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 d├ęcor 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!