Tuesday, October 31, 2017

My Crafting Days are Numbered!

I have limited days to do any crafting I might want to do, 9 days to be exact, before I have my carpal tunnel surgery done on my left hand.

Actually it's not even 9 days when you take in account that I will be going to Houston for the weekend for the Cricut Make Something You Love event. So that knocks me down to about maybe 4 evenings since I have to think about paperwork, packing, driving, etc. 

Last night I had planned on working on my reindeer ornaments, I will be posting and offering the file for sale hopefully in a few days, but that kinda got blown out of the water since my daughter wanted to go to Hobby Lobby after work and look for things to decorate her office. I ended up spending the evening making a picture she wanted. She saw the picture at Hobby Lobby but didn't want to pay $25 for it since she had some other things picked out. I told her I would take a picture of it and make it for her.

Supplies Used:

Cricut Explore
White Vinyl
Gold Vinyl
Shadow Box Frame

The original was all white but I decided to use some gold vinyl so it tied in with the rest of her pictures she had chosen for her walls. 

When my daughter saw that I was making the picture right away she was very excited. I knew she wanted to get her decor up as soon as possible and I also knew that if I didn't do it last night then it might not get done before my surgery and I wasn't sure when I would be able to do it after my surgery. Several times during the process of making the picture I was glad I did it right away because I noticed the angles my wrists were bent and thought to myself then "oh okie, you are gonna be a sad, sad crafter if that surgery keeps you from crafting for very long".

I'm not nervous about having the surgery done as I am just hoping it does the job and my hands stops hurting, well at least one of them anyway. I don't know how long it will be before I get my right hand done. I have dealt with this for almost 10 years now and it is just getting worse. I can't tell you the last time I got a full night's sleep since I wake up multiple times shaking my hands out to get them to stop hurting. 

I guess on the bright side for now is that since I will have use of my right hand I can design files and such and use them later...I believe on looking on the bright side!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

And Now About Light Pads

I know people have been using light tables and pads for sometime now to help with their weeding and I never thought I needed one and often laughed at the idea. 

Now that I am in my 50's and my eyes are not as sharp as they use to be I found myself wishing I had a light pad and I couldn't bring myself to spending a lot of money on one. I did consider the Cricut Bright Pad but I couldn't justify the cost for it since I knew there were products out there with a lot lower price tag. 

I did find one on Amazon and I have to say I really like it! It is super light weight and easy to store. I don't think it will break because true to my nature I dropped it a few times just to make sure it is durable *okie is waiting for this to blow up in her face, or at her feet, one of these days when she is seeing how durable things really are* and it didn't crack or bust. 

When I started weeding some of the Duck Deco Glimmer Laminate I knew I made a great purchase! I about went blind last year before Christmas when I was weeding a lot of the laminate for ornaments. While that stuff is gorgeous it is terribly hard to see when you are weeding it. You can see in the picture that the lines are clearly visible and this made the weeding a breeze!

The link below for the light pad is just like the one I purchased. I love the large space it provides for projects being weeded. Mine didn't come with a handy dandy carrying case like this one does so I do feel a little cheated! HA HA HA So if you are looking for a light pad, or light box, whatever you want to call it I can highly recommend this one!


I need to inform my readers that I am now an Amazon Affiliate. I think that is written in the rules or something saying that I have to inform people so this is the official announcement.

A few friends of mine suggested I sign up for the affiliate program since it seems people buy things that I talk about and like. Of course I always give an honest opinion and I am not going to suggest things that I don't like or that don't work well.

To be honest I'm not even sure how all this works and I think I get like 2 cents for every $100,000.00 worth of products that people buy from products I link, but hey 2 cents is 2 cents!

So if you notice that the links I post to some things look a little odd it is because if people click on those links and buy from those links I do get a commission of some sort.


Friday, October 27, 2017

Let's Talk Glue!

Let's talk glue for a bit. There are all kinds of glue out there but I'll boil it down to glue for papercrafting so this won't be a post that takes 5 days, 7 hours, 38 minutes and 23 seconds to discuss.

My favorite glue for years has been the Scotch Quick Dry, which I believe they now call Scotch Quick Drying Tacky Adhesive *okie often wonders why a company will change the names on products or if they change the product so they have to change the name* and I still love that glue BUT...yeah, there is always a but isn't there! BUT...they changed the tip and it is a bigger hole than the older bottles. I find that very irritating! Luckily, I kept my tips from older bottles so when I have to buy another bottle I can just screw it on the new bottle and have a finer tip. I do have problems with this clogging up in my FINELINE APPLICATOR because it does dry so fast.

Now let me tell you about a new glue that I have started using...Art Glitter Glue. The owner at my local scrapbook store told me about this one when I went in to get a bottle of the Scotch Quick Dry, or Scotch Quick Drying Tacky Adhesive, and she said she recommended it and buys it by the gallon for her use. Of course she owns the store and does a lot of projects for customers so I figured the Art Glitter Dries Clear Adhesive Glue 8 ounce (Flat Cap) Refill Bottle she had would work just fine for my needs and I bought a bottle. She also had the Art Institute Glitter Designer Dries Clear Adhesive, 2-Ounce bottles but you know me...GO BIG OR GO HOME!

Now I will say this can clog up in the Fineline Applicator if I leave the cap off for too long but not nearly as fast as the Scotch Quick Dry and I also found that I can take the tips off my Fineline Applicators and soak them in water overnight and blow out the water and POOF, good as new! 

This is the glue I have been using for the last two months or so and I really am loving it! I used it when I did the Woodland Santa Project and it was awesome that I could leave the cap off the FL applicator longer as it was a tedious project and I can't even imagine trying to use the regular Scotch Dry tip for that project. 

After my Run to Get the Scissors post I got accused of being an enabler and being a bad influence but I have to argue this since I only give my honest opinions about products and like to share my thoughts. At no time do I twist anyone's arm to purchase...although I do make STRONG SUGGESTIONS! Oh and to my dear friend Bethany....BUY YA SOME OF THIS GLUE GIRL! YOU WILL THANK ME LATER!

Oh and I love it so much that I am going to pick up a bottle and take it to Houston with me in two weeks so my friend Carmen can have some!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Fun Stampers Journey - Hello Lovely

So I told ya I love the Fun Stamper's Journey products and I have to share this wonderful Hello Lovely set!

I am a sucker for sunflowers *okie thinks she is a sucker for many things but doesn't want to admit this* and when I saw this set I knew I just had to have it! Of course the adorable little bees were just the icing on top that made me not be able to refuse this purchase.

Supplies Used:

Memento Tuxedo Black Ink Pad
Signo Black Gel Pen
Various Papers
Various Cardstock
Watercolor Pencils
Chalk Ink

This was one of my first projects with using Watercolor Pencils, my friend Carmen had sent me some, and I liked using them so much that I ordered the set of 72 Colore Watercolor Pencils. It did take me some practice on getting the coloring down and this picture is one of the last ones I did, I think I might have stamped off 8 so I could practice and ended up using 6 of them. That let's you know that 2 of them were absolute disasters! I did watch a few Youtube video's and that helped me quite a bit. I know it's going to take some practice for me to get a half decent technique down but at least I am not in any shortage of images to stamp and color.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Graphic 45 Bohemian Bazaar Mini Album

Who here knows how much I like to make mini albums? *okie sees almost every hand in the house go up* Okay then ya'll know me well!

This album took me over a year *okie thinks maybe two* to finish because I just kinda got stuck on it and I just boxed it up and put it away. I should say put them away because I made 4 of them, as usual for me! I think it was all the bright colors that were throwing me off with this one...it was like looking at a convention of hippies who crashed their love vans at an intersection!

I used a 6x6 acrylic album for this project. I had gotten a really good deal on these a few years ago. I paid $1, yes ONE DOLLAR, for each album and I think I ordered like 20 of them, or some ridiculous number. 

I did all the designing of the album in Make The Cut and then converted the images to SVG for cutting with the Explore in Design Space. The flowers on front are actually done with punches and I made them to mimic the flowers on the patterned paper. 

For the page on the left I made it to open up where more photos could be placed and this is a great little way to make more pictures fit in these albums. Before putting the picture mat down I tied some bakers twine around the mat and used a border punch on the strip on the bottom. On the right page I added brads for the flower centers. 

The flower on the left page was a punch and I spritzed it with water and wadded it up and then folded it back out and let it dry to give it the texture it has. The flower center is a  holographic glitter sticker that I found at Dollar Tree. On the right page I made a pocket so I could add tags. One of the tags is a journaling tag and the other has a place for a picture on the front and bag of the tag.  

When working with a small space it's hard to try and add more than one photo to a page but adding a small one works okay, you just have to make sure you leave enough room for the a decent picture to work on the larger one so the whole photo isn't covered up. On the left page I used a frame and when I designed the album I made sure to make sure the back side page had the same image.

When making a frame and using it on the front and back side of a page it allows some interest of being able to see through to other pages *okie hopes that makes sense but thinks the picture helps make the point*. I'm always trying to figure out unique embellishments and I think the little fence for the tag pocket on the right hand page turned out pretty cute.  

The flowers on the right hand side were cut with the Explore and once again I used brads for flower centers. I decided to use an oval frame on the left and once again the back side has the matching frame size. Oh you might notice too that I added little words on the tabs of the albums. I had to scour through my stamps to find once that worked with the theme. 

I did a few fussy cutting flowers for the page on the right and then a few punched flowers. One the right page has a flap that lifts up and pictures can be placed on the inside. 

I really don't like decorating the backs of albums because no one really looks at the backs of such things and when I do decorate I make it as flat as possible. There were a few items in the collection that made it pretty easy to add some decoration to the back. I did fussy cut a few flowers to add but didn't add any dimension to them.

Although it took me a long time to finish this album set out I was pretty pleased once I got them done. I gave one to one of my nieces' for her birthday and she loved it. I made sure to let her know the white cardstock pieces were to be removed and used as templates so she could cut her pictures to that size and place in the album. 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Fun Stampers Journey - Dahlia Burst

I am really liking the Fun Stampers Journey stamps and I think they are just as good as the Stampin Up stamps I have and actually they run a little cheaper. They do have some great stamp and die sets.

There are certain themes I am addicted to and flowers are some of my favorite stamps so when I saw this Dahlia Burst Stamp Bundle I knew I had to have it! Of course the coloring options are endless with this flower and I am still wanting to do some in reds...red is my favorite color after all!

Supplies Used:

Various Cardstock
Graphic45 Time To Celebrate
Stampin Up (sentiment)
Embossing folder 
Square Punch

For the sentiment banner I cut a strip of paper and then used a square punch to make the tail of the banner, a trick I use pretty often for banners on cards. The sentiment is from Stampin Up. I lightly bent the banner and then glued at the straight edge under the flower and then added some glue in the middle of the banner so the wave of the banner would maintain it's shape. 

I think the Dahlia Burst Stamp and Die set has endless possibilities and I am wanting to make some sympathy cards with it for my card stash.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Run To Get The Scissors

As a crafter I am obsessed with scissors. Years ago it was scissors for cutting fabric as I did a lot of sewing and when I saw a lot I mean I would make full wardrobes for my daughter so that was an enormous amount of fabric to cut but as time has went on I have evolved to scissors for cutting paper.

For the most part I use my Cutterbee's the most for items because they are just so damn good! I like thinner blades because I can cut closer for when I have covered chipboard or some other item and the fine point makes it nice to clip in close when doing fussy cutting. Being a Graphic 45 lover I do a lot of fussy cutting when making projects and there is no way a regular pair of scissors would work for fussy cutting, at least not in a practical manner.

But let me tell you about a new favorite pair of scissors I have acquired. I am in some Facebook group that posts bargain deals and I saw a deal on some scissors that said they were non-stick and for the price I thought I might try them out because I end up gumming up scissors during my crafting sessions and most definitely when I am making my own POP DOTS and then I spend precious crdafting time cleaning off my scissors with UN-DU. The order I made for the Westcott 8-Inch Titanium Non-Stick Straight Scissor, 2 Pack came in a pack of 3 and why not have 3 pair *okie believes in multiples of everything but children* but the link provided is for 2 pair. I did actually give my friend Linda who I attend stamp club with a pair and she let her friend Carol use them and Carol ordered herself a pair.

I recently had to make up some more Pop-Dots and I was able to make a ton of them and it was nice to not have to stop and clean off my scissors. Oh and ya know the super sticky Red Line tape? Yeah you can cut that chit for days and it will not stick to these scissors...FREAKIN AWESOME POSSUM RIGHT THERE FOLKS!

I'm actually thinking of ordering their smaller pair to see how they compare to the Cutterbee scissors. If I do, I will be sure to let you guys know how they do compare. I highly recommend the Wescott Titanium Non-Stick Scissors so don't walk but run to get the scissors!!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

When Your Friend Gets On Pinterest

When your friend gets on Pinterest and knows you are a crafter you end up doing things you never dreamed of and this project was one of those things!

My friend Khrystal was trying to find things for decoration for the rehearsal dinner of her son's wedding and found some napkin tags and wanted to know if I could make them for her and of course I said yes! I tried several different styles and this is the one that I decided to use. I used Make the Cut to design the name banner and then saved it as a raster file and uploaded it in Paint.net and added it as a new layer to one of the engagement photos. 

I cut the tags in Cricut Design Space and it's been awhile since I did these so I can't remember if it was a Cricut image or if it was one that I came up with from something else but it worked great with the photo. I cut 2 circle stablizers and put one on the front and one on the back so she wouldn't have to worry about the tag tearing when she tied them on the napkins. I think the only thing I would have done differently now that I look back is that I would have inked the edges but since these were likely going to be thrown away I didn't want to take the time and energy to do all the inking...and since Khrystal has no idea what inking is she will never know how much better they would have looked with inked edges *okie cracks up laughing*.

Khrystal used some raffia to tie the tags on to the napkins and I have since lost that picture *okie wonders what the heck she did with that thing and figures it's on her old computer somewhere* and they really looked good.

One of the things that really helped when I was cutting the photos was my Xacto Laser Trimmer. I love that thing but it is frustrating at times because I have to go back in and reset the laser to line up correctly. It's a bit of a pain because you have to unscrew a cap area and take it off and then get a screw driver and turn screws to get the laser lined up again.

As you can see in the photo it helps to see where you are going to be cutting and as we know things don't always print straight and this takes care of not ending up cropping a photo crooked. 

I would give the Xacto laser trimmer two thumbs up but since the laser seems to be a bit touchy and has to be adjusted every so often I will only give it 1 1/2 thumbs up.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Heartfelt Creations Botanical Rose Card

So remember the banner I posted? I had some pieces that I had cut that were too small for a banner and I didn't want them to go to waste so what do I do? I MAKE CARDS WITH THEM!

I used the Heartfelt Creations Botanical Rose stamped and cut images as the focal point and for the background I used the Chicken wire embossing folder to make it look like they were kinda poking through a fence. 

So this card could be used for a variety of occasions I didn't do a sentiment on the outside or inside. This way I can stamp something on the inside when I use it or just write a quick note.

I colored the flowers with Promarkers and spritzed with glimmer mist when I got ready to shape the petals because I'm as addicted to shimmer as a rock star is addicted to cocaine *okie thinks she needs to stop typing up blog posts when it's late because there is no telling what words will be pecked out of her keyboard*. I dotted some glue on the middle of the flower and added some flock.  Oh and on the banner I added dots with a white gel pen and it made a big difference on how it looked. 

Friday, October 20, 2017

Banner With Duck Deco Glitter Laminate

Banners are something I don't make often but I do like to make them and I am always listening and watching for times I can make a banner project.

I have a little friend who loves her glitter and I promised her I would make her a name banner for her bedroom and all I needed to know was what colors she wanted. And, if you are a little girl that names her pet bird Princess Poppy the only font that would be acceptable is Storybook! Storybook was one of my favorite Cricut cartridges because the wonderful fonts that looked so fancy with the layers available to dress up the letters and it worked wonderfully for the banner.

If you know how expensive glitter paper is you know that you tend to find ways to add a glitter detail without using up the expensive glitter goodness of glitter cardstock and for this project I opted for that absolutely sparkly, glitter, shininess that only the Duck Deco Glitter Laminate can offer. If you haven't seen this stuff in person let me tell you that there isn't a picture available to convey how gorgeous this stuff can make a project!

**Settings** I had to finagle *okie is always amazed that the word finagle is actually a word and it has to be since it never gets that red underline when she types it* with the settings to find the right one for the laminate. If you cut too strong it will cut right through the laminate and the backing sheet. I finally found that for the Explore the Washi Tape setting works quite well. Sometimes I did get a slight cut through the backing paper but for the most part it worked great.

Once I had the letters on the banner pieces they seemed to need a little something else and I thought about my pearls I have in my stash of embellishments and they added that pieces de resistance we often strive for in our projects. My little friend was very pleased with her banner and as far as I know it is still hanging in her bedroom!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Woodland Santa Project - SUPER LONG POST

First off let me say that I am a lazy blogger! I do good for awhile and then POOF I just get to where I don't want to post my stuff because I'm too lazy to upload the pictures and write a post but this project deserves a post. Okay it really does but also I had so many questions about it on Facebook I thought it would be easier to make a blog post than answer all the questions asked individually!

I am a Santa collector and at Christmas my house is mainly decorated with my Santa collection. It makes it easy to decorate the house and also to put them away *okie suddenly wonders if is she is a lazy holiday decorator as well*. Anyway I found this free digital stamp image on  CreatingWithoutCrayons -JackiePNeal when I was doing a search for Santa images and I just knew I had to do something with it!

Since there was so much detail in the image I knew there would be hours of work and it took me 2 days to get the image cleaned up for cutting and the converting to an SVG at that point only took like 3 seconds...if that long!

I used Make The Cut to transform the image from a digital stamp into a workable SVG file for cutting. To do that I had to do the following:

1. Pixel Trace and Clean Up - this required a lot of manipulation with the node mode so I could get rid of a lot of small pieces that give the digital stamp the definition because they were just clutter for a cutting image.

2. Layering - I had to move different individual pieces to new layers and then join them, such as the berries, pieces for the birds, beard, etc so the image could start taking shape and I could add color so I could get a better idea of what I was looking at for the cutting process.

3. Move layers - once I had about 2,491 layers *okie thinks she might exaggerate a bit* I had to make sure I had what layers belong together and then join those so I could get down to my basic layers and I was able to get it down to about 10 layers or so, I'm too lazy to count right now but that sounds about right.

Now once I got the file all ready for cutting I had to find what colors I wanted. I did a solid layer in brown and then the "outline" layer in brown so I would have a base to work with. Cutting the base layer took no time at all but that outline layer...well I went to a family reunion, had 3 naps, ate breakfast, lunch and an early dinner and it was still cutting! Okay so it didn't really take that long but it did take quite awhile, maybe 10-15 minutes.

I started by gluing the bottom of the image of the outline layer to the bottom of the solid base and then put in the poinsettia leaves pieces. I didn't glue down the full outline because I wanted to make sure my pieces fit and if the outline wasn't in the correct place the image wouldn't inlay correctly.

From there I went with  the poinsettia leaves and centers. This allowed me to work from the bottom up on the image and get the outline placed properly.

I would cut each layer, that was dedicated to each different color, and leave it on my mat and take off the pieces as I was placing them so I would know where the pieces went. When I got to doing the berries I was definitely glad I was doing it that way because if I had taken the berries off the mat there would have been no way I would have been able to get them all in the right place and the whole project would have went into the trash!

It took me a couple of hours to do the cutting and putting the image together but it was rather enjoyable and I watch the series "Mindhunter" on Netflix while doing the project, excellent series by the way! And before I knew it POOF the whole image was put together! Oh and if you ever decide to do such a project I would highly recommend getting a FineLine glue applicator because that made it a lot easier not to get glue every where during the whole process!

If you know me then you know I can't leave well enough alone and have to do more detail than just cutting of paper. In this picture you can see the difference between the original and after I added more embellishment for better detail. If you click the picture and make it bigger you will be able to see the difference a little better.

The birds had some Perfect Pearls added in blue and cream and the black of their eyes were done with Nuvo Drops. I used an Promarker on the holly leaves for added depth. The berries were a bit of a process, I used Promarker to shade and then went over with Diamond Stickles and then added Glossy Accents as a final layer. It might not show in the picture but in person it was worth the extra effort.

I did two shadow layers for the Season's Greetings because I'm just extra that way. The bottom layer is Coredinations Expresso and I sanded it for a distressed look and I added Diamond Stickles to the top layer for sparkle...it's Santa, it's Christmas, there has to be as much sparkle as possible!

I found the lightest shade of gray I had and used it for adding shading to his beard, mustache and hair. Perfect Pearls were used on the Poinsettia's to add shading and depth. Although it's not in this picture I did use Promarkers for shading on his face as well and I think that is when I realized how much taking the extra time was really going to make a difference and make the whole image POP.

My friend Carmen had found an excellent deal on some wooden pallet things at Walmart months ago and gave me a few and that is what I chose to mount the Santa on. I painted it with some Red Cardinal acrylic paint and then went over with a layer of Milk Paint. Once the paint dried I put on a layer of Furniture Matte Modge Podge, it was used because it was what I had on hand, and then glued down the Santa image and the lettering. 

I can honestly say this project took a lot of time and patience but I think it was worth every bit of the effort I put in it. I am very rarely happy with my projects but this is one that I can look at and think "dang I did pretty good!".

I do have some more projects to post because even though I haven't posted I have been crafting!!