Celebrate 4th of July with a dog (or cat) flag

Disclaimer: This page contains affiliate links. You can read more about how I use affiliate links on my disclosure page. 

I'm a sucker for dog-themed gifts, mostly because I have quite possibly the most adorable Yellow Lab in the world. (No bias here, I swear.) His name is Tex. He has his own Facebook page, and he's even had a cameo in my alter-ego's romance novel (A Crazy Reunion by Cate Baylor). But I digress… 🙂

In my latest Pinterest Made Me Do It installment, I created a 4th of July shirt for dog and cat lovers. A friend showed me a shirt on Pinterest and after we all oohed and aahed over it, I decided I could totally make that with Cricut. And to celebrate the upcoming 4th of July holiday, I'm providing my readers with a Design Space project file for this design. It uses free and Cricut Access images. Enjoy!

Here's the shirt I made using iron-on foil:

Project file

In the project file, you'll find a few options—just hide or delete the items you don't want to cut. And if you're using heat transfer vinyl like I did, don't forget to mirror the design with you go to cut! I've also included both positive and reverse options for the paw “stars.”

Supplies




Check out these current Cricut deals:

Card making toolbox

Disclaimer: This page contains affiliate links. You can read more about how I use affiliate links on my disclosure page. 

Once a month or so, I pack up my craft goodies and head to a crop across town. I've been doing this for a couple of years now and I've learned that now productive I am depends entirely on 1) if I've planned my projects ahead of time and 2) how well I've packed my supplies.

Well, anyway, I'm more of a “fly by the seat of my pants” kind of gal, so planning my projects ahead doesn't always (okay, usually) happen. But I've found a way to help solve the second problem.

I've created a box with all the basics for card making, since that's what I do most often. I love these medium organizer boxes from Close to My Heart. They're easy to stack on shelves or stick in a bag for traveling, and with their adjustable dividers, perfect for what I needed. If you don't have a CTMH advisor, I've linked to mine. (If you order from her, tell her that Becca sent ya!) 🙂

Here's what I've put in mine:

  • Card blanks in white, vanilla, and kraft colors, and corresponding envelopes
  • Foam for adding dimension to card panels
  • Basic adhesives (including my Stampin' Up Snail tape, dimensionals, and glue dots)
  • Embellishments like rhinestones, pearls, sequins, and candy dots
  • Anti-static powder for heat embossing and deactivating adhesives (an Embossing Buddy or similar)
  • Some of my favorite ribbons
  • Sponge daubers
  • Nuvo dots (if you haven't tried these, they are amazeballs)
  • Small scissors

Now, whether I'm at home or on the go, all I need to do to get a card project started is pull out my card toolbox!

Do you have a similar toolbox? What's in yours?

Supplies

Pull tab card in Design Space

Disclaimer: This page contains affiliate links. You can read more about how I use affiliate links on my disclosure page. 

The February Paper Pumpkin kit was a totally adorable birthday pull tab card. There's so much to love about this set—the colors, the glitter paper, the versatility (there are slots to affix a gift card, too!). I liked it so much I decided to recreate the card using my Cricut Explore. I'll even share the link to my Design Space file later on in the post.

My attempt to recreate the pull tub card turned out better than I hoped! Here are 2 versions I made using my Cricut and stamp sets. One without the shape at the top of the card (like the candle flame in the Paper Pumpkin original) and one with.

Card without shape

As I mentioned in my Lift Me Up hot air balloons stamp post, I'm a little obsessed to the Lift Me Up bundle. Plus, I have a friend who needed a little pick-me-up, so I reached for the Carried Away Designer Series Paper from Sale-a-bration.

Card with shape

I've also been playing with another of the Occasions stamp sets called Everyday Hero.

This is a photopolymer set that lets you build some really cute comic book-inspired images. I stamped and cut the cape from Sweet Sugarplum and rolled the edge to get some dimension.

Design Space project

As promised, here's a link to the Design Space canvas: Pull tab card by MasterProcraftinator.com.

Supplies


Here’s the deal: for every $50 USD/$60 CAD you spend (before tax and shipping), you get a FREE Sale-A-Bration product. That means it’s the perfect time to purchase those products you’ve had your eye on while earning more products for free.

Earn rewards when you shop! Use hostess code W3PB3QPJ when you check out at my online store. If you opt-in to receiving mail from me and drop me a note, I'll also send you a free catalog.

It’s the best time of year to join Stampin’ Up! During Sale-A-Bration, you can become a demonstrator for just $99 USD/$135 CAD and choose TWO additional stamp sets for your Starter Kit—any stamp set, any price! (Excludes Sale-A-Bration sets and bundles.) Plus, the kit ships for free!


Check out these current Cricut deals:

Review: New storage and travel totes from Cricut

I just got my new tweed totes from Cricut! I was so excited to get them that I drove almost an hour to my old neighborhood because this dingbat forgot to update her shipping profile on Cricut.com. 😉 Before I dive in, let's get the disclaimers out of the way: this review is in no way solicited by Cricut. I bought these myself and this is my unvarnished opinion. Also, I do use affiliate links, which you can learn more about via my disclosure link above. On to the fun stuff!

First impressions

My first impression? Wow, these puppies are sturdy. Like, really sturdy. I've had so many different craft totes over the years and these are the first I've owned that make me confident that they'll protect my gear, not just haul it. The sides are rigid, so it's like you've got a pretty tweed box on wheels.

With that sturdiness comes weight, though. If you're looking for really light-weight storage, these are not for you. Once this rolling tote is loaded up, I'm a little worried about hefting it in and out of my car. But maybe I'm just a weakling. Time will tell!

You can buy the totes separately or in a bundle, which is discounted. And, if you have Cricut Access membership, you get 10% off! PLUS, check the end of my post to see if there's an additional discount or free shipping coupon.

Bottom line: I'm really glad I splurged on these! Two thumbs up. And I can't wait for my next crop so I can test them in a travel-crafting situation.

Machine tote

I've been lucky enough to find a group of women that I really enjoy crafting with. The only problem is that they're 45 minutes away. So on crop days, I need to schlep all my things across town. And I'm not the best about planning ahead, which means I usually end up scurrying around the same morning and tossing stuff in the back of my car. With this Machine Tote, I now have no doubt my beloved Explore will arrive safe and sound.

The machine is surrounded on all sides by thick padding. It's not going anywhere in this tote. Snug as a bug in a rug.

My only beef with the external pockets is that they aren't large enough for the power cable. I'm sure I could've crammed it in the pocket and forced the zipper shut, but I didn't want my pretty new tote all bulgy. You could separate the cable and they'd fit better, but then your cable would be in two pieces. So I stashed mine inside with the Explore.

The tote is designed to be stacked on the Rolling Tote like luggage. The strap that secures the tote to the roller handle is elastic. This is nice because I don't need two hands to unfasten and refasten a strap around it; but I worry that the elastic may lose its stretch over time. Again, time will tell.

Rolling tote

This big guy comes with the same rigid sides as the Machine Tote, which is great for supporting the Machine Tote when you stack them together.

The second thing I noticed was the wheels. These things are big! Almost as big as my palm. Having worked in a luggage store for several years, I appreciate well-made wheels. A rolling tote that doesn't roll is just a pain-in-the-neck fancy box.

I was so excited about the wheels that I tried snapping them on the tote without really paying attention. Cue a few minutes of Three Stooge comedy and my wheels still weren't attached. Until I looked closer and noticed I was almost literally trying to cram a square peg in a round hole. Once you've got the pegs lined up, they snap on easy as pie.

This one has a lot of pockets–several on the outside and a couple of removable pockets on the inside. The removable pockets are perfect for pens, tools, scissors, and the like. The compartments are attached, so you won't be able to change up the configuration. However, the size and shape of each offer a fair bit of flexibility.

There's the padded pouch for a laptop (my 13″ Mac fits with room to spare). There's a 12″+ slot that's perfect for paper and mats. If you're a Close To My Heart fan, the small organization box fits in the smaller compartment and the medium box fits in the larger one. My ArtBin 12×12 paper box also fits in the compartment.

The side compartments are perfect for vinyl rolls. You fit about 5 in the small compartment, many more in the larger side compartment.

I noticed this little pouch on the lid and thought, “Now what the heck is this for?”

But when I realized it's to hold the tote open by hooking over the handle, I was, like, OMG! How clever!

Find pleasure in the little things, right? 🙂 Speaking of pleasure, I had to laugh when I pulled this image into the post—didn't realize I'd captured one of my favorite craft room TV shows in the background. I <3 Dean!

Do you have the totes? Let us know what you think of them! Or if you're thinking about getting them, I hoped this helped.

Links



Check out these current Cricut deals:

Life Me Up hot air balloon stamps

I grew up in New Mexico, where hot air balloons dance across the sky every autumn for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. So the “Lift Me Up” suite from the Stampin' Up! 2017 Occasions Catalog was the first one on my wishlist.

I'm on a monochromatic kick. Since I tend toward simpler designs, these two-color combinations offer just the right blend of simple and striking. Plus, choose dark neutrals or gem tones and pair them with kraft or vanilla paper, you've got designs suitable for the men in your life.

Sometimes with these intricate dies, adhering them can be a messy prospect, even with a fine-tip glue. So I've discovered the magic of double-sided adhesive tape (several types listed in Supplies section). Just apply it to the back of your cardstock, then run the paper through your Big Shot with your die of choice. It's SO much cleaner than running it through a Xyron sticker maker. No goopy edges to clean up!

And if you ink the edges of your top layer, you can skip an extra mat layer to save some time or just to keep the card (you guessed it) simple.

And don't forget to make the inside of your card pretty, too!

In direct opposition to my “keep it simple” aesthetic, I also adore shaker cards. What can I say? I'm complicated like that.

With smaller dies like this, you can stretch the typical shaker design to feature more than one window. And overlaying other die-cut pieces adds extra dimension.

Happy stampin'!

Supplies



Here’s the deal: for every $50 USD/$60 CAD you spend (before tax and shipping), you get a FREE Sale-A-Bration product. That means it’s the perfect time to purchase those products you’ve had your eye on while earning more products for free.

Earn rewards when you shop! Use hostess code W3PB3QPJ when you check out at my online store. If you opt-in to receiving mail from me and drop me a note, I'll also send you a free catalog.

It’s the best time of year to join Stampin’ Up! During Sale-A-Bration, you can become a demonstrator for just $99 USD/$135 CAD and choose TWO additional stamp sets for your Starter Kit—any stamp set, any price! (Excludes Sale-A-Bration sets and bundles.) Plus, the kit ships for free!

Best. Wrapping paper. Ever.

Disclaimer: This page contains affiliate links. You can read more about how I use affiliate links on my disclosure page. 

This is a post I hadn't planned on writing but holy smokes, I just had a freakin' religious moment. With wrapping paper.

Some time ago, I saw this video on Becky Higgins's YouTube channel after seeing a flurry of social media posts about her new HOME brand. “Cute paper,” I thought. “But how could it possibly be that much different than any other wrapping paper I've tried?”

First, this post is in no way solicited. I had a genuine happy moment with this product. 🙂

Second, there's something you ought to know about me. My very first paying job (and part of several retail jobs after) was wrapping gifts. I have so many fond memories of working in an old-fashioned family-run department store, but that's a whole ‘nuther blog post. 😉 Anyway, for better or worse (depends on whether you ask me or my husband), I walked away from those gift-wrapping jobs as a bit of a gift-wrap snob.

So imagine my surprise when I finally relented to my curiosity and purchased a few rolls, and discovered that THIS PAPER IS DA BOMB!

That part in the video when she slices in a weaving motion? So totally not an exaggeration or trick of the eye. This paper cuts like butter. LIKE BUTT-AH, I tell ya. It feels so good in the hand—so smooth to cut and fold. I mean, LOOK at the crisp folds!

It even felt good to crumple! *swoon*

So, needless to say, I am totally sold on this whole Stone Wrap concept. I can't wait for more patterns! And dare I hope, matching ribbons and embellishments. 🙂

Links



Here’s the deal: for every $50 USD/$60 CAD you spend (before tax and shipping), you get a FREE Sale-A-Bration product. That means it’s the perfect time to purchase those products you’ve had your eye on while earning more products for free.

Earn rewards when you shop! Use hostess code W3PB3QPJ when you check out at my online store. If you opt-in to receiving mail from me and drop me a note, I'll also send you a free catalog.

It’s the best time of year to join Stampin’ Up! During Sale-A-Bration, you can become a demonstrator for just $99 USD/$135 CAD and choose TWO additional stamp sets for your Starter Kit—any stamp set, any price! (Excludes Sale-A-Bration sets and bundles.) Plus, the kit ships for free!

Fiesta like there’s no manana birthday cards

Disclaimer: This page contains affiliate links. You can read more about how I use affiliate links on my disclosure page. 

When I first looked at this year's Stampin' Up catalog in June, I thought I wouldn't want this Birthday Fiesta set. But I went out on a limb and bought it. And now I love it. I <3 it so much.

Annual16_p010_a-27 Birthday Fiesta bundle

Why do I love it?

The LLAMA! Oh, the whimsical adorableness (is that a real word?) that is the llama! He's so stinkin' cute.

And the banner pieces are just downright adorable stamped and die-cut. It's a real eye-catcher, especially since there are endless ways to customize the look.

Card 1: Shaker

What says a fiesta better than confetti? I used the Sprinkles Punch to create shaker material, and the new Layering Squares Framelits dies to create a window. Combined with the bright colors, you get a super cheerful card. And I love how the tone-on-tone ink and paper look.

Card 2: Smiling Llama

I have to admit. This one is my favorite. 🙂 First, I spun a sponge in place using So Saffron to create the sun. Then, using a sponge along the edges, I used Sahara Sand to create a sandy color at the bottom and Soft Sky to create a sky color at the top.

I chose Smoky Slate for the llama body because I wanted it to pop off the page–but (and I'm not joking) I googled “what colors are llamas” so I didn't venture TOO far out of the realm of reality. 🙂 Funny things we crafters fixate on…

The pink flower is kinda tiny, so the Fine-Tip Glue Pen is perfect to adhere it to the cactus. I fussy cut the blanket and used a dimensional to give it some more oomph.

I liked this one so much, and had so much fun working on it, that I cut a dozen or so pieces to keep on hand. I just stuffed 'em all in an envelope and stashed it in the case so I can build new cards whenever I want to.

I had a ton of fun working with this set. And it makes everyone to whom I've shown these cards happy.

Supplies




Here’s the deal: for every $50 USD/$60 CAD you spend (before tax and shipping), you get a FREE Sale-A-Bration product. That means it’s the perfect time to purchase those products you’ve had your eye on while earning more products for free.

Earn rewards when you shop! Use hostess code W3PB3QPJ when you check out at my online store. If you opt-in to receiving mail from me and drop me a note, I'll also send you a free catalog.

It’s the best time of year to join Stampin’ Up! During Sale-A-Bration, you can become a demonstrator for just $99 USD/$135 CAD and choose TWO additional stamp sets for your Starter Kit—any stamp set, any price! (Excludes Sale-A-Bration sets and bundles.) Plus, the kit ships for free!

An organized crafter is a happy crafter

Disclaimer: This page contains affiliate links. You can read more about how I use affiliate links on my disclosure page. 

Yes! And for me, better organization makes me not just a happy crafter, but a more productive crafter.

We recently moved and I'm still getting used to my new space. You know, it's that stage where the new space still feels a little like it's not your own because it's different than what you're used to. Add to that, I've attended a few crops recently and my craft space is a Disaster. With a capital D. And when it's a disaster, it's not very fun to craft.

Since my primary workspace is usually the only place in my room with a clear surface, it tends to be the spot that collects the most flotsam.

organize-more-photos-before

So I decided to get some organizers for my desktop–something that would allow me to keep the important supplies close at hand. I wanted something that wasn't too deep. It's my workspace, after all, so I need to keep as much space as possible to work.

The other requirement was that it match my white furniture. I found other manufacturers but most of their products were unpainted. Organize More had exactly what I was looking for!

The organization units are only about 4 inches deep, so I still have plenty of task space. And I can keep my stamp pads, punches, tools, and current project stamp sets right in front of me. I'm over the moon!

organize-more-photos-after

I wanted to say a little about the shopping experience with Organize More. They're a small shop so it takes a few weeks to fulfill your order. From their web site:

OrganizeMore is a family-operated business located in our little shop in the hills of Tennessee. We have offered handcrafted storage organizers since 2007. Our organizers are hand painted and completely finished so the product you receive is ready-to-use, right out of the box. We do not mass produce our products. We do not outsource to other countries.

I'm totally okay with that! In fact, I love supporting family-operated businesses who gauge their success on good service and great products.

What's more, they packed and shipped my units incredibly well. One box on my porch today from a different vendor was smashed and almost completely opened by the time it got to my doorstep. These boxes? In perfect condition thanks to the thick cardboard and sturdy tape.

organize-more-photos-pack-side-by-side

Each shelf and component was wrapped in paper and covered with a slab of protective cardboard. It took a little patience to unwrap everything but it's worth it!

Note: I purchased the products myself. This is not a paid review, nor did Organize More provide any compensation or solicit my review. I just really like this product.  


Simple 3D Fall cards

3d-fall-cards-group-shot

I wanted to make some simple 3D cards to send out at Thanksgiving. As you might know, finding 3D cards that are both 3D and simple can be difficult. But these Linus' 3D Fall Cards from SVGcuts.com are the perfect solution!

3d-fall-cards-closeup-pumpkin-leaf

Each design has small 3D elements to give the card depth and texture, but they don't require hours of assembly like many 3D projects. If you mount the panels with foam dots, you'll get even more depth and shadow the design.

3d-fall-cards-closeup-maple-sunflower

The SVG designs don't come with any wording or anything, but jazzing them up with stamps or embellishments is easy enough. But they're pretty as plain cuts.

3d-fall-cards-oak-leaves

3d-fall-cards-pumpkin

3d-fall-cards-sunflower

Check out the SVGcuts.com site and try the Linus 3D Fall cards for yourself!

August Paper Pumpkin 3 ways

The August “Bold Botanicals” Paper Pumpkin kit was SO adorable. And so versatile! If you're looking for some ideas on how to make your August Paper Pumpkin kit go a little bit further, here's what I cooked up the other night.

As you might have guessed from my recent Create your own patterned background post, I am loving floral backgrounds. Here are a few ideas for using Bold Botanicals beyond the projects in August's kit.

Heat embossing with colored ink

I love the simplicity of flat or one-layered cards. For this one, I created a colored embossing look using Mint Macaron ink and clear embossing powder.

paper-pumpkin-aug-2016-color-embossed

It's easy to do, especially with the MISTI, which allows you to easily stamp an image repeatedly. You can see the difference multiple impressions make here in this closeup. I stamped the flowers and leaves twice, because I wanted to make sure there was very solid coverage to show through the embossing. I stamped the “Thanks” sentiment 3 times, so it shows a bit darker.

Once you've stamped in your ink color of choice, you can stamp over it with Versamark for the embossing powder.

paper-pumpkin-aug-2016-color-embossed-closeup

White heat embossing

I think white on kraft is one of those timeless classic color combos.

paper-pumpkin-aug-2016-white-on-crumb-cake

I used white embossing powder to get a bright, vibrant white. The “Thanks” sentiment is embossed in Copper.

paper-pumpkin-aug-2016-white-on-crumb-cake-closeup

Colored with markers

To switch it up a little, I used markers to color my last card. I recommend using the Black archival ink or Stazon to stamp the images, that way you minimize any bleeding when you color up to the lines.

paper-pumpkin-aug-2016-colored

I used Watermelon Wonder and Pear Pizzazz. The “Hello” sentiment is embossed in white on Watermelon Wonder cardstock. This was also the first time I used the Envelope Punch Board. Holy moly! I don't know why I waited this long to use it–it's SOOOOO easy! And with the matching Envelope Paper, the set is complete.

paper-pumpkin-aug-2016-colored-closeup

Supplies



Here’s the deal: for every $50 USD/$60 CAD you spend (before tax and shipping), you get a FREE Sale-A-Bration product. That means it’s the perfect time to purchase those products you’ve had your eye on while earning more products for free.

Earn rewards when you shop! Use hostess code W3PB3QPJ when you check out at my online store. If you opt-in to receiving mail from me and drop me a note, I'll also send you a free catalog.

It’s the best time of year to join Stampin’ Up! During Sale-A-Bration, you can become a demonstrator for just $99 USD/$135 CAD and choose TWO additional stamp sets for your Starter Kit—any stamp set, any price! (Excludes Sale-A-Bration sets and bundles.) Plus, the kit ships for free!

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