Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Lettering Delights' Hamburger and Grill (Backyard Fun)

Do you have Make-The-Cut or Sure-Cuts-A-Lot and want to try converting Lettering Delights' images but didn't want to have to pay for it? Now you have a chance! For a limited time, you can download the graphic set Lettering Delights' Backyard Fun for FREE! 


I downloaded the free set yesterday and managed to use MTC to cut out the grill and the burger. This is what the layers look like before I put them together:




A little gluing later resulted in this:




According to Lettering Delights' Terms of Sale, I am not allowed to offer a free download of the MTC cut file but I can tell you that to make the images cutable, I used Adobe Photoshop to make it black and white (Grayscale) and then adjust the Brightness/Contrast to hightlight the layers. I then traced the image in MTC to get the cut file. The MTC file for the burger looks like this:




Since the download is currently free, do give it a try. It may take a little time to get the hang of it but in my opinion, this is one of the easiest sets to convert. Do not spend money buying these graphic sets until you are sure that you can use them because some images are easier to convert than others. If you are interested in purchasing any of the font or graphic sets, you can use the code "Firecracker" for 60% off total purchase. Please use my affiliate link here. You can use the coupon unlimited times with no minimum purchase but it does expire on Friday, July 9, 2010, Midnight MDT.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Nancy Kubo


Do you know who Nancy Kubo is? Here, let me give you a hint.


Look at the graphic set above. Does it look familiar?

How about this one:


Nancy Kubo is the designer of the Create-A-Critter cartridge and thanks to beckylee over at the MTC message board, I found out today that she has designed a few graphic sets that are for sale on the Little Dreamer Designs website. There are several images there that would make good candidates for a new cart. I really like her Aloha Cuties. Wouldn't it be fun if there was a paper doll cart for those?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Monster-licious!


Provo Craft has been releasing so many new cartridges lately that I find myself not playing with Make-the-Cut as much as I want to. I have been buying up carts from eBay and the Cricut Lite ones from Walmart but I still do not own the one cart that I really want. "Mini Monsters" WILL be mine but I have to wait for the right price before that can happen. To satisfy the need for monsters, I pulled up my Lettering Delights' collection and found this Monster-licious set. I just had to make these monsters "cut-able".



It took an afternoon of messing with Adobe Photoshop and MTC but I managed to come up with these:


My kids kept running into the craft room to see the monsters so that I just had to turn them (the monsters, not the kids!) into puppets for the girls. Perhaps that will make them stay out of my way long enough so that I can think about the next thing to CriCUT.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Cricut Chirp mention


Have you seen today's Cricut Chirp newsletter? If you have not, you can find today's and past issues at this link

I was checking my emails when I noticed today's Chirp in my inbox. I had to do a double take when I saw this:

 
Hey, isn't that my thread on the Cricut message board? I clicked on the link and saw my post on Mrs. M's Garden show up. It's a pretty good feeling to know that someone likes my work enough to mention it on their newsletter. Thank you, Ms Lonna Joy Smoot (Editor, Cricut CHIRP!) !

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Birthday wishes from a clown



Here is a simple idea for a birthday card. First, I cut out the clown from the Carousel cartridge. Then the letters were made with the Robotz font in Design Studio with George and Basic Shapes for the circles.


The clown was adhered to the card front with mounting tape and Stickles (frosted lace) was applied to the circles.




The idea is simple but versatile. The clown can be used with a variety of greetings to create cards for different occasions. I suppose you can even just put "HELLO" in the circles and leave the greeting at the bottom out. Now, how's that for a "just because" card? ;)
 



Sunday, June 20, 2010

You Make Me Melt





While shopping for summer wear for my kids the other day, I came across a shirt that had this design in the front:



Super cute, right? Yeah, I thought so too. So I bought the shirt and gave it to my youngest. However, the more I look at it, the more I thought I could put that same idea onto a card. I decided to give it a shot.



I used Make-The-Cut to make the popsicles and used Lettering Delights' Buttercream font for the sentiment. By the way, did you know that Lettering Delights' has a bunch of super cute fonts and graphics on sale now for $1 each? Click here to check it out.

I embossed the card front with Cuttlebug's Swiss Dots embossing folder and adhered the popsicles with mounting tape to give it some dimension. For the bottom edge, I used Martha Stewart's Drippy Goo Border Punch.



Whether you call this a homage or call it, as my husband did, a "rip-off", I thought that the design looked super cute on the card. I was also glad that I was finally able to use that border punch for something that is NOT for Halloween. :-D

Have a Great Summer, everyone!




Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mrs. M.'s Garden


 
Tomorrow is the last day of the school year and in the weeks leading up to this day, I have given many thoughts about my gift to Mrs. M., the twins' 1st Grade teacher. I could make her a slideshow on a dvd with pictures of the past year of all the kids from the class, just like I did for Mrs. E last year. But then I recall that Mrs. E was so moved by it that she had to choke back her tears and was not able to talk to me after she watched the show. Although I was flattered that my work evoked such strong emotions, it was not quite the reaction I was expecting. Then I thought I could make Mrs. M. a wall art using crayons to spell out her initials. I've seen that on many blogs and have always wanted to make one of those. But then I chanced upon this book:


In case you are not familiar with it, Mrs Spitzers' Garden by Edith Pattou is about a teacher who tends to her garden where the flowers are actually her students. It is a metaphoric but lovely story and it gave me the idea for what to give to my kids' teacher this year.


The first thing that I bought specifically for this project is this pair of Martha Stewart fringe scissors. Except for a rock garden, every garden has grass, right? Forget the fact that I've always wanted this but had no excuse to buy it. Now I can justify the purchase!

Next, I got a metal bucket ($2.50) from Target and about 5 lbs of split green peas ($0.49/lb) from the grocery store.



Using the Walk in My Garden cartridge, I start cutting out flowers in different shapes and sizes. But when the time came to hot-glue them to the top of the pencils, I hit a snag. You know how it is when you need a fork and all you can find are spoons? Well, I needed regular pencils that has a green body and all I could find are the yellow ones. A yellow sunflower does not look so good on a yellow stem. Ack! So I start my hunt for green regular pencils.

Thankfully, my search did not take long. I found these Papermate Earth Wise pencils that comes 10 to a pack for about $2 at the grocery store nearby. Whoa hoo! I bought them and got right back to work.



A bit of hot glue here and a blob of hot glue there, and this is what I ended up with:




I made a total of 25 flower tops for pens and pencils to represent all 25 kids in the class. But I also got Mrs. M. a gift card. How should I stick that in? I decided to do it this way:



Okay, Mommy can't be the one who does all the work. So Mean Mom got the girls to draw and cut out (By hand! No Cricut! Muahhahaha!) some butterflies and I attached them to the pencils with wire. 
 

I can't give a present without including a card so I also made Mrs. M one and I will get all the kids in the class to sign on it before I give it to her. This is how the card looks like on the outside and on the inside:




 Now the "garden" is almost done but something seems to be missing:




I know! How about adding this little fellow?




The 3" snail  from the Create-A-Critter cartridge is perfect for dressing up the roll of sticky tape. Isn't he the cutest thing? I even found matching erasers from a pack that I bought from Target a while ago.




 A little bit of rearranging later, and my gift is finished. 

May I present to you....Mrs. M.'s Garden:







Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Free Download: Dad's En-Tie-tlement Coupons






Here's an idea for a quick Father's Day gift. Just make a card and stick these free Lettering Delights coupons in it. All you have to do is to download and print them out.

Click here  to download the coupons.





Monday, June 14, 2010

Are you Circled?



Today I received an email invitation:



Say that again. What's this?



Tell me more.



So why me?


Okay...apparently I am a top 3% of over-spenders? I don't think The Hub is going to be too pleased to know that I have been giving his hard-earned $$ away for Cricut stuff. Yikes!

  
So how much does it really cost to be Circled?



Excuse me while  I clean up the coffee I just spewed all over my keyboard.






Sunday, June 13, 2010

Happy-Go-Round


Isn't it funny how happy children get when they are put on a pretend horse, that goes up and down a pole, that goes all around a circular platform while some ridiculously happy music is being played non-stop? Nothing brings out the happy like a carousel and it is no wonder that when I first saw the Cricut Lite Carousel cartridge, my eyes were drawn to that merry-go-round image. It even has three horses (for my 3 kids)!


When I bought my cartridge last Friday, I knew that the carousel has to be the first image that I will cut. I also knew that I have to make the horses move. It is a simple mechanism. First, I cut the 1st layer of the carousel image and then trim off the poles (and horses). Using Cricut Design Studio, I cut a narrow rectangle inside each pole on the 2nd layer. I trim off the horses on the 2nd layer too. 

  
To make the three horses, I actually used the image of the single horse.


I cut out the horses and again snipped off the poles. To make the horses slide up and down the poles that are on the 2nd layer of the carousel cutout, I attached a brad to the horse and fix it into the narrow rectangular gap.

With that done, I can now make the horses go up...

....or down....


.... or stay in the center!

I think I like it best when they are in different stages of going up or down. 

Something like this:

While I had a lot of fun putting this card together, I have to say that I was a little miffed that there was a flaw in this image. Unless you are cutting this image out at a fairly large size,  the top left part of the roof will break from the tip. I had cut my carousel out at 6" and the left strip still tore when the image was being cut on the mat. I managed to cover up that separation with a large rhinestone but I thought you all should know about the design flaw.
  

You can probably also tell from CDS how narrow that cut on the tip is.
 

Anyway, despite that boo-boo, I still do like this cartridge a lot. The images on it are quite different from Provo Craft's past offerings and even though I did not use the font cuts, I'm glad that the cart came with it.