Life is a Beautiful Adventure Layout

Have you seen all of the Central Park paper creations that are appearing on social media lately? I will admit, when I first saw this paper packet, I wasn’t too keen on the color combinations.  The Poppy, Lemon, Pacifica, Bashful, Mink, Glacier, and Willow color palette made me feel like I was walking down the midway at the state fair. Yet, as I created this Life is a Beautiful Adventure Layout Kit, I began to fall in love with all of the possibilities.

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One of the color combinations I have enjoyed is the Poppy, Pacifica, Glacier and Mink combo (with a little bit of Lemon). I created this layout kit specifically for some photos I had.  You are welcome to purchase this layout kit or the guide in my online store, but before you do, I want to show you a few ways that you can alter this layout to fit your needs.

ADD SOME TEXTURE
Just because you purchased the guide or kit from me, does not mean you need to copy this layout exactly like I made it. Adding a little texture is a great way to make it “your own”.  When I added the photos, I chose to use a Sponge Dauber and apply White Daisy Ink to the clouds.  You could also use Glacier or Mink to create the same type of look or add even more texture with an Embossing Folder.
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TITLE CHANGE UP
I truly enjoy how this title turned out, and it’s perfect for the kits I create, but it didn’t quite fit the photos I chose. Mine had quite a bit of Poppy coloring to them, so I chose to use the Central Park Alphabet Stickers to match my photos.
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IF ALL ELSE FAILS, 
EMBELLISH
Who doesn’t like a little more bling? When I completed the layout, I wanted a little more coloring to the Hot Air Balloon so I choose to add some of the negative pieces from the Cricut® cuts and a few Lemon colored Central Park Sequins. Not only did I change up the balloon, I just had to add that little heart from the Central Park Alphabet Stickers.

 

There are so many other ways that you can change up this layout to make it your own.  You could change the 4″ x 6″ photos to (2) 3″ x 4″ photos or replace the PML cards with photos. Here is what my layout looks like completed.  Can you spot any other differences?

 

If you would like to recreate this layout, you can purchase the Life is a Beautiful Adventure Kit or Guide in my online store.  Each Guide includes a supply list, cutting guide, Design Space™ file, full-color photos, and assembly instructions. I will be posting a few more projects throughout the next few weeks using the Central Park products. After all, it’s really beginning to grow on me.  I can’t wait to see what you create!

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Tuesday Tutorial Journal with Your Cricut

Many of us avoid journalling because we do not like our handwriting.  We believe that the photos on the page and the cute little title will tell the story for us.  When I look at my grandfather’s stack of photos,  I honestly wish I had a story to go with it. Who’s car was that? Why is she wearing a peacock feathered hat? Is that their home in the background? Telling “Your Story” is extremely important. For this week’s Tuesday Tutorial, I am going to show an easy way for you to tell your story using your Cricut® machine.

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There are two ways that you can use Cricut Design Space™ to create a unique piece of storytelling on your page.  Ultimate Fine Point Pen Set 30This week, we are going to focus on the feature that uses a wondrous array of Pens that are a “must have” when using your Cricut®. There are many other options for pens out there, but I have found that these work beautifully for creating journal snip-its on my pages.  I especially like the Fine Point Black Pen pack and the Ultimate Fine Point Set that comes in a rainbow of colors.  Enough oohhing and ahhing about the pens…let’s move onto the tutorial.

Begin by inserting the SHAPE or IMAGE that you plan on “writing” onto.  On my July- Summer Picnic layout, I have some tag shapes that I intend to use to write the story, so I am going to insert the tag shape.  WritingJournals_ShapeInsert

Choose the TEXT option, and a “Text Box” will pop-up.

 

Type your story into the text box. Don’t worry about the text going off the page, or being large, or looking odd…we will fix it.

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When the Text Box is active, you will see the Text Edit Bar at the top. This is where you are going to EDIT your text.  First, make the text  little smaller by changing the font size to 14. (We can change it again later, but this will be a good start.)

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Select the FONT drop-down menu to see all of the Fonts available to you.  You can FILTER the fonts to “Writing” fonts and “My Fonts” (ones you own).  I chose to use the Your Are Here font.

 

Drag your Text over the image you inserted for the Text. Double-click the Text to have the Text Box pop-up.  Use the ENTER key between words to adjust the text to fit onto your image. You can also adjust the size of the font at this time, if needed.  Use the ALIGNMENT drop-down menu to align your Text.

 

Choose the ADVANCED feature UNGROUP TO LINES. When you choose this option, you will see each line of text show up as a separate image in your Layers Panel.

 

Here is where the fun begins! You can edit each individual line with a different font and a different pen color. Simply double-click on the line of text, then choose a fun writing font in the drop-down Font menu.  Choose your Pen color by clicking on the “Ink Blot” in the Layers Panel, and choose one of the Pen colors listed for each individual line of Text.  HOW FUN IS THAT!

 


Before you send it to the machine, make sure to ATTACH all the text to the image you are cutting out.  Once you choose MAKE IT, you will be prompted to add a Pen and change the Color of the Pen. DO NOT unload the Mat, just change out the Pen.  Now you have a unique journalling piece that tells your story.  I hope you take the time to try to create a wondrous piece of writing using DesignSpace™. I can’t wait to see what you create!

If you have been considering upgrading you machine so that you play along in Cricut Design Space™, now is the time to take advantage of an amazing special.  This month, Cricut Explore® machines are on sale starting at $149.99 PLUS you can get FREE shipping using the code FREESHIPJUNE. 

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* The links provided to the Cricut® website are through the ShareASale affiliate program and are posted as an endorsement. ShareASale compensates me a small portion of sales made through these advertisement links.

 

 

 

July Kit of the Month

Long, lazy afternoons, picnics at the park, a glass of sweet tea, and very little crafting time – that’s how most of our summer days are spent.   We take lots of pictures, but have minuscule amount of time to create a way to record those memories.  When my kids were younger, I often turned to scrapbook kits as a way to save time (and conserve energy) because most of my days were spent keeping seven or more children from causing mayhem in the neighborhood.  That is why I now create these kits for each of you.  I want you to be able to have a simple way to record your story with uncomplicated, painless, ready-to-assemble kits that are easily modifiable to the photos you have.

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My July Kit of the Month was created to record your memories of those summer days spent picnicking at the park. This layout allows room for three 3″x 4″ photos and three 4″ x 4″ photos, but can easily be modified to hold 4″ x 6″ photos instead.  I have designed this layout to hold even more photos by using our 4″ x 12″ Memory Protector. This “half-page” insert holds four additional photos and fits directly between the two pages, aligning perfectly with the background.

You can order this July Summer Picnic Kit of the Month or the Workshop Guide in my online store.  The Workshop Guide includes a supply list, cutting guide, assembly instructions, full-color photos and a Cricut Design Space File™ with custom designed images using our Close to My Heart Cricut® collections.

If you enjoy my kits, why not subscribe to the Kit of the Month club and have one of my kits delivered directly to your door each month. Yearly subscribers pay only $10.00* per kit and receive additional perks each month. This month, they will have the option to add one of the 4″ x 12″ Memory Protectors to their kit.

Well, my friends, I pray your sweet tea is always ice cold, your porch is always welcoming, and your days are full of memories.  I can’t wait to see what you create this summer.

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Thanks a Bushel Step-Card

Life is about trying new things, having experiments blow up in your face, and finding the blessing in everything. This week, I wanted to try my hand at a Front Panel Step-Card, and, since card making is one of my weaknesses, it just didn’t seem to go as planned.  Even though the end-result turned out beautifully, the path to discovery was not so glamorous.

ThanksaBushelStepCard

As you do in each experiment, I researched the subject. After browsing Pinterest for hours, saving snippets of summer meals, scrapbook sketches, farmhouse decor, …oh, and a thousand ways to make a step-card, I finally settled on a pattern by Colleen Vaux. I thought “I can do this!” (I am sure Tesla and Einstein said the same thing when they formed their hypothesis.) Now the experimenting begins.

Observations:
1. If you choose to change a horizontal step-card to a vertical step-card, take the time to research a new pattern. You aren’t Einstein and math hurts the ever-aging brain cells.
2. When altering one’s pattern, make sure it will fit into the envelope you intend to send it in. Measure twice, cut forty times. (Procedure not working – time to go back to original horizontal pattern.)
3. Do not cut off the side panels. You need those. (Gathering more materials.)
4. When all else fails, turn to your Cricut®. (Make sure you have a decent cutting mat to avoid another piece of cardstock being ruined.)
5. If you are going to go to all this trouble to create a card, you should take some time to enter the Three Amigos and  heARTful stamping challenge.

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My experimenting led to a mess of excess, cut-up, cardstock that will go into my scrap pile. I did finally turn to my Cricut® to create this cut file that I can use in the future and avoid additional failed experiments. I proceeded to use products from our New Seasonal Expressions 2 , including the Fresh Air Paper Packet and A Bushel & a Peck stamp set, to decorated the card. All of the supplies I used can be found on my website.

ThanksaBushelStepCard_SideView

I hope you take the time to try to create a step-card this week using the Free Cricut Design Space™ File I created for you. Now, time to continue on riding the bicycle of life, because in order to keep my balance I must keep moving. I can’t wait to see what you create!

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Father’s Day Card & Gift Box

Father’s Day is right around the corner, and, since I enjoy giving you crafty ideas for holidays, I decided to create this Pinterest inspired “Apple of My Eye” card and gift box using the A Bushel & a Peck stamp set.  This fun four-inch card not only has a sweet saying on the outside, but it includes the “I love you a bushel & a peck” sentiment inside.  How great would this be to give to a dad in your life?  You can fill the box with their favorite treat or add some baseball tickets or a few gift cards.

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This “Apple of My Eye” card and gift box was not only designed with you in mind, but I also created it to enter this week’s Color My Heart Dare and heARTful Stamping challenges.  It’s been awhile since I have joined one of these challenges.  My craft-room has been in such a disarray that I haven’t been able to make much of anything, so being able to join these challenges makes my crafty heart happy.  If you would like to recreate this project you can find the list of supplies I used at the bottom of this post, along with the instructions for completing the project.

Paper Needed for Card: 8″ x 4″ White Daisy Cardstock, (2) 4″ x 4″ Nutmeg Cardstock, 2¾” x 2¾” White Daisy Cardstock, 1″ x 2¾” White Daisy Cardstock, White Daisy Cardstock Scraps

Card Assembly Instrucions:
1. To create the card base, fold the 8″ x 4″ White Daisy cardstock in half lengthwise and burnish the fold with a Bone Folder.
2. Adhere one of the 4″ x 4″ pieces of Nutmeg cardstock onto the front of the card base.
3. Using your paper trimmer, cut out a 3″ square from the center of the other 4″ x 4″ piece of Nutmeg cardstock. If desired, shade the edges of the “Frame” using a Sponge Dauber and Nutmeg Ink. Using Foam Tape, adhere the “Frame” onto the card.
4. Using Glacier Ink, stamp the “Buffalo Check” from the Documented Scrapbooking stamp set onto the 1″ x 2¾” White Daisy cardstock. Adhere this across the base of the 2¾” x 2¾” White Daisy cardstock. (You can choose to use B&T paper instead.)
5. Using Nutmeg Ink, stamp the “You’re the Apple of My Eye” sentiment onto the upper left corner of the 2¾” x 2¾” White Daisy cardstock. Using New England Ivy Ink, stamp the “Small Hearts” below the sentiment. (If you don’t own the Documented stamp set, the Leaf would look cute as an alternative to the hearts.)
6. Adhere the 2¾” x 2¾” White Daisy cardstock onto the center of the card.
7. Using Black Memento Ink, stamp the “Apple Basket” and “Apple” onto scraps of White Daisy cardstock.
8. Shade the “Apple Basket” and “Apples” using ShinHan™ Markers.  Cut out the images and add them to the card using Foam Tape.
9. Stamp a sentiment inside the card, if you desire.

The Apple of My Eye Treat Box was create using a box image that I uploaded into Cricut Design Space™ and it decorated in much the same way that I did the card. You can find instructions for uploading the box image in this Tuesday Tutorial. Don’t forget that the A Bushel & a Peck stamp set is only available through June 30th for $5.00 with a qualifying purchase.  I can’t wait to see what you create!

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Stamps
A Bushel & a Peck Stamp Set

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Fresh Air Paper Packet

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12 x 12 White Daisy Cardstock

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12 x 12 Nutmeg Cardstock

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Documented Scrapbooking Stamp Set

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Black Memento Ink

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Nutmeg Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad

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New England Ivy Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad

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Glacier Exclusive Inks Stamp Pad

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ShinHan™ Touch Twin™ Markers

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New England Ivy Twine

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Foam Tape

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Fresh Air Shapes

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My Acrylix® Block Starter Kit

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Glacier & Gold Ribbon

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Tombow Permanent Adhesive

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SureCut™ Deluxe Craft Paper Trimmer

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MicroTip Scissors

Tuesday Tutorial Uploading an Image

Many times I am looking for a specific project I want to make, but I cannot find it anywhere in Cricut Design Space™.  This is when the “Upload” feature comes in handy.  I can add just about any image I find online into my Canvas and create a cut image, write image, or a print-then-cut image. This past week, I really wanted a specific box that was not in my Images files, so I found an SVG file and uploaded into Design Space™. Today, I am going to show you how I did that.

HowtoUpLoad_SM

Design Space™ Instructions:
1. Using your favorite search engine, search “SVG Box File”.  I found one that I liked on The Craft Chop(Make sure the site you choose is reputable and that you have up-to-date antivirus software on your computer.)
2. Save the file onto your computer. Take note of where you saved the file so you can find it later.  I have a file called “SVG Files” in my Google Drive that I save all of mine to.
3. Open a New Project in Cricut Design Space™.
4. Choose UPLOAD, then choose UPLOAD IMAGE.


5. BROWSE to find the SVG image you saved earlier. Open the image and it will appear on the screen.

ImageUploadHowTo_Image
6. NAME and TAG your image so that you can find it later.  Choose SAVE.

ImageUploadHowTo_Name&Tag
7. You will see the image you uploaded in your “Recently uploaded images” files.  The image will remain in your files until you Delete it.  (You can delete the image by choose the (i)information button and choosing delete.)


8. Select the image you wish to load onto your Canvas and choose INSERT IMAGE.
9. As you can see, all of the lines are turned into cut lines once the image is uploaded. You will need to choose the “Scissors” image next to each line and change it to a “Score Line”.


10. SELECT ALL and ATTACH so that the Score Lines are attached to the image. Resize as needed and Make it.

ImageUploadHowTo_ImageScoreLines

That’s it! Now you have the perfect box you need to your project.  Be sure you watch your inbox so that you can see the Father’s Day Card & Box project I created using this image. I can’t wait to see what you create in Design Space™.

If you have been considering upgrading you machine so that you play along in Cricut Design Space™, now is the time to take advantage of an amazing special.  May 25th through June 6th, Cricut Explore® machines are on sale starting at $149.99 PLUS you can get FREE shipping using the code MAYSHIP. 

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* The links provided to the Cricut® website are through the ShareASale affiliate program and are posted as an endorsement. ShareASale compensates me a small portion of sales made through these advertisement links.

 

 

Craft Room Labels

Cricut Design Space™ has an amazing feature called “Print Then Cut” which it is wonderful to use when making labels.  As I move into my new crafty space, my OCD brain is finding the need to make sure everything has a label. I am also one who wanted all of this stuff moved and organized yesterday, so my labels need to be quick, easy, and of course, cute. Today, I am going to give you a quick tutorial on how to use the Print Then Cut feature in Design Space™ to create some labels.

CricutLabels

DESIGN SPACE INSTRUCTIONS: (Before you begin, Calibrate your Cricut® machine.)
1. Insert the label image you wish to use for your background. I chose Floral Label – #M4165FC from our Artistry Collection.
2. Design and Resize the Label as desired.
3. INSERT TEXT and type your description into the text box. Choose the FONT & RESIZE as needed onto the label.

 


4. If desired, insert any images you wish to use to decorate your label. I used a Dandelion Image from our Flower Market Collection. (The black lines around the image will disappear when turned into a print image.)
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5. SELECT ALL and choose FLATTEN. If you look at the layers panel, your images have turned into a Print Image.
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6. Choose MAKE IT. You will see a preview of the image with a rectangle outline added (cut sensor marking). Click CONTINUE.
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7. Choose CONTINUE and choose SEND TO PRINTER.  Choose your Printer then choose Print. (The image bleed is a small border around each image that allows for more precise cutting. It is recommended to leave this on for best cut results, but you can turn the bleed off. The bleed may make the printed image look fuzzy or distorted, but this border will be trimmed off in the cutting process.)

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8. After printing, place the paper onto the upper left corner of your mat making sure there are no wrinkles in the paper, then send through your Cricut® machine.

It’s this just AWESOME! I love that I could quickly make all the labels I needed for my embellishments and save the file for later use. (Make sure to save one image that is not Flattened to edit later.) If you have not used the Print Then Cut feature, I hope that you give it a try today. While you are at it, Shop and Save at this week’s Cricut Sale! Machines, Materials, Tools & More.  I can’t wait to see what you create!

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* The links provided to the Cricut® website are through the ShareASale affiliate program and are posted as an endorsement. ShareASale compensates me a small portion of sales made through these advertisement links.

Time is Running Out

There are only a few days left to take advantage of our AMAZING May specials.  If you are like me, you have a few things sitting in your online cart waiting for check-out, but May has been so busy, you haven’t had a moment to finish your purchase. Often times, those items end up selling out on the last week of the month and I would hate for you to miss out and be disappointed. Make sure you take advantage of the Postcard Perfect, Classic Summer Bash, and the chance to get a Cut About Layout Kit® FREE before May 31st.

 

Do you have some Postcard Perfect memories that need scrapbooked?  Maybe you have some pictures of your kids by the pool or the beach or some cheesy Hawaian shirt photos.   Now is the time to take advantage of some awesome savings when you purchase the Postcard Perfect Collection. If you are like me and love it all, you can 20% when you buy the Postcard Perfect Product Bundle, which includes one of every item in the full collection!  Order before May 31st, and I will send you a FREE Layout guide using these amazing products.

 

 

Mason jars are everywhere lately and I’m sure you have seen and used quite a few mason jar stamps. Our exclusive Classic Summer Bash stamp set has the perfect sized jar to “fill” with flowers, fruit, candy, or simple sayings. There are so many wonderful ideas out there on Pinterest. The possibilities with this stamp set are endless. You can get this stamp set for only $5.00 with any qualifying purchase on my website, or purchase it by itself for $17.95, but you only have until May 31st to order.

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Take the time to visit my website to view all of the amazing products from our Seasonal Expressions 2 catalog. You will not be disappointed. Close to My Heart has truly outdone themselves this season.  You can get a copy of this catalog FREE with any online order this month.  You will love all of the papers, stamps, scrapbook kits, card kits, embellishments, and ideas using these products.

I hope you are all enjoying the wonderful weather and staying safe this Memorial Day weekend.  I can’t wait to see what you create!

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Fresh Air Cardmaking Workshop

I truly enjoy playing with paper to create original cards and treat boxes.  If you are like me, then this workshop is just for you.  On June 23rd, you will have to opportunity to make FOUR cards and this adorable little Fourth of July Treat Box using our New Fresh Air products.

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The deadline to register for this event is Monday, June 11th. To sign-up for this workshop, please email me and let me know which kit(s) you would like to purchase. 

You can choose to purchase a Basic Kit (two cards & the box), Master Kit (four cards & a box) or just the box itself.  I also have pre-stamped kits available for those who cannot attend and Workshop Guides for my long-distance crafters. The guide for this kit includes a Design Space™ file for this  box created by me that you are welcome to use on all of your future projects. 

You can visit my Fresh Air Cardmaking Workshop page to learn more about this workshop and the kits that are available for purchase. 

If you enjoy card making as much as I do, make sure to take the time to visit my website to see all of the amazingly simple Workshop Your Way Cardmaking Kits that Close to My Heart has to offering including the In My Heart Kit. This kit creates TWELVE cards using our rustic Fresh Air Papers.

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If  workshops are “not your thing”, you are always welcome to come catch-up on your own crafting projects at my June CTMH Crafternoon.  (All proceeds for my CTMH Crafternoon will benefit Operation Smile.)  I hope that you are able to attend one of my workshops in June and I can’t wait to see what you create!

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Tuesday Tutorial Paper Pansy

This is the time of year when my backyard starts to fill with color.  (If you follow me on Instagram, you will see a few postings of my “little” outdoor retreat.)  Pansies are one of my favorite flowers, and, being the crazy paper-crafter that I am,  I wanted to recreate them using my Cricut®.   This week, I figured out how to take a few images from our Flower Market collection and create some paper Pansies in a a variety of colors. I then placed them in an old pitcher, and now I have something to display all year long.

Pansies_InPitcher

Today, I am going to share with you how I was able to make these adorable little paper Pansies. A complete list of supplies I used can be found at the very bottom of this post.

Design Space™ Instructions:
1. Insert the Poppy – #MFADB88 image into your Canvas and UNGROUP the images.
2. DELETE the image with just the row of “Petals”.
3. DUPLICATE the image with the “Base & Petals” then use CONTOUR on one set of images to remove everything except the circular base.
4. Use CONTOUR on the second image to to remove everything except one of the “Petals”. (Make sure to keep the cut line in the one petal and remove the rest.)
Pansy_Petal&BaseContour
5. RESIZE the “Petal” to 1.5″ high and the “Base” to 1″ high.
6. DUPLICATE the “Petal” four times. (Five petals total) Change to desired colors.
&. Resize the “Stamen Center” to 1.25″ high and change to desired color.

Pansy_Petals&Base&Center
7. Insert the Dandelion – #MFAD571 image into your Canvas and DELETE all the “Dandelion Flower” images.
8. UNLOCK the image and RESIZE to 3″w x 3″h. (You can use CONTOUR to manipulate the individual images by following the same steps as you did in #2-#4.)

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9. Insert a CIRCLE Shape and RESIZE to .25″. Change to desired color.
10. SELECT ALL and GROUP the images.  Now you can resize all of the images proportionally to the size you desire.  (Mine are approximately 3″ when complete.)
11.. SAVE your project and cut out the images from cardstock.

Assembly™ Instructions:
1. Use a Bone Folder to shape each “Petal” then glue onto the base.
2. Adhere the “Stamens” onto the Flower using Foam Dots for Dimension.
3. Adhere the Dot onto the center of the Flower, then adhere the Sepal and the Leaves onto the back of the Flower.

 

I used a sponge to add ink to the center and edges of my Pansies, then used a Clear Shimmer Brush to add some shine. There a quite a variety of Pansies out there, so take some time to search for images and find ones that match your personal style and decor.  I can’t wait to see what you create!

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Starting at $149.99, the Cricut Explore® family is on sale! Valid 5/16-5/22.

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Flower Market Cricut Collection

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12 x 12 Eggplant Cardstock

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12 x 12 White Daisy Cardstock

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12 x 12 Saffron Cardstock

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12 x 12 Sweet Leaf Cardstock

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Eggplant Exclusive Inks™ Stamp Pad

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3D Foam Dots

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Cricut Air 2

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Glue Dots

 

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Bashful Shimmer Brush

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Clear Shimmer Brush

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Gold Shimmer Brush