Sunday, July 20, 2014

IMMEDIATE URGENT CARD REQUEST!

I know this is really short notice but I am hoping my card making friends can grab a card or make a quick card and send to this little boy for his birthday. I saw this on Facebook but then again on Yahoo news. I have my card addressed and ready to go in the mail tomorrow so it will make it for his birthday on the 25th.

Danny  is a 5-year-old Massachusetts boy battling cancer said all he wants for his upcoming birthday is a box of birthday cards. You can read his full story here -

DANNY'S STORY


Here is the mailing information for Danny:
Danny Nickerson
P.O. Box 212
Foxboro, MA 02035

So folks if you have an extra card, have time to make a quick card and a stamp please take time to  get one done immediately and mail out tomorrow. Let's make this little boy's wish come true!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

WHO KNEW...

THERE IS LIFE OUTSIDE MY CRAFTROOM???

Okay thought I better check in and give ya'll a heads up on why I haven't been posting much lately. As most of you know I have an abundance of friends, not acquaintances, but true friends that I have had for years, some 20+ years matter of fact *okie looks up gives God a little shout out for blessing and enriching her life with such wonderful friends*. These are the type of friends I don't have to talk to all the time or be with them every day and we may go months without seeing each other or talking to each other but when we do then it's like no time has passed.

Around the beginning of June my friend Nancy, whom I've known since college, and I decided we needed a dinner date. Well that one fateful dinner date has lead to us spending many hours together during the last month. She has introduced me to the fact that there is life outside my craftroom! I have met new people, had interesting conversations with strangers *okie laughs at some of the interesting conversations she has had with Nancy*, been to an outdoor concert, been to the movies, had someone to spend time with in the pool and just basically a best friend to hang out with and do things with. And ya know what...It's great!

Nancy and I have kids around the same age and actually our girls use to spend a lot of time together when they were in grade school and either her daughter was at my house or my daughter at her house most every weekend for awhile. Her daughter even got snowed in at my house one time during an unexpected snow storm and while Nancy was quite worried her daughter kept telling her she was fine and was having fun. Her daughter, Brianne, actually even potty trained my daughter. They went to the same daycare and the daycare worked on a buddy system of potty training. Brianne is older than Shiane and every time Brianne needed to use the bathroom she would go get Shiane and take her to the bathroom. I always said I needed to pay for Brianne's college for that wonderful feat!

So anyway now you know what has been keeping me busy lately and I'm going to just enjoy this time with my friend right now because it seems like our times together over the years have been much like the changing of the seasons. I figure, like always, it will eventually come the season where it goes dormant for awhile so for now I will enjoy sowing our oats, watching our friendship bond grow and harvest the wonderful friendship we share.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Cricut Cartridge Storage - SVG File Available

Quite some time ago I made a post CRICUT CART STORAGE and included videos on how I stored my cartridges and handbooks. I have long given up a on the cartridge based system but I still think this was the best way I found to store all those carts and handbooks and it took up a lot less space and made it easy to find what cartridge I was looking to use. I have gotten some questions lately about the little cart box and if I have the file still available. I made the original file in Design Studio and then I did make a file to use with the Gypsy.

I know that the new Cricut Explore has a program where you can use SVG files and I am now sharing the file in SVG format *okie  hears the gasps from those who  know that okie hates converting files* because I truly believe this is an awesome way to store those pesky little cartridges.








This is an old picture from when I did the file in Design Studio so don't pay attention to all the lines.  To assemble fold on all the scored lines, which will be cut for you. You can just line it up and fold, no need for a bone folder *is that what it is called?* for this. Apply adhesive *I used my ATG gun* to the side flaps on the back side and then apply adhesive on the front side bigger flaps.

Fold the smaller side flaps up and then fold the larger flaps to the back of the box.

Oh and I did use a corner rounded just because I thought it looked better.

This file is made to cut 6 boxes at a time.


Download File Here: CRICUT CART BOX SVG

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

There Is An Easier Way To Do Large Vinyl Projects!

So after thinking I was a smarty pants about figuring out how to make larger vinyl projects I was informed that Make The Cut has a "Tiler" function that does the same thing for you and it is much simpler! Bryan from MTC was kind enough to share some links with me and I found this video to be most beneficial and I thought I would share it with you guys.

MAKE THE CUT TILER FUNCTION

I am terrible about not reading instructions for things and I guess if I had taken time to read the manual I would have found this out long ago. Oh well I still say I was a bit genius to figure out the method I did anyway HA HA HA.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Cutting Large Vinyl Projects - Tutorial

For so long I thought I was limited to cutting the largest vinyl projects to a 12x24 cutting mat and there have been some things I would have liked to cut larger but never thought outside the box, which is odd for me since I think my brain tends to live outside the box most of the time. But I have now learned that I can cut things much larger and this is gonna be an EPIC change in things I do with vinyl!

A few weeks my friend Dave and his 12 year old son Tayden came over to visit and Tayden was a bit mesmerized by my craftroom. Tayden had a lot of questions and was rather intrigued about things I could cut. He asked if I could cut him a Ghostrider for his bedroom wall. I told him if he could find me a decent picture that I might be able to cut it for him. He sat on the computer looking at pictures for quite sometime and finally found one he liked. I looked at it nervously and told him "I can't promise I can get a clean trace and cut it but I'll try my best".

After several traces, cleaning up images, figuring out how to cut it bigger and then putting it to the test this was the end result.

The image is approximately 30" x 22", so almost 3 times as large as the largest vinyl project I have cut! When I thought about cutting this I knew I should probably document how I did it in case there were questions and I decided to go ahead and do a tutorial.





The tutorial is for Make The Cut only since I do not know how other programs work. Please don't ask me how to make it work in other programs because I will likely cuss you out *okie gets ready to give the evil eye to anyone who asks*. You have been warned!

WORD OF CAUTION: Continue to save your project throughout the process. I would have for people to go through all this and then lose the project because they didn't save periodically.

First make your image as large as you can to work with while still seeing the full image on the screen. 

Make two lines that are longer than the image and place them where you need them. Since I don't know how big of an image you want to cut I can't tell you specifics. Now copy both and paste on another mat, you will need this for line placement in a few steps down.






Next do a "boolean" join and choose the option "B-A Difference" and hit apply. This will split the image into sections.









With the image selected, in other words the box should be around the image, click the "break" function as to break up all the image.

Now you should have all the grey boxes around the pieces of the image.










Now take your mouse and box all of the middle image together and click "Join". The two outer parts of the image should still have all the little grey boxes around them.











Since my middle section was taller I was able to draw a box around the outer pieces without it effecting the section I just made. You may need to do each side individually depending on your project. Once you have the outer sides selected then click on "delete".








All that should be left on your mat at this point is the image that was in the middle that was "joined".














Copy your middle image and paste it to a NEW LAYER on the mat that you copy and pasted earlier. You should see something like this. I keep my layers in different colors so I can see them more easily.










Break your lines you have joined so you can move them independently and line the OUTER edge of the line to edge of the middle image. 











Next, "HIDE" your middle image. Select the long lines and join those lines. Then select both images that are showing on the mat and use the "BOOLEAN JOIN" function as explained in previous step.











Do an image "Break" and get rid of the middle section. You can join the outer sections individually before or after you delete the middle image.







Now you should be able to faintly see the middle image from the hidden layer and you should have two outer images. If you haven't joined those individually then do so now.









Make the hidden layer visible so you can see if your images are lined up correctly. If not then you screwed up somewhere or I didn't explain it right but I'm going with the you screwed up theory. And that is mainly for my friend Carmen because she tends to try and blame me when she is not listening and following what I am trying to tell her what to do.







Next zoom out so you have plenty of white space on your screen and the image and mat look small.












 
Select all images and rotate 90 degrees. 

















Now resize your image to how big you want. I chose to go almost 24 inches on this one. Since I was using a Cricut cutting mat I had to be mindful of the margins since they don't fit perfectly in my Pazzles machine.














You will now want to add each section to a "NEW LAYER" so you will be able to "HIDE" the layers you are not cutting at the time. See the "LAYERS" menu for example if needed.









Now this is just a little tip and not necessary for all images - My image had a lot of "nodes" so I chose to break each image and then join parts of each one and then adding to new layers as I went so when I got ready to cut my machine didn't freak out due to there being so many "nodes". If you do this just make sure you know exactly which main image you are cutting and don't cut the wrong one. If this frightens you then just copy and paste each image to a new mat and do it that way so it isn't as confusing.

Now you are ready for cutting. Right before cutting you may want to say a little prayer or have some wine to calm the nerves.

After cutting and weeding the images then you need to decide if you are going to just keep them separate or join them together for application. If you are doing this for someone to apply later then you might want to join the image before adding the transfer tape.

I did join this image and to join I cut along the inner edges of the two outside images with scissors. On the back of the middle image I put tape and let it overhang the edge so when I laid the outside image down it would be taped together. 

I did find it easier to keep the middle image on the cutting mat to join the long sheets together so I didn't have it moving around.








Here is a close up so you can see how the image matches up. Now it might not be absolutely perfect but it should be close enough.

Now just add your transfer tape and you are ready to go! 

I certainly hope you guys enjoyed this tutorial and that someone uses it because it was a real pain the ass to take all the pictures, edit them, watermark them, upload them and then write all the steps out! *okie falls out chair laughing*

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Just A Little Reminder

I have gotten some questions and requests lately concerning my file downloads and all of those were concerning using the Cricut. I no longer use the Cricut and I don't know how to use any other program that ProvoCraft put out other than Design Studio, but even that hasn't been used in almost 2 years now.

I no longer support any files that were designed for the Cricut and that used Design Studio. Do not ask for me to convert those files to SVG or MTC format, it isn't as easy as converting since the file has to be completely redesigned.

The files I make now are for Make The Cut, which can use a variety of cutters and sometimes I will covert those designs to SVG when I feel like it.

Off my soap box now.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

My 3 Fathers...Happy Father's Day

Today is Father's Day, a day where we celebrate the father in our lives. For me it is a day that I have memories throughout the day of not only my daddy, but the other father's in my life. I was blessed enough to have three official fathers and then a few others who have been father figures to me.

Father Cecil
First off there was Cecil Ira Horner, the man who was my biological father. I know very little about him other than he passed away when I was still an infant and he was in his early sixties when I was born. While I don't know anything about this man who is my father, I do owe him my life because without him I would not exist.

Daddy Clyde
Next in my life I had Clyde Kinkade, who I got to call daddy from the time I was 18 months old until I was 5 1/2 years old. The Kinkade's were my foster parents after I was removed from my biological mother and are the ones I remember as being my parents during early childhood. One of my memories of Clyde was that if I got in trouble I could run to him and jump in his lap and he would save me from the punishment my foster mother Carol was about to give. I remember the feeling of safety and love of sitting in that over-sized chair in Clyde's lap with his arms wrapped around me as he shielded me from the horrors of a mild tongue lashing.

Another fond memory was the times I would go with Carol to see Clyde at work. He worked for the Rock Island Railroad and while I don't necessarily remember the reasons we would go I do remember the excitement of being at the railroad and sometimes seeing him in the engineer car or standing on the back of the caboose *okie suddenly realizes she hasn't seen a caboose on a train in years*. Oddly, I have no idea what he did at the railroad but in my mind I thought he drove all the trains and ran the railroad.

About 3 years after I was adopted my parents allowed me to go back and visit the Kinkade's one day and I still remember getting out of the car and running into Clyde's arms. I'm not sure how hard that was for my adoptive parents to see but it says a lot about them to be able to allow me to see the family that cared for me for years. After that initial visit I got to go spend time with my foster family during school breaks. Sadly Clyde got cancer about a year and a half after the visits started. During his illness my foster parents made the decision of not having me visit as they didn't want me to remember him in that condition but wanted all my memories of him being happy and healthy. My adoptive mother took me to the funeral and we stayed afterward visiting with the family. I did return to visiting with the family on the next school break and I can remember my foster mother always trying to make sure I was not feeling sad. On my future visits Carol would tell me stories about Clyde and it always made me feel like a little part of him would always be with me. As I have gotten older the memories have faded but the love I have for this first Daddy that I remember will never fade.

Daddy Don - The Daddy of all Daddy's!
As I have mentioned before, and then again just a few paragraphs ago I was adopted when I was 5 1/2 and my new Daddy was Don Thompson. My first memory of Daddy was of him and Momma sitting in chairs and smiling at me and my brother. I remember the judge asking us if we wanted them to be our new parents and I guess they looked friendly enough because we said yes. I won't go into further details about all this because this particular post is about Father's Day so I will keep it at that, at least for now. On the way home I do remember calling them by their first name and them correcting me and telling me that they were Daddy and Momma from now on, and so it was.

Daddy was about 5'11" with short legs and a long torso and had arms quite like Popeye and fists that would give Thor's hammer a run for it's money. He was a butcher and back then beef was still handled in grocery stores as hanging beef and Daddy could toss those things around like they were sacks of flour, at least to my young mind and wondering eyes that is what it looked like. Either way I think it lent to him maintaining strength and muscle. Once again I had a Daddy where I would crawl in his lap and feel safety and love when those arms wrapped around me. Something that continued until he passed away when I was 18 years old.

I will say Daddy wasn't perfect, but of course who is *okie thinks other than herself of course*, but I never remember doubting the love he had for me, even up to the day he died. I could go into a bunch of memories but I won't since I don't feel like writing a book today so I will just share one very special memory...the last one I have of my Daddy.

The night before Daddy fell over dead, yep just fell over dead due to blocked arteries, I was going to a basketball game with a friend. I had gotten ready and was headed to the door. I stopped at the living room entrance and and said "do I look good Daddy?" and he said "Baby you always look beautiful". I laughed and told him he was biased and before I turned to leave I said "I love you Daddy" and he responded with "I love you too baby". Of course I didn't know I would never see him alive again and saying "I love you" was an almost daily phrase in our home. I realize how blessed I am with having parents who instilled in me, even if subliminally so, the importance of saying "I love you". That is the last memory I have of my Daddy and I really don't think it can get better than that.

While I have no father or daddy that is alive on Father's Day I am able to say I have had 3 men in my life who filled that role in one way or another for me and that makes me one of the most blessed people in the world. So whether your father or daddy is by blood or law, whether he was the perfect father or the not so perfect father, just feel thankful to that man who gave you life or raised and cared for you because without him you would just not BE.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Stampin Up Classic Cars

I bought the retired Classic Cars stamp set from the lady who runs stamp club and I decided I should use it for one of the cards my groups were doing because we hadn't done anything particular masculine and I thought it was time they had at least one card in their stash that was masculine.

I did have the sentiment for the front and the car stamped already since it had to be in a particular area. If we are stamping a sentiment on the inside the group gets to stamp their own. Everyone of the group members loved this card. There are several that are car lovers and 3 of the members said they are going to keep the card for themselves and asked if that was okay. I told them "it is your creation and you get to to do what you want with it".

Oh I guess I should mention they loved the inside sentiment I had printed up which read "you're not old, you're just a classic". Now most folks don't give this particular population much credit but I will tell ya that everyone of them got the joke in the sentiment and loved it. One lady in particular said "I'm 54 now so that is what I am, I'm just a classic, not old" and the whole group laughed, including myself!

As much work as it is for me to get the card kits ready for the groups it is always worth it in the end because they love knowing they created something. I did tell them that I thought we might make some "thinking of you" or "get well" cards at the end of July and of course they are all for that! *okie sighs deeply* Now I will be bound as if it was law to do this in July because they will not let me forget that I said we "might" and how much they want to do them. Guess I better keep my guillotine cutter sharpened because I will be getting another 48 card kits ready!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Stampin Up Happiest Birthday Wishes

This is the second week of my group therapy groups making birthday cards. They made this one on Monday and another one yesterday, which I will post tomorrow.

Now let me tell you that how I have something envisioned is not always how they envision something. I had thought the sentiment should go on the right hand side and the circles go along the orange and black polka dot strip, as you see that is now how this particular person though it should be. A few did do the card how I had envisioned but I wanted to show one that was done with how they thought it should be decorated.

When we were making the card I did tell them "you can put the circles anywhere you think they look good". No matter where each client decided to put their circles or sentiment they all were thrilled with the end results of the card they made and in the end that is what matters the most.


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Stamp Club Challenge Card - Whimsical Words

Since I did have some paper left over from my original card I had made for the Stamp Club Challenge I thought I would make another card. Most of the ladies end up making around 6-12 different cards and that might be nice but my need *okie thinks obsession* to make more than one of a card doesn't allow for me to take such privileges.

The striped piece of paper was a little too long and to add some interest I tore off a piece at the bottom. Once I did that I thought why not add the tore off piece to the card as well to add a little more interest and I really liked how it turned out.

The sentiment is from Stampin Up Whimsical Words stamp set. 

My groups are finishing up their birthday cards this week and I will be sure to post them once they get them done.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Stamp Club Challenge Card - Loads of Love

The first Thursday of every month is Stamp Club and while I did make it with Linda I didn't make anything during Stamp Club. I did, however, get my challenge cards done to take with me. Sometimes one of the ladies brings some papers and we pay her, usually 50 cents, for the paper and are suppose to make something with the paper and then bring it the next month to show everyone. I got mine done the night before Stamp Club...I tend to procrastinate.

There were two papers for use to use, one had what looked like roads and trees on it and the other was stripes and dots. Since I wanted to stay with the theme I dug out my Stampin Up Loads of Love stamp set and used it. My paper strips are off kilter because I messed up when I was cutting and had to be a little creative with making the card. I actually think I like the tilted papers.












My next dilemma was figuring out what color to use on the truck so it would match the papers. I ended up using Ginger and Spice ProMarkers to color the truck. The wheels were with two different grey markers. For the windows I used Pastel Blue and Powder Blue and then went over the center of the side window diagonally with the blender pen to take away some of the color. I used a silver gel pen on the bumpers and then added some silver dot hot fix elements on the hubcaps.




Since the blue circle seemed rather stark I thought I would add some eyelets. I haven't used many eyelets because my Crop-O-Dile Big Bite would make them all smooshy looking. I lost my CODBB during the craft show that Linda and I did back in December and my friend Carmen picked me up a new one and I got it last week. I am really pleased with how well it set the eyelets. I did find if I used quick motion to set the eyelets once I had them lined up that it looked better than if I used a slower motion.

Tomorrow's card is what I made using the scraps that were left over from this set of cards. I say set because ya know I couldn't make just one!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Chicken Challenge Card - MTC and SVG Files Available

I decided that Carmen and I should do a challenge card so I designed one in Make The Cut. I then thought I would post it for the members of the Old Cricut Community Facebook group to see if anyone wanted to participate and there were a few who did.

For some reason it took me all day to get 6 of these done and I have no idea why since it wasn't a difficult card to do. I think I am getting distracted by my marathon watching of the HBO series Six Feet Under. I never watched it before and now I am hooked and haven't watched anything else since I started the series. That HBOgo is as addictive as Netflix I tell ya! Ummm, this was about a card though wasn't it!





I used a small black hot fix gem for the eye of the chicken. On the wing I did use a small piece of mounting foam to pop dot it off the body. I decided not to use a shadow layer on the chicken which is a little odd for me since I tend to shadow everything.








I used Hallmark Card Studio to do the inside sentiment and used the same font as I used on the front of the card. That is another thing I love about MTC...font matching!

This is the first time I've had a file available for download in quite some time and I think it is because I have been doing more stamping than cutting lately.

Download Files Here:

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Stampin Up Happy Hello Card Kit - Flowers

The second card my groups are doing was also done with the Stampin Up Happy Hello Simply Sent card kit. They absolutely loved the shape of the card and the fancy envelopes. In order for them to keep the cards together I collect them after each session and then after our last session of making cards they get to take them all at once. I put them in plastic baggies with their names on it so the cards don't get lost or messed up in case they drop them. Last year this came in handy since one of them had set their baggy down and forgot about it. Luckily one of the Job Coaches saw it and knew whose it was so it got promptly returned to the rightful owner.

This is a card one of my clients put together. Again some of them chose to go vertical and others went horizontal. They did stamp something on the inside and they are getting rather good at making a nice clean crisp image with the stamps.

Some of the cards in the card kit had "HELLO" printed on them and in order to use the card I cut some strips of paper to put over that area and the group was then able to go ahead and use the card for a birthday card.

The flowers are done with the Stampin UP Flower Shop and Petite Petals stamps and punches. I dotted the centers of the yellow flowers with a red marker. The rhinestones on the red flowers were included in the kit. The sentiment is punched with the Stampin Up Word Window and Modern Label punch. Those two punches should be included in every card makers craft supply!

We will be doing two more cards next week and I had to make sure at least one included the Cuttlebug because they all LOVE LOVE LOVE using the Cuttlebug.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Stampin Up Happy Hello Card Kit - Candles

Some of you know this story and others do not so once again I will tell how I got started doing cards  at the ICF/MR facility where I do individual and group counseling. A few years ago during  a group counseling session we were discussing depression and how to avoid falling into a depressive state and being the curious kitties that my clients are asked me what I did, which is quite the fair question since I am always asking them questions, and I told them I crafted and mostly papercrafted. They were rather intrigued by the whole idea and that is when I got the idea of having them make cards. At this time my groups do two cards at Christmas, two cards at Valentines and then in June they get to make 4 birthday cards so they can have cards on hand as they need them.

In order to get the cards done within an hour, there are 6 clients in each group, I make card kits. Some of my clients suffer some physical ailments along with their developmental delay so it helps if some of the small pieces are already together. When I saw the Happy Hello Simply Sent Card Kit on the Stampin Up clearance I just knew it would be great for the cards with the groups and the clearance price would help keep my costs down as well. The kit was $11.95 at regular price but has been marked down to $2.39 in the clearance. There are 8 cards, envelopes and a number of elements in each kit.

Now I am going to be honest and say I had to look up images so I could get some ideas for birthday cards and thankfully I did find a few.  This is a card that one of my clients put together. I had the elements ready and they got to decorate the card how they wanted. Some of them had the cards going vertical while others chose to go horizontal. They really enjoyed being able to choose and getting to put the elements where they wanted.

For the elements I cut some small strips of paper to and glued them across the grey stripe stickers to make them look more like candles. For the flame I layered two different sizes of the 4 point flower and then added Stickles and cut them away from the centers. The sentiment on the tag is from Stampin Up Whimsical Words and the tag is done with the Stampin Up Tag punches. The baker's twine that the bow is made from is in the kit.