Thursday, August 25, 2011

Cosmo Cricket Child's Gift Set

I wanted to share with you a gift set I have made for my niece, Carah.  This is my entry in the Cricut Circle Magazine Challenge:  August Cosmo Cricket Contest.

I love the little bunny from the Cosmo Cricket Just A Note cartridge.  Pop Surrealist Tim Buskup came to mind for my husband when he saw this little guy.  I have used it as my repeating icon for this gift set.  I wanted to move my Cricut machines and the icon in several different directions to create a special collection.  Baby Carah turns three in September, so this is my Carah Collection.  (This is definitely my way of being silly-- but I do love coordinated groups of things -- always have!) This set includes a birthday card, decorated gift bag, silk screened shirt, decorated playsuit, stuffed toy, necklace with pillow box packaging, and a hair bow.  All were made with the Cricut or using the Cosmo Cricket bunny icon in the handbook as a pattern or guide.

In addition to the Cosmo Cricket-designed Just A Note cartridge, I also used a mini deck from Cosmo Cricket on various elements on this gift.

Birthday Card: 

I used my Imagine to print (no cutting) the alphabet sign from the Word Collage cartridge at 7".  I selected a color from my queue for the text and trimmed the printed area to 3-7/8" x 7-3/8".  I cut the bunny from Just A Note at 3" and the banner base is from the same cart at 2".  The pennants are cut from the Material Girl Mini Deck. 

My open card finished at 9" x 8-1/4", which is too wide to put through my office printer to add a sentiment, so I taped down all sides with painters tape and ran it through folded.  The extra thickness and raised edges usually end with ink being dragged onto it so this was my solution to avoid that.  Unlike the result with wall paint, this tape will sometimes mar paper, so I used gentle tension when removing the tape from the edges after printing.  The text was printed on using Microsoft Batik Regular at 12 point.

Gift Bag Decoration:

I decorated a gift bag I found at one of those 'everything for a dollar' kind of stores using the same bunny cut at 8"  from Just A Note.  I inked the cheeks and embossed the belly.  I used the same embossing folder to emboss the text, cut from Cuttin Up (cartoon with shadow) at 2". 

Happy with the paper part of my gift, I moved on to the fabric elements. 

Silk Screened Shirt:
I enlarged the bunny picture in the handbook on my copier and traced it onto an injet transparency to create a Yudu design for a knit shirt.  I used a rolled up piece of cloth to rest my wrists so that the lines would be smooth and not jagged from pressure.

I am using a new direct emulsion, having just used up my first pint.  This one is red.  This is my design burned into the emulsion, rinsed, and dried.

I used Yudu-brand ink.

This is the finished shirt as the ink dries, still on the platen.

You can find detailed information about using a Yudu, my tips on applying liquid emulsion, my list of suppliers, and more by clicking the Yudu tab at the top of my blog or by clicking here.

Decorated Playsuit Using HTV:
Next, I used heat transfer vinyl to create a layered bunny.  It was applied to a ready-made playsuit.

This is Siser Easy Weed vinyl.  To do this, I pressed the flip button to create a mirror image of the design.  I cut only the vinyl (not the shinier adhesive backing) by using these settings on my Cricut:

blade:  3
pressure:  3
speed:  3

I weeded off the vinyl that is not part of the design, leaving my layers on the backing...

... and applied them, one at a time, to the garment.  I pressed with my home iron, peeled off the backing, and applied the next layer.  I repeated this for all three layers.  (The bunny was cut at 3-1/2").

Stuffed Bunny:
Next, I used my Cricut to cut a sewing pattern for a little stuffed toy.

To make a sewing pattern, I cut the base layer (brown in the handbook) and the face/belly layer at 11.54" (fit to page size).  I trimmed off the whiskers and traced the image of the body onto a sheet of plain paper.  Then I added 1/4" seam allowance. 

This is the pattern I used to cut the blue flannel.  I used the Cricut cuts of the face and belly and cut the beige flannel directly from them.  (I did not cut in the side notches on the face).  I used a pencil to draw in the eyes and nose for my embroidery guide.

I also cut the belly and face from Steam-A-Seam.  This is the most effective heat-activated webbing I have found.  The small holes allow steam from the iron to really melt the product, resulting in a bond that is actually washable, although I have never tested that claim, opting always to sew the edges.

The other nice quality of Steam-A-Seam is that it is slightly tacky, allowing it to stick to your fabric after it is cut, holding it in place for ironing. 
After ironing in place, I used a zigzag stitch instead of a satin stitch along the edges of the belly and face.  I used notebook paper as my stabilizer.

After tearing off the notebook paper, I hand-stitched on the face using embroidery floss and long stitches.

I sewed the front and back body pieces, right sides together on my sewing machine, using a 1/4" seam allowance, leaving the bottom open to turn it out.  I lightly stuffed it since I didn't make an allowance for volume.  I used pipe cleaners to stuff the ears and feet to fill them out and keep them flat. 

The rest was stuffed with polyfill and the bottom was slipstitched closed. 

For whiskers, I knotted a piece of yarn and stitched it on by hand for each side of the face.  I hand-stitched on a little ribbon bow so this would be a girl bunny for sure!

Happy with the fabric part of my gift set, I moved on to the accessories!

Hair Bow:
The only Cricut-y part of the bow is the packaging:  a tag to be removed with the note "handmade" on the back.  The tag is from Art Philosophy, cut at 2".  The bunny is cut at 2" and the head is separated from the body.  The paper for the tag is also from Cosmo Cricket.

I used the picture in the handbook to create my own little bunny pendant, shaped by hand from Sculpey and Prema oven-dried clays. 

The key to these are to place the hole in the upper part.  Holes placed too far down will create a pendant bead that spins and flips when worn-- very frustrating to wear!  A drying box to bake it in is a must when doing these!  The pendant will hang suspended from the rod which formed its beading hole.

The bead I made took 45 minutes to dry in the oven. 

Once cool,  I took it outside and sprayed it heavily with Krylon Triple Thick Crystal Clear Glaze.

 My bead is on a layer of paper and wax paper to prevent the gooey glaze from sticking to the paper.  I sprayed back and front.  I sprayed it heavily and it took about a half hour to dry.

I placed it on my bead board and created a necklace to match the clothing.

I used coated wire, bronze-colored crimp beads, and bronze-colored findings to string and finish the necklace.  You can find my how-to on making this kind of jewelry by clicking here.

To make the necklace more gift-worthy, I created a tag for it (Art Philosophy 2-3/4") and a pillow box (Art Philosophy 7") for packaging it with a little tissue paper.  (I like to write a little bit about the materials used on the tag for the mommy's info when I make children's jewelry).  The bunny on the box is 2" from Just A Note.  The paper is from Cosmo Cricket.

Happy with the accessories part of the gift, all elements were done!!

Thank you for visiting my blog!  I had so much fun putting this gift together! 
You can see all of my projects by clicking My Project Gallery at the top of my blog, or by clicking here.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Back to School!

School starts today and I wanted to share my back-to-school projects with you!

I started with an Apple Basket for the Teachers' Lounge

I used the new Art Philosophy cartridge to create pennants (cut at 1-1/2" on my Expression) using papers from a mini deck I had in my stash.  I love the old-fashioned look of these papers!  The scale of a mini stack makes it perfect for a small cut.

I cut the tag from Locker Talk at 4-1/2" on my Expression.  I added text from Microsoft Exotic Island BTN at 48pt for the word "happy" and from Adlib Bt at 16pt for the phrase "from the McConnell Family."  I printed the text on a mini print from the stack and I incorporated more of the pennants for continuity. 

Next, I made a lunchbox card for my daughter!  I found the idea for the text on Pinterest and put together some Cricut cuts for my graphic. 

The popped up fish tags are from Meow, cut at 2-1/2" on my Expression.  The text is Microsoft Candy Round BTN at 30 point.  I embossed the area above the text after printing.

My last project is a teacher gift.  The teachers at my daughter's school add a Classroom Wishlist at the bottom of the supply lists that we (parents) receive.  Usually I include a bag of teacher wishes but this year, I decided to allow this teacher to pick up whatever items were not provided by other families with a gift card from my family.  (Pencils were on her wish list!)

I wanted come up with a fun way to incorporate the gift card and found the pefect tag cards on the Art Philosophy cartridge (page 50), cut at 4-1/2" on the Expression.  The pencil is from Locker Talk, cut at 2".  I embossed the front of the tag card.   Inside, I used Terrifically Tacky Tape to attach the gift card and a little note.

Thank you for visiting my blog today.  You can see all of my projects by clicking here or by clicking the "My Project Gallery" tab at the top of the blog.  There, you will find links to all of my Cricut and Yudu projects. 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Diagonal Floodfilling

I have been brainstorming ideas for adding color to my Yudu projects on a single screen.  This is my latest experiment:  floodfilling the screen with multiple colors diagonally.

I also wanted to try out some new inks that I found at Hobby Lobby.  The colors are so much fun and different from any I have from Yudu or Ryonet.  These are "Simply Screen" inks by Plaid.

They are $1.50 per ounce, which places them right in the middle of the price range I have been paying for ink.  The Ryonet inks I have bought have been 84 cents per ounce; the Yudu brand inks are $2.33 per ounce.  I love the colors available in this line!  The OMG Green is a perfect Cricut green!

I decided to use them all together on this project. 

I prepared my screen with emulsion as usual.  You can click here to go to my Yudu page for details on how to apply emulsion and prepare the screen.  The fonts I used were straight from my computer (Microsoft) and I printed them directly onto my transparency.  In this order, they are: 
Sybil Green (100 point)
Planet Benson 2 (100 point)
Melanie BT (160 point)
Annie BTN (150 point)

Then, I added the color diagonally, making my best (though failed) attempt not to let the colors overlap.

With the frame raised, I used my squeegee to floodfill the screen, but unlike usual screenings, this time I did so diagonally.  I moved from upper left to lower right and then back up to be sure the ink was in place.

I lifed up my squeegee and cleaned it off.  Then I lowered the screen to the t-shirt and pulled the ink as normal by moving my squeegee down the screen.

And when I lifed the screen, this was my treat:

Thank you for visiting my blog today.  You can see all of my projects by clicking here or by clicking the "My Project Gallery" tab at the top of the blog.  There, you will find my paper and Cricut crafts as well as my other Yudu projects. 

But wait! There's more! Click 'older posts' above!

But wait!  There's more!  Click 'older posts' above!