Silhouette Inspiration!

Right now in our Silhouette Shop at Silhouette Online many of our fabric die cuts are on sale for .69 cents! Deborah from Craftin’ Chaos has taken the Monster Pencil Case and done her own twist with it that you will love. She has also included a tutorial below on how to create this fun Felt Ipad Cover & Earbud Holder! ~Susan

I love to make felt projects but let me be clear I am NOT by any means great with a sewing machine. I am a newbie with sewing. But hopefully the one thing you will get from this post is that you shouldn’t be scared. I actually wanted a sewing machine to sew on my paper projects. Then I started seeing a lot of cute felt plushies and another craft was born. I had my sewing machine 2 years before I was brave and took out of the box! I was very proud of myself that I actually followed instructions and was able to get it set up pretty quickly. So step one is to not be intimidated. I know Carina is a an expert with sewing and I could let that scare me from posting on her blog a sewing project but I am hoping you all will get the courage to try it! My project is far from perfect and sewing felt (some spots 4 layers) is not easy as it seems because it moves a lot but the beauty of felt is that it is ok for it to not be perfect. You can do a lot of trimming, exposed seams are ok.

So I started sewing it up and left the top open. I sewed (ok that word just doesn’t look right) the divided sections on the two pencil pocket area’s but sewed them at various widths for notepad and some miscellaneous items. I created a button clip with one of the elements from Carina’s Monster Life Digital Collection. You can also use the Silhouette svg Monster Life Collection 1 for this last step.

On to the ear buds I figured the size I wanted to go with and using the Monster Pencil Case svg file just adjusted it to the size I needed (approx 3.5″ H x 2″ wide). Cut it out on my silhouette and then used as a pattern again. I handstitched around two pieces with a “Blanket stitch” and I sandwiched a piece of cardboard in between them to make it stiff to use to wrap the cords around from the earbuds. The ears and yellow pieces were quite small so I used felt glue for them. I did sew a little strip on the back to feed the cord through just to help hold on to the holder better.

I hope you enjoyed this project. I loved how it turned out. I am giving this away as well to a little guy in our family. I think he will love it!


New Card Classes

Print I am so excited to offer two new classes in the shop! These are part of a new Design As You Go Class series, where I try to spend time with students actually making projects that they can use! The best part is that these classes are cheap ($25) and contain tons of new techniques and new approaches in Illustrator.

In Invitation Design, we make three cards: a birthday invite, baby shower invite, and spring party invitation. The best part about these invites is that they are customizable to your style and needs. I’ll be reworking the birthday party invite for Charlie’s upcoming birthday in August.

In Holiday Card Design, you can get a jump start on Christmas, Halloween, and Easter. Don’t pay for card designs! Instead make one that is uniquely yours! There is a bonus print lesson in this class, as PrintI show you the website I use to upload my card designs.

Of course, there is a Release Sale on both of these classes! They are 20% off through Friday ($20). Take advantage while you can!

Happy Learning!


Back Home Again

miniloujune20 copy After a month and a half of travel, I’m finally back home in Salt Lake. I’m glad to be back home although there hasn’t been much time for a break. Lots of things have happened over the last month. Other than finishing press checks in China, going to a wedding in Tennessee, heading to St. George to enjoy the Tuacahn, and accompanying Siri at harp camp in Logan, some of my new paper and fabric lines have been released.

Over at Carta Bella, check out my newest collections Boy Oh Boy and Spooky as well as Alisha Gordon’s Moment’s & Memories. If you are going to the Summer show, be sure and check them out!

I’m also thrilled to announce my newest fabric line is on pre-sale to quilt shops! For a sneak peek at Primrose Garden, click on this link over at Riley Blake. Scroll down to the bottom to catch a glimpse of my first 18 inch doll panel! I’m so excited for this addition to this fabric line! More pretties on this line coming soon.

At my silhouette shop, I’ve been stocking with a lot of great basics that I have been interested in using for myself. Tons of swirls, overlays, gift bags, and cards to name a few.

And of course, I’ve been working on MiniLou. I’ve been planning out our tradeshows and trying to get everything “just so” for our upcoming fall release and the introduction of our spring release. It’s been a work-in-progress and I’m so proud of what we have accomplished so far. So many more exciting things to come!

As far as getting back on track, I’ve been working on some new home decor items for Deseret Book which should be out this fall/winter. I’ve also been working hard on our end of year releases for Carta Bella. Oh, and I’m hoping to have available two new design classes in the shop later this week.

Thankfully, this summer has not been all work-work, and I’ve been able to enjoy time alone with both of my girls on their respective trips as well as getting in a couple of vacas as a family. But summer is slipping by so very fast…I’m going to squeeze in as much fun as I possibly can!

Happy Summer!

(PS. Photo is from my Little Bitties Bookmarks for MiniLou).

Going to the Zoo…Summer Diecut Inspiration!

The amazing Deborah at CRAFTIN CHAOS gets me so inspired to use my Silhouette machine! With just a few products she was able to create this fabulous album to document a fun day at the zoo. I love the way she has used the pockets to tuck extra pictures inside and her writing and cute embellishments on the journaling cards! We are always so excited to see what she will come up with next. ~Susan

To create an album like this head over to CARINA’S SHOP AT SILHOUETTE  or visit our DIECUT SHOP here on the site:













Little Ark Quilt by Sassafras Lane Designs


Just checking in to let you know about the Churndash Court Quilt, created by the talented ladies at Sassafras Lane Designs. They featured my most recent line Little Ark in it. I loved how it turned out. I know you can get the pattern in paper or pdf format back clicking on the links above.

I have been loving this Little Ark line so much. I’m wishing I had a little more time to devote to it this summer. Charlie could use a few more things in this line:).

Tomorrow I am headed to my hometown in Tennessee for a friend’s wedding. Taking my Felicity girl with me to give her some one-on-one time. She (and I) are both excited to hang out. Trying to make the most of every age my children are in. It feels like it is all going soo fast. And I suspect it never slows down.

Here’s to a good ole Southern wedding,






Vancouver, Beijing, Hong Kong, and Back Again

IMG_0128_sq_webIf you go on a trip to Asia, when you come home your children will look like this <<<<<.

I could end the post there. But I suppose I will elaborate. If you have been following my instagram feed then you’ve followed me on my two week excursion to Hong Kong. Here’s a quick synopsis, and a few photos to boot.

+ Vancouver—It was suppose to be a quick day trip but it was met with tragedy. Our party of three was whittled down to two due to a death in my friend’s family. I missed her so much on the trip but was glad we were not all the way in Beijing yet. It made getting home for her a lot easier.
+ Tried to conquer my fear of heights at the Capilano Suspension Bridge (Photo below)
+ Got stuck in Beijing due to bad weather.
+ Got touristy and visited the Big Buddha, Victoria’s Peak, and the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery.
IMG_9035_web+ Never got used to the humidity
+ Or the heat.
+ Shopped. A.L.O.T.
+ Did press checks for MiniLou on mainland. The main purpose of the entire trip. Incredibly happy with everything we are doing in the new company. Can’t wait for you to see product!
+ Danced in the street with my travel partner Tausha in Lan Kwai Fong in honor of World Cup.
+ Ate a few noodles.
+ Shopped again.
+ Hiked the Dragon’s Back
+ And thought the heat unbearable.
+ Ate more noodles (Seriously, where was the rice?)
+ Discovered I love Taiwanese food
+ And remembered how much I hate Duran fruit.
+ Was ruthless video taped while taking a bite of it.
+ I am sparing you the video.
+ Don’t ask for it because I’m not showing it to you.
+ Visited Macau but failed to give myself enough time to really enjoy it.
+ Bought a Mahjong set which put my luggage over the weight limit.
+ Am determined to remember/learn how to play again.
+ Am happy to be back in my home with my sweet little ones.
+ Got back to my baby boy who called me “mama” before the trip and for some reason now calls me “mommy.” Not sure what happen there but not complaining.


IMG_9154_webSo there it is in a nutshell. It was a wonderful business/pleasure trip and it especially made me excited for MiniLou! For more photos, I recommend checking my instagram feed. Will be back with some good stuff soon!

Happy summer!


Diecut Inspiration!

Carina is still having fun in China so we are going to have some fun continuing our 30% off all Diecuts sale in the shop!

Deborah from Craftin Chaos worked up another awesome project using the Lace Cake Stand Embellishment and Garden Picks 2 (set of 5)!

It’s the perfect display for all of your summer birthday parties and outdoor parties.

Here is Deborah to tell us more about her project:

Cupcakes you say?! Why yes….yes I will and thank you very much! This gave me a great reason to make cupcakes. I know I didn’t need them but no one NEEDS them but we can sure want them! I made red velvet which is becoming my favorite cupcake. I made a quick cream cheese icing for the cupcakes. I wish I could have tried out some fancy tips I have had in my stash for a long time to make the icing pretty but there wasn’t enough time to do that for fear my husband would eat the cupcakes before I could get it done. Again, I used those cute garden picks to create little messages for my cupcakes. I pop dotted them to give lots of dimension. I cut the bottom of them off and just glued tooth picks to the back since it was going to go into the cupcake. I also decorated the base of the cake stand with the Lace Cake Stand Embellishment .



Diecuts 30% off the month of June!

Carina is off on her adventure to China to do press checks on the products for her new company Mini Lou
You can follow her adventures on her Instagram (carinagardner). In the meantime I am taking over the blog while she is away so let’s have some fun!!
Today kicks off our HUGE 30% off diecut sale in the shop. The shop is fully stocked with wonderful goodies. Make sure to hit the NEW DIECUTS section where we have all of Carina’s most current releases from her Silhouette Store.
We are so excited to have Deborah from Craftin Chaos working with us now on our Design Team!  In honor of the big sale Deborah has worked up some fabulous eye candy to get you inspired for the diecut sale!
Here is Deborah to tell you more about her projects:
“My projects were super quick, that being said I am hoping it still will inspire you to create some awesome projects of your own with Carina’s diecut files. I used papers from Carta Bella’s Alphabet Junction for several cards and one I used a digital paper from Carina’s Soaring Summer Paper Set as well as some of Carina’s elements  which are available in her shop at Snap Click Supply.
This first project was super quick to do.  If you have a busy schedule…and who doesn’t, these albums are perfect for capturing the moments you spent with family and friends without devoting the time it takes to create a scrapbook album layout. I love that you can get so many configurations from the pockets giving you so many options.
I used the We R Memory Keepers pockets for mine. The cards are Carina’s My Life 4X6 Travel Card Diecuts and I am loving Carina’s  Garden Picks Set of 5 Diecuts very versatile as you will see two ways I used them.  And you know I made some custom buttons! I used the die cuts from the cards to create a print and cut for the buttons in my silhouette studio


Can you tell where I want to be from my luggage tag?



This  project is one of my favorites. I just love anything with cameras on them or camera related. Instagram is something I just started using recently and I am hooked! I wanted this to be very bold and I love these two colors together. That pop of fuchsia on the front against the bright yellow is just my favorite. I used the Instant Photo Camera Album I added the Flag Shape 17 Diecut  for the sentiment.  I cut a smaller circle for the center to add a fun sentiment to the album.


A nice feature is the slots the file cuts for you to just pop in a cute photo for perfect placement. I added more sentiments to give a little more love to it.

Thanks to Deborah for those awesome projects! We will be featuring more of her creations over the weeks to inspire you.


My New Company MiniLou

miniloulaunchimageAfter several months of secrets, I’m finally able to reveal what I have been up to! MiniLou is my new children’s company. Creative, sweet, and soooo fun, the products are inspired by my own children and the sweetness of childhood.

The story behind MiniLou is a simple one. Last summer, I started drawing these kitty paper dolls for Siri and Felicity. I loved paper dolls as a girl. I remember dressing them up and playing house with them. I saw Siri and Felicity loving everything I was illustrating for them. I invented a story for the kitties that I would tell them at bedtime. Siri and Felicity started hand drawing their own little paper dolls mimicking the ones I made for them. We were all sitting around a table together. Drawing. Playing with paper dolls. I loved their creativity, and MY creativity when we were doing this together.

And that was it. I loved the idea of a line of products that promoted creativity for kids. I knew the little kitties needed to become something.

pp_littlekitty_coverSo MiniLou was born. Creative products for kids. Small, easy-to-handle products. Products that were easy for moms to deal with. Basically, anything that I would love for my own children to play with.

Slowly and surely, I gathered a wonderful team of illustrators. The little kitties turned into MiniLou’s first product category: Pocket Paper Pals—a small, reusable package of paper dolls and landscapes. Perfect for storing and playing with. Printed on textured paper. Bright, happy, sweet.

I added mini coloring books—5 in x 7 in that fit perfectly in my purse and in the hands of my little ones. Then came the sketchpads and the bookmarks. Objects that would inspire and uplift. My kids were excited for every sample to come home to them.

MiniLou’s Fall 2014 Catalog is a compilation of the very first of what the new company has to offer. I hope you enjoy it! A lot of heart went into this first catalog. It has been a new adventure. Scary—it’s always scary to start a new company. Humbling—there are so many people who have backed me and encouraged me. And wonderful. There is no better word. Wonder-ful sums it all up.

And with that has come a wonderful whirlwind of exciting new things. MiniLou’s fall collections hit shops in September. I leave in 3 days to do press checks in China. I’ve never been to China before although I am half Chinese (My mother is ethnically Chinese but from Malaysia). My instagram feed will be a fun montage of work and play. I hope you have a chance to watch for it!

Please go check out the new website, the facebook feed, the instagram feed @miniloukids, the wonderful new video we have up, the twitter account, and the pinterest account. I can’t wait for people to experience the Kid’s Corner, where we plan on releasing free downloadable coloring pages and projects.


I hope you see the sweetness and joy of childhood emanating from this new company.

Thank you so much for all of your support in this wonder-filled adventure.



carinagardner-hkThe glamper tour has ended. The extra weekends off has given me time to finish up a few projects. Today I managed to push out one of my 2015 fabric lines and tape a new mini class. I can hear my inner voice pushing me right now. I suspect because of the upcoming trip to China to do press checks for my new company.

That’s right. You heard me. I’ve been letting out little hints about it on instagram and the facebook page with no official announcement. You’ll have to wait for June 1st for that.

Two of my girlfriends were very spontaneous and decided to tag along. We’ll be in Vancouver, Hong Kong, Dongguan City, and Beijing. All planned out in the little travel books (left) that I made for us. I’ve been filling mine out with packing lists, places I want to see, and more. Books were made from my Travel Stories collection.

For the best possible front seat on all the action, follow my instagram feed @carinagardner. I’ll be posting all my doings from the trip and @miniloukids will be posting all the giveaways and peeks at all our new creative kids products.

carinagardner_kidsoutFor now, I’m kicked into high gear to finish out the last few remaining items that need to be taken care of. You’ll notice my extra emphasis on instax photos in my silhouette store these last couple of weeks. That’s because I’m planning on using my instax alot on this upcoming trip, and I’m going to need all those accessories I have been making.

Other things that I should make note of:
1. My Boy Oh Boy Paper Collection for Carta Bella ships June 1st!
2. Little Ark is now available in stores.
3. Full reveal of my October fabric line Primrose Garden should be available this summer. It comes with (*gasp*) an 18 inch doll panel!!!!
4. The 30% Fabric Sale will be ending on May 31st. So will the mega discounted price on my newly released Digital Design class.

More soon,


PS The photo to the left is of my three children with Josh up in Bell’s Canyon. I couldn’t resist posting.