Parenting/Life

Dear Current Self

Dear Current Self,

You’ve often seen people writing to their past selves and letters to their future self but I think you need this letter right now.

Your current self is struggling with a lot of things that you need to escape from.  And in the future, you need to come back to this letter and read it over and over again when the world seems to be closing in on you.

Things you need to know about your current self:

  1. * No matter how much they try to break you, no matter how much they put you down, don’t believe a single thing they say about you.  You are better than that.
  2. * On those days that you feel like you’ve failed the boy, look at the little post it note on your computer that he wrote to you.  Remember those times he’s told you, you are the best Mom ever.  It may not always feel like that, but those are his unprompted, from the heart, words.
  3. Current Self You Never Fail Me
  4.  * It’s okay to have bad days.  It’s okay to cry and feel vulnerable.  Admitting this isn’t failure, it’s being human.
  5.  * When you look in the mirror and don’t like what you see, remind yourself that you’re a work in progress and you’re doing things to make it better.  It may be small, very small steps but you’re moving forward.
  6.  * You’ve gone through things that would have broken others, but you’ve done it all with grace and the strength people admire you for.
  7. * Being single isn’t always a bad thing.  Sure you have your lonely days, but you are living your life on your terms and not settling for someone that doesn’t deserve you.  Remind yourself that the grass isn’t always greener.
  8. * Advocating for yourself is never a bad thing.  People are ready and willing to help you, you just need to ask.
  9. * It’s okay too, to just shut yourself off from the world for a day.  Turn off your phone, stay away from social media and just do something your current self will love you for.  In the end, it will make you a better person.
  10. * Never apologize to anyone for who you are and what you believe in.
  11. * Remind your current self that there are people out there that want you to fail.  Don’t give them the satisfaction.  There may be bumps in the road but never give up.

And in the end, just remind yourself of the great words of Stuart Smalley “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough and doggone it, people like me!”

DIY

Bookmarks and Putting the New Circut Maker Tools to Work

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Kids are back to school and back to reading assignments.  To make reading more fun for the boy, I decided to make some bookmarks for him and his friends to use.  And of course, I brought out my Cricut Maker to help me out.

With Cricut keeping their promise to come out with more tools and materials for the Cricut Maker, I am finding there are so many different options for every craft that I do.  These tools are specially designed with an Adaptive Tool System that can only be used the the Maker and incorporate 3 major technologies:

  1. Delivers 10 times (4 kg) or more cutting force than the Explorer Line
  2. Uses a sophisticated steering system to actively control the direction of the blade at all times.
  3. Tests to be sure you are using the correct blade before it starts cutting and tells you to change it, if not.  (My favorite feature!)

+Bookmarks detecting tool

I suppose I could have just cut out a rectangle by hand for my son’s bookmarks, but I wanted to make something a little more fun.  And now that Cricut has 4 new tools as part of their Adaptive Tool system, I wanted to give some of them a try.

Bookmarks new tools

The new tools are: (description provided directly from Cricut to ensure accuracy)

Basic Perforation Blade – Create finely perforated lines for any design:

Get the perfect tear quickly and effortlessly with precise perforation cuts for a wide variety of projects. To create uniform, finely perforated lines for any design, just snap this tip onto the QuickSwap Housing and tell your Cricut Maker to “Go!” Evenly spaced perforation lines allow for clean, well-spaced tearing without the need to fold beforehand – especially great for shapes with curves. Perfect for tear-out booklet pages, raffle tickets, homemade journals, or for any project that demands a neat tear.

Wavy Blade – Go crazy with Wavy Blade:

Get a decorative edge in half the time than a drag blade with a gentle wave cut for a wide variety of projects. To add a whimsical wavy edge to any design, this specially sculpted stainless steel blade is great for original vinyl decals, iron-on designs, envelopes, cards, gift tags, collage projects, or any time you need fabulously finished edges and stylish design accents. Perfect for iron-on, vinyl, paper, cardstock, fabric, and more.

Fine Debossing Tip – Add elegance with pro-level debossing:

Add professional polish and elevated elegance to paper crafts by creating crisp, detailed debossed designs. Unlike folders, which lock you into a specific design, this rolling debossing ball, with a wider range of motion, gives you free reign to customize, personalize, and design with incredible intricacy. Make a dimensional wedding card, thank you card with your monogram, or add flourish to gift boxes, tags, and more. Creates a stunning effect on foil cardstock, coated paper, shimmer and glitter paper, basswood, and much more.

Engraving Tip – Turn any project into a keepsake:

Make a lasting impression with Cricut Engraving Tip. To get professional-looking results, just snap this tip onto the QuickSwap Housing and tell your Cricut Maker to “Go!” Watch with awe as you write personalized text or create monograms, draw decorative flourishes and embellishments, or inscribe your favorite quotes on a keepsake. For an eye-catching effect, engrave Cricut Metal Sheets or anodized aluminum to reveal the silver beneath.

 

Because I wanted to try out as many of the tools as I could, I made multiple versions of the bookmark using different materials and different tools.

The basic template I made in Design Space and then changed it based on the different versions.

Bookmarks template

Depending on which tool you would like to use, you just select the area you wish to use it on and select the appropriate item in the drop down.

Bookmarks cuts

The best part is you can use multiple tools within one project to really step up your crafting game.

Bookmarks cut

And one of the best features included gives you a list of compatible materials to complete your project.  For example, when I wanted to use the Engraving tool for the wording of the bookmarks, it gave me different list of materials to use compared to when I wanted to use the Fine Debossing tip.  It’s important to pay attention to this.  I tried to use a material that wasn’t listed and needless to say, it didn’t workout so well.

Bookmaks materials

So in the end, I made 3 different versions of the same bookmarks.

The first using silver metallic poster board, the Engraving tool and the Wavy tool.

The second using genuine leather, everyday vinyl and the wavy tool.

The third using blue metallic poster board, the Embossing tool and the wavy tool.

The boy was really impressed with the end results and can’t wait to share the bookmarks with his friends.

Time to start thinking about crafting for the holiday season and using all the new Cricut tools available.