I kinda love that I am posting a reveal on a project you didn't even know was happening! Ya, that's how we roll here at TDC. Everything is strictly confidential these days... and it's definitely been a tad silent around the old blog lately between the new site overhaul and all of the behind the scenes work happening on that front (thank you John!) and some other gorgeous projects going on at the TDC homestead (I post occasional sneak peeks on my Instagram, if you are interested)!

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This room is still very much a work in progress. I was hoping to finish up last weekend, and the weekend before that, and the one before that... but life and babies get in the way of my DIY and design aspirations, on the regular! So, while A full reveal isn't quite ready, since projects still need to be finished, I thought I might share one corner of this space that is finished, for now. At least kind of... 

With small children still very much underfoot in this house, a kid friendly aesthetic is crucial to keeping my sanity. If it's not a space the kids enjoy, it's hard to find time as adults to enjoy it. If it's too precious, there will be chaos... and broken things... many, many, broken things. Especially in a house full of boys (yes I am the ONLY female, including the dogs, eek). For me, a balance between live and play must be found because let's face it, toys happen. Clever storage solutions, non-deadly furnishings, and toys that are beautiful enough to fit right in to the decor are just a few of the ways I like to handle this stage in my life. One day this won't be necessary, and while the grass is always greener regardless of your current situation, I know I will look back on this era with such fondness, and so I embrace it. 

True to form, this space of mine is eclectic, to say the least, collected over time and kid friendly with a mix of modern and vintage and a lot of color. For me, this is perfection. It may not be for everyone, in fact it's quite likely for a very small few of you, but that's not important... what is important is that it's livable, and a mix of things I love. Somehow, if you stick to pieces you love wholeheartedly, when you mix them altogether, they have a way of working out. Style is more about proportion and placement than it is about the pieces themselves. Things go out of fashion, this will never change, but proper placement and proportion will always reign supreme. Here's to hoping I didn't at least screw that part up... 

How do you deal with kids in the house? Hide the stuff away or make it work in plain sight?


Various Art:

Various Accessories

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This monthly series is sponsored by Denio's Farmer's Market & Swap Meet

There is an elephant in the room, to be sure, luckily he's a cute little brass elephant and I love him! I am on the hunt for fabulous accessories to finish out my family room design (and for every room of my home truthfully) and this beauty was the perfect addition. 

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My boy loves doggies... and kitties... and all animals in general. When it came time to test out the heat transfer product, I knew a little something for my biggest boy was just the thing. Besides, I'm kind of partial to animals myself (read: totally obsessed bleeding heart).

Oky dok, so let's get started on this project, shall we? I have to say this was my fastest project yet with this fabulous machine. Part of that is because I'm finally starting to get the hang of things, and the other part is simply that this product is a quick one from start to finish! 

I chose this cute doggy image because my own doggy is part dachshund and I thought my boy would love the idea of having Percy on a Pillow. I placed the image into my silhouette studio program and enlarged it a bit so it almost fit the screen. I set my print features to heat transfer material smooth surface and it gave me a blade cut number of 2. The instructions suggest to place the material (which comes in many colors and even several that are flocked, yahoo) into your Silhouette without a cutting mat, so that my friends... is precisely what I did.

You always want to center your material with or without a mat, between the two white roller ball thingys and make sure the edges are actually going to roll right under those, since it will keep your material feeding straight and it won't get crazy on you (yes, this happened to me).

A few screeches later, this baby was cut and ready to peel out. You should peel away the negative space first, then use this handy dandy hook to remove the small cut away portions on the inside of your shape. 


Flip your material over so the sticky side is facing down (your image should now be facing the proper direction, especially if you are using a word) and press in place just a tad. 

With your iron set to the appropriate heat setting for your fabric, iron the material in place with a cloth in between your material and your iron, making sure to apply pressure to each section of your image for at least 60 seconds or so. This part is crucial or your image won't stick properly.

Peel off the plastic backing slowly to be sure the material has transferred and if not go back over any sections that need touching up. If your image is secure, you are good to go and you are finished with your project. See how fast that was? It was even fast to describe the steps! Yay for fast.

Now run don't walk to order some of this fab stuff and be sure to enter 'CONFIDENTIAL' at checkout for your discount! 

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It's has taken me the better part of two days to finish this project, and it was much like a blooper reel, I'm sure, to have seen this unfold. To say that I struggled would be a major understatement but... you guys... this is the first time I have ever used a Silhouette and believe me, it was apparent through each and every step! Eek.

At long last, I finished this cute little addition to our family room and I learned a ton along the way! At least you all won't suffer much when it's your turn to give this a whirl... there is something to be said for that. Believe me...

Let's dive right into the chaos, shall we? So the first thing you will need to do is set up your image or text in the Silhouette Studio. Now as you will see in the next couple of steps, the guides for where your paper should sit, aren't exactly accurate so you will want to be sure your image or text sits down 1/2" from the top of the 'paper' edge on your screen. Likewise, it should sit up about 1" from the bottom of what appears to be the 'paper' edge. and at least 1/2" in from either side. If you keep your image within those boundaries, you will have better luck when you start to cut! 

Once your image is set you will need to get it ready to send to Silhouette and you will have to choose a few settings to make this thing function properly.

First you will want to choose chipboard from the dropdown of paper/item type. If you don't have that option (as I didn't) you can choose custom OR you can choose heavy cardstock paper weight and make sure your cutting blade level is at a 6. Now, if you do have the chipboard option, it will set your level to a 7, but if you have never used your machine, mat and blade before...this will cut right through your brand new surface and leave you with a mat that is a bit crazy. So start with a 6 to be safe. You can simply adjust the number using the little arrow buttons. 

Also, if you haven't cut anything with your machine before, stick an extra piece of chipboard or cardstock to your mat and peel it off to de-sticky it a tad. Mine was so sticky at first that it ruined my cuts. 

Once you have your level set to a 6, you will need to trim down your chipboard so it will feed through the machine properly. I removed about 3" from the width of the chipboard and stuck it onto my mat, centered and lined up with the guides on the mat. 

Once your chipboard is on your mat, you will want to center the mat between the white roller wheels on the bar in your machine. This will make sure your page goes through properly. 

The image above shows what happens when you don't add that extra clearance for your image (the 1/2" extra bit of margin I suggested earlier). Eek. 

Now let's chat about your blade. That cute little thing above has markings around the white portion with numbers. When I mentioned you want to set your screen setting to a level 6, this also means you need to adjust the actual blade accordingly. To do this, use the gray cap that comes with your blade, or the hole on the front of the machine to set your blade and then turn to adjust where the red marker aligns. Once it's set for 6, you are good to go according to the blade directions and set up instructions. Unfortunately my blade still wasn't cutting. After chatting with support for an entire day, it turns out that I can make the blade cut by removing the teeny tiny top portion of that white cap (which the instructions say to remove for cleaning and then replace). It seems as though it is supposed to sty on, but my blade doesn't stick out far enough for that to work, so I simply left it off. I am sure I am ruining my machine or something devastating, but I tried 2 blades with the same results and 2 blades in 2 different packages can't both be defective... so my thought is that a new safety measure perhaps, is a bit too safe? Not sure, but this is the story I am sticking too! 


This is what it looks like with this little piece removed. You simply unscrew it by turning it counter clockwise. 

Voila she cuts... and then if your mat is too sticky, she doesn't come off. Double eek.. 

At this point I figured perhaps the sticky mat and the chipboard dont mix and I should just send the chipboard through without the mat... wrong... that sucker got crazy and folded over on itself and made a horrid horrid mess. No, you need that mat to keep the small cut sections from lifting, but you need that mat to just be a little less sticky, which it was after my first incident with my cuts not coming off properly. Another problem accidentally solved... after I spent 30 minutes trying to scrape the residual chipboard off, of course! 

Finally after I adjusted my margins, used a less sticky mat, adjusted my blade to a 6 so it didn't cut all the way through, removed that cap from the blade and re ran that sucker through... everything worked properly! And then I decided it was too small... womp womp womp. 

Back to the drawing board, and I don't have pictures of these steps since by this time it was nearly midnight but I will happily suggest you paint any of your pieces prior to removing them from the mat. This just makes things easier... 

Ultimately I was able to fit 2 hello images per sheet and I cut a total of 6 to layer and give it dimension. This isn't necessary if you are making a banner in the traditional sense, but I was of course moving to the beat of a different drum... 

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UPDATE: This contest is now closed and a winner has been drawn at random. Check below to see if it's you! If you would like to purchase any of the bundles listed below, you can do so with a discount by entering CONFIDENTIAL at checkout! Yahoo

1)  1 pack of chipboard, 1 $25 download card for $19.99

2)  1 Silhouette Portrait™, 1 pack of chipboard, 1 grey dust cover, 1 $25 download card for $129.99

3)  1 Silhouette CAMEO®, 1 pack of chipboard, 1 natural dust cover, 1 $25 download card for $269.99

And now for the even more exciting part? Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter to win your very own Silhouette Portrait from Silhouette! The giveaway ends at midnight just before May 13, 2013 (so on May 12 basically) and a winner will be drawn at random and notified via email! 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links



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