Friday, April 11, 2014

Spring Hello

I have a silly confession......I'm having such candy shopping withdrawal this year! My girls are both living a low carb lifestyle and have made it clear that no chocolate bunnies or candy eggs are allowed. There are of course non candy treats and gifts to fill an Easter basket, but a little of the fun has been zapped to be sure!
 My answer to steer clear of the candy aisle?  Spend more time in the craft room & make cards!!! {win win} Especially if they are covered in sugar glitter and beautiful Silhouette cuts! bonus,I even got a chance to ink up my new stamps! Totally carb free! { ahemmmm  I ate chocolate while I made it} true story folks!

I just love mojo Monday sketches, I remember the first time I tried to follow a sketch and was so literal that I drove myself crazy trying to get all the measurements just right. Since then I have become way more relaxed and allow the sketch to spark my imagination, and use it as a creative placement guide, they are maybe my favorite designing helper!
This is sketch 340 check it out, its an easy one to play along with!

For this card I cut the carrots out twice, popped them up with foam tape and coated them top to bottom with sugar glitter!  The doily and "my new favorite frame" were also cut with the Silhouette and lightly inked along the edges.

If you want your cards to stand out, surprise the recipient, or just want to use up all those little scraps that created that mess on your table while making your cards, decorate the inside!
 why? It brings the design to the inner part of the card, and unifies the look, feel, and sometimes even the function of the card! Here I have a dark card base, too dark to write on, a white piece of paper helps give me an area for a greeting. All the rest is a happy place to look at when you open it!

thanks for stopping in and helping me stay out of the candy shops! XOXO~ Shantaie

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Spring Tea Towel

Have you ever been out shopping and spotted something that sparked you to say "I bet I could make that"? {said with you most expertly crafty confidence} Only you never really do, or ..... if you do its 100% different from what inspired you in the first place?!! That is me. I'm most likely to forget about it as soon as I walk away or I dream up a totally revised version, or as in the case of this tea towel I "invent" something completely new. 

 It all started with a pillow that had printed tags each with a sentiment or famous quotes.. {trust me they were way more amazing than I make them sound} and somehow that turned into the idea to make tea towels! {shrugs shoulders} I jump from topic to topic when I'm in the midst of a great conversation, and it seems I jump from topic to topic mentally when I create too. 

I cut three little bunny shapes with my Cricut and ironed them into place. 
handy dandy tip#1. I always use heat and bond ultra when cutting fabric on the Cricut mat. 
handy dandy tip #2. I always stitch around the shapes if I intend to wash them. You do not have too, but I find they hold up much better if you do.
Next I stamped a piece of twill tape handy dandy tip #3.  use a waterproof ink like stazon. It's stitched in in the center and flanked it with pretty buttons, not super functional...cute but next time I would skip them I think! I made my towel from scratch, so adding a ruffle was next, a row of pom pom trim and a medium sized ric rac. The little fuzzy bun bun tails are fun, and lets be honest here *I just totally love them!*

There's no real need to make your towel from a-z. You can easily embellish flour sack towels or pretty cotton hand towels found at your favorite department store { I'm a Target or TJMaxx girl myself}  so go shopping, grab an ice coffee and cut out some cute shapes and make some of these for your homes spring wardrobe!

happy {bunny} trails~ Shantaie

Monday, April 7, 2014

Birdcage, banner, and Blooms!

Spring is evident almost everywhere you turn, from the shelves stocked with Easter baskets, to finches fluttering from tree to tree. One of my favorite things ever is listening to the birds sing to one another, calling so clear and sweet. I love to sit outside and watch the squirrels scurry and the plants sway in the breeze! 

Spring I think will always be my most beloved season of all. 
As a tip of the hat to spring, here's a card I made for Cricut magazine last spring, using the Creative cards cartridge by Cricut  It's one of those cartridges I think you might look over but if you really pay attention to how much you can do with it, it may make your "I Can't live without it" list. 

Fabric flowers make a pretty little "nest" for my bluebird, I added a tiny tag stamped with a greeting of encouragement. I think we get so wrapped up in quick texts, emails, and facebook messages that we sometimes forget the power a sent in the mail or hand delivered card can have! I'm going to try to send more cards more often...... 
what do you think? do you prefer an email or instant message, or would you prefer a card?
let me know in the comments below.
XOXO~ Shantaie

Thursday, April 3, 2014

My New Smile

Hey there! So my 12x12 layout is all about me getting my braces off a couple of days ago. I had a lot of fun just playing around with different elements. Gelato, calligraphy inks, rub ons and die cut shapes made with the Silhouette.  I even made my first print and cut element, it was fun to add color and only cut the one line I wanted cut. 

I painted a small selection of these leaf embellishments with calligraphy ink. Stay tuned to see how I did that. I cut several in white and mixed them in with the painted ones. 

 I also dropped a few splotches of ink directly to the page, and hit it with the heat gun causing a small run. A light swipe of white paint on the edges of the printed element softens the red just a little. Chipboard stickers for the title, and SRM stickers for an added title enhancement.

 So the truth is.... that getting braces was a lifelong dream, one that I wasn't sure was ever going to happen.  My girls both had braces, it was important to me that they would have beautiful smiles. I waited until they were done, and my own journey began. I had to have wisdom teeth pulled, a surgery, two root canals, and several other drill and needle sessions before they could equip my mouth with all that metal! I ended up in braces a full 18months longer than the original plan and all that time I worked an extra job to pay for it. I would not change it, it was all worth it!

 Having a smile like this one means more to me than anyone can know. Growing up dentists visits were for emergencies only, and taking care of our teeth was not a top priority. I hated the large gap in my bottom teeth. I always felt embarrassed by my "crooked gap tooth smile." Braces did more than just give me straight teeth, they gave me an inner smile that has changed me forever! 

So now lets talk about those fun gold leaves! Calligraphy colors is a liquid that dries pretty quick, but goes a long way! The bottle has a dropper, and I just added a drop or two at a time directly to the leaf. With a damp - to wet paintbrush swipe the ink over the leaves.

Perfection is not the goal, just color. It will dry nice and even. If you add a lot of water allow your cut to dry before handling. {it will get on your fingers, and the paper will be too delicate to move} ask me how I know that???!!!  Yes I made that mistake!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Alter A Paper Bag..with a giant Paper Flower

Simple, elegant, timeless & utilitarian. All of these describe the paper bag that we rely on to transport our groceries or pack handmade lunches. Add a crafted paper flower to a brown paper gift bag and it is instantly transformed into a stylish one of a kind gift in itself. 

This giant patterned paper flower was made using the Flower shoppe Cricut cartridge  Each petal layer is inked with a light gray ink along the edges, and hand curled for dimension. 

To curl petals use a bone folder or for giant petals I like to use the edge of a ruler. For large flowers sticking power is important so use hot glue or a bonding agent like liquid nails. The center of my flower is encrusted in clear coarse glitter, a staple in my craft room!

If you don't own a die cut machine there are printable templates available and you can cut them by hand.....Which is why I have a die cut machine *wink*  

My point is that if you want to make paper flowers you CAN make beautiful flowers with or without a die cut machine.

Dress up a paper bag or 3 and keep them handy to present your gifts and be ready to receive a few oooohhhhs, & aaaaaahhhhhhs!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

hi. Why to emboss a background

   hi. sorry  I couldn't resist! :) I tried. Do you love the clean bright look of white space on your projects but you don't really want the clean and simple otherwise known as "CAS" look?  An embossed background layer can totally transform a project. Think of how differently a quilt would look without the stitching. Those threads create an embossed effect in the fabric but don't upstage the design. 

Use embossing to add texture, depth, and beautiful white space simultaneously. 

Note the dots are embossed in two sizes for additional texture.  I used this technique with these doilys , this birthday card  and this graduation card. White space can really be calming to the eye, and make the rest of your project pop!

This card was published in the Cricut circle magazine and is one of my all time favorites, I love the red and turquoise mix, its a cheerful color combo and I don't think I will ever get tired of it! 

 Do you like to make monochromatic or white layers stand out with embossing? What is your favorite folder to use? I obviously love dots. I also tend to grab the diamond plate or Moroccan  screen folders to add texture, but I have dozens and dozens of folders, because I value them as an irreplaceable design tool  because I love folders, and I'm on a secret universal mission to collect every embossing folder ever made! shhhhhhh........... 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Blueberry Pancake bliss

Since its the weekend why not make a warm stack of pancakes and have them out on the deck, patio or porch? A platter of blueberry pancakes complete with warm maple syrup and a pretty dish of butter. I work weekends, its a rare treat for us to have a leisurely relaxing Sunday breakfast.  I like to {once in a blue moon anyways} celebrate by making the familya little homemade deliciousness! 

There are lots of fabulous recipes for pancakes, even instant mixes are fine with a little love added to them, here is a good blueberry hotcake recipe if you want to make them yourself. If you are pressed for time,don't let that stop you just get some berries and add them to a mix!

Fill a vintage pitcher with milk or orange juice, grab a few mason jars and stacks of pancakes and head outside and enjoy a sunshine morning-full of conversation, dripping syrup, and bite after bite of sweet buttery happy!