So my goal of posting more on here has recently blown right past me. Things got crazy around here about 4 weeks ago, and I just haven’t had the energy to even express my thoughts.

I am still having issues from my car accident, pain, can’t remember things, and can not focus on anything for very long. I want my attention span back please :P.

So a few months ago we woke up to a few of our chickens being gone, and a large black dog cowering near my neighbor’s house. He was obviously starving and very scared, so we fed him and somehow a few days later he was in my house being treated for tape worms and had a new name and a new dog collar and ID tag. We live in the country and it seems people like to dump animals they no longer wish to own or take care of, we have seen kittens that go missing before I can get them, goats you name it we’ve seen it. I actually witnessed or drove up on 2 men pushing 2 dogs out of their truck when they saw me they sped off. I called the sherif but nothing was done. It’s sad really especially since we live in a county that has an animal shelter with a no questions drop off, they will not prosecute or even pursue you if you drop of a dog on its death bed.

So anyway the dog we took in is actually a great dog, he is a large Great Dane mix, he was fully house broken, heck he poops in the woods so there is no cleanup at all. He goes in the woods with the kids and stays with them not on a leash and protects them (I have witnessed this first hand). He protects me even seriously ill recently my hubby went hunting and came home with his ski mask still on came in and the dog could barely stand up from being so sick yet he got up next to me and would not let me move he would push himself against me pinning me in the corner.

Well as I said he got really sick about 4 weeks ago, he was so sick I had to call the mobile vet that treats animals out here since we are so far out in the country. They came out and thought at first he had a fungal pneumonia from digging, but his lungs were clear so they figured he had a stomach infection probably from eating garbage or from eating bad food, or maybe from eating the chipmunks he loves to catch.

They gave him an antibiotic shot, an IV bag of fluids since he had stopped eating and drinking, and sent us on our way with antibiotics and anti-emetics. He did not do well though we had to force him to drink water from a syringe, and cook chicken and hand feed it to him. This was an every 2 hour task for 3 weeks, finally this week he is eating dog food again and drinking on his own. he is now going outside and running in the woods again on his own as well, we are so happy we really were so worried we were going to lose him.

How strange it is to have an animal show up and so quickly become a part of your family and your heart. We really do love Duke and could not think of life without him.

 So I leave you with a photo of our fatihful companion and loving friend Duke, this was taken about a week ago when he was starting to feel a little better.

Duke

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So I have been experimenting with curves, levels, and channels as well as texture levels in Photoshop in order to achieve a vintage or old photo look. Sometimes it’s called the LOMO effect after a plastic camera with interchangeable lenses of the same name. The camera was not sealed very well thus let in light creating this washed out or high contrast photo.

I started playing around because I really liked the look of the Hipstamatic App (again named after a camera) for the iPhone but I don’t have an iPhone. I am really good at manipulating images and making them artsy with Photoshop, I have been using the program for about 12 years now, have dabbled in graphic design, actually had a design business for a few years before it burnt my brain to a crisp and made it not fun anymore. So I knew I could figure it out if I just played around, and viola I created the image below. The first is the original untouched straight from the camera image, and of course the second is the manipulated image.

Original Photo

 

Altered Photo

 

If anyone wants to know how I did this I wrote down what I did so I could recreate it, just comment and I will post the directions on this post at another time.

So I have been thinking about this blog and my crafting life a lot lately. For one thing I hate that I don’t post on here very much anymore, I feel very intimidated by my own blog. Strange I know but see I started it as a way to get information out to the masses about my favorite company “Provocraft” and all their great new, old and up and coming products. Then somehow it turned into a blog only about products and not about crafting really at all.

I guess this is the biggest thing I dislike, I feel I have nothing to post if I have nothing new to announce or talk about, even if I wanted to post about a project or life or anything really.

So I sincerely hope all the people who do follow and visit my blog often will continue to visit as I am going to change things up a bit around here.

I love crafting!!!!! I like pretty much all aspects of it, I am an artist and a photographer as well, I also like to fool around with making photos look vintage and different. So I will be posting lots of different things from now on, I will post about knitting, scrapbooking, card making, embroidery, painting, photos and life in general.

See I read a ton of blogs and the ones I seem to gravitate to all the time are ones that post on a multitude of subjects relating to their lives and their hobbies so I want to express myself and write down my thoughts and show all the great stuff I make 🙂 I never get to show it to anyone but my family so it will be nice to hear some other people’s thoughts as well.

So if you like crafts and neat artsy stuff subscribe if you haven’t already and keep coming back I hope to post at least a few times a week this year.

So are you wondering what the new Lite Cartridges will be for the Wal-mart black Friday sale? Have you seen the ad scans yet for Wal-mart? Well I did and it said the Lite carts are going to be 20.00 and I think it start’s at 12:01 not 5am, for these and a bunch of other great stuff.

So here are the 7 new Lite’s that will be available at the sale:

Jolly Holidays

Twinkle Toes

 

 

 

Four Legged friends

 

 

 

Zoo Day

 

Inspired Heart

 

Cupcake

 

Playtime

 

I like most of the new ones, it’s nice they finally have a religious images cartridge (Inspired heart) and I like the holiday one too as I am a sucker for those types of images, the 2 I just don’t see me ever using are the Zoo one and the Cupcake one. Don’t get me wrong they are cute and all but I own a Gypsy and Design Studio and could easily do the same thing with images already on some of my cartridges. However that doesn’t mean someone else won’t enjoy them :).

Yes I said Cricut Magazine!!! The awesome people over at Northridge Publishing, you know the ones who put out “Scrapbook Trends”, “Cards” and a bunch of really neat Idea books each year, well they have just announced they are going to be making a Cricut dedicated magazine.

Cricut Magazine from Northridge Publishing

Thier magazines are more like little books than magazines, very nice pictures and tons of project examples. They are a bit pricey and I hope they eventually add this one as a digital edition, I subscribe to the digital all access with archives and I love it, I get all 4 of the publications plus all Idea books, all for less than 1 issue a month.

For now the new Cricut magazine seems to be print only and is available in January 2011, you can reserve your subscription now though 6 months is only 39.95 and for 12 months 74.95.  It sounds like a lot of money but when you think about it it’s a little over 6 dollars an issue and newstand price is usually 13.95 for these, so subscribing is a good deal.

So the magazine looks like it will be packed with 120 pages of scrapbook pages, cards, and other projects using all our favorite Cricut cartridges. You could even get one of your projects published as they are looking for great projects to add to future issues.

Go here and reserve your subscription now, I already did!!!

Just wanted to let all you Circlets know that the circle only rewards are up on the cricut rewards site. They are not in their own section they are mixed in with everything and you can only see them if you are a Circle Member.

There are 4 cartridges being offered:

 Wall Decor and More

 Create a Critter

Cindy Loo

Serenade

and 3 birds on parade

All of these are 1000 points each and won’t be available until the evening of the 12th of August.

There are a ton of other cool Circle only rewards, a neat t-shirt in 4 colors, some water bottles and some other stuff but the carts I think are the greatest reward they could have given us. I have all of them but one so I am happy I can get one I wanted if it is in stock when I get on to order it LOL :).

So if you’re a Circle Member log in and check it out go see all the neat stuff, and if you’re not a circle member well get on the band wagon LOL 😉 I hear they did a big invite recently and I say it really it worth it.

Check back later I have another post waiting to go out about some more We R Memory Keepers new products.

So I am going to try to continue posting about some of the products I saw and used at the CHA Trade Show.

I am going to start with the Memory Keepers “Sew Easy” Product, here is a photo of the products that they are selling under the Sew Easy Label:

Sew Easy

So they have the Stitch Piercer and 6 different heads, a mat, needles, and floss.

First of all this product does not pierce the paper at all, it only makes an indent, also the heads that you put on it to help you make other stitches seem to make very similar marks. I tried to make it pierce the paper for about 5 minutes and then I asked the demonstrator if it was supposed to make holes or just indents and he said it was made to make indents.

So it’s misleading in my opinion as it is marketed as a piercer. Also the needles are the same as regular embroidery needles and the floss is just embroidery floss nothing more nothing less. You could buy all 3 colors in more quantity for a heck of a lot less money. 

Honestly I wouldn’t spend my money on this item, I like the Bazzill Basics In Stitch’z templates for sewing better, they are plastic and have holes in them where you take a pencil or pen and mark through the hole onto the paper, then you sew with a regular embroidery needle and DMC embroidery floss that costs .37 for 8.7 yards.

Bazzill Basics In Stitch'z

These come in tons of patterns including the basic ones like cross stitch and blanket stitch, and they also come in cute patterns like dogs and cats.

So I would get the Bazzill templates and pass on the Sew Easy I just don’t think it’s worth it for what it does or should I say what it doesn’t do.

Ok it looks like I got my internet back 🙂 I ended up staying in a hotel and their internet went down the night of the Cricut Gala so I couldn’t update that night and then I had to travel home so now I am back and on my own internet :).       

CHA was great I love going to the trade show, I got to go because Kim from Cutters Creek had a helper drop out at the last-minute, I had applied for a Blogger press pass but we get last priority and all the spots were filled fast so I was glad Kim invited me to help her!!!       

I saw some really great stuff this year at the show, let’s start with the thing everyone wanted to know more about the Cricut Imagine:       

Cricut Imagine

Cricut Imagine

As you can see by the pictures this is a large machine, the head is very much the same as the current Expression head, the mats are not interchangeable as far as old mats being able to be used in this machine, the reason is the new mats have black registration lines on them that the unit uses to print and then cut precisely. It will print on thin mediums like plastic sheets, vellum and regular paper, as well as thick mediums like thicker chipboard and thick cardboard like corrugated cardboards. I was told it will also cut all these items as well as it has a deeper than the current deep cut blade included.     

The inks will of course be replaceable at a cost of 34.99 for black and 39.99 for color and should be available at large scrapbooking and craft retailers as well as places like Wal-Mart. I think this is a good price for the inks it is comparable to current HP ink cartridges. I asked if the ink was waterproof and was told they couldn’t comment on that but he assumed it would be as well as archival quality. I asked why they chose to go with a single color cartridge over the multi cartridge types such as Epson has and HP has gone to on higher end printers and he said they decided to go with single cartridges because it would be easier to replace and would print more pages. I can see the advantages of the multiple color cartridge system but I also see their point of view as well.  They hinted around, at least when I asked, at future software having the ability to print from our computers, something like Design Studio but with the added ability to design a page or card from the bottom up by picking out the background pattern, adding elements and all on different layers to be cut out separately. I really hope this will happen, it wasn’t told to me for sure 100% coming but as I said a few PC people told me off the record this was the future they were hoping for and working towards.       

I really do like the projects I saw that were made with this machine, it’s like hybrid scrapbooking in a way but still different. I really like that you can print 12×12 patterned paper and it’s infinite so you’ll never run out of paper in the middle of a project, unless of course you run out of ink LOL :). I was told that you can print 125 12×12 pages on best per ink cartridge, this is a small number comparably I do realize that but maybe the cartridges are smaller or maybe the pictures are of a higher quality I will have to see more to know that. I do know that I can print about 800 pages on the text + image setting which is the normal equivalent, this is on my Epson. Now it has separated colors too so that may make a huge difference as I have a high-end HP printer that will get about 400 pages on normal and about 200 on best full color 8×11, the Epson would be full color 12×12, but on photo it might be more like 200 full color 12×12.       

Here are a few examples of some things that were cut and printed on the low setting and the high setting from what I was told:       

Printed and Cut with the Imagine on Best

Printed and Cut on the Imagine on Fast

Notice the vibrant crisp dark color on the top image which was printed on Best, and the muted washed out color on the cake this was done on fast. It’s still a good image and would look great distressed like take some sand paper and rub and scratch some of the image to make it look old. Maybe use some sepia ink or chalk around it to give a worn look.       

This shows the machine cutting things out after they were printed I really like the ability with the Imagine to print an image and then cut it into parts thus giving us the option to have depth to our projects, here are a few projects showing this: Cute layered cow project

A few more Imagine projects

The images that they have put together and the patterns for the backgrounds are really nice, I think the characters I saw were really cute like the chef and the cupcakes above so darn cute :).       

I really like everything I have seen from this machine and I cannot wait to get one, I was one of the few invited to the Gala so I will be receiving one from PC in the fall when they are finished and available to the public.       

The release date is sometime in October of 2010 in time for Christmas and will be featured on HSN. There should be a website live www.cricutimagine.com it’s not fully ready yet but make sure you keep checking it so you can see more about it as they release info.       

One thing I did ask was if they were working on the machine becoming backwards compatible with the current Cricut cartridges, an example would be the ability to print faces on the paper dolls or print accents that we have been drawing in on our own, or the ability to print the little things on cutouts like eyes or buttons etc. things that we need tweezers to place on now. I was told that no they were not considering that at least not right now, I asked if maybe there would be an accent Imagine cartridge made to go specifically with certain cartridges sort of like the new Cuttlebug folders. He said yes that this could be a better possibility in the future but it wasn’t something they had in the works right now.       

I have a few other photos from Provocraft showing the inks, mat, and some of the imagine cartridges:       

Cricut Imagine Ink Cartridges and Mat

Cricut Imagine Best Friends Cartridge

Cricut Imagine Cartridge that Comes With the Unit, Imagine More

Cricut Imagine Kates Kitchen Cartridge

Cricut Imagine Nursery Tales Cartridge

Cricut Imagine Yummy Cartridge

Some more Provocraft new things are a new Cuttlebug machine, it’s green and has a handle that lies flat now for easier storage, however I would have thought they would have made it better by changing the embossing size ability but they said that was not something they felt the public wanted at this time. Here are a few photos of the newer unit and some new folders I thought were really cute:       

New Cuttlebug Machine

New Cuttlebug Handle Out

New Cuttlebug Handle In

Party Bird Folder

Cars and Trucks Folder

Baseball Diamond Folder

Gecko Folder

Circus Monkey Folder

Juggling Circus Beaver Folder

Bowling Folder

 I didn’t get any more photos of the other folders but these were the few that really jumped out at me, I think he said there are 27 new 4 piece sets coming out this year and a ton of them coordinate with the cartridges already out, I didn’t see very many of those out on the table but the ones I saw were nice.       

I do have some images though straight from Provocraft notice the names as they go with the cartridge of the same name, see also some new names we haven’t seen yet:       

New Cuttlebug Folders

New Cuttlebug Folders

New Cuttlebug Folders

New Cuttlebug Folders

 These are the new names I was talking about, see above the “Coolio”, “Nifty Fifties”, “Birthday Bash”, and “Boys Will Be Boys” I do believe these will be the next 4 announced, but don’t hold me to that I am just guessing :).       

New Cuttlebug Folders - these are the dual purpose ones that emboss and cut all in one

Continuing with Provocraft product news Yudu has some great new products out this year as well, although lets hope that they keep their promise of them arriving in stores before Christmas as last year it took forever for the new stuff to come out. There is a new product called Screen Printing Adhesive and can be used with the new screen coming out only, the new screen will be a 70 mesh which is a more open mesh allowing the thicker glue medium to pass through it with ease.       

So this will give us the ability to make things with glitter, foil and flocking. All of which will also be sold by PC for the yudu, the glitter is pretty much a standard fine glitter and you could use Martha’s if you had it on hand before buying specific Yudu glitters. PC claims their Yudu glitter line will be washable and not wear off like regular glitter would but i do believe any glitter would work just fine. Next they have a foil sheet line so you would screen the glue let it dry tacky and then stick the foil sheet down and rub until it sticks to the glue these will come in various colors. And lastly they will have a flocking sheet that you do the same way, wait for the glue to become tacky and then stick down the flocking sheet and rub it until the flocking sticks and again these will come in various colors. I can see a huge potential in this product you could use it on paper products and wood and fabrics to add neat glitter, foil or flocking designs. Here are a few photos:       

Yudu Screen Printing Glue

Example of a shirt printed with ink first and then screened with glue and glitter added

Example of foil

So cute onsie with example of foil

Yudu Flocking Example

 I still love my Yudu machine and cannot wait until this stuff comes out I am going to make a ton of cool stuff.       

Ok onto the Cricut Cake, this machine seemed to have a huge following this year a lot bigger than I actually thought it would which is good, I wish I had a use for it to justify the purchase I just don’t make enough cakes and cupcakes right now, well I guess I do I make something every month of the year since we have a big family with 7 of us living here and a bunch of other family close by we have either a birthday or a holiday or both every month of the year. I still can’t afford to buy one of these those but I wouldn’t say no if PC offered me one to play with or if I won the one over on Martha Stewart. I do have the Cake Cartridge that comes with it though a friend of mine had an extra one from her bakery and she just gave it to me, I haven’t used it to create anything yet though.       

So here are the new products announced for this machine:       

Cricut Cake Premade Frosting Sheets

Cricut Cake New Tools and Covers

Cricut Cake New Aprons

So some of you know I was invited to the Cricut Imagine Gala, it was a blast I met some great new people and some I already know from the internet only. They had an airbrush tattoo artist giving tattoos to anyone who wanted one so we got in line and I got the Playboy Bunny on my chest it was the one he said no one had asked for yet and I thought why the heck not. They had music and finger foods and a bar out in the waiting area. They rushed us all into a great room with big fluffy white couches and more music dimmed lights and some high top tables. We got to see an awesome artist named David Garabaldi who did some really nifty painting with a DJ and awesome dance music. We watched the video footage of the 2 finalists stories for being the first to recieve an Imagine, got to see the Imagine introduced and hear them talk about it a little bit. At the end we all got a gift bag with a cool Imagine t-shirt, Cricut Imagine sunglasses (the same ones being given out at the trade show), a Cricut Cartridge, and a Certificate for a new Imagine machine 🙂 yep I said it we all got an Imagine. It was so awesome everyone screamed and jumped for joy definitely a joyful room. I got the cartridge I wanted which was “Country Life” I had been wanting this one because we live on a farm out in the country and it’s perfect for my life and my family. The other ones given out were the new ones Winter Frolic, Happy Hauntings, and Rock Princess.       

Here are a few photos, one of me and the 2 ladies I met and spent the entire Gala with (I am the one on the right), and a couple of the artist painting:       

My New Friends and Me at the Cricut Gala (I'm on the right)

David Garabaldi at the Cricut Gala Painting Martin Luther King

David Garabaldi at the Cricut Gala

Alright finally I have a few photos of other products I liked at the show that I will share with you here not too many though, maybe I will post more in another post later but for now these are it :).       

One new paper line I love is the new Harry Potter line coming out I just love the papers and embellishments and who doesn’t have a son who went as Harry Potter at least one Holloween, I know my son has been him like 3 or 4 times but he looks oddly very much like Harry :).       

Harry Potter 2010 Paper Line From Creative Imaginations

I liked another one of their new lines a nice Halloween or Gothic Paper line:       

Creative Imaginations

I also liked this new line from Jillibean Soup called Chicken Soup it’s a farm based line and is just so super cute 🙂 :       

Jillibean Soup - Chicken Soup

Jillibean Soup - Chicken Soup

Look at those cute little piggies LOL 🙂 I just love them. I tell you I saw a farm, country, folk art type of trend this year in a lot of the new items as well as a continuation of the nature and outdoorsy animal trends from last year.       

I have a ton more info and photos but I wanted to get this stuff up as soon as I could so you all wouldn’t have to wait for too long, as it is it took me a few days after I finally got home from the show, I will start working on the rest of my photos and probably post more next week.       

And remember any questions you have about anything please feel free to post them I will try to answer them if I can 🙂       

So it looks like I will be going to the trade show convention this year as a helper for Kim B. over at Cutters Creek, I was going anyway to the Provocraft Gala Saturday night to see the new Cricut Imagine and she had a spot open up on her team of people going so I offered to help her get the info she needs so you all get the best products at the best prices from her :). Seriously though Kim’s store is one of the best online stores for papercrafting items, I have never heard a bad thing not one about her and would recommend Cutters Creek 100 times out of 100 times for everything from selection to price to shipping times and especially customer service she is awesome and will go out of her way to make your ordering experience as easy as possible. So if you need anything check out her site Cutters Creek and look there in the future for all the great stuff I will be showing you from CHA.

I am excited I will have my camera of course, probably 2 of them since I have my Pro camera but I need to see about getting a shorter lens so I can take pictures up close again I dropped it and now my little lens won’t zoom in or out, I have my 300 but of course it will be of no use in this setting, well maybe at the Gala depending on how far away they seat me :).

I am a little nervous about the Gala I have never been to something like that alone before so if your going and you read my blog hey look for me or message me and we can look for each other 🙂 I will be wearing a plaid patchwork quilt looking dress (It’s nicer than it sounds LOL) with spaghetti straps short above my knees and a white sweater. I have short hair now as my MIL talked me into cutting it all off a month ago but it’s cute and curly and brown.

Well I am sure I will know some of the people there, I met people a few years ago when I wasn’t even a popular blog yet who had heard of me and everyone was super nice.

I will be taking tons of photos at the trade show some I can upload via my Omnia II during the show especially if anything really gets my attention, and then I will be updating Wednesday sometime as we have to come home Saturday night for my husband he has to take a medication that is regulated by a Dr.’s visit every month and he cannot survive without it and it just so happens his appt. is on Wed. morning so we are going to drive all night to make it back.

So I leave you with a photo I found on the net somewhere, but it’s been posted a bunch of times all over so I should be safe :), it is speculated that this machine on this table is the new Cricut Imagine.

Cricut Imagine

Well, I have been AWOL for a few months moving really was not very much fun. 24 hours before we left the old house a pipe burst flooding my entire house with about 6 inches of water. It was so bad it was leaking from the foundation to the outside. It ruind almost everything that was left inside the house that had not been put on the trucks. including computers which is why I haven’t been posting as much.

So we moved across country it seems 🙂 not really just vary much farther north to Tennessee, Franklin to be exact which is near Nashville. It is amazing here. I have set up all my stuff in the basement and am in the process of still getting all my stuff unpacked. It’s so pretty outside though I have a hard time being inside :).

We have a 4 bedroom house on 6 acres with a wooded area in the back about 4 of the acres and a creek through that, there is a huge wooden playset for the kids and another one by the creek a fire pit campground style with seating down there too.

We just got 17 chicks 15 females and 2 males they are red sex links which means they are rhode island reds and delewares mixed. Well we have had them for almost 2 weks now and have lost 3 already. Not lost as in we cannot find them lost as they went to giant coop in the sky. 2 were eaten by the neighbors dog (which is another story this dog has bitten my children about 10 times now and isn’t supposed to be over here) and one my youngest son (6) though could fly so he threw it up in the air and it broke it’s neck when it landed.

They are so pretty and so neat they foloow us around sometimes when we let them forage in the grass. Super cute.

I am also getting 2 sheep in the fall or spring I haven’t decided if I want to go with what the sheep breeder told me and get 2 full grown Proven Ewes to lamb for me and then get rid of the adults or get 2 lambs. The advantage is with the ewes I get 2 fleeces and could end up with 4 lambs tops if both twin, if I get lambs I will have to wait ti breed and to get fleece. I also need to pick a breed for wool I like.

I have an entire bag of wool right now 8 pounds I bought from a women at the fiber festival coopworth wool, I washed it and dried it and need to card it, however my hubby isn’t shelling out for more than one hobby anymore so I have dog slickers to card with for now untill I find a nice person who has carders they no longer need that they want to lend me or give me. Or until I sell some hand dyed hand spun wool yarn I am making. I am teaching my 4 year old to do it and she is pretty good at it and super cute at the same time.

I need to get some photos up here so you can see what I am talking about.

I am starting to get back into Cricuting though, I bought a Cricut Lite cartridge Live Simply I think is the name, and I bought Independance Day and Give a Hoot as well. So I have some projects I want to try out with those especially.

Love my gypsy still use it almost every day even just to play with it’s great when I want to be outside or when the kids want to go to the creek.

I am very happy for sure 🙂 and I promise you will see a post a day and projects from me starting this week. Oh and I am dying to see the Cricut Circle 🙂

Ok back to chopping up a dead tree with a chainsaw man country life is fun LOL.