December 17, 2013

December "Daily." It's Actually Working!

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So I decided to try a holiday mini-album again. Not sure WHY I do this in such a small format when I have such a large family. And NOT daily, I just can't take the pressure. But nonetheless a holiday mini that I try to keep up with throughout the season and that I try to use to include the little things that go on in life during the holidays. What I really love about this year's album is that I am giving the Project Life style a trial run before I try to tackle it for 2014. So far, it is actually working pretty well! Of course, I still have a long way to go but here is what I have so far:
The Cover

As you can see, I start with finished pages and end up with newborn foundation pages that have no embellishments whatsoever. Yet.
Still, it's a great start for me and I am really enjoying the process. I love to give new things a try in mini-albums. I am learning to use my new Cameo that my mom and my mom-in-law got me for my birthday (thanks Mom and Mary!) I made a sequin pocket that I love and will definitely do again, I've toyed with some overlays that turned out well and of course, I used my Cricut to make some cards and pages from the Edge to Edge cart.

Hope this finds you all enjoying the season!

November 20, 2013

How To Create Your Own Iron-Ons using the Cricut and "She's Two."

Thanksgiving? Next week? I'm not sure if it was the odd weather we had this summer or the trees changing colors so late this year but I am feeling really...well, like the "baby" looked on her 2 year old photo shoot yesterday:
I have done NOTHING to prepare. No menu, no shopping. But like Scarlett says, "I'll think about that tomorrow." Except I really mean it. Thank goodness for scrapbook pages of holiday tables and that scrappy recipe book in my kitchen. And thanks, especially, for my mom, who still manages to do half the work for the Thanksgiving meal. At least I know we will have the turkey defrosted (I loathe that process) and mashed potatoes at the table.

So tomorrow not only am I gonna have to plan and shop for Thanksgiving, I might even try to squeeze in photo shoot #2 since my subject was more interested in blowing the "wishers" than posing for portraits...

 And then she just up and ran off. I let my photo assistant catch her for me.
 However, all was not lost. I did manage to catch this sweet look right after we got back from ice skating lessons for my homeschooler.
I'm pretty happy with this one...Love her smile and the fact that we just popped out of the van, onto the front lawn and captured this with one snap of the camera. ONE. I'm trying to give myself a least I am finally shooting in full manual.
 Cricut Iron-Ons. From Fabric. So EASY. So fun and so FAST!

I wanted to hide this cluttered look.

So a few months ago I made a cover for my sewing machine from canvas and scraps of fabric along with some Jenni Bowlin buttons. I had always planned on decorating the middle but I'm just now getting around to actually doing it.

I decided to add a simple heart to the middle since I am after all trying to avoid the clutter...

I have used my Cricut to make several iron-ons now and so far, so AWESOME. No mistakes, no waste, only success! My favorite project so far has been my "baby" boy's 6 shirt.

 To make my iron-ons with the Cricut, I use Pellon Heavy-Duty Wonder-Under.
It is sold from a bolt at your fabric store.

I cut my Wonder-Under to the same size as the fabric. It's sticky once ironed so it's best to keep them close to the same size. I don't go all the way to cutting them together exactly as I have a special piece of broadcloth that I use to protect my iron but I get it as close as I can with the little patience that I do have;).

It helps that I have a handy, dandy measuring cover on my ironing board.

I place my Wonder-Under backed fabric on a clean STICKY mat and press with a brayer. I put my fabric on paper side down. You will see why later;). Oh, and set your blade depth to 6.

Speaking of blades, I use a very sharp blade reserved for cutting fabric only.

Once cut, the fabric peels right off, leaving the paper on the sticky mat! Yay, saves the annoying step of peeling that paper off of the fabric.

Just your cut is left...

And it comes right off, easy peasy.
Now, I have heard that some people like to reverse the image in CCR and place the fabric paper side up. I have never tried this but I imagine that might be the way to go if your cut is more intricate. But I just can't give up the way the mat peels the paper off for me. I am so prone to those little paper cuts under my nails from peeling backings off...

Moving on. Before I iron my cut onto my project I always tape my cut in place, to make sure I know just where I want it permanently. Washi tape is perfect for this.

Then I check the Pellon directions once more...15 seconds or 7 seconds, I always forget which time goes where.

And done. Well, maybe. I love the look of stitching. Everywhere. Just about all of my cards and scrapbook layouts have some sort of stitching so I went around the heart with a simple zig-zag stitch. I kept it pretty loose as I really wanted to outline the heart in green but none of my thread matched. So I used pink and I'll see if it grows on me. If it doesn't, I'll be able to rip it out and redo it in green.

So there you have it. Simple. This project took me 15 minutes. Start to finish. Yes, really. If I hadn't had to reload my bobbin, it would have be 13 minutes! I hope you give it a shot. If you do, leave a comment and link to your project, I'd love to see it!

October 31, 2013

Cards, Creating Keepsakes & Cricut Love

Summer? Gone? OCTOBER? Gone? Time is slipping by so quickly these days. While I haven't been keeping my blog up to date I have been very busy scrapping, card-making, crafting and even getting published. This month you can find my work in Cricut Magazine, Cricut Idea Book: Families and Creating Keepsakes

It just breaks my heart that Creating Keepsakes is calling it quits and moving to a digital format but I am SUPER excited to have a darling layout of the baby in the very final paper issue. Check out page 18!

While I still create primarily layouts, I have delved into card-making a bit. It is so much fun to simply sit down and create with beautiful supplies and not have to worry about photos or journaling. I am keeping them simple for now, but I can see the draw to adding lots of layers...

I used my Cricut to cut out the sentiment on a shipping tag. The dress form is cut from the Wall Decor cart.
I finally broke down and ordered a giant lot of seam binding so now I am having lots of fun dyeing it and crinkling it. 
 I need to keep a stash of these cards handy...I am always scrambling to whip one up when I need one.

I am absolutely LOVING my Cricut these days. 

 I made this card for my niece, who had her first baby this summer. He is soooo cute! I made the card with my Cricut and the Baby Steps cart, along with the Phrases cart. This one is pretty complicated, mostly because of the little pieces but it is really fun to put together.

I whipped up these cute little 3D pumpkins from CCR and decided to cut a few more for the kids to assemble on Thanksgiving. It's that easy!

A few days ago...this darling turned 6. Oh, time, why must you speed along? I made him this fun shirt using my Cricut. It is really easy! The hardest part was sewing around the little circle inside the 6, other than that it was a piece of cake.

And yesterday I cut tons of pumpkin cupcake wrappers for Halloween parties. You can find them in the October 2013 issue of Cricut Magazine in the Spooky Treats section. 

Have a safe and Happy Halloween!


May 4, 2013

Heart decor with the Cricut, a couple of simple ideas and how to~

Happy National Scrapbooking Day!!!

My goal for today was to actually post a little scrappy to my blog and so here it is.

So Valentine's Day brought me this! Jason had noticed that I had been suddenly using my Cricut Create like crazy and so...the big one! I have had a ball with this!! I know, many many people have jumped to the Silhouette but I have so many cartridges already AND I had never really learned to use my Cricut to its full potential. Wow. A few YouTube videos and I was off and running.

 I whipped up a quick Valentine's banner using a variety of carts and the Cricut Craft Room.Once I had the TONS of hearts cut out in a manner of minute I simply layered them and then sewed the together right down their little middles. Although the photo shows them all dangling together by thread I did actually cup them apart. Then I punched a hole on each side of each heart and strung some for real using red and white baker's twine from Maya Road. Maya Road's twine is a little thicker than most so it is perfect for hanging a banner.
I used the leftover's to make this sweet little bouquet. Just attached them to a bamboo skewer with some adhesive and another heart on the back! Simple. In just under an hour I had it all done and up!
This took a little longer. More on cupcakes in my next post!

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