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Make a Watercolor Fall Leaf Card with Cricut Scoring Wheel!

Fall is starting to sound really good with the July heat here in Florida! So today, I decided to bring some cool fall weather to my studio with the help of my Cricut Maker and the new Cricut Scoring Wheel.

[Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Cricut.]

Fall Watercolor Card with Cricut Scoring Wheel

When I first got my Cricut Scoring Wheel for my Cricut Maker, I was going over a list of the materials that the Cricut Double Scoring Wheel will work with: shimmer paper….sparkle paper…watercolor paper…heavy cardstock…. Wait! Back that bus up! Did that say watercolor paper?

It did! Because the new Cricut Scoring Wheel works in the Adaptive Tool slot of the Cricut Maker machine, it has up to 10x the scoring pressure of the previous Scoring Stylus. And that means that it can create scoring lines in materials like 140lb watercolor paper that the stylus just can’t stand up to.

I love using watercolor techniques – and thus watercolor paper – in my card making. But the challenge it brings is that watercolor paper is extremely heavy and doesn’t fold well. So working with up until now meant making a separate card front with it, or having to design my card so that the watercolor was an element not the whole card front. It was limiting.

Being able to create score lines in watercolor paper with the Cricut Double Scoring Wheel means creative freedom from all of those limitations. I really pushed the limits of my new freedom for this card. I created a card that is a watercolor paper base, and has a see-through element as well.

Supplies Used:

Cricut Double Scoring Wheel lines

The Cricut Double Scoring Wheel makes two scoring lines close together. This creates a more gradual fold that doesn’t break the surface of the material when folding heavier materials like foil paper, cereal boxes, kraft board, lightweight chipboard, and more. (Don’t worry if you aren’t certain which Cricut Scoring Wheel is the correct one for your material. Your Cricut Maker machine will tell you which one to use after you select your material in Design Space!)

Cricut Scoring Wheel in Cricut Maker machine

There is one other benefit of the new Cricut Scoring Wheel working in the Adaptive Tool slot of the Cricut Maker machine – it leaves the pen slot open! This means that drawing and scoring can be done in one set-up of the machine (assuming you are only using one pen color). With the Scoring Stylus, you have to do the pen, then the machine stops and you have to swap the pen for the the stylus before you can score. The new process of being able to do them both at once is much more efficient!

To start my watercolor fall leaf card project, I cut the project out on my Cricut Maker. I cut the main part out of watercolor paper, the frame for the front out of shimmer paper, and the back for the window out of foil acetate.

Fall Watercolor Card prep

Once my pieces were cut I used my art tape to tape my card base down to a surface for painting. (Painter’s tape would also work.) I also used the tape to cover the sentiment that was done in pen by my Cricut Maker, and also to create a border around the window to keep my watercolor from migrating. It only takes a few moments to do this, and it is a good way to prevent paint disasters. Also, if the card base isn’t taped down, the watercolor paper will curl when it dries after painting.

Fall Watercolor Card in Progress

My first layer of watercolor was started with an olive green color from my watercolor set. I used my waterbrush and just made random dabs of the olive from the palette onto the dry watercolor paper. Then I spritzed the leaf lightly with water. I grabbed a clean watercolor brush and started filling in between the green with a nice saturated yellow. Then I spritzed again to make it blend well. To speed the drying process, I used a heat gun.

Fall Card marker edges

After the green and yellow was dry, I started my next watercolor layer. The next layer was a reddish-orange color. I used a small waterbrush for applying this color, and then spritzed it to blend it. Then I dried it with the heat gun again.

The final layer was some brown, applied the same way as the red. In addition to making random spots, I also filled in the stem with the brown, and painted along the vein lines with it.

When I was done painting, I used a brown brush marker lightly edge along the leaf and frame to cover the white edges. I also colored just a little bit of the front of the opening. I also did the same thing to the white edges of the shimmer paper frame. All of this provides a more “finished” look to my die cuts, and creates a sort of drop shadow effect.

Fall Watercolor Card assembled

Once my watercolor was all dry, I very carefully removed the tape. Then I assembled the card elements. The Cricut Foil Acetate perfectly matches the Geode Cricut pen I used for the sentiment, and adds a sort of blue sky sparkle to the card. The Cricut Shimmer Paper that I used for the frame picks up the fall colors of the leaf, and makes it a bit more festive.

The final step, of course, is to use the beautiful double scoring lines to fold my finished card! Folding the 140lb watercolor paper was surprisingly easy with the lines from my Cricut Double Scoring Wheel, and I got a perfect edge!

And here is the result!

Fall Watercolor Card with Cricut Scoring Wheel

I chose a “thinking of you” sentiment for my card but the design is suitable for lots of fall uses – a simple hello, happy birthday, and many others. Anna Griffin has a whole bunch of similar sentiment designs to choose from to make it easy to adapt this card to whatever use you need!

Watercolor Fall Leaf Card with Cricut Scoring Wheel

What occasion will use the Cricut Double Scoring Wheel for?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

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AFCI | In the MKNG Preview (And a Discount!)

Summer is flying by fast, and that means we are coming up on theIn the MKNG™ festival being put on by AFCI on September 29th-30th, 2018! Here’s all the latest info that you need to know about the festival – along with a discount code for tickets!

[Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for AFCI.]

Where is In the MKNG™️?

Museum at Bethel Woods

In the MKNG™ will be taking place at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in Bethel Woods, NY. Located about 90 minutes outside of New York City, Bethel Woods is also within a few hours’ driving distance of New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

Bethel Woods, of course, is famous as the site of the 1969 Woodstock Festival. Today, the grounds of that festival (most of which are now part of the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts) are on the National Register of Historic Places and are regularly visited by tourists. A monument sits near the location of the festival’s main stage. The Museum at Bethel Woods, also part of the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, tells the story of the Woodstock Festival and the 1960’s through artifacts and other exhibits.

If nature is more your thing than history, the Sullivan Catskills area surrounding Bethel Woods has plenty to offer. Take a drive on scenic Route 97, or go hiking and biking on the area’s many trails, or fish and hunt in Lake Superior State Park.

To learn more about the area around Bethel Woods and to plan your visit, explore the Sullivan Catskills website.

Who will be at In the MKNG™️?

Many of crafters’ favorite brands are sponsoring and participating In the MKNG™ – Bob Ross, Michaels, Paper House, Gildan, Lion Brand, Duck Tape, and so many more!

With over fifty vendors already signed up for In the MKNG™. there’s something for every craft fanatic. For paper crafters, there’s Altenew, The Paper Curator, Paper House, Eileen Hull and more – including loads of mixed media options. Sewists can visit the legendary Mood Fabrics, Fabric Mart NY, Decorative Trimmings, Blu Arlan and other options. A host of options for fiber arts fans include Lion Brand, Red Heart, Cornwall Yarn Shop, Buck Brook Alpacas, and more exciting options.

To see the current list of sponsors and vendors for In the MKNG™, visit the event’s website. (Are you a vendor who would like to be on that list? Visit the In the MKNG™ website to become a vendor or sign up as a sponsor – or both!)

Take a workshop!

Registration is now open for workshops at In the MKNG™! Workshop slots are available on both Saturday and Sunday. Attendees can take their pick of workshops that include crafts such as a knitted headband (no knitting experience required), a beautiful fall wreath, an etched glass jar, embroidery wall art, and more!

Tickets for In the MKNG™ workshops range from $20-$40 each, and can be purchased during the registration process for the event. (Attendees must buy a festival ticket to be able to purchase a workshop ticket.) View the full workshop descriptions on the In the MKNG™website.

Catch a concert!

Sister Hazel

Bethel Woods is famous for music, and so In the MKNG™ wouldn’t be complete without a great concert. And the best part is that your In the MKNG™ festival ticket includes access to the live music performances!

On Saturday, the festival’s headline performer (from 4:30pm to 6pm) is Sister Hazel, known to most music fans for their 1997 rock hit “All for You”. Sister Hazel is currently touring to promote their latest album, Lighter In The Dark. This new album is their first country album and features a collaboration track with Darius Rucker.

Other performers on Saturday are CMA artist Lauren Davidson, independent singer/songwriter Zach Matari & The After Parti, and NY-based pop/rock band Wild Planes.

On Sunday, the festival is being headlined by 16 year old country music singer-songwriter Brennley Brown. She appeared on season 12 of the NBC series “The Voice”, and is also known to fans for being the voice of Lily the Good Witch on the Disney Channel series “Sofia the First”.

Other performers on Sunday are singer/songwriter Emma Bilyou, retro-pop duo Fly By Midnight, and alternative rock band Don’t Believe in Ghosts.

To see the full music schedule for In the MKNG, click here.

What else can I do at In the MKNG™️?

Puppies

In the MKNG™ is designed as an interactive, hands on experience for festival attendees from kids to adults. Crafters of all skill levels can try out new crafts, or enhance their skills at existing ones using products from companies like Bob Ross, Brother, Crayola, DecoArt, iLoveToCreate, Lion Brands and more.

The Creator Stage will be hosting live demonstrations, crafting competitions and more. Animal lovers will find pet crafting projects (and an adoption center if you’re looking for a new furry family member to love). Or try out local craft beer and wine in a special pavilion.

Save on your ticket!

Buy your tickets today and use the following promotional code to save $3 off In the MKNG™ tickets: PRMKNG13

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Back to School with Cricut Scoring Wheel!

It’s time to think about back to school time already! With Cricut Scoring Wheel, it’s easy to welcome teacher back from summer vacation with a cute gift!

[Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Cricut, but all opinions are the author’s own.]

Cricut Scoring Wheel teacher gift

The new Cricut Scoring Wheel makes it easy to make 3D items like this adorable schoolhouse box, with your Cricut Maker machine. Pair it with a small plant and a gift card holder and it makes for the perfect back to school gift for teacher! Continue Reading →

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A First Look at the Cricut Scoring Wheel!

If you like to make cards and 3D items with your Cricut machine, there’s a new Cricut accessory that will make your projects easier and more beautiful: the Cricut Scoring Wheel.

[Note: This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.]

I was thrilled to learn about the introduction of the Cricut Scoring Wheel. I’ve always been a fan of the Cricut Scoring Stylus but I’ve often wished it had more power to make stronger scores that are easier to fold, and that it worked on more materials. Now my wish has been answered!

Cricut Scoring Wheel

The Cricut Scoring Wheel is actually wheels plural – there are two different ones, as you can see in the photo above. The one labeled 01 has a single scoring wheel for scoring lighter materials like cardstock. The version labeled 02 above has two side-by-side scoring wheels that make two parallel scoring lines for clean folding of heavier materials without surface cracking. (There’s no guesswork, either, about which one is the correct one for your material – your Cricut Maker will tell you after you select your material setting.)

Cricut Scoring Wheel

The previous Scoring Stylus attached to your Cricut machine via the same accessory slot as the pens. The new Cricut Scoring Wheel is available only for the Cricut Maker machine because it attaches via the machine’s Adaptive Tool System. This means that it has up to 10x the pressure to score materials as the old stylus.

This crease line on this envelope I cut was so perfectly crisp that it started to perfectly fold itself when I peeled the paper off of the cutting mat!

Cricut Scoring Wheel

Since it’s Christmas in July time, let’s take a look at how the Cricut Scoring Wheel can make it so much easier to make your Christmas cards this year! The single wheel works wonderfully for cardmaking with 80lb cardstock. You can cut and fold this Merry & Bright Christmas Card in just moments, with perfect results!

Cricut Scoring Wheel Christmas CardI love making little goodies to go with cards, like lip balm or candy holders. They work best, though, from stiffer materials like this Cricut Foil Poster Board. Now with the double scoring wheel, I can get these beautiful double score lines that let me fold easily without cracking the surface of my foil!

Cricut Scoring Wheel

Fold it up, tie it up with some ribbon, and this lip balm folder is a beautiful companion for my Christmas card!

Cricut Scoring Wheel lip balm folder

And don’t forget to use the single Cricut Scoring Wheel to make a colorful lining from patterned paper for your lip balm holder. This fun little project will brighten someone’s holidays, and is so easy to make!

Cricut Scoring Wheel lip balm folder

Whether you are making gift wrap, cards, or decorations…the Cricut Scoring Wheel for Cricut Maker is a must-have for your holiday crafting projects. Maybe I’ll finally get around to making the Christmas village this year with my Cricut now that the scoring wheel has made it so easy!

Cricut Scoring Wheel Christmas card

Can’t wait to get your own Cricut Scoring Wheel for your Cricut Maker? You can – it’s launching today on HSN! Don’t miss out!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine: First Look

As many of you may remember, I spent a lot of 2015 traveling around the country to various Scrapbook Expo shows to demonstrate the Cricut Explore machine for Cricut. I loved both the chance to interact with consumers around the country, and the machines themselves! So I was thrilled when Cricut offered me the chance to try out the new Cricut Explore Air 2 machine, see how it compared to my current Cricut Explore machine, and tell my readers about it!

What is the Cricut Explore Air 2 machine?

Cricut Explore Air 2If, like me, you are a user of a previous Explore model of machine, you’re probably wondering what is different about this new one from your current model. For users of the original green model of Explore machine like mine, or of the Explore One, you’ll find that the bluetooth is now built inside the machine instead of requiring a plug-in accessory dongle to work. If you currently have an Explore One, you’ll also find that the Explore Air 2 has two carriages – one for the blade and one for accessories, meaning less switching out while cutting.

One other minor change is mostly cosmetic – the setting at the dial on the top of the machine now read “bonded fabric” instead of just “fabric”. This isn’t a change in the machine’s capability but rather a better explanation of them. The previous label, based on postings in Facebook groups I belong to, seemed to confuse people into thinking the machine could cut fabric when in fact it can only cut fabric that has been bonded to an interface backing to stiffen it.

For users of all previous Explore machines, Cricut is advertising that the Explore Air 2 will cut up to 2x faster than the previous machines.

If you are a user of a cartridge based machine (the Expression series and earlier) models, the Cricut Explore Air 2 machine is a whole new eco-system, with the Cricut Design Space software and Cricut Access library subscriptions, and features like the ability to import and cut your own SVG and JPG files. But you might also be asking if a computer based machine is too complicated, or too much hassle. You might be surprised to find that the answer is no.

Cricut Explore Air 2 machine

Although I’m very experienced in setting up Cricut machines from demonstrating them, for this article I decided to try an experiment and see how long it would take me to set up the machine and make the introductory project that is included in the set-up process (pictured above). I used a clean machine that had never had Cricut Design Space installed on it, so I was starting from scratch the same as any other new user – albeit one with a bit more experience under my belt.

I started a timer from the moment that I started to take things out of the box.

Inside the box, I found the machine, power cord, USB cord, a pen, a green mat, paper for the introductory project, and a few instruction booklets.

Cricut Explore Air 2 contents

If you follow the instructions in the box, the next step is to open a special URL on the Cricut website that serves as a tutorial for setting up new machines.

Cricut Explore Air 2 set-up

Then the instructions call for plugging in the machine to the wall and connecting it via cable to the computer.

Cricut Explore Air 2 instructions

Once that is done, there are onscreen instructions in Cricut Design Space to follow to complete setting up your machine. They literally walk you through each step.

When you are done with the set up, the final step is to have some fun with your new machine for the first time! At the 14 minute mark of my set-up process (and that included time taken to take a few pictures for this article like the ones above), I loaded a mat with paper into my new machine for the first time!

Cricut Explore Air 2 with mat

By barely over the 20 minute mark, I had not only set up my new machine, but I had created (along with a few pictures for this article) a fun little card with it!

Tips for setting up a new Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine:

  • Choose Chrome: I’ve used Google Chrome for a long time with my Cricut Explore, and it is highly recommended as the most trouble-free way to work in Cricut Design Space with the Cricut Explore family of machines.
  • Forget Old Machines: For the smoothest install and bluetooth set-up, go into your computer or mobile device’s bluetooth settings and tell it to “forget” your old Cricut Explore machine. You can always re-pair them later to continue using it alongside the new machine.

And that is it…my new machine was up and running – and I’d made something – in less than 20 minutes!

Does the Cricut Explore Air 2 really cut faster?

I ran another test to see – and if so, by how much!

First, I selected a “make it now” Easter card project from the Cricut Access library and set it up to cut on my iPad Mini. This way, all of my cuts would be made from the same file on the same computer device.

Cricut Easter card

Then, I cut the green part of the card three times. The first time, it was on my new Cricut Explore Air 2 machine on the “fast” setting. That setting is available for use on vinyl, iron-on, and cardstock, and can be used just by clicking a box in the cut window. That cut took 1:58 from start to finish.

Then I tried it again on my Cricut Explore Air 2 machine, but this time I unclicked the “fast” box to cut “regular” speed. On this setting, the cut was clocked at 2:45.

Finally I tried the cut on my old green Cricut Explore machine, and it took 2:54.

This was a relatively small, but complicated design file. Other files will show varying differences in speed, of course. But even with this file I saved nearly a third of the cut time moving from my old Cricut Explore machine to the fast speed on the new Cricut Explore Air 2. Extend this time savings to large intricate backgrounds for 12×12 pages, or for large amounts of production cutting, and the time savings could add up, well, fast (pun intended). Especially or machine owners who are running a business with their Cricut, faster cutting means more time for themselves – or more time to make more profit!

Now that I can cut so much faster with my new Cricut Explore Air 2, I’m really excited to take on some larger cutting projects that I didn’t have the time or patience for before, like 12×12 decorative backgrounds for scrapbook layouts, or intricate iron-on shirt designs. Or maybe I’ll even take on some wall-sized vinyl projects…

What would you like to make faster with the new Cricut Explore Air 2?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

 

First Look: B Journal by Teresa Collins

One of the hardest things to learn in design is to know when to stop. Whether in fashion, decor, or crafts, the temptation to the designer is always there to overdo things, to leave their mark. This impulse to overdo is so universal that there’s even a commonly taught fashion rule about it: To avoid being over-accessorized, take off one thing before you walk out the door.

[Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Teresa Collins Studio, but opinions are solely those of the author.]

One of the reasons that I’ve long respected designer Teresa Collins is her mastery of this challenging concept. Her signature style is clean, and never overdone. And yet, despite its minimalism, it’s always immediately identifiable as the Teresa Collins brand.

Enter “B Journal”, which is the latest line from Teresa Collins. In this line, Teresa translates her spare style to a line of journaling books and accessories. The result is a stylish and elegant collection that looks as at home in a corporate office as on your kitchen table, and that works for everything from planning to recording memories.

B Journal by Teresa Collins

The core piece of the B Journal collection is its 7.5″ x 9.5″ journal. The journal comes in a variety of four designs, but the one that I have is softcover and designed in ultra-trendy marble and gold. Its simplicity of design hides an attention to detail that has long been Teresa’s signature.

B Journal inside

Inside, the journal’s pages are dot gridded – the preferred page type of most bullet journal fanatics – and the grids are at a scale of 5 per inch, which matches most other popular brands, making it easy to duplicate journal page ideas shared online. I cannot wait to use this journal as the central planning station for a new project I’m working on! And with the journal’s pages being pre-numbered, I can dive right in without first having to do a tedious chore that must be performed with most other brands of journal!

Mini B Journals

In addition, the B Journal collection also includes Mini Journals. Sold in packages of 3 assorted designs, these 5″ x 7″ softcover journals are a great size for smaller projects or as a more portable journal. From the designs in the 3 pack that have you can see several of the distinctive design elements of the collection: marble, several metallic foil tones, and the handwritten text. Then, of course, there’s Teresa’s signature black and white stripe!

Mini Journal Inside

Inside the Mini Journals, the pages are each a different design: dot grid, graph, and lined, So no matter what the project, the Mini Journal pack has a journal with the correct page type for it!

B Journal embellished

The B Journals are just blank slates, and there’s so much that you can do with them: memory journaling, planning, bullet journaling, . The B Journal collection has loads of accessories for the B Journals to inspire and assist you in making the journals your perfect (and gorgeous) productivity tool.

B Journal ruler

One of my absolute favorite things about this collection is a simple one, but one that also shows Teresa’s incredible eye for detail. A good ruler is critical to most bullet journalers. This one is an impossible to find length – 8″ – which is perfect. It’s long enough to do most of the lines in a bullet journal, but not so long that it is difficult to tote with me. Its companion stencil ruler, containing the most frequently used symbols in most journals, is also a much more convenient shape and size than most similar available stencils. It seems like a small thing, but I was absolutely ecstatic when I saw this ruler set in the collection!

B Journal stamps

Another way to get beautiful symbols is to stamp them. B Journal has a stamp set that contains all of the important journaling and calendar basics like date numbers, days of the week, and to do list productivity symbols.

B journal zip pouch

For journaling on the go, the B Journal zip pouch will contain the stamp set and the rulers, and a few other items. Or you can do what I’m going to do and throw it in your purse or bag as a collector for receipts and memorabilia that you want to make sure are kept!

B journal washi tape

If you love washi tape (and seriously, who doesn’t?), there’s lots to love about B Journal. There’s big wide tapes in trendy metallics, along with several assortments of narrow tapes in productivity themed designs like days of the week, checklist boxes, and to do list headings. This is such a great way to pretty up your journal’s pages – quickly!

B Journal journal cards

For those looking for a new Teresa Collins scrapbooking collection, you’ll will be happy to see the journal card collection that is part of B Journal. A large portion of the 36 cards have foiled metallic elements on them. Looking for a way to store them? Grab one of the coordinating B Journal binder clips – they are the perfect size for the 18 card stacks!

Here’s a peek at a few of the other accessories that make up the B Journal collection:

B Journal memo pads

B Journal tags

I’m totally stashing those tag holders with the mini envelopes as a great way of giving gift cards as gifts! And those to do list sticky notes are so beautiful it would just seem wrong to write something on them and not complete it!

The overriding theme in the B Journal collection is of simple, elegant sophistication. This is productivity and journaling for mature grown-ups! Being practical about productivity shouldn’t mean having to sacrifice having pretty tools to work with. I am so excited to have B Journal now as an option to do my bullet journaling and other productivity tasks. Teresa has proven that feminine, yet practical – a typically elusive combination on store shelves – is in fact possible!

B Journal by Teresa Collins launches in Joann Fabric & Crafts stores this week. Look for it in a store near you, or keep an eye on Teresa’s blog for more details!

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