A Well Crafted Retirement

"Retire from work, but not from life." -M.K. Soni


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Robot Birthday Card

I bought the Cicut Explore several weeks ago and I am experiencing a pretty steep learning curve with the Design Space software.  I think part of the problem lies in the fact that I never used The Craft Room with my Expression 2 so before I can learn some of the features of the new machine I first have to feel comfortable with the concept of designing on line.  Here is an easel card I made for our nephew.  I have attempted to create a template for the card base, but I am still having some trouble the placement of the score line.

Images:Robot Birthday Card

  • Robot from Wrap-It-Up
  • Cake from Stamping
  • Rectangle a notecard from Cricut Craft Room Basics
  • Cloud a notecard from Cricut Craft Room Basics
  • “Cake” Impact font

Cuttle Bug:

  • Darice Swirl Background
  • Darice Diagonal Stripe Background

Additional Supplies:

  • tape runner
  • craft glue
  • “Happy Birthday” stamp for inside of card
  • small piece of foam core to place under “Cake ?”

Here are two screen shots from my Design Space to help with the sizing of the cuts. The one of the card base is still a work in progress.

Elements of the card.

Elements of the card.

 

Easel Card base...in progress

Easel Card base…in progress

 

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“Thanks a Ton” Card

This week Clay needed a thank you card for the family of one of the students he tutors.  I like the elephant cut from Everyday Pop Up Cards so that’s what I got out.

Thanks a Ton CardCartridge Used:

  • Everyday Pop Up Cards

Cut Sizes in Inches:

  • Elephant @ 4.0
  • “Thanks a Ton” @ 4.0

Additional Supplies:

  • tape runner
  • craft glue
  • a corner rounding punch

I found a print with old time circus ads and ticket strips in The Great Rock Island Route paper stack by the Paper Studio.  I cut a 5 x 6.5 inch rectangle from the print.  I then cut a 4 x 5 rectangle in red and a 4.5 x 5.5 in gold.  I used the punch to round the corners of the gold paper.  The print had these cute little tickets  that I cut by hand to embellish the left hand edge.  Using some tan and a copper foil paper from my scraps I cut the elephant and attached it to the gold paper.

InsideI scored the gold paper 0.5 inches from the left edge so that it would open outward.  The phrase “Thanks a Ton” went on the inside of the card.  The tickets act as the hinges to open the card.


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Garden Gate Sign

Many years ago when we were visiting family in the Toronto area, I noticed many homes had named their properties and gardens. These names were displayed on neat signs posted on fences and garden gates.  When we got home I named our property Gladville Gardens with a wooden hand lettered sign.

Gladville GardensAfter 15 plus years of Chicago weather, last year I replaced the original sign with a new one.  This time I used adhesive backed vinyl, spray paint and my Cricut.  I liked the crisp edges of the lettering and the fresh white and green colors.  This spring a wooden planter box next to the other garden gate had clearly seen better days so I decided to replace it with a sign rather than another flower box.

Supplies:

  • Walnut Hollow Sign 8.25 x 18.5 inches
  • Self adhesive vinyl
  • Masking tape
  • Exacto knife
  • Old news papers
  • Sanding block

Paints:

  • Rustoleum 2x Ultra Cover Satin Moss Green
  • Rustoleum 2x Ultra Cover Satin Straw Flower
  • Rustoeum 2x Ultra Cover Satin Blossom White
  • Folk Art  Autumn Leaves

Cricut Cartridges:

  • Cricut Alphabet
  • Walk in my Garden
  • Winter Wonderland

Cut Sizes in Inches:

  • “Time” @ 2.0 (Cricut Alphabet)
  • “began in a ” @ 1.5
  • “Garden” @ 2.75 (Winter Wonderland)
  • Cone flower @ 3.0 (Walk in my Garden)
  • Daisy 2 @ 3.0 and 1.75
  • Leaf 3 @ 1.o

I started by lightly sanding the rough spots on the wood and gave both sides two coats of white spray paint.  I waited two days before applying any vinyl to the sign to be sure the paint was very dry and the vinyl wouldn’t pull off any paint as I peeled it away.  I have the Expression 2 machine and I have had good luck cutting vinyl with the “kiss cut” setting.   The sharp hook that came with one of my tool kits works very well to remove the actual letters from the backing sheet.  I use regular masking tape to help transfer the vinyl.   Pressing it on the carpet to pick up some fibers prevents it from being too sticky.

Once the letters are in place the rest of the sign’s surface has to be covered.  For this I use masking tape or scrap vinyl.  An exact0  knife trims the vinyl from the routed edges so that the sign is “framed” in the same color as the letters.

With flowersFor the flowers I positioned the cut vinyl being careful not to to expose any lettering in the openings.  Again I used scrap vinyl and masking to cover the rest of the sign.  Since I do not want to spray paint the edges I tape newspaper to the edges of the wood and tuck it under to protect the green frame as I spray the yellow flowers. At this point I thought I should have some green leaves.  It would have been easier to have done them at the same time as the lettering since I wanted to use the same green.  To achieve the look that some of the leaves were behind the flowers, I had to carefully mask part of the yellow petals to avoid them being covered in green.  Again I taped,vinyl and tucked newspaper around the edges.

 

Rather than go to the Cricut layers to add details to the flowers and buy another can of spray paint to cover just a few square inches of sign I used my acrylic paints and brushes to add the final touches to the flowers.  In the past I had trouble using the vinyl as a stencil for the acrylic.  When I removed the vinyl it pulled some of the acrylic paint away. Now when we repair the fence behind the old flower box we can hang the new sign!

Gaden Gate Sign


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Card Gallery

I received my Cricut a year and a half ago and for my first project made the card suggested in the Walk in my Garden Cartridge.  I only started blogging three months ago.  Many of the cards I made I photographed but didn’t keep records of the cut sizes.  I do remember what cartridges I used for the main cuts.

Birthday Cards:

 

ChristmasCards: 

 Get Well Cards:

Special Occasions:

 Two Versions of One Design:

A Sympathy Card:

I hope to share more cards as I go along.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Speedy Recovery Card

An old friend of ours is doing in-house rehab after a long illness.  So I’m sending him this card.  He grew up in the 50’s and loves classic cars so I thought this would suit him. The front of the card

Cartridge Used:

  • Give a Hoot
  • Nifty Fifties
  • Every Day Pop Up Cards
  • Plantin Schoolbook

Cut Sizes in Inches:

  • Gas Pump @ 3.0 (Nifty Fifties)
  • Car 1 @ 2.0 ( Nifty Fifties)
  • SpeedyRecovery @ 1.5 (Every Day Pop Up Cards)
  • Border page 46 @ 1.25 ( Give a Hoot)
The inside of the card.

The inside of the card.

Cuttle Bug:

  • Darice Simple Border

Additional Supplies:

  • tape runner
  • craft glue
  • a black Sharpie pen
  • a silver gel pen
  • a corner rounding punch

I used a paper cutter to cut the card at 6.5 x 10 from Cloud9Design double sided card stock.  The other papers I found in my scrap box to coordinate with the blue, green and cream stripes.  The dark blue rectangle  is 2.5 x 4 with the corners rounded.  The light blue horizontal stripe is 1 x 6.5 and embossed with the Cuttlebug to give the checkerboard design.  The copper stripe is .25 x 6.5.

When I cut the gas pump I found the tiny letters and silver details were to small to handle.  I used the very fine point of the Sharpie pen for the word “gas” and the silver gel pen for the hose details.  The green border I thought had a nice 1950’s vibe, but it was either too tall or not long enough.  The cut at 1.25 worked when I made two and covered the seam with the gas pump.

I cut the phrase in the dark blue and its shadow in the striped paper with the stripes running horizontally to mimic the lettering.  For the convertible I use red, light blue and white with the black bottom layer.  I cut the pop-up strip .25 x 5.5 and folded it at the 1 in., 1.5 in., 1 in., 1.5in. and .5 marks.  The method is the same as I used in the Baby Shower Card.  With all the pieces ready and the envelope cut from cream paper I assembled the card.

 


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Door Sign

Katie mentioned that when she took her Christmas wreath down their apartment door looked pretty dull.  I’ve had a few ideas for a craft project for her but when I ran across the pieces of a lightweight picture frame this week I deceided on a door sign.

Door SignHer apartment is neutral colored with dark wood trim and wood floors.  For a punch of color she has two bright turquoise area rugs and has added aqua accents.  So that determined my color choices.  I used Coordinations canvas texture and DCWV Blue Stained Glass.

CartridgesUsed:

  • Hoot ‘n’ Holler
  • Wrap it Up
  • Cricut Alphabet

Cut Sizes in Inches:

  • Owl Family @ 2.5 (Hoot ‘n; Holler)
  • Castle @ 3.75 (Wrap it Up)
  • R Place @ 2.0 (Crcut Alphabet)
  • Katie nd Dustin @ 1.5 ( Cricut Alphabet)

Cuttlebug Folders:

  • Cane Back Chair
  • Swiss Dots
  • Woodgrain

Additional Supplies:

  • a tape runer
  • craft glue like Aleene’s sMax Tacky Adhesive

The size I needed for the frame was 12 x 15.  I started with a full sheet of the 12 x 12 patterned paper.  I cut a 3.75 inch strip of the darker aqua and overlapped it on top of the print and used a glue runner to hold it n place.  To hide the seam  I found a pearly aqua paper in my scraps, cut it at 1 inch and embossed it with the Cane Back Chair border folder.  The brown  is a 9 inch square and the light aqua square is 8 inches.

I used the shadow feature with both sizes of letters.  To add more texture I embossed the brown letters with the Woodgrain folder.  The paper I used for the shadow on their names is a foil I found in a stack.  I discovered that if I used white glue to attach the letters to the shadow it came apart after drying!  So I did it again with Aleene’s.

The first layer of the castle is embossed with the Swiss Dots folder and the top layer I cut twice, once in the pearl and once in the foil and used the pearl for the front and the foil for the flag and tower tops.  The owl cut is for a family but since there are only the two of them I snipped the small owl off the branch.

Every thing went together with the glue runner.  This was a pretty simple project.  I think it will brighten up their door and hallway.