12/20/2015

Hi and Happy Holidays! 


Well the holiday season is upon us and I finally have time to show you my Christmas Card for this season. I made about 25 of these cards for this year and supplemented some other cards for the rest of my list
.

I saw all the pretty ideas people were doing with the dryer sheets on their
cards and loved the idea.  I had just bought the Sizzix Bigz Die by Tim Holtz, 5.5 by 6-Inch, Window and Window Box and the Hero Arts Winter Moon Woodblock Stamp, so my creative side of my brain went to work.

Now as you know, I love big cards so to implement this idea, it had to be a big card.  I created this card as an A9 Card (8 1/2 x 11 paper folded in half). This size would accommodate my idea perfectly.

Now I need 2 more smaller windows for the sides of the card, but there wasn’t a die available, so I designed them in my cameo software and cut them out. You can also do the same large window if you don’t have the Sizzix Window die.

I folded this card as a step card to give it even a little more interest. I cut all the parts I needed on my cameo.  I have the FREE Silhouette Studio file for you to download, if you are interested. There is also an SVG File, but I'm not very good at creating these.

Supplies used to create this card:

  1.       White Heavy Cardstock
  2.        Red Cardstock for Window Matting
  3.              Sizzix Bigz Die
  4.       Hero Arts Winter Mood Stamp
  5.       Used Dryer Sheets (lightly ironed)
  6.       Spray adhesive
  7.            Fine Glitter
  8.      Spellbinder’s Label 20 Die
  9.      Martha Stewart Branch Punch
  10.      Red Mini Beads
  11.      Ribbon

I’m hoping to do a video on how I did this once the holidays are over, but until then, maybe these directions will help. Just subscribe to my channel on YouTube and you will be notified when I get to post it.

  1. Once all files are cut including the pieces you will be stamping to be glued behind the window.
  2.  I stamped the trees on the window backing pieces.
  3.  Cut your dryer sheet to fit the back of the windows, glue them down with a tape runner instead of actual glue. Now spray them with a glue adhesive, spray lightly, then sprinkle with your fine glitter. 
  4. Shake off the excess glitter and allow to dry well.
  5.  Now assemble the mats for the windows as shown.  By then your window backs should be dry. Attach the window frames to the backs.  I suggest liquid glue for that.
  6. Glue the windows on the mats.
  7.  I used foam dots to raise the window box up slightly. Attach to the window.
  8. Glue a dryer sheet strip to the snow, again using a tape runner.  Glue well as it gets handled a lot.
  9. Trim the dryer sheet to be the correct size of the snow mounds.
  10. I punched out a bunch of different colored greens and used a glue gun to attach to the window box in a swag motion.
  11.  I added the beads with my glue gun also.
  12. Created a bow for the center.
  13.  Attached the greeting on a foam dot.

I loved the way these cards came out. I did a variety of colors for the mats, beads and bows. 

I posted this to a card group I belong to a card group on Facebook and the response was overwhelming.  This card had over 150 wonderful comments and over an unbelievable  1000 likes. 

It was also nice because this is the first time ever I have received letters and phone calls from our family and friends that received these cards to let me know how beautiful they thought they were.


That makes all the time I spent creating these cards worth everything.

Well I hope this has been a fun idea for you to try for your cards next year.

I also hope that everyone as a very Merry Christmas and I will see you again in the New Year!

11/07/2015

**A New Idea** Thanksgiving Easel Step Card

I know….it’s been a while since I posted anything…I promise I will get better at this.  

Here is my problem…I love creating, so when I create I should post, but, I’m too creative. I just want to move onto the next idea. I know that isn’t fair to you guys, so I’ll get better.

As you may have know already, I love doing the larger cards.  Thanks to the US Post office, it can be a real pain to mail the 8 x 8 cards.  But I recently found out the 6 x 6 aren’t too bad to mail, so I will be moving on to them soon. For now though I have stuck pretty much to the 5 x 7 cards.




Here is today’s creation.

I had a blast doing these.  We know the easel cards have been around for a while, but I wanted to make them in a 5 x 7 card so off to the drawing board I went.  I had 2 special people I had to make Thanksgiving Card for, so I created these. 

I have created a freeStudio cutting file for the card base and also a pdfwith directions I used to create them. As a bonus, I have also create a PNCStudio file for the Thanksgiving Embellishments.


I hope you find this very useful in creating a different type of card.

3/13/2015

Vinyl Layering – What was I thinking?

It is time for this Grandma to start thinking of Easter.  With 8 grandkids, I had better get started.

At Christmas I did Santa Plates for the kids to use for Santa’s Cookies, so I decided to do Easter Plates for the Easter Bunny.


Since I’m a Tole Painter and a Graphic Designer, I have trouble remembering how much fun it is to layer in vinyl.  I had a vision in my head of this adorable bunny holding an Easter egg. I designed the pattern in the Silhouette Software like I would if I was going to Tole Paint it. If I must say so myself, he looks adorable.



Once I had the design, it was time to get everything cut.  

With the text being on a round circle shape, it uses a lot of vinyl, so that is where I fit all the dots.  

I copy and paste different dots all over the vinyl to fill the spaces in the corners and the center. That way I have dots for other projects already cut when I want them. I do this for each color I’m cutting curved text or have spaces to fill.

This particular design has 8 colors/patterns of vinyl. The zig-zag/chevron pattern is pattern vinyl. I was able to use some scraps to do the ears, carrots, bunny muzzle and black face.

I kind of broke the rules and didn't do register marks for each and every section. I did eye up some of the design.  I composed the rabbit first and it took about 40 minutes just to piece it all together. Then I followed up with the top text placed on the plate, then the bottom text centered on the plate.  Added in the carrots just for color, then placed the dots where ever and whatever color I chose.

Not counting the designing of this project, it took about 2 hour just for placement of everything on the plate.

If you would like the studio file for this, you can download it for free here.

Have fun with it, but it can be a little bit of a challenge.

2/26/2015

How To Trace Faces Video

Today I added a video on how to do the trace of your picture. It should help everyone figure out how I did the glass block.

A few things to remember...
  •     It makes it easier if you have a photo editing program, where you can remove the background around your image.
  •    Every picture is different as far as coloring and shading, so the setting in the video may need be the exact settings you will use.
  •      It is a trial and error situation. You may end up tracing over and over again till your happy with it. Just keep trying.
Be sure to leave me any questions and I'll do my best to help you out.


2/23/2015

I Must Have Been Crazy!

I've been doing vinyl for a while now, but I must of woke up the other day and felt like I could accomplish the world.

I was thinking about my children and how proud of them my husband and I are.  They of course, are now grown and all have families of their own. But from time to time, they seem to still need advice from their parents. It is great to still feel like they need us, but as we get older, we need them too.

So I decided a few days ago I was going to practice my tracing skills in Silhouette.  I grabbed a picture of my grown kids and decided I wanted to trace it and make a glass block.

Adventurous, you bet.  Crazy might be a better word. I think I actually traced the image at least 15 times before I found something I could work with.

I opened my picture program and turned it into a gray scale image....ahhh, that might make it easier, wrong.  I moved every setting in the tracing screen to something I thought would work.  I decided after maybe 10 traces, maybe the original picture that was in color might be easier to trace, yes it was. Still doing a ton of adjustments to the settings. This is the closest I could come.

At this point I had to decide was that close enough that I could clean it up, re-arrange the nodes enough, and make it not impossible to weed. These were the best settings for this picture I could achieve.

So I traced the image and got ready to re-arrange, delete, etc. till my children actually looked like my children.

2/13/2015

Simple and Beautiful Card Stock Roses

A few weeks ago I share my 5 x 7 Card Gift Box with you.  Since then on forums and Facebook, I've been asked how to make my roses that were on top of the box.  I began making these over a year ago when all I had was my Spellbinders dies and machine.  The die was great, but I could only make them all in one size.  

Well now that I have my Cameo, I've recreated the rose petals and leaves so that I could create them in any size I needed and any colors.  Very Cool, right!
I've designed a Silhouette Studio file that will give you the pattern to create these roses.  In the file I've included 2 sizes, the large and small one.  The large one is about 2" in diameter and the smaller one is 1 1/2" in diameter, not including the leaves. It also includes 2 sizes of leaves. These can be cut on either the portrait or cameo.

I've also shown you how to cut by color in the cameo, so if you aren't familiar with how to do that, be sure to watch my short video on that procedure.

In the video tutorial, I will show you how to create one of the roses, as they all use the same procedure. Plus, I will also give you some tips about what tools work best, what to use to apply glitter etc.   After you have watched the video, be sure to check out my links to the tools I like the best for making these flowers.

These flowers work great on so many different items.  Gift Tags, Gift Packaging, Shadow Box Scrapbook Layouts and a lot more. They also are beautiful on Hand Made Cards, although they are too high for the post office to deliver, so you must be personally giving the card.




Just a word of advice, there are tons of people who make roses for their embellishments.  Everyone seems to do it differently.  What is probably going to happen to you is what happened to me.  I watched tons and tons of videos, some of the roses took hours to make just one, others seemed to not look like a rose at all. Well, I came up with my own style as you may also do. The key here is to share!

2/10/2015

Oh, how time flies when you're having fun!


Valentine's Day is just around the corner and while I've been so busy having fun creating all kinds of new things with card stock and vinyl, I realized I didn't have a card for the hubby for Valentine's Day.

So over the weekend I had to create one, and while I did I thought perhaps it is one you all can use.
I created the "Bucket Runneth Over Card". It's a simple print and cut card created with the Silhouette machine. This can be created with the portrait or cameo. I've included the free Silhouette Studio file for you to download.

I have printed and cutout everything on this card, but it doesn't need to be done that way.  You can also use red card stock to cut parts of it out and printed paper to cut the hearts. 

There is a new video on my YouTube Channel that also shows you the simple way to assemble the card.

Please be sure to subscribe to my channel to keep in touch with the new videos I add.


Hope you enjoy creating this card.

2/04/2015

My Favorite Fonts...

Boy, can we fill up our computers with fonts. Anyone that does a lot of designing on your computer seems to feel we can never have enough, right? So many fonts are similar to each other, that we often have to go through and clean them out.

When you're looking for a specific font style to use on your project, you find a whole new world of fonts you have missed or never seen before.  So that one font download now turns into 20 font downloads.

Well I'm maybe going to add to that collection.  I have created a list of my favorite fonts, and I'm sure I've found some of these because of other people's lists of their favorite fonts...so the list travels.  Most of these fonts can be found on http://www.dafont.com, which is one of my favorite places to find fonts.

One question I have seen asked a lot in Silhouette forums is, "How do I install them in the Silhouette program?". There isn't any need to completely install into Silhouette Studio. If you install the font on your computer, it will show up in Silhouette. If you have your program already open when you install the font, you will need to close everything, and re-open the program to see that font.

1/31/2015

My Must Have Craft Room Supplies

One thing about doing crafts is having the right supplies.  We all try and save money, so that our dear husbands don't go through the roof with all the money we can spend on supplies, but sometimes, cheaper or not having it at all takes all the fun out of creating. So I have put together a list of all my favorite must haves!

Scotch Advanced  Tape Glider
I love this adhesive tape.  I got mine at Amazon and love it.  It really goes a long way.  I also love the fact that you can buy replacement rolls at most craft store if you suddenly run out.
They run about $22 on Amazon.







Scotch Quick Dry Adhesive Glue
If I'm going to use a liquid glue I usually need it to set up fast.  I've tried lots and lots of different brands over the years and found this one to actually be the fastest with the best hold.  I do find the top gets stopped up often, so keep a pin or needle on hand. You can find this in any craft store or even on Amazon

Hook & Pick Set 6 Pc  Weeding Tools
I recently found out about these from one of my friends on facebook.  I purchased them to use with vinyl.  Makes weeding very easy. Best part is the quality is fantastic and they are cheap. You can get them at Harbor Freight for only $3.99 + $6.99 Shipping.  I also found a great set of scissors  there to offset the shipping.  Because they charge you a flat rate, look around for some other deals if your ordering online.  They were on sale for only $5.99 for the set.

1/30/2015

Silhouette Studio and Vinyl Ring Dish

Today I decided to make my daughter in law's birthday present.Her birthday is today... oops...it needs to be mailed two states away, better late than ever, right?

My daughter's birthday is in a few days, and also needs to be mailed....Guess you can say I'm running late.

Oh well, I decided to make them both ring dishes with vinyl. I didn't want to do a monograph like everyone else is doing....they seem to be a dime a dozen, so I created a pretty motif with their initial and name in 3 colors.  I did the layer method to set them up.

You can download the free studio file here.

1/29/2015

Create a 5 x 7 Card Box With Your Silhouette Cameo

I belong to a group on facebook, Beginners Silhouette Cameo, and this group was formed to help all the people who got a cameo for Christmas this year. We are a smaller group, which gives everyone a good chance that there questions will be answered quickly and not get lost in the feed.  If you new to your cameo or portrait, please join us.

When you find groups on facebook that have a lot to do with silhouette, they are often referring to using it for vinyl, so I created a project to do with card stock, since this is what most were requesting.

This is my first video tutorial I have created, so bare with me.  It is a big one and takes you from beginning to end.
You will start learning how to cut the files all the way through how to decorate the box.

1/26/2015

I'm so lucky!!

I really am the luckiest woman in the world. My husband of 38 years has always given me the privilege of doing what I like to do. When I was raising my 3 children, I was a stay at home mom while they were young, something that was done more often in the 70's than now. 

For as long as I can remember, I've been into some kind of crafts. I have a sign in my craft room I made that says, "I was Crafty when Crafty wasn't Cool!".  That fits me to a tee.  I started out doing counted cross stitch and needle work.  That lead to working for a home party company, "Creative Circle".  I did that because it could be arranged around the kids.  Then as they entered school and we moved a few times, the crafts changed.

In the 80's and 90's, my husband and I owned a woodcraft country store.  I stumbled into tole painting which I found out I could do. Plus owning a store made it easier for me to schedule my time around the kids activities.  My husband cut out almost 80% of my wood and we sold Amish furniture that I painted on. He did all that while still working his full time job. We had our store for over 15 years.
But I do get bored, so I decided to close the business and move on. The kids graduated and so my hubby and I decided to move closer to his work and get a nice piece of property and settle down.  We moved to a beautiful 16 acre property in the country,  Hence the "Country Acre Crafts".

Since I had all this time on my hands and was tired to painting, I decided it was time to try something else.  Plus with so much land, I had pretty much lost my wood cutter.  He was too busy clearing land and what not.