Paint with Me | Natural Bliss

Throughout this project/ piece of art, life has drastically turned, which is crazy to think about. When I first started this project, we were not on lockdown and people were not going crazier than normal. Let’s be honest, people were crazy before, there just weren’t as many people as there currently are. No, I am not going to be talking about my opinion on any of the issues that are consuming what we used to call the “normal” day to day. Just a quick side note to respect each other in terms of space and tongue. If you cannot spread anything positive do not say anything.

Moving on, this project started before the whole pandemic and it was requested by my soon to be mother-in-law. She was giving this wooden somewhat shiplap frame, which has been a real trend, and I was given creative freedom on it, it was just preferred that I do some type of floral piece. This was one of those projects where I worked out it a little on and off throughout the week and really took the time to enjoy the process. Painting or crafting shouldn’t stress you out but it may take some reminding, so do not be discouraged. If it does make you tense every once in a while, simply walk away from it and come back when you feel ready. My favorite thing to do is put on my headphones, brainstorm and then just go forth.

As seen in the video below there were a lot of times I painted over things I did not like which is all a part of the process. It does not need to be perfect either so try new techniques like I did, some may work some may look completely awful. Just to clarify a bit of my process I did use multiple reference photos of flowers and nature and complied them all together. I hope you enjoy the time lapse of me creating this piece and are inspired to start on those projects in that craft closet that you always say you do not have time for.

Stay Safe & Keep Crafting,

XOXO Faith

St. Patricks Day | DIY Stickers

 

It is a blister day in the neck of these woods, which is fun crafty weather. This specific design is perfect for celebrating St. Patricks Day for kids, adults, and even for the planner addicts, the possibilities are endless. With this tutorial you will learn the skills on how to make a custom sticker for any occasion too. This is a easy beginner project to make with your Cricut so head over to Design Space and follow along with me.

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Share your creations with me in the comments or message them to me. I would love to see them!

XOXO Faith

Cricut Stickers | Tutorial & Tips

Before I even received a Cricut machine all I wanted to do was create pretty, unique stickers for my planner. People who say they are too old for stickers I will never quite understand. Anyway, everyone made it look so easy on their tutorials so I thought it would be just as smooth for me. I watched multiple tutorials and thought I was overly prepared to say the least. After spending weeks creating designs for my first stickers the machine showed me who was really in charge. So, you want to make stickers? I am showing you ALL of my failures and how to fix them, so that when you create your own it will actually run smooth.

#1: Always Peel the Mat NOT the Material: This protects your project from curling up and getting into a jumbled mess.

#2: Do NOT Leave the Mat Uncovered: As soon as the material leaves the mat the clear plastic sheet should immediately be placed back on top of it. This protects the mat from losing its stickiness from dust and various things.

#3: Printing Sticker Paper: Yes, the simplest things can go wrong so take the extra time to figure out which side of the sheet is sticky and which is not. Some brands clearly mark the wrong side and some do not. Does the printer flip the paper over while printing? If so it needs to be sticky side down. If you are not sure do a test run by creating a tiny mark on the wrong side of the paper and print out a letter in white. This will ensure that you do not waste any precious sticker paper.

#4: Measure Twice Cut Once: Even if the project is only stickers it still applies to the golden rule of measure twice, cut once. Sticker planners need to be certain dimensions in order to not look weird. Plus, who wants a sticker they cannot read because it is too small. Just take a moment to think how large each needs to be in order to be legible and functional.

#5: Trim Off the Excess: Projects are bound to be doomed to the trash bin at some point when testing new materials. Take the time to trim off access pieces from sticker paper that is still usable, even if you cannot print and cut them they are still functional for something. Even if everything goes according to plan there will be scraps.  Place them in a scrap bin or organize them by time in folders/ drawers.

#6: Attach Vs. Flatten: The attach function in Design Space is just as it is shown on the button, a paperclip. It will move as one unit; however, all of the layers are still separated. Flatten on the other hand smashes all the layers into one, which is shown in the layers panel. For complex stickers made in Design Space with multiple layers Flatten is your best friend. I really wish that Cricut as a company would program Design Space to use blue lines to indicate exactly where the machine will cut, this would have saved so many of my projects.

#7: Bleed Option: When creating a print and cut there will be an option automatically turned on called bleed. Bleed does exactly what it sounds like, it bleeds the image over the indicated measurements. Test it out, from project to project it will vary on whether it is helpful or hurtful.

#8: Test Products: Even if the first or fourth sticker attempt totally sucks try them out, jot down issues with them. Take each test as an opportunity to learn what to fix in order to create better project results the next time. Try out the stickers on a planner to see if they are too large, too small, too thin or whatever it may be.

#9: Calibrating the Machine: Print and cut projects can be a headache as they may be off by a hair or by a lot. Proper alignment can make or break a project. If projects seem to be way off try recalibrating your Cricut.

#10: Material Settings: If you use Cricut materials it is pretty simple to select the proper material settings, however, if you purchase a third-party material it may be a little bit tricky. Anytime you try something new you need to test it out so try the Cricut sticker paper setting, for me it cut through both layers of the sticker paper, since it was too thin. My favorite sticker setting is called sticky note, it works well for third paper sticker papers. Don’t be afraid to test new settings and materials. Maybe one type of sticker paper really isn’t that great. Try another one before throwing in the towel and blaming yourself.

Watch the video below for examples and tutorials on all of the tips mentioned above.

XOXO Faith

Mental Test Log| Set Yourself Up for Success

This week I wanted to test myself mentally and I encourage you to do the same if you have been in a slump as well. There is no right or wrong way to do this either, so tweak it as much as you need to. My test was to set two goals and see how I would respond to them knowing that I was making myself accountable by thus throwing the data on the internet. If this is too drastic tell a friend daily or have a weekly log in instead. This is to motivate you as well as myself. I also have provided some resources to check out if your goals are similar to mine.


Goal # 1: Learning A Language

logo-with-duo.pngI committed to spend 15 minutes at the minimum practicing my Spanish. For this I made it really easy by allowing myself to lay in bed in the morning and practice with the duolingo app (it is free). They do sectional learning so one day it may be focused on traveling or family vocabulary. They also have a function that tells you a mini story in Spanish aloud and then it has questions throughout it to focus on learning comprehension.

To further progress I started writing down the main words of each lesson everyday as well as words that I struggled with that day. Another good thing about this app besides it being free is the fact that it listens to you while you practice speaking certain phrases.

I actually kept this goal by doing it every day! It was more attainable because I set a time to do it every morning as well as I knew it was only 15minutes. Little goals like this make a difference.  It was daunting for me to set the bar by carving out an entire hour which is why I made it only 15 minutes. Most days I even went over the time frame.

The app has several different languages to choose from so check it out if you want to learn another language.


Goal #2: Physical

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Towards the beginning of the week I took the time to write down five full workouts to complete within the week. In the log, I included an area to write down the number of rounds as well as if I completed the outlined warmup each day. Instead of feeling tiown to this schedule I knew there would most likely be something or another that would alter it so I went in with the mindset of Dana. She is an Instagram influencer that preaches a one round philosophy. You always have time to do one round and often times that one round turns into more. She has several workout videos to follow along and to top it off they are minimal impact so no jumping or running required.

So… how’d I do, well not the best but not the worst. Instead of highlighting all the excuses my head came up with this week to talk myself out of working out here are the actual facts and sets I completed. I have included a link to each workout I completed; simply click on the set name to be directed to that specific workout by Dana. A plus means I added or changed a move.

Sunday: Nope.

Monday:

I combined Sunday’s with Monday’s, it was killer. For all the exercises, I used my ankle weights as dumbbells.

Warm Up: 20 Modified Slow Mt. Climbers. 20 Side Dips. 20 Modified Commandos. 20 Alternating Reverse Lunches to High Knee. 10 Squat Taps.

Chest Set: 30 Squat Hold Alternating Punches…15 Laying Around the World…15 Chest Press…15 Push Ups…15 Chest Press with an Overhead Extension. (2 Rounds)

Muffin Top: 15 ea. side Standing Cross Crunches… 20 ea. side Squat Cross Overs… 15 ea. side Single Leg Dead Lifts… 20 Alternating Bridge Hold Leg Lifts… 15 Opposite Arm Ext. (2 rounds)

Tuesday:

15 Minute Stretch + House Work Workout (Yes, it counts)

Wednesday:

Stretch Warmup. Lean Legs: 15 ea. Side Reverse Kicks… 15 ea. Side Leg Lifts… 30 Calf raises… + 15 ea. Side Ballet Leg Pivots. (hold one leg over the floor, point your foot, pivot your leg back and forth by moving your leg at the hip only) … *15 ea. Side Ballet Fondu … 15 ea. Side Kneeling Leg Openers. (2 rounds)

Thursday: Nope.

Friday: 

Back Sculpt: 10 ea. Side Thread the Needle… 10 ea. Side Single Leg Deadlift… 12 ea. Side Bent over Rows (with weight) … 10 ea. Side Arm Leg ext… 10 ea. Side Bent Over Fly. (with weight) *10 Egyptians (Place arms straight out to your sides, bend the elbows and rotate the hands behand your back, reaching for the middle and repeat. (2 rounds)

Saturday: 

Glutes: 15 ea. Side Donkey Kicks… 15 ea. Side Laying Leg ext… 15 ea. Side Fire Hydrants… 15 ea Side Rainbows… 15 ea. Side Squat Side Kicks. (rounds 2)


What goals are you working on this week?

XOXO Faith


How to: Clean White Shoes

Spring is coming, which means it is the official season for white shoes. Mine get used all year around but now especially they will be starting to rack up some heavy mileage. So… it’s time to take them out of storage but they do not look as good as you remembered? Before you jet off to the store for a new pair take a moment to revive some life back into them.

For a little reference, as to if this really works, this specific pair of white Converse has been in use for about two to three years. Yes, parts have worn done, however, unless they suddenly break a hole there is no need for them to be replaced. When I first received these shoes, I did spray them down with DetraPel, yet they still get, well a bit gross. Don’t worry, these tips do not require you to first use DetraPel in order to receive lasting results. It is never too late to show a little love to your favorite shoes. Plus you probably have all the items in your house right now. No, special products or gimmicks here.

Step #1: Baby Wipes

First unlace each shoe and remove the laces to allow full exposure of the base of each shoe. Baby wipes are gentle yet effective for removing that first layer of nastiness. No, this will not immediately make the shoes white, but it is the first step to having great results. Don’t have baby wipes, no problem, simply use a wet paper towel with a drop of soap.

Step #2: Clorox

This is a harsher product; however, it is very effective. Watch the rubber sides of your shoes magically turn white. You can also wipe the canvas of the shoes with this, but if you are cleaning shoes that are not, wipe test it on the inner part of the shoe first.

Step #3: Bleach (NO!)

You may be thinking why don’t you just use bleach,  it makes whites whiter right? Wrong, it all depends on the chemistry of the fabric; it may end up turning the fabric a yellow or brown color. Eww!! White Converse are not a fan of bleach, I tried it. You will see in the video parts of the shoes turned colors where I tested the bleach. Try the inner side or the tongue before you go crazy, it took a while for mine to turn colors so wait for the test area to fully dry before moving further.

Step #4: Rubba Dub Dub

Toss them in the washer, before you say eww no, remember you’ve already taken off a majority of the nastiest parts of the shoes in the other steps. If you cannot stomach the thought of washing your shoes where you wash your delicate items simply wash the washing machine afterwards with a machine cleaner,here is one by Tide (this is not an affiliate link). Also throw in the shoe laces to get them nice and clean as well.

Step #5: Drying

No, the shoes do not go in the dryer, simply stuff some paper towels or a cloth inside each shoe and make sure it is packed tightly. Set them aside for a couple of hours or overnight to dry, to speed up the drying time replace the paper towels or cloth every couple of hours to allow maximum absorption.

Lace up your shoes and they are ready to be worn with a fancy dress or well anywhere because they look pretty darn new.

 

Watch the full tutorial here!

XOXO Faith

 

 

So… you hate your job. |Fighting for ME

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Through the ages we are constantly quizzed on who we are and what we long to become, but it all halts after a couple decades. It then becomes this daunting anxious energy of if I see this or that person will they ask the question? Often, I fall into this pit too wondering when I go places who will ask me, what is your job? Something so simple yet it can change the way you feel about yourself and sadly how you view others subconsciously.
It’s as if once you graduate there is this timer, where if you do not complete the mission in 0 to 60 you’ve failed. People say oh it’s fine you’ll get there eventually but most of the time you can feel that it isn’t exactly genuine. Then there are the blunt people who are considered rude yet they utter what you’ve secretly been asking yourself. “Look at you now, graduated and doing this”, it’s a mocker yet you cannot be too upset since you do it to yourself too.

Why do jobs define people so heavily, it’s similar to the ring status as well. Before you get
engaged people hound you as to why you’re still single. After you get engaged it is all about when the wedding will be and, why are you’re not married yet. Next, it’s all about when you’ll pop out your first child, then the second. It’s this never ended pressure that society has drilled into us. So, how do we step away from the mold and exist happily without the constant comparisons?

I wish I had all the answers, but I honestly don’t. However, don’t give up on me just yet! Here’s the thing, when you feel this way, and trust me most people reach this point, unfortunately. First remember you’re not the only one. Once you realize this it becomes a choice of if you will let society define your happiness based off of cash flow or marital status. Only you can decide what you allow to have an effect on you.

So, your job sucks you and want to move past it, but how?
You could simply seek out a new job but the truth is there will always be people who hate what they do regardless of what paycheck they receive. People either do the job because they love it or for the paycheck, let’s be honest. Stepping past this here are some other things to implement.

Wake Up & Love
Find a reason to get up in the morning that makes you radiate happiness, this could be a hobby or well anything. No, Netflix does not count. An example could be crafting, baking, dancing etc. Once you figure it out write it down as part of your daily to do list. If it starts to feel like a chore to do it daily then start with twice or once a week at the same time every week, make it a habit.

For me it is creating, so I subscribed to a program that offers lessons on different projects and much more. It is an outlet that sparks joy for me. At first my focus was on how much I needed to learn in order to make a profit from crafting. In actuality, the focus should be having been on the joy it brought rather than turning everything into cash flow. Yes, you can make a business from your hobby but once you make it the sole purpose it brings forth a new pressure and zaps the happiness right out of it.

Move It, Move it!
Move in some way four times a week. If exercise isn’t your forte try something different like dancing, walking or yoga. Don’t feel trapped into a cycle of feeling as if it must be an hour event of all cardio and sadness. I hate running so I’m not going to put running as an option. It makes my legs itchy and nothing about it makes me or my body feel good. Instead I would rather do body weight training or dancing.

Decrease Feelings of Isolation
Isolation can cause mental illness, so connect with someone, it could be weekly or daily. Start smaller and move up if needed. Hang out at a coffee shop, facetime, send a funny video, snapchat, anything counts. The topic does not need to be on life’s meaning or anything heavy either. Try something new with someone who is an expert at it. Simply communicate.
The daily questionnaire.
Ask a loved one or journal these questions on a daily basis.
#1: What is one positive thing that happened today?
#2: What is one thing I did to improve someone else’s day?
#3: What is one thing I wish I did differently?

Let me know what you think,
XOXO Faith

Cricut Tote Review | HOMEST

Finally, the Cricut box has made it out of the house which means yes a bag review of course. After doing some research I realize that the Cricut branded storage option wasn’t the optimal one for me. Although the brand’s bag is heavily padded and appears to be of good quality there were two things that had me searching for alternative brands.

Price has to be highest on the list, nothing about this hobby has been cheap to say the least. It wasn’t a shock that Cricut’s totes carried a steep price, however, for less than a third of their price there are similar options on the market. So… what makes Cricut’s option “better”; to be frank their tote has optimal padding, it seems to be almost Otter Box status. Ha. While it is a nice perk, is it really necessary for such a large machine? Accidents happen yes, but I for one already have my radar on blast as it is my newborn baby.

Second on the list is storage, just like Ariel we’ve got gadgets and gismos a plenty but we want more. I am a sucker for some good pockets and the optimal storage tote has to have serious pockets for ALL THE THINGS!! Cricut’s brand sports two, compared to the brand I choose which had double. It’s all about what YOU want in a bag, what are the highest qualities on your list?

All of my needs were fulfilled by the brand Homest, at least per the description and well those lovely internet photos which are almost as wishy washy as hotel photos. Find out if I made the right choice for my Cricut storage in the full review video below. As a bonus, there is also a mini peak inside my craft nook.

XOXO Faith