Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Wagon For The Girls

I am really excited to share this project with you today.  A friend of mine asked me to help her bling out a wagon she purchased for her nieces as a Christmas present.  Her nieces are originally from Morocco and just came home to their forever family a few months ago.  I've never done anything quite like this so I figured I would give it a shot.  I decorated the wood slats with their names, butterflies, flowers, and the cutest heart ribbon that I found in the Silhouette store.  Warning - I have a lot of photos to share.  

And here is the wagon put together and then with its two newest owners taking a ride.  Aren't they two of the cutest little girls you've ever seen?  I understand that they loved it and they have already been to and from the beach many times over!

My friend also decorated a canopy for the wagon for those extra sunny days.  She thinks of absolutely everything!  I think I have to say this is one of my favorite projects of 2011.  I am so thrilled with the way this turned out and how absolutely happy these girls are with their new ride. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Best Friends for Life Redux

So, I often scrapbook in doubles.  One of these is for Brandy, and the other one that I finished up tonight is for me.  Same sketch from Sketch Savvy, only I changed the paper and the embellishments a bit.  And there are cuts from Cricut and Silhouette here.  You will have to forgive my photography tonight.  I'm tired!

Paper:  Kraft Paper, Basic Grey - Indie Bloom, DCWV Black
Silhouette:  all banners, title, Filagree flowers
Cricut:  Indie Art, cupcake Wrappers, Sophie - butterflies
Spellbinders:  Lacey Circles, Scallop Circles, Circles, Beaded Circles, Floral Doily Accents
Pearl Bling:  My Stash
Stick Pins - Caroline from Caroline's Craftography
Ranger Liquid Pearls

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Best Friends for Life

Happy the day after Christmas everyone!  I can't believe it's come and gone.  Lots of fun was had, paper was everywhere, and well, I'm ready to get back to a regular routine.  I haven't been in my craft room for almost a full week and I think was going through withdrawal.  Thank goodness I got down here today and whipped this up.  The subject matter - my best friend Brandy & I at my 40th Birthday party.  I think we look pretty good, don't you? (Only really nice responses to that question are allowed).  I as usual, started with a sketch.  This one is from Sketch Savvy.  These are the sketches I tend to stay truest to because Susan adds so many elements that are really right up my alley.  So, I didn't change much here, other than I added a background element from the Silhouette store that I have been admiring for weeks. I thought placing it over the very busy paper was a nice way to tone down the brightness.  And again, I'm still using my Kraft paper.  Love it.  I'll probably be using it for months to come.  I don't ever seem to get tired of it.

Paper:  DCWV - Black, Kraft Paper, K & Company Citronelaa
Silouette:  Background grid, all banners, title, scallop circles
Cricut Cartridges:  Flower Shoppe, Mother's Day Bouquet - flowers
Flourish:  Prima - Say it in Crystals
Ribbon:  My Stash
Stick Pins - Caroline from Caroline's Craftography
Ranger Liquid Pearls

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas - I am in stick pin heaven!

First off I want to say Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Haunakah, and Happy Winter Solstice to all of my friends!  It is indeed a wonderful day here in Georgia.  No snow, but we are managing just fine without it.  I don't have a project of my own to share with you today, but instead, the most wonderfulist gift you could have ever imagined getting for Christmas!  I have been a fan of this stick pin trend in card making for some time.  Unfortunately I have only found a few varieties here locally and I don't want to spend a fortune ordering two or three here and there online.  My good friend Caroline from Caroline's Craftography drew my name in our group's holiday gift exchange.  Caroline also has a new found love of making stick pins.  So this is a match made in heaven right?  Okay, check out what I received in the mail from Caroline - and these are her pictures because Lord knows I can't photograph anything this well.

Have you ever seen such beautiful stick pins?  Caroline made each and every one of these beauties by hand.  There are one hundred of them on this ornament.  I seriously teared up when I received this.  So, guess what - I'm going to be using a lot of stick pins in the next year and you all know where they are coming from!  Caroline is the best!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wesley's Christmas Wish List

This is going to be a quick hit and run post.  I put together this page documenting my son's first ever written Christmas Wish List.  I used all Silhouette images based on my own sketch - I love 'em!  I hope you like it! 

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Silhouette Cameo vs. the Cricut Expression - A Review

I posted this review of the Silhouette Cameo on the Cricut messageboards and it was well received.  I have also had some questions from a few of my readers about the Cameo and I thought I would go ahead and post the review here for anyone who is interested.  

Cameo Positives

1.      The ability to cut very small and intricate designs.  I am attaching a few pictures to the bottom of this post of a few images I cut out with my Cameo.  It blows anything my Cricut machines could have ever done out of the water and that’s no exaggeration.  True 12 x 12 cutting – I’ve done this and it is FANTASTIC.
2.      Great store full of what I would consider to be less babyish images.  Over the last year Cricut has moved in the right direction with carts like Elegant Edges, Damask Décor, Paper Lace I & II, and Ornamental Iron I & II.  The store has a lot of these type of images, and great, great phrases for just about everything.  The other fantastic thing about their phrases is that multi word ones are so easy to break apart so you can use (with ease) the part of the phrase you want while deleting the rest – as opposed to having to hide it.
3.      Quieter than the expression (although not silent - and yes, it does sound like a computer but so what?).
4.     INCREDIBLE design software – this is the best feature and I’m not kidding.  I was an avid MTC user before I got my Cameo, and I have to say this software is just as good, of not better than what MTC can do.  Cricut has never come close.  Not with the DS, the gypsy, or the Craftroom.  There just really isn’t any comparison.   Things I love about the software:
a.       You do not have to be logged onto the internet to use it.
b.      It’s incredibly stable, in fact I am on it every day and it’s never crashed on me, acted sluggish, or refused to cut out what’s on my screen.
c.       The ability to erase (yes, I said it - ERASE, not just hide) a part of the image you don’t like. The designer’s edition is the one that can do this, and it does have to be purchased.
d.      The ability to generate a shadow for ANY image (or an offset as Silhouette calls it) and then adjust the size of the shadow to make it as big or as small as you would like it to be.
e.      You can wrap text like nobody’s business.  This is one area that Silhouette really beats MTC.  I wrapped text inside clouds for a project recently. 
f.     The ability to cut any TTF that is on your computer and there are literally thousands of free ones out there.  If you rather purchase from the store, I have seen some cute fonts for as little as $1.  This beats buying an entire $20-$30 cartridge to do the same thing.
g.       Print & cut that works very, very well.  There are P&C images in the Silhouette store but you can also convert any image to a P&C image.  Fill it with a pattern (just as many if not more than Imagine cartridges offer), tell the software to print it with registration marks, load it in the Cameo and the image is cut out perfectly in no time.  I have used the P&C feature with my Cameo in the last month more than I ever did with the Imagine I owned for well over seven months because the software makes it so easy and I’m not flipping cartridges in and out – something that still has to be done on the Imagine.
5.     Great store full of what I would consider to be less babyish images.  Cricut has moved in the right direction over the last year with carts like Elegant Edges, Damask Décor, Paper Lace I & II, and Ornamental Iron I & II.  And even carts like Sophisticated.  The Silhouette store has a lot of these types of images, and great, great phrases for just about everything.  The other fantastic thing about their phrases is that multi word ones are so easy to break apart so you can use (with ease) the part of the phrase you want while deleting the rest – as opposed to having to hide it.
a.       I will say that many of the images in the store are not as multilayered as a lot of the ones you find on cricut cartridges.  This has really turned out to be a plus for me, because if an image has 6-8 layers then I’m less likely to spend my time cutting it out.  I realize there are others who have the opposite preference so it really is just a matter of taste.
6.  Great pricing for the store.  You can purchase by the image, but the cheapest way is to buy a subscription – for $20 a month you get $150 of credits which is the equivalent to 150 images (unless you are buying sale or clearance images).  I know that doesn’t sound like a lot when you think about the number of images on any given cartridge, but realistically – do you ever come close to using all of them?  What about 1/3?  Or even ¼?  I don’t.  And I rather spend my $$ on images that I know I’m going to use.  I look at it as designing my own cartridge each month.  And here is something else I just recently found out.  If you use all of your credits in any given month, the price of additional images is reduced by 50% so that once you have a subscription plan (the highest two subscription plans only) then every image thereafter is cheaper.  It’s not a bad deal at all considering how much you can drop on cartridges, even the cheap ones on Ebay.

Cameo Negatives
1.       One issue with the design software – the one thing I don’t like about it is that you don’t work in layers.  There is a huge workspace though and you can move images on/off the cutting mat as you are ready to work with them.  Again, I think this is probably more of an issue of personal preference.
2.       The learning curve for this machine is higher than for PC machines.  It’s not impossible or hard, but there is definitely more finesse when it comes to the settings.  I can put just about any cardstock in my expression on one or two settings and it will cut it out.  I have to be a bit more mindful with the Cameo and make more adjustments depending on whether I’m using Bazzil versus American Cardstock.  It was truthfully annoying at first, but the more I use it, the more I just sort of remember that I need to make some adjustments for X or Y.
3.   The blade system is a true negative for me.  I think the design is crap.  Instead of having a blade holder with blades that you can take in/out it comes preassembled and the blade is not removable.  Silhouette America has had a problem with some bad blades being shipped with the machines.  I know because I received not one, but two. 
1.   Because you can’t remove the blade, little itty bits of paper get trapped inside and makes it unusable because the blade can’t reach and rotate on the paper like it should.  It’s also just virtually impossible to clean it out without damaging or breaking the blade.  I was initially very disappointed and rather annoyed about it but I will give it to Silhouette America.  I called about the problem on a Monday morning and got through to customer service right away.  I had a new blade by the end of the week, and when the second one went bad, the same thing happened when I called.  They never batted an eye at sending me another one.  I have been using my 3rd for weeks now and it’s working out perfectly.  I am finally having the Silhouette experience that I wanted, and well, paid for!  I do keep several back-ups (which are rather expensive – another negative for the blade design) on hand though and I also have invested in a click blade housing.  It is similar to the blade housing the Cricut uses and it will take Cricut and roland blades.  It works well but obviously because it’s not a Silhouette blade it requires its own learning curve. 

If you can afford it then I would say go for it but be prepared to deal with the blade system issue.  There are negatives, but frankly that’s with any cutter.  If anyone is curious, you can go to the Silhouette store and download the software for free. Watch a few tutorials, play around with it, and check out the store.  And by all means read more reviews than just this one.  The best purchase is a fully informed purchase.

Edited to Add:  I have received several questions about where you can buy the click blade holder that works with the Cameo.  Here is the link:  Click Blade Holder.  I have one but I have not worked with it yet.  Once I do, I'll be sure to update this review.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Snow Day! Who Doesn't Love a White Christmas?

Good morning everyone!  Welcome to Sabriolet Designs, Sunday edition.  Today is my day to guest design over at Pam's blog - The Bugbytes. What do I have in store for you today?  Yes, another scrapbook page! I can't help it!  We all go back to what we know and well, I still have a lot of stories and memories to preserve.  If you are a regular follower of mine, you know that when I scrapbook I usually make a double for a book I have been putting together for my Mom.  Well, this double layout is the LAST creation for my Mom's book.  It is full to the brim and DONE.  In fact, that baby is riding on a truck somewhere on its way to Colorado as I type.  It is such a glorious thing to be finished with a long term project!  This sketch is from one of my favorite places, Sketch Savvy. Sherry Stringfield is a big fan of layering and borders, and well, that's probably why I like her sketches so much.  I tend to create very full and sometimes a little busy pages.  Her sketches have a lot of elements and I am always challenged to find new and creative ways to  make my page speak to me. This double layout has a winter time theme.  In fact, these pictures were taken on Christmas Day 2010 when it snowed here in GA and we all went sledding on the golf court in back of our house. I have so many fond memories of that day, mostly because it reminded me of my childhood in Colorado, and because for the first time ever, my children got to play in real snow.  It's a strict requirement for just about every complete childhood!  I printed these pictures out probably six months ago and just could never really think about how I wanted to put this together.   I went searching for a sketch not long ago, and it all came together.   

It's one of my favorite pages of all I time I think.  I used my Silhouette for most of the die cutting, but there are some Cricut cuts scattered throughout.  My cartridge library is so extensive that I don't know that I will ever totally put my Cricut away.  The Silhouette does things so well though, it does make it temping, or rather easy to work with just one system. 

I also tried something new - stamping on a layout.  These stamps are from Papertrey Ink and I stamped directly onto the layout.  I was a bit nervous about it, but it turned out pretty well.

My favorite part of the page is this banner.  I adore, adore, ADORE how well my Silhouette Cameo cut out these snowflakes.  Those snowflakes are small and intricate and coming from the Cricut world this is nothing short of amazing!  This is an incredible machine, and if you are thinking about getting on you can't go wrong doing so.   Don't you like the sledders?  I think they are so cute!

Paper:  Echo Park Winter Park Collection, Bazzil Basics,  The Paper Company Color Translucent Iridescent White, DCWV Dazzle Stack
Silhouette:  circle border, bottom border, title (Snow & 2010), sledders, snowflakes
Cricut Cartridges:  French Manor (large scallop border on bottom); Accent Essentials (snowflakes), When It's Cold Outside (big snowflake)
Embellishments:  Making Memories Puffy Alphabet, October Afternoon word stickers, Heidi Grace epoxy stickers
Stamps:  Papertrey Ink Winter Swirls

Thanks for stopping by!
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