Westie Face Paper Cutout Box

A little box based on a breed that thinks it is big

For Easter, I keep seeing these items that use a minimal bit of artwork to give the impression of a rabbit, chick or other small animal. This (not an affiliate link) is a good example.

I kept rolling the idea around in my mind, wondering how to do it in paper, SuzerStyle.

It was Mr. SuzerSpace who provided the obvious answer – a Westie face. Up until a few years ago, we’ve had a Westie as a housemate. If you aren’t familiar with the breed, they are a small white terrier, bred originally for ratting on the coasts of Scotland. They do not know they are small. In fact, I’m not sure they know they are dogs.

Here’s the AKC description:

Possessed with no small amount of self-esteem, the West Highland White Terrier is an all-white, compact, sturdy package of frolicsome energy. His ears stand up naturally and his tail is short by nature’s design. The breed was developed in the Highlands of Scotland for the hard and dangerous work of destroying vermin. Though independent in nature, they enjoy participating in Conformation, Agility, Obedience and Tracking, but their favorite activity is Earthdog Tests — designed to test his natural instincts. Life with one of the ‘little white dogs’ is never dull and can be a challenge to the unsuspecting first-time owner.

The only part I’d disagree with is the “enjoy participating in Conformation, Agility, Obedience …” part. They don’t enjoy being obedient. They only enjoy being in charge 🙂 .

They have a distinctive shape, and their big heads are big part of their cuteness. And a big head is what you need for this craft to succeed.

And it turns out, a new skill with the Silhouette.

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Salsa Soup

Soup and a sandwich is a classic meal.

But who really wants to take all that time to make soup? And soup from a can is always a little iffy – many of them are full of sugar (seriously?) or are weirdly oily when you open them.

Enter the magic of salsa soup.

Yup, that’s pretty much the entire recipe right there. A couple of spoonfuls of good salsa, any leftovers you want, and some water. (Jacques Pepin calls water “Chateau Faucet” in his great French accent which makes it sound so much more upscale!

Salsa, water and leftovers combine to make a quick, super tasty soup

Microwave until really hot, top with crushed tortilla chips and cheese if you like, and serve with a half sandwich of your choosing.  It might not be pretty, but it is super (soup-er?) tasty.

This also travels really well for lunch. Put all the ingredients except the water into a microwave safe bowl that has a tight fitting cover. Refrigerate until lunch time, and then add water and stir just before microwaving. Every time I make this at work at least one person comments on how good it smells.

 

Salsa Soup

  • Servings: 1
  • Time: 3 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 3 Tablespoons Chunky Salsa
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup leftover veggies of your choice.
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • Dash of Trader Joe’s 21 Salute (or seasoning blend of your choice)
  • Dash of Red Chili Flake (optional
  • Crushed Tortilla chips and shredded cheese for topping if desired

Directions

  1. In a medium microwave safe bowl bowl combine salsa, veggies and spices
  2. Add water. More water makes a thinner soup. Less makes it thicker
  3. Stir together.
  4. Microwave until nearly boiling. Adjust microwave cooking time if using frozen vegetables
  5. Top with shredded cheese and crushed tortilla chips if desired.

Show and Tell: Tissue Paper Flowers

A project I tried from another blogger

Tissue Paper Flowers from Hey Let's Make Stuff

One glance at Pinterest or Instagram will tell you that paper flowers are in right now.

Rolled paper flowers are the most popular, and everyone is offering their tutorials on them. I’ve referenced one version before, which I liked, but wasn’t sure I could commit to the entire project.

Another blogger (Jennifer Maker) has offered up a whole series of these, and with her encouragement (and her videos) I’ve been pretty successful in making some pretty flowers. I have a few project ideas in mind for spring decorating that will use those.

You know when you start looking at one thing on Pinterest it keeps on serving up more pins in that genre, so it wasn’t long before I saw a pin that landed me at Hey Let’s Make Stuff, on a post where she makes Tissue Paper Flowers four different ways. In it, she describes how she turned to paper crafting for decorations for her wedding. And she made 500 flowers for table pieces.

Yup. 500.

I have a vague memory of making these before. Maybe with a babysitter? Anyway – I searched the craft bags (I store my craft supplies under my desk in Chipotle paper bags), and turns out I do not have any tissue paper.

Bummer. But I do have a bunch of shoeboxes that I was getting ready to cut down into good cardboard squares. And inside? Tissue paper!

Cori’s post about making Tissue Paper flowers is easy to follow. The photos step you through the folding, and while it isn’t rocket science, it is a little tricky to get started. I really liked how she showed how changing the cutting on the edges totally changes the flowers. And I love a forgiving craft – if you pulled too hard and tore the sheets a little, the flowers just ended up a little more rustic.

I made three in about three minutes. And then made myself stop.

Because suddenly 500 didn’t seem that weird after all.

 

Sparkly Spring Sign

A door decoration to mark the new season

And we made it!

Seriously, Winter is a long one here in the Midwest.

It starts out as a minor change to the fall, and the beginning of it is caught up in the fun of the holidays. And then it gets colder. And darker.

The weathermen go crazy if it snows. And they go crazy if it doesn’t snow.

Spring-like weather teased us in February. And then Winter came back.

But today, it’s for reals. Even if it snows again (and history says it might), it still is Spring.

Time for a new door decoration!

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Sunday Scrolling: March 19, 2017

Legos, The Oxford Comma, and an outstanding photobomb video

  • My sister and I had a Lego collection that was pretty impressive. I still have a small selection; she has a ton of old and even more new for her kids. While pursuing the weekly list at Shutterbean this weekend, I saw this – might be the first time I actually participate in a startup fund project.
  • My first job out of college was copy editing at a newspaper. Back when newspapers were still thriving. This is the kind of thing copy editors used to debate while they waited for new stories to come in to edit.
  • And this was the funniest thing I’ve seen in a long, long time. The first kid is funny. The second kid is funnier. And the mom? Oh my goodness.

Initial Letter Bookmarks

AKA That time Line Segment Overcut Saved The Day

This set out as an easy, quick craft.

Mr. SuzerSpace and I like to read.

So we need bookmarks! And of course they need to be personalized.

In my favorite font.

And that’s where things got a little complicated. Fortunately, by knowing a few tricks for cutting settings, I was able to get this one back on track pretty quickly.

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Bicycle Pant Leg Keeper

An upcycle craft

Bicycle riding season is getting close, so I’m crafting to get ready.

In the Spring and Fall, I’m still wearing jeans when I ride, and even though my chain has a guard on it, I’m still pretty fearful my pant leg is going to get caught. I tend to have a more pant leg around my ankles than the average person, because I’m short.

I know how to hem jeans. I just don’t 😉 .

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Couch Mix

Our version of the snack mix known as “Chex Mix”

I’ve previously admitted to my weakness for onion chip dip. The quick review – I love that stuff so much I have to put it on lock down and only eat it from Thanksgiving through New Year’s (with two exceptions  – Super Bowl and Daytona 500 weekends).

I have a similar control issue with the snack mix that is universally called Chex Mix, whether or not it actually uses the brand name cereals.

Last year, we took a look at what we were actually eating in that mix, and changed up the recipe. I can’t realistically call it healthier, but I’d be willing to call it “betterfied.” And because it now packs more nutrition and way more fiber than most snacks, I’ve removed it from the quarantine calendar system.

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Teeny Tiny Tip: Saving Vinyl

A Silhouette Cameo Tip

Very often when I craft I just want to use my Silhouette Cameo to cut one or two small things from a sheet of self adhesive vinyl.

I always draw a box around the item to be cut. I weed that first, which gives me a safe area to then weed the actual artwork. No big pieces of vinyl get caught up in my actual work.

If you keep all the artwork on the same sheet you can tell where the free vinyl is located

I then save the file the same name as the color of the sheet of vinyl (so, in this case, I’ve called it “Silver” because that’s the color I was working with).

cut settings window in silhouette studio

I turn the previous artwork’s cut lines to “No Cut” in the cut settings window.

This gives me a guide for a good location of new art on the sheet each time.

This post contains affiliate links.

 

Black Capped Chickadee Garland

A Silhouette Studio Print & Cut Craft

Black Capped Chickadees become a wall hanging when cut using Silhouette Studio's print & cut feature.

For several years, we’ve been walking for exercise, and one of the many benefits is the bird watching.

We’re also lucky to live in an older neighborhood with established trees, which also brings in the birds.

Some time back, we bought a field guide for birds and used the illustrations to figure out what we were looking at. The inside cover has a couple of pages for recording when and where you’ve seen a bird, and we’ve noted quote a few. I’m sure there’s an app for that now, but we like to do this old school.

One bird that we could hear, but never quite see really interested us. We’d hear it in Spring mostly, early in the morning, and to us, it sounded like it was calling “Sue Za Zee” which is pretty close to “Suzy” which is what my family calls me. (Suzer is my work nickname). We’ve heard this bird for several years, while living in several states.

Naturally, we started calling it the Suzy Bird.

Recently, we finally saw the bird that was making that call, and it turns out he’s the Black Capped Chickadee. Oh sure, the bird scientists think he’s calling out “Chicadee”, but what do they know?

Of course, this calls for a craft!

I’ve made a print & cut project to create a garland of Black Capped Chickadees to adorn my wall. To make this one more nature-inspired, I used a dried day-lily stem to hang them from.

Click the arrow below to see how I made this. At the end of the post, I’ve also included the files as a free download if you’d like to make your own.

How SuzerSpace created this

 

Black Capped Chickadee Garland made using Silhouette Studio's print & cut feature