Monday, December 22, 2008

Placing text in a circle

I've tried to figure this out for years (OK, maybe months) but I've finally found out how to journal in a circle! Most amazing of all is this can be done in Word!

1. Open a blank document in Microsoft Word.

2. On the drop-down menu at the top left of the screen, select View - Toolbars - WordArt. The WordArt toolbar will now appear on your screen.

3. Click on Insert WordArt (the first button on the left - the big A). A box will come up asking you to select a WordArt style. Pick the third option which shows WordArt in a simple arch. Click OK.

4. Now you should have a box that contains an area for you to type in your text as well as a spot to select a font and a font size.

4a. Pick the font you like, I used CK Script.

4b. Don't worry about font because it will be adjusted automatically so that your words form a perfect circle.

4c. Type in your text and click OK.

5. The text box on your screen will now show your words in an arch shape. From now on I will call this your WordArt. Now we're going to change the arch shape to a circle. Click on your WordArt to select it. You should see little black boxes appear at the corners of it, indicating that it is selected.

6. Select WordArt Shape (the middle of the WordArt toolbar, immediately to the right of the paintcan icon). You will see a selection of different shapes. Select the circle in the second row.

7. Your text should now appear in a circle, but the circle will be flattened. Next we will make the circle perfectly round.

8. Make sure your WordArt is still selected, with the little black boxes on the corners of it. Select Format WordArt (the paint can button). This dialog box has several tabs. Select the Size tab. Enter the height for your circle, e.g., 3" whatever size you want it to be. Enter the same number for the width for your circle, so it will be perfectly round. The size of the font will adjust automatically to fit.

If your phrase is short, you might want to repeat it a couple of times like I did in my example above. Click on Edit Text button on the WordArt toolbar to change your text.

I wanted my phrase to fit inside a scalloped circle that I already had. To do this I printed my circle onto a plain piece of paper then attached my scallop over top using removable tape. I put the paper back into my printer and printed again.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ornament Drop

I received the following from Creating Keepsakes:

'Tis the season to be jolly, and nothing says "jolly" quite like the act of giving a handmade gift. As scrapbookers, this approach to gift-giving comes with the territory. It's what we do. But we usually do it for the ones we know and love. How's this for a twist? Let's give our handmade goodies to complete strangers. That's what the Creating Keepsakes Ornament Drop is all about. It's a glistening idea that takes a holiday approach to random acts of kindness.

Here's how it works: Make an ornament (it can be out of paper, but it certainly doesn't have to be), pair it with this tag, and leave it in a public place for some lucky person to find. While you're at it, take a picture of your gift in waiting and post it on our Ornament Drop website for others to see. With drops being made as far away as Australia (so far), this is one ornamental idea that's taking the world by storm. Won't you help us bring the creative fun to your town? Together we can spread the holiday joy, one ornament at a time!

I'm going to drop an ornament or two today while I run errands! How fun!!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Make-it-yourself Prima-type Flowers

I had the opportunity to try the ideas from Valita's blog to make some prima-type flowers. I played around for awhile and ended up with the following flower. I think it worked out pretty well!


Embossing tool
Embossing pad
Handmade cardstock
Cuttlebug cutting dies - Flowers and/or Asterisks*
*(you could also use flower punches)


1. Cut out your flower shape on the Cuttlebug. Use the standard sandwich of A+B+die+paper+B.

2. Score lines down the center of each petal section then fold up in order to give a good crease.

3. Lay your flower on an embossing pad or piece of foam. Move the embossing tool (larger ball end) in a circular motion all around the edges of the petals. You will see the petal edges start to curl inwards.

4. When you are happy with the amount of curling, turn the flower over and press firmly in the center to make the flower “pop up”.


If using a thicker cardstock like Bazzil, crumple the paper well, then smooth flat, prior to cutting out your shape (see picture to right).

If using a thicker cardstock you can also try peeling the paper apart into two layers.

Thanks to Valita of “” for the initial idea. Check out her website for tonnes of great ideas!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Making your own Prima-type Flowers

I was cruising the internet (hiding from the kids) and came across this great idea for making your own prima-type flowers. So cool and it seems so easy. I'm going to go try it out as soon as I can!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I'm in love with Core'dinations cardstock

I have spent some time using the Core'dinations ColorCore Cardstock with my Cuttlebug and I am sooooo thrilled with the results. After embossing the image on the cardstock, I use my sanding block and voila! I love how the interior of the paper is a lighter shade which really highlights the embossed image.

This first card isn't quite finished - I have to decide on a sentiment. But I love how the image coordinates with the prima flower. I used a paper scrap to create the "ribbon" behind the image.

These are among my favorite Christmas cards. Very simple design but still impactful. I used the Cuttlebug Winter Houses folder for the main image. The "HoHoHo" text was embossed (on the Cuttlebug) using a metal tag. I used the Holly folder to create the accent (after embossing the holly, I cut out a single cluster and gently sanded) and a few spare beads stolen from the kids' stash.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Cool purse card

I found this great card project during my wanderings on the internet. It is super simple but really striking. The instructions are on the "Firecracker Designs by Pamela" site (")and are very easy to follow. I challenge you to give this a try!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Using Brass Stencils with Glitter

OK, I've been experimenting with ways to use my brass stencils with glitter. The embossing paste works well but can be tricky (use too much and it bleeds, use too little and it won't fill in the tiny cracks of the stencil). This morning I experimented with using PAM non-stick cooking spray. It works on frying pans so why not on stencils ....

Both attempts worked although the burnish on the flower was a bit different than expected.

The cat worked out great although I should have used a lighter shade for the background to get the full impact of the image. I'm really pleased with how crisp the image lines are.

What should I use next?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

BC Creative Expo

This past weekend was spent happily crafting with my best friends Lee & Jacqui at the BC Creative Expo. This was the second year for the Expo (first year for us) and although there were some bumps, overall it was a blast! Friday was the main shopping day -- but I only bought stuff on my list! I joked that the list was written in invisible ink and the items only appeared once I found them and decided on the purchase. Very convenient!

We took part in 3 classes which ranged from complete disaster to absolutely phenomenal. I ended up with quite a few cards that I liked from each class so even the disastrous "Christmas Cards with a Twist" class was somewhat successful.

"Christmas Cards with a Twist" had quite a twist - the class wasn't about Christmas cards and many key supplies weren't delivered so the final cards would've ended up quite horrid. I made the best of it and pretty much ignored the class instructions and just tried to create a few not-terrible cards out of the supplies. This one worked out pretty nicely - I like the cut-out:

The next class was "Clearly Creative" and I had a great time with the embellishment buffet (Trisha had stations set throughout the room for prima flowers, buttons, chipboard, glimmer mist, alcohol inks, stamps, papers, laces). The "Naturally" card was the class project. The rest were just random creations.

The final class was "Stencil Magic" and it was the best by far. I have rediscovered brass stencils and am loving all the new uses for them. The best learnings from the class included this card:

When you put white embossing paste onto a previously inked glossy paper, the paste will pull up the ink colours as it dries. Truly magic!

And it is possible to use brass stencils on double-sided adhesive tape if you first soap up the stencil with 100% vegetable oil soap. I have tried this unsuccessfully before and am thrilled to have such a simple solution.

And finally we learned how to use embossing paste and the perfect pearls powder. What luck as I had bought some of the perfect pearls the day before and had no idea what to do with them.

So, all in all this was a fantastic weekend. I ended up with 17 cards and a slight hangover. Lee, Jacqui and I spent tonnes of time gossiping, and I even learned a few new techniques. Just have to hide that Visa bill!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Christmas is coming

My friend Jacqui & I spent a very productive weekend making Christmas cards. Not all of the cards worked out but these 3 are favorites.

And finally, I completed this card in answer to a splitcoaststampers card sketch challenge. I'm not totally happy with it (I can't help but think the flower looks like a sliced apple) but I do like the way the inked embossing looks.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Excuse the bragging

... but I absolutely have to memorialize the beautiful turkey that I roasted for Thanksgiving yesterday. Unbelievably moist and just perfectly browned! I'm so very proud of it.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

It's going to be a sparkly Christmas

A wonderful side effect of my Cuttlebug is that I've started using a couple of things again that I haven't touched in years. After finding out that my brass stencils work with the Cuttlebug, I decided to do some experimenting. This card worked out absolutely fabulously (if I say so myself).

To get this look, tape down your brass stencil with removable tape. Spread translucent embossing paste over the stencil ensuring you scrape off any extr. Lift stencil straight off. Cover with glitter (shake off excess). Let dry.

This is a fun mixed card using glitter for the stripes and a bit of glitter glue around the edges of the scalloped circle. And no card is complete without Fluffes!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

It's a Cuttlebug Christmas

I've been going a bit crazy lately with my Cuttlebug. I've created quite a few Christmas cards using basic embossing as well as some ink resist.

These first cards were done with plain white cardstock embossed with the snowflakes folder. I used a Fluffles stamp (so incredibly cute!) and my scallop circle punch for colour.

This next card is just an embossed circle with a cute penguin sticker I had laying around. Nothing fancy.

I love the way this card worked out. I simply embossed two pieces of white cardstock with the ornaments folder. I used one piece for the main card, and then cut a 2" square and matted it for the accent.

Next I decided to try something a bit more complicated. Here are the basic steps (although there are lots of other "how to's" on the internet) and two of the cards I created.

1. Using plain white cardstock, dab stamping ink all over card. Then smear a lighter colour of stamping ink onto the card to give a two-toned look. Keep dabbing and smearing until you are happy with the look.
2. Wait until the card is completely dry! This is absolutely essential.
3. Run the card through your cuttlebug using the embossing folder of your choice.
4. Use your brayer to add clear embossing ink to the raised areas of your card. Add preferred colour of embossing powder (shake off excess).
5. Use heat gun to emboss the raised areas.
6. Admire your final product!

The colours on this card didn't photograph well - they are much more red than pink in real life.

Monday, September 29, 2008

More scrapbook pages

A digital page completed using Creating Keepsakes Scrapbook Creator

I changed all photos to black & white in order to emphasize the lack of colour in the winter landscape. I then opened the colour of Alex's coat and crazy carpet to draw attention to the focal picture.

A goofy layout of the boys acting up. I used a combination of circle punches & rub-ons.

This layout took forever as it was difficult to find decent instructions on how to embed the photos inside the letter frames. I'm really happy with the result. The layout was finished off with animal stickers to lend depth.

A traditional layout

Another traditional layout. I love the Elmo paper!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Tis the season ... to make Christmas cards

OK, it's only September, but everyone who crafts knows that one has to get a headstart on the seasons to ensure everything is ready in time. With that in mind, I started trying out ideas for Christmas cards. My cuttlebug is on loan right now so I stuck to paper & stamps for these first attempts. They aren't spectacular but I'm fond of the white & green card. I am absolutely in love with the Fluffles stamp. I may have to buy more in the line!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Scrap Pink

Jacqui and I had a blast at the Clipper Street all-day "Scrap Pink". In support of breast cancer research, we spent the day scrapbooking, card-making, and shopping. Just a couple of photos showing how much fun we had:

The happy scrappers:

Over 40 women with all their associated supplies made for a crowded but productive room.

One of the highlights of the day was the Make & Take. Melissa Frances, Creative Director, Carolyn Peeler led us through the creation of this beautiful matchbook album. I have no idea what photos I will use for it but I'm sure something will come to mind soon enough.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I love glitter

Jacqui and I have decided to take some craft classes for fun - the first choice was All About Glitter at Clipper Street. I'm not normally a glitter person (and what type of person is that?) but I am completely in love with this technique! Here are a couple of cards that I made during the class using the ultra-fine glitter and some masking techniques. Follow this link to a great tutorial -

This first card uses a simple mask created with a circle punch. The colours are alot more vivid in person.

This card is my favorite although the picture didn't work out great. I love the unusual colour choices and the way the images pop when the light hits them.

This is the first card we created - it isn't particularly exciting but nice enough for a first try. I laid down a strip of adhesive, cut out my images on a similarly sized piece of white cardstock, then laid the cardstock over the adhesive. The glitter was then added to the images and then rubbed in using my finger to create a velvety texture.

Sunday, July 6, 2008