Monday, April 25, 2016

Smart Fab

Last week I shared a project I created using Smart Fab (click HERE to see that project) and I cut it with my Sizzix dies and Big Shot.  The product cut beautifully with them!

Once the post was up, my friend Allie asked me how well the product cuts with an electronic die cutting machine and if it can be embossed.  Then we started to wonder if it could be stamped on also. 

So Allie . . . this blog post is dedicated to you!

Can you cut Smart Fab with the Cricut?  YES!  I used a deep cut blade set to 5, with a multi cut of 4 and the speed and pressure at the lowest settings.  I used a little painter's tape in the corner to hold the Smart Fab down . . . I always find that fabric shifts when I am cutting a shape close to the corner of the mat.


Can you emboss Smart Fab?  Well, sort of.  I ran it through my Cuttlebug and there are portions of it where you can see the embossed image, but it is faint.  The outcome might vary depending on the embossing folder you use.  If you want just a light, soft texture then this will work.


Can you stamp on Smart Fab.  Yes . . . but the image is not as crisp as it would be on paper . . . but maybe that is the look you are going for.  For me, and the project I was trying to make with the image below I ended up re-doing the sentiment on paper.  Next time I think I will stamp on it with simple shapes.  It could be a great way to create my own backgrounds.



Smart-Fab website // Facebook // Pinterest


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Mother's Day Gift

I have been reviewing a few books by Leisure Arts recently, and I have to say that this last one was the hardest one for me, because I feel like I have already made projects similar to some of the projects in the book.  Also, most of the projects used burlap flowers as a part of the embellishments, and I do not normally do a lot of work with burlap.  Then I saw a project that was a mug with a lid on it, filled with candy and I thought this would be a cute little gift for Mother's Day.  I ran to the Dollar Store and found a cute little jar with a lid on it . . . it was perfect for this project.

I decided to substitute the pre-made burlap flowers in this project for ones that I made myself using  my Sizzix flower die and some Smart-Fab fabric.  I saw this fabric when I was at CHA in January 2016.  It feels like a combination of fabric and paper . . . kind of like that fabric that the disposable gowns at the doctor's office are made out of . . . not really a traditional fabric, but more body to them than paper.



As you can see, the Smart-Fab cut perfectly with the Sizzix die.  Once I had the flower shapes cut, I rolled them around a pencil and placed a dot of glue on the end . . . then I just slide the portion that is wrapped on the pencil onto the dot of glue for the perfect flower you will see in the next photo.


I love the way this flower turned out!


I used Fabric Fusion glue for my flowers.


I did add a little burlap to the lid to be the leaves from the group of flowers.


I also wrapped a piece of a rhinestone sticker sheet around the top of the lid, mostly because I like projects with a little added sparkle.  You could wrap ribbon, cording, rope or twine around the outside of the lid too.


Now I just have to fill the dish with candy, and it is ready to give as a gift.  This would be great for Mother's Day or a Teacher's gift.

Make sure to check out the other books from Leisure Arts!  They are the perfect thing to inspire your next crafting project.

LeisureArts.com Website  // Blog  // Facebook // Pinterest

Smart-Fab website // Facebook // Pinterest


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Crocheted Baby Toy

I consider myself a beginner level crocheter. I have made a few blankets over the years, but nothing too fancy.  Then I was asked to review the book One Skein Baby Projects  . . . I forgot how much fun crocheting is!  Once you have a stitch down, it becomes something you can do while watching television or riding in the car to your daughter's hockey or lacrosse game.

The other great thing about this book is that it has photos of some of the different stitching techniques for beginners like myself.  I still need those little reminders of what some of the different stitches are to get me started.

Since I know my own skill level, I did not want to jump into a project that looked too hard, so I picked the pretzel baby toy for my first project.  Basically, you are making a long tube that you fill with stuffing and then twist into a pretzel shape.  Below is a photo of the long tube before I twisted it into the pretzel shape.


My mother had this rainbow yarn, and since she had no idea what she was going to use it for or even why she purchased it in the first place, I decided to use it for this project.  I also thought the bright colors would be fun for a baby toy.  This project is a great way to use up the yarn you have at home . . . either some odd skein of yarn like this or you can change colors of yarn and use up those partial skeins.

The book says to put a rattle inside of the tube, but I decided not to do that so that this could be a great toy to bring with when you need something QUIET to occupy a child.


Once the tube was stitched and stuffed, I just shaped it into the pretzel shape and did a few stitches to hold it in this shape.  Now that I know how to make the basic tube, I could make it fatter and it not as long and turn it into a roll pillow.  

Make sure to check out the other books from Leisure Arts!  They are the perfect thing to inspire your next crafting project.

LeisureArts.com Website  // Blog  // Facebook // Pinterest



Monday, April 18, 2016

Become a Cricut DIY Pro with Lia Griffith

Craftsy has a new class called Craft and Create with your Cricut Explore. For just $19.99 you get six video lessons that you can watch any time, cut files for the projects and close up instructions from Lia Griffith.

 Lia Griffith is a paper crafts designer and DIY enthusiast. Her unique projects and designs have launched her crafting career as a blogger, magazine contributor and stylist for companies such as West Elm, Creative Spaces and Martha Stewart. She is well-known for her one-of-a-kind paper flower designs and inspiring home decor projects.

Other classes by Craftsy include
Creative Die Cutting With Your Cricut (w/ Cathie Rigby)


  Craftsy

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Outdoor Banner with Oly Fun

We have a planter that hangs on the brick wall in front of our house, and until the flowers are blooming, I wanted something with some color to put on it.  This banner was the perfect fit!  You can use this banner inside or outside since it is made with Oly Fun fabric by Fairfield.  



My inspiration for this project came from the Crafting with Felt book from LeisureArts.com.  While this book suggests making the projects with felt, any of them could be made with Oly Fun fabric, since it will not fray when you cut it, just like felt.  This book is filled with step by step directions and project photos to inspire you.


Each project has a shopping list.  I love this!  If you are like me, you want to have all of your supplies together before you start your project.  There is nothing worse than making a project and realizing you are missing one of the needed supplies . . . then instead of finishing your project you are heading to the craft store.

I liked the shape of the banner pieces on the Harvest Banner project, so I decided to use that for my project.  I was going to trace the shape onto some tracing paper, but since I was able to see the outline through the Oly Fun, I decided that I did not even need to do that.


I lined the edges of the Oly Fun up with the outside edges of the banner shape, and using a pencil I drew the outline right on the fabric.  Once I traced all of the shapes I needed, I just cut on the pencil lines.


In the project directions, it says to use pre-cut felt letters.  I decided I wanted to cut my own, so I set my Cricut with a deep cut blade at a depth of 5 and a mulit cut of 4, lowest speed and pressure settings (see image below)


Then I placed another sheet of Oly Fun on my Cricut mat and cut out my letters using the Extreme Fonts Cricut cartridge.  I took a photo to prove that I really did cut the fabric with my Cricut.  I do have to admit, when the Cricut was cutting the first and the last letter, the corner of the fabric did get caught up and start to curl . . . I should have taped down those corners.


When I pulled the Oly Fun fabric off of the mat, some of the letters came out perfectly clean, as you can see in the image below.  A couple of the letters needed a little help to separate from the rest of the fabric, but sometimes we have to do this with a thick cardstock so really, it is not any different.  Also, I was using an older blade . . . that could make a difference too.  I have heard that if you are going to cut fabric you should keep one blade that you use JUST for fabric . . . kind of like how you would never use your fabric scissors on paper.


Once I placed the letters on top of the banner shapes, I did not really like the look.  The colors work great together, but the letters don't pop off of the banner.


No problem . . . I will cut the letters again with a darker color of Oly Fun.  This time I taped down the corners, and it really helped a lot!  These letters cut out even nicer than the first ones!


Now those letters pop!  Much better!  And I saved the other letters to use for a different project so nothing wasted.  

I used Fabric Fusion to glue the letters onto the banner pieces.


Since I knew this banner would be going outside I used a piece of rope to string up the banner.  I knew that this would hold up in the outdoor elements.  Here in Minnesota we could have rain one day and snow the next.

I ran some hot glue across the top, and then placed the rope into the hot glue.  I started with the middle letter so that I could more easily center the whole banner.


Now it was time for the embellishments!  I had this package of Fiesta Felt shapes from Buttons Galore, and I thought that the colors of the flowers went nicely with this banner.  These shapes have adhesive on the back, so that made them even easier to work with . . . peel off the backing and stick!


I layered the two flowers on top of each other to give more depth to the project.


Here is the finished project.  I really like the way that it turned out.  I may make another one for the holidays . . . or in a couple of years I could make a graduation banner for my daughter.


Make sure to check out the other books from Leisure Arts!  They are the perfect thing to inspire your next crafting project.

LeisureArts.com Website  // Blog  // Facebook // Pinterest

Fairfield website // Blog // Facebook // Twitter // Pinterest




Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Cricut April 2016 Mystery Box

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my links.

The April 2016 Cricut Mystery Box is shipping now! There are 5 cartridges included in this box, including Create A Friend.

And there are four key reasons you want to get your hands on one!
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3. Mystery Boxes typically include fun cartridges, cards and accessories. Premium Mystery Boxes include all that, often in greater quantities, plus so much more!
4. They are super fun to receive and open! Purchase it for yourself or as a gift and solve the mystery of what's inside!

 Supplies are limited, so head over to Cricut.com to get yours before they are gone!

If you are not interested in the Mystery Box, you can check out the link below for other popular products . . . .
  View our most popular products at Cricut.com


Mickey Mouse Coffee Sleeve

I had some red and black yarn left over from a blanket I made years ago, and I was trying to think of a little project I could do to use some of it up.  I never learned how to knit . . . I only know how to crochet.  I decided to try and make a coffee cozy/coffee sleeve.  Now, this whole project was kind of trial and error . . . I was making this up as I went along.

I started off with a chain of red yarn that measured about 8 1/2" long.  If I were to make this project again, I would go a little smaller.  I have a feeling my coffee sleeve will stretch out over time and become too loose.


Then I did a single crochet stitch into each chain, starting in the second chain from the hook.  


Since a coffee sleeve tapers slightly, I would alternate between rows either doing a single crochet in every stitch, or starting one stitch in from the hook.  Below you can see how there is gradual increase in the rows.  Looking back I think if I would have kept the rows all the same the sleeve would have had a snugger fit.


After I had done enough rows that the piece was about 1 1/4" in height, I changed to black yarn.  Here again is where I would make an adjustment . . . I would probably make the red portion 1 1/2" so that the overall sleeve is a little longer.


I stitched the black in the same manner as the red, until the overall sleeve measured 2 1/2" in height.  (I think that 3" might be a better height next time . . . that will allow for more sleeve to hold onto)

Then I folded the piece in half and slip stitched the ends together.  Yes, I could have made this in a circle and then I would not have to stitch the ends together, but since this was my first attempt at this project (and it has been a LONG time since I have crocheted) I wanted to do the project this way.  Next time I might try just forming a circle from the start.


Next I sewed two white buttons on to the front of the sleeve.  I used embroidery floss to do this.  I felt like this would be stronger and more secure than thread.


And there it is . . . my Mickey Mouse coffee sleeve! 


And of course I had to go and get a coffee to officially test the sleeve out.  Morning coffee is more magical with a Mickey Mouse coffee sleeve on it.


You could alter this idea for your favorite Disney character.  Just pick out the main colors that are associated with that character and give it a try!