Friday, October 28, 2011

Bah Humbug Die Cuts

Hello Friends -

This is my last week as a guest designer at Bah! Humbug! Challenges.  I am very sad to leave the lovely ladies of the manor but I hope you will join in some of their challenges.  It is a wonderful way to get ready for the holidays without trying to get all of your cards done at the last minute.

Today's challenge is die cuts.  I must admit, this one was tough because the possibilities seemed endless.  I could cut with my cuttlebug.  I could cut with my electronic cutter.  What to do? What to do?

So, I decided to do one of each (I was shooting for two but it just didn't happen).  The first one is an ornament shape card.  I made it using a Lettering Delights simple shape and Sure Cuts a Lot.  I'm disappointed in the way the photo came out.  In person it is all sparkly and fun.

Then I made this simple shaped card using my cuttlebug and a round Spellbinders die.  I think I learned this technique on BBTB2.  To make the base you fold your cardstock in half and then place it in the die just a little bit off.  This way it doesn't cut through the top of the card.  Then I used the next smaller die to cut out the cute Tiddly Inks image.  I can't find him in the Tiddly Inks store right now but I'm certain he is there somewhere.

Finally, I made this side step card.  I used the tutorial at Split Coast Stamper.  I must say, whenever I'm looking for a tutorial on how to make a card, I find they are likely to have it and all of their tutorials have been easy to follow.   I used my electronic cutter to make this card.  All of the images are from Cricut carts, Child's Year, Celebrations and Joy of the Seasons.

I hope you like the die cut cards and a huge thank you to the ladies of the manor.  

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

WOYWW - Crackers

Hello Friends -

Anyone know what showed up on my work station?  I'm guessing my friends on the other side of the pond will recognize these without trouble, however, on this side of the pond it is not easy to find these.

I received my package from Olde English Crackers.  After I made these Christmas Crackers I was on a terror to find the insides (mostly the Cracker Snaps but I decided to buy the hats at the same time).  In the US it is fairly tough to find crackers and when you do they cost an arm and a leg.  So, I was determined to make them this year.  The challenge was buying the snaps. I found a number of companies but all of them were in England and the shipping was more than the snaps.

Finally, I found these snaps in Washington State.  Yes, I had them shipped about the same distance as a trip from Jolly Ole but shipping costs made all the difference.  I haven't tested these so I can't make any guarantees but, if you want to buy them you can find them here.

I'm thinking about making some birthday cracker's for Da's birthday next month.  We'll celebrate while we are in Colorado for Thanksgiving.  Would that be just wrong?

I have a few other things on my work station but they are all for my final Bah!Humbug! Guest Designer appearance.  I thought about doing sneak peaks but honestly, I just haven't had a chance.  I hope to see you all soon.  I'm sure everyone else has far more interesting things on their work desks today.  You must go see Julia Dunnit's incredible costume for Miss Dunnit.  If you get a chance, here is where all the fun begins.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fall Festival - Nature Masks

Hello Friends -

I have another project for you.  Recently, the Wonderkid's school had their annual Fall Festival.  It is a very traditional festival with each class having a booth where the children can make crafts.  They also have a cake walk and bake sale.  It is the only time of the year that copious amounts of sugar (or really any sugar) are allowed on campus.

Here is the post from last year's projects.

Being a slightly crafty individual, I was tasked with coming up with this year's art project for a three and four year-old class.  I've made masks for two birthday parties and they were surprisingly popular so I thought we could do them again.

Here are a few of the deisgns I provided for the kids.  The one in the bottom right corner was extremely popular.  The Wonderkid called it the fire mask but I think it was supposed to be a mardi gras/owl type of mask.  Either way, we ran out early.

I cut the masks on my electronic cutting machine using this file from Lettering Delights.  I believe Lettering Delights is having a sale so if you are interested, this might be a good time to grab them.  In the end, I cut out 200 masks with three per    8 1/2 x 11 page.
For a couple of weeks the children went throughout the campus and collected things to put on the masks.  Some of the stuff was "interesting".  They were very into some pea pods that were never going to stay on a mask but most of the stuff we made work.

It is wonderful having an entire farm as the school campus.  It means the children are able to find plenty of things in nature to look at, discover and think about.  It is one of my favorite parts of the school.

Here is one of the completed masks.
Didn't they do a wonderful job of making the masks their own?  They were so creative.  Many of them did a combination of coloring and gluing.  It seems like such a simple thing but the kids were wearing them all through the festival, getting their pictures taken in their masks and coming back to do more.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Inky Antics Honey Comb cards

Hello Friends -

I have a couple of quick cards today and they AREN'T for a challenge or a Design Team or anything else.  They are just because I made them and I thought I would share.
This card is for the Wonderkid.  He has been sending cards to everyone he knows recently (I think he single-handly plans on saving the US Postal Service).  It is so sweet to watch him color a picture, and write a message and then he gives them to me to put the "card hoppers" on the card base and he signs them and sticks them in an envelope.

So, I decided to make him a card.  Have you ever used the Honey POP from Inky Antics?  I have a bunch of it that I bought when it was all the rage, about a year ago.  I hadn't really used it but I thought it would be great for children's cards.  You can find the Honey POP here  (scroll to the bottom of the page) and they list the stamps they sell to use with it on the same page.

And here is the inside.  I'm normally not one for using all of the stamps in a set on one card but these seem to beg for more and more of them.

A bit of a closer view.
I'm still working out exactly how to get the bits and pieces to work with the honeycomb paper.

Here is the birthday card I made for one of the Wonderkid's classmates.
It isn't the best coloring in the world but the little one didn't mind too much.

I like the way the cake stand worked out but the candle ended up just a bit high.  I need to work on that before I make another one.

So, have you ever used this honeycomb paper?  What do you think of the cards?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Bah Humbug All About Boys

Hello Friends -

I have three cards for my Guest Design spot at Bah!Humbug! Challenge Blog.  This is my third week with the lovely ladies of the manor so it seems only fitting to have three cards.  The challenge was to make cards for "the boys".  I decided to do one for three different age groups.

My first one has already been claimed by the Wonderkid (although I took it back out of his card box -- the box he uses to store all the cards he makes).  He'll get it on or around Christmas.

This very sweet digi comes from Di's Digi Downloads.  It is called "Gimme Gimme".  I like the way the coloring turned out.  I normally only buy a couple of digis from a company at first because some of them are tougher to color than others.  This one didn't require extensive shading -- something I still find challenging.  The sentiment is computer generated.  

Here is a close-up of the bottom half of the card.

The sentiment font is called Harrington.  It seems very festive and Christmas like.  Do you have a favorite Christmas font that I should check out?  I'd love to know about them.  I'm fumbling around trying to find just the right ones.

The next card is for a tween boy or maybe a teenager, although the Wonderkid walked around with it oohing and aaahing for an entire day.  This image is one of my favorites from Christy over at Tiddly Inks.  I've used it before and I'm thinking I'll want to use it again.  He is called Santa's Helper -- fitting, yes?

I computer generated the sentiment, again.  This time using Jokerman.  I then cut each word up and backed it in a dark red paper.  The same paper was punched using a Martha Stewart punch to make a ribbon.  I know I should have used the corner punch and made it into an even prettier border but I wasn't up to doing the math to figure out what size I could make and where to start the punching.  I used some of the punched out pieces to decorate the top of the card.

And here is my final card for today.  It is for a guy, maybe that special guy?  Well, maybe one of my friends will want to give it to their special guy.  This digi is also from Tiddly Inks.  It isn't necessarily a Christmas image but I think it works well here.  She is called Wicked Fun.

It is very simple but I don't think guy cards work if they are too fussy.  What do you think?  Do you know of any guy that would like this card for Christmas?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

WOYWW - October, Oh My

Hello Friends -

Last week I was all set to play with all the lovely folks at WOYWW.  I even took the pictures I need for the post but once again, the day escaped me.  Now, in my defense, last week was especially nutty.  I had a huge project I was working on for the lovely ladies in Humbug Hall.  If you haven't checked out the Bah! Humbug! Challenge Blog, I certainly recommend them.  And, added bonus, they have allowed me to be a Guest Designer this month.

So, I need to get my projects done for them but I also had my first paper due in a class I'm taking.  Plato had me all in a dither and finally, it was Fall Festival at the Wonderkid's school.  This is a VERY big deal for his school and as a crafty person I had a ton of responsibility.

Here are some of the pictures from last week's scrap station.

All of those tags became part of the cookbook I made.  I haven't finished decorating them, still, but I am pleased with where the cookbook is right now.  The kraft masks were for the Fall Festival.  I'll tell folks about them later.  I also need to write-up the glow in the dark Halloween decorations.

Here is one more close-up.

But that is enough about last week.  We have moved onto this week's craziness.

Here is my craft island right now.
You can see some sneak peaks of my projects for this week's Bah! Humbug! designs.  I also have a bunch of cards I'm making using water colors from the Wonderkid.  They make lovely card toppers and now I only need to add a sentiment and poof, cards from a little one.  Isn't it fun?  They are very colorful so it is tough to find anything but neutral colors to go with the card topper.

Here is the other project consuming most of my time.
I've been making chocolate covered pretzels and cookies.  I still need to get the toppers made so I can assemble them and give them away.  I am hosting a lunch for some of the teachers at the Wonderkid's school so I may use some of these then.  I may send them to work with some of the family.  The goal is not to eat them myself or let the Wonderkid eat too many.

Here is a little better shot of them.

So that is my day. Here is hoping I get everything done on time.  It is going to be close.

In case you haven't joined the lovely crafters at WOYWW here is Julia's blog so you can check out the crafty folks and poke around their desks.  Julia's been working on some amazing costumes.  I bet there are other cool projects.  I'm on my way to check things out now.  See you tomorrow for more craziness.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Christmas Cooking with Bah Humbug

Hello Friends -

I'm back with my Guest Designer projects at Humbug Hall.  I must say, the ladies of the manor have certainly made me feel welcome and loved.  They are the sweetest ladies you could find and so much fun.

So, I wanted to start off with a little treat especially for Max and Ann.  I made some Hot Buttered Rum and Mint Cocoa.

Don't you just love them?   Do you want to know what I did?  If so, grab yourself a drink, pull up a chair because this might be a long post.  I have a LOT of pictures for you today and I'm not even done.  I think you might be seeing pictures of my second project for the rest of the week.

I started this project with two small milk type bottles from Starbucks.  I bought the bottles of Frappacino at the grocery store and convinced one of my brothers to drink all of them.  I only wanted the bottles.

I filled one bottle with cocoa, marshmellows and a combination of mint chocolate chips and dark chocolate chips.  I put a cut little circle on the top wishing the recipients a Merry Christmas and then moved on to the Hot Buttered Rum mix.

I'm sorry to say there is no rum in the mix but once you add the rum and heat this up you are guaranteed to have a better evening.

Using my Sure-Cuts-A-Lot (SCAL) I printed out the tags and then cut them with my electronic die cutter.  This paper is from Little Yellow Bicycle.  It was two sided so it worked well with the box handle and on the outside of the box.  I also used it for the tag.

I knew what style of carrier I wanted but I was far too rushed to figure out how to make it on my own.  I used a file I bought from a favorite site of mine, The Cutting Cafe.  I resized it a little bit and put this one on a 12 x 24 piece of cardstock.  It ended up being about 1/2 an inch larger than I needed.

Here is the inside of the box.
The pattern paper on the bottom of the carrier is from the same piece as the handles.  This box came together like a dream.
Here is one final shot of the carrier.  I must say I love this paper.  It seems to fit well with the carrier.

And now for my Cookbook...

In my house Christmas isn't about a specific meal.  In fact, we don't focus too much on Christmas dinner.  Christmas Eve is about the rest of the family going to church and me staying home to get the presents wrapped that the Da bought on Christmas Eve day.  We have traditions around the breakfast meal and Christmas night we pull out a game of Trivial Pursuit and play while we eat cheese and crackers and shrimp and veggies (or whatever else we've picked up for the evening).

However, that doesn't mean cooking isn't an important part of our tradition.  In fact, I'm already starting to plan my baking and candy making.  I will turn 50 or more pounds of sugar into cookies and candies.   They are then carefully packaged in 30 or more Christmas tins and shipped all over the country.  This process is time consuming and a little daunting.

The Brits have decided to deport my youngest brother so by early November I should have a helping hand with this crazy process because of family weddings, travel and other unexpected issues, I'm hoping to finish all of the candy making and packaging by December 9th.  I'll let you know how that goes.

OK, back to the project.

I have wanted to make a cookbook of the recipes I use every Christmas.  In fact, I planned to do it last year when I made this cook book for my brother's Christmas present.  But you know how things go.  I ended up making the things I needed and this fell by the wayside.  Then, the Ladies of Humbug Hall said they wanted something with the cooking theme.  Well, now I had an excuse to make my cookbook.

I ended up with 20 recipes that I use every year.  After some thought, I decided I would put them on tags a la Tim Holtz.  They still need some spritzing up (both figuratively and actually) but here they are in all their glory.

Then I pulled out some regular old #10 envelopes, sealed them and cut off the end.

They looked like this with the ends cut off.

If you have a choice, I recommend ones that don't have a printed inside but it wasn't so bad that I decided to buy a new box.  You can see that this one is already covered with a pretty pattern paper.

I pulled out my Bind-It-All and punched holes in the envelopes, on the end that was not cut, and the back of the cover.  You can see the binding on the left side and some of the tags sticking out of the cover on the right.  The section that says "Treats" is actually a flap with a magnet to hold it to the front. This configuration allows me to stand it up.

This is the cover before I added the flap and the decorations.

This is the inside of the cookbook with all of the envelopes bound in and the tags sticking out of the envelopes.  I know, still a little plain but it is getting better.

This is a picture of the cookbook from the opposite side of the one above.  I put a pocket on the inside because I know I'll have more recipes over time.

Finally, this is the bottom of the cover.  If you look closely, I attached this with jump rings to the front and back.  This allows me to swing it all the way around.

So, what do you think of my little project?

I have a ton of work to finish for the Wonderkids Fall Festival.  In fact, I can't wait for it to be done because I want to get back to some peace.  I'll show you the masks we are making and the banner I'll have at our booth.  I may even show you some cakes and other treats.

But, I'll definitely be back with more of the cookbook. Is there anything special you would like to see/hear about?

Have a good day, see you soon.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Birthday Cards

Hello Friends -

I wanted to pop in with a birthday card I made (actually I made 20 of these to be sent from some teachers to all their students).

The candle is from the Cricut Elmo's Party cartridge.  It has an optional face (which wasn't the look I was going for on this card).  I designed the background paper in a Subway Art style using MS Word.  Here is a screenshot of the Word doc.

As you can see on the left, each box has Happy Birthday in a different language.  I found the easiest way to do this is to build the Subway Art from the top down.  If you try to place the text boxes at different times it becomes a mess and doesn't work nearly as well.  I love the way this turned out and will probably use it for all birthday cards in different colors.  Using MS Word I can change the colors to any that I choose.

Here is a pile of the cards (about 3/4 of the final run).  I ran out of purple paper before I could finish them (don't you hate when that happens).  You would think with the amount of paper I have around here that I would never have that problem but it still sneaks up on me.  Oh well, that is what coupons are for.

I'm hoping to have a few more projects to show this week.  I'm working on a couple of design team projects which are so exciting and I can't wait to share.  I also have a bunch of projects for the Wonderkid's Fall festival.  We are making masks and I need to do some baked goods for the bake sale and cake walk.  I'm hoping to get enough done so I can actually try to do a cake.  We'll see how this week treats me.  I may be toast by the time Sunday rolls back around.

Friday, October 7, 2011

All that Glitters

Hello Friends -

Today is my first day of guest designing with the wonderful ladies at Humbug Hall. One of the reasons I love their challenge site is they always come up with interesting little twists.  This week was no exception.  They challenged us to use... Glitter.  Have I mentioned how much I HATE glitter.  I tend to ban it from my craft room.  It truly doesn't matter what you do, you end up with glitter EVERYWHERE.

So, when I first read the request for glitter, after I stopped shuttering, I immediately thought of these lovely glass bulbs.  The idea of trapping all that glitter inside the bulb appealed to me.  These have been all the rage for a few years now.  My twist this time, the flattened bulb.  Isn't it wonderful?  It is also so much easier to put vinyl on something that isn't completely round.

I'm not much on housework so it took some doing to find the floor polish.  Eventually, I located the correct aisle in my grocery and then the correct polish.  For those on my side of the pond, you use Pledge with Future Shine.  If you are on the other side of the pond, or down under, I've been told you can use any floor polish that gets a bit sticky as it dries.

Here is a video on how to make these little buggers.  There are tutorials all over the web if you need more info but they are easy and a ton of fun.  I made them last year with a dozen little children.  They loved it, the ornaments came out wonderful and the glitter stayed away from my house.

Here are a couple more pictures of the Christmas ornaments.
I love being able to make something a little more personal.  This is one that I thought I could send to my cousins for their baby's first Christmas.
I put the year on the back for them.

I love the look of this one.  The green on that sparkly red.  Isn't it yummy?

For everyone looking for their card fix, I have two more little projects.  The first was inspired by a lovely lady over at Mod Paperie.  Theinly has some of the most incredible creations.  She recently introduced me to a new site called  They have some wonderful SVGs to be used in your electonic cutting machines.  This little guy was so cute, I couldn't resist trying.

I like Theinly's take on him better than mine but I thought he was fun and he has a bright glittery nose.  I ran his antlers through my cuttlebug with a Tim Holtz embossing folder, the wood grain one.  I thought it gave a bit of added fun.  Instead of messing around with two little itty bitty eyes, I used a couple of gems.  It was a lot easier and gave him some dimension.

Finally, the best glitter in my book, Stickles.  It doesn't get away from you, you don't really need to be fast to keep it from spilling and it comes in many yummy colors.  I used my Cuttlebug on this card also.  This time it was a holiday folder from Cricut. I thought it would be fun to carry the Christmas trees over from the embossing folder, to cutting them out (the basic Christmas shapes that came with SCAL had the perfect tree once I stretched it) and even placing them on the tag.

I made the tag by using the path feature in SCAL and then printing instead of cutting.  I'm trying to teach myself to write on a path using MS Word or some other program but I haven't worked it out.  This seems to be doing the job so far.

I recommend hopping over to Humbug Hall for a look at the lovely creations by Ann, Max and Brenda.  They have been having crazy weather while here in the South (that is the US South) we have had the most incredibly beautiful weather.  It is making it tough to stay indoors and work or craft.  We only have about two weeks every year when you can have the windows open and enjoy the great outdoors (in between it being so hot and humid that you practically drink the air and so chilly and rainy that you want to bundle next to the heater).  So, the Wonderkid and I have been having a nice time out of doors.  Hopefully you are having more of my weather than the Baltic wing of Humbug Hall.

I'll see you tomorrow for some more fun.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

T shirts for a new little person

Hello Friends -

Today I have a series of t-shirts for a little guy in the family.  I should have done these a couple of weeks/months ago but I'm going with "better late than never".  While doing shirts for the new baby, I had to make something for his big sister.

Here are the brother/sister shirts.

The font I used is my favorite for little kid stuff.  It is called Kristin.  I normally make it a little wider for cutting purposes but it isn't a requirement.  You can't tell in this picture but the lettering on the t-shirt is pink on brown.  The onesie is cream on brown.  I would have liked to use light blue on the brown but I didn't have any handy.

Here is a close-up of the lettering.

One more shot of the onesie.  I think this one is simple but fun.

The little one's Dad and uncle both went to St. Ignatius (a Catholic boy's school in the same town as they live).  Not long ago, Dad tweeted the year of his son's graduation from Ignatius so I thought this would be a fitting shirt.  I used the Cricut Varsity font for this shirt.  I must say, I love that cartridge for so many different things.  I needed to put the Wonderkid's name on his soccer(football) jersey.  Instead of hauling it all off to some store where they would have charged me $1 per letter, I just cut the letters out and stuck them on.  Voila, personalized jersey.

Back to the onesies for the little one.  The little one's Dad played/s Lacrosse.  So, this seemed fitting.

Of all the shirts, this one gave me the most grief.  I didn't have too much trouble finding an SVG of the lacrosse sticks but then I wanted to arc the letters instead of putting them in a straight line.  Well, that is easier said than done.  I asked over on the SureCutsALot Users board and the wonderful Kim gave me a great recommendation.  You create what you want in Word, using Word Art, and then make a jpeg of it and trace it in SCAL.  In the end I hand placed the letters on the bottom arc.  The top arc I used the path feature.

Weeding the nets of the lacrosse sticks was a bit of a pain also.  It was a matter of being able to see each section and pull it out.  In the end, I really like the way it came out.  I'm having trouble deciding which is my favorite.

I have a few shirts in the works for the Wonderkid.  They should be a little more fun and the types of shirts other people might want to scraplift (I can't imagine anyone wanting to use these ideas but ...).

Tomorrow, I have some cards I made and some subway art I designed for a birthday.  Until then...