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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
My middle kid is the budding theater kid. It helps that she has a super wonderful theater arts teacher and program to be a part of. Each fall their group puts on an ensemble musical performance. Last fall it was Peter Pan. I wanted to capture the story without being super Disney-theme overboard. What I ended up doing was using my Silhouette to purchase a few pirate, mermaid and fairy themed cuts to go along with the characters in the play. I used the die cuts as misting masks to get a subtle theme that supports the photos. I also used the very large ship die cut (so glad I can size die cuts in an electronic cutter!) mask to add another background layer to my focal photo.
The font for my title worked great to support them theme as well. (Unfortunately between starting the cut project and actually making the cuts I had some software glitches and I don’t know what the font is!) To add extra interest to the title I added an ombre ink effect.
Try these techniques for subtle theme enhancement on your next layout.
And the roundup of layouts I made with the October Never Tear Us Apart STC kit. I had the kit plus the pattern paper add-on. Another 8 layouts for this one. I had 2 full sheets of pattern paper still left over so the extra paper did help some, but not as much as you might think. I did struggle a bit with the alpha included. I didn’t have enough letters to make most of the titles I wanted so I turned to adding hand lettering, abbreviations and even my Cricut for title boosts. I’m not really a fan of hand titling, though hand journaling feels just fine. I want my titles to more clean and formal than what I can do by hand most of the time.
These first two here you haven’t seen before and they were the first two layouts I made with this kit way back when the kit was fresh in my hands. Fresh kits are so inspiring, yet hard to cut into those whole sheets of paper for fear they may be better used in some future way. I’m trying to get over that! Having a second set of pattern paper sure helped with that feeling.
The next 3 you’ve seen the layouts before even if in slightly different photographs. Using the same personally made sketch to repeat the same subject layouts for different people is one of my time-saving go-to tricks. More details on these here.
And finally 2 of the most recent from this kit. Using up some of the last of the kit. Remember in my card post yesterday that I mentioned how much I like the chevron paper? Well here it is again! (Inspired by this sketch.)
They say if you are going to go, go big. And I did for this one. These challenge were from both Big Picture Classes and Shimelle.com (#1, #3, #9, #11, & #17). The main challenge I focused on was try something new. So many new things for me here. The arty style, using fabric to hand cut shapes, homemade spray ink, using my Cricut + Gypsy to design & cut a popular Polaroid style frame, using lots of pink & sparkles, adding color to a black and white photo. All new. And I love it!
So May. I haven’t posted anything since May. I promise you I have been crafting. I have not felt any inclination to blog though. Such is life. I’m here now and offering some crafty goodness.
A friend had a baby not too long ago and I had fun making this layout for a gift when we get to visit for the first time. I placed it in a 12×12 frame so that they can hang it on their wall with the other lovely family photos. I hope they appreciates this little piece of art to add to their collection.
For this project I actually went to the craft store and specifically shopped for product. I never (okay, ALMOST never) go shopping for a specific project. I try to keep a bunch of interesting supplies on hand and just create with what I have in stock. But this time I wanted to shop. And how fun it was.
Baby themed kit (6×6 paper pad, die cuts, tiny text, words): Authentique (on sale for $5! What a score)
pattern paper: Studio Calico, My Mind’s Eye
inks: Studio Calico (Mr. Huey), Ranger (distress for inking edges)
washi tape: My Mind’s Eye
wood die cuts: Studio Calico
die cut machine: Provo Craft (Nursery Rhyme cartridge for title lettering, Heritage for banner, Gypsy for resizing elements)
date stamp: K&Co. (Smash stamp)
punches: Stampin’ Up
journaling pocket: Simple Stories
journaling cards: Project Life elements
This qualifies for 2 challenge blogs, both of which I have never entered anything in before:
So, with those three things in my brain I came up with this card and envelope set.
carstock: Stampin’ Up (green, black), Staples (white)
stamps, embossing powder: Stampin’ Up
die cuts: Cricut
bakers twine: Boxer Scrapbooks
modeling paste: Grumbacher
First I cut the cake + stand image on my Cricut. I then emossed the stand with copper embossing powder to give it a metal quality. I dabbed a scoop of modeling past on my craft sheet and colored it with a drop of brown dye ink. Using my Cricut spatula, I spread the modeling paste across the cake to give it a frosted texture. While it was drying I inked my background, created my candles and built up the card. Even then the cake was not dry. In the process of working with the modeling medium I learned a few things about it.
Don’t heat it with a heat gun. It will bubble. Allow it to dry overnight for this kind of application.
If it is applied to a single layer of cardstock, it will warp and roll up as it drys. Then it will crack when you unroll the paper. Try adhering it to something more solid to allow a good flat drying.
It was fairly solid once dry. I thought I might have to mail the card in a padded envelope to prevent it from crushing and flaking. But once I felt the texture I decided to send it straight in the matching envelope (external embellishment removed for the sake of the Postal workers!).
I think I would add a second layer to the cake but I didn’t have time to wait another day for drying.
Most of all, it was fun to add this kind of texture to a project. I am going to experiment with different textural backgrounds.