Tuesday, March 4, 2014

I'm Dyering to Make Some Cards with my Silhouette Cameo

Thanks Santa for the Sihouette Cameo die cutter!
My first attempt didn't go well.
When your cutting mat is brand new it is a bit TOO sticky.
Advise from Jen: stick it to your jeans to remove some of the tackiness.
I was a little afraid of it so I gave it a time out for a month. After watching a bunch of YouTube videos I was ready to try again. Silhouette has a store where you can download images. Turns out two of the artists are in Lilla Rogers Bootcamp class with me, Amanda and Emily. I downloaded a few images--super easy to do. First up was Emily's bird design.
This was a pretty intricate design for my first try and it cut perfectly.
This time I used the Silhouette tools (they look like X-ACTO knives) to slowly and carefully lift the design from the backing.
The pink underpinning is also included in the die cut pattern.
I also uploaded Emily's cat design. Here's a pic of the knife.
You don't have to use big sheets of paper. Just load in a small scrap if you need a tiny element cut.
The last design of Emily's I made was the Scottie card.
Coming soon: how I cut out my own drawings…

Santa Can You Get Me a Silhouette Cameo?

In December, I visited my friend Jen to see her wonderful home. It's filled with wonderful collections--all artfully displayed. I could have taken a hundred more photos. 

You can follow Jen on instagram here or visit her blog here
She had a craft room filled with all kinds of neat tools, like the one that does the binding on this book.
I noticed this in her craft room and asked what it was. It's called a Silhouette Cameo diecutter. 
She gave me a quick demo. She pulled one of my drawings from my blog and uploaded it to the Cameo software.
Next she placed cardstock on a semi-sticky cutting mat and loaded it into the cutter.
After adjusting the blade and doing a test cut, it was ready to cut out my design. 
It makes really weird noises when it cuts. When it's done, you gently peel it from the mat. 
This took less than 10 minutes to do. I was super impressed. Santa?

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Happified Hat: Needle Felting Practice

Last year I had asked my mosaic artist friend Judy Sell to give me something wool to practice needle felting on. She gave me a blue hat. What should I put on it? She likes Lynda Barry, who is also from Judy's home state of Wisconsin. Just google her and you'll find articles like this. NYTimes photo by Colby Katz.
 I found these on her ETSY store. 

I thought this icy image of a penguin could work---with the circles going around the hat, penguin on top. Limited color palette. Yep. That's it.
BUT NOOOO! Using artwork without permission is WRONG so I abandoned that idea. 

I went to Judy's graphic design portfolio and saw this.

Here is her story of the symbol that she used to draw on her kids' lunch bags: 

"Years ago I worked up a little drawing to put on my kids notes from me. I thought a lot about what I wanted them to feel when they saw it. I call it HAPPIFIED. I started with a smiley-face and wanted those cute crescent- eyes and I wanted a kiss and a hug too. So little-by-little it developed into this little mark: HAPPIFIED. My daughter and I have it tattooed on our wrist. I LOVE IT!"

Perfect for the hat…it's roundish. I printed a rough pattern.
What colors? I knew the lips should be pink so I started with that. I had recently bought some wool fibers in great colors from Steven Be in Minneapolis. The store looks like a castle. Check out this video about the store. I started in the center and worked outward.
Adding white last.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

My 2 Xmas Breads and Pictures for FRED

For xmas eve Jean always makes a giant pot of wild rice soup. See the cute santa hat? Jean made those for everyone.
I made 2 breads to go with the soup. First up: Rich and Tender American Dinner Rolls from the ATK Family cookbook.
I also made Betty Crocker's Focaccia. I topped with Dubliner cheese instead of parmesan. 
Recipe is on page 90.
I didn't have fresh rosemary so I added 1 TBSP of Tuscan Sunset.
Compared to the hours and hours of butter layering my brother did for xmas day, my effects seemed lame. He learned how from the America's Test Kitchen TV show. 
It's all in the family: pre-xmas popovers from my mom.
I needed to throw together a quick cheese tray and this was a hit.
We enjoyed a white xmas.
So did the puppies.
And the kids.
Did I mention that with a blog post about xmas, you get EGG ROLL?
 Sorry Martha, but your recipe yielded a lot of grease. I should have followed the process on the back of the egg roll package. It said to sauté the pork first and then drain the grease.
I've never made egg rolls before and the rolling easy. The egg wash really holds them together. 
Make sure your helper is wearing a lot of BLING.