Sunday, June 29, 2014

It's all about the blue!

My cards are mostly girly, so I decided to go blue. Not that a girl wouldn't love a cute blue dragon or blobby, but these are also suitable for little boys.

I went digging around in my paper and found some blue paper that wasn't the least bit green (hard to find in MY stash) so it wouldn't clash with the blue dragon I colored during the week.

 I've been concentrating on "missing you" cards, since that is what is most needed these days at Operation Write Home.

Then I did 2 more blue cards because I could.

The dragon and the blobby are from The Alley Way Stamps, and the dog, and the sentiment bubbles are from Lawn Fawn.

Maybe next time it won't be raining, and I can take pictures outdoors again. They are so much nicer in natural light.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Coloring birds "on spec"

First of all, I have a bunch of alcohol markers, but it seems I'm always looking for that ONE that I don't have. So I ordered 2 sets of Spectrum Noir markers online. They are reasonable and come in sets that supposedly blend well.

Then, because sometimes I can't help myself, I went to Jo-Ann's with my coupon, and what did I discover but Spectrum Noir marker sets marked down to $4.99 a set. So I got all the sets I didn't already have.

Aren't markers pretty?

So I colored a few birds that I had printed and almost cut through.  Now I have to decide how to use the birds. And, maybe it's time to buy a holder for the markers that won't crash and spill.

Now, confess, as a kid, who didn't like the biggest box of crayons? You know the one, that had a built in sharpener in the front of the box? Yeah, we know.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Really big thanks!

I'm still loving the funny birds from The Alley Way Stamps. These two are from the set Bird Brain. The big sentiment is from Big Chatter. The little quote bubble with the heart is from Lawn Fawn's Chit Chat.

Today's confession: I did it again! I cut out a whole page of birds with the Cameo on the wrong blade setting and they didn't cut through. Again with the scissors, she said!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Four blobby friends

So, what should I call these little blobby guys? This stamp is from a set called Buggin Out from The Alley Way Stamps, and represents some sort of infectious disease. Cute, but something you wish you hadn't caught.

Somehow I seem to have trouble doing multiples of the same card. Part of it is the limitations of the 6x6 paper pads. This one is a combination of Summer Fresh from Simple Stories, and something else I can't remember (the green circle). You can only get one of the pointy bottomed banners from one sheet, and typically there are 2 of each design in a pack. So, each of my sets seem to be variations on a theme, which is OK by me.

Anyway, these blobby boys were cut from plain white cardstock after a rather spectacular fail at cutting the same shapes printed on a texty background. It was, as I suspected, kind of a challenge to color them once they had been cut. This brings me to my next lament. OK, I'm full of it today, but here goes.

I'd love to have a file with the print and cut lines included. I bought a bunch of cut files for stamp sets before my Cameo arrived, and didn't realize they didn't include a printing file. The website did say there was a .jpg and a .png, but they are only for reference, not printable. I get it, that would preclude the sale of the physical stamps. So I went back and ordered the stamps. I would have anyway. But, once you have the physical stamps, you can easily make your own cut files from a scan of the image. And, as I mentioned before, they are a lot easier to color if they are still on the page, prior to cutting. Like last week's snakes!

The blobby is from Buggin Out (The Alley Way Stamps), the speech bubble and background dies are from Lawn Fawn. All these cards are going to Operation Write Home, where they are specifically looking for "miss you" cards at the present.

Here's my blooper picture. This seriously didn't work. First the registration failed, and when I finally got it to "work" it was completely off. I did stop the Cameo before it could shred the entire page.  Yes, I know I can hand trim them, but that was kind of the point of the Cameo, right?

Sunday, June 8, 2014

9 snakes and a hippo

I'm making cards for Operation Write Home, and playing with my new Cameo Silhouette, too.  I had some issues cutting the Xpress-it cardstock and ended up slicing 2 snakes completely into bits and pieces. Poor snakes. Anyway, I decided to sneak a pink hippo into the group. She can't say "misss you" because hippos don't hiss when they talk. I'm just saying.

So I've learned a thing or 2 this weekend. If you emboss the front of the card, the inside front must be lined if you expect it to be writable. If you line the inside front of a kraft colored card with white, the other side needs to be lined too, or it looks bad. I ended up making kraft panels and applying them to the fronts of cream colored card bases, which kind of negates the whole "clean and simple" concept.  If these cards were for personal use I'd leave the fronts embossed and unlined. But these are for troops to write home on, so they need the extra space.

Oh, and the hand-trimmed snakes with a small white border look better on the kraft background, so I'd better get cracking on learning how to do a whole page of them on the Cameo. I'm trying to decide what critter comes next.

The snakes and hippo are from The Alley Way Stamps set called Tropic Topic, the misss you thought bubble was cobbled together with Lawn Fawn's A Birdie Told Me and Harold's ABCs. The hippo's quote bubble is Lawn Fawn's Chit Chat.

Saturday, June 7, 2014


It turns out, if you unplug your phone charger to plug in your Silhouette Cameo, your phone can't charge. Even if you put the USB end into the phone.

So I had a dead phone this morning. I tried all my usual revival tricks, and then went down to the phone store, where the guy tried it on a different charger. It's alive! Yay!

I was prepared to buy a new one, since this one is almost 4 years old, but I didn't have to! I don't know how I feel about that now. Hmmmm.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Learning curve, part 2

So, after I colored this page of snakes (printed from my new Silhouette) I put them into the machine for cutting.

Did I mention that I haven't figured out how to get a margin around each of these little guys? I'm still working on it!

Anyway, the blade setting for the Xpressit paper apparently is different than the one I was using for the Georgia Pacific cardstock that produced the previous shapes. It didn't cut all the way through. So I adjusted the blade and put the whole sheet back in exactly the same way.

Don't do it. Partway through the second row something went CLUNK and it got off track and wrecked 2 of them. The first two re-cut  ok, and I stopped it before it could wreck the last 4 snakes. I'll see what I can salvage with actual scissors. LOL.

In the meantime, check out this card which is incomplete, at least to my eyes.

I think it needs something else in the grass. A little birdie, maybe? I think a cute bug would look too much like a snake snack. I trimmed this one out with scissors earlier this week. 

The snakes are from the Alley Way Stamps set Tropic Topic. If you think the snake is cute, wait until you see the hippo!

Snake snack. I crack myself up sometimes.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Big new toy, big new learning curve.

Last week my niece graduated from high school, and I made a banner for her celebration. Piece of cake, right?

Well, my Slice Elite fought me tooth and nail through all the letters I wanted to cut. This electronic cutting machine is supposed to be easy, and I guess it is when it works. Don't look too closely because the starting points were not the same as the ending points and somebody had to go back in with scissors and fix them.

The other thing that is limiting is the 4" maximum cut size. It kind of reminds me of my old embroidery machine. But not as flexible.

So when I was watching a video on Youtube showing a stamp company with really great stamps but no dies to cut the stamped image. But what they DO offer now is cut files, so the images can be pre-cut, then stamped and colored. Very nice. I watched a few more videos, and a few more, and more still, and convinced myself I need a Silhouette Cameo so I can do lots of cuts and bigger cuts.

Did I mention that cutting around stamped images leaves the image slightly bent? Or in my case, more than slightly.

Here are the first few images I printed and cut. Yes, I already own the stamps, I just didn't stamp these.

I cut one of the hippos without printing it first, to see how difficult it would be to stamp. It was easy to stamp it, and tricky to color. The snakes were colored between printing them and cutting them. They were much easier.

I'll report back after I upgrade my software to the designer edition. As soon as my "code" comes in the mail.

Awesome new jelly.

Yes, I have been looking for guava jelly with no high fructose corn syrup, and it hasn't been easy. They had some at the store I sometimes go to in Delray when I'm feeling brave, but it wasn't flavorful.

This stuff is the guava jelly of my childhood. Every day at my grandmother's house she would serve us bacon, eggs, and toast with guava jelly. Yum.

This was in the ethnic food section in Publix and I highly recommend it.