Saturday, February 18, 2012

Chicks Rule

Hello again!

Just wanted to share another card with you because I'm really excited about learning a new trick/technique. This is my "Chicks Rule" card and will be on its way to my bestie Amanda on Tuesday.

The card was made using my Cricut Expression and the Wild Card and 3 Birds on Parade cartridges. Here are the materials and sizes:
  • Hanukkah Card from Wild Card, cut in blackout mode at 5 1/4" from green cardstock (I used Die Cuts with a View - 12 x 12 Neutrals)
  • Bird from 3 Birds on Parade in 3 1/4"
  • Egg from 3 Birds on Parade, the Bunny (Layer 1) set, cut at 3 1/4"
  • 5/8 " ribbon that I bought on sale a year ago (don't judge!)
  • 2 googly eyes
  • Chicks Rule stamp from Jillibean Soup's "Eggcellent" set and black ink
  • Zots, medium
  • Pop up foam squares from Scotch (my version of pop-dots... at least for now)
So the new trick I've learned is that you can adhere ribbon to cardstock using Zots. For this ribbon, I used medium Zots (permanent). I'm sure you could use large Zots for wider ribbon and small Zots for narrower ribbon.

You can also use the My Pink Stamper cheater method of taping the ends of the ribbon on the back side of the paper, but it only works if you are putting the ribbon on a mat piece of paper that will be adhered to the front of your card.

Overall, I'm pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to adhere the ribbon to my card!

In case you're wondering, the corresponding envelope will be cut at 5 1/4" as well (blackout mode).

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Hippie Card - Just Keep Truckin On

Hi everyone - Hope you are having a wonderful Friday night!

I just finished a card and wanted to share it with you guys. Most of the cards I see on crafting and blog sites are meant for happy times (birthdays, holidays and "just because" days). Well, a few days ago my mom asked me to make a card for her friend. I puffed up with pride and agreed in an instant (by the way, this is only the 3rd card I've made, but I figured it would be easy-peasy). When my mom explained that it was for a friend of hers who was diagnosed with terminal stage cancer and given 1-4 months to live, my heart plummeted.

What kind of card would be appropriate for this situation? I didn't want to be too peppy and optimistic ("Get Well Soon" is just a slap in the face here) but I also didn't know how to say, "I'm so sorry you're dying," without being depressive about it. Since her friend was a hippie in the 60's, we decided to go with a modified version of a peace, love and happiness theme. Her friend was also a Grateful Dead fan (honestly, who isn't??), so we added lyrics to "Truckin" on the card. 

The lyrics to Truckin swirl around the peace sign. The words we used were:

"Truckin, got my chips cashed in. Keep truckin, like the do-dah man. Together, more or less in line. Just keep truckin on. Sometimes the lights all shining on me; other times I can barely see. Lately, it occurs to me, what a long, strange trip it's been... Truckin, I'm goin home. Whoa, baby back where I belong. Back home, sit down and patch my bones, and get back truckin on... get back truckin home."

The inside inscription is "Peace, Love, and Happiness on your walk with Jesus."

In the end, I think the card strikes a poignant balance between good times and bad, and I hope it provides some small measure of comfort during the receiver's difficult journey.

Hopefully this card will inspire you to think outside the box and make cards for the difficult times, as well as the fun and easy times.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Ebay, Will You Be My Valentine?

Hi everyone,

Just want to wish you all a happy Valentine's Day and tell you about my favorite Cricut store... Ebay!

There are some pretty awesome deals that you can snag if you are looking for Cricut cartridges. Just do a search for "Cricut" or "Cricut Cartridge" and sort the results by "ending soonest". You can routinely get cartridges for $20 and under. They retail for around $49.99 at Michael's stores and the weekly store coupons don't count towards Cricut products (booo - what's up with that?!). So, if there is a cartridge you are looking for, it's defintely worth stopping by Ebay first.

The first step to buying cartridges on Ebay is to put several of the same auctions in your "watch" list and wait for a few of the auctions to expire. You can start to see the range of prices that people are willing to pay for that cartridge. The next step is to follow each of the cardinal rules listed below (no cheating, people!).

First cardinal rule - don't pay more than you realistically have to spend. You will hate yourself afterwards. As Suze Orman would say, "Stand in your financial truth." Buyer's remorse is ok when you can take the item back to the store, but that doesn't work with Ebay, so just don't do it.

Second cardinal rule - don't bid on something until the last 15 seconds of the auction. When you bid in the last 15 seconds, enter your highest bid and hit the "confirm" button when there's about 10 seconds left. This prevents others from swooping in and taking your steal of a deal away from you with a bid that is only 50 cents higher than yours.

Third cardinal rule - don't pay more than others have paid. Refer to your watch list for completed auctions and final sales prices. Do a last minute search and see what the "Buy It Now" prices are for that cartridge (Buy It Now cartridges are almost always higher, but you never know and you always want to make an informed purchase). And DON'T PAY MORE than anyone else. Trust me when I say that the cartridge will be listed for sale on Ebay again and you will regret buying a cartridge for $22.50 when 3 other people got it for $17.50. 

Fourth and final cardinal rule - don't pay for shipping. There are plenty of sellers who offer free shipping. The cartridge prices are usually within a certain price range (with or without shipping), but tack on the shipping charges and it can really make the final price skyrocket, which eats away at your crafting budget. The only exception to this is for auctions that are a steal of a deal even with shipping, but still, those are few and far between.

The only other rule is that you don't talk about the rules. <silence> <crickets> C'mon, Fight Club? Anyone? No...?

Welcome to the World of Illegal Crafting

Hello everyone (ok, so there really isn't an "everyone" out there yet, and there may only be a single someone, but you have to start somewhere, right?).  Welcome to my blog. I am a complete newbie when it comes to blogging, so there are going to be some stumbles along the way. Hopefully this experience will be fun for all of us and we'll find ourselves laughing with each other (of course, feel free to just laugh at me, too... I do it all time).

I'm starting this blog because I've rediscovered my love of paper-crafting and after many hours perusing the internet, I felt like all of the scrapbooking and crafting blogs were written by domestic goddesses and that's just not me. I am a full-time attorney with a husband, a toddler, and 3 dogs (I challenge you to figure out which one takes the most work- LOL!). I make cupcakes with mix from the box, hurry into stores 5 minutes before they close, and make a valiant effort to overlook the fuzz bunnies playing in the corner of my living room until they start hopping towards me with sharp pointy teeth. My husband will find multiple-day leftovers in the fridge and my response is, "Does it smell yet? Is it slimy? No? Then by all means, have it for dinner!"

Although my alter-ego would love to be a domestic goddess, I really love my job - really really love it. The incredibly nerdy side of me revels in the kind of work I do. And unfortunately, cute handmade cards adorned with ribbons, glitter and pithy quotes aren't taken seriously in the courtroom.

As a result, I'm a closet craft-a-holic and an open work-a-holic and I wanted a blog that I could relate to.

Don't get me wrong, there are some AMAZING websites, chat rooms and blogs out there with really fantastic content. I'm just not sure I'll live up those kind of standards. Instead, my goal with this blog is to help you find quick and easy ways of doing things, share some of the knowledge I've gained through compulsive researching, shopping and testing (it's really quite an unhealthy obsession for me) and give you some shortcuts.

So, welcome aboard - it's going to be a wild ride (or at least I hope so!).