December 29, 2010

I finally took the time to sign up for Amazon Mom. Then I did the Subscribe and Save for my Huggies Diapers that I usually get at Costco. Just getting a Amazon Prime for 3 months free was amazing, but then saving 30% off on my Diapers when I subscribe to save?! AWESOME!

Of course, then you add the Amazon employee discount (We didn't have much left this year after our Christmas Shopping). Could it get any better?

Yup, I had a 20% off Diapers Coupon (for one unit) from Parents Magazine. (I subscribed to it on Tanga for $4.99 for 3 years.)

$.128 per diaper! For Huggies! A total savings of 46% for one box!
I pay $.208 per Diaper at Costco for Huggies.

Want the breakdown?

Huggies Size 4 (140 ct)

Item(s) Subtotal:$33.59
Shipping & Handling:$0.00
30% Subscribe and Save Promotion Applied:-$10.08
(What was left of) Employee Discount:-$0.39
 20% Parents Magazine Promotion Applied:-$6.72
-----
Total Before Tax:$16.40
Estimated Tax To Be Collected:$1.56
-----
Grand Total:$17.96

Have I convinced you yet? Click the button below, head on over and Subscribe to save on your Diapers!!! (P.S. You don't have to be a Mom to sign up.)

December 23, 2010

Today I went shopping. Just for the sake of it. I had no last minute Christmas Shopping to do, no stress, no rush in the store. You see, my Christmas shopping is all done, my crafts are all made, and half of my presents are wrapped. Anyhow, I went shopping for myself, bought myself a nice rain coat with a removable lining. I really like it.

Then I came home and decided to make something for my Young Women that I love. I teach the Mia Maids and I love to tease them that they're "My Maids". Of course, I love them way too much to force them to do my dirty work. I saw this really cool saying over on Sensationally Chic Boutique and I just had to make it. (She has an SVG file available for download.) I decided to make it into an 8x10 poster instead though. Here it is below. I'm going to put it in a white frame for them.

The "Inn" Crowd Christmas Artwork
(To Download the 8x10 size - click on the image to access it on Flickr, then click on "Download the Original Size of this photo")

Of course, after making the poster, I had to cut the words in black for the extra glass block I've had sitting around forever. Yes, that means that I'm going to share the image with all of you! You can download it here!

Silhouette Inn Crowd Free File

*Update: You will need to have these fonts installed on your computer in order to have this exact look:
XMasTerpiece Swashes available on dafont.com for "Inn" and "Stable"
Birch Std for the rest of the words. This is an Adobe font which you can purchase here or use Latinia from dafont.com for a very similar look.

As with all my free shared files, these are for Personal Use Only. Please share photos of your projects made from these files in my Flickr Pool Maggie Muggins Designs In Action.

I have so many things to share with you that I've made. Of course, I can't post a lot of it because I have family that reads this! I won't be posting again for a while - it's Christmas, I'm going to spend time with my family making memories. So Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Everyone!

December 20, 2010

Over a month ago I cleared out my closet of clothes I haven't worn in a long time or I was just bored with. A large bag went to our Value Village, but some of it stayed here, in another bag. It's yet another stash of fabric for me to have fun with. Only, this is more fun because I feel like it's free fabric so if I mess up it doesn't really matter.

The first thing to come out of the pile was this brown sweater. I was looking through the bag just looking for ideas and this one just seemed perfect for a Gingerbread man. I found some images, played around and created a pattern. Then I got to work cutting and sewing.

Gingerbread Boy

Wouldn't this be a perfect to wrap up with a book about The Gingerbread Man? My oldest son just about freaked when he saw his. His Gingerbread Man is currently running away from the Mean Witch (his cross between The Gingerbread Man and Hansel and Gretel).

Unlike a wool sweater that can be felted to make a cute stuffed animal, this one was machine washable, and had been shrunk already. It had a lot of stretch so in order to make it work, and look cute, I cut out a light-weight fusible interfacing and ironed it on the back. This will hold the fabric so it looks like a nice sweater and isn't stretched by the stuffing. You would probably want to do the same for any stretchy material.

I cut four gingerbread men from one sweater. I made two boys and two girls. The girls I made to match the outfits I'm giving my husband's nieces. The boys are for my sons.

Of course, I couldn't post this in the month of December and not share the pattern with you. Fresh off the press - you can get your own PDF copy of the pattern here: Gingerbread Man Pattern, Gingerbread Girl Pattern (Or you can download the pattern images below from Flickr.)

Without making you wait any longer - here are my instructions and photos:

Gingerbread Man Pattern


Gingerbread Girl Pattern

*The pattern is made for 8.5"x11" print but you can shrink it or enlarge it as much as desired.

1. Cut the pattern out of the fabric. Cut interfacing for both sides if the material is stretchy. (If you don't have interfacing you could also use a light-weight cotton fabric.)

Cutting out Gingerbread Man

2. Iron on the interfacing.

Interfacing on Gingerbread Man


3. Pin right sides together. At this point, I pinned on the inner part of the pattern (dotted lines) to be my guide. It made it easier to sew and the final product looks a lot better. You could also trace the sewing guide onto one side.

Sewing the Gingerbread Man

4. Following the sewing guide, sew around the outside leaving about a 1.5 inch opening at the bottom to pull the Gingerbread Man through.

Opening left on Gingerbread Man

5. Clip the parts in between the neck and head close to the seam, trim excess fabric - then pull the right side of the Gingerbread Man out through the opening.

BEFORE
Finished Stitching inside Gingerbread Man

AFTER
Clip Seams on Gingerbread Man

6. Stuff the Gingerbread Man and sew the opening closed.

Stuff the Gingerbread Man

Hand-stitch Gingerbread Man closed

6. Sew on the details using your imagination. I've given you a guide on the pattern, but don't let that limit you. Buttons for eyes, ric-rac around the arms and legs for that "frosted" look, red yarn for the mouth to look like licorice, bright buttons and a bow tie, ruffle trim and a hair bow for a girl, whatever your heart desires.

The girls ruffles were about 3/4-1" wide. I cut the entire width of the fabric and then cut that into 4 even pieces. I gathered the ruffles as I stitched the fabric on. It was really easy. The fabric is a non-fray nylon chiffon I purchased here.

Gingerbread Girl

The Gingerbread Girls are for my husband's nieces. They are also getting cute little brown and pink tops that I found and skirts that I'm making. So I decided to use some of the fabric from the skirt and put ruffles on the girls. Adorable, no? I wish I could be there when they are opened.

Gingerbread Girls with Ruffles

Here are all the ones I made:

All Gingerbread Men

Linking up to these parties:
BWS tips button

Creations by Kara
I've been meaning to share these tips with you for a few weeks. I just had someone email me to ask if I'd found a solution to vinyl shifting. (Thanks Meadowlark!) I'm posting my reply to her in order to help others out there who have this same problem.

{Silhouette Carrier Sheet Img Src}

My Silhouette would work to cut vinyl on a carrier sheet but not when I cut it without the sheet. I have wasted a ton of vinyl and messed up a lot in the year I've had my machine. Unfortunately all the reading I did on the Silhouette site didn't provide an answer. But I did my research and here is what I discovered:

PROBLEM 1 (An obvious, but easy mistake)
The vinyl is not being loaded straight and by the end of a long cut the sheet is on an angle in the carrier. This is usually caused by the vinyl sheet not being square.

Vinyl not Square


SOLUTION: Cut the vinyl sheet so it's square. Make sure you load the sheet in perpendicular to the cutting strip. Feed it all the way to the end of the cutting strip when loaded and make sure it's flush. If you're worried still - manually roll the vinyl sheet the entire length of the cut through the machine and back. Watch that the vinyl sheet doesn't come out from under the pinch rollers at all.

Squaring the Vinyl Sheet

PROBLEM 2 (#1 issue for me)
The cut vinyl lifts and catches on the roller, the knife, or the metal bar behind the cutting strip and then, because it's stuck, shifts the whole sheet as it moves.


SOLUTION: I do one of four things to prevent the vinyl from lifting and catching:
  1. Adjust the thickness of the cut down one at a time.
  2. Adjust the speed of the cut down. Sometimes all the way to three. Then I watch as I cut and push down any little pieces that pop up if possible. It's a little work, but it's saved me vinyl.
    Silhouette Adjust Speed Thickness
  3. Adjust the size of the image being cut so that it is slightly larger. This is especially helpful for detailed images or script style fonts. (Of course, when the size is restricted, this option isn't possible.)
    Silhouette Resize Image
  4. Make sure there are no bubbles in the vinyl. This will sometimes cause it to pick up.

PROBLEM 3 (#2 issue issue for me)
The vinyl sheet itself gets caught on something, this may be because it has been rolled up and isn't completely flat or it gets caught on the table. I never really know for sure.


SOLUTION: I leave the vinyl on the roll when I cut it. I never would have thought of this idea, but I got the idea from the Silhouette blog itself. I saw the idea in this post. I wondered if it would help or not. It did, I've had so much more success cutting this way. The vinyl roll just rolls back and forth easily and actually works so well.

Keep Vinyl on the Roll to Cut


PROBLEM 4
The vinyl isn't flat on the sheet (ie. it has bubbles in it) and that causes the vinyl to shift (not the sheet, but the actual vinyl) as it's being cut and mess up the image.

Bubbles in Vinyl

SOLUTION: Look at the entire sheet and make sure there aren't bubbles or spots where it doesn't lay flat. Especially if it's older vinyl, or vinyl that hasn't been stored nicely on a roll like the Silhouette has. What actually happens is the vinyl itself shifts on the sheet, and part of the image gets shifted. This can also be the cause for problem #1 because the vinyl lifts easier.


PROBLEM 5
The pinch rollers aren't tight enough so the vinyl isn't being gripped tight enough to not shift. This is more likely on an older or well used machine.

Silhouette Parts

SOLUTION: To test how secure the rollers are, feed a vinyl sheet into the machine and then grab on the end and pull at it on an angle. (If you pull it straight the roll It should be quite difficult to shift at all. If it shifts easily you will have to contact Silhouette for support on repairs.

Test Pinch Rollers

Hopefully this will answer a few of your questions and help you to be able to cut long sheets of vinyl.

This is a cut I made today. A 33" long sheet. The "r" in thrill got caught on the knife - so I patiently waited until I was able to grab it off. I cut a new "r" and lined it up with the words as best I could. The points on the star lifted when cut, but I was able to push them down and they didn't cause me any problems!

A Thrill of Hope...

December 6, 2010

Last Christmas our son got a play kitchen. It was a simple, cheap one. We gave him some toy food and other baking supplies too. Of course, every little chef needs a hat so I had to make him one. This is a really simple gift to make, and the kids have so much fun with it!

I used this free pattern for the Chef's Hat and it turned out adorable. The pattern is really basic and was not difficult to follow.

Play Chef Hat

I also made some play Oven Mitts. I can't find the free pattern that I used, but here is a pattern for a similar one. Instead of quilting this like some patterns make you do, I just used fusible fleece on the back of the outer fabric and didn't do a second layer. These were for play and the fleece is nice and soft!

Play Oven Mitts

This blogger has a great idea for making play Oven Mitts from Dollar store ones. You could use the pattern above, or just trace your child's hand to get a good pattern.

The complete set:

Play Oven Mitts and Chef Hat

Wouldn't this make a great Christmas gift?! If I have time I might whip some up to go with the aprons my nieces are getting!

December 1, 2010

For a recent ward Super Saturday I cut the vinyl for these cute blocks. This was the girls sample that I took a picture of so I actually used different fonts.

Families are Forever Vinyl Blocks

Seeing as it's December and Christmas is coming I'm in a giving mood and can't give my Christmas gifts until much later this month. So instead - I'm sharing with everyone out there. You can go HERE to download my Silhouette file. (It is set up for two sets per 13 inches.)

*This file is for personal use only. Feel free to link to this post directly, but this file is not to be shared or distributed in any other way.*

The letters for "Forever" are mixed up for sizing, which doesn't matter anyways because you're applying them separately.

*I've finally posted the blog sizes for you to make this. You can find that post HERE.

Basic Directions:
  1. Sand and clean blocks, then paint them. Allow to dry.
  2. Cut paper for each block, mod podge on to the front and allow to dry.
  3. Apply the vinyl lettering.
  4. Add any other desired embellishments.