Showing posts with label Show all posts
Showing posts with label Show all posts

Monday, February 22, 2021

Vinyl on Enamel Sign : Forever Incomplete

This will be less of a tutorial post and more of a confessional one I guess the best way to describe it. If you want to skip to the creative part, it's at the bottom!

We were going through CDs, DVDs etc. deciding what to keep and get rid of and one of my favorite ones I kept was Alanis Morisette's "Flavors of Entanglement" which I hadn't listened to recently. It's fun to re-discover why you bought something and as I listened to it, purchased at a different time in my life, I realized why it spoke to me then, but I also realize how much I've grown and why it speaks to me still. 

In particular, one song stands out and it was the inspiration for this project: "Forever Incomplete". I'm now a "woman of a certain age". Young at heart but approaching 60. Seems so weird to write that since I'm fortunate that I get second looks when I give my birth date at the doctor or pharmacy. But facts as they say "is facts". I'm not a person who looks back with regrets but that doesn't mean I don't look back. 

Thirteen years ago when this album came out, I was at a different stage in my life. My son was just starting high school and I was then about 20 years into my career. Because of how life goes, my focuses and priorities were different then than they are now. I was still balancing work and family life. I was also still grappling with the self doubt and insecurities that had plagued me my whole life. 

I grew up, like many of us, with high expectations that I internalized A LOT. I put immense pressure on myself. To achieve academically. To be the best daughter, then wife and mother. To do well in my career and keep rising. To do and have it all and not realize what I was doing to myself in the process. 

It was around that time that I removed myself from my then company's "Top Talent" list. Something I'd been on virtually since I'd joined. I stopped being concerned with awards and recognition. OK a little...I'll always be competitive. That didn't mean I checked out workwise. Oh no. I was still putting in the hours, still hardest on myself, still afraid, as I have been my entire life, of failure. Pressure. Constant pressure. Put there mostly, but not entirely, by me. 

At that time, some of the songs on this CD spoke to me as someone struggling to figure out my life. If I wasn't going to push to become an Executive (the path I was on) then what? My child was getting older, my marriage was stable. I told myself my creative outlets were my therapy. But still...some confusion. some resentment, some sense of loss but of what, I didn't know. And I pushed those things out of my mind because who had time for that kind of self indulgence? So years went by. I continued to try to be the best of all my roles. 

When I turned 50 I said I would focus on me. Fits and starts and feelings of guilt and selfishness but slowly I kept at it. I'd get there right? There was an end point. Until there wasn't.  About 7 years ago, work, which had always been intense, went off the charts. Nothing was consistent except the constant change of leaders, teams, etc.  But hey, our family had its health, we were comfortable, son excelled in college and got accepted to five top tier PhD programs. Three years ago a major move to be closer to my mom. I just kept going. 

Last year  COVID came and really forced most if not all of us to really take a hard look at our priorities. Then my company moved almost all of the remaining jobs in my organization offshore and I found myself in retirement a couple of years earlier than planned during a global pandemic. Where am I going with all of this? 

That regardless of the plans we make or the direction we think we're headed life is never an orderly, bulleted list with a finite end point (OK yes, death!). And that is where I come back to this verse of the song "Forever Incomplete" that hit me and made me shout "YES!" in the car. 

I have been running so sweaty my whole life

Urgent for a finish line

And I have been missing the rapture this whole time of being forever



I realized that for as long as I can remember I've been chasing things. Running. HARD. Being a good student. Getting a good job. Getting married, having a family, doing well, etc. And life, at least mine, doesn't work like that. I've been on a journey  that may never be complete. I may or may not ever do all the things I want or am supposed to do. And it's OK. I realized that focusing on the next thing, I've at times along the way missed the joy aka the rapture of knowing that it may never be and just live. I say none of that to suggest that I haven't had a joyous life, but it lifted some inexplicable weight. Maybe pressure on myself that was always self inflicted. I've given myself the permission and freedom to just "be" and be incomplete. And it feels great!  

OK now to the project! 

  • Blank Enamel Sign ( Artist's Loft)
  • Silver Foil (JoAnn)
  • Oval Frame (
  • Electronic Cutting Machine (Cricut Explore Air 2)


I actually bought this blank sign a couple of years ago at Michaels so it's not a current item but there are similar ones online. It ended up becoming the lid of my trash can to keep my then very nosy puppy out because she was obsessed with anything inside! 

I purchased a collection of frames from which included this one. I flipped the image in Cricut Design Space and then chose a font, wrote out the lyrics I wanted to use, and cut using silver foil from my stash. 

Weeded and then applied the transfer tape and eyeballed the positioning on the sign and then that moment of pause before you adhere it, deep breath, hoping you got it centered! 

Peeled off the transfer tape and done!

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Black History Month: Honoring My History Vinyl on Glass


Everything I am, I owe to my ancestors. The courage it took to endure, survive, risk, and dream. So to honor and incorporate them into my art and my office, I made this piece and I'm so happy with how it turned out! 

  • Frame. I used an old one I had on hand
  • Image. I found one that looked enough like me at
  • Vinyl.  I used Oracal glossy black
  • Faux Leather. I used Cricut Silver
  • Rhinestones
  • Electronic Cutting Machine

I still have empty frames from our move a few years ago so I picked one of those to use. 

This one came with a beveled mat which I'll use for something else. I set it aside and cleaned the frame. To ensure it was secure without the additional thickness of the mat, I glued the edges in place. 

As I mentioned, I found this image at that I thought looked enough like me. When I showed the finished project to my husband he said "How'd you get your image?!" so I guess I chose wisely. I shared this with a friend and she said the same!

The Designbundles file shows the glasses and lips in red but since this was going on my cement focal wall and my actual glasses are grey, I went with silver faux leather and left the vinyl image all one color. My glasses are square but close enough! I uploaded the image into Cricut Design Space, sized, and cut. I  created the text in Design Space and cut. 

Apply the vinyl to the glass with transfer tape. Here I was a little careless and got some bubbles. While normally the perfectionist in my would have removed the vinyl and started over, since my hair is super curly I decided "texture" and popped some of the more noticeable ones with a pin, used my scraper to get the air out, and went with it. Since the faux leather isn't adhesive, I tacked down on top of the vinyl image with small dots of superglue. 

Both for the remaining bubbles and because I'm overdue coloring my roots, I added these variegated grey rhinestones randomly. Finally I applied the words. 

I left the frame as it was which is a light antique gold with "scratches" of black in it. 

My favorite kind of project since I had everything on hand! 

The faces of me

Black History is American History

Sharing At: 

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Holiday 2020: Pandemic Humor Ornaments


My humor tends towards the snark side so when I saw this collection of Pandemic themed quotes on it was perfect! This is actually what began my love of making Tile Ornaments. You can see more details here and here. Tis the season to make sure recipients who read your blog get them before you post! 

  • Satori Arabesque Tiles (Lowes)
  • SVG File (
  • Glossy Black Vinyl and Transfer Tape ( Cricut, JoAnn)
  • Ribbon
  • Glue Gun and Glue

  • Remove tile from backing, clean w/ alcohol or glass cleaner
  • Size and cut vinyl in your cutting machine's software...I used Design Space / Cricut Explore Air2
  • Weed vinyl and apply transfer tape
  • Apply to tile
  • Finish with ribbon hanger and bow

I kept these simple using black vinyl and black glitter ribbon. I was sending to different friends and black and white goes with any color theme. 

This one hits close to home since due to the pandemic, this will be the first Christmas we won't spend with our son because we are all in agreement about not traveling! So we each get one of these. I didn't include the laurels on his because he's kind of minimalist. Ours is on the tree. 

If you can't beat it, laugh at it! 

Monday, October 26, 2020

Fall Decor: Reverse Faux Stained Frame Canvas


OK let's speak truth. Coffee is calling me all year round, whether leaves are falling or not. But I was actually looking for something else when I "remembered" (aka this SVG file popped up and I'd forgotten) I had it. And a Reverse Canvas seemed like the perfect thing to do with it so I did!

If you're unfamiliar with Reverse Canvases ( because I've learned that not everyone can keep up on every DIY trend all the time) they are basically deconstructing a pre stretched canvas that you can get at any craft store and re-imagining them using the frame you don't normally see. Let's see what I mean!


  • 12x12 Canvas ( Michaels)
  • Vinyl ( I used a faux wood grain vinyl from JoAnn)
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Staple Gun
  • Utility Knife


The first and most tedious step is removing the staples from the back of your canvas. There will be swearing involved and you will end up searching online to see if there's any kind of tool that will do this better than your mini screwdriver, letter opener, plier combo. I think I may have found one at Lowes but I need to see it in person so I'll update on my next one of these! Back to this one. 

Next, you'll need to decide what you want on your canvas. I was originally going to do another "Fall" idea and then as mentioned, this one popped up and I changed my mind. You're allowed to do this. Especially when the nice people at keep having amazing and free bundles which is where I got the file for this one.  

Size in Cricut Design Space if you're using an Explore Air 2 like I did, or in your Silhouette SW if you're using a Cameo. Cut. Weed. Apply Transfer Tape. Set aside. 

Set your liberated canvas aside and decide what you want to do with your frame. You can leave naked, paint it, or stain it. I didn't have stain but wanted a stained look so I thinned some brown acrylic paint with water and winged it. You don't want to use the side from which you removed the staples. Flip that puppy over and use that side. 

Thin your paint with water, brush on, wipe off with a rag. If too much wipes off just repeat. You can either leave the staples in the corners as shown or as you'll see later, I added some giant rhinestones to cover. 

Now it's time to apply your vinyl to your canvas. Sorry for how dark this pic is. Ugh. 


Technically, your vinyl goes on the untreated side of the canvas in which case you really will want to use a heat transfer vinyl. When I do another one of these I'll remember that. Because I didn't. And I felt dumb. So I'm telling you this because I don't want you to feel dumb. But I didn't feel dumb for long because duh...flip the canvas over to the treated side and the non-heat transfer vinyl sticks just fine. 

Now you're ready to reunite the canvas and the frame. Here's where you need your staple gun!

Position your frame where you want it and I cheated and used a couple dabs of hot glue to keep it in place for when I flipped it back over to staple the frame. Then staple around the frame ( "Didn't you just remove all those staples?" asked Mr. Chocolate? "Go away"). You want to make sure your canvas is pulled taught. Almost done. The last thing you need to do is trim your canvas. 

When you remove the canvas from the frame you'll have excess since the canvas was folded over the back of the frame. Once you've stapled the frame back on, then go around the edges with a sharp knife to trim, 

I had these large rhinestones in my stash. They were actually brads, so I cut the pokey brad part off the backs and glued as shown with hot glue. Et voila!

Sharing At:

Monday, October 19, 2020

Halloween : Witch Switch Girlfriend Gifts and Haunting My House


Pre-pandemic when I would get together with girlfriends, I always liked to bring a little seasonal something. Makers love making things right?! So will we let a pandemic stop us from showing our friends that we love (and miss) them? No, we will NOT! That's what mail is for and I get to help out the USPS. 

In this project, I'll show you how to make your own crackled surfaces without needing a specific crackle medium. 

  • Wood Plaques ( Dollar Tree)
  • Acrylic Paints
  • White Glue
  • Vinyl ( I used Cricut's Glossy Black)
  • Cut File (I got this fun file from )
  • Wire
  • Ribbon

I found this pack of 6 wood plaques at Dollar Tree ( 4.25 x 4.25 ) and of course I now wish I'd bought several packages. 

Since we're crackling these, you want to start with the color you want to peek through the crackles. For all of these, that was black. 

I painted both sides and the edges so I'd have a finished look when done. 

For the crackle, all you need is some white school glue. I stock up on this during back to school when they're like $.50 a bottle. After your base coat is dry, cover with a medium layer of glue. Too thin, and it will dry too quickly. Too heavy and it takes longer. So in the middle!

Wait a a few minutes (or you can speed things up with a blow dryer on cool but you don't want to dry it completely) and then go over with your accent color. The important thing here is to only paint in one direction, don't go back and forth with the second color of paint. 

You can let the top coat air dry or you can be impatient like me and use a blow dryer. Now it's OK to use a warm setting which will help the crackling. Do NOT use a heat gun which will bubble your paint. 

I kept two of the signs black and white to match my friends style; others, I used different colors to match their styles but did another layer of glue and white paint. 

While your plaques are getting good and dry, you can cut your vinyl. I re-sized the file in Cricut Design Space and then cut using glossy black vinyl.

Take a Valium and weed your vinyl. Just kidding. I hate weeding like Indiana Jones hate snakes. Do some deep meditative breathing and keep telling yourself "My friends are worth it. My friends are worth it".  Then use transfer tape to apply your vinyl to your sign. 

To finish, I cut pieces of medium gauge wire and wrapped around a paint brush handle to curl. Glue to each end with hot glue. Make bows from black ribbon and glue atop where you glued the wire ends as shown. 

I was really happy to hear from the recipients that they liked them. For a couple this is their only Halloween decor this year because have you met 2020? 

I did decorate because no matter what, I like being surrounded by seasonal decor . It's kinda what we do right? So here is a glimpse at my "Haunted House". 

Entryway table with my Witch Hat Wreath, Upcycled Goodwill Candle Holders, Mackenzie Childs Pumpkins and Glam Skulls from this year's projects. 

I also did my coffee table:

And a Poe vignette in the fireplace we don't use! I made Mr. Skully's Hat years ago and it's held up. 

Even the light fixtures aren't safe. Gold and black tulle, Dollar Tree glitter skulls and skeletons. 

And while most of my Halloween decor is black, metallics, and neutrals, I did add some color with a Dia De Los Muertos corner: 

Michaels had this pretty striped ribbon on sale which I used as the inspiration for the banner and pinwheels. I cut the images (Silhouette Design Store) from metallic vinyl. The banner itself I cut using black and orange cardstock and then added a "papel picado" (pierce paper) feel using different punches. The pinwheels are Astrobrights paper and the black pom poms are Dollar Tree. 

Happy Haunting!