Holiday Gift Tag Exchange and tutorial!

2013 Edition of The Silhouette Challenge Gift Tag Swap and a Tutorial

Hi everyone! I'm so glad that you stopped by to take a peek at my gift tags!

As most of you know, I am part of an AMAZING group of ladies (and maybe a gentleman or 2) who participated in The Silhouette Challenge. What is it you ask? It was created by Lauren at The Thinking Closet in order to challenge herself to tackle and share ONE new project per month with the Silhouette Cameo she got for Christmas last year. I have had the privilege of being a member for 11 months now, participating in the Challenge a few times as well as becoming a part of a wonderful family. The ladies that are in this group are so kind and wonderful I feel like I am rubbing elbows with the celebs! This is really the ONLY group on Facebook that I get notifications if someone posts directly to my phone (I'm a member of a TON of groups - but this one gets priority) because I dislike very deeply receiving notifications all day long.

Want in on the fun? Fill out the form here, or to learn more about the challenge visit The Thinking Closet and find out what you may be missing. In case you haven't noticed, I might be Lauren's biggest fan!

Onto the main event:
We had a really fun "scrap" swap a few months ago where the members de-stashed their collections (because, really... what crafter doesn't have TOO MUCH of something?) and sent it to someone else. I got REALLY LUCKY and was able to swap with a friend of mine that lives in South Africa. So I got some really cool stuff that I still need to post a blog about.

During October, we were offered another fantastical opportunity to participate in a gift tag exchange. Everyone who participated would make X number of gift tags, send to The North Pole where they were sorted by Santa's elf and sent back to us in a prestamped envelope.


   Everyone gets different gift tags from all their friends! Awesome!

So, if you're interested, here's a quick tutorial on how I made my tags. 

1. Pick out a design - this is always the hardest part for me because I can never make up my mind. Fortunately, I also procrastinate a lot so I had to choose rather quickly to get them to Santa's Elf in time - 

I took red cardstock (regular old cardstock) and found a gift tag shape that I liked. I wanted my tags to fold in the middle, so I took the design and mirrored above to get this. Then, I perforated the middle of the tags to make folding them easier and so that everything would line up.

Then I went to The Silhouette Online Store and bought a Christmas tree file to use. Then I found some green polka dot paper and thought that would be super cute (I was right) in a Christmas tag so I got to work. First take your image and place it in the tag and make sure to size it down to fit inside ONE PART of the tag. Then, copy and paste and see how many you can get to fit on a page!

    Next, I made a little box to cut the polka dotty paper so it wouldn't show out of the edges of the tag but would be JUST RIGHT (kinda like the three bears story).

Then you can arrange the squares on your liner paper and cut a whole bunch of those out at once. I bought 12 papers and only used 1. 

Alrighty, now cut all your tags out and the liner paper boxes. You'll end up with an unexpected bonus...
{which I believe has already been claimed by my naughty Elf, Jangle. He gets away with more than the average elf because he comes to an adult only house. I think he's the "black sheep" at the North Pole because he does some VERY NAUGHTY things while he's with us.}

Now, once you get everything cut out and punched and all that great wonderful stuff, then you take your tag and place some glue on the INSIDE EDGE so the green square has something to stick to. I used a Zig Stick for this part, and it gets a little messy (maybe its just me that's messy!) and for purpose I put a border of glue around the square as well to make sure that it stuck. stick the square on there and make sure its not poking around the edges (unless that's your thang-in which case, go on with ya bad self) and when the glue dries you can fold them up and decorate them with ribbon or GLITTER!!!! (which was my intention but I ran out of time - did I mention that I procrastinated a bit on this?)

Clear as mud?


You should end up with something that looks like this:
(imagine it has beautiful ribbon, will ya?)


In no particular order, these are the tags that I received and you can go check out the Linky Party **here** to get to the main event

Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope that you enjoyed my tutorial. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask - and I wish everyone the Merriest of Christmases ever. My challenge to myself in the year of 2014 will be to blog at least ONCE a month (gotta start somewhere) instead of once every few months... so stay tuned.

While you're here and in the Christmas spirit, our most wonderfully talented leader, Lauren of The Thinking Closet has been nominated for an award from the Florida Blogger & Social Media Conference, and if you don't mind could you please go and vote for your favorite in the Home Improvement/DIY/Crafts section? (THE THINKING CLOSET) I'm obviously biased, but Lauren is friends with the other 2 finalists, so if your loyalties lie elsewhere, I will understand (that may be an exaggeration - I am a big fan of The Thinking Closet)

PS - all of the photos on here are MINE and property of me, so please do not use them without asking. Thanks.


Look what my friends did!

I have been super busy with school this month, and blogging for a class about it (which includes writing HTML, JavaScript, and CSS - ugh) and learning all the ins and outs of web design that I haven't had the time - or energy - to write up a post about what I made for you all this month in 
but all of my bloggy friends are so devoted that they made some super awesome stuff, and I didn't want any of you to feel left out this month. So without further procrastination, here they are!
I'm super excited about all of the cool stuff on here as well! Now, should you want to participate in our Challenge, or just meet some really awesome ladies, we would LOVE to have you. Just e-mail Lauren at The Thinking Closet and she'll oh so cheerfully add you and we'll have lots of fun!

D.I.Y. Canvas Date Art - The House on Hillbrook
Paint Chip Spring Ornaments - Coley's Corner
Mother's Day Celebration - Creative Turn


How to not lose your sunglasses - Silhouette Style

I have lost misplaced (for almost a year) my FAVORITE pair of sunglasses. I have been making do with some of the spares that I had on hand, but once you have these polarized lenses and you fall in love - nothing seems to hold a candle to them. These sunglasses were acquired free of charge and it seemed that I was UNABLE to lose misplace them until sometime after February/March of last year (thats the last time that I have them on record in photos) and now, they have grown legs and wandered off. So after braving last summer without my UV blockers, I knew exactly what I wanted for my birthday - new Costa Del Mar sunglasses.

My birthday is my FAVORITE holiday of the year! I've always loved birthdays because they are YOUR day - you don't have to share with a bunch of other people, and I'm happy to be here! I just think they're special and should be celebrated as such. My bestie used to tease me about my obsession excitement over birthdays and tell me that I would go into a depression if no one told me Happy Birthday. Thankfully, Facebook makes sure that doesn't happen - and my WONDERFUL friends & family! So, now that I'm another year older - nothing has changed, except that I have a brand new pair of really awesome sunglasses that I have the privilege of keeping up with...

see even my puppies were excited it was my birthday!

Alright, so Crafty Mom lives on a beautiful lake! If its summer, and not raining, she's in her boat on the water - and I can't blame her!

girls cruise
This is a view of the lake from the air. You can't even see the whole thing in this picture, but most of it is there. We like to ride in the boat in the summer, and "float" with our friends, and ski, fish,  tube, whatever goes really. They have a "floatilla"  on LC, but really its just where a bunch of boats get together and tie themselves in a line so they can all hang out (gymnastic skills required to navigate from boat to boat) - it really looks like a classier redneck yacht club. Really, the lake is almost its own form of transportation - its quicker in the boat!

Paris loves to ride
Floatilla from the water
4th of July party with all the boats

Floatilla from water - see redneck yacht club
And here I am - on the lake - so relaxing!

Now, with all of that fun coming up this summer - how will I keep up with my new sunglasses?! I'm not the best "keeper upper" if you know what I mean. I'm the one who looks for my phone while I'm talking on it. And not to mention, they don't float...
So, onto Pinterest and Etsy I went - found some great sunglass straps at a great price that float (I think - if not I'll pop a cork on them and they'll float then). I ended up getting a chevron lime green strap for CraftyMom and a chevron hot pink for me.

SIDEBAR: The company that I got these from was AWESOME! Excellent customer service - and super fast shipping. Now they carry a whole LOAD of stuff on the site that wasn't on their Etsy shop, and I'm glad I didn't see all of that before I ordered! But they sell the sunglass straps for an awesome price (seriously-you can't find this quality for this price anywhere else, and I looked), koozies of every sort, and some random cool stuff like baby bottle koozies, energy drink koozies, water bottle koozies, ice bucket koozies and loads more. AND they have LOTS of colors and patterns to choose from! I'm getting ready to order some stuff for the BF for his birthday in May!

So, I saw some sunglass straps that were monogrammed, and thought I'd just take these and get them monogrammed. Well, I get to the shop and the lady & I start talking and of course I'm rambling on about Gertie and how much I love her and everything and I mentioned that I had thought about using HTV on them. She thought it would be a good idea too gave me a sample of the yellow HTV that she uses and I was on my way home back to Gertie so she could make them pretty and personal for me.

Now I had teal and black and didn't know how well it would show up, etc but figured it was worth a shot, I could always peel it off and try again, right? So, I messed up most of the yellow vinyl by cutting it but not cutting it deep enough because its so much thicker than the Silhouette HTV that I had. So, in the beginning I just figured I would do them both in teal and be done with it...

These were the font choices that I gave CraftyMom for the temple part of hers and what I ended up with on mine. I wasn't sure that I liked the way that the teal looked on the pink - but I think that it showed up REALLY well on the lime green! Now, during this, I had to cut the monograms SO TINY (literally smaller than an inch) so after putting in the vinyl the wrong side up twice (it might have been late and I sleepy) I just went with the regular Silhouette settings for HTV - WRONG!!! If you are cutting something this tiny, make sure that you SLOW YOUR SPEED DOWN and DOUBLE CUT! I also found that it was easier to weed and cut a little better when I used my mat. I used a blade depth of 2 and speed of 4. 

Doin' Fine is the name of CraftyMoms boat, and she wanted it on her strap. I was going to surprise her with them, but I can't ever keep a secret of something that I'M trying to do for someone ( I just get SO EXCITED) and she wanted her boat name on there. The process for the heat transfer was the same - turn the iron on Cotton and put something really thin (like really thin) between the strap and the iron (the neoprene will melt, please don't ask me how I know) and set it down on the design - go get a snack or let the dogs out and come back in about 2-3 minutes. Remove the iron and the whatever you decided to barrier with. Peel up a TINY corner and see if the design is stuck on there yet. No? I just ironed the plastic in like 10 second intervals at this point (keep it moving, sista) and checked. Then when the HTV was stuck, it didn't look stuck good to me so I ran the iron over the vinyl for a few seconds to make sure it was on there good. Make sure that its the design you want and you don't want to change colors before "heat setting" your vinyl because you can kinda tear stuff up when you try to peel it off - you'll see. So, I ended up with these as the finished product, and hopefully we will have these glasses for years!

Sorry for the picture quality, I will have to work on my photography skills but I think you can tell how they turned out! Much better than monogramming, IMHO, because I can use the intricate fonts if I want to. and if you look carefully on my monogram beside the fleur de lis you'll be able to see where I pulled some of the threads up when I peeled the teal off, but I do like the yellow and it was about all I had left to work with!

I'll let you know if they float or not... :)

Now for the part you really wanted to get to - the Silhouette Challenge of March.  Thanks for joining me and reading this really long post (hey - I promised more pictures, didn't I?) and please visit the other bloggers who are participating in the Silhouette Challenge with me.

Want to know more about the Silhouette Challenge??? Visit Lauren at The Thinking Closet and read her post about the group posting events. We also have a super fun FB group - and everyone is SO NICE and friendly and encouraging so I can't wait to go and see what everyone has created as well!

Gender Neutral Onesies & Free Cut Files - (The Thinking Closet)
Personalized Kindle Fire Cover - (Daily Dwelling)
Their WORD for 2013: A Gift - (An Elegant Touch)
Pinch-Proof Shamrock Pin - (Coley's Corner)
Lucky - (Sugar Bee Crafts)

Hope everyone has a FANTASTIC week and feel free to follow or comment. I'm looking forward to some floating time in the lake this summer , what are your plans?


I've missed you too!

Hey y'all! I know how much you all missed me while I meant to update and didn't. Good news? I did not miss you because you all are such wonderful bloggers and update more frequently than I, and I get them delivered right to my inbox, and my Bloglovin' feed, and my Google Reader, and my Facebook...(you get the idea, right?)

Well since we last chatted I have decided that I want to name my Silhouette Cameo, firstly because I don't like everyone having the same name as mine. And secondly, because my lil' Cameo and I have gotten to be good friends - I know that she doesn't like to work extra overtime and that she likes to have her beauty rest (she's awful cranky if I forget to turn her off at night). So I was pondering over some names and Gertrude is the one that stuck! So Gertie and I have been playing with lots of stuff, and messing lots of stuff up! (Just this week I cut the HTV wrong side up...twice - same night) We did buy the new Designer Edition software so we could play with SVG files, and patterns, and rhinestones...oh my! We made thank you cards after my birthday, well we tried - Gertie's blade was angry so she only cut a few. I don't think she's a huge fan of paper crafts! But thanks Lauren @ The Thinking Closet for giving the free file so I didn't have to spend hours creating one & for the discount code to get the Designer Edition & for hosting the Silhouette (and Gertie) Challenge & putting up with all my silly questions!

Oh, well my goodness, I haven't even shown you Gerties debut photo op have I? Shame on me! Hold on...there she is!
Isn't she a beauty?!?! 

And I also made some wall decor! I've been thinking about what I wanted to hang in my craft/office/catchall/spare bedroom and I figured that if I get tired of this, I'll just peel it off and slap something else up there! However, I can *NOT* take credit for this image - it came from the nicest lady in a Facebook group who was gracious enough to share the file with me, so all I really did was choose a different color than hers, fire up Gertie and let er rip! But, I do LOVE the way that it turned out, and it's a nice reminder to have around! I'm kind of diggin' it something serious - 

I'll be doing another post for MONDAY for the Silhouette Challenge! I lose everything if it's not attached, so that is the only hint that you get! If you have a Silhouette and want to join in on the fun - you aren't too late! Email Lauren @ The Thinking Closet to get in on the good times. We even have a Facebook group - so its pretty official (and lots of fun - we have a FANTASTIC group of ladies and you get to hear about everything that I mess up, and giggle at me - I don't mind, someone has to mess it up so we know how to do it!
Wanna play too? We're very friendly in the sandbox & share well
I have lots more to share, but I think we're maxxed out tonight, Gertie is already asleep! I hope that you all have a super fantastic weekend and I'll be seeing (pun intended - thats another hint) you Monday!


Silhouette Heat Transfer onesie

Hey y'all! 

I mentioned in my last post that I was doing the Silhouette Challenge with some REALLY AWESOME and CREATIVE bloggers, I'm super EXCITED to see what everyone has created and everything that will be created when you let your creative juices flow!

I'm at a point in my life that I always knew would come.  It seems like everyone I know is pregnant or just had a baby! I have about 6 friends that I needed baby gifts for, and I thought what a fantastic reason for me to play with the Silhouette Smooth Heat Transfer vinyl! I didn't want to mess anything really expensive up with it, and I wanted something small that I could start with and learn from. So, lets do a walkthrough of how everything went down and what I messed up, so that you don't have to make the same mistakes!


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2013. The Year of the Blog - specifically this one.

Hi everyone!  I'm back, and I have been meaning to update this with all of the fun stuff I have been doing, but didn't.  Let's see, I made MOST of my Christmas gifts this year!  Homemade, handmade, took forever made...you get the idea.  The reason that it takes forever is because when I was trying to think of what I wanted to make, I'd get on Pinterest.  Its a deep dark hole from there.

I ended up getting my DREAM MACHINE for Christmas - a Silhouette Cameo!  I have wanted one of these for a very long time - I wanted the SD first - then when the Cameo came out, I wanted that. So I have been having lots of fun with my new toy and made my sisters some Dollar Tree pizza pan magnet boards for their makeup!  They turned out really good, and they seemed to like them a whole bunch!

Here is what I did with these:
1.  Bought pizza tray from Dollar Tree
2.  Put a coat of primer or something on it for the paint to stick to.  I used Martha Stewart Primer/Sealer that I got at Home Depot and I liked the way that it worked.  Just make sure that you have a primer for the paint to stick to or you will end up painting it about 15 times. 
3.  Paint, let dry, repeat. Do this until you have reached the correct color, or in my case...it was all ONE color.
4.  Put another THICK coat of primer/sealer on and let that dry.
5.  Go sit down at the computer and try not to get too distracted while you cut the monograms out. I have a hard time choosing a font and change it so much that it doesn't even end up looking like the original font when I'm done. I used the Silhouette Vinyl for this.  The black is the premium and the purple vinyl is regular.  
6.  Carefully apply the monograms on the painted tins.  I waited overnight and let them dry, but you could probably give it an hour or 2 and it would be OK to work with.  I didn't use any transfer material because when I tried it was peeling the paint up and I figured that I could just wing it.  If you look carefully you can see the purple is off center and a little crooked.  Beauty is not perfection, folks.
7.  Apply another coat or 2 of the primer/sealer and wait for it to dry.  WAH-LAH all done!

I got some magnets at WalMart for like $2 that already had foam adhesive on the other side so all they had to do was stick it to their makeup and it would hold on the pan!  I was going to drill a hole in it, but my drill has been lent out and not returned yet.  (I'm not thrilled about it either)

So, there you go.  Thats my first "crafty" blog with my precious Silhouette machine.  Ya'll, I have to admit, for a "tool", I'm a little obsessed with it.  I'm a little intimidated too!  My next project is some heat transfer since that is what came with my kit....

I have also made some FABULOUS new blogger friends that promised not to make fun of my baby blog and have graciously invited me to link up with their 12 month Silhouette project.  Lauren over at The Thinking Closet has been so nice and personal! 

Here's a link to The Silhouette Challenge (I have NO IDEA) how to put the picture as a link, I think I'm doing pretty good to get the picture in here and a working link beside it.  So, mind your manners and click on the blue part and not the pretty picture, please.


Alrighty,  I will do my best to be a more active blogger and think up some creativespired stuff to put on here for everyone.

Thanks for reading!