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!

Third Mojo Booster

Okay, I’ll admit that my mojo feels like it is back. But I wanted to give one final look at something I do when I’m not quite feeling it and that is to just play. Play with something new. Or play with something old and try to figure out how to use it in a new way. This past week I played with two unrelated things in unrelated ways.

First off I was inspired by a ScrapHappy session over at ScrapHappy.org (you can find a video for every week day in April over on the ScrapHappy YouTube channel full of playful ideas). The topic was alcohol ink and I have been meaning to play with those again. I had bought a class kit with different “papers” to try and I had bought my own Yupo “paper” from my local craft store. And those things have just been sitting in my new materials bin. So thanks to Alice’s session, I got those out and played. And technically that is a fourth mojo booster for you — take a class or find a less formal demo video to play along with.

So check out the pretty colors I created with my inks. Now, was it all a success? No. With some things working and some things not working (for me!) I can better hone in on what I like in order to make wiser choices next time. For example, in these items, the alcohol ink on the glitter paper got toned down way too much and became more pastel. While the look is nice, it wasn’t what I wanted. I like alcohol inks for the in-your-face color they can offer. So I made that work with a different technique.

Okay, moving on to the second item I played with and that was sequins. I actually started this project for my YouTube channel right at the beginning of my mojo dip and I didn’t get it posted on the schedule I had planned. So I had to take a step back and think about where the project was going. I took a look at my pile of sequins and I took a look at some projects and I asked myself a question – where else could I put sequins besides just sprinkling them on the side. And once I had a question I was able to experiment. And I managed to get the one technique I was the most excited to try to actually work. But it took some playing and some experimentation. And that could have ended up with a frustrating moment, but if I had given up I would never have experienced the success. So sometimes if you keep going and keep pushing, you can break through. Can you tell which technique I’m talking about in my video?

Second Mojo Booster

It is unusual for me to be feeling low in the springtime. I was really surprised that my creativity sort of vanished. And it did so after coming off an exciting card making event that had me super jazzed. So, where did “it” go? I don’t really know and while tracking down a cause could be helpful, turning to tactics to move past this phase is more productive. Last post I talked about using a sketch as a mojo motivator. This time I going to use a scrappy challenge.

I turned to the Counterfeit Kit Challenge blog for some inspiration. They offer crafty challenges on the 12th and 18th of every month to help boost our creativity. And I really needed that. April 12th’s challenge was titled “Al Fresco” and it was about finding inspiration in the outdoors in some way. I took on that challenge with some mixed media on a double page layout about a beach trip.

Playing with product I haven’t played with in many years, namely modeling paste, did help get my brain going a bit. Plus I combined the product with a new technique I just saw on a demo video. So combining those two gave me a new way to play. Not everything was successful, but it did feel good to experiment.

If you want to see the whole process, you can check out my YouTube episode. Until next time, I hope you find artful ways to be happy!

Mojo gone missing?

I have to admit that my mojo is missing. In fact the last video I posted to my YouTube channel was not making me happy at all. So for todays project/video I decided to take a step back and use one of my go-to methods for those creative slumps: sketches! I love sketches anyway, but I tell ‘ya, when the magic is gone sketches are a life saver.

My sketch today is from Sara Scraps for our ScrapHappy.org membership group. Sara is a fun, talented and prolific scrapper so I suggest you go check out her channel.

With due credit given, let’s dive into my project. Take a look at the sketch side by side with my layout. I stuck pretty closely to the sketch interpreting the “sparkles” as embellishment clusters. I did move my journaling since my pattern paper was too busy and pretty to cover up. Other than that – and a sketch flip – I stayed true to the idea.

This is the perfect way to get crafting when you don’t feel that creative drive. Just let someone else inspire you to make something pretty. Don’t worry about “copying”. This isn’t copyright land here, it is just crafting. To hear more of my point of view on that idea you can check out the video.

And if you are not a video lover, here are a few closeup views of the project before you go.

April 5-9 Update

The beginning of a month is kit building time and my two typical kits are waiting for me to create with them. Normally I would have a third video project for the week. However, I got my second dose of the covid vaccine and I must say it knocked me out. So I will get that video up as soon as I can. Let me just say as a sneak that it will be sparkly! If you want to see my whole monthly schedule you can check out my schedule page.

So… Let’s take a look at these kit builds shall we?


Kit #1: BOBW

I created my Best of Both Worlds kit first this month, even though the video is posted second. The reasoning why is boring calendar reasons that I don’t need to go into. Why did I even mention it then? Since I had created this kit first it impacted my creation of my second kit. And this project came first since I had the inspiration to build it first!

The products Shimelle chose for her BOBW kit included spring vibes in a variety of styles and the pieces from Simple Stories Vintage Cottage collection caught my attention the strongest. So I chose 6 sheets from that collection, added in other Simple Stories woodgrain papers, and a few sheets of color supporting cardstock and called my paper selections good.

For embellishments and alphas I bought the Cottage collection 12×12 sticker sheet and sticker book. The book has several alphas in there for flexibility. I added to my kit from my stash cork tags and neutral twine for rustic feel. Enamel products in blue glitter dots and liquid Nuvo drops were also a part of this kit. And then since it is Easter time I did add one Easter product (stamp & die set). Finally a floral stamp and die set is in there for creating dimensional flowers.


Kit #2: Counterfeit Kit

I really love playing along with the Counterfeit Kit Challenge. While we all start with the same inspiration kit, all our builds can go in their own direction. I love seeing how everyone interprets the same images and makes it their own! And speaking of making it my own… The inspiration for CKC this month featured the same color palette as the BOBW kit. Since I already used that color palette, I was wanting something different. So I chose to keep the spring, outdoorsy vibe but take it in a purple and green color palette. Normally I will build the CKC kits from my stash but I don’t have many products in those colors in my supplies so I went shopping. And it so happened that I was in a nearby town that has an actual brick-and-mortar scrapbook store! It was a double win. I got new goodies and I got to support my “local” store.

You can see the purple and green coming through. Even the multicolor prints have elements of purple and green. But using the multicolor prints as well it will keep my layouts from feeling to “samey”. Now paper alone does not make for a kit. I also bought purple glitter Nuvo drops, green enamel dots and a purple alpha. Then from my stash I threw in tiny paper clips, buttons, twine, stencils, punches and more alphas that all nature elements. I will be playing with gesso in this kit as well. The last detail of this kit is hard to see in the photo but I created some faux acrylic word embellishments. The video details that process if you want to know more!


Process videos for the week

So I’ve got three new videos up for you this week. And they will be linked here. But if you prefer text and photos, stick with me because I have that for you to!

First up I took my mystery box basket of supplies and pulled out three crafty items. The surprise items were two Christmas/winter themed die sets and a rainbow stamp set. So how did I mix rainbows and snowflakes. Like this…

I love thinking outside the box and putting themed products to use in alternative ways! Want to see how those gift boxes were made from a snowflake die? Then watch the video.


Next up I used my scrapbook kits for this month for layout process videos. My Best of Both Worlds kit got used to create a coral and navy color palette and showed off our pandemic chickens. Plus I took a die cut circle product and used is as a temple to create my own circle design to my page.

You can see it all in action.


Finally, using my Counterfeit Kit Challenge supplies for the month I created a beachy layout with out using beach themed items. Instead I turned to color, texture and ambiance to create a summery feel to this layout.

And of course you can watch me create and hear my tips along the way.

Ten Ways with Washi Tape

Do you ever pull out a product and just play with it to see what your imagination could do with it? Well this year I’m on a quest to do just that. Once a month I pull out an inexpensive crafty product and play to find as many ways to use it as I can think of. This month I’m playing with washi tape. While this post is titled 10 ways to use washi, I have more than that to show off.

Here is the video showing it off. If you prefer the text and photo method, read on…

Here is a visual guide to the ways I use the tape in the video. Now some of these tips are best seen live (like creating hinges and pockets) but if you get the gist, then you can go play with your tape! This photo is not in the same order as the video, just an overview of all the techniques.

Spruce up journal cards with washi tape
  1. Create hinges and tabs
  2. Create pockets
  3. Use it for matting photos
  4. Create photo corners
  5. Make stripes and plaids
  6. Do a plaid weave
  7. Ruffle the tape for lots of texture
  8. Create monograms
  9. Makes rows of various tapes tightly packed together and then punch shapes
  10. Fussy cut to create stickers
  11. Use thin tapes as journaling lines
  12. Create pennant banners

Goodbye February

Looking at the blog today I realized I haven’t posted since February began. I am going to give myself a pass since this has been a particularly busy month. And while I’m here I will just recap for you all that has been happening in my crafty world.

First off I’ve got a new position on the Creative Team for ScrapHappy.org! My first blog post on the love of learning scrappy techniques is now available. ScrapHappy is a membership based scrapbooking group. On offer are big events like the Layout A Day challenge as well as several monthly live stream events. With a focus on connection and education, it is a great group to be a part of. You can learn more about the group by visiting the ScrapHappy.org website. They also have a few free public events that include Calvinball (a wacky scrappy challenge), Scrapbook Live (live crop time – check out February’s crop) and a few other fun things. So you can try before you buy so to speak.

Noticed I mentioned the LayOut A Day challenge – also known as the LOAD challenge. Well that is happening right now. This challenge is included with membership but available for separate purchase for non-members. While we are wrapping up February now, the next challenge is in May and you may want to join us. So anyway, I’ve been staying busy keeping up with that project. I even ran out of printed photos! I had to bust my butt to get more photos ready to go.

Below you’ll see a gallery of every layout I made this month. And I confess to get through this project I do add in digital layouts – Project Life app on my phone and a couple of Photoshop layouts on my laptop. You can scroll past the photos to see what I’ve been up to on YouTube.

In other news here is a rundown of what happened on my YouTube channel this month…

Whew. I’ve been busy! I will be back next month with a similar schedule but of course all new projects. Hope you have an artful day!

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.