Friday, April 11, 2014

Bloom Impressions Tool Giveaway!

Good afternoon Friends!

Some of you may know that I am in the middle of starting up a small online craft store. I wanted to carry the items I look for in craft stores and never find. So, instead of searching and wasting gas, I decided the best thing to do is to open up an online store! I am in the process of doing just that at this moment. I thought I could open it up in March, but there is so much to do in opening up an online store! When you are the store owner and manager of everything and anything you do for your online store, it takes a lot of time and energy. Slowly but surely, everything will fall into place and I hope to open very soon. There is a link above that says "Online Shopping". You will be able to click that link and it will take you to Designs by Miriam, my online store.

I do need lots of feedback from you on what you would like me to carry. I know I will be carrying mats and accessories for the Cameo, Cricut and Eclips die cutting machines and much needed Krylon sprays. I will also be carrying some Marion Smith products (the nicest bunch of people!). The Bloom Impression Tool is absolutely amazing. I have shared her You Tube video above. She also has flower dies that work wonderfully with the Bloom Impression tool. I am now taking pre-orders for the Bloom Impression Tool until April 30th. The Bloom Impression tool retails for $24.95, however, from now until April 30th, the price is $20.50. I am also still taking pre-orders for the Zutter Bow Elite Version 2. Retails for $34.95, now at $27.99 (that's 20%  discount) until April 30th. I only have 10 left to sell at this price!

Now for the giveaway!!! Please comment below on what items you would like to see me carry in my online store and I will do my best to fill those orders. By commenting below, you will be entered to win a Marion Smith Bloom Impression Tool (retail value $25!). I will pick a winner on May 1st. I would also love for you to subscribe to my blog. By doing so, you will earn an extra entry for the giveaway. If you already follow my blog, no worries, you already have one entry for my first giveaway!

I will let you all know when my store opens. I will do some "Opening Day" giveaways then too! Have a wonderful day and craft the weekend away!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Making Dotty Embelishments with Beads!

Good Morning Friends!
Has anyone gone to the craft store and bought round embellishments or brads lately? The price you pay is way too much as far as I'm concerned.

I read a post on how people were making round embellishments with Perler beads so I took myself to the store and bought some (well, I bought a lot of beads as I fell in love with all the colors!). This was like the easiest thing to make that I spent all day baking and making these cute embellishments that in the long run will save me (and you!) lots of $$.

I made my embellishments in my Pampered Chef stone baker, but you can use any cookie sheet or even silicone baking pans. I first cut out a piece of parchment paper big enough to cover my pan. Make sure your paper is as flat as possible (the flatter the better). Start laying your beads one by one on the pan. I left about half inch between each bead for expansion as it flattens out. Set your oven at 350 degrees. I found I did not have to pre-heat the oven to do this.

Some instructions online tell you to use pony beads.......don't. Use Perler beads from EK Success. Pony beads when heated give off a toxic and the smell is horrible. Perler beads are made for melting and there is no smell associated. As you can see from the picture below, I bought every color bead I could get my hands on. There are located in the kids craft section of any Michael's, Joann's or any other craft store. You can buy each color individually or in kits that incorporate more colors. I decided on a kit since I wasn't sure what colors I would end up liking or what colors worked when baking and melting.

Perler beads came in a kit with plastic organizer

I made my embellishments in my Pampered Chef stone baker, but you can use any cookie sheet or even silicone baking pans. I first cut out a piece of parchment paper big enough to cover my pan. Make sure your paper is as flat as possible (the flatter the better). Start laying your beads one by one on the pan. I left about half inch between each bead for expansion as it flattens out. Set your oven at 350 degrees. I found I did not have to pre-heat the oven to do this.

Perler Beads from EK Success

I baked them at 350 degrees for roughly 35 minutes (this included pre-heat since I didn't do that). The results were nothing short of amazing. Play around with your oven's temperature and decide what is best for your type oven. The bead needs to melt round and without a hole. If you find the bead still has a hole in the middle, let it melt a bit longer. Some posts have the temperature higher at 400 for 15-20 minutes. See what works for you, but I would start at 350 and work from there.

Perler beads baked at 350 degrees for approx 35 minutes

The results were amazing. The finished, baked beads are round and glossy with a flat back and give dimmension to a page. You can adhere them with Glossy Accents to just about anything. Look how cute the "striped" beads came out! The purple ones (above picture, underneath the white ones) are glittered, but give off  a transparent look.

Like I stated above, I made hundreds in one day and still have hundreds left. The amount of $$ I have saved in buying future brads and round embellishments is enough to justify this project. Easy, fast and fun. I suggest you all try this for yourself and then comment below. Comment as well if you have tried this and tell us what your results were. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Cricut Explore Beginner Class Coming March 18th to a PC Near You!

Good Afternoon Friends!

I am a proud owner of the new Cricut Explore. It's a great machine for those that want to just "get it done" and cut but not for those that like to design their own creations. Even though it sounds and looks easy to use, there is a learning curve to this beauty.  It does not follow any previous Cricut "protocol". The fabulous Cricut expert and teacher, Cara Miller, has a class that is for all of us new to the Cricut Explore. The Class, ""Let's Learn Cricut Explore and Design Space", will be offered for $25. One must be connected to the Internet to be able to use this machine, and that includes whether or not you are using cartridges. Using the Design Space online software, you will learn to insert images, modify and design two projects, create a welded font title and import and cut an SVG file as well. SVG's , may be new to some Cricut fans, so this is a new an very much needed addition; your designs are now limitless!

In this class, Cara will share tips and tricks that allow you to create and design using Design Space and cut the projects learned in class using your new Explore. Cara will be using several Cricut cartridges in the class, but will also show you how you can created these projects with the cartridges you have. Class will begin on Monday, March 18 and you can get it here for $25. The class is self-paced and will have a live Q&A session to answer any question/s you may have.  Click here for information and to register.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Stamp Release Wednesday from A Creative Journey with Melissa

Good Morning Friends,

It's another Wednesday and that means a new stamp set release from A Creative Journey with Melissa!  I made two cards using her new stamp release "Design Elements." The first card was made with the assistance of my Silhouette Cameo as asked Melissa to create a bee and bee hive for my card.  She gladly created both for me and I was able to do a print and cut for both.

For the second card I used bright, primary colors and used the elements to make a banner with the words, "Hurray". I didn't put any type of sentiment as it can be used for birthday or congratulations card. The card is pretty much self-explanatory. For more information on the stamp set used in these cards, please go to A Creative Journey with Melissa. You can even pick up the cut file for the bee and beehive while you're there!

You can very easily stamp a sentiment on the bottom right for a personalized celebratory card. Enjoy!


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

New Stamp Release!

Good morning Friends,

Well, today is another stamp release from A Creative Journey with Melissa! I am just so excited for her. I made two projects using her stamp set, Petals for You. I made a card for Valentine's Day using the print and cut method on the Silhouette Cameo. I stamped the flower and leaves and scanned them into my computer. I then traced them with the Cameo using the Silhouette Studio Deluxe software and made svg's. I cut out the flowers, embossed and colored with Pan Pastels. I used some Stickles and brushed it around the middle petals and then I accessorized with pearls. Papers were from DCWV.

For my next project, I made a two-page layout of my daughter, Jenny. She is now 28, so this was a fun one to make! I decided all white background and then add color. I very much like this look as it is clean and sharp. I used my Cameo to do the print and cut for the flowers as in the card above; I also cut out the letters and numbers on the Cameo using Lavenderia Font.

For the flowers, I softened the paper fibers until I could mold them the way I wanted to. Around the edges of the photo mats, I used distress ink to give it a dimmensional look to the project. I used Stickles on the edges of the flowers. And, of course, I had to use some bling.

The rhinestones swirls were in my rhinestone drawer (I tend to collect anything that shines as I love adding these elements to my designs). Scrunch your flower as much as possible and destroy the paper's fibers. You can then mold it however you want to.

The 12x12 white embossed papers were from CTMH from years ago.....does anyone remember them? Around the edges of the 12x12 I used a ribbon tape. Both layouts were "Jenny" approved and I am thrilled at how they turned out.

Please go to A Creative Journey with Melissa and order your stamps today!