Monday, November 30, 2020

Holiday 2020: Using Creativity to Give Back


Happy Crunch Time Makers! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and now we are full speed ahead towards the December holidays! I've been having such fun Elfing in my workshop and once I get a few things off in the mail can share some more projects but I can share a few things I've made to show our appreciation to some of our local favorites. This year with the pandemic especially, I am passionate about being grateful and showing appreciation to people who've been there and kept us going. 

I'm also going to share my latest obsession...making Quatrefoil Tile Ornaments. I know these have been popular this season and I too am hooked! 

Like so many, we've limited our eating out because of COVID but we have a local place that offers to go or outside dining. It's been important to us since we live in a small town to support local businesses so this set is for our fave little place called The Grotto Cafe which is part of an art enclave called The Red Truck Trading Company so you can see the obvious theme here! 

We also have a local coffee roastery called ROC2 or Roastery of Cave Creek where my husband gets his coffee beans. They do all of their roasting on site and small town living being what it is, they even use an honor system for their coffee locker. You pick up your beans and slide your money through the slot! 

Being a Seattle girl, Starbucks is in my blood. Literally. If you cut me, I will bleed a non-fat iced mocha, no whip. So while not a local company, my local go to location has the nicest baristas who always have my mobile order ready and are always so cheerful!

I have a few more of these to make but wanted share. Retail and restaurant workers have hard jobs, made harder this year by extreme conditions. I know these are small things but hopefully they will know how much we appreciate them! 

OK now for the tutorial on the ornaments! 

Supplies: (This is going to assume some basic knowledge of working with vinyl) 
  • Digital Cutting Machine and Cut Files. I used my Cricut Explore 2. For the Red Truck ornament and card, I had this image already in my Design Space software and created the sentiment using same. For the Coffee themed ornaments, I used this SVG file from Creative Fabrica
  • Vinyl and Transfer Tape (Green and red vinyl, Expressions Vinyl ; Black Cricut Glossy)
  • Satori Quatrefoil Ornaments. Lowes, $5.98 for a sheet of 15! 
  • Ribbon for bows and hanging
  • Glue gun and glue sticks

These are the Satori tiles I used. They come on a netting that pulls right off the back easily. If you look on Pinterest or different SVG and Graphics sites, you may also see them referred to as Arabesque tiles. They're glazed porcelain so you get a very smooth finish on which to apply the vinyl. They could also be painted or you can use paint pens or Sharpies with a sealer. 

Clean your tile with alcohol or glass cleaner to remove any packing residue, fingerprints etc. Size, cut, and weed your vinyl in your machine's software (eg Design Space or Silhouette Studio).

 Apply transfer tape and position on the tile before you use your scraper to apply pressure to ensure the vinyl transfers. 

There are many ideas of how to apply hangers to these tiles. I remembered too late that I had some flat bails in my jewelry making supplies which would work or you can use wire or as I did, ribbon. I've read some tutorials of people who drilled holes through them but you need special drill bits etc. and I didn't want to deal w/ that! I also didn't finish the backs of my tiles.  I thought I was going to but when the netting came off easily and the back wasn't messy looking, I skipped it. Others have painted, applied vinyl or felt to the back. 

I cut a length of 1/8" ribbon and hot glued to the center of the tile as shown. Then using another piece of ribbon (the black ribbon shown below), placed a dab of glue on the front of the tile, wrapped it around to the back and glued down. To finish, I made a ribbon bow and hot glued to the front. 

I love the shape of these tiles and trust me, there are a TON of cut files out there designed specifically for these! 

Until next time! 

Thursday, November 26, 2020

BFF Open House Happy Thanksgiving


First of all, whether you're celebrating Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, or flying solo this year, I'm thankful that each week you all choose to spend a little time here sharing your talent and creativity and hope you've had a peaceful day. As we gear up for peak Maker season, I also hope you remember to get some rest and practice self care! 

Let's see some ideas from last week's party!

Lisa from Fresh Vintage by Lisa S shared a fabulous way to use gift bags as art. There are so many beautiful ones out these days in every style and color palette! 

I think most of us have made paper snowflakes in our lives but Priyam from Simple Joys has taken this idea to an elegant grown up level with these paper medallions. A bunch of these as a garland or hanging from a light fixture would transform a space into a Winter Wonderland! You also need to see her paper Christmas Trees! 

I'm old school and still make all my Christmas and Hanukkah cards and always appreciate the beauty of a handmade card, such as this one from Linda at Paper Seedlings. Layered with multiple elements, this is one that the recipient will truly feel special to receive. 

Finally, these Rose Frosted cookies from Family Cookie Recipes are so elegant and pretty. I need to up my cookie game! 

OK now that you're stuffed, let's see what you've been up to this week! 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Monday, November 23, 2020

Holiday 2020: Dollar Tree Sign-A-Palooza


On one of my strategically planned outings out of the house and to The Dollar Tree, I picked up these fun holiday signs to play with and I had tons of fun with them! I'm really happy with how they turned out and how they'll fit in with my Christmas decor!

  • Crafter's Square Signs from Dollar Tree
  • Acrylic Paints ( I used Craftsmart and Artist's Loft from Michaels)
  • White Glue and Quilling Paper for Snowflake
Merry Sign: 

I have different spots using different colors in my Christmas decor and Black and White fits right in. For this one, I painted the sign Black as a base coat: 

Then taped off my stripes using painter's tape:

and added the white stripes. Once this was dry, I taped off vertical lines (not pictured) and also painted those white. 

TIP: Start your taping in the center of whatever you're working on and work outward / up or downward from there. This helps make your plaid look more even. 

Peace Sign: 

I used the same process except for this one I went with a white and gold palette. This will go perfectly with a Mackenzie Childs Ornament I have and designed it with that in mind to go on a table where I usually place that.

This one I did the base coat white and then following the same process went over with gold. 

Snowflake Sign

I had a little accident with this one and broke one of the ends. So I adapted my original plan for this to conceal my glue it back together job, using my tried and true White Glue Crackle technique which you can read more about here. "Happy Accidents" are a Maker's best friend!

I painted this with a couple coats of white, then the glue, then a metallic turquoise. 

See? The "Ooops" is gone. I did another layer of the crackle technique...more glue, then white paint and went in the opposite direction of the turquoise. 

Next I Quilled a bunch of coils in different sizes and arranged them into a snowflake before gluing them to my sign: 

This helps ensure your pattern is what you want before you commit to glue!

I would say this was $3 well spent! 

Thursday, November 19, 2020

BFF Open House


Happy Friday Eve all! Can you believe American Thanksgiving is one week away?! Me either. And then Hanukkah will be upon us and before you know it Christmas and then we can all celebrate saying goodbye to 2020! 

Let's take a look at some Thanksgiving and Christmas ideas from last week's party! 

Take a look at these GORGEOUS Fallen Leaf Luminaries from Satsuma Designs

If you want a different take on an Advent or Countdown to Christmas calendar, Birds Party has you covered with this adorable Christmas Village Advent Calendar! The colors and style are fabulous! 

These Shabby Chic Fabric Hearts from Coastal Bohemian are wonderful as year round ornaments or to make as gifts or could easily be adapted to be Christmas themed!

Finally, this Apple Honey Crisp from Jodie Fitz would be a lovely Thanksgiving dessert and individual servings make it perfect if you're trying to distance! YUM! 

Now let's see what all of you creative people have been up to this week ! 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Cricut Foil Tool: Thanksgiving 2020 Cards


This week's BFF Open House Link Party continues here

I've had a fun week getting started on some Christmas and Hanukkah projects but today I'm sharing the cards I made for friends and family for Thanksgiving. For us, this year won't be much of a chance. PhD Man hasn't come home for Thanksgiving since undergrad since he comes for an extended stay over Christmas. Hoping that's the case this year! But, I know for many this will be a different Thanksgiving as we continue to make our way through this pandemic. Since I've always been remote from a lot of friends and family for whom I'm thankful, I've always made cards to send to them. 

  • Marsh Flower Stack (Michaels)
  • Recollections Gray, Cream, Brown 110lb Cardstock (Michaels)
  • Cricut Foil Tool for Cricut Explore Air 2 or Cricut Maker
  • Cricut Foil
  • Gold Foil Cardstock ( Recollections, Michaels)
  • Tape Gun and Foam Tape

I found this paper pad during one of Michaels "Buy One, Get Two Free" promotions on their Hot Buy papers and decided I really loved these colors and patterns for Thanksgiving cards. 

I've been anxious to use the new Cricut Foil Transfer Kit I ordered in October, I'd already done my Halloween cards so I knew I was going to use it for my Thanksgiving cards. If you have a Cricut Explore or Maker YOU NEED THIS TOOL!  It works with the Cricut foil which is pressure based vs some foils that interact with a medium. This kit comes with three tip sizes which easily pop in and out of the housing which in turn pops easily in and out of the machine.  

It was very straightforward to use. Follow the instructions that come with it or there are multiple tutorials on You Tube

The first thing to decide is your design. I went with a simple "Thankful" word and simple leaves and designed this in Cricut Design Space. Right in the SW you can choose "Foil" which makes things easy. 

The kit comes with a selection of different foils but I also bought a standalone pack of 12x12 gold foil since I knew I'd be foiling all the things! You place what you want to foil, in this case I used a self adhesive cardstock on your mat then this is the only tricky part: you lay the foil on top and then tape down the edges either with the tape strips that come with the foil packs or you can also use Washi tape. It is important to make sure your foil is taut since the tool will tug on it a bit so lock it down! 

Once your machine is done, peel back the foil and look how cool!  I then cut these into the sizes I needed for my cards, mounted on gold mirror panels, and mounted in the middle of my cards. 

The Marsh Flower paper collection already had some foiled papers so these coordinated nicely. I selected my papers and cut out panels to make my cards: 

  • 5x7 Cards made from 110lb cardstock
  • 4.75 x 6.75 panels made from selection of papers with another layer cut 3.5x5.5 and mounted on gold foil panels cut 3.75x5.75
  • "THANKFUL" focal adhered with foam tape
  • Layer as shown 

This tool is a game changer for me and I'm sure I don't yet know in how many ways!