Friday, October 17, 2014

Halloween Box Card

I love a lot of the designs created by SVG Cuts (, and have bought a bunch of them.  However, although I liked their Halloween box card with spiderweb side flaps, I did not think I would use any of their other designs in that particular set, and $6.99 would be a lot to pay for one box card cutting file.

So I spent the better part of a day and made my own version, using several files which I had bought with my subscription from the Silhouette Online Store. My box card is definitely very similar to the SVG Cuts box, and inspired by theirs about 80%.

Both have the spiderweb flaps, a fence (their fence was wrought iron), trees, and a haunted house.  Their design had gravestones and Jack-o-Lanterns.  Instead, I used a cat and lamp post, as well as a back panel with a moon and bats.  The SVG Cuts had patterned papers on the front and side panels, which I did not do.  Theirs was very cool.  If I had thought I would use at least one or two of the other designs in the set, I would have just bought their Fright Night collection, just as I have bought other sets from them.  Unfortunately, they don't sell files individually.

First, the front view of mine:

Here is a side view, so you can sort of see the bats flying across the moon.

And just in case anyone wonders, no, I can't share or sell the cutting file for my version.  It wouldn't be legal.  However, SVG Cuts does offer some absolutely awesome files, and here is a link to their Halloween set with their box card (it's a little hard to spot in the photo, but it's there), so you can purchase theirs.

I have bought all of their box card sets, and a few other sets they sell. If you haven't looked at what they offer, you should. They have great designs!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Stamped House Mouse Card and a Silhouette Card

I don't know why I love House Mouse stamps, since I absolutely detest the little critters in real life (and thankfully have seen no sign of any in my house for years), but I have bought a few House Mouse stamps and almost never seem to use them.  Today I decided to at least use one of them.  The paper is from Little Yellow Bicycle's Poppy collection.  The flower is die-cut using a Spellbinder die set (it was a royal pain and took forever to cut and emboss enough petals and glue them together).  I also used it to cut the flower petals strewn at the bottom of the card. I added a little Stickles to the center of the flower.  Inside is stamped "Wishing you an awesome day."

This card and matching envelope are from the Silhouette store, with the exception of the die-cut leaves on the left side.  They are a Memory Box die set.  Relatively fast and easy.  I made 4 of these cards in far less time than the House Mouse card took me to make.  No sentiment inside as yet.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Cutting stencils with the Cameo

Kiwi Lane is a company that produces templates used in scrapping.  You use them to help in designing your layout, and you can also use them to trace and cut out the shapes to put on your layout.  I recommend that you check them out here:  Kiwi Lane

Recently, at the Scrapbook Expo, I stopped at the Kiwi Lane booth.  I looked at their layouts on display and decided to buy the templates I liked. Sadly, I actually only liked two sets, the bracket borders and the bracket accessories.  I love their concept, just not many of their templates.  They just aren't my style.

Last week, while scrapping with a friend, I pulled out the templates I had bought and used them to help me create a layout.  It went really quick.  I am a super slow scrapper, so I got pretty excited about the templates after that.  Usually what takes me the longest is actually designing the layout itself.

I decided that I really needed to make some of my own border and accessory templates with my Cameo, using Silhouette designs that I had purchased. 

First the pictures, then the instructions/tips.

These are the real Kiwi Lane templates that I bought.  They are high quality, and definitely much nicer than the ones I made.

This next photo shows most of the borders that I made.  I also cut a few specialty borders that are not shown, such as a fence, a mountain border, and a cloud set and wave set that are multiple pieces and are put together in layers.  My templates are not as tall as the Kiwi Lane's are, but they are a little taller than the photo makes them appear.

Below you can see my accessory or embellishment templates.  They will be used for general layout design only.  I also cut pinwheels in a couple of sizes.  I happen to really like pinwheels.  I figured this assortment was a good beginning:

In addition, I cut templates for a variety of photo mats to help with layout design.  No picture seemed needed.  They are 5 rectangles, 1 square, circles, and 1 oval. Use your imagination.

Now for the information and tips on how to do this:

I found a link on the soon-to-be-gone Two Peas in a Bucket message board.  The link went to a great site with detailed instructions for using the Show Offs brand of stencil blanks.  You can find the site with the detailed info including settings here:

The larger sheets (12x18) cut very well with the settings listed in her directions.  What the instructions do not say (or maybe I missed it somewhere) is that there is a thin plastic film on one side that you should remove.  I discovered this by accident, since the film was peeling off one of the 8x10 sheets.  I had to scratch at the corner of the other blanks with my fingernail to get a corner of the film for peeling off.  Nowhere do the directions on the package mention removing the film. The gal whose instructions I was following said that her stencil did not cut completely in a couple of spots, so maybe she didn't remove the film and that made the difference.  Mine cut beautifully and completely cleanly, even the detailed flourishes. They are thinner, flimsier templates than the Kiwi Lane ones, but they should still be relatively durable as long as I don't do anything stupid to them.  I am storing my embellishment templates in a zip lock baggie rather than punch a hole and add an eyelet like I did for the borders (yes, I copied Kiwi Lane on that, but their eyelet is much nicer than the kind you use with the Crop-o-dile, too).

The larger sheets of the Show Offs' stencil blanks are definitely thinner than those in the 8x10 pack.  I tried to cut the thicker 8x10 sheets, but even increasing the blade to 8, and having it do the double cut a second time without removing the mat, it still would not cut all the way through.  It cut into the plastic, but not through it.  I had to finish with scissors.  Thankfully, all I was cutting at that point were simple shapes (the photo mats), so they were easy to finish cutting with scissors.  If they are slightly imperfect, it doesn't matter, since I am using them for designing the page, not tracing and cutting actual photo mats.  Some of my borders and embellishments were more intricate, and I was glad they had been cut from the leftovers of the larger, thinner sheets. I would not have wanted to use an Exacto knife to finish cutting them out.

My mock templates are definitely not as nice as what you can buy from Kiwi Lane, but they should work pretty well for helping me with my page designs, and that's all I really wanted, anyway.  I let my Cameo do my actual cutting for me, whenever possible.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Sad Goodbyes

Recently I found out that Scrapbooks Plus, the local scrapbook store, is going to be closing.  It has been open for 14 or 15 years, and it has been a part of our family.  That may sound really weird, but Marc & Debbie Chabot (the owners) are our neighbors.  Our daughter was one of their first employees.  I was one of their first teachers, and over the years I taught many different classes.  I was also an employee at different times.  Not a sales clerk, but I did other jobs.  I was the class supervisor for a time.  I designed Make & Takes and did up the kits.  I did the set up for the Christmas Photoshoot with Santa (played by Marc), and I took the pictures.  I also spent many hours in the crop room with my scrapping buddies.  I made friends there.  The store's slogan from the very beginning was "Your scrapbook home away from home," and they really tried to live up to that.  They started liquidating last week.  Soon their house will be put on the market so they can move to another state to be close to Debbie's aging parents.  It's understandable, but it still hurts.

Two Peas in a Bucket, an online store and message board suddenly announced that they will be closing, too.  I have been a member of that message board for a lot of years, longer actually than it would appear.  I started under my real name for my username (not the smartest thing to do online), but I got fed up with some posters who got rather ugly.  I stayed away for a very long time.  When I eventually decided to give the message board there another try, I couldn't remember my password, and I couldn't recover it, either.  So I joined as a new member.  Even under my new Pea name, which is also the name I use for this blog, I have been there a long time.

Scrapn Nana
PEAring through my camera lens

PeaNut 272,954
August 2006
Posts: 8,491
Layouts: 26

The above photo was my avatar.  The number under the green pea shows how many years Scrapn Nana was there.  Once I got beyond 5,000 posts, I got to choose what phrase went under my name, instead of something chosen for me by the Two Peas owners (usually based on post count).  Obviously I spent way too much time there for me to have such a high post count.

I learned Friday that Debbie will continue her store online.  I also learned that a new brick & mortar scrapbook or paper crafting store has just opened in Clifton. I haven't been there yet. It's farther away, and it won't be a place to go crop, but they sell lots of stamps, and I love stamps.  It won't be home like Scrapbooks Plus has been, but it will be in the area, and I can still purchase scrapping goodies from Debbie through her online store, too.

I also learned this weekend that there is a new message board for the former Peas, too.

Someday I hope to be the one to pull up my roots and move to another state, where I have family.  My children are grown and gone.  All of them live far away, and all of them want us to move near them.  My siblings and my in-laws all live far away, too.  Scrapbooking all these years has helped me bear the separation, but the time is coming to go home, wherever home ends up. Then it will be sad goodbyes all over again.

But it will also be a new beginning.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

More Box Cards

I have gotten addicted to making these.  I had bought the honeycomb paper at Michaels to go with a couple of bee stamp sets (Darcie's), but I had not gotten around to using it.  I found a plaid at the scrapbook store that looked good for the bottom outside panels.  I stamped and fussy cut the beehive, clover, and bees.  I used a clear acetate to adhere the clover and bees.  It gave the clover support, which was needed because the stems were so fragile.  It made the bees appear to be hovering in the air.  I haven't figured out what saying will go on the front panel.

This spring box card was created partly because we had been having a lot of rain.  I found umbrella and rainbow papers at the scrapbook store.  I used Silhouette cutting files for the little girl with umbrella, boots, hat, and umbrella.  I used the saying "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain" on the front panel, but the photo was taken before that was added.  Since I gave it away, I can't get an updated photo.

I have a friend who is a singer.  Music is her life.  She is probably moving, so I made this card for her to remember me by.  She loved it!  The Piano and flourished Treble Clef are Silhouette store files.  The music stanza was from a die that someone cropping at the scrapbook store let me borrow for a few minutes.

I made this box for a friend who trains dogs.  Most of the paper is at least a year or two old, and I used a few coordinating stickers from my stash.  I did buy one newer paper from the scrapbook store where I made the box and took the picture.  Trust me, I do not have pink walls in my house. I fussy cut the doghouse, dogs, etc., for the dividers.

This one was made from leftover scraps of Graphic 45 papers, after I had finished a layout:

Box Cards a.k.a. Cards in a Box

I don't remember where I first saw box cards, possibly in the Silhouette online store, but they are becoming very popular.  They are also a lot of fun to do.  Instead of scrapping, I have been making a lot of box cards.  I have also lost count of how many I have made and given away.  I have taken photos of most of them, and I am finally getting around to posting pictures of the best.

The box card above is the first one that I made.  I used a Silhouette cutting file by Lori Whitlock.  I think the papers are mostly Graphic 45.

SVG Cuts also sells some very cute box cards.  I have made and given away several of this strawberry box by them:

The next one is another box card from the same collection.  I made it for my missionary son:

All of the above were made with cutting files designed by other people.  However, it is also easy to make box cards  using patterned papers, stamps, die-cuts, or whatever suits your fancy.  You can make them very personal and individual.  My next post will show other box cards that I have created from start to finish and which are my own creations.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Howdy Card

I used to be on a cutting file design team from 2005 to about 2010.  I don't remember when I first created this card (a slightly simpler version), or if I ever offered it as a free file (probably, but if so, I don't remember when).  I found it among my old Wishblade files when I was trying to see what images were worth bringing forward to my Silhouette Cameo library.  This one made the cut, if you'll pardon the pun.  I did adapt it slightly.  It now has a shadow behind the "Howdy" which is part of the card base, and the "Howdy" is part of the card front instead of being welded to the card base as it was originally.

The boot and probably the "poster"  (a "wanted poster" originally, I'm sure) behind the boot were dingbats, but it was so long ago, I'm not sure which set.  One of the Western themed ones, obviously.

I needed a nice generic card, and this one was convenient, especially since one of them was for my son who is serving a mission to Alaska.  Manly cards seem to be rather scarce in the Silhouette store.  The other one will be going to my sister, who won't care that it isn't girly.  She'll enjoy it, anyway.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Layout: Ready, Set, HUNT!

This is definitely an "old school" style layout.  The fact is, I just like that style, even though it is no longer trendy.  It worked well for these pages.  The background paper is Bo Bunny, yellow with white polka dots.  The die cuts were from the Silhouette store, and I cut out Easter Eggs from paper that was at least a year old.  The stamps were Close to My Heart stamps.  I created a cutting file for the set, for both stamping and matting.  I whited out most of the journaling since I was putting it on the internet.  There actually is journaling in those spaces.  And in case anyone noticed (or didn't), that IS a Halloween bucket that is being used instead of an Easter basket.

Spring Will Come Card

We're supposed to get more snow on Monday.  I am sick of this schizophrenic weather, and just want Spring to come and stay for awhile.  I did up two copies of this card, one for a friend, and one for my son in Alaska.

It is a waterfall card.  Directions for making a waterfall card can be found on SplitcoastStampers in their tutorials section, OR you can do what I did: buy the Silhouette cutting file by Lori Whitlock and look up her instructional video on YouTube. Letting my Cameo cut it all out made it super easy!

I used the stamp cube Melty Snowman by Art Gone Wild.  It has the four scenes on it, which can be seen below.  (The colors coordinate with the paper better in real life than they appear in the scan.)

When you pull the tab down, you see all four pictures in succession, like a little flip book.

 I am so tired of Winter!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Another Blast from the Past

On one of the message boards, there was a challenge to post an old layout. This was my very first layout ever.  I was a stamper before I was a scrapper, so naturally, I stamped my page.

These other three were a little later, but still pretty early on in my scrapping days.

I was known as the Duchess of Decorative Scissors.  This is not my best example, but it is an early example.  Notice also the dingbat paws title in the scalloped circle.  The other paws were stamped.  And of course, I used stickers, but I had learned by this time that sticker sneezes are a no-no.

Remember the paper doll craze?  Well, unless you go way back in scrapping trends, you probably don't.  But take it from me, paper dolls were a hot trend once upon a time in the scrapping world.

And another craze was kaleidoscopes, which brings me to my last blast from the past for today, or for this post, anyway.  I reserve the right to show off more old trends if I feel like it.

I used to teach classes on every one of these trends.  Wow, long time ago.

Stamped Paper Piecing

I often use my electronic cutters to make paper piecings, but they lack the details that you can get with stamps.  Yes, I can just color my stamps, but by stamping and turning it into a paper piecing, you have a little more dimension, and it simply has a different look.  It's a nice variation once in awhile.  To start, I use slightly darker colors of inkpads than my colors of cardstock.

Then I cut out the parts of each color that I want to use, the green leaves, the pink flowers, etc., and glued them to the base.  The stamped black image is the guide.  If I were to do this with this same stamp again, I would probably stamp my base in the brown and omit stamping the kraft cardstock. The twigs were a little thin for hand cutting.  You may have noticed that the stamped images were not perfect, but that doesn't show once the pieces are cut out and glued to the base.

Anyway, here is my finished paper piecing.  You can click on the picture for a closer up view.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Texas Barbecue Layout

Last week I went to the LSS with pictures in hand, looking for barbecue related papers.  I used two from the Barbecue line by Best Creation Inc.  The wood paper is by KaiserCraft.  I used the Rock Art font for my title, which I cut with my Silhouette Cameo.  The spatula was from a Silhouette store barbecue cutting file set (multiple designs for 99 cents), and the knife and tongs were my own cutting file designs.  I actually used a silver metallic cardstock for all three utensils, but they just look black like their handles.  Shiny does not scan well.

I love, love, love my Cameo cutter!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

2014 Valentine for my husband.

The Willow Tree statue (called "Together") was my husband's gift to me for Valentine's Day this year.  My gift to him was a crystal frame with coppery gold vinyl lettering that says,"You put the happily in my ever after."  (The shadow makes them hard to read in the photo, but not in real life.)  The phrase was a Silhouette cutting file which I adapted to fit the frame, and I cut the vinyl with my Silhouette Cameo.  Originally I was going to use glass etching cream to put the words on the frame, but unfortunately, etching cream doesn't work on crystal.  The photo was one from our wedding reception.  It was many years ago, but my wonderful husband is still my sweetheart!  I am so grateful for him!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Hot Cocoa Projects

It's winter, and it's cold, so hot cocoa seemed an appropriate kind of project, especially when I was going through some old stamps and found a fun one that I had forgotten about.  I think it was a Darcie stamp.  It had a partial cocoa recipe in the center of the mug, but it was useless as it was, since I didn't have the rest of the recipe, and so I cut that part out and stamped other things inside instead.

I made 3 little cocoa bags (my own cutting file design, simple as it may be) with 2 packets of cocoa inside, and the box that is the cocoa packet dispenser was made from a cutting file that I bought from the Silhouette store.

I also made this card to send to my son in Alaska. The snowflake card was from the Silhouette store.  I added a penguin because he loves penguins. The phrase was adapted from another file I got at the Silhouette store.  I have a subscription, so each design is only about 11 cents.  My time is worth more than that, and it often speeds things up for me when I want to make something.

Baby Onesie Cards

I recently signed up for Scrapbook Expo emails, and to my amazement, I was actually pleased with what they sent me.  What caught my eye in the first email was this adorable baby announcement:

I had been invited to a baby shower for the daughter of my husband's cousin, so I wanted to make the card special.  I fell in love with the idea shown in the link, but I didn't have time to sew on the papers like she did, and I just did the best I could with papers and what I had on hand.  Also, it was an opportunity to put my Cameo to work.  Well, I have actually used it a lot recently, just haven't posted my projects, but this was still another chance to play with my Cameo.

Since the link showed the clip art image that inspired the cards, I just used the same images to create a cutting file.  Instead of doing a trace of the image, I used the Cameo tools to trace each piece by hand so that I could layer the pieces.  Then I played around with a few different papers and came up with three baby girl cards.  I let my husband choose which one to give to his cousin's daughter.  Here is the one he chose:

What looks like metal brads on the heart and on the overall straps are actually craft pearls.  The scan just makes them look like metal.

Here are the other two onesie cards, which I now have ready for future baby girl showers:

I actually did use metal brads on the top card.  The centers of the hearts were pink candy dots.  Scans just really can't show some things accurately.

Then today I did a boy card using camping papers that I found at Tuesday Morning.  The other side of the papers looks more like camping paper.  The sides I used worked perfectly for my baby card since they were a bit more generic, and the colors lent themselves well to a boy card:

The dog peek and the phrase were files from the Silhouette store.  The brads I used were kind of a deep copper.  I made two cards like this.  I hope to do a different boy card at some point, but at least I am set for now with cards for any upcoming showers.

They needed a 6x6 inch envelope, which I made with my envelope punch board.  Love that thing!