Friday, October 30, 2015

How to mail HTV fabric decals

So, I feel a need to make this post because I could not find anything out in the vast sea of Internet on how people might package or ship their HTV vinyl decals. So I'm making one for you!

The minute you start making neat stuff with your silhouette is the minute everyone wants something. There is nothing wrong with that, and in fact, it's a lot of fun and good practice on how to use the software. 

I have run into the perfect storm of "I could use the money" and "I'm not going to have any time" due to the soon to be arrival of Little Miss. So, I decided to sell just the decals (I'm not the only one) to make it easier for me to ship them! I can design, cut and weed and slip it in the mail if it's small enough without leaving the house. I'm also selling tumblers and glass cutting boards locally but have had to limit those because of time!

Anyway the whole purpose of my post is how to ship the HTV fabric decals? I can assemble the oracal decals ahead of time, put on the contact paper and mail it off knowing the recipient will should have minimal to do.. But HTV is a whole other animal. You can't layer it ahead of time and it's must be done just right for a good outcome. I'm testing out the waters with some early orders, but I think I've found a good solution.

The first issue was how to prevent the backing from sticking to everything! Wax paper (not parchment) seemed to be the best answer. I can cut and weed pieces, layer and number them accordingly and place them on a piece of wax paper assembled. This made for good presentation as well as good organization. Then I folded a piece of card stock in half, placed the wax paper and instructions inside and put it in a mailing envelope. I also added "practice" vinyl scraps for people to practice before application. If I have small elements such as eyes, I'll send those too marked as extra.

The last thing I add is a print out of their image for reference. I try to get it close to the actual size of their decal to help with alignment.

Then I'm hoping to get it mailed without issue. All the elements make for a sturdy envelope thankfully. I'll keep you posted on how that turns out.

This only applies to small decals- we will see what happens with the larger sizes!

Happy Crafting!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Vinyl Vinyl Everywhere! And some paper too!

Oh I think I'm in love with my Silhouette! How did I wait so long to use it? The possibilities are endless! My first project was to work on a tumbler. I used a trace and cut for a heart stethoscope image I found online, then put my own font choice inside it (this is DPG Coffee Shoppe). I'm pleased with the outcome! I ordered the tumblers from amazon prime for about $3 a cup. I believe they are Marrs brand. They are double insulated and good quality, I have seen those at the dollar tree and glad I spent a little extra. 

The second project I wanted to work on was to use heat transfer vinyl. I ordered some with this particular project in mind... and love the outcome! I will say there is some trick to vinyl layering but it's still so gratifying to have made this cute shirt, especially since I don't embroider. I just traced and altered a coloring book image I found online. These are gifts so I don't worry about copyright at this point though always something to think about.. I actually took some photos so I'll post a mini tutorial of what I did and the mistakes I made :)

1. Cut and weed the vinyl. I used thermoflex, not siser easyweed and loved it. It was super simple to cut and weed. Don't forget to MIRROR your image BEFORE cutting!

2. Get your prep station ready. Towel under the shirt, iron on- hot and dry. ALL images cut and ready.

3. Iron the shirt. This is important as wrinkles will not look good with vinyl overlapping them!

4. Figure out placement first! I actually placed the vinyl on, then held it up in the air to make sure I liked it!

5. Apply your heated iron! So, here's one thing I learned.. Use Parchment paper to prevent the iron sticking to other finished vinyl while pressing. Thank goodness he'll only wear this a few times because that notch is driving me crazy!

And that's it! This pic is to get an idea of the texture of the vinyl. I'm pleased with the outcome so far, though I haven't washed it yet :)

 As if I hadn't vinyled enough!

I HAD to play with the glitter HTV. Though note to self.. it is a pain in the behind to weed. AND it does not have any stretch to it.. so placing it on a maternity shirt was not smart... but still cute! And washed just fine.

I needed some party decor for the shower, so I used dollar tree paper doilies and leftover scrapbook paper to make a banner and a few other items! I immediately realized why I don't like cutting cardstock! So fickle!

I was pleased with the outcome though! And dollar tree tablecloth too! I think I was out about 5 or 10 bucks total :)

That's all for now!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Freezer Meals: Spinach Feta Wrap (similar to the Starbucks version)

Oh, how I love the starbucks spinach feta wraps. I usually can't resist them if I haven't had breakfast and am in line for coffee! Plus they are *sort of* healthy, right?

Anyway, I've been prepping for the arrival of our Little Lady and making freezer meals, including breakfast. I find I function much better with a hot breakfast that is higher in protein and have had a hankering to try and replicate these at home. They are not exact, but close and I like them so I suppose that's what really matters! They can be made lower carb too if you use the right wraps!

Spinach Feta Wraps

makes 8 wraps

8 large tortillas ( I used low carb)
3 cups egg whites, salted to taste
2 jars tomato pesto
4oz feta cheese
2 cups fresh spinach (more if you like spinach!)

*also aluminum foil

1. Gather ingredients. Pull off 8 pieces of aluminum foil, larger than your tortillas and stack them. Place your first tortilla on top. 

2. Heat a small frying pan on low. Chop the spinach into strips (I did not do this in the photos, and should have, easier to eat!). Add the fresh spinach and 2 tablespoons of the tomato pesto. Heat until SLIGHTLY WILTED-- it should not be dark green in color, only wilted.

3. Find a microwave save bowl and add about 1/3 cup of the egg whites, microwave until cooked. You can fry them instead but I think the texture is better from the microwave believe it or not, similar to poached eggs.

 4. Layer from the bottom to top: 1-2 tablespoons tomato pesto, 1/2 oz feta cheese, wilted spinach, egg.  Roll the wrap, bottom side down, then roll up in the foil. Don't forget to label them with dates too!

5. Repeat 7 more times! It helps to set up a "workstation" since you have to make these individually. I don't have a lot of counter space but if you do, spread it all out to make it go faster!

The bowl of cheerios on the right is optional for parents of toddlers!

 When you are ready to eat them, remove the foil, wrap in a paper towel and heat in the microwave for 1.5-2 minutes.


Friday, September 25, 2015

Adventures with my Silhouette Portrait

I'm not sure if they've ever studied this, but I swear pregnancy brings out the crafty side of me. It must have to do with the "nesting" effect but suddenly I want to work on projects that have been sitting around for.. lets just say "a while".

So I must confess.. I was one of the lucky winners of a silhouette portrait from the fabulous blog: Thrifty and Thriving TWO years ago. Literally 4 days before my son was born. So, as you can imagine, in the midst of learning how to be a parent, I just didn't have time to do anything with it aside from small simple cutting. I did manage to make some cute things for his first birthday last year.

It was pretty simple, but I was glad to learn how to use the machine. The first thing I learned was how sticky a new mat is! I still have that candle burnished into my mat.

Fast forward to his second birthday. Momma went a little crazy with the Elmo stuff, but it was a lot of fun! I used this link for the files: Scrappin by Kris. Then I used this link: Silhouette School Blog to figure out how to convert an SVG file to something I could use in the free software with Silhouette. It didn't take long to figure out and once I did, I was an Elmo making fool!

So after that I decided I wanted to try my hand at vinyl. A friend recommended API Crafters Supply because their prices are good and they ship quickly. I ordered a roll of white, a roll of black and a few colors by the foot, just to play around with. To my surprise, when I opened the boxes I had an extra sample roll of the Heat Transfer Vinyl (I believe in holographic blue) and a pink ribbon decal for breast cancer awareness in October. I had considered getting the HTV but thought I'd wait to see how I like using regular vinyl. Sure enough, I used it the first time last night and I'm hooked!

I made the necklace image based on another I saw online, if I can figure out how to add it to this blog, I will! I also made a little sister onsie. They were super easy and look even better than the photos due to the type of glitter HTV.

I also made a few decals to "test" out around the house. I used a phone charger template from silhouette school and made a heart stethoscope car decal.

I'm officially hooked!

Happy Crafting :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Cheap and Easy Make Ahead Breakfast Burritos

Since being pregnant, I feel like I'm hungry... ALL.THE.TIME. Even when I eat a meal, I'm hungry after. It's kind of awful, and expensive, and adding to my expanding waistline.

I'm also getting seriously hangry- especially if I miss breakfast at work or just make cereal at home. I love eggs for breakfast, but ain't nobody got time for that!

So using the fantastic pinterest machine, I found this recipe for breakfast burritos by Run to Radiance. I liked the idea of low carb, and tweaked the recipe just a bit, so I thought I'd share my version of it! She even made lunch burritos, but after the third time getting interrupted, I thought I might just stick with breakfast for now. 

And- it's cheap! She calculated 1.25 each, I don't have all the exact numbers I spent, so I went online to price things. Another awesome bonus is that it can easily be made lower carb with the low carb tortillas (see my note below on that little surprise!).

I should note that her recipe is also great- I just always use heavy whipping cream and season my eggs when cooking them. I also didn't have salsa and ended up preferring the Rotel because I could drain it really well.

I'll break down the costs and nutrition at the end of the post.

Make Ahead Breakfast Burritos
Makes 8


10-12 large eggs (fewer if using xtra large)
2 tbsp heavy whipping cream
2 tsp salt and pepper (or the red cap adobo seasoning) 
1 tablespoons butter (or butter spray)
8 large tortillas (I used the low carb version)
1 28oz can of Rotel or large jar Salsa, drained thoroughly
3 tbsps taco seasoning
1-2 cups of mexican or fiesta blend shredded cheese (don't use low fat- that stuff tastes awful!)

aluminum foil

1. Preheat large frying pan, add butter or spray to coat pan

2. In a large glass bowl, whisk eggs, heavy whipping cream and salt/pepper or Adobo to taste.

3. Pour egg mixture in frying pan, stirring occasionally until eggs are fried very dry. ***Note: I had to make these in 2 batches

4. Make sure the salsa or Rotel are very drained as well, place in a bowl and add taco seasoning.

5. Mix the eggs with the rotel/salsa mixture. Note how dry everything is! Seems bad but when you reheat it you will be thankful!

6. Precut 8 pieces of aluminum foil

7. For each burrito: Layer one tortilla, egg/salsa mixture, and top with cheese to taste. I set up a little workstation to speed up the process.

8. Roll the burrito- this is a little harder than it looks, make sure it is tight on one side, then tuck the sides in and finish, laying the seam facing down.

9. Roll the aluminum foil- I call this "subway style"... you know, like the sandwich shop- start at the corner, roll the foil around the burrito, then halfway tuck the sides in and continue. You should have a tightly rolled burrito. Mark the date, and type of burrito with a sharpie.

10. Freeze. 

When ready to eat, remove from freezer, wrap in a paper towel and microwave 1.5-2 minutes.

I should warn you, I don't consider pantry staples like butter and salt and foil into the costs because I always have them on hand. I also always have taco seasoning in bulk and heavy whipping cream (soooo many uses!) but I'll still figure them in. I'm using walmart prices since that's what seems to be the cheapest and most widely available.

4.10 1 dozen eggs (6.16 for 18 eggs at walmart- you can probably find them cheaper)
0.20 Heavy whipping cream (3.18 for 16 oz)
2.98 8 count large tortillas
2.00 28 oz can rotel
2.48 fiesta shredded cheese (online I only saw the price for 1 3/4 cups- and I had a lot left over honestly)
0.53 taco seasoning (1 packet)
12.29/8 = 

1.53 each burrito
Not too bad :)

Now lets look at the carbs..

HOLY COW 32 carbs per tortilla? Well, won't be purchasing those again- geesh. I'm sure you can find them with a better carb count. The eggs come to .9 carbs and the cheese, cream, salsa are pretty much nothing so it's all just the tortilla.

So, that was my morning. It took less than an hour and now we have breakfast nearly ready to go! Hope this finds you well, again I need to thank Run to Radiance for her great inspiring recipe. Of course, you could totally change this recipe by using mozzarella or swiss, asparagus and ham, or sausage and bacon. So many options :)

Happy cooking!