Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sweet Treats Thursdays - Mardi Gras

Greetings Everyone … This is ♥Carol♥ and I am so pleased that you are visiting me here today at my Little Creation Corner … I hope everyone is enjoying a wonderful week that extends throughout the week-end.

Over at the Cuttlebug Challenge Blog, the Sweet Treats Thursdays design team are celebrating Mardi Gras. By now, you've likely noticed a trend with me and know that I have to make a card … but with a theme like Mardi Gras … I just had to include a mask … in fact, I had to make two of them! These masks are to represent the King and Queen of Mardi Gras. I created them in Design Studio by combining shapes from the new Cricut Paisley Cartridge. I did miniature versions of the masks for the cards.

(Please click on images to see details full size.)

Follow along as I share how I created them …

First is the King’s Mask (Whoops, did you notice a little green feature was stuck to the fleur-de-lis?) …

This was created in by combining two shapes in Design studio, the crown and glasses from the Paisley Cricut Cartridge, and welding them together. I made the eyes by adding little paisleys and tilting and/or flipping them to get them into position at the right angles … it gives it a bit of an Oriental flair, don’t you think? There were several tick marks in these shapes, which I removed using the “hide contour” feature.

The paper I selected is actually a textured gold with bright glittery golden Swirls (Golden Swirl by ANW Crestwood), which was a little thin and would not hold it’s shape when attached to the stick, so I cut 3 additional heavy cardstock masks and glued them all together, one on top of the other, to give it stability. This worked great and gave a thickness similar to thick chipboard.

For the decorations, I cut the fleur-de-lis (found on the Cricut Stamping Cartridge), ran them upside down through my Xyron Sticker Maker, then covered them with purple and green glitter. I added feathers, a large purple one and smaller green ones. Whoa, what a mess … I’ve decided that I do NOT like working with feathers … I had feathers flying EVERYWHERE! I then covered a 12” wooden dowel with gold ribbon and attached it to the right side of the mask along with purple, green and gold ribbons and Mardi Gras beads.

Next is the Queen’s Mask

This was created much the same way as the King’s mask, except that I used the princess crown and the glasses from the Cricut Paisley Cartridge. There was a slight gap between the bridge of the nose piece on the glasses and the bottom edge, so I welded an apple (from the same cartridge) into the center to cover the gap and give the nose bridge a slightly more curved finish.

With the Queen’s mask, I selected a butterfly and hearts to decorate the face … other than that, the supplies, embellishments and techniques used were identical to those used to make the King’s mask.

Lastly, the Card

(Don't forget to click on any image to see details full size)

This was actually a very simple card to make … using the same basic steps to create the King and Queen’s masks, I made smaller versions from textured gold foil cardstock. The card is matted with green foil paper card stock and a textured feather paper. The edges are inked with a metallic gold (although it really doesn’t show much in the image). I popped the masks and sentiment, added gold ribbon, and the card was done. It’s not particularly fancy, but it does match the masks pretty well.

Don’t forget to stop by the Cuttlebug Challenge Blog to see the wonderful creations made by the other Sweet Treats Thursday Design Team members … they have truly made some amazing projects!

I hope you enjoyed your visit here today and liked my Mardi Gras projects … They were really fun to make, except for those messy feathers, of course! (*wink*) I hope you will take a moment to leave a comment to share your thoughts, I adore reading what you have to say … I’d also really love it if you would sign up to be a follower too, your visits make my blog so much more meaningful.

As always … thank you for stopping by to visit me here at my Little Creation Corner.  Have a great day, and HAPPY CRAFTING!


Thursday, February 11, 2010

LOVE STRUCK - Cartridge Review

Hello Everyone … This is ♥Carol♥.  Thanx for visiting me here at my Little Creation Corner.  Today I'd like to share a cartridge review with you on the LOVE STRUCK cartridge.  This cartridge is one of the 3 new limited edition mini cartridges released by Provo Craft for the Spring of 2010. 

Let's take a close look at what this cart has to offer ...

This cart is filled with amazingly delicate and intricate images. Without question, this is a collection of the MOST intricate images on any cart released by Provo Craft to date. There are a total of 50 different images which include a delightful mix of sentiments, intricate images and shadows, whimsical cards, envelope, 3-D heart, treat box, and even an adorable mail box. Here is a closer view of how intricate "some" of the images are … aren’t they incredibly beautiful …

Because of the intensely intricate nature of these delicate cuts, some people have experienced a little difficulty cutting them. Remember, Anything this intricate will cut better the larger it is cut.

Here are some setting hints that help you improve the quality of your cuts. Set your Cricut speed on Medium, the pressure on Medium, the blade depth on 4, and do a multi-cut of 2. (Note:  Because the alignment variation of the individual Cricut machines, these settings may need to be modified for your specific machine.  Also, you may need to adjust for the thickness of your cutting material, i.e., paper, fabric, vinyl, etc.) 

For those with either the Cricut Expressions or Create machines, there is a multi-cut feature button right on your Cricut. If you are using the original Cricut Baby Bug, you can do a manual multi-cut as follows … after the first cut and WITHOUT removing your mat, hit the “load paper” button. This will take you back to the same starting point on your mat. Now select the “repeat last” button for the 2nd cut. If you are working with either the Design Studio Program or a Gypsy, you have a "multi-cut feature on your program. 

Yes, this method takes a little a little extra time, but I think you will be pleased at how much cleaner the cuts are if you reduce your speed, pressure and blade depth a little, and cut your image twice. I’ve had great success with this method.

As you might guess, this cart is quickly becoming one of my favorites. Don’t forget … this cart is great for more than just Valentine’s Day … think first dates, first kiss, engagements, anniversaries, weddings … in fact, this cart is perfect for any romantic occasion in your life. I’ll leave you with a (previously posted) mailbox I created using the LOVE STRUCK cart …

(Note - Click on any image to view full size)

BTW ... Have you heard? The Cuttlebug Challenge Blog is giving away 3 Love Struck limited edition mini carts.   To enter is super easy ...

1) Become a follower (for one chance to win)
2) Leave a comment on any, or all, posts this week (you will receive one chance to win for EACH comment).

That's all you have to do ... now how SWEET is that?  Hurry over to the Cuttlebug Challenge Blog to see the full details and for your chance/s to win ... and while you are there, take a look at the amazing project and video by Kathy Orta (from Paper Phenomenon) created using her LOVE STRUCK cartridge!

As always … thank you so much for visiting me here today at the my Little Creation Corner. I hope you enjoyed my review of the LOVE STRUCK cartridge as much as we enjoyed bringing it to you. Please be sure to leave a comment, I truly love hearing your thoughts ... and, if you are not a follower yet, consider this a Special Invitation to join me!



Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Greetings Everyone … This is ♥Carol♥… Thanx for visiting me here at my Little Creation Corner. Today I’d like talk about the various ways to make shaped cards. I’ve always enjoyed making shaped cards … there is something a little whimsical and unique about shaped cards and a nice departure from the standard square or rectangle shaped cards, that just makes them fun to do. I’ve been asked to give a class on making shaped cards and the techniques I use … and I thought you might be interested in learning about these techniques too.

So let’s get started … These are the cards I am going to be talking about … and we’ll go into the details as we go along. Oh, and by the way … click on any image to see the full size and a better view of the details.  (I used a different technique to make each card.)

Let’s start with the Dress which uses a partial adhering technique…

BTW … this card is featured this week at the Cuttlebug Challenge Blog where they are making creations utilizing fabric … take a moment to stop by there to check out the fabulous creations made by the other talented members of the Cuttlebug Challenge Design Team.

This dress was cut from the Forever Young Cricut Cartridge … for those with this cartridge, the dress is located on page 28 in the hand book. I cut the basic dress shape 3 times on patterned paper, and flipped one of those shapes. I then cut just the bodice of the dress in the gold metallic paper. To do this, I used my Gypsy (you could use DS too) and placed the lower portion of the dress off the mat so that only the top portion cut. But, you could also cut out the entire dress and simply snip off the lower portion.

I then gathered some material and attached it under the bodice … by the way, this is repurposed fabric that was actually wrapped around a bouquet of boxed roses that I received as a Christmas gift. I then attached the bodice over the top of the bodice on the base dress, wrapped a ribbon around the top and tied a bow … I left the tails of the ribbon long to give the dress more of an elegant “ball gown” look. I then attached the base shape to the flipped image and adhered it down (this was to give a clean finish to the under side).

Because it was difficult to keep the fabric in place, I attached some metallic gold braid to the base of the fabric and attached it to the base of the card. With the shaping flexibility of the metallic braid, I was able to give a rippled shape to the base of the dress (in real life it really looks amazing).

I then attached the top portion of the card to the bottom of the card by adhering the two pieces together at the bodice section only, and scored the card right at the ribbon line. Here is how the card looks opened up …

Next is the egg shaped card, which uses a hinge attachment technique …

This was very easy to make and this technique can be utilized on almost ALL shaped cards. I cut 4 eggs from the Easter Limited Edition Mini Cricut Cartridge. Two of the eggs were cut using the flipped feature. I placed two mirrored eggs side by side, lined them up evenly with just a small space between them (approx. 1/16 of an inch). I then placed a small strip (1/2 inch by 3 inches) of the same colored card stock between the two (almost like a little bridge) and adhered it down. Next, I adhered the two remaining eggs over the top of the first two, which covered all but a small portion of the hinge (or bridge piece). Next I scored between the two eggs and folded the card in half. Lastly I added the decorative top piece. Here is the egg open … see where the two pieces are joined together? …

Next is the Heart card, which utilizes a welding technique …

This card was perhaps the easiest card to make, but does require the use of either a Gypsy or Design Studio. For this card, I used the heart from the Calendar Cricut Cartridge, but any heart shape would work just as well. I placed two images of the heart shape, with the shadow feature, on my mat and moved them together so that they were just touching a smidgen, then welded them together so they would cut as one piece … super easy. I then cut two more shapes without the shadow, one in solid white, which I adhered to the inside of the card as a place to add the sentiment, the inside of the card, and one in patterned paper. I then added lace around the boarder of the patterned and adhered it to the top of the card. Here’s what the inside of the card looks like …

Lastly is the Owl card, which uses a swing technique …

This card was actually very easy to make too. I used the owl from the Sentimentals Cricut Cartridge for this card. I cut it out using the shadow feature 2 times, one in black and one in white. I then cut out the owl using a patterned paper without the shadow feature and placed it over the top of the black piece. Next, I cut out the owl’s features in different colored card stock … the outer eye part and the branch are in glittery gold, the inner eye piece and envelope were cut from a cream colored card stock, and the eye center, beak and feet were cut in a glossy black. Each layer of the eye, as well as the beak and feet all were popped with dimensionals. To adhere the top and bottom of the cards together, I used a brad. Since I did not have the proper colored brad, I colored it with gold embossing powder and heat embossed it so that it would match the rest of the owl … I really love the way this turned out … Isn’t he cute? *wink* Here’s a look at the card as it swings open …

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

I hope you enjoy these cards as much as I did making them and sharing them with you. As you can see, making shaped cards is really easy to do and can be made different ways. Give it a try, I think you’ll have fun making a shaped card too. Please take a moment to leave a comment, I’d really love to hear your thoughts on this brief tutorial ... and if you are not yet a follower, I'd sure love you to join me. As always, thanx for visiting me here at my Little Creation Corner!