Friday, May 31, 2013

Crocus Flowers Completed

Hello again!!!
Well I finally had time to work on my crocus project today, (I love having a three day weekend from work) and I finished my FIVE pails of Crocus for my stamp club meeting.
If you remember on my last post, I found a website with directions on how to make flowers out of punches, and started to make some Crocus flowers.  I needed to make 18 flowers total, enough for all my stamp club ladies and one for me.  My first ones weren't the best, but then when is the first of anything we do our best effort???  I always need to make something at least once, to figure out what I'm doing, and see if there is an easier or better way of doing it.  I did show you a picture of my first flowers in my last post.. so I won't make you look at them again here.

I talked about using MTC (Make The Cut) and the conical wrap feature to create a template to wrap a different paper around my pails.  I showed you a before pictures of my pails last time, but here is another one of just one pail.  I took the handle off so I could cover it more easily.  This one doesn't look too garish, but I still wanted something a little different.

Here it is after I selected my paper and cut it out with my Silver Bullet die cutting machine (which by the way was rated #1 by Top Ten Review just a few weeks ago.. WAY TO GO SHERRI!!!)

The design I used started out as a vector graphic and I just saved it as a jpeg, so I could use it as a pattern in SCAL.  I love the way you can add patterns to a shape in SCAL, they make it so easy to resize the design, and make adjustmets to it, so you can get it exactly the way you want, before you print it out and realize that it isn't what you wanted.  You can also preview the pattern inside your shape, so you can see exactly what it is going to look like.  So here is the blue one with the flowers.

Here is another pail before I added my new wrap...
And here is is after... again this started out as a seamless vector background and I just opened it in Adobe Illustrator, and exported it as a JPEG to use in SCAL.

And here it is with flowers...

And here is my set of 5 complete with flowers.  The yellow one in front, is actually an orange pail.  I couldn't find any digital paper I liked with orange, but found a nice looking image in green, but didn't like the way the green looked on white paper on the orange pail, so I printed it out on yellow paper and it looked a lot better.  I have to remind myself that I don't HAVE to use white paper in my printer all the time... LOL.

I think I'm still going to add something to them.. maybe some ribbon tied in a bow to the handles, or a small ladybug (I have the die from Elizabeth Craft Designs and it is so cute.. I need to use them more often).

I hope you enjoyed seeing my project... would love to hear what you think about them.

Thanks for stopping by and remember to enjoy the journey!!!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Crocus - Paper flower series

A few weeks ago, I was surfing the web, and came across a site that sells punches, McGill Inc.  This site has a wealth of information on how to make flowers with their punches, and even some projects to use the flowers on.  I love flowers, but I can't seem to grow any in my yard, so I have decided to surround myself with paper flowers... at least those won't die on me.   LOL

As I was looking through all the projects, I found one that I thought would be fun to make for the ladies at my next card club meeting.  Pot O' Crocus  They just looked so cute, and I thought the Crocus would be easy to make.  So the only thing I needed was some small pails or flower pots to put them in.

Last week, my BF and I went to go see IronMan 3 at the IMAX, but we got there to late to get good seat for the show we wanted, so we bought our tickets for the next show and  headed across the street to Michaels to wander around and kill time until the show started.  They were having a sale on all their Ashland Signature collection garden things, and I found some cute pails at 60% off that I thought would be perfect for my Crocus project.  Here are 4 of them, I got 2 of each color.  

They are about 3 inches high so just the right size.  I wasn't crazy about the papers on them, but thought for the price, I could cover them with something else and kind of tone down the bright colors. 

I started working on the flowers a few days later, I don't own many punches, and I don't want to start collecting them, because I like to use my Silver Bullet die cutting machine that I purchased from Sherri at ThatsScrapInc.     The punch they use for the Crocus is a pear shape.  Well, I looked through all my files, and found something that I thought would work, and resized it to make the small flowers.  What I forgot to do, is alter the file to remove the stem, BEFORE I cut them out... LOL  So I sat at my table with my scissors cutting the small stem off all my pears... next time I'm going to remember to alter the file to just the pear shape before I cut out enough pieces to make 18 flowers.  

I haven't had a lot of time to work on my flowers with the crazy hours at work,  but I did manage to get 3 done so far...this isn't the best picture of them, but it gives you an idea of what they  look like.

On Sunday, I wanted to work on creating something to cover the pails.  I use both Make The Cut  (MTC) and Sure Cuts a Lot (SCAL)  software with my Silver Bullet, as they each have their strengths.  MTC has a conical wrap feature that lets you create a design and cut it out so it fits around something that doesn't have the same dimensions at the top and bottom, like a tumbler or my pails.  But I didn't want to just cut out a design to apply to my pails, I wanted to cut out a piece of paper to wrap around the pails and hide what is already on there.  I also wanted to start using some of the digital papers I have been collecting, and thought this would be a great project to try both the conical wrap and the texture features in MTC.  Using the conical wrap is easy enough, you just measure your diameter at the top and bottom of your item, and the distance from the top to the bottom and put your numbers in the box on MTC.  It will then show you what your design will look like on your item.  Since I wanted a piece of paper to wrap all the way around my pail, I started with a rectangle.  My problem came when trying to figure out what size to make the rectangle so there wasn't a huge overlap at the ends, but enough of one so there wouldn't be any gap at my seam.  I played around with it for a good part of the day, trying to figure it out on my own, then finally gave up and asked a question on the MTC forum.  As is usually the case, there was someone with an answer to my question with in minutes of me posting.  And it was so simple I should have seen it myself.  In the conical wrap window, it shows the measurement of the top middle and bottom of your wrap.  I took the middle measurement, added a 1/4 inch, for the overlap, and made my rectangle that long by the  height of my pail.  I cut out a test sheet, and it fit PERFECTLY!!!!!  (Thanks HappyCrafter for showing me the light!!!)

The next obstacle was adding my digital paper to my shape.  I was going to use PnC but the size of my wrap wouldn't allow for the registration marks to be printed, so I couldn't line up my cut.  So the way I worked around this problem, was to create a rectangle that was slightly larger than my wrap, fill that with my digital paper, and then print the rectangle, line up the blade on my Silver Bullet,with the corner of the rectangle and just cut out my shape.  Doing it this way, allowed me to not have to print a full page of  the texture, saving on ink (in my case saving toner, since I use a color laser printer), but giving me enough room to make sure I had my shape fully within the texture.  

I haven't finished my project yet, but when I get them all done, I will be posting more pictures with all my pails full of crocus.  I try to make a flower or two a night... but it depends on what time I get home from work if I have time to work on them or not.  However, I do need to get them done before June.. so I need to get busy... LOL

Thanks for stopping by... and as always.. Enjoy the Journey!!!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Making boxes....

A couple of weeks ago I made my first box from scratch.. it turned out okay, but wasn't anything fantastic. I wasn't sure how to cover the chipboard with pretty paper, so I just cut out a piece for each side.  I didn't like the way the corners looked, since there was a seam at each of them, but I did learn how to put a box together.   Since then I have watched some videos from The Gentleman Crafter, and paid closer attention to how he makes his boxes.  What I noticed was that most of his boxes seem to fit on a 12 x 12 sheet of paper, so it was easy for him to cover his chipboard with a pretty paper.  Well, I wanted to make a box that was larger than what would fit on a 12 x 12 paper, and I wasn't sure exactly how to go about doing it, and have it look nice.  But I decided that if I don't try things, I will never learn... so I got out my chipboard and cut it to size, then decided to cut my patterned paper to fit around the sides with .75 inch wrap to the inside of the sides. I also decided to not cover the bottom of the box... since no one would see it, unless they turned it over, and since it is going to stay full of tags I didn't think that would happen, I decided to not waste my paper covering the bottom of the box.   I'm not sure the way I did it was the best way, but it worked for me. I'm going to keep looking on the internet to see if I can find other ideas for covering boxes that won't fit nicely on one sheet of paper.

The reason I needed a box in the first place, my friend Kim from the BlackCatUS forum sent me some No.8 tags to play with.  She had purchased something like 1000 of them online since it was cheaper to buy that many than to buy smaller quantities.  But it was more than she could use, so she offered some to me.  When my box of goodies came, I couldn't believe how many she sent me... I didn't count them, but there was a lot!!!!  So I needed something to keep them in, so they wouldn't fall all over the place. 

I didn't add any embellishments to it, I still have a hard time with that part, but my tags fit in there perfectly!!! As you can see, I have enough tags to keep me busy for quite some time.  THANKS Kim!!!!  I am really starting to enjoy making boxes, that way I can make them to the exact size I need for something, and when it no longer suits my needs, I can make another one.  I just used some cheap chipboard that I had laying around, it really isn't very strong, but I figured for the tags it would be fine, and I was right. I used some paper from the Latte DCWV stack that I have had for awhile,  and I thought it turned out rather well, if I do say so myself.
Thanks for stopping by and if you know of a better way to cover the chipboard for boxes that is larger than a 12 x 12 sheet of paper, I would love to hear about it.