28 May 2016

Introduction to the Silhouette Mint

Hello, Janet here. As part of the Silhouette UK Design Team I got the opportunity to try out the Silhouette Mint stamp making machine. What a super little crafting tool!



My full post with information on the features of this little machine are over on the Silhouette UK Blog today. It includes a tutorial on how to make these pretty tags with a file from the Silhouette Design Store.

The following information isn't included in my blog post on the Silhouette UK Blog, but I thought you might find it useful if you are interested in the machine and what it can do.


THE INKS

The ink is a very think liquid formulation and its easy to see that it is quite different from normal pigment ink.

I made myself a colour chart to see what the inks would look like on my white stamping card (excuse my scruffy handwriting).
















EXPERIMENTING WITH CARD and PAPER

The inks supplied for the machine are pigment inks and should consequently print on lots of different surfaces.  I thought I'd try out a selection of different papers and cards and see which I preferred.

They included (from left to right):

  • Smooth card (heavy-weight)
  • Glossy photo paper
  • Smooth card (medium-weight)
  • Copier paper
  • Specialist stamping card



I expected that the specialist stamping card would show the best results, but was surprised to see that the glossy photo paper showed brighter colours and a crisper image. That's why I chose to make my gift tags with the photo paper.

I also tried some less likely paper surfaces (left to right):

  • Pearlised card
  • Vellum
  • Metallic /silver card
  • Kraft card




The results on the pearlised card were pretty good, but would have looked nicer on white rather than the rose ivory I had to hand.  The vellum look amazing! I will do more with that in the future. The silver metallic card was OK, but the pink wasn't a good colour choice as it didn't show up very well. I can't say as I liked these colours on the kraft either, but I'm sure stamped images would much better with black, brown or just a single colour of ink.





On the Silhouette Blog I've shared my first project with the Mint using a Sunshine quote, 3 colours of ink and the Glossy photo card. Pop over there and see the results - I was pretty pleased with it! Let me know hat you think.

Read my **NEW** post on making a personalised stamp combining three elements (Custom Wedding Stamp with the Silhouette Mint).









21 May 2016

Craft Book Reviews - Felt and Flannel

I LOVE to read craft books, but find them SO expensive to buy. I borrowed this stack of lovelies from my local library. Don't forget what a great free resource they can be for crafty inspiration.



Felt Sew GoodFelt Sew Good by Christine Leech

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lovely book full of fabulous ideas; gifts, decorations and home decor.





Super-Cute Felt: 35 Step-By-Step Projects to Make and GiveSuper-Cute Felt: 35 Step-By-Step Projects to Make and Give by Laura Howard

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A great felt-crafting book. Lots of fun and colourful projects.




Felt with Love: Felt Hearts, Flowers and Much MoreFelt with Love: Felt Hearts, Flowers and Much More by Madeleine Millington

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Lots of stitch work, and all beautiful. Step-by-step instructions too.




Fabulous Felt: How to Make Beautiful Accessories and DecorationsFabulous Felt: How to Make Beautiful Accessories and Decorations by Corrine Lapierre

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lovely felt projects with lots of top stitching detail. Again, step-by-step instructions on how to do all the stitches.


View all my reviews at Goodreads


Check out my Felt Needle Case project with a Silhouette Curio tutorial (yes, you can cut felt with an electronic cutter - imagine the possibilities)!









17 May 2016

FREE Design of the Week - A Quickie Wedding Gift

This week's free file from the Silhouette Design Store is a gift card hold holder from one of my favourite designers - Lori Whitlock. I needed a quick wedding gift, and the file arrived just at the right time! I used another file from the store for the word art, and a beautiful new script font to customise the card for the lovely couple.



First I cut the basic pieces from plain heavy-weight white card and the icing pieces from my favourite silver glitter paper. Then I set up a print and cut operation, filling the cake pieces with a soft mint green. I used the "Here's to Love" phrase by Kolette Hall to decorate the cake. To do this I ungrouped the words and arranged them onto the cake pieces leaving space for the couple's names and the icing.

The names Ben and Laura are written using a new font from the Silhouette store called Grassy Meadow by Sweet Elise.  I wrote the names, adjusted them to size and welded the letters together, filling them with a red which I 'borrowed' from the heart using the colour picker tool.

I set registration marks around the cake pieces and sent them to the printer to print on to white pearl card. Then I fed them through my Silhouette Cameo to accurately cut them out - a process that never ceases to amaze me!

Finally I adhered the basic pieces together, remembering to insert the card holder BEFORE sealing the outer card pieces, then added the icing trim and the card was complete. Only a gift card and an envelope was required for the gift to be ready.




Don't forget to download this file while it is still free. Its a very useful file to have on hand for quick gifts. If you make the file, do consider entering it into the Silhouette FREE Design weekly Challenge on the Silhouette UK Blog.



SILHOUETTE STORE DESIGNS USED:



16 May 2016

Cutting Felt with the Silhouette Curio - A Needle Case


I'm so pleased to finally find some time to play with my Silhouette Curio using felt. I adore working with felt and used to be in a weekly sharing event called Flannel Friday and had a blog totally devoted to making felt toys and storytelling props. Today I'm very excited to be sharing my felt cutting technique with you on the Silhouette UK Blog.

#flannel #felt #├čilhouette├žurio



Although most felt can be cut on the Cameo or Portrait if it is backed with an iron-on stabiliser, I have found that the Curio can cut felt without stabiliser. I am sharing the method that I use to cut felt. I also describe how to protect the cutting mat from felt fibres and how to temporarily adhere the felt to the cutting mat using regular vinyl or contact paper.













I hope you enjoy working with felt and the Curio as much as I do. Do share your makes and ideas in the comments or on the Silhouette UK Facebook Community Page.

Here is a link from my older blog on cutting felt with the Cameo.

Silhouette Designs Used:




13 May 2016

Ice-y Lolly Card

This week's new release from Sanqunetti Design is a patriotic ice lolly called the Red, White and Blue Popsicle. I changed the feel with some summery colours and frosted vellum for an 'ice-y' look.



The lettering was of my own devising made from Ariel font by offsetting, welding, compounding, grouping and any other operation I could think of until I got it to work. I'll share the method when I've worked out a more straight forward process, lol!




Meantime I hope you like it. The cutting file is available from Sanqunetti Design and comes in in SVG, DXF, JPG with a PDF guide.





Hope you have fun with this one. I'll be entering this one into Silhouette Challenges #37. This challenge closes on 31st May 2016. Why not enter one of your Silhouette makes this month?



3 May 2016

FREE Design of the Week - Mother's Day Card and Curio Tutorial

Hello Janet here,

This week I was surprised to see that the free file is a Mother's Day sentiment when here in the UK, Mother's day, was back in March.  Anyway, over on the Silhouette UK Blog today, I have a tutorial on how to adapt the file so you can use it right away, wherever you are, to make a sentiment and card. I'll also show ideas on how to use the file; for the Cameo/Portrait and (trumpet fanfare) for the Curio!


There are  three versions for you, A and B can be made on all the machines, C is a Curio exclusive. 
  • A - Print and Cut (single layer)
  • B - Cut and Layer (cut layer over print-and-cut background) 
  • C - Deboss and Paint (Curio exclusive)


The Curio version was inspired by the Nursery Watercolour Art project by Lauren at the Thinking Closet. Different project, but the same technique (definitely worth checking out for Lauren's clear pictures and explanation) - Thanks for the inspiration Lauren!


If you make this, or any other item with the free file, do remember to enter it into the Silhouette UK Challenge. Use the Linky tool there to add a photo or link to a photo in your blog post.





Silhouette Designs Used:
Happy Mother's Day FREE file (time-limited offer)
Samantha Walker's Polka Dot Lace 
Amy Robison's Watercolor Ombre Green Pattern