Friday, April 1

Bling It On

Who doesn't like bling on anything?  I have met a woman who has bling on her office supplies at work - from her pen to her stapler.  I like bling on my tops and accessories when I sing for the band.  I like to add bling to my craft projects, too.

So I had this Kandi Kane Applicator Wand which I bought from either QVC or HSN many years ago.  To be honest, I don't think I have used it more than 5 times.  Probably because of it being a plug in, and it seemed just too risky to use if left unattended.  As you can see on the picture below, when it's set on a surface, the hot tip touches the surface.  You will need a special heat resistant mat to avoid burns, or use the little stand that came with - which I have no idea where I hid anymore.  The Kandi Kane has different kinds of tips also, to use with different shapes and sizes of bling.  I think the different tips make the process complicated.


During a stopover at one of the big box craft stores, I found this bunch in the clearance section.  It's the I-Rock Crystal Heat Setting Tool by Imaginisce, and it's battery operated.  I like the sound of that.


I took them out of the packaging, and searched for something to test it on.  Since I got this cool new microphone, I decided to give this some character.


This tool takes 3 AA batteries, which is not bad.  It didn't take that long to warm up and you can set your bling right away.  I like its portability, and most of all, when I set it down, the tip doesn't touch the surface.  I had bling from the Kandi Kane wand, and I was able to use them with the I-Rock with no hassle.  And guess what?  No changing tips required.


So I went ahead and tried several sizes of crystals, even a different kind of surface which they refer to as a gem (in gold).  I had no issues during application.  It was so easy - no cords, easy to pick up and set down in between crystals.




After this trial, my mind is racing as to which ones I should add bling to next. Cellphone, shoes... maybe rev up a boring pair of dangling earrings or bracelet.  Exciting!

'Til next blog!

Monday, March 28

Recycled Cards Part 2

Two posts ago, I shared the first set of cards I made with recycled greeting cards.  You can see them here.  The second batch is a little more elegant.  You know why?  Because I used one of Anna Griffin's dies.  They never fail me.  Anna Griffin is now one of my favorite paper crafting brands - actually moving up the list past Martha Stewart.

Anyway, the sentiments you see on the card are again from stamping catalogs I got from the 2012 Winter CHA in LA.  Can you guess what brand of stamps they are?













Of course these beautiful cards had to have matching envelopes.  The black pieces you see are actually leftover cuts from another project.  I'm glad I kept them.




'Til next blog!

Monday, March 21

Redemption

Let me guess... you have at least one hiding in your stash.  The Cricut Embossing Kit was one of those which came with the first Cricut line.  


I remember using it for the first time about 7-8 years ago.  I also remember releasing a video tutorial on how to make your custom-made embossing folder without this Cricut Embossing Kit.  But that was during "Butingting and Everything" days, back when I was with the Multiply website.  There are a lot of videos uploaded there that I was not able to retrieve after the website went kaput.  I'll have to dig in to my old files - I'm sure they are hiding in an external hard drive somewhere.

I digressed.  

My guess is Cricut discontinued this particular accessory probably because there was little demand for it, plus Cuttlebug came out with awesome embossing folders.  So they went on sale in the major crafts stores.  I chanced upon a bunch of them at Joann's for $2.97 in the clearance section, then I used a 30% coupon on top of it.  I might have bought them all.  Then they sat in my planet for a few more years.

I was looking for something different to do, when I looked up and I saw these kits.  It was time to use some of them.  It needs some redemption.  I thought a personalized card set would be good to make.  So I got my gypsy and started putting letters together.  I set my pressure and number of cuts to max.  Because of the number of cuts, it took forever to finish one embossing folder.  But when I ran it through, I was very happy with the result.

This is the first personalized embossing folder I made.  I embossed a bunched and attached it to a note card set.  Sorry, I wasn't able to take a photo of the finished product.


This is the second batch, which I layered on another blank card set.  I love it!



I have to say the Cricut Embossing Kit redeemed itself in my planet.  I'm glad I still have them, and if I see them at the stores, hopefully on clearance, I'll probably buy some more.

'Til next blog!

Monday, March 14

Recycled Cards Part 1

So a few years ago, somebody left these on the table in the teachers' lounge where I used to work.  I tried to ignore them, but they stayed on that table for quite a while.  So I took some of them home.


I selected the ones with flower designs, and cut them with the same size Spellbinders oval die.  You guessed it.  These call for a card set.


I was able to make 3 card sets actually.  The ovals above are just some of my cuts.  I made more than that.  This is just the first batch.

For the first set, I used a different brand of die for the first time.  I used these cuts as a frame for my flower ovals.  Sad to say, I can't remember the actual name brand, but the die is purple.  I'm guessing it's a European brand.  Then for the sentiments, I cut what I can use from stamping catalogs I got from the only Winter CHA I've ever attended back in 2012.  I just couldn't throw them away, but I had to get rid of them.  So I made the most out of them.







This is one of my favorites because I was able to make a 3D effect on the card.




I love it that most of the elements in this bunch are recycled.  The recipient sure loved this card set.

'Til next blog!

Sunday, March 6

The Gypsy's Losing Fight

Got my Gypsy as a bribe from DH after making a big sign for him at work with my Cricut Expression many years ago. I liked this tool a lot - having all my cartridges in one place. It's actually the reason why I kept buying cartridges, the last bunch I bought late last year. It was also last year when I was able to revive my dead Gypsy. I just couldn't let it go. However, as the years go by with the existence of big screen cellphones and tablets, the Gypsy's screen got way smaller in comparison. Despite that, I still used it as I needed it. Who knows, maybe I'm the only crafter left who still uses the Gypsy. In fact, the last time I used it was last weekend for a baby shower project.

Imagine my dismay when I got an email from Provo Craft saying they will no longer be updating Gypsy with newly launched Cricut cartridges. No Gypsy system updates anymore either. Chat and email support will continue until the end of 2016. 


PC says the 7 year old Gypsy technology has been increasingly difficult to maintain, thus calling this tool obsolete by 2017. I'm heartbroken.

With that, they gave me $50 voucher to use on a Cricut Explore One or Explore Air.  I'm still not sure if I will get any one. Especially now that I got this:


Actually, I almost got a Cricut Explore One and an Ipad Mini last Black Friday. Good thing I didn't. I'm pretty proud of myself for thinking some sense. Plus, it's a violation of my standards to buy an Apple product just for die-cutting purposes.

Then, I just saw on the Cricut website that their App for Android is in the works. About time.  

I didn't like the fact that they only have this app for Iphones and Ipads. Not everybody uses Apple, you know. Once the Android version is released, maybe, just maybe I'll reconsider.

But for now, my planet has a new addition which needs some familiarizing. Another good reason to celebrate National Craft Month.

'Til next blog!

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