Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I can't stop cutting things!

A stamping friend recently bought a house after being on the house hunt for quite some time.  The cute little card idea I had somehow morphed from this...
To this:
I started by drawing the house outline gatefold along with the windows and shutters (next time I would make the window trim a smidge bigger so I could easily use 1/8 inch scor-tape. I used my xyron to adhere the shutters). When I went to the silhouette store to buy a picket fence, I also bought a decorative house card from which I ended up using the flowers, grass, chimney, doors, and round window-I love the downloads that are packed with goodies. I made the banners by cutting out a diamond, then folding it over Twinery twine, which itself was adhered to the card with Crystal Effects.  The font is Chowderhead, and have I mentioned my love of both adhesive-backed paper and Echo Park paper?  

Here's an aerial shot:

And just so you don't think I've given up stamping for good, here's a little card I whipped up to enter in the Paper Crafts Gallery Idol contest (and yup, you can bet the house card will be entered as well!):
How can something so monochrome and clean come from the same person?  I don't even understand it and I'm that person.  The frame is Polka Dot Frame by Spellbinders, that I sponged Not Quite Navy onto.  The feet are from Lucky Star set by Fancy Pants, and the sentiment is A Muse Studio.  I like that font, don't you?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


If you're looking for my house card post, go here!

Yes, you will be singing "on a bicycle built for two" for the rest of the day.  You're welcome.

I made this card for The Play Date Cafe's color challenge of barn red, slate blue, and grey.  Last night, I caved and bought a Silhouette subscription.  They were 25% off, so for $7.50 a month I get $25 worth of downloads--score!  That led to this PITA took three tries and still not perfect seriously what's with those spokes adorable tandem bike frame cutout.  The letters are Black Jack font, cut out of adhesive-backed paper.  Why has it taken me this long to be made aware of this invention?  I bought a little tiny pad at Joanne's and will probably be going back for more.

I think the dinner bell is ringing, so I better make this short and sweet!  Adios!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Back from Vacation

Maybe you noticed my blog (and comments) have been a little quieter than usual...that's because we just got back from 10 days in Seattle and Vancouver!  We had a blast and took almost 1,000 pictures (988 to be exact).  If you want to see a small sampling, keep reading; if not, tune in next time when I promise I will post a card (maybe even a stamped one).

This was a waterfall we "hiked" to (for about 10 minutes) in Olympic National Park.
 We were also playing with our new camera and Mr Corgi took this (I think) very professional portrait.
He also took this shot of Seattle from the ferry.  Note the blue skies--it only rained two of the days we were there!
In Vancouver, they have a large suspension bridge to walk over, as well as this "cliffwalk" that is attached to the side of the cliff.  I was being a no-hands dare devil (note the look of terror) (also note the new haircut I got about two days before our vacation).
Another waterfall!  This one is the third largest in Canada.  Or British Columbia.  Or on this highway.  Ok, so I'm a little fuzzy on the tour details.
We spent almost an entire day at the Vancouver Aquarium.  We saw dolphins,
and bald eagles (I know-at an aquarium?  It's a summer thing for them and it was pretty awesome--they were flying just feet away from us!)
Even more awesome was that we got the chance to go behind the scenes and feed a sea lion!  If you ever go to an aquarium where they offer the chance to go behind the scenes like that, do it! 

I hope you enjoyed this segment of "what I did on my summer vacation." 

PS-With well over 1,000 unread posts in google reader, I just had to cut my losses, mark all as read, and start fresh.  I hope to be back to my normal commenting soon!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


One of my stamping friends recently acquired a new kitten, so I thought a congratulations card was in order:
See what I did there with the "congratulations" and "cat"?!?!  ;)  Of course I did this with my Silhouette.  The font is Chowderhead. I made a text box for each letter so I could easily move them around until I got the look I was going for, then I welded them.  I also took each letter in "cat" and scaled it to about 96%, then welded those three letters together to print in black.  The cat I traced from a clip art picture.  The paper is, of course, Echo Park.

Speaking of things that Addison does not allow in our backyard, we got a new bird feeder this year called a "squirrel buster."  The other day was the first time one of the squirrels made the leap to it, but the bars are on a spring, so the squirrel's weight makes the feeder holes close.  Here's a sequence of photos I took with him getting very frustrated and finally giving up:
Haha, suck it, squirrel!  If you're interested in your own Squirrel Buster, we bought ours here at amazon..

Hope you're having a great squirrel-busting day today!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Fabulous 44th!

Today is my parental's 44th anniversary, so I whipped out the ol' Silhouette. Well, to be honest, I tried stamping first...I was going to do an embossed SU Medallion behind the sentiment (like this card), but the glossy medallion just didn't work with the textured paper.  Yes, I broke down and bought some DCWV paper to use in the Silhouette.  It definitely lowered the frustration level I was having, especially paired with the hint to mirror the image, that way you get nice pretty cuts on the front of the paper.
This is some old Jillibean Soup printed kraft paper-isn't it gorgeous?

Silhouette Hint O' the Day: If you want your font to be a little bit thicker, but there's no bold option for it, offset it by about .02, then just use the offset to cut your paper  (I then went back and did a thicker offset for the black).

Monday, June 13, 2011

Keep Calm and...

Hi, my name is Meg and I addicted to anything "keep calm and..."  (I even have a "bloody hell we're buggered now" t-shirt).You may remember my first Silhouette project was this "Keep calm and carry on" card.  One of my blogging friends said she would love a "Keep calm and panda on" version, so I ended up making three different versions for three blogger friends:

The colored portion was cut using the Silhouette, then I used foam tape to pop it up on the white base.  I made these cards 5x7 just to make it easier for me to foam tape the middle pieces (like the triangles in the A's, the panda nose [@*%$^!], the skate wheels [*@$&%!!!!], etc).

Silhouette Hint: The "align" toolbox is very handy (it's the one that looks like three rectangles connected by a line).  I made a slightly-smaller-than-5x7 rectangle, then I typed each word in a separate text box (using Gill Sans font).  Place the top and bottom lines of text where you'd like them to be, then select all the text boxes and click "space vertically" to evenly space them.  Then select the rectangle and everything in it, then choose "center" from the align toolbox. Ta-da! Perfectly centered and spaced text.

Keep calm and craft on, everyone!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Hold on to Your Hats

I think I'm getting pretty good at this whole Silhouette card designing.  I made two anniversary cards for my DH, and I really can't decide which one is my favorite, so that will be an exercise left to the reader.  Are you ready?
Card #1:
The silhouette is based on this picture from our wedding: 
(side note: check out our photographer's blog for some haunting tornado pictures) It took a couple tries to cut this as I'm still having issues with some of the fonts not cutting cleanly, but I think the result is well worth it. 

Card #2:
GET IT?!?!  "Otter" half?!?!  Hahahaha.  This pun is from pinterest, and the image is based on a t-shirt (that of course I own) that is based on this video (make sure you watch it until 1:20 for the cutest part):
The polka dot paper is Echo Park, and the "water" paper is My Mind's Eye Love Me Do collection--it has little hearts all over it, so I couldn't resist using it.  The font is Chowderhead, and I used word wrapping and welding to wrap it around the circle.  I used the "trace" feature to trace the otters and their bellies, then used the "trace outside edge" feature for the black matting. I left the black the same size, then glued it just a smidge off so it gave it a water/shadow effect.  I definitely had to add the black to the feet, otherwise, they looked like, shall we say, "Baby Ruths."  

In other news, the subway art was definitely appreciated by Mr Corgi!!  I think he may have gotten a bit misty-eyed when he read the "as you wish."  Or maybe it was the paint fumes.  Hard to say.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Finally....the premiere of My Movie Subway Art

Ok, I'll admit: all the work was worth it.  There are 1,000 great blog tutorials on how to make your own subway art using the silhouette to cut the vinyl.  Here are three hints I would add:
1) Do a test cut of all your fonts. You don't want to have everything all planned out and then realized the silhouette doesn't cut one of your fonts very easily. Hint 1A would be don't use a thin serif font!  Save yourself!  The fonts I used (in order) are: Calibri, Arial Black, Rockwell, Century Gothic (bold), and Palatino Lintoype.
2) The brayer is your friend.  Use it all over the vinyl before you weed, use it to apply the transfer tape, use it to apply the vinyl.  Also your friend is painter's tape and your husband's t-square for easy straight lines.
3) Don't try to use metallic spray paint to cover MDF!!!

So, in case you're a bit behind on your pop culture, here is a list of all the quotes (full disclosure: I threw in some tv shows, too):
You're gonna need a bigger boat-Jaws
I have a bad feeling about this-Star Wars
Just what do you think you're doing, Dave?-2001: A Space Odyssey 
There's no crying in baseball.-A League of Their Own
I wish I had a million dog!-It's A Wonderful Life (yes, this is also where my one typo is.  that's how you know it's handmade, right?)
Why Kate, you're not wearing a bustle.  How lewd. -Tombstone
It's an illusion, Michael. -Arrested Develpment
That's a negative, ghost rider, the pattern is full. -Top Gun
I just don't dig on swine, that's all. -Pulp Fiction
You must have some powerful enemies. -Mike Rowe, Dirty Jobs
Fair enough. -The Right Stuff
Asps...very dangerous. You go first.  -Raiders of the Lost Ark
Failure is not an option. -Apollo 13
Are you crazy? The fall will probably kill you. -Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
You're never too old for Space Camp. -Stranger than Fiction
I said everything's a-ok. -The Right Stuff
What a crazy random happenstance.  -Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog
As you wish -The Princess Bride

So did I use some of your favorite quotes?  What is your favorite one that I should have put on there?  Share in the comments!

(ETA that I'm linking this up for Hooking Up with House of Hepworths link party.)

Monday, June 6, 2011

For all you crafty nerds out there...

 Check it:
Why, whatever could be inside? 
A Kindle! 

Ok, I have to interrupt here and do a shout-out for Delivereads.  Started by a guy that sent a lot of articles to his Kindle to read later, it's a free service that sends about 5 of the most interesting articles a week to your Kindle, in one easy newsletter.  Did I mention it was free?  And awesome? And free?

Back to my new case, what nerd wouldn't love her own polka dotted and wavy striped padded case?  I used this pattern and it was really quite easy. As someone who hasn't done "real" sewing since the tenth grade, I was amazed at how professional looking it turned out.  Also, since the pattern included directions on how to adjust it to fit all sorts of electronics, I made one for my school-issued netbook (I say school-issued because I would never want to endorse a netbook after using this one):
But at least it'll look good, right? It's a bit lumpy due to the cords, but I wanted to show how much you really can fit in there.  I'm sure the "i" is a bit intriguing.  I did some silhouette vinyl work and personalized my netbook:
Aw yeah, math jokes! 

Subway art update: If you recall, I was on step 5 of 16, which was "how much paint does it take to cover a 2x2 foot piece of board?"  Today I completed:
Step 6: Buy 2 more cans of paint ("because I can always return the one I don't use")
Step 7: Use up the entire two cans of paint (bringing the total to one can of primer and THREE cans of spray paint).
Step 8: Call customer service for refund.
Step 9: Decide to paint it black, but must wait until the next day for the spray paint to dry.
Seriously, this is getting a bit ridiculous now.  Maybe someday soon I can finally show you the finished product!

Until then, read on or craft on or math on, my friends.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

And the winner is...

Thanks to everyone who left a lovely comment (on any of my posts).   Maria is one of my most frequent commenters, and she has a heart of gold when it comes to helping both dogs and people, so I think the random number generator did a good job. BTW, if you're a dog lover, you should definitely pick up "A Dog's Purpose."  You might want to get a box of kleenex while you're out, too.  (Maria, I still haven't grown enough courage to pick up Merle's Door.  Maybe I'll just read the first 85% of the book and imagine that all the dogs involved continue to live forever [just like corgis do, right?].)

And what mystery prize did she win?  I must admit, I think it's a good one...
one stamp set from the a muse studio catalog!!!
See the catalog here and then email me your choice!

Now, don't feel bad if you didn't win, because you still get the chance to see an awesome card.  I am in love with it, but the pictures don't do it justice.
Yes, I cut out all of those leaves.  Yes, I did have claw hands for the rest of the night.  Yes, I did tear the paper as I was cutting the SECOND-TO-LAST leaf.  I stamped and embossed the tree (from PTI's Through the Trees) onto SU Whisper White, and the shimmery loveliness is just pure happiness.
I am now hard at work on a anniversary project.  I am currently in the "Seriously, one can of spray paint won't coat a two-foot-square piece of wood?" step, which I think is step 5 of 16.  Maybe it will be completed by Thursday.  Or by next year's anniversary.  We'll see.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Time for a little Suess

Because really, doesn't everyone enjoy a little Suess now and then?  This card is a whole mish-mash of stamps: Taylored Expressions "Oh the Places You'll Go" for the sentiment, PTI's All Booked Up for the book, and A muse for the grunge sunrays.  A little Baja Breeze and Riding Hood Red, and shazam, don't you just feel smarter by looking at this card?

This was actually a card from the ACAD submissions.  I fear my Silhouette has drawn me over to the dark side.  I tried stamping a card yesterday and I don't want to talk about it.  I Silhouetted a card today and I can hardly wait to show it to y'all (but there are spying eyes who can't see it yet, so you'll have to wait). 

And, appropriately enough, now it's Book Report time!
Book #16: The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall (click on the pic for amazon link).  First of all, I'm glad DH got me a Kindle for an early anniversary present because the hardcover version was a bit heavy (yes, I'm a book weakling).  This book was a bit slow to start, but once it got rolling, I couldn't put it down.  The author wrote the original Big Love article for Esquire, so he seems to know his business. That being said, I'm not sure I could recommend this book.  It takes a lot for me to recommend any book over 400 pages, because that is a lot of pressure to tell someone to devote that much reading time.  At 600 pages, it better be jaw-dropping and/or have a stash of gold hidden at the end of the book for me to recommend it. Which it wasn't and it didn't, so I won't 1.

Ok, are you still reading?  Good, because I, on the other hand, do have a stash of gold hidden at the end of this post.  Well, not really "gold" as much as some blog candy.  I just realized when I started this post that my blogoversary must be coming up, and what do you know, it's today!  So everyone who comments on this post between now and, let's say, Sunday noon (central) will be entered to win a mystery prize.  Of course it's a mystery to keep up the suspense, not because I had not prepared for my blogoversary, right?  Right.

1In Bruges, anyone?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

You had me at woof.

Well, it seems I may have become addicted to my Silhouette.  It's still a bit of a learning curve, especially when trying to cut PTI paper--some of it cuts like buttah (red, ocean tides) and some of it (black especially) cuts shreds like shredded cheese.  But through determination and only a small amount of swearing, I made this card for the Embellish magazine text challenge.

I made the square in the silhouette software and as I was dragging the text to see if it would fit, I happened upon the super-cool trick of wrapping the text around a shape, then you can weld it and it cuts it out as one shape.  Did that just blow your mind like it did mine?  The fighter planes are a silhouette download.  Take a look at an extreme close-up and notice (a) the beautiful cuts and (b) the text background-I printed the glossary of an old flight manual (thanks to Lindsey of Bashful Blogging for the excellent Google Books idea).

I'm sure right about now you're thinking, "Man, Meg has really let herself go over summer vacation.  I mean, what do planes have to do with 'woof'?  And I'm pretty sure Jerry Maguire said 'hello,' not 'woof.'"  Ok, I'll give you that Jerry said "hello" but that's probably because he didn't have the cutest corgi in the whole wide world.   (You know, someone should make a crafting romantic comedy.  Maybe the meet-cute could be fighting over the last clearance pack of paper.  Oh, no, wait, maybe she's in the hardware store buying magnetic vent covers for nestie storage and he's in the hardware store buying magnetic vent covers to actual vent coverage and then the pottery scene from "Ghost" is redone with ink and stamps.  And it could be titled "Squeeze, Pull, Jerk"[1]) Anyway, all that to introduce my next card:

To answer your questions:
1) From a sign I bought at Homegoods. 
2) From the fact that I was planning on using Hawaiian Shores scrunched ribbon for the collar, which ended up not working, but I still liked the color scheme. 
3) Transfer paper.  I cut out the letters, then peeled away all the paper from the carrier sheet, leaving the letters on it.  Use the transfer paper to lift them up all at once, apply glue using quickie glue pen, then adhere the letters and peel away the transfer sheet.  There was still some wiggling, but much closer to perfect than I could have done without the transfer paper.
4) Yes, that is a silhouette of Addison.  I made the silhouette in GIMP, then imported it into the silhouette software and used the trace feature.
5) Yes, it does seem heavy on the lower right, but I had no idea what to add to the top left to balance it.  Any suggestions?

So there you have it.  Let me know if you have questions I didn't answer.

[1]referencing how to use the ATG, of course.