Sunday, December 16, 2012

Rosette Christmas Tree with Cricut

I've loved the look of these rosette trees since I saw the project on I have the cartridge, Ribbons and Rosettes and couldn't wait to make it. Trying to find specific directions was difficult. The materials were listed on, but steps were vague and I gave up on opening up the .ccr file they have for download.I wrote to Support who advised me to update my Adobe software. I did this, but it still didn't work. 

Next, I tried Googling rosette trees. I found a similar project on I found the measurements almost too small to read, even with the enlarger which was built in. I did manage to get an idea of what was going on. Again, directions weren't that great.

I used the Cricut Craft Room that is installed on my laptop. The more I'm learning to use it, the more I enjoy it. I found it worked best to pull one border into the digital mat, stretch or shrink it to the size I needed, then copy and paste it as many times as needed.

Putting the layers together worked well with a hot glue gun. I tried foam glue squares at first to give some distance between the layers, but the tree became wobbly and began to lean after the bottom layers. I removed these and hot-glued the circles onto the rosettes and the rosettes to each other. I never got the top three rosettes to flex enough to bend into shape. I think I needed more score marks, but I had gone by the marks from the Cricut machine.

All in all, though, I'd count this as a success. My parents are going through a tough holiday season this year due to my father's health and they have not put up their usual Christmas tree. As I sat with my sister at their house assembling this tree, my mother began pulling out small decorations to set around the house. I just hope little tree will bring a spot of holiday cheer to them and to you and wish you a season of giving and hope.
I'm linking up with

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Scrappin' the Family

I bought the Scrap'n Easel this summer and have wanted to get started with scrapbooks for the great neices and nephew. I finally had a chance last night and have been in love with it since. The magnets that come with it to hold pieces in place on its magnetic board are great. One note of caution: They're small, so if you have little ones or four-footed friends nearby, be careful with them. The magnetic ruler seems to have lost it's hold over the summer, but I wonder if I could re-magnetize it with the magnets. I also made myself border templates with old cereal boxes. It just takes a minute to cut a strip, draw a squiggly line down the middle and then cut them out. It helps to number both sides as you go so that you can match them up later. I think I need to cut them out with more depth for overlapping. You can see in at least one of the pictures that there is a little gap. No worries, I haven't broken out the Cricut for embellishments yet, but that will take care of those. I used DCWV's Nana's Kids pack for the background and borders. I love the bright colors and patterns. I think this has me over the hurdle of at least starting into scrapping. I'm still working on these pages, but I feel the hard part is over. I usually get stuck on the beginning of a page. The easel takes a lot of the physical work out of this as well, eliminating the backache of bending over the pages. I downloaded an ebook of scrapbooking with 4x6 pictures which will also help me brave the beginning. So, look for more scrapping ahead. Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Writer's Schmooze

John Claude Bemis, Karen Lee, and Stephen Messer

Our Goalie, Jenny, did a great job of directing the Critiques.

Thanks so much to Quail Ridge Books

Our Goalies Writers' Schmooze was a huge success. Our guest speakers, John Claude Bemis (The Clockwork Dark Trilogy, The Prince Who Fell From the Sky), Karen Lee (ABC Safari), and Stephen Messer (Windblowne, The Death of Yorik Mortwell), were such patient and gracious judges for our First Page Critiques. Quail Ridge Books personnel in Raleigh, NC, were our host bookstore as usual and helped us get through one more year 
without a hitch.
We tried a First Page Critique for the first time this year. It was met with much enthusiasm from our attendees so that this may very well be repeated next year.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Steampunk for Schmooze

Our writer's critique group, The Goalies, are hosting Stephen Messer, John Claude Bemis and Karen Lee, this Sunday at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, NC for a writer's schmooze. John and Stephen write in the steampunk genre, so I've been working up some decorations for the event. I've also "punked" some old stuffed animals of mine to tie in Karen's ABC Safari with their Clockwork Dark trilogy (Bemis) and The Death of Yorik Mortwell (Messer). I love steampunk and the dark look of it all.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Baby Blanket Project

I've been trying to reduce the yarn stash in my shop and decided to use the Classic Worsted to weave a baby blanket for a neighbor. I signed onto to establish a pattern since I wanted to use cream, bubblegum pink, granny smith green and primrose yellow. You can find my pattern on this website under "Boyd Baby Blanket." Pictures should come later. I figured with the size 8-dent reed of 36 inches, I'd have 288 threads. I designed my blanket with a total of one repeat adding up to 17 threads, this wasn't divisible by 288 evenly, so I went back to the design maker and increased my yellow by one thread. This worked perfectly at 16 repeats of 18 threads for a total of 288. Pictures later when I begin to warp.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Plain Weave with Self-Patterning Yarn

I've been trying plain weave on my 8-shaft loom spruced up with variegated yarn. I've been using a 1-2-3-4 pattern for warping. The first piece was warped with Nazli Gelin Egyptian cotton in lime green and woven with Cotton Supreme Batik Watermelon Patch. I love the way the variegated yarn makes even plain weave so much more interesting.
The next project became a little more adventurous.  I warped Nazli Gelin again, but in royal blue & white metallic (20 blue/25 white). I'm using North Pole patterned sock yarn by Wisdom Yarns (Jack
Frost). It's been fascinating to see the patterns unfolding.
For those of you with rigid heddle looms, try variegated yarn and plain weave. It opens all kinds of possibilities.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Knitted Seder Plate


This beautiful knitted seder plate was posted on Facebook on the Carolina Fiber Fest page. The knitting is done by tikkunknits from The knitting patterns available are beautiful and all proceeds go to peacemaking efforts in Israel. I've been looking for a yarmulke pattern that is knitted and she has several, even a kufi pattern that is just beautiful. I have a feeling that I may spend some time in her etsy store.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Valentine Greetings!
I'm still trying my hand at greeting cards. I love the use of different textures and patterns coming together on cards, but I find it's harder than it looks to keep a card or scrapbook page from looking like I just stuck a bunch of pieces of paper on the page. I'm taking a free online course, called the 2012 Resolved to Get Organized Challenge. Although I don't think I can afford the merchandise they're offering right now, it has given me a lot of ideas of how to organize my scrapbook materials so that they're easily accessible and not forgotten. I feel like about a third of my crafting time in my studio ends up in organization/straightening up time, not always a bad thing. However, I would like to reduce this and be able to put my hands on what I need at a second's notice. One of the most helpful hints so far has been to separate whole pieces of scrapbook paper from the scraps and to place the scraps into a clear sleeve. So far, I've been through my reds and blues and have tried to color coordinate the solid scraps with the patterned ones. Maybe a few minutes now will help when pulling together a page later. It did help with getting this card together for Henry. He loved it (couldn't wait until Tuesday to give it to him), so it must be a success.

I also came across another website for scrapbooking that I really love.  Daisies & Dimples has beautiful  electronic scrapbook patterns/layouts for sale for great prices. They offer free downloads that are really gorgeous and several wonderful designers. Here's the website: