Cricut Explore 2 VS Silhouette Cameo What should you buy?
To begin, I have designed freelance work for Cricut, and I am always asked my opinion on die cut machines. I have never used a Silhouette until now and I’m excited to be able to talk more about the Cricut VS Silhouette dilemma. Since both of my machines were sent to me for free, I believe this helps me review them both with less preferential treatment. The opinions I’m sharing on both machines are all my own. What’s important to me may not be important to you so keep that in mind as you read.
Disclaimer: I received both the Silhouette Cameo and the Cricut Explore 2 for free to use and review.Please note that this post contains affiliate links for your convenience in purchasing whichever machine you decide is right for you! But as always all opinions are 100% my own.
This is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links.
You may have been following along with my paper printables and things from Miss Alice’s delivery and announcements, so this blog post will probably come as no surprise to you! Around here, watercolor florals are not in short supply. We celebrated her first birthday with a simple family party (blog post coming soon), and surprised her when she woke up to a room filled with balloons!!! She was so excited to see her siblings’ happy faces playing in her room and couldn’t stop batting balloons around.
DIY Watercolor Floral Crib Sheet
My gift to Alice was her new crib sheet with fabric I designed for Spoonflower. They kindly sent me two yards of their Basic Cotton Ultra in the pattern Watercolor Peonies for Alice. Sooooooo in love!!!!! It’s such a great print, and it’s so crisp and pretty on their Cotton Ultra. And it’s washed up wonderfully so many times already. It matches her swaddler from the hospital, and turned out exactly how I imagined it. I looked forever for something similar in a crib sheet and couldn’t find anything I liked, so I made my own. And it took me less time to sew it than it took me to write this blog post!!!! It was SOOO much faster than I imagined! 😉 You can find links to the fabric by clicking here. And here’s a good crib sheet sewing tutorial. I’ve also got a great video tutorial over on the Spoonflower blog on how to make your own no sew blanket so be sure to check that out too.
Her new crib sheet is my favorite thing in her room, and I love the thought of her waking up on top of a pattern that I painted for her before she was even born.
DIY Watercolor Floral Garland
My other gift for alice was making her another cute banner to celebrate. I loved the cute bassinet one I made for her birth (free download for that here) so much that I wanted something with that same look and feel. I used my wonderful watercolor pattern fill for Cricut. If you haven’t used a Cricut Design Space pattern fill before, there’s a great tutorial here. You can find the same pattern fill I used here in the pattern library.
I’ve created a little screen capture video tutorial for you to see how I did the pattern fill. Click here to continue to Cricut Design Space, and try it out for yourself for free! In design space you can try out images and plan your project before purchasing any files which I LOVE.
Click on the link below to download the free .svg cut files.
This post contains affiliate links, which means when you click through to Cricut.com I will receive a commission which in turn will help fatten up this anemic underweight little lady of mine, and keep me delivering great content and freebies to you! xoxo
Hey y’all! I’m busy prepping all my kits and two classes for Pinners Conference in Dallas Texas! And I wanted to share a promo code just for you for 10% off your registration fee for classes!
Pinners Conference Promo Code
The code is: NatalieMalan (and it’s not case sensitive). You can also use the code:FreeShopping …..to pre register for entrance to the trade show floor, but not any classes.
My watercolor classes have filled up INCEREDIBY quickly in the past, so make sure you sign up ASAP if you want to come! My class in Utah last year had a line around the space starting 45 min before so feel free to come to class early and purchase a kit and be ready to paint as soon as you walk in the door. I’ll be by the classroom early chatting and helping out with the kits. The $25 kits include a 36 color watercolor set, a great brush, pieces of paper to get you started. Can’t make it to the class? Check out our kits online here.
This year I’m offering TWO great classes;
Introduction to Watercolor
This is a great place to start if you’ve never watercolored before. We will talk about paint consistency, color mixing, edges, and more! And you will have time to practice what we have talked about in class while I walk around and answer questions.
Intermediate Watercolor Florals
The follow up class for the Intro class! We will go for it and start painting some really fun flowers in this class!
Optional items to bring to either class:
Water bottle if you have one! Preferably for water, Diet Coke is amazing, but may be a little sticky to paint with.
Questions! This is the BEST benefit of a LIVE class!!!! Ask away!
A smile! Because it’s scary on stage. And I love a good reassuring face in the crowd! And who doesn’t love a paint party?!
Just a quick post about what I’m doing these days to take care of my skin. (Somewhere a baby is crawling to a toilet and a toddler is escaping out the front door while I’m getting ready in the morning. But that’s beside the point)
Drink lots of water.
I don’t drink nearly enough most days and I can tell a difference when I do. My skin is more youthful and less dry (especially around my eyes) when I drink enough.
PMD sent me their Microderm abrasion kit to try out recently. I’ve used Microderm abrasion for a few years now in the form of a cream. I have some slight scars on my chin and it makes them much less noticeable. But the PMD has been on my list to try for a while now, and I honestly thought it had needles in it for some strange reason???? Good news; it doesn’t. It uses unassuming little sander discs. So yay for not being scary.
I was excited to try the PMD out and see what I thought. Now, I want to be clear that the people at PMD aren’t paying me for a blog post; I was sent product for an Amazon review, and I’m posting it here because I really truly like the product.
I read all the instructions and gave it a try (I have sensitive skin so I used the gray disc). And my skin has been feeling dewy and soft since. I use less moisturizer and my make up goes on smoother when I take the time to exfoliate.
Moisturize & Exfoliate
My friend Kami who blogs over at Sweet Charli did a periscope recently about a product that I already had but never thought to put on my face. Amlactin is a product that my podiatrist recommended for super dry calloused feet and I’ve loved it for years. I buy the handy Costco pump version now after seeing her scope. Rub some on your feet morning and night and you’re good to go. No more scouring with pumice.
I use Amlactin at night every other or every third day. Don’t use it right after the PMD; be sure to wait a couple days. Also, don’t use it in the morning because it increases susceptibility to the sun. Which brings me to…
Best thing my mother ever taught me for my skin. I wear it every single day. Rain or shine. Always. I started when I was 11 and fell off the wagon a little in college but I’m a believer for sure.
Right now I’m using a gentle moisturizing cleanser morning and night. Love Cetaphil. I also love Creamy Cleanser 2 from Mary Kay.
Vitamin E and Moisturizer
The Mary Kay Time Wise Moisturizer has been my fave since forever, and now I’m mixing one drop of Spring Valley vitamin E with it at night when I apply. I get my Mary Kay from Debbye (debbye (at) debbyecannon (dot) com) who also happens to be my mama, and skin care inspiration. She doesn’t know I’m posting this. Like I said, these are my honest opinions and routine.
Tell me your favorite tricks and tips??? In the comments below or catch me on Instagram!
I’ll be doing a live Periscope on Thursday July 21 at 9pm MST to hear your thoughts and answer questions. I’ll also be sharing another tip, that I forgot to include in this round up, with a product you probably already have at home!
Be sure to head over to Cricut before 7/5 to try out two of my favorite “One Cut” cards! My Get Well Soon card and also my Thanks card are both available as part of their Cricut Free Cut of the Week program! They are both from my Simple Cards Cartridge – which is chock full of easy, fast and cute cards to make! When I was designing it, I kept thinking that I wanted something I could make for friends and family that had my own personal touch, but that was fast and easy to put together for those days when I had no extra hands and no time. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Guys!!! I’m pretty sure the ENTIRE cartridge is free to use this week!!!! Go play!!!
I’m so excited to show you a lovely commission from from Sita Montgomey Interiors! She was looking for something light and airy to compliment her family room and decided a landscape would work best for what she had in mind.
I’ve followed Sita’s work for quite a while now, and have always loved how she incorporates classic styles with a contemporary twist.
We are so excited to show you the final project! Be sure to check out all the pics and our feature here at Sita Montgomery Interiors!!!! Watercolor Rhythm in Blush is now available as a print in the shop; you can find it here.
I’m so excited to show you the first installment of my newest line, Watercolor Wedding Vows for Cricut! I love how this print and cut series has everything designed for you, yet you can easily change the the wording to fit your occasion. Birthdays, baby announcements, tea parties…. the list goes on for cute occasions that would go well with this style of watercolor florals. I may have used it myself a time or two already!
I’m loving all the soft painted peonies and roses that are so on trend right now, and the Cricut showcases them so well in this collection. I cannot tell you how excited I get to print off my party goods and then sit and watch as my machine trims them all perfectly for me.
Cricut Meet the Maker Interview
You can catch me answering some questions about weddings, the new line, and my inspiration here on the Cricut “Meet the Maker” series! I love the way they let you get to know the artists behind their lines with their fun interviews – be sure to go check it out!
*This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive compensation to feed the family and keep creating great content for you to enjoy.
I was so excited when Spoonflower asked me to film a video tutorial on how to make a DIY no sew Fleece Blanket with their brand new line of gorgeous fleece! Its heavenly soft, slightly stretchy, and Alice definitely approves. In fact, the two blankets I made seem to keep disappearing and I find them in all my kids’ rooms, so I think some more blanket making might be in order in the Malan household.
For this video tutorial I ordered a yard of my Persimmon spring fleece, and I also made a blanket out of our super popular Watercolor Peonies for Alice fleece as well. Find them in my Spoonflower store here. You could easily use two yards and make a double sided blanket, but I wanted a lighter weight blanket for the summer time and my diaper bag and this one has been wonderful. Be sure to check it out on their blog.
And if you’re looking to make a knit receiving blanket, be sure to check out this post of Alice’s newborn photos to see Watercolor Peonies for Alice in action in the hospital, and two more fun and free downloads for your delivery or nursery! Bassinet freebie here, Watercolor garland freebie here. Her swaddler is so simple it doesn’t even need a tutorial; just trim the edges off a yard of jersey and you’re set to swaddle!!!
Be sure to check out these adorable binkie clips from Trompe + Co as well! They’ve been such a lifesaver! Alice will only take a very specific pacifier, and it’s a nightmare when we lose it!!! Trompe + Co has so many cute colors and styles available that you’ll have a hard time choosing, but we went with Bubble gum, and Gold.
I promised my kids a library tote. We have made a new resolution to go to the library – even though two years ago they lost a teensy tiny little book that cost me $19 and I break out into a cold sweat and stop breathing every time they pick out books and my head is calculating any hypothetical lost book charges. So we took a break for a few years. But now we’re back! And the kids love it.
My Makeful tote arrived magically in the mail as I was contemplating what to load up our books in. And I knew it would be perfect. Seriously, I thought someone in their offices was reading my mind – the timing was perfect. It was a simple and fun project, and the gesso works as a great eraser if you make any marks you don’t love in the painting process.
DIY Tote Bag Supplies
Tempera Brushes (mine are from Hobby Lobby in a pack)
Use a brush to layer some gesso onto the tote. Let it dry.
Mist the paper towel on the plate with the spray bottle; you don’t want it soaking wet, just nice and damp. Put paints out onto a damp paper towel.
Start laying out your design, I like to take each color and put a few flowers around for balance.
Use your spray bottle to mist your paints periodically to keep them wet.
Add in stems and leaves in open spaces. Use gesso to correct anything that isn’t in a place you like. Keeping the flowers painted in similar colors (pink with red, yellow with orange) makes painting easier, and when they are dry, you can add interest with colorful centers. Be sure to think about scale as you are painting – a variety of large, medium and small flowers and leaves looks best.