Saturday, January 22, 2011

Create Decorative Scrapbook Spines with Cricut

I got a Cricut cutting system for Christmas! I was so excited. I played around with one at a scrapbooking retreat about a year ago. Wasn't sure it was right for me but every time I have to buy new sticker letters or die cuts, I think about the Cricut. And wow, I didn't realize just HOW much I would like it! 

I took it with me recently on a scrapbooking retreat and used it the entire time I was there. Here are a few examples of some simple things I created. Still learning; these were pretty easy but really brought out the details of the page.

This page from Dash Down Greenville 5k Run has accents from the Sweethearts Cartridge. I used the Heart flowers in two different colors of green to make them look like shamrocks. 

For this Snow in Dallas page I used the Ashlyn's Alphabet Cartridge.

This 4th of July journal box was made with the frame setting and cutting out the phrase "4th of July" from the Stand and Salutes Cartridge.

Once I got home I was reminded I need to get my albums embossed so I know what dates each covers. It can be expensive per spine and I have 8 to do! Then the Cricut came to mind. What if I made a sort of name plate and used some decorative ribbon to attach it? Hmmm....After a few trial cuts I think I figured out a good look. 

This look depends on how your albums are created and how thick they are. My albums are all Creative Memories albums and all are quite thick. 

Here you can see my already embossed album spines and my new date plate spine create with the Cricut. 

 I used the George and Basic Shapes Cartridge for the oval and Opposites Attract for the letters. The ribbon is cut from some sheer ribbon I got from Michael's. Mine happens to be grey/silver but you could use anything that coordinated. 

I used the So Saffron yellow from Stampin Up. It was the closest I had to the color of yellow of the album. I cut the oval at size 4" and a shadow in black. Numbers are 1" tall from Opposites Attract

There are lots of "tags" in the George and Basic Shapes Cartridge; I plan on trying some other versions later. If you try this technique, let me know, would love to see other ideas! 

Glue numbers on, then thread ribbon through the top through the back, up through the bottom. Glue number plate (oval) to the oval back. Tip: Let it fully dry to make sure it is dry and secure. I noticed mine is pulling away a little on the sides.
Then tie to the spine securely with not very much  wiggle room(but not to tight as to crease the spine) and wrap it so the knot is on the back side like below.  You can move number plate up and down depending on where you want the label. If you want to make a bow or tie, leave the excess ribbon on the front instead of wrapping it to the back. Replace your spine. 

This can be done with permanent spines too as long as you have room to thread the ribbon through top to bottom.

Inside of spine; knot is on this side unless you want a decorative tie.

Here are additional ones I created in silver instead of a color that matches the album. 

I am fascinated with what the Cricut can do, I hope to post more of my creations soon!

Friday, January 21, 2011

First Crochet Project: Amigurumi Dolls

I recently took some books to Half Price Books to see what I could get. (Purging) They have you wait in the store while they review what you brought, I am sure this is a purposeful tactic to get you to buy books. It worked.

I looked through the craft books hoping to find a book on knitting with sock yarn and stumbled upon a great book "Crobots". (See image to the left.) It is a great little book with the cutest amigurumi creatures. I particularly like the Geisha at the end; it has 4 wheels though, meaning it is hard, so I will tackle it after I have made a few more of the other ones.

One problem, I don't know how to crochet.

The book has instructions on how to get started and how hard can it be right? I knit. I sew. I can crochet. LOL

I bought the appropriate hook at Jo-Ann's and some cheap yarn and went home to get started. It says in the book a good crocheter can make one of these things in a few hours. New people, a little longer. I'm on the new side.

The instructions as they turn out are not that easy to follow. Maybe if you already know what you are doing, they are a good refresher. Me? I found them confusing and I read them S-L-O-W-L-Y and over and over again.

I finally gave up and went on youtube and found a bunch of videos on how to get started. Youtube is a GREAT resource to learn just about anything. There are good and bad videos so you have to search a little but I saw great tips in most of the videos I watched.

After a few tries at the "magic circle" I managed to make a few cute amigurumi dolls/monsters.

White Amigurumi Dog
This cute dog is my first amigurumi. A friend suggested the pink collar and I like it, it makes her sassy.

Techno Monster

This guy is so cute. He originally had old style head phones on that went over his head. I modified to to make them white and gave him a little "mp3" player.

Audrey is my favorite. She is quirky, made from random things in my house. I didn't quite have everything the book said so I improvised and I think she came out better. I particularly love her hat.

I'm having a lot of fun making these...I can't wait to get started on my next one! If you want to see the rest of my amigurumi, check out my etsy store. 

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Fingerless Gloves Galore!

I wanted to post these before the holidays but I got an order for a bunch of these and that pretty much kept my hands busy till Christmas!

Handmade fingerless gloves

I decided to pick up my knitting needles again and see if I could make something function, that I could sell on my etsy site. This all started because I ran in the 2010 White Rock Marathon Relay and I was really wishing I had some of those cheap throw-away gloves. (People wear them when they start but once they are warm they just toss them to the side, volunteers come by and pick them up and usually donate them to a shelter.)

But in my crafty mind I was trying to think of how I could make some myself. I taught myself to knit so I only know some basic stitches. I've seen plenty of tv shows and videos on how to knit and all of them seem pretty complex when it comes to knitting in the round, like for fingers. During yoga sometimes my mind wanders and it starts to think on its own about things. Most recently it was about gloves and how I could knit some. I decided fingerless gloves would be perfect. I could tuck my fingers into them to keep them warm but they would also allow me to still use my fingers (important in today's tech world). And the best fingers to knit!

After a few attempts, I made what turned out to be a pretty nice looking pair of fingerless gloves.

Green fingerless gloves

During the holidays I let my nieces try them on. They were too big but it did give me the idea to make smaller ones for girls. Here is a picture of some I made recently for my niece...I knitted tiny flowers for the front of them too.

Enjoy...and don't be shy, feel free to buy some on etsy!