Friday, December 20, 2013

Jingle Pillow Knock-off

I was flipping through the Pottery Barn Catalog, getting into the holiday spirit when I saw this:

Inspired by Pottery Barn, once again: you had me at jingle, Pottery Barn!  I did consider buying it, for about 35 seconds, but, knowing that I could make it myself, I had a go.  Here's what I did:

Using a font called Medici Text, I wrote out the word, "jingle."  Then I took three flourishes - Echo Park FlourishHolly Corner & Vintage Style Flourish Motif.  With the Echo Park Flourish, I just rotated it so that it was on its side as above, brought it up to the "e," and welded.

I took the Holly Corner and made a cut, deleting away the part I didn't want.  Then rotated the piece and brought it to the bottom of the "J."

Then I cut a piece of the Vintage Flourish off and brought it to the "J."   I made it smaller, selected the two flourishes and the "J" and welded.

That done, I moved onto the pillow itself.  I looked everywhere for a pillow form that was the right size, but didn't find anything until I was in Target and stumbled upon a Christmas pillow that was perfect.  So I decided to cover it!  The pillow measured 11" x 18".  So, using one of my all-time favorite pillow tutorials, I made a cover out of burlap.  Using the guidelines of the tutorial, my front piece was cut out at 19" x 12", and my back pieces were 12" x 12" each.  Before sewing them together, I wanted to add the "jingle" words to the largest piece.

Now for the easy part!  Or so I thought...dun dun dun...  My initial idea was that I would use stencil vinyl to stencil this on the pillow.  Which I did try.  But the stencil had to be small enough to fit onto the pillow, so it bled into the fabric, and getting it on straight was a nightmare and the kids needed to have dinner and I lost the center of the "e" and it looked terrible.  Sigh.

So plan B: I used heat-transfer vinyl (which I handily had on hand from my napkin project!).  I sized it in Silhouette studio, then cut it out of flocked vinyl, weeded it and ironed it on!  Then I put all of the pillow pieces right sides together and sewed.  Finally, I added bells with embroidery thread.  And...yay!  Another Christmas craft project off the table!

In retrospect, I would like to have made the design bigger.  But then, I would also liked to have made the stenciling work!  Actually, making the design bigger might make stenciling easier...Hmmm...Upwards, and onwards, crafters!

Jingle Bells and Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Napkins

So there I was, the other day, waltzing through World Market, when I stumbled upon these:

...And I ran right home knowing what I could make!  World Market also sells sets of 6 white napkins for $9.99, so I bought a set, took some of my favorite Silhouette files, cut them out of flocked heat transfer, and voila! Christmas napkins!

I formatted each file so that it measured 3.5" across (I locked the aspect ratio).  And I am so pleased.  These were sooo easy to whip up and would be a great gift, as well, don't you think?

Files used:
Echo Park Santa Silhouette
Carolers Silhouette
Making a Snowman
Trimming the Tree

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Grow Your Heart Advent Calendar

This fall I was chatting with friends about advent calendars.  A few have those cute little boxes where doors open to reveal little presents.  I had been eyeing the Silhouette Advent Calendar for a year.  But, we all asked each other, what can we do instead of 25 days of presents and candy?!

Then my lovely friend Kate gave me an idea she had seen in Yum for Kids! magazine: a Grow Your Heart advent!

The Grinch grew his heart in The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, and so I hoped we could remember that the holidays are about something more.  Taking ideas from the article, I got my advent calendar from Silhouette and set about making tickets for the days of advent.  First, I lined the back of the frame with Grinch fabric. Then, for each day, the kids slide out a ticket and it reveals a good deed or festive activity for the day.  "Tell someone in your family you love them, read someone a book, give your brother/sister a complement today..."

No presents, no candy, and we get to read The Grinch Who Stole Christmas more!  We all win!

Wishing you and yours lots of Who-like fa-hoo forays and a very Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

12 Days of Christmas Ornaments

It's the most wonderful time of the year!  I sooo love the Christmas season.  It is always a flurry of ideas about decor, crafts, and cooking - I never seem to get through all of my creation dreams.

But I am determined to post at least the stuff I actually do end up making...!

And first is my 12 Days of Christmas ornaments.

Using just a few shapes from the Silhouette online store, these came together quickly, and are a great gift idea.
Shapes used:
3" circles - I cut these out of music pages.  I didn't have the 12 Days of Christmas on hand, but how cute would that be?
Echo Park Award Ribbon - I cut these out of silver glitter paper at 3.5" round, making two for each ornament (a front and a back)
Then using the 12 Days of Christmas shapes, I cut four out of red paper, four out of green, and four out of black.  Since these are intricate cuts, I double cut them, and it really helped.  The shapes vary by size, so I had to size them to make sure they each fit (mostly) onto the 3" circles.
Then, using Coneria Script font, I cut numbers out of double-sided adhesive.
Then it was just a matter of layering.  And getting big sister to help me with glittering the numbers.

*Caveat, I highly suggest playing Christmas music other than The 12 Days of Christmas while making these ornaments...I cannot get that song out of my head now!  :)*

Merry Christmas and happy crafting everyone!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Halloween Mantel

 It's time for a little Halloween cheer...

A few mariachi skeletons complete the mood...don't you think?  (I just love these guys!)

And I'm seeing so many cute Halloween-y printables on Pinterest right now - have fun decorating!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Fall Wreath

It's fall, y'all!  Time for a little fall decorating.  I got the wreath form at Joann's or Hobby Lobby, then added moss asymmetrically around the bottom.  I used a bunch of different flowers cut from music note paper, light orange and cream colors, some very small butterflies and, of course, our initial using paper cut by my Silhouette.  I list the files below.

I have to show a detail pic of the ribbon, because it is so fabulous:

It has little Eiffel Towers on it, and some antique-looking script & postcard markings.  Wish I could remember where I got it!

Happy Fall to you!

Files used:
3d loopy flower
3d paper rose

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Back-to-School Bulletin Board

Back to School!

Okay, some of us have been back in school for awhile.  My mom works in a school district that started August 4!  
But before I digress, I am the bulletin board volunteer at my daughter's school.  It's the main board that hangs in the front hallway and most days I can hardly believe I get to count decorating anything as volunteer hours!
So needless to say, I really love doing it.
I used  mixture of svgs from Silhouette online, while the little people are from Lettering Delights.  The files are listed below.  (And please forgive the poor picture quality.  It was not a hallway meant for photography!)

Silhouette Files:
Adobe mission #29605
Bare Tree with leaves #13627
6 Clouds #16140 (for the leaves)
Baby Got Backpack Cut it Set

Happy Back to School!

Personalized Pouches

I always find something fun in the dollar aisle at Target!  The other day I found these cute little pouches.

And I knew that they would be even cuter if personalized - and then they would be such a fun gift container!

Also, I had been wanting to use these fun monograms from Silhouette.


So here's how I did it.

First I downloaded all of the letters I needed for the monogram.  For the diamond, I "ungrouped" each letter and deleted all but the three letters I wanted.  This monogram was easy because I only needed an "M" and a "B."  I just needed to move the "B" over to the "M" diamond.  I resized each letter a bit to get it just right and cut it out of heat transfer vinyl.  (The diamond monogram was flocked vinyl.)

The script monogram is the same idea.  I "ungrouped" each letter group and moved the biggest "B" to fit between the little "M"s.  I made sure I liked the size of everything.  The most important part of getting the script monogram to look right is to overlap the letters slightly and then to "weld" them together.  Then I cut it out of regular heat transfer vinyl.

I gave these to my Mom for her birthday with a necklace inside the smallest pouch.  Then I put the smaller pouch inside the bigger one.  My daughter loved that the pouches nested so that the gift kept going.  "Unzip that one, too, Grammy!"

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Book Club

Back in July (and by "back", I mean 2012), we were the hosts for a little bookclub we moms put together for our rising 1st graders.  We chose Geronimo Stilton's The Lost Treasure of the Emerald Eye.

We decorated with lots of Geronimo and cheese decor.

The first activity was a Newspaper Scavenger Hunt.  This was a great idea, sourced from  The kids looked for things like a classified ad, a sports story, a number.  We did this while we waited for everyone to arrive.

Then we got ready for a scavenger hunt.  My kids LOVE scavenger hunts.  They opened a clue, a riddle, which led them to another clue, which led get the idea!  At the end, they were led to a treasure of the Emerald Eye: donuts!

 Then we had a discussion of the book.  I took ideas for the questions from

Finally, we snacked on crackers and cheese (of course!) and we had stilton to try.

A little September inspiration to get back in the swing of learning,

Simple Fall Decor

I always think of September as a kind of transitional month: I'm not yet ready to jump into Halloween or Thanksgiving motifs, yet I'm ready to move away from summer.  So I made a super simple Fall mantel to get me in the spirit, as well as a front door hanging that will be easy to change out once the leaves actually start to fall.  (As I write this, it's 80 degrees here!)

For my mantel, I wanted to complement the red in my furniture, so I chose a pretty apple from Silhouette (find it here) and cut it from red paper.

Then I got out a page of cardstock and made the Subway Art by writing out my favorite seasonal words, and then using lots of different fonts.  I cut the whole thing out of the cardstock, and used a wet-erase chalkboard marker to stencil it on the board.  (I think this would be a great use of the Sihouette stencil material, I just didn't have any on hand.)  One tip about stenciling fonts: some of the more decorative fonts (like Circus, for example - used for the words, "Country Fairs,") have lots of little parts and when I went to cut them, the cardstock just got trashed.  So I went back and cut those fonts using the "Cut Edge" Cut-Style option and then filled in details wherever I could freehand.  I then looked among my stash of frames and artwork I have collected over time and put up a few that complemented the season and color scheme.  (I find cheap but really pretty artwork by using pages from a calendar or downloading [copywright-free] images from the internet.)

My door hanging was a super simple throw together using a cone, ribbon, late-season hydrangeas and some mossy sticks I already had on-hand.  I found paper leaves I had made for Thanksgiving last year and wired those on, as well.  (I used the 8 Fall Leaves design for this.)

(I do love a mossy stick...:) )

I hope you enjoy and are finding inspiration this late summer!