Teeny Tiny Tip: Tool Tray

A Silhouette Cameo Tip

 

A plastic soap dish holds tools for my Silhouette Cameo

When I craft with my Silhouette Cameo, I’m forever chasing my hook and spatula. They are rounded on the handles, and no matter where I place them they roll.

A few weeks ago, while at Ikea, I bought a simple plastic bathroom set that had a soap/lotion dispenser, soap dish, toothbrush holder and water glass. It’s called the Varpan, and I’d link to it, but it doesn’t seem to be on the website. You don’t, of course, need the exact set from Ikea. Any similar soap dish will do. But then you don’t get to wander around Ikea dreaming of a more organized life.

The set was very inexpensive, and I really needed the toothbrush holder and soap dispenser portion. I didn’t have a use for the soap dish, until today.

When I realized it is perfect for holding my tools. It’s shorter than they are, so they stick out for easy grabbing. And they fit at any angle, so I’m actually likely to put them there while working.

Less chasing. Less dropping on the floor. More time for crafting!

 

Bee Happy Banner

A Silhouette Studio Print & Cut craft with a twist to make it double sided

I’ve been making an extra effort this year to be happy.

Not just sitting on the sofa, liking memes on Facebook that implore you to Choose Happy or Make your Own Sunshine.

Actually doing it.

Somewhere, I’m not exactly sure where, I came across the concept (and I’m paraphrasing here) that to be happy, you should spend more time creating, and less time consuming. So I dove in. Deactivated my Facebook account. Stopped following Twitter accounts that were angry or hateful. Added an Instagram that only shows me crafts.

For me, this works well – crafting makes me straight up happy. As a bonus, when I’m crafting, I’m not dwelling on any unhappiness around me. It’s second nature to see the silver lining in a crafting accident. It’s harder to be pleasant about something going wrong in life or at work, or in the world (as in, things I can’t fix anyway).

It’s even more fun to double down on this concept and craft a banner than inspires happiness.

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Sunday Scrolling: March 26, 2017

Chile peppers, Hummingbirds and a Steve Martin Movie

  • If it’s Spring, then at SuzerSpace, we are planning this year’s hot pepper crop. We’ve tried a couple of methods over the years to grow our own with varying results. Last year resulted in tons of leaves, but no peppers – boo. This year, we are going straight to the source.
  • Also Spring related – we are watching the map to figure out when to hang our feeder. Come on hummingbirds!
  • And bird related – I’m a big Steve Martin fan, and somehow missed this one. Hope it’s on Netflix.

None of the links in this post are affiliate – they are all just things that caught my interest this week.

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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