A Well Crafted Retirement

"Retire from work, but not from life." -M.K. Soni

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Door Sign

Katie mentioned that when she took her Christmas wreath down their apartment door looked pretty dull.  I’ve had a few ideas for a craft project for her but when I ran across the pieces of a lightweight picture frame this week I deceided on a door sign.

Door SignHer apartment is neutral colored with dark wood trim and wood floors.  For a punch of color she has two bright turquoise area rugs and has added aqua accents.  So that determined my color choices.  I used Coordinations canvas texture and DCWV Blue Stained Glass.


  • Hoot ‘n’ Holler
  • Wrap it Up
  • Cricut Alphabet

Cut Sizes in Inches:

  • Owl Family @ 2.5 (Hoot ‘n; Holler)
  • Castle @ 3.75 (Wrap it Up)
  • R Place @ 2.0 (Crcut Alphabet)
  • Katie nd Dustin @ 1.5 ( Cricut Alphabet)

Cuttlebug Folders:

  • Cane Back Chair
  • Swiss Dots
  • Woodgrain

Additional Supplies:

  • a tape runer
  • craft glue like Aleene’s sMax Tacky Adhesive

The size I needed for the frame was 12 x 15.  I started with a full sheet of the 12 x 12 patterned paper.  I cut a 3.75 inch strip of the darker aqua and overlapped it on top of the print and used a glue runner to hold it n place.  To hide the seam  I found a pearly aqua paper in my scraps, cut it at 1 inch and embossed it with the Cane Back Chair border folder.  The brown  is a 9 inch square and the light aqua square is 8 inches.

I used the shadow feature with both sizes of letters.  To add more texture I embossed the brown letters with the Woodgrain folder.  The paper I used for the shadow on their names is a foil I found in a stack.  I discovered that if I used white glue to attach the letters to the shadow it came apart after drying!  So I did it again with Aleene’s.

The first layer of the castle is embossed with the Swiss Dots folder and the top layer I cut twice, once in the pearl and once in the foil and used the pearl for the front and the foil for the flag and tower tops.  The owl cut is for a family but since there are only the two of them I snipped the small owl off the branch.

Every thing went together with the glue runner.  This was a pretty simple project.  I think it will brighten up their door and hallway.


Freshly Picked Birthday Card

Our friend in Oklahoma has a birthday next week so I’m doing a birthday card.  Nancy likes blue so that color’s in the card.  I know Freshly Picked is an older cartridge but I just bought it last week and was anxious to try it out.

Freshly Picked Birthday.Sometimes I pick the paper to go with my design. But this time I picked the paper first and let it influence the design.  I knew when I went to my stacks that I wanted the colors blue and green and an outdoor theme to the print.  I found a small bird print with a reverse side of yellow green in a heidi grace stack called Tweet Dreams.

Cartridges Used:

  • Freshly Picked
  • Straight from the Nest
  • Give a Hoot
  • Plantin School Book

Cut Sizes in Inches:

  • Gazebo @ 3.5 (Freshly Picked)
  • Bird 1 @ 1.5 (Straight from the Nest)
  • Bird 2 @ 1.5 (Straight from the Nest)
  • Tree 4 @ 4.0 (Give a Hoot)

Cuttlebug Folder:

  • Happy Birthday

Additional Supplies:

  • Versa Magic chalk ink pad in Oasis Green
  • Darcie Self-Stick Gem in yellow
  • a tape runner
  • craft glue like Aleene’s Max Tacky Adhesive

I cut the card to measure 6.25 x 10 from the print paper being careful to watch which way the print went.  I didn’t want the birds to being flying sidewise when the card was folded.  Again using the paper cutter I cut the blue at 4 x 4.5 and the green reverse print at 3.5 x 4.  I embossed the print with the Happy Birthday cuttlebug folder.  This time I left the paper in the folder and patted the raised surface with the ink pad.  That seemed to give a more even color with less ink hitting the low parts of the embossing than when I take the paper out first.

The bottom layer of gazebo is cut from a deep red and the shift layer from the reverse green print.  The tiny leaves and vines I cut from that same yellow green reverse print.  For the flowers and shadow I used the blue.  At this point I stopped and put the gazebo together because I was afraid of losing some of the tiny pieces!  I used the same red and blue for the the birds.  When I put them together I turned one of each size around and shifted the angle of the top layer wing to make them look slightly distinct.

For the topmost layer of the trees I choose a bright truer green to pop against the yellow green background of the inside.  I cut the Happy Birthday phrase in the blue.  With the paper cutter I cut a scrap of the print 4.25 x .25. to make the gazebo a pop-up element. I wanted the two little birds to be perched in the trees of the inside, so I removed their feet.  I did the same for one of the larger birds so that he looks like he is flying while the other is standing on the ground.  The method of making the gazebo pop-up is the same that I used in the Baby Shower Card.

I cut the envelope in a cream paper, assembled all the completed elements and fastened everything down.  I added the gems for the eyes on the cover’s birds and used a marker to dot the eyes of the interior birds.


Art Nouveau Card

I just bought the Art Nouveau cartridge and was anxious to try it out.  So many of  my cards are made with cartridges like Create a Critter, that I wanted something a little more elegant.  Art Nouveau seemed like a good choice.

2I went online and did a little research on the Art Nouveau Movement and in particular the wallpaper and textile designs.  Then I searched my paper stacks and found a bright print from Anna Griffin’s Carmen Collection.  Several of the wallpaper designs reminded me of the Cuttlebug folder Modern Wallpaper, so that’s that what I selected for added texture.  The colors in the print dictated the solid papers I used.

Cricut Cartridges Used:

  • Art Nouveau
  • Phrases
  • Plantin School Book

Cut Sizes in Inches:

  • Headshot 1 @ 3.o (Art Nouveau)
  • Phrase @ 3.o (Phrases)
  • Envelope @ fit to page (Plantin School Book)

Cuttlebug Folder:

  • Modern Wallpaper

Additional Supplies:

  • Versa Magic chalk ink pad in Oasis Green
  • Darice Self-Stick Gem in bright pink
  • a tape runner
  • craft glue like Aleene’s Max Tacky Adhesive

I used my paper cutter to make the card and rectangles.  The card in cream measures 6.5 x 10, the green is 6 x 4.5, the print is 5 x 3.5 and the cream strip is 5 x 1.  I rounded the corners on the green and print rectangles.  Next I embossed the green with the cuttlebug folder.  The folder was slightly too short for the rectangle but by turning the paper 180 degrees and carefully aligning the raised parts in the folder I was able to get the entire rectangle embossed.  Next time I will try to avoid using too large a rectangle.  I embossed the cream strip with the border folder.  So that the embossing would stand out on the strip I lightly patted the green ink pad on the top of the embossing.  I did this later on the embossing for the envelope flap.

Headshot 1The instructions on the Art Nouveau cartridge recommend that you not use a smaller cut size than 3 inches.  Even at 3 inches I found that I really needed a sharp blade and a good mat.  I used a copper foil scrap for the background cut, a medium brown for the hair, cream for the face and dark brown for the blackout.  To bring out the pink in the print the flower in the hair uses two shades of pink.  At 3 inches the earrings and the women’s lips are really tiny.  I was glad for a good pair of tweezers to handle them.  To finished it off I used a stick-on gem for the center of the flower.  It looked a little plain without something there.

Assembly was easy using a glue runner.  I picked the phrase “feel better soon” from the Phrases cartridge, but I think this card would be good for a thank you note or birthday.  I cut the phrase in green and used Aleene’s to attach it to the inside of the card.  The envelop in cream was cut from Plantin School Book.  I embossed the flap to match the card and patted the raised  surface with the green ink pad.


3-D Easter Egg Centerpiece

I was looking at some old photos of family parties and dinners and noticed the honeycomb centerpieces on the table. You could buy these at any card shop in the 70’s.  They are the inspiration for this 3-D Easter project.

photo1aCricut Cartridges Used:

  • Walk in My Garden
  • Create a Critter 2

Cut Sized in Inches:

  • Flower pot @ 4.75 (Walk in My Garden)
  • Layered Easter eggs @ 3 (Create a Critter 2)
  • Solid Easter eggs @ 2.5 and 1.75 (Create a Critter 2)
  • Bunny @ 4 (Create a Critter 2)

Cuttlebug Folders:

  • Birds and Swirls
  • Swiss Dots
  • Simple Flowers
  • Give a Hoot Companion
  • Darice’s Swirl Background
  • Darice’s Butterfly
  • Darcie’s  Dandylion
  • Darice’s Simple Border

Other Materials:

  • green florist wire or 12 inch bamboo skewers
  • a tape runner
  • craft glue like Aleene’s Max Tacky Adhesive

I began with a print from the All Seasons II paper stack by the paper studio and then chose solid colors to coordinate with the print. The green is a print on one side and solid on the other from the Life’s Little Occasions by K&C Company.  To make the flower pot I cut 8 flower pot shadows from page 91 of Walk in My Garden in a eggplant color. I used the Simple Border folder that reminded me of rick rack to emboss the top edge of each pot. I folded each pot in half  with a bone folder and used a tape runner to apply adhesive along the white lines of the first pot. Then I attached the folded second pot to the first and applied the adhesive again. I worked through all 8 cuts and then attached the last to the first to make the standing pot. It’s important to leave a break in the adhesive at the top of each pot otherwise I couldn’t insert the stem for each egg.

2014-03-04 14.53.08-1For the decorated eggs I went to Create a Critter 2 page 40 and set up this cut. I used it twice for the green, the pink, the yellow and the purple. Then I carefully set out all the pieces and mixed and mingled the colors to create the 4 striped and 4 dotted eggs. But since this is a 3-D project each egg needed a back side. For this I used the icon on page 40 of Create a Critter 2 to cut 8 eggs again at 3 inches from the printed paper. Since I planned on adding my own layers, marking cuts didn’t matter.  I used the egg shadow layer at 2.5 to cut two purple, green, pink and yellow eggs and then went down to 1.75 and cut the four colors again.  The large eggs I embossed with the all over patterns and the smaller eggs I positioned carefully on the folders to get just a single butterfly or dandelion.  I arranged them and glued the layers down. All parts of the bunny had to be cut twice except for the shadow. Since my paper was the same on both sides I didn’t have to flip half the cuts right to left, I just turned them over before I glued them down.

Then it was time to make the Easter egg flowers. I cut 8 inch pieces of green floral wire for each of the eight eggs and a 12 inch piece for the bunny. I tried the bamboo skewers and they worked fine for the bunny, but didn’t let me adjust the angle of the eggs, so floral wire was the choice for them. I turned the decorated eggs over, spread Aleene’s max tacky adhesive around the edges of each and up the center, placed the wire into the glue in the center and them backed them up with the embossed eggs.  I used mini binder clips around the edges to keep the together until they dried. I did the same with the bunny only used the wooden skewer.  To find the “open” spot in the top of flower pot I found it helped to pry the edges open with my smallest spatula. I slipped each of the 8 eggs into the 8 slots and the bunny down the middle.

I had cut a few extra  2.5 egg shadows, so I embossed them and glued them randomly around the bottom of the flower pot between the “pages”. Taking the left over printed green paper I cut eight 12 inch strips 1/4 wide with the paper cutter.  I wrapped them tightly around a wooden chop stick to give them a curl and folded them in half.  I applied a dab of glue at the fold and inserted one in the slot at the base of each egg.  Now it looked finished!


Gift Bag with Tag and Receipt Envelope

When Katie bagged up her  present last weekend with the Baby shower card I made, it reminded me of all the wedding and shower gifts that arrived at my house over the summer and the struggle I had  keeping the gift receipts from getting lost.

Gift Bag with card and receipt envelope.

Gift Bag with card and receipt envelope.

So here is a gift bag design with an enclosure card and envelope to hold the receipt.  They both attach to the bag handles with ribbon and the receipt envelope slips into the apron design like a pocket.  This would be good for a kitchen themed wedding shower or a housewarming gift.

Cricut Cartridges Used:

  • Nifty Fifties
  • Graphically Speaking
  • Walk in My Garden

Cut Sizes in Inches:

  • Apron @ 3.0 (Nifty Fifties)
  • Oven Mit @ 4.5 (Nifty Fifties)
  • Cherry Sticker @ 1.75 (Nifty Fifties)
  • Receipt Envelope @ 3.5 (Walk in My Garden)
  • “Enjoy” @ 2.25 (Graphically Speaking)

I choose a two sided printed paper from a heidi grace stack with a green and pink plaid on one side and a small dot pattern on the reverse side. The solid soft pink, black and green are from my scrap bin.  The plain pink bag from JoAnn’s measures 8 x 10.25 x 4.25.  Beginning with the dotted side, I cut the apron layer and then the shift apron from the plaid.   I then used a solid pink to cut the pockets.  Scraps of black and green make up the cherry stems and leaves.  I used white glue to attach the layers and then let them dry.

I cut the shadow for the apron in the green and applied a thin line of Aleene’s Max Tack Adhesive where you see the marker lines.  This leaves the top open to create a small pocket to hold the gift receipt.  Next, I worked on the oven mitt, using the dots for the bottom, the plaid for the top layer and cutting an extra top layer for the inside to give me a light colored writing surface on the inside of the card. Again I finished with the cherry stem and leaves.  I glued the cherries to the cover attached the soft pink to the inside of the card and used a hole punch in the upper left hand corner.

My scrap bin had the very same shade of medium pink as the dotted background, so I used it to make the envelope.  I found this on the last page of the Walk in My Garden handbook.  Since there wasn’t much of a fold over on the envelope, I decided I needed a “sticker” to hold down the flap.  I found one in Nifty Fifties on page 65 of the handbook from the shift font shadow key and cut it from dotted paper.  Some glue and a hole punched finished this off.  The last thing I cut from the dotted paper was the “Enjoy” phrase.

The apron and phrase were glued to the bag and I waited for it to dry.  I cut a 24 inch piece of 1/4 inch ribbon and ran it thru the two sides of the card and tied it with a small bow.  The other end of the ribbon went thru the whole at the back of the envelope and I tied it off with a small tail.  Last, I tied the ribbon around one of the bag handles, arranging it so the envelop would fit in the pocked and the card would be near the top.


Baby Shower Card

My daughter Katie is going to attend her first baby shower next week so I made this card for her to take. Front of Baby Shower Card

The new “Mom-to-Be” is a Delta Gamma sorority sister of hers, so we picked a nautical theme for the card.  I chose a two sided pinwheel paper from a sarahjane stack called “Children at Play”.  The other papers in white, red, blue and a soft aqua glitter are from my scrap box.

Cricut Cartridges Used:

  • Plantin School Book
  • Life is a Beach
  • Everyday Pop-Up Cards
  • Phrases

Cuttlebug Folders:Baby Carriage

  • Swiss Dots
  • Darice’s Borders–Simple

I used the envelop cut from the Plantin School Book cartridge with the fit-to-page feature to cut a plain white envelope from 12 x 12 card stock. Before gluing the envelope together, I embossed the closing flap with the Darice dotted border folder.

With a paper cutter, I cut a 6.5 x 10 inch strip of the printed paper and folded it to make the 5 x 6.5 inch card.  Using the same paper I cut a 4 x 5.25 inch rectangle and embossed it, aqua side up, with the Swiss Dots folder and rounded the corners.  One more strip of this paper, this time cut 1.5 x 4 inches.

From the Phrases cartridge I selected “Welcome Baby”, cut the Shadow layer in red and the Phrase layer in aqua glitter at 3 inches.  The smallest strip of print paper with some ink distressing on the edges and a couple of self stick gems in the centers of the pinwheels finished the front of the card.

For nautical elements inside of the card I used Life is a Beach.  Using a 4 inch cut, the lighthouse was cut from white distressed card stock and the layers cut in red.  The gulls in the same distressed white are cut at 2.5 inches.  Bright blue anchor border is a 2 inch cut and the tiny anchor trim on the baby carriage is cut at .75.  For the carriage I went to Everyday Pop-Up Cards.  I have made several cards with this cartridge and have struggled with the pop-up elements but I love the graphics.  So with a 3.5 inch cut I made the  carriage.

Here is how I’ve been successful at making elements “pop-up”.  For this one I cut a strip of paper .5 x 6.5 inches long.  I measured along the length at intervals of 1 inch, 2 inches, 1 inch and 2 inches and made score lines.  I then folded the strip along those scores and used the .5 inch remaining piece to glue it into a 3 dimensional rectangle.  I attach this to the back of the card face and the inside or “floor”.  Snugging up the angle of the strip into the crease of the card makes it fold up nicely. Now add the carriage so that it sits on the “floor” evenly, and it pops-up when the card is open!