Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Cricut Artiste Pumpkin - Unwrapped!

I just LOVE the Artiste cartridge.  I really do!  But, I was a little disappointed with how my previous attempts at making the pumpkin from the cut on page 85 was going.  There is a tiny slot in the bottom of one pumpkin piece, and a tiny slot in the top of the other pumpkin piece.  You slide these two pieces together to create a 3D pumpkin. 

Sounds great in theory, but it looks like this when completed: 

I told myself that they'd look better with some leaves.  But they didn't.  I wanted mine to look more like the ones on page 85.  So, I figured it out.  And, I'm sharing with you!
Your pumpkin will look like this one:
Isn't that better?  Yeah, I thought so, too.  To make things easier, I wanted a solid shape to fold in half to create the pumpkin.  You could use the slotted pumpkin for this, but I wanted to

I used my Gypsy to alter the shape for the pumpkin slightly by removing the "slot" in the design.  You can do this using the free online software for Cricut as well, called Cricut Craft Room.  I welded a circle inside the pumpkin which was large enough to cover up the slot.  You only need to alter ONE of these shapes, you don't need to do this to both the upper and lower slot pumpkins. 
Now, copy and paste the design to create 3 pumpkin shapes for each 3D pumpkin you want to make.  I made mine at 3 1/2".   These were cut from Goldrush cardstock.  I cut the vine and leaf design from the Cricut Artiste cartridge as well, page 76, key E8, 3D object feature key, Shift.  Cut TWO at 3 1/4" Real Dial Size as well from Olive cardstock.

Making the Pumpkin:
Each shape was stamped using Saddle and the flourish stamp from the Love Life stamp set (D1482).  The sample on page 85 used the small vine flourish from the Harvest Happiness stamp set (C1463).   Stamp both sides.  I inked the edges to distress them a bit using the Saddle ink as well.  This color is becoming my new "go to" distressing color! 
Fold each shape in half and crease with a bone folder.  You should have 3 folded pumpkin shapes.
Using Liquid Glass, run a small bead of glue along the edge of ONE of the pieces.  Do NOT overdo the glue!!  Just a little dab'll do ya!
I found it helpful to insert a finger between the two halves of the folded shape.  This opened up the shape slightly, so it will be easier to form into a 3D shape later.  If your pieces are glued together while they're folded completely in half, it will be more difficult to keep them in the proper shape.  Each piece should be slightly opened so it will create an "open" pumpkin when dry.
Place another slightly opened pumpkin shape into the glue, lining them up evenly from top to bottom.  ONLY THE FOLDED EDGES SHOULD BE GLUED TOGETHER.  If you are gluing the flat side, then your pumpkin won't fan out properly when dry!!
Now comes the hard part.  Hold these pieces in place for a minute or two until the glue sets up.  This only takes a few minutes, really, but it's a key step.  If you rush through this waiting time, your pumpkin will fall apart.  It's truly a test of patience!!
If you can remove your fingers from the glued shapes and they hold together by themselves, you're ready for the last piece.
Run a bead of glue into the crease between the two pumpkin shapes already put together.  (again - a little dab'll do ya!)
Insert your last slightly opened pumpkin shape into the crease, lining it up top to bottom.  HOLD this piece in place for a moment or two until the glue sets up.  (Patience Pays Off!!)
Once the glue has set, you can set the pumpkin down.  When looking down at the pumpkin from the top, each half of the pumpkin shapes should be separate.  The pumpkin should look like spokes on a wheel.  If they aren't even close, you can try to remove the last piece, but  
LET THE PUMPKIN DRY.  I know how tempting it is to fiddle with the pieces to try to make them perfect.  BUT DON'T.  Once the pieces are dry, you will be able to move them a bit to make them look better.  It's OK for now.  Let it sit for 15-20 minutes and you'll be able to manipulate them so they're just the way you want.
For the leaves -
Using Olive ink, distress the edges of the leaves and the curlicue of the vines.  Using a Cocoa or Saddle marker, color the top of ONE of the stems to make it look like the stem for the pumpkin.  Fold the stems of both leaves upward.
Put the leaves next to each other, and flip one over.  One stem should be up and one stem should be down.  Insert the two leaves into each other, stems toward each other.  The leaves should be going in opposite directions.  Use a pencil to curl the leaves and tendrils downward. 
Put a dot of glue between the leaves so that they will stick together.  Put a dot of Liquid Glass on the lower stem, and glue it inside the folded area of one of the pumpkin halves.  This will affix the leaves to the pumpkin.  You can add a few dots of Liquid Glass to the underside of the leaves where they meet the tops of the pumpkin pieces if you want to make doubly certain that the leaves won't come off. 

TA DA!  You're all done!  You can use these decorations for Halloween, and then save them for Thanksgiving to put on the table.  Wouldn't they look even better sitting next to a pumpkin pie??

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Happy Halloweenie!

This past week, I had a great time with a great group of crafty ladies and we made some Halloween decorations using the Cricut and the ever-so-versatile Cricut Artiste cartridge from Close to My Heart.  Aren't these just FABULOUS??

Coffin candy boxes!  Candy containers from iced capuccino bottles!!
And, what display for Halloween would be complete without a pumpkin?
Want to make your very own?  Here's some simple directions.  I used these supplies from Close to My Heart:
Cricut Artiste Cartridge (Z1790 $99)
Magic Potions My Acrylix stamp set (C1509 $13.95) - labels
Love Life My Acrylix stamp set (D1482 $17.95) - star, flourishes on pumpkins
Universal Backgrounds My Acrylix Stamp set (D1477 $17.95)
Moonlight Paper Packet (X7161B $9.95)
Dark Chocolate Striped Grosgrain Ribbon (Z1617 $6.95)
Burlap Ribbon (Z1760 $7.95)
Baker's Twine Harvest Assortment (Z1751 $4.95)
Kraft Cardstock (Z1375 $9.50)
Olive cardstock - leaves
Black cardstock - bottle sleeve
Colonial White cardstock - shapes, backgrounds
smokey plum
new england ivy
autumn terracotta
We also used a Stamp of the Month set, Baroque Borders (S1208), for the inside of the coffin.  This was only available with a qualifying order in August.  When you see something you like, make sure to place an order or it will be gone!
Candy Bottle
We used the smaller frapuccino bottles from S***bucks, 9.5 oz.  I'm not endorsing them, they're just the right size.  The hard part was drinking all that frapuccino!  (ha!)  You can use any bottle or container you wish.
Cut a piece of black cardstock to fit around your bottle.  Ours was 2 3/4" by 9".  Put a glue dot on the front of the bottle to hold the wrap in place.  Wrap and glue ends only.   
The background shape was cut at 2 1/4" high.  It's from page 67 (key D7, Accent 3 Shift) on the Artiste cartridge.   
We used the Eye of Owl stamp from Magic Potions.  Shape was cut at 1 1/4" from Colonial White cardstock.  Stamped in Black ink. Distressed with Cocoa.
The bottle caps were painted with Krylon spray paint in Rubbed Bronze.  The accent around the neck of the bottle is a piece of Burlap Ribbon cut to wrap around the neck, then cut in half and fringed.  It's held in place with a piece of twine from the Harvest Twine assortment.
Coffin Box
I just LOVE this little candy box!  The box was cut at 7" from Kraft cardstock. 
Stamp the box first.  We used the Baroque Borders inside the box with Smokey Plum ink; you could use any repetitive stamp to create a fabric design inside the box. 
On the outside of the box lid, we used a design from the Universal Backgrounds stamp set which looks like wood; and we stamped it in Autumn Terracotta.
We scored the box along the score marks, and then assembled the bottom of the coffin first.  We then assembled the lid of the box to make sure that they would fit together.  When assembling a box with a lid, it's a good idea to check for fit before the final glue-up.  Sometimes you can adjust the side tabs just a little bit for a better fit before they're glued together. 
The embellishment was made by inking the edges of a shape cut from the Artiste cartridge (pg 56 accent 1 shift) cut at 1 3/4".  The cat was cut from Artiste as well, page 76 card feature key, shift, cut at 2". 
We used a 5" piece of Burlap Ribbon behind the embellishment.  This was frayed on the edges, and cut into a reverse "v" shape at each end. 
The star was cut from the Cricut as well.  The stamp comes from the Love Life stamp set and was stamped in black ink.  You could hand-cut a moon or use a circle punch instead.
In the sample, I put a skeleton on the bottom of the coffin using foam tape.  The skeleton was cut from the Artiste cartridge as well (so much stuff on this cartridge!) at 6" page 76 accent 2 and accent 2 shift for the skull.  HOWEVER.  My poor Cricut needed a new blade and the skeletons were not cutting very well. 
So, you could always do this: 
In tomorrow's post, I'll show how the pumpkin was assembled.  I really wanted my pumpkin to look like the one in the Idea Book on page 85.  So, I'll tell you how that was done!