Thursday, February 26, 2015

New Cricut Explore Air!

Due to an unexpected snow day, I was able to watch my favorite designer on HSN last week.  I was hoping she would have some fun new card kit for me or some other product that I would want to match my other Anna Griffin supplies.  Instead, she was primarily selling the Today's Special Value which was the world launch of the Cricut Explore Air.  Since I already own a Cricut Expression, I was not in the market for another machine.  Frankly, I wasn't ever super happy with the Cricut Expression.  I found it to be more tedious and time consuming to get anything cut than it was worth. But on this day, Anna's excitement and her beautiful on-set projects that she'd created made me decide to give it a try.  With a 30 return policy, it was worth a shot.

My machine arrived on Tuesday night and I haven't stopped playing with it yet!  Today was another snow day and that afforded me the luxury to stay home and cut paper all day!  I can't seem to get my Bluetooth to pair with the machine, but that hasn't stopped me from creating a lot of fun things.  Eventually, I'll get a call in to Cricut customer support and they will help me sort that out.

In the meantime, the Make It Now projects are such a fun way to get started cutting and creating without being intimidated by the machine.  I think I've cut up more of my ever-growing paper stash today than I have in the last year!

My daughter wanted to make a card for her Resource teacher yesterday so we went into the Make It Now card category and she selected this card.  She picked out the paper and we were off to make our cuts.  

Here is the original -
And here is our version - 

Another fun card from the Make It Now project selection is this Beers to You card - 
And here are three versions I made.  The front dark green card will be for my husband for Father's Day and one of the other two will be for a male co-worker who is about to become a second-time Dad.  The picture below doesn't really do the cards justice.  They are super cute in person.

Count on seeing more Cricut creations from me very soon.  This is only a tiny portion of what I've cut and made since I received my machine.  It is so easy and fun to use!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Valentine for my husband

This Anna Griffin card was my inspiration.  As you can see, I copied it almost completely.

Card base - Anna Griffin Garden Window kit
White glimmer paper layer - Anna Griffin Soft Hues collection embossed with Embroidered Hearts folder (by Anna Griffin).  Die cut with XO die from her Lovely Impressions collection.  Pink layer cut and debossed (oops, I put the paper in upside down) with Embroidered Hearts border folder and cut with matching die.  Gold layer comes from her Metallic Card Layers collection and is embossed with Scripted Love border folder.  Ribbon is Offray Lady Chiffon Powder Pink.  The sentiment is embossed using Anna Griffon Mix and Match collection.  Instead of cutting it with the included clover die, I used Classic Circles Large and Small by Spellbinders to get my 1/8 inch steps to the pearl white sentiment layer (paper by Wausau), DCWV Glitzy gold layer and Anna Griffin Soft Hues layer in pink.
A better view of the sentiment.
Tilted to show the sparkle from the gold paper.  The card is really lovely in person.  I'm not sure the pictures convey how beautiful and decadent it is.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Good Times

I'm preparing to go away for a Girl's Crafting Weekend with some of my pals.  I've made a card to thank my girlfriend who has put all the work into coordinating our trip.
Card base and first layer are from Anna Griffin Perfect Palette.  Purple layer is embossed with Anna Griffin Woven Diamonds folder.  Lacey white layers are cut using Spellbinders Decorative Labels Eight.  Glittered layer is from DCWV Glitzy stack and is cut using Spellbinders Labels Eight.  Bow is from Anna Griffin 2013 Christmas Card kit (Holiday Trimmings).  Flower is from Anna Griffin Garden Windows kit.  Sentiment is from CTMH You Are My Happy set and is stamped in Stampin' Up Smoky Slate.  Final touch was frosted glass half beads by Recollections.

Monday, February 2, 2015

One Design Three Ways

I saw the basic design for these cards on Anna's Pinterest page.  Here is the original -
(This image comes from Anna's blog.  It was posted in March 2014.  It can be found here)

Now for my (newbie) interpretation.
For this card and the next, the basic elements are the same.  Gingham patterned paper (source unknown) embossed with Anna Griffin Eleanor Lace folder.  White and yellow layers are cut and embossed with Anna Griffin Francesca Lace die and folder.  White scroll die is cut with Anna Griffin one of the 8 dies included in her Lace Trimmings set.  
For the card above, the flower and leaves were cut using Anna Griffin Garden Rose dies and embossing folder.  The rose was then heat embossed using Ranger Ancient Gold embossing powder.  The sentiment is cut using one of the banner dies from Stampin' Up's Project Life collection and stamped with Stampin Up's Sweet Essentials in Smoky Slate.  Bow from CTMH white seam binding ribbon.

The only difference to this card is that the heart is cut from DCWV glitzy paper using Anna Griffin Double Hearts die and then embossed with that folder.  Sentiment is stamped in Smoky Slate by Stampin' Up using Stampin' Up Good Greetings set.  The banners were cut free hand.

Finally, this is a card I made last year for Mother's Day.  I made two - one for my mother and one for my MIL.  My husband sent his mother a different card so she'll be getting this one this year.
Patterned paper is from Antique Paperie stack by Colorbok.  Scroll die is from Anna Griffin Lace Trimmings collection.  Lacey edge is cut and embossed using Anna Griffin Francesca Lace die and folder. Center strip is embossed with Anna Griffin Amelie Lace.
 Blue scroll die is Anna Griffin Flourish Scroll.  Flowered layer is stamped using Stampin' Up Apothecary Art set, die cut with Stampin' Up Labels Collection and colored using Stampin' Up markers.  Sentiment is stamped using Stampin' Up Teeny Tiny Wishes.  Banner was cut free hand and embellished with a half pearl from CTMH.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Anna Griffin Mix and Match Embossing Folders

I ordered Anna Griffin's new Mix and Match Folders from HSN.  They arrived this past Wednesday.  It had been a week since seeing the show, so I was just playing around in my craftroom with no real designer inspiration to get me started.  This is what I came up with first.
The cardstock is the darker pink from a Recollections Preppy Beach pack.  I embossed it dry.  (I'll explain more about that below.)  I used a sponge dauber and silver encore ink to highlight the wreath and bow.  I used a retired Stampin Up marker in Cameo Coral to highlight the chain around the center and the dots on the folder.  Since I didn't need a Cuttlebug machine, I bought the option with just the folders.  That means my set came with the clover and rectangle dies to cut out the center sentiment.  I cut the clover out of white wausau cardstock.  Before I removed the die from the paper, I held it in place and traced the inner edge with the Cameo Coral marker.  Then I ran the sentiment through the folder.  After that, I used my sponge dauber in silver to gently edge between the maker line and the edge of the die.  I used the brush tip on the marker to highlight the sentiment text.  Pop dots are under the sentiment to give it a raised dimension.  I finished it off with three frosted glass half beads by Recollections.  This card is not a complete representation of the folder as I trimmed the top and bottom to fit the card base I had on hand.
Today I began playing with the folders again.  This time, I taped my paper in place with a bit of washi tape, gave it a gentle mist with water and ran it through the machine.  Then I opened up the folder, used a brayer to apply Summer Starfruit ink (by Stampin Up) to the indented side of the folder, and ran it through the machine again.  The lower left corner simply refused to transfer the color.  Eventually, I resorted to misting the inked folder with water and running it through the machine again.  Doing this caused some of the ink to run down into the embossing crevices and thus ink is now on the raised portion of my embossed image there.

When I say I dry embossed one and misted the other with water, this is what I'm talking about.  I found that by misting the paper with a little water relaxed the fibers enough that when I ran it through the machine, there was less ripping and thus less jagged edges on my raised portions of my image.  In this photo, you can see though that it does cause your paper to curl some.  Left sentiment was spritzed and right was done dry.  It is not easy to see in the photos, but there is a difference up close and in person.
Here is the final card.
Card base is made from Antique Paperie by Colorbok stack.  Cream embossed layer is Wausua cream inked with Stampin Up Summer Starfruit.  The dragon fly is cut using Dragon Delight dies by Spellbinders out of the extra paper from the card base.  The ribbon is Summer Starfruit by Stampin Up.
Since the paper for the card is double sided, I needed to add another card piece to the inside.  More Wausau cream.  The blue die is cut using one of the Anna Griffin dies in her Lace Trimmings collection - also cut from the original 12x12 piece of cardstock that makes up the 5x7 card base.