February 27, 2012

Rose Trellis Birthday Blessings

I can't seem to stop thinking about springtime and the gardening season that comes with it. As I made this card, I was imagining the pink roses on a scrolly trellis. The Birthday Blessings sentiment is from an older cartridge, Beyond Birthdays.

Rose trellis, birthday card front

This card took some time to make because of the roses. The smaller ones were especially fiddly to make. And then of course, in my usual style, I spent quite a bit of time in choosing which fence to use. I decided on the white picket fence because of its country charm. The black wrought iron one was just too bold and overpowering.

The following picture shows the sheen of the cardstock. The deeper rose petals are done in a pearlized CS. The light green background is also pearlized, though different. I cut the sentiment from plain white, then painted and shaded it with ProMarkers.

Rose trellis Birthday Blessings sentiment

As usual, I prepared the inside verse on my computer. I punched the edge with a MS deep edge lattice punch.

Rose Trellis birthday, poem

February 24, 2012

Vinyl Wall Art for My Bathroom

This is a bathroom facelift I have been wanting to do for a very long time. I couldn't wait for my vinyl to arrive so that I could decorate the walls of my bathroom, the way I envisioned it long ago. 
The room itself is not very large. In fact, storage was a problem since the only available space was over the toilet.

Storage Issues
Before - no storage

In order to show all the "spa" words I created, I'm using a lot of pictures. Bear with me while I present the "before" and "after" pics of a work in progress.

I am also providing a short video of how to apply the vinyl to the wall, once all the words are created.

Before - messy and inadequate
Here's what I was dealing with. And nowhere to put my toiletries!

Over-the-door hooks were alright for an extra towel, but looked messy when I hung an organizer to hold my other stuff.

Cricut and Gypsy to the Rescue

I designed all words to be 3" high. Did I mention I am using the small Cricut? Yup, the little guy. This made it a little tricky to size some words correctly. But using the rotate function on the Gypsy, it was easy and problem solved.

Vinyl cut and ready for transfer paper.

In this photo you can see how I laid it out on the Gypsy mat, and the way it cut out.

I continued cutting, "weeding" then transferring the vinyl until all my words were done; ten words around the three walls plus "Splish Splash" over the tub. For the words I welded together, I used the font from Quarter Note. 

This is my first video production and it is far from perfect.
I just wanted you to see how easy it is to apply the vinyl words to the wall.

Vinyl being applied to wall from transfer paper.

Bubbles added to the corners

Positioning the last word in the centre

The Cabinet
Assembling the cabinet took a few hours. You might think it looks simple enough, but don't be fooled. There were many little packets containing small parts.

The worst of it was trying to follow the small diagrams. No written instructions were given. But I'm proud to say I did it, and up until the very end when I needed help to pick the heavy completed piece and slide it behind the toilet... I did it by myself.

Raw wood showing at the top.
Part way through building the cabinet, I noticed that veneer was missing from the front strip. The Einsteins who pre-drilled the holes did them backwards for that piece.

So after a trip to Lowes, I had everything I needed to fix it. And voila! It turned out great!

Finished cabinet with veneer fixed.

Accessories were fun to pull together. I had some large shells we bought at a shell shop in Florida. Those things had been in hiding for years, awaiting the right time and place to be displayed.

And the bowl of various shells was actually a pot-pouri I purchased a long time ago. The china bowl is from Home Sense and its rim has exactly the same edge paint as the candlesticks on top. The candlesticks were a gift a few years ago. 

Don't you love it when a plan comes together?

I'm not quite done with this bathroom yet. I need to do some work around the tub and window. So that will be a project for another day.

February 13, 2012

When I Followed My Heart

When I followed my heart, it led me to you. 

This special valentine is unique in that I did not use any of the standard Cricut phrases, nor did I use any stamped version of a sentiment. I created this one especially for my Valentine, designing it in PhotoShop. It was a lot of fun to do.

The 5x5" white base has a layer of black on the front, then a heartsy layer. The scalloped white heart and the couple are from  the Sweethearts cart. Heart-shaped rhinestones add some glamour.

I wanted to use something from Straight From The Nest (my new fave cart). The lacy faux doily was cut at 4 inches, then topped with a small red heart and the phrase "you & me" from the Sweethearts cartridge.

It definitely fits our situation and the sentiment ties in with the poem I wrote just for him, on the inside of the card.

The right panel has a mat of the same printed red heart paper and poem on white over top.

My Graphic
Here is a closeup of the graphic.

I can't wait to give this card to my guy. I know he will love it and notice every little thing about it.

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

February 11, 2012

"I Love You" Valentine With Window

For this valentine, I went for a more simple design, letting the embossing set the stage. The card is 5-1/2" x 5-1/2". I've taken several pictures because it was hard to get the lighting just right.

I softened the contrast by using gray instead of black for the sentiment and shadowing inside.

The square punch out was done with my Cuttlebug. I inked the edges to emphasize the edges.

The sentiment is cut from a wonderful cardstock that I found at Costco a long time ago. I love the varied tones of gray in this CS. It also works well with silver accents.

The pink hearts border is from Straight From The Nest. There are SO many sweet designs on that cartridge.

The "I love you" sentiment is from Beyond Birthdays.

After punching out the opening on the card front, I ran the card base through the printer to print the inside verse, being careful to position it low enough to clear the opening.

Then I glued this lovely swirly heart so that it would peek through the window. This cut is also from Straight From The Nest.

One more picture of the front.
I will post pics of the inside after Valentine's Day. Don't want to spoil the surprise for the recipient!

UPDATE:  January 2013

In reviewing some of my cards from last year, I remembered that I hadn't updated this post with the inside pic. So here it is!
Card Inside

February 10, 2012

A Poem of True Love

A Rose Is Still A Rose

by Grace M. Baxter
copyright April 2000

If a friend is just a friend when I'm happy and carefree,
Is that person just as caring when life's hurts poke at me?

Is a promise still a promise even though it's broken now?
At the time that it was given it was such a sacred vow.

Should I say, "It doesn't matter" and erase it from my mind,
As though it were a dream that I can block out, anytime?

Is a lifetime just too long for love to stand up to the test,
Rich or poor, sick or well, forsaking all the rest?
The rose's beauty can be seen in each and every phase,
A leaf, a bud, a tight-closed bloom holds pleasure for my gaze.

You see, the secret is in knowing that within that thorny stem,
A glorious flower waits its time to thrill me once again.

It doesn't think of dying for it's nature isn't so,
It can't become a weed for there is just one way to grow.

As petals fade and slowly drop, the miracle remains,
Another bud now bursting forth has life within its veins.
I find it hard to comprehend why humans aren't as smart,
Why can't we be what we should be... good and pure in heart?

Our word should be as gold and a promise, never die;
The commitment to be faithful should not turn into a lie.

There may be times of failure and struggles to endure,
For nothing good comes easily, of that we can be sure.

But what rewards lie waiting for the ever-faithful one,
Abiding love that sees us through 'til all our days are done.
Note from the Author:
I wrote this poem in April of 2000, at a time when my world was falling apart. And while I was wallowing in self pity, my attention was drawn to the beautiful pink roses that were growing in my garden. I thought about how, through all kinds of difficulty, their true inner beauty never dies. Season after season, year after year, they never ceased to be the best they could be, and they never let me down. In every phase of growth, they continued to grow and change, yet always remained beautiful. I couldn't help making the comparison between true love and those roses. What happens to a person when they (suddenly) give up on love? The constant display the roses made never ceased to amaze and thrill me. They stood as a reminder that, yes... there IS love that never ends. To have found it in a life's partner is a wonderful blessing. Yet, we can all let this one thought sink in:

There IS someone who loves us unconditionally. He knows everything about us and loves us anyway. I thank God for roses. But mostly, I thank Him for His never-ending love for me.
~ Grace

February 9, 2012

Bluebird Bringing Love

I really call this card "100 Hearts" because of the poem inside. I won't be able to share the poem until Valentine's Day because I can't spoil the surprise for the recipient (who no doubt will be checking my blog).

The background paper for this card is especially cute, and it's what inspired the whole design. Although you aren't seeing a lot of it, it's covered in hearts, X's and the word "love".

The card is 5-1/2 x 4-1/4" and has a white base.

The scalloped frame is from Gypsy Wanderings, embossed with birdies and vines. The bluebird is from Straight From The Nest. The heart "mylar balloon" is a puffy sticker.

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