2011 - come and gone!

2011

I love seeing the past year like this. It's a great way to remember everything I've done and how what my focus has been on.

It seems this year was about flowers and patterns. I definitely like that—it all feels like me. If I had to pick one favorite project it would be my paper quilt (2nd row, middle photo). It inspired a few of my other ideas.

I can't wait what next year's mosaic will look like. Previous years are here: 200720082009 and 2010.

We've been having a very quiet week and I've had time to focus on family and a huge project. A new web site! It has been an overwhelming amount of work and I'm finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. If you visit in the next few days and you see a maintenance image up, you'll know what's going on. Exciting!

• • •

I hope that you all have enjoyed the end of year celebrations and that the new year brings us all wonderful experiences. As always, thank you so much for your continued support. I really appreciate your visits to my lil' old blog and hope that I will meet more of you in the coming months. 

Here's to an awesome 2012! Cheers!


holiday sale

alittlehut-holidaysale

I hope you're all enjoying the holiday season/break as much as we are. We've been in a completely relaxed and slow mode after Christmas—so nice!

I wanted to quickly pop in to say that I am having a sale on all my holiday items. The Holiday Paper Quilt, Holiday Kit, Ornaments and Holiday Boxes are all 50% off. Enjoy!


peace & light

peace & light

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from our family to yours! May you all enjoy time with your family and friends. Stay safe and see you soon!

peace & light

I'll drop in some time next week.
Hugs all around!

project + testing

tags

Today is the final day of school of 2011. I can't wait for pick-up time. We're all ready for the break. The collection of gift tags are a little something that will be part of our teachers' gifts. We can all use extra gift tags right? I used a combination of different sets of my flowers, lattices and holiday kit.

I had both my Cricut and Cameo going at the same time (spoiled a bit!). All I can say is that I'm still not used to the Cameo mat. Still waaaay too sticky. A friend has heard of people that rub stick/unstick mats to carpet. While I'll never do that I did think that rubbing a piece of fabric over it several times would help and it did. Now if I can only figure out where the cutting starts/stops on the screen in comparison to the real paper on the mat—aka. learning curve!

Friday Tidbit
Water ballon luminaries: I want to try this! They look easy to make and they're really beautiful.

Have a great weekend everyone!

tags

inspired by: you

mod blooms-ornaments

Yes, you inspire me. I say that in the most sincere and genuine way possible.

Next week many of us will be busy with holiday preparations so I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all for sticking around. I know that there are so many other blogs that you could be reading at this very moment and for whatever reason you choose to stop by for a visit. Whether it's a daily visit, every few weeks or you're new to this space, I feel inspired by the fact that you are interested in what I do. That fuels my will to continue and I need you to know that it means a lot.

So... thank you, thank you, thank you.
xoxo
Patricia
• • •

Photo: I used my Mod Blooms for these ornaments. Remember what I said about symmetry and repetition? Why not try it with flowers? It's super easy and fun to do! 

mod blooms - svg flowers

mod blooms

There's just something about working with flowers. I could go on and on. This is my latest set—Mod Blooms. I'll be using these for my holiday gift tags this year—I need to start real soon!

mod blooms

For those of you that have more experience working with cutting files I suggest using these flowers to make intricate lattice patterns and backgrounds. The possibilities are truly endless.

lattice

I briefly mentioned my new Four Petals Lattice yesterday. Here it is again used as an embellishment for a greeting card. The flowers can be used the same way. I like putting off to one side the way I used my Valentine Hearts. A simple graphic image and contrasting paper can make a huge impact.

• • •

For those of you that have asked—before getting my Cameo I was using a Cricut Expression and Sure Cuts A Lot. That set up is not available because SCAL no longer supports the Cricut. I have an old copy of the software and haven't updated the firmware of my Cricut.

• • •

Have a great day! 

review: silhouette cameo

silhouette cameo

I ordered the Silhouette Cameo a few weeks ago and just had a chance to use it this week. So far I'm quite pleased with the results.

It is an electronic cutting tool that is simple to use. It hooks up to your computer and with the help of the Silhouette Studio (a free software provided by the machine maker) you can cut purchased files or make your own. I like that the machine is clean in design (not pink or girly) and that it's fairly small (smaller than a Cricut).

silhouette cameo

I tried using the instructional video to learn how to use the machine but it didn't work with my Mac. It kept skipping parts of the presentation. I used the instruction manual to fill in the gaps of information that I missed. I later discovered that I had to download the entire video on to my computer in order to see it. It never played directly from the CD but it played on my computer without problems.

The blade was easy to install. With the use of the software the cutting depth and speed can be easily adjusted. I've heard that there are people having trouble with the blade but I haven't had any yet—then again I just started.

The cutting mat holds up to 12" square sheet of whatever material you're cutting. So far I've only cut paper but vinyl and fabric are other materials that can be used. The width (12") is what finally made me go with the Cameo. The previous SD Silhouette option only cut paper up to 8.5" wide. The cutting mat is  really sticky. I had a hard time detaching larger images. I'm assuming that will not be the case after I've used the mat a couple more times.

silhouette cameo

The control panel and buttons are very easy to use and understand. One particular feature that I like is the pause button. If you've cut the wrong size, the wrong color of paper or you changed your mind about anything, this button is key.

silhouette cameo

I cut my Four Petal Lattice at the 10" square size and it was difficult to remove from the mat without tearing the paper. I suppose that after a couple of uses the stickiness will be more manageable. What I really wanted to see was a smaller version of the file to see how the cutting would hold up with detail. It didn't disappoint. The shapes are crisp and the machine had no trouble at all. The bottom square is only 3" wide.

So...
Pros: 
- I like the way the machine looks and works. I specially like the detail work it can cut.
- Good price point. I ordered my machine when it was $260-ish.
- Free software to use with the machine. I like that it has an easy way to sort and label all images in a library.

Cons:
- As far as I've seen the replacement blades and mats aren't sold anywhere near me. That means I'll be ordering online. Not a big deal, but if I happen to need something urgently, it will be an inconvenience.
- The mat is definitely too sticky but I'm sure that will change with time/use of the mat—it's not a deal breaker.
- When the machine cuts it seems louder than what I'm used to—again, not a big deal.

So far I'm very happy with this machine. The next thing I want to try (if I only had the time now) is the print and cut feature. That will be really interesting to see in action. I'll post my thoughts when I get to it.

lattice

Typically the Silhouette Cameo is sold for $299 but as I said, it can be found at a lower price on occasion. The replacement blade is $19.99 and the cutting mat is $14.99.

For those of you that have asked—all A Little Hut files can be cut with the Silhouette Cameo. If you have the free version of the software you can import DXF files. If you have the designer edition (additional cost involved) then SVGs can be used.

One last thing...
This was a personal purchase. I was not sent this machine for review, nor was I asked to comment on it.  Only my personal opinions are part of this post.

• • •

EDIT —It's been a few days since this post. I just wanted to add a tip regarding the mat. I know I said it wasn't a deal breaker but it's getting frustrating. The mat is too sticky and the paper tears when I pull it up—and yes I'm carefully using a spatula. I rubbed a piece of fabric on and off of the mat to remove some of the stickiness and it worked.

Another thing... the setting for the depth of cut is something I'm still struggling with. The machine doesn't completely cut through my Paper Source card stock. The Cricut does it with no problem. I guess it's another learning curve.

gone & back



Scheduling posts ahead of time can look a bit deceiving but I didn't want to leave you hanging yet again. The truth is that I've been out of town since last Thursday and I got back yesterday.

If you ever need to clear your mind and get away from it all just do it. We all plan for major vacation time but mini-vacations are also very smart to take.

My break wasn't the type you may be imagining. I was with 80 women on a retreat as a member of the organizing team. It was a lot of hard work but a lot of fun too.

This type of break may not be your particular brand of fun but you do deserve one. If you're like me and have kids, when you get back the laundry may not be exactly done, the kids will tell on their dad regarding the lax menu and you'll have work a bit piled up. But it's totally worth it. Do it!



Did I knit the cowl? No. Not one stitch. I don't know what I was thinking when I even considered having time for it. Craziness.

Now to tackle this business about Christmas being only two weeks away. Who sped up the calendar? Yikes!

weekend project

weekend project

This is a fun project I want to take on this weekend. Will it get done? Who knows. But I will give it a serious try. Those of you that have my Christmas Paper Quilt collection can easily do it by editing the box covers.

What will you be making?

• • •

Friday Tidbits
- Origami Christmas tree: my favorite paper find of the week!
- Geometric steel bracelets: yes, please!
- I desperately want to make this cowl! Maybe I should trade the coasters for this? Hmm...

Have a great weekend everyone!

inspired by: craftypod 2.0

craftypod

I honestly don't remember when I started listening to Diane Gilleland's CraftyPod podcast. She's been on the air since 2005. All I know is that I've been hooked ever since the beginning. I love the way she engages with her guests and the insightful interviews that she delivers. CraftyPod 2.0 is a bi-weekly 30 minute show where Diane interviews all sorts of people in the world of creativity and craft. A small-business angle is also part of some of the conversations. I was fortunate to finally meet Diane in person at the Houston Quilt Market in October and she is just as genuine and she sounds on the air.


I typically listen to the show when I'm working on a project because listening to other creatives that I can relate to, makes the process sweeter. You have no idea how many times I laugh out loud or just nod my head in agreement over something I'm hearing.

All of Diane's interviews are so thought provoking and entertaining. They make my wheels turn. I learn, I take new approaches to my businesses and I analyze what I do every time I hear one of her interviews. It doesn't matter if she's interviewing someone that is into paper (one of my all-time favorite shows!), stitchery or painting—the ideas and inspiration just flow—every time.   

For this post I asked Diane...
What do you enjoy most about making this podcast and why do you do it?
The thing I enjoy most about making the podcast is looking for interesting stories happening in our crafty landscape - stories that have the potential to spark new ideas or change the way we think. I love finding just the right combination of idea, interview guest, and editing to bring these stories to life. 
I make the show because, as crafters, we spend a lot of time crafting... and while our hands are busy, many of us listen to something or other. Back in 2005 I thought, "Wouldn't it be cool if we could listen to something crafty while we craft?" And that's when the show was born!
CraftyPod 2.0 is offered as a monthly subscription of $1.98 per month or shows can be ordered for .99 cents each. With a subscription, you get each new show automatically delivered to your iAmplify library page, where you can sync it with your iTunes account, stream it, or download it. This sounds techie/complicated but it really isn't. The sign-up and set up only took me a few minutes—really painless and totally worth it.

• • •


"Inspired by" is a new weekly post where I will feature something/someone that inspires me in some way. I am not compensated in any way for these posts. They are entirely my own words and personal opinions. I hope you enjoy each post and that you will feel inspired too!

Have a great day!

holiday kit - svg & dxf

holiday kit

I love the geometric designs I used for my ornaments but there's always part of me that likes to explore a more whimsical side of things (like I did with Halloween). This is my new Holiday Kit. It includes the images you see plus a notecard, envelope and cube favor box.

holiday kit

My little C thinks the highlight of the set is the Christmas tree. She has laid claim to it and plans to decorate it soon. Homework has been in the way—to her complete disappointment (putting that mildly).

holiday kit

I'm going to use this set to make gift tag sets as teacher's gifts. I need to get started soon or I'll be rushing at the last minute. I never learn my lesson!

The Holiday Kit can be purchased at the A Little Hut shop.

Have a wonderful day!

review: martha stewart paper punch & glitter markers

double-edge paper punch

I received a package from Martha Stewart Crafts and to be honest the Martha Stewart Crafts Pine Needles Trim Double Edge Punch was the thing that got me the most excited. I've seen different designs at the craft store but I had never used one until now.

double-edge paper punch

The cuts are really clean and making a trim only takes a few punches. It really couldn't be any easier to create this embellishment. Even my little C added some trim to an angel that I made for her to put on our tree. Can't you see this on all sorts of projects? Cards, scrapbooking, gift wrapping... the uses are endless.

glitter markers

Martha Stewart Glitter Markers were another lovely surprise. The ink is metallic and it has glitter in it. Very appropriate for this time of the year. Christmas decorations, cards and gift tags will be spiced up with these. This is a four pack of red, yellow, green and silver markers.

All I did was zig-zag the marker back and forth over the red paper. Then I cut the leaves out after the ink was dry. Very easy and I love the look. The kids have been using scraps of paper as bookmarkers (blasphemous in a crafty household—but they take after me!) so the striped version will definitely be for them.

glitter markers

I decided that this Christmas I am going to make a serious attempt at baking something other than the usual cookies I make—so when I saw these boxes I had to grin. They came just in time. For those of you that don't bake I think the Candy Cane Boxes or the Bakeable Trays would be a cute way to give someone some treats (maybe a gift card tucked in there too!). Little C has already claimed the Treat Wrappers—so there is some duo-baking coming my way. 

My waistline? Ahem. Yes, I'm just going to pretend it doesn't worry me for now.

martha stewart packaging

For US residents: The Martha Stewart Crafts products can be found at Michaels and JoAnn Fabric and Craft stores.

peace + joy

peaceandjoy

I sure hope you're having some! I think I'm leaning towards joy rather than peace. It's been a bit chaotic around here—but all is good. I guess it's just the holiday season that has sprung upon us. There seems to be so much to do on all fronts.

As evident by my lack of posting lately I'm not very good about blogging when I'm working on projects I can't show anyone just yet. The proof of my work is too embarrassing to show. My desk and work table are disaster zones at this time. It's terrible!

At least the decorations are up and we're looking Christmassy! Do you see some paper ornaments in there?



If you're in the mood to create something super easy and want to see a bit of what I've been up to, check out the Holiday Stamped Stationery tutorial that I created for the FedEx Out of Office blog. Enjoy!