November 12, 2014

Christmas Stocking with Poinsettia - and Little Reindeer

Hello, Everyone!

I'm afraid my blog for the next several weeks will be Christmas stocking cards - as that's what's on my plate - probably until New Year's.  But I'm continuing to use up my scraps for these cards - and loving all the different non-traditional color combinations.

Today's blog of creative inspiration contains a card made using the colors orange, yellow, and brown - for 2 Cute Ink's Color Challenge #119.  

Be sure to visit all the Color Challenge projects - add your own for a chance to win some digital images from 2 Cute Ink.

November 5, 2014

Happy Holiday Card

Don't you just love the happy colors of spring -- all the blooming flowers and beautiful butterflies.  I do, too - so I've decided to begin my Christmas cards using non-traditional colors - most of the papers coming from DCWV's Garden Party paper pack.

Now through probably New Year's Eve, I will be putting together Christmas stocking cards (inspired by Sara Miller from Heartfelt Creations).  I plan to begin with these amazing spring colors - But I have lots of paper in my stash, so I will be making lots of stockings with all kinds of colors to suit anyone's taste.  I have simplified the card somewhat - as I have 200+ cards ahead of me!

A few days later . . .  here are a few more cards.  Now I am on a mission to use up scraps - whether Christmas themed or not.  I'm loving my cards and all the different combinations.

November 3, 2014

Christmas Card

Hi, All!

So my Sizzix eClips died last week...after doing a little research, I decided my best bet was go with the new Sizzix eClips 2.  Here is the first card I made with the eClips 2 - below is my "review" of the new machine.  If you are contemplating moving up to a 2 from the original Sizzix, you may want to read below.  If you have the same papercrafting space issues as I do, the new machine may not be for you.

I was contemplating waiting for the new eClips with bluetooth compatability that was supposed to be released in October (according to You Tube videos by Sizzix).  However, they are not ready to release it yet....and have no release date scheduled.  Since I have over 200 Christmas cards to make, I decided I could not wait.  

I contemplated making the change to Silhouette, since my first Sizzix lasted only 15 months - but after visiting a friend with a Silhouette, there were just enough things that deterred me - first of all, a learning curve (and, again, just as I need to be working on Christmas cards).  While I'm sure I would eventually learn to love the software, with my poor eyesight, I found myself struggling too much to see the images.  And what really turned me off is having to remove the blade housing each time I wanted to change the blade depth.  Hmmm.  My friend also seemed to go through blades much faster than I did with my Sizzix - and I use mine nearly every day.  She seldom uses her machine.  And a quick check on prices shows that the Cameo's blade costs more than twice that of the Sizzix.

Other than the short life of my Sizzix, I was very happy with how it cut.  And I had pretty good luck with Sizzix Customer Service with quick replies to my e-mail requests.  So I opted to buy the eClips 2.

When opening the box, I was thrilled to see no remote me that was a waste of material.  There is a small display on the right side of the machine that I was sure would replace the remote control.  I WAS WRONG!  That display does NOTHING but allow you to cancel your cutting!  You must load and unload the mat from the computer!  My work space is limited.  My computer is on the other side of my craft room.  So now when I load the paper, I can't be by the machine to ensure the paper does not get jammed.  On top of that, the new mat that came with the machine was not packed the paper would not stick properly.  I need to TAPE my paper to the mat!  Not cool, Sizzix!  I have wasted a lot of paper the last couple days trying to get the machine to do what I want.  Because the paper does not stick to the mat well, I'm unable to plan my project and use several scrap pieces around the mat...making a great deal more work for me.  When I purchased my first eClips, I had a beautiful intricate cut file completed in less than five minutes....with the eClips 2 (and now an experienced user!), it took me hours to finally get the machine to cut the two files shown on this first card.  I am finally happy to report that I was able to make intricate cuts - but I might add I had to change my mat to a CRICUT mat!

Looks like I also now need to redesign my entire room in order to put the two machines together - probably requiring the purchase of new furniture, not to mention moving furniture and reorganizing so much (my craft room doubles as an office for my husband and me).

I truly believed reviews I read regarding Sizzix - that they are "really paying attention to the paper craft world and they understand what paper crafters want" and that "they are a company that puts their customers first."  Well, while that may have been true once, I'm wondering if they are going the way of Cricut and deciding for us papercrafters what we want.  I will keep the machine - not because I think it's great, but because it may be the lesser of three evils.  But my main recommendation stands.....if you are happy with your original eClips, you may want to save some money and stick with that rather than upgrade to the eClips 2.

November 2, 2014

What is Whimsical, Sweet, and Cheery?

I'm stocking my inventory today with fresh and fun cards using an image from Aurora Wings!  Aurora Wings images are full of artsy flair.  this image features a Puppy in a Boot - a soft blackline design that adds a wonderful love of pets to your cards.  

I intended to use this cute image as a Puppy in a SANTA Boot - for Christmas cards.  My intent was to add some holly - but wasn't fond of the results - so am just making simple blank notecards with the image.

November 1, 2014

Suzy Bee's - 2 Cute

DCWV's delightful Garden Party collection is loaded with peachy colors and tea-stained patterns that are soft and beautiful.  Today I get serious about Christmas cards - and was thinking I wanted to go with non-traditional colors for some - this collection is just perfect!  Also since I am facing probably about 225 Christmas cards in the next month, some simple cards like this will help me reach my goal.

I'm inspired by two challenges today:
  • My favorite Saturday challenge, Suzy Bee's.  Today'd challenge is Anything Goes with a Twist - of layers.
  • 2 Cute Ink is now offering a monthly freebie and challenge.
Well, I envisioned the Layers challenge as an opportunity to put lots of scraps to good I layered and layered....and did not like what I saw.  So for my first card, I kept the layers simple - to three.  Nothing special or out of the ordinary...but I do like simple!

2 Cute Ink's November free is Joy.  I stuck with my nontraditional colors by matching the digital colors with my paper colors.  What fun! I love the soft look.  Again - nothing fancy, but definitely simple and quick - which I need to keep in mind as I make the next 224 cards.  :D

So here is my first Christmas Card in non-traditional colors.