Monday, April 16, 2012

My first blog entry . . .

Well, my first blog entry as a Close To My Heart representative anyways.  I've dabbled in blogs before but nothing (hopefully LOL) worth the time to read.   As this is a new forum for my ramblings, creative mind overload, and general musings, I thought I'd start with a short bio.

My name is Penny (NOT named for the song Penny Lane - I was actually named after a character on a soap opera . . . and not nickel, dime, or any other coin, if you please).  I have a beautiful, vivacious 11 year old daughter who I affectionately call "Beast" but is really named Izabel.  You will see her picture here and there, I'm sure.  I work in the office of a manufacturing company (that's my day job), am very active in my church, The Salvation Army, and my friends there will likely be my guinea pigs for many new project workshops.  I enjoy pretty much ANYTHING crafty (as long as it's not expensive).  I've tried my hands at knitting, crochet, drawing, painting (although not much lately), and of course scrapbooking and card making.  I've done a little glass etching, some jewelry making (but I'm all thumbs with those itty bitty beads) and more.  I'd much rather make items to give away than to have to look at my less than perfect items day in and out . . . and critique the crud out of it until I want to start it over.

And . . . then I start a blog where my projects will be visible to anyone who wants to look.  For a long time.  But I'm going to look at it as therapy! :)

I thought I'd get a few projects on her before going live so the next few days will be back-to-back examples of CTMH-like projects.  Bear with me as I get my . . . ahem . . . blog-legs, will you?


After every project name, I will attempt to "rate" the project with penny logos for
 expense, skill level, and time limit.  Hope it helps! :)

This project was inspired by a Close To My Heart project that I saw.  It was a discount with purchase item called the "My Creation Collage Cubes" (Page 131 in the Idea Book) which are 2" X 2" X 2" card stock cubes with a tray.  They were being offered with a $25 order but at that time, I didn't need any stamps.  When I saw the wood cubes on sale at Hobby Lobby (1.5 X 1.5 X 1.5), I thought I'd try out the process and see if I even liked it before I try the full project.  I could only find bags of 8 blocks which weren't enough to do the 3 by 3 block and 3 by 2 seemed uneven.  So I decided to use the 8 blocks to make (2) 2 block by 2 block sets. To date, I've only completed the following set of blocks.

Design came first with my VERY crude drawings and finding the cartridges that had the images I wanted.  I decided to mix cut items with stamps and a completely different color scheme for each "side". I also numbered and lettered the blocks to make sure that the right image was on the right side.

I started the process by making the "tray" to sit them in.  I did pretty well too, only messing up once.  I used the "Bonus 6: Fabric, Wood & Clay" section of one of my new Cricut cartridges, the Ultimate Creative Series Sampler.  It has 6 different overlays for the one cartridge and has an AMAZING mix of whimsical images, words, envelopes, cards, and even a shallow box that worked perfect.  Using the Cricut Craft Room, I inserted the image and made the bottom of the box 3" X 3" (approximately).  Then I went back in and made it a bit bigger.  (After the blocks were decorated, I decided another slight increase in size would be helpful - more on that when I finally get to the other blocks.)  I also stamped a message in the bottom of the "tray."

 I tried a few different ways of breaking the 3" X 3" design into the four squares as needed.  Putting the blocks in the tray and gluing the full section to all four was too hard to separate cleanly.  Cutting just the background and trying to line everything up was also difficult.  What I found that worked the best was to make the "square" about a 1/2" bigger on all sides, decorate and then cut them into four sections.  Then I glued the sections with the inside corners a little bit offset.  The outside edge was filled using my handy finger nail buffer.  (Holding the buffer at a 45 degree angle and drawing it against the paper and the block in ONE direction will make a soft edge.  See above.).  I used the block on all four sides of each section to match the "soft" edge.

Here are the six finished sides of the blocks.  The friend I gifted this set too is a new Christian and loves bunnies.  Here goes:

Side A - "It takes a long time to grow young. ~ Pablo Picasso"

Side B - "Call unto me, and I will answer thee.  Jeremiah 33:3"

Side C - "Hope"
Side D - "Peace" (My talented daughter did this one, two tone music notes and all!)
Side E - "Friend" and Japanese Kanji (Pagoda Cricut Cartridge)
Side F - "There's NOBUNNY like you"
 I wrapped the present with some bright tissue paper and a ribbon (usually I just use a gift bag, but I was inspired). And made a matching card.

Well, that's it.  First blog entry in the books.  I hope you enjoyed it!  I am itching to do some crafting just looking at the pics. 

Next blog, my newest obsession . . . a topiary that I saw on Pintrest! 


Wood Blocks - Hobby Lobby
Nail Buffer - Dollar Tree
Cricut Cartridges - Ultimate Creative Sieries Sampler & Pagoda

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