Out of failures can come success! | Week 7 | #52wonderfilledweeks

Wow! This week was hard...and it shouldn't have been.  But it serves as a great example of why I gave myself this challenge.  It is so easy when the going gets rough to just get going...on something else! HA! But what I love about challenging myself is it forces me to finish what I started, so as Tim Gunn says, "Make it work!!". I felt at every turn this week I was in a "Make it work!" moment, both in the craft AND horn studio (more on that in a separate post)!

This week was Valentines and until this year my oldest had no idea what that meant, but this year she understood the concept of Valentines and giving out "treats" to her friends.  Her school held a Valentines Party and I knew we would have to hand out cards...what I didn't anticipate is what an event this has turned into since I was a kid.  Hold on, lemme pull out my soap box....when I was a kid you handed out cards...that's it.  I don't remember handing out candy...I remember looking at the beautiful cards and reading all the sayings and thinking did they pick this one for me?? But that's not what happens now.  What I knew going into this year was that with my new Cameo I wanted to make our cards, after all I have a fair paper stash...not nearly as large as my fabric stash but I knew I could make something work, but when I started Pinteresting and Google searching I quickly saw that a simple card is no longer the standard.  P has a sensitivity to food dye...so I knew as a parent who tries to limit sugar/processed foods that I didn't want to ADD to the mess of candy that we were sure to receive so I opted for the non food route.  I saw some small bubble wands and heart shaped glasses at Target and snatched them up.  (I actually shudder at the thought that I bought these...as you know I hate waste and trash and I just keep thinking that these will all end up in a landfill somewhere...so that will be changing for next year...)

I knew this would be a great project to try and build a cut file from scratch on my new machine and having both design experience and experience with my Cricut I thought what could go wrong? So I put it all off until Monday...the party was Wednesday...can you see where I am going with this?

My new Cameo up from the basement so I could work on the Valentines and watch the kiddos at the same time.

 I designed two different cards, one for the glasses which featured two slits to pass the ear pieces of the glasses thru and one for the bubbles which had a slit that held the bubbles in place.  I was actually pretty proud of the design and had I had more time I might have made the finishing touches for them to work flawlessly but the slits needed nudging and the sketch pens I had bought to use to write out the sayings didn't work. I should have researched the sketch option more before I bought the Silhouette brand of sketch pens.  The pink pen ran out of ink after one, ONE valentine, and I had 32 to make!!!! So then I wasted time googling and trying out a pen hack..I did get one bubble Valentine to sketch right but I decided time was of the essence and I decided that I should just order the pen holder and test out the sketch option with sharpies later when I didn't have an anxious 4 year old waiting to add her flair to her Valentines.

The one good Valentine make with the slit of the bubbles and the sharpie, sketch hack.

So I decided to make the Valentines more simple, I'd make them the same shape, heart of course, and slits for the glasses (just something to hold one ear piece onto the card) and tie the bubbles on. Since my sketch/writing idea didn't work I'd have to cut out the letters and choose a font where I didn't necessarily need the inside pieces (inside of the B's and E's) to be able to read and use the negative cuts to make the gluing simple. One piece. P could help with the gluing, it would be perfect, she loves a good project.

Redesigning  the cards.  I layout everything as compact as possible to maximize my paper usage.
That was all great until my machine would no longer connect to my computer via Bluetooth, which is paramount when working in my dining room with an almost walking 9 month old who likes to grab everything.  A cord hanging around wouldn't work...I'll spare you the details but several hours and one firmware update later I was FINALLY back in business.  Tuesday morning I got to work and was able to cut and weed (take out all the little pieces) in under and hour...*sigh of relief*.

Lots of little letters.  Normally I'd try and save these but as I was so far behind, into the recycle bin they went.

I figured out after I cut these that using all caps works far better for weeding and reading the negative of the letters.

After I cut the hearts with text I cut some cute Valentine patterned paper into a larger heart shape (I used the offset feature to make my initial heart a few sizes bigger.) I planned to glue the purple hearts to the back of the printed paper so that the white of the printed paper would show thru the text negative and then the backs then would be pretty to look at too! 

P gluing the hearts together.  
I ended up using a glue stick on the backs of the purple hearts and then handed them off to P to place on the patterned larger hearts.  This is where I had to let go a bit.  I am such a perfectionist it was driving me nuts that P wasn't even TRYING to put the hearts center...but I realized that she's 4... and these were HER Valentines... and then things got easier.  I showed her how we should try and put them center, if only to make sure they stay together and she did a darn good job.  I had a much less stressful afternoon after that.

P pressing the hearts together.

I also had to show P how to press, not rub, the hearts together.  Because of the small pieces it was easy to rip or tear the parts of the E's and A's if we rubbed so we made a game out of pressing and tapping all along the outside of the purple heart.  She got really good by the end!

Hearts all glued together!
After all the hearts were glued together I had P turn each over and "write" her name.  This always turns into drawing. I was worried she'd get half done and peter out...and that is exactly what happened but I explained to her how important it was that everyone get a beautiful card with her artwork and she buckled down and finished them.

Making her "mark", LOL!
The only thing left to do was to finish the glasses slit in the patterned paper.  When I cut the purple hearts on the machine I had it cut slits for the glasses.  I was going to add the same slits on the patterned hearts but I am glad I didn't because P was so willy nilly about gluing them together they never would have matched up.  After the hearts were glued together I got my trusty exacto knife and cutting board and quickly traced the slits on the front thru to the back.  Worked perfectly.

Ear piece thru the slit.
In the end they were really cute.  I am glad I had so many failures because I learned a lot.  Next time I will start sooner! I also won't try something new (sketching fonts) under a deadline.  I also learned that we have built Valentines up way too much.  P came home with so much stuff.  I thought we were being generous giving a kid a bubble wand...but she came home with packets of candy with bubbles, and all sorts of trinkets.  Party favor bags with multiple items and I just decided nope, I am not doing it. Next year I've decided we are going to give cards only.  That's it.  The kids don't need the sugar.  The parents don't need the arguments and fights with the kids over why they can't have all the candy.  The landfills don't need the useless garbage.  Nope next year I will sit down with my daughter and spend time with her, showing her love while helping her to make some heart felt cards for her friends and classmates and hope the message of you are loved can surpass the love of things.


Next week I will tell you all about the fail and eventual success, on a pattern I hacked into a new favorite shirt.  I finished it late last night so it will have to wait until next week to share.


  1. Cute cards. I'm glad you ditched the "U blow me away". It could be offensive in thsee days.


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