Thursday, January 30, 2014

Future Missionary Onesie

Any occasion is a good occasion for crafting so when my sister had a baby boy (the first name carrying male for her in-laws) I just couldn't resist.

I used silhouette studio to craft my own "Future Missionary" name tags. It is cut out of black heat transfer vinyl and then the letters are weeded out to reveal the white shirt underneath.

The tie was a little trickier. I used a solid tie shape from the silhouette studio and merged it with a stripe pattern (also from the silhouette store). After the stripes were the way I wanted I added an external offset of the tie to make the tie border. I cut a solid color tie for the background color and a black tie with the stripe parts weeded out as the second layer.

Things I liked about this project: I think it looks cute. I'm not much of a sewing applique type person so this fit the bill nicely. The name tag is priceless and professional looking.

Things I would change: two layers of heat transfer vinyl is really stiff for a baby onesie. So in the end next time I think I would go ahead and sew a fabric tie on the onesie with a heat transfer vinyl name tag.

Another option if I really wanted to stick with heat transfer vinyl would be to make a blue or red or green striped tie with white as the background color. A polka dot tie with white dots would be fairly simple to make also.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Personalized Fance Floral Tote - Craft Cutter Tips

I originally made this design for my etsy shop, but today I'm sharing my tips on how I did it.

First of all, I didn't waste an entire tote bag with a "Your Name" sample. I actually used craft vinyl to put the design on the bad temporarily. That way I can still remove the vinyl and have a tote bag to decorate with heat transfer vinyl.

First, find a background design you like. I used "floral lace" by Jamie Koay, design #17681. Since I intended to sell totes made with this design I purchased the commercial rights.

Second, use the straight knife function in the designer studio edition to cut your design into two pieces. Make sure you use the "Treat unfilled shapes as: solid" function.

Third, pick your favorite font and insert a name!

Fourth, size your design to fit your tote bag and remember to mirror image it before cutting in heat transfer vinyl.

Lastly, apply your design to your bag and enjoy a beautiful creation! (I use a heat press for professional results.)

File: floral bag name

Monday, January 20, 2014

Be YOU tiful Young Women - wood and vinyl craft

I recently got to craft with 20 or so young women ages 12-18.  Every woman, young and old, needs to know inside herself and independent of any other voices that she is beautiful in the sight of her Creator. His love for her is unfailing and unconditional. The phrase "be-YOU-tiful" reminds me of this and I hope it reminds these girls of their divine worth and potential too.

Before the activity I cut the vinyl and the wood (1"x4"s cut into 12" pieces). Several ladies helped me sand them and paint them off white. At the activity the girls used sharpie markers to decorate the vinyl. Then they weeded the vinyl (removed the extra vinyl around the letters) and used transfer tape to put they vinyl on the wood. Several girls got creative and used the markers to further embellish their plaques. Some even wrote their favorite quotes on the back of the boards. It was a fun activity for me and for them.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Mom as Managed by a Two Year Old

I had the perfect plan. It involved a trip to the library, dashing by the post office, and then a refreshing bike ride before lunch. My perfect plan was of course subject to the approval of my personal manager.

My daily personal manager consists of 1 two year old who grows more opinionated by the day as word count of her vocabulary expands. Negotiations started with getting dressed. She wanted to wear shorts and a pj shirt. Since it is winter, the shorts were not mother approved and not subject to negotiation either (at least I hoped so). We compromised on the pj shirt. She could wear it as long as she agreed to wear her sweater over it (one point for mom).

The second level of negotiations involved collecting library books to return to the library. I managed to scan all the books and ensure that no school library books were returned to the public library (unlike October's library book fiasco). Miss BellBell was doing her own book scan and determined that one particularly small board book MUST be returned to the library despite my insistence that it was in fact ours now (a hand me down book). Not wanting to further delay the perfect trip I allowed the small book into the library book bag thinking I could secretly hide it before it became library property.

Shoes were acquired and put on without any difficulties in part because I skipped the sock negotiations. (Yes my child went to the library sockless in winter. But we were in a car and not walking so frostbite wasn't a possibility.)

Once we reached the driveway negotiations began again. Miss BellBell climbed into the car and headed to the far back corner of the minivan to assert her independence and desire to sit in the "big kid" seats. I, not being a professional gymnast and not desiring to become one, tried verbal negotiations unsuccessfully and then resorted to physical relocation techniques. At last the Belle of the Minivan was safely secured in her 5 point harness with a blanket tucked over her feet in the middle row of the van.

Upon reaching the library we disembarked from the van. Miss BellBell wanted to be carried but I insisted she walk. I told her I had to carry the books. Indeed it would have been difficult to carry her and carry the books, but it was almost equally difficult to hold her hand with one hand and drag along an overstuffed book bag with the other hand. But she walked (another point for mom).

Once inside the library negotiations began yet again and Miss BellBell won her own points. I had forgotten about the stowaway small board book, but she hadn't. I tried once again to convince her that it was ours and we shouldn't return it to the library. Negotiation ended when the book went sliding down the return chute. (Hopefully it gets donated to the Friends of the Library book sale. And the loss of one book in hundreds is hardly catastrophic.)

The library was a hit with Miss BellBell because it was toddler story time and we arrived just in time for the interactive part. We laced a laminated ball, colored butterflies, worked blue puzzles, and concluded that the letter of the day was "B." (Maybe next time we'll make it in time for the story part too.)

We checked out our 3 board books and 1 mommy book and headed to the post office. I pre-empted the seat negotiations by lifting Miss BellBell into her car seat before she could head for the hills.

At the post office it was a good thing we were second in line. Any time someone spoke to Miss BellBell she hugged my leg thereby immobilizing me.

Post office errand was accomplished and we headed for home. The warmth of the sun combined with the increasing temperatures and the sweater proved a fatal combination for my planned bike ride. I turned around to see droopy eyes and say those fateful words, "don't fall asleep now." If only those magic words worked at home after lunch on super busy mom days, but alas they don't.

At home I carried the sleeping beauty in and laid her on the couch thinking she would wake up immediately. Foiled again. She slept. I read scriptures. She continued to sleep. I contemplated admitting defeat, but decided in favor of the old adage, "if you can't beat them, join them" and took a nap.

Maybe life as managed by a two year old isn't so bad after all. :)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Future Missionary Scripture Tote

Zeeboy had a big birthday and made the decision to follow Christ by being baptized. That is a big deal in our family. One of our traditions is to give the kids their own set of scriptures when they are baptized. Of course scriptures need a suitable scripture tote. Zeeboy requested white and I honored that request even though I know white gets dirty.

I used a full size white canvas tote bag like the ones from my etsy shop. I had an oops bag that I cut down and resewed into a smaller scripture tote size. My craigslist serger made the project quick and easy.

Then I decorated it with heat transfer vinyl. I really like the final product and so does Zeeboy.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Customized Music Clock Face - less than successful

My clock stopped working which was absolutely great because then I could take it apart without ruining it! After seeing how it was assembled I decided to buy another cheap (Walmart generic $4) clock and customize it.
First take apart the clock. This one has screws.
The hands pop off, but these are the problem children. A better constructed clock would be great (like the one that died - now the hand construction is flimsier making this project less than successful).
I made my clock face using one from the silhouette store (just so I wouldn't have to do the circle with 60 divisions on it). I decided to go with a musical theme: a quarter note at one o'clock, a half note (two beats) at two o'clock, etc. With the print and cut feature on the silhouette you can even use the silhouette to cut the hole in the center of the clock face.
Musical Clock
The final product looks great and worked great until..... the clock hands needed to cross paths. Then the hands got stuck because they weren't perfectly aligned. The hands were put together with rivet like construction. With a different clock you wouldn't have this problem. But after a few days of using this clock in my kitchen I decided I didn't like the musical face because my kids (some of whom are just learning to tell time on an analog clock) couldn't tell what the hours were. So in the end I just bought another $4 clock and put it on the wall without modification.

But if you could solve the supply issue (find a decent clock) the options for customizing are endless (scrapbook paper background anyone?). I just wasn't willing to spend more money on a clock.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Just for Fun - Toilet Paper Mummy

Do you ever have an idea you just want to try but it sounds really silly? Well, for the longest time I've wondered how well toilet paper would work to make a mummy. Fortunately for me, my kids are sillier than I am and are willing guinea pigs.

Here is my best effort at making a toilet paper mummy. You can't wrap it too tight or the TP breaks.

Mr. Zeeboy thought this was absolutely great. He got to use his muscles and see how fast he could un-mummify himself.

Five minutes max to undo all my hard, hard work! ;) Not recommended for a Halloween costume, but silly fun totally worth the price of one roll of TP!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Bike Leg Bands / Straps - DIY

I like to bike. I like to bike with my friend Mike. (Oops, I guess I've been reading too much Dr. Seuss.)

Actually it's more like this: I like to bike. I like to bike with my daughter BellBell. Except she doesn't push me up the hills. She sits in her comfy trailer and adds resistance to my work outs.

So one random day for no reason other than I could (true story) I decided to make bike leg bands for my biking gang. What, you didn't know I joined a gang? Well, I did. And now you're wondering what leg straps are for? It's so your pants don't get caught in your bike chain and put holes in your pants. I speak from experience unfortunately.

I already had a pair that belong to my husband (who generously lets me use his bike and his leg straps since I don't have my own). I used it as an example. It's the one with a reflective stripe on it. I didn't happen to have any reflective stripe stuff in my craft supplies (who does?) so I did without. I did happen to have lots of unused webbing. Some was nylon and some was something else, but it was all 1" wide. I bought it to make handles for tote bags, but never got around to that project.

Here's what you need to make your own bike leg straps:
  29" of 1" wide webbing (color of your choice)
  11" of 3/4" wide sew on velcro (none of that sticky backed stuff)


  1. Cut two pieces of webbing 14.5" long (I didn't pick a random number that's how long the "professional" straps are).
  2. Using a red hot stove burner (or a match), slightly melt the ends of the webbing so it won't unravel.
  3. Cut two pieces of loopy velcro 5" long.
  4. Sew loopy velcro onto outside of leg band.
  5. Cut two pieces of hook (the rough stuff) velcro 3" long.
  6. Sew the hook velcro on to the inside of the leg band.
  7. Done!!! I made 6 sets in part of one morning. A really quick and satisfying project.
My other tip for pants safe biking would be to replace your bike seat before the suddenly exposed staple snags your pants and puts a hole in your seat. Yep, experience is a hard teacher sometimes.

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