Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Cricut Appliqué with Happy Hauntings

STEP ONE - Get an Idea!! 
SPOOOOKY!! After playing with the Happy Hauntings cartridge with paper, I was dying to do an appliqué, and so I was pretty excited to find all of these lovely halloween fabrics at a the local Creative Stitching trade show! The store that I purchased them from is called The Sugar Pine Company and is located in my beautiful home town of Canmore.

STEP TWO - Pick your fabrics
My theory in creating the appliqué was that it would be a pillow case. (Quin's idea) Keep in mind that I have only ever really *played* with appliqué and have never done a project with a lot of detail. Also keep in mind that starting things off easy before trying something more difficult has never been my thing!

STEP THREE - Create a base
So, with Step One and Step Two complete... I proceeded right along and created a base for the applique. This may be where a bit more precision would have come in handy!! (This is also where my Mother is cringing and shaking her head) Can you see the ripple in my purple fabric? Oops.  Sadly I didn't think it would have that much effect on the finished design so I just kept going when I probably should have undone some stitching and straightened things out a bit!

STEP FOUR - Apply HeatnBond
But... I didn't fix a thing. Instead I proceeded to Step Four and ironed some HeatnBond onto the fabrics that I would cut with my Cricut. This is a very critical step if you are going to cut fabric with your Cricut. The interfacing stabilizes your fabric so that it doesn't stretch and pull when the Cricut blade passes over it. It also (obviously) makes putting your design together much easier!   I recommend using the fusible Ultrahold HeatnBond. It's heavier weight adds a bit more stability and I've always had success with it!

Once you are ready to cut, you have a couple of options in placing your fabric onto the Cricut mat.

1. Leave the paper backing in place on the interfacing and lay the fabric paper side down onto your mat. This option works well if your material isn't releasing at all from the interfacing.

2. Leave the paper backing in place on the interfacing and lay the fabric paper side UP on the Cricut Mat. This means that you will have to cut a mirror image of your designs so that when you flip them over they are right side up. I've talked to a couple of ladies who prefer cutting fabric this way.

3. Remove the paper backing and place the fabric with the interfacing side down onto the Cricut Mat. I personally have equal success with this option as well as option one. I am ultimately too lazy to cut mirror images of everything (though I trust my buddies that it works well!)

The most important tips that I can share in using HeatnBond or any interfacing is to ensure that you have ironed it on securely (according to directions you'll find on the package) and to use a new blade!

video

Here is a quick video of the actual cutting process ... I am both the narrator and the film crew, so bear with me!!

STEP FIVE - Cut your appliqué pieces
I think that cutting all of the pieces out is officially Step Five. I can't express how impressed I am with the Cricut's ability to cut fabric! This is the easiest step in creating your appliqué and of course your patterns are unlimited and you can personalize to your heart's content! My owl and phrase are cut from the Happy Haunting cartridge and I cut the scallop border using Accent Essentials.


And...look!? You can hardly see that ripple right? Would YOU have taken it apart? lol (Sorry Mom!!)

Next comes stitching your pieces into place and I also added a few gemstones and letter beads as embellishments. I have always done appliqué stitching by hand but thought that I would try using my sewing machine for this project. I figure that I am going to need a bit of practice here too, but all in all I am happy with this as my first detailed project!!

The finished project
I decided to try framing the finished piece, but am thinking that a pillow may still be the better choice....you won't notice my learning curve mistakes if you are sitting on the design...right?!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Scrapbook Room Rescue


Do I get a drumroll? Maybe a prize?! Can everyone gasp out loud??LOL It took me a full week to clean up my space, but I am very excited to say that it is done! I think that I may even keep it this way... at least until the next time I have a million things to do and only 2 days to do it in! Clean up wasn't honestly all that painful... it was mostly a matter of putting things away where they belong, purging a few supplies that I will never use and reorganizing a couple of spaces. 

Check out my desk area!! OH MY GOSH! I have actual elbow room!! This is just a slight improvement over last week! If you didn't see the pictures, check out my Messy Scrapbook Office earlier last week! 


I was lucky enough to build a customized office/scrapbook room when we moved into our home 5 years ago. All of the little drawers are awesome and they allow me to sort and store all of the fun items that I need! (yes, NEED!)  The gift wrapping area here is very handy for wrapping presents... my favorite part of this picture is the little wrapped gift on the right that is tucked in behind the ribbon. It is a birthday present from a very dear friend...she gave it to me in June and my birthday is still not here!! Talk about taunting me!! But... I have not peeked!


This slightly blurry picture shows the main bank of space in my office. My printer and fax machine hide nicely in one set of the lower cupboards and slide out when I need them. There are also 2 pull out file drawers and more storage space. 

The dump site behind my island is now cleaned up! I took my slide cutter off of the back of the island and my husband was kind enough to build shelves and attach more tilt bins to the wall for me. He is such a handy guy!!

The long yellow ribbon hanging from the wall is attached to a pair of scissors... otherwise scissors have a tendency to become lost. hmm... nothing to do with the children of course!

All of my Sizzix dies are now stored in the 'back' cupboard, which holds the supplies that I either don't use often but can't part with, or are open game for my daughter to use!

The other side of this island has more of the little drawers for storage as well as a big pull out recycle bin in the middle of the island.


Anyone need some alphabet bradletz? lol I am going to brainstorm a project that will use them ALL in one amazing way.... please feel free to make suggestions! Then I will have the sad task of refilling all of the wonderful tilt bins!! oooohhhh!! 

Most of my paper is sitting vertical in the cupboard behind my island. I like having it color sorted with a few bins for specifics. I also tend to leave any scrap pads that I buy 'whole' so that  I can find paper families easier. *sigh* I love paper!! 


Monday, September 27, 2010

Messy Scrapbook Office?

  
After the tornado, but BEFORE the rescue.
When work and life get crazy busy, I *have* to keep on crafting, but as the tornado of creativity is happening, cleaning up my office seems to get a little behind! The worst thing about this is that I really do prefer to work in a clean space with NO clutter around me!! So how could I let this happen? lol It's ok...I have the power to fix it. Armed with three or four boxes to purge some excess materials into, I tackled the piles that surrounded me.... and no, I don't have a hoarding problem!! I really do need all this stuff! Once I post all of the *BEFORE* pictures, I think I'll need to wait a day or so before I show you the *AFTER* images!!lol It's really only fair, seeing how I worked in this mess for a month!

BEFORE
Somewhere, over on the left, you may see my computer screen... honest! It is there! I realize that this looks REALLY bad, but I had just been loading cartridges onto my Gypsy and so it was just a little worse than usual... usual meaning that I am good at keeping a 12" x 12" area directly in front of me clean!

BEFORE ... I actually was still working in this space!!
My poor little Cuttlebug was becoming claustrophobic! Sadly, I was still working in this mess!

This shelf holds all of my *eye candy* ... except it looks like squirrels got into the store and scrambled it all up!
  
BEFORE

This area of my office is directly opposite of my main desk and computer space. It's actually really fabulous as it has traditionally been my Cricut table and right behind it are a bank of cupboard and drawers that hold all of my paper and other supplies. Unfortunately, this area has become a bit of dump site...ugg...  I think that it may be time to put away my Sizzix dies!! 



Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cricut Vinyl

I've been singing the praises of designing your own vinyl phrases for home decor for a while now, and thought it was high time to show and tell! One of my very first projects with vinyl was to put these two phrases up in my guest bathroom. The bathroom is semi formal (if there is such a thing in a bathroom) and so I wanted something that 'looked' like the rest of the decor but was also fun and light hearted! 

Using  a more formal font, (Tear Drop with actual dial size), made things appear a bit more serious. If I remember correctly the swirls are from the Home Decor Cartridge. 


And yes, I was tempted to use photoshop to straighten the picture on the wall... versus going back upstairs and retaking the photo... neither option fully appealed to my lazy side so the picture is staying crooked!

Looking for more tips on creating a Cricut Vinyl Project? Check out this fun project,  or the quote that I put up in my daughter's bedroom! 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Pickles!!

Hooray! We waited our three weeks since making pickles and did the official taste test today.... drum roll please.... YUMMY!! They taste excellent and are even crunchy!  I was beginning to get worried as I have heard so many horror stories about making them. Thank you to my girlfriend Tracey for the recipe!

We pickled some carrots at the same time and they turned out great too. My brother said that a little company called "Bicks" seems to have the market cornered and that at $3.00 a jar, I was wasting my time... I say he's getting homemade pickles for Christmas! hahaha

Friday, September 17, 2010

Sweet Bazzill!


No, I didn't spell it wrong! I am talking about Bazzill the card stock, not Basil the herb! And all of us scrappers are on the same page here - we'd much rather have a garden full of Bazzill than basil, yes??

Anyways... who all has checked out the Bazzill app for iPhone? I have known about it for some time, but now that I have Cricut Imagine sitting on my desk, I finally took the plunge and paid the $ 9.99 for the app. OUCH! This is for sure the most expensive app that I have ever purchased....BUT....it is pretty darn awesome!!

Every color of Bazzill Card stock is entered in the app so that you can find what you are looking for. And best of all, all of the RGB values for each color are listed! What does this mean you may be wondering?? Well, with Cricut Imagine, you can print full 12x12 sheets of paper; both patterned and plain colors. And if you per chance run out of your favorite color of Bazzill, or if you need an extra scrap, or if you want a certain color but can't find it, you can now enter the RGB value into the Cricut Imagine and print what you need! Exact color matches!! yippee!

Check out these pics that I took with my iphone....

This is the opening page of the app. You can find your card stock color by name, color group or family (Bling, Metallics etc...). You can save your palettes or even load a picture so that you can use the app to pic the perfect colors!




The color screens open up to show all of the colors in one group....
Once you pick your color (Heather purple for instance!) you can then choose other papers that coordinate with it according to the color wheel!





I love how visual the whole app is and how easy it will be to coordinate colors when my brain isn't working!! I am thinking that even if I didn't have Cricut Imagine, being a total Bazzill Cardstock junkie, that this this app is worth having!

OH!! And one other thing that it has!! If you have a favorite paper company like Cosmo Cricket, 7 Gypsies or American Crafts (plus MANY more), you can open see what Bazzill Cardstock colors coordinate with their paper lines!!






Here is the Cricut Imagine screen where I can enter the RGB (Red Green Blue) number values. You can also pick random colors on the rainbow circle! I will print and see how close they are to the Bazzill Cardstock!

Very Very cool.....maybe I will go clean my office now... maybe I will even take before and after pictures because it is so disgusting. Maybe some of my friends will even come and help me clean! (a girls got to dream right!lol)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Cricut Imagine launch on HSN!



WOW! things have been incredibly exciting as Provo Craft launches the Cricut Imagine on HSN here in Florida!!

The newest addition to the Cricut family is literally flying off of the shelves and I can't honestly imagine how it could not sell out. (no pun intended there!!)

Jinger, our gorgeous spokesperson for Provo Craft started things off at Midnight and 1am last night, and then I aired throughout the night an untill early this morning... It has been an incredible pleasure to share this HSN 24 hours of crafts with industry greats such as Tim Holtz and Anna Griffins!

Don't be fooled by the ease that you see of us all on set... There is a huge team of talented staff and incredible people all ensuring that everything is prepped, perfect and ready to share!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Welcome to our Cricut Family!

Wow! I am on my way home again and thrilled to report that our show stopper on The Shopping Channel was a HUGE success! We are welcoming over a thousand new people to our Cricut family!! Hooray!! I can hardly wait for them all to get their machines and start playing... SO much fun that they will all receive the beautiful 3 Birds On Parade cartridge with their bundle... Sweet Deal!



- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone (yes, shocking isn't it?!)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Cricut Fairy?!

The Cricut fairy must have visited my house while I was away 'cause look what was waiting for me when I got home!! I had a chance to test drive the Cricut Imagine when I was at CHA, and I can honestly say that I have never been more excited to open a box and get to WORK!!

Did you know that you could WIN a Cricut Imagine? Or even a trip just by buying a new Cricut cartridge! Check out the Where Do You Imagine Yourself Contest by clicking this link:
                 Win a Cricut Imagine!