Happy Thanksgiving!

It is (very) early Thanksgiving morning here, a few hours before the craziness of the day will kick in. We have snow on the ground here in the northeast, so aside from dinner prepping and kitchen cleaning, I’ll also be in charge of bundling up the kids for snowball fighting. And while that will add even more excitement to an already event filled afternoon, I wouldn’t have it any other way. My family is on their way here. And together, I plan on enjoying every moment of this very thanksgiving filled day.

And I hope you enjoy your day today just the same way.

Surrounded by family and friends, excitement and anticipation, love and laughs…really the best way to spend any day.

I do have some “housekeeping” things to share with all of you. They are below.

Many of you have asked for some very basic help with your Silhouette cutting systems. I’ve decided to start a free series on my YouTube channel. The first video (4 Tips for Resizing Designs In Your Silhouette Software) is below. (Just a note: I more than likely will not post every one here, so feel free to subscribe to my YouTube channel so you don’t miss any. There is a link below.)

Many of you have also asked about the Silhouette Black Friday sale…that actually starts today. You will also find those sale details below. There is something there for everyone, so whether you’re looking for a machine or supplies, I think you’ll be happy!

Again, enjoy today and this kickoff to the holidays that are ahead.

And speaking of housekeeping…I’ve got work to do around here before everyone wakes up, filled with the excitement that I look forward to every year.

Enjoy,

Nikki, In Stitches

Silhouette Black Friday Sale Details

There are FOUR different bundle options below, so as I said before, there is something for everyone. There is also a discount on supplies, so if you already have a machine, you can stock up for your upcoming craft projects! If anyone has questions about which bundle might fit their crafting needs best, which one makes the most sense for what they’d like to create with it, or what supplies to pick up, please don’t hesitate to send an email my way! Nikki@NikkiInStitches.com

(NOTE: Each bundle that includes a CAMEO is a CAMEO 2…the newest model that was just released!)

1. Portrait Bundle

 Portrait machine & 1 free year to Club Silhouette for $179.99 (MSRP: $299)

2. CAMEO Bundle #1 (Pssst! This is a good one for those of you just getting a machine!)

CAMEO machine, Designer Edition software upgrade, Dust Cover, 4 Tools and $25 Download card to the Silhouette Design Store for $269.99 (MSRP: $407)

3. CAMEO Bundle #2

CAMEO machine, Design Edition software upgrade and 1 free year to Club Silhouette for $299.99 (MSRP: $470)

4. CAMEO & Portrait Bundle (One for you, one for a friend!)

CAMEO machine, Portrait machine and 2, $25 Download cards to the Silhouette Design Store for $299.99 (MSRP: $530)

Already a Silhouette user?

Use my code STITCHES for 40% off at SilhouetteAmerica.com (*excluding machines, design downloads, download cards, subscriptions and gift cards) PLUS Free Shipping on orders over $25 for the lower 48 states

To get started shopping, click here!

Don’t forget to use my code STITCHES to get all of the discounts listed above.

The sale runs from November 27th through December 8th, but it is while supplies last, so if there’s something you really want, don’t wait too long!

Pssst! 50% off all designs at SilhouetteDesignStore.com, too – no code needed!

Free Beginner Silhouette YouTube Series

I’m so excited about this new YouTube series because I think not only will it be very helpful to beginners, just starting their crafty adventures with their Silhouettes, but it will also be great for those of you that are just getting the confidence to start designing and creating cut files on your own! My first video, 4 Tips For Resizing Designs In Your Silhouette Software, is below, but as I said at the start of this post, I more than likely will not post every one here on the blog. Instead, if you don’t want to miss any, click here and subscribe to my YouTube channel!

(NOTE: If you’re viewing this in your email inbox and can’t see the video below, just click here to watch it right on the Nikki, In Stitches site!)

And one last time, Happy Thanksgiving!

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The Nikki In Stitches Craft Academy Birthday Party! The Craft Academy Birthday Bash Starts NOW!

Let’s get this party started!

The Craft Academy and “The Crafting With Your Silhouette” Program is turning one and the presents are for YOU!

I just posted FIVE of our favorite lessons that we covered this year in class.

They are FREE for you to enjoy for the next 48 hours!

You will also find THREE clips from our live interactive classes showing you how much fun we have when we craft together!

Click here to head over and get crafting!

If you love what you find at the birthday party as much as I think you will, I’d love for you to join us inside The Crafting With Your Silhouette program!

Please use the promo code BIRTHDAYBASH and get your first three months 50% off!

But wait! There’s more!

When you enroll, you also get:

  • All THIRTY-SEVEN (and counting!) lessons we’ve covered so far!
  • Replays of all of our live classes!
  • Instant access to our community forum!
  • EVERY free design we’ve used throughout the year, including the THIRTEEN freebies just released to current students as part of the birthday bash!

Want even more details on The Crafting With Your Silhouette program? Click here!

And enjoy your free lessons!

Happy Birthday!

Nikki, In Stitches

(Not a Silhouette owner? There are new classes coming to The Craft Academy SOON! If you have a crafty medium you’d like to learn more about, let me know! I can add it to the curriculum! Send me an email at Nikki@NikkiInStitches.com!)

PS…Want a peek at the five free lessons waiting for you?

Scroll down!

PPS…Can’t wait to get the party started?

Click here and get started crafting your five free lessons NOW!

 

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Nikki In Stitches Shutterfly - How To Paint And Age A Picture Frame With Chalk Based Paints and Dry Brushing How To Paint And Age A Picture Frame (Using Chalk Based Paints and Dry Brushing!)

I’m so excited to be sharing one of my favorite painting techniques with all of you today. We’ll be painting and aging a picture frame with chalk-based paints and chalky finish paints. I use this same “dry brush” method to paint almost everything. From picture frames to furniture, it couldn’t be more versatile. It also is so simple that it makes for a great beginner technique, but looks so great even painting pros will love using it.

Dry brushing can be done with really any paint, but I find it easiest to work with chalk-based paints or chalky finish paints. These paints have become so popular that they are now very easy to find and come in a variety of colors. If you can’t find the exact shade you’re looking for, with a quick search online, you can even find recipes for making your own.

Along with the complete step by step directions, I’m also sharing five tips for painting with chalk-based paints and chalky finish paints; this way you’ll quickly move from small scale picture frames to large scale pieces of furniture!

Materials:

-Picture frame (I found mine in the unfinished wood section of my local craft store for under $4)

-Paint (I am not partial to any brand of chalk-based paint or chalky finish paint. This technique works with all of them!)

-Paintbrush (You can find them in stores like Michaels)

-Sand paper (Same store options)

-Wax (You can usually find this right with the chalky finish paints!)

-Paper towels

-White cloth

Directions:

One of the nicest perks of using chalk-based paints and chalky finish paints is that *most of the time* there is no prep work needed. You can get right to the fun of painting! I’m using an unfinished frame in today’s tutorial, so I’m ready to paint! If your piece is already painted or chipping, you should hit it with some sand paper to smooth the surface out some.

Tip #1: Speaking of Sanding…There’s Never A Bad Time To Sand

When painting with a technique like this, where you layer colors of paint on top of each other, there really is no bad time to sand. A quick round of sanding can smooth away any brush strokes you may have. It can also give your piece a soft, smooth feeling, which I personally prefer! So throughout this tutorial, I mention times when you may want to sand your piece, but there really is no bad time to do it. Just be sure that after you sand, you wipe away any dust with a damp cloth. You don’t want that dust clumping as you layer on your next paint color!

As soon as your piece is ready to go, get started painting! Your first coat should be your base color. In this case, I chose a white to start with. Whenever possible, go with the grain of your wood. If you can’t see the grain, don’t worry! You can’t mess this part up! Run your finger along the wood both ways, the softer (less grainy) feeling is the direction you should paint towards. If you think your piece needs another layer of paint because the color or texture underneath is showing through too much for you, go right ahead and paint it again. Just be sure that the first layer dries completely first. And when you’re finished with this base coat completely, you may want to sand it. This is a good time to get rid of any brush strokes that may be visible. Again, just remember that you’ll want to wipe away the dust from the sanding process afterwards!

Tip #2: Buy A Better Brush

As I said at the start, chalk-based paints and chalky finish paints have become very easy to find and you don’t have to spend very much money on them. I always suggest taking that money you saved and buying yourself a really good paintbrush. You will find that your paint goes on so much smoother. You’ll use less paint. And a better brush will last you much longer…as long as you take care of it! Clean it as soon as you’re finished using it and let it hang to dry!

Tip #3: Paint From A Cup

Do not paint from the can! Pour a little bit of paint into a paper cup or onto a paper plate, and paint from there. Your paint can will stay much neater. Your paint inside will stay in much better condition. And most importantly, you will use much less paint! If there is an entire open can of paint in front of you, you just will naturally dip into it more often. If you have a limited amount of paint in front of you to use, you’ll find yourself making that paint last a lot longer!

Now we’re going to add some color. People sometimes get nervous here, but please don’t. Again, you can’t mess this up!

This is where the dry brushing comes in. In this tutorial, we’re only going to add on one accent color with this dry brushing technique. As you get better and more comfortable with painting, you can start to layer multiple colors together!

Tip #4: I Mean A Really Dry Brush

I can’t stress this enough. When I say a “dry brush” I mean a really dry brush! Remember, you can always add more paint on. It’s not so easy to take it off! Dip your brush into your paint, and then work almost all of that paint off onto a paper towel. You want very, very little paint on your brush! Then very lightly sweep your brush over your piece, again going with the grain whenever possible. Repeat this process until you have layered on enough paint to achieve your desired look. I, personally, like a lot of my base color to show through, but you may want a more concentrated look, and that is totally fine! Just remember, really work most of the paint off of your brush onto a paper towel. Then layer the color onto your piece slowly!

If by chance you put too much paint on your piece, walk away! Let it completely dry, and then sand some of the paint off. Be sure you wipe away any leftover dust, and then start fresh.

When you have achieved your desired look, let your piece completely dry. This shouldn’t take that long because the dry brushing doesn’t put very much paint on your work surface. This would be another good time to hit your piece with sandpaper. If you have a finer grit this would be the time to use it. (NOTE: The lower the number on your sandpaper, the rougher it is on your work surface! Use those really low numbers to sand away chipped paint and brush strokes. Use the high numbers to really smooth and/or polish your almost finished piece!) You’ll get a very soft smooth feel to the surface of your work!

Tip #5: Don’t Skip The Wax

At this point, you’ll be so excited to have successfully painted your piece, that you’ve probably already picked out a spot for it in your house. But please take the time to put on a quick coat of wax. It’s simple to put on. Just grab a white cloth and rub it on your piece. Again, just as with your paint, remember a little goes a long way! Don’t use too much or your piece will feel “sticky.” You’ll immediately see why this is so important. Yes, it will protect the surface of your piece from scratches or stains. But it also instantly brings out the grain of your wood, and the colors of your paint will “pop” off of each other. It is absolutely worth the extra step before you put your finished piece out for everyone to admire!

And that’s really how simple painting and aging frames and furniture with chalky finish paints and chalk-based paints can be! I encourage you to experiment with different colors, mixing them together and layering them on your piece. The possibilities are endless! Make sure to add in the perfect picture afterwards. If you don’t already have one handy, you can order various prints with photo sites like Shutterfly.

Enjoy,

Nikki, In Stitches

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The Nikki In Stitches Craft Academy Birthday Party! The Nikki, In Stitches Craft Academy Is Turning One!

The Craft Academy is turning one!

I can’t believe I just typed that!

To say this has been the most exciting year of my career would be a complete understatement.

But what makes The Craft Academy so special is all of you.

I started The Craft Academy as a place to teach specific craft techniques. A place that would allow more detailed instruction that what can happen here on this blog.

And not only have I been able to teach hundreds of crafters there, and inspire them to branch out, try new mediums, and experiments with different techniques…

But it has also grown into a community that continually warms my heart.

We craft live together once a month, but we are constantly in contact with each other through the class forums.

We share projects. We motivate each other. We inspire each other.

Throughout this year, all of you  have inspired me to reach outside my comfort zone, as well, and for that I am so very grateful.

And what better way to say thank you than a party, right?

All of the details can be found on The Craft Academy site here.

There will be:

  • Free glimpses into our favorite lessons from our first year!
  • Clips of our live interactive classes where you see our lessons put together into projects!
  • Free designs for current students!
  • ONE YEAR scholarships to give away!

And because I am THE WORST at keeping secrets, here’s a peek at some of the lessons we’ll be sharing!

 

 

 

I’d love to see you there for the party! Remember, all of the details can be found here.

And thank you so much for such a fabulous year!

Nikki, In Stitches

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Halloween moon over my mantel from Nikki In Stitches - Silhouette CAMEO large scale wall decal Halloween Moon Over My Mantel Decal

Many of you know that we just moved into our new home a few months ago and this space above my mantel has been empty since the very first day. Yes, I have plans to one day put a large mirror here, but I’m still on the hunt for the perfect one. So, with Halloween approaching, I thought it would be fun to fill the space with a spooky decal!

Just a few quick notes here before we get to the crafty fun!

1. Yes, I cut it with my Silhouette CAMEO. You could use a Portrait, you’ll just cut a few more pieces!

2. Speaking of pieces, there were almost 60! But (and this is important!) I try to always cut WITH a mat! Cutting without a mat NEVER goes well for me and I end up wasting more vinyl than I’d be saving. If, however, you do cut without a mat successfully, it will still be 60 pieces, but a lot less runs through your machine!

3. I did draw one vertical line down the center of my wall. From there I just VERY carefully lined everything up. I decided against using registration marks for this one, even though I know I usually tell you to always use them! I just knew I was already eating through a ton of vinyl!

4. Even though I drew that line, my design was still off-center. (Around piece #3 I remember that center line was the center of the large piece of the moon…NOT the center of the actual design!) I added a few bats to the right to balance things out…no one except for me (and now all of you!) will ever know!

So, now for the software details!

The moon and crows is a design from the Silhouette store. You can find it here.

The bats I added at the end are also from the Silhouette store. (The set comes with four designs…I just used one!) You can find them here.

Once I opened the design in my Silhouette software I did have to edit one piece. This is meant to be layered, so the “crescent” part of the moon wasn’t actually included. With a bit of point editing, I got it! Then I just resized the entire thing so that it fit on a 48″ square workspace. (PS…I also always merge an image of the finished design into the cut file for reference!)

After that I created a whole lotta’ 11.5″ squares and used them to create a grid over my moon. (NOTE: I actually did this to all the pieces, but just showing it once should give you the idea!)

Then I very simply just used my knife tool to slice right on those grid marks! When you’re done, delete away those 11.5″ squares. These are the exact “puzzle” piece you’ll put together on your wall! (Now do you see why I used 11.5″ squares rather than 12″? This way I have a little bit of wiggle room when using my knife tool and know that my pieces will definitely fit on my mat!)

I repeated this process for all of my pieces. This design was pretty easy to work with…there are only five colors…so it wasn’t too hard!

(You can see that sometimes the pieces were smaller than 11.5″ square. Especially with the branches, I just tried to find easy places to split them!)

Then I weeded all of them…in front of the TV with a glass of wine!

I also numbered them so that the next day when I went to put them up, I had a good idea of what order to move in.

And then the fun! You can see in the video below how I put up *almost* every piece. (*My video camera was NOT on its best behavior yesterday!) 

And you’ll also see that yes, there were a few pieces that went up, and then came back down! Everyone makes mistakes! But all in all, it was so fun, A LOT easier than I thought it would be, and this is absolutely my new favorite Halloween decoration in my house!

And PS…I know many of you are thinking what happens after Halloween?!?!?! And this year, unfortunately, this is coming down. This one IS NOT reusable. I do, however, have a few ideas for I’m going to make my Christmas decal last for years to come! Stay tuned!

 

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3 Tips for Cutting Fabric With Your Silhouette Cutting System - Nikki In Stitches 3 Tips For Cutting Fabric With Your Silhouette Cutting System


It seems like vinyl and paper really steal the show when it comes to what Silhouette cutting systems can do. So much so that one of the most popular questions people ask me is “Can I really cut fabric with this machine?” The answer is a resounding “YES!!!” and I have a few tricks to help make cutting fabric really quite simple.

Below you’ll find my three best tips for cutting fabric with your Silhouette cutting system, as well as a promo code for a Silhouette Portrait cutting system bundled with all the goodies required to cut fabric…pretty much everything you would need to cut all the pieces for your next applique quilt. Yup! Cutting applique shapes has never been easier…take a peek!

3 TIPS FOR CUTTING FABRIC WITH YOUR SILHOUETTE CUTTING SYSTEM

1. Keep a separate blade!

Yes, you’ve probably seen this before. But yes, I’m going to say it again. It is REALLY important to keep a separate blade just for fabric. Think about scissors around your house. You probably have one pair in your kitchen. You may have one pair set aside for working in your garden. You certainly have multiple pairs in your craft room! And why? Because different scissors serve different purposes. And by keeping them separate, THEY ALL tend to last longer! The same exact thing goes for your Silhouette blades. Keep one for paper. Keep one for fabric. BOTH will last longer!

2. DO NOT use a brand new mat!

As many of know, a brand new mat is VERY sticky. Sometimes it is too sticky depending on what material you are cutting, and fabric would be one of those materials. If you’re fabric sticks too much to your mat it could stretch and/or the edges could fray. Many of you have heard me talk about keeping different mats in different “stages of stickiness” for this exact reason. If I’m going to cut fabric, I pull out a slightly older mat that is less sticky. Save that super sticky mat for a more appropriate material!

3. Keep a small (and I mean VERY small!) pair of scissors close by!

You’ll notice after your machine has cut your fabric that there may be a few threads still connecting your pieces to your fabric. Keep a teeny, tiny pair of scissors close by so that you can just quickly give them a little clip before you pull your piece all the way off of your mat. Clip them one by one as you go. Again, this will lower your chances of stretching your fabric and your pieces will be less likely to fray!

See? Three VERY simple tricks can make a huge difference when cutting fabric with your Silhouette cutting system! If you have any questions about cutting fabric with your cutting system, you know where to find me! Nikki@NikkiInStitches.com

And now for the sale details!

The Silhouette Portrait Bundle includes:

  • Silhouette Portrait machine
  • Sewable Fabric Interfacing
  • Clean cut Fabric Interfacing
  • Fabric Blade
    Sale Price: $149.99
    That’s over $100 in savings!

Ready to start shopping?

Head over to the Silhouette site and get going!

And be sure to use promo code STITCHES to get your discount!

This offer is only good from 9/15/14 to 9/30/14!

And PS…for my paper lovers! I’ve got a little goodie for you, too!

40% off all Adhesive Cardstock!

This sale runs from 9/15/14 to 9/22/14.

The same promo code can be applied: STITCHES.

Just click here to pick some up!

 

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Outdoor Sofa and Drop Cloth Pillow from Nikki In Stitches and Ana White DIY Outdoor Sofa and Drop Cloth Pillow Case Tutorial

Yes, the dog days of summer are sadly coming to an end, but if you’re anything like me, those summer nights are just getting started. My family and I will enjoy dinners outside and nights spent by the (outdoor) fire for as long as we can, so making our new (and much larger!) outdoor living space as comfortable as possible was high on the priority list of projects after the move.

And in all honestly, any project that involves power tools (I actually ask for new tools every year for Christmas. Preferably pink power tools, but I’ll take whatever Santa brings me!) and my husband joining in the fun (his love for DIY is not nearly as strong as mine!) gets quickly moved to the very top of the list!

I can’t take credit for this entire project. I spotted the sofa base on AnaWhite.com here, and instantly fell in love.

Her designs are very on trend and her instructions are usually very easy to follow. In fact, I already have a few more of her projects in mind for other spots around the house, so you’ll be seeing more of them very soon! This project, in particular, is such a great one for those of you just stepping into the world of power tools. Which, by the way, I promise will change your life! (HaHa! Can you tell I love cutting things up and putting the pieces back together? Whether it be fabric or 2×4’s!) My husband and I put two of these together in just a few hours, and that includes taking breaks to feed three children, keep them entertained, and put the baby down for a nap!

The foundation pillows Ana used were a bit out of my price range, so I did find a substitute. They were surprisingly comfortable for being so much less expensive, but they certainly didn’t have the same look. So, I added a few handmade (and painted!) throw pillows, and instantly fell back in love with our outdoor sofas.

The how-to for the pillows is below. All six are made from one piece of drop cloth I purchased at my local home improvement store in the paint section. The cost of that piece of drop cloth? I think $17! Combine that with some craft paint and masking tape I had in my stash, and catching a sale at my craft store on the pillow inserts (they were 40% off!) and I call that a great deal!

Enjoy!

Nikki, In Stitches

Materials:

  • Drop cloth
  • Pillow Inserts
  • Sewing machine and basic sewing supplies
  • Ruler and marker
  • Scissors
  • Paint and paint brushes
  • Masking tape (Or a stencil if you’d like to create a pillow similar to the flower design I used!)

Directions:
1.Determine what size piece of fabric you will need to cut to cover your pillow insert and draw that on your drop cloth. My insert was 16″ square, so I needed my fabric 17.5″ square. That gave me some pretty snug pillow cases, but that’s what I was looking for! You can adjust the size a bit if you’d like. You’ll need two pieces of fabric (one for the front of your pillow and one for the back!) so draw a 17.5″ square on two pieces of drop cloth.

NOTE: You’ll want your stencil or design to extend all the way to the edge of your fabric, so cut your pieces a bit bigger than your desired size. We’ll trim them down later in the project.

2. Cover your 17.5″ square with masking tape.

A few tips here!

  • Rip your pieces of tape longer than 17.5″ so that they extend out of the square on each side.
  • Do not leave any space between the rows of tape.
  • Do not overlap the tape at all.

3. Remove every other piece of tape.

4. Paint your blank spaces and let your fabric dry.

5. Remove the remaining pieces of tape!

6. Now trim down your fabric to exactly 17.5″ square (or whatever your desired size is!) by cutting on your drawn lines.

7. With right sides together, sew *almost* all the way around your pillow. Leave a gap on one side that is about 10″ – 12″ wide. (You can see in my picture, I use the blue pins to help me remember when to stop sewing!)

8. Clip your corners. (This will remove some of the bulk from your pillow case!)

9. Turn your pillow case right side out and press. NOTE: Be sure to fold in any raw edges along the open gap, too! 

10. Insert your pillow form and hand sew the gap in the case closed!

 

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DIY Back to school tumblers from nikki in stitches - vinyl embellished water bottles “Back To School” Silhouette Specialty Media Sale!

It happens every year!

Summer flies by and before we know it the kiddos are headed back to school!

And moms are stuck in the weird place of happy and sad at the same time: Sad to see the days of fun come to an end, but happy to be able to enjoy a cup of coffee, while it’s still hot…without having to warm it in the microwave four times.

I have a fun project to “reshare” today from last summer…the “Back To School” tumblers you see above. Instead of sending you to last year’s post, I just copied the full how-to below. I’ve also updated the tutorial for the V3 version of the software, but the directions are exactly the same if you’re still working in V2.

If you are just starting out with your Silhouette cutting system, these are a great beginner project! Just a note: Last summer I found the tumbler cups on Pick Your Plum, but since then I’ve seen similar water bottles at my local craft store!

I also wanted to share the details of the latest Silhouette sale. I know many of you have reached out recently about wanting to buy a cutting system, and the bundles offered this month are such great places to start. With your machine, you would also get some of my favorite Silhouette products to work with, so you can get creating right away!

The details of the sale and the “Back To School” tumbler cup tutorial are below. If anyone has questions about Silhouette cutting systems, which one may be right for you, etc. please feel free to email me directly (Nikki@NikkiInStitches.com) or just comment below!

Enjoy,

Nikki, In Stitches

1. Silhouette’s “Back To School” Specialty Media Sale

As you can see, with each bundle you get A TON of goodies to start playing with right away!

In the Portrait Bundle you get:

  • Silhouette Portrait
  • 1 pack of Chipboard
  • 1 pack of Printable Silver Foil
  • 1 pack of Printable Gold Foil
  • 1 pack of Printable White Sticker Paper
  • 1 pack of Printable Clear Sticker Paper
  • 1 pack of Printable Cotton Canvas
  • 1 pack of Adhesive Washi Sheets
  • 1 pack of Basic Sketch Pens
    MSRP: $260.91 
    SALE PRICE: $149.99

In the CAMEO Bundle you get:

  • Silhouette CAMEO
  • 1 pack of Chipboard
  • 1 pack of Printable Silver Foil
  • 1 pack of Printable Gold Foil
  • 1 pack of Printable White Sticker Paper
  • 1 pack of Printable Clear Sticker Paper
  • 1 pack of Printable Cotton Canvas
  • 1 pack of Adhesive Washi Sheets
  • 1 pack of  Basic Sketch Pens
    MSRP: $380.91
    SALE PRICE: $269.99

Ready to start shopping?

Head over to the Silhouette site and get going!

And be sure to use promo code STITCHES to get your discount!

This offer is only good from 8/13/14 to 8/31/14!

2. “Back To School” Tumbler Cup Tutorial

Your little one is going to LOVE finding this in their lunch box the first day of school!

First, measure the circumference of your tumbler. For me, it was about 8 1/2″…that’s with a little bit of overlap. We’ll work off of that number for this post, but you can adjust it to fit your tumbler or water bottle accordingly.

Note: The part of my tumblers that I am adhering the vinyl to is straight up and down. This how-to will not work if your cups or tumblers are slanted, i.e. larger at the top than at the bottom. You would need to curve your text, and that’s something we’ll save for another post! However, if you can’t find tumblers like these, don’t stress! This same design would look adorable on a thermos (often straight up and down like these tumblers!) or even a lunch box or plastic pencil case!

In your Silhouette software, click on the “Draw A Line” button and draw three horizontal lines, each your desired length. (Again, for me, it’s 8 1/2″.)

Now click on the “Open The Line Style Window” at the top right of your software.

Be sure your top line is selected. Keep your line solid, but adjust the line thickness to 3.8. You’ll also want to be sure that you’ve selected “Corner” for your “Corner Style” and “Flat” for your “End Cap Style.” Take a look at the screenshot below to see exactly how I have my line adjusted. Make these same adjustments to your bottom line as well!

Now select your center line. You will adjust this line the exact same way, except you’d like this one to be dashed. I used the fourth option down in the “Line Style” options box.

Click the “Open The Cut Settings” button from the top right of your Silhouette software. In the right sidebar, be sure “Standard Cut Mode” is selected.One at a time, select each of your lines, and then select “Cut Edge” from the “Cut Style” options.

Now we’ve got our lines…let’s add some text!

I used a free font I found called Learning Curve. Using that font, or any other you’d like, type the name you’re going to put on your tumbler.

As you can see, this font is a little on the thin side, which is fine, but just not for cutting vinyl. So I fattened it up a bit using the “Offset” feature of the Silhouette software.

To do so, be sure your name is selected. Then go to the top right of your screen and click then “Open the Offset Window” button.

With a little bit of playing around, I found that if I adjust the offset distance to .02 (yes, I know that’s tiny!) it gave me almost an exact replica of the name, just thicker!

Delete out the original text, so you are just left with “thickened” name, and enlarge it to your desired size. For me, I wanted my finished name to be about 1 1/2″ high.

Click and drag each of your horizontal lines to adjust the distance between them to fit your text!

From here it’s just a matter of cutting and transferring your vinyl. Cut your lines first from white (or whatever color you’d like) and use transfer paper to adhere them to your tumbler. Then cut your name (again, from whatever color you’d like…in my case, black) and transfer it to your tumbler! Super easy!

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Nikki In Stitches - McGonigal Home from Jen T Designs Welcome Home

Hey, Stranger.

It’s been while. Too long, to say the least.

This summer has kicked my behind.

From packing the entire house and family up for a move, to unpacking the entire house and family in our new home, to two of our three kids being down for the count for a short time after some medical issues, and finally to planning a first birthday party for our not-so-little-anymore little one, the past three months have been grueling. It’s one of those times when you feel behind on everything…being a mom, being a wife, working, crafting, getting out of your pajamas, taking a shower…pretty much life in general.

They say it takes a village to raise a family, and my husband and I have pretty much proven that it took a small army to keep this household running. Our thanks and gratitude go out to everyone that offered to help, took one or more of our children for a short time so we could try to catch up, and/or brought us over a much needed housewarming bottle of wine.

The McGonigal house is slowly but surely becoming a handmade home, and I’m excited to invite all of you inside to see its transformation. Over the next few months I’ll be sharing all of the DIY projects and tutorials that I’ve used to put our personal touch on our little corner of the earth. Some are my own ideas. Some are Pinterest finds that I fell in love with at first sight. And some are treasures like the watercolor painting you see above…a special gift from my dear friend Jen (Jen should look VERY familiar to all of you. Not only is she the talent behind Jen T by Design, but she was also my partner on Craft Wars. We started off by randomly sharing a cab three years ago in New York City, and now travel around the country with our husbands…and sometimes children…in tow to see each other as often as is possible being that we are a five hour drive apart.) With the secret help of a few family members, Jen commissioned this piece from Kori Clark and I instantly fell in love with it. Somehow through a series of snapshots taken from a moving car, Jen and Kori were able to perfectly capture the charm of our new home.

So welcome back to Nikki, In Stitches.

Or should I say welcome home?

How about this…

Welcome to my new home…it’s good to be back!

Nikki, In Stitches

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silhouette portrait may giveaway Good News And Even Better News: I’m Giving Away A Silhouette Portrait!

The Good News:

The Silhouette specialty media promo is still going strong AND many of you have emailed asking if it’s ok to ask questions.

OF COURSE!

Ask away! I’ll tell you my favorite must-have’s. I’ll give you a few tips for working with each. I’ll direct you to projects here on the site that use the product you’re considering. You ask it, I’ll answer it! Nikki@NikkiInStitches.com

And remember, use the code STITCHES here to get your 25% discount!

The Better News:

I have a Silhouette Portrait to giveaway! Woo Hoo!

I’m also adding in my Intro To Your CAMEO Class (which works for Portrait users as well!) and one month free inside the Crafting With Your Silhouette program in The Nikki,  In Stitches Craft Academy.

Entry is super easy. Scroll down to the Rafflecopter box below. (If you don’t see the Rafflecopter box below because you are reading this in your email inbox, just click here to be taken right to the Nikki, In Stitches site!)

GOOD LUCK!

Nikki, In Stitches

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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