Monthly Archives

July 2017

In DIY on
July 31, 2017

Look at the Stars, Look How They Shine for You (and Your Kids)!

#sorrynotsorry for the cheesy blog post title..I just can’t help myself sometimes! A good laugh is good for the soul…we are way too busy and stressed these days! I’m definitely guilty of that. I just read online that in the 1950s, people used to laugh an average of 18 minutes a day. Today, that has dwindled to 4-6 minutes a day. Yikes! So take a moment today and do something that makes you laugh!

Okay, I totally digressed…so back to today’s post! Stars! Raise your hands if you used to stare so long into the night sky until your neck hurts? Raise your hands higher if you had glow-in-the-dark stickers on your bedroom walls and ceiling! How about combining the two and making something super awesome?! Swing by Silhouette’s blog to read my tutorial on making Glow-in-the-Dark Constellation Cards. Not only is this an incredibly simple craft you can make with your kiddos, this is a great activity to spend the summer nights together as a family!

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In Birthday, DIY, Parties on
July 27, 2017

TBT – Here’s to 4.5 Years!

This week, my firstborn turns 4.5 years old. What the what??

So since I’m in disbelief, I’m going to act like a moody preschooler, pound my fists while declaring he’s still 4, and take a walk down memory lane. For the first four years, I have been lucky to have picked the themes for his birthday parties and he’s totally been cool with it. Never once asked to change it. So lucky, right?

For his 4th birthday party, we did a dinosaur-themed party because he really liked the Disney movie The Good Dinosaur. While I did not use the characters from the show except for a figurine/toy as table decor, I turned to the Silhouette Design Store (SDS) for dinosaur-related shapes and designs. Personally, I prefer to do party themes that aren’t so specific like TV shows, characters, etc because it’s easier on my end since I’m the one who’s crafting it all. I stick with general shapes and repeat the party colors wherever I can.

Do you have a dinosaur-themed birthday party coming up? Take a look below and be inspired!

Party Banner
The dinosaur body parts on this awesome banner is Design ID#85872 from the Silhouette Design Store. I opted to make my own birthday messaging in the middle to personalize the event even more. To create the word banner, simply cut out letters with an offset backing in a different color. Between each layer, I placed dimensional foam adhesives so that each layer would “pop.”

 

Themed Cupcake Topper
Did you know you don’t always need a SDS design to make your Silhouette creations? Use your imagination! This particular cupcake topper is super easy to make and great for those leftover paper scraps! With the Text tool, I typed out “4” and “ROAR” and sent it to Silhouette to cut. Use different colored and/or textured paper to make your project colorful and eye-catching. Again, I used dimensional foam adhesive behind the letters to give the cupcake topper a 3D look.

 

Favor Tags
As I mentioned before in a previous post, the Silhouette CAMEO cutting machine is your party decor workhorse! Did you know it can also serve as a basic graphic design program. These favor tags were created to work like a Print and Cut design…simply create within Silhouette Studio and then send it to Silhouette to cut out.

 

Favors with Tags
I was inspired by Pinterest to make these party favors. Duh, where else? Don’t the favor tags complete the look of the favors by providing some visual interest? Side note: If you are going to do these dinosaur-topped baby jar favors, have major self-control when assembling the favors. The large M&M bag was so hard to resist! I may have had a couple…handfuls.

 

Goodie Bags
I spiffed up chevron goodie bags purchased at my local Michaels by adding some dinosaur diecuts with the all-time favorite…googly eyes! I love SDS designs that come in a set, like this one (Design ID#23556). Four dino shapes for the price of one! Score!

I even used these dinosaur shapes elsewhere at the party, such as simple decor on the wired dessert stand in the picture below. My favorite use of these dinosaur diecut shapes was for the dinosaur egg hunt activity I set up for a group of energetic preschoolers. I had my Silhouette CAMEO cut out one dinosaur shape per 8.5in x 11in colored cardstock and glued a bamboo skewer to the back. Then at the party, I had hubby and few other parents staked them into the grass at various areas at the park. Meanwhile, I passed out to each kiddo a foam dinosaur hat (a HUGE hit!), a cheap plastic spatula, and a goodie bag filled with about 5-7 dinosaur-filled eggs.  The objective of the game was to deliver one dino egg via spatula to their mommy/daddy dino’s home, by color. So for example, if they had a green egg, they had to find the green dinosaur shape staked somewhere in the park. It was hilarious to see how some kiddos took it very seriously to safely deliver the eggs across the grassy park. And then there’s my Type A kid who was trying to instruct his friends that the magenta egg belongs to the pink dinosaur not the purple dinosaur. 🙄

 

This party was outdoors so I kept the party decorations minimal and focused my crafting/decorating attention on the favors and tablescapes. I hope these party ideas are helpful and inspire you to create and personalize your upcoming special event!

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In DIY, Silhouette on
July 25, 2017

Back to School Count Down

 

Alright mama bears, fess up…who’s counting down the days until school starts??

If you raised your hand, it’s your lucky day! I have teamed up with my friend Rachel Place of Sweet Elsie and we put our crafty and creative juices together and created a fun and simple project for you and your kiddos – a back to school count down!

This exclusive Silhouette design features a crayon box with numbered crayons that can be removed each day until the first day of school. You guys, you can even personalize it with your child’s grade! Make one for each kiddo…get everyone excited and playing along in the count down! 🙂

Before we start with the simple tutorial, let’s talk about Rachel…who is she?! She is a Silhouette Artist whom I met at Silhouette Summit earlier this year. Together, we braved the waves out to our submarine excursion but I’m pretty sure she handled it a lot better than I did! Here are some more fun facts about this graphic design extraordinaire!

Want to see more of Rachel’s designs? Check her out on Instagram at @rachel.place and @sweet_elsie

 

Oh Crate & Barrel….me and you both girl! 🙂 I could dream all day about re-decorating my home to look like it was straight out of a C&B catalog! BUT let’s get back to reality and how about we DO something instead?! Here’s how to make your own back to school countdown! 🙂

Supplies needed:

 

 

 

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In Silhouette on
July 21, 2017

Silhouette Summit 2017 Recap

 

A little over two months ago, I had the opportunity to travel across the beautiful Pacific Ocean to attend Silhouette Summit 2017 in Waikiki. When I received the invitation, there was zero hesitation. I found myself a travel buddy (a mom+crafty friend) and we booked our flights faster than kids opening birthday presents. Peace out children!

This was my first time attending the 2-day event and my fourth time visiting Oahu. Still jaw-dropping gorgeous and delicious as ever! I don’t think I could get tired of the touristy island…I mean, have you tried Hawaiian shaved ice?! Nothing here stateside can compare.

Well, I’m digressing a bit so let’s get back to recapping my Summit experience.

The first day was all business starting with a morning session discussing the company’s growth domestically and internationally and their focus on user education, which we have started to see with the recent release of the Silhouette Handbook (use promo code 10OFF), an ebook that downloads directly into your Silhouette Studio Library. For Silhouette users of all experience levels, I highly recommend getting yourself a copy because it contains everything you need to know as well as walkthroughs for all of Silhouette offerings and software features. Say goodbye to Googling and finding outdated tutorials/posts!

Afterwards we broke for lunch and I joined a table with two Silhouette Artists (aka designers who contribute to Silhouette Design Store) and talked about everything under the sun, including bedazzling one of the Artist’s husband’s crutches with adhesive vinyl cut by their Silhouette machine! Now that is creative!

The rest of the afternoon was dedicated to New Product Demos, which I am super excited to tell you about especially since I’ve been holding onto this top secret information since Summit! I saw and felt these new materials firsthand, some of which were on finished projects. So it’s really exciting to see the new creative possibilities users can come up with using these new products!

Here we go!

Adhesive Metallic Vinyl (in two sizes: 12in x 48in or 9in x 72in): Black, Rose Gold, Red, Teal, and Green

Adhesive Specialty Vinyl (in 12in x 48in size only): Reflective

Adhesive Specialty Vinyl (in 9in x 72in size only): Ebony Wood, Maple Wood, Walnut Wood, and Carbon Fiber

Adhesive Specialty Vinyl Sampler Pack (in 9in x 24in): Carbon Fiber and Wood

Metallic Heat Transfer Vinyl (in  12in x 36in size only): Copper

Specialty Heat Transfer Vinyl (in 9in x 36in size only): Iridescent, Reflective Red, Reflective Blue, Reflective Green

Specialty Media: Glitter Sticker Paper, Image Transfer Sheets, Tattoo Papers in Gold, Silver, and White.

  • Some personal notes: 
    • Gold and silver tattoo papers are not printable
    • Image transfer sheets are for laserjet printers
    • Glitter sticker sheets are for inkjet printers

Specialty Media for Curio: Foil Transfer sheets (in Silver, Copper, Gold), and Embossable Foil

Add some metallic flair to your special event invitations using the new Silhouette Foil Transfer Sheets (in Silver or Gold)

Tray featuring Adhesive Specialty Wood Vinyl in Maple

 

In my excitement, I didn’t take a ton of photos so swing by the Silhouette blog to see/read more! I’m going to get my hands on some of these new materials so tell me if there’s a specific product you would like see used in my upcoming projects!

 

The second day was a total FUN day…well maybe for others! Read below and you will know why!

Everyday we woke up to a delicious breakfast buffet that served fusion food…some Asian, some American, which equaled to a whole lot of AWESOME. Following breakfast, I signed up for the submarine tour as my excursion since I figured I had already snorkeled Hanauma Bay and if I were to do it again, I would only snorkel with my husband. We have a little “system” when it comes to snorkeling since I can get a little nervous in deep waters (read: when I can’t touch the ocean floor anymore! Ha!).

Despite taking anti-motion sickness meds, the choppy waves still got to me. Not so much on the actual submarine tour since we were 110ft underwater (so cool right?!) but on the way out and back in. The good news is that it was just motion sickness and nothing else. The bad news is that it lasted until night time, which basically forced me to opt out of the Summit’s grand finale, a dinner cruise overlooking Waikiki Bay. Well, that’s a no brainer…heck no, I’ll stay on land thank you very much! 🙂

All in all, it was really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in which I am so grateful to have participated. I met so many talented bloggers, artists, and makers on this trip who are all bring so much creative and contagious inspiration. You guys, be on the lookout for some awesome collaborations in upcoming posts!

Mahalo Silhouette!

The motion sickness culprit 🙁

Oh how I miss this INCREDIBLE view from my hotel room

Look! I met Silhouette President & CEO, Mr. Arakawa

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In DIY, Freebies, Parties on
July 20, 2017

Ice Cream Bingo (FREEBIE!)

The celebration continues! As you can see, I am taking this ice cream celebration seriously AND making it a whole family affair. Well…you should too. 🙂

Now that I’ve inspired you to craft the perfect shirt and showed you how to spiff up your ice cream wooden spoons, it’s time to play a game of Ice Cream Bingo while devouring a bowl of ice cream (duh!!). Click here to download the super cute FREE printable. Instructions are on the bottom of the first page. There are eight unique bingo cards so the maximum number of players is eight. If you have more than eight players, team up so that everyone can join in on the fun! Use coins or scrap paper as your bingo markers and have some fun! Maybe the winner gets an extra scoop or TWO of ice cream??

 

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In DIY, Parties, Silhouette on
July 18, 2017

DIY Stamped Dessert Spoons

Is it me or is there something magical about wooden dessert spoons? All I can think of are those little individual ice cream cups with wooden spoons that we got back in the day…I can’t even remember if it was elementary school or later. I just remember, as a kid, those ice cream cups were heavenly.

So since I am making National Ice Cream Day a week-long celebration, let’s fancify our ice cream eating experience with DIY stamped dessert spoons! This project features the use of a different Silhouette machine…a custom stamp maker called The Mint.

Supplies needed:

  • Silhouette Mint
  • Lori Whitlock’s Grateful Font (of course you are more than welcome to use any other fonts!)
  • 60mm x 30mm Mint Stamp Kit (use promo code 10OFF)
  • Mint Ink in black (or whatever color you want)
  • Wooden dessert spoons (got mine on Amazon)

Step One: Create design in Mint Studio

  1. In the Stamp Settings window, select stamp size 60mm x 30mm.
  2. With Text tool selected, I typed up various fun phrases for my wooden spoons, such as “Treat Yo Self” and “Nom nom nom” and “Wanna Spoon?” (You know me, I love my puns)
  3. Next, I resized them to all fit the 60mm x 30mm stamp space while making sure each phrase would fit nicely within the space on the spoon’s handle. Now your stamp is ready to “print” via Mint!

Step Two: Send to Mint

  1. Send your stamp to Mint and follow prompts in the program.
  2. Once printed, pull the cardboard piece out and fold along the perforated line.
  3. Remove the black square stamp from the cardboard casing as well as the plastic layer on top.
  4. Then, remove the lid of your stamp base, remove the protective layer, and apply your stamp to the stamp base.
  5. Apply the black (or whatever color you picked) ink and set it aside for about 10 mins to let the ink soak in.


Step Three: Stamp Spoons

  1. Stamp off the excess ink on a scrap piece of paper. TIP: As long as you let the ink penetrate for 10 minutes, don’t hesitate to keep practice stamping until you are getting a clean quality of your stamp image.
  2. Because my wooden spoons had some curvature, I let the spoon part hang off the edge of the table and laid the handle part flat on the table. Then, I stamped onto the handle part with even pressure. There are different ways to stamp plus your spoons may be made slightly different from mine so have fun and play around to see what works best for you!

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In DIY, Silhouette on
July 16, 2017

I is for Ice Cream (and I’m celebrating it all week!)

Guess what today is??? National Ice Cream Day! 🙂

I mean, do I really need a day to remind me to enjoy one of the world’s greatest invention? Heck no!

So, I’m going to go a step further and make it an ice cream week here on the blog! I’ll “sprinkle” (har har, I love cheesy puns) in some tutorials and even a FREEBIE! Be sure to swing back in a couple days to see how to make your ice cream eating experience extra special.

Today’s tutorial showcases a simple DIY shirt made with heat transfer vinyl (HTV) for my littlest. Every time we walk into an ice cream or froyo shop, she makes a mad dash towards the sample cups and then another mad dash towards one particular flavor which she points at with all her might. My favorite part is watching her hold the sample cup with her tiny pudgy fingers while enjoying the sweet treat. It’s got Vitamin D and Calcium right? #secondchild

Want to make this shirt for your kiddo…or yourself?!

Supplies needed:

  • Shirt (I recommend washing your shirt first beforehand)
  • Heat transfer vinyl (remember to use promo code 10OFF. FYI, I used smooth/matte material in white)
  • Hook tool (promo code 10OFF)
  • Amy Robison’s Ice Cream Cone Design ID#133499
  • Thin fabric (like a plain dinner linen napkin)
  • Iron

 

Let’s begin!

I love modifying designs purchased from Silhouette’s Design Store to make them work for my project needs.  The Ice Cream Cone design by Amy Robison is so dang cute and I would totally use it as-is for any paper project. Side note: how awesome is it that when you open the file in Silhouette Studio, there is a little mockup in the top left corner?!?! SO incredibly helpful, am I right??

Here’s how I slightly modified the design for my daughter’s shirt:

  1. After you open the file in Silhouette Studio, right-click and ungroup.
  2. Delete everything but three pieces (pink ice cream scoop, black cross-hatched cone, and colorful sprinkles). Also, do not resize the remaining shapes. NOTE: No need to change the fill color of the remaining pieces since we are not printing.
  3. Drag the cross-hatched cone to fit under the pink ice cream scoop. Make sure there is some overlap between the two pieces.
  4. With both cone and scoop selected, choose Weld under the Modify Window. NOTE: Don’t worry if your welded shape fill color changes to black. Again, fill color doesn’t matter when it comes to HTV projects. We are only concerned with cut lines.
  5. Next, move the sprinkles piece on top of the ice cream scoop.
  6. Great! We have our ice cream design and now we can add text.
  7. Then, simply create one circle shape with a 6.50in diameter.
  8. Click on Text tool and type “I is for” in a space somewhere above the ice cream cone shape with whatever font you like.
  9. Click on the four-arrow symbol on the bottom left of your text box and drag it down the top of the circle so that the words are on top of your circle and centered by eye. NOTE: If your text box was below your ice cream cone design and you dragged up the text box to the top of your circle, your words would probably be upside down. For more information about the Text to Path technique, visit this post.
  10. Next, copy/paste the “I is for” text box, drag it down to the “inside” of the circle, and revise text to read “ICE CREAM” in caps with the same font that you chose earlier.
  11. We obviously don’t want the words to overlap the cone so we will use the vertical slider to “slide” the text outwardly. Slide as far as you can.
  12. Lastly, for both text boxes, right-click and choose “Convert to Path,” which will “unlink” its “Text to Path” relationship to the circle. The circle is now back to being a regular cut circle, which you can now delete.
  13. Adjust the text as needed until you are satisfied with your design.
  14. Group everything so that it’s one piece.
  15. Resize your design accordingly to fit your shirt.

Once you have your finished design, the last step is ironing it onto your shirt which is super easy to do. Just click this link and follow steps 3-14.

Now all that is left is to sport your new awesome shirt, grab a pint of your favorite ice cream, and ENJOY! 🙂

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In Cardmaking, DIY, Silhouette, Weddings on
July 13, 2017

Heart Cutout Card for Bride-to-Be (tutorial)

Two of my friends are getting married! Hooray! A little-known fact about me…I am also a wedding planner/coordinator taking on a few clients a year. Thank goodness I was married pre-Pinterest because if Pinterest was around, I probably would have had the longest engagement period either making everything DIY or constantly changing my mind on design elements like escort card displays!

Luckily, I know where to turn to when I need to make cute cards! A quick search through the Silhouette Design Store, I stumbled upon a beautiful cutout card design where the file actually came with two cards. PERFECT!

Here’s how I made the card above:

You will need:

  • Silhouette CAMEO
  • Cutting Mat
  • Design ID #37499
  • Solid-colored cardstock
    • I used a 12in x 12in coral sheet for the card
    • Two 5.5in square pieces in white
    • White and dark blue leftover scraps to make the “Congrats” word embellishment
  • Patterned scrapbook paper (Each piece was 2.5in x 5.5in. I recommend a non-busy pattern/design)
  • Dimensional adhesive
  • Glue (I used Tombow Multi Liquid Glue…it’s THE BEST! A must have!)

Step-by-step tutorial:

  1. In Silhouette Studio, set your page size to 12in x 12in. Then open Design ID#37499 from your library.
  2. Right-click and ungroup. Now you have separated the top card from the bottom card.
  3. Starting with either the top or bottom card, right-click again and select Release Compound Path.
  4. For my card, I deleted “TRUE LOVE”
  5. Repeat steps 3-4 for the other card.
  6. Send to Silhouette using proper cut settings. NOTE: I selected Double Cut to ensure a clean cut.
  7. Peel the cards off cutting mat once cutting has finished and fold along the perforated lines.
  8. Use your adhesive tape runner to stick your 5.5in white square pieces on the inside of the card, where you write your message.
  9. Next, put dimensional adhesives around the heart’s perimeter on the inside flap of the card.

  10. Place dimensional adhesive on the corners of the patterned paper with paper facing up. Flip this piece over and place it on top of the inside flap of the card. NOTE: Make sure you align the flap edge with the pattern paper edge. GREAT! You’ve now created a “shadow box” appearance with the card.
  11. To make the “Congrats” word embellishment, I simply typed it in Silhouette. Because it’s a script font, I welded the text so that the letters connected.
  12. Next, I created an offset to make the white background behind “Congrats”
  13. If you’re making two cards, be sure to do steps 10-11 twice! Raise your hand if you like to work efficiently!
  14. Sent both to Silhouette to cut and glued them together with my Tombow Multi Liquid Glue.
  15. Lastly, I placed dimensional adhesives on the back of the embellishment and centered it over the cutout heart. The embellishment also helps keep the card closed!

These cards were quick to whip up and are so dang cute! You can change the word embellishment to anything that fits your needs. The delicate cutout design truly showcases the precision-cutting capability of the Silhouette cutting machine!!

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In DIY, Silhouette on
July 10, 2017

The Silhouette CAMEO is Not Expensive

There, I said it and I’ll say it again…the Silhouette CAMEO® 3 is not expensive! Yes it retails for $300 but Silhouette is always running deals, one of which is the Silhouette Elite sale going on right now until July 15. You can purchase the Silhouette CAMEO® 3 plus the newly released Silhouette Handbook for $250. Simply go to this unique sale link, add the bundle to your cart, and use promo code [XTINE] to get the special discounted pricing!!

However, that is not why I am writing this post. I realize some of you may still have sticker shock but let me show you how the Silhouette CAMEO® 3 has been a cost-saving tool for me. Let it be known I own the Original CAMEO® and it still works amazingly (4 years and counting!). With proper care, these machines last so they’re worth every penny! Take a look at this pretty infographic I made for y’all! 🙂 So, are you now convinced you should get the Silhouette CAMEO® 3? Click on that link above…do iiiiittttt! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

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In DIY, Parties on
July 5, 2017

Party Time with Wonder Woman

How was everyone’s 4th of July? We had a fun-filled day starting with a morning play date followed by chowing down some fried chicken sandwiches and schmaltz fries at the Crack Shack. And as if that wasn’t enough food, we moved onto the next feast of super-delish Korean BBQ buffet and ended the day with gooey chocolatey s’mores. My pants might have felt a little tight this morning… #noregrets

Anywaaaays, let’s talk about the new Wonder Woman movie. Have you seen it? It is SO good! SO good that some of the Silhouette Design Team Members worked on some extra projects to celebrate our new BFF, Diana Prince…aka Wonder Woman. After seeing the movie, I had a gut feeling that many little girl birthday parties would soon become Wonder-Woman themed so if that’s you or you know some mama who is wondering where to start to pull together a wonder-filled party…look no more! I have put together a tutorial on how to create simple yet eye-catching Wonder Woman party decor, from cupcake toppers to water bottle labels!

Click here to read my tutorial!

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