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.
My 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 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.
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.
Started: May 15th
Finished: June 3rd
Started: June 4th
Finished: June 6th
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.
For 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Completed and custom framed cross stitch
My husband’s sister is way ahead of me with the kids than I am with the cross stitches for the kids. The third baby came a few weeks ago, the second one will be 2 at the end of April and I have not made much progress on this project.
Thanks to a co-worker I was introduced to the Meetup app. There is a group for side projects called The Side Projects Club. As long as it’s something you can do quietly they encourage you to bring your side project to work on. Most of the group bring laptops to work on coding, but a couple of us do things like cross stitch or knitting.
A huge thanks to that Meetup group. Without them I wouldn’t be working on this project at all, just getting mad at how much isn’t done. I was getting a bit burnt out on them, but it’s not as bad now. I am finally making some progress, and with getting back to this blog I thought I would use this as a secondary motivator to keeping pushing forward and making progress.
Update 5/11/17: Finished! Now it’s waiting to be framed, final photo coming in 2-ish weeks since frames are only ordered once per week on Wednesday.
Cross Stitch-An update
Cross stitch-not just an old lady craft