I've Got the Bug for the 'bug!

Santa came early this year and brought me just what I wanted - a Cuttlebug! This cute critter is both an embosser and die cutter. I love the look of embossing but the time it takes to do it by hand can be considerable. The crisp, deep, and detailed embossing produced using one of the embossing folders is amazing. The large embossing folders create an A2 sized impression. I own several of theses. I have never used die cuts before but have found they have added a nice dimension to my card making. I really do love my Cuttlebug! If you make your own cards or are a scrapbooker, take a look at the Cuttlebug. Here are some web sites for you to look over.

Provo Craft, home of the Cuttlebug: http://www.provocraft.com/products/index.products.php?cl=cuttlebug
FAQ maintained by SplitCoastStampers (awesome site!): http://www.splitcoaststampers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=216731
Some wonderful examples of cards, etc. created with the Cuttlebug:
Lastly, a comparison of die cut machines: http://papertrufflez.typepad.com/paper_trufflez/2006/11/die_cutting_mac.html

If you get bitten by the 'bug bug, snap up one of those 50% craft store coupons and treat yourself to a Cuttlebug. Your card making will never be the same!


Quick Card for the Artistically Impaired

Here is a quick card I put together today more as an experiment than anything else. I will be the first to admit I have little to no artistic ability. However, that doesn't prevent me from enjoying making cards. They may not be the most elaborate or beautiful cards, but they are mine.

Anyway, I wanted to give you a quick overview of how I made this so you can see how simple it is. The dragon is from a store-bought card I already had. I wanted to match the colors in the picture, so I used brown and a deep yellow card stock. For the inside I used a cream text weight paper.

I usually work with 8.5 x 11 paper and cut it in half width-wise to give me two 5.5 x 8.5 pieces. When folded this gives you two 4.25 x 5.5 cards. Pretty standard note card size and easy to find envelopes for if you don't want to make your own.

Once I trimmed my card to the size I wanted (3.5 x 4.5 I think) I cut the brown card stock so that it would create about an 1/8 inch border around the card. I ran both the card front and the brown card stock through my Xyron 510 (you could also use glue stick or other adhesive). I stuck the card to the brown card stock but left the wax paper backing on the card stock. I recently got a Cuttlebug and used one of my dies to cut a decorative square. I removed the cutout pieces and then cut the square into 4 equal pieces to form the corners. If you don't have anything like that, you could use photo corners, paper triangles, or use nothing at all.

Peeling away a bit of the Xyron wax paper, I positioned my corner pieces at each corner and pressed to join to the card stock. Once all four corners were done I flipped the stack over and applied an adhesive to the exposed undersides of the corners. I then removed the wax paper and attached the stack to the card. A tiny drop of super glue to the end of a toothpick helped me secure the corner pieces to the front of the dragon image. I then got some golden mica powder and lightly rubbed it along the edges of the dragon image and brown card stock border. Gives the whole thing a slight glimmer that isn't too obvious yet adds an extra dimension to the card. My photo doesn't show this well, but when you do your card, you will see what I mean.

Now, go get your card or photo and paper together and make a card for a family member who would enjoy the time you spent making them a little something special.


Handmade Cards

As I have mentioned before, I really enjoy working with paper. It can be used in so many interesting ways and there are some truly beautiful papers available. For special people and special occasions, I like to make a card. I like that a handmade card lets the recipient know they are important enough that some thought and time went into crafting a card just for them. I feel like I need to relearn a lot of things now that card making is part of my life again. There are some terrific books with directions on how to construct some pretty fancy pop-up cards and the like. I hope to get to that level of proficiency but for now, I need to work on composition, color coordination and kicking things up a notch. There are a ton of tools and bling out there that one can buy but I want to dig in with some sheets of paper, some good scissors, a craft knife, and some glue. Once I get a few cards made I'll be able to look at them and decide what I like and dislike. For your viewing pleasure, here are a few card sites that I have recently visited.

Linsy is really good! http://www.geocities.com/linsy57/Cards-Gallery.html
Paper Crafts magazine provides step-by-step projects. Even lists materials needed. http://www.papercraftsmag.com/projects/project.ihtml?content_id=1516&cat_idx=61
Michaels always has lots of projects available. http://www.michaels.com/art/online/search?pageNumber=1&channel=12&search=yes&searchWords=Holiday%20Card&type=4&cm_ven=2007PaperCraftsPg&cm_ite=Cards
Joann.com does too. http://www.joann.com/joann/catalog.jsp?CATID=cat613848&PRODID=xprd367841

What are you waiting for? Grab some paper, scissors, and glue and make your best friend a card today!