Do I Need To Buy A Cricut?

Tell me the truth now.  Have you ever watched a craft related YouTube video and was overcome with a welling in your soul so great you heard the angels singing?  Maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration…..but you may know what I mean.

In that brief and excited moment your brain goes from 0 to 120 mph.  Flashes of creative genius stumble all over themselves, like a mass exodus from a burning building.  Your heart beats faster.  A welling in your core grows to such a point you feel sure there will be an explosion of stars and glitter bursting from your chest.

Your heart overrides your brain.  You have to have that gadget.  You must have it right now!

Okay, so you are not quite as crazy as I am.  Perhaps you do know of what I speak but don’t allow your heart to rule your world.

When I first dipped my toe into the world of paper crafting I watched so many YouTube videos on every paper craft subject there was available at that time.  This was back in 2005 when the video channel was in its infancy.

At that time I didn’t have ANYTHING to be creative.  I had a few glitter gel pens of various colors.  That was all I had.  Little by little I began acquiring products and tools only to find the creative genius in me was more of a befuddled person in a straight-jacket.  The things I created were more worthy of the trash bin.

One long weekend in a hotel room in Port Wentworth, Georgia I channel surfed the television.  Bored out of my head I needed to find a distraction.  None was to be found.  That is until I saw an Infomercial on the Cricut machine.  My husband, Joe, was in the room with me.  He had to have been extremely grateful that I had finally settled on something to watch instead of the constant flitting from one channel to the next.

As the presentation unfolded before me I heard my husband say “You need one of those”.

It would be several months later and in Wichita, Kansas that I would become the owner of a Cricut machine.  During another long weekend in a hotel room far from home, Joe took me to a scrapbook store in Wichita and asked a store employee if they carried the new Cricut.

Now, nearly 10 years later, this much desired machine sits on a shelf behind closed doors in my craft room.

My Cricut machine

My Cricut machine

Fickle hearted me has gone on to other things.  A subscriber to my YouTube channel sent me an e-mail with the following question.

“A question I do have though, what do you think about those Cricut machines, are they a must have?”

In order to answer her question I thought it would be best to show her how the machine works.  I am not a professional and I won’t tell you that I know what I’m doing with the machine.  Mistakes and problems I left in the video.  I mean I have to be “Real” and not pretend to be something I’m not.

The Cricut machine has advanced over the years.  Newer models are available and do the same as my old one, even a bit more.  I offer a video for you showcasing my abundant skills in presentation :/.

Oh, one final thing.  This coming Wednesday, August 12, 2015, I will be continuing on in my Heat Embossing series.  This one features Mailing Labels.

Using mailing labels in heat embossing

Using mailing labels in heat embossing

Leslie

 

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Craft paper flowers

I’m working daily on trying to become friends with flowers.  I love, love, love to look at real flowers and wonder at their beauty.  I just have a problem making them myself or using them on projects.  The problem is simply – FEAR.

Fear of not putting them in the right place.  Not using the right color.  Not combining sizes right.  Mostly it is just a fear of being judged and found wanting.  This year I am attempting to get over myself and “Just Do It”.

Fear holds me back from so many things.  Over the years I have conquered some of my fears and lived another day 😀  So now I’m working on this one.  So far…..I’m still alive.  I’m surviving the ordeal, and I’m pretty pleased with the results.

Kathy, from Paper Phenomenon, has a video on making little roses.  You can watch this video and hopefully become inspired as well.

I have a huge roll of craft paper.  Don’t know when we got it, where we got it, or even why we got it.  I just have it.

Roll of craft paper

Roll of craft paper

It resides in a corner of my foyer.  If you want a giant roll of paper you can find this at your local home improvement store.  I think it is used to protect floors from paint and other construction/remodel stuff.

This paper is NOT ACID FREE and I don’t recommend using it in scrapbook layouts.   You can use the products you make from this paper on cards or anything else that will not be placed in scrapbooks.

This roll of paper makes a great umbrella stand 😀

Umbrella stand

Umbrella stand

I had to make a box for the clock going to our friend at Dependable.  I don’t have card stock in a large enough size to cover a box that measures 12″ x 11″ with 2″ sides.  So I figured I’d use this craft paper.

I cut up a piece of the cardboard sheet I have for my Post-It-Note Holders.  Let me tell you, making the box for the clock was a trial in Math and construction.

Cardboard sheets

Cardboard sheets

The roll next to the cardboard is cork.  That will be used on bulletin boards I am going to be making later.  Nice thick stuff.  The stick pin won’t be going through the back of the frame I will be using.

These are the pieces of craft paper I have left over from covering the box and lid I made.  I just could not bring myself to throw this stuff away.  Crazy old broad 😀

Craft paper scraps

Craft paper scraps

Here is the box and lid I made for the clock.

Box and lid closed

Box and lid closed

The paper strips inside the box on either side of the clock are to make it easier to get the clock out.  Man did I make it a tight fit 😦  That thing isn’t going to be moving around inside the box.

Paper strips to help get the clock out

Paper strips to help get the clock out

This craft paper is extremely hard to get smoothed flat after it comes in contact with moisture.  I’m not over the moon about this box and the way that it looks but it will do.  I’ll have to find some other kind of paper to use the next time I build another one of these boxes.

Wrinkles in the paper

Wrinkles in the paper

This is the first cardboard box I’ve ever constructed.  Covering it with the craft paper left open edges that I needed to hide.  So I used a wide piece of satin like ribbon I’ve had for a long time.

Ribbon hiding the edges

Ribbon hiding the edges

I tied the stand on the outside of the box with some jute twine.  Not very pretty but it will do.  At least Joe won’t have to keep putting his hand on the box while he drives to Akron, Ohio to deliver his trucks with a stop over in Joplin, Missouri to deliver this clock.

Stand tied to outside of box

Stand tied to outside of box

Okay, now for the flowers.  I have a “Baby Cricut”.  I bought this one in Wichita, Kansas just after this machine hit the market.  It has been a long time….since around 2006.  If you have a Cricut Expression or one of the newer models I think what I’m about to show you is pretty much the same.  The Expression has buttons on the side for other things and I can’t help you with any questions about that machine since I don’t have one.

The cartridge I have been using is the “George and Basic Shapes”.

Original Cricut with George cartridge

Original Cricut with George cartridge

I have the “Paper Saver” button on.  This will not leave a lot of space between cuts.

Paper Saver feature

Paper Saver feature

I have the “Shadow Black Out” button on.  This feature cuts the outside shape of the item with no other details.

Shadow Black Out button

Shadow Black Out button

I have used the flower feature that is in black.  Using the Shadow Black Out feature the hole in the center of the flower will not be cut.  I pressed the black flower button six (6) times to get that many shapes cut.

Flower image to be cut

Flower image to be cut

I stuck a piece of the craft paper to the sticky sheet thing and cut several of the flowers out.

Craft paper used to cut out flowers

Craft paper used to cut out flowers

I forgot to tell you.  I cut the flowers out at the size of one inch (1″).

1" flower

1" flower

This craft paper is pretty coarse.  The first thing I tried for was SPARKLE using one of my concocted spritz.  This one is Bashful Blue from Stampin’ Up!.

Bashful Blue spritz

Bashful Blue spritz

Bashful Blue spritz rose

Bashful Blue spritz rose

The color and sparkle didn’t show on that one so I decided to use some acrylic daubers from Ranger.  The first one is Red Pepper and I only daubed it on one side of the paper.

Red Pepper acrylic dauber

Red Pepper acrylic dauber

Red Pepper acrylic daubed rose

Red Pepper acrylic daubed rose

Next I tried Sunset Orange acrylic dauber and put the paint on both sides of the paper.

Sunset Orange acrylic dauber

Sunset Orange acrylic dauber

Sunset Orange acrylic daubed rose

Sunset Orange acrylic daubed rose

The brown craft paper needs a heavier hand with the acrylic paint to overpower that brown.  So the next one I tried was with Broken China Distress Stain.

Broken China Distress Stain

Broken China Distress Stain

Broken China Distress Stain rose

Broken China Distress Stain rose

And here are the four roses I’ve made this morning.  Kathy, from Paper Phenomenon, says these are quick to make and she is right.  It doesn’t take long to make these.  For a “beginner” it took me about an hour to make these four flowers.  It would have been less time involved had I used just one color thing – spritz, acrylic dauber, or stain – instead of trying to figure out what would work best.

As you can see from the results.  This is a good way to make the roses.  The craft paper still is very evident and the color does not take well to this paper.  I kind of like the way they have turned out.

Four paper roses

Four paper roses

Okay, now I have to get back in my craft room and get cracking on the seven Post-It-Note Holders I have been requested to make.

“Later Gators” 😀

Christmas is over? Already?!

Where has the time gone?  Waking up this morning, my head was in gear before my feet hit the floor.  Things to do today and I needed to get going.

It was while in the bathroom, brushing my teeth, that I realized there was no more rushing around at warp speed to get anything done.  Sort of a let down.

Like many of you, I had been preparing for Christmas every day for the past two weeks.  Planning, working, running, decorating, and wrapping.  Going to bed last night feeling good about the events of the day and glad that it was all over.  Only to wake this morning in a frantic hurry to do……well, nothing.

Saturday morning we went to the grocery store to purchase the ingredients for Joe’s Christmas feast.  He was up to his elbows in food prep Christmas morning with Phantom of the Opera ringing out in our kitchen.

Joe busy creating his Christmas feast

Joe busy creating his Christmas feast

Friday and Saturday I spent the available time I had going through my website – Message In A Fold – deleting everything about Stampin’ Up!.  All the links to online ordering, their products, and any other mention.  Since I am no longer a Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator I needed to get those links off of my website before anyone clicked on them and found the link went no where 😦

I will be taking another online Website Creation class in January from my local Community College.  Be prepared for further changes to my website.

I also spent some time on YouTube searching for inspiration.  Mostly just watching the very talented people create amazing items from paper goods.

I have one of the original Cricut machines.  Also referred to as the “Baby Cricut”.  The only time I’ve used that poor machine was to cut out letters.  I watched several videos about using the Cricut.  All were about the larger version that takes 12″x12″ paper instead of the 6″x12″ one that I have.

While Joe had his feast under control, all was either cooking or waiting in the refrigerator to be popped in the oven, I went into my room to get acquainted with the one machine I’ve had for many years that I don’t know much about.

Here are the results of my playing around with 1-1/2″x12″ strips of paper I had left over from making Post-It-Note holders for our bank tellers.

Cricut flowers

Cricut flowers

These were made from the seven (7) petal flower on the George cartridge.  They are all cut at one (1) inch.  After watching several videos on making flowers I thought I’d give it a whack.

I have several strips of paper from Graphic 45 – Communique Collection – left over from making the holders for our tellers.  They have received calls from me, while we are out on the road, telling them of a FedEx envelope coming with a deposit.  Sometimes I forget to put in a deposit slip and require them to take care of that for me.  Once in a while it is to tell them I need the deposit made immediately.  There is always something a bit different I request of them and I felt they needed to know I appreciate them.

These are plain and generic….at least plain and generic compared to what I had just done.  I don’t know my tellers very well.  Have no idea what their interests are.  I do love the Graphic 45 papers though and since I do a lot of “communicating” 😀 with them I thought this paper would be appropriate.

Kelsey

Kelsey

Jerrod

Jerrod

Nathan

Nathan

Adam

Adam

Cory

Cory

Sorry for some of them being out of focus.  I was in a hurry to get them delivered on Friday.

Today, I will be venturing out to the craft stores and the mall for supplies to create more holders.  This time with a Poker Theme for my friend, Tim.  I’m hoping to get them done in time for his New Year’s poker game with his friends.

What are you going to be doing in your world now that Christmas is over?  Are you making plans for the coming year?

Using the negative space of letter stickers

Using the negative part of used letter stickers

Using the negative part of used letter stickers

Searching through my abundant supply of letter stickers to find the right size for this project I found this really, really old set of stickers.  No “T” 😦  There is, however, a black outline from where a “T” was.  BUT to only have one negative letter was not going to be good.

I’ll use it anyway, along with a couple other letters.  Sorry for the out of focus bit here.  It is a bit of a trial working the camera with my left hand since I’m right handed.  I dropped the camera about four times trying to get the thing to focus where I wanted.  So you get to see the best of 4 😀

Cut around the negative space

Cut around the negative space

I have one of the original Cricut machines.  The smallest it will go down is 1″ which I’ve used on the letters of the person’s name for this Holder.  I have not played with my Cricut much so I really don’t know all that it is capable of….other than cutting out letters.

I need to get into my room and get it cleaned out today.  I have some black rhinestones I need to find in that flaming mess so I can attach one to the “U” where the unsightly space is.

Speaking of letters, I dug further in my stash for the lettering around the cover.

OSU's Pistol Pete and Bullet

OSU's Pistol Pete and Bullet

Both images…Pistol Pete and the Spirit Rider on Bullet….are from the internet and printed on Whisper White card stock.  Should you decide to print a photo on card stock and wish to have the image not fade over time there is a product that is good for this.

Krylon‘s “Workable Fixitif” is the best stuff to use.  This is NOT RECOMMENDED for use in scrapbooks because of the chemicals in this product.

Krylon Workable Fixitif

Krylon Workable Fixitif

If you draw with chalks this stuff is the best.  It will keep the work you have already done from smearing as your hand moves around the paper as you draw.  You can still go back to an area already worked with no fear of having a slick surface with no chalk adhesion.

When you first spray this over a photo on card stock the photo will change and get darker.  Don’t worry, let it set for about 20 minutes.  It will dry clear and your photo will look as it did before  you sprayed it.  Also, take this outside!!  Spray this pungent stuff outside.  Do several passes about 5 inches from the surface of what you are spraying.  Don’t linger in a spot too long or it will cause the colors to bleed and run.  Not good 😦  Coat the entire image and surrounding paper you will be working with.

I have a treacherous path into my room.  This space is beginning to look, and feel, as though it should be featured on one of those “Hoarder” shows.

A pathway through my craft room

A pathway through my craft room

I have two bases being pressed right now.  They will not be workable until later this afternoon so it is time to get in this room for some purging, cleaning, and reorganizing.