Fabulous Finds Friday — Close To My Heart

I have come late to the exciting world of electronic die cutters, and have just recently become the proud (and excited and nervous!) owner of a Cricut electronic cutter. I have, I admit, been a bit intimidated. (Even though I just finished writing an article about die cutting machines for the August issue of Crafts ‘n things magazine. Sheesh, you’d think I would be an expert after all that research!)

But last week I received a new Cricut cartridge (Art Philosphy) with designs from Close To My Heart. The nifty thing about the cartridge is that several of the designs match CTMH stamps. What was I waiting for? Taking a deep breath (and my least favorite card stock) I plunged. My learning curve is pretty steep on some things (like learning about anything electronic or digital — sheesh, am I getting to be an old fogy?)

The best way to learn something, I’ve found, is to do just that — jump in and play. So I did. And spent several hours just cutting things:

After getting a feel for the machine, the dials, the cutting parameters, etc. I decided that again, the best way to learn was to make an actual project. One thing I like about the Cricut cartridge books is that they all come with instructions for one project. So I popped in the Art Philosphy cartridge (page 12-13 of the catalog, which you can see online), and followed the simple instructions. Here’s what I made:

Not too bad, eh? (Remember, I used my least favorite cardstock and random scrap papers, so cut me some slack here!) And now I’m hooked.

I have been dying to make a box, so I tried it in two sizes (just to see if I could!):

(Yes, I have a LOT of this card stock!!!)

Thanks for stopping by, and thanks to Cricut and Close To My Heart for the impetus.

Crafty News

Here are some quick notes on new items popping up in the craft world:

Xyron has newly designed Creative Stations in two models: Creative Station, which accepts thin items up to 5”
wide, and Creative Station Home, which accepts items up to 9” wide. Both can add adhesives, make magnets
and laminate. The crank handle means you don’t need electricity or batteries.

American Art Stamps’s new line, Gourmet Rubber Stamps, features wood mounted and cling designs from Lizzie Anne Designs. Here are a few sneak peeks:

 The new Gourmet Rubber Stamp web site will be up and running September 15th.
Thanks for popping in. Next week I’ll have a preview of an exciting new Cricut cartridge designed especially for stamps from Close To My Heart!

Fabulous Finds Friday — Fun with Templates

A few weeks ago I found some old envelope and box templates. I haven’t done anything with templates in a while, so I left them on my desk thinking inspiration might hit. (Of course, it was equally possible that they would be buried under the mounds of OTHER ideas sitting on my desk….)

Then I got a package from Basic Grey showing off their new paper and embellishment lines (always such a treat!)

“Ah ha!” I cleverly said to the dog, who totally gets me. “These papers are attractive, double sided, and sturdy enough to stand on their own (without being layered on other cardstock). Cool paper. Nifty templates. It’s like peanut butter and chocolate — two good ideas that get better together.” (The dog perked up at the mention of peanut butter.)

I literally closed my eyes and picked one 12×12 sheet from the new Picadilly line, tossed in a few matching embellies, and came away with one card set in a fun little package.

(I used a piece of self-stick Velcro to close the flap.)

(An inside look.)

The envelope box holds 6 to 8 cards and envelopes. (The template, called “Stationary Box Template #11848, is an old one from The Envelopes Please. It can be found at Verses Rubber Stamps.)

After making the box, I had enough card stock left over to make four coordinating cards. (Actually, I could have made five cards, but the family had the gall to want to eat dinner. So I stopped at four.)

I thought about making the cards all the same, but I wanted to use up some random images sitting on my desk, so I made them all different:

(matching embellishment from Basic Grey)

(girl and bird images from Crafty Individuals. Sentiment from Inkadinkado. Backgrounds from Hero Arts)

(dolls from Hero Arts; bottom border from Basic Grey)

I also found a template from Draggin’ Ink (check them out — a ton of templates) to make an adorable take-out food box, so I made this, using another sheet of Basic Grey Picadilly:

Too much fun! Do stop by Basic Grey and check out the new lines: Picadilly, Indie Bloom, Little Black Dress and Nordic Holiday.

Thanks for stopping by!

Living on the Edge — of a die cut!

On Friday, I teased you with a blurb about new dies from Spellbinders.

The company introduced 57 new dies at CHA in July. Here’s just a smattering:

Among my favorites are the Edgeabilities — these 3-die sets create wonderful edges and come with coordinating decorative inserts that let you mix and match a whole batch of designs! (scroll down to the previous post to see two samples.)

Here are a few cards I made using the postage stamp set:

I used two of the three dies that come in the set. (Stamps from Stampin’ Up.)

The main problem I have with the Edgeabilities is that they are long — 8 inches —  and designed to work best with Spellbinders’ large Grand Calibur. Since I don’t have the Grand Calibur,  I had to fudge the card a little to get the edge cut the way I wanted. I cut the front of the card (the gray area)  to a smaller size and ran it through my Big Kick. Then I cut the bottom half (the yellow), leaving a little tab on the yellow piece so I could attach the gray front.

Of course, when you punch (or edge) one piece, you often have the negative space left. I couldn’t just toss it, could I? So I made a little gift tag using that leftover  (not a great card, but I wanted to show you how to use the leftovers!):

And one more using just one of the inserts:

(You can’t tell in the photo, but the silver strip with the cut out hearts actually has a little embossed texture, too.)

(Flower by Hero Arts; sentiment by Technique Tuesday.)

Here are a few more quick picks of what’s new from Spellbinders:

Thanks for stopping by! I’ll have more to add later this week.

Fabulous Finds Friday — New Treats, No Tricks

Lots of fun new goodies were released at the Craft & Hobby show (CHA) in July. Here’s a quick look:

Trick or treat? Well, it’s mostly treats with the new collections from the EK Success family.

First, there’s some scarily cute paper, embellies and kits from K&Company, including this adorable pumpkin treat box and the EK Success spider punch:


Then there are these spooktacular stickers from Jolee’s Boutique (I ADORE those birdcages!):

And speaking of spells (have I taken the Halloween thing too far?) … Spellbinders continues to delight with new dies. There are new boxes, borders, embellishments and so much more.

Here’s a sneak peak — I’ll have more Spellbinders news in my next post:

Thanks for coming by!