The silhouette cuts fabric!

I have wanted to try cutting fabric with my silhouette for awhile.  The motivation and the deadline came together last week with the Silhouette Challenge and a request from my 3 year old.  This month 44 people have signed up to participate!  After you are done here go and check it out.  Many of the projects, even mine, can be done without a silhouette machine.  The silhouette just makes it a little easier and more fun because who doesn’t love a great tool?! Links will be at the bottom of my post.

SilhouettechallengecollageIn November, my middle son had to be rushed to the ER with a gash on his head after a crash into the corner of the counter in our kitchen.  Three staples and a teddy bear later and he was home healing and healthy.  His youngest brother loved the teddy bear that his older brother got at the ER.  Since then every time my youngest has had an inkling of being sick he has asked to go to the ER to get a teddy bear.  We keep telling him that he doesn’t want to be that sick(and isn’t that sick) but he just wanted his own teddy bear. The teddy bear is a simple pattern – just two pieces of fabric sewn together so I told him I would make him one and plotted to use my silhouette to cut the pattern out.  It worked!  Though not without a little trial and error.  First I had to create my silhouette cut file.  I tried tracing a few patterns but I just got a bunch of bumpy lines.  Finally, I found a bear silhouette instead of a pattern that gave me a clean trace.  I let my son pick out the color flannel that he wanted me to use.  I ironed freezer paper(used as a removable stabilizer for the fabric) to the back of the red flannel he chose, stuck it to my mat, and set it to cut my design on the low thin cotton fabric setting.  And it didn’t cut the fabric at all.  I tried to run it through for a second cut but my mat slipped and went all crazy and still didn’t cut the fabric.  It just scratched it up and weakened it so I decided to start over with a new piece of fabric and the thicker fabric cut setting.  teddybearfreezerpaperThis time it worked like a charm.  So remember- a lightweight flannel is not a light cotton fabric and use the higher setting.

teddybearcut

It cut cleanly for the most part.  I just had to clip one small area with scissors.

teddybearpinned

I continued to make mistakes of the silly variety.  IE I should have embroidered the face at this point before sewing it up.  And my sewing isn’t spectacular.  But my 3 year old doesn’t care.

teddybearunstuffedteddybearstuffed

I had him help me stuff the bear and pick the colors for his eyes, nose, and mouth.  Then I sewed him up and gave him his new bear.  He loves him and we are both happy that he no longer wants an ER visit.

Teddybearwithsi

So that’s it.  That’s how easy it is to cut fabric with your silhouette!  The freezer paper worked as an excellent stabilizer that left no residue.  Just make sure you get freezer paper and not wax or parchment paper.  I love it for stencils too.  Now go check out some other awesome projects!  I know I will.

  1. No-Sew Valentine’s Day Pillows by A Tossed Salad Life
  2. No-Sew Interchangeable Fabric Bunting by unOriginal Mom
  3. Monogrammed Burlap Garden Flag by The Turquoise Home
  4. Crawl, Walk, Bike by It’s Always Craft Time
  5. Freezer Paper Stenciled Tote Bags by Weekend Craft
  6. DIY Bleach Spray Shirt by Practically Functional
  7. Stenciling Sherlock by Please Excuse My Craftermath…
  8. Felt Star Wands by Cutesy Crafts
  9. Yoda Kid’s T-Shirt by Architecture of a Mom
  10. Mark Your Territory- Dog Flags by Black and White Obsession
  11. Nautical Pillows by Lil’ Mrs. Tori
  12. Big Sister Gift & Silhouette Cut File by Creative Ramblings
  13. Nerdy Baby Onesies + Free Cut File by Essentially Eclectic
  14. Easy Easter Bunny Onesie – Silhouette Cameo Craft by Adventures in All Things Food & Family
  15. Fabric Envelopes for LEARNING LETTERS! (& cut file) by From Wine to Whine
  16. “Good Morning, Sunshine!” Memo Board by Tried & True
  17. Hearts-A-Lot Burlap Pillow Cover by My Paper Craze
  18. Baby Quilt by Dragonfly & Lily Pads
  19. Surprise Holiday Banner by Whats Next Ma
  20. “Team Betty” Tote Bag by The Thinking Closet
  21. DIY Sock Minion by Create it. Go!
  22. Pretty Up Some Organza Bags by Getsilvered
  23. Easy Heart Appliqued Onsies by Create & Babble
  24. Bleach Pen Gel & Freezer Paper Stencils Made with the Silhouette Machine by Bringing Creativity 2 Life
  25. Valentines Baby Onesie & Boy’s Shirt + Free Cut Files by The Frill of Life
  26. Valentine’s OWL Always Love You T-shirt by My Favorite Finds
  27. DIY Screen Printed Curtains by Chicken Scratch NY
  28. Fabric Painted Quilted Wall Hanging by Terri Johnson Creates
  29. Glitter Iron-On Top by Simply Kelly Designs
  30. DIY Monogrammed T-shirts with Silhouette Heat Transfer Material by Pitter and Glink
  31. Birthday Challenge by Fadville
  32. Machine Applique with SIlhouette Cameo by The Sensory Emporium
  33. Fabric Applique Valentine’s Day T-Shirt by DailyDwelling
  34. “Cute as Cupid” shirt by crafts, cakes, and cats
  35. Sew Cute Applique by Life After Laundry
  36. Rhino Onesie by It Happens in a Blink
  37. Upcycled Birchbox Cameo Accesory Organizer by Cupcakes&Crowbars
  38. Customizing textiles with Heat Transfer Vinyl (working title) by feto soap
  39. Easy Fabric Art by McCall Manor
  40. Lady Bug Tote Bag with Silhouette Rhinestones by Ginger Snap Crafts
  41. Mommy and Em’s Coordinated Aprons by TitiCrafty
  42. Canvas sketch project and a share by Clever Someday
  43. Foxy Lady Pajamas by Mabey She Made It
  44. Teddy Bear by Work in Progress

 

Piggy Banks

We have debated for a long time if we should give money for routine family chores or not.  It finally came down to 1. we want to teach them about money and they need money to do that and 2. they need an incentive to complete their jobs.  We are not paying them a lot of money to do their routines and as they get older we will change how they can earn money at home.  Realistically I think we are saving money by doing it this way(stickers or candy cost more than a penny each usually) and hopefully it will be a good start to them managing their money well.

They get one penny for completing each job on their routine chart.  This means they can earn up to 18 cents a day, five days a week.  On Saturday they can earn 10 cents for doing their clean up within the time frame given.  This means they can each earn up to a dollar a week. To help with teaching money management I made piggy banks for each of them using acrylic baseball card holders that I found at Michael’s on clearance.  I’ve had the banks for awhile but I just finished personalizing them for my younger sons.

piggybank1

Each bank has three sections, spending, tithing, and savings.  They put 80% into spending, 10% into savings, and 10% into tithing anytime they are given money.  They cannot use their savings or tithing money but their spending money is theirs.  They may choose to spend it immediately or to save it for bigger toys/events.  The next step to making this even more effective is to not buy them any random toy without taking the money out of their account.  I tend to bribe them to be good at the store with dollar toys or candy.  It doesn’t happen every trip but I think I will stop it entirely except in extreme emergencies.

piggybanktopweb piggy-bank-open

On Sunday we will go through and exchange change for bigger denominations of money so that I can keep a steady flow of change.  I have them count and help me to exchange the money so that hopefully they will also begin to understand how much each coin and paper is worth.  We will also give them regular opportunities to choose whether to buy things or not.  Today we are going to the grand reopening of our favorite local bookstore.  Maybe they will buy something or maybe they will wait until later.  I’m excited to see what they choose.

Routine Charts

Today I am participating in the Silhouette Challenge Blog hop.  The theme this month is organization.  At the bottom of my post will be links to everyone else’s awesome organization projects.  I’m so excited to be a part of this awesome group and the challenges!  I’ve had this project in my head for a little while and had even bought the supplies but I needed the challenge to give me a deadline to do it.  Goals and accountability are miracle workers!

newchoreforweb

My son’s new routine chart

I love how Nony on A Slob Comes Clean is battling her “slobvision” by making some tasks mandatory.  She is establishing habits that will keep her house cleaner on a daily basis.  I want to teach the same thing to my kids and so I am trying to establish routines with them.  For example, whenever they take off their clothes, shoes, backpack, or whatever, those things need to go to their designated spots whether that is a hamper, a drawer, a bin or a closet. If they have the routine of putting things away immediately then we won’t have the clutter and we can have time for the deeper cleaning that needs to be done too.  I’ve heard all of my life that the easiest clean up is just to put it away when you are done with it.  It’s a lesson I am still trying to learn today. Hopefully my 7, 5, and 3 year old can get it a lot sooner than me.  To help them to know what needs to be accomplished each day I am making them routine charts for the morning and afternoon/evening.  They are pretty simple at this point but can be expanded easily.  And they can be easily adjusted to encourage other habits once these basic habits are created.

Morning routine

get dressed

clothes in hamper or drawer

eat breakfast

dishes in sink

brush teeth

backpack packed

shoes and coat on

read scriptures

say prayer

Afternoon/evening routine

shoes, coat, and backpack put away

do homework

pick up toys

dinner chore( either empty dishwasher, set table, or clear table)

put dinner dishes in sink

clothes in hamper or drawer

brush teeth

stay in your own bed all night

say prayer

These are the habits I currently want them to gain so that we can all be a little more sane and happy.  A long time ago I saw this on pinterest and thought it would be a great way to make chore charts.  I made these and hung them on the wall with the intention of using them each day.

choreforweb

The old version

I liked the idea of it but it didn’t work as well as I had hoped.  Pulling each one out of the envelope when they were done doing it just didn’t work very well.  They didn’t have the visual reminder of what they were to do until after it was done. So I decided to make a similar chart but with a to do and a done section.

routinechart

The New Version

 I found 2inx24 inch sticks at Lowes to give me the length for the two sections.   This time I found clear velcro to secure the job pictures.  It was at Michaels by the sewing items that they have there. I also drew my own pictures this time.  Then I laminated them and cut them out.

closeroutine

I used my silhouette to cut outdoor vinyl (scotch 3m brand that my friend picked up as a scrap for free at a local sign shop) to make titles for routine charts for my three boys.  It was my first time cutting and applying outdoor vinyl and it went smoothly.  I used the automatic vinyl settings in my silhouette software and clear contact paper as transfer paper.  I put the contact paper on my clothes a few time to make it less sticky.  I am very happy with the way it turned out and how easy it was to cut and apply the vinyl.  The hardest part was getting it placed straight and even on the chart. 🙂  Hopefully this will help us to organize our lives and create good habits in my boys.  I’m sick of telling them to get their shoes and socks out of the kitchen!!   There is room for 9 jobs/activities. I will put this next to my metal bin just like the others and they will have different envelopes for different routines throughout the day. This makes it easy to add/change the jobs too.  I could make one envelope for Saturday that is just the chores that need to get done that day or one for assigning them toys to clean up in the playroom.  I can change the routines as they become habits or as they grow older and have different responsibilities.  I love the flexibility of it and hopefully having the visual checklist will help our mornings and evenings go smoother.

 

routinechartwebclosedone

You can see the clear velcro in this picture. It’s awesome!

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check out the rest of the participants in the Silhouette Challenge for more great ideas on organization!

36 ways to get organized with your Silhouette machine!

  1. DIY Window Shutter Mail Organizer by Weekend Craft
  2. Kids’ Art Wall by Tried & True
  3. Organizing Silhouette and Craft Supplies by The Happier Homemaker
  4. Simple Recipe Organization by It’s Always Craft Time
  5. Put a Label on it! Herb Names for Plant Stakes by Get Silvered
  6. Super Simple Linen Closet Labels by Two Purple Couches
  7. Beware of the Animals Vinyl Toy Box by A Tossed Salad Life
  8. Child desk accessories by Architecture of a Mom
  9. Organizing & the Important of Labels by The Turquoise Home
  10. Index Card Organizer for Easier Meal Planning by Chicken Scratch NY
  11. Create Craft Room Labels by Dragonfly & Lilypads
  12. Simple Storage Solution for your Christmas Ornaments by Vintage News Junkie
  13. Organize this: DIY Planner Covers, Tags & Dividers (made with Cereal Boxes) by Black and White Obsession
  14. How to Make a Cut File into a Print & Cut by Create & Babble
  15. Simple Chest Freezer Organizational Board by Nearly Handmade
  16. Vinyl Your Kitchen Canisters! by From Wine to Whine
  17. Nursery Closet Dividers & Silhouette Cut File by Creative Ramblings
  18. Make Custom Box Templates with a Silhouette for Drawer Organization by One Dog Woof
  19. Organizing the Craft Room by What’s Next Ma
  20. Vinyl Wall Calendar by Crafts Cakes and Cats
  21. Personalized Toy Storage Bins by Lil’ Mrs. Tori
  22. Personalized Routine Chart by Work in Progress
  23. Blog Planner Sheet Dividers + Free Cut Files by TitiCrafty by Camila
  24. Simple Project Calendar by Little Blue’s Room
  25. Dry Erase Photo Frame Menu Board + Free Cut File by Essentially Eclectic
  26. Receipt Organization with Free Cut File by The Thinking Closet
  27. Cute and Easy Labels by Life After Laundry
  28. “What’s For Dinner?” Menu Planning Board by unOriginal Mom
  29. Mixing Organization and Function: An Easy Conversion Chart by My Paper Craze
  30. Why do my cookies taste so bad? A lesson in baking. by The Life and Times of a TAP
  31. Custom Drawer Dividers by Please Excuse My Craftermath…
  32. The evolution of my labeling system by feto soap
  33. Ikea Drawer labels by McCall Manor
  34. Glass Etched Vinegar  & Oil bottles by Terri Johnson Creates
  35. Organize It: Bathroom Closet by The House on Hillbrook
  36. Ombre Butterfly Magnet Board by Sowdering About

 

Progress and Nonprogress

My current daily goals are:

Walk a mile a day- this week I walked 2.5 miles

Read my scriptures- I did this everyday 🙂

Write on this blog- Obviously not every day yet…

Maintain the cleanliness of my house(dishes and laundry mainly)-

I did it! I even got a deeper clean in on Friday.

My bigger/longer term goals are:

Get my crafty business going- I need to blog more and facebook more and post more items for sale.  I am participating in a bloghop with Silhouette Challenge tomorrow so that might get some traffic here.  🙂 HI!

Get my teaching license- I took two of the three tests that I need to take!  yay! Hopefully, I passed them both.  My brain wasn’t working so well by the end of the second test.

Declutter and organize my house/do the finishing detail projects- I kept it maintained and did a deeper clean on Friday(kitchen counter finally cleared!).  If I can keep it to the Friday level of cleanliness  and declutter from there I will be on my way.  I made a list of jobs that need to be done if we want to show the house.  We didn’t have time to do one this week because of the 8 hours of teaching tests that I took yesterday.

Learn to draw- I have the books from the library I just need to take the time to be inspired by them.  I should make this a daily goal. It is something I can do with my boys because they love to color.  Let’s move it to that list for next week.

Overall I am proud of my progress.  I need to recommit myself to some of my goals(walking and blogging) but you know what I did everything more than once this week and that’s twice more than I used to do it.  So it’s progress and I’m sticking to it. 🙂

 

 

 

One organizing tool

A year ago or so, I found this tutorial from A Girl Loves Glam for an organization board.  I found a corkboard at the thrift store for three bucks and decided to make an organization board out of it.  The corkboard side ended up being too damaged to use so I turned it around and used the other side of it instead.  I took apart the frame and turned the backside to the front.  Then I added frames and ribbon and velcro command strips to hold up frames, a grocery list, and a cup full of pens.  I put the pens at the top so that my kids would not get into the permanent dry erase pens.

orgboardandchorechart

I made routine charts underneath to get my kids to be ready in time for school in the morning.  I am working on new ones right now that I will post next Monday.

I mostly love this organization board.  It has a checklist for cleaning, a removable grocery list, a menu planning frame, a to do list, and a calendar, as well as a place for quick action papers.  I place things there like field trip permission slips and such.  This is a great example of my slobvision though.  Seeing a picture of this I realize how cluttered it looks with that huge stack of papers on the front.  I need to slim those down to just the essentials.  See people, even my organization is cluttered!  It’s just who I am! I’m working on it! 🙂

orgboard

I’ve decided that the cleaning checklist does not work for me.  I am so resistant to structure!  I love to make lists and then ignore them.  I never use the cleaning check list. I will be exchanging the cleaning schedule for a second month calendar.  It drives me crazy when I start getting to the end of a month and things need to be scheduled for the next month and I have nowhere to write them.  I love love love having a calendar here.  And I love that I can add to it with the dry erase pens whenever needed.  Instead of the check off chore chart for myself I will just use the customizable to do list frame.  I can make my cleaning goals on a daily basis that way and I won’t feel the pressure of the chore chart.  It is so silly that I can’t work with the check list. I’m not even sure how the to do list is different but it seems to work better for me and my crazy brain.  Maybe I like it better because I can just erase any chore I want to avoid really easily.  Then it’s like it was never even there! Insert evil laugh here.  OK back to work.  I’ll go through that pile of papers now and post a new photo after! 🙂

 

Overcoming Laziness

Yesterday was hard for me. I didn’t want to start the day. My list of things to do just kept growing in my head and I let it paralyze me. I have what has been dubbed ” slobvision” by A Slob Comes Clean . I’m too comfortable living in a constant state of clutter. I think part of it is that I feel I won’t use things if I can’t see them. You know, out of sight, out of mind. So, much of the chaos could be solved by finding places for things in well- organized cupboards or drawers instead. I also tend to save too many things for potential use later without having a specific project in mind. And I tend to make piles, nice sorted piles, that clutter up my living spaces.
There is one thing that knocks me out of my slobvision, other people coming over to my house. My poor family is not enough (in my defense, at least half the messes I’m ignoring are caused by them while I’m cleaning up a different room) to make me clean up. Friends or strangers must be coming over for me to get motivated enough to see the clutter that we live in regularly.
Recently my husband applied for an out of state job. While he is still at the beginning of the application process, my brain is calculating all of the what ifs of the future if he gets that job. I’m several steps ahead in my mind and all of a sudden I can see all of the places my kids have written on or dirtied the walls, all of the dust in the crannies of the doors of my cabinets, and all of the piles and boxes yet to be unpacked after two years of living here. I can see all of this now because in my head I’ve jumped ahead to him getting the job and us having to move and sell/show our house. And so yesterday I was overwhelmed by my to do list.

I took it easy yesterday. I still did dishes and I packed away most of the Christmas decorations but I also let myself take a lot of breaks. I let myself ease into this task before me. We may not need to sell our house in the near future but I would like it to be a little more show worthy. Tonight my husband and I will be making a list of all the little details that I can now see that need to be addressed. Some are home improvement details that we just didn’t quite finish and some will require creating different organizational spaces for things or just getting rid of stuff. We will prioritize our house to do list by doing first those simple, small, detail things that would make our house show worthy. We will start small by starting with the main bathroom and working our way out from there. We’ll make the list tonight and pick a project to work on together each Saturday. I am determined to take advantage of this brief clear vision of the reality of my house. I will continue to tell myself that we need to be prepared for the possibility of moving at anytime. I think that changing our house in these small ways will make our time in this house more enjoyable too. Really, it’s a win-win situation.

Progress

We are still on vacation but I have started my goals.

I have walked a mile on our treadmill each day of the new year.

I have done dishes and laundry.

I have had fun with my family! Snack and a movie at home is our New Year’s day tradition.  Yesterday, I go to go on a date with my hubby!

I have read my scriptures each day.

I wrote on my blog 2 out of three days.

I got books from the library to help me study for my teaching tests.

I am being accountable for my goals.

Today we have some sickness in the house so our original plans have changed.  Matt and I will take down Christmas decorations and focus on deep cleaning the house.  Then I will have room to create again!  Yay!

New Year… New beginning…I hope

It’s time for the New Year and the New Goals.  I realize that it is an arbitrary line.  Any good goal has a start date and an end date though and this is a convenient time for me to reevaluate.  When I have start and end dates I can continue to reevaluate and adjust my goals throughout the year.  While I have not been good at documenting my progress, I am slowly, oh so slowly, becoming better at my follow-through in real life.
My house is consistently cleaner than when I was younger, even though there are more people in the house to mess it up now.
Most days I do a load of dishes.
Most days I do a load of laundry.
Most days the kids papers and the mail are sorted immediately.
Most days lunches are packed and dinners are made.
The TV is on less.
My kids are great at entertaining themselves at home.
I have set up most of the rooms in my house the way that I want them.  My house is set up for my kids to easily access books, crafts, and toys.
Electronics are used by permission as rewards for limited amounts of time.

I continue to make goals throughout the year and some I complete and some lose their importance. This year I want to do a lot of things.  We are in an odd stage where a lot of changes may occur.  To make the things happen that I want to happen, my word for the year is “Structure.” While my personality is structure opposed I realize that this is the only way that I will accomplish the goals that I want to accomplish. I have always been a messy organized person, meaning that it looks like a mess to everyone else but I know where everything is.  I’m also naturally lazy.  These are two aspects of my personality that fight against structure and organization. They are two aspects of my personality that aren’t working so well for me anymore.  A lot of structure is being imposed on us with school schedules and activities so I need to learn to work with it better.  As I searched websites for tips I came across this quote from Habit Hacker, ” help us master the art of habit….so we have more time for the habit of art.” I recognize that with more structure or more good habits, I will have more time and energy for what I truly want to do- enjoy my kids and create!

To make my goals I started by using this lovely printable from 30 handmade days.  I like that it made me think abstractedly about my goals before I then narrowed them to more focused goals.  She breaks it down into an overall theme word (which I have described above) and then into these four sections- I want, I need, I will share, I will succeed.

I want
to make money for our family- specifically by substitute teaching or by selling things I make
to be creative- specifically write a children’s book, write a blog, learn to draw
to be with my boys- quality time
I need 
to read my scriptures daily
to get my teaching license
to find my crafty business niche
to blog, network, and sell
to excercise
I will share
My process- learning to create, learning to market and sell, learning to write, learning to structure my structure resistant personality
My projects
My art
I will succeed at
building my craft business
structure/organization
being with my family

I have made quarterly goals in order to achieve my overall yearly goals.  First on the list are these six habits.
Blog everyday
Craft/write everyday
Read scriptures daily
Run/walk a mile everyday (yearly goal of walking/running 300 miles this year)
Maintain a cleaning schedule
Pass the NMTA (scheduled on Jan 11th for the first two parts in order to get my teaching license)

I think one of my first crafts will be new chore charts for my kids. 🙂  Actually. it will be thank you cards for the neighbors.  We have been truly spoiled by neighbor gifts this year!  There is no better way to start the New Year than giving thanks!

I give myself permission to change my goals as needed.
I give myself permission to fail some days and not feel guilty about it.
I give myself permission to start over as needed.
I give myself permission to succeed in learning from the journey and not just the end goal.
It is o.k. to change my focus i.e.  I may need to worry more about substitute teaching than crafting as a way to help bring in money for our family.  Or I may need to focus more on the needs of my family.  My journey may give me new perspective on the direction my goals need to take as the year goes on.  That’s allowed and encouraged!  Wish me luck on this New Year and please follow along!