Using Transfer Paper to Make Freezer Paper Shirts

I went on a bit of a shirt making kick. I made maternity shirts, the baby shirts, and shirts for my husband, father, father-in-law, and brothers-in-law for Father’s Day. I learned quite a bit making them, and I like how they all turned out.

I made the baby a shirt for the 4th of July and a Finding Nemo inspired shirt, even though we probably won’t get to the movies to see Finding Dory with him.

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I also went a little crazy with Maternity shirts. I also made use of some glittler iron-on material I had for my heart and NJ shirts. My favorite is the watermelon shirt. The watermelon is in the Simply Charmed  cartridge for Cricut.

Maternity Shirts

I even made a Goonies shirt for my future little Goonie. I downloaded The Goonies font on Dafont. I think that one is Jack’s favorite.

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I created the Hockey Dad silhouette in Photoshop and uploaded it to design space. It’s my favorite! For the vintage looking dad/grandpa shirts, I found the Marcelle Script font on DaFont.com. It downloads with letters and different style swooshes.

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The thing with making freezer paper shirts is that it is really annoying putting all the tiny pieces in the proper place. (Especially with the “worn vintage” look of Marcelle Script, as well as characters like e, o, g, p, a, 4, 8, etc). When working with vinyl, most people usually use contact paper, plastic sticky paper used to line shelves, to transfer my cuts onto the surface. The problem is freezer paper isn’t actually sticky like vinyl. You have to iron the freezer paper onto the shirt for it to stick. Heat + plastic = bad,  so contact paper is out. Transfer tape is actually made to transfer vinyl to walls and objects, but a lot of brands are also plastic. I wasn’t sure if transfer paper would word or if the glue would ruin the shirts, but I figured I’d test it out and see. I made sure to get transfer paper made out of actual paper, not plastic.

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1 I cut the designs on the Cricut shiny side down on the mat. 2 I placed the transfer paper on the whole design 3 and rubbed well. 4 Figured out placement of design, 5 Then I ironed the design on low, dry heat. 6 After I removed the tape, 7 I ironed the design again with parchment paper, and it worked like a charm!

I was actually able to reuse the tape and transfer the design to 6 different shirts. I am sure I could have transferred more, but I only made 6 shirts at a time. The stickiness tape did not change much either. In fact, the transfers were easier the more I used the same piece.

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It seems obvious,  but I learned that it’s a lot harder to paint on a dark shirt than on a lighter colored shirt. I expected to have to use a few layers of paint for the dark shirts, but not as much as I actually used.  I think I’ll stick to painting designs on bright and light colored shirts, and using heat transfer vinyl on dark shirts.

Jack’s Big Announcement Photoshoot

Announcement

 

Jack finally spilled the beans! He will be a Big Brother in September! We tried to let Lilu be part of the announcement pictures also, but she was just eating the jelly beans.

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Oh well. I made the signs with some paint and my Cricut. The eggs were from Target, and I just used crayon to write on them. I had a great time making them even though I don’t know what I’m going to do with them now, maybe put them in the new baby’s memory box.

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When I found out, it was during one of the few snow storms we had this year. Matt was outside shoveling, so I left a note on the door that said “You make me sick!” He came in saying “What’d I do? and I told him to open the note. Inside read “Because you knocked me up.” He already had a hunch that I was pregnant anyway, and we celebrated with him drinking some wine and me having some ginger ale.
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I’m 14 weeks along right now. It still feels surreal, and I am a bit nervous still.  Jack is and this baby will be a Rainbow Baby, a term I only recently learned.  A Rainbow Baby is a baby born after a family has suffered a miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death or infant loss. These babies are rainbows after terrible storms. Even though I am passed the “safe zone,” I am still worried. (I have gone through two miscarriages, and it was terrible. I cannot imagine the pain that accompanies full-term loss). I have been trying not to worry too much though. I believe that keeping in a positive state of mind and thinking good thoughts while pregnant will mean a happy thinking baby, so here’s to optimism and wonderful thoughts. We can’t wait to see who has been growing inside me all this time!
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Grinch Ornaments for Giacomo’s 1st Birthday

It’s crazy to believe a whole year has gone by since my Mr. Man came into the world. I always say that the day he was born it felt like an explosion, that my heart grew 3 sizes that day like the Grinch. So for his first birthday, we had a Grinch themed party. Giacomo had such fun playing with his cousins, family, and friends.

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I would have just had pizza and subs, but my sisters and mom took over and insisted on cooking a feast of antipasto salad (Truffula Salad), chicken cutlets (Roast Beast), sausage and peppers, kielbasa, pierogies, baked beans, pasta, potatoes and peas (Who Hash), and a 6 foot sub.  For I took over and went crazy.I couldn’t have done any of this without their help. I definately have the best family!

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For dessert nieces made chocolate dipped marshmallows and decorated sugar cookies, while I went nuts making cupcakes, chocolate pretzels, Rolo pretzels, Oreo balls, pumpkin cheesecake, Rice Krispie Treats,  a regular cake and a smash cake for Jack, and Who Pudding. The kids even enjoyed a Hot Cocoa bar.

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To thank everyone for celebrating, I made Christmas ornaments of the Grinch and his heart.

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For the Grinch ornaments, I swirled green paint inside the ornaments and left them upside down to dry. After two days I had to recoat. I let them dry about a week before adding the Grinch face.

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I layered yellow vinyl over black vinyl cuts for the ornament. Using the Cricut Explore, I cut the Grinch face by uploading  as a simple image. (I uploaded it twice, once for the face and once for the eyes). grinch clipart

I’ve made glitter ornaments with Glitter-It in the past, but I finally decided to try the mop & Glo method I’ve seen on craft sites and Pinterest. It does work, and it’s super quick! Just swirl the M&G in the ornament, drain out the excess, add in glitter, shake it up to coat, and tap out the extra glitter. Glitter-It works great, but so does M&G, and the giant bottle is way cheaper.

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I feel like the heart ornaments went with my whole year’s theme. All year I’ve been writing about the joys of the heart as well as heartache. The year started with my heart growing with Jack’s birth, and since then I’ve written about the joys of being a mom, the heartache of leaving baby, The Mighty Quinn’s Heart surgery, my dad’s heart attack, and now again, the joys of being a Mom.

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I was driving home from the party, I was thinking how it was the first time I did something really “Mom,” and it was the first time I felt like Mom. Feeling like mom is subtly different than feeling like a mother or a mommy, and I’m not sure how to explain it, but giving my son a fun birthday made me feel like a Mom, and I loved it.

Jack’s Room: 3 Must Have’s for a Baby’s Room

Jack is on the move! Almost out of nowhere he started crawling and pulling himself up in his crib. As soon as he started, I immediately saw all the dangers in my house that needed to be baby proofed. I ran to Babies R Us, bought just about everything, and spent a weekend altering doorknobs and locking toilets – something I thought was ridiculous in the past, until stories of toilets clogged with race cars and towels were brought to my attention. I baby proofed the whole house, and the only thing I have left is to redesign the items on Jack’s bookshelf. The way they’re arranged now, he can easily pull them off and break them.

Jack's Room

We didn’t know if Jack was going to be Jack or Daisy, so we chose driftwood finish for furniture and painted the room a rustic yellow which goes nicely with the pumpkin butter color of our hallways. I figure we can reuse everything whenever baby #2 comes along.

I realize I never introduced you to Jack’s bookshelf or all the work I did in Jack’s room. Initially, it was a craft room/ guest room. Now, guest sleep on the couch, my crafts take over the house, and our recliner rocking chair is no longer in the living room, but that’s OK. One day we’ll figure out where to keep everything.  At my shower, I was given an IKEA bookcase that matched his bed set, and it was filled with books from everyone. Santa, the Easter Bunny, and I have since loaded the bookcase up with more books.

This is Jack's book corner. The walls have these cute Winnie the Pooh book plaques my MIL got for her future grandchild years ago (like before we were married). I'm thinking of making some kind of book piece for the adjacent wall. 

This is Jack’s book corner. The walls have these cute Winnie the Pooh book plaques my MIL got for her future grandchild years ago (like before we were married). I’m thinking of making some kind of book piece for the adjacent wall.

The thing I love most about his room is the tree decal. I ordered it and the window tree decals from TheWhiteTreeStore by LittleLionStudio.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheWhiteTreeStore?ref=l2-shopheader-name

The original tree looks like this, but there’s no law that says that’s how you have to apply it. Instead, I made the leaves look like they are blowing away. The decals are beautiful and easy to apply, and they really make his room charming. White Follow the Little Rabbit Tree Wall Decal by LittleLion Studio

The bed set is forest animals. Jack loves it. He uses the “bedspread” as a play mat, and he loves to talk to and touch the soft wall hangings as we pass them by. It has matching decals, but they were too small for the wall (for me at least). Instead, I used them to decorate his furniture. I used some of them for the sides of this storage bin I use for spare sheets, blankets and other baby odds and ends. I also decked the bookcase out with the rest of the decals that came with his bed set. I think the decals look so charming, and they can easily come off when he’s older.

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I also decorated his room with my book bird houses.

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So far I’ve made 3, but I think as he gets older I’d like to make some with his favorite books.

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In the meantime, I made one with one of my favorite childhood books, The Monster at the End of this Book.

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My favorite birdhouse, though, is the Peter Pan house.

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When you open the door, you can see Pan’s tree club house! Good thing I have small enough hands to do it.

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We have old doors which I thought about updating, but they actually match the style of our house and I’d rather spend the money elsewhere. Above his door is a simple cross, decorated with the finger rosaries I used as a favor at his christening. Next to his bed is a canvas quote I made using my Cricut and love best of all.

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Now that you’ve toured Jack’s room there are a few things you should know. Every baby list will tell you about things you need for baby’s room, but here are the 3 things I always keep in here that weren’t on any list.

1) Extra blankets behind you on your chair. Babies spit up, and sometimes you don’t even realize it. Don’t ruin your furniture. Drape some receiving blankets over the backs of your chairs.

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2) A Rubbermaid bin. Jack grows so quickly and sometimes it feels like its overnight. I always keep a bin in his room so as I struggle to put on a tight fitting shirt, I can just pack it away into the bin for storage. I used to hid the bin behind the rocking chair, but now I got to lazy for that and it’s out all the time.

Storage Bin

3) Tissues and a trash bin next to your chair. This is completely  separate from the diaper bin and wipes, and it is essential. I realized their importance the day I got home from the hospital. When you bring home your baby, you will cry and for a variety of reasons. Maybe you’re overwhelmed, or maybe you’re insanely happy. Either way, you get home and you have no idea how raging your hormones are.

Tissues

I remember hearing I’d be hormonal and emotional during pregnancy, and I really wasn’t at all. It came after. For me they were all happy tears, and I cried over everything from feeling such deep love for my baby to Suburu commercials. Even reading baby books brought on tears. (Oh my God! He says he loves his puppy! *sob* *sob* That’s so beautiful!) You’re body is going nuts, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Eventually you’ll stop crying and you’ll need those tissues to wipe up baby boogers, but until then wipe your happy and your sad tears, toss the tissue in the trash bin, and if you’re lucky enough to get a colicky baby like me, rock on until the sun comes up.

Jack was always cryingRocking all night long

Using my Cricut Explore for Giacomo’s First Craft Project

I’ve been dying to use my Christmas gift since Christmas, the new Cricut Explore. I had a Cricut Expressions and thought it was silly to buy a new machine, but I wanted the new model so badly! It has easy material settings, can cut, score, and write on all kinds of material, and the design space online is awesome. All cartridges are uploaded into one space, and you can use multiple cartridges at once while designing each project.  I was so excited when Matt got it for me for Christmas.

I haven’t had the time to play with it until our recently. Giacomo takes up lots of time, and I had to wait for a day Matt was off of work. I started a simple design for Giacomo’s first craft project!  I saw the idea on Pinterest, of course.

Hand Sign

The phrase reads: First we had each other (12/12/00), Then we had you (12/12/14), Now we have everything.

We did the hand prints first. Matt’s first, then mine, then Giacomo’s tiny hand! How cute! I had to wait for him to sleep to do it, but it was still a bit difficult ( I see now why there are so many baby feet crafts as opposed to hand crafts). I did two signs in case one got messed up. Both came out great, so one will go into his memory box and one into his scrapbook.

After the hand prints dried I loaded the pages for the Cricut. I wrote the phrase directly on the page because I didn’t want to cut the letters and have to glue them onto the page, plus I wanted to try out the silver pen the machine came with. Loading the pen is easy. The Explore has a separate pen loading spot because it can simultaneously write and cut.

Cricut Pen

I used the design space to figure out where I wanted the phrase. In hindsight, I should have done the writing first and put the handprints around the phrases, but this happened to work out.

When designing something in design space, if you want your design to print and cut exactly as it looks on screen, you have to select all your design boxes and attach them in the layers panel.  This is as opposed to cutting to conserve paper, like if you were going to glue letters onto a bigger project.

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Just hit print and go! I think it came out great.

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I put one copy on the lid of his memory box.

Memory Box

So far, his box has his birth announcement, the box of chocolate cigars, His first little toy my niece got him, his hospital bracelets, his first Christmas hat, and the first blanket, shirt, hat, socks, and gloves from the hospital.

Memory Box

So far the box fits right on his bookshelf. Hopefully I won’t need a bigger box by the end of the year!

Memory Box

Reasons to Celebrate: cats, Anniversaries, and Showers

For such smart creatures, cats are pretty dumb. I think of them as that kid in school who gets straight A’s but believes there’s a pool under the gym.  I happen to think that my cat Buschkii is exceptionally smart. She actually comes when I call her name, she seems to understand that the red dot comes from the laser pointer, and she knows that when it’s time to get a treat, she has to bring her treats through the cat door so the dog won’t get them. I’d say that’s pretty smart. Yet while Matt and I were away, Buschkii was accidently let out and was missing for 5 days. These weren’t just any 5 days. These were 100 degree, can’t breathe humidity, sweltering sunny days. I wasn’t just worried about the heat. There are a lot of cats in my neighborhood, and they love to hang out in my yard, fight, and potentially spread diseases to my pure and innocent pet. I didn’t blog last week because I spent all my free time looking for her.

I called the animal shelter, but she wasn’t picked up. My sisters helped my hang posters in my neighborhood, and my neighbors had a sighting of her on day 4, but it was almost midnight and we couldn’t find her in the dark.  Day 5 was mine & Matt’s 3 year wedding anniversary. Before we left for dinner, I checked the side of the house and there she was, except when I ran to her, she ran deeper into the thorn bushes.  Now why would she do that? It’s not like I’m a stranger. I feed her. I love her. I braved my bare legs to thorns and poison ivy, and she ran. She wanted to be found. She meowed like crazy whenever I’d search in the wrong area. But she still initially ran from me. Because she’s a cat, and cats are the dumb smart kids. But I love her, and the dog and I celebrated her return with a mini dance party.

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Buschk got out because we were away for the weekend for our anniversary. We stayed at Renault Winery. We took a short tour and tasting. Seeing the old equipment and learning how wine and champagne is made was fascinating, but the best part was at the end of the tour when we tasted the wines. Dinner was at their gourmet restaurant. The decor was a bit dated, but the booths were inside giant wine barrels. It was very cool, and the food was absolutely delicious. On our actual anniversary, we had dinner at Cafe Italia, one of our favorite places. Between finding Buschk and all the good food, it was a fabulous anniversary.

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I also celebrated the future wedding of my cousin AnneMarie to my friend Kevin at AnneMarie’s shower. AnneMarie and Kevin are two people I can’t imagine with anyone but each other. I remember when my Mom and sisters had the idea to set them up, and I’m so excited to finally see them tie the knot! My sister Maria will be the maid of honor at their wedding, and she enlisted me to help her with AnneMarie’s shower favors. We made tiny towel cakes. It’s a pretty easy process. For a 2-tiered cake, you need a dishtowel, a washcloth, ribbon, and 2 miniature wooden utensils.

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1: Fold the washcloth in half lengthwise, then fold in half lengthwise again for a long panel.

2: Roll the cloth into a cylinder and set aside.

3: Roll the dishtowel lengthwise, but stop at the middle of the towel.

4: Roll the other end of the towel towards the middle. The dishtowel will look like two tubes.

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5: Now place the rolled washcloth on top of the dishtowel tubes. Make sure the washcloth is sticking out over the dishtowel.

6: Begin rolling the dishtowel towards the other end (with the washcloth inside of it).

7: Stop when you are almost finished rolling. The dishtowel will have what looks like two little legs sticking out.

8: Tuck the “legs into the top and bottom of the roll.

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9: Now you can stand the towels up. This is the basic look of a cake.

10: Now to dress it up, hot glue (or double stick tape) a ribbon around the base of the dishtowel. Make sure you don’t get any glue on the towel – Remember that your fold should hold the towels together, not the ribbon.

11: We also used the Cricut machine to make pink circles with white hearts on them to cover up where we glued the ribbon.

12: Finally, stick the utensils into the top washcloth, and there you have it!

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My mom, sisters, grandma, cousin, and I got AnneMarie & Kevin their kitchen table, which was a bit big to bring to the shower, so I left a note that said we got it inside a menu box I made. I usually make take-out menu boxes for people’s house warming gifts and showers. It’s super simple to make. I have the Cricut machine and use the Lite Fast Food Cartridge to make the food items on it, but you can also use scrap booking decals you can get at Michael’s.  Just Modge Podge the decals onto a wooden box, and either paint the phrase “Let’s Order In” on the box, or use decals again. I like to match the box to the kitchen. The red and beige box I made for myself. Make one for yourself in whatever style you like 🙂

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Texas Craft House

blood, sweat, and glitter y'all