Sunday, April 29, 2012

APRIL MONTHLY CHALLENGE: Center of Attention Challenge!

APRIL MONTHLY CHALLENGE: Center of Attention Challenge!

Every good tablescape, whether it’s on a dining table, coffee table, side table, desk or elsewhere, can benefit from a beautiful centerpiece. Have you tried creating one with your Cricut machines? For the April Monthly Challenge that is exactly what we would like you to try! Create any type of centerpiece using your Cricut machines. We can’t wait to see what you make!

The WINNER of this challenge will receive a $150 Credit to!

The Challenge: Create a centerpiece using your Cricut machines.

Rules and Guidelines: Circle Blog Challenges are open to Cricut Circle Members only. Your project must be newly created for this challenge and include atleast 2 Cricut Image Cuts. You must submit a project to be entered into the Challenge Prize Drawing.

How to Enter: Submit your entry using the InLinkz tool found at the bottom of this post. Please post your full name along with your entry. Entries are due by 9:00 pm MST on Monday, April 30th, 2012.

Prize: This month the winner will receive $150.00 in credit to

Winner: The winner will be selected randomly from qualifying entries using and will be announced on the Cricut Circle Blog on Tuesday, May 1st, 2012.

Hi Friends and Fellow Crafters! Here is my entry for the Cricut Circle Monthly Challenge. It is a birdcage I created using my Gypsy that I plan on using as a centerpiece for our Mother's Day Breakfast.

I was blog hopping about a month ago and one of the stops was a blog where the crafter created a birdcage using a SVG file. I wish I could remember where I saw it, but I just skim over blogs where SVG files are used since I personally don't use them. I started thinking that I would like to try my hand at a 3D birdcage using my Gypsy, so when I had some time about 3 weeks ago, I started this. It went through about 4-5 transformations before I finally settled on the cage you see here. Before I go into all the details, here are the materials I used for this final birdcage.
Cricut Expression 2 and Gypsy
Serenade - Birdcage
Elegant Edges - Birdcage Door
Art Nouveau - Birdcage Base
CTMH Art Philosophy - Butterflies and Dragonflies
Martha Stewart Elegant Cake Art - Butterflies
Spring Cottage - Birds
Mother's Day Bouquet - Flowers
CTMH Art Philosophy - Flowers
Flower Shoppe - Flowers
Wall Decor and More - Vines
Papers :
Graphic45, K&Company
Recollections Glitter Cardstock
Other Good Stuff:
Tim Holtz Distress Inks - Tea Dye, Wild Honey and Frosted Bough
Ranger Alcohol Inks - Butterscotch
Martha Stewart Coarse Glitter
Ranger Glossy Accents
Prima Crystal Accents
Pearl Accents
Lollipop Stick
7 Gypsies Jump Rings
Hot Glue Gun

I had originally started this in the CCR, but moved it to my Gypsy when I stared using more and more carts on it. The birdcage is from Serenade and I welded 3 together on 2 mats to make my design. I am not sure why, but when I started it, I had 7 cages with 4 on one mat and 3 on the other. The result was a cage that buckled, as you can see here.

That was when I figured out that an even number of panels might be the way to go. LOL! Here is what it looks like on the Gypsy. The cage is almost 10 inches tall.

I thought at one point that the paper I was using wasn't sturdy enough for the design, so I used heavy Recollections Glitter cardstock to cut the cage in the picture. It is sturdy and is holding the embellishments nicely. The cardstock isn't double sided, so I used Tim Holtz Distress Ink to add some color on the back of the cardstock.  I used Ranger Glossy accents to adhere the birdcage together. It's a nice solid hold.

   I originally built a floor for the 1st birdcage
and it looked like this

I decided to go a little bit different on the new cage. I was still trying to avoid buckling, so I used a lid from a tin I had laying around and covered it with some paper from Graphic 45.

It's a perfect fit for the birdcage.

I made a swing for my cage using some jump rings I had from 7 Gypsies in my stash and a unused lollipop stick that I stained with Time Holtz Tea Dye Ink.

I hot glued a bird I cut from Spring Cottage to the swing. I wanted the other side of the bird to be finished, so I used a pop dot and added a shadow of the bird flipped over to the other side.

I attached the swing using the jump rings and my Big Bite to the top of the birdcage. To close up the top of the birdcage,  I trimmed off the swirls. Sorry the pictures are from my earlier attempt at the cage. By the time I had figured out how I wanted it, I wasn't taking the step by step pictures anymore.

To close the top of the birdcage, I folded the tops down over each other, then inserted the brad.

The bird is cut with Graphic 45 paper and is from Spring Cottage. I picked up this cart because of that bird!  I used a little crystal for his eye. He is hot glued to the top of the cage.

I searched my Gypsy and found a great vine on Wall Decor and More. I cut them with Graphic 45 paper and added some flowers to them.

I added a ton of embellishments on to the birdcage. I glued ribbon on it. I colored some little charms from my stash with Ranger Alcohol Ink in Butterscotch and added a design to the cage.

There are butterflies and dragonflies all around it. I cut them with Graphic 45 papers and used lots of Martha Stewart Coarse Glitter on them.

This is the  other side of the birdcage.

Below is the back of the birdcage.

This month I really tried to challenge myself to try something different. I'm really pleased with the finished birdcage. I have some more ideas for our table, but in the end, I think this will be the main attraction!

Thank you for stopping by my blog today!

Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Two More Cards for Arkansas Children's Hospital

HI Friends and Fellow Crafters! One of my earlier posts featured a card  that I sent to a crafter friend for a Card Shower at Arkansas Children's Hospital. Here is the link in case you missed it and wanted to see the card. I also entered it in  the Color Challenge and was really excited to see it had been one of the winners. I even got a nice new badge for my blog!  I want to share the other 2 cards I sent to my friend in remembrance of her daughter. The first card is from Mo Manning and is called Soaking Up the Joy. The papers on the front of the card are from Little Yellow Bicycle. I had been saving scraps of the paper from an earlier project and decided to use them. I colored her with Copics. The flower is from Prima and the butterfly is a sticker from K&Co. There is a pin in the flower from my stash, but since I knew a child would be handling the card, I cut the tip off and rounded in the end of it. I wouldn't want any little fingers getting hurt.

The inside of the card are papers printed with my Imagine. The border is the Little Yellow Bicycle paper and the Dragonfly is another K&Co sticker. My Mom and I would go to the craft stores, and she loved to buy stickers, so I have many packages from our adventures. I even boxed up a bunch of them to donate in an effort to stop hoarding them. I rarely use stickers these days because my of my Cricut. LOL!

Speaking of Cricut, the next card was made with my Imagine. I wanted to create a card for a little boy, so I used my Buccaneer cart to create a simple, but fun card. I added "Ahoy" to the flag and adhered it to a tea stained lollipop stick. I used a little twine for fun and popped pretty much all the cuts up. 

My crafting friend said she received lots of cards and donations from the Cricut MB members and I am honored to have been a part of it.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Happy Crafting!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Cricut Circle Magazine Challenge

Hi Friends and Fellow Crafters! Here is a blogging first for me, two posts in one day! This is my magazine entry for April. Here are the rules for this month's challenge:

Magazine Letter Envy Challenge!
We want to encourage every Cricut Circle™member to participate. We will be choosing our winner at random, and you can entrees many times as you want. It might get a little crazy, but we think it will be really fun to see how many entries we can get. So run, don’t walk, to your machines and get busy! You can create any kind of project you would like—just make sure to use your exclusive Letter Envy cartridge on it.
Challenge Rules:
Create any sort of project you would like, just make sure to incorporate something from the Letter Envy cartridge and at least two other cuts from any other cartridge. Upload a working link or picture of your project to the blog under the Magazine Challenge tab. Remember, you can enter as many times as you want, and we will use the number assigned to your project to randomly pick a winner. Entry deadline is April 13th. If you use the Cricut Craft Room™ design tool to design your projects, save your file. If you win, we can share the file with the other Cricut Circle™members! The winner of this challenge will receive $150.00 credit to and your project picture will be featured in the magazine. Get busy! The 13th will be here before you know it!

Nothing like waiting until the last minute! I have been so busy with cards that I completely forgot about the magazine challenge! While I was cleaning off my table I decided to make a 12x12 layout. They are very much out of comfort zone, although I started out on my paper crafting journey making a scrapbook.

It's a simple layout using all cuts from Letter Envy with the exception of the arrows which are from Graphically Speaking, I think. They were in my spare cut stash. I used a Studio G dollar stamp set and a white gel pen to add some interest to the arrows. The papers and little chipboard journaling spot are from SEI. The picture is from February when I caught my kitten, Spike, sleeping on my Coach Bag! Insert shocked smiley face here. LOL! I love my little Spikey, but not that much! He was lovingly picked up and moved to a new location after I got this picture.

Everything else is from my stash. Thanks for stopping by!
Happy Crafting!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Color Challenge

Hi Friends and Fellow Crafters! I created this card for a special purpose. A fellow Cricut crafter was asking for card donations for a card shower she was hoping to bring to the Arkansas Children's Hospital in memory of her daughter who would have been turning 13 on April 23rd. She was lost in a fire and joined the angels in May of 2008. It's a loss unimaginable to me. As hard as it can be some days being a Mother to a child who is disabled, I can never, ever imagine being a Mother to an Angel in heaven, who was only with us for a blink of an eye.

I made 3 cards to send. I wish I could have created more, but with the holiday and my son on vacation, it was all I could get into the mail in time for them to get to my friend. I also am entering this into a color challenge over at my crafting friend Renee's blog.

Creative Color Challenge 04-09-12

Welcome to this week's Creative Color Challenge. Here are this week's colors:

Basic Gray RGB: 118, 122, 121
Melon Mambo RGB: 234, 62, 112
Old Olive RGB: 138, 151, 71
I used my Imagine to print the colors and to cut the frame and book plate in the Melon Mambo. The background and leaves are Old Olive. The base and sentiment are Basic Gray. I created all the cuts using Art Philosophy, except for the sentiment which I created in the CCR using the Cricut Alphabet. If you don't already own this cart, it's a must have! You can pick one up from my good friend Belinda!
I ran the frame and background through my Vagabond using two Cuttlebug folders. The image is from Mo Manning and is called Cotton Candy . She is pure sweetness! I colored her with copics and trimmed her to add to the frame.

I added a cute little blinged up lady bug from Prima and some flowers that I made using Art Philosophy with Whiff Of Joy Pearl Brads are the centers. The leaves are a Martha Stewart Punch. That background paper is one of the last few remaining pieces of scrap paper from the K&Company Berry Sweet paper that started my spending ban for paper. With the exception white cardstock and the paper I needed to finish my friend's B'day banner, I have not purchased any paper in over a year.  That spending ban grew into an embellie ban, a ribbon ban, then a stamp ban, and finally became a general spending ban. I have not been adding to my stash at all, just using what I have and only purchasing adhesives, storage and Cricut Carts. I wasn't going to cut those out, no sirree! LOL!
I added some corners that I had in a little container hung over my craft table. I had punched them ages ago from small scraps I had. They have been turning up all over my projects these days.
One of the requirements the Children's Hospital asked was that the cards didn't say "Get Well" or have any religious themes. When I first saw Mo Manning's digi stamp, the first thing that had popped into my head was "Think Big". I ordered the stamp May 30th of last year and it sat unused in my computer until Sunday when I printed her our to color for the card. Another good reason to ban spending on stamps, almost 11 months to use a digi! For shame! LOL! I changed my idea from Think Big to Dream Big. I cut it using the CCR. I added some dots using a Silver Sakura Gel Pen on the sentiment and a copic to add dots to the book plate. I used a Viva Decor Pearl Pen to add some accents and that finished the card. It's a cute card that I hope will bring a smile to a child that really needs one.
I will be posting the other 2 cards I made real soon.
Thanks for stopping by my blog today!
Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Steampunk Thank You Card

Hi Friends and Fellow crafters! Easter is right around the corner and I haven't made a single project for the holiday. Why? Because I am still trying to catch up on thank-you cards from my birthday. My card today is a thank-you for one of my best friends. She is not a "froo-froo" type of person, but finds things like steampunk interesting, so I found this sweet image at Make It Crafty for her. Everything is from my stash and I am proud to say that I still have not broken my spending ban! I do have a fabulous Michael's gift card from my best friend that I made this card for, so I think I will be taking a shopping trip soon. LOL!

Here are the details:
Cricut Gypsy and E-2
Cricut Carts:
Picturesque for Corner
                       Paper Lace for Thank You Sentiment
                   Pop Up Neighborhood for Balloon
Other Materials:
Basic Grey Eva 6x6 Paper
Tim Holtz Paper Stash - Crowded Attic
Tim Holtz Grunge Paper
Tim Holtz Idea-ology Sprocket Gears and Game Spinners
Prima Swirls
Black Leather Twine
Viva Decor Pearl Pen - Anthracite
Ranger Pearl Mist - Perfect Pearl
MS Glitter
Ranger Glossy Accents, 3D Crystal Lacquer
Copic Markers
Annabelle Digi Image

I was researching Steampunk and really liked many of the images associated with it. I went to my Tim Holtz box of goodies and found the gear sprockets and game spinners. I had Annabelle in my digi stamp collection for quite some time now because I knew that one day I would need her for a card. :-) 
The paper is Eva from Basic Grey. I have had this paper since the paper spending frenzy of 2010 and I think I have used about 4 pieces of it! I created the easel card using the directions from SplitCoastStampers but went a little larger in size. My card is a 5x5 card. I colored Annabelle in Browns and Reds. I am still trying to master those colors and black in copics. I don't use them enough to really get a feel for coloring them. I think she turned out pretty.

I like how there are all trains, planes, balloons, and other traveling vehicles connected with Steampunk. I went with a balloon, although a plane had crossed my mind. I used paper from Tim Holtz Paper Stash Crowded Attic Collection. A Viva Decor Pearl Pen created the perfect black dots, and I added the Leather twine for interest. I also spritzed it with the Ranger Pearl Mist for fun. I used pop dots to adhere it. I really love how it turned out.

I cut the sentiment using my Cricut and Gypsy from the Paper Lace Cart. It sort of got lost with the colors I used, so I added some MS Glitter, but hated how it looked. The original glitter was a platinum color, but just looked wrong. When it was dry, I took a copic R29 and colored over it. I added some 3D Crystal Lacquer over the design. It didn't photograph well, but I liked it much better. I added some Prima swirls from my stash and a Tim Holtz Gear Sprocket with a Game Spinner attached by a brad.  

I also made sure to add the Gears and Spinners to the card topper, but wanted to keep it sort of simple. I finished it with the corner.  It was so hard for me not to add a ton of flowers on this card. LOL! I used a piece of eggshell card stock on the inside and wrote my note there. I am putting it in the mail 1st thing tomorrow, if I can keep my Mom from confiscating it!

Thanks for stopping by today! I hope everyone has a beautiful day!

Happy Crafting!