My Wax Version of a Martha Stewart-Worthy Table Setting with a Free File

There are only a few boxes left to unpack, and we will officially be moved in to our new house in our home state of Michigan. It is so good to be home and close to family! And occasionally we open a box that hasn’t been opened in years and it’s like Christmas has come early! LOL

Speaking of Christmas, for the first time I will be hosting Christmas for my family and I want to have a fabulous, knock-em dead, dinner table setting. My mom traditionally goes all-out for Christmas and I don’t want to disappoint!

Over the period of a few years my mom bought us a snowman themed tablecloth, dishes, serving platter and salt & pepper shakers. Unfortunately, the glassware didn’t make it through our multi-state move. Nevertheless, I really want to use this set for my first time hosting the family celebration. I started thinking about a comment Sandy McCauley made back in August at the KNK Retreat, and had a ‘Ta-Da’ moment. Do you remember the wax candle decoration project I posted a few months ago? I learned during that project that the wax would stick to almost any surface. Well, this wonderful material has become my knock-em dead solution for Christmas!

I happened to have a box of 4 x 8 wax sheets I picked up months ago that included all of the colors I needed to match the dishes. I took a photo of the plate, but there just wasn’t enough contrast to most of the colors to give me a traceable picture. 101444_opt

In the end, I simply used standard shapes in MTC, with a little bit of tweaking, to achieve the desired design. The snowman (including his top hat) is only 2″ tall on the glasses and 4″ tall on the candle.

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Materials:

Settings:

  • Maxx Air 24″
  • Blade exposure:  the thickness of wax sheet
  • Force:  10
  • Speed:  160 mm/s
  • Click here for support for the Maxx Air, Zing, Groove-E, or MTC if you have any questions about these settings

Steps:

  1. In Make-the-Cut (MTC), add your shapes to the mat and create your design. Wax doesn’t work well for intricate designs, so keep them simple. Christmas_1_opt
  2. Weld shapes together as needed. Christmas_2_opt
  3. Use a moderately to very sticky mat and tape your wax to the mat.
  4. Align wax between the pinch wheels.
  5. Test cut a small square until your shapes are cut out cleanly. You will need to test cut each color as the thickness varies. The wax should cut very well: 124707_opt
  6. Cut out all of your shapes. Look at those tiny little carrots! 131448_opt
  7. Place the pieces together in their appropriate position and warm the wax in your hand. 134504_opt
  8. Lightly press the pieces together. The wax will feel sticky.
  9. Apply the warm, assembled design to your surface.Snowman 003_opt 058_opt

Now, for some tips and tricks:

  • You can apply color to the wax with Copic Markers, Sharpies, or Viva Pearl Pens.
  • If your cuts aren’t coming out clean (like the set on the right below) you need to check your blade. I started out first thing in the morning when the house was still cold and very little wax stuck to my blade. It didn’t take long though and the wax sheet started to warm up and get sticky.  125722_opt
  • Remove all excess wax around your blade in between cuts. This can be easily done by exposing the blade fully and cleaning with a cotton rag; pulling ‘away’ from the blade holder. When clean, retract the blade to the correct length. Below is what my blade looked like after cutting the black and orange wax (on the right, above). And on the left side of the photo above is how it cut after cleaning my blade. 125245_opt
  • As mentioned, wax can be warmed in your hand and reshaped. I rolled the carrot noses between my fingers to make them more rounded like a real carrot.
  • You can pop your project in the freezer for a few minutes when you’re done with your project item to easily remove the wax and save for later use (if desired).
  • Don’t throw away any of the ‘weeded’ wax. You can warm it up and reshape it, to use it for 3D shapes. Below is a very quickly formed example from this scrap wax: 20131220_200555   20131220_201756
  • On the second snowman I was in a bit of a hurry, so I lightly waved a heat tool over the wax in my hand to speed up the process. The wax will become liquid quickly, so use caution.

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Although I didn’t light the candle yet, this is how it will look at dinner time, in low light.

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I wish you all a very Merry Christmas! 

Have a safe and blessed holiday season.

Here is your Snowman cut file.

 

Keep Calm and Grinch on…

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Yep. That’s me on the left. I am usually behind the camera, but I was asked to take Santa pictures for the students at our school. I took around 500 pictures, so at the end, I had someone take one of me. Santa said I’m getting coal this year.

See that cool green shirt I’m wearing? My hair is in the way, but it was the inspiration for this month’s project. Back in January, I did a post of Keep Calm stuff and even threw a file in there somewhere.

Well, after a perusal through Dollar Tree and the 99 cent store, I came up with a couple gifts that I think are pretty cool (and my wallet liked it too!)

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It’s a plastic plate, plain and boring, decorated with some white vinyl. The grinch is the base file from the Grinch in the MTC gallery. I think if I had some red vinyl, I would have gone ahead and cut the hat piece. But I don’t have any. Imagination is a good thing.

Let me digress a minute. Have you been to the MTC gallery? I think I’ve had the software about 3 years now and I may have opened it when I first got it, but then kind of forgot about it. For all the free stuff you get there, the software pays for itself about ten times over. If you aren’t using MTC, I highly encourage you to give it a roll. I don’t even use KNK Studio anymore. One of these days I need to convert all my files over. I’m hoping Andy will eventually add an import function because it would be easier than opening the file in Studio and then copy and pasting it. I’m LAZY people! I want things EASY!

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I liked the first picture because I had the cute little decoration behind it, but this one shows the true color of the plate a little better. But wait. There’s more.

(said in my best Infomercial voice)

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I also bought a couple red plates and made this one. Again, pulled the image out of the MTC gallery.

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Here they are, posing together. Dollar Tree had other colored plates like pink and blue so I was thinking Spring or new baby or anything your heart desires.

But wait. There’s STILL more.

I work with the most awesome team of ladies ever. I wanted to do a little something for them and came up with these:

 

 

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Also scored these at the 99 cent store. I love that place!!!

Close up of the front:

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And I personalized the back for each teacher:

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I’m showing you Mrs. E’s cup to protect the names of the innocent because we call her that instead of her full last name. The rest of them have their full last names.

I tied a ribbon on top and added a little tag (I used a reindeer die in my Fiskars Fuse because it has that cool embossing folder with it):

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Materials Used:

KNK Maxx 24″

MTC (it’s on sale!!!) (Slight joke. It’s been on sale since I bought it a few years ago. But it’s worth it at the regular price too)

White vinyl

red blade

Settings:

V – 150 (slowed it down for the thin text, but I’m sure I could bump it up)

f – 30

Instructions:

Cut vinyl. Stick it on stuff. Hope that it’s on there straight.

Have a happy whatever you celebrate! See you next year.

Stay Classy, KNKers! (Certain movie lovers will get it)

 

 

 

 

Wrap it up! with AccuPro Wrap Vinyl!

I recently had the opportunity to attend the 2013 SEMA trade show in Las Vegas (SEMA = Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association). I had two specific jobs at the week-long show – 1) find new technologies that my ‘day job’ might be able to use and 2) chaperon students from my ‘second job’. These are college juniors and seniors so they really needed very little of my time.

While there, I found a third purpose for my visit and it got me thinking. This is all around vinyl of course (hence the title) – there were at least a hundred vendors and probably an acre or two of automotive vinyl application booths/displays!!!! There were even sponsored competitions for vehicle wraps that resulted in some amazing finished products. Wow, I saw some really cool stuff. There is so much we can do if we are only brave enough!!! LOL!

[Toes tapping on the ground, “Okay, Michele, what’s your point?”] So, back to my inspired ‘thinking’….I bought some of the AccuPro Wrap Vinyl from KNK USA a couple of months ago. Well….between living in the RV, then commuting back and forth 500 miles one-way every week since Nov 1st, I simply haven’t found the time to play with it. However, I spent two and a half days last weekend getting my craft room set up in the new house and I am READY to make Christmas presents – whoo hoo! Put the two together, and I have ‘wrapped’ gifts to make!  I will post my wrap vinyl projects on Wednesday, so please check back.

AccuPro Wrap Vinyl

Wrap vinyl is a highly flexible PVC vinyl film that stretches to conform to the underlying shape similar to the Gemstone Metallic Vinyl I wrote about last month, but where Gemstone is more multipurpose, AccuPro Wrap Vinyl is specifically designed for wrap applications. Wrap vinyl can have a smooth surface with a matte or glossy finish, and be colored or metallic (chrome). It can also be textured to look like grain leather, carbon fiber, crocodile/alligator skin, or snake skin. The real beauty of this product is that it does not lose its texture when heated and stretched across varying surface shapes.

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Technical Features:

  • Thickness: 180-260 microns (depending on the surface texture)
  • Adhesive: clear
  • Stretchable to approximately 130%
  • Easy air bubble removal
  • 5-6 year indoor and 4 year outdoor durability
  • Removable with no residual adhesive
  • Ultraviolet barrier
  • Weatherproof
  • Waterproof
  • Resistant to solvents
  • Installation temperatures: 60-80°F
  • Usage temperatures: -5 to 200°F

Cutting recommendations:

  • Standard (red cap) blade
  • Pressure and Speed: start with typical vinyl settings and test cut, test cut, test cut to find the perfect settings (more to come on Wednesday)
  • Cut on the carrier (backing paper) or apply smaller pieces to a mat
  • Cut approximate to your shape (you’ll use your stretching skills to make it fit)

Application recommendations:

  • Clean the surface with rubbing alcohol to remove any foreign material
  • Apply in a dust free environment that is within the recommended application temperature range of 60-80°F
  • Apply heat to get the maximum stretch
  • Use a soft rubber squeegee to smooth out bubbles and wrinkles
  • Be patient

AccuPro Wrap Vinyl is more forgiving than other vinyls, so it is probably the perfect product for me! I’m getting soooo excited to try it out. The cutting part is the easiest part for me, and I’ll let you know how the stretch wrapping turns out when you check back on Wednesday!

Cute Witch {Layout}

“You had the power all along my dear” – Glenda the good witch

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Today our project is a themed Halloween layout!  For me, the creative process works like this:

Step 1:  Using a pencil and paper – sketch my layout.

Step 2:  Recreate my sketch in the KNK Software.  This helps me determine the scale of my die cut shapes.

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Notes:  I love to “frame my layouts and choose a sheet of 12×12 cardstock as the foundation for my page and layer a 11.5×11.5 cardstock as my “canvas.”  I’m a big fan of die cut titles…if the project is something that I need to recreate many times I will choose a font that can be welded.  This is a ONE and DONE layout, so I opted to work with individual letters.  A brewing  caldron with witch shoes was the perfect compliment to my cute witch photo.  I create all my cutting files by scratch using a node by node method (please review my prior posts if you need direction on how to do this.)

Step 3:  Add photo(s) and embellish!  I used a striped straw as witch legs and tucked them into the separate top piece created for the cauldron.  I glued witch shoes to the front and back sides of the shoes and tied bakers twine around them. 

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Step 4:  Embellish more!  I cut doubles of each bat and secured the first to the page and added the second one directly on top using a foam pop-dot.  I bend the bat wings and added bling for eyes.

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Material:

Cardstock

Blue cap / thick materials blade

Settings:

I keep my 15″ KNK Maxx settings at Overcut 15 & Trailing Blade 20 because I only use my machine to cut paper.

Please visit the KNK Gallery on my website to see more projects that I have created using my Klic N Kut.

Photo:  Courtesy of Petrini Photography

Thank you for visiting TeamKNK!  Your comments and feedback are appreciated.

 

Halloween Witches Hat – Embroidery Pattern made with my KNK

Halloween Witches Hat – Embroidery Pattern: I love finding new ways to use my KNK digital cutting systems! (Lynn C. – I thought of you the whole time I was making this!)

My mom was visiting recently and we spent a day shopping and eating in Le Claire, IA – home of Antique Archaeology, otherwise known as American Pickers. Mom and I spent a couple of hours in the local shops, as well as a couple of dollars! Since retiring from 35 years of teaching she’s picked up Quilting and spends hours and hours every week on her new, and beloved, hobby. While we were shopping I found a needle punch embroidery project and thought it might be something I could do while traveling because its pretty compact. Some day when I have more time, I’d love to learn how to embroider – Team KNK Designer, Judy, creates such fabulous things with embroidery!

Crafting is currently a challenge! I am in between houses, and traveling back and forth between Illinois and Michigan every other weekend. Because of that, I have carved out a little corner of mom’s family room to do my crafts. Thank goodness she’s okay with this – I can’t go too long without my KNKs!

CraftArea And……back to the project. Finished needle punch items can be added to quilts, pillows, or books as an accent, or they can be used in many other craft projects. The thread is colorfast, so they can even be used as coasters!

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I purchased a couple of yards of the weaver’s cloth, and some nice fall color threads to make other projects. I made the Halloween Witches Hat with a dark purple thread, the spider with black, the bittersweet with olive thread and red thread, and the star and moon with a harvest gold thread. The background is a thread that is variegated in off whites.

Materials:

Settings:

  • Speed:  200
  • Force: 80
  • Passes: 1-2

Method:

  • I used the brayer to adhere the fabric to the mat and to remove all of the fold lines. My material was a little wider than the mat, but by only using the center 3 pinch wheels it had no effect on the task.

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  • I used a ball point pen, simply because my fabric pens are all packed and traveling on a truck somewhere. It worked just fine!

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I only used a single pass on the Moon and Star – since there isn’t a lot of detail I figured it wouldn’t make much difference. The weaver’s cloth accepted the ink very well.

  • Next, I use the needle punch to craft the Halloween Witches hat design.

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I can’t wait to ‘draw’ my next needle punch design with one of my KNKs! I am going to use this method to make Christmas patterned designs for everyone in my family. If nothing else, it will be a great way to spend my time in the car!