Monday, September 21, 2015

Graphic 45 Mother Goose Mini Album

One of the ladies that attend stamp club frequents Tuesday Morning and she brought 7 different sheets of the Graphic 45 Mother Goose line for us to purchase, for only $1, for the card challenge. The challenge requires that you make cards with the papers that are purchased and then bring them back the next month. It's always a lot of fun to see what everyone comes up with and instead of cards I decided to make a mini album with the sheets I purchased.

I've always wanted to try an accordion album and figured this was as good a time as any to see if I could make one. Now I could go into all kinds of details about what I did on each page but I honestly don't think anyone reads most of the stuff I type so I am just going to say the hell with it and only post the pictures.

I really love how it turned out and I think I might make a few more albums out of this line. I was lucky enough that BFF Carmen was able to get a package of all the sheets from Tuesday Morning and share with me so I have enough to do a few more albums. I'm not sure I will do accordion ones since I have a ton of acrylic and chipboard albums I can use. 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Stampin Up Big Day Tag Card

I decided to get another card done with this stamp set since I had stamped off quite a few images. I had a bit of hard time trying to decide what to do and the card ended up pretty simple but the tag is definitely the focus.

Supplies Used:

Stampin Up Products -
  Big Day stamp set
Basic Grey Cupcake pattern paper
Memento Ink
Paper Studio brads
1" square punch
Bakers twine
Mounting Foam

The Stampin Up tag topper punches make it super fast to make tags. The width is limited to 2" wide but the length can be anything you want. I'm not sure how long the tags are since I just cut them to fit the stamped image.

The image was stamped on white cardstock and I inked around the edges with the Pumpkin Pie ink. After coloring the "birthday" I went over it with a Stardust pen to give it just a bit of glimmer. 

I stamped the "celebrate" on old olive cardstock, fussy cut it and then used mounting foam to make it more dimensional. The "cake" was stamped on a piece of the Basic Grey Cupcake paper, trimmed down and a 1" square punch was used for the ends to make a banner. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Stampin Up Big Day Birthday Card

I'm gonna be honest and say I wasn't sure about this stamp set when I ordered it but I am always looking for new birthday stamps and now that I have used it I have to say I am lovin the Big Day stamp set! I'm glad I got it when I did since it is no longer available. It was one of the items from Sale-A-Bration catalog back in the spring.

Supplies Used:
Stampin Up - Big Day stamp set (retired), Oval and 2 3/8" Scallop Circle punches

ProMarkers - Crimson, Marsh Green, Moss, Coral, Amethyst, Apricot,  Blue Pearl, Caramel, Cocoa, Blender Pen

Memento Black Ink 
1/4" Grosgrain ribbon
Paper Studio brads
Karen Foster Happy Birthday
Various cardstock

I didn't take a picture of the inside but the sentiment says "and perhaps a little ice cream!" The stamps actually have a lot of versatility to them and I have some images to make another set of 6 cards. When I was stamping the images I texted BFF Carmen and asked if she wanted me to stamp some off for her and of course she said yes.

I used my ProMarkers to do the coloring on the images and I do find that Memento Ink seems to work best. I have tried Stazon in the past and it seems to smear while Memento stays nice and crisp. I used the blender pen to take away some of the color for a highlighted look on the banner, letters and the cake image. 

I guess I'll take a break from making cards for a bit after I use up the other images I have stamped since I have to work on some giftbags for my stepgrandaughter's softball team. I'm still not sure what I am going to do to decorate them but I guess it better be good!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Stampin Up Amazing Birthday Card

I know I make more birthday cards than any other type of card and I think it is because as a general rule people send more birthday cards than any other card. Like I said a few posts ago, my card stash is running low and I am working to restock. Another reason I need to restock is because BFF Carmen is coming to visit soon and I will have to trade cards for the awesome Graphic 45 paper she sent me recently. She will never take money, even if I beg, instead she always wants to be paid in cards or other creations. 

The Amazing Birthday stamp set was another one I ordered in the spring and my groups used over the summer when making birthday cards.

Supplies Used:

Stampin Up
  Everyday Enchantment paper
  Lucky Limeade, Calypso Coral Ribbon
3/4" Circle Punch
Button Hole Punch
Paper Studio brads
Mounting Foam

I actually found the idea for this card in a Google search and really fell in love with it. I did have to stamp off the "TODAY" and "AMAZING" and cut them out by hand but it was worth the time and effort, and then used mounting foam to layer them on top of the original stamped image. I used a button hole punch to thread the ribbon through and tie off. The little "IT'S FOR YOU" was stamped and then punched out with the 3/4" circle punch and then I layered it on a 7/8" scallop circle I punched out. 

I left the inside of the card blank because I am thinking the card can be used for a variety of occasions even though birthday is what I had in mind when I made it. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Stampin Up Celebrate Today Birthday Card

I ordered this stamp set back in the spring because I wanted to use it for when my groups at McCalls would make birthday cards and I haven't used it for myself until now and I know I'm going to use it again because there are a lot of different things you can do with the stamps and  matching framelits.

Supplies Used:

Stampin Up products -
  Itty Bitty Banner stamps(retired)
  Baked Brown Sugar Ink
  Cherry Cobbler Ink 
  Cherry Cobbler Cardstock
Scenic Route - Sonoma paper
Paper Studio - Cloud Paper
Mounting Foam

The Celebrate Today stamp set has a couple of balloon stamps you can use but for this card I just used the framelits and cut out patterned paper for the balloons but I did use a stamp from the set for the basket. I did have to fussy cut the basket but it was worth it to get the great effect on the card. The sentiment that says "Happy Day" is from the Itty Bitty Banner stamp set that is now retired. The banner is from the Bitty Banner framelit set.

The bottom two balloons are attached directly to the card mat and the top balloon was pop dotted. I crinkled the banners a little so they would look more like they were waving in the wind.  I do wish I would have cut out more of the banners to add to the balloons but maybe next time because I'm not getting the back out of my box to redo them now.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Stampin Up Birthday Blossoms Card

My card stash is running really low right now and I need to work on getting it stocked back up *okie wonders why since she rarely sends out any cards and just ends up giving most of them away to her friends so they can send them out* so I've been trying to think of cards to make. Since BFF Carmen sent me the Graphic 45 Mother Goose paper line I wanted to use it on a card.

Supplies Used:

I wasn't sure how I would like the sentiment stamped on top of the flowers I had stamped but once I got done I thought it looked okay. I always have a hard time stamping on top of another stamped image unless the set is made that way so this was out of my comfort zone a bit. If you look at the flower at the top of the page you can see a little bit of glimmer where I added the Perfect Pearls. The grayish on the petals of the flowers is actually Perfect Pearls, some things are just difficult to photograph and it seems anything shimmery is difficult.

The flowers were stamped on the patterned paper with More Mustard and the green on the leaves with Garden Green. The Pacific Point cardstock and ink went perfect with the blue in the Mother Goose collection and I got really lucky there and then even more lucky was the brads I had match almost perfectly. I added a bit of Perfect Pearls to the middle of the flowers since they looked a little too plain otherwise. And yes...I am getting addicted to Perfect Pearls, thank you for noticing *okie cracks up laughing*.

Now I gotta figure out what kind of card to make next!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

I Finally Went To Stamp Club

For those who may not know I attend a stamp club, well at times I attend, that occurs on the first Thursday of the month. I started going probably 5 or 6 years ago after attending a sale that the lady who runs stamp club had and she told me about the stamp club. I haven't gone in quite sometime, mostly because I would forget and then remember after I was already home in my home clothes...okay pajama's *okie wonders who else puts their pj's on right after getting home from work*, and I didn't want to put clothes back on.

Last Thursday was Stamp Club and I finally made it! I had called my friend Linda a few days before and asked if she wanted to go. I was determined I was going with or without her this time but she did say she would like to go since she hadn't been in ages either. I rarely get anything done at Stamp Club because I am too nosy and always wanting to see what everyone else was doing but this time I was going to persevere and accomplish something! That meant I had to get stuff ready in advance so I stamped my butterflies and had them cut with the framelits a few days before Stamp Club.

Supplies Used:
Stampin Up Watercolor Wings stamp set
Stampin Up Bold Butterfly  framelit set 
Stampin Up Washi Tape Punch
Stampin Up Inks
Glimmer Mist - Driftwood
Washi Tape (either Tim Holtz or 7 Gypsies) 
Translucent sheet
Diecut leaves (using Cricut Explore One)
Queen & Co. Pearls
Various Cardstock
Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher

The little butterfly was cut out with translucent sheet which is a lot like vellum but better in my opinion because it prints, cuts and adheres a lot better. I picked it up a few years back at my local bargain store when they got a bunch of crafting supplies in. I was afraid it wouldn't do well in the die but as you can see it came out perfect. 

You can also see the spritzes of Glimmer Mist a little better in this picture. I can't ever get a nice clean even light spray with Glimmer Mist but I still love it just the same. 

The leaves are some I had left over from a layout I did a few weeks ago. I had cut out extra because I wasn't sure how many I would use and that left me with some extra and I was glad I had them since they worked great on this card. 

After stamping the sentiment on Kraft Cardstock I punched it out with the Washi Tape punch. I ordered that punch for the sole reason of using it for sentiments. The Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher was used for adhering it onto the card. 

Everyone at Stamp Club loved the card and it is different for me to do something on a white background but I really liked how it turned out. The stamp set was so well liked that it is out on loan right now!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Pink Cricut Explore One Giveaway...

Sometimes people see titles of news articles, clippings, blog posts and such and read the piece only because the title caught their attention. We often bypass something really news worthy because we don't think it is of interest. I learned that during my short journalism major stint in college.

For instance, the title of this blog post is "Pink Cricut Explore One Giveaway" and it can seem to mean that I am giving away a Pink Cricut Explore but the truth is the giveaway was my previous post that was titled "Did You Read The Explore One Reviews?". And before anyone cries out "that's not fair" I will tell you I don't care. I did it that way on purpose because I wanted the winner to be someone who reads this piece of crap blog that I put hours of work into instead of someone just coming to win something. The only requirement was to leave a comment on that post, there were no hoops to jump through like there are in most giveaways, no one had to follow my blog, follow me on facebook, share the post in 5 different places or anything else. All they had to do was be someone who regularly read my posts and leave a comment....just that simple.

I would like to thank everyone who read all the reviews and commented whether here or on Facebook. I also appreciate all the comments about you guys trusting my opinions and having faith in my honesty when I review products, that really means a lot to me.

To chose a winner I used a number generator and the winning number was 36. I then copy and pasted all the comments that were left before the deadline of midnight Sunday, September 6th. I guess I could have printed them all off and then drew a winner from a hat, or probably a bowl since I don't have any hats, but I didn't want to waste my printer ink or time sitting there and cutting them all apart. This method was just a lot easier for me and let's face it...I'm lazy!

And the winner of the Pink Cricut Explore One is ES who commented "Thanks for this giveaway Okie. I rolled my eyes a bit when I read your "requirements"... should have known they weren't real. :)" and I had to laugh at her comment being the winning one since she directly commented about the requirements to win. 

ES please EMAIL me your contact information so I can forward that to Provocraft and they can send you the prize.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Did You Read The Explore One Reviews?

I know some might think my reviews were short and not enough materials cut but I really didn't need to do more than I did to know that I really really really like the E1! Like I said in my first review the machine is a cheaper price but it still has the same excellent cutting accuracy, aside of the settings glitch that might just be my machine, as the Explore. From what I found the E1 can be bought for about $50-70 less than the Explore Air and if the features of having the built in pen holder and built in Bluetooth isn't an issue it is a great machine to save some bucks on while still having the fantastic cutting capabilities. If you want to cut wirelessly the Bluetooth adapter does work in the E1. I have found I do like to be without the cord because I don't have to worry about it getting in my way.

When Ashish asked if I would be willing to do a review of the Explore One and do a giveaway I told him I wanted to review the machine first before I would tie my name to a giveaway because I didn't want to giveaway something that was a piece of crap that I didn't like. I figured he might tell me to forget it then but instead he agreed *okie sometimes wonder if that man is a little off is rocker*.

After my posts I guess you can tell that I do indeed love the Explore One as much as the Explore and I am in fact doing a giveaway!

This giveaway is for a Cricut Explore One machine, pink in color, and to enter the giveaway you must do the following...
1. Go and like my Facebook page
2. Follow my blog
3. Join my YouTube channel
4. Scratch my back
5. Jump through 3 flaming hoops
6. Register to be one of my minions
7. Do 3 somersaults and 2 back flips while chewing bubble gum........

This is my machine, the winner will receive a new E1
*okie falls out her chair laughing* Okay I am joking but don't ya get the feeling in most giveaways that is some of the idiotic stuff you have to do in order to enter? I mean seriously...why in the hell do you have to follow someone's blog, YouTube channel and Facebook page to enter a giveaway? Personally I think it's to boost their ego's and have them believe that people adore them. Aren't you glad that I don't give a FU..., er....FLIP if anyone adores me or not.

To enter all you have to do is leave a comment ON THIS POST by midnight Sunday September 6th. Yes that is tomorrow night. I am doing it short and sweet as I want those who actually read the reviews to have a better chance of winning! The winner will be announced on Tuesday September 8th. Once the winner is announced I will need the information where Provocraft needs to ship the machine.

So ya's as simple as that!

P.S. I have to approve comments to avoid spam so if your comment doesn't show up right away it's because I haven't been able to approve comments. Please refrain from making multiple comments. 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Cricut Explore Review 4 - Regular Paper

So we know the E1 will cut onion paper, adhesive backed paper and construction paper but how will it do with regular paper? Well I found out when my friend asked if I would help her daughter with a car wash sign.

I thought they were going to bring construction paper but instead it was regular weight paper, like copy paper, in neon colors much like the picture on the left. I didn't tell them I never cut this type of paper in a machine before as I didn't want them to think they needed to go get different paper and I was curious as to how well it would cut in the E1. 

Using Make The Cut I designed the sign the night before they came over so I could just cut it once they came over. I already had it loaded up and saved in Design Space so it was just a matter of opening up DS and get to cuttin. 

As you can see the paper cut fabulously and of course Katy had the cutest sign at the car wash. Evidently it was so cute they decided to laminate it for future use since the Cougann's do fundraisers throughout the year. I did use cardstock making the car and there were like 4 different varieties used and once again the E1 cut them all like a champ. 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Cricut Explore One Review 3 - Construction Paper

I know the Explore will cut construction paper beautifully as I used it to cut out a bunch of tiger paws for my youngest Goddaughter and I wondered if the Explore One, which will now be called the E1 because I'm too lazy to keep typing Explore One, would do just as well. Luckily...I guess it was lucky, my Goddaughter needed a few more paws because she got more residents after I got the E1 and I decided to try it out with construction paper. 

I would like to give a complaint about the E1 at this time. The settings for the paper seem to be a bit off. With the Explore the settings seem to be dead on but with the E1 I had to adjust cutting the construction paper with the light cardstock setting and when cutting light cardstock I had to adjust to the regular cardstock setting. While that might be a huge issue I still see it as an issue. I know how precious our materials are to us and if you are trying to cut something out of your last sheet of paper you want it to be able to cut accurately. For now I would suggest doing some test cuts on different materials to see if your machine is the same or if this is a glitch in my machine.

So after getting the paper setting correct the E1 did a fantastic job of cutting out all the tiger paws from the orange construction paper. Even though the cuts were large and not a test on how accurate it cuts small items on construction paper I was still impressed with the accuracy of the machine.

The white paper used was the Georgia Pacific from Walmart that use to be of fantastic quality but they downgraded it a few years ago and my Expressions and even my Pazzles had a hard time cutting it but the E1 cut it like butter. I used the regular cardstock setting to cut it even though I would consider it light cardstock. 

My Goddaughter was over the other night so we could cut out more signs, footballs this time. for her residents doors. Evidently this is something WE are going to have to do every month. I swear that girl gets me involved in things I neer would have dreamed of doing! But on the upside she did say all the residents left the name paws on the doors for the whole month. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Now, this is a story all about how

Now, this is a story all about how
My crafting got flipped-turned upside down
And I'd like to take a minute
Just sit right there
I'll tell you about the Explore, just not the Air

In Oklahoma I born and raised
In the craftoom was where I spent most of my days
Cuttin and gluin relaxing all cool
And all organizing some buttons next to the tools
When a couple of gals who were up to no good
Started makin trouble in my craftinghood
I made one little post and someone got scared
They whined and cried and said I was rude and not fair

I laughed and joked with them throughout the day
But they kept on talking smack while running away
I told them what they could kiss and then said f*uck it
I turned my Explore on and said 'I might as well cut it'.

*okie fall out chair laughing* Okay, okay I couldn't resist the lyrics and I know some of you were reading with a beat knowing where that little diddy originated and it was more about the comments made on my first post reviewing the Explore One. 

But for realz I wanna share how I ended up getting to review the Explore and the Explore One because I know some are curious and some folks are down right pissed off about it. Since I have quite a few Facebook friends I got a lot of private messages when I first reviewed the Explore about how some people in Facebook groups and the Cricut Messageboard *okie observes a quick moment of silence in remembrance of something that use to be great* were upset that I was choosen to review the machine since I had divorced Cricut a few years back. I thought it was funny and told the dear people who were trying to protect my honor I didn't give a rats ass about what people thought I might have done to be able to review the Explore. 

But here is how it happened. Sometime ago Ashish Arora, the CEO of Provocraft, sent me a friends request on Facebook and I sent him a message that I was curious as to why he would want to be my friend. It was quite a bit later that he messaged me back, stating he was still trying to get use to the whole Facebook thing and my message went in his other folder *okie figures that is plausible enough because she can't even get private messages on her phone anymore* and we chit chatted for a bit and he asked if I would be willing to review the Cricut Explore. I asked if he really wanted me to do that since I give my very honest opinions about products and he said that is exactly what he was wanting. Of course at that time I smirked to myself thinking "he doesn't know what he is in for". I even asked him "Um...Did ya ask Dan about me?" because I knew Dan would be able to convey in person how honest I am about things and he said he and Dan had talked in length. By this time I was thinking that Ashish was completely out of his ever lovin mind! He kept telling me he was very proud of the changes they made to the Cricut and how it was a superb machine and he had confidence in the abilities of the machine. 

Of course y'all know that I am truly impressed with the Explore and quite astonished in the changes Provocraft has made. After my reviews I was approached about being a "product expert" and I agreed but once I received the non-disclosure agreement I told them I would not be able to join that group because I would't sign the NDA that in so much wording said I would not be able to say anything negative about the company for a period of three years. I understand their need for the agreement and they understood that I would not compromise my integrity and honest opinions about products that I try and write about. I have learned over the years that people trust my opinions because I am a straight shooter. After that I thought the correspondence was done but then about a month ago I was contacted by Ashish about reviewing the Explore One and I agreed. 

So you see I didn't need to find something to blackmail Provocraft with so I could get a machine to review, I didn't contact them and beg, I didn't post all over the internet how I would love to review a machine...or anything else. Okay I will admit that I do know there were two dear friends that were suggesting that I would be allowed to review a machine. It was simply one man asking me if I would be willing to review a machine made by a company that I had moved away from in the past. 

Now if you think it is easy to review things think again. Yes, I received the machines for free but...I use my own time to test the machines, my own time to write up reviews, my own time to take pictures, my own time to edit and post and my own materials to cut in the machine for reviews. I have a full time job and crafting is not it. The reviews are done in my free time, something I cherish. I am not compensated in any other way for what I have reviewed. 

And there ya have the story.

Cricut Explore One Review 2 - Adhesive Backed Fabric

So like I said yesterday I didn't ease into review the Explore One I went in all gung ho and just knew that I would quickly find something this machine can't cut. Since the One is cheaper than the Air I figured it probably doesn't cut as well.

Since I tried super thin at first I thought I would go for something super thick and difficult for my next test. My friend Carmen had found a bunch of adhesive backed fabric sometime ago and I haven't used any because I was afraid my machines would just shred it so it has sat on the shelf for quite awhile just waiting to be used. 

I wanted a difficult cut so I decided to cut out a word and not just any word, but a word that is only a little over 1/2" tall and tiny curves in the letters. I was willing to sacrifice a little of the adhesive backed fabric in the name of experimentation and also thinking I certainly had something that wouldn't be able to be cut and it would be worth it!

Sadly...I was wrong! My first attempt didn't cut all the way through but once I changed the settings to "denim" I was shocked to see the results. There it was, on the mat, cut perfectly. I suddenly felt defeated. I mean come on now! Who would think a machine would cut this so small and so precisely! I left the letters on the mat so you guys could see the size of the letters and know I am not lying when I said how small and how well the Explore One cut this chit! I might add that I used the regular blade housing and blade as well. I know the deep cut blade was probably suppose to be used but I don't have one of those. 

A few years ago when I divorced Cricut I certainly didn't expect a reconciliation much less a reconciliation of this magnitude.  Damn you Provocraft! Damn you for making superior machines that so far cut anything I try! *okie stomps off with arms across her chest and mumbling explicit phrases under her breath*

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Cricut Explore One Review 1 - Onion Paper

About a month ago I was asked if I would be willing to review the Explore One and I agreed because...well why not! I was curious if the Explore One has the same great cutting capability as the Explore. I do know the Explore One is a bit cheaper in price than the Explore Air. 

I got to choose the color of Explore One I wanted and I went with the pink since red wasn't an option. The other colors available were grey and blue. The first thing I noticed is that it doesn't have the pen holder like the Explore does but since I never used a pen in any of my Cricuts other than to see if it would work that doesn't bother me. I also noticed that the tab next to the blade is smaller which leads me to believe you can't do print and cut but I could be wrong about that since I haven't tried that feature.

I didn't have any problem popping out the bluetooth adapter from my Explore and putting it in the Explore One. My computer recognized it immediately as did Design Space. 

Of course me being me I didn't slowly try out the One, instead I went in with difficult materials that I knew other machines would have difficulty cutting or wouldn't be able to cut at all. For my first try at cutting I grabbed some onion paper, which is more delicate than vellum and didn't figure it would be able to cut it at all. I loaded up some shapes for flowers in Design Space, put the paper on the mat and tore the first piece and I think I might have gotten a bit of a grin like the Grinch Who Stole Christmas because I just knew if the paper tore that easily the Explore One was going to rip it to shreds! I wasn't smirking when I unloaded the mat, instead I was frowning a bit because it seemed that all the flowers cut rather well except the first one. 

Well that frown went to an out right full force face of anger as I took the paper off and left on the mat were perfect little flowers. The first one on the mat was only torn on the paper I wouldn't be using. The wrinkle you see it is where I tore it getting the unused paper off the mat. I think I sat there for a few minutes just staring at the flowers and might have even scratched my head in wondering how in the hell did this machine cut onion paper...ONION PAPER OF ALL THINGS!! My punches won't even give me clean cuts like this with onion paper!

I went ahead and put the pieces together and made this little flower. I wadded up the layers and them straightened them out a little before layering them and putting them together. I spritzed it with some Glimmer Mist and POOF...a nice little Onion Paper flower!