Sunday, April 28, 2013

Cinco de Mayo Decorative Plate

With Cinco de Mayo just around the corner, I thought it would be fun to do a decorative project. Besides it's nice to use the Cricut for something other than card making. I chose the images that I wanted to use from the Ole cartridge and headed off to Michaels to buy some art supplies and a suitable background for my project. While in Michaels, I came across a display of colored plastic chargers. Naturally I gravitated toward the deep turquoise one, but the light red would be better suited for my project.

Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday that has gained popularity here in the States over the last few years. The celebrations are festive and fun. Although I love Mexican food and Margaritas, I  personally can not bring myself to celebrate this holiday because of my French heritage (French defeats are not something that my family celebrates).  I wanted to post a project for those of you who do celebrate it. I had a lot of fun working on this project and am pleased with the final result.

Work in progress!

Finished Plate-the highlighting on the phrase did not photograph well.

The directions for Cinco de Mayo Decorative Plate:

Plastic charger style craft plate- available at Michaels
K&Company Que Sera Sera paper pad- orange print paper
Cricut Ole cartridge
Modge Podge
Foam brush
Small dark yellow and black crystals
Black, sea-foam green, light coral, light beige,bright pink,light orange, dark orange, dark yellow, light yellow, bright blue, grass green and dark green card stock
Xyron machine (optional)
Tim Holtz Tea Dye Distress Ink
Craft glue
Dark brown glitter

1.  Using the Cricut Ole cartridge cut the Mexican man at 4 inches out of black card stock. Press the shift key and cut the image again out of sea-foam green card stock.  Press the Layer key and cut his hat and serape out of light coral card stock. Press the Layer and Shift keys to cut his face out of light beige card stock.

2.  Next cut the Sun at 1 3/4 inches out of the dark yellow card stock. Press the Shift key to cut a circle out of the bright blue card stock. Press the Layer key to cut the Sun's face from the light yellow card stock. Press the Layer and Shift keys to cut the cheeks out of dark orange card stock.

3.  Cut the Cactus at 3 inches out of dark yellow card stock. Press the Shift key to cut the Cactus out of grass green card stock.  Press Layer to cut the dark green  top layer of Cactus. Load bright pink paper in the machine and press Layer and Shift to cut the Cactus flowers.

4.  Cut a circle approximately 7 1/2 inches out of the orange print paper. The circle needs to fit inside the plate. Apply a thin layer of Modge Podge with a foam brush to the back of the circle. Slowly press the circle down onto the plate, smoothing out air bubbles with your fingers.

5.  Position the images on the plate and glue them down with craft glue. For the ground apply a small amount (a very thin layer) of white craft glue around the base of the man's feet. Sprinkle dark brown glitter over the glue and shake off the excess. Set aside to dry.

6.  Select the Cinco de Mayo image and load light orange card stock in the machine. Set the size dial to 2 1/2 inches, then press the Layer and Shift keys to cut the phrase Cinco de Mayo. Center the phrase over the picture and glue it to the top rim of the plate. I found the easiest way to do this is to run the phrase through the Xyron machine.

7.  Load the Cricut Ole cartridge into the machine and cut the Maracas at 2 1/2 inches. Press the Maracas key and cut the Maracas base out of dark yellow card stock. Press the Maracas and Shift keys to cut the next layer out of grass green card stock. Press the Layer and Maracas keys to cut the next layer out of dark pink card stock. Finally press the Layer, Shift and Maracas keys to cut the top layer of the Maracas out of aqua card stock. Assemble the Maracas.

8.  Dab Tim Holtz tea dye distress ink over the Maracas handles and Cinco de Mayo to add highlights. Attach Zots to the back of the Maracas and press into place to the right and left of Cinco de Mayo. Add a small dark yellow crystal to the center of the flower on the Maracas.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Hello Kitty Graduation Card

This weekend is Cricut weekend! Cricut projects and cards. It's been a while since I have "fired up" the Cricut to create cards, but hopefully by the end of the weekend there will be several new cards to post.

For those of you patiently waiting for a Hello Kitty project, this post is for you.

Brittany will be graduating in a couple of weeks with a Master's Degree in German. After two years of hard work, we wanted to send her a special card. Brittany loves Hello Kitty and just receiving a card with Kitty always brightens her day and makes her smile. The image of Hello Kitty in her cap and gown is adorable and would make a cute graduation card.  I used map print card stock from K & Company's Que Sera Sera paper stack for the background to symbolize graduating and going out into the world.

Directions for Hello Kitty Graduation Card:

Cricut Hello Kitty Greetings cartridge
Cricut Classic Font cartridge
K&Company Que Sera Sera paper stack- Map print card stock
Black, white, bright pink, aqua, dark blue, olive green, gold and parchment card stock
Pink jewel tone brad
Twinklets Diamond Dust
Paper flower and small button
Martha Stewart leaf paper punch
Cuttlebug Swiss Dots embossing folder
Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels Nine
Sanding pad
Zots and small foam dots
Colored pencils
Hot glue gun

 1.  Fold the parchment card stock in half to create a card.

2.  Using the Cricut Hello Kitty cartridge cut Kitty at 4 inches out of black card stock. Cut her fur out of white card stock and cut her bow out of bright pink card stock. Next, cut her cap and gown out of dark blue card stock and her tassel out of gold card stock. Assemble Kitty. Use a dark yellow colored pencil to color Kitty's nose. Highlight her cap and gown with a dark blue colored pencil. Attach the pink jewel tone brad to the center of her bow.

3.  Using the Hello Kitty cartridge cut the diploma base at 1 1/2 inches out of black card stock. Press the White Fur, Bow and Nose key to cut the diploma out of white card stock. Press the White Fur and the Shift keys to cut the diploma seal out of gold card stock. Assemble the diploma.

4.  Load the Cricut Classic Font cartridge into the Cricut machine, press the Base Shadow key and cut Congrats at 3/4 inch out of black card stock. Reset the machine and cut Congrats out of aqua card stock. Layer the aqua Congrats over the black base and glue in place.

5.  Cut a piece of aqua card stock 5 1/4 inches high by 4 1/4 inches wide.  Center the largest Spellbinders label on the card stock and cut out the label. Save the label for another project, you want to use the negative image for this card.

6.  Insert the aqua card stock containing the negative image into the Cuttlebug Swiss Dots embossing folder and run it through an embossing machine. Highlight the raised dots by lightly sanding them with the sanding pad.

7.  Cut a 5 inch by 4 inch piece from the map card stock. Center the map on the card approximately 1 1/4 inches from the bottom of the card and glue in place.

8.  Apply the foam dots to the back of the aqua card stock and layer it over the map card stock and press in place. Apply a thin layer of craft to the map card stock and sprinkle the diamond dust over the glue. Shake off the excess "dust" and let it dry.

9.  Apply Zots to the back of Hello Kitty, center her on the map and press into place. Apply small foam dots to her cap and attach to the edge of the aqua card stock. Apply small foam dots to the diplomas and attach them to the upper left and lower right corners of the aqua card stock.

10.  Center Congrats! over the aqua card stock containing the Hello Kitty image and glue it approximately 3/4 inch from the top of the card.

11.  Use a hot glue gun to attach the paper flower to the right of Congrats! and glue a button in the center in the center of the flower. Use an awl, pencil or other object to press the button in place, to avoid being burned by the hot glue oozing through the button holes.

12.  Punch two leaves out of the olive card stock with the Martha Stewart leaf paper punch. Glue the leaves under the edges of the flower.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Projects, Projects, Projects!

Congratulations Brittany for passing the written part of your Masters Exam!

Today was my first day back in my atelier. It's nice to be back in my space sitting at my drafting table with all of my art supplies close at hand.

This past month I have been reading, knitting and sketching to pass the time. I finished the first half of Louisa Harding's beaded scarf. I love how it's turning out and can't wait to finish it. The Grace hand dyed (wool/silk) yarn is a joy to work with. The yarn is soft, luxurious and glides along the Addi needles.

Louisa Harding Beaded Scarf

While searching for projects to occupy my time, I came across several interesting books. Amazon suggested Doodling in French-How to Draw with Joie de Vivre by Anna Corba. It seemed like a fun book from the on line preview. The book takes the reader step by step through each of the drawings, which can be used to highlight scrap book pages or collages. Having trouble drawing the Eiffel Tower or a fleur de lys? Don't worry, Anna Corba's step by step  instructions make it easy. This book is very beginner friendly and a great way to pass time.

Misty Mawn is one of my favorite mixed-media artists. Her work has been published in Sommerset Studio magazine and she teaches workshops. She recently published her first book, Unfurling, a mixed-media workshop with Misty Mawn.The book is in workshop format and starts with portrait drawing, and ends with journal making. The journal section shows the reader how to create (bind) a journal from sheets of paper and then gives a variety of exercises to inspire creativity in journaling. There are also projects for making stamps, sculpture, pottery and paper dolls. I found this book to be inspiring.

Zentangles have recently become very popular. I was intrigued and wanted to try it but didn't know where to start. The books on the market contained a few "tangles" and projects but they weren't beginner friendly, they all assumed that the reader was familiar with the process. Walter Foster art books has recently published The Art of Zentangle. This book explains Zentangles and the tools used to create them and then walks the reader step by step through each of the "tangles" and then step by step through each step of the Zentangle projects. As a beginner, I found this very useful. After completing several of the beginning exercises, I created the mushroom garden below. I started with the toadstools on page 46 and added my own "tangles" using the "tangles" from the exercises in the first part of the book. My materials for this practice Zentangle was a piece of drawing paper, #2 pencil and eraser. I really enjoy this book and try to Zentangle every day.