Friday, February 26, 2010

Make your Cricut Cutting Mat Sticky Again

Edited to Add : I actually just got my SCAL (sure cuts alot) software in the mail yesterday! I cannot wait to get it up and running. I pride myself in saying I've only purchased ONE cricut cartridge on ebay for 20 bucks! Never more cartridges for me. For those of you, who don't know what SCAL's a software that allows you to hook your cricut up to your computer, use all of your true type fonts and dingbats, and design you own customized look! It is absolutely fantastic and well worth the $75....the price of one cricut cartridge)!!!

Today's post is all about being frugal.....or cheap, whichever way you prefer to look at it! I love finding ways to prolong the life of items I use everyday. In turn, helping me save money by repurposing or reusing what I already have!

For those of you lucky gals who own a cricut, this thrifty tip is for you. Have you noticed how quickly your sticky mat loses it's "stick"??? Mine seems to go pretty quick and I dread shelling out another 10 bucks for a new mat. Especially since the craft stores don't allow you to use 40% coupons on anything cricut related! Well, have I got the ultimate frugalista tip for you!

This Zig 2 way glue pen (chisel tip) is your new best friend. You probably have some stashed in your supplies. If not, invest a couple bucks in one and save yourself some cash!

All you do is coat your entire mat with this pen. I start at the top and work my way down in straight lines, until the whole surface is covered.

Your mat will be very wet at needs to dry for about 15-20 minutes. After the drying time it should be good as new. Actually, better in my opinion.

See how it sticks to my hand? Whoo-hoo......10 dollars saved! I've had my cricut for a good 6 months and have yet to buy any replacement mats. Another trick I've tried is spraying your mat with spray adhesive. It works ok, but doesn't last long. This is a much better long term solution. I LOVE my cricut, but sometimes get frustrated by all the nickle and diming! The supplies and cartridges for it are a little pricey. But if you get creative you can learn how to get around that and use your supplies to their fullest potential. The instructions tell you to only insert the mat into your machine with the arrow pointed up. Do not follow these silly instructions. Utilize the whole cutting surface by flipping your mat around and cutting equally on the entire surface! Set your machine to cut portrait style instead of landscape and it will start the cut on the opposite side of the mat. These are probably things you've already figured out yourself. But I wanted to share these little tips for the newbies and people contemplating the cricut. It took me a while to catch on to some of these things. Learn from my mistakes and trial and error, people. If I can save you time and money...I'm all over that!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Cutting Fabric With Your Cricut

So, I've been dying to try this technique with my Cricut for a while and finally took the plunge. I was nervous that it wouldn't work, but it did! Here are my cute little fabric letters all cut out and ready for my next project.

Because I plan to applique these letters, I needed to use a fusible webbing on the fabric. I love is the best product for appliques. Very easy to use and does exactly what it claims .

First I took my fabric scrap and turned it pattern side down. Then take your piece of Steam-A-Seam, sticky side down and iron it right onto the fabric. Just follow the instructions on the package, they're very straight forward.

I found that it worked best to remove the protective paper and put the fabric directly onto your cricut cutting mat. Another very important thing is to tape down your edges with masking or painters tape. This will prevent your fabric from slipping around. Then set your blade on the deepest cut, your pressure on max, and press the multi cut button. This function will make the blade go over each letter or image you're cutting out 2 times. I found this necessary when cutting fabric. One more will want a very sticky mat and a very sharp blade for this type of cutting.

When the machine is done cutting, you should be able to pop the letters right out of the remaining fabric. You might need to trim just a little if you have any frays or edges still attached, but I think if you use a good mat and a good blade you shouldn't have that problem. Now that I have done these letters, I am really wanting to try cutting some more elaborate images. Next time I'll show you what I'm doing with these cute letters. I can't wait.....they are gonna be super adorable!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Birthday Happies and a Thrift Store Bench Makeover

Sorry for my absence...I took a couple days off for my birthday! It's always nice to have a little break from blogging, but even better to get back in the swing of things. When I'm not here, I feel like a part of me is missing...cheesy, but true!

Aren't these little nest votive holders the most adorable thing you're ever seen? My sweet friend, Nikki, gave them to me for my birthday. Although, I have to tell you her husband actually picked these out. He's pretty good...I'm totally impressed with your skills Chris!

My mom gave me these beautiful mercury glass candle sticks. They make the most gorgeous display for spring.! They sparkle, they shine.....perfection. And they are just the right size to hold the nest votives. I love it when random things come together and make for a perfect vignette!

Now for the ugly duckling bench from the thrift store. My mom gave me this a while back. I was so excited to give it new life, but just didn't have anywhere to put it. So under the bathroom vanity it has sat for months and months. So sad looking with it's faded gold velvet fabric and matching hideous trim!

It definitely needed a little extra cushion on the seat, so I decided to add a piece of foam. I simply sprayed both the seat and the foam with adhesive so it wouldn't shift around while I was working.This this step is probably not necessary, but it helped me.

After I put the foam on, I cut a piece of fabric to fit the bench with enough overhang to wrap around the bottom. Maybe 3 inches all around. You can trim the excess off when you're done stapling. Question....I thought I wanted to keep the iron legs this dark color, but now I'm thinking I should paint them white to match the headboard. What do you think???

I am sooooooo not an expert when it comes to upholstering. I pretty much wing it every time and never remember how I did it the last time. Alot of wrapping and folding and rewrapping and refolding and then eventually I'll get it right. Sorry for the sad little really doesn't even qualify as such!

I used the same fabric from this headboard I did a while back....remember the one I found on the side of the road? This is for my girls' room that one day will hopefully all come together. We are in the process of moving the crib out and getting a bigger mattress so that they can share a bed. Risky business with a 2 and 4 year old...but it's worth a try! They have zero room to play in there with all the furniture, so downsizing is necessary. And I can't wait for it to look like a real little girls room, not a nursery/playroom.

And just because I cannot get enough of these little cuties.....a close up shot. They are stinkin adorable and I want 287 more of them! Have any of you started decorating for spring yet or am I the only crazy one getting out all the eggs and nests in 30 degree weather?
Linked to Trash to Treasure Tuesday at Reinvented.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Monogrammed Easter Buckets

Can you believe it is already time to start gearing up for Easter??? Only 6 short weeks left. I have always wanted to make my kids personalized Easter buckets, but have never gotten around to it. I have seen some beautiful hand painted ones, but was worried about their durability. Let's face it, kids are rough. Ok, maybe MY kids are rough...I'm just sayin'.

So with my new found love of vinyl, I decided to monogram these buckets with vinyl dots and lettering. They are very similar to the ornaments I made at Christmas.

After making my 4 cuties these little cuties, I decided to list some for sale in my etsy shop.
Right now, the colors available are hot pink, royal blue, and red. I am on the lookout for some pastel colors and white as well.

The vinyl dots and lettering can be done in any color of your choice. I just really liked the way the white popped off the bright colors of the buckets. I have pretty much any color vinyl you can imagine, so the sky's the limit. They could be personalized to match a child's room, a favorite sports team, or school colors. You can completely customize these to suit your taste!

Another new item I've started carrying are these personalized license plates. They come in hot pink and white zebra, or black and white zebra. Again, the vinyl lettering can be done in any color of your choice.

I really like the 3 initial monogram on these, but the possibilities are endless. You can order them to say pretty much whatever you want. A first name, last name, single initial, school initials, favorite team, mom's taxi, chauffeur...whatever fits you best! I plan to have these new items listed in my etsy shop later tonight. Be sure to stop by and check them out. And if you don't see what you had in mind, leave me a conversation through etsy or e-mail me with your preferences!

Thanks......have a fantastic weekend. I'll see you next week!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Junk in the Trunk

I have a confession....I have too much stuff! Home decor is my weakness. Always has been, always will be. Even as a teenager I loved to collect beautiful things and decorate my room. In fact, I still have some of those things. So, I asked myself why am I holding onto all this stuff??? Here's the So in an effort to simplify, I am selling a good chunk of my home decor items for cheap, cheap, cheap....everything is priced at $5-$20. I have the bulk of it listed on Craig's List to try and sell it locally. I also made a photobucket album with all the items pictured with prices. If any of my local peeps are interested, call me. For non-locals...let me know if you're interested in anything in particular and we'll talk! I just need to get it gone. And I reeeeeeally want to have the house cleaned and decluttered before hubby gets sent home. What a nice surprise to come home to a nice clean decluttered home, right? That's the plan anyway.

Here is the link to my photobucket slideshow. I've got tons of throw pillows, lampshades, decorative plates, wall art, and such...over 50 items for sale. Tomorrow I will add a few more things....shower curtains, drapes, king duvet and shams, cast iron skillet set, etc. Even if you're not in the market for more stuff, have a look around and peek into my junk!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

His and Hers Closets

Thanks for all your constructive input from yesterday's post. I was pretty sure I needed another row of decorative plaques on this wall. But the opinions of my dear sweet readers really sealed the deal! Off to the craft store I went this morning to get 3 more wood plaques. Now this collage of handmade art looks more finished. I am even ok with the fact that it comes above the door frame. That very well may be the lazy girl in me talking, but for now...I'm stays! Maybe I'll just get taller accessories (hahaha).

I decided to add one more decorative detail to this wall. I cut labels out of black vinyl with my Cricut and added the words "his" and "hers" in white vinyl. Love it!

Now if I could only get the inside of these closets to be as cute as their labels!
That is a project in and of day.

Every time I take pictures of this room I think of a few more details I could add or another project I could do to make it even better.
I. have. a. problem.

Right this minute I am obsessing over the hideous brass doorknobs throughout my house. But especially the ones in this room. I wish I could go out and buy new doors and knobs to replace the ones I have now from 1975. But that is soooooo far down on the list, it's not even funny. I have an idea of how I'm going to revamp these garish brass knobs without having to take them off the door (lazy). Now to find the time....

Remember last night when I said I was finishing one wall at a time, which probably led you to believe this wall was finished??? Ummmmmmm, yeah.....see those missing drawers in the dresser? I started painting this dresser a few months back and HATED it. I have been waiting for some inspiration to hit on this one...and it took a while. But I finally have it, and it is fanfreakingtastic. I ordered the supplies I need for this project last night and cannot wait till they get here. Think faux mirrored dresser meets gilded metal finish, with a bit of distressing. Dreamy!!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Another Ballard's Knockoff

I've had this one on my to-do list for quite a while, and finally got around to re-creating it this weekend. I am absolutely head over heels in love with the original Ballard version. The palette they used is so soothing, plus these are my signature colors. But I tend to use aqua and brown a bit too much. In an effort to do something out of my comfort zone, I decided to take my master bedroom redo in a completely different color direction.

And by completely different, I mean......very similar. I know, I got real crazy with the color change here!

The main colors in the room are black and white, but I needed a little splash of color. So I brought in this lovely blue and grey palette. Thank you Amy Butler for making your gorgeous fabric patterns available in scrapbook paper!

I used some unfinished wood plaques from the craft store I had lying around. I painted the edges black and used spray adhesive to put the scrapbook paper directly onto the plaque. I added sawtooth hangers to the back of each one and got busy hanging my new wall art. Lucky for me, I happened to have all of the supplies on hand, so this little project was free! Gotta love that.

I am very happy with how this turned out. I'm also very happy that it cost me $0 and it was super easy. Now that I look at it a bit closer, I think I might add another row of three to the top. What do you think? Should I leave it as is or make it bigger?

Tomorrow I'll show you what I'm doing above the closet doors on either side of this wall. Slowly but surely, and one wall at a time, I am getting this room finished!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Embroidery Hoop Wall Art Part 2

Please excuse my pitiful blog and it's technical difficulties. I'm working on it.

I had so much fun recreating the $300 Ballard's look with these embroidery hoops. So much, in fact, that I just couldn't stop there. My mind was reeling with all the possibilities of these little cuties. This is my latest creation......

I used 4 inch hoops this time to make a grouping of three into one wall hanging. I used the same technique I used here when I made the Ballards copy cat. But this time I hot glued a long grosgrain ribbon on the back of all three hoops and used a belt buckle to loop the ribbon through and make a hanger.

Here it is on my chocolate brown walls. I love how it pops off this color!

A really bad closeup....that's what I get for taking pictures at night!

Ok....this is totally random, but have y'all seen this scrapbook paper that looks like burlap??? It is my new favorite thing. I've seen it at Hobby Lobby a few times and passed right by it. It just looks so non-descript sitting there all by itself, being outshined by all the colorful, fun papers! But the other day, I got to looking at it and thought it had potential.....I just didn't know what that potential was yet. So I brought it home and waited for the inspiration to strike.

The detail is really looks like burlap.

I decided to replace the colorful paper I had in my monogram frame with the fake burlap. Can I just tell you how much I love this frame now.

L.O.V.E. I.T. name is Amanda, and I am addicted to fake burlap scrapbook paper and embroidery hoops!
The end.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I need your help!!!!!

This is a plea for help, my computer savvy friends. As you've so obviously noticed, my blog has been hijacked by the photobucket message. It says I've exceeded the bandwidth limit. Do I even have a photobucket account? Ummmmmmm ..... I don't think so.


What to do? Any thoughts or ideas on how to handle this? Anyone ever had this happen to them? I'm sure it's a simple solution, but I am just not good a this kind of thing. It is a wonder that I can even keep up this blog...I amaze myself!

I had a great little post planned for tonight, but unfortunately I had to put it on hold. Ugh! As soon as I figure out how to fix my blog, I'll be back with it. Wish me luck...I might need it. And patient with me and come back soon!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ballard Designs Knockoff and a Winner!

When I got my latest issue of the Ballard's catalog, I instantly fell in love with these typewriter key wall plaques. So simple, yet chic and fun! Then I looked at the price...$49 each. Yes, I said EACH. It would cost me $300 to spell this word. Ballards....are you insane???? Who are these people who spend $300 to spell a simple word? Apparently, they have way too much money and are really bored! So, I tore this page out of the catalog and put it in my idea folder.

My plan was to try and collect some similar frames from yard sales, thrift stores, etc. But I got really impatient and just couldn't wait it out any longer. I decided to use embroidery hoops, and at just 99 cents each the price was perfect. Again, I wish I had painted them black, but my severe impatience/ADD couldn't take it. I needed some instant gratification.

I used a scrap of linen material I had laying around, some black scrapbook paper, and my Cricut to recreate the $300 designer look. Guess how much it cost me? Less than $8.
What??? Can I get a witness? An Amen?

I am super excited with the way this fun little project turned out. My wall plaques are a bit smaller than the ones from Ballards. Theirs are 12 inch in diameter and mine are 8 inch...not much of a difference. Especially for a whopping $292, right? I've already started making another set, but with a twist. They have a whole different look and are stinkin adorable! I'm thinking about making some for my etsy shop if anyone's interested. But with those I will use fabric and applique the image onto the linen.

Bet you thought I'd forgotten about the winner, huh? Not a chance...I was just making you sweat! Congratulation to Laura Ingalls Gunn from Decor to Adore. You won the Mrs. Meyer's prize pack!!! Drop me an e-mail - imperfectlybeautifulms(at)gmail(dot)com - so we can get your goodies in the mail to you.

Linked to Kimm's Trash to Treasure at Reinvented

and Amanda's Decorating Dilemas Party @ Serenity Now.

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