Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."  Luke 2:14.  
Merry Christmas, everyone.  May your day and coming year be filled with joy and peace.  

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Easy small gift box idea

Each year, my sister exchanges gifts with her five sister-in-laws for Christmas gifts.   Because they are all generally crafty people (not wily--just like to make crafts!), the gifts are often hand-made in some form. This makes exchanging gifts a bit easier, as she generally makes the same gift for each of them.  This year, she decided on making some cute beaded watches, which she found were super cheap and easy to make.  Once she finished the watches, she just needed the right wrappings.

We found some cute Christmas themed cardstock, decided on the box style/shape that we wanted (Silhouette has a seemingly endless supply of options, with all sorts of fun closures, etc.) and set our Silhouette to a-cuttin'!  Here's what we came up with!

With a little twine, some gold chalking around the edges, and a little punched tag, these perfect little gift boxes were ready to go!  We liked them.  How about you?  :)

Note:  The boxes have flaps inside that you glue to hold in place.  Just some regular stick-glue will do.  Some box shapes have cut holes to enable you to tie them closed on top (such as ours did), while others have neat twisting flower petals that link, or entwining flaps, etc.  So many fun options!  Just depends on what you like and pick.  Play around!

I think these would be fun to put small party favors in.  In fact, I think I'll do that for my very next party...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

"Draw-Your-Own" Christmas Cards

So...when I first saw the Silhouette and Cricut sketch pens, I was excited.  Now I could have my machines draw, in a variety of colors, all these absolutely adorable images that I had?  Sounded like way too much fun.  So to test them out, I decided to make a simple Christmas card for a friend.  

First, I picked some whimsical images that I liked from my Silhouette library, and positioned them where I would like the image drawn on the paper.  This grouped snowflake image reminds me of Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas for some reason, already looking hand sketched and about ready to fall onto Cindy Lou Who's little head, which had just the feel I wanted. I then made sure the image measurements were correct for the size of card I wanted (needed to fit in an envelope for mailing).  I love that Silhouette shows and tells me exactly what size my images will be.   

Although I did not plan on having both images drawn by the Sketch pens, I did want to get the correct size for both images, so I also positioned my image to cut where I would have it on the card to check sizes and design.  Once I decided that I liked it, I copied the second image and then deleted it from the page so that it, too, was not sketched by the pen. Putting in the sketch pen to replace the blade was a piece of Christmas cake--not even worth telling you just how easy it was.  After that, it was just a matter of letting the sketch pen do its magic, and to await the result.  

And the verdict is... I liked it and was surprised at how perfectly the image was drawn.  (I wanted to fill in the bottom snowflake and dot ends, so if it looks a little messy, that's why--it was me.) Now I just need to play around more with having the pens do more filled-in images, and see what more these pens are capable of! If you've used them, share some of your favorite ways to use these pens!

 Here's to some fun new crafting capabilities. :) 

 Hint:  You need to be sure that the color pen you pick will show up on the color paper that you choose for it to draw on.  You can always just test it on a corner of paper by drawing on it with the pen yourself.  Also, pay attention to the thickness of the paper. I found that my thick, slightly textured paper seemed to soak up some of the ink after it dried.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Frosted Vinyl Snowflakes

What do you do with frosted glass vinyl?  Lots of things. :)  But here's one option: window snowflakes!  A cute extra lil' touch just in time for Christmas.  Maybe they will encourage a bit more of the real stuff to fall from the sky for me to play in...  

This vinyl is a bit different from regular vinyl, thought it works just the same in your Silhouette.  (Can also be used in your Cricut on its vinyl settings.) It has a frosted look once adhered to glass, rather than just being a solid color, and it can last outside for up to 7 years!  Because I don't want it to encourage snowfall in July, I'm thinking I won't keep mine up that long to test it, but this could be used for some beautiful window border designs to keep up all year.  Perhaps that's what I'll try with it next, for my kitchen window.  

Well, for this project, I searched through my silhouette library for the lucky little flakes that would be making their debut on the wondrous world of front room windows, and then saw how many I could fit in one cut.  Again, have I mentioned how much I love that Silhouette gives us measurements of each of our items and where they are placed on the mat?  I love that.  

Before peeling back the excess vinyl, the sheet looks deceivingly silver, and I'll admit that I peeled back a little corner before even cutting anything, just to see if it really did look frosted.  It did. :)  

The vinyl looks silver until you pull it back and see that it really is frosted and slightly transparent.
Use your hook to pull out the intricate excess "inner" pieces
Perhaps, had I thought through my snowflake selection a little more before cutting, I would have chosen something a little less intricate and with less inner pieces to have to hook out.  But then I might have been left with something less beautiful, and less, well, intricate than what I did get.  And what are snowflakes if not incredibly beautiful, intricate, small works of wonder and art?  Random aside:  Have you ever just stared at a snowflake on your glove?  If not, next time you go outside and see "sparkly" snow (the good kind that glitters in the sun) stick your glove into it and then examine your hand closely.  You'll see beautiful, intricate snowflakes that look surprisingly just like the kind we draw as kids!  (Or cut out of Silhouettes and put on windows...)

My roommate confessed, after I put up the snowflakes on the front window, that when she first heard what I was doing she thought it sounded like those cheap and (forgive me) tacky window stickers that people sometimes put up for the holidays.  But THESE, she said, were actually really nice and classy.  After seeing them, she wanted more!  :)  So I guess that's a win. One-point, frosted glass vinyl.   (I wonder if that means I can use this to make frosted glass-ghosts to put up next Halloween? :))