DIY Fall Desktop Calendar

Fall Desktop Calendar | happy together This month’s Cricut Design Space Star challenge was for us to create items for organization/celebrations. My team went with “Falling for Fall” for our theme. I created two projects to enter this time again with this desktop calendar falling into the organization category. I have been seeing small desktop calendars growing in popularity and wanted to create my own. I logged into Cricut Design Space™ and started creating.

Fall Desktop Calendar | happy together Fall Desktop Calendar | happy together Fall Desktop Calendar | happy together Using cardstock paper, I made each months square equal 5″x5″ which I felt was a good size. Then I picked out a shape/picture for each month. September got a leaf, October got a pumpkin, and November got a turkey. I simply glued these on with a glue stick. The month numbers are big enough that they can still be striked through with a pen or even covered with a small sticker to show that day has passed. I used a piece of wood from our garage for the stand and simply cut a small slit in the top center for the paper to stand in. It would be cute to use a piece of a log for this as well.

Fall Desktop Calendar | happy together It’s a very inexpensive  project, but looks so nice and professional. I think it would also make a great gift. It would be fun coming up with different things for each month of the year.

Cricut | I made it contest

Cricut has just announced the second phase of the Cricut – I Made It! contest and this time they’re awarding one winner their own Make it Now™ project line to be sold in Cricut Design Space™!

 To help create your line, Cricut will fly you to their headquarters in Salt Lake City to work side-by-side with their design team.  Then you and a guest will enjoy an all-expense paid stay at the Grand America Hotel – a luxury resort in Salt Lake City, home to the best skiing in the world.
The winner will be featured on Cricut.com and every time a Cricut user purchases your project, you’ll earn money. Cricut will even help with your publicity.

 To enter the Cricut – I Made It! contest, all you need is a photo of an original project. You can upload up to five photos (which can be five individual projects or multiple photos of one project).

You have until September 30th to enter.  What are you waiting for? It’s time you Made It big! Head to cricut.com to enter today.  

You can also see what my fellow teammates have been creating as well :) It’s so fun seeing everyone’s creativity!
Follow Jessica Fediw’s board Cricut Design Space Star Team 8 on Pinterest. 

Disclosure: I am part of the Cricut Blogger Network and have used affiliate links. I received a complimentary machine to facilitate my crafts and though I am not being paid for this post, I am submitting it for a chance to win some fun prizes.

 

Michaels Makers: Fall Market Challenge

MM Fall Market
Fall is in the air this time of the year. The weather starts to cool down, sweaters come out of storage, and decorations of pumpkins, hay, leaves and more start appearing. In fact, you would even see some of those fall decorations at our front door now. The Michaels Makers Challenge for the month of September is: Fall Market Challenge. The goal was to create some type of fall home decor/entertaining projects. I set out to decorate our front door.

Front Door Fall Decor | happy together
I took my girls to Michaels and we walked around for about an hour searching for the perfect fall decor to adorn the entrance to our house. I knew I wanted some pumpkins and was excited to go with black and white ones. I like the elegance of the colors and it’s a change from what I normally do. I also found some yellow dyed wheat that I added to a mason jar. Then for trimmings, there was this pretty vine garland as well as burlap ribbon with black stripes on it. Our doorway is really narrow, so I only placed these on one side so the entry would not be blocked. I used some wood from our stash to create height differences among the pumpkins.

Front Door Fall Decor | happy together
The burlap, yellow wheat, and vine garland also had an appearance on the door. And since I love lights, I added these fun flickering ones. The lights make me think of falls up in Williamsburg growing up.

Front Door Fall Decor | happy together
Front Door Fall Decor | happy together
Instead of a wreath this fall I opted for a basket filled with a fall arrangement. I picked out two bunches of leaves and more  yellow wheat to fill up a basket. (In case you didn’t know yet, yellow if my favorite color.) I figured the above basket would be good to hang on a door since the back was on the flatter side and the chalkboard tag would be perfect to write “welcome” on.

Front Door Fall Decor | happy together
I simply added the bumnches into the basket to fill it up. I spread out the leaves and then added the wheat. I wrote welcome on the chalkboard with chalk and then hung the basket onto the door with the burlap ribbon.

Front Door Fall Decor | happy together
Now we wait patiently for the weather to feel like fall in Louisiana. If you would like to see more autumn inspiration, checkout Michaels’ Fall Market Lookbook, browse their fall ideas pinterest board, or see Michaels’ Fall Project Page. And if you don’t have a Michaels nearby, you can always Shop Michaels Online.


Free Shipping on $50+ at Michaels

 

This post was created in partnership with Micheals. All opinions stated are my own. Affiliate links have been used.

Thank you for supporting the sponsors that support Happy Together.

 

Upcycled Drawer Plant Stand DIY

This post is sponsored by DecoArt. See below for disclosure statement.

Upcycled Drawer Plant Stand DIY | happy together You know how there are “cat ladies” out there? I think I might become a “plant lady” one of these days. I have fallen in love with plants and almost always buy one when I go to a store with a garden center. I especially love buying the “hanging in there” plants on clearance and loving them back to health. I get a good deal and feel great that I could nurture it back into its beautiful self. That being said, I needed a place to start holding some of my plants. The upcycled drawer plant stand has fixed that problem.

Upcycled Drawer Plant Stand DIY | happy together It all started with these three dresser drawers from roadside trash I salvaged. I really  wanted to turn them into something. After thinking of what I could make using my very limited wood working/power tooling skills, I knew that a plant stand would the perfect project.

Upcycled Drawer Plant Stand DIY | happy together So to make this stand you will need a dresser drawer. Make sure it is sturdy. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but you want it to hold up.

Upcycled Drawer Plant Stand DIY | happy together You will need some Americana Chalky Finish paint and the ultra-matte varnish. I chose that varnish to be the finish because I plan on having this outside one day and it’s designed for indoor and outdoor use. I hope to try the wax one day though. I used carbon and everlasting for the paint colors, but check out all the colors and see the ways you can mix them to get all kinds of pretty shades. Americana Decor Chalky Finish paint is available in Home Depot, Hobby Lobby, Michaels, A.C. Moore and other stores. Visit the DecoArt Chalky Finish website for more chalk paint ideas and inspiration.

Grab a paint or foam brush too.

Upcycled Drawer Plant Stand DIY | happy together Clean up your drawer and remove any hardware from it. Sand if there are any uneven spots you don’t want splintering, but other than that NO SANDING NEEDED. Amazing. No sanding. My favorite part. Once all clean and dry, start painting. I used a regular brush and it went on so nice. Instructions say to do more lighter coats as opposed to doing fewer heavy coats. So I started with a very thin coat of paint. I painted the inside carbon and the outside everlasting. I only needed two coats to get the coverage I liked even with it being light coats. This was actually my first time ever using a chalky finish paint and I fell in love. I will no longer paint furniture with any other type of paint. It was just too easy. It went on great, dried so fast, and feels so smooth once dry. And remember that no sanding part? Yeah. That’s a big bonus too. Then, when all your paint is dry, paint on a thin coat of the varnish. I did one more coat after just to have extra coverage. It went on great as well and it says it can also be applied over acrylic paints too fyi.

Upcycled Drawer Plant Stand DIY | happy together For the bottom of the stand, I went the super simple way and bought a folding tray table for $8.99 (from Target). You can find these at many places though. If you can’t find one in the color you want, paint this as well. I lucked out finding it in black, but after having a failed attempt at trying to make legs for this stand with some scraps we had in the garage, I didn’t mind taking a short cut.

Upcycled Drawer Plant Stand DIY | happy together
I first used some wood glue to attach the stand to the drawer bottom. I placed weights on top to help add pressure while it dried. Then I used our drill and added a few screws here and there. Make sure to use a screw that isn’t too long so it won’t come out through the top of the drawer. The drawer I used had this wood area in the middle that I put the screws through, but if yours doesn’t you can always drill them in from the top (meaning go through the drawer into the stand as opposed to going through the stand into the drawer).

Upcycled Drawer Plant Stand DIY | happy together Put back on the hardware if you like or add new ones. If you didn’t want any hardware at all, I would suggest using a wood filler or wood plugs/wood filler before you paint the drawer.

Upcycled Drawer Plant Stand DIY | happy together Place in a sunny spot and fill with plants. I even plan on using this for other things, like holding products at craft shows and such. I think it will come in quite handy.

-Jess

I parterned with DecoArt for this post and received compensation for doing so. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting businesses that support Happy Together.

How to Make a Pom-Pom Crochet Blanket

How to Make a Pom-Pom Crochet Blanket | happy together
I recently finished making this super soft and fluffy crocheted blanket and want to share how I did it. I made it so fast and was so pleased with the end result. I have seen afghans with pom-poms on them and had been wanting to create one that would fit in with my living room.

How to Make a Pom-Pom Crochet Blanket | happy together
It currently resides on this amazing chair I purchased while in visiting Virginia. And yes. I stuffed it (along with 4 other chairs) into our van to make the trek back to Louisiana. It was a good deal and I had been looking for a chair like this forever with no luck. What can I say?

How to Make a Pom-Pom Crochet Blanket | happy together
This how to is a bit general, as you can make it any size you want and all. I ended up using around 16 skeins of Loops & Threads Cozy Wool Yarn from Michaels. No matter what yarn you use, pick a thick and chunky kind. There are many brands that make this type of yarn. I also used my really big plastic crochet hook. It doesn’t have the size on it, but I would say it’s around the size P. You will also need scissors, a yarn needle, and a sewing machine.

To make the blanket, you start by making the first row of chain (ch) stitches. Make this length the approximate size you desire the blanket to be. Note: The yarn will have some stretch, so pull on it to see if it will stretch much further than your desired width. If it does, make the row shorter. Then start the second row one ch away from the hook. Do double crochet stitches (dc) across. At the end of the second row, {ch 2 and turn. DC on the front loop only of the second stitch in. Continue to dc in the front loop only across.} Then repeat from { to } until it is the length you want it.

After the final row, single stitch (sc) around the edges on the blanket 3 to 4 times. This helps keep the blanket from stretching a lot on the edges. Tip: When stitching around edge, do 3 sc on the corners for a smoother edge. Knot loose ends together where you started/stopped yarn  and weave in using your yarn needle. Weave beginning and ending yarn ends in as well (I also knot them around some of the yarn in the stitches for extra hold).

How to Make a Pom-Pom Crochet Blanket | happy together
For the pom-poms, I made them the good old fashion way. On my hand. I just wrapped the yarn around my open/flat hand until it was the thickness I desired. Then I tied a piece of yarn around the middle. To keep these from coming apart, I sewed down the middle using a sewing machine. I was scared to sew them on the sewing machine, but it went well. I took my time and used a sewing needle for jeans as well as put the machine stitch setting on a large stitch. I kind of had to flatten the pom out a bit to fit it under the sewing foot, but they still turned out puffy. After the poms are sewn, cut off the ends and trim to achieve desired look.

How to Make a Pom-Pom Crochet Blanket | happy together
I ended up making 18 poms, 9 for each side. Make as many as you like. You could do this on all four sides, but all the blankets I looked at online just had them on two sides. I kind of spaced them out to my liking and then cut a piece of yarn and sewed them each in place using the yarn needle. I made sure they were really secure and then triple knotted the ends. Trim any excess strings.

How to Make a Pom-Pom Crochet Blanket | happy together
My girls have already gotten their hands on this blanket many times and it’s holding up really well. I plan to wash it as needed, according to the yarns instructions. I will probably even hand wash it to be on the safe side. I love the extra detail it adds to our living area and it will also be a great photo prop. Now we wait for it to actually cool down so we can snuggle under it and drink hot chocolate. Come on fall!

-Jess

Driftwood Sailboat DIY

Driftwood Sailboat DIY | by Happy Together This simple diy is the first of a few projects you will see me blog about for the Cricut Design Space Star Contest that has begun this month. A bunch of us bloggers are on different teams and have a different challenge each month. We get to create using our Cricut Explore and share as many projects as we want for a chance to win prizes. This month we had to choose between paper or home decor and then pick a unique theme for it. My team went with home decor and we chose beach as our theme. Guess what? During this time, they are also giving away a Cricut Explore machine every day until the end of July!!! I will share more details at the end of the post about that, but here is the quick how to for this little driftwood sailboat with quote.

Driftwood Sailboat DIY | by Happy Together You will need a few things: a piece of dried out driftwood, fabric for the sail, a stick to hold up the sail, glue (I used a hot glue gun), ribbon, iron on vinyl of your choice, iron, scissors, and of course an Explore machine. I started by cutting out a 90 degree triangle for the sail. I used a vintage linen so it had this pretty edging on the side.

Driftwood Sailboat DIY | by Happy Together Then I went and created the quote in Design Space. I used one of my favorite fonts, Channel, and then searched the image library for “flourish” and found that little squiggly at the bottom. I measured my fabric triangle to determine how to place my words. Then I got my Explore all set up, put the vinyl on the mat, and started the cutting process. Since this is an iron on, make sure to choose the “mirror image” option before cutting.

Driftwood Sailboat DIY | by Happy Together Then I pulled off the vinyl, leaving the words behind. I placed the quote where I wanted and placed a thin cloth on top. Then I ironed it in place according to directions.

Driftwood Sailboat DIY | by Happy Together Next I glued on three pieces of ribbon to be glued onto the stick. I wrapped them around the stick and glued them in place.

Driftwood Sailboat DIY | by Happy Together Then I glued the stick on the large piece of driftwood. I used hot glue, but I would really suggest something stronger or even drilling a hole and gluing it into that. But, this is decoration for my house and will be high on a shelf, so the hot glue is good enough for me. After the glue dried, I glued down the outer corner of the sail onto the driftwood. And that is it.

Driftwood Sailboat DIY | by Happy Together imadeit

Want to win a Cricut Explore machine for yourself??? All you have to do is upload a photo of any project you have made and tag it with #cricut and #imadeit on either Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. It can be any project whatsoever! It does not have to be made with a Cricut. I would love it if you tagged me as well so I can see what you are posting :) See the sidebar buttons to find me. I hope some of you all get to win one! Remember, this is going on through the end of this month.

For more information, see here for official rules and FAQ.

See what my teammates created :)

Cricut Design Space Star Team 8 | happy together sew woodsy / brassy apple / maddycakes muse / michelle edgemont / kori clark / our thrifty ideas / no. 2 pencil / cloudy day gray / artsy-fartsy mama

Disclosure: I am part of the Cricut Blogger Network and have used affiliate links. I received a complimentary machine to facilitate my crafts and though I am not being paid for this post, I am submitting it for a chance to win some fun prizes.

Stamped Wood Magnets DIY

Stamped Wood Magnets DIY | Happy Together Ever walk around the craft store and randomly buy supplies and then come up with something to make from those supplies? That was this project. I have always wanted to make something with wood discs and then I fell in love with these mini stamps I found. Put them together and add a magnet and you get these! This is a fast and easy craft and would be good to do with older children or even make these as a party/wedding favor.

Stamped Wood Magnets DIY | Happy Together You will need wood discs (you could even cut some up from branches in your back yard), mini stamps small enough to fit on discs, an ink pad, magnets, and a strong glue (like E600).

Stamped Wood Magnets DIY | Happy Together Simply stamp on the wood. I did find that I like the bigger type stamps better as they showed a lot nicer on the wood. But if you make some you don’t really like, flip it over and use the other side or paint over it and stamp again. That would make for a more colorful magnet.

Stamped Wood Magnets DIY | Happy Together Glue on the magnets once ink is dry (which is really quick). If using the E600 glue, make sure to use it in a well ventilated area.

Stamped Wood Magnets DIY | Happy Together Then let the glue dry. The magnets I used were really strong, so I had to make sure not to place them too close together while they dried or they would attract each other and stick together.

Stamped Wood Magnets DIY | Happy Together Then use them on your fridge or wrap up really cute and hand out a fun little gift for your friends and family.

Happy crafting!

Jess

Mother’s Day Decorations

Mother's Day Decorations on Happy Together I’m a bit late on sharing this, but I have finally gotten back to a point where I might be able to blog more consistently (maybe lol). School is over and we are working on our summer rhythm and preparing for some summer adventures. Another thing I have started doing is helping with decorations at my church. I had never even thought about doing something like this, but when approached about it I was really happy to be able to participate. I have helped for a few events now and need to share those others, but this was what we did for Mother’s Day.

Church Mother's Day Decorations on Happy Together

I really try to have ideas that are very low cost. So we try to use what we have in the prop room, from our own things, and other inexpensive supplies when creating. I knew I wanted to do an Anthropologie inspired creation. They always do such beautiful things with clothing displays and I wanted to create a shirt with the Bible verse Provers 31: 25, “She is clothed in strength and dignity. She laughs without fear of the future.” I created the wording using my Cricut Explore machine and some awesome iron on gold glitter vinyl. Then I sewed lots and lots of little papers together to create a garland for the skirt. The pieces go all the way up to the ceilings a few times for a dramatic effect. Our church used to be a grocery store, so it is a big area in the front foyer and you need larger than life things to fill in the space sometimes. The drawers were ones I had saved from the curbside trash and we found the door in the back of the church to help fill in space. The pallet helped give more depth as well (another thing from my garage along with the chalkboard my hubby made me). I bought the white tissue paper from the Dollar Store and some ladies helped me create these flowers trying to go by this tutorial, but making it work however we could.

Mother's Day Decorations by Happy Together

Church Mother's Day Decorations on Happy Together We had older children and teens write reasons why they love their mom and think she’s awesome to hang up all over. It was sweet seeing people reading them.

Mother's Day Decorations | Happy Together

Church Mother's Day Decorations on Happy Together And lastly the photo wall. A lovely lady from church took lots of time cutting up green plastic table cloths so it had a grass effect and then we made a ton of tissue paper flowers and tassels. Tip: I found a 100 piece multi-color tissue paper pack for only $4.99 at Marshalls. Best deal right there. I have always been able to find some great deals on large amounts of tissue paper when needed for projects like this.  I am really enjoying using my talents in this way. Now to help prep for Father’s Day and 4th of July :)

-Jess

Tissue Paper Flowers and Painted Frames Food Table Decor

Tissue Paper Flowers and Frames Food Table Back Drop

I still have one more thing from Valentine’s week to share before February is over and that is some decorations I did for a conference at church. I always feel very happy when I am able to use my passions to help and bless others, even if it is just in a creating some decorations. Since it was Valentine’s Day and all, I went with more of a girly theme. This type of decor would be great for a wedding. I made a ton of tissue paper flowers and cut out leaves from cardstock, found some frames at a thrift store and spray painted them white, and then learned a few lessons from trying to put this together.

Tissue Paper Flowers and Frames Food Table Back Drop
Tissue Paper Flowers and Frames Food Table Back Drop

I knew I wouldn’t be able to put nails in the wall, so I tried gluing/tying the frames together to stand upright while leaning on a wall. While that kind of worked, they were so fragile I was afraid it might fall and I didn’t want it to fall on a person or food. Fortunately we had a pallet in our garage I could attach them too that. If I had given myself more time before putting it all together I would have done something to create more contrast between the pallet and the frames/sign, but I am still happy with how it turned out.

Tissue Paper Flowers and Frames Food Table Back Drop
The decorations are now waiting to be used at a bridal shower and whatever survives I hope to reuse in some fun way. I love that decorations can be inexpensive and yet look so wonderful!
-Jess

The Cricut Explore Event

Cricut Explore Event

Today I want to share with you about that special trip I took last week. I still can’t believe I was asked to be a part of it. What an honor it was to attend! So, what was the trip? A few months ago I received an email from Cricut with an invitation to a special “secret” event they were hosting. I quickly checked with my hubby and was able to reply with a big YES.

Temporary Business Cards

Time slowly passed and I started to prepare for the trip. I have never been to any type of blogger event/conference/etc, so I didn’t even think about business cards until I saw a list of what to bring the weekend before I was to leave. I quickly made some up and printed them myself and stapled them to some candy to make up for my lack of preparedness. Good news though, I am planning on buying some real business cards this week!

Cricut Explore Event

I also ended up having a little scare the night before when the airlines called and said my flight had been cancelled. I about cried. But, my hubby said to check and see if another local airport was flying out earlier and to my joy they were. I was able to make a quick flight switch and all was good. I arrived in Utah that Monday afternoon and prepared for the fun events and the “secret” that was to be revealed.

Cricut Explore Event
Cricut Explore Event
Dress Up Time

That night began with checking in and then a fabulous dinner that followed. More than 100 bloggers were there and it was surreal to see so many that I follow. We were all assigned a table to sit at and I shrieked a little bit inside when Elizabeth of Dear Lizzy and Bonnie of A Golden Afternoon sat at my table. I of course went and introduced myself. I’m quite an introvert, but I made sure to step out of my comfort zone and meet people because how often does something like this happen?

Cricut Instagram Wall A Project from each blogger
Cricut Explore Event
Macarons

Cricut Explore Event

We played bingo and a few ladies won some fabulous prizes. We ate good food. We admired the amazing decorations. We mingled. We danced. We instagrammed.

Cricut Explore Event
Also met these fabulous ladies in real life! Katie of the Crafty Blog Stalker and Becki of Whippy Cake.
New Cricut Explore Reveal

Then the big announcement of the night came and was the reveal of Cricut’s newest cutting machine: The Explore. The machine in and of itself is a pretty great thing. I have another cutting machine and this one beats it hands down. But, I was also super impressed with the business aspect of this product. They did a lot of research, even thinking about little things I know I wouldn’t have thought of. During the dinner and the whole event, Cricut employees were always among us. The lawyer was sitting at our table and was sharing his experience with the ceo while he was working on this project. It was just really neat and made me think more about all that really does go into this type of thing.

Cricut Explore Event

The next day we had a few meetings about the machine and heard from Anna Griffin (above top right) and Jeanne Lewis (below bottom left) who is the ceo/founder of Creative Bug. They are teaming up with Cricut for the new release.

Cricut Explore Event

After the morning meetings and breakfast, we started crafting. I started in the New York room where we could make some accessories. I also had a chance to use the new Explore at this point. It was really easy to use (especially since it was already set up and ready to go ;).

Cricut Explore Event New York Room
Cricut Explore Event New York Room
Cricut Explore Event New York Room
Cricut Explore Event New York Room
photo(77)

Aren’t these dresses amazing? Somehow I didn’t get a picture of the other dress they had, but they used the Explore to cut out the butterflies for the one dress and leather triangles for the black one. Gorgeous!

Cricut Explore Event New York Room

Then I went over to the Utah room. This was my most favorite. I loved the craft projects there (vinyl on water bottle, paper deer head on wood) and the decor. I so wanted to just take all the furniture and decor home with me!

Cricut Explore Event Utah Room
Cricut Explore Event Utah Room
Cricut Explore Event Utah Room
Cricut Explore Event Utah Room
Cricut Explore Event Utah Room
Cricut Explore Event Utah Room
Cricut Explore Event
Cricut Explore Event Utah Room
Cricut Explore Event Utah Room
Cricut Explore Event Utah Room
Cricut Explore Event Utah Room

The last room I went to was the California room. It was bright and cheery in there! We added iron on vinyl to a tote bag and made some paper umbrellas.

Cricut Explore Event California Room
Cricut Explore Event California Room
Cricut Explore Event California Room
Cricut Explore Event California Room
Cricut Explore Event California Room
Cricut Explore Event California Room
Cricut Explore Event California Room
Cricut Explore Event California Room
Cricut Explore Event California Room

Each room was so inspiring and filled with a ton of ideas that you could create using the Cricut Explore. Everything went so well and I had so much fun meeting so many fabulous people.

Cricut Explore Reveal Event
Snow!
Utah

I ended my last night there with a dinner at a local restaurant with others who were still there or were staying for Alt Summit. I also took some pictures of the snow to show my girls. One day they will get to see snow in real life! Now, for those of you wondering about the Cricut Explore, here is some more info:

Cricut Explore™
  • Cricut Explore™ – The world’s easiest design-and-cut system for making polished creative DIY projects. DIY crafters can go from inspiration to creation in just a few clicks. The Cricut Explore™ system blends:
    • An electronic cutting machine
    • Easy-to-use online design software
    • A 50,000+ image library with hundreds of ready-to-make projects
  • Cricut Design Space™ – Free online software for the Cricut Explore™ that lets users design and create their own projects as well as browse and make Cricut®-designed projects in minutes.
    • Make It Now™ Projects – DIYers can select from hundreds of pre-designed projects (home decor, paper crafts, parties, holiday decor, etc.) that they can start making in just the click of a button
    • Canvas Templates – DIYers can personalize and make their own creations for popular items (t-shirts, iPad cases, pillows, invitations, cards, etc.)
    • Cut What You Want® – DIYers also have the freedom to upload images and fonts from the Web or their computers *
  • Cut Smart™ Patent-pending technology that cuts, writes or scores a variety of materials with incredible precision. It features dual carriage heads:
    • One carriage head with a premium German carbide blade for cutting
    • A secondary carriage head for drawing or writing with a pen or marker
  • Smart Set™ – A material selection dial that works with Cut Smart™ technology to eliminate the need to make pressure, depth and speed adjustments.
    • With a turn of the dial, DIYers can easily alternate between cutting multiple materials: paper, vinyl, iron on, cardstock, fabric and poster board and more
    • Also includes a custom option that can be preset to a desired material of choice, like chipboard, craft foil or magnetic materials
  • Out of the Box Each Cricut Explore™ machine comes with a simple guide and a selection of materials—including cardstock, iron-on, vinyl and two Duck Tape® Sheets—so DIYers can immediately make any of the 50 free projects.
  • Pricing & Availability
    • Cricut Explore™ – $299 MSRP
      • Debuts on the Home Shopping Network February
      • Available at retail March 15th
      • Other retail partners include Amazon, Jo-Ann, Michaels, Walmart.com and more
  • Cricut Design Space™
    • Individual images – Starting from $0.99
    • No-commitment monthly subscriptions, access to 25,000 images and over 200 fonts – $9.99
    • Annual subscriptions, access to 25,000 images and over 200 fonts – $99.99

 Other info you might be curious about:
-Comes with a special bag with handles to store it in so you don’t have to store it in the box.
-The software is completely free, but images cost money (see above). You get fifty free with your purchase to make the projects they share. But, you can upload your own images for free to use. Here is more info on that from the ceo:

“Cricut Design Space is free to use for all file types, no subscription required.
 
 
Upload and design with your .svg, .dxf, .bmp, .jpg, .png, and .gif files absolutely free. Design with your system fonts absolutely free. Use Cricut Design Space for free, and try out any image in your design for free.
 
  
Our month-to-month subscription is still available as the most affordable way to access content in the market. For $9.99 a month, you get unlimited use of over 25,000 images in the Cricut library! (Unfortunately, our licensing agreements don’t allow us to make Disney images or other branded content available in a subscription.)”
 
-They also said that if you have uploaded images from your cartridges onto Craft Room, those will be available for you to use in Cricut Design Space (no fee).

-This machine can also cut things like burlap, leather, magnets, and even thin material like copy paper. If there is a type of material they don’t have listed in the program, you can add it and create a setting for it. The dial on top that is for easy cutting settings can also be reprogrammed to different types of materials if you use those more regularly.
-There will also be a blue tooth accessory available so you can even use Cricut Design Space on your Ipad to operate it if you want.
-They created this machine to be very quiet as they found in their research that a large percentage of usage is done at night while others are sleeping.
-You can use blades from other Cricut machines in this one, but the Explore comes with the newer and more improved blade that last longer.
-They are looking into making it compatible with previous machines, but want to keep this machine as easy to use as possible.
-You can put a pen in to have it draw (think metallics people!) or put in a scoring tool (so you can create that pre-folded look).

Hope that helps for those looking for more info. They really listen to the consumers, so if you have anything you want to ask about, etc. you can get in touch with them. I met some of the customer service team members in the California room and they were really nice :)I will of course be sharing more of my experiences with the machine when I get it, so be on the look out for that.
-Jess

Rustic Arrow Theme Baby Shower

Rustic Baby Shower for Boy

Last month was a very full month for me. It was full of so many amazing events, one of which was a baby shower I hosted for my friend. I have always been so blessed to meet and become friends with such incredible people in all the places the military moves us. There really are great people everywhere. It might take time to find them sometimes, but they are there.

Rustic Baby Shower for Boy

I found out my friend wasn’t having a baby shower and knew immediately I wanted to throw one for her. Every child is a gift, so I wanted to at least have a celebration party or something if gifts were a concern. You know, like one last big party before her little boy arrives. I was inspired by some lovely ladies I follow on instagram to do an arrow theme. Some moms reference their children to being their arrows based on Psalm127:3-4 so I was going with that.

Rustic Baby Shower for Boy

This will be my friends third arrow :) I had wanted to do a little bit more with the arrow theme, but I just didn’t have enough time. I’ve learned by now to just let things go and enjoy instead of stressing out until the very last minute over little details probably no one else will really notice anyways. So I cut out arrows and sewed them together through the middle and used things from all over my house to decorate with. Hooray for arrows!

Rustic Baby Shower for Boy

The tablecloth is actually a piece of fabric I had in my stash. The chalkboard is one my hubby made for me to use for the mini sessions I did (and I also used it at a craft show I did last month as well). It’s come in real handy! He made it from old fence boards. Then I sanded the middle some and painted on the chalkboard area. It’s a bit bumpy but it works.

Rustic Baby Shower for Boy           Rustic Baby Shower for Boy

I hung lights all over like crazy too and it got me super excited for decorating for Christmas. I love twinkle lights! I kept the food simple and added different dishes and bowls I had for some variety to the table.

Rustic Baby Shower for Boy

In our living room, I added a big banner on some craft paper (well, it was technically gift wrap paper) with her sons name on it and taped up pictures from their family/maternity session I photographed. I will share pics of those soon.

We had a fun night and I didn’t even make them play any games! I did try a craft, but I should have tried to make the bracelet myself first because it did not go well at all. But it gave us some good laughs and was funny watching us all trying to figure it out. 
I hope all my US readers had a good Thanksgiving! I should be having some Christmas type posts up soon. In fact, I just made our front door wreath tonight. We are keeping things simple and purposeful this year. It’s going well so far. Have a good week and be a good friend :)
-Jess

Oh, and I forgot I wanted to share the invite I made. We just did a facebook invite so I didn’t need to print this out, but I made the left side with the Studio app. I love that app! It’s free and just AMAZING. Seriously. Then I put it with a pic in PSE real quick. Simple and just right.