Sunday, February 22, 2009

Hurray for Cricut!

I finally got around to posting all the things I cut out with my Cricut. :) When I got it, I literally spent the next two or three days just cutting stuff out. Most of it didn't really have a purpose so I gave all the cute cut-outs to my husband. It was Valentine's Day so I was making cute hearts and name tags and stuff. He thought they were awesome. :)

First of all, I have to say that I bought this Cricut off eBay at half the suggested retail price with free shipping so I had NO idea what it was I might be getting. I was kind of expecting the worst since I've had such horrible eBay experience. Anyway, it came in an official Cricut box that was taped with Cricut tape, and everything was there! It looked so perfect and beautiful! Brand new and in the box. It restored some of my faith in eBay. Then I actually watched the included DVD and wrote down some notes. I wanted to make sure I did everything my Cricut could possibly do. So here are some of the things I made.

These are some random shapes I made for my hubby. I made name tags for just about everyone in our house. :)

Then I made some fun shapes. I really like the leaf there. I don't think you can see it very well, but there's a larger brown shadow underneath it that I also cut out. I LOVE its shadow cutting option.

That's my dog's tag. I even let her wear it around for a little while, but I took it off before she could tear it. After all the tag-making, I went for the big guns and made an envelope! Watch as I amaze you!

Is this envelope not way cool? Not to mention, I used some wicked paper. It turned out wonderfully. :) The things you can do with this thing are basically boundless. There are limits to everything, of course, but this comes pretty close.

I bought an additional cartridge about a week after I got the machine. I was pretty much set with the 2 cartridges that came with the machine, but I heard about one that made just cards. It makes all these crazy wicked cards. So far, I've only really had time to make an argyle card, but it's awesome! The cartridge also came with phrases and an owl card!!! I think we all know how much I like owls. :) Yay, Etsy Owls!

Anyway, I'll have to get some pictures of the new cards up soon. I've been a bit of a slacker in my duty (hee, hee, duty...) to update my blog. I will not ignore it! I'm going to sort of promise!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Ehle Custom Stationery has new products!

I have been searching high and low to find ways to expand my shop, and I think by trying the book binding thing, I may have done that. I bound a couple books from scratch this weekend, and they look great! I even handcovered the book covers. I'm pretty proud of that one. :) I've only listed one of them because I haven't sewn the other one, yet, but the one I listed is definitely my favorite.

The cover reminds me of my favorite storybook character, the Cheshire Cat. I ended up calling this one the Purple Cheshire Grin Sketchbook. I have another book that's almost done. I just have to sew the pages to the cover. :) Let me know what you think of this! I hope they do well. I really enjoyed making the two I worked on this weekend.

On a sidenote, my husband started brewing his own beer about a week ago. He asked me if I would make the labels, and they came out really well. We thought they did, anyhow. :) We should be bottling soon, and when we do, I'll be sure to take a picture of one of our labeled beer bottles. Check back soon!

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Chronicles of Book Binding

I did it! I bound my own book, finally, and I actually didn't do a bad job. This weekend, I spent a lot of time getting my supplies and my notes together on the process. I found a really good video on YouTube that took me through the whole process. Hurray, YouTube!

Anyway, I had a small chipboard shelf that had two doors on the front. The shelf got a bit smushed, so I decided this would be a great opportunity to have a book cover! I cut the doors off the front, which actually work really well for a book since there's a wrap closure and pockets on the inside of the doors. I used some modge podge to seal the cut edges of the doors so they'd be a tad more durable, but I liked the unfinished edge so I didn't cover them.

As you can see by the designs on the "cover," this is a great cover for a sketch/ideabook, which is exactly how I will be using it. Then, I had to make all the signatures (booklet sets of pages to be sewn to the cover) and make a jig so I could evenly punch holes in both the covers and the signatures. I put eyelets in the cover holes to reinforce the chipboard so the thread wouldn't tear it when I put it through. After the jig was made, I punched holes in the signatures and got my thread ready for sewing. I couldn't find any bookbinding thread so I went ahead and got some rayon embroidery floss (industrial strength and really pretty :)), and I waxed the thread myself using a chunk of beeswax. So now the thread looks good and smells good. Yay, beeswax!

When I was done putting off the inevitable (I was really, really nervous), I finally got my head in the game and started sewing my book. I tested out the technique by sewing the cover to the first signature.

It worked! Then I got all excited and did a whole bunch of sewing...

I don't know if I mentioned it, but I used the coptic stitch for my binding. I really like how this stitch leaves the spine visible because it's so pretty! It's pretty much awesome. PS - Use a curved tapestry needle if you're going to do this because it makes going between the signatures super easy! Anyway, not much happened after this except for lots of monotonous and tedious sewing. It was worth it, but still kind of boring. I'm not a person who likes to wait. Once you get the hang of it, though, it goes pretty quickly. To make a long, boring story appropriately short, I finished the book and took more pictures.

Is this cover not perfect? Besides the neat stitching, I think that's my favorite part. :) Here are some pictures of the stitching.

Here's a close-up of the stitch. The braids are what make the visible spine awesome! I also just happened to find some paper that was lined on one side and graph paper on the other side, which, again, makes the case for a killer sketchbook. :)

I told you it had pockets. There will be a mash of notes and random drawings in there in no time. They will all be post-its. I'm obsessed with post-its, and they are my muse. Seriously.

And this is how it looks in my craft bookshelf. It looks great, and I can't wait to use it! And, just so everyone knows, yet another great thing about the coptic stitch is that the open spine and stitching allow a book bound in this way to open flat. Sketchbook central. :)

NOTE: So I've been thinking about the fox tail all day today. I decided I couldn't very well have a fox tail without fox ears. Hence, I need some fox ears also. Let me know if you happen to run across some.

Friday, February 6, 2009

And for my next trick, I will... CRAFT!

So I have this shop at, and it sort of showcases my paper crafts. I say sort of only because I have a tendency to write ideas in several different notebooks. Then I misplace those notebooks, and I'll find some random drawing months later. Or I'll print off a sample, and I'll misplace that sample. In any case, I end up misplacing something, and only rarely does something end up on my site. :) So I have tons of stuff hanging around my room. I'm trying to clean up my room, and I want to get some of my favorite stuff on my shop this weekend.

Did you see my Unicorn Barf Bag? Yeah, that's what I'm talking about. I have random drawings like that stuffed everywhere around my room, in my purse and in my pockets. My favorite one that I haven't listed yet is a picture of a sandwich holding a person's hand. It's samwich love. :) Okay, it's hard to explain, but I LOVE it! And I LOVE my samwiches!!!

Anyway, I also want to use this blog to track some of my crafts that don't get showcased on etsy. I like to knit, crochet, and hmm... Well, I like to make lots of stuff. This weekend, I'm going to try my hand at book binding. I'm attempting to use the coptic stitch to make a bee-au-tiful book. I'm taking pictures, but if my book ends up sucking, I may not post them. I will have to think about that. Wish me luck!

Oh, and I had a really fun thought today. Whilst watching Demetri Martin's stand-up (he's super funny), there was a guy in the show who was wearing a fox tail. I have a pair of cat ears that I like to wear all the time, and this made me think how fun it would be to wear a fox tail all day. Part of me thinks that people would think I was trying to be "foxy," but, for one thing, Foxy by Jimi Hendrix is a super awesome song, and I'm not trying to be "foxy," I just want to wear a fox tail. So, there.