Friday, December 4, 2009

The Snowman Scoop! (a card and verse)

Hi Everyone ... This is ♥Carol♥ ... Welcome to my Little Creation Corner.  I hope everyone is off to a great start with your Holiday crafts.  I seem to be running a little slow this year, so I am now working like a little demon trying to get my Christmas cards completed.

Here's one of my first cards for the year ... I struggled trying to find a snowman with the right size tummy, so I made my own by welding two circles from the George cart using Design Studio and added the hat and scarf and carrot nose from the Snow Friends Cartridge. I also added a ribbon, a pompom and wiggly eyes to give the card a little more character and gave him a grin by using my hole punch .. the grin is a little large, next time I will use a smaller hole punch.

BTW, the center of the tummy is a Stampin'Up Treat cup filled with marshmallows.  Not that I am trying to give anyone a plug here ... but I purchased my Stampin'Up supplies from Mandy Ferg from the message board.  If you don't have a Stampin'Up rep yet, I highly recommend her ... besides being a super sweet lady, she also is a wonderful Stampin'Up representative and has great customer service too!

The image inside is from PC Crafters, the verse is one I made special for this card, and the lettering is computer generated.

I hope you like it, and, as always ... thanx for looking

The Outside of the card

The Center of the Card

The Back of the Card

(Remember ... Click on any image to see full size.)

The verse is hard to read ... this is what it says ...

This Snowman’s Special
Here’s the scoop,
His tummy’s really
Filled with poop!

But that’s not the part
That’s so incredible,
This Snowman’s poop
Is really edible!

Just take a bite
And you will see,
His poop is
Yummy as can be!

He also brings
This wish from us
For a Happy New Year
& Merry Christmas!

I hope you enjoyed seeing this card as much as I enjoyed sharing it with you.  Thanx again for visiting my Little Creation Corner.  If you have the time, leave me a comment, I love hearing reading what all of you have to say!  HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thanksgiving Centerpiece and Invitation - Using the Cricut Expressions and the Animal Kingdom and Winter Woodlands Cartridges

Greetings Everyone and HAPPY THANKSGIVING … This is ♥Carol♥ … Welcome to my Little Creation Corner ... today I’d like to share a couple of simple Thanksgiving projects I made with a little help from my Cricut Expressions and the Animal Kingdom and Winter Woodlands cartridges.

The first is a centerpiece I made for the Thanksgiving table. This project was very easy and inexpensive to make. I purchased a couple of fall floral stems from my local craft store (and as luck would have it, they were on sale for $.79 each). I added some turkeys which were made from scraps of card stock I already had, using the Animal Kingdom cartridge and cut at 5.5 inches. The turkeys were attached to the arrangement using a 3 foot, 1/8 inch dowel I purchased from the same craft store (for $.39) cut into 4 equal pieces. The copper colored pail was purchased for $.99. It’s tied around the center with a bit of raffia I already had. After all the turkeys were made, this centerpiece took less than 20 minutes to put together.

The total cost for this project is as follows …

$0.79 Fall Floral Stem
$0.79 Fall Floral Stem
$0.39 1/8 inch 3 ft. dowel
$0.99 Small Copper Pail
$0.00 Rafia from stash on hand
$0.00 Google Eyes from stash on hand
$0.00 Card Stock from stash on hand

$2.96 (plus tax) Total out of pocket cost

Here is the completed centerpiece …

(for details, click on any image to see full size)

To make the turkeys, I used the Animal Kingdom cartridge. Since this cartridge only has minimal layering pieces, I cut 5 turkeys in various colors for each turkey made. I then cut them apart and pieced the various colors together (similar to a jigsaw puzzle) to make them more colorful. By adding wiggly eyes and a small raffia bow tie, it gave them more depth, dimension and character.

Cut turkeys from Animal Kingdom

(Brown is the background piece)

I then made a matching card using the same turkey … in this case, I made an invitation to Thanksgiving Dinner and included the menu and a short verse I wrote. I used scraps of different colored fall papers I had on hand. All words were computer generated and printed on card stock. The little tag on the face of the card was made using the Winter Woodlands cartridge, layered with different colored papers and attached together with brads. Both the turkey and tag are popped up using dimensionals.

Here is the card face …

Here is the card center ….

Supplies used were from stash on hand

(cardstock, patterned scrapbook paper, raffia, wiggly eyes, brads and dimensionals)

REMINDER … You can click on any image to see full view.

Both projects were super easy to make, and the great thing is, they were also very inexpensive too!

I hope you enjoy these projects as much as I did making them and sharing them with you … feel free to leave comments, I love hearing your thoughts. As always, thank you for visiting me here at my Little Creation Corner.



Monday, November 2, 2009

Craft Adhesives

Hiya Everyone ... This is ♥Carol♥, welcome to my LITTLE CREATION CORNER.  I hope you are all having a wonderful day.  I've received several questions regarding the types of crafting adhesives I use, so let's take a moment to talk about it. 

So ... What Adhesive do I use???? Ahhh … this question pops up frequently and is more complex to answer than you might think. The reason is, I actually use several different types of adhesives … depending on my need. There are literally hundreds and hundreds of great adhesives on the market, and everyone has their own special favorites. Following is a list of my particular favorites and their uses … these are the ones I use the most …

*** BTW ... I did not intend this to be a commercial or product review, however, I think it's unfair to talk about a product and not show you what the product is ***

Glue Glider Pro – This adhesive gun offers a continuous line of double-sided adhesive strip, and it’s what I use on most of my larger pieces (matting pictures, applying larger pieces to greeting cards, etc.).  I generally use the High Tack refills because they work great and are longer than the other refills, so they last longer.  The GGP is relatively small, light weight, easy to handle and use, the refill cartridges pop in an out like a breeze, so they are exceptionally easy to change … and they are great size to take to crops, etc. BTW … here’s a helpful hint … Since the GGP does NOT come with a cap, to prevent foreign matter from sticking to the tip, I pull the cartridge out, turn it around, and slide it in backwards. This is a handy tip when storing your GGP and also when taking to crops, etc.  I should also note that another great alternative is the ATG Gun.  Although I do not have one, I know many who do ... and they all love them.

Glue Runners/Snail Adhesives – These are used the same as the Glue Glider Pro ... they are a double sided tape that come in small dispensers. I don’t use them often but find they are really handy to have around and grab when you have something you want to glue down quickly. They are also great to take to crops because they are so small and won’t take up much of your much needed space in you supply tote.  Plus, if you ever run out of your other adhesives, you will be very glad you have one or two of these around.  There are hundreds of glue runners (also know as snail adhesives) to choose from. My particular favorite is TomBo Mono Adhesive, however, I've used other types that work well too.

Zig Fine Tip 2-Way Glue Pen – This is one of the FEW wet adhesives I use … but I am using it constantly. It is a wet glue, in a pen-type applicator. It’s perfect for adhering small layering pieces to your project … if you have a Cricut, or other die cutting machine, then you know how small some of the layering pieces can be … this is the perfect tool for that. ALSO … this is a great tool for applying glitter to projects – and the amazing thing is that whether it is wet or dry, the glitter will stick beautifully. Simply draw or color in the areas you wish to glitter, then sprinkle glitter over your project, brush away any excess (I have a very cheap soft bristle paint brush I use for this), and you are left with wonderful bling! The great thing about doing it this way, is that the fine tip allows you to add very fine details and outlines. I also like adding Swarovski Crystals to my project and this adhesive allow me to apply a tiny little dot of glue, the perfect size for adhering these pretty little gems. Helpful hint … This adhesive goes on blue, but turns clear as it dries. For a permanent bond effect, adhere while the glue is wet and allow to dry (this glue dries very quickly) … for a temporary or repositionable bond, allow adhesive to dry first, then adhere to your item.

SCOTCH QUICK DRY GLUE ... I also love the long lasting hold of the Scotch Quick Dry Glue ... it has a super fine nozzel that makes it great for adhering even the tinest layers and thin letters ...

Zig Wide-Tip 2-Way Glue Pen – it’s the same great glue as noted above and works the same way except that the super wide tip makes it near impossible to really do any fine detailed work with this glue pen. HOWEVER, this is definitely my first choice for re-sticking my Cricut mats.  To do this, clean any lingering debris off your mats using a scraper tool and wash with a non-alcohol baby wipe or mild soap and water, allow to dry, then apply the adhesive evenly over the cutting surface portion of your mat.  Allow to dry thoroughly, and your mat will work as good as new. 

Glue Dots and Zots – These little dots of glue are wonderful. Glue Dots are my personal favorite because they come on a paper strip in a single-file style, or roll-type applicator or single use perforated sheets. Although Zots work just as well, they come on a double-wide paper strip with 2 rows of glue dots that are staggered … for some clumsy reason all my own, I find it more difficult to get just one glue dot off at a time with this 2-row staggered dispensing method  It seems like I am continuously snagging an extra dot or two where I don’t want it. Please understand that I am not trying to give Zots a negative review, as they really do work as well as the Glue Dots, I am merely speaking of my own personal preference. BTW, both the Glue Dots and Zots work fabulous for adhering bows, buttons, pearls, skittles, rhinestones, and many other items as well. They have a strong hold, and come in a variety of sizes from ¼ inch to ½ inch and even in dimensionals and strips too.

Xyron Sticker Maker – These sure are handy to have around for applying a quick all-over adhesive to the back of your cut pieces. I really love to use them for letters, especially the thin letters with a lot of intricate detailing. Just pop it in the Xyron Sticker Maker (top side up), and roll it through the machine ... it’s just that simple … you have made yourself a little sticker. Another great use is to put it through the Xyron machine once … then, without removing the paper backing, turn it over and run it through again. This will give you adhesive on both sides of your cut piece. This is great for applying all over glitter to the top of your piece or adding embossing powder and then heat embossing for another great look. Hint: to help reduce excess adhesive bit from clinging to your piece, press your cut piece down firmly against the paper backing BEFORE removing the paper, I also like to outline the edge of the cut pieces with a stylus or ball point pen before I remove the paper to ensure the glue bits are not clinging to my pieces.  There are several size widths of Xyron machines available and I have most of them. However, the ones I use the most are the small 3” and 5" sizes  … I also like the “X”, which is a small hand-held manual sticker maker (great size for taking to crops).

Terrifically Tacky Tape – This is a double-sided tape with a red backing. There are other look-alike brands on the market, I’ve tried some of them and found them to work just as well, however, I tend to buy this brand mainly because it is available at most craft stores (where you can always use a coupon) and at many online vendors as well. This tape has an exceptionally strong hold, which makes it ideal for making paper boxes, bags, shaker boxes, and other items that require a strong adhesive. This tape will even adhere small beads to paper, wood, glass, metal, plastic, etc. Plus, you can heat emboss with this tape too! This tape is available in a wide variety of widths and comes in sheets as well.

Vellum Adhesives – Vellum is so translucent that it is really important to use an adhesive that is totally invisible. You sure don’t want to go thru all the work of making a gorgeous card or LO and have it spoiled by having your adhesive show behind your work. It is really worth the money to keep some special adhesives on hand that are especially designed to work with vellum. Although there are many brands on the market today, and I am sure most of them are excellent … here are the ones I’ve tried that work really well for me …

Ranger’s Glossy Accents and Aleen’s Paper Glaze – These are clear, three-dimensional glossy mediums. I use them to accent, brighten, dimensionalize and magnify distinct areas on my scrapbook pages, album covers, rubber stamped images, greeting cards, paper crafts or home décor projects. These are ideal for decoupage and paper mache projects too. And the great things is that they also work well as an adhesive by placing a small amount under embellishments to make them stick and on top to protect and glossify! Just a warning, the drying time is much longer using these products.

Zip Dry  – As a general rule, I do not like working with wet glues or glue sticks. However, I do make a few exceptions, as noted above. This is another exception … but I do caution you to use it sparingly because little goes a long way … and the more you use, the longer it takes to dry. But Zip Dry is the best I’ve found and it really is quicker drying than most other wet glues, plus it does not wrinkle or warp your paper like some wet glues. I especially love using it when I am adhering large areas (but great for small areas too) … like one piece of card stock over another or photos in LOs and also for making boxes, which I hold in place with a paperclip until dry (a minute or so will do it).  Also, when I do not have any chip board, I'll cut multiple pieces of the same item and use this adhesive to glue the pieces one on the top of the other for a thicker look.   One of the nice things about using this glue is that since it is wet, you will have time to move your piece into the exact position you want before it dries, but move quickly as it is definitely fast drying.  BTW, once this adhesive is dry, it has a very strong hold!

Pop Dots and Dimensionals – I would be remiss if I didn’t include these little jewels. Any time I want to have a nice dimensional look on my cards and other crafts … I use pop dots. These are a double-sided adhesive with a layer of soft foam in between. I love them and use them often. There are many different brands on the market, and they come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes and thicknesses. Some brands even offer them in both black and white.  I am not particularly picky about the brand I use, as they all seem to work pretty much the same … I haven’t found one yet that I didn’t like. In fact, a nice alternative is to use the scotch foam mounting tape … that works great too, and you can cut it to the exact size you need. Just a word of caution … dimensional have a super strong bond … be sure you know where you want the placement to be BEFORE you stick them down, because it’s next to impossible to remove without tearing, or at the very least scaring, your paper. Helpful Hint: The pop dots, and similar brands come on little sheets that you pull the dot off of … but when you’ve used all the dots, don’t throw that sheet away, you can also cut your negative space and use that too … it works just the same.

Scotch Tape and Packing Tape – Yes, I even use plain old scotch tape … any brand is fine. I often use scotch tape to adhere a strip of ribbon around a small piece of paper or card stock on my greeting cards. But you will be amazed at how handy it is to have a roll of scotch tape in your crafting room, and how often you will actually use it! After all, you do not need double sided tape for everything.  The same applies to packing tape. You can’t send out a RAK (or other package) without it (((wink))).

I realize this is a rather long and extensive list of adhesives … and you may be wondering if I really have and, more importantly, do I actually use all of them. And the answer is YES!  In fact, I use even more adhesives for other crafts (wood, glass, fabric, jewelry, etc.), however, at this time, I am writing about mainly paper crafting.  If I had to narrow this selection of adhesives down to just a few, I would select the Glue Glider Pro and the Zig fine-tip glue pen. Luckily, I don’t have to do that, because I truly do use them all! (((grin)))

BTW, I have not been paid to endorse any of these products, nor have I been given free samples from any of the brands listed … this is simply my personal opinion and list of my favorite adhesives … and was posted in response to direct questions from some of you.  (However, if there are any manufactures out there that would like to send me free product to try out and write my honest review/opinion on it ... I certainly invite you to do so!  *wink*) ** Special note:  Since the original writing of this report, I have received adhesives from the following companies ... Zip Dry from Beacon Adhesives and Crop & Glue Vellum Adhesive from Glue Arts.  However, receiving these products had no reflection on the writing of this report ... I have been using these products for some time now because I believe them to be the best for my needs in their respective areas of use.  I will continue to recommended them just as I did previously.

I hope you found this useful … feel free to leave me a comment, I’d love to hear your thoughts ... and please feel free to share your favorite adhesives too ... I'm always open to trying new things.

Have a great week everyone!


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Provo Craft Sweethearts Cartridge - Review and Card

Greetings Everyone and WELCOME to my Little Creation Corner … This is ♥Carol♥ … and today I'd like to share my personal review of the new Cricut Sweethearts Cartridge and a card I made with it too!

(NOTE:  Click on any image to see full size and detail)

I originally ordered this cartridge because there were a few images that I really wanted to have … the bicycle built for two, the couple sitting at a café table, the adorable little cupid, and several others. However, my excitement over this cartridge increased ten-fold when my girlfriend asked me if I would mind cutting a few images and sending them to her. The list of images she wanted cut ended up being at least two dozen … which gave me the chance to really work with this cartridge and check everything out closely right away. OH MY … This cartridge is loaded with so many wonderful images, and each one was so easy to cut. In fact, I found it was much easier to work with than many others. My mind is swimming with all the creative possibilities.

First, let’s talk about what’s on this cartridge … A wide selection of images, perfect for weddings, engagements, lovers/sweethearts, dating, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day … couples in various poses, hearts, gifts, bouquet, cupid and bow and arrow, shoes, gown and tuxedo, umbrella, bicycle built for two, cake, his and her towels, frog, cat, puppy, man proposing, ring and ring in box, envelope image, bells, church, birds in a nest, champagne glasses, scrolly pieces and design cuts, locks and keys, etc, plus word sentiments like love, sweetheart, bride, groom, I Do, puppy love, smitten kitten, kiss me, you’re invited, bridal shower, happy anniversary … and much more. BTW, you will also find shadow/blackout options, as well as layering features for most of the images. In addition, this cart also has a nice selection of cards, envelopes and tags.

Here’s a glimpse of some of the images on the Sweethearts cartridge …

Following is a glimpse of the other goodies with the special features options …

Keypad with Main Images

(Remember to click on images for full detail)







Now that we know what’s on this cartridge … what can we do with it? How about some of the following for a starter …. scrapbook layouts for your wedding, anniversary, bridal shower, reception, first date, or even your first kiss, Valentine’s Day, etc. Perhaps etching a picture as a gift for a special couple or etching glasses or candle holders, making T-Shirts, pillow cases, quilts, or even a table cloth and napkin set for a shower … how about making table decorations or centerpieces … and, let’s not forget the creative card making possibilities … WOW, the creative opportunities on this cartridge are endless! In fact, I’ve made a card for you to show one sample of what you can create …

Both the card and envelope were made using the Design Studio Program … the card was cut at 4.5 inches and the envelope was made at 7 inches.

(one more reminder to click on any image to see full detail and size)

I mated the envelope cut with red card stock.
(Note the little star above the jewel ... I use that cut out on the inside of the card)

For the shaped card, I used two images of the ring in the shadow feature, flipped one, added a rectangle (size .5”x2”) between the two to use as a connector piece, which were over lapped very closely together and then welded. This gave me the base shape of the card which I scored in the center. Next, I cut the box shape out in red and ran it thru my Cuttlebug. I cut the ring shape out using a silver metallic paper, and cut the jewel out using a silver hologram origami paper … the hologram paper gives the illusion of an actual sparkling diamond … the effect in real life is truly dazzling!

For the inside of the card, on the left side, I cut “save the date” out of the silver foil paper and backed it with a red shadow at a 2” size. For the right side, I added the red ring in the box, cut at 4.5” and layered the box in solid white to allow room for writing … I also added the white star to the jewel which was actually taken from the cutout on the envelope.

HELPFUL HINT: This "HINT" applies to those using the Design Studio Program. Unfortunately, there was a glitch of some type when this cartridge was added to the cartridge library … when you open it up, the function keys do not appear. There are only empty spaces where the function keys should be.  HOWEVER, when you click on the space where the function keys should be, the function options will appear on the keypad  ...  or select the "features" option in the top menu to see all the available functions.

Please Note: all function keys appear correctly on the actual keypad overlay that comes with your cartridge. Also, for those with the Gypsy, all function keys appear normally.

I am having such fun working with the Sweethearts cartridge ... with the great selection of adorable images and sentiments that have such wonderful detail (yet are very easy to cut), plus layering pieces, shadows, blackouts, cards, envelopes and tags ... this cartridge offers endless creative possibilities. Even with the function key glitch in the Design Studio Program, it's so easy to work around it (as noted in the "Helpful Hint" above), that I don't see it as being a problem at all. Whether you are creating layouts, cards, home decor items, or a number of other crafts ... I am sure you will enjoy this cartridge as much as I do. Oh, and by the way, my girlfriend liked the cuts I sent her so much, that she couldn't resisit it ... she now owns the Sweethearts cartridge herself!

I hope you will take the time to leave a comment and let me know how useful this review was for you and if you'd like me to do other reviews of this type (I really enjoy your wonderful comments) ... I hope you'll join me as a follower of this blog too!

Thanx again for visiting my Little Creation Corner …. Happy Crafting everyone!


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cutting Your Images Into Fun Shapes Using Your Cricut - Tutorial

Hiya Everyone! This is ♥Carol♥  hope you're all having a wonderful day!

Today I'd like to share a quick tutorial on Using Your Cricut to Cut Images into fun shapes. We all want our scrapbook pages, greeting cards and other crafts to be as unique as possible. We also want to use methods that won’t require hours and hours to complete. One way to achieve a unique look is to cut your images into delightful shapes using your Cricut. However, cutting your images so that they are perfectly centered within a shape cut can be a challenge, even for the most expert crafter.

If you are using the Cricut Expression or Cricut Create, and know the exact center point of your image, you can use the “center point” key by following these steps … 1) Place your image on the mat; 2) Load your mat in the Cricut; 3) Select your desired shape and Size; 4) Using the arrow keys, manually move the blade to the center of the image; and 4) Select the "Center Point" feature key; 5) Cut. I would definitely suggest FIRST trying this technique with a copy of the image you wish to use, as more often than not, finding the exact center is very difficult to do – but keep trying …. You will eventually have success. 

Now I’d like to share with you another way to do it.  There are few more steps involved, but they are easy, and it will cut the image into your desired shape perfectly every time without any waste.  By the way, you can use this technique on ANY Cricut machine, regardless of the machine size.  Simply follow these easy steps:

1)  Use a piece of scratch paper, any kind at all, it can be typing paper, a page from a magazine, old scrapbook paper … something that you don’t mind cutting up.  Place it on your mat and insert it into the machine.

2)  Select the shape and size you wish to cut

3)  Cut.

4)  Remove the mat … but do not remove the paper.

5)  Leaving the paper in place, remove only the cut out piece.

You now have a stencil-like cutout of your desired shape that looks something like this …

6)  Without removing the paper completely, lift up one side of the paper and slide your image behind the stencil and adjust it so that it is centered and showing only the part of the image you wish to cut.

7)  When it is positioned correctly, firmly press it down on the mat and remove your stencil paper.

8)  Re-insert the mat into the Cricut

9)  Re-cut your image using the same cut and size (Hint: use your “repeat last” button).

Your image will be cut perfectly into your desired shape.

If you would like to cut a mat for your image … increase the size of your desired shape and cut your matting paper. Repeat this same process for a double mat and again for a triple mat.

Your finished cut (with double mats) will look similar to this …

Just a few tips on cutting sizes ...

1)  To determine the initial size of your cut, measure your image at it’s widest or highest point (whichever is greater) and add not less than ¼ inch so that you have at least a little boarder all the way around. Be sure to take into account for odd sizes … for example, a heart shape has two humps on the top, is wide in the center section and narrows to a point at the bottom.

2)  Cutting your mat size ½ inch larger than your original cut will give you a ¼ inch boarder all the way around. Similarly, cutting your mat size 1 inch larger will give you a ½ inch boarder all the way around. Remember, if you are making a double or triple mat, each mat size must be cut increasingly larger.

Try it … I think you will be very pleased with the way this technique turns out and how easy it is to do.  Don't forget to leave me a note and let me know how this technique works for you ... I love hearing your success stories.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Chicken Soup - Tri Fold Card - FROM MY KITCHEN

Special Note
 Imagine my surprise ... this card was highlighted
in the November 3, 2009 issue of the
Cricut CHIRP ...
you can see the entire newsletter here ...

Greetings Everyone … This is ♥Carol♥ …

Today I’d like to share a card I made using the new Cricut Cartridge From My Kitchen. As you know, one of my passions, besides creating crafts with my Cricut, is writing poems and short verses … this has turned out to be a wonderful compliment to my greeting cards. Today’s card combines the two. It’s a simple little verse, but seems to fit perfectly for this card.

This is a tri-fold “Get Well” card. The base of the card was made with double-sided paper, which worked out really well when I folded up the two pocket flaps. BTW, I've also included a diagram with the measurements for making this card. (click on any image to see it larger). All cuts were made using the From My Kitchen Cricut cart. The print is computer generated onto card stock. I also added one wiggly eye and a ribbon for closure. A little hand doodling and the card was done.

Here is the face of the card ... 

(just a reminder ... click on any image to view it larger).

This is the card with the first flap open ...

Here is the card fully opened ...

Here is a diagram of the card showing the measurements and score lines ...

(Remember ... Click on any image to enlarge)

I hope you enjoy this card and will give it a try, it's really an easy card to make, and you're welcome to use the verse as well if you'd like.  Feel free to leave comments, I love seeing your thoughts!

Have a great day everyone ... and thanx for visiting my Little Creation Corner