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’ve been using a Carpe Diem (A5 size) planner for a little over a year. I have not fallen in love with it.
I tried first to use it as a calendar planner, but I really prefer Google’s calendars where I can sync with and coordinate with my family’s calendars also.
I tried using it as a personal journal. I found the pressure to keep up with decorating it counterproductive to the emotional release journaling provides.
But I like the physical binder. I want to use it. So now I have repurposed it as my YouTube project binder. I’d been keeping lists of projects in a note taking app and that was actually not working well for me. Cross referencing projects with my calendar was annoying. Keeping one long list of to-do items wasn’t convenient for moving items around. And my individual check list for each video just took up too much note space. Yes I realize I may need a different digital solution but… why not try a physical product I already own first.
That being said, I was lacking a reproducible to-do checklist for my binder. So I made one. You can check out my YouTube video coming soon that includes this item (among others). I’ve made this checklist generic and am offering it for you to download if you are looking for something like this. I’ve got the Excel version and a .pdf version as well.
Welcome (back?) to my blog. I am happy to say that after a couple of years hiatus I am back to blogging. Not only that but I’ve upped my game. I am now producing YouTube Videos! Please visit my channel over at Crafty Soup Video.
The new blog will feature my videos as well as a few freebies like sketches and SVG cut files.
I wanted to have everything spot on for this re-lauch, but life sometimes doesn’t work out that way. As I’ve moved service providers for the blog I’m having domain name issues. My tech guy (aka my husband) is helping to resolve those issues. Thanks for your understanding.
I got fewer layouts done this year than I normally would. The difference was twofold.
I didn’t pack kits for each layout like I would normally do. This meant I was spending more time browsing through supplies to come up with ideas (see post #3 and #4 to see how my thought processes played out).
The scrap space was full and I had to share a table with other people. That meant I was chatting more with people. It was a good trade off as I had fun getting to know some people who turned out to be really local to me!
It is okay that the quantity wasn’t there. I’m happy with what got made and I had a good time. Scrapping is so much more for me than just the final product.
For this layout it was all about theme. The photo represents characters from a WiiU game called Splatoon. That game is all about paint. So, yes I used painting techniques for this layout. Ink puddles and ink splatters were the focus. I wanted a lot of contrast and happened to have a bold, black alpha for my title. I went with that and matted my photo in black as well. Then I added red as another smaller, yet still high contrast element to finished it off. These high contrast pieces actually help the colors pop more than they would have otherwise.
Had I planned things better I would have used watercolor paper as the base for this layout. This cardstock did not hold up well to all the water I put on it and it buckled. It isn’t the fault of the paper; that just isn’t what it was meant to do. But again, I went rolled with what I had on hand. Like I said at the start of this post, it isn’t always about the finished product!
So I have all these photos full of purple. Where to go with the color scheme? I don’t want more purple. So I look through my supplies, embellishments mainly, to see what I can decorate with and pull colors from those items. I grabbed that die cut that reads “you are my greatest adventure.” (This kid of mine loves to DO things, so I’m often dragged along into her world. So, yeah, she is my adventure.) Pink embellishment? Pink and purple color scheme! I kept the purple smaller with just a strip of patterned paper, rhinestones (her character is named Amethyst after all) and a bit of twine (Honestly, I just needed a filler for the awkward white space at the bottom.) The star pattern paper offers some neutral contrast and provides a bit of theme (the character is famous from a TV cartoon). I grabbed a couple more pink items to create my visual triangle and threw it all together.
There is some tonality difference between the main die cut sentiment and the brighter white of the “this!” word and star paper. That might bug some people but I don’t mind. I think the wood veneer actually helps pull in the color from that one die cut and makes it work okay.
So when you are stuck with photos, look to embellishments to find your color scheme and pull together items that helps everything flow.
pattern papers: Stampin’ Up (purple), unknown (rest)
Where to start when you don’t know where to start? That is the problem I had with this next set of photos. I’m at a crop with a limited set of supplies and I don’t know what I want to use to capture the mood of these photos. Even at home with a whole craft room you may find yourself in this situation. Do you wait and go buy something new that fits or do you just make some choices and go with it. I decided to just make some choices!
As I’m looking at my photos and looking at my supplies on hand I decided more neutral would work and the neutral I had was wood grain. Sure that could work; it would mimic the idea of siding on a house. Plus the DCWV “The Guilded Paper” stack offered enough contrast in papers to mat my central photo group. When I was flipping through that paper stack I found a journalling card that reads “you are my shining star.” I just laughed at the contrast of the photos and the sentiment, so I knew I had an angle. A bit snarky, just like the photos. I grabbed this LOL flair button as soon as I saw it and the basis for my page was there.
The black button gave me an addition to the color scheme. The “star” sentiment gave me a way to go literal with embellishments; I chose stars in wood grain and cork to match paper textures and sentiment. More black stars in epoxy and vellum to match my black button add more texture. Then a few gold sequins, again to match the gold sentiment, finish it all off. The design reads as elegant, but diving into the photos and title leads to the snark.
I did something different here with title and journaling. I made them both the same thing. By using a mixture of large and small fonts with a mixture of colors the words can be read in multiple ways.
The scale of the brown font reads as a title with the contrast of the white font adding into that tile. The green font (chosen as a contrast to the paper but a match the hair!), can then wrap it all together to create the journaling. Repeating a bit more journaling in the bottom right corner both enhances the green letters as the journaling words and creates flow from left to right, top to bottom across the page.
It did take a while to get all those tiny letters organized but it was worth it. The rest of the page was pretty simple so keeping my focus on the words made the design what it is. To make this easier I used a leftover scrap of clear packaging from an embellishment. I drew a line on the plastic with a sharpie and a ruler right near the edge. Letting the letters hangover the top and aligning them to the drawn line gave me a place to hold all the words as I spelled them out. Then I could just line the letters up where I wanted on the page and press them in place as I pulled the plastic away from underneath them.
I will try and get a post organized on more details of this technique. A video perhaps? I’ve done just a couple of videos and I find the learning curve steep but this may be a good way to jump back in. Now that I said it, can I hold myself accountable? We’ll see.
Simple doesn’t have to mean boring. This design is simple with only 2 pattern papers used. A few stickers and a few wood veneer make up just small embellishment clusters. Most of the oomph of the page comes from the diagonal flow and the title lettering choice. When you are scrapping don’t worry about every layout being stunning. You will look back at these layouts later and be glad you got those photos plus those memories down.
I attended my local CKC a couple of weekends ago. I grabbed my project binder and shoved a load of DCWV stacks along with some other favorite supplies into my rolling tote. When I sat down to work I pulled up the most recent DCWV stack-a-holic challenge. Here is the layout sketch…
I knew of a cute photo that would work for this single image layout. My youngest came to me one day and showed me a picture on the internet of the haircut she wanted to have. When we got home from the haircut I had to pull that image back up because the haircut was so exact to the photo I was impressed. I wish I had gotten the stylists name so that we could ask for her in the future!
So here is my layout.
papers: DCWV “DIY Poject Stack: Envelopes” (it is good for more that just envelopes!)
I have some posts coming soon on my recent CKC convention. In the mean time I’m posting as part of a giveaway that Scrapbook.com is having. I don’t normally spread company promotions but in this case I will. The random contest is to win 1 of 5 die cutting packages. Each package includes a Sizzix machine and a selection of dies all worth $500.
I already own a a Sizzix and a nice selection of dies. I’m not entering this contest for myself. If I win I will donate the products to my kids alternative, non-profit school. I teach a card making class there and the kids love playing with the gadgets!
I love getting real mail in, you know, the mail. Not just circulars or bills. Letters from people who thought of me and then made an effort to do something about it. That is why I love sending mail too. (Plus playing with paper. There is that.)
I’ve been shopping (maybe a little too much lately) and have some new goodies to play with. A grab bag package that I ordered from a Studio Calico warehouse sale arrived and, like all grab bags, it was a mixed bag. Some things I loved right away. Some things went into the donate pile right away. And some things, like this United States die I wasn’t really sure about. I like it but I don’t travel much and couldn’t think of what I would do with it.
But then I picked up this little set of stamps, including the tiniest envelopes ever. Why the heck are things so dang appealing in miniature? I don’t know but my heart went pitter patter when I saw this love mail based set.
The additional piece of this story is that some sweet friends relocated from the Pacific Northwest way across the country to Virginia. And there is a birthday that needed some snail mail love. What better way than to pair these two products? Oh, and then the creative juices started flowing. I don’t know how or when that ah-ha moment happened, but it just clicked and this card design was born.
That tiny envelope sure looks huge compared to the entire United States. 😉
Oh, but there is more. Yes that little envelope actually contains a little card. It isn’t brilliant, but the tiny-cute-factor makes up for it.