Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Cheese Party: Simple Table Cards

So, it turns out that I have a great love of cheese.  This, naturally, led to my desiring to throw a "fine cheese" party in an attempt to get to try all sorts of delicious new cheeses and have a fun evening with friends.  We decided to make it a mock "black-tie" affair, and have everyone dress up.  The rules were simple:  dress-up, bring a fun new cheese you've never tried, and come ready for fun!  My part was to provide the crackers and bread, sparkling cider & grape juice, and my apartment as the venue.  I did white lights in the trees, candles, fall leaves, and decided some cute table-cards for people to write the name of their cheeses on would be just the touch.  
Unfortunately, my busy schedule left me with only the day of the party to get ready, and I spent so much time cleaning and shopping for supplies that I left hardly any time to make the cards!  No problem.  Having my Cricut made whipping out some simple, cute table-cards in a matter of minutes easy.  I just flipped through the booklet of one of my favorite cartridges, Wall Decor and More, knowing it wouldn't let me down, and found just the right image.
Take a blank card and write down what cheese offering you've brought to share. :) 

Within minutes I had about 30 table-cards on the table, ready to go. At one point during the evening I had a guest marveling and asking me if I had cut out each of these designs by hand, wondering how I did it, and commenting just how long it must have taken.  :)  I just smiled and said, "Of course!" and that it took me about 5-10 minutes. ;)

Bon apetite!  

(Hint: For a little variety, I used the punched out fleur from the plate as a flourish for smaller cards, which I also put out.  It was like getting two cards made for every one cut! I like that.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Halloween Closet Sign/Decoration

Remember all those times as a kid when you were afraid of something hiding underneath the bed, or inside your closet?  (Maybe you read Dr. Seuss'  book, There's a Wocket in My Pocket and, like me, felt a little better about it after being able to put a name to the "woset" in your closet.) Well, that is what inspired my idea for this simple, but fun Halloween closet decoration.  

Hang this sign on the closet door in your child's bedroom... ;)  Or on the door of any other closet in the house.

I had this sign in mind and went to a few craft stores to find just the right "base" for my sign.  Unfortunately, they didn't have anything I was looking for for under thirty dollars, so I decided to try the thrift store.  That's where I found my sign.
This old serving platter, found at the thrift store for $3, proved to be a lovely board for my sign.
All I needed now was to paint over the sweet floral center of the platter, antique around the edges with some black paint, and then choose my fonts.

I found what I was looking for in the Lyrical Letters cartridge, where I used the Jack Sprat and regular main fonts.  I also used one font from Plantin SchoolBook for my "HIDE" because I wanted something a little wider.

Now, a word to the wise.  Hint: It is smart to always try and test your fonts and images on regular paper first to be sure that you get them the size that you want.  The "Real Size" dial makes every letter the exact same size as you have set on your sizing dial, but that isn't always what you want.  So doing a test run of your actual lettering and images on a plain sheet of computer paper is a much safer (and cheaper!) way to go.  It will save you from making the mistake I made...

I cut out the lettering on my vinyl before checking first on scrap paper to see if it would actually fit at that size....turns out that it didn't.  It is always safer to check on scrap paper first to be sure you are getting just what you want at a size that fits.

I used the gray vinyl, though that is hard to see in the final picture due to my camera and the lighting.  Once I had the lettering cut, I peeled the remaining vinyl off and then used transfer tape to apply the letters to the board.

Pulling away extra vinyl to reveal the cut letters so that I can apply the transfer tape.
When pulling away vinyl from many letters, such as in this project, I like to cut the excess vinyl away as I go, so as to avoid its sticky back grabbing onto any of the lettering if I get sloppy and let some of it fall back down. 

I wanted a colorful arrow to be pointing down, so I just used scrapbook paper I had on hand, and some Mod Podge to attach it.  (Again, the lighting kills the color.)  Finally, I just attached a nice black ribbon to the back to hold it in place. 

And then, presto!  Cute new Halloween decoration, good for any closet door.  If you leave the door open a crack, it might even make it a little more spooky. :)  Now, all I need are a few fake monster hands to have coming out from behind the door... 

Happy haunting!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Whooo made that pumpkin with the Vinyl Owl?

Don't get me wrong, I love carving pumpkins as much as the next 5 year old ;) , but sometimes when you have a bit of warm weather, the carved ones seem to "go" (aka, rot) much quicker than I'd like. This year, I decided to try making a few cute pumpkins with vinyl designs to decorate my house or porch.

I knew my Cricut would do the job just great, and that I had some cartridges that would give me just what I wanted.  Wall Decor and More had this delightful owl, and Plaintin SchoolBook's Tall Ball font gave me just the look I wanted for my owl's hooting "whoooo"'s. :)

First, I tested out the sizing of the owl on a piece of computer paper to be sure that I got it to a size that fit my pumpkin just perfectly.

Use a piece of computer paper to test the size and be sure it fits your space.  It's a much cheaper than using your vinyl to test this out.

Next, I used black vinyl to cut out my lettering and shapes.  Then I used transfer tape to apply my letters and the owl to the different squash.  (Did I mention that the smaller of the two is actually an acorn squash?  It was the only pumpkin-esque squash I could find that was smaller than my pie pumpkin. I plan to make double use out of these guys...)


Simple as that, I made myself some cute Halloween pumpkins (squash)!  These guys will stay up until I get an itching to make pumpkin pie, or to try out this tasty looking acorn squash recipe!  (So...maybe they'll only stay up a few days. Or maybe I'll just have to go buy another squash. :) It just sounds so good! )


Helful Hint:  Attaching vinyl images to a curved surface can prove tricky.  I learned that with this project, after the fact.  Maybe cutting a few little "give" slits, like in sewing, might prove helpful in getting the image to curve better with your curvy surface.  Just a thought.