Monday, January 3, 2011

My First Post

Hello and Welcome to my new blog!

I decided to start this blog to begin a creative corner for ideas, projects, posts, etc.  Because I work full time, have a family and go to school part time, I don't know how much time I will have to devote to the blog.  Time will tell but I hope this becomes a meaningful place for both of us!  Enjoy.

Santa brought me a Cricut Expression (Blue) for Christmas because I had been such a good girl this year!  Woooohoooo!  I can honestly say I was very overwhelmed at first.  I quickly learned that I absolutely needed to purchase the Cricut tool set to help me remove my cut pieces.

My first project was from the "Just Because Cards" cartridge.  I wanted to make "Thank Ewe" cards to send to anyone that sent us Christmas goodies or presents.  I honestly have to say that I think I picked one of the most difficult projects to start with.  I had no idea what I was doing.  Through a LOT of trial and error, this was the final product.

Whenever I make a card, I like to always make more than one (preferably 3-4).  I like to make variations, some things bigger, other things smaller.  Perhaps use slightly different colors.  Anyways, I ended up with two cards, and already sent the other one out before I could snap a pic.  :( 

I used solid pink cardstock for the base (5 1/2 x 11, then fold in half), and then cut the brown layer on a cutter (5 1/4 x 5 1/4).  Using up some of the pink cardstock scrap I cut the strip border (5 1/4 x 1 1/2), and the specialty paper (5 1/4 x 1 1/4).

I quickly learned that I needed to write all of this down if I ever hoped to repeat my steps.  The rest of the elements, I used the cricut to create.  This was also my first attempt at 'creating' a cut file using the Cricut Design Studio.  I'll attempt to figure out how to post .cut files on this blog in the next few days.  UPDATE: you can download the cut file here:

Another lesson that I learned was I need to get myself organized.  I needed to document the size of my cut pieces, store any extras (aka: mistakes) to use later if/when needed.  So I took a regular mailing envelope and wrote down all the necessary info on the outside, and stored any left over pieces inside.  I wrote the cartridge name at the top left, and the specific .cut file name on the top right.

I chose this file system because it fits so nicely in a small box from Ikea.  I stored the envelopes lengthwise with any extra cards that I don't send out.  This way, when I need a card, I can go into my card box and (hopefully) already have one to go! :)

I also created the tabbed folders for the box and will put labels on them, but that is blog post for another day! :)
I cut out the black oval background for the text and the ewe's body from regular black cardstock.  The "Thank Ewe" text was cut from white card stock and the "Ewe" overlay was cut from the pink pattern paper from DCWV's Luxury paper.
The "Ewe", top layer strip, and top layer tag were from the pink pattern paper from DCWV's The Luxury Stack.  I then cut out the tag background and ewe background from regular white cardstock.  For the ewe's wool (or coat), I cut this from white sparkle paper and cuttlebugged it.  I also cuttlebugged the top pink layer of the tag. Then I assembled all of the pieces, secured them to the card and  used a pop-dot to attach the ewe to the strip.
To tie the front of the card in with the inside, I cut a strip of the white sparkle paper, cuttlebugged it the same as the Ewe's coat and stuck it inside the card.
As the last final touch, I like to stamp all of my cards on the back with a "Handmade with love" stamp.  Looks like I needed a tad bit more ink on the stamp; I will note that for next time! :)

So, all in all, it was a great first experience.  Challenging, but great.  I was very happy with the end result.  Bonus part is that everything is documented, and I even have a cut file to help me crank out others in the future.

For my first blog post, I ended up with a lot to say and I'm very happy with the launch of the initial blog post.  I hope to continue to document and share my creative journey and pass along the knowledge that comes from each project.  Happy New Year and happy reading!


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