A Well Crafted Retirement

"Retire from work, but not from life." -M.K. Soni


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“Thanks a Ton” Card

This week Clay needed a thank you card for the family of one of the students he tutors.  I like the elephant cut from Everyday Pop Up Cards so that’s what I got out.

Thanks a Ton CardCartridge Used:

  • Everyday Pop Up Cards

Cut Sizes in Inches:

  • Elephant @ 4.0
  • “Thanks a Ton” @ 4.0

Additional Supplies:

  • tape runner
  • craft glue
  • a corner rounding punch

I found a print with old time circus ads and ticket strips in The Great Rock Island Route paper stack by the Paper Studio.  I cut a 5 x 6.5 inch rectangle from the print.  I then cut a 4 x 5 rectangle in red and a 4.5 x 5.5 in gold.  I used the punch to round the corners of the gold paper.  The print had these cute little tickets  that I cut by hand to embellish the left hand edge.  Using some tan and a copper foil paper from my scraps I cut the elephant and attached it to the gold paper.

InsideI scored the gold paper 0.5 inches from the left edge so that it would open outward.  The phrase “Thanks a Ton” went on the inside of the card.  The tickets act as the hinges to open the card.


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Garden Gate Sign

Many years ago when we were visiting family in the Toronto area, I noticed many homes had named their properties and gardens. These names were displayed on neat signs posted on fences and garden gates.  When we got home I named our property Gladville Gardens with a wooden hand lettered sign.

Gladville GardensAfter 15 plus years of Chicago weather, last year I replaced the original sign with a new one.  This time I used adhesive backed vinyl, spray paint and my Cricut.  I liked the crisp edges of the lettering and the fresh white and green colors.  This spring a wooden planter box next to the other garden gate had clearly seen better days so I decided to replace it with a sign rather than another flower box.

Supplies:

  • Walnut Hollow Sign 8.25 x 18.5 inches
  • Self adhesive vinyl
  • Masking tape
  • Exacto knife
  • Old news papers
  • Sanding block

Paints:

  • Rustoleum 2x Ultra Cover Satin Moss Green
  • Rustoleum 2x Ultra Cover Satin Straw Flower
  • Rustoeum 2x Ultra Cover Satin Blossom White
  • Folk Art  Autumn Leaves

Cricut Cartridges:

  • Cricut Alphabet
  • Walk in my Garden
  • Winter Wonderland

Cut Sizes in Inches:

  • “Time” @ 2.0 (Cricut Alphabet)
  • “began in a ” @ 1.5
  • “Garden” @ 2.75 (Winter Wonderland)
  • Cone flower @ 3.0 (Walk in my Garden)
  • Daisy 2 @ 3.0 and 1.75
  • Leaf 3 @ 1.o

I started by lightly sanding the rough spots on the wood and gave both sides two coats of white spray paint.  I waited two days before applying any vinyl to the sign to be sure the paint was very dry and the vinyl wouldn’t pull off any paint as I peeled it away.  I have the Expression 2 machine and I have had good luck cutting vinyl with the “kiss cut” setting.   The sharp hook that came with one of my tool kits works very well to remove the actual letters from the backing sheet.  I use regular masking tape to help transfer the vinyl.   Pressing it on the carpet to pick up some fibers prevents it from being too sticky.

Once the letters are in place the rest of the sign’s surface has to be covered.  For this I use masking tape or scrap vinyl.  An exact0  knife trims the vinyl from the routed edges so that the sign is “framed” in the same color as the letters.

With flowersFor the flowers I positioned the cut vinyl being careful not to to expose any lettering in the openings.  Again I used scrap vinyl and masking to cover the rest of the sign.  Since I do not want to spray paint the edges I tape newspaper to the edges of the wood and tuck it under to protect the green frame as I spray the yellow flowers. At this point I thought I should have some green leaves.  It would have been easier to have done them at the same time as the lettering since I wanted to use the same green.  To achieve the look that some of the leaves were behind the flowers, I had to carefully mask part of the yellow petals to avoid them being covered in green.  Again I taped,vinyl and tucked newspaper around the edges.

 

Rather than go to the Cricut layers to add details to the flowers and buy another can of spray paint to cover just a few square inches of sign I used my acrylic paints and brushes to add the final touches to the flowers.  In the past I had trouble using the vinyl as a stencil for the acrylic.  When I removed the vinyl it pulled some of the acrylic paint away. Now when we repair the fence behind the old flower box we can hang the new sign!

Gaden Gate Sign