Dragonfly Tiffany Lamp

26 09 2017

If you’ve looked around my blog, you’ve probably realized I’m a sucker for 3D projects. My daughter is having a birthday party in October and asked for this lamp as one of her decorations. I agreed to make it, but I get to keep it 😉

I’ll make her an Eiffel Tower as a consolation prize 😉

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So yes, it’s made out of paper. It’s lit by a plug in candle. The lampshade was done with vellum pieces that were hand colored with copic markers. Over all, I’m pretty stoked with how it turned out 🙂

Thanks for looking!

xoxo

Files used: Boho Butterflies

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Barcode Scanning Print and Cut Makes My Life Easier!

25 09 2017

So print & cut is a pretty cool feature that allows you to design something in your Silhouette workspace, print it from your computer then take that printed piece and load it into your machine to be cut out.

I recently upgraded my software to the Business Edition, and with the current software version from Silhouette (V4. something or other) there’s this barcode option for print and cut. I searched online a bit, and really couldn’t find out a lot of info about it. I was able to track down what it’s supposed to do, but not really the tutorials that show you how to use the feature. And I didn’t find anywhere that answered questions about it either. They might be out there, I just didn’t find them with a quick internet search. So I spent some of the day playing with it and through some trial and error, figured some things out. I still have some questions, but I’ll post those at the end. Maybe if someone else has the answers they can chime in.

First off, what I was able to figure out is going to save me so much time – which I think is the purpose of adding the barcode and totally worth the upgrade price to me!

So, a basic “tutorial” for the barcode scanning print and cut. I’m using a project I worked on today. The barcode scan came in very handy 🙂

  1. PAGE SET UP: In the page set up window, set your paper size and registration marks. I have a normal size printer, so mine is always set at 8.5×11 for print and cut projects. For registration marks, I use the presets for the Cameo.
  2. ENABLE BARCODE: Down a little further in this window, you’ll notice the option to enable barcode – select that. You can also select whether or not to have this project saved in the cloud for cutting later without opening your software. I haven’t played with that, but couldn’t see how it would work with just the options I had. Maybe if I check that box, there will be other options. But I’ll save that for a different day 😉
  3. CREATE: I made a banner for a friend to use at her son’s birthday party. I had lots of pieces to print then cut. img_3094I grouped the pieces together the way I planned to print them so I knew how many pages of cardstock I needed to load into the printer.img_3095A closer view of a page. It’s easier to see the barcode, too.img_3096
  4. CUT SETTINGS:  it appears that the barcode saves not only the image and placement, but your cut settings. Once printed, I couldn’t find a way to change them. None of the changes I made in the send window affected the cutting after I printed. Unfortunately, I wasted a dozen sheets of paper and time because I didn’t know this, so now I’m telling you 😉 There are lots of ways tell the machine how to cut out your images, so use which ever way is most comfortable for you 🙂 I cut by using line color, as you’ll see in the following picture. img_3097Because I was doing a simple print and cut, I only needed the outside of the image to cut. You can see it highlighted here in blue.
  5. PRINTING: send your image to your printer. img_3099Now I have all these lovelies to cut.
  6. CUT OUT: Load your page into the machine. To use the barcode scanner to cut out your design, go to the Send window. It doesn’t matter what’s on your screen when you use the barcode feature, so don’t worry about that. At the bottom of the menu, across from the send button, you’ll find the barcode icon. Select this.img_3098
  7. MAGIC: your machine will first scan the barcode, then the registration marks, then it will cut.img_3100

I got asked a couple of questions about this feature today, but I’m by no means an expert. I was asked  how it worked (thus the quick tutorial) and when/why I would use it. So here goes.

If I’m only cutting out images from one piece of paper I printed, the barcode scanning isn’t going to make much of a difference. But often, I find myself printing on more than one piece of paper. To do a print and cut without the barcode, I would print on my paper, grab my paper off the printer (which is not near my desk), load it into my machine and cut it. Then print off the next page and do it all over again if I had multiple sheets of paper.

This doesn’t seem like a lot, but it really wasn’t efficient. And you guys know, I have a bazillion kids. I don’t have a lot of time. What crafting time I do have, I don’t want to spend going back and forth between the printer and my desk. This way is so much more efficient. And a project like today’s is the perfect example of when I would use it. Lots of pages with different images.

My original idea was to print everything, then cut everything. While I had papers piling up, I realized I might be able to begin cutting while I was still printing the rest of the images. It worked!

Overall, I really think I’m going to like this feature. I need to try and figure out how to use the barcode to cut without opening my software – but seriously, it’s ALWAYS open, so this may never actually be an issue.

Thanks for stopping by!

xoxoxo

 

***REMINDER I’m on V4. something of the software and using Business Edition. I don’t know how this will work on other versions or editions of the software.

 





Halloween Village Started and a Glaring Mistake and How I fixed it.

13 09 2017

Life is crazy here. If you’ve poked around my blog, you have a good idea why it’s so crazy 🙂 But I try and steal a little bit of free time to work with paper. I have crazy ideas that need to be explored sometimes 😉

During some of those stolen pockets of paper time, I go a little nuts and do something like Maple Manor from SVG Cuts. It’s the beginning of the Halloween Village Square I have in my head. It’s mostly decorated, but I’ll probably go back and embellish it some more after I have more of the village square finished.

Here’s a look at the finished (for now) manor house.

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I mentioned there was a glaring error. I’ve disguised it in the above pictures, but let me tell you what I did. See the front door? It doesn’t exactly go right there. It’s close, but not quite right. Mary designed a way cool front porch for this house. When I tried to put it on, I realized my door was too low…I guess I should have watched the tutorial all the way through, but I was too eager to get started 😉

What I ended up with, were porch supports that were too short to fit because I’d made the distance between the bottom of the porch and the top taller than it had been designed when I had to leave out the rest of the porch. Here’s a picture of the fix and disguise I came up with to offset my eagerness.

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On the right, you can see the foam tape I used to make up the height I was missing. On the left, you can see the disguise. I made the corn stalks from white paper then colored them the colors I wanted. I figured the twine needed a purpose to be there, so corn stalks it was 🙂

Other altered areas:

The paper on the roof was the design I wanted, but not the color. It was a little washed out for what I had in mind. So I used my inks and added yellows, oranges, and browns around the edge of the papers to give me the richer fall color I wanted.

Here’s a before and after of the papers.

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So why mention the mistake in the first place? If you’re just casually looking, you probably wouldn’t notice it.

No matter how good our intentions are, we make mistakes. We’re flawed. It’s what we do. But fixing those things, making something different or even better than what we started with, that’s how we become better.

Many times, what we do after the mistake is more important than the mistake. Do we trash the whole project because of one glaring flaw? Or do we fix it and make something better?

I spent a lot of time on this house. It was worth it to me to work the mistake into something better.

Our lives are so much more important than this paper house. Sometimes we mess up. It’s okay. Even the best people have made mistakes, so we’re in good company. Don’t give up. Once you know where you went wrong, fix it. Make your life better.

If this paper house is worth fixing, so are we.

The spooky pic:

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Thanks for stopping by!

xoxo

Links to items used:

Maple Manor, Brick embossing folder

 





Jesus Would Give Him Cookies – Lessons Learned as a Foster Mom

1 09 2017

It’s been a long almost 16 months since we received the phone call alerting us that the children we’d recently adopted had a new baby brother. The state asked if we could take him home when he was released from the hospital that night. We rearranged our lives in nine hours to fit in a newborn we weren’t expecting (there was no heads up from the state that bio mom was expecting).

It’s been emotional and hard and terrifying. We just never knew what to expect, but we’d heard the stories of foster families who’d had children in this situation and the child was sent home with the bio parent straight from court. We were going to court every 90 days. It’s wreaked havoc on my nerves.

But going through this situation has changed me in good ways. (Before I go any further, let me say, I’m a Christian. I’m not perfect and have NEVER professed to be) I feel like God has been tutoring me in compassion. Teaching me to not be so judgmental. Opening my eyes to the needs of those around me. Going into this, I didn’t think I needed those lessons. I thought I was doing okay.

Through this journey I’ve had to work with the team from the state to help the bio parents successfully reunify with their child – the child I fell in love with the first day. The child who helped unify OUR family in a way we hadn’t been able to accomplish on our own. The child I felt the need to protect; I had to help facilitate reunification with these parents and their child.

To do this, I had to work to see them the way God sees them. It wasn’t easy. Because I have two of this little one’s older siblings, I had a good idea of what their life was like before being removed from their family and put into the foster system.

I had to work on forgiving these parents for the hurt they caused my children before they were mine. I had to forgive bad decision making that could have lead to catastrophic consequences. I had to forgive times when my children were INTENTIONALLY hurt by, or not protected by these people.

I had to forgive before I could see them in a more compassionate way.

I want parental rights terminated so we can adopt this precious boy, but I didn’t understand. I didn’t understand what a big deal this was to his bio mom because I didn’t care. I didn’t see her as a daughter of God that was just as deserving of compassion as any other woman I know and admire and love.

SHAME ON ME.

Even though all those court dates and all that worry and anxiety were hell on me, I’m grateful for the heavenly tutoring sessions those times provided. I get it now. I understand that this is a HUGE deal. I don’t see her as the bad guy. I got to understand how she might have felt everyday she wondered if she was going to get her son back. I see her as a mother who is facing one of the most profound losses of her life.

I’ve learned that if God finds something redeemable about them, if He, the creator of worlds and universes finds them worthy of His love, His commitment, and His sacrifice, then I have to be forgiving, too. I was reminded that Jesus lived, died, and conquered death for ALL sinners. If he did it for the perfect people it would have been useless – there are no perfect people. The best we can hope for are people who are trying their best.

Today, I saw the change in me that God has been working on. I saw it in my thought process and my actions. And it has nothing to do with my little one’s bio family.

To be as brief as possible – there’s was a misunderstanding. My daughter and I were yelled at, intimidation was tried, and we were threatened (it was very specific to a situation we had today and not just a random thing that happened on the street.)

I was furious. I almost drove away, then decided that it just wasn’t okay. I drove back into the parking lot where this man worked and two giant mama grizzly bears took over my body. I’m a whopping 5’1″ and I tore back into the store and proceeded to yell back at this man (who was an employee). There are more details, and I still can’t believe I did that, but kids are my hot button and you don’t threaten them. Luckily, the man my husband and I usually deal with in the store was able to intervene and we worked everything out (at one point the yeller was on the phone to someone telling them they needed assistance with an angry customer in the store. I was the only customer in the store, so it’s possible I may have been a little scary, but again, it’s not okay to intimidate and threaten my child). In the end it all worked out and I don’t have a mug shot.

Maybe you’re thinking that I don’t come off looking all that Christ like. And maybe it wouldn’t be a big deal if I hadn’t just spent five hours opening up and baring my heart to the internet. And I agree, at that moment I probably wasn’t very Christ like. But I’m human. I’m fallible. I’m going to mess up.

I process things by talking them out with friends. The consensus is the same – the man was wrong. Some have said he deserved it.

Maybe.

But maybe he deserves something more. Something better.

I told a friend that I was thinking about taking in cookies tomorrow. I don’t feel like I properly forgave the man. I just wanted out of the building, I didn’t want to be around this man (99% of the time, I go out of my way to avoid confrontation). He heard the insincerity in my one word answer of, “Okay.”

I know at that point, he was probably trying to do damage control and save his job. But you know what? He still deserves my forgiveness.

My friend said he owed ME cookies. But here’s the thing, I DON’T NEED COOKIES. I don’t know what this man’s life is like, or what his story is, but my guess is that it’s harder than mine. There’s a reason he reacted the way he did. Maybe someone showing him a moment of grace will change, even just a little bit, how he sees the world around him and how he treats other people.

Some say he doesn’t deserve cookies. But I don’t deserve all the things Jesus did for me, and yet,  He still did them. I’m so grateful He looked at me and found someone worth saving.

I think Jesus would give him cookies.

 





Chocolate Purses

30 08 2017

So they’re not *really* made from chocolate, but they’re full of little chocolate bars 🙂

I made them for the principal and guidance counselor at the elementary school.

Even if my boy has an unexpectedly good transition/year, it doesn’t hurt to be kind and thankful for all the things the people in my son’s life do for him and other children 🙂

I used double sided paper for these and used my Silhouette to cut them out. They’re small, so they were pretty quick and easy to put together 🙂

Links to the files I used:

Flower, Hobo Style Bag (left), Adele’s Purse (right) (this purse includes a flower, but I used a different one)





An Oops and a Sympathy Card

27 08 2017

To be clear, the sympathy card has nothing to do with the “oops” in the title.

We found out about the passing of a woman we used to attend church with. They moved, but people were able to find a current address for them.

This card is for her husband and the rest of the family, but mostly for him. They’d been married for quite some time and I can’t imagine the hole her passing has left in his life.

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The oops came in when I tried to use the sketch pen in my Cameo to write on the already colored image. Apparently, going over an inked area is not what the pens are made to do – luckily, there are other really great things they do really well. It’s just this specific situation I had trouble with. In case you find yourself in a similar situation, it’s not you. It’s not the pen. It’s the ink already on the paper. Probably. That’s my assumption. It’s the second time I’ve run across this specific set up 😉

The sketch pen got enough on the paper that I was able to use a zig pen and fill in the rest. Even though it didn’t work the way I initially imagined, I think I would still do it the same way because I couldn’t do this by hand without the help of my Cameo.

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Oh, and to do this, I used my pixscan mat – yay pixscan!

The background paper is also from Silhouette. I used the print and cut feature for this. It’s so much easier than going through all the actual paper to find something that would work. Don’t get me wrong. There’s still a huge place for real paper 😉

Thanks for stopping by

xoxo

Stamp, Background pattern, Words





Because School Started

27 08 2017

I am now super duper busy ferrying children all over the place.

The three driving kids share a car and we have to plan out the week ahead of time and post the calendar next to the car key. It looks like a map for lost treasure with all the arrows and notes on it.

Then there’s the three school kids. They’re mostly easy to take care of.

Then there’s the one at home…he needs some ferrying around sometime, too.

And the point of all those words is – I DON’T GET TO SIT AT MY DESK ANYMORE, well, until later at night. And not being able to create is driving me a little nutty.

So now, I’m looking at hand lettering. It’s something I can do while the baby plays during the day when its just him and me at home. I can also work on it while I’m in the car rider line waiting for my guy to get out of school. I decided to buy the hard bound, spiral book I found and I’m so glad! Now I don’t have to drag a lap desk around with me 🙂

This is what I’ve been working on 🙂 She has you trace the letters then try them on your own. A few more drills similar to this, and then on to joining the letters to make words 🙂

(Shhh. I cheated and already read that part. But practicing is good)

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Thanks for stopping by

xoxo