Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Love Bug Easel Card

I'm really excited to show you the project I made today.  Not only is it my first easel card, but it's also my entry for the CRICUT 360º design team call.

The only stipulations for the call were to make a card or layout using lime green and a bug.  Here's my result:

Card Details:
  • Card Base - easel card (5.5x5.5")
  • Paper - all patterned paper from American Crafts Play Paperpack; solids from The Paper Studio cardstock and textured cardstock
  • Cricut Cuts - bugs from Simply Charmed, page 31; "love bug" sentiment from Create a Critter, page 66 (phrase), heart embellishment from Create a Critter, page 64 (phrase).
  • Cuttlebug Embossing - dark green layer of bugs with Distressed Stripes
  • Other - ribbon by CelebrateIt Basic Narrows; doodling with white Gelly Roll pen; inking along dark pink edges with Le Plume II scarlet marker; inside sentiment created on my computer; pop-dots elevate the bugs, sentiment, and two layers of heart embellishment.
One additional detail is the hearts on the bugs' backs.  I added an extra, off-set heart layer (light pink) to the image.  Without it, the dark green would have been the highlight showing through the top heart, and it just didn't look right to me.

I thought a lot about my hubby while working on this card, and now it's sitting on the entryway table so he can see it as soon as he walks in from work!

Sonia and Nana, CRICUT 360º Hosts,
It would be an honor to participate on your design team.  I'm a newbie (got my Cricut Expression in March), but I've grown so much in my papercrafting skills by participating in challenge blogs.  Now I'd love to give back and inspire others -- especially others who are just getting started!  My work is completely Cricut and Cuttlebug-focused (no stamping), which I feel shows the complete range of what one can do with a Cricut and a little imagination.  I also love to do scrapbook layouts and would bring those types of projects to your forum.  Thank you for considering me!
Sincerely, Jessica

    Saturday, May 28, 2011

    Nice Buns Card

    Memorial Day Weekend always feels like the start of summer to me.  This year is no exception -- especially after viewing all the summer-inspired projects on BugBites' "Grillin' & Chillin" Bug Hop.

    I'm entering the hop's challenge with this card:

    Card Details:
    • Card Base - Studio G (5x5")
    • Papers - plaid from KI Memories Heirloom Collection; blue and orange distressed papers and brown damask for patty from Simply Delightful: My Mind's Eye; gray textured cardstock from The Paper Studio; all others from scraps
    • Cricut Cuts - hamburger from Simply Charmed, page 49; utensils from Playtime, third layer of "Jim" cut; bug from Doodlecharms, page 92; background in plaid from Elegant Edges, page 63.
    • Cuttlebug Embossing - top hamburger bun with Swiss Dots; lettuce with D'vine Swirls; tomatoes with Dots & Spots; pickle with Distressed Stripes.
    • Other - inking around plaid layer with brown ink pad by Stampabilities and lots of doodling with white gel pen; also highlighted sesame seeds on buns with yellow marker.
    A few words about the hamburger patty -- it looks a lot browner in person.  In the photo it looks like a tasteless, gray burger you get at a school cafeteria!  Oh well. :)

    I also wanted my critter to be one of the ants I saw on the blog hop, but I couldn't find an ant cut on any of my cartridges.  I settled on making the bug from Doodlecharms in black to represent the critter.

    We often get together with friends for cookouts in the summer.  I thought this would be a neat -- and cheeky, haha! -- thank you card to send a host.

    Friday, May 27, 2011

    Cricut-tastic Blog Award

    Nita at Nifty Nita Notes has blessed me with another blog award -- thanks, Nita!  Even though I've only followed her blog for the past month or so, I feel such a kinship with Nita.  We both got our Cricut Expressions in March, are both new to blogging and challenges, and she homeschools (which is our plan when Jonathan reaches school age).

    Upon receiving this award, one must:
    • Wear the badge proudly on your Blog.
    • Tell five Cricut-related things about yourself.
    • Share this award with other Blogs you think are Cricut-tastic.
    So here's five Cricut-related things about me:
    1. I received my first Cricut machine, the Cricut Expression (in magenta), as a birthday gift from my parents in March 2011; hubby gave me cartridges, too!
    2. Ten weeks into my obsession, I now own 12 cartridges.
    3. My most frequently used cartridges are Birthday Bash (my favorite) and Lovely Floral.
    4. I'm hoping Cricut Craft Room becomes available to the public soon -- hope is the only reason I haven't bought a Gypsy yet.
    5. My mom bought an Expression after seeing how much fun it was -- now we can craft together when she visits!
    I'd like to pass this award on to a few blogs I've recently found and enjoy following:

    Dawn - SimplyDawn53
    Jen - Jen's Happy Place
    Susan - It's Me Susan P: Paper Crafting & More

    Thursday, May 26, 2011

    Home Sweet Home Card

    So, how's the housing market in your area?  Houston has been very fortunate, and home sales and foreclosures aren't nearly as bad here as elsewhere in the country.  I've seen two houses flip and be snatched up quickly in our neighborhood.  We're also watching a CVS and Kohls go up nearby.  And three -- yes, three -- couples we know are closing on houses soon.

    So today's card is for friends who are moving into their first home this weekend:

    Card Details:

    • Card Base - Recollections (A6)
    • Papers - Simply Delightful: My Mind's Eye for all patterned papers; red textured cardstock by The Paper Studio; yellow cardstock from scraps
    • Cricut Cuts - "Home Sweet Home" sentiment and layered frame from Lovely Floral; house from Create a Critter, page 29 (accessory) with a second, larger house cut to make a shadow effect
    • Charm - Metal Madness (clearance at Michaels -- yay!)
    • Other - inking around yellow edges with brown ink pad by Stampabilities; inking around red edges with Le Plume II persimmon marker; doodling with white gel pen; pop-dots on sentiment frame and house.
    This card followed the Sassy Lil' Card Sketches May 21st Reveal fairly closely until my toddler decided to do his own "doodling" with my white gel pen while I was away from the table.  ARRGHH!  I couldn't salvage the patterned pieces of the card, so I started over.  It still has the same elements as the sketch -- just moved around a little -- so I hope it's okay to submit it to their challenge.

    Really, my son has gotten better about not touching "Mommy's Cricut" -- he's just too enamored with my markers these days.  It's too cute when he says "Mommy's Cricut," but it's soon followed by his saying, "Noooo...JonJon's Cricut."

    I'm entering this project in the following challenges:

    Paper Playtime:  Challenge #46 - Just for Fun / Add a Charm
    Sassy Lil' Card Sketches:  May 21st Reveal

    Wednesday, May 25, 2011

    Flying Bird Birthday Card

    I played with my newest cartridge today -- Florals Embellished.  Hubby gave me this cartridge last weekend as an end-of-school-year reward.  I can't imagine any better reward than Cricut goodies, can you?

    And he had great timing, too -- BBTB2 is featuring one of the Florals Embellished birds for its challenge this week.  So, here's my resulting card:

    I made the sentiment "Happy Birthday" since June is a big month for birthdays in our family.  My mom, dad, and hubby have birthdays.  But who's the recipient?  They'll just have to wait and see...

    Card Details:
    • Card Base - Studio G (5"x5")
    • Papers - Simply Delightful: My Mind's Eye for all blue patterns; plain white cardstock and textured navy cardstock from scraps
    • Cricut Cuts - bird from Florals Embellished, page 61, all six layers; clouds are the "joy" background from Playtime; "Happy Birthday" sentiment is from Birthday Bash, page 44 (card/tag)
    • Cuttlebug Embossing - Kassie's Brocade for top layer of bird's body; D'vine Swirls for clouds
    • Other - inking on top layers of bird with white gel pen and Le Plume II sky blue marker; pop-dots elevate bird above clouds

    I'm entering this project into the following challenges:

    BBTB2:  Challenge - Florals Embellished Flying Bird
    Fantabulous Cricut: Challenge #61 - Blue Skies

    FCCB #60 - Challenge Win!

    I woke up this morning to "fantabulous" news -- my Bear 1st Birthday Card won first prize in Fantabulous Cricut's "Try This Angle" challenge!

    I'm so honored to be recognized, especially as a Cricut newbie and among the beautiful projects featured this week.

    Many thanks to the Fantabulous Cricut design team and their sponsor, The Treasure Box Club!

    Tuesday, May 24, 2011

    Gingerbread Joy Page

    Have I mentioned lately how much I like Sassy Lil' Sketches?  Their layouts really inspire me to complete pages on my son's scrapbook -- and I need that push!

    I'm progressing sequentially in his scrapbook (for now), so the page I worked on these past two nights is Christmas-themed.  It's hubby, son, and me at our church's annual gingerbread decorating party for Christmas 2009.  We started decorating gingerbread houses as a newlywed couple, and this year was Jonathan's first time decorating with us.

    Here's the sketch from Sassy Lil' Sketches - May 14th Reveal:

    And here's my resulting page:

    Cartridges Used:
    Birthday Bash
    Stretch Your Imagination
    Wrap It Up

    I did LOTS of doodling with a white gel pen and some with red and green pens.  Inking with a brown pad on the gingerbread men give them that "baked" look.  Or -- if coming from my kitchen -- that "almost-burned-to-a-crisp" look! :)

    Working on a Christmas page sure made the hot Texas temperatures seem a little less oppressive -- hope you enjoy this latest project!

    Sunday, May 22, 2011

    Bear 1st Birthday Card

    I got to play with my Cricut again today -- finally!  It's been a loooong eight days since my last project, but I'll definitely have more time to create now that school's out.

    Another friend's special little girl turns 1 in a few weeks, so I made her a card tonight:

    Cartridges Used:
    Birthday Bash

    I really like the outcome with all the embossing and the fun colors.  It looks so happy -- just like the little girl who'll be receiving it.

    For this project, I really "piled it on" and am entering the following challenges:

    Cooking with Cricut: Cele"bear"ation Blog Hop Challenge
    Cooking with Cricut: Challenge #30 - Balloons
    Creative Sisters: Monday Challenge #8 - Birthday
    Fantabulous Cricut: Challenge #60 - Try This Angle (Use a Rectangle and Triangle)
    Queen of My Craftroom: Animal Card Challenge
    Scrappy Frogs: Challenge - Happy Birthday

    Sunday, May 15, 2011

    Optometry Graduation Card

    Have you ever lost something to eventually find it in the place you first looked...?

    Yep, it happened to me tonight.  I couldn't find my camera to take a photo of tonight's project, and I went crazy trying to locate it.  My hubby searched all the nooks and crannies of the car.  We looked in all my son's known hiding places.  But -- surprise! --  it was in the front pocket of my purse all along.

    Tonight's project -- before The Great Camera Search -- was a graduation card for one of our Bible study friends.  He graduated from optometry school this weekend, so I made the sentiment an "eye chart" of sorts and included a pair of glasses.  Here's the result:

    Cartridges Used:
    Create a Critter
    Wrap It Up

    It's hard to see, but the teal stripe behind the eye chart is embossed with my newest Cuttlebug embossing folder, Distressed Stripes.  And I colored in the shades by hand -- really making a case for me to get the Nifty Fifties cartridge with the cute glasses cut.  (It's my first choice on my Provocraft/Michaels rebate promotion.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed.)

    I had fun making something a little out of the ordinary.  I'm entering this project in the following challenges:

    BBTB2: Forever Young Sunglasses Challenge
    Paper Cutz Challenge #91 - Graduation

    Saturday, May 14, 2011

    Blog Awards

    Nita at Nifty Nita Notes has generously awarded me with two blog awards.  I'm honored to have my blog recognized, especially since I'm just getting started with my Cricut and with blogging my projects. Thanks so much, Nita!

    The first award is:

    In accepting this award, I'm asked to tell you eight things about myself.  Here goes...

    1. I'm a Christ-follower and have placed my faith in Jesus Christ.
    2. My husband and I met on eHarmony.com and just celebrated our fifth anniversary!
    3. I'm blessed with the best little boy in the world -- even though he's two and has the occasional "Terrible Two" moment.
    4. I was an IT systems analyst for a large oil and gas company before I decided to be a stay-at-home mom.
    5. I love to read -- everything!  I'm part of a book club whose ladies pick the most interesting reads each month.
    6. I'm the incoming co-coordinator of our Mothers of Preschoolers group.  It's going to be hard work, but I'm excited to facilitate a program that reaches moms in our community.
    7. Even though I've lived in Houston for eight years, I haven't completely lost my rural Louisiana accent.
    8. I love bargain shopping and have a hard time buying something if it's not on sale!
    The second award is:

     The Liebster Blog award is given to bring newer blogs into the light. It's a great way to share blogs that might not otherwise have been noticed and should be! As recipient you must share the love and pass it along to others, as well as these four things:

    1. You must post on your blog and tell a little about the award and announce your 3-5 picks.
    2. Let those know you have chosen them.
    3. Copy and post the award on your blog for all to see.
    4. Have fun and continue to inspire.

    Now, here's my predicament.  Everyone I'd share these awards with seems to have already received them-- I guess that's what happens when you're the newbie.  If I have overlooked you and you'd like me to check out your blog, please comment.  I love finding new blogs to follow, especially people who are new to their Cricuts and blogging!

    Thanks again, Nita!

    My First Project Prize!

    I've got two good reasons for not blogging lately -- Blogger's technical issues and my being swamped with memory books for my preschool students.  Oh why am I a procrastinator...?

    But I woke up to a functioning Blogger and great news -- I won a prize at Sassy Lil' Card Sketches!  I'm one of their April winners, and it's my first time to win a prize based on a project I made.

    Thanks, Sassy Lil' Card Sketches!  And thank you to their sponsor, The Crafter's Workshop.

    Monday, May 9, 2011

    Sweet Strawberry Card

    My mom (also a newbie to the Cricut) is visiting this week, and we've planned lots of crafting and shopping.  In fact, my entire front room is filled with our cardmaking and scrapbooking goodies.  It's CRAZY -- and crazy-tempting to my toddler -- but I'm loving it.

    She was too tired from the trip to make anything tonight, but I cranked out the following project:

    Cartridges Used:
    Birthday Bash
    Create a Critter
    Simply Charmed

    The patterned papers are from my mom's stash, as is use of the Martha Stewart punch.  Isn't it great to share...well, uh, get to use...new tools?  I really need a few punches.  And this awesome stack of paper.  I'm making a list for our Hobby Lobby/Michaels/JoAnn expedition tomorrow.

    I'm entering this project into the following challenges:

    BBTB2:  Simply Charmed Strawberry Challenge
    Cardz TV: National Scrapbooking Day Challenge - Fruit
    Sassy Lil' Card Sketches:  May 7th Sketch
    The Pink Stamper:  NSD Challenge #8 - Summer

    Sunday, May 8, 2011

    Precious Puppy Farewell Card

    My last project tonight is a farewell card to my co-teacher.  I'm not returning to school next year, so I wanted a nice way to show her appreciation for working with me.

    We are the Precious Puppies class, so using a puppy on the card was almost required -- and a great way to enter The Pink Stamper's pet challenge.

    Cartridges Used:
    Boys Will Be Boys
    Create a Critter

    I haven't written a message inside yet, but I plan a play on words about life being "ruff" without the Puppies class.

    My favorite thing about this card is the monochromatic background layers.  All those red patterns are from various scraps, and they just happened to mix well.  I love it when that happens.

    I was also inspired by Card Patterns Sketch 114, so I'm entering this project in the following challenges:

    Card Patterns:  Sketch 114
    The Pink Stamper:  NSD Challenge #10 - Pet Card or Layout

    Mothers Day Gift Box

    My second creation tonight is a Mothers Day gift box.

    You might be thinking, Isn't this a little belated?, and I'd answer...well, maybe.  USPS didn't deliver my mom's gift, and I'm so perturbed!!   Especially after sending it by priority mail!  She leaves early tomorrow morning to drive here for a visit, so she may not receive her gift until she returns home later this week.  Just in case she can't pick it up tomorrow morning, I got her a few little things for her to open when she arrives.

    Which means I needed a box to wrap it in -- a perfect item for The Pink Stamper's 3D challenge!

    Cartridges Used:
    Wrap It Up

    This box was probably meant to be a gift card holder, but it's cut at 11.5" (fit to page) so it could hold larger items.  It did fairly well, but I think the simple design would look more better at the smaller size.  Oh well, you experiment and learn.  :)

    I'm entering this project in the following challenge:

    The Pink Stamper:  NSD Challenge #5 - Any 3D Item

    Happy Cupcake Birthday Card

    Happy Mothers Day!  I hope all you mothers and special ladies were honored by your loved ones with a special day.  My hubby and son took me out to lunch after church and gifted me with a new cartridge and embossing folder.  (They sure know how to support my addiction, huh?)

    I'm also celebrating National Scrapbooking Day this evening, as -- more than anything else -- I wanted a "Mommy Timeout" so I could craft in peace for a few hours.  The result is a few projects from My Pink Stamper's NSD challenges combined with inspiration from sketch blogs.

    My first creation tonight is a cupcake-themed birthday card made using my Mothers Day gift -- the Simply Charmed cartridge!  I love this cart already with all its happy faces and cute phrases.

    Cartridges Used:
    Lovely Floral
    Simply Charmed

    The cupcake is from Simply Charmed, and the side border scallop is clipped from a frame on Lovely Floral.  I printed the sentiment from my computer since I couldn't seem to find a phrase that looked good cut at such a small size.

    I was also inspired by the Die Cuttin' Divas sketch this week, so I'm entering this project in the following challenges:

    Die Cuttin' Divas: May 1st Sketch Challenge
    The Pink Stamper: NSD Challenge #1 - Anything Cupcake

    Saturday, May 7, 2011

    Pink & Purple Gift Tag

    Happy National Scrapbooking Day!  It would be a shame not to create something today, so I made a quick and fun gift tag:

    Cartridges Used:
    Opposites Attract

    The present is for a birthday party this afternoon -- the same sweet girls receiving the twin birthday cards I made a few weeks ago.

    It was my first time using a white gel pen, and now I'm loving gel pens!

    Friday, May 6, 2011

    Apple Teacher Appreciation Card

    With the school year coming to a close, I made two cards (both alike) for my son's preschool teachers.  He goes to Mothers Day Out three days a week and just loves his teachers.  I also worked at his MDO this year, so I often saw these two fabulous ladies in action with my son's class.  I love these women for loving on my son, so I hope they'll like their cards.

    Inspiration was from CPS Card Sketch #216:

    My resulting card adds a ribbon and keeps the main image round:

    Cartridges Used:
    Birthday Bash
    Opposites Attract
    Wrap It Up

    I'm entering this card into the following challenges:

    Bitten By the Bug 2:  Apple Core
    CPS Card Sketch #216

    Monday, May 2, 2011

    Celebrate 1st Birthday Page

    So I finally used my Cricut for its intended purpose -- completing pages for my son's scrapbook!

    I used a sketch from Sassy Lil' Sketches to make the first page in his Year Two album -- Jonathan eating cake on the evening of his first birthday.  Here's the sketch and my take on it:

    Cartridges Used:
    Birthday Bash
    Stretch Your Imagination

    I really liked the "Celebrate" phrase on the Birthday Bash cartridge, but its background included a huge anteater.  I removed the anteater by clipping manually with scissors, and -- presto! -- you can't tell it was even supposed to be there!

    Another result I like on this project is the Cuddlebug embossing folders I used on the birds' wings and on the banner.  It adds some much-needed dimension, as I try to use pop dots sparingly in albums.  Don't get me wrong -- I love pop dots, but I end up using so many, it makes the pages too thick to fit in anything but the largest albums.

    I'm really proud of my first Cricut-produced scrapbooking page.  Now I'm ready to dive into more!

    I'm submitting this project into the following challenge(s):

    Sassy Lil' Sketches - April 28th Reveal

    Sunday, May 1, 2011

    Simple Flowers Mothers Day Card

    I made one last Mothers Day card this afternoon -- and now I'm done with all four cards for the mothers in my life!  This final card is based on the April 21st sketch from Sassy Lil' Card Sketches:

    Cartridges Used:
    Create a Critter

    I hope all the moms who receive my cards this year will enjoy them.  I've always bought cards, so sending something handmade will be new!

    I'm entering this card into the following challenges:

    Cooking with Cricut:  Challenge #27 - Spring Flowers
    Sassy Lil' Card Sketches - April 21st Card Reveal