folder and then rubbed a pink ink pad across it for the color. I love adding a little something to my envelopes. Here I added a Changito {I love that monkey}

I love love love comments and try to respond to them all (if your account is set up so I can). I look forward to hearing from you.


Monday, March 26, 2012

A kinda sorta tutorial on how to make an Easter Card (any card)

FINALLY!!!! This might become known as the post that just didn't want to be.
That doesn't matter now though, because here it is!!

Every project needs a 'canvas' if you will. Cards are no different. 
Without the canvas, or in this case, the card base...what would we have?
 I GENERALLY use premade card bases. 
I believe some of the St. Patrick's Day cards were made with 'homemade' card bases.
I'm picky about the FEEL of my cards. I have purchased premade cards at stores or yard sales and gotten them home and been all sorts of disappointed when the feel just isn't right! Don't worry! Those cards aren't wasted, they go in the "scrap drawer(s)!" These cards still have a purpose in my craft space, just not as a card! It is kinda like putting the broken toys on the shelf - the 'they just don't feel right' cards go in the drawer.

So, pick a base. I have a couple different places that I shop that sell "just right" cards.
I am going to do another post on all the different sorts of "just right" cards sitting on my shelf.
Here are a couple.

 The lavender card on the right came out of the pastel pack on the left.

Let's gather some other basic supplies shall we?

 The embosser isn't necessary, but it was used in the making of these cards.
I also have numerous scissors. Big ones, little ones, decorative ones...all of them missing when needed, but I have them none the less! I would suggest a standard size pair and then a smaller pair for smaller cuts.
Using a black or brown ink pad and colored pencils helps with taking the minimalist approach.
There are many ways to get all that beautiful color on your cards.
I suggest starting simple. Colored pencils are great, and I love to color!!!!!!
I do use the watercolor pencils and a blender. This does affect the final result. 
I've moved on to this step. If you are just starting, get the black ink pad and the colored pencils.
Get comfortable with basic steps before changing it up.
I love learning new things (and am going to do my best to share things like that on here) but I didn't start trying new things until I was comfortable with some basics. You will know when it is time. You will also be able to see the changes and advancements in your own work and it is REALLY COOL when someone else mentions they have noticed you getting better.  *it will happen*

 We also need some additional cardstock, some ribbon and not needed but used in this card, little ink pads.
The little ink pads were something I had seen others using. I, of course, wanted to try them out.
All of them were either purchased on sale or with a coupon, OR BOTH!!! I'm stingy like that!

Do you want to stamp first or cut first? Hmm, let's cut first!
The lavender card base measures 4inches by 6 inches.
We need a mat 3 3/4 inches by 5 3/4 inches.
I cut a bunch at one time and put the ones that weren't the needed size in a pile all their own. 
They will be used for something else.

If you aren't embossing then you can skip this step, if you are embossing this what I did.
I took the 3 3/4 x 5 3/4 paper and ran it through the embosser.

Since I have a Cricut I didn't get an embosser that also functions as a die cutter.
The embosser without the capability of cutting is much cheaper.
Decide what your main purpose is, do some research, find a coupon and head to the store!

Let's stamp now, shall we?

I was making a bunch of cards at one time, so I stamped a bunch of images at one time.
The left picture is the plain stamped image. It is called the Resurrection Cross and is by Stampabilities.
The middle picture shows different stages of the coloring process.
The picture on the right is all images completely colored.

Time to cut again!
If you are a perfectionist, then you pick your own way and please don't judge because I'm not.
I like how different the cards can look when this one gets cut just a little different than that one.
Cut all the images out leaving however much space YOU desire on all sides. 

 Not necessary, but I inked the edges of this paper.
I think it adds some dimension to MOST projects.
Hmmmm, it looks like we forgot to get adhesive when we were gathering supplies!
Use the adhesive to stick the colored image onto the yellow paper.
and.... time to cut again.... 

Adhere the stamped image to the yellow paper.
Cut the yellow paper leaving your desired border on all sides.

Another thing I did (not necessary, but what I did)
 is use the little ink pad to give the embossed paper some color.
Just brush it across the paper.

Now we are going to cut and adhere some ribbon AND adhere the stamped image to the embossed layer
and then adhere all that to the canvas/card base!

I cut my ribbon a little longer than the width of the cardstock.
Turn the cardstock over and put a couple short runs of the adhesive and stick the ribbon to it.

Then adhere your stamped image to the embossed layer and the embossed layer to the card.

I used the smaller adhesive for the layers. To adhere all layers to the card base I used the bigger adhesive gun thing because it has stronger adhesive.

Stamping the inside is personal preference.
I (generally) cut another sheet of card stock to go on the inside.
I think it helps give it more a finished look.
Sometimes I use a mat or two for the inside sentiment, other times I just stamp right on the card stock.

SamIAm...thanks so much for asking a question and giving me a reason to use my brain in a different way.
I have learned from this post. Things to do different/better next time.
It has also made me think about the products I use and the steps I take.
I guess you brought out the teacher in me and for that I am grateful.
I am going to work on some other posts in a similar fashion.

Questions, comments, things you would like to see?
Maybe we can all learn together.

Some topics I'm thinking of
1. a little more on my 'just right' cards.
2. using a blender pen
3. adhesives

Thanks for being patient Everyone!!!
Are you getting ready for Easter?
~hugs, jen~
partying here:

The Taylor House

Pink Hippo Party


learned something

Hi! I sat down to upload the photos for the card tutorial post. I've used all my 'free space' with Google.
Once I get that issue taken care of we will have a post!

Hope everyone made it through Monday!


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hi and Sorry!

I just want to say I'm sorry for being absent from blog land. We've been working on getting some veggies in the ground.
I DO have the photos edited for the card tutorial post. Sleep is something that evaded me this weekend. I don't see it best to sit here and work on the post tonight. I PROMISE I will have the card kinda sorta tutorial post tomorrow. The card I made is an Easter card.  When I get home tomorrow I will complete the post. It is started and the pics are all edited. I am also going to try to have a post in waiting so if I can't get something up there is something to publish.

We planted beet seeds last Sunday. They've sprouted!

and here is a card I made awhile back. The owl is from Create A Critter.

I miss you and I will do my best to do better this week.
I hope your weekend was what you needed it to be, relaxing, productive, both...
See you tomorrow!!!
hugs, have a great Monday!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Gnome Sweet Gnome

Just a quick post that will hopefully put a smile on your face. Nothing crafty, nothing in depth. Just fun and whimsical.

I went looking for the the twist tie stuff to help tie up the climbing roses last night and found someone near the twist tie stuff. I put him in what seemed like a fitting napping location. We'll see how long he stays here.

Thanks for stopping in! 
Happy napping or day dreaming!!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Cars Birthday Party...take two

I have another Cars birthday party to share with you. I can tell you I still had plenty of bad things to say about the small cuts the second time around. They do turn out cute though!

I used my Gypsy to put the 2 in the piston cup.
It's a party is a rubber stamp, as is McQueen.
The cards were American Crafts blank cards.

The inside is all computer/printer generated.
The invitations were the easy part. :)

Here is one of my Cricut mats laid out.
I used my Gypsy to lay out all the cuts. (such a great yard sale find that was)
This paper is for Sarge...

I used Glossy Accents to make dark green sections of Sarge shiny.
Even at this larger size, there were still some cuts so small they shredded themselves while being cut.

Here is the mat for Guido (and a brown cut for someone else...hmmm...)

I inked around the edges on some of the pieces to give them a little more definition.

Added some of this to a couple buckets.
Stuck the pieces in and....


I used a combination of skewers and the sucker sticks (the ones you would use when making chocolate molds) as the sticks for each piece. I tried to cover them up when I could with a back. I used that red super sticky double sided tape. they are together....

Here's the outside of the birthday card too...
The 'flag pole' is a toothpick.
Mater is a rubber stamp.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope this gives you some ideas/inspiration.
If you do a Cars party I would love for you share your photos on our Facebook page.
You can find the FB page in the right hand side of the blog.

hugs ~jen

Sunday, March 18, 2012

St. Patrick's Day meal (or two)

Hi Everyone! Yesterday  mentioned Jim had made Irish Soda Bread and I was hoping to post about it. This is that post! {smile} Neither of us had ever had soda bread so this was a first. The whole meal was a bunch of firsts. Perhaps I should back up! We thought it would be fun to have St. Patrick's Day dinner with Jim's Mom and Step-Dad. Jim's Mom loves to cook and we all like to try new things. The menu started out with reuben sandwiches and colcannon (more on this soon). Jim's Mom was bringing roasted veggies, homemade thousand island and an Irish dessert of some sort.  The soda bread, not on the menu, but something Jim had been talking about trying. Try he did.  Here is is before it goes in the oven. Do you know why you cut it like this? To let the fairies out!!!! (this made me giggle and I was very much upset when I didn't see any fairies escape...jim told me i couldn't see them since i didn't have special fairy seeing glasses...i'm gonna go with that)

Here's the link to the recipe Jim used.

Here it is out of the oven. 
Kinda neat looking.
Smelled good.
It was good and we decided over dinner it would make great toast.

This is what Wikipedia has to say about Colcannon:
Colcannon is traditionally made from mashed potatoes and kale (or cabbage), with scallionsbuttersalt and pepper added. It can contain other ingredients such as milk,creamleeksonions and chives.[1] It is often eaten with boiled ham or Irish bacon. At one time it was a cheap, year-round staple food,[2] though nowadays it is usually eaten in autumn/winter, when kale comes into season.[3]
An old Irish Halloween tradition was to serve colcannon with prizes of small coins concealed in it, as the Irish, English and Scots do with Christmas pudding.
The Welsh dish cawl cennin, despite the somewhat similar sound of the expression, is etymologically unrelated to colcannon, and is a leek soup, literally "broth (of) leeks."[4]

For ours we made mashed potatoes and added in blanched kale and crumbled bacon.
We did decide the addition of onions or chives would be great too. We just made the mashed potatoes like normal and then added in the blanched kale and bacon. 
It was pretty.
It was healthy.
It was good.

Here's a (not so great) picture of our table.

The roasted vegetables and colcannon took center stage here, but the reubens (which you can almost see) were amazing as always! There is enough corned beef and swiss left that we will probably be having a reuben pizza night this week.  {yum}
We had a delicious meal and everyone enjoyed all the firsts involved.
The dessert was an Irish potato cake. No pics or recipes, but it was tasty tasty too! 
Jim's Mom made some homemade whipped cream and colored it green for the occasion.

I made mention the soda bread would make good toast.
It did!!!
The colcannon also made AMAZING potato cakes!
Aw yes!!! Last night's leftovers turned into this morning's breakfast!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone! It is going to be almost 80 here today! Crazy! I am working on cleaning up in the house and then I am going to go out in the garden for awhile. We're having dinner with Jim's Mom and Step-Dad tonight. Jim made soda bread this morning. I am hoping to do a post on it.

I just wanted to say Happy St. Patty's Day and share a few photos I took in the backyard last night.

 pretty cardinal

 squirrel with some loot. this was a whole sequence of pictures and they were fun

 another squirrel

Gnome home? I think so.

Have a great day! Be safe and watch out for leprechauns!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Changito the Monkey Birthday Cards

I am still amazed by how the fireplace wall looks!!! I will get some shots of it from a wider angle and share them either here or on the Facebook Page.

Today isn't about the fireplace wall though. Today I am sharing some cards I made for my Aunt for her birthday. I made her birthday card and then I made a set of cards as her gift. She SCUBA dives (interesting tidbit--I use to) and Changito The Monkey has a SCUBA stamp. When I saw it, I knew I HAD to have it and I knew who would be receiving the first projects made with it. The thought process went a couple different ways but here is where it ended up!

My original idea was having Changito in a fish bowl. When it came time to work on this, I didn't like the fish bowl idea. I was talking to Jim about it and had a couple ideas to accomplish the 'water' effect.  Jim goes to the miscellaneous office supply shelf and pulls out these old thin plastic report covers --- IN BLUE!!! Hello! and Yes please!!

I used the Stretch Your Imagination card frame found on page 41 of the SYI handbook. I used my Gypsy to hide the bubbles.  I put this report cover on the Cricut mat and hoped for the best! Here is what the cut looked like when it was done.


The other thing I cut with my cricut was some coral from the Life's A Beach cartridge!

I stamped Changito onto the card. I used the masking technique (still learning it too) to stamp the fish. There is one fish in front of Changito on the stamp. I glued down some of the coral. I used clear glue dots to adhere the 'water' to the card. The fish jumping out of the water has foam dot behind him to give him dimension AND to help me help him hold the Martha Stewart twine.  Changito and the fish were colored with Stampin' Up Watercolor pencils and blended.

The inside of this card:

The water here was just the 'other' end of the cut for the front. Kinda like two cuts for the price of one!
The fish and starfish are from and old Stampin' Up set. Colored the same way as the front.
The sentiment is part of the Changito set. If you noticed the SCUBA the fish on the front was carrying, it is the same SCUBA as seen here, just without the rest of the stamp. I used clear glue dots to adhere the water.
I think it turned out pretty cool, especially for not following my original idea. Definitely have to thank Jim for the report cover since that is what totally made this project!

Now let's look at the ones that I made for her to give away (which said she doesn't know if she can)!

I stamped Changito and then used a circle punch on him.
The one on the right I punched a black circle to give it a shadow effect.
The one on the left has more of the report cover. I ran it through my Texture Boutique with a polka dot like embossing folder. I think it looks like bubbles! I did use a pair of decorative scissors down the one side of this card as well. Both cute in their own way, or at least I think.

Same circle punch.
Same Changito.
Different paper.
Different sentiments.

I also made some that weren't necessarily girly so my Aunt could give them to their male SCUBA friends.
Same products and techniques on all three, but each slightly different.
These have the rest of the report cover and it was run through the embosser too!

Another look at all of them together:

I am quite pleased with how they turned out!
My Aunt loves them and isn't sure she can part with them. :)
What are your thoughts?
Partying here:
Have a great day!!! ~The J's


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