Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hope Plates and Lillie

These plates are a part of my previous project that I had to put it on hold for a couple of days.  Making these plates for my daughter ended up being one of those "gotta love my dog" moments.  You may remember my mentioning our dog, Lillie.  Well, as I was moving from one project to the next, I discovered my "burnisher" went missing.  Knowing that Lillie has a peculiar affinity for plastic, (crazy dog) I knew I needed to start hunting.  This was what I found.

Cut out on Cricut; weed and attach transfer tape.

A contrite Lillie, "helped" me create these plates.  She shows you the steps below:

"See...I'm helping. I love you so much."

I think the shape and color of the plates matches my daughter's bedspread perfectly!  I think Lillie is about three shades of crazy...but I love her.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Purty Plates!

When I ran across these salad plates in the Clearance Section of Kmart,  I knew I had to create something!

"Clearance".  Isn't that the most beautiful word ever created?  In the hearts of bargain hunters like me, "Clearance" is the "Hallelujah!" of all frugal words.  I digress...

Anyway, I wanted to show you how to use the Silhouette and Silhouette Studio to make some fun and easy projects.

First, you decide what you want your project to say.  In this case, I am working on two projects at a time, (more photos to follow), so I selected my type and size in "Silhouette Studio" and sent it to the Silhouette to be cut.

After you cut the images, you "weed" the excess vinyl with an exacto knife, and you end up with something like this.

On top of the "weeded" image, you apply the transfer tape and burnish it down really good with either a burnisher, like the white one above, or you can use any firm scraper such as a Pampered Chef scraper or a credit card.  Then, you peel off the top layer, the tape, which has the vinyl attached.  It is sticky, so be careful when you lay it in place.  It's a mess if you try to move it.  Again you use the burnisher to smooth out any bubbles, and to create good adhesion.

And here is what we ended up with!

Now if I could only cook.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Initials June Shoppertunity!

O.K....June is simply an awesome month to attend or have an Initial's Party!!!

I've seen people use the smaller "Get a Grip", (personalized "His" and "Hers") to hold bathroom supplies to keep that counter top organized.

This is a GREAT opportunity to stock up on them, or purchase them now for Christmas gifts!

I know I want some to organize craft supplies!  One for Vinyl supplies; one for painting supplies; one for jewelry supplies...

The possibilities are endless!  Contact me today to schedule an online party!  And remember, Personalization is always FREE!

Monday, May 21, 2012

King and Queen Pillows

I made these pillows for a very special Queen and her King.  I was so pleased with how they turned out!  Again, I obtained the "crown" graphic from The Graphic's Fairy, and I picked out a typeface that I thought followed along with the Regal look of the crown.

Here is a close up of the "Jean Queen" pillow. 

These pillows can be made as Princess or Prince pillows as well. 
This one is my favorite!


That's Lillie the Wonder Dog inspecting the situation.
I don't believe there is anything better on this earth, than fresh grown tomatoes.  Unless, it's fresh tomatoes and corn on the cob. Ummm...and double ummm!  We planted my "Big Boy", "Better Boy", "That's a Boy", and "Whose your Momma, Boy" tomatoes about two weeks ago!  I'm blogging about them to keep me accountable.  I used to baby my tomatoes -- feeding them a couple of times a week and ALWAYS making sure they had water.  The last couple of years I've slacked, and so have my tomato crops! 

By the looks of things in the picture to the right, I believe I need to be looking out for some aphids!  YUCK!  I'll keep you posted as to their progress.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Vinyl on Wood

I made these using my Cricut, vinyl and 4X4 posts.  I made a "white wash" of mostly water and a little bit of white acrylic paint and covered the sanded 4x4 blocks.  Then I attached the cut vinyl.  I finished them off with a little twine.  Super easy and the possibilities are endless as to what you can "write" on the blocks!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day with Alzheimer's

Nothing crafty today, just some thoughts on spending the weekend with my 84 year old Mother who has Alzheimer's.  It is agonizing.  Momma is in the advanced stages.  She is incapable of creating a sentence or comment that can even vaguely be deciphered.  It wasn't always like this.  This total break with reality has occurred in just the last six months.  It is cruel and heartbreaking to watch a once loving, funny, happy and vibrant woman, dissolve into an incoherent human being who is so angry/belligerent.

I think I will chose not to remember this Mother's Day.

Yes, today has been wonderful with my own children.  Extraordinarily so.  To watch their own attempts at interaction with their Grandmother is both beautiful and heartbreaking.  Their gentleness and patience makes my heart swell with pride.  But it is unspeakably painful to watch my children rebuffed by my Mother's illness.  "She" loved them.  Her "illness" doesn't remember them.  And a 14 and a 16 year old are left trying to make sense out of the "confusion" that is now their Grandmother.

I get really angry when I hear, "With Alzheimer's, at least the patient doesn't suffer."  I have watched the anguish in my Momma's eyes and heard the fear in her voice over the years as she tries to make sense of the nonsense in her mind.  She IS suffering.  Maybe not physically, but the agony I see in her eyes, and now the vacant, defeated resignation that she will never come back from the breaks my heart.

My Momma was beautiful. My Momma was smart.  My Momma was full of love.

My beautiful Momma. (taken 4 years ago)
I miss her...
and she is sitting right next to me.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

"Initials" in June!

If you host an Initials Party in June, either online or at your home, you can take advantage of this great offer!  Check out my Initials Inc. website  Let me know when you want to schedule your party!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Personalized Pillows

As I have mentioned before, The Graphics Fairy is my favorite place to go for vintage graphics -- from pillows, to furniture, to crafts -- The Graphics Fairy shares the most beautiful and creative designs.  I don't know her, but I think she's wonderful!

I've also just, "Googled" and found designs to transfer onto pillows. 
Hang comes my best try at telling you how to transfer images via Citrasolv.  I am lucky in that I have a Jerry's Artarama nearby which carries this stuff.   It's actually a degreaser (I think), but not available everywhere.  Google to find where you can buy it near you.  It's not that expensive.

1.  Obtain image to transfer.  When you get it the size you want, change it to MIRROR IMAGE or your words will come out backwards.  (You won't be happy if that happens.)  Print out your image on a LASER PRINTER.  (Has to be inkjet.)

2.  Cut your fabric to size.  One tip I learned (somewhere) is, drop cloths at Big Lots are silly cheap, and create the best looking fabric to transfer vintage images.  I think they run between $6 and $8, depending on the size.  They are durable, soft (when washed) and the perfect "canvas" for your masterpiece, you can make a Gozillion pillows from one drop cloth.  Decide on the size of pillow you want.  A lot of that will depend on the shape of your graphic and how much space you want on all sides, then give yourself an extra inch all around for sewing.

3. Time to transfer!  Take your laser printed image, center on fabric and tape across the top of the paper to the fabric.  You will not want to disturb the "transfer process" by lifting up, but it will secure it and allow you to check your transfer at the end.  Now for the fun!  Get a small amount of the Citrasolv on a cotton ball, and rub lightly over a small area to transfer.  Then, take the back of a metal spoon and press down and rub FIRMLY, in small circles to transfer your image.  Follow this method throughout the whole transfer.  When you think you have FIRMLY pressed every inch, gently lift up the paper.  If there are any areas which you have missed, lay the paper back down; go over again with the cotton ball and press EXTRA hard.  Repeat until you're satisfied.

(Most people screw up a lot when first trying to master this!  Keep trying!)

4. SEW!  Pin together with the other side of the pillow, and sew inside out.  Find a trusted friend or youtube video of how to sew a straight stitch.  Trust me, if I can do it, you can do it!  Then...stuff it, and seam up the hole! 

5.  Enjoy your Masterpiece!!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Glass Etching!

First off, it is a pill to photograph etched items.  A REAL pill.  You need to first actually have your kitchen counter cleaned COMPLETELY off (no crumbs...ha! Like that's gonna happen at my house!)  And, it needs to be clutter free as not to show up junk in the background.  (Double ha!!!  Oh, thank God for photo editing software.)

I made these mugs for a friend's Anniversary.  I used my Silhouette this time, as I really believe the Silhouette, without the mat, makes a smoother cut, thus making it easier to "weed".
Photo editing happened here

Photo editing happened at the top of this one.  
After you decide on a typestyle, cut your vinyl and weed, it's time to stick your stencil on your glass and etch!

I use Armour etch, (you can get it at Michaels, JoAnne's, and I think, Walmart.)  It is the stuff!  If you by chance drip any or it gets on an area you didn't intend to etch, forget it.  It is STRONG stuff and will eat some of the glass, no matter how quick you wipe it off.

I let mine set for 5 minutes, then rinse.  Etching is permanent, and a beautiful way to remember special events!

Pop Art - deux

A lot of people have asked me how to do these "Pop Art Portraits".  They are so silly easy, that I must share.  First, you take a photograph...the more expressive the better.  Then you convert it to black and white, increasing the contrast.  Print the photo to fit the frame you have, either 8x10 or 8 1/2x 11.  Lay the photo down and tape the cleaned glass from the frame directly on top.

Pick a color!  You will only use two colors:  White and another dark color.  From these two colors you will create two more shades; a lighter shade and a darker shade.  Pretty much you will go from white to your color choice in four steps:  Example:  White -- light blue --- darker blue -- darkest blue.  Got it?  Post a comment if I confuse you. 

Next, you PAINT! 
(1) Take a detail brush and paint your highlighted areas first.  The teeth, the white of the eyes...anything that stands out as being a lighter area. 
(2) Take the darkest color and outline the darkest areas.  The eyes, the lips, the shape of the face.  Also, when painting hair, have your strokes mimick hair strokes; short and wispy.
(3) Dab with a fuller brush your lighter areas.
(4) Dab with your darker color you mixed, ALL OVER the painting.

Let dry and flip!  So much fun and oh so cool!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

"Initials. Inc." Personalized bags and totes!

Given that I so love everything Personalized, it was only a matter of time before Initials, Inc. caught my eye.  I love the fact that their products are always personalized they have awesome products that are just plain adorable!  So, I have begun my adventure as a Creative Partner with Initials, Inc.  If you would like to see the entire catalog, please visit my website at
Let's talk party and purses!