New Blogger Interface - Basic Tutorial

Is that new blogger interface getting on your nerves? I totally understand the pain, but all is not lost.  The new interface is not that bad once you find out where features are located.

As a former web developer, I am accustomed to figuring out "puzzles" and this new blogger interface was a puzzle to me.  I can go back to the old interface, but I guess I better stick with this new interface because Google may opt to get rid of the old interface.

In the video below I'll show you the basics of the new blogger interface using my other blog popupcardsbygina.

If you have any questions, ask me and I'll try to help you out.


Transparency Film and Pazzles Inspiration Machine

I like cutting vinyl and transparency film using my Pazzles Inspiration machine. Fortunately, the default setting in the Pazzles software is accurate if you’re using a new blade. In my software, the setting for vinyl is a blade length of 1.5 and the speed is 13. Now that my blade is well used, I use the same blade length, but I’ve increased my pressure to 18. I use this same setting on transparency film.

I use write-on transparency film in my projects when I want a “window” or need to see through something I’ve made. I don’t use this transparency film in copiers or printers because it will melt and you don’t want melted plastic in your machines. If I am not mistaken, if you see Write-On on the transparency box, you cannot use it in a device that has heat.

Transparency sheets are expensive if you buy the kind that is used with copiers and printers. I bought one pack of it, but won’t do that again. Also, the kind you can use in the copiers and printers are slick on both sides, at least the pack I bought, and I could not use any adhesive on it because it would not stick. With the write-on transparency sheets, the back has a slightly rougher feel to it and adhesive does stick to it. This is great for what I use it for - crafting. The other good thing is that the write-on is not as expensive as the other kind. When I bought mine a year ago, it was only $15 (the price has increased a few cents, but the shipping is making it cost a little more, but still not as expensive as the copier/printer type transparency).

Hope this was helpful to all of you who like to use transparency, but struggle with the cost of it.



Chipboard Storage Cabinet (Pazzles SVG and WPC File)

Hey there

Here’s another one of my furniture designs made using my Pazzles software and cut out on my Pazzles machine. With this particular file, I decided I wanted the doors to open. Hope you like it.

Oh, after I put this file all together I sealed it with Mod Podge.

I decided to be a bit more careful on my paper selections, the paper I choose to cover my chipboard pieces. I have realized I should not be using cardstock, but thinner decorative paper.

Enjoy.  :-)



Chipboard Construction - Glossy Black Secretary Desk WPC and SVG Files

Hey folks

I want a new desk, but can't afford one, but I was looking for secretary desks and found one at Home Portfolio.

My version is nowhere near that construction, but it was certainly an inspiration.  I was told by two people that these can also be used as furniture in dollhouses (hadn't even thought about that one):

Here are the videos showing how I put this together:

Here's a chipboard bank I designed in my Pazzles software.  It's fairly small too.  I have to work with 8.5 x11 chipboard, so my design space is limited.

The bank opens on the bottom.  I chose velcro for my opening, but I can see it having other types of closures.  You can also add a photo behind the oval cut out.

The pieces in this file would be the back piece, the box, the bottom closure flap, 2 faux drawer fronts, and the 3 fluer di lis.

I painted my version using Pink and Metallic paint.  I added some decorative brads for the faux drawer pulls.  I added some hot fix rhinestuds and black paint dots.  The butterflies are from an acrylic stamp I had never used before.  I sealed the whole thing with Mod Podge.

Sticky Notes Box (WPC File)

Hey all

Here's a simple little sticky notes/memo pad box holder

It's pretty simple and I can think of a gazillion ways to decorate one, but for the sake of time I thought I would just show you how it looks.  The back piece is chipboard covered with paper.  I glued it onto the back of the box.


Small Shadow Box Created with Pazzles Inspiration Pro 2010 Software

Here’s my latest design using the Pazzles software.  This is the first time I’ve attempted to make a shadow box with the software (I’ve made shadow boxes manually).

It took me a long time to get to this point because I couldn’t get the measurements right even though the software showed width and height were exactly what I wanted.
The base box and the cover are chipboard.  I covered the inside of the base box and the front cover with GCD Studios Antiquities paper collection (I also created the inside tiny boxes and cut from black Recollections paper), but painted the outside of the base box with acrylic paint (used a couple of stamps and heat embossed first), then sealed it with Mod Podge.  The window is a piece of clear acetate from my die-cut mat.
The outside charms are from B’Sue Boutiques.  The flat back pearl, blue and pink flower, and the Paris charm on the inside are also from her shop.  The other pieces inside the box were made by me during my jewelry making days (UTEE and polymer clay pieces).
When putting the box together, I glued down one cover flap and used Velcro on the opening flap.
When I make my next shadow box, I will not use a wet glue to lay down my paper.  For some reason I forgot about that bubble look - yuk.
One thing I have to figure out is how to adhere acetate.  It seems that no glue will stick it down securely.
Ok, until next time.....



Playing Card Design - Vintage Key Embellishments (Chipboard)

Hey all

I designed some vintage keys to look like playing card symbols. I used chipboard, 110 lb cardstock to print the symbol design on to cover the chipboard, 3M Quick Dry glue, clear embossing powder, and red fluid chalk.


Perfume Bottle Embellishment (Chipboard)

Hey there

Today I finally finished up the chipboard perfume bottle I was trying to mimick.  I will use it as an embellishment on something - more than likely on one of my hardcover greeting cards.

I was going to post a link to the creator of this bottle, but I couldn't find the creator.  There are quite a few links displaying this bottle, but on one site I found out the bottle is empty and comes with a funnel so you can put your fav perfume in it.  The bottle also has Swarovski crystals on it, so you know it's an expensive bottle.

Here's the photo I used to mimick:

Here's a video of me putting it all together.

Here's a still shot:

This was really a fun project!  Now I have to go and clean up all the embossing powder! :-)


Using ATG Gun Tape on my Cricut and Pazzles Mats

I just discovered something yesterday.
I use both Cricut and Pazzles mats - a lot.  I cut everyday so my mats don’t stay sticky for long.
I love cutting chipboard and the best time for me to do that is when my mats are new because I don’t have to use masking tape to hold it down.  Over the years I’ve used a lot of masking tape to hold the chipboard down.  I absolutely did not like that because it was time consuming.
Well, I didn’t have any more masking tape and my mat wasn’t sticky enough to hold the chipboard down while cutting.  The only tape I had available was in my ATG gun.  I put tape on all 4 sides of the chipboard, then placed it down on the mat and cut away. It worked like a charm!  It did not budge!  The only little thing is that the ATG tape was on some parts of my die-cut, but it was easy to roll off.
UPDATE:  May 7, 2013 - Found 3M 924 ATG Tape Alternative

I'm not sure of the tape's reliability yet, but I found an alternative ATG tape for my ATG 700.  I was watching a video on Youtube and the lady told us what she used and where to buy it from (thank goodness because Amazon's prices are over the top!).

Last night I ordered my alternative tape from http://findtape.com.  The item is called
JVCC ATG-7502 ATG Tape (Acid Neutral).  I ordered the 1/4" x 36 yds @ $1.98 each.  I am really happy the website tells you the 3M brand name you can replace.
Oh!  If you have the ATG 700 and want to use the 1/4" tape, you can purchase an adapter.  I am not sure where I purchased mine from since I purchased it right after I purchased my gun back in 2010.  Just shop around because some places charge WAY more than others.
UPDATE:  November 25, 2012 - Alternatives to ATG Tape

I can no longer afford my favorite tape:  3M ATG 924.  That stuff has increased so much in price I’ve had to find an alternative, but this is really not that uncommon for me.  I am always looking to craft on the cheap, but still get good quality.

I bought the Scotch Double Sided tape (permanent) over a year ago and would use it every now and then.  I would especially use it when I was waiting for an ATG order. I now use it in place of the ATG tape and it works really well for me on projects that are not heavy or need to hang for a long period of time (mainly greeting cards).  When you go to look for this tape, you will find varying lengths and prices.  On Amazon, as of today, I found the price to be as cheap as $2.22 a roll.

I also like to use Scor-Tape when I need a stronger hold. There are different widths of Scor-Tape.  My favorite width is ¼” x 27 yards and it costs $3.74 at customcrops.com.  It lasts a LONG time and it’s really strong tape, even though you can tear it from the roll.  I created a gift box for candy and sealed the box with Scor-Tape.  I was so happy with the way it held up under the weight.


Birthday Card for My Friend's Mom - Chipboard

Hey Folks

Here's my latest hardcover birthday card or chipboard birthday greeting card.  I used a lot of heat embossing on this one and of course I had to add some of my charms.

The bottle die cut was designed by me (it's supposed to be a perfume bottle).  The design on the cap of the bottle, at least the flourish, was placed on the paper with the Pazzles pen tool (the flourish is also a Pazzles image).  The shoes are from the Cricut Forever Young cartridge.  Once I printed the image on the top, I added her initials and heat embossed the whole thing to seal it.

The design on the bottle is from The Paper Studio's Flourish Fusion With Foil Cardstock pack.  Oh, the gold paper is ColorBok from Walmart.

The front and back cover are .022 chipboard covered with that paper I mentioned earlier that I could not cut on my die cut machine, The Paper Studio Black Cardstock paper (I had to use my trimmer to cut to size to fit the chipboard.

I used one whole set of charms on this card.  I tied them onto embroidery string, taped the string to the back of the cardstock and glued the cardstock down with Glossy Accents.

I used the binding technique to keep the two covers together.  I have a key stamp I used to stamp on the binding and in some areas around and inside the card.

I also used some rhinestuds, flatback pearls, and a strip of brown ribbon.

The tag is hanging on embroidery string too.  I wanted it to dangle, so I didn't glue it down.


The Paper Studio Black Cardstock is NOT cardstock

I went to Hobby Lobby yesterday to find some Black paper.  I really should have gone to Michael's to get the Recollections brand instead.

I now know why The Paper Studio paper is so cheap - it has the consistency of toilet paper.  This is NOT cardstock.

I needed to cut out a die-cut on my die-cut machine, but I can't do it with this paper because it leaves tons of fibers on the mat. I can only imagine what would have happened if I had tried to cut on a new mat.  The mat I used is an old mat that is barely sticky.  All other papers I use on this mat have to be taped down.

My first red flag, before I started cutting, was how the paper layed down on the mat as if the mat was sticky.  Oh boy, once I started to cut I noticed the design ripping in many places (I cut this same die-cut out on real cardstock (ColorBok and DCWV) successfully).

Don't be fooled by the word Cardstock with The Paper Studio because it is not cardstock.  Cardstock is more durable than this flimsy paper.  I bet that if I wet it, it would dissolve.

I am going to give this paper a one star only because I can use it for other things, but not with my die-cutter, which is what I needed it for in the first place.

Also with this Hobby Lobby haul, I bought The Paper Studio's Flourish Fusion with Foil.  It's funny how the packaging doesn't mention "cardstock", but it seems to be cardstock.  I'll see.  It does seem to be as thick as DCWV, so I should be successful in cutting this paper on my die-cut machine.  I'll let you know.

UPDATE:  Just did a search on The Paper Studio.  I did not know it was a Hobby Lobby store brand like Recollections is Michael's store brand.