Will you be my Valentine?

So that title is a bit misleading. As this is posting the day of, I can’t get a card out that fast. I wanted to share the 3 cards I did make this year and sent out in time to reach their destinations (Colorado and Georgia). The third card was for my husband, so it didn’t have to go through the rigors of the post office!

After posting on Snapchat my newly acquired glitter glue, and asking who might want a card, my husband’s cousin responded that she did. The problem was I couldn’t think of a card to make, so I asked her what holiday or something I should do. She reminded me that Valentine’s Day was coming up. So I got started coming up with some concepts after browsing the Cricut library and not finding something I wanted.

I thought it would be fun to show my concepts for these cards I drew up on my phone (the Note 8, no icrap in this house). Anyway…I find myself telling people quite frequently that I can’t draw worth crap, what’s in my head does not translate into hand-drawn pretties.

Georgia

This is the card that made it’s way to Georgia. It’s pretty flat so I wasn’t worried about it surviving. This was also the most frustrating of the three because I wasn’t able to truly capture what was in my head.

vday allisha

First, I couldn’t find the heart ‘o’ in the fonts that I have. I could have sworn I had one, but was unable to find it and didn’t want to sort through all internet font options. But I think the teddy bear holding a heart does the trick.

Second, my sun ray type things just wouldn’t work for me. I thought I could do it, but things just didn’t translate, so it’s a bit messy for what I wanted.

Finally, the Cricut…Took me a few goes to actually realize it gives itself a margin where it won’t cut. So my card was placed right, but all the cuts are a good quarter inch to the right. I am hoping to be able to better compensate for this with future cards that have a peek through. Luckily I figured out the whole cut/draw on one mat thing so the drawing ended up where it should.

The paper background is discontinued wallpaper that has a silver sheen to it.

 

Colorado

This card I worried about so much. The button was thicker than I thought while I was picking it, and then the hot glue gun decided it wanted to create a huge glue glob.. you get the idea. I was very happy with the fact that I used some press n’ seal to get the adhesive foil up and onto the card. It took some patience, but worth it for not ruining the paper.

vday rhea

It was my first time transferring something using some sort of sticky material. My first card had all the letters connecting so I just picked it up and placed it where I wanted it. I am also happy that everything came out fairly straight.

The base of the flower I drew in Illustrator and then had the Cricut draw it with a gold pen.

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The Husband

This card took the most in terms of intricacy. I also tried my hand at drawing in Illustrator…luckily it help clean up really bad curves. This is the only card with some outside inspiration. I saw this Pin once, thought I remembered the general idea, until just now, looking at it I really didn’t do mine the same at all. What caught my eye was the overlapping hearts and Love intertwined (at least that’s how I remembered it). I wanted to recreate something like that and ended up with my own overlapping heart with the word coming off that.

vday mike

I used the same wallpaper and gold glitter glue as the piece above. I also used my new stencils to create the bottom arrows with acrylic paint that looks good with the gold theme I have going on.

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After photographing these cards I realized (when it was at least 1am) that this card was missing something. It was the glitter on the arrows. It took so much effort to go to bed and not start working on “fixing” the card that night. I was good, got some zzz’s (I think) and worked on this first thing in the morning. It helped the card so much, finally coming together to look more professional.

 

 

2018 Valentine’s Day card set

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Wallpaper cards

This is the full collection of available wallpaper cards. Check back as this will be updated as cards are created and sold.

$2 each / 6 for $10

$3 each

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Starting my Cricut adventure

Last year I started watching CreativeLive. It’s a great site for learning new things and getting inspiration. I happened to log on one day and there was a class called Introduction to Art Journaling. I decided to tune in as the photography classses that day weren’t what I needed. Within this art journaling class I was inspired to take the concept and use it for my notecards.

I’ve been making cards for years out of recycled wallpaper. Compared to what I have seen on Pinterest, my cards were very plain. Art journaling inspired me to get out paints, buy some stencils on ebay, and even contact my mom’s friend who does stamping. I now have stamps, embossing powders, more wallpaper, different cardstock, stencils, paints, and as of Christmas a Cricut.

 

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(This did not survive the mail)

I came to discover the Cricut because I wanted to make my own stencils. After doing some research, and my husband doing even more research he decided that the Cricut would be a good investment. I have a background in design and decent know-how of Illustrator, Cricut allows uploading of SVG files which is great! I am able to create my own designs in Illustrator and upload to the Cricut Design Space. So far I have not made any stencils, but I have made some rudimentary attempts at cards.

Pre-Cricut

Before the Cricut I was attempting to hand-letter and then stencil on my cards. I sent out a few like this, very proud of those at the time. I didn’t take pictures of these first cards because I was making them to send out right away for birthdays,  house warmings, and just because. For some reason I have a strong desire to put way too many mismatched elements onto one card. I feel that if I don’t have a little of everything on one card I’m missing something. The cards were very confused and amateur.

Post Cricut

I started using Pinterest to 1: learn a little about how the Cricut works and 2: to get some card ideas. After spending some time with my mom’s friend I realized I really wasn’t doing things right. I needed to really think through a card design. Picking out random stencils, stamps, papers and gluing/painting things randomly makes for a sad almost frightening card. (Apologies to those who received those first attempts.) Luckily I learn fast, my Illustrator knowledge has somewhat come back to me, and I am excited to have card ideas.

First semi-thought out card of my own design

Birthday Girl text is part of the Cricut images available to use, cut from Cricut adhesive foil (my first cutting attempt)

Green under the flower cutout is discontinued wallpaper, the flower was my first design in Illustrator attempt.

Button is from a collection of buttons I bought off of ebay years ago in an attempt to find a specific type of button to fix a shirt (no luck). I finally have a use for those buttons!

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First thought out card of my own design

After my first two semi thought out cards seen above (first one was inspired from Pinterest), I got a brilliant idea for my nephews’ birthday card. He loves Star Wars and I had gotten him some Star Wars decor for his room, so a card to match was perfect.

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First I found a Star Wars typeface, then another typeface that was silhouettes of popular characters and ships.

Next, I finally opened my 2016 day-to-day Star Wars calendar my mom bought for me.

Then it was time to start the layout and picking materials. I used the Cricut adhesive foil for the text and went through 2 plain white cardstock pieces for the card before realizing black would look way better. It took a few tries to get the cut out right on the card because I am still learning which setting to use for different paper types.

I used a silver pen to write a message on the inside of the card.

The cutout ships became confetti in the card.

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To see videos and more crafting adventures follow me on Snapchat!

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A handmade Christmas

cross stitch ornament

I wanted last year to be another year of handmade gifts. It was just coming up with those gifts that’s always the hard part.

Last year was a very big cross stitching year. I finished two large projects for a niece and nephew. Then I went on to create a much smaller cross stitch for the most memorable nurse aide at my dad’s hospice house. At that point I was just on a needle-working hot streak. I had never completed so many projects in one year, so why not a couple more.

My godparents are my two of my mom’s siblings. As you might guess from the photos my godmother got the Favorite Aunt ornament. This came about as a derivative work of the Thank You cross stitch ornament. I didn’t want to do wood burning for this project, so I raided my mom’s ribbon collection to find something that would match well with the design and make the ornament more complete.

cross stitch ornament

My husband helped me again with the cutting of a circle, this time a bit more careful to make it more circular as I did a much better job on my end this time. After losing my dad last year adding a wood element to both of the gifts for my godparents was something I hoped would be seen as extra special. They both liked my dad and have items made by him in their homes already.

This project is only about 3 inches wide or so, while my uncle’s ended up being more like 7 inches. Of course by time I finished it, Christmas was long over. As soon as I got the wood burning done and assembled everything on his it was wrapped up. So I don’t have photos of what I made for him. I will say that he does like it and has found a place for it.

And as with everything coming from my home, there are cat furs all over it.

cross stitch ornament

Thank you to Hospice workers

It’s been a few months now since my dad passed away. October 3rd will always be a hard day. In August my dad made the decision to go into the Josie Harper Hospice House in Omaha. It was the closest to the hospital and to my childhood home where my mom still lives.

At the time I was working on a different cross stitch project for a niece. I gave updates throughout the process of making it. Every 4 weeks to go along with Goal Day at the Side Projects Club. That project ended up being finished after he died, but the nurses and aides all admired my work.

cross stitch mounted to wood

I decided to give a little something back once I finished the other project. I had found this pattern at cross-stitching.com and was originally going to make a bunch into cards. Once I realized that it would be more time consuming than that and I wanted to get it done quickly; I had to make an adjustment.

My dad was a woodworker by hobby. It was his evening thing after work, he made many different things, even helped us make a bed base with lots of drawers. My husband has wanted to pick up this hobby as well. I assigned him to cutting out a circle, it didn’t have to be perfect. Mine sure wasn’t. (I’ve never cut out a cross stitch pattern before, all of my projects have been framed.)

Since things weren’t lining up and my part looked so strange just sitting on a piece of wood I decided to get out my brothers old wood burning kit. (Mind you this thing is at least 40 years old). Still works though. A new type of ornament was born.

The nurses aide Jo was the sweetest, most caring person I have ever met. She’s worked in hospice for years, from what I gathered at least 12 or more years. She can always be bubbly and happy, everyone is her favorite for some reason or another. I decided that Jo would be the final recipient of this project. It represents both me and my dad, through the needlework she saw me working on, to the wood as the mount. It hung on the Hospice House Christmas tree and Jo said it’s now hanging on her fridge.

This was my tribute to the difficult work the hospice workers do everyday. A little piece of me and my dad for something happy out of something so sad.

full project with ribbon

Baby Girl Princess Cross Stitch

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UPDATE 11/24/17. Project is finished and framed!

UPDATE 10/21/17. Went to goal day meeting, met previous goal of finishing all stitching. Just the back stitching left now.

UPDATE 10/3/17. My dad passed this morning. Progress on this project has been put on hold for now.

UPDATE 9/23/17. Due to my dad being in hospice since mid-August I am now making loads of progress. I work on this every day while I’m up there. There are days when he sleeps a lot and others when we have time to visit. He has enjoyed seeing the progress made and how “full” it has gotten.

I finished the cross stitch for Brett yesterday and took it in for framing. I was told 2 weeks (sad) because they order frames on Wednesdays only. So me being slow didn’t finish until a Thursday.

Now it’s time to start birth sampler No. 3. As of yet there hasn’t been an announcement for baby 4. But I’m not ruling anything out at this point. Baby No. 3 was born at the end of January this year! So maybe she’ll have hers in a more timely manner.

I started this the evening of 5/11/17. (Yay documentation!) Usually I don’t start posting until I’m months in (and have no idea when I started), but I have vowed to be better about keeping up this blog, and with the Side Projects Club meetup I have motivation to work on these projects and *gasp* finish them. So if you want to follow the progress of this cross stitch from start to finish, just bookmark this blog, or maybe RSS it? I have no idea, but be sure to check back. It will be updated every 4 weeks (Goal Days at SPC).

Let the stitching begin!