Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ice Cream Sundae Happiness

This past holiday weekend was spent making 3 different Christmas cards (one was the stocking one I already posted), but after a while, I was kind of tired of Christmas images and paper.  I wanted to do something fun!  I think what inspired me to use different cartridges was the fact that they had carts on sale at Michaels, AC Moore, and Joann.  I didn't buy any new ones even though I had plans to go out early (I'm watching the price of Campin' Critters, and I'm hoping Cricut.com has a sale so I can get some Lites because the Walmart by me doesn't have Lites anymore!).  Instead of spending money, I really sat and examined the images on the carts I already have.  I decided to use the ice cream sundae from the Just Because cartridge that I wanted so much and that my fiance Howard bought for me fairly recently as a surprise!  

I love the idea of having an ice cream sundae in a metallic dish.  It just reminds me of old-fashioned ice cream shoppes (haha, not that I've ever been to one!).  There used to be this restaurant in the Poconos in Pennsylvania called Beaver House where we got parfaits at the end of our meal.  From what I remember, they served them in these tall, metal dishes, and I loved it!  That's why this image was really something I wanted to use.  However, when I cut the pieces out, it seemed a little plain, so that's why I had such fun adding all the faux stitching in different colors using my ultra-fine Bic Mark-It markers.  I really like the added lines.  

I used a Martha Stewart border punch to add a white strip of paper over the striped paper for 2 reasons: (1) I needed something on which I could stamp the sentiment [Pink by Design's "Big Thoughts"] and (2) I had a lot of extra strips of white cardstock since I keep having to trim it down to fit A1 envelopes (when I accidentally bought 1000 A1 envelopes instead of A2!)

Though my cards are typically really simple, I still have a ton of fun making them.  My "real life" friends really like them too since they're still purchasing them from my Facebook store (http://www.facebook.com/loveandsushi).  It makes me happy to make sales especially now as I'm hoping to eventually gift every type of animal available on World Vision (I've decided to set aside 50% of what I make for it).  Right now the goal is the $50 for 4 chickens!  Hopefully, the more cards I make, the faster I can reach that goal!  

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Christmas Stocking

This past Friday, I went out to Michaels during the Black Friday sale!  I wasn't going specifically for any major purchases.  My goal was Christmas paper for cards!  I have a lot of paper pads from Michaels already, but none of them worked with Christmas cards that I wanted to make.  I initially found all the DCWV stacks, but I wasn't that crazy about them because there were only 48 sheets in each.  Plus, they were oh-so-pretty that I knew I'd have trouble cutting into them!  Those pages would work better with scrapbooks anyway, in my opinion.  My mom was with me, and she found the huge 180 stack called "Jolly and Bright."  It was perfect!  Tons and tons of pages with different color schemes!  Lots of variety for only $7!  The paper pads were 50% off, and there was an extra 30% coupon that I used on top of it.  Oh, how I love a good deal!

This was one of the cards I made during this Thanksgiving break using the new paper.  The stocking was cut from Joys of the Season, which is a cartridge I had not yet used.  I've been getting better at using the cartridges I haven't touched yet.  Having the Gypsy makes that so much easier.  In the past, I was too lazy to deal with cutting out so many pieces from a certain layer just to get all the right colors I needed.  Gotta love that "hide" feature on the G!  It also makes it so much easier to make multiples AND to use scrap paper.  Even with Cricut Craft Room finally out and being free to use doesn't make me regret having my G at all.  I'd much rather design on the whim instead of having to turn on my desktop and be online.  Wow, talk about a digression ...

After I cut out the 6 stockings, I knew it needed a little extra something.  That's why I added the faux stitching with my white Recollections marker.  Then I added Stickles to the "bell" part of the stockings to add some shine.  I think the background paper works really well with it because it has the same 3 colors.  Plus, I love paper that has text!

I'm actually really happy with how this card turned out.  When I initially cut out the stocking, I thought it was kind of a lost cause.  I'm glad I stuck with it instead of tossing them in my box of cut images!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

My Kind of Weekend: Cake and Crafting

I had a really rough week at work last week, so I was glad to be enjoying a weekend of not that much to do.  I did my lesson plans on Friday night (although not all were completed because I completely forgot the 8th grade math textbook at school, which is the only one I need to transport back and forth), and I also input grades into Engrade.  I seriously cringe when I think about what I did during my first and second year of  teaching before I knew about Engrade!  There are a bunch of teachers at my school who use it now, and it saves so much time because no calculations have to be done.  Yay for that!

On Saturday morning, I graded a few more tests and input those into Engrade when they were done.  But I was ready to do some relaxing.  Howard came over in the early afternoon, and when I answered the door, he was carrying something in a big, brown bag.  I didn't know what it was, but apparently it was a surprise for me!

He made me "box cake"!  That's what I call cake made from a boxed mix, haha.  I have been wanting "box cake" since my birthday back in September, and he made it for me because of the rough week I had!  How sweet is he?  Hehe, and you can see that I had to eat some before taking this picture ... whoops!  I thought it was so loving of him to do something to cheer me up.

That was clearly the cake part.  The crafting part was relaxing too.  My mom got flowers last week from the family of the little boy she works with at school (she's a para for him in kindergarten). She asked me to make him a thank you card, and she specified that the little boy loves horses. I was excited to finally use the horse cut from my Create a Critter cartridge. I didn't have 3 different shades of brown that went together, so the snout part of the horse was cut using white cardstock, and I colored it in using one of my Copic markers.

I used a Martha Stewart punch for the stars on the red cardstock, and the sentiment is from Inkadinkado. I did end up filling in the gaps in the word with my Zig Writer black marker, but I had it downstairs so that was after I took the picture.  Simple card, but I like it!  I thought about adding some faux stitching to the bandana or something, but I didn't want to ruin anything just in case I made a mistake.

Ahhh, good weekend, and thankfully, there are 2.5 days this week until THANKSGIVING, which is my all-time favorite holiday.  Yay!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Crafting with Students: Appreciation for Veterans

Last week, we had our student council assembly for those students who wanted to run for any of the positions available.  We also combined it with our Veteran's Day assembly since there were 2 days off this week, throwing off our schedule a bit.  The grandmother of one of our students spoke about being an army nurse. She explained the importance of Veteran's Day to the students. She asked that we make cards for those in the veterans hospital so that she could bring them today. She explained that when the soldiers come back injured and wounded, they just get moved to the hospital and there isn't the same "fanfare." She said that she wanted to give them the recognition they deserved.

I teach 6th and 8th grade English Language Arts, so I was responsible for those classes. These cards were made by my 6th graders (I introduced them to stamps!). They really understood the sacrifice the soldiers made and the honor they deserve. Their heartfelt words really amazed me (way more than the 8th graders did!), and they took the time to make beautiful cards! (I think that class also understands it more because we're doing WWII historical fiction in class.)

8th grade cards (they were amazed with the stamps; I brought in the thank you set by Inkadinkado)

6th grade cards (on this day, I forgot to bring in the acrylic block, so I thought we couldn't use the stamps; I ended up sticking the stamps to the lid of the StazOn ink pad!)
In the past, we all look forward to Veteran's Day because it's a day off from school, but I hope that from now on, they all truly understand it.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Life's Better in Flip Flops

One of the Cricut cuts that I mass produced but didn't end up using on cards for the bake sale was the flip flops and sunglasses from Pack Your Bags.  That was the latest cartridge that I purchased due to an AC Moore sale and the lovely $10 gift certificate I got from their rewards program (WHY did they not come out with sooner?!  I have spent SO much money at AC Moore over the years!!!).  I decided to stray from my usual pink color choice and go with purple instead.

I then chose a polka dot pattern paper, which I actually really like.  I tend to not use my pattern papers very often because I don't know how to layer them very well or match them.  I literally went through almost every single one of my paper pads with the Cricut cut in hand to see if it would "match."  Once I saw the polka dot, I knew it would be perfect because it just reminds me of the beach (even though I personally don't like the beach!).  To go along with the beach-y theme, I used a strip of kraft cardstock because it reminded me of sand.

The sentiment is from Pink by Design's "Summer Vacation."  That was one of the sentiments that really pulled me to that particular set!  I keep finding more and more sentiments that I love that I end up wanting, but thankfully, I've been really good about my spending lately.  A ton of sentiment choices means that there are a TON of cards that I still have to make!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Cuz Everyone Needs Birthday Cards

This past Sunday was my church's bake sale to raise money for the North American Mission Board and the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist convention.  I've been making cards for that cause, so that's why I haven't posted anything here on my blog for a while.  Thankfully, Howard was able to help me with some of the coloring, and he helped me package everything too.  Boy, I really do love how the boxes and bags from Clearbags.com really make my stuff look even more professional!  Of course, I accidentally ordered A1 envelopes instead of the A2 that I needed, but that's a whole different story.  I also love my PSA Essential stamp that I won from a Casual Fridays challenge back when I still entered challenges!

I stamped the back of all the single cards I've made in the past for challenges.  Some of those sold at the bake sale too.  Since the ink is so wet, I have to make sure it dries before I pack it, so that's why they're spread out everywhere like that.  And yes, my room is an absolute mess from crafting, but I love it!

Anyway, I think my sales were pretty good!  I was able to raise $227 for missions from the sale of my cards, which was almost a quarter of what the English congregation of my church made!  The other things that were available were lunch items and desserts.  I was happy to be able to do something I love for a good cause.  And I was thankful that so many were willing to buy!

Well, even though the bake sale is over and I should be getting back to school work, I can't.  I'm just way too distracted and stressed, so I still crafted today instead of grading papers.  It was definitely much needed relaxation time because I took my time today whereas crafting for the bake sale was a little bit closer to the frenzied side!  Anyway, I'll show you one of the cards I made today.

I had 12 of these cupcakes from Sweet Treats cut a while ago, and I made 6 cards with them for the bake sale the night before because I realized I didn't have many birthday options!  I had one of my friends buy 1 of them, and then another friend bought the box with the remaining 5 in it!  I know a few others wanted this card too, so I made the other 6 today since I still had another sheet of that pattern paper from a KI Memories paper pad.  My cousin already claimed 2 of them, so I had 4 to sell.  After posting them in my Facebook store for just a short while, I'm already down to 1 left!  I really need to make more birthday cards!

I decided to go with blue accents instead of the normal girly colors I usually use.  It might still be a tad girly considering there are big polka dots, but at least it's not all pink and purple.  I used the Cuttlebug D'Vine Swirls embossing folder for the frosting on the cupcake (chocolate frosting, of course!).  I popped up the image using my Oriental Trading Co adhesive squares.  I love how I can use a ton of those on one image and it's okay since they're so inexpensive.  The sentiment is from Pink by Design; I love this set called "Birthday, Birthday" because it just says "Happy Birthday" in many different styles and fonts.  Perfect for any type of card!

That's it for now, but don't worry.  I won't leave this blog for such a long period of time anymore!  Well, at least that's what I'm hoping not to do!