Sunday, October 31, 2010

JoAnn Coupon

If you are running to JoAnn's today for any last minute Halloween creations, or to start stocking up for your Holiday projects, make sure to print out this coupon before you go for 40% off an one regular-priced item.

Rogue Gypsies

Have you seen the site RougeGypsies.com?  Here is one of the videos from that site.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Cricut Cake Mini















Same great Cricut Cake Machine, but just in a smaller size!

Just like with the original Cricut, there is the Expression and the Personal Cutter (Baby Bug) sizes, now with Cricut Cake you have the choice of the original large machine, or a smaller less expensive machine.  Personally I think that for most of the projects I would be doing, like birthday cakes for the family, the Cricut Cake Mini would be large enough for what I need.

You can check out all of the details on the Cricut Cake Mini here.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween Decor

A lot of people put up garland at Christmas time, but I made some that we put up at Halloween.



I had some left over fabric from multiple projects, and I cut it into long strips. I used black, orange, green and a green and blue netting. Once I had the strips cut, I gathered them together at the top and secured them with a rubber band. I then hooked the rubber band on small nails that I placed just above the door frame. We leave the nails in year round, since no one can see them anyway.

I think that leaving the fabric with the cut edges which will fray a little adds to the Halloween feel.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Jack-O-Lantern

I wanted to share a picture of the jack-o-lantern that my family puts out every year at Halloween.  I have NEVER been a fan of cleaning out real pumkins, so I love the fake ones that you can buy at the craft stores.  In the dark or from far away, people may not even notice that they are fake, and really it is about the image you carve into them and not if the pumpkin is real or fake that people will remember.

We had "The Mosch's" carved into the pumpkin and then we use a battery operated candle in it.  The best part, in my mind, is that I can pack it up with the Halloween decorations, and when everyone else is out carving pumpkins the next year, I just have to take mine out of a box and I am done.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

JoAnn Web Exclusive Sale

I just found out that there is a HUGE sale going on at JoAnn, but it is a web exclusive sale, now through October 30th.

Let's go shopping!  Follow this link!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pumpkin Carving

Do you go with the classic look for your pumpkin at Halloween, or do you like the more elaborate or extreme looks that are popular? 














If you are challenged on ideas, you should check out these products to inspire you!

Feel free to share a picture of your pumpkin with us this year.  We would love to see what you create.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Back from my "happy place"

I just got back last night from the happiest place in the world . . . Walt Disney World!  My entire family had a wonderful time, and some of us did not want to leave, but we know that we will see Mickey and the gang again some day.

Thank you to all of my guest bloggers for providing great items while I was gone.

So now it is time to get back into the groove, and start dreaming of the next vacation.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Guest Blog Week ~ Debbie Duddles

Today's Guest Blog is from Debbie Duddles

I wanted to show off a card that she created with the October 31st Cricut Cartridge.

















I love how she is not afraid to use a patterned paper for the pumpkins, and then combine that with OTHER patterned papers.  If you look close, even the green paper used for the vines of the pumpkins has a pattern in it.  This card is a great example of how to blend and use several different patterns on the same project.  The key is making sure that some of them are more subtle patterns, like the green paper.

If you like this card, make sure to stop by Debbie Duddles and see her other creations!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Guest Blog Week ~ Java Jen Creations

Today's Guest Blog is Java Jen Creations.  Since I do not own a Gypsy, I would never be able to do a tutorial like this one, so when ever someone comes to me with a Gypsy question I have to send them to the bloggers I know that DO have a Gypsy.

Let's take a look at what Java Jen Creations is going to show us today.




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWo4VBJzoe4&feature=player_embedded

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Guest Blog Week ~ Paper or Fabric Crafter

Do you have the Cricut Colors Markers?  I personally do not, so I have never had a chance to play around with them, but Marianne of Paper or Fabric Crafter sent me this project that she created using the markers.



















From Marianne's blog:
Here is what I did, note that I did this using my Gypsy:  First, I used the scallop shape from the Winter Woodland cartridge and a couple of tag shapes from the Tags, Bags, Boxes, and Morecartridge in somewhat of an orderly fashion on one mat layer.  Second, I placed the different sentiments on a mat layer making them fit into the pre-sized shapes on the first layer.  Then I used the blue Cricut Colors marker and drew out the sentiments and followed up by cutting out the placed shapes on the first layer.



















Make sure to stop by Paper or Fabric Crafter so see some of the other creations.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Guest Blog Week ~ Which Craft

Easy and inexpensive projects are some of my favorites.  I know that not everyone has the time to spend all weekend on one project, and we may not always have the funds to purchase the expensive tools and products.  So, what if you could create something beautiful from just a few simple items . . . some of which you probably have around the house right now?  Here is a project that fits that!

This was sent to me by My Which Craft and the items used include a $1 frame, Cricut, embossing powder, inks, heat gun, Stickles and Mod Podge.  (yep, I have all of those except for one sitting right here in the craft room . . . just need to go and purchase a $1 frame)

















If you want to see the step by step pictures of this project coming together, make sure to go to My Which Craft, and remember, if you don't have the exact same items that she used, you could substitute your own.  Now that I think about it, you could purchase several of the $1 frames at your local craft store and make a frame similar to this for ever holiday or season.  (Jumping ahead to Christmas, wouldn't this make great gifts if you did them in different themes?)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Guest Blog Week ~ Scrapin Mad Crafts

I know that Halloween is not even here, but before you know it it will be Christmas . . . I swear it feels like if I blink a whole month just zooms by!

Here is a project I had not thought of  . . . making your own bows!  I know that I have had times when I wanted just the right color of bow on a package and nothing in the stores seemed to match.  This idea was sent to me by Scrapin Mad Crafts.
















Now by following the tutorial you can make your own bows.  And what a GREAT way to use up those scraps of paper . . . there are no "rules" that every loop on the bow needs to be the same color or paper . . . it could end up being a lot like a patchwork quilt and just have something from everything you have laying around.

These are beautiful and thrifty.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Guest Blog Week ~ Bee's Hive O'Drama

Do you remember the song "One eyed, one horned, flying purple people eater"?  My sister actually dressed up as the Purple People Eater one year for Halloween . . . I should get that picture from my Mother to share here.

Belinda at Bee's Hive O'Drama did a cute project with this famous monster.
















Here is a little bit of info on the project from Belinda ~
I got a BUNCH of cuttlebug folders for a ridiculous sale price at Joann.com, many of these are just perfect for monster skin and I was itching to use them. I used my stickles for accents. I used my ooeeygooey SVG as an accent on the card below. I also used a watermark inkpad to get the translucent monsters as backgrounds,    many of which came from Stampin Up.
















To check out other projects by Belinda, or grab the cut files for this project, make sure to stop by her blog.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Guest Blog Week ~ Card Monkey & North Pole Cards

This week will be our Guest Blog Week at Crafty Chics, and to get things started I want to share two sites with you . . .  Card Monkey and North Pole Cards.  Both sites showcase work by Ellen, a wonderful woman who has become my scrapping email "sister", and who creates BEAUTIFUL cards.










































I might have to scrap-lift this last card idea!  I am the kind of person that saves all of the circles that come out of the centers of images and letters, so have a container with circles in a variety of colors.  I could combine them as Ellen did here for my own card.

If you liked what you see, make sure to check out Ellen's sites Card Monkey and North Pole Cards.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Think Pink!

When I first saw the Scrap 'N Tote I though "I want one of those", but now that I saw it in PINK I have changed that to "I NEED one of those!"  (I better send this blog to my hubby . . . Christmas gift idea)




















If you have not seen the Scrap 'N Tote then you NEED to go to their website.  This one tote will hold 36 Cricut Cartridges, handbooks and keypad overlays.  The pouches are clear so that you can easily see the name of the cartridge.  Personally, I would put mine alphabetical so I can find them easy.

There is even storage space inside both of the covers with room to put your 12x12 cutting mat!  Now you can pack away all of those boxes that the cartridges came in, and just grab this and you are ready to go!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Crafting and Coffee

For those that know me, you know that I love my crafts and my coffee . . . so let's combine those two things!

I found these great cards at Brit K. Designs

I personally do not own a lot of stamps, but I could easily use these ideas for images with my Cricut.

















If you like these, make sure to stop by Brit K. Designs to check out some of her other projects!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pumpkins

I think that this is a beautiful pumpkin carving.  It was used at a table decoration for the wedding of a friend of mine last year.  Her last name starts with an A.





















I tend to look at things and say "How else can I use that idea?" for this one the first thing that came to mind was to purchase a few pumpkins and line them up to spell out B00!, with one letter on each pumpkin.

Another idea I had . . . I have a niece who's birthday is just a few days before Halloween.  Wouldn't it be cute to spell out her name in pumpkins for a birthday party!  Can you imagine coming to an evening party and walking up to the house with pumpkins spelling out the guest of honor's name along the sidewalk or driveway.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Making Cricut Search Even Better

Since we launched CricutSearch.com on September 12th, 2010 we have gotten a HUGE response from the Cricut community.  Some of the things that you have asked for, and we have already added include

~ Newsletter Subscriptions
~ Troubleshooting Page
~ A way to say "Thank you" and donate to CricutSearch.com



Another request, that we are currently working on, is adding the keypad button location information to the previews of the handbook pages.

So, to make sure that my husband's To Do List does not get too short, I wanted to throw this question out there . . . what else can we do to make CricutSearch.com even BETTER?  Are there features and ideas that you have that you would like to see added?  I cannot promise that we will be able to add them all, or how quickly we will be able to make the requests happen, but if this is going to be a site that YOU are going to use we want to hear your ideas!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

More scrapbooking humor

If you have not seen these videos on YouTube for "Inside Scrapbooking" you HAVE to check them out!  The background is a husband and wife couple, and the wife is an avid scrapbooker.

Here is the link to the YouTube page
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8dKZeLIjA0

Monday, October 11, 2010

Can I make money with my crafts?

Many crafters start creating things because they love to do so, and it is a great creative outlet, but they will often wonder "Could I make money doing this?"  The answer is yes, there are ways to make money from crafts.

1.  Sell your crafts at craft shows.  Probably the one of the easiest ways to make money from your crafts is to sell them at a craft show.  You can usually contact your local churches and community centers find out about purchasing booth space in their craft shows.  This is a good way to get your product out in front of people and network with other crafters to find out about shows and sales that they have sold their products.

2.  Sell your crafts online.  This is another easy, straightforward way to make money from crafting.  There are sites, such as Etsy, which basically bring the craft show right to your computer!  Just take a picture of your item, upload it to your Etsy page and then you can start to promote that page and use it to generate sales.  There are even tools to help you insert a preview of the items you are selling on a website or blog. 
  
3.  Create a crafting website or blog.  One thing about crafters, we love to look at items created by others.  For many of us, it helps with inspiration for our own projects.  Creating a crafting blog or website allows you to network with other who enjoy the same hobby as you, while you showcase your creations.  How does just talking about crafting make you money?  Advertising.  There are several ways to do this, so I am going to sub-divide this section.  

   A)  Buy Me A Coffee/Donations – One easy way to try and make money with your crafting website or blog is to ask for donations.  If there are people who really love your site and what you do, they may be willing to donate some money in order to see your site be able to operate.  Now, if you don’t want it to come off as you are begging for money why not make it fun and call it “Buy Me A Coffee”.  This lets people know that you are not in any way expecting anyone to donate large amounts of money, but if even a few people donated $5, it would help you to cover the costs of operating the site.  You could even set up different levels, so that people can choose if they are going to purchase a small, medium or large “coffee” for you, with the dollar amounts already preset for them.  The simple option is to leave it open for them to chose. 

If your site is purely about one specific type of craft, such as scrapbooking, and you wanted to call it “My Cardstock Fund” that would be cute too.  Making it fun, light-hearted and personal will make people more open to donating.  

   B)  Google Ads - With many blogs you can easily install ads from businesses like Google on your site.  When people visiting your site click on the Google ads that they are interested in you will get paid a certain rate per click by the advertiser.  IMPORTANT:  Google monitors clicks for fraudulent activity, so visitors should only click on ads that they are truly interested in. In other words, don't tell all of your friends to just go and click on the ads so you can make a ton of money.  Google will catch on and remove you from the program completely and you will not receive any of the money generated from the ads.

   C) Amazon Ads and Links - Many people shop at Amazon every day.  What if there was a way for you to "showcase" items related to your craft on your site that were being sold on Amazon, such as books, tools and products, and for you to then receive a commission for directing people to that product.  There is!  With Amazon Associates Program, once you create an account, you can create an Amazon virtual store.  This allows you to feature times that would be of interest to people coming to your blog, and when they make a purchase through the Amazon link on your blog, it generates a small commission for you, but if you have enough traffic and are featuring the right items, a dollar here and there starts to add up.    

    D) Affiliate Advertising - When you visit a website or blog, have you ever noticed the banner ads on the side or at the bottom of the page.  Most likely, these are due to Affiliate Advertising Programs. There are websites, such as Share A Sale, which allows you to search for businesses that have affiliate programs and sign up for them.  Once you are approved, you can choose from approved banners and advertisements to place on your website, blog or newsletter and when someone makes a purchase through the link connected with your affiliate account you receive a small commission.  
  
  E)  Selling ad space – This might not be something that you can jump into right away, but when your site becomes popular enough you may want to look into selling ad space to others that are also targeting the same market of people as you are.

  F)   Sponsors – This is also an area where you may have to build a following and be able to show companies that your site is something different and special from every other crafting site that is already out there.  Sponsorship could be a monetary amount or through products for you to feature on your site and use in contests and give-aways, which help to bring more traffic into your site.

4.  Create a product.  – If you see the need for a product or tool in the crafting world, why not be the person that creates that item and fills that need.  You can then use some of the items listed above as ways to sell that product.  Yes, this will involve some up front costs to create a product or tool, but if you have ever said "There should be a . . . " why not be the person to create that item instead of seeing in a store 3 years from now and say to yourself "I thought of that too!"

5.  Write about crafting. – There are ways to make money crafting without ever creating an actual craft project.  If you have superior writing skills, then put those to use writing articles or books on crafting.  A blog is a great way to start, but there are also magazines and websites that may be looking for someone to write on crafts.  You could write on crafts in general, trends in crafting and even tutorial/how to type items.

6.  Create a crafting DVD. - Do people look to you for ideas, tips and inspiration?  Has anyone ever told you that you are really talented in your craft and that you showed them something that they had never even thought of doing?  Maybe you should create a DVD so that you can share that talent and knowledge with others.  If you own a video camera and a tripod, you can get started taping instructional videos or a series of informational DVD's.  

7.  Teach a crafting class - Do you have great teaching skills?  Why not teach a class on crafting.  This is similar to the writing and DVD, but just on a more personal level.  You could contact your local craft stores to see if they would be interested in hosting your class for one evening a week.  This is a good way to introduce your class to people, and you could feature and use products from the store in your class to generate sales for the store, so it is a win-win situation.  Other places to teach classes could include after-school programs, community centers, libraries and retirement homes.

While none of these alone will make you enough money to retire overnight, when combined and done over an extended period you can turn your hobby and love for crafts into something that generates some additional income.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Vikings Coffee Sleeve

As some of you know, I have said that the Vikings usually play better when I am scrapbooking, crafting or shopping. Here is a project I did one Sunday while my husband was watching the game.

I used the cardboard sleeve that comes around the coffee cup as a pattern.  This one turned out a little big . . . it slides around a little . . . or it can only be used on a LARGE coffee.


Oh, and by the way . . . the Vikings DID win the day that I made this.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

How I used CricutSearch.com to save me time

I have to share this story with you.  I think it is the perfect example of how CricutSearch.com can save you time.

My daughter was running for President of Student Counsel and she needed to create a poster.  She really wanted to include a logo that the school uses, but we wanted to create it from the Cricut.  We needed pine trees for the logo, and when we searched pine tree on CricutSearch.com not only was my daughter happy to see that Doodlecharms had the perfect pine trees for the project, she saw that she could cut four of them in a grouping, and she needed a group of four pine trees for each side . . . PERFECT!  Here is a picture of the trees next to the logo she wanted to imitate.

















The center of the logo was easy . . . a circle with the Polar Bear from Animal Kingdom on it.  She trimmed the back end of the bear off, to make it look even more like the logo.  Here it is all put together.


What is really amazing about all of this is that my daughter usually takes a LONG time to pick images she wants to cut . . . in the past, projects with her have meant looking through the handbooks, and then checking again, and then comparing the favorite two images, and then looking just one more time to see if there is anything better . . . you get the idea. Now with CricutSearch.com's help, we had these images picked out and cut in no time!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Can you Imagine

winning a Cricut Imagine!  


Now until November 15th, you can enter at the Scrap 'N Tote website to win a Cricut Imagine, and other great prizes.

Even better . . . they are offering ways to increase your odds by entering several times . . . at the main site, the blog and on the Facebook page.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Cricut Search hits 500 followers on Facebook!

Here is a little something to celebrate hitting 500 followers on our Fan Page at Facebook!  It is a paper pack (25 sheets) along with 5 images cut from the Pumpkin Carving cartridge.  




How to enter to win:  Answer this question - Which Cricut cartridge has an image of a spider, along with an option to cut that spider as a card?  (HINT: Go to CricutSearch.com and search spider card)


Send your answer to the admin email address (Contact Us tab) of the CricutSearch.com website.

Winner will be selected from all of the correct answers on this Friday at noon.

While you are there, sign up for our newsletter or buy the staff at CricutSearch.com a coffee


Thank you to everyone that has helped us to become the go to site for finding your Cricut Images FAST!

Crafting with the Stars

I just heard about this event . . . Crafting with the Stars.


If you think you have what it takes to craft along side the blog star line up, then get in your craft room and start creating!  You have until Friday, October 15th to submit your creations.  From the people that enter, 12 will be chosen and paired up with a blog star, and then the competition will really heat up.

Be sure to go to SewDangCute for all of the details!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Corner Bookmarks

I wanted to share these wonderful corner bookmarks created by my friend Ellen at CardMoney


I thought that this was just beautiful, and more fun than a traditional bookmark.

To see some of Ellen's other creations, be sure to stop by http://cardmonkey-business.blogspot.com/

Sunday, October 3, 2010

JoAnn Coupon

40% off any one regular priced item . . . click here to print out

Scrap'n Tote: Interview with Marlo Letterle

Here is a portion of the article Scrap'n Tote: Interview with Marlo Letterle by Rebecca Restrepo who is the Arts & Crafts writer for The Examiner.

Crafters spend a lot of time looking for products to store and organize their supplies. Creativity tends not to flow when you can't find what you are looking for. Cricut users were having some trouble finding the right type of storage for organizing their cartridges. Marlo Letterle, owner of ContainYa Crafts, Ltd. and grandmother of 8, launched a new Cricut cartridge storage product at the CHA Craft SuperShow in Chicago called Scrap'n Tote to fill this void. Scrap'n Tote features 12 custom, see through, vinyl pages, designed specifically to hold Cricut cartridges, books & overlays; three per page.   One major difference between Scrap'n Tote and other products is the "Side-By-Side" storage feature.  The cartridges, books and overlays slide into a clear, easy to view, sleeve. But it doesn't stop there, Marlo stocks unique storage items for crafters in all genres.
To read the rest of the article, go to  http://www.examiner.com/arts-crafts-in-national/scrap-n-tote-interview-with-marlo-letterle

Saturday, October 2, 2010

My two internet lives ~ Be SAFE!


The readers of this blog know that I have my crafting internet life, with this blog and the website CricutSearch.com, but not all of you know that I have "another" internet life.


My other internet life is that my husband and I operate the website ScamVictimsUnited.com, where we educate people about internet scams, provide them with resources and educate them on how to protect themselves.








Now, this is where my two internet lives will collide . . .

With many of the crafting blogs that do contests and give aways they will ask people to post a comment on the blog to "enter" and to leave their email address so that they have a way to get a hold of these people to let them know that they have won.  I totally understand that the blog owners/operators need a way to contact these people, but I am hoping that I can help to share a SAFER way than posting email addresses.

First, posting email addresses on the internet in response to a blog post or on an open message board is one of the things that we warn people NOT to do at ScamVictimsUnited.com. Why is that?  The people that create the spam and scam "mailing lists" have programs that basically surf the net looking for email addresses. When you post your email address in a comment, on a blog or a message board you are opening the door for your name to be added to these mailing lists.  This will increase the amount of spam that you get, and some of the people who operate scams and send out the spam will attach a virus to the email, so you are opening yourself up for the potential of a virus on your computer.

I know that the people running these contests need the email address to contact people, but can I suggest a SAFER way for people to do so? If in your post when you ask for email addresses, you warn people about posting email addresses and encourage them to write it like I will write mine below

admin at cricutsearch dot com
and
admin at scamvictimsunited dot com

Since these are all separate words they will NOT get picked up by the computer programs that troll sites for addresses.  This allows the person to have the information that you need but also keeps them safe.  And on message boards, if you are registered to the message board you should NEVER have to post your email address.  All of the good message boards have a Private Message button or an Email button at the bottom of your profile which shows up on every message you post.  If someone needs to get a hold of you, they can click on this button and do so, and your email address is safe from scams and spam.

If you operate a website or blog, I encourage you to review your site and make sure that you are not posting your email address in a way that can be picked up by these programs.  Another way to post your email address on your own blog is to simply say "Email Me" and then make those words "clickable", just like you would if you were inserting a link, but instead of a link you are inserting an email address.  I know that blogger  makes it easy for you . . . when you go to insert a link there is a second check box for inserting an email address.

Also, as a blog or website operator, you can post this information to help to educate your followers and keep them safe.  Ironically, October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, so it is the perfect time to share this message with all of your readers.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Cricut Cartridges on sale on Amazon




Have you checked out Amazon?  I was just there and saw some great prices on Cricut Cartridges . . . many in just over $20.  Don't take my word for it . . . follow this link and see for yourself.








Here is a few of the deals I found . . .

  


























What are you waiting for . . . let's go shopping!!!!