Freebie Friday Jan 2022

I did take a break in December to get some other things in my life worked on. Nothing big, just stuff that needed doing that was being neglected. I had hoped despite the break that I’d be able to get a sketch and cut file out to you. Alas, life did not make that happen.

But… I am back and I have some freebies for you now. Be sure to check out the Freebies page to see all that I have to offer. I hope you enjoy! Now let’s see the new files for this New Year!

Free Sketch!

Free Cut File

Of course I’ve got a video. There are a couple of small tips in there on how to get better results when cutting intricate die cuts on your Cricut. And then I just play with those snowflakes in various materials.

What is hybrid scrapbooking?

For 2022 I’m starting on a once a month adventure of incorporating more hybrid scrapbooking into my memory keeping. So what exactly is hybrid scrapbooking? It is the process of using digital scrapbooking supplies to turn them into physical items and then using them to complete a physical layout. If you do a photo collage in an app and then print and use that photo collage as in on a layout, technically you are hybrid scrapbooking. Even using a cut file on your electronic die cutting machine could be considered hybrid as well. My intentions are to use the collection of digital scrapbook kits that I have purchased over the years. I have a backlog of these files because I thought I would turn into a mainly digital scrapbooker at some point. However, the need to use physical items matters so much to my experience of creating art that I can’t go fully digi. However, I can get some of the benefits of digi and use them in my physical layouts.

I’ll start you off with the layout process video I created this month.

In the video I mention the benefits of hybrid as I create. Here I can just easily list them.

  1. You don’t have to have lots of space to store a ton of supplies! You just need a stack of paper and a printer to turn the digi items into physical items. (An electronic die cutter is super helpful, but I’ll cover that in a bit.)
  2. You can use only the pieces of an embellishment pack that you actually like. No leftover unwanted bits.
  3. You can resize items to a smaller size if you like (going larger usually doesn’t work well due to the pixel nature of digital graphics.)
  4. You can duplicate and create as many of the same element that you love.
  5. If you mess up an item, you can always print a new one!

While there are real good things about using digital elements, there are some cons as well.

  1. If you are a 12×12 scrapper, an investment in a 12×12 printer OR the flexibility to design 12×12 layouts using 8.5×11 papers is critical.
  2. It takes more time to select and then print your products as opposed to just pulling out some items and getting to work.
  3. If you want to create embellishments, an electronic die cutter is going to be a life saver. Otherwise you are going to become the fussy cutting champ of all time. A machine is yet another money, time and tech know-how investment.

I’m hear to help with that last point! I have a tutorial for you on one way to use your Cricut machine to take some digital scrapbook die cuts and create physical die cuts.

And here is a look at the final result.

What do you think? Can you tell that I printed most of these products myself?

Let me know what you think about hybrid scrapping!

Freebie Friday, Oct ’21

Now that it is October, I’m finally feeling a bit of that fall vibe. So, I turned to the iconic pumpkin for the cut file this month. Using plaid for the sketch emanates a feeling of warmth and comfort. So that was my thinking for the designs this month.

Download the cut file directly as well as the pdf or photoshop version of the sketch. And if you want to see my other freebies, head to the Freebies section of my site.

I put them to use in a project as well. Check out the video…

As you may see from the video graphic, I combined the cut file and the sketch to come up with this layout.

Happy Fall/Autumn to my northern hemisphere readers (and happy spring to you southern hemisphere friends).

Free cut files, 8/21

Each month I offer free cut files for download here on the blog. If you head to the Freebies tab you can find all the previous freebies, both cut files and sketches.

This month’s file is all about Back to School! With all of the US schools reopening full time this fall going back to school means something this year that it hasn’t in years past! I wanted to honor that story telling with this cut file. You have your typical school icons such as a bus, backpack and book. But you now have the mask and distancing sign which many schools are using as part of the CDC guidelines.

You can download the svg cut file directly by clicking here. And here is a brief look at the digital design (left) and my cut and assembled pieces (right). Click to enlarge.

If you want to see the details on assembling the multi-piece cuts, like the bus and backpack, then check out the accompanying video.

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!


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

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

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.