Happy Halloween!

***The giveaway for a FREE Chomas Creations Marker Holder for the Silhouette Cameo will be open THIS WEEKEND!  Open to blog followers only and you can earn up to 4 entries per person. Follow my blog if you aren't already and stay tuned!***

Happy Halloween!  We trick or treated at the country club last Friday, and since we live on a private estate we really don't get any trick or treaters either.  However, I LOVE to decorate!

Hanging pumpkins courtesy of my 2 year old

Speaking of my 2 year old!

Saved from my childhood Happy Meals; along with much less cool ones that my son now gets


DIY Wickedly Handsome T-Shirt, Plus Warped Text Tutorial

Halloween fun continues!

Today I used Avery printable heat transfer material for light colored t-shirts to make this cute little shirt for my son.  I got a pack of 6 t-shirts for about $5 at Target.  The bat shape was free a few weeks ago from the Silhouette store.  He had bones & facial features, but I deleted those and kept the bat outline and then created an offset and made it a darker grey.

The fun part was the text!

See, right by the W in Wickedly, the little compass-style symbol?  Click on that symbol and drag it to any shape and...

Voila!  Don't let go of your mouse button and you can drag it back and forth around the shape as well as on and off.

Very, very cool, but it wasn't what I wanted.  Rather than just angle the text I decided to try it this way:

Draw a line (or circle, or rectangle, whatever.  I drew a line).  Drag your text to the line.

You'll see that the line you dragged it to went from red to grey.  That means it won't cut.  But will it print?

Nope!!  Awesome!

I selected the text + line and dragged it into the shape and did a test print.

Then I went back, flipped the whole thing, and printed on heat transfer paper.

Or, you could adjust the text using the green circle and tilt it however way, but experimenting with new toys (aka my Cameo) is something I'm having fun with.


Silhouette Sketch Card Challenge 10.25.2012

I am not sure I've ever entered a contest with my craft stuff (does Girl Scout Camp circa mid-1990s count?) but when I saw the Silhouette Sketch Card Challenge I decided to give it a try.  I wanted to make a card to send to someone doing me a very special favor for my son, so by the time you read this the card will be off to a good home :)

The colors are not photographing well, especially the orange.  See close up below for a better idea!

The bats are tan and black.  The damask is dark green and black.  The polka dotted strip is orange and white.  I'd take better pics in natural light, except Frankenstorm Sandy has pretty much guaranteed no sunlight for today.

One thing I love about the Cameo is the Print & Cut feature.  I have never been happy to be limited by cartridges, and while I branched out with 3rd party programs on my Cricut, I still needed things.  With Print & Cut, all I need is 8.5x11" card stock.  You can get a pack of 100 sheets at Michael's for under $4 when you coupon it.  I DID have black card stock and some tan thread laying around from previous crafts, but everything else is all Print and Cut.

Card- black card stock, Michael's
Bat background- Silhouette Store
Tag's Background- Silhouette Store
Green Background (back strip)- Silhouette Store
Orange Background (front strip)- Silhouette Store
Tiny Spiders (ungrouped & multiplied)- Silhouette Store
Skull Shape (ungrouped)- Silhouette Store
Tag Shape- Silhouette Store (I couldn't find this one; I think it was in the freebie start-up download pack)
Tan Thread- Michael's

See?  I only needed to have 3 items on hand (black card stock, white printable card stock, and thread) and I made this adorable embellished card!  I decided to go with a Halloween card because I love this holiday (a massive decorating post is coming up on Halloween itself, but you can look back for the month's posts and see for yourself!) and it seems like every other crafter on the planet has jumped ahead to Christmas, along with every store I go to, and even some Sirius radio stations!  Slow down people, we still have allll of November to decorate for!

On to the card itself!

1 page!

I eliminated the word bubble because I just thought it made the card too busy.  I tried "Happy Halloween," "BOO!" and "SPooKy!" in a creepy Halloween-y font but in the end I think it was just over the top.

The 3 spiders scared me- I was afraid their legs would rip- they're not perfect, but you can't really tell.

I did cut the orange strip so it would have a banner-like edge as the sketch did.  For the Print & Cut I just drew 2 rectangles with the rectangle tool and filled them in.  What really helped also was using "Bring to Front" "Send to Back" etc. to help me line everything up digitally before I separated it again and printed it out.

I love Print & Cut because I did not have to do any special shopping to make this.  I just got inspired by the challenge, opened up Studio, and browsed the store til I had what I needed.  Most of what I used I happen to already have!

Thanks for looking!


DIY Personalized Skeleton T-shirt

***The giveaway for a FREE Chomas Creations Marker Holder for the Silhouette Cameo is coming soon!  Open to blog followers only and you can earn up to 4 entries per person. Follow my blog if you aren't already and stay tuned!***

This little shirt was so easy to make!  It's a $4 plain t-shirt from Wal Mart, white flocked heat transfer material (sort of fuzzy & soft, a smidgy bit raised), and the "Skelly" shape from the Silhouette store.

Skelly is really easy to make.  Ungroup him and delete his torso.  I also got rid of the treat basket, but I might add that later since his lower hand is still bent like it's holding something.  If you'd rather not have that, erase that holding hand, duplicate the open hand, and flip it into place.

I found a bone-shaped font and wrote my son's name, mirrored it, and flipped it vertically.  Then it was resized to fit where the rib cage would go (I think I moved the legs a bit lower too.  You can move whatever you want!).  Then, just load the paper into the cameo & hit "Cut."

I used Silhouette brand white flocked heat transfer paper.  I did find that I had to iron directly onto the backing before it would adhere- having a cloth over it was too much of a buffer for flocked material I guess.

I still may cut the treat bag in black HTV and iron it onto that hand- we'll see!


Layered Vinyl Elmo Tumbler

***The giveaway for a FREE Chomas Creations Marker Holder for the Silhouette Cameo is coming soon!  Open to blog followers only and you can earn up to 4 entries per person. Follow my blog if you aren't already and stay tuned!***

My poor little guy isn't feeling well and doesn't want any fluids, so I left him in front of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (my crafty room actually has no doors, just 2 arches, and it's about 10 steps away from the living room, so it's easy to keep an eye on him and craft) and set off to make a bribe with another Dollar Tree tumbler (my first one with a wrap template found here).

This time I decided to layer an image itself and picked Elmo because until my two vinyl orders arrive I'm pretty low on inventory.  I also wanted to do this fast so I separated black, red, and white on the mat and then Frankenstein-layered the colors of vinyl on the mat as well.

While the Cameo does do Print & Cut, and I do have printable vinyl, this is just red, black, and white vinyl.  Only the edges of the shapes cut.  I just kept them shaded since it was easier to see.

Here's a fairly dark photo of the final layered result.  Incidentally, it's gloomy all over today because of Sandy; anyone else in her path?  I have a wedding to go to tonight too!  Fingers crossed for no power outage!

If you're looking at this and realizing that I had no orange vinyl, you're right, I didn't.  Elmo has an orange nose thanks to an orange Sharpie marker.  

Mission accomplished, sicky toddler boy is drinking water and I got some crafty time before Frankenstorm Sandy really gets going and shuts off the electricity!  Stay safe everyone!


Dollar Tree Tumbler Wraps

***The giveaway for a FREE Chomas Creations Marker Holder for the Silhouette Cameo is coming soon!  Open to blog followers only and you can earn up to 4 entries per person.  Follow my blog if you aren't already and stay tuned!***

I was excited today to see tumblers at Dollar Tree (where they actually were $1- at Dollar General the exact same ones are $2.50!) and started looking for a way to personalize them.  All 16oz tumblers can vary a bit in dimensions, but I found a blank that did not fit on Michelle's Digital Creations blog (no fault of hers, she made them for a different brand.  It actually *almost* fit).  I used her file as a guide, since the curve would give me headaches if I tried to freehand it.

It took some time and a lot of test cutting but I finally got a blank that fits the 16oz Dollar Tree tumblers and you can download it right here for free.   If you use my guide for your Dollar Tree tumblers, look at your tumbler around the bottom.  Notice how it's double walled?  And that the inner liquid holding cup starts a tiny bit above the real bottom of the cup?  Line the bottom of this blank up with the bottom of that inner cup and it will match up perfectly.

Can you see the red cut lines?  I'm sorry that it's so hard to see!  I found that highlighting this picture helps somewhat.

I then took my blank file and decided that my day wasn't hectic enough, I needed to make pretty pattern and weed it.  All the tiny pieces of it.  Then wrapped it around- which has a learning curve!- and cut a vinyl name to go over it.  This was done by filling the blank with a cut file pattern so that it cut the pattern in the shape of the wrap itself.

I'm basically calling this attempt 1.  I will most likely peel it off and try a simpler pattern, or just the name + embellishments and not a full pattern.  The pattern isn't 100% smooth due to me not ever having wrapped on a curve before, and the name is too big for my liking ("Ciarra").

On the vinyl note, outdoor grade vinyl (such as Oracle 651) is recommended since tumblers will need to be washed if you drink out of them.  Many say to hand wash, some have used the dishwasher with no issues.

I share my files on 4Shared, which is free but may require registration.  Please do not upload my files anywhere without my permission, but feel free to share either blog post links or the 4Shared link itself.


Personalized Wipes Case

With my son going to preschool, we decided to send him in disposable diapers rather than cloth.  I also had to get a little wipes case to send with the diapers.  It was boring and could easily get mixed up.

Not any more!

Designed with Oracle 341 Vinyl & the Silhouette Cameo.  341 is a removable grade so that when I get bored and start changing it up weekly, it'll be easy(ish).


Framed Transportation Room Decor- free cutting file!

I saw the cutest framed vinyl 12x12 project the other day.  All I saw was a photo.  I poked around and decided it would be easier to just re-create it myself using card stock instead of vinyl.  My son's room is ALL cars...mostly the Disney movie, but cars in general are his thing right now, and we had a blank spot on the wall that this is perfect for!

The first thing I had to do was get supplies.

Frame- 12x12 scrapbook frame at Michaels
Package of colored card stock
1 piece of white card stock (wasn't in the colored package)
1 piece of card stock with a grid pattern- not really necessary but you'll see that I used it to help line everything up.

Total (with two coupons):  $9.09 tax included, and I have about 75 pieces of 12x12 card stock left over

So first, I had to find all the images.  Lots of google helped here.  I saved them all and then traced them in Silhouette Studio.

Untraced images

Next came the grid.  I wanted this to fill most of a 12x12, evenly spaced.  I wanted the squares to be actual squares also.  I drew one, resized it, and duplicated it til everything was lined up.

Next I cut this blank grid out to help with spacing.  I used my paper that had a grid just to give me a little more help.  I paperclipped this guide to the white cardstock that I'd be gluing on to.

Not at the gluing step yet, but showing the grid!

So now I took all of those images that I traced and resized each to fit inside the grid.  My son's name is a font called Cargo Crate.

I liked how it looked.  Now I separated them into what would be colored what- in this case, both arrows are black, so I just kept those two on to cut on black cardstock.  Then the oranges, red, yellow, green, blue, & grey.  One by one, moving things on and off the cutting area.

Everything gets glued inside the grid (look up 3 pictures if you've forgotten).  Since I used the outer area and not the shape itself that was cut (I don't know if there are proper terms here), I stuck all the shapes in an envelope for another day.  After everything was placed I unclipped the grid and let it sit to dry for a few minutes.

Want to make one yourself?  You're in luck, because I'm sharing the file for free right here!  Also, go here if you need to download the blank grid (maybe fill it with tiaras and flowers instead of vehicles, for a girl?).  All you need is a free font called Cargo Crate to fill in the name square and the proper materials for actually cutting & framing. I hope you enjoy it and if you use it to make something, please come share a pic! :)

Also, that giveaway for a free Chomas Creations Marker Holder is coming soon- open to blog followers (and you're chances are pretty high!), so stay tuned!


Silhouette Dial Calender

***In a few days I will be doing a giveawy for a FREE Chomas Creations Marker Holder for the Silhouette Cameo- open to followers only & you can earn up to 4 entries!  Your odds here are pretty good- stay tuned!**

In the Silhouette Store there is a 99 cent dial calender shape.  I bought it when I was browsing the store before my Cameo had even arrived.  It looks boring in the stock photo (sorry, Samantha Walker Designs, it does!) but I had an idea that I could spruce it up.  My original idea was filling the blank space with a sticky note pad and a pen.

Then my Cameo got here and all the blank space looked intimidating in the Studio software, so I left it alone.

A few days ago the dial calender was featured on the Silhouette Blog and I decided to give it a try.  Seeing that blank space filled up actually helped me visualize it better.  I abandoned the idea of adding a note pad and just embellished with a cute 99 cent bird & branch shape.

The yellow papers are all 59 cent card stock from Michael's.  The dials with the numbers and months, as well as the bird & branch shape, were made with Print & Cut onto white card stock.  Steel blue brads and brown twine finish everything off.

I'm glad I gave it a shot.  I like how it came out.


iPhone 4S Shape Insert with the Silhouette Cameo- FREE DOWNLOAD!

I love making customized inserts for my iPhone 4S case!  I've made a bunch before, but never on the cameo before.  This is one project where Print & Cut comes in handy- design, print, and cut, all within the same software.

The bottom 3 are just patterned paper scraps I had- I don't normally save scraps but this is a good way to use them up!  The top one with my initial was designed using Print & Cut in the Silhouette Software.

If you are just using patterned paper, just open the shape, load your paper, and cut it out.

Every clear case is slightly different as far as the camera hole.  The camera hole cut out is more than enough to be clear of your lens and flash, which is really all that matters.  Some cases have a tiny oval opening, some have a large square.  I really don't mind the extra tiny bit of paper because it doesn't bother the camera.

If you want to personalize it, you can do that right there in Silhouette Studio.  

I just used a patterned fill that came stock, drew two circles (one bigger for the border), matched the colors, typed "g" and found a font I liked.  I grouped those shapes together and placed it onto the iPhone shape, and then went to Cut Options and selected "No Cut" for the monogram shape.  Otherwise it would cut all of that out and not work for what we're doing here.

This way, the edge and the camera hole still cut, but your monogram isn't cut to pieces in the process.

My case is a $5 clear plastic case from Radio Shack.  I've had it since February of this year and it's in great shape.  A few scratches, but no cracks, and it's been abused like you wouldn't believe.  My two year old has even stood on my iPhone while this case was on and both are fine.  I love the versatility and personalization that can be done, the only limit is your imagination and you won't spend a fortune every time you want a new case!

Want to design your own?  Click here to go to 4Shared and download my cutting file!  DO NOT RESIZE THIS SHAPE!  If you do, don't save!  Close & reopen it and it should be the correct size, IF you didn't save it resized!

***In a few days I will be doing a giveaway for a free Chomas Creations Marker Holder for the Silhouette Cameo- Following my blog is required and you can earn up to 4 entries in the drawing!  Stay tuned!


Silhouette Rhinestone Kit- A Review

Last time I posted I was so excited to receive a few early birthday gifts and one was the Silhouette Rhinestone Kit!

In addition I got a bunch of extra rhinestones and I was really excited to try this one out.

When it comes to crafting I always say that I suffer from craft over confidence.  I just never, ever think that I can't do something and I rarely will abandon a project, even if I have to tweak or otherwise change it...or even if it ends up looking wonky when it's finished.

How does that relate to the rhinestone kit?  This kit- heck, the ability to make templates in general- is such a great idea that is an utter pain in the butt when executed.

Starts off easy- the kit comes with a bunch of free templates and each template has 3 sizes.  All my rhinestones were 10ss which is the smallest size.  For obvious hole-size reasons you can't resize the templates.

So, I picked this cute star, deleted the two bigger sizes, and positioned it.

It cuts the small holes, and not that nicely unfortunately.  I followed the Silhouette settings exactly- chose the correct paper option, blade set as indicated- and it cut completely through the template and the backing, yet some of the circles in the top layer weren't cleanly cut.  Don't ask me how- I mean, the bottom layer was cut clean through!- but I had to spend a few minutes poking the holes out of the top layer.

Place a rhinestone board into a box (for rhinestone corralling), peel off the template that was just cut, and stick it on the board.

Now for the real pain.

The directions say to pour some rhinestones over it and brush with the included rhinestone brush to get them in the holes.

Ok, here's the thing.  Most designs are not just one color, even for rhinestones.  In fact this was a patriotic colored design in the Silhouette store, with the inner and outer stars being different colors.  How does that happen with a brush?  It doesn't.

You have to slowly, painfully, mind-numbingly use tweezers with a teeeeeeny bit of glue on the end (and the hook tool, to push them off), remove all of the ones in the spot you DIDN'T want that color, put them all into place, and then fill in the other color one by one since you can't brush or it'll mess it up.  

Silhouette says that with the brush, "most" of the rhinestones should be in place and they sell a pick up tool for the ones that aren't, which is cheap and I'll probably buy it, but I'll be hunting to see if Silhouette addressed the multi color issue.

For the sake of argument  here's how many were in place after the brushing.  Except, the inner star isn't going to be gold.

One by one, I removed the strays, finished off the outer star, and then (slowly) filled in the inner star.

About 25 minutes went by while I put the rhinestones in the correct places.  No kidding.

Now that they are (finally!) in place, stick some transfer tape over...

The directions don't mention to rub this several times but I really think it's a necessity.  The rhinestones did not just "stick" upon contact with this tape.

Once I used the tweezers AGAIN to fix the holes- and the one pink where a gold should have been- I placed it on the shirt where I wanted it and pressed all over.

The directions say to place a drop cloth over the top, iron on the wool setting for 45-60 seconds, turn the shirt inside out, and repeat.

I did.

Rhinestones still peeled off with the transfer tape.

I stuck it back down and tried again.

Only two missing this time, score!

I got some fabric glue and tweezered the last two into place using it.

It's cute, but I'm pretty much terrified to wear or wash it.  The only thing that has me NOT cursing and having a strong drink is the hope that somehow this technique improves with practice.