Hogwarts or Bust!

I LOVE HARRY POTTER! Okay, now that I’ve confessed, the rest of this post will make much more sense. Ha!

The Orlando Informer hosts an annual Harry Potter themed event at Universal Studios in Florida. The specially priced ticket gets you after hours access to select attractions in both parks, free food and drinks (including Butterbeer), and more! I went last year with a couple of friends and had so much fun we’re doing it again this year! If you’d like more info check out the Orlando Informer’s website.

Recently, I purchased a Cricut Maker and I’ve pretty much lost my mind. Between creating Star Wars fan gear, party decor and personalizing everything I can in my house, I, of course, found time to make something special for my trip to “Harry Potter World”.

For inspiration, Pinterest was my first stop. My travel group consisted of all ladies, so a pair of Deathly Hallows earrings from Hey, Let’s Make Stuff‘s blog, were perfect! Her blog included a cut file which made my job super easy. I used black faux suede like she suggested, but I disliked the way the unfinished back of the suede showed. To fix this, I just doubled up on the pattern, adhered the pieces together and voila! That really gave the earrings the finished look they needed.

Next, I created Harry Potter themed luggage tags for everyone using a luggage tag cut file from Damask Love. For this I used Cricut Genuine Leather and rose gold foil iron-on to add Harry Potter icons. To stitch each luggage tag together I used embroidery floss that coordinates with each persons house. Mine was yellow for Hufflepuff, which is of course the BEST house.

Before we headed out to the park I gave everyone their surprises. The earrings were a hit! My only regret is that I wish I would have made us all matching shirts too. Luckily there’s always next year!  Expecto Patronum!

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New House, New House Shoe

I recently purchased a new house with beautiful hardwood floors and pale grayish-brown carpet. (The carpet looks way better than I made it sound). I’ve had a long standing rule about no shoes in the house, and this house would be no different.

My husband has never been a fan of this rule because he doesn’t like to be bare or sock footed.  To solve this I’ve bought him a variety of Steelers house shoes. Still, his argument has always been, “What if we have guest and they have holes in their socks, or worse, no socks at all? How can we expect them to take off their shoes?” Normally I would roll my eyes and move on, (don’t judge), but lucky for me inspiration struck while I was wandering the aisles of IKEA one day.

I found these simple NJUTA slippers in black, red and gray, all of the low price of $2.99/each. And lucky for me, the were on sale for IKEA Family members!  Of course I couldn’t decide on which to get, so I bought two in each color. What? A girl’s gotta have choices!

I took them home and placed them in a cute basket by the front door. Success! But what fun would it have been if I didn’t add that special flavor I’m “famous” for?  So I booted up my computer and opened Design Space. This was one of the first projects I completed with my new Cricut Maker and EasyPress. (Yes, Cricut has made a killing off of me in the last few months).

I’ve used Brother’s design program, ScanNCutCanvas for the last few years, so the Design Space format wasn’t to difficult to navigate. I browsed the different monograms and settled on the “H” from Monogram Motifs. The pre-selected color scheme wasn’t going to work for me, but it was super easy to change it up. Since I had house shoes in three different colors, I switched up my color scheme using black, yellow, and white. Yes, Steelers colors. I love that Design Space lays out the different mats you will need. It makes it easy to make the correct number of cuts for six pairs of slippers. Luckily I had all of the needed iron-on vinyl (or heat transfer vinyl – HTV – these names are used interchangeably) colors on hand, so I was ready to get started.

After cutting my HTV pieces, it was time to weed. Being a bit of a novice I didn’t realize how intricate my design really was! This was one of those times when it’s important to have the right tools. In this case the right tools included hook tweezers and a piercing tool (both were all included in the Cricut Weeding Tool set) and a tracing light box I purchased from Amazon a while back. Cricut’s BrightPad would have essentially served the same purpose.

When the weeding was finally done I was ready to heat up the EasyPress.  To prep the slippers  I rolled up a hand towel and stuffed it in the toe so I had sturdier surface.  My slippers were 100% polyester and I was using Cricut Iron-On Lite, so my settings were 340 degrees for 30 seconds. (These are the “towel settings”. If you are using the EasyPress mat the settings differ. Also, the IKEA website says “Do not iron” for these slippers, but I figured if I ruin them I’m only out $2. Sometimes you gotta take risk. And I was using a teflon sheet, so my EasyPress never directly touched the shoe surface). Following the EasyPress directions, I preheat my first shoe for 5 seconds.  Next, since each monogram was made up of three layers of HTV, I only pressed the first two layers for about 8 seconds each, just long enough to get it into place. I pressed the final layer for the full 30 seconds…And repeat.

I was so impressed by my finished product I’ve been sharing it with everyone! (Including the random stranger I met while browsing the Cricut Iron-on section in JoAnn’s.) HTV is a great way to add that personal touch! I’ve got so many ideas for what else I can do!

Until next time, go forth and create!

Supplies used:
Cricut Maker
Cricut Iron-on Lite in Black and White
Siser Easyweed HTV – Lemon
Cricut EasyPress
Teflon Heat Press Transfer Sheets
USB Power Light Table for Tracing

Teacher Appreciation Favor Bags

I am the worst when it come to procrastinating, but let me tell you, I do some of my best work at the 11th hour. So when I volunteered to handle teacher appreciation for the school for the month of April, (back in October of the year before), I had every intention of getting everything done well in advance. Well… let’s just say on March 1st I had a bit of a reality check. My kids go to one of the largest elementary schools in Missouri, and my teacher appreciation gift would need to serve 150 people. What’s that saying about the best intentions?

After talking to some of my other crafty friends, I decided I wanted to do some sort of personalized gift bag with a treat. I zoned in on a bag of popcorn and some candy.  About this time I started seeing blog hops for the latest Mama Elephant release, and everyone was talking about the XL Creative Cuts Favor Bag.  The were soooooo cute and the ideas in my head started flying! I figured out how large the assembled bag would be, and unfortunately it was not large enough for a bag of microwavable popcorn. But I was so in love with that die, I just figured I’d come up with something else to go inside of the bags.

I placed an order and got to work with the favor bag die, the Mama Elephant Page Huggers stamp and die set and the Mama Elephant Words Defined stamp set. Can you tell I’m really digging Mama Elephant right now?

I started with stamping sets of three of the page hugger animals and three of the accessories on watercolor paper. I used Distress Markers and a water brush to color those in.  After I’d done a few sets that way I switched to 80 lbs Neenah solar white cardstock and used Copics to color the rest of the sheets. If you like stamps you’ve got to check this set out. It is too cute! Some of the accessories include a little graduation cap, a little love note, a carrot… but I went with a pencil, stack of books and apple… staple teacher items. 6th grade graduation is right around the corner and I thought the little animals would be adorable with the graduation caps on their heads, but I stopped myself. One undertaking at a time!

Since I needed 150 sets, I carried the sheets around with me and worked on them everywhere. And I do mean everywhere… basketball practice, during my lunch breaks, family gatherings, even at the auto drive-in while I was wait for my car to get inspected after a hail storm.


Next I die cut a black frame with a heart in the middle.  I enlisted some help from my mom and she stamped the frames with the Teacher wording from the Words Defined stamp set.  This was the perfect time to use the MISTI because the white ink didn’t always give a solid stamp.


While Mom was hard at work stamping, I die cut all of the animals, accessories and bags. Finally it was time to assembly everything! It seems like a lot at first, but you get into a routine and before you know it we were done!


And the icing on the cake… mini microwave popcorn bags fit perfectly! I will tell you this was a pretty ambitious undertaking, probably my largest to date, but I cannot be more proud of the way everything turned out.

Now go forth and create!

Supplies used:
Copic Markers (RV02, RV04, RV21, RV23, R14, R29, N0, N2, C1, C3, C5, E23, E31, E34, E37, B24, B28, BG10, BG13, Y08, Y17, YG13, YG17, YG63, YR02, V15)
Distress Markers (Black Soot, Hickory Smoke, Worn Lipstick, Frayed Burlap, Mustard Seed, Carved Pumpkin, Barn Door, Dusty Concord, Mermaid Lagoon, Peeled Paint, Wild Honey)
Watercolor Brush Pen
Neenah Solar White – 80 lbs
Artist’s Loft Watercolor Paper
Mama Elephant XL Creative Cuts Favor Bag
Mama Elephant Page Huggers Creative Cuts
Mama Elephant Page Huggers stamp set
Mama Elephant Words Defined stamp set
Hero Arts Unicorn Pigment Ink
Memento Tuxedo Black Dye Ink 
Cricut Cuttlebug
MISTI Stamping Tool
Martha Stewart Scoring Board
Fiskars Deluxe Paper Trimmer
Advanced Tape Glider (ATG)
ATG Double Sided Refill Tape
Kokuyo Dotliner Adhesive
Kokuyo Dotliner Adhesive Refill
Teflon Bone Folder

DIY Foiled Journal

#DidYouKnow that you can foil vinyl?

I LOVE my Heidi Swapp Minc. I know it’s been a while since I’ve talked about it, but it is such a cool accessory to have in your stash.

School started back in August and that means resuming my duties on the PTA board. To stay organized I designated a notebook just for my PTA meetings. Of course I needed a way to upscale it, so I pulled out my ScanNCut and my Minc. I cut the wording I wanted: PTA; 2016 – 2017 School Year; and Fun Committee (I’m also on the Fun Committee at work) out of scrap vinyl. It didn’t matter what color I used because I was going to foil it.


After cutting the vinyl don’t remove it from the backer just yet. I took the words and cut them so that they’d fit in the Minc carrier sheet. I picked my foil color (there are so many to choose from, but I thought blue would look good on the neon green notebook), and ran it through the Minc. Don’t forget the foil should be shiny side up.


After that it was as simple as picking up my shiny new letters with a transfer sheet and putting them on my notebook!


This is a great little trick. Just think, now you can put foiled letters, words, designs… anywhere! Just an FYI, if you dont have a Minc this could also easily be done with prepackaged foiled alphabet stickers. Honestly it definitely would have been quicker… but what’s the fun in that?!

Go forth and create!

Birthday Favor Boxes

It seems I’ve been taking a bit of a break from blogging. Not intentionally I assure you. I just hadn’t been doing a good job of documenting my projects as I was completing them.

With the Thanksgiving weekend coming up I hope to get started on a holiday project for my son’s class. In the mean time enjoy these favor boxes I made for his 7th birthday. He loves Legos and superheroes, so I combined them both. The inside contained a birthday Lego figure and an official Lego Builder license.

Lawn Fawn had just release their scalloped treat box die and I thought that would be great for party favors. I did a sample mock up using the scalloped treat box you can check out here. Unfortunately it wasn’t large enough for the treats I’d purchased so I started looking for other options. I found a great milk carton box on the Stamparadise blog. These boxes were a great size, and since she included dimensions I didn’t have to spend any extra money for another die.

I started by creating 20, (yes 20) milk carton bases. Cutting each sheet to size was no problem, but I will tell you, scoring each piece, especially the diagonal lines was a chore. How I went about doing the diagonal lines was to use the fold out arm of my We R Memory Keepers 1-2-3 punch board. Lastly I die cut a small stitched circle on the back flap of each box so I could have a milk straw sticking out of the back.

After all of the boxes were cut and scored I used my MISTI to stamp out the city background from the Avery Elle Super stamp set in Fog Grey ink. I then stamped 40 of the same background on black cardstock in white ink, again using my MISTI, which made things go pretty quickly. Next up were 80 word bubbles (4 for each box). After everything was stamped and had a chance to dry I die cut the city backgrounds and word bubbles. I also die cut a bunch of clouds that I didn’t end up using. Finally for the word signal that read “Happy Birthday” I hand drew the shape (there is a die included in the Super Elle-ments die set, but it wasnt long enough for what I needed), and cut 20 of them out with my Scan-n-Cut. I then stamped Happy Birthday on each of them with my MISTI.



After all of my individual pieces were complete it was time to assembly everything. This actually went pretty quickly! I offset the cityscape  die cuts from the stamped background to give the illusion of depth. After they were assembled, I punched 2 holes in each box, filled them with goodies and tied them closed.

I had so much fun putting this all together and they went over well at the party. Word of advice… when undertaking a task like this I recommending binge watching something to help the time pass. 🙂

Until next time… go forth and create!

Back to School – Lightbox Slides


I recently purchased a Heidi Swapp Lightbox from Michael’s. No, I didn’t use a 40% off coupon. What? Me? Not use a coupon? Nope… Because it was already 50% off in store! What?!?! Win/Win!

I’ve been watching the Lightbox for some time, but I couldn’t bring myself to spend $40 on something with a non-replaceable light bulb. Yep. You read that right. Once the lights burn out that’s it! But nonetheless, it’s a pretty cool accessory that I wanted, and for 1/2 off? Why not!

There are a bunch of accessories to go along with the Lightbox that you can take a look at here. If you choose to purchase, definitely look around. There are a couple of online stores (like Scrapbook.com) as well as Michael’s and JoAnn’s that have the accessories priced cheaper than they are on the American Crafts website.

School is starting next week (ah, where did summer go?!), so along with the “Class of …” t-shirt I talked about last week, I also take the mandatory “First Day of…” photos. I thought it would be fun to use the Lightbox this year, but there was no way I’d be able to fit the message I wanted on it. Cue the DIY music…

The slides you can purchase for the Lightbox are 12.5 x 3. I decided to use transparency film sheets  (you know, the ones the teachers used in class with the projector a LONGGGGGG time ago) for my DIY, but they were 8.5 x 11. This meant I wouldn’t be able to recreate the slides  exactly. I had to decide if I just wanted to go with a smaller size (11 x 3)* or if I wanted to cut each word individually and be able to space them out accordingly. In the end I decided to just do a full slide in a smaller size. (1) less pieces for me to keep up with, and (2) I figured I could use some of the cute icon slides to fill in the open space.

I pulled out my trusty Scan and Cut and cut the words, “First Day of” and “Last Day of” out of black vinyl. Of course you could use any color, but I just wanted mine to be pretty simple. I then transferred the vinyl to a transparency sheet laid out horizontally. I cut that down a three inch height. I was able to get both slides, “First Day of” and “Last Day of” out of my 12 x 12 piece of vinyl. Hey! Waste not, want not! I rounded the corners of the slides with my We R Memory Keepers 1-2-3 punch board to give it a finished look.  (It’s a great little tool that does a ton of things. I love this blog that showcases some of them). Rounding the corners could have been done with a lot of different tools, but I used what I had. (Note: The  1-2-3 punch board did NOT like the transparently sheets. I think the plastic kept getting stuck, so we won’t be doing that again.)

That’s about it! Now I need to figure out how to store these slides until the end of the school year!

Go forth and create!


*I had the hardest time trying to get my vinyl to be perfectly centered. In the future I plan to put the vinyl on the slide first, then cut it down to size. Instead of trying to line everything up on an 11 x 3 slide. 

 

 

Father’s Day Canvas Bag

*Yes, I know Father’s Day has past. This post was written before Father’s Day, but since my Dad reads my blog (thanks Daddy!) I had to hold it. Enjoy!

Father’s Day is right around the corner, but I started planning my Father’s Day gift BEFORE I even gave Mother’s Day a second thought. That’s rare for me! My dad enjoys buying fresh fruits and vegetable for meals on a daily basis, so I thought a cool grocery tote would be a fun gift. The thing is, my dad could care less about labels and trends. So I knew a tote from West Elm or World Market wouldn’t do.

I found a fun saying about Dads and Grandpas, and thought it would be nice to turn that into a grocery tote. As long as it wasn’t wildly colored, I figured Dad would be on board. I designed the saying using ScanNCutCanvas and cut it out of stencil  plastic with my ScanNCut. Next I painted the saying on the canvas with fabric paint. I was worried the paint would find a way to leak under the stencil, but the Silhouette stencil material comes with an adhesive back. Score! I let that dry overnight, then applied another coat of paint. I let the second coat dry for about four hours, removed the stencil and viola!

Finally I got all of my siblings, nieces and nephew to write a little note (or a scribble for the little ones), and now have I a custom one of a kind grocery tote.

I think my dad is gonna love it!