Saturday, October 30, 2010

Polar Bear Quilt

I found a bear quilt pattern in the clearance bin at my local quilt shop. Even though the price had been drastically reduced I debated about buying it because the picture of the finished quilt was dark and drab (the bears were brown, dark green and dark blue with burgundy and tan accents). I love bears and collect them and I wanted to make a bear quilt to use as a wall hanging. Since I liked the bears and the over all quilt design but not the colors, I purchased the pattern and changed the colors. I decided to make a Polar Bear quilt and used several white on white print fabrics for my bears. I wanted the quilt to evoke the feeling of the cool climates of the Polar Bears and chose a cool color palette of blues and purples.

Here is the finished result. Unfortunately the pattern that I used is no longer available. The yellowish cast on some of the bears is due to the light that quilt was photographed in.

Owl Tote Bag

I'm always looking for new ways to use my Cricut (or justify the need to upgrade to the Expression). We received an invitation to Aunt Pat's 75th Birthday party. Since she loves to read we decided to give her a gift card to a bookstore. I always like to add a personal touch to my gifts and decided to make a book tote. I love owls and thought that it would make an appropriate theme for my tote. This tote was a fun, easy and quick project. If you haven't used the Cricut to cut out fabric appliques I encourage you to try it. It's really quite easy and it opens up a lot of design possibilities.

Owl Tote Bag

Close up of Owl.

Here are the directions for the Owl Tote.

Cricut Hoot 'N Holler cartridge- available only at Walmart

Fabric tote bag- available at Michaels or Walmart

Fat quarter fabrics in brown, gold, green and orange prints- available at Jo-Ann Fabrics

Heat 'n Bond- available at Jo-Ann or Michaels

Small black beads for eyes and green, brown and gold or orange thread for applique.

Painter's Tape- This is necessary to keep the fabric from slipping on the Cricut mat while the machine is cutting out the image.

Brayer- optional

1. Iron the tote bag and the fat quarters to remove creases.

2. Cut gold and orange fabric pieces 6 inches by 6 inches. Cut the brown and green fabric pieces 6 inches wide by 12 inches long.

3. Cut the Heat 'N Bond the same dimensions as the fabric pieces.

4. Lay the fabric pieces (one at a time) face down on an ironing board. You want to fuse the Heat 'N Bond to the wrong side of the fabric. Place the rough side of the Heat 'N Bond on top of the wrong side of the fabric (the paper backing of the Heat 'N Bond should be on top). Heat the iron on Cotton setting and fuse to the fabric according to the directions on the Heat 'N Bond package.

5. After the fabric is cool to the touch place the brown fabric on the Cricut mat fabric side down. It is easier for the Cricut to cut out the image if the paper backing is on top. Firmly press the fabric down on the mat. Use a brayer to help smooth out any bubbles and help the fabric to adhere to the mat. Next cut 2 strips of painter's tape slightly longer than the fabric and tape it to the edges of the fabric. It's okay if the tape extends a little into the green edge of your mat.

6. Load the fabric in the Cricut. Using the Hoot 'N Holler cartridge and Owl 10 cut the owl at 5 inches. With the brown fabric still in the machine press the Shift key and cut Branch 1. Load the gold fabric into the machine and press the Layer key and cut Owl 10. Press the Layer and Shift keys and cut Owl 10 out of the orange fabric.

7. Load the green fabric into the Cricut and cut Branch 1 and then press the Layer and Shift keys and Branch 1 to cut out the leaves.

8. Remove the paper backing from the green branch, brown branch and leaves. Position the green branch on tote bag and fuse in place. Place the brown branch on top of the green branch and fuse in place. Next fuse the leaves in place.

9. Remove the paper backing from the owl and position the owl's feet on top of the branch and fuse in place. Fuse the gold owl on top of the brown and then fuse the orange layer on top of the gold layer.

10. Using the orange thread for the owl stitch around the edges of the owl with a zig-zag stitch. Zig-zag stitch around the owl's feet and the branch with brown thread and around the leaves with green thread.

11. Sew the beads for the eyes in place with a needle and thread.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Hello Kitty Birthday Card and Gift Wrap

Recently I have become a Hello Kitty fan. I love using Hello Kitty to decorate cards and packages because she is so cute.

Brittany's birthday was coming up and I couldn't find any gift wrap that I liked so I decided to make my own. I bought some plain pink wrapping paper and sheer white wire edged ribbon at my local craft store. I used my Sizzix Hello Kitty Ladybug die, Build A Lilac die and Martha Stewart Ladybug craft punch to make the decorations for the package.

Brittany loved the gift wrap so much that she opened her gift and then re-wrapped the empty box and sat it on her desk.

Directions for the Hello Kitty Card and Gift Wrap:

Greeting Card Program
White, Yellow, Bright Pink, Pink, Black, Lavender, Green and Red Card Stock
Pink Patterned Paper
Pink Gift Wrap
Wide White Sheer Wire Edged Ribbon; 1/2 inch wide sheer white ribbon
Sizzix Hello Kitty Ladybug and Build A Lilac Dies
Martha Stewart Ladybug Craft Punch
Craft Wire
Pastel Flower Shaped Brads

Gift Wrap:

1. Wrap gift box with pink gift wrap.

2. Tie the wire edged ribbon around the package and make a knot to hold it in place. Tie a simple bow.

3. Using the Sizzix Build A Lilac Die and lavender card stock cut 4 petals. Assemble the flowers using two petals per flower. Use pastel flower shaped brads to hold the petals together.

4. Glue the lilacs to opposite corners on the top of the package. Add two leaves to each lilac and glue in place.

5. Using the red card stock and the Martha Stewart Ladybug paper punch make 10 ladybugs. Punch 10 ladybugs out of the black card stock. Assemble the ladybugs and glue to the package. Glue a ladybug at opposite corners on the top of the package and one ladybug on each side of the ribbon on the sides of the package (refer to photo for placement).

6. Using the Hello Kitty die cut Kitty several times using the white, yellow, bright pink, black and pink card stock. Cut Kitty again using the pink patterned paper. Assemble Kitty. Add the pink wings and the pink patterned paper flowers. Cut a 6 inch piece of craft wire and fold it in half. Attach the wire to the back of Hello Kitty with tape. Attach Hello Kitty to the bow so that she sits in the bow.

Hello Kitty Card:

1. Use the greeting card program to generate a birthday greeting on the front of the card and a verse on the inside. Use the half-fold card option.

2. Cut a piece of pink patterned paper approximately 4 inches wide by 6 inches long. Cut a piece of 1/2 inch sheer white ribbon slightly wider than the width of the patterned paper. Glue the ribbon across the bottom of the patterned paper. Tuck the ribbon ends under the paper edges and glue in place. Tie a small bow and glue it to the ribbon. Glue the pink patterned paper to the white card stock.

3. Using the Hello Kitty die cut Kitty several times using the white, yellow, bright pink, black and pink card stock. Cut Kitty again using the pink patterned paper. Assemble Kitty. Add the pink wings and the pink patterned paper flowers. Glue Hello Kitty to the patterned paper.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Bat Cookie Season

In my house October marks the beginning of Bat Cookie Season. I usually start baking the cookies two weeks before Halloween and if I'm lucky there are enough left to serve on Halloween night. I originally cut sugar cookies in the shape of bats and then outlined the edges of the bat with chocolate butter-cream icing. One year I over estimated the amount of icing that I needed and had a lot left over. Not wanting to throw out the left over icing I spread it on one of the bats and placed another bat on top of it to make a sandwich cookie. They were an instant hit! Now they are my most requested cookie.

Bat Cookies:

Sugar Cookie Recipe (use your favorite recipe)

Chocolate Butter-cream icing ( I use Hershey's Cocoa Powder and the butter-cream icing recipe on the side of the Domino's 10x Sugar box)

Bat shaped cookie cutter

Piping bag and Wilton Number 3 Round Tip

On a lightly floured pastry mat roll out the sugar cookie dough to 1/8 inch thickness and cut out bats using the Bat cookie cutter. Bake the cookies according to your recipe directions and cool them on a wire rack.

After the baked cookies cool separate them in pairs. Ice the bottom cookie with the butter-cream icing and gently press a cookie on top.

Put some icing in the piping bag and outline the top cookie. Add a dot of icing to make the eyes.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Bewitching Halloween Card

I found some cute dimensional stickers and coordinating paper by K & Company on sale at Michaels. Dimensional stickers are easy to work with and can be a real time saver. Since this card has very little die cutting it can be completed very quickly. Unfortunately the witch did not photograph well so it's hard to see her face.

Halloween Witch Card Directions:

Black, grey and dark purple card stock
Cricut Happy Hauntings cartridge
Martha Stewart paper punches- Bat and Pumpkin Border
Paper Crimper (I used Fiskers)
K & Company Tim Coffey Halloween Paper and Witch Dimensional Stickers
Glimmer Mist Raven Mist by Tattered Angels
Halloween Dotted Ribbon
Black Cat sticker
Recollections Adhesive Rhinestones
Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels Nine
Foam dots

1. Fold an 8 1/2 by 11 inch piece of grey card stock in half and crease.

2. Cut a label using the Spellbinders large label and the orange swirl Halloween paper. I used my Sizzix to cut the label. Center the witch sticker on the label and press into place. Place the black cat sticker next to the witch and press in place.

3. Cut a piece of black card stock 4 1/4 inches long by 4 1/2 inches wide and run it through the crimper. Spray the crimped card stock lightly with Glimmer Mist. Let it dry and spray it again.

4. Attach the orange label to the crimped card stock using foam dots.

5. Punch pumpkins using the Pumpkin Border punch and the orange swirl card stock. Cut the border to fit the sides of the crimped card stock and glue in place. The bottom of the pumpkins should touch the black card stock.

6. Attach the golden rhinestones in each corner of the black card stock.

7. Set the Cricut size dial to 1 inch. Using the Happy Hauntings cartridge and the dark purple card stock cut the phrase Happy Halloween. Glue it to the top of the card.

8. Punch 2 bats with the Bat paper punch and glue them on each side of the Halloween greeting.

9. Cut a piece of dotted Halloween ribbon and glue it to the bottom of the card. Make a bow and glue it to the ribbon.

Bat Garland

In my Halloween decorating the hallway leading to the front door usually gets overlooked because there is no foyer area (the hallway leads directly to the front door). This year I decided to decorate the banister with garland. I bought a garland of black leaves and some sheer glittered purple ribbon at my local craft store. Then I made bats with the Cricut Happy Hauntings cartridge and attached them to the leaves. Next I added some Cobb webs and some battery operated flame-less tea lights.

The pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Bat Garland Directions:

Cricut Happy Hauntings cartridge
Black, dark purple and a scrap of golden yellow card stock
Cobb web material
Purple ribbon (I used purple glittered ribbon)
Black leaf garland
Glimmer mist
Purple ink or chalk to highlight bats
Foam dots
Glimmer Mist Pearl by Tattered Angels
Craft wire
Flame-less battery operated tea lights

1. Set the size dial on the Cricut to 3 1/2 inches. Cut 4 bats out of black card stock using the Bat 1 key. Press the Layer 1 key and cut 4 bats out of dark purple card stock. Snip of a small rectangle from the golden yellow card stock and glue it behind the purple bat's eyes. Assemble the bats.

2. Apply a little purple ink to the bat to highlight it. Spray the bats lightly with Glimmer Mist and let them dry.

3. Attach the garland to the banister poles using craft wire. For safety reasons leave the top handle rail free.

4. Tie 5 bows and attach along the top and the front pole of the banister using craft wire.

5. Apply one small foam dot on the back of the bat's wing tips. Attach the bats to the leaves spacing them several inches apart.

6. Cover the entire garland with Cobb webbing material.

7. Place the flame-less tea lights at the base of the banister between each banister post.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Birthday Cards

October is always a hectic month for me because we celebrate my Husband's and my daughter Michelle's birthdays five days apart. In order to get the birthday cards finished in time I have put my Halloween projects aside.

Here is the card that I made for my Husband used the Mini Monsters cartridge because I wanted a unique and fun birthday card. Michelle is such a fashionista especially when it comes to shoes. I decided to go with a shoe theme using the Cricut Forever Young cartridge.

Directions for Monster Birthday Card:

Light orange dotted ribbon
My Mind's Eye Home Paper Pad- Orange dotted paper
Medium purple, lime green, black, white and gold card stock
Forrest Fun Dew Drops by The Robin's Nest
Cricut Mini Monsters and Beyond Birthdays cartridge
Card Making Program
Bone Folder (optional)
Foam Dots
Hot Glue Gun

1. Create and print a birthday verse on a half fold card using white card stock and the card making program. Fold the card in half and use a bone folder to crease it.

2. Cut a 1 1/2 inch Happy Birthday out of purple card stock using the Beyond Birthdays cartridge.

3. Using the Mini Monsters cartridge cut a 2 1/2 inch monster out of purple card stock. Using the 2 1/2 inch setting press the Layer 1 key and cut the monster's body out of gold card stock. Press the Shift and Layer 1 keys and cut the ears and stomach out of lime green card stock. Using white card stock and the Layer 2 key cut out the eyes and the base of the mouth. Press the Layer 2 and shift keys and cut the pupils (eyes) and mouth. Assemble the monster.

4. Cut a piece of orange dotted card stock approximately 3 1/4 inches wide by 5 inches long.

5. Attach the Monster to the orange dotted card stock using foam dots. Center the orange dotted card stock on the card and place it approximately 3 inches from the top edge of the card. Glue it in place. Glue Happy Birthday approximately 1 inch from the top of the card, centering it above the orange card stock.

6. Arrange the pale green, pale blue and orange Dew Drops to look like ballons and attach them to the right and left of Happy Birthday using a hot glue gun.

7. Tie a small bow using the orange dotted ribbon and glue to the bottom of the orange dotted card stock using a hot glue gun.

Directions for the Michelle's Card:

Cricut Forever Young Cartridge
White, red, turquoise, gold, purple, lime green, cream, pink, brown and black card stock
Orange dotted ribbon
Greeting card program
Tim Holtz Tea Rose Distress Ink
Tattered Angel's Pearl Glimmer Mist
Adhesive gold beads and rhinestones for embellishment

1. Using the greeting card program select a half-fold card and type Life is Full of Important Choices on the front of the card. Generate a verse and add it to the inside of the card. Print the card on white card stock.

2. Fold the card in half and crease using a bone folder.

3. Using the Cricut Forever Young cartridge cut ten 1 1/2 inch shoes using black card stock and Heels 1. Press the Shift key and cut 5 pairs of shoes using the various colors of card stock. Use lime green and the Layer key to cut leaves for the flowers. Load red card stock into the Cricut and press the shift and Layer keys to cut flowers.

4. Assemble the shoes by gluing the colored card stock on top of the black shoe base. Embellish with the card stock flowers and beads.

5. Using the Forever Young cartridge set the Cricut dial to 3 inches and cut Model 1 out of cream card stock. Press the Shift key and cut the dress out of black card stock. Press the Shift and Layer keys and cut the top out of pink card stock. Cut Model 1 again out of brown card stock. Cut off the hair from the image that you just cut and glue it to the cream layer. Glue the black dress over the cream layer and the pink top over the black top. Add gold beads to resemble buttons. Use a black marker to color in the Model's shoes.

6. Center the Model on the card and glue in place. Glue the shoes around the Model. Glue one shoe to the left of the greeting.

7. Dab a foam sponge in the Tea Rose Distress Ink and dab it around the Model's feet.

8. Spray the card lightly with the Pearl Glimmer Mist and let it dry.

9. Cut a length of the Orange Dotted Ribbon slightly longer than the card and glue it along the outer edge of the card.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Bewitching Candle

I recently purchased Cricut's Happy Hauntings cartridge and wanted to use the images in this year's Halloween decorations. I decided to make a Halloween candle. Since the images on the candle holder are made from paper I felt it was safer to use a flame-less candle as the light source.

Directions for Bewitching Candle:

Candle base with glass insert

Cricut Happy Hauntings and Mini Monsters cartridges

Sizzix Bats Sizzlets Die

Flame-less Candle

Grey, black, dark purple, dark lime green and light lime green, yellow, white and gold card stock

Black glitter glue

Martha Stewart Gothic Fence paper punch

Tim Holtz Tea Dye Distress Ink, Green Ink

Small foam dots

1. Cut bats out of black card stock using the Sizzix Bats die. Highlight the bats with black glitter glue. You can substitute your favorite bats instead.

2. Set the Cricut dial to 2 inches and cut 2 tombstones out of black card stock using the Mini Monsters cartridge. Using the Layer 1 key and grey card stock cut the tombstone tops. Using white card stock and the Layer 2 key cut the skull and cross bones for the tombstones. Assemble the tombstones and highlight them with the tea dye distress ink.

3. Make a small circle out of gold card stock using a circle cutter or paper punch.

4. Punch a fence to fit around the glass insert out of black card stock using the Martha Stewart Gothic Fence paper punch. Highlight the bats with black glitter glue.

5. Cut a 2 inch tree using black card stock and the Mini Monsters cartridge.

6. Cut a 2 inch witch out of dark purple card stock using the Happy Hauntings cartridge. Cut the witch's face out of dark lime green card stock using the Layer 1 key. Next cut the face over lay and hands using the Layer 1 and shift keys and the light lime green card stock. Using black card stock and the shift key cut the witch over lay. Finally cut the broom base using yellow card stock.
Assemble the witch. highlight the witch's face with green ink and the yellow broom base with tea dye distress ink. Apply glitter glue to the broom handle.

7. Attach the fence to glass insert using small foam dots. Apply a small foam dot to each tombstone and attach to the glass just above the bottom of the fence ( I slightly angled the right tombstone). Place the tree so that one branch rests on top of the tombstone. Attach the witch to the glass so that her foot is slightly above the top of the angled right tombstone. Place the gold circle slightly to the upper left of the witch and glue the bats to the circle.