Tuesday, February 16, 2010

{Tuesday's Tips: CRICUT~ Choosing Creative Papers} Part 1

I am really excited about sharing tips for the Cricut with you! I have been a Cricut owner since 2005 and have been in love the Cricut machines since the day I unpacked my first one! In the 5 years of using it, almost every single day, I have learned a lot about cutting and piecing beautiful die cuts. As I previously stated, a follower of this blog asked that I share some secrets and I am very happy to do that!

As I was putting together today's post, I realized that there are SO many little things that I have learned and it would be almost impossible for me to pack it all into one post and have it be as informative and helpful, as I am hoping it will be, so I am going to break it up into a few weeks worth of tips. Plus, I have over 120 pictures I want to share.

Today, we are going to talk about choosing creative papers for your dies. Like so many, I used to use the most simple and inexpensive paper that I could find to cut with. It was fun, it worked, but then one day I realized there was no zing to my images. They just blended into the pages and there was no pop! I decided it was time to try something new and so I started looking around at the real objects around me and could instantly see the difference between real life and how I was trying to give life to my images with no success. In real life there are patterns and textures. There are shadows and shading. There are metal and ribbon elements. All these things cannot be duplicated with plain card stock.

So, let's get started. There are SO many different types of papers out there! Let's start simply by adding some texture to our card stock. Bazzill brand card stock is my card stock of choice. It does NOT have a white core {which I hate} and it comes in so many fun colors and textures. Because it is heavy duty, your images feel solid and more realistic.

Check out this Mickey Mouse:

You can click on him to make him larger so that you can see the texture in the papers. I used a traditional texture for his body, eyes, face, tongue and shoes and, what is called, a "criss-cross" textures for his shorts. Just by doing this, Mickey comes to life! He has some realistic qualities just by using a textured card stock as opposed to using, what the industry calls, a "smoothie".

Looking close-up, you can see the different patterns in the papers.

For Minnie Mouse here, I did the same. Used the textured card stocks for her body, eyes, face, tongue and shoes. Now, in the book it shows her wearing pink and blue. I love my Minnie Mouse wearing the traditional red with white polka dots and so I used this paper for her bow and dress. No, it is not textured paper, but it has the pattern I was looking for. The pattern and the difference in the textures bring her to life!

Okay, for this Hello Kitty image, I really wanted her to feel like she was wearing rain gear. I also wanted her to have a really cute umbrella, so I chose patterned card stock for the umbrella. {I love polka dots and so you will probably see a bunch of them in my images} Like Mickey and Minnie, I used a the textured card stock for her face and hand. I chose a patterned paper for her bow and for his jacket and boots, I wanted them to be just like the "rubbery" ones I wore as a kid. DCWV has a "Glitter" stack. The whole stack is different colored glitter papers and the great thing about them is they have a "rubbery" feel and look to them. Perfect for the look I was going for!

Here's the patterned bow...

and here are those glitter papers. Amazing effect, isn't it?

For this very happy couple, I did the same thing. Only, for his suit, I used a striped card stock, giving his suit the illusion of pin stripes. Her dress and are cut from the white glitter paper. Oh, and note the 20 carat rock on her finger! I couldn't resist a gemstone on that all important finger of her! Ü

Here, you can see a little better the stripes in his suit. Also notice that I cut 2 of his jacket and then cut the lapel part out and layered it on top on the other, giving some realistic dimension to his suit. Her dress and shoes just sparkle and I love that!

Here with Hello Kitty, I used a faux fur paper for her costume. You can usually find it in "Mom and Pop" scrapbook stores and it comes in all kinds of colors. I thought it would be so fun to cut this image using the furry paper and it came out better than I had imagined! Again, I used the textured paper for her face, bow and paws, but I used a smoothie for the sucker.

It really makes her look warm and fuzzy! Ü

Since the green card stock was smooth, I put glitter glue and swirled it around to bring her sucker to life. It really helped with all the different textures already being used.

Below, you are going to find the Princesses. I used the textured card stock on all of them. Some it was shiny, some of it matte, but even when I got done, there was something missing. That "sparkle" that every Princess needs. Again, I went in with my handy glitter glue and added that some extra to the papers.

I love my Animal Kingdom cartridge and one of my favorite papers to use for cutting these little critters are handmade papers. Yes, there are those talented people out there who actually make this amazing paper . It is the same paper I use on my Tear Bears. When layered with card stock, it really gives that realistic look.

And finally, when I got my From My Kitchen cartridge, I went on the hunt for some "stainless steel" paper. I found this paper, called brushed nickel. It's pricey~ $2 a 12x12 sheet, but I love the look it gives my cut kitchen utensils and appliances!

So, there you have it! I hope this has been helpful and will help you when you have to choose your papers for your next project! Don't be scared to try new textures, patterns and papers! When you start to think a little outside the box, it will all become a new world to you! Oh, and my last tip on this: If you have an expensive sheet of paper you are working with and you aren't sure what size you need cut, take a piece of computer sheet paper or old scrap paper and practice your cuts in it first. Once you have it perfect, cut the good stuff!


Holly said...

You have to be one of the most talented people I have ever known. Your stuff just amazes me!

a said...

wow ... these are so lovely~~~~

D'On Marx said...

That's AWESOME!! I don't think I've EVER thought of different textured cardstock for my images. It definitely opened up a whole new world with it (no pun intended). hahaha Thank you for the tips.

Carla said...

HOLLY, you are such a sweetheart! Thank you. I miss you! I am excited to scrap some Disney pages with you this year...

A, thank you so much. I have such a great time creating new images.

D'ON, you're welcome! Trust me, once you start cutting and seein the difference in your images, you will be amazed. The camera and scanner never do the orignal images justice. We should get together sometime and make some noise with our Cricuts! Ü

Elegante Family said...

Carla, again you are amazing. I have a question, I cut a bunch of glitter paper last week and my mat new mat was ruined after I was finished. Do you have any secrets for that, or do I just need to plan on buying a new mat each time I cut glitter? Thanks for the awesome post. I hope you are feeling better now.

Carla said...

Brandy, thanks, you are too sweet.

The same thing happened to me in December when I was cutting my glitter snowflakes. Try running your mat under hot water. Not steaming hot, but really warm. Once you have rinsed off all the glitter, shake the excess water off of it and let it air dry. You should be able to still use it for thin papers. That's what I did with mine and it is working fine on some thin Disney papers I am cutting. Let me know how it works...

Oh, and I am feeling better, thank you. Still get a little tired, but much better! Yay!

Franny's Creations said...

Thanks Carla for all your tips....I am trying to make some gifts for a gift table at a dance competition and your tips are helping me. If you have any ideas for small gifts I can make they would be appreciated.


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