About Me

I am a techno/gadget freak. I love almost anything that has to do with computers and software. I have an engineering background, but I haven't worked in that field for over 10 years. I married my wonderful husband in September 2004 and look forward to spending every single day of the rest of my life with him. I love cats and even call myself "Cat".


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Digital & Paper Layouts...

UPDATE:  The contest officials opened up viewing and voting early!!  You can vote for my layout here:  Vote for Cat's Layout - Inspiration

Thanks!   I need those votes!

Hi everyone!  Well, I've recovered from the blow to my ego from the MFT contest. ha ha.  I found another contest on Persnickety Prints to make a layout using a free digital scrap kit from Scrap Orchard.  The kit is really beautiful and I've been wanting to do another layout for a long time.  They are going to have open voting for the winner of the contest, so please go and vote for me.  They are keeping the layouts a secret until voting starts on Monday, so I will post a link then.  But in the meantime, I wanted to show you the digital layout I made for the contest:

The theme of the contest was to create a layout about what inspired you in 2012.  Well, of course, it had to be my little Mitzy.  We just love our little dog and dote on her.  Rob and I were in our mid forties when we married, so it was too late for us to have children, which was ok.  But, without having kids to focus on, its easy to become somewhat self-centred and only pay attention to what affects your own life on a day-to-day basis.  She's made us look at life outside our own self and see there are people and creatures that need our care and attention.  She has taught us to be more compassionate and patient.  So, in essence, she has inspired us to be better people.

So, I loved this layout so much that I wanted to see if I could re-create it in paper.  So I printed out all the papers I used on the layout and fired up my CraftRobo.  Here is the paper version of the layout:

I was having problems with the print & cut (of course - stupid Silhouette software screwed that up), so I had to make my own embellishments for the layout.  I was, luckily, able to still cut shapes, so I found some files that I liked and cut and glued and glittered.  As luck would have it, I even had some bottle caps in my stash, so I printed out the bottle cap from the digital kit and glued it to the top of my bottle cap and then put Dimensional Magic on top to give it a glassy finish.

I think the layouts look very similar.  And as I look at it them right now, I just realized I forgot to put the little heart with the mini clothes peg on the paper layout.  Darn!  I even have the mini clothes pegs too.  Oh well.

Well, that's it for today.  Come back on Monday and I will have the link posted so you can see the other layouts for the contest, and of course vote for me. :)

Talk to you later...


Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Christmas 2012 Cards

Hey everyone!  Before I show you the cards I made for the Christmas card swap over at Scraptures, I wanted to let you know how the MFT contest went. Well, I wasn't chosen. :(  I really didn't have my hopes up, but I do admit that I would have really liked to be on that DT just for the experience of being on a highly visible DT like that one.  Oh well, I'll keep trying. They have a contest every month, so I'll keep at it. :)  I've never been called a quitter.

So I found Sassy Cheryl's digi stamps a couple years ago, and I always thought they were really cute, but I just had so many digi stamps that I never got around to buying any of them. Then she had a sale on her stuff and I couldn't pass it up.  The couple I bought were an absolute steal for 50¢ each.  Her stuff is so cute and whimsical and I love the snowman images. I only used one of the stamps (saving the other one for next Christmas) and I used a free colouring page for the digi stamp on the other card. Here are the two cards I made:

Supplies Used:
Stamps:  Play it Again Sam - Sassy Cheryl's digital stamp
Paper:  Recollections cardstock, Recollection Christmas stack, watercolour paper
Tools:  Watercolour pencils, Snowflake embossing folder, SU scallop border punch

I hadn't used my watercolour pencils in a really long time, so I thought it was time to put them to use.  It took a bit of practice to get the shading the way I wanted it, but it worked out. I discovered that there was enough pigment in my rinse water that I could actually use it to paint the shadow around my image.

This next card was one that I had pictured in my head, and I even had printed the image out last Christmas, but I didn't end up using it. I really wanted to put this card together, so I thought it would be a nice one to use for the swap.  Here it is:

Supplies used:
Stamps:  Free downloaded colouring page, Michaels stamps - sentiment
Paper:  Recollections cardstock, Daisy Dee 6x6 Christmas stack, Wausau Exact Index 110#
Tools:  Colored pencils - Crayola/Prismacolor, oms, CraftRobo, Frosted Lace stickles, EK Success Morrocco Lace edge punch, EZ Cutter oval templates, EZ Cutter swivel knife, Versamark ink, gold embossing powder - Stampendous.

I love Christmas images. I don't know why, but I especially like snowman images. I just think they are so cute. This card is made with an older Stamps Happen stamp that I bought on clearance at Michaels a few years ago and this year was the first time it saw ink. I made it for the November One on One swap at Scraptures. Here's the card.

Supplies used:
Stamps:  Festive Snowmen - Stamps Happen
Paper:  Recollections cardstock, Recollections Christmas paper stack
Tools & Embellishments:  Copic markers, Stampology Onyx black ink, Stardust stickles, ribbon - Michaels, Fiskars large and small scallop decorative scissors.

So that's everything for today. I've been working on a layout, but its just not gelling. I think I'm going to work on a digital one to see how that goes. I was playing around with some templates the other day, and boy, I can see that they would sure help a layout come together quickly. I've never used templates before (although I use to make them when I was designing) to put together layouts, but I may just start.  They're even better than sketches - at least for digital scrapbooking they are.

I'll be back soon.

Talk to you later...


Sunday, January 06, 2013

MFT DT Contest & My Entries...

Hi all! My Favorite Things is have a contest for a guest design team spot.  I'm so excited by the chance to win a spot as a guest designer for MFT.  I love their products, although I don't have very many of the dies.  I do have quite a few of their stamps though.  I debated whether  I was going to submit anything for this contest because, lets face it, the girls on their design are like crafting geniuses.  I love looking at all the things they create.  I have made cards for their monthly contests, but never have time to finish them before they're due or chicken out and don't submit them.  Well, damn it!  This time I'm not going to chicken out.  I think that if I were to win a spot on the DT, it would really push my creativity.  And lets face it, I have been in a really big slump the last year or so.  So I put together 3 cards to enter.  My dear, sweet husband says they're really nice (and that I should put them up for sale).  He always says that.

Here is the first card I made.  I cut the label shapes with my CraftRobo and then stamped the image on the one label and coloured it with Copic markers.  I also cut the tag with my CraftRobo and then stamped the sentiment onto it.  It doesn't show up well in the picture, but the tag is quite a bit wider than the label, so I adhered the ends of the tag to the sides of the label so it would bow out from the image.  It looks pretty cute in real life. :)

I also decorated the inside of the card.  I've been trying to do this with all my cards now.  I think it just makes it so much nicer and gives it a more professional finish. It also uses up my little scraps so I'm not wasting or storing a whack of tiny pieces of paper (I know I have a problem! I'm a pack rat.) Here's the inside:

Supplies used:
Stamps:  MFT Key to my Heart set
Papers:   Shery K Designs - Penguins in Love (Digital Papers), Recollections cardstock, Wausau Exact Index 110#
Inks:  Stampology - Onyx
Embellishments:  Rhinestones (Michaels)
Tools:  Copics - RV000,RV02, RV04, RV29, R29, C0, C3, C7, 100, 0, E00, E02, E33, E35, E37, Primsmacolor - Cool Grey 10%, Sharpie - Dark Grey, Magenta, Rose Red, Bic Mark Its - Rambunctious Red, Craft Robo, pop up squares (Michaels), ribbon (unknown - from my stash), Martha Stewart Lace Heart edge punch

I had to fiddle with the settings on my printer to get the papers to print the colours properly since I was using plain white cardstock.  Once I got the intensity and the contrast set to where I liked how it was printing, I went to town and printed a whole bunch.  I also used digi papers on this next card:

I used 3 different colours of copic markers to create the dotted background on the label that the main image sits on. I stamped one image on scrap and cut around that to use as a mask so I knew where to put the dots. Then, I cut out the image and popped it up over the dots.  I stuck together the sentiments from two sets to get the sentiment I wanted - "Feel Better Soon" - for the panel running across the top of the card. I inked the edges of the cardstock and patterned papers as well as embossed the upper panel on the card. Again, I finished the inside of the card:

Supplies used:
Stamps:  MFT Pure Innocence World's Best Doctor set. MFT Pure Innocence Girl Doctor set
Papers:   Aprilisa Designs - Funky Mama (Digital Papers), Recollections cardstock, Wausau Exact Index 110#
Ink:  Stampology - Onyx, Cats Eye - Blue Lagoon
Embellishments:  Dew Drops (Michaels)
Tools:  Copics - E00, E02, E04, E33, C3, C7, 0, BG05, BG10, BG15, Primsmacolor - Cool Grey 10%, Sharpie - Dark Grey, Tan, Bic Mark Its - Cloud 9 Grey, MFT Designer Label 1 dies, pop up squares (Michaels),  EK Success ZigZag Stitch edge punch, Martha Stewart Scallop with 2 dots edge punch,  Stampin' Up Scallop edge punch, Stampin' Up Square Lattice embossing folder

 This next card is a bit different for me.  I almost never make square cards.  I would have to say that 95% of my cards are A2 size and 4% are 5x7, just because the envelopes are readily available and I don't have to pay extra postage if I make them flat enough.  This card is definitely a "hand deliver" card.

The card is pretty straight forward.  I inked and distressed the edges of all the papers.  I was going to use all three sizes of the flowers, but they were a little too big, so I just went with the two smaller layers.  I think they have a good balance with the rest of the card.  I left the inside fairly simple since there was so much going on on the front of the card:

Supplies used:
Stamps:  MFT Vertical Greetings set
Papers:   Stampin' Up (Riding Hood Red, & White)
Ink:  Stampin' Up - Riding Hood Red
Embellishments:  Rhinestones (Michaels)
Tools:  MFT Botanical Beauty dies, MFT Vertical Greetings die, pop up squares (Michaels), Fiskars Large Scallop decorative edge scissors, Heidi Swapp distresser tool

I know I'm going to be checking out what the other entries look like once I get these uploaded to the SCS gallery.  I try not to look at the other submissions just so I don't get influenced by the other designs and can have something to enter that I created totally on my own.  I'll be on pins and needles as well until they announce the winner.

That's all I have for now.  I'm working on a couple layouts and I'm hoping I'll have those done by the middle of the week. So, check back then to see what I've been up to.

Talk to you later...


Thursday, January 03, 2013

Another Video Tutorial!!

Hey everyone!  I have another video tutorial for you.  I'm having fun making these.  Its like I get to actually talk to you.  Its also so much easier for me to just show you how to do something than taking a bunch of screen shots and trying to get all the images uploaded.

Kathy from Magnolia Designs blog stopped by and was checking out my How to "Export" Silhouette Studio Files to SVG files tutorial and asked how to do this using Illustrator instead of Inkscape.  I'm not all that familiar with Illustrator, but I do know how to get svg files from an image file, so I thought I would just do a little video.  For those of you who don't already have Illustrator, don't go out and get it.  Illustrator is really expensive to buy and Inkscape is free and does just as good a job as Illustrator in my opinion.  I'm lucky that I happen to have Illustrator from when I was designing.

Well, without further ado, her is my second video tutorial:

If you have any questions, you can always contact me using the contact form to the right, or by leaving a comment.  If you leave a comment, though, I'll need your email address if you don't have a google/blogger profile with an email address attached to it.

That's it for today.  I'm cleaning up some pictures of a couple cards that I'll show you tomorrow, so pop back over to check that out.

Talk to you later...


Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Fiskars' Fuse Giveaway from Spoonflower

Spoonflower is giving away a Fuse! I've read the rules and guess what! This contest is open to everyone! Yay! Most of the time these contest are limited to US citizens only which really sucks. But this one is open to everyone! So if you want to enter to win one of these babies, use this link:  Spoonflower's Fiskar Fuse Giveaway

Good luck!

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