Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Freshly Made Sketches for a 40th birthday

So not only is graduation over but I have also created a new craft space in my home so I'm itching to get crafting again, and what better project to get started with than a birthday card for the friend who introduced me to papercrafting?  The current challenge at Chocolate, Cards & Coffee Challenge is to use numbers, and when I spotted a sketch on Freshly Made Sketches challenge this morning and it called for 2 shapes over a banner or vertical strip on one side, and I immediately pictured the numbers for this card.  I took a little liberty with the challenge sketch in that it did not include the horizontal strip but I already had the elements of  the card done when I realized it and I just couldn't get the balance I wanted without it.  And since I was having so much fun playing in my new craft space I made a coordinating envelope.
details:  For the outside of the card, I started with the For Always paper pack which included the Lagoon cs and to tie it in I swiped the vertical strip of patterned paper with the Lagoon ink pad, and I used the Card Chatter-Birthday stamp set in black.  For the numbers I used a random dull silver paper and black cardstock for the backing and made the cut from the Black Letter alpha that came preloaded when I got my Gypse.  For the inside, I used Lagoon ink to stamp the Love Doily on the card base and black ink to stamp the sentiment from Hooray Bouquet set inside one of the frames from the Frame Flair set.  For the envelope I stamped Lagoon ink on Lagoon CS using a stamp from the first Perfect Fit Frames set and then I used black ink and my friend's intial from the monogram sets, backed with the zip strip from the For Always patterned paper I used for the card.  I hope my friend doesn't mind that I used her birthday present stamp to make her card.  :-)
Happy crafting!  Annette

Thursday, May 2, 2013

announcement insert with Cricut Artiste

Oh, my, it has been way too long since I've been able to craft or had anything to post here and it's good to be back, although I won't be posting regularly until my daughter's graduation is over.  Such a busy time but I don't want to miss a single moment of this special time in her life!

That said, what little crafting I am currently doing is generally graduation themed but this project could work well for diy wedding or shower invitations as well.  For a number of reasons, our family is having an informal gathering at our home the day of graduation and my daughter's reception a week later.  Plans were going smoothly until I realized I was going to have to include some kind of explanation as the actual announcement doesn't mention a reception at all and there wasn't enough room on the formal invitation to explain...  so I did what any Cricut loving paper crafter would do and I crafted an insert.

I wanted the insert to fit in the 4x6 inch envelopes that came with the announcements I was using.  I started with 3x4 inch shipping or address labels and used my pc to type up my announcment and center it on each label.  Then I used the CTMH Artiste cartridge for the Cricut and chose the image featured on the card function on the letter "k" (see p.58 of the booklet).  I sized it to 4 inches height so that my 3x4 inch label fit the center area.  I chose to use the "hide" feature of my Gypsy (the bottom right of the 6 function icons on the Advanced tab) to hide or omit the little diamond shape cutout toward the center of each side of the card, but that was just my personal preference to ensure the sticky back of the labels didn't stick anywhere/to anything it wasn't supposed to.  So with the image sized and altered to my needs, I again used my Gypsy (or you could use the Cricut Craft Room) to repeat the image and arrange each one as closely as I could until I was able to fit 6 of these images on a page.  Once graduation is over, I will play with the newly updated Cricut Craft Room which I'm told is now compatible with Gypsy files, and I will try to upload the cut file I created for this project.

One word of advice if you use plain cardstock and want to embellish it as I did (using CTMH's "Love Life" set #1482), stamp each image after you've cut it and removed it from the cutting mat.  I tried random stamping my CS prior to cutting and even though I thought I had waited long enough for the ink to be completely dry, some ink was still picked on the small runners that hold the paper down while it's being cut and it made smudgy lines on some of my cuts.  While this was minor in this instance and I was still able to use all my pieces, it could be more of an issue depending on the project.

One of the things I loved about this project is that I was able to find a stamp image and choose colors that really complemented the image on the main announcement and I *LOVE* the new Champagne color, it's a warm neutral that complements almost any "pop" of color and it just lends an elegance to every project I've used it on so far.

Happy crafting to all and congrats to all the new graduates out there!