why is it that guilt creeps up on us so easily..even when we try and avoid it it has a nasty way of just being there. anyways i am still trying to catch up on things, ticking of to-do lists, and trying to be creative at the same time. yet it seems that i have no energy for anything and am feeling rather flat at the moments. so no updates and no new posts on the Cuttlebug, which i promise i will finish and continue with as soon as i am caught up! 
one thing that i managed to do this weekend is paint the one bedroom wall which was actually 3 walls counting the huge *blunder* of a grey wall i conveniently or subconsciously forgot about - anyways it IS DONE! and it feels really good. it took me most of Saturday and then i did the antiquing liquid on Sunday to get rid of the "off" paint smell.
funny thing that - when you leave paint to stand for months on end it tends to go rotten and get the most horrific smell! anyways a quick stir and off we went. thankfully the strong oil smell covered the paint odour and all is well in the household again! *note to self...use paint and do not store!
after said paint and oil layer was dry i got to hang the crystals and finish off my chandelier! oh my heart is well now - and i am in love. i do think that i may have to have another one of those beauties - so save some moolah and find a spot and just maybe it may happen in this coming year.
and not to bore you too much below is a sneak peak of a design team layout i completed and uploaded
creativity = 1 messy kitchen = 0
wishing you an awesome Monday. i am trying to clean the kitchen and throw out some mismatched and odd glasses, mugs and general crap that tends to collect over time, then some creative play and writing an article! how are you keeping busy?

8/25 - partial embossing.

I know i know (guilty for being MIA)so sorry - but while real life sets in and the reality of fighting a cold while my body and mind begs me to shut down i have gotten more and more irritated with society and their lack of celebrating Christ's birth instead of buying the love of their family members with lavish gifts while other die of hunger and depression. so i am throwing myself at the mercy of my work table and playing catch up.
tip # 8 - partial embossing
i am know for using only partial stamped images, small bits of paper and images and so it's only a natural extension of this trait that i only do partial embossing using my Cuttlebug.
i will emboss only a small part of corner of my patterned paper to add texture and then add a light inking on top to accentuate the design 

this is a funky way of adding texture to only a select piece of your design.
keep in mind that you can only move your selected piece of paper so far out of your embossing folder for it to still fit into the opening of your Cuttlebug. yes i know what you are thinking - and truly i am fine with it. i often turn my paper at an angle and only emboss a small corner to add texture.
play around and experiment with this - you too will find it addictive. i promise to be back...and will complete all 25 tips - but at my own leisure - without any pressure. so thank you for hanging around and here's wishing you a wonderful and Merry Christmas.

7/25 - create bargello die-cuts using the Cuttlebug and washi tape.

Bargello is a technique traditionally used in needlepoint and borrowed by paper crafters to create interesting background effects using paper strips. I borrowed this technique and have done a couple of versions over the years, but today I am incorporating die-cutting and the ever so popular washi tape to create this easy technique. Just another reason to use my products combined together in my Cuttlebug. 
Tip # 7 - Use Bargello and washi tape to create funky die-cuts.

This technique consists of small thin strips of paper used to create a background. I usually keep all my strips of off-cuts to create this technique, but today I used various strips of washi tapes instead of paper.
I used a plain piece of white cardstock and adhered the strips of tape to it until the entire background was covered in washi tape.
Then I used my Assouline die cut to cut the beautiful wreath out of my Bargello background cardstock.
I added some diamante in red and clear and adhered it to my folded card. This can be a quick Christmas card or a beautiful girly wreath by adding ribbons, bows and using floral patterned paper strips for my Bargello background.

Tips and tricks
Combine washi tape with paper strips for a beautiful Bargello background
Try using different die-cut to cut shapes out of your Bargello backgrounds for a fun alternative
Use 50mm wide double sided tape from The Wholesaler to create a sticky back and front for your Bargello background. The front to adhere your paper strips onto and the back to have a sticky back even after your die-cut your shape
Recycle those beautiful strips of paper cut from the bottom of your Kaisercraft patterned papers to create a background that will cost you almost nothing

Products used
Couture Creations Intricutz Sophia Cutting Dies – Assouline [ADCO 723491]
Cuttlebug V2 [PC 2000293]
Tombow Mono Multi Glue [TB 62191]
Walnut Ink Crystals [TWI-001]

Xcut A5 Die Sets - gift box topper and double page layout.

I love functional and cross pollination of tools and products – but when the new Xcut die and stamps sets hit the market I knew they would be a firm favourite of mine and many other crafters. Combining dies with stamps doubles the fun and creativity one can have. Here’s how I enjoyed using my sets this week…

Floral gift topper
I so loved playing with these new dies I also made an gift box topper – since the gift giving season is upon us I got a head start. I cut the flower using the dies set and then embossed one of the cuts using the holly embossing folder to add additional texture. The inside stamen parts I cut from old book paper which gave me a nice contrast and something different than the usual green or yellow cardstock. I finished off the middle with a large green pearl. This floral die will soon become a firm favourite – I think it can be applied to almost anything from a gift box to hair accessories and d├ęcor elements. Watch this space for more ideas on using these versatile dies and stamps together.

Double page layout For my layout I used the beautiful Flea Market range of papers from Crate. I knew that these papers would be perfect to combine with the delicate butterfly stamps and die cut sets from Xcut. So I set about cutting, inking and stamping the butterflies all over my layout. The die-cuts were done using AC smooth white cardstock and then simply dipped into ink to create a bold and vibrant coloured die cut. I then stamped additional butterflies onto white cardstock and embossed them using two different colours of embossing powder. These were then die-cut using the co-ordinating dies to create custom butterflies for my layout. And lastly I stamped another butterfly design directly onto the background in a soft grey ink. I love how the dies and stamps complement each other and by combining them with different stamping and inking techniques you can create a completely different look each time you use them.

Products used
Xcut A5 Die Set – Butterflies [DXCU503196]
Xcut A5 Die Set – Leaves [DXCU503194]
Xcut A5 Die Set – Flowers [DXCU503195]
Flea Market 12x12 Paper Pad (48 Sheets) [AC 683295]
Jolly Christmas 12x12 Paper Pad (48 Sheets Double Sided Paper) [ADCO 723549]

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