Monday, November 22, 2010

Stick to the Rules!


During a recent online shopping excursion, my Sister-in-law added some of this PeelnStick ruler tape to her purchase and I had to copy her! It is VERY VERY COOL and I am now trying desperately not to stick it onto everything in site! Though, let's face it, if I did and then decided that I didn't like it covering EVERYTHING, I could just pull it back off because it is REMOVABLE!! SO COOL!

Thermoweb PeelnStick Ruler Tape

And yes, I realize that I may be getting a little over excited about it, but I still like it! My favorite application so far is sticking it onto my ribbon shelf. It will be very great to have a easy accuracy when I am chopping ribbon lengths for a project!


So, fess up. Tell the truth. Would you stick to the rules? 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Let it snow, let it snow!!

We woke up this morning in Calgary to SNOW!! I guess it has been a long time coming, as I truly can't remember a year when we didn't have snow by the end of October. My back yard is officially a winter wonderland and I am glad to be home inside today and working on my daughter's new bedroom! (I'll share pics SOON!)

Anyone for a dip?!
In the mean time, here's a little bit of my world... no swimming this month for us, but we may potentially be able to dig out that hot tub for an evening. And as long as we are in the spirit, here also is a scrapbook page that I did for the Cricut bundle that we sold on The Shopping Channel last weekend. The pricing is truly phenomenal if you are shopping for yourselves or as a gift!!

Made with Winter Frolic Cricut Cartridge
Sorry about the blurry picture... I can't retake as the page is in Toronto still. Isn't blurry inspiration better than no inspiration? :)

Happy Snow Day everyone!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Winter Frolics Appliqué


The snow is NOT flying in Calgary yet, but I can't ignore that it is lurking right around the corner! And with the flurries outside will begin the frantic flurry of shopping and preparing for Christmas! The Shopping Channel gives me the perfect opportunities and excuses to start some seasonal crafting in advance and seeing how it is time to put away my Halloween Appliqué, I thought that I would replace it's spot on my mantle with a winter one! 

Pre-plan your design by cutting the shapes out of printer paper


Winter frolic has lots of fun images to choose from, and so I pre-planned my design by cutting out some shapes and tweaking them until I got the perfect sizes. Wow, pre-planning!! go figure! Who knew that I had it in me!?

Once everything was planned, may I just must stop again to remind you that I PRE-planned, I ironed Heatn'Bond to the back of all of my fabric. I personally am loving the Ultrahold weight for applique, and while I have also cut fabric that is backed with the HeatnBond light, the Ultrahold seems to deliver the very best results.

Next step is cutting the images, which of course will go VERY quickly if you have, ehem... pre-planned your cut sizes!

Some tips on cutting fabric with your Cricut machine:

   1. You MUST use a backing on the fabric, regardless of whether you are cutting cotton, silk or rayon.

   2. Use a new super sticky mat to hold your fabric securely in place while cutting. This will help give you a crisper cut.

3. A new blade is great, but not always 100% necessary. Try putting a new one in if you aren't getting a clean cut.

4. It's ok if the paper backing comes off of the fabric before you cut. It will still cut well!

5. If you are having trouble cutting, try flipping the fabric upside down to cut. Sometimes this works better! You can even use the 'Mirror Image' feature on your Cricut Expression or Create so that your image is still 'right side up'.

Iron your cut images into place and you are ready to stitch!

Once all of my images were cut out, I layered them onto the base fabric and started machine appliquéing them into place. I found it effective to have placed my 'snow' down first and top stitched it in place before layering any other pieces on top of it. This way, I could sew one continual topstitch instead of starting and stopping at all of the overlapped pieces.

Finished Appliqué

Once I was done stitching, I put a layer of batting behind my finished piece and then put it into a frame. 

Close Up! 

I think this little penguin guy is adorable and may end up on some Christmas cards as well! 

Happy Crafting!

Friday, November 5, 2010

AND THE WINNERS ARE.....

Thank you again to all the new people who are following my blog and to my buddies for sending all the newbies over!!

It's time for my first ever Cricut AND Cuttlebug contest draw, hopefully we can make this a regular thing! I've used a Random Number Generator to pick out our winners.

So.....drum roll please......For the Cuttlebug Folders, congratulations to Stampi!!

Winner of the Cuttlebug Folders #37

 Winner of the Give A Hoot Cricut Cartridge is ap_lemos!

Winner of the Give A Hoot Cricut Cartridge #61

I will send you both a quick email so that we can get these shipped out to you asap!!

Congratulations to you both and for everyone else, keep checking back for future contests :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A new pet!!?

Sunrise

It's really quite amazing that one part of the world can be so much warmer than another! I REALLY don't think it's fair, but I was happy to get to enjoy a few rays of sunshine in sunny Florida!

Poser!

HSN (Home shopping Network) went great! I was there for two days and we sod our original Cricut, Cuttlebug, AND the new and wonderful Cricut Imagine. We sold out of the Cricut Imagine, but you can check out the other deals online still at HSN.


Before heading to the studio my first morning, I took a walk around the wildlife preserve that is behind our hotel. It was a BUSY place! I saw TWO alligators, a dozen or more turtles that were oddly gathered all in one spot, geckos galore and some beautiful birds!

eek!

My son asked me to bring him an alligator, but I figured it probably wasn't worth the hassle that I would have in customs! So no new alligator pet, purse or shoes!!


Meanwhile, I am home again and preparing for our next appearance on The Shopping Channel! We will be there with another awesome Cricut Bundle on November 14th. If you already have a Cricut, check out our airing to add to your cartridge collection!!




Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Thanksgiving Pie Dough with Cricut Cake

Cutting pie dough with Cricut Cake is super fun, and while Canadian Thanksgiving has just passed, our US neighbors are on the verge of celebrating. Not to mention of course, that pie is good ANY time of year!

Just call me a turkey! 
Since the first day that I opened the box for my Cricut Cake, I have been wanting to put a turkey on a Thanksgiving pie, so FINALLY, this was my big chance! I did quite a bit of experimenting with how the pie dough would cook on the deep dish pies, whether to sugar my dough or brush it with egg or milk, and how to get the perfect final look. We had a houseful for Thanksgiving dinner and so I did about 4 pies, which also pretty much ensured that I could eat an entire one myself!!lol YUM! 

Cutting Mr. Turkey from the Animal Kingdom Cartridge!
I also did some greetings from the Designer's Calendar Cartridge and LOTS of leaves.

Even though I broke this turkey when I put it on the pie, it still cooked nicely! 
The saddest thing about making these Thanksgiving pies is that they were all EATEN before I had a chance to take pictures of them! The best pies that I did were the ones that I put leaves around the edges before the cooking process, and added the center greeting after about 15 minutes of cooking. I think that if you weren't doing a deep dish pie, the pre-cooking wouldn't be necessary. I was happy with ALL of the pies though and everyone seemed impressed?!

Here is the whole rolling and cutting process to get you started and ensure that you are successful cutting your pie dough!

video


My top tips for cutting pretty much anything on Cricut Cake:

    1. Make sure you roll super thin!! This goes for cutting anything on Cricut Cake! If your knife is dragging and you aren't getting a clean cut, you need to roll thinner... whether it's dough, fondant, gum paste or whatever!! 

    2. The freezer is your friend! I always freeze before I cut. Again, this applies to dough, fondant and/or gum paste. 

    3. Slow down your cutting process and ease up on your pressure. Both my pressure and speed are set to medium when I use Cricut Cake. 

    4. Cut complicated images at a minimum of 3 inches. Because you are using a more fragile medium, remember that there are a few more limitations. Definitely TRY to cut tiny objects, but if you are having trouble, try increasing your size. 

    5. After you have cut your image successfully, either freeze it or let the substance that you've cut set for a bit before trying to place it on your pie or cake. If I am doing pie dough, I freeze again before I transfer my cut image. Likewise, if I have cut gum paste or fondant, I allow my cut images to sit for a bit so that they are slightly stiffer (dried) before I place them. This step makes handling the images without distorting them MUCH more successful! 

NEXT PIE PROJECT??? Christmas butter tarts with little trees on them!! OH! Or maybe holly leaves?! Yummy yum yum!! 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

How about a Cricut AND Cuttlebug CONTEST!!!???

I just happen to have a an extra copy of the Give A Hoot Cricut Cartridge as well as some fabulous Cuttlebug folders to give away, so it is time for a CONTEST!!

To enter, bring someone new to follow my blog or become a new follower!

For each new person that an existing follower brings, they will win one entry to the contest for themselves, and one for the newbie. Post a comment to claim each newbie and get 'credit' for them in the random draw. Multiple entries are permitted!

I will automatically enter all new followers in the draw, so if someone 'brought' you hear or you just happen to stumble across the blog and decide to follow, then you will officially be entered!



The Cuttlebug folders include 6 embossing folders and one die set. Here are the items that you will get if you win:

Just My Type 5 piece Border Set

Perfectly Paisley
Baby
Rounded Square Frames

Thanks
Congrats

Script



And the GORGEOUS Give A Hoot Cricut Cartridge.... I LOVE This cartridge!!! 



So, enter now... do not pass go... do not forget... do not procrastinate! lol I'm looking forward to shipping all of these items to YOU!! The contest officially closes on November 1st, 2010.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Cuttlebug Mini Monsters

I am sitting in Toronto waiting for our next Yudu airing on The Shopping Channel and thought I could fill my time by sharing a blog post!!

I finished a few cards before I left and still have the pictures on my iPhone, so here they are!!

The new Mini Monsters Cuttlebug folders just happen to coordinate with the Mini Monsters Cricut cartridge! What a great way to make both tools even better!!


This embossing folder has a spider in the top right corner but I decided to pop it up by adding one that I cut with my Cricut. The other two spiders seemed like a good fit and I must say that I enjoyed cutting out a fourth spider that I attached to my daughters mirror in hopes of creeping her out a bit! (it was successful)




This little patch of pumpkins is very easy to use for both Thanksgiving and Halloween. Fall themes would be great too!




I used both ink and Glimmer Mist on my pumpkins to give them a bit more personality.




And seeing how this particular embossing folder was so much fun, I decided to do another card. The pumpkin is from the coordinating Cricut cartridge!




The third folder is this cute monster border. Once again the coordinating Cricut Cartridge has a fabulous choice of images that coordinate perfectly!!



I did a de-boss on this card (used the opposite side of the embossing folder impression) and then chalked and inked a little bit.

That's all for now!! There are actually four embossing folders in this set. The fourth is a sweet little folder with an all over candy pattern. I will have to use the last one another day :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, October 8, 2010

Custom Yudu Fabric!

Next week I will be in Toronto on The Shopping Channel presenting Yudu, and so this week I thought that I would make up a couple of Christmas gift style projects to add to the projects that we show on air.

I must say that I LOVED making my own fabric and can see the Yudu system being an amazing addition to a quilter's stash of tools (of course in addition to all of the other cool things that you can do with Yudu!)

This is the Yudu machine! The system burns your screens, dries them, acts as a light table and also becomes your registrations system if you are silkscreening more than one color! 

For anyone unfamiliar with it, Yudu is a personal silk screening system. You get all of the finesse and perfection of a professional silk screen system, in a size that you can easily store at home and use WHENEVER you want to! It's shockingly easy to make your own screens!!

1. Prep your silk screen by giving it a good cleaning. When the screens are brand new, they have a bit of oil residue on them from the manufacturing process. I like to clean mine by cutting a 1" strip of emulsion (comes in your starter kit) and dissolving the emulsion in 1/8 cup of water. Then use the solution you've made to scrub the screen with. The girls at work call this solution voodoo! This prep step ensures that your emulsion will stick to your screen as you proceed and you only have to do it when you have a brand new screen.

This is my 'Quin' screen. The green spot on the right is where I've started inking my design onto fabric. 
2.  Wet your screen, apply the emulsion and then let it dry thoroughly. Be sure to follow the directions that came with your machine or check out the tutorial online!

3. Choose your design... though I suppose you could do this before you apply your emulsion so that you use the right sized piece of emulsion! Any design works!! Pick images from the www (be lawful!) or cut images out of black cardstock with your Cricut machine. If you want, you can even draw your designs onto a piece of overlay material using a permanent black marker! For my 'Quin' fabric, I used a collage of 4 or 5 fonts and printed them out onto the Yudu overlay material which also comes with your starter pack. The Yudu brand overlay material looks sort of foggy and this foggy coating ensures that you get a super black inkjet print from your printer. The darker black makes your screen images very crisp and perfect!

4. Burn your design into your screen. This is done by putting your overlay or cricut cut paper underneath the prepared screen and then exposing it to light for 8 minutes. Again, refer to your directions!

5. Rinse your screen. Anywhere that there was a blacked out image will now wash off of your screen. Be sure to let your screen dry thoroughly again and then you will be ready to start inking.

6. Have fun silk screening! If you want to watch a live demo, tune into the show!! We air on October 13th at 2pm, 6pm and 11pm EST. I think we are part of a sewing hour for this airing, so if you want in on the sure to be amazing Shopping Channel pricing for a Yudu system, you'll have to stay alert! lol

My Walmart 'Clearance' fabrics selections
.... now back to my project!! I sort of got side tracked with the basics, cause I really wanted to give you an idea of how it's done. If you have questions, feel free to email me or the Yudu team!

A square of 'Quin' fabric
I used some fabrics that I had on hand and cut 5.5" x 5.5" squares. Then I screened just the lighter green squares...
Very precise sewing, of course!! lol 
I sewed a panel of fabric that would fit a book bag size, then realized that maybe I needed a pattern for the book bag!! I decided to be resourceful, and borrowed a totally cute bag that Quin had received as a gift. Check out our friend (the?) Sewing Dork! The original book bag was her creation and she has all kinds of other great ideas on her blog!

Custom Fabric is pretty cool!! 
I pressed and cut and sewed some more... and LOVE how great the finished book bag turned out! 

Close up! 
I think the top stitching and the glittery flower & button were the perfect finishing touches! 

Quin the model
The only problem now is that Quin actually WANTS the book bag! What is she thinking?! Just because it has her name on it?! I mean really?!  I told her that if we sell out of Yudu I will bring the bag back with me from The Shopping Channel, otherwise it is staying there for the next show! 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Retro Kitchen Cards

I'm lovin' the newest Cuttlebug folders that Provo Craft introduced in January! Most of the sets include 4 folders, two of which are 5 x 7 size and two the standard 4 x 6 size of the past folders.


Today I made a few cards using the Retro Kitchen folders and the From My Kitchen Cricut cartridge.




First project was place settings! LOVE the knife- fork- spoon folder and it was yelling at me to emboss it in some of my new 3 Birds foil paper. Then of course the silverware was a MUST!



The Next card that I did started up as an actual apron shape but morphed into just the ruffle. The striped folder that came with this set made PERFECT ruffles... I just embossed a strip of paper and then folded in every third stripe. I also added some flocking to the green embossed pattern on this one.



For my last card I wanted to make a 50's Menu. I used silver ink on my emboss, the From My Kitchen Cricut cartridge and the Lyrical Letters Cricut cartridge.




The back of the menu is a birthday card! I was thinking it would also be great for Mother's Day!

Next project... Hmmm... Maybe I'll work on Yudu tomorrow!



- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone