Thing 1 & Thing 1 & Thing 2,3,4

At my day job the team decided to dress up as Things 1-4 from Dr. Suess’s Cat in the Hat. While I chose not to participate in the donning of red leggings and blue wigs, I did come up with a way to celebrate with the team.

Most of the team partakes in coffee on the regular, so I thought cute coffee mugs could work as a fun add on to the theme (and a quick Google search inspired this). I went out and bought some white mugs and black 651 vinyl and got to work.

I did get lazy with trying to draw these all myself and found that people sell these ready to go in vector format on Etsy. This is where I got my version: JLCraftsCreations. (This takes you right to the item in her store)

mug with care instructions

Due to who is in and out and going to parties there are two Thing 1’s and then Things 2-4 for the rest of the team. The first go round I forgot to measure what size to make the circle, but I did remember 2 Thing 1’s. Second go round I make them the size I needed, but completely spaced the second Thing 1. Luckily I hadn’t closed anything yet and was able to whip out another Thing 1 on the Cricut. (Tip: you can select the little eyeball to hide any item in Cricut Design space you don’t want to “make” at the moment.)

care instruction cut out

While this was a fairly simple project, it still took quite a bit of time getting the pieces off the paper and onto the mug. I used Glad Press n’ Seal to lay the vinyl onto the mugs. Usually I think contact paper is recommended, but Press n’ Seal isn’t as sticky, but it does wrinkle easily.

Overall it was a fun little project to help me avoid doing actual work over the weekend.

I apologize for the lack of during photos. I did Snapchat some video, but unfortunately that can’t be uploaded to this blog due to restrictions on the free service.

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line up of mugs 1-4

Birthday Care Bear

the completed project

Today is my best friend’s BIRTHDAY! When she told me she liked the Care Bears I found a cross stitch book on ebay and found this Birthday Bear! I knew I wanted to make it for her. It took a long time, but it’s done and delivered!

I started this cross stitch immediately after finishing the butterfly card. Since I survived using the dark 18 count Aida I assumed I could manage Hardanger (it’s also called 22 count). Boy was I wrong! And I overestimated my eyesight. I know it is small, but didn’t realize just how hard it would be to stitch. I could barely tell if there was a full x or not.


I ended up at Joann’s for a LED magnifying glass on day 2 of working on this project. Even with using it I couldn’t see very well or my vision is going bad faster than I thought. I found it challenging to keep my eyes focused for very long. Not sure if this is common since I don’t know anyone who regularly works on Hardanger. If you have and have any tips please share!


8/25/18: Although this milestone is hard to see, it is a milestone. I got the white on white almost complete. There is still some in the ears, but I don’t trust myself to count that far from my current position. I did however complete the belly area of the bear. The count is 1 off somehow, but I’m hopeful I can work around it without making the entire image seem off.

care bear with white belly complete

8/25/18: progress report

After much more work on this I finally finished. The left side is definitely off, but that makes it unique and handmade right?

10/14/18: The stitching is complete!

cross stitch_1018_01

10/14/18: progress report, the main stitching is done

Now time for backstitching and well the french knots ended up not happening. I realized this as I started typing this.

I used the Cricut to cut out the frame to finish this. The total size is 8 in x 8 in. As much as I tried to make a card out of it I wasn’t able to. Five attempts at cutting a card from my A3+ paper and it just left my sticky board a mess. The paper shredded no matter what setting I used when trying to pull it off.

I was so desperate to finish this on time and with my other commitments I completely missed actually finishing everything on this project. Maybe it’s time to slow down a bit (which I know can’t happen with many stokes in the fire).

I used to do really well and not miss stitches or anything else. Now my work has mistakes everywhere, too many things happening that are distractions. I have many more deadlines to reach, so no slowing down now.


Started: July 21st
Finished: October 16th

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Customized Thermos

I’ve been seeing more and more customized products, mugs, tumblers, wine glasses, etc. Before the end of last year I thought people were just magical being able to create such items.

The backstory: I wanted to create my own stencils so I wouldn’t have to rely on other people’s designs and size constraints. I started looking into flexible plastic (still haven’t gotten any) and how to cut it with more precision than an exacto knife and hand drawn lines. That’s when I stumbled on a product called the Cricut.

Upon this discovery my husband set out on a journey to find which machine and starter kit would work best for my beginner needs. I ended up with the Explore Air 2 which had just come out and a huge variety of items to try out.

thermos_0718_01My favorite item so far has been the adhesive foil. I have a variety pack of metallic adhesive foil that I have used on a variety of cards and paper projects. This is the first project where I am using the foil on a much used item.

I’ve had this thermos for many years, as you might be able to see it’s a little beat up, the paint is chipped…it’s seen better days.

I wanted to get a purple one, but can’t find it in stock. So I am still using this one and wanted to make the leap to making something that’s popular. Luckily I have a graphic design background and understand Illustrator, making the Cricut less of a learning curve than it seems to be for many new users. I drew the camera in Illustrator and exported my SVG file to cut out my pattern.

I know the foil isn’t considered “permanent” but we don’t use the dishwasher so I think with hand washing it should stick for a while. So far it’s made it 3 days.




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This post uses affiliate links. This just means that if you go to the site and end up buying something I’ll get a small percent, this doesn’t increase the cost to you at all. 🙂

All commissions from affiliate links go to the maintenance of this blog. Thank you for your support!

Class of 2018

This was a fairly fast project. 2 colors and my first design out of WinStitch. I’m still figuring out the program, it seems a bit on the clunky side. I could just be spoiled by using Adobe for so many years and having many customization options at my fingertips.


In progress

The framing took a while. I had to attempt to re-cut the matte, that didn’t end well. Then trying to get the tiny letters cut out with the Cricut to stick semi-straight onto the matte board was a frustrating mess. But hey now it’s done and it can be wrapped and packed.

cross stitch_0618_01


Started: May 15th
Finished: June 3rd


Started: June 4th
Finished: June 6th

Fur Babies Mug

fur baby mug_0218_02

I’m trying to branch out my crafting. Joining a few Cricut groups on Facebook at my cousin’s suggestion really spurs the creative juices. When I looked at my calendar for February I saw that a friend of mine had a birthday coming up. She is like me and loves her fur babies as her children, so I came up with this idea to send her a birthday gift.

This is my first exploration into iron on. That I didn’t even iron on. Since receiving a Cricut for Christmas, I have been exploring new crafting techniques. With it I have upped my card game and now have decorated a mug.

Since I started learning more about stamping and embossing I ended up with a heat gun. I thought that might be a way to adhere the iron on pieces to a mug. And it actually worked! I have a lower temp heat gun for the embossing so it probably took longer than normal to get everything to stick, but it worked nonetheless.

fur baby mug_0218_01For this project I found a black mug and the white glitter iron on from Cricut. At first I was going to use vinyl, but then decided to try iron on after reading a couple blogs that made it seem possible to do.


Then I had to sit down and pick some fonts from my vast collection of them. Once I got that settled I laid it out in the Cricut design space. I made sure to attach the words “my”, “fur”, and “babies”. This is very important if you are using some sort of transfer tape. Which of course I didn’t. But I at least had the correct letters next to each other to easily transfer it by eyeballing it.



Here’s a close up of the finished mug, everything looks like it’s stuck down!

Now it’s time to ship it off and hope for the best on how long it lasts. I will be sending it with a cute note about it being handmade and it shouldn’t go in the dishwasher or microwave.



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 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