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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

{CLOSED} GIVEAWAY! Craftsy Class: Quilled and Sculpted Cards




I have a treat for y'all today! Not only is Cecelia Louie of Paper Zen guest-writing on my blog, she brought along freebies and a giveaway! 

Cecelia is the author of the book, Pretty Quilled Cards and she's here to introduce her new Craftsy class: Quilled and Sculpted Cards.

Everyone, let's say "Hi!" to Cecelia.

How lucky am I??? Jin is such a fantastic teacher with all her great tutorials, and she's letting me share her classroom today with this guest post.

I've taught a couple quilling classes in the past, and that helped prepare me when Craftsy contacted me to teach a class, Quilled and Sculpted Cards.

There were many things about Craftsy that impressed me. It takes a talented team to put a class together, beside ensuring I looked and sounded good (and feeding me well too!). Throughout the entire process, Craftsy focused on teaching skills that students could then use in other projects.

For my first lesson, I teach how to make a Fanned Die Cut Christmas Card. It even holds a little prezzie in the tree - a Hershey's Kiss! Rather than throw away the paper in the middle, I thought it would be nice to make a bonus item, so I came up with a mini tree that also works as a place card or a menu item note. The 3D star sits flat on the card and puffs up while you start forming it. It's hard to see in this photo, but in the class, I show a method to make them textured and look like fluffy flakes!

In Lesson 3, I teach how to sculpt your die cuts, so that they take on more life and movement. I love combining quilling with my paper projects, and show how to accent the card with simple scroll embellishments.

I'm pretty sure the topmost item that inspires most people to take up quilling is snowflakes. In Lesson 7, I supply pre-measured quilling strips (I like to cut my own) and a grid to follow along to make it super easy.

There are 7 lessons in total and run for about 20 minutes or so each. If you've never heard of Craftsy before, it's an online learning classroom for a wide range of hobbies. Your class never expires and I check in to answer questions.

To conclude today's post, I wanted to show that you can easily create 3D items like the Christmas tree. Since Halloween is coming around the corner, I designed a few pumpkins for us all to "carve".

If you'd like to give this technique a try, here's the link to download the digital die cut files as well as the step-by-step instructions on how to assemble them. It's not as wonderfully video taped like my Craftsy class, but you'll get an idea of how fun and easy it is.

I'd like to thank Jin for letting be a guest on today's post - you're the sweetest!

It was my privilege to be a part of your paper-craft day. I hope you liked seeing some of the things I'm teaching in my class. I'd like to give away a free Craftsy class to one commenter. Please leave a way for Jin to send the winner a link!

Happy crafting!

Cecelia Louie
Paper Zen

To check out Cecelia's class, just click HERE. Cecelia is also giving away her Quilled and Sculpted Cards class to one lucky reader. To enter in the giveaway, just leave a comment below.

The giveaway starts now and ends on Tuesday, Oct 6, 2015. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, Oct 7.

Cecelia has also designed 3 pumpkin shapes to share with everyone. You can download the Round Pumpkin HERE and the Wide Pumpkin from Michelle's MichelleMyBelle Creations blog HERE. For the 3rd pumpkin shape plus an extra chance to win Cecelia's class, please click HERE to visit Ann Martin's All Things Paper blog. You can find the download for the Tall Pumpkin there.

Good luck!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday Freebies {plus new Tricky Treats}

LD has added a new Halloween collection to their site. Oct 31st is about 36 days away from today so we still have plenty of time to play with these!

Click HERE to see the new Tricky Tricks and if you are buying any LD files, don't forget to use your coupons:

The code Smartie (exp. Sep 30) will take 60% off any product, min. $30 purchase.

The code Treats (exp. unknown) will take 75% off any Halloween product, min. $5 purchase.

Here is your Friday Freebie:

Click HERE or the image above to go to the LD site. Add the Tricky Treats Candy Bar Wrappers (printables) to your cart and checkout. You pay $0.00!

Silhouette Studio users, don't forget to claim your weekly freebie.

Have a great weekend!

Glowforge, the 3D Laser Printer

Remember when I told y'all that there are new cutting machines coming? Here's one more to add to the list. Check out the new Glowforge 3D laser printer. Besides paper and wood, it can also cut and engrave cardboard, fabric, leather, plexiglas (acrylic), cork, mylar, and many other materials. It can also engrave rubber stamps, glass, marble, and more.

The machine is not priced for the casual home crafter- the standard model starts at $1995 and goes up to $4495 for the Glowforge Pro with Air Filter. Still, a girl can dream right? *sigh*

Click HERE to see the machine in action and to find more info.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Silhouette Studio Update: v3.4.486

Here we go again...there is another Silhouette Studio update.

From the release notes, it looks like the update is mostly for improving the JPG and PDF support, and for fixing a couple of other bugs.

Click HERE (and scroll down the page) to get Silhouette Studio v3.4.486. {Install at your own risk.}


In other news....

Did y'all catch the HSN/Lori Whitlock (she's so cute!) presentation on the Silhouette Curio on Monday? I missed the show but I was happy to watch it on youtube. You can see the video HERE.

At the time of this post, the HSN Curio special offer has expired. However, the bundle is still available for $249.95.

The Silhouette Curio is also on sale on Amazon for $229.99. However, it does not come bundled with the other stuff that were included in the HSN deal.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Pre-Order: Brother ScanNCut 2, KNK Force

I didn't have a lot of information on the KNK Force when I posted about it the other day but now I do! Klic-N-Kut has launched the new cutter via a Kickstarter campaign. For those of you who are not familiar with Kickstarter, it is a way for folks to raise money to make their idea for a product a reality. The first 400 people to place a pre-order will be able to get the KNK Force for $575. That's a discount of $24 from the retail price of $599. At last check, 77 pre-orders have been made and KNK's goal of raising $50K from this campaign will be reached soon.
image is from the KNK Force Kickstarter page

Click HERE for the KNK Force Kickstarter Campaign page. You can find all the details of the new cutter there, as well as place your pledge (i.e. pre-order).

** I am not an affiliate for KNK. I'm just sharing information that I think my readers will find useful.
Screen capture from the KNK Force Kickstarter page.

If the KNK Force is too pricey for your budget, consider the Brother ScanNCut2. I had mentioned this cutter a few days ago and at that time, it was only available through HSN and authorized Brother dealers. It seems that HSN is currently out of stock and if you order today, the estimated delivery is anytime from end-Sep to early-Oct. If you would rather place the order elsewhere,  I just found out that Amazon has also started taking pre-orders. Unlike the bundle offered from HSN, the one from Amazon does not come with the Wireless Activation Card. A Rhinestone Trial Kit is included in its place. Click HERE to check it out.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Friday Freebies {plus new Photocard Favs}
image by LD

I love making photocards and I am so excited to see that LD has released a line of photocard templates and elements today! Click HERE to check out their new Photocard Favs. It's going to be so much easier (and fun!) to make your own photocards!

Don't forget to use a coupon if you are buying anything from the LD site. Use the code smartie to take 60% off a purchase of $30 or more. (Tip: You can BOTH the Photocard Favs Cut Bundle AND the Photocard Favs Collection for only $13.60 with the coupon! Good deal!).

Here is your Friday Freebie:

Click HERE or the image above to go to the LD site. Add the Photocard Favs Templates- Halloween graphic set to your cart and checkout. You pay $0.00

Silhouette Studio users, don't forget to claim your weekly freebie.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

New cutting machines are coming!

Hold on to your purses! There are new cutting machines out there!

Silhouette America has recently released their Silhouette Curio machine while Cricut has been trying to get folks to buy their Circut Explore Air. If you are in the market for a cutting machine, you may like to know that there are other options available or coming soon.

image from HSN website

My friend, Gale (Stamps & Stitches), is my favorite crafty enabler. I was really excited when she told me about the new Brother Scan-N-Cut 2. The recently launched electronic cutter is an updated and improved version of their original Scan-N-Cut machine. While I like that the in-built scanner makes it easy to scan images and cut around them with an offset (Think rubberstamps!), I really love that it can also reduce paper wastage by cutting on paper scraps after scanning for the cuttable area. (Yes, yes, I know that the feature is like the Silhouette's PixScan but this looks so much easier! ).  The new machine is wireless and you can also use SVG files with it.

Brother has launched two models of the Scan-N-Cut2. The CM350 costs around $300 and you can buy it (and watch the HSN presentation) HERE. The CM650 is priced around $500 and comes with a few more features. Currently it is only available from authorized Brother dealers.

image from KNK

Klick-N-Kut will also be releasing a new cutting machine by the end of the year. Unfortunately, there isn't a whole lot of information on their website at the time of this post but it did mention that the KNK Force cutter will come with a dual carriage head. The machine can also do wood engraving. You can find a preview HERE.

image from Silhouette America

The Silhouette Mint is not a cutting machine but I am equally excited about it, if not more. We had initially heard about the stamp maker back in May but I own and love the Casio Pomrie and I strongly suspect that the Mint is the same thing, rebranded.  You can find more information about the Silhouette Mint on the Silhouette website. The stamp maker is set to be released in the Fall and you can pre-order it HERE.

What do you think of these new machines? Will you be getting one? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Friday Freebies {plus new Kawaii-A-Bunga A-Z}

Happy Friday!

There are new stuff on the LD site! Kawaii-A-Bunga A-Z is an extension of the very popular Kawaii-A-Bunga collection. Click HERE to check it out.

Don't forget to use a coupon if you are buying anything from the LD site. Use the code smartie to take 60% off a purchase of $30 or more.

Here's your Friday Freebie:

Click HERE or the image above to go to the LD site. Add the Kawaii-A-Bunga 1-10 (printables) to your cart and checkout. You pay $0.00

Silhouette Studio users, don't forget to claim your weekly freebie.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Happy National Teddy Bear Day!

Happy National Teddy Bear Day! Now go give your bear a big squeeze. :)
{To see where we found our really big teddy bear, just click HERE. }

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Labor Day weekend road trip to Portland, Oregon

It's Saturday and we are on a road trip to Portland, Oregon. We were supposed to go on a short vacation to Victoria B.C. last week but we had to cancel the trip due to bad weather. We thought we'd make up for that with this trip.

A few weeks ago, we drove from Seattle, down the Oregon Coast to San Francisco, and back to Portland, Oregon. The last leg of the trip was made in a hurry as we had spent more time in San Francisco than we had originally planned. We didn't managed to do as much in Portland as we had wanted but we were happy to have made it to Nong's Khao Man Gai food cart before they closed for the day.

We really enjoyed the meal. Nong's chicken and rice is almost like the Hainanese Chicken Rice that I used to get in Singapore, except that Nong uses a different sauce for her dish. Since her food cart is closed on the weekends, we decided that we would check out her restaurant this time.

The food was just as great, if not better! It was definitely easier for us to enjoy the meal when there was a place to sit and eat. The last time when we got our chicken and rice from the food cart, it was rather challenging to find a place to consume our meal. Thank goodness for the Starbucks around the corner!

We also just found out today that Nong had previously won the "Food Truck Fight" on the Food Network's Chopped. This would make her the second winner from a Food Network show that we had visited since we had visited one last Summer. We thought that was really cool. 

Speaking of cool, we thought that the Public Typing Station that we happened to chance upon was way too awesome. What a great idea! We loved it so much we decided to pop into the shop right by it and my oh my, it's even more amazing inside!

We found that Oblation Papers & Press not only sell greeting cards, papers, and gifts, they also house several (very cool-looking) vintage letterpress machines that they use for their letterpress business. In addition, they sell a lot of refurbished manual typewriters that are in working condition! The typewriters all look so shiny and pretty, I had a really hard time walking out of the store without buying one. I had to keep reminding myself that I already have three at home and I don't need another. Then again, now that I think about it, I don't have one in red. (Hey Hubby! Are you reading this? *hint hint* )

We'll be in Portland for the long weekend and we're hoping to explore the area a little bit more before heading home. I'll talk to y'all again when I get back.

Have a great rest of the weekend and Happy Labor Day!

Friday, September 4, 2015

3 LD Freebies! {plus new Tweeny Boppers, Little Cuties by Sheri McCulley, and new LD coupon}

OMG! LD has released an avalanche of new designs and I. AM. FREAKIN'. OUT!

I can't even describe how happy I am to see their new Tweeny Bopper. They are PERFECT for my twin 7th Graders! I love the designs so much and what's even better is that you can get the files for FREE!!

The bundle is valued at $21 but the price will be deducted from your cart if you do the following:

1.    Add the Dear Tween Bundle to your cart. Do not add the individual items to your cart.  The coupon will not work if you do.
2.    Add another $5 in product to your cart (or more).
3.    Go to check out.
4.    Add coupon code: Tweeny
5.    The entire value of the bundle will be extracted from your cart!

Sheri McCulley is back and she has brought her Little Cuties to LD. The above are a few samples and you can find the rest of the Little Cuties by clicking HERE.

You can also find the Little Cuties in Sheri's new picture books. Click HERE to see her Little Cuties: Let's Pretend! in the garden and HERE to see her Little Cuties: Let's Pretend! animals.

By the way, there is a new LD coupon available. Use the code smartie to take 60% off a purchase of $30 or more.

Here are your 3 Freebies:

Click on the images above, add each item to your cart and checkout. You pay $0.00!

Silhouette Studio users, don't forget to claim your weekly freebie.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Happy 1st Day of School!

Happy 1st Day of School!

The twins are starting Middle School today. They are now in 7th Grade and my baby is in 4th Grade. Can you believe it?!

The first day of school always bring me all kinds of mixed feelings. I am proud and happy and excited for the kids but after sending them off to school, I dread that I have to return to a quiet house. Sure, I always tell Hubby that I have a ton of things to do and that I'll be fine because I'll be busy. Then I get home and what do I do? I sit down and immediately notice how quiet it is around here. I didn't realize it but the kids make so much noise when they are in the house! I try not to think about how much I am thinking of them especially when it has only been 10 minutes since I dropped them off at school...

The twins wore their Harry Potter Time-Turners to school today. A part of me wishes that it actually works so I could go back to the beginning of Summer again. We had so much fun this Summer, it was incredible!

It is so quiet in the house it is starting to hurt. I switch off my phone and turn up the radio in an attempt to overcome the silence and then this comes on the air:

Somehow the song gives me a level of comfort and even though I'm still thinking of the kids, I don't feel so alone anymore. Everybody is growing up and I'm done moping. I'm shutting down my laptop and I'm off to the craft room. My Cameo has had a month of rest.

It's time to wake it.


p.s. You can get a free download of Growing Up by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (featuring Ed Sheeran) HERE.