Friday, May 29, 2015

Birthday Banner - My Friend Nancy

So yesterday I posted the masculine banner and today I'm posting a more feminine birthday banner, the one I made for my friend Nancy. We had a get together for her birthday at a mutual friends house, who makes like the worlds best fajita's by the way, and I made a banner with her favorite colors of maroon and teal. Well I added a little silver and cream to the mix as well.

First off let me say it is very difficult to get good pictures of a banner because it is so dang long, so please bear with me having the banner in 3 pictures. 

The flags of the banner are cut out of heavy cardstock and the letters are done in vinyl. I also cut some flourish designs to add on the flags that the flowers are on. I had some sheer ribbon that I used for the bows at the ends of the banner. 

I pulled out some of my precious Petaloo flowers to add for decoration and while I hate using those flowers I figured Nancy was worth the sacrifice.  Big brads were used on a few of the flowers and then brads with crystal centers were used for the others.   

I didn't laminate Nancy's banner because I wanted to sew it together with ribbon and wasn't sure how my Janome Sew Mini would do with sewing through the lamination. Not long after it was hung up I was wishing I had laminated it because the air was very humid and the paper started curling. I might try a small piece of paper laminated through the sewing machine just to see if it will work so I will know for future references and if it does then there will likely be no end to my creating banners that can be stored and reused! 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Birthday Banner - For a Guy

While I haven't been posting in the last few months that doesn't mean I haven't been crafting....okay I've been crafting very, very, very little *okie hangs head in shame* but on a positive note my stamps are all organized! So what do y'all think of my stamp set up now?

Oh yes this post is about a birthday banner for a man *okie is quite amazed at how fast squirrels tend to distract her*! I've made two in the last month or so and while they were both banners they were quite different.

Today I want to share the one I made for my friend Eric. A few of us who hang out at happy hour *okie suddenly realizes she probably needs to post about that as well and thinks  there is a lot she hasn't shared and wonders how long it will take to catch everyone up with the going on's in okie's life* decided to surprise our friend Eric for his birthday and my task was to make a banner and a cake. 

I used 8.5 x 11 kraft carstock for the base of the banner and was able to fit two flags per sheet. I wondered what I wanted to use for the lettering since I really didn't want to waste paper on something that might be thrown away and I came up with using vinyl and in colors I have quite a bit of. This also made it easier for me to laminate the flags since I wanted to try out the laminator a friend sent me.

Since happy hour consists of $1 beers I thought it was appropriate to use beer mug images on the banner. Here you can see the images a little better. It was easy to layer the mug images and the letters. 

You can also see where I laminated the pieces which I am glad I did since Eric said he was going to keep the banner and hang it in his man cave. I trimmed around the pieces with my guillotine cutter so that went pretty fast. 

When I was in 8th grade my mom sent me to cake decorating classes at the local Junior college and I completed all the courses they had available and I then earned extra money decorating cakes and since I lived in a rural area I had a pretty steady income of extra money for a 13 year old. My Aunt Betty and her family moved to Oklahoma when I was 15 and she too could decorate cakes and she taught me how to make a bikini cake using heart shaped pans and baking some batter in mugs that have a fairly round bottom. 

For Eric I decided a bikini cake was the way to go! I was a bit disappointed in it because it should have been smoother but I have concluded that my little Hamilton Beach hand mixer is no match for making decent decorator buttercream icing. While I was not pleased with the results I will say the cake was a bit hit anyway! 

So now y'all can see that I'm a jack of all trades, or is that a jackess? Not to be confused with a jackass of course!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Updated Stamp Storage

Yesterday I told ya that after I got the closet organized and then my stamps organization updated I decided to change how the stamps were stored and today I am going to show you the pictures. 

So this is how my stamps looked when I finished the closet. If ya look close you can see some boxes on top of the crates that have stamps in them that needed to be unmounted and there were the ones on the bottom shelf that needed to be cataloged. Every time I slack off on keeping my stamps cataloged and organized I swear I will never do that again and then I do it again! One of my driving forces for getting it done this time is that there is a sale next weekend and I needed to know how much room I had left for storage so I would know if I could buy any or not. 

It's hard to see in this picture but I also have labels on the spines and like the ones I do because it gives them all a more uniformed look. 

Here is a close up of the cases and you can see more clearly how the spines are labeled. I also type in a brief description and since some of the stamps have coordinating framelits or thinlits I store them in the cases as well and added that to the spine label. 

The label at the bottom is on the outside of the case and coordinates with my catalog so I can easily flip through my catalog and then go to the shelf and grab the case the stamp is in that I am wanting to use. 

If I have framelits or thinlits I store them in a case and use a magnet sheet to keep them in place. This particular one was a bundle so it is together. They are in the catalog the same way so I can find them easily. 

Since I was lazy and didn't feel like cutting each framelit or thinlit, and to save space as well, I drew inside the framelit or thinlit and slid the paper in the case, I repeated the drawing in my catalog as well. 

I was down to my last few cases when suddenly I remembered I had some board out in the garage that the carpenter left when he was fixing the eaves and wondered if it would work for shelving in the shelving *okie wonders how that even works*. Let me see if I can explain that better...I wanted to get rid of the crates as they were taking up some space but I wanted to be able to use the space above the stamp cases because we all know that storage space is precious property. 

It definitely opened up some space, made it all look neater and gave me a little more space above the stamps for storing something....not sure what yet but I will think of something! I will likely paint the wood pieces and since they are not permanently put together it will be easy to take them out and paint them later on when the weather gets nicer. 

For new readers if you are interested you can check out my STAMP CATALOG and see how I able to find stamps easily. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Organization Is Not For The Faint Of Heart

Okay so we all know that I have a fascination for organization, whether it is my paper, markers, stamps, cutting files, vinyl...well it really doesn't matter what it is I always feel I need to organize it and always look for a better way to organize. Organization is not for the faint of heart, but to me it is always worth it in the long run. 

I had recently reorganized my vinyl, I'll make a post about it later, and the shoe cabinet where I use to keep quite a bit of my vinyl in was empty and I wondered what I could put in there. After looking around in my craftroom closet, which was still in disarray, I thought about the giftbags I have to alter and thought I would try those in the cabinet. 

I had the giftbags in two different boxes and a few bags, I said my closet was in disarray, but was able to get all of them in the cabinet and it still shuts nice and neat. Most of the giftbags where bought in bundles and I never paid more than a dime for any of the bags. I haven't altered any bags in awhile and maybe that can be put on my list of what I want to craft next, right after getting my mini albums done that I've been working on for months and replenishing my gift card boxes. 

So once I got the gift bags in the cabinet it lead to another thing, then another, then another...ya know how it goes. 
until I was moving everything around, going through boxes that have been packed up since I moved and making a more thorough mess than what I had in the first place. All these things on the shelves were moved about 10 different times!

I kept changing things until I had items on shelves that looked okay to me and fit well, that also called for me moving shelves up and down a few times.

Finally after a few hours, okay more like 10 hours or so I got things straightened up enough to please me for now, I could still stand to get some better storage items for a few things. I'm always looking in Goodwill and clearance aisle's for storage and sometimes I get lucky enough to find some good ones. This is the right hand corner of the closet and most items in that corner are ones I don't use or need to get to often. 

This is the left hand corner of the closet and the boxes on those shelves are Really Useful Boxes I got at Staples years ago and right now they hold things like ribbon, envelopes, card inserts, cording, etc. The two shelves at the bottom hold scrapbooks and a few catalogs or books for crafting.

At the top of the closet are boxes that hold items for altering, such as tumblers and there are also a few boxes that hold completed projects such as mini albums and frames. I will either find something that looks more pleasing or eventually decorate these boxes so they look nicer. 

The red bins now have labels on them so I can grab the one I need without having to pull each one and go through it. 

These white boxes are what I store cards in and use to keep giftbags in two of them. These came from Walmart about 5 years ago and I think I picked them up for $1 each on clearance. I like having the label frame for identifying what's in each box.  The cabinet in the lower left hand corner of the picture is the one where the giftbags are stored. I can't believe I can see the floor under the shelving now!

I worked on my pegboard storage a few weeks ago and it looks a bit better than it originally did. The shelves in the picture are were I store my stamps using little plastic crates I found at Walmart for $1 each, they are originally to store DVDs I do believe. The black boxes contain envelopes, binding wires, silk flowers, adhesives and other things. 

This is the view into the closet with the door open and yes that is empty space there! AACCKK! I will eventually get rid of the wicker baskets and replace those with something else but I was getting tired and left them for now. 

Now ya would think I would be happy with this closet after all this but alas, NOPE! I started working on updating my stamp organization and then changed how my stamps are stored a bit which I will post about tomorrow!

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Chit I See on Facebook!

I'm going to tell y'all something that some of ya know and others may not...there are some true crazy arse people in the crafting world! I will give you some examples of the chit I see on Facebook.

1. THEY STOLE MY IDEA AND I'M GOING TO SUE! - No honey there are very, and I emphasize very, rarely any original ideas anymore. We might thing we thought about it but somewhere out there if you dig deep enough you can always find that someone else was doing it long before you even thought about it. And unless you are Disney, a University or some other big company with a copyrighted logo ya probably don't stand a chance in hell in winning a law suit.

2. I ONLY SUPPORT (insert a cutting machine here) AND YOU CAN'T TALK ABOUT ANY OTHER PRODUCT - some groups go as far as kicking out members who dare bring up another company in their group, which is their right but my good gawd get the corn cob out your butt and realize there are different strokes for different folks and if you expand your mind a little ya just might learn something.

3. I AM AN EXPERT ON (insert cutting machine, craft, etc) AND YOU SHOULD DO WHAT I DO AS THERE IS NO OTHER WAY TO DO IT - Bullchit! I call bullchit! The old saying goes "there is more than one way to skin a cat" and I don't know who came up with that saying and since I don't find that very nice I will say I do know there is more than one way to do most anything. My friend Carmen and I argue about this all the time as she wants me to try it her way and I don't want to because I like doing whatever it is my own way...we agree to disagree, of course after bitching at each other for 30 minutes.

4. YOU ARE BREAKING THE LAW BY MAKING THAT PROJECT BECAUSE IT HAS A COPYRIGHT - So many people are screaming at others about how they are using copyrighted images and even go as far as threatening others with turning them in. SERIOUSLY? Personally I think those people are the ones who are jealous and can't figure out how to make a copy of an image. And yeah, I can and do use copyrighted images at times. If Disney wants to come and take away my vinyl because I put Minnie Mouse on a tumbler for a friend then let them come on.

Okay I could really go on and on about the silly chit I see and I have almost given myself headaches at times with the eye rolls that go on. I think some people truly forget that all this area of crafting is a hobby for many of us and while we take our hobby seriously we don't want to be told we are going to hell, the police are coming after us or we will be banished from the crafting world just because we want to use different products, try new things and make new friends.

Maybe y'all just  need to ignore me right now since all the rain we have been having has made my brain soggy and is working on putting me in an extremely irritable mood.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Using Make The Cut with the Cricut Explore

I have said it many times and I will say it again...I FREAKIN LOVE MAKE THE CUT!! If ya didn't hear me I can yell it a little louder *okie cups her hand behind her ear and hears someone in the back say they didn't hear her*. Okay this is for you in the back I FREAKIN LOVE MAKE THE CUT!!!

Now with that said and out of the way I shall continue. I believe we all know how much I have enjoyed reviewing the Cricut Explore and how well I think this machine cuts but I absolutely abhor the software and how it has to be connected to the internet to use. BUT, with the magic abilities of Make The Cut I can make my design safely without an internet connection, export as an SVG file and then upload into Cricut Design Space for cutting. This takes out a lot of worry about if I'm going to lose connection or if their server is going to have problems and crap out on me for whatever reason while I am designing. I also don't like the glitchy movement I get a lot of the time with the CDS program. I like nice smooth movement when I'm designing, I can tolerate it during cutting since that is all I am using the program to do. 

I apologize for the poor picture quality and I hope it is clear enough to get my point across. I got a new computer a few months ago and it runs Windows 8 *which okie hates* and I'm still not use to all the new crap...half the time I can't even find what I need on this damn thing. 

First off I get my design all on one mat in MTC. I always add a 12x12 base layer to my design I am going to import into CDS and I will explain that in a later step. 

  • Make sure all the layers are unlocked and visible. There is a little "eye" and "lock" icon in the bottom right hand corner where you can hide/unhide and lock/unlock all layers at once or you can do each independently next to the small mat preview seen on the right hand column on the screen. 
  • Select all your layers by either clicking "edit" and then "select all" or drawing a box around all the images with your mouse.
  • Export your design by clicking file, export, Sel to SVG file
  • Name and save your file
  • Open Cricut Design Space
  • Click on Upload Image
  • Click Upload Vector
  • Find your file
  • Click Open
  • Make sure correct file is checked
  • Click on Insert Image
  • Click the Edit tab
  • Resize image to 12x12 to maintain original design ratio
I hope I explained that well enough, I'm not so good at explaining things to others and most of the time it's just easier for me to do things and then send it to them than trying to explain how to do it. I really wanted people to see how easy it is to use the most awesome program in the world, Make The Cut, with the superior cutting machine, the Cricut Explore.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

My Oh My! It's Been Awhile...

I guess when you get out of the swing of a routine it is hard to get back in it and that is what had happened with me blogging. First off let me say thank you to all those who have inquired if I am okay. I am fine and dandy but haven't been doing much crafting in the last few months. I have done some things here and there but nothing fabulous, outstanding or new. I do have some stories to tell, even though they might be out of date by now I will try to get around to posting those, such as my trip to Houston back in March. I will be taking another one in June since I love driving my new car and the miracle of audio books keep me from dreading such drives.

Sometimes I forget that there are some folks who just like to read what I type up and post, which is still beyond me most of the time, and I figure I won't post anything if I don't have anything crafty going on. I will try to keep up more...*okie makes the Girl Scout oath gesture* I promise.

So with that I leave you for today and I will be making a post tomorrow about how I used Make The Cut with the Cricut Explore because I am starting to get a lot of inquiries about the ability to do such a thing due to the huge amount of frustration that people are having with the software that you are suppose to use with the Cricut Explore. I still honestly believe the Explore is a superior cutting machine and I want people to love the machine as much as I do, even if they hate the I do.

Okay I'm off for now to type up a post on the whole subject!