Friday, May 28, 2021

Using the Cricut Joy for Card Making (a Review) by Spazzy Crafter

On a wood table, a teal and white Cricut Joy sits. The front piece is laid flat so the machine is open. Metal bars are showing in the middle of it.
A Cricut Joy is a machine that cuts and draws on a variety of materials.


• Cricut Joy cardstock and inserts (you can use regular cardstock and
inserts, they just have to fit the size of your project)
• Cricut Joy pens
• Cricut Joy markers
• Cricut Joy card mat
• Exacto knife
• Cricut Joy weeding tool


Cricut Design Space lets you either make your own design or use designs that are already included in the app. Professional card designers like Anna Griffin have elements on there. As a side note, you can pay for a monthly subscription through Design Space, but it is not necessary to use the Cricut Joy.

It has access from tablets or other mobile devices via Bluetooth.

It's faster to make cards (for me) with the Cricut Joy than assembling ones solely by hand.

The application tells you when the blade or an accessory (like a marker or pen) needs changing and how to do it step-by-step.


The Cricut Joy mat is sticky, and it is sometimes hard to line up the cardstock on it.

The machine doesn't always cut though the cardstock (that's what the Exacto knife is for).

Even though the card mat is sticky, the cardstock may not stick completely so it can move while cutting (which can ruin the card). One way to fix this issue is to tape all four corners.

The Cricut Joy pens and markers can only be used with that particular machine.
Overall, the Cricut Joy works good for card making.
Matte white card with black, metallic elements. The word "congratulations" is in the middle in all caps. There is black-squiggle confetti and poppers around the word. The cards corners have black details.
P.S. The reason I didn't include the prices is because the prices differ depending on where you purchase the Cricut Joy.

Jennifer's note:  The lowest I've seen it go for is $130 USD without accessories. 

Friday, May 21, 2021

Man Made of Pills by Robert Allen

Once I was made of
blood and thought.
Now I am a man
made of pills.
8 soldiers
protect me;
tablets that make
the world simple.

Simple as a
maze or math.

Simple as pain
or a bruise.

Where do I stop and
pills start, what
is my true sensibility?
Only blood can tell.
I will wait for blood.
Biography:  Robert Allen lives and loves with his family in northern California, where he writes poetry, takes long walks, and looks at birds. 

Friday, May 14, 2021

Flower Paintings by Su Zi

Artist's note They are all painted plain aire, which means outside, and from live plants. The elephant flower was painted when I lived in New Orleans. Some of the others here in Florida—all from my garden. At one point of another, they have been exhibited.
Occasionally, one will sell. There are a few left for sale still.
A reddish yellow gladiola bloom stem is in the forefront of the image. The bottom flower is darker and wilted, but the flower above is vibrant and open. Two smaller flowers are above. The stem is two-tone green with grass-like leaves. The background is sepia. Composition is oil paint on board.
An elephant ear. Broad, textured leaves take up most of the left side of the picture. Below the leaves brown background. The flower is white and yellow, dipping and shaped a bit like a pea pod.
Brown and white background. A sunflower stands tall and open with dark yellow petals. The center has an orange outer circle, yellow inner, and green dots. There is one leaf on each side of the stem. The bottom of the sunflower looks like it has green roots in the shape of another leaf. The picture itself is framed. (Oil paint.)
Three purple flowers with brownish orange centers hang down. Angled, dark leaves hang down from the stems. The background is light with purple, yellow, and white streaked through. They are labeled as "echinacea".

Jennifer's note:  Su Zi is a visually-impaired artist.
Biography:  Su Zi is a poet/writer and artist/printmaker and edits, designs and constructs the eco-feminist poetry chapbook series Red Mare
Publications include poetry, essays, stories and reviews that date back to pre-cyber publishing, including when Exquisite Corpse was a vertical print publication, and a few editions of New American Writing. More recent publications include Red Fez, Alien Buddha and Thrice. A resident of the Ocala National Forest, with a dedicated commitment to providing a safe feeding respite for wild birds, and for a haphazard gardening practice that serves as a life model for all aspects of her work.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Cripendy Contest Winners for 2021

We had some stellar entries in our contest this year... and it's only the inaugural competition! Thank you all so much for making this a success.

First place:  "Blind Date" by Carol Farnsworth (felt/plush art)

Second place:  "Tide" by Ann Chiappetta (poem)

Third place:  "Dinosaur" by F.I. Goldhaber (poem)

Next month, each winner will have a post on the blog in order to highlight their work (with artist's note unless otherwise specified). Prizes will be sent to the winners by the end of May.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Carrying my Father's Silence by Nnadi Samuel

how warm you chew your tongue
into disremembering the taste of a dialect.
grief, the calm to soften your teeth,
& sponge a weak phrase to its neat wall of pink.

this is how you kill a mother's worth:
sludged wrists crushed to calories,
lost from ceaseless count of meals by how much 
her darkness shortchanges you.
your lips ramming into each other.

you braid your head into a migraine,
& let the style eat you.

silence, like a mohawk,
stands at ease.
getting my attention is one tough chore,
you could break your lips,
& still not get the dry sound to pulse me.

all my fun sides staked to claims:
that I feigned my father's accent,
& sighs are how he made words look like sin.

I am sifting into this new world,
skipping my meals,
becoming what I eat when I starve things of my lips.

I now lust for days when noise grooms my stature,
tongue amplified with the thirst for a crazy accent— 
this dialect that should know me.
Biography:  Nnadi Samuel holds a B.A in English & Literature from the University of Benin. He is a phonics tutor suffering from long depression & speech disorder. Winner of the Canadian Open Drawer Contest 2020 & Pushcart nominee. He is the author of Dumb Mandate (forthcoming). He reads for U-Right Magazine. He tweets @Samuelsamba10.