One of the great—and stressful and time-consuming— things that happened this summer was that hubby and I bought a little lake house. We found the perfect place. Every weekend we are giddily happy to surround ourselves with water, trees, nature, and of course that ever-so-important peace and quiet we had been missing since moving to the city two years ago.
A new house [big grin] especially a lake house [even bigger grin] means a whole bunch of new craft projects. Yowza, yowza, let’s get started.
First up is this stenciled stool top.
So I’ve been staring at this empty wall in my dining room for months trying to figure out what to put there. Ideas floated in and out of my head, but nothing really sparked my enthusiasm…until…while I was out shopping one day, I came across a very large frame. I instantly knew I wanted to do something large scale, something simple with a graphic punch.
Since music has woven through our family over the years—piano, cello, double bass, clarinet, recorders, guitar, choirs, vocal jazz, musical theatre, and heck, I even played the glockenspiel at one time(!)—music notation seemed like a good choice. I ended up using only three symbols, but I’ve got 16 of the most common ones in a free Silhouette cut file you can download (below) to make whatever combination you’d like.
It feels so good to finally post a new project. You may have noticed that it’s been a while since the last one. As the sidebar says, I don’t post on a schedule; it all depends on “life, inspiration, and how complicated the projects are“. Well…let’s take a look:
………………..Inspiration — check.
………………..Simple projects — check.
………………..Life — Yeah, about that life thing. Had a few curve balls lately. Lots of ’em, actually…some really great, some downright bad, and most a challenge and time-consuming to work through. But, ya know, that’s life, right? It all makes one stronger and appreciate the good things more. I’m glad to say I’m home again, things have settled down to a dull roar (a.k.a “normal”), and I’m back to blogging with a whole bunch of new projects I can’t wait to share with you.
First up is a super simple one: an inspirational saying in heat transfer vinyl (HTV) applied to a pillow:
“The difference between who you are
and who you want to be is what you do.”
This time of year is what I have lovingly dubbed “The Birthday Season” at our house. As you can probably guess, we will be celebrating birthdays, birthdays, and more birthdays in the coming weeks: husband, son, mom, sister, niece, cousin, and a couple of friends. Here is one of the birthday cards I designed for this year’s festivities. I’ve made it in several different colorways to match the personalities of the recipients.
A glass cutting board makes a great gift. I enjoy creating designs to match the personalities and homes of my friends and family. The possibilities are endless. It’s also a quickie project—cut a design from vinyl, apply, and yo, you’re done.
For this design, I chose a fun kitchen saying, found a couple of contrasting fonts (Gauntlet Classic for ‘kitchen is for’, and the more whimsical She Always Walks Alone for ‘My’ and ‘dancing’), and created a border from this commercial freebie frame from pixelscrapper.com. If you’d like to make your own cutting board like this, the free Silhouette cut file is available to download below.
I’m excited today because not only is this a Silhouette baby project—something I’ve never done before—but it’s part of a virtual baby shower blog hop in honor of the amazing Lauren, fellow blogger at The Thinking Closet. Lauren’s expecting her first bundle of joy in a few months (it’s a girl!), so a bunch of us bloggers got together to throw her a virtual baby shower today. At the end of this post, you’ll find links to projects for baby shower food, baby shower decor, baby shower games, and baby shower gifts. Yup, it’s all about the baby shower. Congratulations, Lauren!
Because Lauren lives near the water and has decorated parts of her home in a nautical theme, I thought it might be fun to contribute some ocean decor to baby’s room with this framed saying:
We love you more than all the starfish in the sea.
For several recent projects—the large scale Music Notation Art I made for the dining room and the Framed Nursery I Love You, for example—I started by creating frame & mat mockups in Silhouette Studio and then I designed inside the mockups. That way, I could make changes onscreen to see what the art+mat+frames would look like in different sizes, colors, and arrangements so I didn’t end up creating pieces the wrong size, buying frames the wrong size, or putting extra holes in the wall for less-than-satisfactory frame arrangements.
But the very best part? And oh, how I love this. . . If you use the software to create mockups the actual size of the frames and mats, then when you’re finished designing, all you have to do is drag the design onto the mat and cut. Because the frame mockup was life size, the design is automatically the right size for the real-life frame . . . no guessing the size, no measuring to make the design fit. Gotta love automatic.
I love using my Silhouette machine to personalize items. Normally, I don’t tell y’all about my namin’, initialin’, monogrammin’ projects, because, well, there’s not much to them: you pick a font, cut out the letters you need, apply them, and yo, you’re done.
But these little pencil cases proved to be a bit of a pressing challenge: they aren’t flat—they’re soft and bulky, not easy to apply good pressure to when applying HTV—and the area where the HTV will go is framed by two zippers. . .plastic zippers. . .as in, *meltable* plastic zippers. So I thought I would share some hints on how to apply HTV to such awkwardness.
With Easter around the corner once again, it’s time to dress up the front door window in Easter-y goodness. I had such fun with the mini bat garland for Halloween, that I set about making a similar one with mini bunnies. I figure if the bats “flew” each time the door opened and closed, then bunnies might “hop”…hee, and they do. At just over 2” tall, they’re the perfect scale for a front door or side window.
This would be a good project to do with pre-schoolers using big plastic (dull!) sewing needles and yarn. The ear slits make a nice big target hole for little hands still building fine motor control.
You’ll find two free Silhouette cut files below: one full of bunnies, if you’d like to make your own garland, and one with the “Happy Easter” greeting to cut from adhesive vinyl and apply to the window. Both are available in .studio3 & Legacy versions.
And if you’ve been thinking about trying your hand at designing from scratch in Silhouette Studio, creating a bunny head is a great project to start with. Take a peek at how I made this bunny HERE—it’s all ovals. So easy!
If you’re like me → super crazy busy at this time of year and looking for some quickie Easter projects, hold on to your hat because I have a basketful for you. Here is a collection of fifteen, count ’em, fifteen paper Easter baskets with links to free svg or Silhouette Studio cut files. Download ’em, cut ’em, and assemble ’em, and before you know it you’ll be surrounded by Easter-y goodness.