Monthly Archives

May 2017

In Cardmaking, DIY, Silhouette on
May 30, 2017

Oh Snap! Thank You Card

 

Our littlest is 18 months old and we just had our first full family photo shoot #secondchildproblems

A few weeks ago, Keri of Keri Hatcher Photography was in town and we knew we had to get photos taken by her again because she is just amazing at capturing fun, candid family photos. What was supposed to be a 30-minute mini session became an hour long and none of us even realized that because we were having a blast. My kids were eating up the spotlight (candy treats also helped!) and I can’t wait to see how they turned out!

To thank Keri and her incredible talent, I created this simple thank you card. The design of this card is unique in that it doesn’t have a thank you “greeting.” Instead, I let the fun patterned background paper speak for itself. Sometimes, it’s nice to make a card that isn’t so straightforward. This forces the recipient to visually examine the card and enjoy all the various parts that make up the whole card. I always try to personalize the cards I make so it was only appropriate to add a camera cutout (Silhouette Design ID #47198 by the ever-talented Lori Whitlock). Lastly, I can never pass up the chance to do a play on words so I created “Oh snap!” within Silhouette Studio using Bebas and Bernadette fonts.

 

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In Silhouette on
May 29, 2017

Meet Silhouette CAMEO

So, now that you know my five Ws…my W for you is Why Not get yourself a Silhouette CAMEO cutting machine?

With a small blade, this incredible machine can cut over 100 materials, including paper, cardstock, heat transfer and adhesive vinyl, as well as fabric up to 12 inches wide. For me, as a busy mama, the Silhouette CAMEO has saved me time and from getting calluses (goodbye cutting circular or intricate cupcake toppers by hand)!

These are some things I have made with my cutting machine:

  • Lots of handmade cards
  • Custom t-shirts for my kiddos and friends
  • Personalized teacher appreciation gifts
  • Personalized birthday favor labels and gift tags
  • Wedding and birthday cake script toppers
  • Wedding framed “guestbook”
  • Custom return address labels
  • Wall decals for my son’s big boy bedroom
  • Cutout Christmas photo cards

Got two minutes? Grab a bowl of popcorn, watch this video, and meet your newest best friend! 🙂

 

Mamas, stop cutting those cupcake toppers by hand…let Silhouette do it for you!

Teachers, use Silhouette for classroom decor and organization!

Brides, DIY your wedding to the max with Silhouette!

Fixer Upper enthusiasts, you can design your own farmhouse wood signs!

Dudes, you can make that cool decal for your car you’ve always wanted!

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In Uncategorized on
May 27, 2017

Who? What? Where? When? Why?

The five W’s. There’s no better way to get to know me and story behind this blog.

Who?  Like my blog’s sidebar says, my name is Christine and I’m a creator/maker/DIYer. My mind is constantly filled with ideas, some of which I forget as soon as a new idea pops into my head. This limited brain capacity appears to be the result of being a mama of a boundary-pushing preschooler and a curious toddler who thinks she’s 10. Thank goodness for the Notes app on my smartphone. I eat to stay sane so you’ll find my pantry stocked with anything from Trader Joe’s and lots of chips.

What?  This blog is my space to share my crafting/creating passion. I love taking ideas in my head and physically or visually creating them into actual pieces. As you may have already seen in the previous posts, my Silhouette CAMEO machine is my best friend. My goal is to share creative projects for both beginner and seasoned crafters. Did you know I had my Silhouette CAMEO sitting in a box for nearly four months because I was terrified of learning how to use it?! Yes, there is a learning curve but so does everything else in this life, right? I hope to bridge this gap in some sort of Silhouette 101 series down the road so stay tuned for that! Other things you will see on this blog are project tutorials, graphic design, printables, and everyone’s favorite…freebies! 😀

Where? I live in sunny San Diego where we are famous for fish tacos but not major league sports. I have a craft space…in the kitchen. Yup, that’s right. This mama can cook, bake, craft, keep an eye on the kids who have their eyes on the TV…all in one space. Truthfully, my original craft room became my son’s big boy bedroom which is A-OK with me because kids sleeping comfortably and through the night is pretty high on my priority list. #momgoals

When?  I started crafting at a young age because you get bored as little kid (only child) with not many toys. No toys, no problem. I tried making my own marble runs with toilet paper rolls (my mom wasn’t too thrilled I would use wads of toilet paper just to get to the roll). I didn’t even know I was scrapbooking until the mother of my college boyfriend (now husband) said it when I gave him a goodbye “yearbook” after our first year in college. That, my friends, was the point of no return.  🙂

Why?  So, this actually isn’t my first craft blog. I abandoned my first blog when baby number 1 came along. I was in the trenches as a first time mom. Fast forward four years and a lot has changed. Baby number 1 is no longer a baby and keeps me busy (read: he no longer naps!). Baby number 2 joined the circus family. In January of this year, I quit my nine-year A&E marketing career. Despite all these changes, one thing always remained and it was my desire to create and craft. After my not-quite-mid-life crisis resigning in January, I submitted an application to become a member of the Silhouette Design Team. Folks, I prepared that application like it was a Harvard college application. Those long hours paid off because I was accepted and am now a member of the 2017-2018 Silhouette Design Team! Woohoo Christine but what does this mean? This means I will be a blog contributor at Silhouette’s Blog writing 1-2 posts per month starting next month! If you follow me on Instagram, I will let you know when my guest blog post is up.

If you are already following me on Instagram, you will have noticed more craft-related posts so #sorrynotsorry Even though I have a somewhat loose affiliation with Silhouette, I have always been a huge promoter of their products, specifically the CAMEO cutting machine. This year would be my fourth year using it and I have made so many fun, one-of-a-kind, and practical creations! I can’t wait to try new projects and share them all with you! 🙂

 

 

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In Graphic Design, Weddings on
May 25, 2017

Sam + Will Wedding Stationery Collection

A dear friend of mine, Samantha, married her sweetheart William earlier this year and I was so honored to play a part of her wedding as both wedding coordinator and stationery designer! I have created wedding print items in the past for previous clients but never a full collection that included Save the Date Postcards, Table Signs, and Wedding Invitations. I even created the couple’s wedding logo, which was sprinkled throughout the wedding decor so that it pulled together a cohesive look. Since I was their wedding coordinator, I understood their overall wedding design vision and was able to translate that into the stationery aesthetics. Their wedding took place at Ace Hotel, a modern retro boutique hotel nestled near the base of the majestic Palm Springs mountains.

Table Signs
The couple’s favorite and memorable cities were the inspiration for the table signs. The design was simple to suit the style of the wedding and the colors used were from the wedding palette. Lastly, the opaque geometric background pattern not only provides subtle visual interest but it pulls in that retro factor to match the venue’s ambiance.

Table Sign for Bride’s Best Friends (aka Bridesmaids). Photo by April Smith Photography

 

Couple’s Wedding Logo
Emphasis on geometric shapes were used throughout, especially hexagons and triangles. The couple’s wedding logo features a double hexagon framing their initials and wedding date. I loved how well the brush script harmonized with the hexagon’s clean lines. I feel like you can’t have one design element without the other, or if you went with one style, how differently the overall logo would feel/look.

Couple’s Wedding Logo featured on matchbook favors. Photo by April Smith Photography

 

Wedding Logo on Bean Bag Toss

 

Wedding Invitations
Sam, Will, and I went through a couple iterations with the main wedding invitation and I am SO thrilled how it turned out in the end! The circular design softened the angular geometric background. The mix of fonts was a playful touch. On the back, we highlighted local points of interest with the use of vector images. The RSVP postcard was a simple way to minimize extra inserts in the invitation suite. The couple loved receiving RSVPs with fun little drawings and wedding wishes from loved ones.

 

 

Photo by April Smith Photography

 

Wedding season is pretty good year-round here in Southern California but many couples like to take advantage of the summer breaks and long sunny days so we are entering peak wedding season. If you are engaged or know a couple who will be tying the knot, send me a message at studioxtine[at]gmail.com…I’d love to help create a story through personalized wedding stationery!

 

 

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In DIY, Freebies, Graphic Design on
May 21, 2017

Graduation/Encouragement Print (FREEBIE!)

 

It’s graduation season! <cue “Pomp and Circumstance” song>

Although I personally don’t have any close friends or family graduating this year, I know next year will be a whole different story as my firstborn will graduate from preschool…um, where did the time go?! Please check in with me this time of year next year…I may be a hot mess.

When I look back at my school days, even as far back as elementary school, I remember certain instances when I questioned my ability, intelligence, or confidence. Each new challenge seemed daunting and I wondered how I would get through it. Obviously, I managed to tackle the hurdles, sometimes miraculously leaping over them and other times tumbling my way through but I somehow always ended back on my feet. This ebb and flow pattern continues strongly in the parenting life and I have to constantly remind myself that I am enough by remembering what I have gone through for the past 30+ years. As a parent now, I hope to instill this self-awareness and confidence to my children early on.

I came across this beautiful quote from A.A. Milne, author of Winne the Pooh, and it just stopped me in my tracks. I love how it affirms the reader that he/she “is” braver/stronger/smarter/loved versus “will be” or “can be” braver/stronger/smarter/loved. It draws out the truth that already lives deeply within each one of us.

If you know someone who is graduating or just needs some encouragement, please print out one of these! Better yet, frame it and it becomes a perfect wall art gift! I think I will put one in each of my kiddos’ rooms.

This is my first freebie and it comes in three colors (black, coral pink, and steel blue). They are 8×10 prints and available in both PNG and PDF formats. I hope you like them! 🙂

Black [click to download PNG] or [click to download PDF]

Coral Pink [click to download PNG] or [click to download PDF]

 

Steel Blue [click to download PNG] or [click to download PDF]

 

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In Birthday, Cardmaking, DIY, Silhouette on
May 17, 2017

Pineapple Shaker Card

 

A week ago, I arrived on the beautiful island of Oahu. I soaked up the sun and ate my way through Waikiki (I had no car otherwise I would have hit up North Shore shrimp trucks or Island Snow shaved ice in Kailua)! I felt my pants were getting tighter each day because I just kept eating and eating. #noregrets

Hawaii appears to be the place to be as my mother-in-law was also in town to celebrate her birthday! Um, can I go somewhere fabulous for my birthday every year? Sigh! Soooo, it was only fitting to make a fun tropical-style birthday shaker card! Shaker cards really take your handmade cards to the next level. Not only is it fun to shake as if it was a maraca, it looks fancy-schmancy (aka it looks like you spent hours on it but ya didn’t!).

Never made a shaker card? For those with a Silhouette cutting machine, follow along this tutorial to see how easy it is!

Supplies needed:

  • Download Silhouette Design ID #83612 by talented Amy Robison (whom I met on my Silhouette Summit trip!)
  • Download Silhouette Design ID #192829 by Daniela Moscone
  • Cardstock in green, coral, khaki, and white
  • Patterned cardstock (for card base) or feel free to use anything you have
  • Shaker filler materials
    • I used sequins in gold, silver, light pink light orange
    • Tiny rhinestones. I used a mix of Silhouette rhinestones and leftover ones I purchased from Michaels
  • Dimensional adhesive
  • Fabric or regular washi tape
  • Brown fine-tip marker
  • Clear acetate. (HACK: This is going to sound weird but it’s resourceful…I use the clear acetate that comes with dimensional stickers or clear stamps. Be sure to use ones that are truly clear and unblemished.)
  • Foam tape (I purchased this one which is available in many local stores)
  • Tape runner (this is my go-to crafting adhesive)

 

Make the card base:

  • This is a standard 4.25″ wide x 5.5″ tall card. So the card base measures 8.5″ wide by 5.5″ high and then folded in the middle.

Make the white cutout layer:

  • In Silhouette Studio, cut a 4.125″ wide x 5.375″ high rectangle. Then, drop in Design ID#83612.
  • Right click on the design and “ungroup” the various pieces. Delete the middle and left pieces. What you have left is the pineapple top (the stem) and pineapple bottom.
  • This step is optional: I modified the pineapple top by deleting (anchor) points near the bottom to give it a shorter “stem”
  • Next, move the pineapple top so that it rests right above the pineapple bottom (the oval shape). Right click to group.
  • Then, resize the grouped pineapple piece so that it would be almost as tall as the card.
  • Ungroup the pineapple piece and “cut” the pineapple top” and “paste” onto a blank Silhouette file. This is because we want the pineapple top to be cut on a different paper. *See last step*
  • Now, you should be left with just a rectangle and the oval-shaped pineapple bottom. This will be your “shaker window.”
  • Using white cardstock, send to Silhouette with the appropriate cut settings.

Make the background design for the shaker window:

  • I used leftover yellow scrap paper that was larger than the shaker window
  • Center your cutout layer on top of the card base to determine where to place the yellow scrap paper underneath. Once you find the perfect spot, use tape runner to adhere the yellow scrap paper to the card base.
  • Next, set your cutout layer down over the card base+yellow scrap paper. Hold down firmly so that the cutout layer doesn’t move.
  • Take the brown fine-tip marker and draw in pineapple design on the yellow scrap paper. Be careful not to run marker too close to the cutout layer otherwise marker will bleed onto the white cutout paper.

Create shaker window:

  • Trim the plastic acetate if necessary. Ideally, it should be 0.5″ larger than the cutout.
  • Apply tape runner to the inside perimeter of the cutout
  • Set the plastic acetate on top and press firmly. Tada! You’ve created your shaker window!

Add shaker filler material:

  • On the background design, glue on a few rhinestones and sequins. These will be static embellishments. Why?? The reason why I do this is because it keeps the card visually interesting. Otherwise, all the sequins are all bunched up on the bottom of the shaker window.
  • Next, cut little strips of the adhesive foam tape and place them on top of the plastic acetate, following the oval shape of the cutout.
    • TIP: Offset the strips about 0.125″ from the cutout edge so that you don’t see the foam tape from the front of the window.
    • TIP: Make sure to have the foam tape pieces touch from one end to another. This way the shaker filler won’t fall out of the window.
  • On the background design, drop in your filler materials. I used sequins of various sizes and colors.  Make a little pile in the middle of the background design.
  • Take your cutout layer that now has the foam tape and set it over the card base.
  • Press firmly where the adhesive foam tape is to securely close the shaker window.
  • Add adhesive foam tape as necessary at the corners of the cutout layer. This will make your entire cutout layer “pop” from the card base.
  • Once you have ensured your shaker window is secure, shake your card to see the filler material move around inside the window. Fun, right?!

Add final embellishments:

  • On top of the shaker window, add a strip of washi tape. I used fabric because it was a new material I wanted to try out and I like how it brings a different texture to the card
  • The circular “have a sweet birthday” tag was created using Silhouette’s Print and Cut feature. Adhere to card with dimensional adhesive to give it a layered look.
  • Next, cut and add two hibiscus flowers and tropical leaf from Design ID #192829 to tie in the tropical theme.
  • Lastly, remember when we saved the pineapple top (stem) onto a separate Silhouette design file? Cut the design using the same green paper as the tropical leaf. Use adhesive tape runner to adhere it above the shaker window (pineapple bottom).

 

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In Cardmaking, DIY, Holidays, Silhouette on
May 12, 2017

Happy Mother’s Day Cards

 

Mother’s Day is three days away but I’ve already treated myself by flying off to Hawaii to attend the Silhouette Summit 2017 conference in beautiful Waikiki, Hawaii! This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I wasn’t going miss it! I’ll be blogging more later about what I learned today, which is A LOT! A whole lot of GOOD stuff!

So that meant I had to get crackin’ on making some Mother’s Day cards before I left!

The one on the left is for my incredible mother-in-law or as the kiddos call her “Oma.” Inside the car, I took a stab at hand lettering and wrote “You are a “mom” to all of us!” <cue the tears> This little phrase ties in the scrabble tiles on the front of the card. I used dimensional adhesive to make the scrabble tiles “pop” thus creating visual interest.

The card on the right is for my sweet mom who loves gardening. So, I personalized her card with a floral background paper along with a flower embellishment. The ready-made graphic can be found here on the Silhouette Design Store. My newest addition to my craft supplies is fabric washi tape. I love that it added subtle texture to the card!

To all the mamas out there…Happy Mother’s Day!

 

 

 

 

 

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In DIY, Graphic Design on
May 7, 2017

Words of Affirmation Print

 

I’ve been sharing many projects made by my Silhouette machine but some of my other creative projects are made using graphic design software like Adobe InDesign or Illustrator. Here is one of my favorite projects, a customized print featuring “words of affirmation” to describe a person. In my opinion, I think women, especially moms, are hard on ourselves which results in negative words swirling in our heads about our identity, worth, and purpose.

These prints were created for two wonderful women who were my table leaders at my local MOPS chapter (Mothers of Preschoolers, www.mops.org). I asked the other mamas at my table to provide a few words to describe each one of them and what you see is a beautiful piece of art speaking truth and love. Each line (or two) came from each mom and as the one who collected everyone’s words, it was really interesting to see how many of the same or similar words were reiterated. I mean, how much more truth do you need to believe in yourself? Do you know someone who needs to hear words of affirmation? Put together a print like this to encourage and empower your loved ones!

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, this would be a quick project to whip up! Ask your siblings/children to come up with words to describe their mom!

 

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In DIY on
May 3, 2017

Custom Return Address Labels

 

You know what can put a damper on your day….running out of return address labels! Of all things! They’re one of those things that you don’t really ever think about but still a necessity! I love my self-inking stamps but for smaller envelopes, you just need the good ‘ol labels. Why am I rambling about the most random topic you ask? I ran out of my return address labels the other day but needed some ASAP! Silhouette to the rescue!

I use Silhouette’s White Sticker Paper for a lot of different projects as you saw on the Birthday Card + Sticker Combo project. So, why not use it for practical home needs?

This is one of my favorite projects thus far because I can create a variety of designs I actually like vs getting multiple sheets of one design that I only like for a month. #creativepeopleissues  I also love that by using the Silhouette cutting machines I can create labels of any shape!

 

Supplies needed:

  • Visit the Silhouette Design Store for cute designs. You can filter your search by choosing “Print & Cut” under “Cut Type” for ready-to-go graphics. If you choose one that is not Print & Cut, no big deal! You can color in your design using the “Fill Color” and “Line Color” options. For mine, I chose Design ID #181693 and made some modifications which I explain below in the “Follow these steps” section.
  • Silhouette White Sticker Paper (remember to also use promo code 10OFF)
  • Color Printer

 

Next, follow these steps to make yourself cute return address labels for real happy mail:

  • To re-create the cactus labels I made:
    • Open Design ID #181693. Right click and ungroup. I did not use the middle cactus so deleted it from my design.
    • You will notice each cactus has a hole at the top because these are originally created as tags. To remove the tag hole, select one cactus and right click and ungroup. This will separate the colored cactus image from the red cut line border (that has the tag hole).
    • Right click on the red cut line and choose “Release Compound Path” and delete the inner red circle of the tag hole. See picture below.
      • DID YOU KNOW? You can quickly zoom in by holding down ALT on your keyboard and scrolling on your mouse! I love shortcuts! 🙂

 

  • Next, right click again on the red cut line and choose “Edit Points” See screenshot below.

 

  • Delete the points on the tag hole red line to create a border that wraps around the cactus. This may require adjusting the blue point handles, which I’ve circled with a yellow circle in the screenshot below

 

  • For the remaining cactus piece, I removed the red cut line entirely because it was going to serve as “clipart” within my return address label design.
  • Next, I created the main label piece by creating a rectangle approximately 2″ wide and 0.5″ tall. I set it off to the side on my drawing area in Silhouette Studio®.
  • I resized the cactus pieces until I liked how it looked on the rectangle label. There’s lots of freedom to do whatever you like here! I purposely let my taller cactus overlap the rectangle so that I would have a uniquely shaped label.
  • asdfa
  • Next, I clicked on both the cactus red cut line and the rectangle. Then, chose “Weld” in the Modify window. See picture below. Tada! You’ve created your label shape!

  • Almost there folks, hang in there! Now, time for your address info!
    • Add your text. For some fonts (mostly script fonts), you will need to weld so that it becomes one piece.
    • Really important step here! Be sure to choose “No Cut” under “Cut Settings.” You simply want this text printed not printed+cut. See screenshot to see where you can find the “No Cut” setting
    • Lastly, fill in text using “Fill Color” and “Line Color”…whatever you choose here is whatever your printer will print. A suggestion: I would choose a dark color for your text so that it’s legible since these labels are fairly small.
  • Once you’re done creating your label, group it!
  • Next, set your Registration Marks so you know where you can actually place your labels. DID YOU KNOW? You can adjust your inset positions to maximize print area? I type in 0.3″ and it defaults to 0.394″ as the lowest value. It’s just faster for me to type “0.3” than “0.394”…time is of the essence friends! 🙂

  • Next, duplicate your label and fit as many as you can within the red line. I stress this because your Silhouette machine will only cut whatever is within the red line!
  • Ok, this is a neurotic step but save your file! You put a lot of hard work into creating your beautiful return address label so save your masterpiece! In fact, it’s a good habit to save your file as you go!
  • Then, print your file on the best setting. This will ensure your small text is crisp and legible!
  • Lastly, place your printed file on your cutting  mat and send to Silhouette using the “White Sticker Paper” setting. Now you have the coolest return address labels!

 

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