Monday, December 10, 2012

Pine Cone Reindeer

I’ve been so busy getting ready for Christmas I haven’t had time do much paper crafting.  Last night I made these reindeer to put on my mantel. I made some years ago and loved the little critters. I can’t remember which magazine I got the idea from, but they were super easy and I thought I’d share them with you here.

We live on a pine tree farm so we have pine cones in abundance. If you don’t have easy access to pine cones in the wild Michael’s and Hobby Lobby both carry them. All you need are 2 pine cones, 1 smaller than the other, 4 fairly straight sticks about 4-6 inches long, and 2 branchy little sticks to use as antlers and a hot glue gun.  

To Assemble:
1. Take your 2 pine cones and nestle the smaller of the 2  into the top of the widest end of the larger pine cone. Angle it down or up depending how you want the head to face. 
Once you get it situated the way you want it. 
Squirt some hot glue into the crevices of the cones to glue the 2 together. 

 2. Take your 4 straight sticks and stick them up into the bottom of the larger pine cone where 4 legs would go. You will want to angle them around until your reindeer stands firmly on its own. When you have the legs where you want them remove each leg, one at a time and using the hot glue, put them back in place, holding until the glue firms. 

3.  Take your antlers and stick them into the top of head. Once you have them in a pleasing arrangement glue in place. 


4. Now that your reindeer is assembled you can decorate him as you like. I like to use a red berry or pompon for his nose. A little bell around his neck gives a festive air and googlie eyes can be added.

I used berries for this little guys nose.
 These little guys hold up surprisingly well and if packed with care, can last for several years or you can burn them in your fireplace after the holiday season.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Let's Talk Turkey

Thanksgiving is almost here. Family and friends are coming to our house this year to celebrate and give thanks. If the weather is warm enough we will carry the tables outside and eat while enjoying the sunshine and the beautiful fall colors in the surrounding woods. If it’s too chilly we will eat indoors and after no one can eat another bite whom ever is feeling adventurous will grab bags and go for a walk in the woods gathering pine cones, evergreen boughs and whatever else we fancy for decorating for Christmas.
To keep the little ones occupied during dinner I thought they might like to decorate some bags to put the things we find into. I’m going to set these at their place setting along with a paper grocery bag and  some stickers.

I used pop dots for the turkey on the right and glued down the turkey on the right. 
Which do you prefer? Can you tell a difference?

I used Cricut's Sesame Street Seasons to make the box and Create a Critter for the turkey.
I only had 4 colors to put in the box and the original size holds 8. I wanted to keep the height but make it narrower for fewer colors. Using my Gypsy I set the height of the box to 4.35 and unchecked the ratio button, that’s the  little chain symbol between the Width and Height, I made the box width 4.77 without changing the height. I made the turkeys at a height of 1.82  I think the little ones are going to like these.
I'm going to share these over at FCCB's Pilgrims Progress Challenge and at Little Scrap Pieces for their Fun Friday. This week it's Animals. I also joined the fun over at Tatertots and Jello Weekend Wrap-Up.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Come in and see my etchings

November 13, 2012

Since the holiday season is upon us with several potluck dinners coming up, I thought this would be the perfect time to see if I could etch my name on the bottom of my casserole dish.  This is something I’ve wanted to try for a long time but had just never gotten around too. Hopefully, doing so will see the safe return of my dish should I forget it, or leave it someplace.
I used a scrap of Cricut Cuttable, adhesive backed, 3 mil, vinyl to cut out my stencil. I used the Cricut cartridge, Lyrical Letters, feature key Loop dee Loo, for my name. I manipulated it with my Gypsy welding the letters together and cutting it at 1.10 inches.  The vinyl directions said to set my blade depth to 6 and my pressure to 2, but when I cut out a small trial stencil, (which I highly recommend) it wouldn’t come apart easily so I adjusted the pressure to 3 and it worked beautifully.  Once the stencil was cut, I removed it from the mat, trimmed off the extra vinyl leaving about a 1 inch border around my name, this made it easier to handle. I carefully removed the letters from the vinyl, setting them aside for a later use. This left a stencil of my name. Be sure to leave any inside pieces of a letter on the backing. (Like with the letter B, the 2 half circles) Once all the bits I didn’t need were removed I covered the stencil with a piece of scotch tape I used as transfer tape, over lapping on both sides about one inch. This helps move the stencil to the dish in one piece with out twisting out of shape or folding up on its self. (I speak from experience here) I slowly removed the vinyl’s backing and then placed the stencil on the bottom of the dish where I wanted my name. When I got it positioned properly I removed the tape, smoothed out the air bubbles in the vinyl and placed the insides of my B where they belonged.
I followed all of the same steps with the decorative branch and bird I cut using the Cricut Serenade cartridge. When I removed the vinyl design I placed it on a piece of left over vinyl backing to keep to use in another project. 
I bought some Armour Etch, glass etching cream at Michael’s. I had a 50% off coupon so it was only about 6 dollars. I wiped the bottom of the casserole with a cotton boll soaked in alcohol to remove any oils, let it dry and then using an old paint brush, I applied a thick layer of the etching cream. The directions say to leave it on for 60 seconds but I had read somewhere else to leave it for 10 minutes. My casserole is cobalt blue and I was a little worried that this wouldn’t work on the colored glass so I left the etching cream on for the 10 minutes. Wearing rubber gloves, I rinsed off  the cream and stencil with water.
At first I thought it hadn’t worked, but after I dried it off there it was! Magic!
 As you can see the pan is an older, much used one. I can't wait to try it on my newer ones too.You could even add your phone number so people would know where to reach you if you left it at a gathering.
Wouldn't it add a nice personalized touch to a wedding gift of a set of casserole dishes?

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Bed Skirt

I haven't had much chance to scrapbook lately. I hope I'll be able to remedy that tomorrow afternoon. This time of year is when I do my deep cleaning. We have family and friends over for Thanksgiving and it really revs me into a cleaning, get those household projects done, mode. That's why I made a bed skirt for the guest bed this week instead of scrapbooking.

   I needed to be able to hide all the junk we have stuffed under the bed. LOL. That's one of the great things about those old tester beds. They are high up off the ground and you can store lots of stuff under them.
There's a whole other household under there. What's under your bed?

Bravo for you if there are only dust bunnies. If there aren't even any dust bunnies call me. I'd like for you to come clean my house too.
 The bed skirt was really quite easy to make. I bought a twin flat sheet at the thrift store and 4 yards of eyelet fabric at Hancocks. The width of the sheet was perfect for the double bed and it's frame but I had to cut off about a foot on the length. I tore the eyelet fabric in two down the center fold and used the selvage edge as the bottom so I didn't have to hem it.  I then cut it into 3 panels. 2 for the sides and one for the foot of the bed. Each panel was about 1and 1/2 times the length that I needed so it had a little fullness but wasn't too frilly. I finished off the edges of each of the short ends so they would be neat. Then I ran 2 basting stitches along the torn sides so I could gather it a little. I pinned the fabric to the sheet Right sides together. I started out by pinning the first panel at each end and then put one pin in the middle, adjusted the gathers pinning more securely as I went along. Then I sewed it together. I did this for all 3 sides. When I was done sewing and pressing it I put it over the foundation mattress, put the top mattress back on the bed, adjusted the length and was done. 2 evening worth of work. It probably would have been less but I got caught up in a TV show and it slowed my progress. Abracadabra our camping equipment is out or sight, out of mind until next camping season.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


I finally got my Gypsy cable back from my sister yesterday and I took the opportunity to play with my new Everyday PopUp Cards Cricut cartridge. This is going to be a fun cartridge. My GB’s love popup books so I see lots of pop up cards being sent their way in the near future.
I’m entering this in the Little Monster Challenge over at My Craft Spot
My GBs are a little leery of ‘scary’ Halloween at the tender ages of 1 and 2 so I opted to use the Cookie Monster from the Sesame Street Seasons Cricut Cartridge as my caged monster. Since I hadn’t tried the Pop up cartridge before I decided to make a larger than usual card so I wouldn’t have to worry about working in minute detail. (My eyes aren’t what they used to be) I was pleased that it is not as difficult as I was afraid it was going to be. That’s partly in thanks to the PDF that CraftyJAR told me about that gives directions for assembling all of the popups.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Is it Fall Yet?

I stepped outside last night before I went to bed and the temperature had dropped about 20 degrees in 3 hours. A cold front was supposed to blow in so before dinner Hubby and I took a cruise down the back roads in his little Miata to enjoy possibly the last good convertible weather until next spring. Of course, in Texas, you never know. The weather was perfect and by the time we headed home the sun was slipping behind the horizon and you could tell a change in the weather was on its way. I’m glad. It’s hard to get excited about Fall when it’s 85 degrees. I guess that’s why I decorate for Halloween; to remind myself that it’s fall. Sure enough, we woke this morning to colder temperatures and drizzle. Glad we took that drive while we had the chance!
A week ago I left the cable to my Gypsy at my sister’s house and haven’t been able to do much cutting with my Cricut. I took the lull in my crafting to do a little purging and organizing in my craft room. Over the past 7 weeks I’ve been taking the Organization Challenge from the Scrapbook Rack. If you’ve never done one of their webinars you ought to give it a try. You can sign up for a shorter challenge in November. Here is the link to signup.  The Scrap Rack Challenge
There are plenty of helpful ideas for organizing your scrapbooking supplies and photos even if you don’t have a ScrapRack. Best of all, IT’S FREE!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Haunted Houses

I got a bee in my bonnet (or maybe I should say a bat in my belfry) a couple weeks ago to make a haunted house. I didn’t have the funds to buy another cartridge to make the house so I used my Winter Woodland Cricut cartridge instead. I figured a haunted house is just a house that’s spooky looking, right?   I didn’t think that regular cardstock would be sturdy enough for a house so I bought a couple pieces of poster board. I found some that was black on one side and orange on the other at our local grocery store. I used the orange side for the inside house and the black for the exterior.  Since I was feeling ambitious I decided on the 2 story house with dormers. Using my 12” x 24” cutting mat, I cut the house out at width 23.43 and height 10.23 setting the depth on 6, speed on 3 and pressure on 5. I cut it twice. I used some brown cardstock I had on hand for the roof. I ran it through my Texture Boutique with a Sizzix embossing card I thought looked vaguely like a roof pattern. I used a Cuttlebug embossing card that looked like wood for the door. 
The roof of the Two Story House

Even using the directions for building the houses in the back of the Winter Woodland booklet it was a little confusing to put together, especially the dormers and the stoop. But I just kept going back to the pictures and experimenting until it made sense.
*TIPS*: Use Aileen’s Tacky Glue. It holds better than Tacky Tape; don’t permanently attach the roof until after you get the dormers on.

I really like the way the orange sort of glows through the windows, but it still needed some character.
I used the Pumpkin Carving Cricut cartridge to cut some ghoulish embellishments. The ones I wanted to use all had circles around them so I just snipped the circles off after cutting. In a few instances I had to do a little free hand cutting to keep the shape. 

I liked the look of the first house so much I decided to make another one. This time I chose the single story house with the round window in front. I used the same materials and cut it at 19.77” x 6.20”. The door was too small at this size and I had to re-size it to 9.93 x 7.15. The hinge goes on the inside, but I glued the hinge outside so the door could open and you could see the giant cat. I also had to cut the door off at the bottom so it would open over the step.  Using Pumpkin Carving once again, I cut out the bats and the ghost, using it as smoke coming from the chimney.
One Story Haunted House
Won't they make great table decor for our Halloween Party?
 I am going to enter these in some of my favorite challenges! Stop by and see all the great projects everyone is doing.  StuckOnUSketches Creepy Crawly DieCut Challenge
                            Decorate to Celebrate Halloween Challenge
                            Just-a-scrappin Halloween 3-D Special Challenge
                            MCC-Challenge #1-Halloween

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Trick or Treet

Trick or Treet
This was a great rainy weekend to spend in my craft room or as my family calls it, my Cricut lair. I didn’t get a whole lot of projects done, but I did do some experimenting, reading, sorting and thinking. I also tried out the Cricut Craft room a little more. They have some great free Halloween cuts this week. One that struck my fancy was the 3-Deminsional trees. You can’t make these too big or they flop over, but I made several ranging in size from 4-5 inches. The gnarly one didn’t cut as well as the wind swept one for some reason and it tends to want to hang over.

I thought the purple tree was fun!

I was intrigued not only with the trees, but the cutout the tree left when it was removed from the paper. I just knew it could be used for something great. After several false starts I finally decided to use it as a stencil. That's the one on the right. I'm entering this in the BBTB2 Tree challenge.
I love how this turned out
Over at Mary’s Cardz TV she’s having a SSSpooky S-card Cricut challenge. I’d never made an S card before so I thought it would be a fun project. The only problem I had was that I liked my trees so much I didn’t want to add a bunch of embellishments and cover them up. (I need to work on that) but for now, I’m going with the simple is better/safer approach. 

I did use half of one of the trees I had cut out as the overlap embellishment on the front of the card. Then I printed up the Trick or Treet tag for the inside. (misspelling is intentional) using Chiller font and free hand cut the tag.
2nd Section 
Two other cards I made were these using a pumpkin stamp from a halloween set I got on clearance several years ago. For the green one I cut out the eyes so you can see the googly eyes from the inside of the card. I’m going to enter this one in the Creative Time for Me Googly eyes challenge and in Pause Dream Enjoy Challenges FACE challenge.

Inside of the Green Card

The bat is from the Dress Up Paper Dolls Cartridge. The paper for both cards is from K&Company the Tim Coffey Halloween Mat Pad. I love this little pad!

Inside of Purple Card

This is the inside of the purple card. The skeleton is also from the Paper Dolls Cricut Cartridge and the pumpkins are from the Cake Basics cart. The sentiment is a stamp I picked up at Michaels. I cut the tag out with a pair of border scissors.
 Hmmm! I guess I got more done than I thought.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Salute to Summer

Today is the first day of Fall and I am so ready for it! It was 96 degrees here today so it didn’t feel like Fall, but I know cool weather is on it’s way. The heat isn’t as intense, it’s cooler in the shade, and in the evening it actually gets cool instead of being a muggy 81. As a last salute to Summer and the fun it brings I scrapped this Family Summer fun page and thought I’d enter it in the Fantabulous Cricut Challenge and Pink Cricut Link Up Party.

This was a fast and relatively easy layout to do. I downloaded the pictures from the day directly onto my computer. Using Microsoft Word I inserted the pictures into a word document, arranged them in a pleasing configuration leaving a ¼ inch space between the pictures so it would look like a border, hit the print button and presto! Instant layout. All that was left was cutting a title using the Life’s a Beach cartridge, journaling on a scrap of paper left over from the title and used a flower brad to stick it on. The quote is from DCWV “Fun in the Sun” Quote Sticker Stack. Easy as pie!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Big Girl Bed

Big Girl Bed
Do you ever have one of those projects that you just can’t seem to get right?  This page was one of those. For some reason I just couldn’t get the flowers to look right, the title was the wrong color and my paper was slightly whompy-jawed, but I persevered and it all came together in the end. My hubbie made this bed for our daughter when she was 2. Now it is her 2 year old's very own big girl bed that her Poppy made.
I used the Layout from the LastingMemories Challenge which I thought was really cute.

I cut all my flowers with the Cricut in various sizes. The cartridges used where; Cake Basics, Preserves and Flower Shoppe.

 I also used A Child’s Year for the title frame and Lyrical Letters for the title. The letters are so thin that I decided to swap my blade for a Cricut pen and ‘cut’ it directly onto the frame. I used the brown pen, but against the pink it looks black so I decided to paint it with some Frosted Lace Stickles to sort of soften the look and to tie it in with the frosted strawberries on the paper.

TIP: I’ve been told that the best way to store your Stickles or glitter glue is upside down. Unfortunately the lids don’t lend themselves to being upside down. I had these little wooden do-hickeys that I got at a garage sale thinking I would use them as a stand for clothespin dolls (which I never made), however, they are perfect for holding my Stickles upside down. You can find the wooden pieces at most craft stores.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Squirrelly Business

Squirrelly Business

There’s nothing squirrelly about this little card.  Over at BBTB2 they are having shape card challenge. I thought I’d challenge myself not to pull out my trusty Wild Card cartridge. Wild Card is one of the first cartridges I bought when I first got my Cricut Expression and I still reach for it when I need a card. So this time I thought I’d break out of my comfort zone and use the Give a Hoot cartridge. I haven’t had a chance to play with it to much but when I saw the 2 squirrels (row 3:5) I thought, perfect!



I cut the basic shape at 4.5 inches using white. Tip: I always remove those white pages they put into scrapbook pages and use them for practice or when I need some white in a project. It also helps remove some of the bulk from my scrapbooks once they are completed. Then, using various shades of brown and a little white I stamped the little guy until he looked more like a squirrel. For the inside I used the Layer feature in brown for the detail. When I applied the layer it left the ears looking sort of funny on the squirrel on the left so I cut out a bow to cover the extra bump. I then cut 2 hearts freehand and glued them together with pop dots. I used the pink for the inside heart and the brown so that the heart looked like a nut from the outside. I was going to add I’M NUTS to the front and ABOUT YOU inside, but as they say, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ so I left the squirrels to state the obvious.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Elephant Memories

Elephant Memories
For my birthday this year my grand-babies went shopping with their mom and got to pick out anything in the store they thought I would want for my birthday. Now before you think that was rather extravagant you have to understand that this was a dollar store where nothing in the store costs over one dollar. I love how 1 and 2 year old mind works. I got some pretty nifty things. The 2 year old scoured the store looking for elephants because she was sure that I wanted an elephant. Since there were none to be found she settled on a multi pack of play dough and a princess jigsaw puzzle for us to play with together, an orange pink flamingo cup for my juice and solar powered dancing flowers. These were a little disappointing because they didn’t dance like the flowers on cartoons. The one year old, who has always loved to pull off my glasses got me a pair of green fun foam glasses with birds on them, a shiny compact, bright green and pink  play dough that bounces and, with coaxing from her daddy, bubba teeth. Needless to say, we spent a fun filled afternoon rolling out play dough worms, balls and other strange objects, working the puzzle, trying on the glasses and teeth and admiring ourselves in the compact. It was a wonderful birthday and we didn’t get one picture. But that’s OK. The memories are there and I may take a picture of my treasures and just journal about the day.
Since the oldest wanted to get me an elephant I made her thank you card with an elephant on it. I’m entering it in the 'Elephantly Speaking' challenge over at Bitten by the Bug 2. I used the Cricut Holiday Cakes cartridge for the elephant. The paper is from K&Company Itsy Bitsy Baby Girl Pad.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Finished Room
The room is feat accomplished! We are very happy with the way it turned out. With addition of a double bed and a bunk bed the room will sleep 4 comfortably. Our daughter and GB's came last week and tried it out. Aside from having to remove the ladder to the upper bunk so the 2-year-old wouldn't keep climbing up and down, they loved it.
As you walk into the room.

Cozy corner

We found this cool rocker at a local used furniture store. We'd never seen one like it, and thought it was a great addition to the room. Hubby mounted a beaver plew in the old trapper style to hang over the chair. I made the window curtain extra thick so the room would be nice and dark. It must have worked because the babies slept later than usual.

The bunks and bed
For bedside lighting, Hubby took 2 candle lanterns and replaced the candle holders with electric candles. The warm glow is perfect for the feel of the room. The red chest at the foot of the bunks holds all the GB's toys. All in all we are very pleased with our Santa Fe room.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

It's August and things have been hectic in our neck of the woods lately. Lots of projects in the works. My hubby has been remodeling our son’s old room. We decided on a southwestern theme. First he added beams. (see photo below) 

The beams are actually 2 x 6 boards that he roughed up to make look rough hewn. He started with some ugly, knotty, dinged up boards. The guy at Lowes was glad to see someone actually wanting the culls instead of going through the stacks looking for the prettiest boards. He then scraped and gouged them even more and then stained and sealed them. I thought they turned out great. It only took an evening for us to nail them in place. He then went back and stuccoed the ceiling and made the boards look they are built into the ceiling.
     The next step was painting. Funny how colors can fool you. We both picked the same color from the samples. When Hubby put the first coat of paint on I thought, ‘oh, no! It looks peach. I hate it.’ Fortunately once it dried overnight it was a perfect adobe color.   We decide to go with a traditional blue trim for the doors to ward off evil spirits or bugs, depending on who you talk to.  The first 2 doors were the perfect blue. Not to childish and not to harsh. Suddenly, when going over some missed spots on the first door the paint became lighter.  Like a robins egg blue, lighter. The guy that mixed the paint hadn’t let it shake long enough and it didn’t mix properly so most of the blue pigment was at the top of can and the white had settled to the bottom. Try getting that matched! The color formula didn’t really mean much of anything since it hadn’t mixed. After 3 trips to the hardware store and 3 shades of blue later, Hubby gave up and experimented with the color himself until he came up with an almost perfect match. You can see the blue swatch he was working with on the door on the left.
The doors are almost finished. The walls and ceiling have been painted and the trim is up.

 I have to brag on the doors. These 2 doors are actually hollow core interior doors. Hubby set his circular saw on a very narrow setting and cut grooves in the doors from top to bottom so it looks like planks. He finished them off with a top and bottom cross beam to make them look like old doors you would find on a log cabin. They turned out great.
Next time, the finished project.