I had a great Saturday. No plans, no travel – a whole day to organize and craft. Hence, this post will contain three great projects that I finished up yesterday – not just one!
First of all, my craft area (which is also our office, which is also the sitting room off our master bedroom) was WAY overdue for some organization. Last weekend, I got to make my first trip to IKEA (our closest one is ~2.5 hours away). Its as amazing as everyone says and its way more than just furniture as I found out. Its also paradise for the person who desperately wants to be more organized.
Long term, I want to redo the whole office with IKEA, but I decided to start small. I picked up the Alex storage unit with 6 drawers that are wide enough to fit 12″x12″ sheets. (Side note: As with everything from IKEA its “assemble-yourself.” My husband had this together in a couple of hours)I figured it would fit nicely next to my craft table and also be the perfect height for my printer. I also picked up a few of the Variera shopping bag holders. I had seen these on Pinterest as a great (and cheap – only $1.99 each) way to store vinyl rolls. IKEA is also a great place for crafting blanks, but more on that in another blog post.
I had enough space to separate out cardstock, vinyl, heat transfer vinyl and miscellaneous materials. I also created some simple vinyl labels for the drawers, so everything is easy to find. I need to enlist my husband to hang up the vinyl roll storage and help me shift a few pieces of furniture, but I’m very happy with the end result.
My second project yesterday was homemade spice mix jars. I actually started these a few days ago using some of the patterned vinyl I printed off in my last project, but I got a chance to finish them up yesterday.
The idea came from our latest taco night and my realization that the Taco Seasoning mix we bought was way, WAY too salty. So, I decided to make my own and of course it would need some adorable labels cut on my Silhouette.
I found these cute jars on Amazon for <$10. They are small enough to fit in my hanging spice rack in the pantry. The challenge with these jars was that they were very small, so the labels had to be even smaller (about 1.25″ square).
In my last post, I went through how to use printable vinyl and laminate, so I won’t go through that again. For the label, I used a square decorative frame from a frame collection I had created for my library. I did an internal offset twice to create a frame for the text. I sized the text to fit into the frame and separated the offset frame & text from the larger frame outline.
I cut the larger frame out of the patterned vinyl and the text and internal frame out of white adhesive vinyl. After the first pass at the small letters, I realized I needed to thicken the letters a bit to get a clean cut on the Silhouette.
After cutting and weeding, I used the transfer tape to first apply the white frame & text onto the patterned vinyl and then apply the entire design to the jar. For some reason, I noticed that the transfer tape adhesive really stuck to the laminate on the patterned vinyl, but I was able to clean it off pretty easily.
For the actual mixes, I used some of the recipes collected here. To reduce the salt, I 1/4th the amount of salt called for in each recipe. Most recipes also tell you how much of each mix to use to equal a packet (its usually about 2-3 tablespoons worth). Depending on how fast we go through the mixes, I may upgrade to some bigger jars in the future.
Finally!! I got a chance to breakout my Curio this weekend. I purchased this a while back with an Amazon gift card, but had not had the time to really dig into the machine. I’m not going to go into a full review yet as I have not really had time to try out all the features, but I will say from what I’ve seen so far it is definitely unique.
The Curio supports embossing/debossing, stippling, metal etching, has a deeper base so it can cut thicker materials and supports two tools (you could say do a sketch and cut in one pass).
Things I love: the Design Studio software automatically recognizes when my Curio is plugged in and enables the new features. The software tells you how tall the platform should be. The embossing mat is a nice addition. The etching is pretty darn cool.
Things I’m “meh” on: The tray loading was a little confusing – it does not load the mat like the Portrait/Cameo, you have to push in the tray yourself. The software auto-mirrored my design (emboss – auto-mirror, deboss – not mirrored). Curio seems to be designed for small scale projects. An intricate etch design took ~30 minutes to complete.
To etch, you can use any design with cut lines. If you don’t fill it, it will only etch the outlines. You can fill with embossing effects or via multiple internal offsets. Just beware, if you’re embossing it will auto-mirror the design (which makes sense for actually embossing). You can select deboss and get the same fill patterns without needing to mirror.
You can see my original “oops” and the final design below. Overall, I think this machine is a nice compliment to the Portrait/Cameo, but definitely not a replacement. I’m excited to try out some of the other features. I will be sure to let you all know.
Hope you all are having a great weekend and Happy Crafting!