Archive for the ‘design’ Category

#Hallelujah Easter Printables 1: Basket Tag Challenge

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Let me preface this series with disclosing that I’m a Mormon and I believe in Christ! He did something super awesome for all of us. These printables are focused around our Savior. I hope that if you’re a disciple of Christ, regardless of denomination, you’ll enjoy these designs.

I had the honor to work with Sugardoodle and Mormon.org on Christ-centered Easter printables. Not to get overly spiritual here, but I asked myself How do I bring Christ into our Easter celebrations? And the sad answer was I don’t. Not really. So this was a fun challenge for me in a design sense and in a personal/spiritual sense. I plan on using these printables this year to bring Christ into our sugar-induced celebrations. I hope you do, too!

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I love symbolism. It adds power and meaning to every day objects and visuals. So for this first printable, I made a simple tag that reads, “Take some time to go through your Easter basket. Share with your family how each item can relate to our Savior Jesus Christ.”

The idea is simple. And it doesn’t require any planning beyond attaching the tags to the baskets. Try to find ways to tie back even the silliest of Easter basket items to Christ. For example:

  • Peeps: baby chicks are a sign of spring, which is a symbol of life.
  • Bunny: bunnies (because of their reproductive habits) are a symbol of everlasting life. Christ’s sacrifice gave everlasting life to us!
  • Socks: socks keep my feet warm like the feeling I get when I think about how Jesus loves me.

If you’d like, do a little research on the symbols of Easter. I found this article to be interesting and insightful.

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Would you like to play along? Download by clicking the link below.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

*By downloading the above material, you agree to terms of use: This tutorial/freebie is free for personal use and should not be distributed/republished without my consent. Altering any files is NOT ALLOWED. If you would like to use this freebie for commercial purposes, please email me. Thanks!

Before & After: Basic Leather Chair

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This post is sponsored by Leather Hide Store. Find a massive variety of high quality upholstery-weight leather at a great price.

Connect with Leather Hide store on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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I’ve had this seat for *gosh* nearly 3 years. It’s been patiently awaiting a loving touch in the corner of my studio. For the life of me I can’t find a before picture, but it’s not too terribly hard to imagine: dark oak legs and a 70s poo brown tweed cover over the seat cushions. It’s a simple silhouette. And for being so old and well-used (it was formerly a chair on BYU campus), it was in fabulous condition. A few scuffs and scrapes on the legs and a whole lot of dust.

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Sitting on it was a dusty, scratchy experience. I felt like it could be easily elevated out of its sad state with a little bit of paint and leather. Unfortunately for everyone, it took a year to attack the upholstery once I started to take it apart.

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It wasn’t that the upholstery work was terribly difficult. In fact, once I started the job, it wasn’t hard at all. The square shape of the upholstery made drafting up a pattern for the new cover super easy. And it didn’t take up a ton of material either. I don’t think I had more than 1/4th of a hide here and I had just enough to cover the entire thing.

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The hardest part about the upholstery job was that Felix put a bolt inside one of the holes sideways (how he got it in there, I have no idea) so I spent a good hour working on getting it out.
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I split a small part of the wood getting the legs on (see the above pic), but overall, it came together quite nicely. Putting the back panel of leather on was the most terrifying thing because I had to measure so precisely, account for the stretch of leather and use the most deadly upholstery tacks to nail into the frame so there are no raw edges. I’m sure those tacks were meant to go only through fabric, so it was a bit tough to get them to go through 2, sometimes 4, layers of 2 oz. leather.

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Overall, I’m pleased with how it turned out. I think it looks nicely finished, and guests aren’t afraid to sit in the chair anymore! It also adds a lot of lightness to that corner of our living/family room. The old chair blended right in to the dark wood flooring.

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Materials used:

Here’s a run-down of the process:

I took off the legs, measured the seat and drafted up flat paper patterns of the seat. I used a 5/8 seam allowance and made sure to write out the SA on every pattern piece.

After the patterns were done and checked against the existing chair, I cut out the leather. Since there were a lot of squares, each pattern piece was labeled and the leather was clipped to the pattern pieces until I sewed them so I could leave and come back to the project and know what pieces were sewed together and where.

From there, I got a bit freaked out about the sewing aspect of it all and switched to finishing the legs.

I used BB Frösch chalk paint for the legs, which was a huge time saver. No sanding or priming required. Just paint and go! The matte finish is pretty great, too. It makes me wish this had been around when we did our rocking chair eeons ago!

After I got the legs done, I (with the help of my intern last year) removed the prior upholstery. I wish we had done this outside because dust, old fabric fibers and countless number of staples just sprinkled my studio floor for weeks. Even now I still find a random staple. This chair had hundreds of hundreds of staples keeping the material on the frame! The dusty fabric made my studio smell horribly for days.

I sewed up the seams on the sides of each section (the top and bottom cushions are two separate pieces) and fit the leather on. I didn’t have to make any adjustments to the fit, thankfully, but I realized I needed to reinforce the ends of the seams so that they wouldn’t come undone. I grabbed my waxed linen thread for that and sewed up those ends for strength. Once I got the top and bottom cushions done, I affixed the legs, attached the back portion and then covered the bottom. I cleaned everything up and conditioned with leather conditioner and voila! It took me several months to complete it, but if I had worked continuously on the project, it wouldn’t have taken me longer than a Saturday morning and afternoon. I just got nervous about each step so I would take long breaks.

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So there you have it! Read more for details on the living room!

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DIY: 3 Ways to Add Gold to Your Envelopes

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This post is sponsored by Tiny Prints. They provide excellent quality printing and amazing printing options to make your holiday cards stand out this year.

Gold is such a classic element to add to holiday greetings, but how? What materials do you use? I’ve got a little bit of experience with that and I know just the things to help you make your holiday cards a hit this year.

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Oh, and I should mention, these tips require no calligraphy experience whatsoever. Neat handwriting helps, and here’s a post to help you with that. Want to learn calligraphy? I do that, too. Sign up for my class right here. Just gonna toot my own horn a bit about the class: it’s hands-on with personal feedback from me and my co-calligrapher (Erika! She’s the raddest!).  Get supplies mailed to your door, personal attention and loads of lifetime content for less than it costs for most in-person modern workshops. Aw, yeah.

This post may contain affiliate links. These are products I’m using constantly. I get a little bit of a kick-back from any  purchases made through these links. Affiliate sales help feed my crafting addiction and supplies used for blog posts. So thank you for your support.

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Gold Striping

It looks like Finetec Gold is a favorite of mine. It’s looking like it’s out of stock at Paper & Ink arts – you might have luck at John Neal Bookseller or a local art supply store. I love this palette because you can add gold and shimmer to just about anything.

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Get a large hard-bound book or a block of wood that’s longer than your envelope. Place it an inch below the desired line.

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Instead of using a ruler and getting the underside all gunky from running ink, rest the bottom of your hand along the edge of the book or block and pull your arm towards you (see above). You’ll get a nice straight line without even trying hard.

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Wait for the gold to dry, then letter the address with the recipient’s name above the line and the address below. I like using the lettermate when doing print addresses. It keeps my lines straight and my leading even. If you choose to use a lettermate or something similar, you’ll want to put the gold line inside one of the lines so that the spacing is even. If you put it between two lines, the top two address lines will look inconsistently spaced. I’ll use a white gelly roll or a gold shadow gelly roll. If you’re using a white envelope, you may want to opt for the black gold or the pink gold. Here I used the lavender gold.

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Foil Gems

I’ve got a little secret in my  arsenal and I’m about to share it with you. EEP!! I’m loving this thing. I’ve had it for about a year, and it’s the perfect way to add gold sparkle to something without waiting for glitter glue to dry. I bought this cheap hot foil pen on New Egg some time ago, so it looks like it’s no longer available. The closest thing in price is the WRM keepers one. At $15 it’s totally an impulse purchase. I’ve seen them around on other sites. Just make sure that when you’re looking for yours you look for “hot foil pen”. That’s pretty much it. Scrapbooking suppliers are going to be your best bet.

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First, you’ll letter your address. I like to switch up styles with print and script.

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When you’re done, you’ll heat up the foil pen and do little dots in the negative spaces. You can do single dots or groupings of 3. If you’re doing groupings of 3, you can add little green leaves for holly! Or keep them plain. I opted to go plain.

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Justified Glitter

  • Glitter
  • Sticky thumb or double-stick tape
  • White gelly roll

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Mark up your paper with sticky thumb. You can use a glue stick for a more organic line.

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Sprinkle glitter (mix colors for a fun effect) over the envelope. This is a great activity to do in big batches in a bath tub or large casserole dish.

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With your finger, rub in the glitter so it sticks. You’ll see that glitter will settle and stop coming off. Shake off excess.

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Write out the address. If you’re doing the lettermate and a script style of penmanship, you may want to write out everything without the descending strokes (like the ‘y’, ‘g’, ‘f’, ‘z’ etc) and fill those in afterward. Add postage and you’re done!

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I’m slowly knocking out my list this week and next. So my cards will be more like New Year’s cards, but late is always better than never in my opinion!

 

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Want to learn calligraphy the right way? Check out my online calligraphy class. It includes lifetime access to materials and content (images, text, animated GIFs) and 30 days of personal instructor feedback. Because we all need help troubleshooting when starting out. ;)

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Printable: Vanilla Labels (Easy Neighbor Gift)

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I’ve had this brilliant idea since the beginning of September, but leave it to me to wait until the last minute to actually finish it off and post about it! EEP! This is quite possibly the easiest and most brilliant neighbor gift you can give this year (or next!).

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So, vanilla bean paste has become a staple in our home, so much so that we buy it in bulk. It’s mine and Chris’s favorite thing to add to our whipped cream (we have that “on tap” with our cream whipper
). The other thing I keep thinking about with holiday gift-giving is that there’s an overload of sweets that will spoil. Why not give the gift that’s gluten-free, vegan, won’t spoil and EVERY foodie will LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE!

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Vanilla bean paste marries the convenience of vanilla extract and the potency of vanilla beans. Mr. FoodMadeByTom taught me the glories of this stuff way back when I took a class of his on making chocolate mousse, steak and veggies. But we didn’t use it for the steak and veggies. Although I’m sure there’s some universe where vanilla bean paste has been used in making a fancy-pants steak.

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I bought some small vials/jars from Specialty Bottle and a giant bottle of vanilla bean paste and filled each one. It’s just a sampling of vanilla bean paste, just enough for an extra potent recipe of vanilla whipped cream. Here’s the recipe for our whipped cream:

Ultra Vanilla Whipped Cream

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons (pretty sure Chris puts a full tbsp) vanilla bean paste
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar

Put all ingredients in the cream whipper and charge. If you’re doing it the old fashioned way, put heavy cream into a chilled bowl and whip with a stand or hand mixer. Whip until firm peaks form, fold in sugar and vanilla.

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See below to download the vanilla labels. I’ve made two versions, one for home made extract the other for vanilla bean paste. Enjoy!

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

How to Make A Stamp With Silhouette Mint

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CHECK OUT my instagram for details on how to win your very own Mint™ machine!

I’ve had my Silhouette Mint for a little bit now and I’m crazy in love with how quickly and accurately I can make a stamp. The below stamp design took under 20 minutes from design to stamp. The bulk of the time was spent waiting for the ink to dry so I could scan it in.

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This new-fangled miracle-worker should be on every calligrapher/designer’s list this year. It’s not terribly expensive and it cuts a lot of time out of the stamp-making process.

The stamp itself is a different technology than traditional rubber stamps. It creates a recessed area where the ink holds. Because of this, you can create super-fine hairlines and still get a great impression! You’re “limited” to 7 standard sheet sizes with the stamps, but they cover just about every range, it doesn’t feel like a limitation at all.

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See below for a step-by-step video on how to make your custom design into a stamp.

Use code: MELISSA for an exclusive discount on the Silhouette Mint for amazing Black Friday deals. I get an affiliate fee on each purchase made with the discount at silhouette.com. It helps fuel the content over here. I honestly wouldn’t be hocking Silhouette’s products if I wasn’t absolutely obsessed. I hope you like this fancy gadget as much as I do! Deals start at 12:01am MST on Thursday, November 26!

  • Free Shipping on orders over $50.00*
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  • 20% off Silhouette Design Store Subscriptions*
  • Silhouette Mint $99.99
  • Portrait & Mint $189.99
  • CAMEO $199.99
  • CAMEO & Portrait $289.99

*Deals end December 4th. Free Shipping applies to Contiguous United States. For 20% off subscriptions, use code BLACK.

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Right-click on the image above to download for your own Mint making!

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By downloading the above material, you agree to terms of use: This tutorial/freebie is free for personal use and should not be distributed/republished without my consent. Altering any files is NOT ALLOWED. If you would like to use this freebie for commercial purposes, please email me. Thanks!
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