Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Treat Box With Tag and Everything Halloween

I told you that my Cameo is working overtime and I was not kidding.  I had to create a little treat box for my kiddies since I have nothing better to do, right?!  Actually, they get excited about Halloween and I feed into that by giving them a little treat every Halloween and making them their costumes never mind all the activities surrounding Halloween.  Besides treat boxes, we also cut out these fall icons to decorate the window and it took minutes.  I love that trace function!  You will see them hung up.  Anyway, my son is always asking me to be with him upstairs if he is upstairs by himself because he tells me that there is a ghost.  Well, now, literally there is a ghost.  He asked me to cut one out for him to hang up.  Go figure!  :-)  We are going on overdrive for the fall season from costume making to decorating the house with fall icons to carving pumpkins to making apple pies.  I love fall, despite how busy it is.  Something about the crisp air with the beautiful leaves makes it the most wonderful time of the year for me.  I was just thinking that fall is equivalent to Christmas, activity-wise.  I'm making as much things as I would for Christmas.  I have to get to the baking this week too.  Whoo-weee!
I know this is a typical Halloween scene but I still love it.  Everything was cut on the Silhouette Cameo.  It feels strange not cutting things out by hand or punch.  I feel like I am cheating, but don't worry, I got over it real quick!  ;-)  I had to stamp the sentiment from Hero Arts in Brilliance Moonlight White ink, just so I used a stamp. The tag and ghost were both free shapes of the week, that I use different parts of, to make this tag.  The house had yellow cardstock behind it to make the windows glow.  I also got this treat box from the online Silhouette store.  It has a birthday sentiment on one of the panels but I just cut the plain side twice on a 12x12 orange card stock.  Then I layered it with pattern paper from Basic Grey's Fiction 12x12 pad.  I can't wait to present them to my boys.  I love it!  I know they love boxes too, so I can't wait!  Yes, I had to say it twice.  That's how excited I am.  I know, is it for them or me?!  :-) 

I got a bright idea!  Light switch and light bulb costume.
It was a tricky costume to figure out how to make when my son told me that he wanted to be a light switch.  I wanted a light bulb to go with it and I was able to convince him to wear both for the photo shoot.

Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge Blog 


Monday, October 28, 2013

A Fan of Fan T-Shirt

My boys have changed their interest over the years.  They had loved trains, cars, trucks, dinosaurs and etc.  I think it is programmed in their genes to be drawn to those things since I didn't go out of my way to talk about those things.  They just love it all on their own.  I found it so fascinating how they identify with "boys" things.  Those icons are not really hard to find on clothing since a lot of boys like those type of things too.  Now there are some things that they love, but it's really tough to find on a T-shirt since it is a little bit obscure.  One of my son loves fans.  He is fascinated by them and enjoys looking them up and reading about them.  If it spins, he loves it.  So fans, windmills, watermills, engines and propellers all fall under this category for him.  Anyway, I've never seen a shirt with a fan so I decided that I should enter the brave new world of making a custom T-shirt.  Of course, with the help of my Cameo, it will make things easier.
I used the same fan design I used for his birthday card.  I had bought a plain blue t-shirt from my local craft store, and washed and dry it before adding the design.  I watched a video on using fabric ink and heat transfer vinyl and a video on stencil vinyl and fabric ink that I found very helpful in making this shirt.  I have three elements to the fan that I want in different colors.  Before cutting I had to change the settings for cutting mat to none, the width to 9 inches and the height to 24 inches.  I also move the right roller on the Cameo machine to the left so it can feed the 9 inch vinyl.

I cut the base of the fan in stencil vinyl by feeding the vinyl into the Cameo with the shiny side up and using load media instead of mat on the machine.  I "weed" the part of the vinyl that I did not want before placing the transfer tape on top of the design.  I used an old credit card to remove any air bubbles and to make sure the transfer tape is stuck to the stencil vinyl. Then I made sure there was a cardboard in my t-shirt, just in case, the fabric ink leaked through (which did).  I placed my fan base design on the t-shirt, and used a credit card to rub it so that every part is adhering to the shirt before I remove the transfer tape.  I mixed white and black fabric ink from Silhouette to make a gray that I sponge onto the shirt.  Though it looks really dark once it dried.

I left that to dry before I removed the stencil.  I repeat the same process for the fan blade except I used white fabric ink only.  Make sure you sponge on the ink by dabbing it on instead of smearing it to get a nice thick coat.  It took me several coats because I was smearing the fabric ink a few times.  Also, I used a fan later to help it dry a lot faster.  I know some people use a hair dryer too.  I made the mistake of using my heat gun and that warp the stencil vinyl a little which will not give you a crisp edge if you have to sponge on ink again like me.  In retrospect, I will use white heat transfer material next time, since it took me several coats of white ink to cover the blue.  I know, I was a little impatient and wanted to finish this quickly but the drying must be done.

After everything dried, I removed the stencil and ran an iron on cotton setting over it with a fabric on top  to set the ink.  I cut out the fan grill onto the teal heat transfer material using heat transfer material for the cut setting in Silhouette Studio.  The shiny side of the heat transfer material should be facing down when feeding into the Cameo and using load media and not mat.  I weed out the parts that I did not want before placing the fan grill down onto my shirt.  I placed a fabric over the design and iron it in sections for 45-60 seconds each section.  I also press on the iron hard while holding the iron down in each section.  You can check if the vinyl is ironed down by peeling the transfer backing.  Just iron some more if the vinyl peels up.  I also read somewhere that if the vinyl comes up after a wash to just run an iron over it again.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Birthday Banner & Intricate Cuts on the Silhouette Cameo

Here is one thing that I wish I could bottle up; the pure excitement of awaiting a birthday.  I know that most people gets excited about their birthday but nobody can get the same level of excitement as a child, which is the way it should be.  Well, my son was super excited about his birthday.  He was counting down the days, weeks, and months.  Yes, it has gone on that long.  I love hearing and seeing his precious smile as he tells me what day it is.  I hope that he continues to have this same joy over his birthday for many years to come.  Of course, I have something to do with his excitement since I am the one who decorates, cooks and get the gifts and I want to give my boys what I deemed to be the ideal birthday.  In other words, what I wish my birthdays are like.  ;-)   So, I had to make him a banner with my new baby.  My Cameo is working overtime lately.  Not only were we doing birthday banners, we also cut out autumn icon shapes for our windows.  I wish I had this when they were younger, it would have save me a lot of time cutting out templates and drawing.  It makes me appreciate my Cameo even more.

Anyway, when I first got the machine, I cut the most intricate images I could find, which were the swirl and plant(2) that came with the machine.  It cut like a dream even with those shapes and I had them pretty small.  Then my 7 year old wanted a pinwheel cut on glitter paper and after that it did not cut the swirl and plant(2) shapes as well, without tearing the paper.  I thought,"Great, I messed up the blade" but then I watched this video of cutting intricate images on the Silhouette and found this Q&A on SplitCoastStamper.  The key point that I took away from that video was to have a new mat and new blade.  Well, since I just got the machine, that should not be an issue.  I notice that the default was to cut the image on the top left corner.  So I moved my paper to a part of the mat that I did not cut on yet, and changed the type of paper media, and the image cut out fine.  In the video, it also shows you how to lift the intricate shape off the mat which helps with the stickiness of the mat and not ripping the paper.  I also used cardstock from my local craft store, so I thought that might have something to do with it.  I ended up moving my image to the other part of the mat that I did not use and the image came out fine despite the paper.  Though, later I was having some rips at the corner of my cuts.  So back to researching and I found this blog entry on how to cut intricate cuts on Silhouette Cameo, and now I have no fear in cutting paper.  It gives you advice on cutting different materials on the Silhouette Cameo and after following her advice, I found that my cuts were so much better.  Below is what I got out of her blog entry for cutting different designs on paper and what to do if you run into some problems.  I haven't try other materials yet, but I am ready!

Simple Designs - blade 4, speed 3 and thickness 33
Detailed Designs- blade 5, speed 2, thickness 33

Problems where most of the design is cut but not completely:
-try having double-cut checked or
-set blade depth down 1 level

Problems where the design is cut but the corners are "mucking up", try:
-decreasing the speed
-changing blade depth down 1 or 2 levels down (ex. from 6 down to 4 or 5)

 Before I found this blog entry, I was getting rips on the corner using the "pattern paper-65lb cardstock" setting for cutting in the Silhouette.  You could see the image below of one of my rips.  Weird thing was not all of them were bad cuts which made me think it was location of the mat since Silhouette advices you to use a new blade and mat when making intricate cuts.  This was one of the cuts for my Welcome Autumn card.
I was getting rips on the edges using the "Pattern Paper-65lb cardstock" in the cutting setting
After I changed the settings of slowing down the speed, this is the cuts I got below.

I create a custom cut setting, so I can use it all the time now for my paper by clicking on the "+" to add custom settings.   I label it cardstock 65lb and had a speed of 3 and blade of 4.  Some of my 65lb paper has texture and it cuts better at blade 4.
After having some great cuts, I cut out the banner which are 10.5" tall and 8" across.  I got these awesome free pennants at Bird's Card site.  She got tons of free cut files on her site.  It's a gold mine and a half!  I cut the design pennants on a royal blue cardstock and then a plain pennant on a pale blue carstock to pop the design out.  Then I punch out two holes on the pale blue paper after I glue the royal design on top.  I ran a blue ribbon through the holes to connect them all and created a loop to hang it up on both ends.  Anyway, I still have a lot to learn about my Cameo but I will share my trials and errors.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Another Basic Celebrate With Flowers Card

I recently taught a basic class about papercrafting and did a simple card with my class using pattern paper and embellishment with a handstamped sentiment.  There was one moment that made my day and stayed with me as a "feel good" moment.  I showed a student how to bend a clear stamp so that it would stamp around her pattern paper.  The look on her face of pure joy when she lifted the stamp was a priceless moment that I will always remember.  It makes me smile even now when I think of it.  It makes me think this is what it is all about; the pure joy that this hobby can bring to you and also to the person you give this card to.  I sometimes forget about that, especially since I grew in a family that does not care about those things.  But I am lucky enough to marry into a family who cherish those cards, handmade or not, but acknowledges those handmade cards especially.  I am blessed, indeed.  Here's to all the cardmakers out there, cheers to you for bringing joy into this world!
I used pattern paper from Basic Grey Fiction 12x12 pad as the background on the cardbase.  I punched out the flower with a Stampin' Up punch and added a coordinating brad from the same Basic Grey collection.  I stamped the sentiment from Hero Arts and layered with a green pattern paper.  I finished the card with dashed lines with a white gel pen around the sentiment and a black archival pen around the card.  Easy, basic card but it has a romantic quality to it for me. 

Here is a behind the scene side note.  I have been sick lately with colds.  And of course, what am I to do when I have to stay in bed?  I cruise around Pinterest.  I found a lot of DIY lightboxes and combine a couple of them (one with cover sides and one mostly opened) into mine.  I have been managing okay with my setup before, but I'm constantly fighting the lighting.  Once I was well enough, I got a box, and cut it up ,and backed it with foamboard for rigidity.  I don't like seams so I added a sheet of white paper but can remove it easily to add a pattern paper.  I left it opened at the top so I have options in changing the lighting.  Now I can photograph in the dead of the night or on super cloudy days.  Who knew that I would be revisiting my photography skills again.  By the way, you can see my baby, Cammie, (my Cameo) winking at you in the background.  Can you tell I love this new toy?!


NoteCards With Gift Box Directions

Finally, the moment you have been waiting for;  the post to my directions to notecards with matching box.  I'm sorry that it took me so long to post.  I have been coming up with different ways to make it a better box to make and be able to use 8 1/2" X 11" cardstock too.  I made so many of these gift sets that I am running out of envelopes finally.  My husband and I bought envelopes together when we were just friends. Yes, we bought quite a bit and have used them well over the years.  He used to make his own cards too, and they were all with his own photographs.  I know, what are the odds that two cardmakers get together.  I remember introducing him to his first bone folder and paper trimmer.  I know, how romantic, right?! Sweet memories! :-) He still makes some cards but I am the primary card provider now.  Sounds health-care related, doesn't it?!  Well, for me, it is a matter of the heart when you make and send a card to someone.  :-)  Here is my sunny and bright card set.  I'm not sure if I am willing to part with it...not just yet.  :-)  
Notecard made with Lawn Fawn pattern paper & stamp

For the background, I used pattern paper from Lawn Fawn's Bright side: smell the roses.  I just wanted something bright and happy, probably because of the fact that we are in the middle of autumn and most of the leaves are gone and it was dreary when I made it.  Anyway, I am a kid in a candy store when I am looking at pattern paper.  I have a tendency to save the ones that I love and/or buy extra.  I know, this is the beginning of a hoarder.  Yikes!  :-)  This paper is definitely one of the ones that I love.  Back to the card, I punched out a 2" circle from white cardstock and ink the edges with Distress Spun Sugar ink.  Then I stamped the sentiment from TPC Studio Greetings stamp set at the bottom of the circle in black Brilliance ink.  From Lawn Fawn's "And A Partridge" stamp set, I stamped and cut out the bird and used it as placement to help stamp the music note in Encore Honeydew ink.  I placed the bird onto the circle with foam adhesive, and adhered the circle to a 2 1/4" pink circle die, and then finally, onto the card.    

Score 8" X 11" cardstock to form base of box
1.Take a 8"x11" cardstock and score it on the short side at 3/4", 1 3/4", 6 1/4" and 7 1/4".  Then turn the cardstock to the long side and score at 4" and 5".  Fold the paper on the score lines.
Box base after cutting away what's not needed
2.Turn paper to the short side and cut on 1 3/4" score line up to the 5" score line.  Then cut away the strip by cutting on the long side on the 5" score line up to the previous cut.  Repeat these steps for the 7 1/4" score line on the short side of the paper to mirror the first cuts.

Mitered flaps and punch half oval onto box base

Placed double sided tape to the flaps

Back of box base with flaps adhered

Profile view of box with pattern paper adhered 

3.Form the base of the box by folding on the score lines. Embellish the base as desired.  In my case, I used an oval punch to create a notch and added layered pattern paper onto the box base.  I mitered the bottom corner tabs to make it cleaner looking before gluing it down on the back.
Flap of box all decorated with pattern paper and scalloped edge
Tape ribbon to the flap of box
4.For the flap of the box, take a 4 1/2"x11" cardstock and score at 6" and 7".  I added pattern paper to the flap to embellish it.  Attach ribbon if using before adhering the flap onto the box base and embellish.
Side view of gift box

This card is entered in the Lawnscaping Pattern Pinterest Inspired Challenge and below is my Pinterest Inspiration.

image credit


Monday, October 21, 2013

Halloween Felt Mask Cut on Silhouette Cameo

I'm in the midst of making Halloween costumes.  My son wanted a mask and normally, I would find a template or draw one and trace it onto felt and cut it out.  Even though most of project came out looking okay, I wonder if I could it be more precise and crisp looking.  Well, I found this video of cutting felt on a Silhouette Cameo.  When I went to her blog, I found these awesome superhero masks that were perfect for what I was going to do.  I got her template and used the trace tool in the Silhouette Studio on the mask I wanted, and changed it to what my son wanted.  He really just wanted a plain mask so I grabbed the Spiderman mask and remove all the web.  I used her settings: speed of 3, thickness of 33, fabric blade setting of 10 and double-cut checked.  I ended up creating a custom setting of felt for me to use later without having to look this all up.

Halloween Felt Mask Cut from Silhouette Cameo
I ironed on the interface, Pellon 805 (Wonder Under), onto the black felt before sticking it onto the mat. 
You  can see that the Cameo did cut on the felt, but it did not cut completely due to the interface that was bonded to the felt.  I might try to run it through again next time to see if it cuts through completely.   It was not hard to snip the parts where it was not cut completely.  I just folded the cut edges and use my fabric scissors to cut the mask out where it was still stuck.  I finished the mask by sewing on the elastic to the mask.  Overall, the mask came out nicely, possibly nicer than my own traditional methods.  This would be great if I had a superhero party and have to whip up a lot of masks.  I did get some felt on my sticky mat which meant that my paper did not stick as well in those spots.  This may be a relief for some people who did not like how sticky it was but for me, I like my mat the way it was.  I actually ran the part of the mat where the felt was under the sink and was able to remove the fuzz and whatever that was on my mat.  I used only water and now my mat is back to being sticky again after drying overnight.

Back of mask to see what did not cut through completely.

Bending at the cutting points and snipping with my scissors
Here is the quick snapshot of the full costume with mask and all.  He actually tried on the whole costume without me prompting him to.  I am so happy to see him excited about it too.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Welcome Autumn Card

When I was growing up, I love being able to just go outside, and play with whomever was out.  I remember being out all day during the summer, jumping rope, rollerskating, riding bikes or playing “house”.  Occasionally, I would be at my friend’s house in her pool, but most days, you will find me outside.  Now when I go home to visit, I rarely see kids outside playing.  It’s such a different world we live in now. I was talking to a friend the other day about her neighbors and how she welcome them to the neighborhood.  That's so nice. It reminds me of the old world where people welcome each other.  So to the new neighbors, welcome!
I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut out the leaves and the sentiment.  Then I resize both the maple and oak leaves so that they were the same scale.  I was testing out the cutting and I can see that where the mat was used a lot, it did not cut as well.  After I cut the leaves out, I used Distress Inks(barn door, wild honey and peeled paint) to color the leaves.  I cut out a 3 inch ring and glue the leaves to it to make a wreath.  I then cut the sentiment out twice on brown cardstock and glue them together to give them a little dimension.  Before I layered the card base with light brown cardstock and pattern paper, I distress the edges with Distress Ink Walnut Stain.  I placed the wreath on the card with foam adhesive and then glue the welcome sentiment.  For the final touch, I added a red bow and white dashed lines around the card.  
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