Sixteen Years

Fall flowers

Well, last week I renewed this domain for another year, so I figure I should really make an effort to get back into blogging. The entire summer went by with barely a word from me. I do have my reasons, but it’s time to get it together and start writing again. Monday marked my 16th anniversary of owning puresugar.net, can you believe it? I’ve been blogging longer than that, but still… Isn’t that crazy? I remember hand-coding. I remember when Blogger was in danger of going out of business! I remember Movable Type, pMachine, and GreyMatter. These new whipper-snapper bloggers probably don’t know what I am talking about, LOL!

Anyway.

So, what’s been going on with me? Oh, just life I guess. My husband lost his job in May, so things have been tight and stressful, but we’re getting through it. Luckily, I have my job at the library. It might not be much, but it definitely helps.

School has started for all of the kids, obviously. I have a 9th grader, a 6th grader, and a 2nd grader this year. The time does go by so fast!

I haven’t picked up my pointed pen in quite some time. With the kids home for the summer it was hard to find enought quiet time to sit and work on my calligraphy. I’ll get back to that soon enough, though. I am, however, crocheting. I hopped on the Caron Cakes trend and I’m almost finished with a C2C lap blanket! I love it so much, and I can’t wait for the cooler weather to hit so I can cozy up with it. I’m also working on a scarf using planned pooling. It’s magical how it works!

I still enjoy making planner stickers, though I have not uploaded any freebies in ages. Tuesday I got my new Erin Condren planner (and I loooove it!), so I’ll try to work on getting some printables up here for you.

Well, I suppose that’s good for a check-in for today. I do miss my little space on the web and ignoring it doesn’t help anything, so I’m going to try to get back into a routine. If you’re still reading, thank you!

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Back Mad Match on Kickstarter!

madmatch

Do you like puns? Do you like tabletop games? Then please check out my husband’s Kickstarter for Mad Match! He (and we) have worked very hard on this game, from concept, to card design, to play testing… And trust me it is a ton of fun and easy to learn.

Today we are having a special promotion since it’s the 3rd and the game works in 3’s. Join our 3 on 3 pledge blitz – add an exclusive expansion to your pledge for only $3 on August 3rd! It’s a great deal and you’ll help get this awesome game funded. We are halfway there — please check it out, share, and support if you can!

applesaucer

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Crochet Jellyfish

Crochet jellyfish

I just wanted to share these two jellyfish that I crocheted over the weekend. If you are a crafter and on Facebook, then you have undoubtedly seen this pattern going around. They are so easy to make, and relatively quick. This pair went to my niece and nephew, and I plan to make one for Laura. If you want to give these a shot, head over to One Dog Woof for the pattern!

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Planner Freebie | Banner Event Labels

Free Banner Event Labels | puresugar.net

Happy Monday! It’s been a while since I got a planner freebie up here and today I was reworking some of the stickers that I love to use in my own Erin Condren planner, so I thought I would share. 

This time of year is always crazy with school concerts, field trips, appointments, and various activities. Add to that my work schedule (I am back to working part time at a local library), and just all the usual everyday things that need tending to and it doesn’t leave much time to decorate my planner. I’ve been relying on my two favorite labels: the colorblock hourly stickers and these banner event stickers. In the hourly planner, they take up approximately an hour’s worth of time. Of course, they would also work in other planners, too! I used colors that coordinate with the current EC hourly and horizontal scheme (though I think it will be slightly different for the 2016-2017 editions).

Download your free printable right here:

FREE Printable Banner Event Stickers for your planner

Free Banner Event Labels | puresugar.net

As usual, my free planner printables are for personal use only and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Use an electronic cutting machine like a Silhouette Cameo to cut your stickers, print them out on regular printer paper and then cut and paste into your planner using a tape runner, or else print them on full-sheet labels and just hand-cut the stickers.

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2017 Erin Condren Life Planner Sneak Peak

Can you hear me singing, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year?” OK, that’s a bit of an exaggeration but I always get excited for the launch of the new line of Erin Condren planners. I have been using an EC since 2011 and over the years there have been many changes and many additions. This year is no exception, so let’s get on with it, shall we?

First of all, I think the biggest change is the addition of a neutral color scheme option. If you work in a professional environment, the blacks and grays will definitely look slick. (But there’s also just that hint of color, so it’s not boring.) Also, this choice is great for people who love to decorate (me!), but don’t always want to match the pre-selected color scheme. For example, in my currently hourly planner the month of July has a green color scheme, but I’m going to want to do red, white, and blue the week of 4th of July, so I’m going to have to cover every bit of green. If I go with a neutral next year, I can do what I want! And what about that handlettered font? This one just might be calling my name…

 Neutral Erin Condren colorway

Of course, there is still an option for bright, cheerful colors. I’m not in love with the watercolor splash along the top. I know it is very trendy right now, but it seems a little 80s to me. Probably because I am old enough to remember them, LOL! Also, as you can see in both colorway photos, there are three options for layouts: classic vertical, horizontal, and hourly. Currently I have an hourly planner, but as I have gone “back to basics” I’m once again considering a horizontal. I have plenty of time to decide, though, since my current planner runs through the end of the year.

 Bright Erin Condren colorway

Another change this year is you can choose your coil: silver, gold, rose gold, and black. I’m kind of excited about the black coil, but I’m concerned about paint chipping off — this has been an issue for the metallic coils in the past. I am also a curious what the upcharge will be.

Now, let’s talk about covers. There are so many new covers this year, including several new metallics. In addition to these Life Planner covers, there are some new designs from the launch of the Teacher Planner. I have no idea how I’m going to choose! Good thing they are interchangeable so I can pick several!

 New Erin Condren Covers for 2017

 New Erin Condren Covers for 2017

The new planners will be available for purchase on June 1If you’d like to save $10 off your purchase, sign up through my referral link and then check your email for the code. I’m not sure what pricing will be this year, but in the past, a basic planner sold for $50. I can’t wait to see what other goodies will be announced!

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Some Recent Silhouette Projects

Since getting my Silhouette Cameo for Christmas, I have really enjoyed using it to kick up my crafts. There are so many possibilities! It can be overwhelming for a newbie, and I’ve read about people who keep their Silhouette in the box for months (or longer). Well, let me tell you — take out the machine, install the software on your computer, read the manual, and just play around with it! Will you mess up your first project or two? Maybe. Probably. But that’s OK. That’s how you learn. Isn’t that what we tell our kids? It’s totally OK to make mistakes! Don’t let the fear of failure keep you from having fun.

Here’s a picture of the first vinyl project I made. (Yes, I did go back and fix the missing apostrophe!) This was just using the Recollections brand vinyl from Michael’s. I wouldn’t say the vinyl is amazing, but the cup has held up for a few months now, and in a pinch I would buy it again.

First vinyl project

After realizing that cutting vinyl wasn’t actually terrifying, I decided to buy the Craft E Vinyl Assortment of glossy permanent vinyl from Amazon. It was easier and faster for me to purchase this instead of tracking down Oracal 651 from a vinyl retailer and I love this stuff! It weeds easily, adheres well, and if you have Amazon Prime in two days you’ll have it in your hot little hands. I used the Craft E Vinyl to create this sign for my dad to hang in his workshop.

Tool Rules sign

For St. Patrick’s Day, Laura needed to wear green to school (obviously!). I still had not ventured very far into the world of HTV (heat transfer vinyl), and all I had was a sheet of metallic gold Cricut vinyl I bought on sale at Joann’s. But it did the job and my little leprechaun made it through the day without being pinched! For this design, I simply found the shamrock wreath online, brought it into the Silhouette Design Studio, traced the image, added my text, and was ready to go. (When cutting vinyl to iron on to clothing, don’t forget to mirror it – I made that mistake!)

St. Patrick's Day shirt

Next is a travel mug I made for Drew’s birthday gift. After Christmas, Target had 2-packs of Contigo brand travel mugs on clearance, so I scooped up a package. My husband is a huge fan of G.I. Joe comics (and even has a Cobra Commander Halloween costume), so this was a no-brainer. I love how it looks, even thought it was incredibly simple!

Cobra (GI Joe) travel mug

After deciding that I was going to want to delve a little futher into making custom creations that used HTV, I placed an order for some better quality supplies. First order of business was to make myself this shirt. Yes, I do think I am very punny!

Calligraphers are always write!

And last I’ll share the Mother’s Day gift I made for my mom. Glass cutting boards were all the rage in the FB groups, so I picked one up at Dollar Tree and made this design from scratch. As you can imagine, it’s not that easy finding anything that says “Babci” on it, so I think she was happy with it. This was another project that required flipping the image before cuting it because you actually stick the vinyl on the underside of the cutting board (that way it is still functional).

Glass cutting board

There are so many other project ideas in my head! I’ve also used it quite a bit to cut complicated shapes out of paper (that’s how I did my son’s Confirmation invitations). And I also use it to cut out envelope templates. Again, it’s just faster and easier than doing it by hand. I look forward to sharing more ideas soon!

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