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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Garden Week 9.5

After all the work of starting the little pods, the seedlings ended up dying on me. The ones that I thought might be successful didn’t do so well after being transplanted, so I started over a few weeks ago. I went old-school and just plopped seeds in the dirt. This year in neat rows that are somewhat spaced out.

Now that everything is planted and starting to pop up, I’ve found I have a crazy weed problem. I don’t want to use any chemicals and getting out there to pull stuff everyday is just daunting. Especially with almost daily downpours. So my newspaper in gardenmom told me about my grandma’s solution. Put down newspaper in between the rows, and just throw a clump of dirt on top. I guess she did this and it worked to keep the weeds away, and helped to create a little walking path. So using the comics I had on hand my husband got the weed covers started.

Overall the garden seems to be doing well. Minus all the torrential rain storms that keep coming. They bring crazy wind too. I have already been dipping into the lettuce that has come up. Super yummy on sandwiches.

The Birdfeeder

I got this brilliant idea to make my own bird feeder. This is out of selfishness of wanting to be amused by my cat Coco Puff. She loves to talk to birds that take a breather on the deck. They don’t stop by all that often, so I thought, maybe get some bowls and have a little place for birds to come eat,  drink, and be chatted to by my cat. (Someday I hope to capture her “chirps” on video)

I took a trip to Goodwill to find something to house my birdseed and water. I didn’t want the traditional bird feeder. My original idea was to have two bowls on a long plate. I found this instead.

So far it’s doing it’s job. And attracting some squirrels too. But hey Coco doesn’t mind, she likes to pretend she’s talking and chasing all of them.

My Garden Part 2

It’s been a week since I planted the seeds. The cucumber is already too large to fit under the lid. From what I can tell almost everything except the peppers have at least started to sprout.

The one that I wasn’t even sure were seeds oregano sproutswas the oregano. This is what they look like now…I honestly wasn’t expecting anything to grow and now look at it. —>



And below are the updated photos of how the garden is sprouting up today.

The yellow tape marks the top of the tray so I know what’s growing where. I designed a map as I was planting so I would know what everything was once it started sprouting.

DIY Sketchbook/Journal

My sometimes wanning addiction to Pintrest is what lead to this project. Years ago I made a journal at a lady’s house, she was a friend of my mom. She had countless stamps at her disposal, I’m sure those fancy punches too. I assume she was a scrapbooker normally, which is an expensive hobby, and so she invited people to make journals. These journals cost around $20 for use of the supplies. The books and pages were pre-cut into 5×7’s and then hole punched. All you had to do was decorate the covers and assemble. My journal ended up with a combo of Elizabethan and Egyptian theme to it. Odd, but looked cool. We even pasted in a little blurb about a gratitude journal into it. I think Oprah had recently mentioned them on a show. Mind you I made this at least 10 if not 15 years ago.

Now I am taking that premise and adding a new and more complicated twist. I took the idea of transferring photos to wood blocks from Pintrest (see here). I’ve taken this and have been working on transferring photos to mat board to create the cover of my journals. The first one I made I gave to a then co-worker who was looking for a more pocket friendly, line free sketchbook. So now these journals are more pretty blank page books for whatever you want.

IMG_3321The first time I tried to make a transfer I decided to forgo the instructions from the bottle of transfer adhesive stuff and chose to follow the Pintrest video instead. This worked out ok, but with so much paper and lots of water, it just didn’t work out as well as I had hoped. There were lots of white streaks from where not only the paper came up, but the photo as well. This was turned into abstract wall art instead of a journal.

I  decided that my second go of the photo transferring should be attempted after reading the instructions on the bottle. Just so you know this still uses a lot of water, and I swear shrinks up the picture a little. And as it dries, add more water, these transfers are super thin and tear easily. This project takes a lot of patience, but the end result is worth it. Now I am working up some more journals to list on Etsy.


Sadly this set ended up too dry when I went to adhere it to the matte board, so there are no finished project images. But I have had a couple of successes, just not this time.

A Basketball Game

Last week I got the opportunity to test out my new lens. It’s a Canon 70-200 f/2.8. Not really the type of thing you take to a party. But I was able to take it to a Creighton basketball game to take photos for a non-profit and I snuck in a few game shots as well. I’m not much of a sport photographer, and this was very impromtu. Below are a few of the images I captured. I am still amazed with the first one, because the players are so angled and yet they don’t fall over.