Barnyard bookmarks!

I made these a while back using the trial version of Cricut Design Studio and my George cartridge.

Animal bookmarks designed in Cricut DS

Animal bookmarks designed in Cricut DS

If you don’t have the trial version of DS why not? It’s free and you can download it here. Each of the bookmarks consist of a body and a head. When you cut them out and glue them together leave bottom half of the head glue/tape free so you can slip it over the page you want to mark. KWIM? PS if you are currently using SCAL with your Cricut you already have DS installed.

I thought this would be a nice project to do with the kids now that school is gearing up again. If you know any teachers that would like to use these in their classroom please send them to my blog so they can download it. Here is a “print and cut” version so anyone without DS can do the project. You will need to freehand the tail on the horses or use yarn. For best results decorate your animal before gluing! Click to download each, the pig, horse and the elephant.

Enjoy and have a great Labor Day!

*I fixed the Design Studio link, It will take you to Provo Craft where you can get the newest version that is compatable with Sure Cuts a Lot.

Leslie’s Wowie Cake Recipe

I get asked for egg-free and dairy free recipes a lot. Recently more from parents with children with milk/dairy allergies. Here’s a good one that my friend Leslie made yesterday and was kind enough to share. It’s light and spongy (unusual for a vegan cake) and she topped it with a dusting of sugar. I’m a frosting girl but this was moist and delicious without it! Talk about calorie savings!

You will need:

1 1/2 cups flour

1 Cup sugar

1/4 cup cocoa

1t baking soda

1/2 t salt

*mix all dry ingredients together then add:

1/3 cup oil

1cup COLD water

1T vinagar

Mix until smooth and shiny. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Makes a 9×13 cake. Leslie says that her mom gave her this recipe and no matter how low on groceries you are you usually have the ingredients to make this!

Have a great weekend!

Cricut Machine and cartridges on sale at Custom Crops!

I just got an email from Custom Crops an they have almost every cartridge for the Cricut on sale for $39! And the expression is on sale for $280 with free shipping! The sale is over tonight at midnight so hurry! I have orderd from them and they are legit! Best, Lindsay

How to make an SVG file with any coloring page!

If you are a parent you are probably asked to provide “on-demand” coloring pages for you brood on a daily basis. Thanks to the wonders of the Internet you can find any character they would like with a quick Google search. So I thought to myself today “Hmmmm, I wonder if I could take these free coloring pages and convert then to SVG files so I can cut them with my Cricut using SCAL software.” And guess what? I can, and I’ll show you how to do it too! Also if you want a layered “Hello Kitty SVG file you can grab one at Candice’s blog, but I just needed a simple outline so I had to make mine myself.)

I wanted to make name badges for my kids backpacks for the first day of school so I asked them who they wanted on their badges. Lila wanted “Hello Kitty”

Maizy wanted “Ariel”

And Jack wanted “Spidy”

Note: If you have Cricut markers you can save yourself a lot of time, aggravation and paper. I’ll explain when we get there. By now you know me, I like my aggravation:-)

Step 1 Find a coloring page. Type “free__________coloring page” in a search engine and choose from millions of images.

Step 2 Right Click on the image and “save as” and save it somewhere you can find it like the desktop.

Step 3 (only do this if you need to remove unwanted elements from the page such as extra characters like in Ariel or the rest of Spiderman’s body.) Open up you image editing software (I use Paint Shop Pro but Photoshop will work too, if you don’t have either try GIMP software, it’s free, it’s good I hear although I’ve never used it) Use you selection tool remove anything you do not want in the image. I like the Lasso tool but use whatever, you can even take away stray marks with the eraser tool. Save the image.

Step 4 open Inkscape (also a freebie) and select the “Arrow” in the upper left colum of tools. Click on your image. Click on the Path menu (top center of workspace) then click “Trace bitmap”. A window will open, click update and you will see your image in the window. Click OK and close the window. Now you will see your image with resizing arrows in a box around it. Click path, the “Object to path”. Now Save it and make sure it is saved as an SVG file. Such as Ariel.svg

Step 5 Open SCAL and under file click “import SVG” choose your file and it will appear on the SCAL/Cricut cutting mat. Resize and hit “Cut”.

That’s all there is to it! Now about the markers. Some cartoons are very detailed and the Cricut can cut them but it’s a pain to glue and stick tiny little cut out features, So I reccomend using a marker before you cut. For example on the mermaid¬† (I freehand drew it but it would look much better had I done it with a cricut marker) put the marker in the blade holder in the cricut and click “cut”. Take out the marker and put back the blade. Under the Properties box in SCAL change the style to blackout then press “cut.” You will have a perfectly drawn and cut image. Wish I thought of that first!

Finished Badges lamenated with eyelets and string.

Finished Badges lamenated with eyelets and string.

To finish I used chalk to color hello kitty, colored pencils and metallic watercolors to color ariel and a sharpie to fill in the web on spidy. I used a 3-M gloss laminating sheet to laminate them and added eyelets with my Crop-A-Dial and string. This is the most impressed my children have ever been with my crafting! Happy Dance! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and happy cutting!

You’re The Man card and markers on sale!

Hi there, here is another card I did using Bic Mark-Its and a Prismacolor blender to get the look of Copics. If you want to read my faux Copic tutorials you can check them out here and here. I just got my Jerry’s Artarama catalogue in the mail yesterday and their Prismacolor markers are on sale for $2 each! If you don’t already have a colorless blender now is a good time to grab one since they are $4+ in stores! Also I have a $10 off coupon code: JAJB082 (not sure if it’s an “o” or a zero) and it good on ANY size order! A nice chance to stock up on some pastel shades or colors where you want a nice fine tip or a good wide one. So here is the card I made, I’m a girly-girl so manly cards do not come easily!

Inkadinkado, Studio G

a 10 minute card with bic Mark-Its. Stamps: Inkadinkado, Studio G

Yes, those are pink tagger tails on the card, their all I had, gimme a break will ya! Word to the wise, make sure you don’t do what I did and punch your taggertails through the back of the card or it will not open…one of those days. Keep crafting and enjoy the sale!

2 Tips: I used my Sizzix Gelly-o dies to make the bookplate out of a scrap of mat board. Ask your local framer if you can have some scraps and you can make custom chipboard embellishment with you Sizzix, big shot or other old fashioned die cut machine! Also I cut the Thank You stamp apart so it would fit in the frame.

PS if you are in the central Maine area on September 6 2008 check out my sister’s shop: Bry-ann’s Art’s and Crafts rt. 202 Lakeview Drive in China Maine 968-2498. She will have the entire store on sale 40% off the entire day! She has the brand spanking new BoBunny fall and winter papers in (she is waiting for the sale to get them out!) plus new Core’denations (spelling yikes!) card stock plus yarn, fabric, Windsor & Newtons full line of artists paints, tole painting supplies and more. If you are local don’t miss this sale! There, now you have had you fill of daily propaganda!

Stamping with watercolor and watercolor crayons

Hold on to you heat-guns guys because I have a cool technique to show you! Did You know that you can stamp with watercolors? No not stamp, then watercolor, stamp WITH them. Here’s how. Get a stamp and lay it rubber side up on your work space. Gather your supplies: white card stock or watercolor paper, a brush, a palette of watercolor paints, a spray bottle with water in it and a bucket of water. Wet your brush and pick up some color from your palette. Paint it directly on the rubber portion of your stamp that you want that color. Rinse your brush and add more colors to your stamp. When the rubber is completely colored flip the stamp over and press to the paper. Mist the stamp with water and stamp again on another sheet of paper. You should be able to get 3 good images before recoloring. It will look like this:

stamped with watercolor paint on watercolor paper

stamped with watercolor paint on watercolor paper

stamped with watercolor paint on watercolor paper

stamped with watercolor paint on watercolor paper

You can also use watercolor crayons. You will need watercolor crayons, paper and a bucket of water. Dip the crayon quickly in the water and color a portion of your stamp. Repeat with other colors. Stamp as described above. It should look like this:

stamped with watercolor crayons on card stock

stamped with watercolor crayons on card stock

You can also use a clean wet brush to “pull” color around on the paper after you stamp to give it a painterly look. Have fun with this technique, it’s one of my favorites!

A Cool Freebie at SisTV!

Happy Monday! I found an awesome scrappy website this weekend where you can watch tons of mini scrapbook TV shows for free. It is called Scrap in Style TV or SIStv and it’s gonna be big! OK it’s already big but just discovered it LOL! You can check it out here, be prepared to waste some serious time here. They also have a gallery and forums and a cute boutique for digi and paper scrappers. You can grab this cute printable tag freebie in their digi shop here.

Free printable tags at sistv!

Free printable tags at sistv!

Another great site with crafty/scrappy tv shows id TV weekly, you can check them out here!
Have a great day!

A SVG Freebie for you!

I’ll warn you, this post will be longer than usual so grab a frosty cold beverage and get comfy. As you know I love using my Sure Cuts A lot software (SCAL) with my Cricut. I just learned how to design my own files that I can cut with SCAL and my Cricut using a free program called Inkscape.¬† I love the look of artisan shapes and thought “I’d like to have a cool bracket frame”, well it was super easy to make in SCAL by welding 4 parenthesis brackets together (you could do it in Design Studio as well for that matter) but I also would like to share the file with others so they can resize it however they want so I make one in Inkscape and saved it as a SVG file so you can use it with SCAL and a Cricut and hopefully other die cutting machines. If you are scrappin it old school you can download Inkscape, resize the shape how you want it, print journaling in it if desired, print it on the paper of your choice, cut it out and put it on your card or layout. Easy Peasy! Here is a layout I did using my bracket frame, I glittered the frame and placed it over a pic of me and my daughters and I used the middle of the frame as my journaling block. I stamped some swirls around the edges using the large stamp in Inque Boutique’s Storyboard set. I love how you get 2 shapes from one die cut (3 if you use the negative space around the frame!)

SCALariffic scrapbook page!

SCALariffic scrapbook page!

I went a little overboard with the glitter!

I went a little overboard with the glitter!

Then I decided a shaped card would be pretty so I imported my shape into SCAL and made it fill half the mat (I am using the original 6″x12″ Cricut) and clicked “weld” then I copy and pasted the shape again (to make sure bot halves of my card would be the same size) then I flipped my second shape (to keep the card symmetrical) clicked weld and overlapped the two shapes on the edges. That’s also how I made the scallop card with the glitter in it.

Martha Stewart & Inque Boutique

Bracket Birthday Card, Stamps: Martha Stewart & Inque Boutique

Best Wishes Card with MS and IB stamps.

Best Wishes Card with MS and IB stamps.

Click here for the SVG file. I hope you enjoy it. If you have any trouble please leave me a comment and I’ll try to help you. If you want to download Inkscape click here. If you don’t have SCAL you can get it here, it’s $70 but you can download a 10 free trial to see if you like it. The trial version will cut horozontal lines through your design as a watermark but you can see how well it works before you buy.

I also cut all of the flourishes, swirls and title in SCAL. Fonts used were all freebies: Victorian LET, Designs Galore and KR Swash Buckler.

Thanks for reading through this long post! Have a great weekend!

Do you want free paper-crafting templates?

Of corse you do! I used a free template from Stampington to make this funky little bird and they have lots of great templates free for the taking here.

Bird made using a "Tempting Template"

Bird made using a "Tempting Template"

Here are some paper shoes I made with a template I made:

Groovy paper shoes

Groovy paper shoes

And here is the template. Right click and choose “save as”. Print on a full sheet of card stock then cut out and trace on to whatever paper you want!

The template for the paper shoes

The template for the paper shoes

And for anything else you can imagine making out of paper check out these two sites: Mirkwood designs and House of Stir Fry (don’t let the name fool you there are lots of good templates here!)

Enjoy!

PS I want to thank Jen and Melissa for their sweet blog awards this week, you guys are the best!

Looky Looky!!! A toot and 2 tips!

How surprised was I to look through my mail and find this when I returned from our family trip to New Hampshire! I submitted this colored pencil artwork to the Decorative Painter Magazine in December and it’s finally in print! A 5-page article! WoooHooo!

The Decorative Painter Fall 2008

The Decorative Painter Fall 2008

OK now that I’ve tooted my own horn here’s something you might actually be interested in :-) Do you want free shrink plastic? Of corce you do and chances are you have some sitting in your fridge. What, you ask. You can use any #6 plastic as shrink plastic. I’ve seen it in Yogurt cups, the flimsy squat kind, just look for the # 6 on the bottom inside the chasing arrows. Soak it in hot water for a few minutes to remove the lable, cut it into your desired shape and “Cook” it with a heat gun until it shrinks and thickens. I love this b/c our town’s recycling program only takes #2 plastic and otherwise I’d throw this away.

Now how about free stylish wrapping paper? Simple, wrap your gifts in black and white newsprint then use foam stamps and acrylic paint. How chic!

Recycled Wrapping Paper!

Recycled Wrapping Paper!

That’s all for now! Have a great Thursday!

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