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.
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.
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.
If somehow you haven’t heard about this, Aldi is a chain of discount grocery stores. They originated in Germany, and have brought their shopping strategy to the US. The stores are purposely small, with limited offerings in smaller categories than the big US chains. Most of the brands are their own private label. There are no frills – the stores are mostly warehouse style with items stacked in boxes or on basic metal racks. There are no staff roaming the aisles – they are all either at the cash registers or are unloading items. You bring your own bags, and bag your own items.
We’ve found Aldi a great way to stretch our food dollar. We had previously been doing that by couponing and leaving expensive treats (like good blue cheese, nuts and olives) off our list. But Aldi lets us have all that back, plus better pricing on many basic items.
If you google “what’s good at Aldi” you will be presented with pages and pages of bloggers views on what to buy there.
And of course I’m going to add in my top 5:
Cheese. Sliced, block, shredded or specialty. All good.
Flatbread. Better and cheaper than the name brand.
Produce. Especially 50 cent avocados and the multi-color peppers
Garlic Flatbread Pizza. It’s in the frozen section. And it rivals Papa Murphy’s Garlic Bread.
Eggplant Parmesan. Also in the frozen section. Comes in single serve or family size portions.
The good thing about waiting so long to shop at Aldi is they used to not take credit cards. But now they do.
There is one big trick though – you have to bring a quarter. You use it to unlock a shopping cart at the front of the store. You get it back when you lock your cart back in.
I can’t be trusted to keep a quarter in my wallet. What if the Cheez-Its start calling me from the candy machine when I’m at work?
I didn’t have a real solid plan for using my Silhouette Cameo when I bought it. I knew it would be a helpful tool for all my paper crafting, and it would be great boost for holiday crafting (banners, garlands, gift tags, cards).
I’ve mentioned that I didn’t realize the Silhouette Cameo could cut more than just silhouettes. I’ve posted a couple of projects that use the Print & Cut feature of the Silhouette Studio software, and I’m really hooked on the technique.
Suddenly last week I realized that the “printed” part of a print and cut could be anything, including photos. Why it too me so long, I’ll never know. But now it’s like another door of crafting just opened.
My first use of this trick is a garland for my back window. Mr. SuzerSpace and I ride bicycles outdoors for three seasons of the year (we don’t ride in Winter). I want Spring to come soon, so I’ve made a string of bicycles to dream.
Houseful of Handmade had a great looking feature a few weeks ago where the blog owner (Kati) created paper lanterns that look like they are heavy metal versions. (Ha – Heavy Metal – I didn’t mean it like that).
I’ve been making tea light boxes since the first weekend I owned my Silhouette Cameo so I knew these were going to be fun.
And HOH has a digital download library that’s free if you’ll sign up for her newsletter (which you should, because it’s also good).
Mid February through late March are an interesting craft time for me. There aren’t many holidays (we don’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day), so it’s kind of a weird let down after the rush of Christmas, Super Bowl and Valentine’s themes.
We’ve always loved birds, and owls in particular are a treat when we hear them at night calling at each other. And they make a great craft profile with their easily exaggerated features.