Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sweet Sixteen Card

It always feels so good when my friends and family appreciate the cards I make for them.  My niece proudly displays this sweet sixteen card in her bedroom.  She surrounded the card with sea shells and candles.  She is the sweetest!  I used Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist and a Glimmer Mist Screen from the Garden Blossom set to create the background of the card.  Colors used were Tuscan Sun, Garden Fairy, and Riptide.

The Sweet Sixteen die-cut was a SVG cut on my Cricut using Sure Cuts A Lot.  The SVG file is available for free at Scrapcation Getaway.  To finish, I added green pearls to embellish the card.  

I am entering this card in this week's Play Date Cafe Challenge.  The prize is two stamp sets from Ippity and they are adorable.  I would love to win these sets!

Thanks for looking,

Friday, February 25, 2011

A Fun, Whimsical Layout Using Print and Cut in Sure Cuts A Lot

Today, there are contractors at my house tearing up our ceiling because we had an ice dam that leaked into our home.  Not so much fun!  So, I thought why not craft to improve my spirits!  :)  Below is a fun, whimsical layout I just finished and wanted to share with you. 

We went to Ghirardelli Square while in San Francisco and the atmosphere there was so fun, not to mention their sundaes were awesome!  I wanted to capture the atmosphere in this layout and I think I accomplished that.  When I look at this page, I feel like I am there.  I wanted to use all 4X3 pictures across the page, except for the large photo at the top.  One of the photos was a 4X6 so I cut it in half to match the others.

I used the Print and Cut functions in SCAL for the "Freeze the Moment" caption on the page.  It is so easy to do, I just love it!  Just load your paper (any size, as long as it will fit the size of the image) into the printer and print from SCAL, then place at the corner of your mat, load into your Cricut, and cut from SCAL!  The only step in between is moving your USB cord from your printer to your Cricut.  So easy!

Other materials used:
  • Thickers stickers for "Ghirardelli"
  • LD Petticoat Black font for "Square" available for purchase at Lettering Delights
  • Loopy Ribbon free SVG (behind the title) is available at Life on the Lamb
  • "Freeze the Moment" caption and Sundae are from the LD Sweet Treats doodlebat font available for purchase at Scrap N Fonts (sister site to Lettering Delights).  Now available as an SVG set here at Lettering Delights!
  • Label for the caption was a free SVG by MTC SCAL-E Files
  • Striped paper is from the Sweet Stack by DCWV
  • Polka dot paper is by DCWV

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Getting Cricky's A to Z Challenge Entry

Below is my entry for Getting Cricky's A to Z Challenge.  The winner will win the Pack Your Bags Cricut cartridge!  I have been working on two scrapbooks as of late - one of a Caribbean cruise my husband and I went on with friends and our recent San Francisco trip - both trips were a blast!  This page stood out for the challenge, which requires the use of letters or an ABC theme (I don't have kids yet, so no ABC theme yet).  I used a large letter "A" die-cut for the title, then embellished it with a pretty painted flower.  I have listed all of the materials used below.

Here is a close-up of the painted flower:

I used my Cricut cartridges to make this layout:
The letter A is from the Plantin School Book cartridge
The rest of the title is from the Opposites Attract cartridge
The Day 4 frame is from the Fabulous Finds cartridge
The painted flower is from the Home Decor cartridge

I used glimmer mists in Candy Apple Red, Cherry Blossom, and Tattered Leather to paint the flower.  I sprayed the glimmer mists on a sponge, then applied to the flower.  The metal accents are the Filigree brads by Stampin' Up.  I also used paper flowers, glitter stickers, brads, and a button on this page.  The patterned paper is from Me & My Big Ideas.

Update: I have entered this page in two more challenges:

Monday, February 21, 2011

What is Sure Cuts A Lot and Why I Love It!

Some of you may be wondering what is Sure Cuts A Lot (SCAL) since I use it for many of my crafty projects.  So, here is my best stab at explaining what SCAL is, and why I have decided to use it with my Provo Craft Cricut Expression Machine.  UPDATE: You can no longer purchase SCAL for use with a Cricut machine.  This post was written prior to this change.  However, you can purchase SCAL for use with many other die-cutting machines such as the Silhouette, E-Craft, Pazzles, etc.

What is Sure Cuts A Lot?

Sure Cuts A Lot is a 3rd-party software that allows you to cut fonts and SVG files on your Cricut machine.  The software works with Windows and Mac computers and is easy to learn how to use.  There are many sites that have SCAL video tutorials and there is a SCAL forum where experienced users are willing to help with questions you may have.  SCAL is available for purchase on the Craft Edge site.  There is a sale right now - you can get it for $59.95!

What are SVG files and where can I find them? 

SVG files are compatible with SCAL.  SVG files are like Cricut cartridge images in that they are available as shapes, captions, and paper-piecing patterns that you can cut on your Cricut machine.  You can find many SVG files for free that are equivalent to Cricut cartridge quality.  There are also sites that sell SVG files and they are very economical.  A SVG set with 15 or more images usually costs $5 to $10 - much cheaper than buying Cricut cartridges and they are extremely cute! 

Here are some examples of SVGs available online for free or for purchase:

SVGCuts:  Many designer SVGs available at their store as well as free SVG downloads on the SVGCuts Blog.  Here are some of my favorite collections they have in their store and their most recent free SVG.
Strawberry Lane SVG Collection

Birthday Dinos SVG Collection

Lettering Delights (They have fonts too!):  I think Provo Craft has Lettering Delights design some of their cartridges (this is purely my speculation since the images are similar so please do not quote me on this). 

Lettering Delights SVGs - They have over 100 SVG sets and keep adding new cute ones!

Is SCAL safe to use with my Cricut?

I have been using SCAL for a year now and have not had any issues.  However, I should mention that using SCAL will void your Cricut machine warranty.  I waited until my Cricut warranty had expired before using SCAL (the Cricut warranty expires 1 year from the purchase date).

What features does SCAL have? 

Below are some of my favorite features, see the Craft Edge site for additional features and for tutorials on how to use all of these features.
  • Weld - weld letters and shapes together
  • Shadow/Blackout
  • Print & Cut - print paper, digi stamps, or any other type of image on your printer from SCAL, then cut it out on your Cricut.
  • Trace Image - import a clean-lined image and trace it in SCAL, then cut it out on your Cricut.  Great for cutting logos or other trademarked images.  You can break apart the image to cut pieces in different colors.
  • Drawing Tools - design your own creations!

Are there any cons to using SCAL?

The only thing I can't do with SCAL is cut images on my Cricut cartridges.  I use my cartridges separately with my Cricut machine.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

"Cabin Memories" Shadow Box

I made this shadow box for a good friend of mine for his birthday.  When he was little, he would spend time at his grandparents' cabin and he has very fond memories of being there.  So, as a birthday gift, his wife asked me to design and create a shadow box for him.  I was so honored that she asked me and I absolutely loved making this.  I put so much love into making it, I think I exhausted myself!  :) 

I added 3D Foam Squares to pop-up the tree in the upper left corner of the shadow box.  I stacked them 3 high so the tree looks like it is at the front of the box.  The tree was a free SVG file from My Scrap Chick.  SVG file included the branch and leaves as well.

Here is a close-up of the owl.  Isn't he the cutest!  He is from the LD Woodsy Doodlebat Font available for purchase at Lettering Delights.  The graphics in this font are now available as a SVG set too!  Check out the entire Woodsy SVG set!

I used SCAL to design the layout of the shadow box!  I was so excited when I realized I could add the pictures to the layout in SCAL.  Also, I changed the colors of the cuts to match the paper colors I would use.  I like to visualize what my projects will look like before cutting/printing anything so this worked perfectly!  

Other materials used for this project:
  • Evergreen Trees & Cabin - Camping at Fox Ridge SVG Collection available for purchase at SVGCuts
  • Font used for "Cabin" in title - LD Woodland Font available for purchase at Lettering Delights
  • Font used for "Memories" in title - Blackjack Font available for free at Font Squirrel
  • Fishing Boat came from the Vehicle Cuts Font available for free at Denise's Scrapbooking Room.
  • People in the boat are a free Lego Man SVG available at the SVG Shop
  • Fishing Pole came from a free SVG at SVGCuts (no longer available)

Update 6/28/11:  I have a tutorial HERE that shows you how to design in SCAL.  Also, this shadow box was published in the May 2011 issue of GingerScrapStreet Magazine!!!

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Using Quotes on Scrapbook Pages and Cards

I like adding quotes to my scrapbook pages because quotes often capture my feelings and the emotions of the moment better than I can put them into words.  My husband and I thought the island of St. Lucia was so beautiful so I used this Ralph Waldo Emerson quote (Word Art by Bethany) to capture how we felt when we were there.

Here is how the whole scrapbook page turned out.  I used my Cricut and SCAL to cut the leaves which were a free SVG file from My Scrap Chick and to cut the St. Lucia title.  The font used for the title is the "akaDora" free font at Scrapping Table.  I added paper flowers, brads, and rhinestones to embellish the page.

I have used quotes on my cards as well.  I made the below card for my nephew for his birthday.  He is a huge Nascar fan so I wanted to use this theme for the card.  I googled "Nascar quotes"  and found this hilarious Jeff Foxworthy Redneck joke and just had to use it.  I added to the end of the quote to personalize it for my nephew and added a personal message inside the card.  I used fonts by Kevin & Amanda Free Scrapbooking Fonts to make this card.


Thanks for looking. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

For My Valentine

Happy Valentine's Day!  I made a card for my hubby for Valentine's Day and thought I would share it with you.  I think it turned out pretty cute! 

I used Sure Cuts A Lot (SCAL) and my Cricut to cut out the Amour Frame SVG and Love Letters SVG from SVGCuts (both are free SVG files).  I cut the heart scroll (included in the Amour Frame SVG file) in chipboard, then covered it with Martha Stewart Glitter Glue in Garnet.  I added some rhinestones and brads to add some more sparkle.  Thanks for looking!