Friday, January 6, 2017

My First Silhouette Cameo Project

 

January always seems like a long month for me, short days, gray weather, the rush of the holidays are over. It’s not that I don’t enjoy it, it just seems to last longer than the average month.

Today as I type this, I am sitting inside the window with a ray of glorious sunshine warming me, so today we are blessed with bright sunshine. (though we had a frigid 1 degree this morning:( )

We also had an inch or so of light, fluffy snow yesterday afternoon and last night. I am thankful for our picture windows to admire the beauty outside while being cooped indoors.

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The birds (and squirrels :/) are an entertainment on days like this..

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Of course, Pebbles watches them for a different reason than what I do..:(

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Getting to the point of this post here.. I saved up some money from Birthday and Christmas gifts to buy a new toy for myself..  a Silhouette Cameo! (drum roll) I admit to feeling like a child on Christmas morning when I took it out of the box. Folks, this is a crafters dream!

I won’t keep on fussing too much here, but to put it in one sentence: After years of carbon paper, scissors, hours of cutting out stencils, aching arms from holding stuff in place, and the list goes on, this machine does all that and more!

Now, I admit to felling a bit intimidated while setting it up and yes, I’ve had frustrations already, BUT I can see where it’s a learning process and the more I familiarize myself with it, the better it will go. Also, there are tons of great videos out there to help along.

 

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I’ve never owned a Cricut, but I’m hearing on videos and from other people that the Cameo is similar to the Cricut, maybe a little more advanced.

I will have a more detailed post in the future, once I know my Cameo ( I like that, “my Cameo,” almost like a child Smile) better. So far, I’ve only used vinyl for my project and typical of me, I ended up trying one of the more difficult things with it first, instead of easing into it, so I did have a little stress, but it ended up turning out okay, for a first project.

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I love designing wall scrolls, so I decided to make one out of brown craft paper for our living room wall.

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Up close..

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The letters are black vinyl letters, which the Cameo cut out, after I programmed it to do so. I peeled the words off the adhesive vinyl backing and placed them onto the craft paper. Usually there is a technique where you use clear transfer paper to take the letters off, but for me (or maybe the brand of transfer paper I had) it didn’t work very well and I ended up wasting precious vinyl. I want to try some other methods on the next project.

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I used an empty cardboard tube to wrap the craft paper around a few times on the top and for the bottom, I just rolled it up and glued it to make it look like a scroll.

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It’s not perfect but it’s just the look I wanted for that wall in the living room!

I can’t wait to try another project with this amazing machine! The possibilities are endless!

Happy Friday, everyone!

-Mary

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Pallet Beach Sign

 

Happy New year, everyone! We are having typical Ohio weather these days.. foggy, rainy and upcoming cold fronts in the forecast. One word describes most winter days in Ohio.. Gray.

 

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Now and then there’s a sunshiny day, but not very often.

I want to share an easy project with you that I made this past Fall. I didn’t spend a dime on making it, only some time. The only materials involved were an old pallet and twigs. I did use a little bit of paint, staples, glue and a clear spray paint, so I guess there was a small expense involved, but for me, I always have those items on hand so it seems like I’m not spending anything.

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I tore the pallet apart and cut all the boards the same length. I applied three coats of white paint to the boards. The paint I used was my go-to paint, Ormes hardware’s Do It Best paint/primer in one paint. I sanded between coats to get a nice, smooth finish.

Next, I gathered various sizes of twigs that had most of the bark gone and soaked them in hot water with some washing soda for about an hour.

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I scrubbed them with a brush to remove any bark and dirt.

I put them on a towel to dry.

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I then put them in the oven for around an hour at 150 degrees.

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They got all driftwoody, which was exactly the look I wanted. I loved how they looked beside another project I had going on..

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Natural wood and white does something to me. My heart actually skips a beat when I see it together, seriously. :)

I then proceeded to make a crab out of the twigs. I cut some of them with pruners and some I was able to break to the right size. I lay everything down on the pallet wood, which I had since fastened together to make one large piece of wood. After I liked the shape of the crab, I glued the twigs down, piece by piece. Some of the larger ones I pinned down with my trusty air nailer.

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After everything was securely fastened, I sprayed the wood evenly with a coat of clear spray paint. (Rustoleum brand)

The sign was a gift to my niece, who has a beach themed room…

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I always like to walk into her room. It almost feels like I’m at the ocean!

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I’m already thinking of a sign I’d want to make for our home to hang above the mantle in the living room. I want to use natural twigs and white pallet boards, but I’m not sure of the shape yet.

 

On another note, I did some wall art on our chalk board wall the other day. I came across this quote and knew it was the perfect definition of Home..

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Isn’t it true? :)

I hope everyone is having a blessed New Year!

Thanks for visiting!

-Mary

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Forcing Paper Whites

 

 

I can’t believe we are only a few days away from Christmas!

 

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The stockings are hung, the gifts are wrapped, the money is spent. :/ (I don’t mean to sound scrooge - like but whew, I’m tired of spending money!)

Around this time of the year I begin to feel an overwhelming urge to see blooms. After all, it’s been a few months since I’ve seen any around here, and nine months since a spring bloom burst from the ground.

On November 15th I planted Paper Whites that I got on clearance at Walmart.

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I put gravel in pots..

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I placed the bulbs, which had little sprouts already, onto the gravel and filled the pots with water up to the bottom of the bulb.

I placed the pots under the upstairs sky light, so they had plenty of light.

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After 15 days, this is what was happening..

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As you can see, some were sprouted more than others.

On the 30th day, I took the longest shoots and put them all in one pot. At that time they were just about to bloom. The rest are presently still upstairs under the sky light. Some of them look like they aren’t going to make it, but a few of them are still growing.

Here are the ones I combined in one pot on December 19th, 34 days after planting..

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They grew tall enough that I tied a string around them for support.

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I like to play around with different backgrounds..

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Just seeing the fresh green color and the white blooms brought so much cheer into a room. Notice I used the past tense, “brought.” Sadly, the drawback with these flowers is the smell. Sad smile They are now in the basement because no one likes the smell of them. I would have put up with it since I liked to see them so much but every time I was gone, they would be moved to a remote location. :(

I want to do some research on this issue. Maybe there is something I could add to the water next time to make them smell better? I would love any feedback if any of you have tried forcing these bulbs.

I will show off some other blooms that are residing in our home. They look just as good and smell amazing! Plus, they came from a pretty awesome person who happens to be my hubby. Smile

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Merry Christmas, everyone!

-Mary

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

2016 Christmas Fair

 

I’ve had a ton of fun getting ready for the upcoming Christmas fair that will be held in our local town of Berlin, Ohio on Saturday, December 17th.

I’ve done fairs in the past, but this is my first time with this particular one, so I can’t tell you too much about it, other than I think there will be around 20 vendors there. We are hoping to have many last minute Christmas shoppers stopping by! It’s also a fund raiser for the Hair for Hope foundation, so it’s definitely going for a good cause..

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I thought about simply sharing some photos on my Facebook timeline of some of the things that you will find in my booth, as I have been doing, but then I decided it would be easier to just write a post and publish it here on my blog for those of you that are interested.

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Since I have a very limited space, it has been challenging for me to stay small. I’m not used to this way of thinking in the annual Walnut Creek Vintage fair, so I had to continually remind myself to stop making things!

Seriously, I joke about this, but it has posed a problem. I will wildly try to create all the things I have in my mind to make, and end up having six different little projects going on. One morning a few weeks ago, I told myself “today is the day that I will finish all the things I have started, and only then will I start something new” Before lunch time, I had maybe finished one or two items, and once again started a few new ones! At times it almost feels like I have no control! Anyway, it usually, surprisingly, all works out in the end even if it’s a bit last minute.

Just because I rarely share with you my mess ups here on my blog, don’t think they don’t happen, because they do! I even took a few pictures the other day of a few flops..

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I’ve developed a fascination for mod podge, but I’ve discovered it’s a bit tricky to use. The signs pictured above are an example of mod podge flops. You may not be able to tell in the picture, but let’s just say they will make good fire starter in our wood burning furnace this winter. An inkjet print out doesn’t like mod podge very well.

I did some Christmas gift boxes, where I took old drawers, painted them and filled them with some decorating items that maybe someone would like to buy as a Christmas gift for someone, or for themselves.

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 I wanted to do a garden themed box and printed out some images of plants to use for the drawer front. You may not be able to tell from the picture below, but the images look horribly discolored. So here is another flop..

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Again, it may be due to the fact that inkjet printers and mod podge don’t mix or just poor quality images, either way, I ended up sanding it down and re-covering it with a nice green contact paper that I thought fit the gardening theme.

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So, besides some time wasting mess ups now and then, everything went fairly smooth in getting ready for this fair. I set up my table in my workshop, so I would have a better idea of how much space I have and it will help to make it easier when it comes to set up time, to know where everything goes. These pictures aren’t taken in the best of lighting, but hopefully you can kind of see what all I will be selling.

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I will also have an assortment of succulents and house plants for those of you green thumb people. :)

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So as you can see, there are lights, painted jars, coffee filter wreaths, plants, chalk boards, wall scrolls, and much more! I hope to see you Saturday!

Thanks for visiting!

-Mary