DIY Thickers

I have a love/hate relationship with alphabet stickers. I love the texture and style that a good thick alphabet sticker can bring to a layout. But I am constantly running out of the most popular letters and then I’m left with 50% of the product (or more) as unusable. While I have come up with a few ideas on recycling and upcycling these items, I’m just a bit tired of the whole process.

So for the next few months I am on a quest to make all my own alphabet stickers. Since I like the dimension of foam letters I’m using that material for now. I’ll use die sets and my Cricut Maker1 to create my alphas and spruce then up with various techniques to get a variety of styles. Yes I will still have all the bits of foam left over from cutting out the letters. My plan for that is to use it to replace my foam dot usage. That way the material does double duty and hopefully I’ll have little to no waste to throw away. You can see what I have in mind with my latest video.

Since filming this episode I’ve decided on one more style I want to try. If I cover a foam sheet with double sticky adhesive and then lay a white sheet of cardstock over that I’ll have a surface that should be easily alterable in more ways that the plain foam is. That way the dye ink techniques I talk about in the video will work. This style will cut easily with die sets. But will my Cricut blade be able to handle the stickiness of the adhesive without gumming up my blade? I’ll let you know when I know!

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Footnote 1: I do have to specifically use the Cricut Maker model for this and here is why. I have not had any luck using the fine point or deep point blade cutting foam simply because Cricut’s pre-set cutting features move too fast and the blades drag the material. When I use my Maker with the special knife blade and the Thin Garment Leather setting I can get the machine to slow down and cut very well. But that setting has it’s own drawback, which I won’t go into now. Instead, I’ll be brining a video on this topic soon!

Free Cut Files, July 2021

I’ve got this month’s cut files up for you. This one is called Summer Days and includes plenty of images.

Each file is multiple pieces that can be used independently or layered up for the looks you see here. If you want to see all this set has to offer, check out the YouTube episode.

And you can download the files directly here or head to my Freebies tab to see all I have to offer in the way of cut files and also sketch files.

Free Cut Files: May + June

Since I was busy creating, filming and editing a layout a day for the month of May my free cut files for that month got delayed. So I am here in June to offer you the cut files for both months.

May’s files are photo-realistic flower medallions. These were an interesting creative process. I took my own photos from my garden, digitally manipulated them and turned them into cut files! Be patient with these files as they are very intricate and thus take more time and patience to cut. Using a fresh blade and a newer mat will give you better results. And if you cut them at least bigger than 2.5 inches, you’ll do even better. However, I’ve been trying to fine tune them to get better cuts at smaller sizes. Let me know what you think of this photo-real style. There are surely pros and cons to this look!

From Top Left: periwinkle, bleeding heart, foxglove, clematis, daffodil

Click here to download this file.

So I cut these files out of 140 lb watercolor papers at about five inches and then watercolored them with distress ink. I kept them monotone as I was using them for a layout challenge featuring the color yellow. And below is the final result.


For June I went simple! I’ve got speech bubbles for you in several styles. I needed some speech bubbles for a layout I was working on so I whipped some up, created a few different styles and made a package deal to share with you. I hope you find them useful.

Click here to download this file. And below you can see many speech bubbles in action on this layout.

I always put together a YouTube video to show off the cut files I’ve got on offer for the month.

Until next time, have an artful day!

June week 1 update

The time is just marching along. I’ve been busy already in June creating projects. At the beginning of the month, as is typical for me, I create my scrapbook kit for the Counterfeit Kit Challenge. Normally I will also play along with the Best of Both worlds kit but since my CKC kit ended up so big, I decided I had enough to play with!

You can quickly see what I’ve got going on in this kit. The watercolor cards were a product of what CKC calls Forgery on the 4th. I’ve got one video of my kit build and one process video of my watercolor forgeries, so I hope you check out both of those. And keep reading to see the projects I’ve created so far with this kit.


Then I got to work with my kit and did two layout process videos using these supplies. As you can see I have enough variety of items in my kit to get different moods of projects!

You can see my processes in action in these videos. The Feline Chat layout involved some design helpers using my Cricut, if you like to see ways to put your electronic die cutters to use.

I hope you enjoyed a look at what has kept me busy so far this month. I’ll be back in a couple of days with a DIY organizational project, so do come back!

Welcome February

A new month means kit building time for me. As I’ve mentioned for 2021 I am playing along with two kit “projects” each month. The first is a project called Best of Both Worlds (or BOBW) offered by Shimelle Laine. The second is the Counterfeit Kit Challenge where we take a pre-existing kit and counterfeit it with our own supplies. So let’s take a look at both these scrapbooking kit builds.

Kit #1 was from the BOBW project. Shimelle’s sets up a shopping list for you. If you don’t feel like building your own kits you can just shop her list. The beauty of it being a list is that you can pick and choose from the items. Already own something. Leave it off the list. Need more of something? Add it on. Want something entirely different to throw in the mix? You can do that too. Or if you are like me and have plenty of supplies on hand you can use her list as inspiration for your own Kit.

This time around elements of her list that popped out at me were navy, pink, black & white elements, some gold & iridescent shine, hearts for Valentine’s day, stripes, and finally nature elements & florals. Sounds like a lot doesn’t it? But here is how it all came together. (And a bonus? I am creating a heart-filled background cut file that will be posted here soon!)

Pattern Papers
Embellishments

For Kit # 2, some elements from the first kit were repeated as February features many hearts. But I did make some decisions to keep these kits from looking too much the same. This kit features plenty of woodgrains as well as silver shine. The silver was a shift from the inspiration kit’s gold elements. And while you will see some gold in my embellishments, I am altering those to turn them silver. Along with a few more nature elements in this one of birds and foliage I supported those elements more by including more green pattern papers. I also added neutral ribbons & fibers and plenty of small embellishments for sprinkling. If you watch the video you’ll even see how I created some of my own embellishments!

Pattern Papers
Embellishments

If you enjoy kit building — or are learning how — I hope you enjoy my take on this process.

SVG Freebies

Hello all. If you have followed me at all you may know that I’ve been on a quest to teach myself how to design and produce svg files for electronic cutting machines. As I get more into this process I am committing in 2021 to creating at least one svg file every month to share with all of my followers.

I think too often we just see end results of all the creative work people put into their life and not the learning curve along the way. I’m hoping to share that curve with you, as well as the end results. Now, creating your own svg files may not be your goal, but learning some of the effort that goes into the process can help you make better use of your files and also appreciate the designers you get files from!

Every month you can visit my Freebies tab to find the newest file to download (as well as all previous files). So let me show you what I have for this month! Covid has been on all our minds for a long time now. And with the vaccine program underway I am feeling some hope that life can return to a calmer state. In that end I created these two cut files for you.

If you want to see some tips and behind the scenes info on creating these files, you can watch my YouTube episode.

I hope you enjoy this file for your personal use.

One technique, two crafts

Today I’m taking a tried and true technique and turning it into two different Christmas craft projects. And it you have kids, they can certainly play along.

I have an svg freebie for you of that Christmas tree available in this file download. Bundled together you will get the svg as well as a pdf copy of the instructions for the greeting card. (For the svg along click here.) If you make these projects and post them to Instagram, please tag me @craftysouppics and use the hashtag #craftysoupsharing and we can start seeing each other’s work!

Wreath Home Decor

My daughter graduated from high school last month and her ceremony was postponed until August in the hopes of having an in person celebration. While the gathering is still currently in the works, the format will be very different, with an outdoor event, limited family member participation, social distance zones on the lawn and no food or social time afterwards.

Still, even with those restrictions I will take some celebration over no celebration. And I want to capture a photo of the important moment and hang it in my craft space. So I designed my own svg file to create a floral wreath. (direct download, or go to my freebies page to find the file).

You can see my process in my latest YouTube episode.

I used my current month’s Scrapbook & Cards Today magazine craft kit, called the SCT Sampler as the base of products for this project. I love these little bitesized kits, but of course you could use your favorite supplies.

And here is how my wreath turned out, graduation photo pending!

Homemade SVG files

I’ve got a new YouTube video up showing the process I went through to create my own SVG cut file. Because I don’t own illustrator, I used an open-source graphics program called Inkscape. You can watch my adventure on my latest YouTube episode.

I ran into a few troubles with this process. I have basic graphics skills so that part was no problem. The challenges came when trying to understand the software itself and how svg files translate into machine-specific cutting software. To begin, the graphics software on my mac was a bit buggy and caused significant user frustration. Plus, it was not very intuitive. I decided to watch a two-hour long tutorial before I could get a hang of the controls.

Once I had those controls problems figured out the actual image creation went smoothly. It was just a matter of welding together some rectangle and text shapes. Voila, lovely graphic simply saved as an svg file type instead of an jpg file type.

How it behaved in the Cricut cutting software and the Silhouette cutting software was yet another story. Find out in my video how it all played out.

If you would like to have this svg file for your use, please visit my freebies page. The video will give you tips on how to make this cut file work if you are using Cricut or Silhouette cutting machines. If you have another cutting machine you’ll have to experiment on how to get it to work in your software.

CHA 2016 Projects for DCWV

I am so excited to say that I was invited to submit projects to DCWV for their CHA 2016 booth! I ended up submitting 5 projects. I was provided with the products to use for their “existing product” displays. While I was was compensated for these projects, I happily use their products anyway and was glad to showcase what I could do with some of their products I haven’t used before.

toothfairy

This was probably my favorite. I used the DCWV Insta Photo Fun paper stacks (4×4 in size!). I had a white + foil stack and a kraft + white-print stack. Using the back side of the kraft paper gave me some rest from all the pattern. I used my punches for the circles and fairy wings and my silhouette for the title and fairy dress. I also used some ink to change the white paper into colors that worked for the layout. The foil resists the ink, so you get lovely colorful foiled papers.  Add in some some silver thread to the fairy’s dress and that finishes it off.

5x5card

The second project used the DCWV 5×5 notecards. Just using punches and layering, I used DCWV cork and foiled vellum 6x6x stacks to bring a focal to the card. I punched the card edge and added more layering with the vellum. This allowed the sentiment on the inside to peek out for added dimension. Add in some twine, gold thread and Blue Moon seed beads and the card is nicely finished.

burlapcard

As soon as I was asked to use the pre-made burlap cards, I knew I wanted to add in stitching! And what better way to accent stitching than to add in some Blue Moon seed beads. I had some DCWV white-core cardstock out on my desk from another project, so I sanded it down and ran it through the printer. I sanded it both to get some texture of the white core peeking through and to get the ink to adhere to the cardstock! Cut out and back that sentiment tag with a little vellum. Punch some holes in the layered tag and tie it with a bow to the project using the loose thread ends from the stitching. Pretty.

yourockcard yourockcloseup

I used the DCWV 5×5 kraft pre-made cards, vellum, cork and printed kraft, and stencil stacks to pull this card together. While it used a number of differing stacks, you can see how all these products work nicely together. I used white acrylic paint for stenciling the stars and hand lettering the sentiment. I used ink to change the kraft color of the printed stack to create a “washi” tape look. A bit of gold thread and gold ink spray was used for a sparkly pizzaz of a finish.

flowercloseupflowerframe

And the final project gave the most oomph out of just cardstock! The frame I painted with white acrylic paint giving it a white wash then a layer of stenciling using the DCWV stencil stack. Punches and the Silhouette, gave me many lovely flower petals. Then it was just layering, layering, layering. A strong glue (Ranger matte multi medium) made the flowers sturdy. Add a little bling with the Wink of Stella pen and some Ranger Stickles gave a nice final touch.