Showing posts with label vinyl. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vinyl. 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

incomplete


 


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! 

Supplies:
  • Blank Enamel Sign ( Artist's Loft)
  • Silver Foil (JoAnn)
  • Oval Frame (Designbundles.net)
  • 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 Designbundles.net 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!




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! 



Monday, October 8, 2018

Easy Paper Hoop Project : Halloween Edition


I was meeting a couple of girlfriends for Brunch and I always like to bring a little girlfriend gift. I whipped these up quickly because my week hadn't gone as planned and I didn't even take a pic of the "final final" so not even sure I should post but...

I was inspired by this Christmas idea from The How To Home

and have these planned for Christmas. But I thought "hey, I could do something easy peasy for Halloween" to take my friends. 

Supplies: 
  • 3" Wood Embroidery Hoops 
  • Paper of choice
  • Vinyl decal ( I cut mine using my Silhouette but you could use pre-made or use stickers or diecuts!)
  • Embellishments 



This was a great way to use some papers from prior Halloween cards. I chose two sheets , traced the outer hoop, and cut out the circles. 



Glue to the back of your hoop using hot glue.  I chose a Halloween themed image from the Silhouette Library and added each of their initials in the center. 


Applied the vinyl to the center of the hoops and voila! 

I finished these ( bad blogger...forgot to take a picture!!) with a black organza ribbon bow at the top and tied a Halloween themed enamel charm with black and white baker's twine. And me, being me, added a few clear sparkly rhinestones o the broom and monogram. Super easy. Super fast. And I think super cute!!





Sunday, October 8, 2017

Girlfriend Gift: Glass Block Sugar Skull


One of my girlfriends loves Sugar Skulls. Like she dressed as one for Halloween one year loves Sugar Skulls, so her birthday present was easy peasy this year...both the decision on what to make her and making it! 

I used a textured glass block that I had in my stash. I thought it was perfect for this since the texture reminded me of melted sugar. 

Supplies 
  • Glass Block ( you can find these at every craft store)
  • Black Vinyl
  • Misc. Embellishments ( I used cording, rhinestones, and tassels from  my stash)

I looked for and found a Sugar Skull image I liked in the Silhouette Online Store, purchased, and downloaded. Sized it, cut it and proceeded to do my least favorite thing in the crafting world, weeded it. 


Lots of little bits and pieces to make sure to remove but SUCCESS!


Centered and applied the vinyl. I cleaned the surface of the glass block with alcohol to make sure and get up any oils etc. so the vinyl would stick well. 

I debated about putting lights inside and tried it and decided I liked it better w/out the lights since they competed with the detail of the vinyl image.  Plopped the thingy that seals the opening into place ( and gave her the extra toppers that come w/ the glass block in case she wants to fill it with anything or add lights) and then finished off by tieing several types of ribbon and fiber around the block and finished it all off with a cluster of misc charms and beads. 


I also added some clear self adhesive rhinestones which are hard to see because they blend into the glass. They stand out much better in person. 


To package it, I pulled some paper scraps from my stash and cut out some flowers using a Tim Holtz die. Repurposed a kraft paper bag using the papers, flowers and some of the Washi tape that was part of my last year's birthday present from the same girlfriend.  She knows me too well because look what she gave me this year: 


SWOON! A collection of gorgeous papers in my favorite colors to play with! See that Sugar Skull paper? Yep it will be coming to another gift for her lol.




Wednesday, August 23, 2017

What Good Are (Altered) Wings Wall Art


I teased these when I shared my last project: Another Altered Cabinet Door. I might need to change my blog name to something w/ "altered" in it . 


I saw these wood wings earlier in the year at Michaels when they first came in and went back and forth on them mostly because they had a whole selection of different wings and I couldn't decide. That became easier when after procrastinating, there were fewer to choose from but the ones that remained were 70% off. Score! I mean they were originally only $19.99 but I got them for $5.99. Deal. 

Supplies: 
  • Wooden Wings
  • Acrylic Paint
  • White Glue
  • Leafing Glue
  • Silver Leaf
  • Vinyl Quote
  • Misc. Embellishments 
I had all of the other supplies in my stash which Mr. Chocolate calls "The Michaels Annex".


Paint with your basecoat color of choice. I used Craftsmart gray. Since I'm partial to a chippy / shabby / crackled look, I didn't care about complete coverage. 


If you prefer a more opaque look, go over w/ another coat. 

Did a combination of my fave white glue crackle and dry brushing over the grey using white acrylic paint. While the paint was drying, I laid out my quote in my Silhouette software and cut w/ my Cameo. The quote is by the poet Atticus: 

This is the same font I used for my vinyl ( it's called Ambrosia) and of course now I don't remember where I downloaded it from!  

I cut out my quote using black matte vinyl and since I'm easily frustrated w/ vinyl projects and inevitably muck something up that results in swear words , I trimmed the words into individual pieces to minimize the muck up opportunity. 


This also made it easier to lay out the words. Once I was happy with where I wanted them, I applied them to the wings. 


Never content to leave anything alone ( what fun is that?!) I decided to add some silver leaf to the tips of the wings and pulled out this pair of plaster wings I had in my stash, along w/ some adhesive rhinestone swirls. 

Metallic leafing is such a rich accent. I love adding bits and pieces of it to things. You need a good leafing glue ( called size) and I like the Mona Lisa brand. Basically paint where you want your leafing to go using the glue, wait 20-30 min (weather conditions matter so if hot, shorter time) until tacky and then apply your leafing. You can find many tutorials on how to use metal leafing on Pinterest and You Tube so won't go into that here. 



It hangs in our entryway which I pass everyday on my way to my office and it's a great reminder to me to be fearless, try new things, challenge myself. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Signs of Halloween


Even though I thought I was done w/ my Halloween decorating, I went on a little bit of a sign making binge while we were on storm watch this weekend.  Being cooped up in the house is a good way to do some stash busting! 



These were all made from inexpensive things I'd picked up along the way and done the same way. Paint and vinyl. Easy peasy. 





Supplies:

  • Wood pieces to paint
  • Craft paints in colors of choice
  • Vinyl
  • Vinyl cutter
  • Misc. embellishments


For the "Wicked" sign, I started with a plain wood box I found at DAISO ( Japanese Store where pretty much everything's $1.50). 

The large Broom sign was one of those " no idea what I'm going to do with this but it's $.99" sale finds at Michaels.

The three piece Broom sign was from a bag of wood pieces bought on another trip to Michaels. 


The process is the same for all the signs. Paint, dry brush, apply vinyl. 

Paint with the basecoat color of your choice ( I used Folk Art Titanium White and Extreme Glitter White;  Martha Stewart Metallic Gold ) . For the white signs, apply one or two coats of the plain white and then one coat of the glitter white. For the Wicked sign , two coats of the gold paint. When dry, dry brush lightly with black paint. 


Either while you're waiting for your paint to dry or the power to go out, cut your vinyl. I used images from the Silhouette store and cut on my Cameo.  When your signs are dry, weed and apply your vinyl.