A Small Personalized Gift for the Best Dad Ever!

My dad is the best dad ever. Don’t @ me.

He got my brother and me tickets to go to El Clasico friendly game between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid in Miami. We were beyond ecstatic to go to the game and experience the energy of that match that NEVER gets old between two of the biggest franchises in the world, not to mention the opportunity to see players like Messi, Bale, Neymar, etc. live. It’s something not everyone gets to do, and we were so grateful to him for that awesome gift. The only problem? Our dad is a Real Madrid fan.

Just kidding. You’re free to love any team here on this blog, it’s a safe space for all ❤ Anywho, our dad was originally supposed to go to the game with us, but due to some unfortunate AF circumstances, he could no longer make it. We were heartbroken because of course, he got us this amazing gift and we wanted to enjoy it with him, and also, we got him a sick team jersey which I customized for him, and it would’ve been awesome for him to wear it at the match.

Some logistics info: all the teams change their clothing up every year. We were able to find a 2017-2018 season Real Madrid jersey for him, but we got it blank because he doesn’t really have a favorite player on the team, and he actually dislikes Cristiano Ronaldo (biggest fan contradiction ever, I know, but I LOVE it!). So, I decided that it would be cool to put our last name in the back of the jersey, that way he could sport it forever without worrying about players being traded or leaving (forever traumatized by LeBron James and Wade, what am I supposed to do with my Heat jerseys now?!)… Back to the team logistics – I couldn’t for the life of me find the 2017 font, so I had to settle for the 16-17 season one, but it still looked pretty good.

Once my dad was finally able to come see us, we gave him the jersey and he LOVED it!

Love you pa! Thanks again for the tickets to the game, and glad you loved your shirt ❤

Advertisements

Buying vs. Making: Concert Shirts for J. Cole!

Let’s talk about concerts for a minute, shall we? It has gotten truly ridiculously expensive to go see your favorite musician lately. Ticket prices + venue fees + parking/Uber cost + refreshments/food at the venue + artist memorabilia = where do I file for bankruptcy?! It’s a lot. When I was little, of course I’d beg my parents for the shirt or hat or bandana or keychain or any memento I could keep as a souvenir, but now as an adult, I dare not even glance over at the merchandise section.

I usually wear normal clothes to concerts, but as the date for the J.Cole concert in Orlando was approaching, my brother suggested I should make some shirts for us. I was super surprised he had this idea because 1. Neither he nor I are the type to do this and 2. I really hadn’t thought about making myself any artist-related clothing item for a concert, ever. But this was a cool moment for me, since my brother never asks me to make anything and I was so touched he wanted me to do it that I was 100% in.

When it comes to these things, I try to be as frugal as possible. If it’s not something I can see myself wearing often, I will not splurge on it. Plus, if it’s a DIY, it should be cheaper, right? Right. So, when it came to the Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV), I decided not to buy any, but make use of what I already had. No need to spend extra or go crazy with that. And for the shirts, since I had the experience with the ones I made for my Game of Thrones watch party, I knew I’d find something at Walmart. I found a black shirt for me for under $4, and even though my brother actually didn’t like any of the options there, he ended up finding a v-neck at TJ Maxx for $4 as well. With the amount of HTV I ended up using, each shirt basically came out to $6!

When it came time to design it, I wanted to have J.Cole’s face and hair silhouette which has become a big part of his brand, and also incorporate the crown from his Born Sinner album artwork. I ended up designing/cutting/putting it all together the same day of the concert because #ProcrastinationNation. And the crazy thing here was that since I was only using what I had, there was no room for error. Whatever I’d cut, it had to work. Because of the amount of each color I had, I decided that my brother would get Cole’s face silhouette, and I’d do my shirt with only the crown. I looooved how they turned out!

 

And here’s the best part of it all: during the concert, there was a lot of camera focus on the audience, and at some point my brother caught us on the jumbotron, BECAUSE he recognized the print on his shirt! It was so cool to see my shirts on the big screen, looking like official merch, but made by me :’)

 

Guess who’s never paying for merch ever again?!?

Vanessa’s Nauti Bach!

Yo-ho, yo-ho, horders are back! As you may have noticed, my most recent posts don’t include orders, and that’s because I’ve had to put my shop on “Vacation Mode” which shuts down all incoming requests. This due to the fact that my work-craft balance has been a little heavier on the work side since last June, so I’ve had to take a bit of a hiatus from my prior order-driven rhythm. But that ends today, thanks to Vanessa’s Nautical Cruise Bachelorette order!

Demi – one of Vanessa’s bridesmaids and a close friend of mine – asked me back in early February if I could make some shirts for a bachelorette weekend cruise to the Bahamas. Since I hadn’t really been making things, my fingers were itching to create something new, and with a close to two-month prep period, I thought I could for sure deliver the order on time. It would be 14 shirts, 4 different styles and one seriously committed crafter. I’ve only made shirts once before, so I was really excited to broaden my clothing portfolio.

The funny part is, because Demi has seen a lot of my work and she was really committed to her vision, she started asking if I could also make some other things for her like a banner… and some sashes… and some hats… and next thing I knew, the order went from “just shirts” to a whole event package! And. I. LOVED. It!

Let’s run through the final product and some action shots –

Cruise-Boarding Shirts: 

Words (and even these images) don’t do justice to how BEAUTIFUL that gold vinyl looked in person!

Nassau Day Shirts: 

Sashes: 

Banner & Tassel Garland:

Photo Booth Props: 

Sailor Hats: 

Captain Hat & Booty Veil:

 

And that’s how this bridal party went super mega ultra nauti, courtesy of WCB!

Flirting with… Vinyl!

For the most part, crafters and craft shop owners have a little bit of a niche, whether it be paint, paper crafting, glass work, wood burning, etc. I, on the other hand, am all over the place, excited to experiment, trying to soak up and learn as much as I can, and living out my wildest #craftasies. I enjoy this freedom, and though I’ve been working heavily on the paper crafting and painting world, I’m currently dabbing my feet in the unknown waters of Vinyl. The way I feel about working with vinyl is the same feeling you have when you like a guy who has a little bit of a dangerous appeal, and you know that the relationship has potential, but you’re scared of getting hurt… You know?

I have problems. I’m aware.

I never heard about vinyl prior to getting my Cricut Explore, which I planned on using exclusively for my card stock crafts. Then, my friend (who saved my life and taught me how to use my Cricut when I was struggling HARD with YouTube videos, so THANK YOU KATHY!) invited me to join a couple of Facebook groups called Let’s Learn Cricut Explore and Cricut Lovers Guide to Design Space (admin approval is required to join), which she told me would be a great way to get acquainted with the Cricut’s features and I could ask questions to the members – currently over 20,000 in each! So I joined, and realized that the vast majority of the members worked mostly with vinyl (or Heat Transfer Vinyl/HTV) to make decals or clothing accents. It looked cool, but scary.

I was intimidated to try any vinyl projects, because it just looked like a sticky situation (HA! get it?) and like I could mess it up easily. I avoided it at all costs and even though my Cricut brought a sample of vinyl, I refused to open it… Until I had to make an item which I knew would only make sense to be made with HTV. My friend was turning 26, and she mentioned that she wanted a sash that said “26 & Fabulous.” So I mustered up my courage, bought some glittery HTV, followed the instructions I remembered I’d seen in the Facebook groups countless times (mirror the image if necessary, check your settings, use chalk powder to show the lines when weeding, etc.) and got to work! Until I got to my first major roadblock: I couldn’t find an iron in my house. For HTV to work you NEED heat to stick it to the fabric. But fear not, because I tend to get REALLY creative when I’m in a craft jumble… So I figured, since it’s a sash, I could probably pull this off with my Hair Iron!

Ta da! I added a thin border with another ribbon to top it off, and it came out exactly the way my friend said she wanted it! She ended up wearing it all weekend long 🙂 20160108_223607578_iOS

After this, I felt a teensy bit more confident and willing give the permanent vinyl a chance, perhaps even decorate my Cricut machine (a lot of crafters do it!) so I decided to order a stack of sample colors from Amazon to have them handy for whenever I decided to step up to bat… Which didn’t take too long!

First, my mom’s friend asked me if I could make a decal for her car. Like, PERMANENT. And it had to come out right because it doesn’t come off easy and it was for her business. So I got to work, and I even stuck it on her car myself 🙂 She LOVED it!

20160220_193011431_iOS

Any pro vinyl crafter out there will know that this is cake. The real test of vinyl craftsmanship is layering, i.e. cutting out each component of the image in its respective color, and then layering it appropriately to create the final image. And you know where I’m going with this – someone asked me for something that I knew would look best layered!

My best friend wanted to do something cute for her son’s second birthday at school. She wanted to send some favor bags for his classmates, and she wanted them to be Mickey themed since that’s his favorite character. I came up with a design idea, and she loved it, so now it was time to work! Mickey heads with their names on them? Let’s do it!

AHHHHHHHH I LOVE CRAFTING! And my Cricut!!! For these projects, the most helpful tips I’d seen in the groups included setting the machine to cut “washi tape” because sometimes it’s too rough when you set it to “vinyl,” and to invest in a set of basic dental tools because they’re thinner than the Cricut tools. Also, Cricut Transfer Tape (or basic contact paper if you’re in a bind) is ESSENTIAL to transfer/layer all the pieces 🙂

So now, having done a small scale version of the projects that thousands of people do every day with vinyl, I’m finally comfortable enough to work with the material and hope I can continue to improve my skills and do some great stuff with it! In the meantime, I decided to take my manicure to the next level with some more of that vinyl 😉 20160328_182320868_iOS

A Superhero Baby Shower Out of a WCB Comic Book!

When my friend Diana approached me about doing some items for her baby shower, I never expected what would come out of our first meeting. At that point, I had mostly only made photo booth props, and was itching for someone to request items I’d never made before to start building a portfolio of my work, and in turn, feel a little more empowered when asked if I could do something. Saying “yes I can” is cool and all, but saying “yes, I have!” has a very different ring to it, and it can really influence the outcome of the conversation.

So here I am, expecting Diana to ask for some photo booth props… And that turned into a two and a half hour meeting! Truth is, when she started naming each item, I didn’t have the slightest idea of what it would even cost to make them, or what price they went for because she gave me no insight prior to the meeting so I couldn’t research them, but I was still so excited to do this!

After that meeting, I did the research, shopped around for prices and options, did a digital design, created my first official quote and invoice templates… It basically legitimized my process for custom orders and gave me a lot of perspective on working for all future orders, especially custom ones. She requested:

  1. Superman Style Banner
  2. Cupcake Toppers
  3. Candy Bar Signs
  4. Veggie/Fruit Station Signs
  5. 8 x 10 art
  6. Centerpiece Accents
    1. Comic Book Thought Bubbles
    2. Superhero Babies
    3. Baby Oliver Stars
  7. Photo Booth Props
  8. Superhero Logos

And a few other things we went back and forth on but due to the event location restrictions we weren’t able to do. Like I said, I got to work right away investigating every item (commonly used materials, price points, production time, etc.) and once Diana approved, I started the assembly. I had a few challenges, especially with some of the digital stuff (I usually work a lot with my Cricut machine to design, cut, and layer items. When it came time to print stuff, it was hard to figure out/find items with good resolution, and I had to come up with ways to fix them once printed), but thankfully, it all worked out!

Here’s the gallery with all the items in their final look 🙂

 

And for the moment of the delivery, I added a little something to my standard Thank You sticker, you know, for the super occasion 😉

Photo Aug 05, 6 32 02 PM (1)