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

Sunday Scrolling: March 12, 2017

New recipes, a cool bike and Daylight Saving Time

  • Food subscription services aren’t really in my budget, but I’ve been the beneficiary of some great coupons from a co-worker. This one just recently came across our radar, and I always like it when they publish their recipes so you can DIY if you wish.
  • Everything at IKEA is so neat. I wish this had more than two gears though – too many hills here to deal with.
  • Hopefully you either remembered to change your clocks, or all your clocks set themselves, because today is the beginning of Daylight Saving Time. The good news for us is that the clock in the car that is impossible to set is now right again (we just leave it and it’s right half of the year).

None of the links in this post are affiliate links – they are just things I found interesting this week.

 

Aldi Quarter Keeper

A simple vinyl cut upgrades a basic pill bottle

I am very late to the shopping at Aldi Party.

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:

  1. Cheese. Sliced, block, shredded or specialty. All good.
  2. Flatbread. Better and cheaper than the name brand.
  3. Produce. Especially 50 cent avocados and the multi-color peppers
  4. Garlic Flatbread Pizza. It’s in the frozen section. And it rivals Papa Murphy’s Garlic Bread.
  5. 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?

It’s better to craft a quarter keeper!

Click the arrow below to see how I made mine.

How SuzerSpace created this

One pot peanut noodles

A quick meal from just a few ingredients

For this dish I like to use veggie pasta (not spiralized veggie noodles – I do love those but here I’m referring to a dry pasta that contains vegetables in the ingredients.

I boil a two-serving size amount of the noodles. We actually use a scale and match the nutrition information on the back of the package for this. Pasta, even with veggies in it, is high in carbs and that is a number with work diligently around for meals since we are a Type 2 Diabetes family. I’ve learned that if I make a whole box of spaghetti, we will eat a whole box of spaghetti, no matter what the suggested serving size is.

When the noodles are close to being done, I add in about a half package of frozen mixed vegetables to the pot and cook until they are tender (usually doesn’t take very long).

I use a measuring cup to remove about a cup of pasta water and then drain the rest of the water from the pasta and veggies, and return the pot to the stove. Turn the burner off – we are just using the residiual heat here (if you somehow have a stove that is instantaneously cool to the touch after turning it off, you might need low heat).

I add about 1/3 cup of good peanut butter to the noodle and vegetable mixture. By “good” I mean not full of sugar. By “about” I mean measuring peanut butter is ridiculously messy, so I just use a knife and carve out a blob that appears to be around 1/3 cup. Add about a tablespoon of soy sauce (we use low sodium) and half that amount of cider vinegar. Stir pretty vigorously to get the peanut butter melting and then add in that reserved pasta water to create a sauce. I like to add a good dash of red chili flake at this point because we like it spicy.

Keep stirring until the sauce is the correct consistency. If it’s too thick, you can add a little more water. If it’s too thin, you might consider being OK with it as the pasta will absorb some sauce as it sits. And it’s slurpy good fun to eat with a thin sauce, and next time you’ll be able to guess better on how much water to put back in.

I dish this out into bowls and add a sprinkle of peanuts on top before serving.

This dish is best served fresh – it kind of keeps, but the noodles nearly completely absorb the sauce so it will be dry if served as leftovers.

Print

One Pot Peanut Sauce Noodles


Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2

Ingredients

  • Veggie Spaghetti two servings according to package directions

  • 8 oz mixed frozen vegetables
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce Low Sodium
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Cider Vinegar
  • Dash Dried Red Chili Flakes Optional
  • Dry Roasted Peanuts For Topping

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, cook pasta according to package directions.

  2. Add frozen vegetables to boiling pasta when pasta is nearly cooked.

  3. Continuing cooking pasta until veggies are cooked through.

  4. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water, drain pasta and veggies.

  5. Return pasta and veggies to pot, add peanut butter, soy sauce, cider vinegar. Stir to combine.

  6. Add reserved pasta water as needed to thin sauce to desired consistency
.

 

 

 

Show and Tell: Pocket Pack Tissue Cover

A project I tried from another blogger

Pocket Tissue Cover from Sum of their Stories

My mom is great seamstress. She makes clothes, some complete with matching doll outfits. Her quilts are just amazing.

Me? I never really got beyond the one-yard skirt with an elastic waistband. Although honestly, that pattern served me very well my first year in an adult job.

I’m more of a utility stitcher. As a short person, I’ve got a very good grasp of how to hem. And take in waistbands. But I know my limits (topstitching/zippers/buttonholes).

And I’m going to tell you something that will make anyone who sews for a hobby cringe. About three years ago I decided to rearrange the office/exercise room and I moved my sewing machine into the basement. Which of course means …  I haven’t used my sewing machine in more than three years.

So when I saw this little project for sewing Pocket Pack Tissue Covers, I knew I had a decision to make. Drag the machine upstairs and set it all up, or do it by hand.

After looking at the pictures and the technique involved, I knew that I could attempt this one by hand. All of the stitching is hidden.

Does mine look like Julie’s at Sum of their Stories? Nope.

Is my stitching so crooked that the ends are uneven? Yup.

Did I check three times to make sure I had the right sides in where they were supposed to be but still somehow get the back on inside out? It’s like you know me 🙂 .

I really like this little craft. The measurements are easy, the stitching technique is super simple. It would be way faster and much straighter if I used a machine, and when I get brave enough to see if it’s in working order, I will definitely put this one on the top of my list. Until then, my little wonky version is going straight into my backpack to be used with pride!

Crafty Crab Water Level Marker

A Silhouette Cameo craft

Removable vinyl creatures helps me find the right level of water for the coffee maker
This cute little guy makes coffee making a little easier in the morning.

This post contains affiliate links.

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).

But I wasn’t sure about the off-season.

Turns out it is helpful around the house as well.

Continue reading “Crafty Crab Water Level Marker”

Sunday Scrolling: March 5, 2017

Shadow Boxes, Shrinky-dink pet tags and Flatbread Pizza

  • While looking for a good way to display my collection of Westie pins, I found this amazing shadowbox craft.
  • Shrinky-dink plastic crafts are on my to do list; this one is cute and practical.
  • In an effort to thin down our home made pizza technique, we’ve been using flatbread as our crust. I was inspired by this recipe. I’ll admit I was a little dubious that the broccoli-on-a-pizza idea would hold up, but it is really good.

None of the links in this post are affiliate links – they are just things I found interesting this week.

I want to ride my bicycle

A Silhouette Studio Print & Cut Garland

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.

Click the red arrow below to see how I made this.

How SuzerSpace created this

First Friday: March 3, 2017

A look back at the month that just ended

 

February is a short month, but it always seems like a long time to get through it. The weather is unpredictable, but the crafts are fun.

Here’s what we did last month at SuzerSpace!

  1. Olive You – A Valentine’s punny card.
  2. Stick & Twig Letters.
  3. Upcycled Jean Pocket coasters.
  4. Whoooo Lives Here? A Door Decoration
  5. Home is where the heart is wall decor.
  6. Googly Eye Magnets.
  7. Birthday Badges.