Craft Room Update and Vinyl Transfer How-To

Today’s post is more of an update on my craft room progress as well as being a how-to. There’s a lot of photos in this one because I wanted to make sure that I could explain my process well.

I wasn’t really happy with how my current white board looked in my craft room. I wanted something that looked cleaner and more bold than my crummy handwriting. It really doesn’t help that I don’t know how to write straight, whatsoever.

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Those of you who follow me on Instagram or Facebook may remember when I made a very large vinyl decal for a customer. Her plan was to install it on an upcycled window to use as an outdoor display. It turned out really great!!

 

I decided to challenge myself to make a good decal to run across the top of my white board, which would make it an even longer decal than the welcome one I had made before.

Now, you’ll probably be looking through all of this and find yourself thinking “Why didn’t she just remove the board from the wall?”. That is a great question. I didn’t think of that. Luckily I’m pretty tall so I didn’t have to worry about over-extending my arms to reach anything.

I measured out the total length of the board (46.5 inches) and then decided on how tall I wanted my decal to be. I decided that five inches tall would be adequate to make a statement. I didn’t really care how long the design was; as long as it was more than half the length of the board. If the design wasn’t long enough, it would look stunted.

After taking measurements, I had to find a font that would look good. I wanted something clean and legible with a handwritten look. Once I had my font and design done, I welded the shapes together in Silhouette Studio and sent it to the Cameo to be cut. I chose teal outdoor vinyl (Oracal 651) since I wasn’t really sure that the indoor vinyl would adhere to the weird white board surface texture.

Could I have tested this? Yes. But I didn’t because I don’t have a great color selection of indoor vinyl right now.

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Luckily, since this design was so big, it was really easy to weed out the excess vinyl. Once I had the excess removed, I carefully applied my transfer tape. I use the masking tape method for tape application.

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Using masking tape in the center of the design, I carefully peeled back the transfer tape from its backing. Once I reached the masking tape in the middle, I cut off the backing and used my super awesome squeegee to press down the tape onto my decal.

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To do the other half, I move the masking tape over just to the left of the remaining backing and repeat the previous process. I then thoroughly burnish the decal to the transfer tape using my scraper tool. I like this method because it’s essentially fool-proof!

Next, I needed to clean off my white board. Using an eraser isn’t enough, though; there was still a lot of particles and ink residue on the board.

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This is where our good friend IPA, or Rubbing Alcohol, comes in. Using a paper towel and some of the cheap stuff you find in the first aid department, I went over all areas twice and then once with a less damp cloth to make sure there was no residue remaining.

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Once I was satisfied with my board’s state, I went in for the alignment. Originally, I placed my decal where I thought the middle was, but couldn’t get it just so. I took the difference between the length of the design and the length of the board, divided it by two and put a mark at that measurement on one side. Then I aligned one side of my decal with the line at the height I wanted.

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After that, I followed the masking tape method for application, which is exactly the same as it was for the transfer tape placement.

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Before I did the second side, though, I noticed I missed a tiny piece when I was weeding the excess. Luckily this is easier to fix if you catch it before you apply the vinyl to your surface.

In the loop of my lowercase “r” was a little bit of leftover. I just used my hook tool to carefully pull it from the transfer tape. Once that was done I finished the placement and removed my masking tape.

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I burnished the design really well using a scraper to adhere it well to the surface, then removed the transfer tape.

It looks so much better (and more professional) now! I finally feel like things are coming together and that my personality is coming through!

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I still cannot write on vertical surfaces in a straight line, however. Maybe I should work on that next?

 

If you’re looking for someone to make you a super awesome decal such as this, you can either send me a request using the form on my Contact Me page, or request a custom order on my etsy shop.

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The One Where Candace Changed Her Name – Pt. 2

This is part two of a three part series! To read part one, click here!


Since I had finished everything I needed to at Social Security, I headed to the Department of Licensing to do the next step of my name change.

On the DoL’s website for changing your name, it states that you have to visit Social Security before applying for an enhanced driver’s license. I could have applied for a standard license without worrying about Social Security, but with the travel restrictions coming in to play for non-enhanced licenses next year (read the official DHS article here), I decided to just bite the bullet and get the “fancy” one.

Once I arrived at the Department of Licensing (read: NOT the DMV), I was greeted by many warning signs…

Needless to say, it did not look well. The number that was called as I took my ticket was 152.

I was 198.

I took a seat and messaged my husband about the general exhaustion I was feeling. I was thankful that I had someone to message to keep me 1) sane, and 2) awake.

After about an hour, they called my number and I whipped out my padfolio.

Me: “I was married in October and I’d like to get an enhanced license with my new name, please.”

Woman at Counter: “Of course. You’ve been to Social Security already, right?”

Me: “Yes! I just came from there.”

Woman: “…it usually takes 24 to 48 hours for the changes to take effect in their database.”

At this point I was at a loss. No where online did it mention how long I needed to wait after changing my name with Social Security before I could change it at the DoL and other places.

I could have been in bed already! The woman at the counter went ahead and checked my social security information, anyway, in the (apparently extremely rare) case that it had already processed in the approximately 2 hours since I had left. However, that was not the case, and my visit ended with me going home.

At least I had half of the work done!


I ended up waiting until I got my physical social security card before I went into the DoL. I didn’t want a repeat of what had happened before, especially with my limited daylight hours.

This time I went in about 5 minutes before they opened. There was a line about 20 people long in front of me this time and it wasn’t long before they opened the doors.

Once I printed my ticket, I had a seat and waited. It was only around 20 minutes before my number was called up. I did a vision test and the identity check, then filled out a small questionnaire.

I was instructed to keep my ticket and to listen for my number to be called again for my photo to be taken; waiting this time was about another 15 minutes or so. I wasn’t waiting for horrendous amounts of time in-between call ups. For my photo, my glasses had to be off, which felt strange to me. But they need to be able to scan your facial structure in case of crazy situations.

One click and flash later, I was sitting and waiting for my interview.

With the Enhanced Drivers Licenses in Washington state, you are required to have a small interview, which seems to be so that they can check to make sure that you are telling the truth about what you put on your questionnaire.

It was fairly straight-forward and I was done relatively quickly. I was handed a paper receipt and was told to keep my punched (expired) ID with it until my new one came.


Now that I have gone through the whole process of doing this, I know exactly what steps I would tell someone in my situation to take. Things can seem easy when you research, but bumps always occur when you get down to business.

Next time, I’ll have an easy to read synopsis of what you should do when changing your name.

 

New Blog!

Hello, everyone! I don’t have a lot of updates this week, other than that I am starting a new blog! I’ll continue to update this one, don’t worry, but I’m very excited to start the other one.

I’m introducing MacQuest! MacQuest is essentially the quest for the best mac; macaroni and cheese, that is.

I often find myself ordering mac n’ cheese if it’s on any restaurant’s menu. While Yelp is pretty good at finding certain keywords, sometimes it can be hard to pinpoint specific menu items.

I hope that in starting MacQuest, I help find the best macaroni and cheese! I’ll start with Battle Ground, then work my way to my surrounding cities. I’ve even convinced a few friends to participate with me on occasion!

“But Candace, what if you run out of restaurants to try?”

To combat that, I’ve decided to make every other post a recipe review instead, using links from Pinterest, Food Network and other good go-to recipe sites. This way we consistently bring relevant mac content to you.

Go ahead and check out my (currently) very blank blog and throw me a follow if you’d like to be notified when my first post goes live! I’m hoping to start throwing out content by the end of September.

Thanks for reading!

Sister Ink Project

I haven’t had a new tattoo in years. I’ve been meaning to get one, but finances keep getting in the way. I’m not the kind of person that will just go and buy an inexpensive tattoo. I want it to be art that represents me in some way; I usually plan out tattoos well in advance.

For example, I had been wanting the angel wings on my back since my Grandma Mona passed away. She was always like my guardian angel, so I wanted something to remind me of her. She passed away when I was 17 and I finally got the tattoo when I was 19. I still wanted it after all that time!

Now that my Papa Fred has gone to be with Grandma, I’d like to get some raspberries somewhere for him, since that is what always reminds me of him.

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From left to right: Me, Sam, Cathy

I’m not sure if either of my sisters follow the same mindset that I do when picking out tattoos, but all of the ones they have gotten seem to match their personality pretty well.

 

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Catherine, 20, now has three tattoos under her belt, which means she officially has more than me (unless you count each wing as a separate tattoo…). Sam, 18, just got her first one and it looks really good, too!

The three of us decided that we wanted a sister tattoo. You know, the (usually) cutesy “sister 5 eva” kind of tattoos you see on Pinterest. But we wanted something a little more symbolic of ourselves.

Cute, but no, thanks!

We’ve always really identified with our western zodiac signs, so we decided to make a design based off of those.

Needless to say, finding a design for all of us was a challenge. I’m a Sagittarius, Sam is an Aquarius, and Catherine is a Pisces. I had to find a set of those three zodiac designs that all three of us liked.

Aside from our signs, the three of us are all very different people. I’m into metal/JPOP music, playing video games and being a craft nerd. Catherine is a rap/hip-hop listening country girl. Sam is a die-hard hunter whose favorite color is camouflage.

I think I sent around 12 different design sets over to Cathy and Sam before we all agreed on one tribal looking set I found through a Google search.

The next step was finding a way to make them all look cohesive while making a version unique to each of us. Our first thought was for each tattoo design, the dominant sign would be larger and in color. This makes three separate designs that are still a set while remaining true to our individuality.

This sounded like a great idea, in theory, but once I sat down (a few different times…), I quickly realized that making these the way we wanted was not in my range of abilities. The design always turned out too busy or too tacky.designs.pngSo, instead, we all decided to get our individual signs instead of all three signs in one tattoo. Adding our birthdays in Roman Numerals seemed to finish the design off well enough. But something was still missing.

My husband, Brett, pointed out that they weren’t really sister tattoos, that they were more of just…tattoos that we got at the same time. He took it upon himself to research how other people had merged their signs into one tattoo. We found one that had combined Aquarius and Pisces and thought of the same general idea.

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We came up with this tentative design.

Of course, we wouldn’t finish on such a rough tattoo, but once I got approval from my sisters, I set to work at making it “pretty” in Paint Tool SAI.

 

I ended up doing what we had originally planned on, which was making the dominant sign for each person in their element’s color; Aquarius is aqua for air, Pisces is blue for water, and Sagittarius is red for fire. We can always adjust the intensity of the colors, but I liked the slight watercolor effect of these tones.

All of us agreed that these were the ones, so expect to see an update post sometime soon after we’ve had them done! I can’t wait to see them completed!

It will definitely be something to remember.