In Birthday, DIY, Graphic Design, Parties, Silhouette on
September 13, 2017

For Baby Elaina’s 1st Birthday

This past weekend, we celebrated my dear friend’s daughter’s first birthday! Little baby Elaina came on Labor Day last year (oh the irony!) and has grown into such a little cutie with an adorable smile! To honor and acknowledge her Korean culture (she’s half-Korean, half-Chinese), a Dol celebration was in order! Elaina’s mama got a little DIY herself and made the Dol towers out of white and black beans. One tower says “Happy First Birthday” and the other is Elaina’s name in Korean. How cool is that?

Purple and aqua were the party colors and were sprinkled throughout the event. I love the idea of using just colors as your “party theme” because it makes party planning a cinch! And luckily, these two colors are very popular right now thanks to the mermaid trend.

It was such a joy to help my friend, Anna, with party decorations! She told me the items she needed and gave me total creative license in the design. A designer’s dream!

A traditional component of a Korean first birthday party is the Doljabi, where the child is placed in front of several objects and whichever one he/she selects will predict her future! The guests were asked to cast their vote so I created a little sign to go along with the game. And of course, a first birthday party must-have is the one year poster listing all the special favorites and milestones. Again, I used the trick of printing this custom design as a color engineering print and taped it onto a foam board bought from the dollar store. The color quality was great too!

 

 

Michaels had a cardstock value pack in the party colors so it made paper decorations super easy to coordinate! From the “Happy 1st Birthday” pennant banner to the smash cake and cupcake toppers. I added a little gold glitter on some of the cupcake toppers for a little sparkle…it’s a little girl’s birthday party after all! I also learned a new craft that I’ll for sure be making again for another party…tissue paper pom pom toppers! A tutorial for that will be on the blog later this month.

 

The smash cake topper was a tricky project but so glad I put on my MacGuyver thinking cap on and made it work! In order to replicate the style of the topper I made for my own daughter’s smash cake, I needed to find a way to make the sans serif letters on “elaina” and “one” stand on their own versus being connected to the letters before/after. For example, I could easily have the letter “e” of “elaina” touch the letter next to it (“l”) but it would not look right if I connected the letter “i” of “Elaina” to the letter “a” in front of it or the letter “n” after it. Luckily, I was able to “weld” the word “turns” with the word “one” at the bottom of the topper but the word “elaina” was still a challenge. So how did I do it? I glued the letters of “elaina” to a small clear acetate sheet. Then, I added two skinny “pillars” of acetate sheet behind the word “turns” and connected the two acetate sheets. You can kind of see it behind the “s” in “turns”. This created the illusion that the letters on the topper were “floating”! #crafthacksFTW

 

Little Elaina was surrounded by so many family members and friends. She might have been a little overwhelmed with all the excitement and overstimulation! But sorry sweet girl, it’s because you are so loved! Happy birthday Elaina!

 

 

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In DIY, Silhouette on
September 6, 2017

PixScan – my new favorite tool!

One of the reasons I decided to join the Silhouette Design Team was to push myself to try new projects and techniques. Well…a couple weeks ago, I got the opportunity to play around with Silhouette’s PixScanTM mat, which is a must-have for any paper crafters out there. It is similar to a cutting mat in that you can place paper on it and use it to cut with your Silhouette machine. The coolest part is the incorporation of technology to make precision cuts! You simply upload a photo (taken by smartphone, camera, or scanner), bring the image into Silhouette Studio and it magically appears in your Silhouette Studio design program. From there, you can see where exactly your paper is placed and place your cut designs accordingly. I can’t believe I didn’t use this earlier!

To see how I used the PixScanTM mat, check out my blog post at Silhouette’s blog! 🙂

 

 

 

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In Cardmaking, DIY on
August 28, 2017

Same but Different – One Statement Piece, Two Different Cards

 

Two of my closest friends were each celebrating their own special occasions…a 6-month anniversary and a birthday! So that meant it was card-making time!

I came across this adorable cut file by Lori Whitlock (Silhouette Design ID#62270) and this fun design by Megan Hardy Designs (Silhouette Design ID#195787) and knew I wanted to use them both for my friend’s anniversary card. Earlier this year, I  purchased the map patterned paper with no immediate plans for it. I just knew I had to have it. #craftersproblems but don’t you agree that the print is so dang adorable?! My friend and her hubby love to camp, explore, and ride bikes so it was a perfect background paper for their card. Even though the grey and olive green angled cardstock pieces were simple additions, not only did they pull in colors from the map print thus creating a cohesive look but they provided a framework for the remaining pieces. The “Love the Adventure” piece popped nicely against the grey and the bicycle was placed at an angle as if it was riding up an olive green hill. The heart balloons provided some counterbalance as well as color to the card.

Since I just adored the bicycle with heart balloons, I cut out those pieces again with my Silhouette CAMEO to see if I could create a different card…this time for my other friend’s birthday. This time I changed up the orientation and created the card to be upright. This allowed for space above (so I added more balloons) and below the bicycle (I added the sentiment ribbon) . The mint-colored scalloped circle plus two linear strips of pink washi tape reinforced the bicycle as the card’s focal point. Since there was a variety of color in this card already, I opted to embellish the card with a sparkly touch (gold sequin plus two tiny rhinestones on the “Happy Birthday” sentiment).

This was a fun card-making challenge! I learned that subtle differences in layout, layering, or embellishments can really create a different look in the cards even with the same statement piece (in this case, the bicycle with heart balloons). Although I did not intend to make two cards with the same statement piece, I’m so glad I did! Such a good exercise to expand one’s creativity. I wonder how many different cards I could have made with a bicycle and heart balloons?!

 

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In Parties on
August 22, 2017

For Baby Hank

One of my first friends in college who also was my lab partner in one of the hardest engineering classes everrrrr is having a baby! Hooray! 🙂 While I may not have aced that engineering class, I know I can get an A in creating some pretty cute baby shower decor.

She and her hubby love to travel so it was no brainer that lil Baby Hank’s nursery will be travel/adventure-themed. And because the party organizers and I are practical people, we carried that theme into the baby shower as well so that any fun decor can be reused to decorate the nursery. Making it as easy peasy for the parents-to-be!

In my experience, the best way to plan decor for an event is pretend you are a guest and do a mental walkthrough (or a physical one if it’s at your own home) of your party spaces.

So, come with me! Let’s attend Baby Hank’s baby shower virtually!

Next, a pseudo-chalkboard sign was placed near the front door so guests knew to enter the party through the front door versus the side yard which is the first thing you see after walking through the gates. You ready to learn about my secret weapon when it comes to large signs? Two words…engineering prints! This 18in x 24in “chalkboard” sign was created in Adobe InDesign and printed at Staples as a black and white “engineering print” and it cost just $2! You can print up to 36in x 48in and in color (although I was told by the guy at Staples that the color can only be about 25-30% of your design to be considered “engineering print”).

 

I think social parties like baby showers need a focal point so that’s where I spend the rest of my attention. The dining table was pushed against the wall and a 36in x 48in backdrop was hung to create the focal point. And yuuuup, that backdrop is also an engineering print and in color!! Next, I added dimension to the space with 3D hot air balloons that brought pops of color against the backdrop. An adorable hand-sewn circle+onesie garland also draped below the backdrop for some visual interest.

 

The hot air balloon icon can be seen again here on the cupcakes toppers. Personally, I like to repeat icons/patterns/colors/shapes throughout in the decor because it not only makes the entire event feel cohesive but it also reiterates the theme. These cupcake toppers were customized by using several different designs from the Silhouette Design Store. I tweaked Lori Whitlock’s Design ID#36441 to create the hot air balloon piece. The clouds are from Snapdragon Snippets’ Design ID#44219. The “oh boy” banner was created layering my own text on the banner shape in this design by Kolette Hall.

 

My favorite piece of this baby shower was the luggage favors. M&M fun size bags filled each kraft soap box, which was then wrapped with light grey/silver wrapping paper. To create the look of a suitcase, thin strips of dark grey cardstock were added on the sides and one on top to create a handle. I felt the front of the luggage looked bare so decided to add a little travel flair with a cute graphic printed on Silhouette’s clear labels. It was also an opportunity to acknowledge the favor is from Baby Hank’s baby shower. The finishing piece was the luggage tag that I created in Adobe Illustrator. The luggage tag listed some special numbers and letters. The numbers represented the baby’s due month and year. The 3-letter “airport code” is actually the baby’s initials. So fun sneaking in little things like that! Anyways, I imported this graphic into Silhouette Studio so that the tags could be individually cut by my Silhouette CAMEO. I love incorporating my graphic designs into Silhouette projects!

Welcome to the world Baby Hank!! 🙂

 

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In DIY, Parties, Silhouette on
August 15, 2017

Personalize Your Special Event with Your Own Print and Cut Design

As I mentioned in an earlier post, June was a busy month for me and it was totally unrelated to this blog or my gig with Silhouette. I was blessed with the opportunity to work on two special events with Switchfoot’s BRO-AM Foundation. Their music was on repeat in my college days so this experience was also sentimental. If you have a few minutes, take a moment to learn more about their awesome non-profit that was founded on the band members’ desire to give back to the San Diego community and youth initiatives. As a mother, I am thankful the less fortunate kids out there are getting love, hope, and support every child unconditionally deserves!

One of our events was a Benefit Party where we placed custom sugar cookies in each VIP gift bag. We wanted to carry through the branding as well as the mission statement wherever possible. So why not on the packaging label that seals each cookie bag?

This method is pretty much making your own Print and Cut design. And the beauty of this method is that the process behind it can be applied to any special event, from birthday parties to weddings.  Let me show you how!

  1. To start, I created my cookie label design in Adobe InDesign. You can use any graphic software program that allows you to save your design in common image file types (JPG, PNG, BMP, GIF, and TIF files). For more info, click here for more details.
  2. For this event, I needed 1.50in diameter cookie labels so in InDesign, I made a wider circular design perimeter (1.55in) so that I knew to keep my design within it.
  3. While designing, I also kept in mind the location of Silhouette’s Registration Marks, which is necessary for Print and Cut function to work. Basically, leave some space on the top as well as the bottom left area.
  4. When the design was complete, I simply exported the file as a PNG and imported it into my Silhouette’s library.
  5. Within the Scale Window, I resized it to fit a letter-size cardstock sheet (8.50in x 11.00in).
  6. Next, I placed 1.50in diameter circles over each cookie label while making sure they were nicely centered. These 1.50in circles’ cut lines fell within the 1.55in design lines.
  7. And finally, I sent it to Silhouette to first print the image with my home color printer and then transferred it onto a cutting mat and sent it again to Silhouette to cut with the cut settings.

That’s it! How easy is that?! Knowing this technique will really personalize your event and make your event styling look and feel cohesive!

 

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In DIY, Home Decor, Silhouette on
August 10, 2017

Add Fun to Your (Work) Space with a Hanging Wall Banner

I am in the process of revamping my craft “room” so that it becomes a space of inspiration and creative purpose. Being six feet away from the kitchen sink, the dishwasher, and hearing the laundry ding from the wall behind me is very distracting. Squirrel!

So, I made this little wall hanging banner with an inspirational quote in hopes that it will do the trick and motivate me to keep going with my #crazycraftlady ideas and projects. Playing around with felt has been on my craft to-do so I was so excited to learn that my Silhouette CAMEO can cut felt! Here are three things to know/do when cutting felt with your Silhouette cutting machine:

  1. Use high-quality felt (I used one made by Camelot Fabrics) for the top felt piece that will have the inspirational quote
  2. Add Silhouette’s Fusible Fabric Stabilizer to the back of the high-quality felt
  3. Use a separate blade dedicated to fabric cutting. Silhouette’s Fabric Blade is perfect as it’s colored differently so you can easily remember to swap in/out!

Use your favorite quote for this project (tutorial below) and spruce up your work space with some positivity and encouragement!

Where to buy unique craft supplies: Silhouette Fusible Fabric Stabilizer | Tombow Multi Liquid Glue

 

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In DIY, Silhouette on
August 6, 2017

Obligatory First Day of School “Chalkboard” Sign

 

School is just around the corner and I’ve got another great craft project to excite your kiddos about starting or returning to school…you know, the obligatory “first day of school” sign! This project created for Silhouette’s Blog is especially unique because it features Silhouette’s chalkboard vinyl. There are several GOOD reasons I chose this method versus using a standard chalkboard. Let’s break it down:

  1. Unless you’re an expert chalkboard artist, you will be spending a lot of time fitting your words, perfecting the look, erasing, starting lines over, etc.
  2. You can use chalk markers (I highly recommend Marvy Uchida Chalk Markers) for crisp white or colored lettering that makes your board look professional!
  3. The chalkboard vinyl is reusable so you can use the same chalkboard for many years to come and for multiple kids!

So you wanna make one now right? Click here to read the tutorial!

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In DIY, Freebies, Graphic Design, Home Decor on
August 2, 2017

National Coloring Day (FREEBIE!)

Hello August!! Has your summer flown by too?

Luckily, I have a special FREEBIE for you that will help you slow down and enjoy the present. In honor of National Coloring Day today, I created a 8in x 10in coloring sheet that can also serve as pretty home decor. Or frame this print and give it to a friend for a special occasion or just because…who doesn’t like thoughtful and homemade gifts?!

Grab your colored pencils, a nice cup of coffee, and get lost in the art of coloring!

Click here to download today’s FREEBIE!

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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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