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lori whitlock

In DIY, Holidays, Silhouette on
December 18, 2017

Holiday Teacher Gifts (with Silhouette Designs Mash-up)

 

Does it seem like Christmas shopping gets harder each year?! Despite getting a bit of a head start with Black Friday sales and even wrapping a few presents right after Thanksgiving, the month of December still flies by so quickly! We are in the home stretch!! I’m running on hot cocoa topped with whipped cream and holiday sprinkles. Yes, sprinkles. You can never be too old for sprinkles.

On my Christmas shopping list are my son’s preschool teachers for whom I am so grateful. They have not only taught him how to write his name in upper- and lower-case, counting to 100, but more importantly, have shared important lessons on feelings and kindness. There is a wonderful book they read called “Have You Filled a Bucket Today?” that teaches a very simple yet meaningful message: kids have the “power” (think kid-like fun super-hero power, not the bossy authoritative kind) to “fill” people’s buckets with kind and positive words versus actions/words that can “dip” buckets. It is such a simple concept but has made a huge difference in our child’s understanding of empathy, especially towards his little sister! Ha!

Anyways, I’ve digressed but you know it’s hard to not talk about something you love! Hey, maybe it could even be a good Christmas present…there’s still time with Amazon Prime!

So! To thank the wonderful teachers, some of the parents and I are getting what I hear is the most favorite (and practical) gift for teachers…gift cards! Perfect! But then came #craftersproblem… I kind of wanted to do something a little special/different with the gift cards rather than slipping them into a card/envelope. Because crafters never make things easy. 😬

Luckily, this gift packaging idea was not too complicated and I’m really pleased on how it turned out! Hooray for an idea in my head actually working out! #winning

I purchased regular wide-mouth mason jars and white crinkle paper shreds from my local crafts store. The rest of the supplies I already had at home. Yes, I kind of have a mini mini craft store at home. You’re more than welcome to “shop” and help me with my craft supply hoarding issues. 😳

I have always loved the look of upside down mason jar snow globes and thought it would be neat to create a faux snow globe scenery by papercrafting.

  • First, I measured the interior cavity of the mason jar to create the main piece which also served as the background. I used scrapbook paper that had a snowfall design.
  • The snowy hills were also custom designed and cut out with my Silhouette CAMEO. There are three hills, which were put together with foam scrapbooking adhesive giving a dimensional look.
  • Next, I created a Silhouette mash-up featuring designs from two of my favorite artists, Amy Robison and Lori Whitlock.
  • Lastly, I glued mini iridescent sequins in the sky to give the illusion of snowflakes. Plus, a little sparkle is always fun!

Then, I wrapped the gift cards to look like a little present and secured it to the back of the main piece with strong adhesive. I added a little gift tag with the kids’ names. Finally, I added white paper shreds to the base (aka jar lid) so that it would look like snow and tied a cute red ribbon for a finishing festive touch that also helps keep the neck of the jar from looking bare.

The practical side of me loves this gift because after the teachers retrieve the gift cards, they can re-use the mason jars for whatever else. I’m sure they have plenty of ideas being teachers!

 

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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, Silhouette on
June 6, 2017

New Baby Gift: Customized Onesies with HTV

 

My dear friend Lauren (who was one of my bridesmaids) had her sweet baby girl last month…hooray! She’s going to be a wonderful mama! 🙂

Little babies in bodysuits/onesies are so dang cute plus both my kiddos went through 4-5 outfits a day when they were so tiny thanks to spit-up and blowouts! So I thought I would customize some for her adorable babe. I purchased a 5-pack of Cat & Jack onesies from Target and added some ready-made designs using heat transfer vinyl (HTV). This new baby gift was whipped up in less than 15 mins!

Want to learn how to make some of your own custom apparel? Follow the steps below!

Supplies Needed:

  • Clothing
  • Heat transfer vinyl (I used smooth material in gold, black, and glitter gold)
  • Iron
  • Linen napkin or thin piece of fabric
  • Weeding tool (I normally use an Exacto knife but this time, I tried out a new tool a friend suggested…Fiskars’ Fingertip Detail Knife. It worked great!)
  • Silhouette CAMEO
  • Cutting mat

 

Before I start, if you’re using baby clothing, I recommend washing them first (with Dreft). No tired mama with a newborn has time or energy to wash clothes!)

  1. Find and download a design you like in the Silhouette Design Store.
    • I used two from Lori Whitlock’s Baby T-Shirt collection: Design ID#179071 (link) and Design ID#186013 (link)
    • I also used Sophie Gallo’s Baby Bear Logo Design ID#197119 (link)
  2. In Silhouette Studio, adjust the size of the design so that it fits proportionately on your clothing
  3. Place the heat transfer vinyl on your cutting mat (clear plastic backing down, sticking it onto the cutting mat)
  4. IMPORTANT STEP: Mirror your design by going to “Replicate” Window and choosing “Mirror Right.” Delete the original correct-facing design. You want the mirrored design when using HTV
  5. Next, open the “Cut Settings” window and select “Heat Transfer Material – Smooth”. Depending on your blade, you may need to adjust other settings so that your design cuts through the HTV material (but not the clear plastic backing). TIP: You may want to do a test cut to make sure you have the correct settings before wasting your HTV material!
  6. Once cut, peel from cutting mat and begin weeding with your weeding tool. Be sure to remove any pieces within “looped” characters like “O” or “e” or “g” (you get the idea!)
  7. After weeding, you should see a mirrored image of your design.
  8. Place your article of clothing flat on your ironing board, smoothing out any wrinkles either by hand or with your iron.
  9. Set your HTV on top of clothing where you would like it to be. Be sure clear plastic backing is facing up, away from clothing. HTV should be touching your clothing
  10. Place your thin piece of fabric (mine is a linen napkin) on top of the HTV piece and begin ironing, pressing down firmly.
  11. Hold down for 10-15 seconds. TIP: do not push/move your iron. If your design is larger than your iron’s footprint, lift iron up and press down again on new area.
  12. Let cool for a 10 seconds.
  13. From one corner, lift off the clear plastic backing to see if HTV has fully transferred to clothing. If so, carefully pull off the clear plastic backing. If not, try ironing a little more/longer until HTV adheres.
  14. Once you have removed the clear plastic backing, put the linen napkin back over the design and iron downwards again for 10 seconds. This step is probably not necessary but I always do it as a final assurance HTV has adhered to the clothing. See picture below.

 

That’s it folks! Easy peasy! The hardest part will be finding a design…so many great options on the Silhouette Design Store! OR have fun and make your own design! 🙂

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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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