31 Mar 2016

Owl Card and Perfect Letter Placement

Today I'm sharing a teacher card I made with the latest SVG release from Sanqunetti Design. The set of SVGs consists of four adorable owls suitable for card making, and other purposes, for a variety of different occasions. I thought that this owl with the pencil would make a great teacher thank you card.

A few folks have asked me how I get my lettering to be so straight. Well, my BIG secret is that I CHEAT!  Yes, all the letters are cut, as opposed to printed, but they are cut from the white rather than the black card. So, here "Best Teacher" is cut from the white card (good quality and super-smooth) and the apparent black lettering comes from the black card behind. This means that the spacing is 'as on screen' and only the inner pieces of a few letters need placing (here B, A and R).

To make this card in the Silhouette Studio software I used the rounded rectangle tool to make a box for the lettering, typed the lettering and then made an offset (the cut line for the black rounded rectangle). As I wanted the letters to be cut from the white part, I made the smaller white rectangle and the lettering into a compound path.  Now the letters show black from the rectangle behind.  

It can be tricky to accurately place the small, inner parts of the letters. However, I have a solution! Keep and use the waste letters (for B, A, R), and after you've stuck the white and black pieces together replace them in their holes in the white card. They act as a guide to position the pieces. And not only that ... they also act as a mask for adding adhesive (the white dot in the A is a tiny, but sufficient amount of strong adhesive) so you don't get glue where you don't want it. You just need to remove the unwanted letters later. Hint: Take them out quite soon, as if your glue seeps, you'll stick the unwanted letters permanently!

I made the shaped card by first making a topper by creating an offset around the owl and the lettering box, and then making a card blank from two copies of topper shape, overlapped and welded together.

I hope that you like this card and I'm sure you'll find plenty of occasions to use these useful images. I'm already planning another project using that cute little guy with the camera.

The SVG files are available at Sanqunetti Design and Judy's Etsy Store right now.

ADDENDUM:  After posting the pictures I noticed that I'd omitted the pencil lead. And yes, we did laugh that the little guy had no lead in his pencil!

29 Mar 2016

FREE Weekly File - Folk Art Basket into Pen Pot

There is a new FREE design at the Silhouette Store today. I decided to make myself a pen pot and to try out some more robust materials - sometimes card just isn't durable enough!

Now I thought it would look good with real wooden sides, and I had wood - in the form of lolly sticks (or tongue depressors, as the packet says).  Now to match the strength and durability of the wood I ditched card in favour of faux leather. I re-sized the file pieces to fit the width of the sticks and made it a little taller, but not the full height of the sticks, as that would have been too tall to see the colour of the pens I planned to store in it.

The sticks were trimmed with some heavy duty scissors.

I made up the pot sides in the faux leather (after it had been soaked and dried) and then attached the sticks with fabric glue and a selection of brads.

Then I attached the base with more fabric glue and pushed it inside the pot when dry (not how the design was intended, but I thought it would serve my purpose better that way).

Voila! A durable pen holder for my desk.

I'm sure that you can make something prettier with this file! Why not join in the challenge on the Silhouette UK Blog and prove it?

24 Mar 2016

Washi Paper Covered Eggs

I love the beautiful washi paper covered eggs from Japan and was sure I could make them easier and with less mess using my Silhouette Cameo and self-adhesive Washi Paper sheets. 

Traditionally, blown eggs are covered with rectangles of intricately patterned washi paper, with cuts made at 1/4" intervals up to a margin running around the width of the egg, and every piece fashioned to a point. Each section is applied to the egg in turn with wet glue and then varnished to a glossy finish. Over on the Silhouette UK Blog I've posted a tutorial showing you how to use the Silhouette Design software to design a file to mechanise the cutting process and by using the self-adhesive Silhouette Washi Paper sheets eliminate the need for messy wet glue or varnish.

Pop over there and make some lovely covered eggs for yourself, with no glue in sight! 

Have fun making your Easter and Spring related crafts. Don't eat too much chocolate!

For the first time I've entered an International Silhouette Challenge - there are some very inspirational makes this month!

22 Mar 2016

FREE Weekly File - Happy House

The FREE design at the Silhouette Store today is just ripe for vinyl and as my faithful Cameo has been working so hard over the past few weeks, I thought she deserved a little sprucing up. This file was perfect!

To fit it onto my machine I changed the house's proportions to make it a little squatter in the Silhouette Studio software. Now you might also have noticed that the wording has changed a teeny bit? To do this I just ungrouped the letters and copied C, A , E and O from the letters further down and then point edited an H to make it into an M. The new letters just needed a little re-sizing and making back into a compound path and my file was ready for cutting.

Using a weeding tool and then transfer tape made getting the decal onto my Cameo super easy. I think she's looking rather smart now, don't you?

What are you going to make with the free file? Do share your make over on the Silhouette UK Blog. I'd love to see what you do.

20 Mar 2016

Frozen Treats SVG - 3 Scoops Card

Is it ice-cream weather with your yet? Well, not quite in North East Scotland, but you can still get ahead making some cards for the months to come. 

I used my trusty Silhouette Cameo the new SVG cutting file from Sanqunetti Design called Frozen Treat Monograms to make a dimensional shaped-edge card. I ignored the monogram pieces and flipped and resized the scoop shape to get three slightly different scoops. These were cut from three designs in the Lawn Fawn In The Meadow 6 x 6 paper pack and I used a plaid strip from their new Plaid 12 x 12 paper pad along the inside edge of the card. The card base was made from welding an offset of the stacked scoops with a simple rectangle.

Kraft paper for the cone was a nice foil for the bright colours, and rather than introduce an additional colour for the waffle pattern, I used the same kraft card, but darkened it a little with some Walnut Distress Ink on a sponge applicator.

The sentiment in Blenda Script was cut from white vinyl and transferred to the scoops with some clear transfer tape.

A little dimensional foam tape on the reverse of the shapes and voila - summer on a card!

The Frozen Treat Monogram cutting file set is available from Sanqunetti Design. It contains a variety of formats so you can use the SVG files if you have the Designer Edition of the Silhouette Studio software, or the DXF files if you have the Basic version.

For a limited time this file is available at half price, and as usual, with a commercial use licence.

Have fun and make cards, invitations or decorate your party ware with these lovely summery designs.

17 Mar 2016

MDF Rocking Horse Baby Gift

Have you ever bought a blank MDF shape with the intention of painting it - ONE day? How many do you have lurking, unpainted in your craft cupboard?

Today I've shared a project and mini tutorial on the Silhouette UK Blog on how to quickly transform a plain MDF rocking horse blank using black card and a white gel pen and Silhouette's Faux Leather Paper.

Why not pop over to the Silhouette UK Blog and have a look at it and all the lovely projects the other new design team members have made and shared for your crafting pleasure?

Toy Dogs SVG - An Extending Card (Double Gate Fold)

You might have noticed that I have a weakness for dogs. Last week Sanqunetti Design released this delightful Toy Dogs SVG and I just had to make up the cute Dachshund. 

I was on vacation, and carried this idea around in my head for the whole week. I SO wished that I'd downloaded the Silhouette Studio software to take with me, I'd have got it out my system sooner that way!

To make the dog in one piece you need to use brown A4 or 12 x 12 paper, of which I don't hold much in my stash. I had to dig around somewhat and eventually found the spotted brown paper in Lawn Fawn's Snow Day paper pack. It's not the shade I would ideally have chosen, but I think it tones quite nicely with the red.

The card base is a simple rectangle with four fold lines, making it a double gate-fold construction. In order to make it as large as possible, but have no joins, the folded card is a touch under 4" wide by 2.5" high, making the unfolded card between 11.5" & 12" wide. 

I callously sliced the doggie in half vertically with the knife tool and inserted and welded a rectangle of a similar size between the two parts to make his long belly. 

I printed the card base with two sentiments, the paw prints (from the 'I Love My Dog' quote) and very faint cut and fold lines. I cut the dog and then adhered him before cutting the card and making the fold lines on my manual cutter. 

The 'So Long' sentiment and scarf were cut from red vinyl, and the facial elements from black and white vinyl. Vinyl is so quick and tiny pieces stick so cleanly that its worth trying out this medium if you haven't already done so.

I hope you like him. I'm thinking that this technique could be applied to other animals. Do share in the comments if you've already made something along these lines, or if you have ideas on how it could be used. 

The Toy Dogs cutting file is available to purchase now from Sanqunetti Design website and at Judy's Etsy store

8 Mar 2016

FREE Weekly File - Daisy Brush Script Bottle Bag

The new FREE file in the Silhouette Design Store this week is The Daisy Brush Script. 

Brush typefaces are very popular at present, giving the look of hand-painted brush strokes.  The Daisy Brush Script is a great example, with nice thick upper case letters, just perfect for cutting projects AND it is available for FREE until 14th March 2016!

I made this easy Heat Transfer project using the Daisy Brush Script file and just two others from the design store. I have written a tutorial on how to put together this design for yourself and you can read the full post over on the Silhouette UK Blog

NOTE: Daisy Brush Script is a file and NOT a font. You cannot use it with the text tools, but open it in a new document then copy and paste the letters you need into your project.

Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV) comes in a number of finishes. In this project I used two; glitter and flock, they are all applied in a similar way. I'll cover tips and hints on applying Heat Transfer material in a later post, but meantime time this document from Silhouette America shows just how easy the Silhouette Heat Transfer Material. can be applied.

I hope you try out this project, especially if you haven't used HTV before. I should worn you though, once you start you'll be hooked!

4 Mar 2016

Dog Card Using Faux Leather Paper - Design Team

Looking for a fun birthday card for a dog lover? 

This card is made from a Silhouette Store file and is my first project to be featured for the Silhouette UK Design Team. I tried out the Silhouette Faux Leather Paper for the first time and included a little tutorial on how to make the embellished collar.  You can read the full post here.

He was modified to look like our family pet; Lucas Terrier, Beckett. Do you think they look alike?

Are you wondering who the other Silhouette Design Team members are for 2016/17?
Read our profiles ...

Janet Packer
Hilary Milne
Nadine Muir
Karen Moss
Sara Talib
Niki Rowland
Caroline Free
Beverley Edwards

I'm so looking forward to working with this group of creative folks!

1 Mar 2016

Free Silhouette Bird File

Have you entered the Silhouette UK Free Design Weekly Challenge yet? If not, why not have a go this week? You can download this lovely little bird file (a cardinal) for FREE until 7th March 2016 from the Silhouette Design Store.

When playing with the file I discovered that a little vinyl can brighten even the dullest of objects! This little bird is made from layering 3 colours of glossy self adhesive vinyl onto a plain zinc watering can.

Here are all the cut pieces layered on the transfer paper, ready to be applied to the watering can. You can see my registration shapes that I used to align the colours for a perfect match. I'll have a blog post for you later in the year with instructions on how to do that.

The weather was even nice enough to take some shots of the little can, no more than 8" tall, out in the garden. A rare treat for March in North East Scotland!

Design(s) Used:
Cardinal #121973

Products Used:
Silhouette CAMEO or Portrait
Glossy Vinyl (from Stash)
Silhouette Light Hold Cutting Mat
Silhouette Transfer Paper
Silhouette Hook Tool