When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say, "I used everything you gave me, Lord." I am a believer that God created each one of us with a unique talent, therefore, use it well to serve Him.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Got it today....

Yeah, got today the second box that DH sent.  First big box still hasn't shown up.  The box we got today is  full of candies, cookies, cakes and yeah 2 big jars of Vicks Vaporub.  Goodies are great but the cards are the ones that I mostly waited for.  I always love to read my DH sweet nothings.  Yeah, I know I sound like a teenage girl, what can I say, I'm still madly in love with him.  I'm sure he's pouring out his love for me in that card.  I miss the guy :-(.... I really need it right now, so I can calm me down.  Sorry, just pouring out.  Holiday is really bumming us out...

Boxes didn't make it to the PO today but kids and I will be out early tomorrow.  Now, let me get back to doing the JUGS new challenge, "Stained Glass Technique".  Just wasted a good quality acetate...  Now let me get back to doing that...


My muse is missing yet I'm in the mood for...

My muse is missing yet I'm in the mood to dress-up some gifts to couple people. I wrapped the presents few days ago but goodness I couldn't come up with an idea for a card.  Finally this evening, I told myself, it's now or never.  The boxes has to go out in the mail tomorrow.  It wasn't easy at first but I was pretty pleased with the cards that would go with the gifts.  I assembled all the embellishments from scratch.  If you don't know yet, I'm a big collector of mini Christmas decor/ornaments and I'm taking them all with me to Europe.  Okay, no more babbling.  Here they are.  Have fun viewing them!
A card I made for my mother.  
I tried to keep the card simple, like I said my muse is MIA for almost a week now.  
I added felt bird and snowflake chipboard as embellishment.
The card was the last one I made among the batch.
  A box of chocolate that will go with a card.
See the candycane?  Rather than let it sit here in the house, I used the candycane as embellishment.  
Believe me, it's healthier that way...
I mostly used organza for my gifts.  I grabbed a bunch of these while we were still in
Lousiana  couple months ago.
I think the organza added an elegant touch on the gifts.
Another glimpse of the gift.
The gift and the card.  Hope it matches!
A card for a craft friend...
I used mostly old school embellishment like dew drops, brads and felt flower.
Still hoping that my muse would start to pick up.
This is the second card I made. I was still having a hard time putting things together.
The gift that goes with the second card...
I really like the cinnamon bark and mini wreath in this gift.
I used red organza on this gift.
I made this wreath from scratch
I'm really pleased with the outcome.
Like the rest, this will go postal tomorrow.
Hope the recipient will have many use for this gift
and the other stuff I added in her box.
Card I made for my sweet and loving DH.
Yeah, I know, I didn't notice that my bling was kindda crooked.
Don't worry, I got that fix before the box got sealed.
Again, in this card, I used candycane as embellishment and added mini Christmas decors.
This is the third card I made for the night.
My daughter bugged me that her Daddy needs a new wallet.  So we bought him a
nice Perry Ellis brown wallet. Spent a little on the big guy, he very well deserve some nice gifts.  
The wallet is just one of those gifts we got him.  Actually we are sending him two big boxes.
Two big boxes and I bought them all online.  He would be happy that I didn't go to the store.
I wish the boxes would still make it there in time for Christmas.
Hope DH will have lots of fun opening his gifts...
Another card I made for another friend.  This was my first attempt this evening.
This maybe simple but I really love it!
I finally get to try my new Spellbinder dies.  Love it!
The gift.
Again, I added cinnamon bark as embellishment.  Love it!
Hope my friend would like her gift too!

That's it for now.  Thanks for viewing.  Hope this is the start of a good crafting week.  Christmas is one of those occasions where you just wanna keep on making craft projects.

That's it for now.... I should have been in bed couple hours ago.  Hope I can still get up early to go to the PO.
Christmas is almost in the air.  My kids are so excited with their gifts...  I can't wait!

Nyt everyone!

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Gift

I've been wanting to do this project for couple days now and guess what I always run into problems with Gypsy and my Imagine machine.  This is a challenge at Emma's Imagi-Nation Monday Gift Challenge.  The rule is to make any gift project.  A gift can be anything you would give to someone for Christmas, birthday, baby shower, or anniversary.

I decided to make TEA BAGS envies and a matching card for my neighbor Lia.  A week ago, I bought a bunch of silicone sleeve for my Gypsy and a pack of plastic protector sheets.  The plastic protector sheets came in a very nice envies and that inspire me to make an altered gift.  Aside from the tea envies, I also made Lia's daughter, Isabella some hair barrettes.  Emma's charm bracelet project inspired me to finally gather my courage to play with Shrink Paper.  Thanks for the ideas Emma!  Emma uses a different brand, which is Shrink Dink, while I used the Grafix brand (that's the only kind I have at the moment).  I'm not really sure what's the difference but I intend to find out.  Anyways, I got really so excited with the barrettes, so I altered a hairband and gave it to my daughter, Ella.

Here's my take:
 I used the image Teapot from Once Upon a Princess so it will actually match the gift item.
 Printed the blue patterned paper and the teapot centerpiece using Imagine machine.
 I used Flourishes stamp for sentiment.  Love that button!
 Here's a glimpse of the inside.
 The teabags...
 The envies...
 The outside...
 The barrette's I was talking about.
 I used mini-bowdabra for the ribbon and tulle gathering.  I still have to get use to it.  I still find it hard to use.  Thanks Joan for mini-bowdabra gift.  It sure came handy for projects like this.
 A closer look.  I print and cut the imagine using Nursery Tails.
 I think they're super cuties!
 The hairband I gave to my daughter...
 I used Snow Angel cartridge for this one.
 Another batch of barrettes and again it is for Isabella. And these two were actually my faves!
 That's it for now.  Gotta go now and rest this colds away.  Nyt everyone!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Must Read for Gypsy Owner

When was the last time I cried about crafting? Well,  I think it was in March when I found out that our HHG shipper/guardian lost a total of 4 huge boxes full of designer paper, cardstock and my CTMH clear stamps.  But let's not get into that.  The other night, I was working on a project and was using my Cricut Imagine.  I was hoping that I could now use my Gypsy with Imagine. Alas, my Imagine machine couldn't even recognized my Gpysy. I thought maybe there was an update that I haven't done.  But before I resort to that I tried inserting one of my original cart and one Imagine Cartridge. Surprised, surprised, my Imagine could only recognize one cartridge at a time. I kept on turning my Imagine off and on to no avail. The I started reading in the net and I didn't know that the next hours will be a nightmare.

Normally, every 3rd Thursday of the month, Provo Craft releases a Gypsy new cartridge update and a fix to some minor problem. It was early November when I last updated my Gypsy. A whole bunch of cartridges came out recently, so I don't have a choice but to update.
Before I continue babbling, I want to warn Gypsy owner like me to, please be very careful when updating your machine.

Here's the first thing I found out. I didn't know that the update from Cricut.com for Gypsy is already "PHASED OUT". Please do not use your old Gypsy Sync software. You need to use CRICUTSYNC, for updates and syncing your Gypsy. If you have the Cricut Imagine, you will need to  update your Gypsy first before your Imagine. And this is  when I started having problems. I followed every single instructions and tutorial to do the updates.   I was successful in syncing my Lite and Winter 2010 cartridges but other cartridges like Paper Lace, Ornamental Iron and Car Decals wouldn't sync.  I tried so many times but everytime I would sync, it would prompt me to the Gypsy Menu and not sync the cartridge.

I started reading again.  I spent hours and hours doing the same thing, trying new things and nothing happens until my Gypsy FREEZES...locked up... hangs.  I thought it died on me!  I was pretty upset. I couldn't turn it off anymore while CricutSync software was telling me that it can detect my Gypsy but the machine was not communicating. I tried everything and I was even crying from exhaustion and frustration. I started doing the updates at 6PM and it was almost 530 in the morning already and I still couldn't figure out what I did wrong.  Keep on telling myself I can't lose my darn Gypsy and I am not going let myself buy a new one.  I am so dependent on that little machine.
Finally, DH came home from work and walk me through it until everything was back to normal.  Yeah, he talked me through it and he's in Europe!

Finally after almost 12 hours of doing this, my Gypsy started syncing all the new carts.   Next job was to update Imagine.  I thought I was done having problems but my machine wouldn't recognize the driver, which came with CRICUTSYNC software.  Again, I was glad I married a techy geak, so even long distance he was able to help me install the driver.  I am telling you this is one of those times that he was extra, extra nice to me.  He was indeed very, very patient and helpful.  How can I ever live this life without him...

You probably thinking that why the heck do we let ourselves suffer like this.  Crafting is supposed to be fun.  Alot of people are probably asking why we even bother updating our GYPSY machine.  Here's a few answer:  Just like any computer machines, it needs an update.  Updating will ensure that your Gypsy Library of Cartridge is up to date with the current ones.  You won't be able to cut your new cart if you don't link or sync your Gypsy.  But how can you sync your Gypsy if you don't update your software.  Did you know that Gypsy machines didn't actually have a "HIDE CONTOUR" button when it first came out?  Yeah, it doesn't have.  You actually got it from one of the recent updates of GYPSY SYNC.  It was one of the my favorite and I think one of the best functions of  Gypsy.  It is a must have functions specially if you like incorporating stamping with your Cricut images.

Here are the things that you should do to ensure you did the Gypsy update right and not have to suffer the way I did.
1.) Plug the charger to your Gypsy.  The updates will take awhile and you wouldn't like to run out of juice while in the middle of doing that.
2.) Go to your START up button, SETTINGS then CONTROL PANEL, then click the icon ADD/REMOVE PROGRAMS.  Go through the list and delete all your old GYPSY SYNC softwares and updates. Exit
3.) Click this link, HERE, and download the CRICUTSYNC.  Don't close the windows, because it will give you the complete instructions on how you are going to install and update your GYPSY as well as your Imagine machine. Important, RESTART your PC after installing, this will ensure that all the updates will take effect correctly.
4.) If you have an old version of CRICUTSYNC, please do a REPLACE VERSION then proceed and again RESTART once done installing.
5.) Once installed, go back to START up button, SETTINGS then CONTROL PANEL, then SECURITY CENTER.  Turn off your FIREWALL and your ANTIVIRUS software.  I know that this sounds creepy but it will lessen your possible update problem, trust me!  Just try not to browse the net or download emails until you can restore your security system.  At the SECURITY CENTER, click WINDOWS FIREWALL.  A new windows will pop out, turn off your firewall.  On the top, you will see a tab that says EXCEPTIONS an that the bottom, click ADD PROGRAM and add CRICUTSYNC. Exit.
6.) Plug your Gypsy to your PC and start updating.  If a message is prompt that you need the latest ADOBE AIR, while running the CRICUTSYNC then you need to install it or do an update on the latest version.  Criccutsyncwill not let you proceed with the Gypsy syncing if you don't have the latest ADOBE AIR. Then once done, you can start syncing your cartridges to your Gypsy.
7.) Also, make sure you have the latest firmware and update versions of the machines.  Here's a quick reference of what your machine needs:

GYPSY MACHINE: 1.4 (0206-0207) version
IMAGINE:  1.01 (0096:0014:0239:202A) version

1.)  Just like before, syncing your carts and your Gypsy should be quick.  If CricutSync is taking awhile to sync and was telling you on screen "CONNECTING TO DEVICE" continually, then it means your having problems.  If you encounter this, on the top left corner of the CricutSync, click HELP then do troubleshooting. Try syncing again.
2.)  Please know that firewalls and antivirus will limit CricutSync to download the software completely so you have to turn it off.  Since mine wasn't working even if my antivirus was off, DH told me to UNINSTALL my McAffee antivirus.  You can uninstall programs under Control Panel or better yet call your Antivirus porvider and ask them to help you add CRICUTSYNC software as one of the exceptions.  
3.) If still nothing is working, UNINSTALL CricutSync from the Control Panel.  Make sure you did all the Operating System (mine was, WINDOWS XP Service Pack 3)and ADOBE AIR updates.  If you haven't done that, please do so and restart.  Restarting your PC will ensure that software, hardware and registration updates will load completely and correctly.  I suggest using Windows Internet Explorer as your browser and download the CRICUTSYNC software again from IE.  Forget about other browser.
4.)  If while syncing the latest carts like Car Decals takes you back to the Welcome Screen, then you need to REINTSALL cartridge data through the troubleshooter of CricutSync.
5.) One other thing that caused the update problem is the USB port.  If the update is still giving you problems, you need to try using USB port 2.0.  My laptop machine, which I basically use for blogging and check emails is about 4 year old and it doesn't have a USB port 2.0.  DH and I just realized that my machine is turning antique, which couldn't cope up with the techno trend of my crafting world.
6) USB port 2.0 is the most recent one and it's really fast.
7.) DO the UNINSTALLING/INSTALLING several times.  A lot of people did this including me.
8.)  If in case, you encounter the same probs I have, meaning, your Gypsy hangs.  Hold the top left silver button and the silver round circle button of your Gypsy.  Hold and push them at the same time and count 1-30.  If it doesn't work, try different button combination.  If that doesn't work either, then you have to reset your Gypsy.  Here's how to do it:

Take your Gypsy stylus and unscrew the top of it.  Once unscrew, it will reveal a needle like thing.  Please be very careful with that.  If your Gypsy machine has a silicon sleeve, take it out. You will see in the back of the Gypsy machine some holes.  One is for the vent and the other was a tiny round hole.  Use the needle like thing from your Gypsy stylus and push it in the tiny round hole, which you can find at the back of your Gypsy.  If you did it right, it would reset your machine and just turn it back on.  Mine took several times before I did it right.  But it works like miracle!

9.) If you do the Gypsy update correctly, then you should have everything in your machine including the 5 RECENT FREE CARTS.

10.) For those Imagine owner, please don't forget to update your machine after syncing your Gypsy.  Just plug your machine and run CRICUTSYNC software.  Once you're done updating and syncing your machine, it will prompt you to install Cricut Imagine driver.  Like with the Gypsy, mine couldn't proceed and couldn't detect the driver.  DH told me to try my other USB port and alas, it worked!  That should tell you that the USB port issue was not a joke.

11.) Last but not the least, if you turned off or uninstall your antivirus software, please make sure to install it back again.  Then, turn on your firewall and antivurus. 

I hope this tips and trick would help you.  If you need further help, please refer to the Cricut Community Beta site.  You can read so many helpful things there and you can even post your concern.  There are nice helpful ladies there and even PC tech support reps were there to assists.  Goodluck on your updates. 

To note, CRICUTSYNC is a software you will use to update your Gypsy and your Imagine.  It doesn't matter if you only have a GYPSY, you will need this.  It's probably frustrating to get all sorts of problems when we know we spent so much money with PC products.  But they are working pretty hard to fix the problems and we just have to be patient. 

BTW, I'm now an official Cricut Circle Member....  Yehey!  And guess what, with all the problems I had recently with the updates, DH will buy me a MAC computer as a Christmas present.  Love you Babe!

Shoot me a message if you need help on the updates.  Not promising anything but I'll be more than willing to lend a helping hand. Boy, I am way behind my projects now and my craft table is still a big mess.  I decided to post this as I do not wish you my friends to encounter the same problems I had when I did the updates.  Really hope this helps...

Saturday, December 4, 2010

2 Yummy Giveaways: My way of saying "Thank You"

Yippee!  Time for another blog candy.  I was planning for quite awhile for these blog candies but my hands were so tied up and to be honest, I was too lazy to take pictures and post it.  But Christmas is always the best time to share your blessings.  It is also the best time to show our appreciation on so many things.  So, I am giving away two yummy candies.  But here's what you should do to become eligible for the prizes:


1.) SIMPLE, just leave a comment on this thread and become a follower.  Followers who are already in my network are very much welcome.  Once I reach 100 followers, I will draw two (2) lucky winners using Random.org. 


2.) Post these giveaways in your blog, then leave another comment with a link to your post. (Optional)
3.) Share this giveaway link to another friend and come back to post another comment letting me know who your friend is. (This is again optional)

NOTE:  Limit 5 entries/person ONLY.   Please don't forget to post your email address for every comment you leave.  I want to make sure that I can contact the winners and not let them missed the chance to claim their prizes. I would appreciate it, if you will leave only one comment UNLESS of course, you choose to do the extra work to earn the extra entries.

  • A set of Inkadinkado rubberstamp (98305-Snowflake Trails)
  • A set of Peachy Keen Stamps (PK480- Christmas Character Faces Assortment)
  • A set of Recollection clear stamps (Christmas Past.  This is actually 2 sets of stamps)
  • A set of Recollection clear stamps (Christmas Collage)
  • A set of Hero Arts clear stamps (CL238-Owl Christmas)
  • A set of Close To My Heart clear stamps (W328-Postmarked)
  • 15 packs of In Style rubberstamps (Bobby, Akemi, Mitchelle & Tiff, Sofie, Trent, Katsu, Ben, Meiko, Stan, Karaoke Ava, Yard Girls, Lil Gina, Combing Hair Ava, Isabel, and Nate)
  • GRAB BAG - Assortment of Hampton Art & MSE! clingmounted stamp
  • 1 Stampendous Classic Ornament rubberstamp
  • 1 Stampabilities HM - Mouse Drops rubberstamp
  • 1 Inkadinkado whimpy border rubberstamp
  • 2 sets of Cuttlebug dies/embossing folders (Disney - School days and Take the Cake)
  • 1 set of Spellbinder Nestabilities (S4124-Classic Scalloped Circles LG)
  • 1 Martha Stewart edge punch (Pinking Scallop)
  • 1 Martha Stewart punch around the page (Iron Gate)
  • 2 K & Company mat stack (Carolyn Gavin & Amy Butler)
  • 1 Pack of Martha Stewart Glitter Marker Set (6 basic spectrum colors)
  • 3 packs of Prima flower embellistment (Sprites - yellow, pink and blue)
  • 1 Cricut Lite cartridge (2000544 - Twinkle Toes)
  • A set of Inkadinkado clear stamps (98843 - Flashy Floral)
  • A set of Heide Grace clear stamps (28349 - Wild Daisy Road)
  • A set of Autumn Leaves clear stamps (AL3180 - Block Stamps 1)
  • 16 packs of In Style rubberstamps (Laying Ava, Nico, Frankie, Ava Holding Sign, Stacey, Ava Holding Ballons, Sam, Myron, William, Hiroku, Gabrielle, Tatiana, Wing Change Ava, Lizzie, Jack and Virginia)1 Stampabilities rubberstamp (Ernie and Rubber Duckie)
  • 1 7Gypsies Refillable Rectangle Stamp pads (3 small inkpads)
  • 2 sets of Cuttlebug dies/embossing folders (Disney - Bon Voyage & Love Always)
  • 1 set of Spellbinder dies (S4235-Fancy Tags)
  • 1 Provo Craft Paper Shapers - Decorative edged scissors
  • 2 sets of Heidi Swapp mask (Runway and Carefree)
  • 1 EK Success edge punch (Scallop Diamond)
  • 1 EK Success corner punch (Flower & Flourish)
  • 1 Martha Stewart edge punch (Botanical Scallop)
  • 1 Pack Heidi Swapp flower embellishment (6 colors)
  • 1 bottle of Prima Got Flowers (Brown)
  • 1 bottle of Prima Got Flowers (Assorted Colors)
  • 1 Set of Acid-free, Blendable Bic Mark-It markers (Paradise Pastels/12markers)
  • 1 8X8 DCWN Linen Textured Premium Paper Stack (The Crafty Stack)
I can say that I am blessed to have such a wonderful husband who supports me and spoils me with this hobby. I am so thankful having two healthy, crazy yet sweet and loving kids.  Love the three of you so very much!  This year was quite difficult for us. My husband was laid off from his job and the timing was pretty bad... we just bought a house.  We were really scared then, yet we were very thankful to the Lord above for everything even with the recent hardships.  Anyways, things happen for a reason, right.

This will also be the first Christmas that we will be apart as a family.  We gotta do what we have to do for the family, right!?  Sure, the holidays maybe bumming us out.   But we have to keep on telling ourselves that this is just a short separation and that be will be together again pretty soon.  We can't also discount the fact that we can't just pass up a chance to see Europe.  It will also give me the chance to renew my relationship with my estranged mother.  But until then, we'll keep continue to look forward to the day when we all going to the airport. And  it would also give my daughter the chance to say this over and over, "You can't have another boyfriend.  Daddy is your only boyfriend.  If you do, I will leave you and I'll go to my Daddy and not going to come back." We  don't know where she got this weird ideas but we think that it's cute.  DH said, she's really loyal to him and definitely a Daddy's girl. We're certain that she would definitely rat me out if I do something crazy.

Before I end this, I also would like to thank my dearest and sweetest craft supplier and enabler, Michelle.  You never failed to send me a huge box with lots and lots of yummy goodies.  It's like opening a huge Christmas present everytime.  Thank you Sweetie. Last but not least, I want to thank all of YOU, my amazing craft friends, who continually encourages and inspires me with your creations, ideas and words of appreciation.  Thank you all for being a part of my "Creative World".  You guys sure made it all fun and wonderful here.   Hugs to all of you and here's wishing you and your family the best this Holidays.

BTW, I do not have any sponsor for this giveaways.  These goodies are my extra's and my duplicates.  All items are new and never been used.
Goodluck and God bless!
Love y'all...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Cricut Imagine & Gypsy Update Frustration

I need to stay away from these machines... I'm really getting mad and frustrated.  I've been sitting in my craft table for 3 hours now doing updates on my Gypsy.  I haven't done my Imagine yet.  I hope I'm not going to do this all night long.  I hope PC are making sure that any existing update problems will be resolved pretty soon.  People are really getting mad over this.

I rather do crafting.  But how can I do that when my machines are not working properly.  Hope you ladies are not having the same problems as I am. 


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Just Us Girls #61 - 3D Challenge

The Challenge for this week at Just Us Girls #61, is to simply add a 3-D holiday embellishments on your projects or cards.  Instead of just using the 3D embellishment as additional element on my project, I actually used it as the highlights for my card entry.  This is one good way of using up your stash that's collecting dust somewhere in your craftroom.   Here's my take and I made an easel card:

STAMP: Hero Arts (Sentiments)
INKPAD: Versamark
TOOLS: PC Paper trimmer, Fiskars edge punch, Marvy Uchida heat tool, ATG and Zip Dry
EMBELLISH: Jolees 3-D Embellishment stickers

I had fun making cards last night for the different challenges I am playing.  Like usual, I traded crafting for a nice long hours of sleep.  Crazy, right?  Guilty!  What can I do, I love crafting.  Now time to take my afternoon nap.
Wanna try to make an easel card?   Here's an easy to follow tutorial from Beate Johns of SCS.
Till next week...