Welcome to my Creative Blog. I'm now a "Retired" file designer.

I hope you find inspiration and lots of creative ideas when you visit my blog. Smokey is my sweet lil cat who LOVES to get into my scrap room and play with all my stuff!

I only ask that you do not trace my pictures or files. All content of this blog is protected by myfreecopyright.


Thanks for stopping by
Sharon (and Smokey too!)


Would you like a Active place to talk about your Sizzix Eclips, Cartridges, Ecal and share your creations? Would you join a Facebook Group ? Vote below! Poll ends January 26, 2014

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Calling All "Sizzix Eclips" and / or "Ecal" Users!

Do you own a Sizzix Eclips? Or maybe thinking about getting a Sizzix Eclips! Do you use Ecal with your machine?  Are you looking for more info, tutorials or just plain looking to connect with others that have this machine and love it as much as I do!  Then you need to read this post!

I have been thinking about this for a while now and just don't understand why there isn't a whole lot of  "ACTIVE"  blogs or forums or yahoo groups out there. I have been chatting with Becki over at Happy Card Factory and she loves her machine as much as I do and feels the same way about there being a lack of active or hard to find blogs or groups out there that love their machine.  Okay, I know Craft Edge has a small section for Ecal users with a little bit of talk on the Eclps but it is not very active.  And a little bit of talk on it on the Make the cut forum.  But I want a "Dedicated" place to go chat with others on this machine and post our creations and help others.

I mean, the Cricut came out and there was so much about the machine, all the cartridges , things made with each cartridge and so on with that machine. Why inst there any thing like that for the Sizzix Eclips.

 I love their cartridges. There is so much you can do with them. Did you know that if your looking to buy one of their cartridges and your looking at the back on the box, it only shows a really simple "Diecut". But really, when you open the book, it shows you, you can do so much with that one image, like turn it in to a

*Picture in Picture (That image cut out of a shape like a Heart or Circle)

*Charm or Tag  (with a hole to attach with a brad)

*Border ( You can turn that image in to a boarder and select the size you want it to cut 6", 12", 18" or 24      inches and it will automatically add the number of connected images to make that length.)

*Scoring (you need to update to 2.0 to use scoring but really you should update your handheld to the newest update of 3.0/3.1 you can do that here! Eclips Update

*Mirror (turn your image from facing left to facing right)

You also have "Original, Outline, Shadow, Solid, Embellishment and Pieces!" and you can resize any of these to your needs.  Here is a pdf you can open and have a look at. "Sweetalicious and Sweet Tooth" Scroll down and check out the pages for the shapes around page 66.  Okay really! You have pieces for the Cupcake Wrappers! How cool is that!

I mean, you would never know you could do all this by just looking at the image on the back of the box. What I do is go to Sizzix.com Cartridges and check out the pdf of each cartridge to see what all that cartridge will do before I buy it.

So I thought I would throw this out there and see how many feel the same way.  And see you would feel about some of us starting a Yahoo group, Facebook group or some thing for all of us that love the Sizzix Eclips!

Did you hear today at CHA 2014 that they are releasing a brand new Sizzix Eclips 2 in March.  Yes, they are. So I'm sure, there will be more people out there looking for information and tutorials on these machines.

I have a tab above "Sizzix Eclips and Ecal" with a few links to info and tutorials and videos on the Sizzix Eclips and on the left side of my blog I have "Labels" for my Sizzix tutorials for things I make using the cartridges like the last thing I made was a Christmas banner using the Albums, Bags and Boxes 2 cartridge with a tutorial on how to turn Album parts in to Banner Tags and get different sizes to mat your image.


So if you have a Sizzix Eclips and or use Ecal, Thinking about getting a Sizzix Eclips or would love to have a "Active" group of some kind. Leave me a comment and let me know what you would like.

Or if you have the machine and are a active user please post a comment below leaving your blog for others to be able to find you. ( I have moderation on, so I will check all links before I approve to make sure no spam get posted)

Can't wait to hear for y'all!
Thanks for stopping by,
Sharon

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Friday, December 13, 2013

Free Kit from SVG Cuts!


                            Free Kit from SVG Cuts!



SVG Cuts has given all its fans a FREE KIT  (Click Here) as a Thank you to all their customers for this past year!  Its only for a limited time.

And while your there grabbing your free kit.  Make sure you shop for other kits and use code XMAS for an additional 25% off your total.  

If your not a fan of their SVG Cuts Facebook Page.  Please stop by and tell them Thank You for the Gift!

Thank You SVG Cuts for all the amazing kits you make all year long. I own so many but so many more I need to get.


Sharon

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

"Merry Christmas Banner" (Sizzix Eclips Tutorial)



I have seen several of these banners made on the net and thought I would make one for my fireplace. I didn't feel like making a file for this so dug out my cartridges and looked for some thing that would work.   I used my Sizzix Eclips and Albums, Bags & Boxes 2 cartridge. (Tutorial to follow) And ended up making a file for the letters as I only own 1 cart with letters and they are wonky looking. So would not work. So yep, had to make a file for the letters and cut to my Sizzix with Ecal. 


Here is my fireplace with new Pine Cone Garland. For years we have had the long strand of plain garland that swagged cross the fireplace and down the sides. Now that I have 2 grand babies in the house all day. We decided to change it up. And use a garland that just laid across the top. I had some issues with the ribbon and will have more pictures coming up in the post with a link to May Arts Ribbon. 




This is a close up of the Banner, You can see the Inked edges. I used Adirondack Oregano, first on the outer edge. But after it was done. I thought it needed a touch of red. So I used a light inking of Adirondack Cranberry. On the outer edges. The second layer is light brown, and used Distress Ink in Walnut and top layer Oregano. Then stamped the First and last Letter of both of both rows. And finished off with Silver Rhinestones from Want 2 Scrap. 



I was having a hard time with the wire ribbon on my mantle. I had tried 4 times to put in on different ways. And it just didn't look right. So was taking a break and reading facebook and Wham! May Arts Ribbon posted this: "Classic Christmas Wreath for the Bow-Challenged".  So I went and read it and posted to see if it would work for Mantle Garland. And Charlene Driggs sent me a message on facebook and said it should work fine.  So I gave it a try and Yes! It worked.  (Thanks so much Charlene!) Above is a collection of several sets of 3 gathered together to make a box.

 Here is the set of 3 wire ribbons. The pine cone ribbon my hubby picked out at Michaels when he picked out the new garland with pine cones.  I had to dig in my stash for two others. I only had a few feet of the red one, but made it work.

Here is the mantel with the Ribbon, Poinsettia flowers, Silver ball garland, and a few red ball springs. (Im having a hard time with the color lights. Hubby wanted colored lights this year. I'm a White light and Blue, Silver and White Christmas kind of girl! 



Tutorial 
Sizzix Eclips, Cartridge and Ecal

I haven't used the cartridges but once to test cut when I first go it. So it was a learning experience for sure. And since there are not a lot of Eclips tutorials out. I am going to walk you though the steps I used to make this banner from a Album file. And some tips I learned along the way. 

I used Recollections cardstock and use these settings. Blade 2, Speed 4, Pressure 3

I used cartridge Albums, Bags & Boxes 2 and used the "Fancy Album" on page 22 & 23.
If using the Title Merry Christmas you will need 14 of each layer.


First I cut the back layer as it would be the largest. So wanted to size it first. Here is the screen shot of the Hand held with the "SOLID" file selected.  I sized this to 4.16 H  X 6.41 W.  And Qty 2.


Note that I'm using 8.5 x 11 cardstock.  So I placed my cardstock on my Cricut mat in landscap (11 inches is Left to Right) And was able to cut 2 and notice the Right side scrap. Next step.

(yes, you can use cricut mats, just lay your Eclips mat on top and use a fine marker to mark the rounded corners. Cut the corners off and it works fine. I think these stay sticky longer and cheaper to get with a coupon at Joanns)

The Right side scrap you can save till the end and turn it on its side and change your Qty. to 1 and cut another to save paper.



Here you see how the file cuts out of the scrap. So really you get 3 out of 8.5 x 11 if you take the time to use the scrap just make sure you change your Qty to 1. I did these when I had enough of the sets of two cut. And just cut the last 4 on the scraps.


 2nd layer is the first "Pieces" I sized this one size down. So it actually makes it have a 1/8 inch border all the way around. So size this to 3.91 H  X  6.03 W and Qty. 2 And do the same as above. Cut 2 till 10 are cut then turn and change Qty to 1 and cut last 4 of the scraps.


This is the last layer which is the top. With this one. I used the 2nd image in "Pieces" Notice this one has the holes. I used this one because. I thought it would give me good placement of where to punch the holes. And it worked perfect.  This one cutting step changes.


Notice I now have my 8.5 X 11 in the Portrait position (11 inches Up and Down). Then sized it to 3.66 H  X  5.64 W and changed Qty to 4. I was able to cut 4 on this one sheet 8.5 x 11.

NOTE:  On your handheld scree at the bottom, It will ask you "ROTATE SHAPE FOR LANDSCAPE" hit OK for yes. And it will cut just like you see on screen. And get 4 out of this piece of cardstock.

 Pay attention to your edge. Use your laser to check it. With the cricut mat, I think the paper placement is off a little. Its right close to the edge, I usually just use my hand held to move the blade over and down a tad, forgot on this one but it was fine.


I used a Font in Ecal called "Perpetua" and Select all letters and size to 3 inches tall. I inked all my edges. Layer all your pieces. I used my ATG gun. Then use Scotch Quick Dry glue for the letters. When you place your first letter. Use a grid mat to line up the top of one and then line up your next, and take notices of placement of the letter on the first one. This will help you get all your letters as close to even as possible.


Lastly, I used my Cropadile to punch the holes. Remember you cut the top layer with holes. So just center the largest hole punch over the one that is that is in the top layer. And punch all your banner tags. Then I used this new stamp set to stamp the "M & C" in the top left corner.  And stamped the  "Y & S" in the top right corner. And used another stamp to stamp the centers of each letter with Adirondack Oregano ink. And lastly added A tiny silver rhinestone for the center of the smaller stamp in middle of the letters. And then on the bottom I added a Med rhinestone and 2 tiny ones to the bottom.




Supplies Used:
Sizzix Eclips (Machine)
Ecal (Cutter software)
Albums, Boxes and Bags 2 (Sizzix Cartridge)
Stamps (Recollections  Flourishy) 
Ink (Adirondack Oregano, Cranberry) (Distress Ink Walnut)
Cardstock (Recollections) Brown, Cream, Deep Red
Glue (Scotch Quick Dry) Love this stuff! 
Adhesive (ATG Gold Tape. 
Ribbon

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Friday, November 29, 2013

Hanging Kitchen Towels (Sewing Tutorial)


After many years of walking around with a kitchen towel on my shoulder when my kids were small. Half the time I couldn't remember where I laid it down. I remember walking half way though a store with a kitchen towel still on my shoulder. LOL!  It was after that. I decided I needed towels that hung on my stove. And you know, they aren't easy to find.  I usually found a few at yardsales and picked them up when ever I found them.  But now that my old ones are starting to fall apart.  I decided it was time to make some like one I bought years ago.   So here is a sewing tutorial for these.  These are easy to make, but I took a lot of pictures to show you the steps.


 Supplies Needed: Sewing Machine, Towels with matching pot holders (Square or Rectangle) , Needle and Thread, Ruffle, Scissors.  The set on the left I got at Dollar tree, 2 pot holders and 2 towels $4. And the set with pumpkins came with 2 pot holders, 1 oven mitt, 1 Wash cloth and 1 kitchen towel. $5 on clearance half off $2.50 score at Biglots.   I will be working with the Fall one for this tutorial. 


 This is the Wash cloth, I cut a piece of ruffle ribbon long enough to be 1 inch longer on both side.(This came on a spool for 2.50 from Joanns).  Pin the ruffle to the front bottom of the wash cloth and fold the ends around the back and pin. 


 This is the Kitchen towel with the ribbon pinned to the front bottom and wrapped around the back.


 Sew along the ruffle on both the wash cloth and Kitchen towel or 2 Kitchen towels if you have them.


 I turned it over, and lined the bottom of the towel just above the bottom of the front (So you don't see it from the front). But you can leave them even if you like. Or if your towel has a strong fold line from the store, just leave it as is.  This one didn't have a strong fold so it didn't matter. Pin to hold in place. Then flatten out the towel.

 If you have strong fold center line, just go with that. This one did not, so I used a fine marker to make my line across so I would know where the center was. Or you could Iron it to get your center line fold.


 I used a Needle and Thread to make a Loose Stitch. Or you could use your sewing machine and set your stitch length to the longest possible.


 If you use Needle and Thread pull thread a little to gather and leave the thread attached at the end. (See red Circle) If your using sewing machine to make your loose stitch.  Make sure you leave long threads on the ends.


 Next, Fold your pot holder in half and pin where the center is (See red circle)


 IMPORTANT!   If your using a Towel and Potholder with a specific pattern. Turn the potholder over and make sure the loop faces the end with the ruffle (See Arrow). If you didn't use a ruffle. Just make sure you have it facing the front bottom of your towel.

NOTE!   If your working with a solid color or stripes or plaid. You can choose to put the look in back so when its closed, your button is in the front. So check that when your buying it, Which would look better to you.

 Now that you have it facing the right direction, I pinned the pot holder even with the towel edge. Make sure you line up the center pin with the center line or center fold.


 Next, Pin to the other end and pull your end string to gather and tie it off.  Then use pins to hold gather in place while you sew.

 Hold down the gathers while your sewing.  Making sure you end even with your center pin on the end.  When done, pull the back thread till the front stitch comes though, pull it out and tie off your ends.


 This is how it looks when you flip the pot holder over and fold it in half. This is the front.  Since this has a pattern , the loop will hook in the back.

 I attached a Medium size button about 3/4 inch wide to the back. (See how the pumpkin is upside down. Important to keep eye on the direction of your pattern. So you know to put look on front or back.

                        Wash Cloth Hanging Towel 

 This is how I sewed the Wash cloth.  I did a loose stitch with my needle and thread.  Close to the edge.


 Pull the thread to gather and make sure you leave it attached.


 IMPORTANT!  Notice the direction of the towel and pot holder. Since this has specific pattern. I turned the wash cloth over with the top facing the right. And the pot holder face up but the top with loop facing the left. Your seeing the end of the pot holder.

Pin  both sides, then pull your thread to gather, then tie it off.  And pin to the center of the pot holder.



 Sew along the center along the edge of the wash cloth.


 When you flip it over, you can see the direction is correct.



And this is the back with the button to attach the loop.


And here is finished project. Wash cloth on the Left and Kitchen towel on the Right.

Updated 12/02/13 Added picture of new Hanging Kitchen Towels



Hope you find this useful.  Once you do one, the others are super easy. I have several more to make, and will be looking for Holiday Pot holders and Towels on clearance.

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Vintage Christmas Ornaments 2013 Tutorial


For the past few years.  I have made Christmas Ornaments for our tree. This year, I made these out of wood cut outs.  And love how these turned out.

This will be a long blog post with a tutorial, Do's and Don'ts and lots of pictures. 2 different methods. So lets get started.














                                                               Supply list below!

I used Christmas Emporium Collection by Graphic 45, but you can use any paper you like. I wanted a vintage look so used this collection. I also used a different paper for each of the 12 Ornaments.


 Cut a piece of paper just big enough to fit each ornament.


 Use Mod podge to paint on the front of the ornament and turn your paper over and lay painted side on. When totally dry. Use a craft knife with a new blade to closely cut around the edges.


 Use a Emory board to sand all the sides of the wood ornament and to file down any paper edges you didn't cut close enough or to round pointed edges. And it gives a nice finished look. If you use the Basic Grey precision file kit, You can use the small files to sand in small places like the antler ears.


 Next I used Vintage Photo distressed ink and a foam make up sponge to apply ink to the edges and back. (Later step for the back).

 These don't have holes so I used my Crop-A-Dile to make holes. I used the larger of the two hole punches.


 This step I did for the first try.  And let me tell you, You need to decide which way you want to go. I laid the pattern paper side down on the Xyron 900 refill. Cut the paper off, flipped it over, and rubbed it really good. Then cut around each ornament so I could work with them one at a time. You have to be really careful when you pull off the front paper. Make sure to hold the edge of the pattern paper or it will pull it right off.

 Then I laid them in my blue funnel tray and covered with glass micro beads. Pour a generous amount on. To make sure you get good coverage.

 I then turned over the ornament and pushed it down to make sure the micro beads stuck. And then hold and tap the side with your craft knife to remove the loose ones.


 This is what they looked like when you clean them off.  But! I found that just touching it. The micro beads fell off. So trying to save them. I then used Glossy accents over the entire top. It took a long time because you can not touch the beads. And I wanted to still feel the beads. So I worked in tiny sections and did a little box and then used the tip of the bottle to pull the sides together.  And when it dried. It was shinny, and you could slightly feel the beads. Some of the black ornaments look white even though they are fully dried.


 This is the second set. This one went much faster because I didn't have the Xyron and cover with glossy step. So as above. Paint on Mod podge, dry completely, cut around the edges and ink the edges. And punch the holes.(I forgot that step and did it last and it was fine).


 After you get them ready, I used a generous amount of Glossy Accents and a small paint brush and spread it all over the ornament (Make sure its thick) and then quickly pored the micro beads on. (Sorry for got that picture) And the micro beads seem to stick pretty good.


Tip for the backs.  The store stickers would not come off with out peeling in tiny peaces. So I tried using a heat gun and a small spatula. And it worked perfect.  So make sure you do that.  And then I inked the backs to give them a finished look.   Then add ribbon and other decorations of your choice. Use the lighter to heat seal the ends of the ribbon.  I wanted to keep them simple and vintage so only used a thin cream colored ribbon and some beads.

 If you have any questions, leave a comment.

Supplies used:
Graphic 45 ( Christmas Emporium Collection 2011 discontinued)
Mod Podge by Plaid
Glossy Accents by Ranger
Crop-A-Dile by We Are Memory Keepers
Basic Grey Precision File set
Vintage Photo Distress ink by Ranger and make up sponge
Wood Cut out shapes (Michaels or Joanns)
Clear Glass Micro Beads
Cricut Spatula
Craft Knife with new blade
Fire clicker / Lighter
Embossing Heat gun by Marvy
Blue Funnel Tray
Ribbon and beads
Xyron adheasive

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