Pottermore meets Reality

Ok, so obviously, my reality frequently interact with my nerd side, but today’s craftivity was an epic example. But as with all squirrel stories, there’s a backstory…

A million years ago, when the first Pottermore sorting test went live, I was placed into Hufflepuff house. Fast forward to the last incarnation of the sorting hat test, which placed me into Ravenclaw house. It took me a minute to agree with the new sort, but I eventually did. However, I never fully released my Hufflepuff roots and was positively giddy the first time that I saw another Potterhead refer to themselves as a combo house, specifically Raven-puff. That moniker I could totally own.

This year, I went full Hogwarts on my classroom, so I was more in touch with my combo house on a daily basis. Enter the (early) release of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite at the very beginning of my summer break. Duh, I started playing that shit straight out the gate. Like any good nerd, I researched TF outta every aspect, which included joining several Facebook groups on the subject.

Pretty soon, I saw my first Potterhead crafter use their fancy cutting machine to make a HPWU pretty. After I smacked myself in the head for not thinking of it first, I got to work. Obviously, I couldn’t do something that anyone else had done, so I perseverated, Ravenclaw style, to come up with something unobtrusive and cool. I kept up the Ravenclaw angle and decided to use the spell traces from the game…all 14. Then, I had to line them all up OCD style.

Then, team Hufflepuff decided to show up. Why not use glow in the dark HTV in case I decide to play in the dark? Plus, I could meet other nice nerds that way, right? As is the norm with all my “Oh this will be so easy,” ideas, it wasn’t. I had to use 3 different programs before I found the perfect one and then the idea could finally become reality.

During the process, I giggled when I recognized the distinct Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw qualities, solidifying the hybrid house designation for me. I’m looking forward to wearing it on the OBX as I scour Blackbeard’s hideaway for traces, confoundables, oddities, and collections in the upcoming weekend. (Squirrel) Wizards Unite!

Try ALL the things!

In typical squirrel fashion, I’m all over the place since school let out.  I have initiated the first 2 phases of vacation: clean/purge all the things and binge watch all the things.  Cleo is a big fan of the latter and despises the former (aside from rubbing her face on/jumping in and out of all the boxes and bags).  Summer is like surfing in a lava lamp, always moving and changing, but still kinda peaceful and relaxing.  I’ve been pushing myself more than usual in all areas, including the artsy-fartsy.  Organizing my craft room, buying a gorgeous new giant computer, and researching all the possibilities for the future.

One of the projects on my summer Squirrel list is to make my digital art available for direct download and sale.  This whole “passive income” thing is relatively new and complex for me, but I’m working out the details, and will have updates ASAP! Much sooner than the time in between these blog posts, I promise! I’ve always been hesitant to put digital work out there as I worried about copyright, illegal downloads, etc., but I’m narrowing down my options.

I’ve also been learning how to make a handwritten font!  While it is super involved, I am really enjoying the learning process and scheming future $, all too prematurely!  Soon enough, you’ll also be able to purchase a squirrel scrawled font for your own use.  It will be almost like having a tiny me inside your computer (but not nearly as cool or noisy)!  I’m definitely not at the publication stage, but moving in the right direction.

Plotting is also underfoot for a possible second (and maybe 3rd, FFS) digital storefront for instant items and custom prints, as well as pre-craft show sweatshoppery. I’m waiting to hear final word on whether I am an official vendor for the largest show I’ve been a part of to date.  It’s a local shindig, so added pressure, yay!

Silhouette, stickiness, and sparkles

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Ever since I got into journaling and printing my own stickers a while back, I’ve been dreaming of fancy cutting machine. I researched, compared, shopped, and pouted when I found out how much the bloody things cost.  I put a Silhouette Cameo 3 on my Amazon wish list and checked out every sale for a year and change.

Fast forward to right after Christmas when I realized I could use my own lettering to cut out pretty decals without having to worry about scanning, vectoring, and all that other nonsense. Out of habit, I checked zulily to see if there were any good deals…jackpot. There was a beautiful black Cameo 3 on sale for 30+ bucks cheaper than Amazon, just staring at me. Full of hope and worry, I pushed the checkout button and immediately looked out the window to see if it was here yet. Thankfully, I had enough to keep me occupied in the 2 weeks before I got it to do something other than stare out the window…like work and figure out how to use Procreate. When that big box finally got here, I was swamped with work and life, so it sat there, staring at me. I tried to install the software on my poor little iPad mini1 and it just wouldn’t work. I bought the vinyl and it stayed in the bag for a week. I was stalling or something, but today, I finally made the first cut.

In typical squirrel fashion, I fudged up the first round, but luckily, I didn’t mess up my pretty glitter vinyl…mainly because I hadn’t set the blade right in the slot, so it didn’t touch the bloody sheet.  After laughing at myself, I found a video on YouTube that showed how to correctly load the blade, and tried it again.  Success! Of course, I still needed to “weed” the negative space vinyl and figure out how to put the darn things on all the surfaces I had planned. Despite not having the proper tools (I went and bought the ones in the picture after), I managed to weed out the scrap vinyl with a razor blade (as I tried not to cry at all the waste) and ended up with virtually perfect decals ready to make all the surfaces pretty.

I left the sheet on the table and ran my errands, and got to the transferring. Because it was gonna be so easy, just like in all the high-speed Instagram videos. I tried putting my name sticker (that, like an indecisive psycho, I had to poll the internet on the night before) on my pretty new water bottle. No dice. That pretty glitter vinyl was not loving the transfer tape. After I had to scrap BOTH of my name stickers, I decided to go for the laptop decal, since it was bigger. I posted a “Help!” thread in one of the lettering groups I’m in on Facebook to see if there was something I was doing wrong, because hello, I HAD tried to cut the freaking vinyl without making sure the blade was actually making contact. I was redeemed to find out that it wasn’t just me, but that the pretty glitter vinyl and the transfer tape I had. After much cussing, coercion, and some surgery, I managed to get “Ms. Roy” on to my laptop case.

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Going to try some other transfer tape and vinyl combos this week, but I think it’s not too shabby for the first go-round!  Now to figure out what to letter so I can cut out more…