Thursday, January 12, 2012

Cropping with Crapmagine

You read it right, Crapmagine. Let me tell you the story:

Kelly had asked me several times what I thought about Cricut's Imagine. I would respond similarly every time she asked, "Don't waste your money, who wants printed die-cuts?". I could tell she was not convinced. I was watching HSN during one of their craft days and they had the Imagine for a really great price, so I called Kelly to tell her to tell her to turn it on. I watched the entire presentation. And of course they convinced me, utterly, that I could not live without it, so I bought it. Just as a side note: Kelly did not. 

So I made this purchase on a Tuesday and it arrived via UPS on Friday, well guess who was at my house visiting for the weekend, Kelly! We were so excited, we stopped cropping to tear into the box and set it up. Of course, being avid Cricut users we threw the manual to the side and set out on our own, that was our first mistake. It is very different than the previous Cricut models and we grew very frustrated and aggravated from the start. 

We could not get the printer to sync with the cutter, we could not figure out how to size things, we could not cut layers, it was very upsetting. We watched the DVD that came with it, utter waste of 4 minutes. We Googled and YouTubed, but grew tired of it and decided it was a piece of Crap, and named it the Crapmagine and said it was craptastic. We then ignored it all day Saturday. 
Sunday morning I decided I wanted to like it, so I started playing with it and pretty much figured everything out except how to print full edge to edge background paper. After many google searches, Cricut board entries and even researching the HSN presentation we realized all it needed was an update. Done, the update made it work and the Crapmagine has now found a spot in my heart.

I will not give up my Expression, because the Crapmagine does not cut chipboard & will not allow me to use Design Studio or SCAL, but it will print cool backgrounds on the die-cut from ALL of my existing Cricut cartridges and it prints full edge to edge 12 x 12 background paper. Plus it brings all new Imagine cartridges to my Cricut Library. So while I still call it the Crapmagine, I am loving it.

Journaling Journey

I know, Journaling can be one of those four letter words, I always hated Journaling too, but very recently I discovered the power of Journaling and the Fun! 

Stay with me, not only is it amazing and freeing to write down your thoughts, but making the journal is therapy too. I love Scrapbooking and making these journals is just like Scrapbooking without the photos.

Still there? Trust me on this one Journaling is a Journey and I hope you join me on my Journey soon!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Tri-Shutter Card

Just wanted to share this card with you all. It is my first attempt at a tri-shutter card. I didn't use the Cricut here, I went completely old school! I did, however, use my Scoreboard and my inks (as well as some stamps, plain purple cardstock, Recollections patterned cardstock, Viva Decor pen in black for pearls, and punches for the flowers)! Hope you like it!

Score One For Martha!

Score One for Martha!

When I first saw this product, I immediately thought it was the most ridiculous and useless thing in the world…. That is until I decided to make some intricate Christmas cards last year! Now I can’t live without it! As a card maker, this comes in handy time and time again (I will say I don’t think a scrapbooker would get as much use out of it)! I know that there are ways to make multiple scores using a paper trimmer, but I find this to be much quicker and precise. I love the pre marked measurements! I use it to make side step cards, tri Shutter cards, Double-pocket Tri-fold cards, and I can’t even begin to tell you how wonderful and quick they are for making accordion folds!!!!! So, for all of you Card makers out there, save your 40% off coupons and go get a Scoreboard! You won’t regret it!

What I Think About Ink

What I think about Ink!

First let me tell you how much I made fun of Trish for inking things. As a beginner scrapper, I didn’t understand it… but then she taught me the importance of distressing papers and inking edges and I WILL NOT do a project without inking. I ink EVERYTHING, not matter how big or small. To me, a project doesn’t look complete until everything has been inked!

I was a long time loyal user of the Colorbox Cat Eye Chalk Ink, that is, until I came across numerous defective products. I can’t tell you how many times I was chalking the edges of a project and the entire pad would fall off of the base… and sometimes ruin my page with an unwanted streak from the falling pad. I gave it the benefit of the doubt, at first, thinking that it was just ONE bad Cat Eye… not so. So I started relying on my Colorbox Ink Wheels… only to have the same problem… so the search was on! After noticing the Tsukineko brand “Dew Drops” collection on many trips to the craft store, I figured I would give it a try (after all, they WERE on sale)! Dew Drops did not disappoint. Soon after, I started building a collection. I noticed there were different types of ink… so I decided to blog about it and decode it for you! Also, I love the tear drop shape. The pointed side is great for getting into small areas, while the rounded side is great for larger areas.

Tsukineko Dew Drops

Versa Magic: This has a chalk ink finish. I find these minis to be VERY long lasting and VERY well constructed! I find the colors to be true to packaging (you cannot see the pad because they are opaque covers).

Memento: Ok…. This pad is not foam like the chalk ink. This pad is firm and very similar to the Tim Holts Distress Ink pad. This ink, however, is a dye ink and is VERY opaque and vibrant. Also it is fade and smear resistant once dried! ***Also, these are sold in full size ink pads which is great for stamping AND the firmness of the pad will evenly distribute a fine layer if ink on your stamp allowing even the finest details of your stamped image to show through.

**Now the cons are that the color choices are limited UNLESS ordering single online.**
***Tsukineko Dew Drops also come in metallic finishes but I don’t own any because metallic inks just aren’t my thing but I am pretty sure the quality is good***

Tim Holtz Distress Ink: I thank Trish everyday for introducing me to this stuff! It has a firm, almost fabric-like ink pad and is GREAT for creating a distressed look for papers! I cannot tell you how often I use these! I use “Antique Linen” to tone down a paper’s brightness, and “Vintage Photo” goes on just about everything I make! I honestly wish I had the entire collection! This is one of those products that will become a regular in your crafting routine! AND…. These things last FOREVER! They do sell re-inkers for most if not all the colors, but to be honest, I have only had to re-ink one pad and most I have owned since 2006! Great investment!

With all of this being said, I am not above raiding the dollar bin at my local craft store for inks. I just think the quality of the inks listed above can’t be beat! 

Friday, July 1, 2011

Too Many Scraps?

Use those scraps to make a mosaic pattern on your layouts.  Make tags or journaling blocks out of them and stock up.  I recently used mine in a creative way, I cut several pieces of patterned paper into long acute triangles, then puzzle pieced them together to make a border.  Have fun and use those scraps.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Too Many Photos?

If you are anything like me, you use between 3 & 5 photos for a 2 page layout.  We choose the best photos for that event and scrap them, but what do you do when you have 10 or more photos, and you need to use all of them?  Block it. Color Blocking is a great way to SQUEEZE them all in.  

I used fourteen photos in this two page layout.  This is my nephew playing baseball in Cooperstown, NY, my sister wanted to use the photos of him pitching, hitting, running and sliding.  I could have divided them up into several layouts, but felt it had more impact all together.  

Coloring Blocking can be difficult, make sure you plan before you start cutting.  I like to cut a group of photos all the same size, them fit them into a rectangle or square, then move to the next group of photos.  Measure twice, cut once, do not adhere anything until the entire page is set.  Glue Last!!!!  Fill in the dead spaces with embellishments or journaling.  Have fun SQUEEZING all the photos in.

I am so proud of this, i wanted to share the detail.  If you don't have a Cricut Cartridge that has exactly what you need, make it yourself.  We needed the eye, so we free handed it and I think it came out great.  You can also use coloring pages, google coloring page with the subject matter, print it, and use it as a template to cut your scrapbook papers.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Kelly's been busy Scrappin'

Love Story Frame
**Layout based on a Sketch by Crafty-Ness**
 Cartridges Used:
* George and Basic Shapes: Circle
*Storybook: Title and Fancy Square
*Mother’s Day Bouquet: Flowers and Leaves
Other Materials Used:
*Paper: DCWV Black Currant Stack
*Epoxy Sticker: ? (Scrap Drawer)
*Crystal Accents: ? (Scrap Drawer)
*Ink: Tsukineko (Memento Dew Drops)

Wedding Card
Cartridges Used:
* Storybook: Fancy Square
* Tie the Knot: Gown
* Mother's Day Bouquet: Flowers
Other Materials Used:
* Sentiment: Fiskars Quote Stamp
* Ink: Tsukineko (VersaMagic Dew Drops)
* Paper: Recollections (White and Purple Shimmer) 
& DCWV Black Currant Stack
* Sizzix Texturz: Damask (Gown)
* Pearls: Tulip Fashion Bead Paint

Get Well Card
Cartridge Used:
* Mother's Day Bouquet: (Flower and Leaves)
Other Materials Used:
* Paper: DCWV Latte Stack (Dots) &
Recollections (Purple and Cream)
Green (Leaves): ? (Scrap Drawer)
* Sentiment: Fiskars Stamp
* Ink: Tsukineko (VersaMagic Dew Drops)
* Paper Edge Scraper/Distresser: Making Memories
* Brad: American Crafts

Thank You Card
** Card made entirely from scrap paper **
Cartridge Used:
* Pagoda: (Cherry Blossom and Branch)
Other Materials Used:
* Paper: ??? Scrap Drawer
* Sentiment: Stamp (Inkadinkadoo)
* Ink: Tsukineko (VersaMagic Dew Drops)
* Pearls: Tulip Fashion Bead Paint

Superman Card
**No Cricut Used**
Materials Used:
* Superman SVG: SCAL
* Paper: Recollections
* Comic Stamps: Recollections
* Martha Stewart Glitter: Garnet
* Glimmer Mist: Candlelight
* Ink: Fiskars (Gold) & Tsukineko (VersaMagic Dew Drops)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Let Us Know

Let Us Know…
What are the tools you cannot live without when crafting?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Top 10 Cricut Cartridges for Cardmaking

Top 10 Most Versatile Cartridges for Card Making and WHY!

1.       George and Basic Shapes: This is a tough one to get your hands on, but if you find it, grab it. This Cartridge has a cute font as well as all of your “Basic Shapes”! When combined with the Cricut Design Studio, the possibilities are ENDLESS!!!

2.      Create A Critter: I love this Cartridge because all of the animals are so Darn Cute! A LOT can be done with this cartridge from using the adorable animals to make baby and birthday cards, to using certain animals (reindeer, turkey, Chick, Bunny etc.) for holiday cards! Plus all of the added icons are handy to have as well. PLEASE REMEMBER TO USE ALL OF YOUR CHEESY PUNS with this cartridge: Cow (Udderly Adorable), Monkey (Let’s Hang Out), Bee (Bee Mine)…. I could go on forever! I also consider a pack of wiggle eyes to be a must have with this cartridge!

3.      Doodlecharms: Again, a good basic cartridge with a mash up of a little bit of everything! There is a lot you can do with this cartridge from birthdays to holidays and I find myself using it quite a bit.

4.     Indie Art Solutions: This is BY FAR my favorite Solutions Cartridge EVER!!!!! The images are really cool and not “Cutesy” like most other cartridges. I cannot tell you how often I use this cartridge! It is an awesome one to have on hand for making masculine cards and ones for teenagers who are in their “I-Am-Way-Too-Cool-For-This-World” phase! You can use the guitars for “You Rock” cards or birthday cards… again, just a really cool set of graphics on this cartridge… I urge you to get it!

5.      Storybook: This is always my “Go-To” Font! It is so classy and elegant! The layers are wonderful and can add something really special to your card or layout (I find I use this a lot for titling my scrapbook pages as well)! For cards, I would use this more for Monograms, but there are a lot of features and variety packed onto this cartridge! **TIP** Try embossing some of the layers! It will end up being such a cool look and add another dimension to your project!

6.     Life’s A Beach: This is a must have for me and anyone else that lives in Florida! So much can be done with this cartridge, but I find I have used it more for scrapbook pages and invitations more than I have for cards. There are a lot of extra icons and features on this cartridge as well as a super cute font! 

7.      Sweet Treats: I cannot tell you how many cards I have used this for! This is a great one to keep on hand. It contains cute images from cakes, cupcakes, and sundaes to very cute sets of numbers. You can whip up a really nice invitation, birthday or Valentine’s Day card in no time with this one!

8.      Designers Calendar: I really thought I would NEVER use this cartridge because I would NEVER make a calendar. Trish taught me to “Think Outside The Box” with this one and to learn to love it for its added icons and words! Now I use it often. Think about it, this cartridge has EVERY holiday, month, day of the week and number on it as well as coordinating icons! I have also used its “Calendar Graphs” as grids to make behavior and chore charts! I LOVE IT!!! You will get use of it for ANY card! 

9.     Happy Hauntings: For years after purchasing my Cricut I asked, “When will Provocraft come out with a Halloween Cartridge?” They heard me and slammed me with 3 in one year! It is hard for me to pick a favorite because I really do love them all. I find that this is the most versatile because the images range from “cutesy” to “Spooky” to cover all the bases for card making. If you only make “Cutesy” children-friendly cards, I would suggest going with “Mini Monsters” OR If you like to capture Halloween in all of its Gory Glory and make creepy adult-friendly cards or invites, I would suggest “October 31 Solutions Cartridge”. But if you want a little of everything, this is the cartridge for you.

10   Christmas Solutions OR Winter Woodlands: Last but not least, everyone should have a good “winter-themed” cartridge. I listed 2 for 2 reasons: If you make a lot of Christmas Cards, I would suggest the Christmas Solutions cartridge BUT it is retired. Getting your hands on this one may be tricky, but worth it if you make a lot of Holiday cards or pages. Winter Woodlands is a good runner up and maybe more versatile because it is geared more towards the winter season than the winter “holidays". Both contain images that I would consider more classy than cute. The WW cartridge also contains a really sweet font as well as 3-d projects that are NOT complicated. **TIP** I used the 3-d trees on WW as an art project for 6 and 7 year olds. I cut out the trees for them and let them decorate the trees with sequins and glitter. Once dried, they were used as holiday decorations around the house!

Saturday, April 9, 2011


Joann Fabrics takes competitors coupons (Michaels, A.C. Moore, etc.) on items that they carry in store.  And you can use as many coupons per transaction as you wish!!!!!!!!!

Some Michaels locations also take competitors coupons AND will beat them by 10%..... but you can only use one coupon per transaction (bummer) and you must be sure to read the fine print on EVERYTHING in Michaels!

I stalk my neighbors on Sundays for any unwanted coupons.... YOU SHOULD DO THE SAME (unless you're MY neighbor)!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Just an observation.

It was not that long ago that Scrapbooking had several periodicals devoted to it as a hobby.  Yet today when I stopped at the magazine rack in my local grocery store I observed 5 Quilting magazines, 3 Beading magazines, 1 Card Making magazine (which incidentally I purchased for $9.95) and 0 Scrapbooking magazines.  What has happened to all of my beloved issues of Memory Makers, Creating Keepsakes, Scrapbooks ETC and more?  Is the hobby dieing out or is there no profit to be made in producing periodicals anymore?  I also look at my two local chain drug stores each time I go in them and... nothing.  I live in a small town and do not enjoy the luxury of a bookstore perhaps I could find one there.  Just an observation, any thoughts?  Are yall still buying magazines off the rack, are you downloading them digitally, or are they obsolete?  Just wondering.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Dreams really do come true!

I have been dreaming about the DreamKuts, by Zutter, for a few years now.  If you are not familiar with the DreamKuts, let me fill you in.  It is an automatic paper cutting tool that will cut 12x12 paper in thirds and any paper in half.  It has a multitude of cutting configurations and cuts quickly and smoothly.  It is great if you have several things you need to cut all the same size.  

So back to my ranting, I have wanted this machine since the first time I saw it in action.  I had to have it, and I knew, one day I would.  I fussed over the price and did not purchase it based on that one hurdle, but I continued to want it more than ever.  I imagined all the projects I could create simply with this new tool, I would think of the DreamKuts as I was working on projects that I knew it would have been perfect for.  Well, after years of dreaming of the DreamKuts, I finally broke down and bought it.  That's right, the DreamKuts is on it's way to my house for use in my scrapbook room. (I know your jealous)  I am very excited about this purchase and am already planning things I can do with it.  Stay tuned to the Barn Babes Blog as I will blog about it as soon as it has arrived.
Here is a picture of it for your viewing pleasure.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Bunches of Punches

I Love Bunches of Punches

Martha Stewart Punches
For so many years I resisted, almost making it a point to buy every brand but… $20+ for a punch was absurd in my mind.  Then one day I saw one of HER products used in a project, a product that was not like anything offered by the competition. So I gathered up my 40% off coupons and “went for it.”  To sum it up….. HEAVEN!

I am talking about Martha Stewart Punches. The quality of these things are amazing! Whether you are using a simple shape punch, a border punch, a Punch around the page set, or a double edge punch, they are all awesome! I think these are so well thought out and versatile! Your paper will never “catch” no matter how intricate the punch design and the punch edges always stay sharp! Through paper or cardstock, these punches are amazing!

I know a lot of people find punches to be old-school. Most people rely strictly on their Cricuts (I know I do for the most part) but Punches are great to use for smaller, more intricate designs. You actually punch the design rather than cut it with a moving blade, resulting in a nice crisp cut without the risk of tearing delicate areas. I know this from experience from trying to cut branches on my Cricut and ended up wasting an entire 12x12 sheet of paper trying to find the right blade depth and cutting pressure, only to end up with 4 decently cut branches.

My latest obsessions are the Punch-Around-The-Page sets. I feel I must own them all! I love that you can use them separately (if you just want to punch fancy corners or a fancy edge) or together to make a continuous design around the entire edge of your project! I use these, a lot, for adding a special touch to my photo mats and to cards. I love the guides and find them to be extremely accurate! And I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the newer folding designs to save space when storing! SO THOUGHTFUL, MARTHA!!!

Deep Edge Punch
The Deep Edge Punch is another creative design! If you “think-outside-the-box” you can add awesome flair to your scrapbook layouts or cards ranging from super subtle to brilliantly bold! So many options!  The Cherry Blossom double edge punch is my favorite so far. Great for wedding, girlie, and Spring layouts and cards! You can even get a little "crazy" and add splashes of color with chalks, inks, and/or Copic Markers! Endless possibilities!

OK, as I stated before, these are not the cheapest punches on the market, but I feel that “you get what you pay for”.  If you are one who uses punches regularly, think of it as an investment. A punch is not a consumable, so you will want it to last. Just to make a quick comparison, I had seen the Martha Stewart Branch punch used on SO many projects and decided I MUST own it. It is a tough one to find (pretty much online only) but I did find a similar one from a competitor’s brand (the name of which I will not mention).  I bought it and it was such garbage.  I couldn’t get one decent punch through cardstock OR paper and the amount of paper I wasted in the process was both embarrassing and frustrating! Needless to say I searched online high and low and got my hands on the MS one and it punches “LIKE BUTTER”! So if you use punches, save up your 40% off coupons and start building an inventory of punches that are really going to last! Michaels has a good “in-store” selection and Joann's now carries them online! STOCK UP!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sticky Situations

This is just my humble opinion about adhesives.  I have sampled nearly every adhesive I have ever come across.  I will break it down simply, here is my top ten list:

1) Xyron Create-a-Sticker-  If I could only choose I brand of adhesive this is the most versatile for all of my paper crafting projects.  The 150 is great for letters cut from the Cricut and Quickutz.  The 500 is perfect for borders, die cuts and photos.  The 900 is great when you have several items to adhere and want to place all the adhesive at once.  Xyron is also the perfect adhesive if you are doing mini books that do not have page protectors.

2) Tombo Tape Runner- Runs smooth, adheres well, easy to refill and great for photos and mats.  This is the adhesive I use most.

3) Scotch Advanced Tape Glider-  This is new for me, but I am loving it, it will soon replace my Tombo Tape Runner as my go to adhesive.  It is huge and holds a lot of adhesive so I have to refill it less.

4) Tombo Agua Liquid Glue-  Use it all the time, could not live without it.  I use it for detailed diecuts, bling, ribbon, chipboard, and so much more.  This is my favorite liquid glue.

5) Zots- Every shape and size.  I need, need, need my Zots, they are great for heavier objects, metal, chipboard and the the 3-D ones are great for popping things off the page.

6) Zig 2 Way Glue-  This is another liquid glue.  It dries super fast (for liquid glue) it dries clear and it comes in a variety of shapes and sizes.  This is a great glue to always have on hand.

7) Scotch Dot Roller-  This is a new find for me.  Jo-Ann's was out of Tombo one day so I was forced to try it, and I love it.  It rolls smooth, it is easy to refill and less expensive than the Tombo.  The only reason it is #7 is because I just need more time to play with it.

8) Scotch Vellum Adhesive- This is an absolute must have, if you don't have it, stop reading this blog and go buy it.  This is the perfect adhesive for vellum and all things transparent.  When applied correctly, you don't even notice it's there.  Not an adhesive you will use everyday, but when you need it it is the only one that will do.

9) Sailor Rolling Ball 2 in 1 Glue Pen- A necessity for fine lines great for glitter and embossing powders.

10) Art Accentz Totally Tacky Tape-  When nothing else will hold that big, bulky, heavy item, this will.  Made by Provo Craft it is one of the things that should always be in your craft room.

Finally, I know this all about adhesives, but you can not discuss adhesive without mentioning Un-Du this is an adhesive remover that will remove any self sticking adhesive from paper.  It will temporarily make the adhesive not sticky, it dries clears has never stained any paper I have ever used on and when it dries the sticker is still sticky, you can reuse it.  Awesome product for paper crafters.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Barn Babes are Back!!!!

Trish here, Kelly and I are going to start blogging about our scrapbook and card making projects.  We will keep the Barn doors open so you can stop by anytime to visit.  Can't wait to start blogging with yall!