Friday, January 20, 2017

Today I hung a prayer flag in my garden with hopes a gentle breeze will carry my wishes for peace throughout our country.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Yeah! You got a Silhouette for Christmas!

Looking at my Facebook feed it seems as though a lot of Silhouettes showed up under the Christmas tree this year. If you are one of the lucky recipients, I know just how excited you are (because that is how excited I was 3 years ago when I received my Portrait.) Two of my great nieces are a couple of the lucky ones, (they both got the Cameo 3, I am so jealous!) so I want to share with them a few tips and photos to help them get off to a great start. The rest of you can read along if you want and certainly share some of your tips in the comments below. So here we go.

The best advice I can give, if you have not already done so check out Silhouette School blog; my go to place for finding information quickly (Melissa and her crew know everything about Silhouette.) This is where I learned about using freezer paper for stencils on fabric

I was looking into the sun when photographing (I know, that is a no, no.) The colors are a lot more saturated than it looks. 

and contact paper for stencils on wood. (A tip from me, buy that ugly contact paper you often see at yard sales for about 50-cents a roll.)

After a frustrating experience with craft store vinyl tearing, curling and not sticking well, I discovered, via Silhouette School, Oracal Vinyl. Last summer I used the 651 on an outside door as well as a coffee mug that is washed every day; it looks as good as the day I did it.
(I have successfully used blue painters tape instead of transfer paper on small projects.)

Speaking of painter’s tape, when your mat needs to be replaced but you just haven’t gotten around to it, you can use the painter’s tape to hold vinyl, fabric, contact paper or whatever in place. (Painter tape is a must have in my studio.)

My nieces each have a daughter (yep, I have great-great nieces) so I know they will be putting cute little appliques on little girls clothing. I have had great success using Heat’n Bond (available at craft stores and Amazon) for appliques. Fuse cutouts with Lite for stitching, Ultrahold if not stitching.
I used Hean'n Bond Ultra Hold and did not stitch on this flag.

Oh there is so much more you will do with your new Silhouettes! Print and Cut, Heat Transfer Vinyl, Etch, Set Rhinestones, and the list goes on. I am looking forward to seeing the projects of my nieces. (Confession time; I am hoping my Portrait will soon die so I can justify upgrading to a Cameo 3!)

Don’t forget, freezer paper, contact paper, painter’s tape, Hean’n Bond, and Oracal Vinyl. 

Bonus tip, Silhouette School blog is celebrating their 3-year anniversary with chances to win some awesome Silhouette related gifts. Information on their blog, Facebook page and Instagram.

No, I have no affiliation with Melissa or Silhouette School blog; I just stumbled onto her site and became a groupie.  

Monday, January 9, 2017

What were we thinking???

We could be soaking up sunshine in a warm place like Arizona. But here we are in Paducah enjoying tolerating single digit temperatures. But there is an upside; the cold gives us incentive to get that upstairs bedroom renovation (started about 10-years ago) completed 

so we can head to the northwest when the heat and humidity hits this summer. And I am quite cozy here in The Underground.

Our Christmas and Epiphany is organized, (with the help of my Silhouette Portrait) and stowed away.

I have registered fo a drawing class at the PaducahSchool of Art and Design. Having taken classes from instructor, Randy Simmons, I know the first part of the class will be about understanding perspective. (I hate perspective drawing!) Hoping to avoid a lot of classroom frustration I am practicing drawing boxes. 

(Yes, it is pretty boring.)

It hasn’t been all work and no play in the studio. I made a prayer flag for the garden,
Yep, that is My One Word for 2017

and finished HR’s stocking stuffer (Don’t judge me.)

Want to know how to print on fabric? I happened upon an excellent post on TheSewing Loft blog.

For those of you in the deep freeze, stay warm; the rest of you, enjoy your sunshine.

Monday, January 2, 2017

And my word is................

It is time to choose My One Word to inspire and help me make positive changes throughout the year. I discovered the One Word in 2013; a concept that replaces New Year’s resolutions. As My One Word website explains it My One Word is an experiment designed to move you beyond this cycle (of failed resolutions.) The challenge is simple: lose the long list of changes you want to make this year and instead pick ONE WORD.

Once I choose my word, I make a sign to hang on the stairs that lead to The Underground as a constant reminder.

This year I had two words in mind, one was suggested by my daughter-in-law as she is privy to a new project I plan to initiate this year. That word was hope which I didn’t choose because I think the project will bring me closer to achieving the change that is my goal.

Before I reveal my 2017 Word, I’ll share how well I am doing by focusing on one word a year.

My first word, strength, came the year following the death of my son. I knew it would be important to be strong for my daughter-in-law and granddaughters. I won’t go into a lot of details here; I did work on my grief journey and I do feel strong.

The second word was focus which continues to be a struggle but I have kind of accepted that AADD is part of who I am.

The third year it was purpose; nope still haven’t found it. Recently I came to the conclusion my idea of purpose is just that, my idea. Over the years I have learned when it is God’s plans things fall into place. My ideas are just not falling into place. As I mentioned earlier, I (or is it God’s Spirit) have another craft related project in mind and it seems as though things will fall in place. (I’ll share this with you in a few weeks.)

My 2016 word was soul. Last year I focused on the things that fed my soul like having HR around all the time (retirement has worked out better than we anticipated), daily Bible study and prayer, travel, connecting with old friends, making new friends and of course, finding ways to connect with my two teenage granddaughters. (I am now on SnapChat!) My soul was very well fed!

My 2017 is

Not world peace (although that would be nice,) but peace in my soul. I want to focus on what gives me peace. (And it isn’t all those “what if’s” that float around in my head!) I want to have long conversations with friends, draw more, play (as in not trying for perfection) in the studio, plant stuff, read more and watch hummingbirds and butterflies.

If the idea of having one word instead of a list of resolutions sounds enticing; hop on over to the My One Word website for more details. I’d love it if you would post your word in the comments below.

Wishing a peaceful year to all of you in 2017!