Sunday Scrolling: May 28, 2017

Memorial Day Menus, F1 at Monaco and Smashville

  • To kick off the unofficial start of summer at SuzerSpace, we bought a new grill. So our weekend menu is set. Need a few ideas? These looked good.
  • If you are reading this on Sunday, it’s the biggest race weekend of the year. My favorite is the Formula 1 race at Monte Carlo. Because of the time difference, you can watch it while drinking coffee in bed. And pretend that someday you will have enough money to see it in person.
  • Normal people spend Memorial Day at picnics, parades and baseball games. Us? We will be having a Stanley Cup Final party, cheering on our new favorite team.

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

Big Scheduling News – Starting in June, “Sunday Scrolling” is moving to “Web Wednesday” – look for it starting June 7.

Show and Tell: Daisy Flower Tea Light

A project I tried from another website

When I first thought about purchasing a Silhouette Cameo, I worried about the cumulative cost of the craft. I could see what the machine’s price was, and I had a rough idea what paper would run me, but I wasn’t sure about the actual cutting files.

I was reasonably sure I could create my own, and initially I thought I’d need to upgrade to the Designer Edition of Silhouette Studio. But then I ran across the tip somewhere that the basic, free edition would accept DXF files, and I knew Adobe Illustrator (which I already own) could export those files, so that was good.

So I bought my bundle, which even came with a generous download credit at the Silhouette Design store.

Turns out I never should have worried though, because there is a wealth of free cutting files out there. Some are from generous craft bloggers, but even more are from sites that sell cut files. Obviously, they are hoping you’ll love their files and you’ll come back when you want to purchase something specific.

Case in point – this super cute Gerbera Daisy Tea Light. The 3DSVG site has tons of files for purchase, and a very nice stash of free files to try them out. And what I really liked was the super easy to follow video. (Disclaimer time – I was not compensated for this post. I googled “free cut files” and stumbled upon them. In exchange for my email info when I signed up for an account, they gave me free files. You can do the same!)

I made two of these – one actually following the video directions and using the appropriate color card stock. But as anyone who knows me, I don’t really like to be told what to do, so for the second one I made some changes.

I still used tacky glue to adhere the points from the round top piece to the first row of inner petals, but then I switched to double stick tape to adhere the other colored petals. I found that was easier to get a tight wrap around the tea light, although the trade off was you don’t get a second chance with the tape – when you glue, you can squish something into better alignment if needed.

I also cut the second version out of yellow and brown stock to make a Brown Eyed Susan instead of a Daisy. In case the reason for the flower version switch isn’t obvious to you, why yes, I DO have brown eyes 😉 .

Quick Fix BBQ Turkey Wrap

Low-Carb, tasty and ready in mere minutes

This is a recipe that I can’t personally vouch for the taste, but based on how often he makes it (and the fact that there are zero leftovers), it’s a hit in Mr. SuzerSpace’s book.

There are plenty of recipes for using your slow-cooker to make barbecue meats for sandwiches. Pulled Pork, turkey breast, the list goes on.

But what if it’s 7:30 at night and you suddenly have a hankering for a BBQ-meat sandwich? And you are keeping to a low-carb diet so getting take out isn’t really an option?

Enter the quick fix BBQ Turkey Wrap.

Print

Quick Fix BBQ Turkey Wrap


Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Total Time 6 minutes
Servings 1

Ingredients

  • 1 Low-Carb Flatbread
  • 1 oz Sliced Turkey
  • 2 Tbsp Bottled BBQ sauce
  • 1/4 cup Black Beans Rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 Tsp Olive Oil
  • Shredded Cheese Optional
  • Arugula Optional

Instructions

  1. In a microwave-safe bowl (or Mr. SuzerSpace's favorite - a coffee cup) combine turkey, sauce and olive oil. Stir to combine.

  2. Cover bowl/cup with a spatter shield and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir, and then heat again for 20 seconds more.  The turkey is pre-cooked so you just want to heat it and the sauce to eating temperature.

  3. Sprinkle black beans on flatbread, top with cheese (if desired) and Turkey/sauce mixture. Top with arugula if desired

Teeny Tiny Tip: Better Buns

A quick trick that doesn’t require a 500-word essay

Low-carb life has it’s challenges.

Take hamburger buns. They aren’t very good for you – white flour is pretty much persona non grata in a Type-2 Diabetes household.

The special low-carb versions? Not very much taste, super expensive and when you read the label, not really impressively better for you.

We swapped to Whole Wheat English Muffins. Technically, because we like the Trader Joe’s brand (not a paid endorsement – just our favorite), they are called “British Muffins”.

The nutrition* is better where it counts.

Whole Wheat muffins have better nutrition than standard hamburger buns.
Nutrition info from Myfitnesspal.com

And they are more flexible – if you have a surplus of hamburger buns in the house, your choices are pretty much hamburgers. If you have a surplus of British Muffins, you can always use them for as a base for quick pizzas, sandwiches or, I suppose, breakfast.

 

*I’m not a doctor or a nutritionist. You should never take advice from a paper crafter without consulting an actual professional.

Sunday Scrolling: May 21, 2017

Peonies, Sewing Machines and Pantone Colors

  • The peonies in my garden are always late bloomers, but I love them anyway. If I had more discipline, I’d take better care of them and they’d probably fare better.
  • Mom and Dad are downsizing and I was gifted a fabulous sewing machine. You know what that means? New obsession!
  • I’ve filled my Instagram feed with crafts and design only (no politics, religion or Kardashians!). I’ve been following this designer for a while, and Mashable just did a nice write up.

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

Happy Planter

A super quick upcycle craft

While looking up Mother’s Day ideas, I came across this pin.

Super cute.

But I don’t have any small pots with matching saucers, or any bright paint colors.  (Also, my mom is 500 miles away, and I’m not mailing her a potted plant; but that is beside the point).

As with most craft pins, I’m faced with two choices:

  1. Leave the pin on my Pinterest board and try to remember to pick up those items on my next monthly run to the craft store.
  2. Take the spirit of the craft and do it my way.

If you haven’t guessed which option I chose, you haven’t been reading very closely 🙂

The timing was actually perfect – we spent a weekend afternoon clearing up the winter trash from the yard and patio. Raking, trimming, dusting, bagging. We almost thought about painting the outside of the porch again (it’s only been two years since we had the house painted and the porch doesn’t match). But we successfully avoided that project again.

While dumping out the leaves from the terra cotta pots I use for container gardening, I realized I had the perfect canvas for my craft.

And it couldn’t have been easier. In fact, with a little help, this would make a great kids craft, too.

I traced a coffee can lid onto a cereal box, and I traced the bottom of my glue stick as well. I drew a line across the circle at about the halfway point.

The template to create a happy planter

And I cut both parts out with scissors.

I taped the circle to my pot with tape, and positioned one eyeball. I traced around them with a black Sharpie. And then I moved the eyeball template to the other side, trying to keep it level and even. After tracing that, I removed the template pieces and threw them away.

Template on the pot to make the happy planter

And then I colored the outlines in with black Sharpie. It takes a bit of a steady hand near the outlines, but then you can go to town filling in the center. I let the first coat dry in the sun and then went back over it.

Next weekend we’ll get dirt and seeds and start our garden!

I was featured at Scraptastic Saturday

Super quick guacamole

Three ingredients, no chopping!

Guacamole is magic.

Simple ingredients, quick prep, and super versatile. Depending on where you put it, it’s a dip, a spread or main ingredient.

That doesn’t mean the recipe can’t be abused – I saw a celebrity chef on PBS once take 18 minutes to create “classic guacamole” and it involved five different roasted vegetables and sweet peas.

More importantly, though, the recipe can be super simplified.

I have a basic recipe (which requires six ingredients and takes 5 minutes) and this one, which requires three items and takes less than 60 seconds.

Print

Super Quick Guacamole

Also called "Cheater's Guac" at SuzerSpace

Prep Time 1 minute
Total Time 1 minute
Servings 2 people

Ingredients

  • 1 Medium to Large Avocado Ripe
  • 3 teaspoons Chunky Style Tomato Salsa
  • 1 splash Lime Juice

Instructions

  1. Remove the pit from the avocado, and scoop flesh from the peel. 

  2. In a bowl, add the salsa to the avocado. Use a fork to smash.

  3. When close to the desired consistency, add the splash of lime juice and stir to combine

Recipe Notes

Top guacamole tip: Only make what you can consume in one sitting. Sure, there are a million tricks for keeping it from turning brown, but it is really best served fresh.

Nerd Tip: Exporting A DXF File

Use Adobe Illustrator to create DXF files for cutting with Silhouette Studio

This week’s tip isn’t tiny (it has a lot of photos) and I’m classifying it as a nerd edition in that it will only appeal to a small segment of the world – crafters who use Adobe Illustrator and Silhouette Studio software. 

The basic version of Silhouette Studio cannot open or import a native file from Adobe Illustrator (those files that end in “.ai”). Or an EPS file. Or a SVG file, or a PDF file.

You’d need to upgrade to one of the paid versions to be able to do that. And there is nothing wrong with that – the upgrade versions also come with other features.

BUT…

If you already have Illustrator, you can export your files as a DXF file and you can open those in the basic Silhouette Studio version.

And it’s easy. I’m on a Mac, so your screens may look different if you are not.

In Silhouette Studio

First off, there is a change you need to make in Silhouette Studio to make this work as expected.

Under Silhouette Studio (the very left corner of the screen) choose Preferences.

Export files from Adobe Illustrator as DXF to bring into the basic version of Silhouette Studio

And on the far right side of the screen the Preferences choices will appear – choose Import Options

Export files from Adobe Illustrator as DXF to bring into the basic version of Silhouette Studio

When the panel expands down, make sure “As Is” is selected. If “Fit to Page” is selected, then the artwork will always scale when imported. Nobody has time for that.

Export files from Adobe Illustrator as DXF to bring into the basic version of Silhouette Studio

You only need to do this once.

In Adobe Illustrator

Open or create your file in Illustrator. Save your file as an Illustrator file so you have it to go back to later. Convert all your type to outlines, and flatten all your layers. And then, under File, choose Export > Export As…  and a dialog window will show up.

Export files from Adobe Illustrator as DXF to bring into the basic version of Silhouette Studio

In the Format box at the bottom, choose AutoCad Interchange File (dxf)

The next box that pops up I just click OK. I don’t really know what these items mean, but I’ve never changed anything and it always works. One day, one of my files won’t open and then I’ll learn what these options are and I’ll create a new post.

Export files from Adobe Illustrator as DXF to bring into the basic version of Silhouette Studio
I don’t change any settings here – I don’t know what they do

And you are set!

These files can be opened or imported in the basic version of Silhouette Studio.

 

Sunday Scrolling: May 14, 2017

Happy Animals, The Evolution of Newspapers and Kindness

  • You might want to bookmark this for those days when everything is going wrong and you are feeling puny
  • I love documentaries. And computers. And I’m old enough to remember actual paste-up rooms for newspaper production. So this 30-minute piece  on the last day of hot lead type at the New York Times was riveting. (via InDesignSecrets)
  • While bike riding through the neighborhood over the past couple of weeks, Mr. SuzerSpace and I kept seeing these signs, and wondered what it was all about.
None of the links in this post are affiliate; they are all just items that caught my eye this week.

Mother’s Day Pin

I’m not sure if it’s good if your daughter is a craft blogger or not. On the one hand, it’s super easy to get me a gift (who else would put paper and glue on their Amazon wish list?).

But it may ruin the surprise of some holidays.

Hopefully she’s too busy this weekend to see this post 🙂 .

The co-worker who received my birthday badge really seemed to like it, and I’ve had a lot of feedback from others with kids who thought they’d like one for their special day.

It seemed like a natural shift to make a special pin for Mom for Mother’s Day. Continue reading “Mother’s Day Pin”