Monday, May 30, 2011

Simple Gifts

This layout was completed for a challenge which was a tic-tac-toe format. My three in a row was "use a cut of a sun shape", "use paper ribbon or something else to create a ruffle", and "any patterned paper must be printed from the imagine". Ribbon might just be one of my favorites and the pattern from Best Friends Imagine cartridge reminded me of B's coat so I was off and running with those elements.The rest was a bit harder, since the embellishments always throw me. Things never seem quite right and often just messy so my layouts tend to be pretty simple. I was glad to be able to print a few elements from my Imagine More cartridge to put a few bits on but's still basic, and the best part is the story.

One of my favorite parts of being a Mom is getting those tiny bouquets of flowers from little hands! One pretty day in April my girls and I were in the lawn just enjoying the day when B, not quiet two at the time, handed me her first ever gift of flowers. It was so lucky my camera was already out, so the moment she put the flowers in my hand was captured. I always try to cherish those moments, and it brings to mind one of my favorite Shaker hymns/poems called "Simple Gifts" I am grateful for my girls every day and grateful for daily reminders to remain so!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Me and My Helper...the photo shoot

This is her "funny face", thanks Dora! ;)

So, as a part of the Cricut's celebration of  National Scrapbooking Day, they wanted to see pictures of all us in our scrapbooking areas. This was actually one of the most difficult "challenges" so far. I don't like my picture taken. :(

So, you would think that since we actually had a whole week to submit photos I could A) dress up and put on some make-up, and generally look my best, B) Lose 5 lbs before the dreaded camera comes out, C) Have a quiet moment and give my best smile....well of course it was D) none of the above.

As always when I am in my scrapbooking room/office, everyone comes in to talk, etc. Which is great, but when the camera comes out as well, there is no way I am getting a picture of just me. :) I don't mind but some little three year olds don't hold still and smile, plus a  12 year old isn't the best photographer for flattering shots...and let's just add in me in my throw it on, run out the door clothes, no makeup, and half the day gone running around. :) It's just everyday me I smile the most when my girls are around anyway so it is what it is!. lol
B got bored and ran off...

But this isn't the best shot after all! :)

I have to admit, it wasn't as as painful as I thought it might be and talking about pictures with my girls was a real eye opener. My girls thinks I am pretty no matter what (although my oldest suggested lip gloss)  and after all it really shouldn't matter much beyond what my daughters think. I really need to get in the picture since I am in their memories after all. Don't forget to get into your pictures too!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Fast and Cute to boot!

OK so I wanted to try to get ahead of "Birthday Season" at our house and also create something for a challenge submission at the same time, so out comes my Imagine and a few cartridges for a super fast project. The pillow bow is cut just right sized for a gift card from an original cricut cart I believe, not sure which one but probably All Wrapped Up,  and flood filled with a pattern from Imagine More Cards as well as the sentiment from the cart and then a cupcake from Better Together. The hey cupcake didn't have as much "personality to me so I separated the layers to just use the sentiment and with a different cupcake with a smile. :) I love you the Imagine can mix and match! And it was so easy to tape the one edge, pop the sides in and then place pop dots under the sentiment, add ribbon and done! Sorry for the lack of sizes but it's super easy to figure them using the preview screen on the I and now even the Expression 2 has one! How cool is that!? Enjoy....

Friday, May 6, 2011

Teacher Appreciation Week, Part 3

Well the last few gifts are done and Teacher Appreciation week is almost over. Yesterdays take in for the teachers was "fruit", while the the days big treat was a take home dessert.

G took a small container of blueberries to her teacher since she found out they were her favorite color (again with the color lol) and I hope she likes them. I saw the tape holding the blueberry container closed and knew it would come in handy! I simply used a scrap piece of cardstock and a printout sentiment punched out with the sticker on it, and just a sharpie to ink the and easy!

For the dessert, I made some Apple Caramel coffee cake and embellished with some printed cutouts from Kates Kitchen and my Imagine. I cut down the chef's head and put the dessert saying on instead. :) I put that and the 100% little label on with pop dots and taped it all down! Found an easy way to keep plastic wrap in place by accident! I put one plate under the food, wrapped it up, then put another under that to hold everything in place. Definitely gonna have to use that again!

Lastly, our cards. Today, my DD and I sent in "notes" for the teacher. My G was very adamant  about the look of the card and wanted to do an A+ card she saw in the April Cricut Circle  Magazine, but she needed much more space to write, so she allowed some design changes. LOL! She picked out the papers and allowed me to put it together...She used every bit of the 8.5X5.5 space. G loves her teacher who she's had for two years now. This teacher is possibly one of the few lovely ladies who loves my G back nearly as much as I do. G is a bit of a character (think Ramona, Junie B Jones) and it takes a special teacher! We will miss her a ton!
So, finally my card to her teacher. Sad to say but after making 5 gallons of lemonade and running to the store at 5AM for ice, etc for the luncheon, I didn't leave enough time for her card. So I found this pretty flower partially made and just winged it. I cut the background, the butterfly and the sentiment out quickly not judging the sizes well apparently. :) Throw a few pop dots under the elements and Viola! SO this is what I came up with....not really any worse than one I would have slaved over and torn my hair out for, so this might be my new modus operandi!

Best of all it left time for my handwritten note. I put one of my favorite quotes inside. "We can do no great things, only small things with great love" by Mother Teresa. I surely know that when my daughter's teacher came into school each and every day, with very small actions but with great love of teaching and children, she had a great big impact on my daughter and me too. Thanks to all of you teachers out there who truly make a difference each and every day!!

PS  Look at how proud my teachers would be, using French, Latin and my lemonade escapade required lots of serial conversion and math!! :) Um, but please don't check my punctuation and grammar. Enjoy your day everyone!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Teacher Appreciation Week, Part 2

This was filled with Dove Chocolates!
This was for "school supplies" day
 Every year I work with the PTA to provide a week of appreciation for out Elementary teachers...but in the past that meant I would only give my daughter's teachers a note and a small token at the end of the week. This year I wanted my daughter to be able to take something in each day!

Our PTA sends home a note to parents giving them a suggestion for a small gift for each day. Monday was cut flowers(no picture sorry). Tuesday was sweet treats, Wednesday is "school supplies. Since I never seem to post until after the holiday I wanted to show what I've made so far...

Monday was a mad dash for my G to go out and cut five red tulips from around "her" tree. A tree we planted just for her, so she was excited to do it. I simply wrapped them in white tissue paper and tied it up with some pretty red satin ribbon. A friend had posted a link to a blog that supplied me with a PDF of tags. Of course she made some fabulous cupcakes you can see here at But I just printed the page on card stock and cheated by using my Stampin-up scalloped punch for the circular tag and stuck it on top of the ribbon LOL.

The next day was a box from Wrap-it-up cartridge cut at the max, 11.25 inches I believe. It was so easy to just put the red and green behind the apple cut out, and then I decided my project needed a bit more so I added ribbon and some faux stitching. Not so neatly, and after I saw the pic I noticed I missed one side! Opps! So the teacher was thrilled and G was thrilled, since my G did a bit of sleuthing to find out her teachers favorite color was that blue. :)

So Tuesday is "school supplies" day. Originally I wanted to do some very different projects but a sick kiddo necessitated some quick re-planning. It's OK, I had plenty of time to think while I lay awake with a three year old in bed with me. ;)
Just another view to show the sides....
 I did make the schoolhouse box I wanted from Wrap it Up again at fit to page...but I had to make a quick run to the grocery store of all places for some school supplies. I was thinking box mark, fancy paperclips, a clothespin magnet I saw someone else do. Alas, I had shrinky dinks and some odds and ends from the 24 hour grocery store at 5AM. I did find some magnet clips and paperclips and highlighters and post-its. Oh, and staples, which went unembellished.

The box needs very little tape and stand about 4 inches tall.

OK, so the box. It was a bit tricky to figure the layers. I wasn't too thrilled after all my planning to see the top portion had green showing through. :( Well the other layers I was able to fit and figure using design software, but it wasn't too easy.
Not thrill with the end result and I had to use my glue gun!

I like these apples. :)
My apple paper clips in a leftover bag and a topper. Before handwritten sentiment.

I was pretty happy with the magnetic clips but it took four tries to get the two of them finished And I had to break out my glue gun. Not my favorite tool. We just don't get along. As for the shrinky dinks, the white opauqe stuff just does not work well in the Imagine, but I found the "rough n ready" style which is roughed up on one side and looks slightly frosted is fabulous!

The apple is printed and cut from Kate's Kitchen on my Imagine. The apples on the white for the magnet clips are 4 inches while the clear ones on the paper clips are 4 and 3. I printed with best quality and both Matte and glossy finish settings and i didn't see too much difference in the finished product. It cut really well with a very sticky mat, on highest blade depth and highest pressure on 2 multicut. Honestly it may have cut through on one pass! The thing that made the biggest difference was creating an offset that was fairly wide to make the stem more secure. Some are cut closer to the apple and some with more of a border.

I also lowered the temp to 315 degrees instead of 325 as the package calls for since I was running back and forth to the Imagine and oven. I placed them on parchment paper and then placed another piece n top to keep curling at a minimum. I got these suggestions from the Cricut Circle blog and I think it really worked better than chasing the shrinky dinks around with the heat gun. :) It's much easier to time it right in the oven too. In the past I've found that overcooking them causes them to lose their shine, but they otherwise come out fine.

The paperclip apples I simply punched with a regular circle hole punch offset on the side, and then used a toothpick to push a small ribbon through after shrinking. It wasn't too difficult to tie a small knot then place them in a little leftover embellishment bag with a topper. I was most happy with this element of the project.

The two clips I got done are simply clipped onto the sides while the bag of apple paper clip/bookmarks are fit inside with the other supplies and tied together with a ribbon. Hope you enjoyed my projects!

Teacher Appreciation Week...Part 1

One of my springtime activities is the Teacher Appreciation crafted gifts from the PTA each year. There's a group of ladies who willingly help and craft about anything I throw at them! Together we assemble three gifts to place in the mailboxes on Mon/Tue/Wed. Then we put together a presentation for a gift card at the end of the year.

This year was a bit hectic but we managed to put together 84 of each gift! There is a set of three cards, a "pencil" made with a Hershey's Kiss, and a wrapped candy bar(not shown)...sorry for the poor pictures but they had to get out the door! :)

Fore the cards I used CTMH Fanfare collection papers and mixed it up with some stamps I've had. The basic blue with the stars is simply a cut from Stand and Salute cartridge and  some ribbon. The Sentiment and the red edges are cut the same size from Lacy Labels and then the red cut and offset. The final card has a CTMH sentiment and some of the leftover strips from the other projects. I was happy to be able to minimize the paper used and use almost every bit!

The pencil was a rectangle of yellow rolled around a mentos and a Hershey's kiss. I had seen some done with Rollos but the committee wanted to use a less expensive candy. It really was necessary to put a strip of tape onto the candy to hold it in, plus another bit to hold onto the kiss. I suggest using Rollos. LOL. Once we had it rolled up I put a strip of double sided scotch tape around it a bit from the end. That way i could place the pink on half of the tape and then the grey fit right under it. Just a bit of my favorite Sookwang tape held the edge of the strips of paper on the ends and along the last side of the yellow. These were probably the most challenging of the crafts.

The gift card holder is a 5 inch circle with the edges folded in. I scored them at 1.25 on three sides then secured it with a bit of tape and some ribbon. There is also a printed sentiment card in it with a stamped "picnic cloth." from a CTMH set. We had five teachers out on leave so they got a little "gift bag."

I think my favorite thing of all was working with some beautiful ribbon. It is from PaperMart  and you would never believe the price. I love to get some basic colors in bulk from them.The double sided satin was really soft and very pretty. I used a red and a white wide ribbon and then the striped for some fun...

Next my personal gifts to the teachers....

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