Documenting Covid: Mask mandates

I’m on a journey this year to get more stories in my covid album. I started this album during a Crop & Create event class where we created pocket pages using a calendar set up to document an entire year. I knew that this would be perfect for covid! I did purchase a second set of kit supplies since I knew that covid would last longer than a year!

The most details are outlined in this video

Here is a quick look at the base of my album.

I do have a few independent 12×12 pages in there already. In fact I have this t-page spread about when the mask mandates ended in 2021.

And those pages lead right into this new layout about how the mask mandates returned just a couple of months after ending thanks to the delta variant.

The key to this layout was using newspaper (can they really be called newspapers anymore??) headlines from the internet. I took screen shots of the headlines, sized them all the same and then printed them out on photo paper. I was sure to record the news source and the date as part of the layout flow.

The other piece to this layout was the title I created in Cricut using some of the newest features in the software. One of my biggest complaints about the Cricut has been the wimpy features in the software. Well, that seems to be changing! Here is a tutorial on how I created this title.

As always, I hope this gave you some ideas for your own scrappy life!

Freebie Friday, April ’22

I love learning, creating and sharing. That is why I offer freebies up to you each month. I have both a layout sketch (in printable pdf as well as editable psd) and an electronic cut file (in svg). This month I was inspired by the birds in my garden! You can see all the details in my reveal video, or read on for the short version.

Here is a closer look at the sketch and the project I created based on this sketch.

You may have noticed that I have a hummingbird cut file on the layout above. Sure enough, that is the cut file I have to offer you this month. My reveal video covers how I colored my hummingbird. Of course you could always back the bird with pattern papers.

Download the pdf sketch here, the psd version here, the cut file here or, head over to my Freebies Page to peruse the catalog of files I have offered in the past. And if you have any ideas for sketch or cut files, I’d love to hear your ideas. I can’t make promises but I can take suggestions!

Freebie Friday, March 2022

It is that time once again! I love learning, creating and sharing. That is why I offer freebies up to you each month. I have both a layout sketch (in printable pdf as well as editable psd) and an electronic cut file (in svg). This month I was inspired by the reawakening of all the plants and they burst into spring (and the sweat and dirt that goes into keeping the garden looking good!!). You can see all the details in my reveal video, or read on for the short version.

Here is a closer look at the sketch and the project I created based on this sketch.

If you are a cut file lover, I’ve got you covered too! My video covers any details for this file and any tips and tricks I have to share. Be sure to get all the info by watching above.

Download the pdf sketch here, the psd version here, the cut file here or, head over to my Freebies Page to peruse the catalog of files I have offered in the past. And if you have any ideas for sketch or cut files, I’d love to hear your ideas. I can’t make promises but I can take suggestions!

Freebie Friday is here again

I love learning, creating and sharing. That is why I offer freebies up to you each month. I have both a layout sketch (in printable pdf as well as editable psd) and an electronic cut file (in svg). This month I was inspired by Valentine’s Day, and especially the photo below. I wanted something romantic but not overly sweet to highlight this moment with my husband.

So this is what I came up with…

The stripy heart is just my favorite! Since I hate backing cut files I usually include the cutable fill-in pieces to save you hassle. You can see how I put it to use on this layout (although, small confession, I did back the file by hand. Go figure!)

I’m pretty honest when I love or dislike something I’ve created. This time I am in love. Those stripes filled with the mix of bright and chill patterns… oh my. Do you even get giddy with one of your creations?

So I went on to produce my sketch for the month from this layout. Here is a closer look at the sketch.

And as usual if you want the full detailed version I have that for you in my release video

Now if you want to get your hands on these freebies I have all the links for you right here.

Download the pdf sketch here, the psd version here, the cut file here or, head over to my Freebies Page to peruse the catalog of files I have offered in the past. And if you have any ideas for sketch or cut files, I’d love to hear your ideas. I can’t make promises but I can take suggestions!

Freebie Friday!

I revealed my freebies for this month over on YouTube, but failed to write up my post here. So here is the quick version…

This month’s sketch was based on a layout I shared on YouTube earlier when I did my SCT Sampler Kit unboxing.

For the cut file, I haven’t had a chance to use up my pieces on a project, but the video shows how they all turned out, as well as some tips on cutting intricate files. Here I cut them out of cardstock, vellum and silver mirror paper.

Download the sketch here, the cut file here or, head over to my Freebies Page to peruse all the files I have to offer.

Freebie Friday Jan 2022

I did take a break in December to get some other things in my life worked on. Nothing big, just stuff that needed doing that was being neglected. I had hoped despite the break that I’d be able to get a sketch and cut file out to you. Alas, life did not make that happen.

But… I am back and I have some freebies for you now. Be sure to check out the Freebies page to see all that I have to offer. I hope you enjoy! Now let’s see the new files for this New Year!

Free Sketch!

Free Cut File

Of course I’ve got a video. There are a couple of small tips in there on how to get better results when cutting intricate die cuts on your Cricut. And then I just play with those snowflakes in various materials.

What is hybrid scrapbooking?

For 2022 I’m starting on a once a month adventure of incorporating more hybrid scrapbooking into my memory keeping. So what exactly is hybrid scrapbooking? It is the process of using digital scrapbooking supplies to turn them into physical items and then using them to complete a physical layout. If you do a photo collage in an app and then print and use that photo collage as in on a layout, technically you are hybrid scrapbooking. Even using a cut file on your electronic die cutting machine could be considered hybrid as well. My intentions are to use the collection of digital scrapbook kits that I have purchased over the years. I have a backlog of these files because I thought I would turn into a mainly digital scrapbooker at some point. However, the need to use physical items matters so much to my experience of creating art that I can’t go fully digi. However, I can get some of the benefits of digi and use them in my physical layouts.

I’ll start you off with the layout process video I created this month.

In the video I mention the benefits of hybrid as I create. Here I can just easily list them.

  1. You don’t have to have lots of space to store a ton of supplies! You just need a stack of paper and a printer to turn the digi items into physical items. (An electronic die cutter is super helpful, but I’ll cover that in a bit.)
  2. You can use only the pieces of an embellishment pack that you actually like. No leftover unwanted bits.
  3. You can resize items to a smaller size if you like (going larger usually doesn’t work well due to the pixel nature of digital graphics.)
  4. You can duplicate and create as many of the same element that you love.
  5. If you mess up an item, you can always print a new one!

While there are real good things about using digital elements, there are some cons as well.

  1. If you are a 12×12 scrapper, an investment in a 12×12 printer OR the flexibility to design 12×12 layouts using 8.5×11 papers is critical.
  2. It takes more time to select and then print your products as opposed to just pulling out some items and getting to work.
  3. If you want to create embellishments, an electronic die cutter is going to be a life saver. Otherwise you are going to become the fussy cutting champ of all time. A machine is yet another money, time and tech know-how investment.

I’m hear to help with that last point! I have a tutorial for you on one way to use your Cricut machine to take some digital scrapbook die cuts and create physical die cuts.

And here is a look at the final result.

What do you think? Can you tell that I printed most of these products myself?

Let me know what you think about hybrid scrapping!

Freebie Friday, Oct ’21

Now that it is October, I’m finally feeling a bit of that fall vibe. So, I turned to the iconic pumpkin for the cut file this month. Using plaid for the sketch emanates a feeling of warmth and comfort. So that was my thinking for the designs this month.

Download the cut file directly as well as the pdf or photoshop version of the sketch. And if you want to see my other freebies, head to the Freebies section of my site.

I put them to use in a project as well. Check out the video…

As you may see from the video graphic, I combined the cut file and the sketch to come up with this layout.

Happy Fall/Autumn to my northern hemisphere readers (and happy spring to you southern hemisphere friends).

Free cut files, 8/21

Each month I offer free cut files for download here on the blog. If you head to the Freebies tab you can find all the previous freebies, both cut files and sketches.

This month’s file is all about Back to School! With all of the US schools reopening full time this fall going back to school means something this year that it hasn’t in years past! I wanted to honor that story telling with this cut file. You have your typical school icons such as a bus, backpack and book. But you now have the mask and distancing sign which many schools are using as part of the CDC guidelines.

You can download the svg cut file directly by clicking here. And here is a brief look at the digital design (left) and my cut and assembled pieces (right). Click to enlarge.

If you want to see the details on assembling the multi-piece cuts, like the bus and backpack, then check out the accompanying video.

DIY Thickers

I have a love/hate relationship with alphabet stickers. I love the texture and style that a good thick alphabet sticker can bring to a layout. But I am constantly running out of the most popular letters and then I’m left with 50% of the product (or more) as unusable. While I have come up with a few ideas on recycling and upcycling these items, I’m just a bit tired of the whole process.

So for the next few months I am on a quest to make all my own alphabet stickers. Since I like the dimension of foam letters I’m using that material for now. I’ll use die sets and my Cricut Maker1 to create my alphas and spruce then up with various techniques to get a variety of styles. Yes I will still have all the bits of foam left over from cutting out the letters. My plan for that is to use it to replace my foam dot usage. That way the material does double duty and hopefully I’ll have little to no waste to throw away. You can see what I have in mind with my latest video.

Since filming this episode I’ve decided on one more style I want to try. If I cover a foam sheet with double sticky adhesive and then lay a white sheet of cardstock over that I’ll have a surface that should be easily alterable in more ways that the plain foam is. That way the dye ink techniques I talk about in the video will work. This style will cut easily with die sets. But will my Cricut blade be able to handle the stickiness of the adhesive without gumming up my blade? I’ll let you know when I know!

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Footnote 1: I do have to specifically use the Cricut Maker model for this and here is why. I have not had any luck using the fine point or deep point blade cutting foam simply because Cricut’s pre-set cutting features move too fast and the blades drag the material. When I use my Maker with the special knife blade and the Thin Garment Leather setting I can get the machine to slow down and cut very well. But that setting has it’s own drawback, which I won’t go into now. Instead, I’ll be brining a video on this topic soon!