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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Holocaust Remembance Day

Today is not the type of day to commemorate with a card. Rather, it is a day to think. To think about what happens when we forget that the person next to you is often similar to you on the inside, even if he or she does not look or sound entirely like you. It is a day to remember what can happen when one person is able to influence others to treat a person or group of people as though they are inferior. It is a day to remember to celebrate our differences, rather than vilifying them. Take a moment today to think about something positive to say, the next time you notice a difference. Think about how much better the world would be if we all did that, every day. "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" ~George Santayana

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Four Frame Shadowbox Mother's Day Card

Here is my Guest Blogger debut post on Cricut is Close to My Heart!

Hi there everyone! This is Jamie, more affectionately known as Glitter Panda.  I have a beautiful card to share with you today AND an awesome giveaway at the end of this post. Mother's day is right around the corner and I am fortunate enough to have MANY fabulous mommies who I love dearly. So, I realized I am going to have to start nice and early with my Mother's Day cards to make sure I have enough. I am sharing my very FIRST Mother's Day card with you today. Today's card is what I call the Four-Frame Shadowbox Card. I LOVE shadowbox cards and when I found this four-framed square on the Art Philosophy cartridge I knew I had to try it out!!  To make today's card, I used the Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge for every cut!  I also used the new Stella 12 x 12 paper packet.

To create the card, I started with a 5" rounded edge square card (SQUARE1 cut on the card button) on page 23 of the Art Philosophy booklet. I sponged the edges of the card using the CTMH Olive Exclusive Ink Stamp Pad and Round Sponge.

Next, I added the 5" four square frame on top of the card base (SQUARE1 on p. 23 on the decorative layer button). I used dimensionals to do this. This creates a 3D effect and raises the "shadowbox" a little bit higher. I used the same ink to sponge the edges of this layer as well.

I like to put something different in each frame. On the top left, I used a 2" butterfly (BTTRFLY2 p. 55 cut on the regular button on shift for the bright blue base and the Layer button on shift for the pretty, decorative overlay. I edged only the base with the olive ink because the overlay is too delicate. I attached the overlay to the base using liquid glass only on the body of the butterfly. This allows the overlay to pop up as long as you gently roll the edges up. I added 3 tiny pearls to the body of the butterfly and then I added this to the card using two layers of dimensionals so it looks like it is about to fly off the card!

On the top right, I used the Stella Canvas Complements Canvas Shape Stickers for the two ladybugs and the button is attached using liquid glass and is from the Bohemian Assortment.

The bottom left square is where I added the sentiment. I used a 1 1/2" square shape with the corners cut out (SQUARE5 on p.63 for the base cut and then the same cut on the decorative layer button for the frame). I mounted the bright blue paper to one of the Dimensional Elements Mixed Shapes that matched. These are chipboard shapes and this set specifically coordinates with the cuts on the Art Philosophy cartridge if you cut them on the suggested size. I stamped the square with the Love sentiment using the CTMH Olive Exclusive Ink Stamp Pad.   

Finally, the bottom right square is a 3D Rosette. I LOVE these!! I created a tutorial to help you use the Art Philosophy cuts to create the Rosettes and embellish them. For this particular Rosette, I used a double layered approach by cutting two rosette shapes at 3" on the Cricut (p.68 on font layer in red and orange).  First I inked the edges in Olive, then I put them one on top of the other and staggered one slightly higher than the other. Finally, I rolled them up together and secured them with liquid glass. I added a clear jewel in the middle for a little bling! I put one of the canvas shape stickers down first to become a leaf for the rosette and to add a little more dimension.

I am so happy with the way this card came out, and all of the cuts were made on ONE cartridge. I love the way the papers in the Stella paper pack complement each other. it made it VERY easy to come up with a great color combo!! I hope you enjoy recreating this card as much as I enjoyed creating it in the first place.

Last, but not least, I have a CONTEST for you!! As a SPECIAL treat, Vicky from Good wil* Creations has generously donated a one-of-a-kind twirl skirt of your choice to one lucky person. You can even choose whether you want the child or adult skirt child! These adorable skirts are made using recycled t-shirts, so they are even good for the environment!!  To be eligible to win, just sign up for our new Close to My Heart monthly newsletter! Click here for the link to register, and please feel free to shop at my Close to My Heart store today! I will announce the winner of the skirt on my blog next Sunday, April 22. Good Luck!

Panda Hugs!

Glitter Panda

I am entering this card into the following challenges:

Little Scrap Pieces - Use a Flower Challenge 
Anything Goes - Challenge #64: Anything Goes at Anything Goes

Monday, April 9, 2012

I'm a Guest Designer

It has been a VERY long week, but it has been a lot of fun. Between being off for spring break and all the holiday celebrating, it will be hard to get back into the swing of things. This week, however, I am so excited about my guest designing spot on Use It Tuesday! The Anything Goes challenge is definitely a a favorite of mine. At first I thought it would be fitting to create something that reflects who I am as a crafter and I think I hit it right on the head with this Glitter Panda shaker easel card. I have been holding on to this adorable panda stamp for quite some time and this seemed like the perfect chance. I dipped into my extensive stash of paper for this one and then used my pearls, glitter and ribbon too. I even created the flower using a punch instead of my go to Cricut cartridges. Then, I needed to make an Easter card for my mother-in-law and fell in love with that one! So, I decided to post the Easter card on Use it Tuesday and here it is:

There are a few techniques I want to explain with this one, so I will create another post to explain how I made it, but wanted to include it here today :)

Panda hugs!
Glitter Panda

Check out my posts on how to create an easel card and my video on how to create a shaker card to learn the techniques I used here!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Happy Passover!

Happy Passover to all who are celebrating!

Although we are busy getting ready with last minute preparations for Passover, I couldn't let the holiday go by without a card to share! My sister in law brought my shamrock easel card to Ireland and said it was a hit, AND they used it as the centerpiece on the table for St. Patrick's day, so this time, I made an easel card so we can use it for decoration on the table too! Needless to say, the Passover images are few and far between on my Cricut cartridges, so I used the "Passover" sentiment from Designer's Calendar and the Star of David from the same cartridge. The card base is an easel and I used my shaker card method to put the star in the background with the blue glitter my son, Cubby, picked out. The two rosettes are from the Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge and the method for creating them can be found here.

Panda Hugs!


Glitter Panda

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The End of March Madness

With March Madness coming to a close, there is no better time to create a basketball card! My son was at a basketball clinic all day today and then came home for 30 minutes and turned around to go to basketball practice! So you can imagine basketball is pretty big around here. One of my son's travel team teammates is having a birthday party party this week, so I decided to create this basketball birthday card.  I specifically chose the black and white striped paper reminded me of a referees uniform! It is so much more masculine than the cards I usually make, so I am proud of myself for going outside my comfort zone!
To create the card, I used the Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge for the banner and the border. The basketball is from two of the layers on the basketball image on the Cricut Best of 2008 cartridge. Here is a side view so you can see that the banner is added with 3D Foam Tape. I ran the orange ball through the Cuttlebug with the Swiss Dots folder to make the texture more basketball-like. I sponged the edges of all of the layers and embellishments. I used the Close to my Heart "Celebrate" stamp for the first time and used Cocoa ink for the softer color. The little metal basketball is a brad I have been holding on to for a while. I thought that added just the right finishing touch!
Bye bye for now...Panda Hugs!
Glitter Panda
I am entering this card into the following challenges:


Use it Tuesday Challenge #28 - Uninked Stamp - I used the Celebrate stamp that came with my CTMH Cricut collection (I also used the basketball brad I've been hoarding, the striped Recollections paper I have had but never used and my go to plain card stock that is taking over my dining room!)

Can't We All Just Get Along

Getting people to read can be a challenge. I know this because I am a high school English teacher. When I ask, at the beginning of the year, how many of my students read for pleasure, I am often met with the sound of crickets and a lonely hand waving frantically to share the last 16 books that he or she has read. Because of this, I am compelled to weigh in on the current debate going on about the 50 Shades of Grey series by E.L. James.

 Although my opinion does not matter much, for purposes of this post, I will say that I truly enjoyed this series. Is it award-winning literature? No. Is it highbrow literary eloquence? No. Is it even without errors that could have been caught with additional editing? No. However, it IS a fun, quirky look at ONE couple's experience in the world of BDSM. When I emphasize the "one," I do this for a very specific reason. Apparently (as I do not have practical experience to rely on), not EVERYONE into this lifestyle practices it this way, just like not EVERYONE into this lifestyle will enjoy this book.

For those of you who are appalled that a mom from the suburbs is reading such things, I appreciate, but politely disagree with your opinion. I am open to all forms of literature. I find that after lauding the classics for their merit all day long, sometimes I want to come home and stop thinking, stop analyzing and stop working.  I am happy to fall into an alternate world, whether it comes in the form of vampires, witches and werewolves, sex crazed BDSM practitioners or even just regular vanilla characters involved in a story I enjoy. I don't care if the book I am reading accurately portrays the lifestyle it professes to be about or contains anachronisms. I don't care because I am trying to indulge in some mindless reading. During my mindless reading, I like to stop thinking and start experiencing.

Now I will step off my soapbox and explain what this post is REALLY about. I have seen many articles, Facebook posts and tweets that rant and rave about how "lame" this book is. People clearly have very strong opinions about it. I understand the book critics who provide a book review because it is their job, but for people to insult their friends online because of a book is wrong. I teach my students not to judge a book we read in class until they have completed it. Even then, I try to encourage them to come away with SOMETHING positive they have gotten by reading it. Insulting the people who enjoy this book kills the pleasure in pleasure reading. Don't murder the experience for another person, especially if it was a good one. Although it is cliché, if you don't have anything nice to say, be quiet, or private message your friends who share your opinion, but don't insult someone for enjoying a book. It is a personal experience.

As I said in the beginning, it is difficult to get people, of all ages, to read. I have friends who infrequently or never pick up a book. This book, like the Twilight series that it is loosely based on, has gotten "mommies" and other women (and men) READING. In my opinion, whether you like the book or not, isn't THAT the point?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Light it Up Blue for Autism Awareness

You may be wondering my blog is written in blue today. Here is my explanation: When I set out to create a card for every holiday, I thought about the fact that there are many little awareness days throughout the course of the year. Although I can't create a card for EVERY one of them, some are so important, I just can't pass them up. Today is one of those days.

Today is World Autism Awareness day. According to the Autism Speaks website, "the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its estimate of autism prevalence in the United States to 1 in 88 children (1 in 54 boys and 1 in 252 girls)." Look at the number of friends you have on facebook. I have 370. 1 in 88 would touch at least 4 of my friends. When I think about the number of their friends and family, those numbers increase exponentially. Today, chances are either you, or someone close to you is personally affected by autism.

As a special education teacher, I have taught many autistic children. They are all unique in their own ways. One student I taught for two years is exceptionally funny. He has channeled his sense of humor into some of the best screenplay writing I have seen by a teenager. One student just participated in the school musical and I had never seen her look so happy! So as you go about your business today, take a moment to consider that the more we are aware of something, the more we can do to help. 

You can join me, and Autism Speaks in celebrating World Autism Awareness Day by taking part in their "Light It Up Blue" campaign "to help shine a light on autism." Use blue to light up something on the outside of your house, wear blue, anything you can do to "light it up blue." You wouldn't believe how many people and organizations have joined in the campaign today! The Empire State Building, Paris Stock Exchange, CN Tower and MY BLOG are just some of the few. Visit the Autism Speaks Light it Up Blue campaign page to see even more.


Card Base
  • Plain piece of card stock - Cut 8" x 6" and score at 4" to make  4" x 6" card.
  • Cricut Art Philsophy cartridge - RCTNGLE1 p. 44 - white cut at 3 1/2" & blue striped paper from the DCWV Sweet Stack cut at 3" 
  • Sponged the edges of all layers and embellishments with Tim Holtz Tea Dye Distress Ink
side view shows dimension
  1. Big pink sunburst cut from Cricut Art Philsophy cartridge - FLOWER2 (shift button for SHAPE5) p.66 at 4" was added first with 3D Foam Tape
  2. Next, I added the long peach patterned frame from the DCWV Sweet Stack - cut from Cricut Art Philsophy cartridge - SHAPE4 p. 56 cut at 1 1/2" - I added a twine-like yarn that I got for $1 at the craft store and taped it underneath the paper and then added the layer with more 3D Foam Tape
  3. The top Doily-like flower was added next. It was cut from Cricut Art Philsophy cartridge - CIRCLE3 p.41 at 2 1/2" on the regular button for the peach patterned flower shape from the DCWV Sweet Stack and the layer button for the lt. pink doily shape
  4. I added tiny adhesive pearls to all of the holes in the doily
  5. Then I used a dimensional to add the puzzle piece with the word "Speak" printed on it - I made this on my computer from a free puzzle digital stamp image file from Aimee Asher. I layered the word on it in my word processing software and printed it on blue card stock - then I used my micro scissors to cut it out
I am entering this card into the following challenges:

DCWV April Stack-a-holic Sketch Challenge

Little Scrap Pieces - My Favorite Things Challenge
Used MY FAVORITE crafting item - the Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge
for all of the cuts on the card!!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Teachers...and Easter

I am so excited to be on SPRING BREAK! 

Even though I love my job as a teacher, I always feel like the little break we get, at this time of year, allows us to stay fresh and enthusiastic for our students.  Teachers, not unlike many other professions, always have to be "on."  Whether we are having a bad day, just received awful news or simply are not feeling "well," we can not let these emotions or feelings interfere with our classrooms. From 8:00 - 3:00, every day, we put on our smiley faces and let the kids know that there is a friendly ear waiting to hear all that interests them, a patient person to help them deal with all that troubles them, and a knowledgeable guide to point them in the direction of any assistance that they need. 

So, it is understandable that since we have to keep smiling, even in the face of difficult situations, we have the occasional need for a moment to ourselves. One to enjoy our families, take care of our health problems and just re-energize for the rest of the year. Spring break is a wonderful time to do this. Not only because it comes after a long period without a break from school, but also because it is a time to celebrate the spring holidays, like Easter and Passover.

Although we do not celebrate it personally, we always participate in the Easter activities in our community. The revelry of the Easter bunny and Easter egg hunts have become family, rather than religious activities. Today, we have our 2nd Annual Easter Egg Hunt Block Party. All of the children on the block get together to hunt for eggs, win prizes and eat the awesome food made by the wonderful parents on our block! To celebrate the occasion, I made this VERY simple Easter card. I hope you enjoy it!

Panda Hugs!
Glitter Panda


Cricut Art Philosophy cartridge (from Close to my Heart) - Cut the egg card base Shape9 on card button (pg. 57) at 5" - you can use any patterned paper for this - I used a very tie-dye looking paper from my SEI Couture Stack
Cut the Shape9 on decorative layer button (pg. 57) at 5" - This looks better with a solid color that you pick from the patterned paper - I added this layer using dimensionals to give it a layered look
The stamp was a $1 craft store find from Studio G