Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Amazing Grace Cross Vinyl Decal

I created this cross for my friend a few years ago.  I am getting ready to attend the All Things Silhouette Conference in Peachtree City, GA and decide to use this as one of my swaps. This is a fairly easy project to do just requires some patience.  

  1. First, choose any Serif Font (example: Times New Roman).  I chose a font called Charter.  Type out the word Amazing but hit return key after every letter.  Highlight all the letters and choose "center align" in the Text Style Panel. This will align all of your letters so they are centered over each other.
  2. Next you want to adjust the line spacing so the letters are touching and slightly overlapping.  
  3. Now type each of the letters G R C E. You need to align the letters with the A in amazing.  Make sure to overlap the letter so they can welded together. I find this works best if you zoom in on the design. Once the letters are in place select the whole design and open Modify Panel and choose weld.

  4. I wanted this to have two layers, so select the design and open the Offset Panel and choose external offset.  Make sure that you have the cut out centers for the letters in your offset by adjusting the offset distance.
  5. Next step is to align both layers.  At this point I would change each the designs cut lines to a different color.  This will help in the cutting process.
  6. When cutting multiple layers I add a weeding box and rectangles to help with aligning  the decal after you cut the file. It is also helpful to have each layers of the cross and the weed box/aligning boxes cut lines set to different color.  Here is a great tutorial on layering vinyl.  Silhouette School Blog layering vinyl without waste 

For this project, I used the following:

  • Silhouette CAMEO®
  • Any Serif Font (example: Times New Roman)
  • Oracal 651 any color
  • Silhouette Studio® (recommend at least Designer Edition)
  • Font I used is Charter

Owl Paper Clip

I created this Owl Paper Clip Shaker for a swap at the upcoming All Things Silhouette Conference.  Hope you like it.  I think he is adorable.!

  1. First, I chose my file from the Silhouette Design Store. The file is Animal Owl 2 (Design ID #9362) by Samantha Walker.  Then I scaled my pieces for my design.
  2. Then I made copy of the body and belly piece.  I aligned the new belly and body pieces and made them into a compound path. I made a copy of the new pieces, one to be cut in white craft foam and one to be cut from the paper of your choice.
  3. Next select belly piece and make an external offset of the pieces to cut in clear plastic to cover the shaker part of the owls belly.  This will hold all the sparkles in!
  4. I finished by making a copy of the body.  Below shows you all the pieces you need to  cut out to make the owl.
  5. I applied Stick It to the craft foam and cut it with the craft foam side up.  This way you already have adhesive on the foam. It will not cut through the backing of the Stick It but you can peal up the craft foam like a sticker.
  6. After cutting all my pieces, I glued the clear plastic belly onto the back side of the front piece of the owl. After that dries, apply the craft foam to the back side of the front pieces of the owl and glue it on.  This will create the hole for all the shaker goodies. After pieces are dry add shaker goodies. 
  7. Now take the piece labeled back and place it on the craft foam.  I did add a little glue to craft foam even though I applied Stick It.  Firmly press the two pieces together to seal in the shaker goodies and let dry.
  8. At this point you should have an owl with shaker goodies sealed inside.  We are now going to add the paper clip to the back of the owl.  I used Scor-Tape to do this.  At this point you should have one back piece left this is to cover the paper clip.  I ran that back piece through my Xyron to help adhere it the the back of owl and cover the paper clip.
  9. Now the finishing touches - add the eyes, beak and wing with glue and let dry.

For this project, I used the following:

  • Animal Owl 2 (Design ID #9362) by Samantha Walker
  • Doubleside Cardstock from Stampin Up
  • Craft Foam 2mm
  • Stick It
  • Variety of Sequins, Beads and Glitter
  • Liquid Pearls by Ranger
  • Clear Page Protector
  • Glue and Scor-Tape
  • Silhouette CAMEO®
  • Silhouette Studio® (recommend Designer Edition) 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Big Green Egg: How to Modify Silhouette Files

Design is an important part of crafting.  We all find inspiration in different ways, especially from the things around us.  The hard part can be figuring out how to make your design vision into a reality.  My inspiration was my husband’s love for his Big Green Egg (BGE).  The one tip I recommend when trying to design a file is not to recreate the wheel.  I always check the Silhouette Online Store first to see if there is a design I can use as my starting point.  For this project I found the design BBQ.gst created by Silhouette that I used to start moving towards my ultimate goal of the Big Green Egg design.  Just because I modified the file does not give me the right to sell or distribute it.    

  1. I figured out what pieces of the file would work for my design.  The base was the most obvious part of the file I could use if I modified it.  To modify the base I double clicked on the design, to bring it into point editing mode.  Then I adjusted the length on the base legs by clicking on the edit points and shortening the middle leg. 

  1. The body of the BGE was the next part I tackled.  I made an oval shape for the body, then I modified the body of the grill file to fit my need.  Next I aligned the shapes, selected both and welded.  The end result was an egg body shape. 

  1. Lastly I made the top of the BGE using the shape tool.  I made a rounded rectangle and a larger cornered rectangle, aligned the shapes and welded them together.  I made a small rectangle for the handle.  The band of the egg I modified the BBQ file’s band to fit the shape of my BGE body. 

With a little imagination and use of a few simple tools in Silhouette Studio I was able to create the file I needed to complete my vision of the BGE design file.  I encourage you to play with files you have, break them apart, weld, edit points etc.  Silhouette Studio has lots of great tools for you to try.  

For this project, I used the following:

  • Silhouette CAMEO®
  • BBQ (Design ID#1739) by Silhouette
  • Silhouette Studio® (any version but I recommend at least Designer Edition)
  • Oracal 651 Black
  • Oracal 651 Dark Green
  • Oracal 651 Silver
  • Oracal 651 Light Brown 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Two Ways to Fill a Font with Sketch Pen

Today I am sharing with you two different ways to use Silhouette Sketch Pens to fill fonts.  We all wish we had beautiful handwriting, now you can with a few quick steps in Silhouette Studio®.  

For this project, I used the following:
  • Silhouette CAMEO®
  • Silhouette Studio® (any version)
  • Silhouette Sketch Pens
  • Neenah Solar White Cardstock

Monday, June 5, 2017

Altenew Coffee Love Square Card

For Christmas I made a series of square kraft colored cards to give as gifts.  I really liked working with the square shape, since most of the cards I make are traditional 5.5 in. x 4.25 in.  Today I am going to share my get well card.  I used Altenew Stamp and Die Set Coffee Love.  I added color using several different techniques. I love that you get a high impact look even though it was an easy card to make. To see more of the cards in this series go to my instagram.
  1. Basic stamping with inks
  2. Applying ink over a stencil
  3. Coloring with Copic Markers
For this project, I used the following:
  • Altenew Stamp and Die Set Coffee Love
  • Tim Holtz Mini Layering Stencil Set #3
  • Tim Holtz Distress Inks Antique Linen
  • Tim Holtz Blending Tool
  • Tim Holtz Distress Inks Ground Espresso
  • Copic Sketch Marker
  • Stampin Up Very Vanilla Cardstock
  • Craft Foam

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Silhouette Version 4 Beta and Image Effects Tool

I was asked to be part of an elite Beta tester team for Silhouette’s new, yet to be released, Version 4 software.  I was honored to be chosen to collaborate with a group of wonderful women crafters, many of whose blogs I have followed for years, along with the dedicated Silhouette staff.  I have really enjoyed working with the new software. Overall I love the direction Silhouette is taking the software.  I won’t lie, though - it will be quite a change from a user perspective.  But I feel for the most part this change is for the better.  With that being said there are still some challenges to work out, but we are optimistic because Silhouette is listening to our input. Here are a few of the new features:
  • Object on a path
  • bar codes in Business Edition
  • Improved Text Tool
  • New Tool Bar and Floating Panels
  • New Trace features

This brings me to the point of my post.  I am not considered by friends and family to be a novice when it comes to using the software. They jokingly call my house asking for the Silhouette hotline.  However, I have just learned something about the software that has been there since V3.3 that I think is pretty cool - You can add image effects to your designs!  Exciting right?  I had no idea what that meant, do you?  Let me explain and show you examples. I think when I’m done you’ll agree with me that image effects are pretty cool.

There are several different options in the Image Effects panel.

  • Grey Shades-  converts to grey tones
  • Colorize- (my favorite and the example) cycle through different hues
  • Contrast, Brightness, and Saturation
  • Gamma- controls intensity
  • Invert- inverts images color scheme 
  • Sepia- adds sepia tones
  • Tint- you can control the amount of Red, Green, and Blue
See Silhouette FAQ for better descriptions.

My Example is Colorize-  You can use the Colorize effect to change the colors of fill patterns and print and cut as in video below.

For this project, I used the following:

  • Silhouette CAMEO®
  • Silhouette Print & Cut design
  • Fill pattern
  • Silhouette Studio® (V 3.3 or higher)

Monday, April 17, 2017

Craft room layout and organization

I am starting a series on my craft room organization and overall organization efforts.  Many of my organizing ideas were inspired by Jennifer McQuire Ink.  As many of you know a craft room is always a work in progress. We are always in search of the perfect storage to maximize space.  Today I am going to share my over all layout of my craft room and how to create a layout that will work with your room.

I’ve lived in my house for over 12 years and my craft room has been in three different locations in my house.  My current location is my dining room, and it is by far my favorite.  My dining room was just too small for large gatherings and just sat there unused acting as a hallway. On top of that the room has lots of openings.  It is 12 feet by 11 feet with a set of french doors, a door to the kitchen and window, all on different walls, so wall space is at a premium.  I have used IKEA’s Kallax shelves for the last 12 years.  I have had them in many configurations over the years as I’m always seeking to improve my layout and organization. 

  1. First measure your room and create a floor plan. I forgot the window in the plan below but when planning a new craft space its important to include the placement of all doors and windows. I recommend that you clean out the room if possible and use tape to mark furniture placement.  I did not do that. I never do anything the easy way. 

  1. Next is the really hard part, at least for me—figuring out how you want to use the space.  When I first moved into the dining room, I thought I wanted vertical storage to maximize space.  I also wanted a table in the center of the room.  I lived with that configuration for about one year.  What was missing was more flat work space for my Big Shot, various paper cutters, and extra work space.  I also wanted the room to be pretty, as it’s one of the first things you see when you walk into my house if the French doors are not closed.
  2. Next, you need to figure out what elements of your current storage are working, and which furniture pieces are staying in the room.  Pull out your tape measure and start measuring your furniture pieces to help you figure out a placement plan.  I knew I wanted to keep my 2 tall Kallax units, 1 short Kallax unit and the desk piece for the Kallax. But I knew there had to be a better layout.   
  3. Once you’ve decided what is staying and where it will live, decide what pieces you still need.  I wanted something to hold printers but it had to fit in my plan. Ikea to the rescue!  I also wanted a new desk/table that would be a standing or sitting desk/table, and once again Ikea had a solution.

For this project, I used the following: