Tuesday, March 30, 2010

{Tuesday's Tip: MY Top 10 Cricut Cartridges}

Several times a month, I will get emails asking me what cartridges I use the most, if a certain cartridge is worth purchasing or simply which ones I would recommend to someone purchasing their first Cricut. I am all too happy to respond. The world of Cricut Cartridges is overwhelming these days! They are releasing new carts ALL the time. When I purchased my first Cricut, there were just 15-20 carts to choose from, so it has been nice to grow my library as Cricut has expanded their available images.

The cartridge I use the MOST and I mean it never leaves my Jukebox is George and Basic Shapes. This cart came with my first Cricut and it is an essential. It's the "basic shapes" that has me using it all the time. I especially use it for the tags, flowers and hearts. I also love that there is a "silhouette" cut so that I can cut any of the shapes into frames. It's a hard one to find if you don't have it, but worth hunting it down and purchasing.

There is another cart that never leaves my Jukebox and that is Storybook. I cannot tell you how happy I am that I bought this cartridge. I wasn't even sure about it when I sent for it... °Ü° It's a must, especially if you like the more modern images. I use it for frames, letters, flowers, just about everything! There are SO many cuts you get from this cart that I had to include photos of all the different modes for you to see. I am telling you, go get this one, you won't regret it.

The next one I use is Accent Essentials. This cart has some great images that you will use more than you think you will. I love the frames and the scrolls. I use the snowflake image A LOT! I also love the leaves and arrows.

The next is Home Accents. To this day, I mix it up with the Accent Essentials. To me, Home Accents is an extension of the Accent Essentials cart. I use the damask images, leaves, scrolls, frames and words a lot in my family albums. I love that it is a solutions cart and inexpensive. I got this one on sale for $21. Can't beat it. It has been in Jukebox since I got it!

I love Plantin Schoolbook. When I first bought I thought to myself, "Why did I get this one?" BUT, then I noticed I was using it and on a weekly basis! Like George, it's basic shapes are awesome and I do love the simple font. The flower, leaf and apple are the images I use the most. I do like the rick-rack, it's nice to create a long line of it on Designer Studio, though sometimes I find it easier just to use the real thing! °Ü°

I think you know that I this next one from my past couple of month's worth of posts. The Indie Art cart is a fun one. I bought it because of my daughters. I also bought it to help with creating my own high school pages. It's a great "boy" cartridge and a must if you have teens or young adults.

The next one is Fabulous Finds. I love this one because if you are running low on metal embellishments or just don't want the weight of bulk of metal embellishment, this cart offers you the perfect alternative. I use the bookplates all the time! I also love the the different tabs. You know how buying dividers for binders can be pretty pricey? I have used heavy patterned cardstock, cut it to 8.5x11 and added my own tabs. Not only do they look nicer, but I can get a exactly as many as I want and for much less $. I love this cart!

This next one is surprise for me. Stretch Your Imagination. I really didn't think I would use it very much, but I do. It has so many fun and unusual shapes on it and yet I find myself going to all the time to see if it has what I need and you know what... it usually does! Truthfully, I use it most for the flourishes, but I do cut more and more images from it every week.

This one is also one of my very first carts and I still use it all the time to this day. Doodlecharms. The cupcake, the sun, ladybug, popsicle, watermelon, bus... I could just keep going. It's a great cart for seasonal and kid pages. I don't know how any Cricut library can go without this cart. it!

Mickey and Friends is another always in the Jukebox. This cart has lots of fun everyday images that come with the bigger ones. Even if I am not working on a Disney page or card, I still find myself going to find what I need on this one. When they first announced they were releasing this one I could not wait! I paid full price for it and it has been worth every single penny. °Ü°

So, there you have it. The 10 carts I use the most.
Two of my other favorite font carts, and ones I do use regularly are:
  • Alphalicious
  • Tear Drop
Other fav character carts I use a lot:
  • Pooh and Friends
  • Hello Kitty
  • both Princess carts
  • Tinker Bell
In case you are wondering which carts I use the least, they are:
  • Paper Pups
  • Doodlefont
  • Zoobaloo.
Carts I just bought, haven't tried out yet, but are really excited about:
  • Sponge Bob Square Pants
  • Forever Young
  • Sweet Treats
  • Home Decor
  • Everyday Paper Dolls
  • Sentimentals

On my wish list:

  • Create a Critter
  • Robotz
  • Independence Day
  • Heritage
  • Just Because Cards
  • Give a Hoot
  • Preserves
  • Once Upon a Princess

Friday, March 26, 2010

{I♥Mickey Disney Scrapbook Pages}

So, I got my first Disney pages scrapbook class done! It was a lot of fun. I love sitting and talking with the girls while scrapbooking. I want to thank my friend Cheryl for hosting at her new, beautiful home! Can't wait for next month's class. °Ü°

As promised, our first spread was "MICKEY" and here it is:

Page 1

Mickey stands 11.5" tall! He's adorable!

4x6 photo mat. Photo easily slides under ribbon

Embellished tag

Page 2

Pocket could also be used for tickets/entry cards

Journaling tag pulls out

Next up~ Minnie Mouse for April's class
•The Avid Scrapper 2010•

{Minnie & Me Disney Scrapbook Pages}

For April's Disney scrapbook class, we will be creating a Minnie Mouse spread. I took a chance and decided to design this one with more of a modern flair. For a few months now, all of the pages that I have been creating for my own albums have been done this way. What's so different, you ask? Well, the first noticeable difference is that there are not distinguishable photo mats. I love this because it gives me more versatility with my photos. I can mix 3x3, 4x6 and 5x7 photos in together and they flow beautifully! And the second, is that the spread, truly, looks like one big 12x24 page. You will definitely see more designs like this in future pages. They are fun, modern and so easy to work with, photo wise.

Here she is~ Minnie!

See what I mean about it looking like one 12x24 page? Love it.

This is the section where photos go. A 5x7 easily fits portrait or landscaped. You can put (4) 3x3's, 4x6's stand up perfectly between the yellow dotted paper and when cropped just a bit, can be stacked one on the other length wise.

This would be "Page 1"

Photos can easily slide under the flourish. Those are black onyx gemstones to the left. A larger, clear gem stone centers the flower.


More gems

More flowers and flourishes.

Minnie! She is so cute! Also the journaling tag. Notice the scalloped and lace accents.

So, there you have it. Drop me a line~ Let me know what you think of the design and concept. It's not new concept, I know. There are tons of talented scrappers out there who have been doing their pages this way for years, but it is a bit new for me and my creations. I'd love to hear what you think...
•The Avid Scrapper 2010•

50th Wedding Anniversary Card

Last week, in the midst of all my chaos, I remembered that I hadn't made a card for my father-in-law and mother-in-law's 50th Wedding Anniversary, which they celebrated this past Monday. I was in total panic mode!

I have to disclaim right now, that the design you see if not mine. I borrowed it, using the design of this card. (click "card" to go to link) I recently came across the blog of a VERY talented card maker named Jeannie. She is uses the Cricut and Gypsy on all of her projects. Her cards are amazing! A little warning though, you could spend hours on her blog just oohing and aahing over her work! Anyways, I remembered seeing a beautiful card that I had similar papers for. Hers turned out SO much better, but mom and dad loved theirs and that made me very happy! °Ü°

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

{Tuesday's Tip}

Sorry, No Tuesday's Tips today. I've had some things come up this week and it's a little more busy than usual! Hoping to be back next week with more fun and informative tips!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

{Spring Bulletin Board}

For Relief Society, which is the woman's group at my church, I am in charge of decorating and keeping our bulletin board up to date. I usually decorate to match the season's or holidays. I just put up the "Spring Board" today and wanted to share some the images with you.

MyScrapChick.com has the most adorable images and, as I have posted before, send out a "Freebie" pattern once a week. The adorable baby chick and bunny are images that I purchased from them. All of their patterns come in all kinds of files so that you can cut them by hand or use your die cut machine. These guys, I cut by hand because my SCAL is not working right now! Grrr... Honestly though, it didn't take much time to cut them by hand and they turned out so cute.

You have to check their sight out. I can't wait to do some Spring and Easter pages with some of the images I used on the board.

Here is the board in it's entirety:

This adorable bird I cut using the "Stretch Your Imagination" cartridge. The branch is from "Sweethearts" and the dragon fly is from "Walk in My Garden".

Here's a close-up of the dragon fly. You know me, gotta have some "bling"!

The sun is cut using the "Doodle Charms" cart.

This baby chick is the one I hand cut using the MyScrapChick pattern. How cute is she? I added ribbon and a flower to her "hair" and then I cut the grass from the "Pooh and Friends" cart and the flower and lady bug using "Walk in My Garden".

The bumble bees are from "Pooh and Friends", so CUTE!

Another dragon fly

Here's the bottom of the board. All the flowers, snail and caterpillar were cut using "Walk in My Garden" and "Pooh & Friends"

How cute is the grass hopper? He is from "Stretch You Imagination"

Caterpillar! Love him!

Wish my flower beds were looking this great right now! °Ü°

Bunny! She is so cute! Her bow is cut using the "Easter" cart.

So, that's it. If you are wondering, the backing is just patterned material. Fun board. Excited to get started on the Summer images... also from MyScrapChick.com. REALLY, you got to check them out! °Ü° You will them.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

{Tuesday's Tips: "Rock Star" Matchbook Brag Book}

Today, for our "Tueday's Tips", I thought we would make something fun, quick and basically simple: a matchbook brag book! I love little projects like these because I can actually finish them in one setting. I also love them because they make great gifts for moms, dads, friends cousins, uncles... who ever! °Ü°

You are going to need the FABULOUS FINDS Cricut Cartridge. {These can be cut by hand, but the Cricut makes it easy and calculates all the dimensions for you.} In the booklet, turn to page 127. I cut the lower one, the one that is more square and true the matchbook shape. Set the dial size to 4". I know they usually are smaller than this, but I am going to be putting wallet sized photos of my daughter in this and I didn't want to have to cut any of them down, PLUS 4" leaves room for journaling and embellishments.

For the cover, I cut it on BLACK OUT because I wanted to create my own cover. If you do not cut it this way, it will cut a window in the cover for you, which is nice, but not what I wanted. This is your choice, though. I used Bazzill Raven colored textured card stock for the cover, then I used paper from Rusty Pickle: Pirate Princess paper collection for the inner pages of the book. I am in ♥ with this paper! Since I wanted the book to fun and all with pictures of my daughter, I knew this was the paper for the project! {You can cut as many pages for the inside that you would like. I cut 5 inserts, this will give me a total of 20 pages}

Now, take your scoring tool {Be sure it is NOT the cutting blade...trust me, I've done it :( } Score along the small cuts the Cricut created for you. There are 4 total on the cover and 1 each on the pages. Don't push too hard, even the scoring tool can rip your papers. Just use enough pressure to put a small indented line where you want it.

If you are going to ink the edges, now is the time. It is going to be too difficult once the book is put together. I used Color Box's Black Bird ink.

Once you have inked, fold the cover and pages on the lines you have scored.

Now, take all the pages and put them in the order you would like. Mine are all double sided, so I took a few minutes to coordinate them all together in the order I wanted them. Once you have them folded together, you are going to want to line them up between the thinner, smaller scored lines in the book. Be sure that if you are going to have the traditional book-look, that your papers are right side up. See what I mean?

Now we are going to staple the book together. Here is a little trick a Junior High School teacher taught me. If your stapler is not long enough to reach where you need it staple (and mine wasn't), line you papers up the way you want them, paper clip them in place if they are slipping and won't stay put. Now, find a table or space where there is a small, straight crack. I use my dining room table where the leaf is in it. Make sure the crack is only about 1/4 of an inch wide. Place your booklet, where you are going to staple, right over the crack, then take your stapler, open it up straight and push the staples straight down through your papers. Be sure to center them so you don't get your table or counter or whatever you are using. Once the staples are in, turn the booklet over and your staples will be sticking straight up. BE CAREFUL! Take a Popsicle stick and gently push the staples down. There you have it! Staples are in place and your book is now tightly put together.

Now, you can fold your matchbook up and make sure everything fits nicely together.

When you open the book, this is what you will see, your first page. {You do not have to have your book open this way, it can stand straight up just like a real matchbook, I wanted my to flip right to left like a real book though. Play with it and see what works for you}

Now, time to decorate! The fun part! °Ü° Measure your papers out and cut them to size. Adhere down the front cover, back cover and spines.

To cover the ugly staples, I took 20" of ribbon and tied it around the center of the book and tied a bow on the outer spine, covering them up. Adds a little something fun, too. Yes?

To the ribbon, I added two silver toned stars and pinned them with a baby safety pin. More fun...

The "Rock Star" is a stamp that I stamped on pink textured card stock and cut out. Using 3D pop dots, I adhered it to the front. 3 pink star shaped brads were also added.

Here's the spine.

The back is just decorative paper. I thought about adding more, but really liked just this.

When you open it, this is what you see. I added the skull and cross bones with a fame to the inside. I thought it pulled all those cute Pirate Princess papers together.

As you can see, I haven't add photos yet. I am going to have my daughter help me choose the photos she wants in here and then we will embellish all the pages. Because each and every page is decorative, it will be quick to get the photos in, add some brads, ribbon, and die cuts from the Indie Art Cartridge.

So, there you have it! If you've got a couple of hours and want to make a cute project for yourself or someone you know and love, this is a fun one! Let me know how you do... °Ü° I would love to hear about themes, papers and the different ways you come up with making your very own matchbook brag book!



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