Saturday, 27 August 2016

The Story of Us - Gallery Wall

Hey there, Niki here again today with another gallery wall project - they are becoming my signature and my house is slowly becoming filled with them! I just love photos and wall art and I want to fill my house with pictures of my beautiful family.

This gallery wall is all about the photos. It features 'selfies' of me and my husband pre-children. I have selfies in quote marks, becuase we've been taking photos of the two of us in this way LONG before they were called selfies - I think we were ahead of our time! Lol

So this wall is called 'the Story of Us'. It starts with a photo of us on our first ever holiday together back in 2005 and ends with our wedding photo in 2010. We have plenty of photos of us around after our wedding and with our children (who pretty much came along straight away) so it is lovely to have a space dedicated to just the two of us, and the fun we had together before holidays changed forever :)

So I've had the photos sorted out in frames for a while now so I just needed to sort the pretty bits to go in between. I decided to stick to silver vinyl and phrases containing the word 'story'. This first one is quite large as it is effectively the title of our wall, whilst the others are quite small, designed to fit amongst the pictures.

I cut the vinyl using the default vinyl settings - I love that this is so easy and that I don't have to think to hard about how to set my machine!

Once eveything was up on the wall I decided that I needed a few hearts to fill in some gaps so I took the heart from one of the cut files above and cut it several times.

Here is the finished wall - it looks fab in real life and is a wonderful addition to my home.

I hope this inspires you to get some photos up on your walls, this gives me such joy every time I walk past it and everyone who sees it thinks it looks amazing (including me lol!)

Designs Used:
Sail Away Font (used for The Story of Us)


Friday, 26 August 2016

Using the arc tool to make spirals for a lacy mat card.

Hi, it is Hilary again. I want to encourage you to use some tools within the Silhouette software that are often ignored. You may not have used the Arc tool before, but it is a great way to make spirals. Select the Arc drawing tool which you will find in both the basic and the Designer Edition software within the menu on the left hand side, just above the Polygon tool.

Follow the instructions shown below.
Image 1

I made 6 copies in all. Take the second smallest arc and rotate it 90 degrees anti-clockwise. Position its end, next to the end of the smallest arc. Zoom in and get them as close together, and as perfectly aligned as you can. Select both pieces and Make compound path.
Using the arc tool to make spirals in Silhouette Cameo by Hilary Milne
Image 2

Keep doing this with each arc so that you build up a spiral. It is a good habit to get into, that each time you add on another piece, you make a copy of it, so that you have lots of spirals of different sizes and complexity to use later. Select all your pieces and make an offset. Please note, I initially chose 0.2 for these, but in the finished card design I actually used a 0.3cm offset as I was using quite thick card.
Image 3
By replicating, mirroring, rotating shapes, and then welding them together, you can make some great shapes of your own. Always keep some of the smaller, un-welded pieces at one side of the mat so that you can go back and copy them as needed as your design builds up. For this tutorial I simply replicated and welded four spirals as shown, then by overlapping the welded foursome, I gradually built up a mat as shown. 

Image 4
I had some 15.5. x 15.5 cm envelopes, so I decided to make a card that would fit this with a lacy front. To make the border with the lace in the centre, I drew a square 15 cm in size and positioned it over the welded spirals (Image 5). By giving the square transparency, you can see excatly where the design will be cut. I placed it with a spiral in the middle. Select the semi-transparent square plus the mat then go to Modify. Click on Crop. Select all the lacy bits and Make compound path. Make another 15cm square with an internal offset of 1cm. Select both pieces of the frame, centre them and make them into a compound path as shown at the RHS of image 5.
Image 5

Place the frame over the lacy piece you cut (image 6). Select them both and click on Weld. You now have the front of the card.
Image 6

Make another 15cm square for the back of the card, and nudge it just so that it just covers the left hand side of the lacy front. Select both pieces and click on Weld. You should now have a lacy fronted card that you designed. 
Image 7
Doesn't that feel good, and wasn't it easy? Pop in a coloured liner and decorate the front as you want. 

I scanned an mdf bird shape, and saved the resulting pdf to my desk top. The pdf image can then be brought into your Silhouette  design space (File, Merge), be traced, and then you can cut out patterned paper that fits perfectly onto your mdf shape. If you have any questions, please ask.



Thursday, 25 August 2016

Turning mistakes into layouts!

Turning mistakes into layouts!

Hiiii Caroline here with yes, another layout. But first I have a confessions, I make many many mistakes on my layouts, especially when using the silhouette cameo!

Quite a while ago I made this layout using the stitching technique I shared in this post.

A close up of the feathers...

But what I managed to do was incredibly dim, even for me. When I sent it to make the stitch holes I forgot to change the setting and it actually cut the dream catcher shape out, I did this not once but twice HA!

I now have a little tub where I put all my cut shapes in that I made by mistake or just have left over, I like to grab things from there from time to time and I kept seeing these dream catchers all neglected. Soooooo I finally decided to use them.

This is the original cut file shape...

When I originally cut it I enlarged the shape to fit a 12x12 page and cut it on the textured cardstock setting...

I decided to make another page with those unused 'scraps'. I only wanted to use the feathers so I simply cut them off the dream catcher shape. They were cut from plain white card which I fancied jazzing up a bit, so I grabbed my stamps and found a teeny folk shaped heart and stamped them.

You will see that one of the feathers has a lot of hearts, that was my first attempt and it was a but busy for me so I changed it to the less busy look. ...

 Now it was simply a case of arranging the page. I had a photo that I thought was perfect and a stash of matching scrap papers, and I mean scrap, teeny pieces that I layered up to make an interesting photo mat. See how I have so many shapes and sizes in there, but I loved those papers so much HA!

Here is the layout I created...

When I added the feathers I put them on pop dots which I only added in the centre by the stem part, this allowed me to scruff and curl up the edges with my fingers, it brings them to life a little.

Some more close ups...

I am pretty pleased with how it turned out as these could have just been thrown away, instead they now are the focus of a new page YAY.

I hope you feel inspired to keep hold of those random happy mistakes and use them at a later date.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and please leave a comment and share any of your  happy 'mistakes'

'Til next time

C x


Products Used

Light hold cutting mat for Cameo

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

How to create a layered birthday banner-

I love birthday decoration, and this banner was a special one as it was to my nephew, who is just one month older than my daughter. And as he is crazy about horses, I made a birthday banner with carousel horses. In this tutorial I wanted to show you how you can make layered birthday banners, using patterns and shapes from the silhouette library. Hope you enjoy the tutorial!

Supplies needed:

Light blue cardstock
Glitter cardstock
White cardstock
Glue dots
Silhouette Cameo/Curio/Portrait
HORSE Design (ID #77154)
BANNERS Design (ID #48734)

1. Designing your banner:

Once you open your banner file, you need to ungroup and delete the two other shapes as we will use only one of them

Using the circle shape, create small holes in size 0.3 cm

Place the circles on each side of the banner where you would like to have the ribbon to go through. Group and copy the banner on the side.
On the original, make an internal offset on 0.27 cm. Delete the original shape and keep the holes on the internal offset. Select the whole design and choose compound path.

Now you have two banner shapes. the background one and the internal one. 

Using the internal shape. Make a duplicate of it. We will use the duplicate to make the pattern.
Opening the library, use the free design that we will use to make the background. 

When you open the design, I colored in light blue and resized it.

Place the banner on top the design, making sure the banner is placed correctly so the pattern is symmetrical. 

Crop the design.
First make sure that the cropped design is set as No Cut.

Position the other banner on the back on the cropped design, set your cut settings on Cut. Group your design together. Set your paper size to your printer and add registration marks. I managed to print two banner designs on each paper. 

Now to create the circles inside the banner.
First the outer circle, make a circle in size 0.719 cm. 

And then I did an internal offset of 0.4 cm. 

The big circles I wanted to cut out using A4 silver glitter paper. So I set the paper size to A4 landscape and added as many circles as possible. I need to make 13 of these circles in total.

I then wanted to cut the smaller circles, using white cardstock A4 size. So I removed the bigger circles once I was done cutting them. And replaced them with the smaller ones. 

Then it was time to cut the writing I wanted to have on the banner.
Using LW Bubble letter, I wrote "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" and resized it to fit inside the small circles. I also adjusted the linespacing between the text so I don;t waste too much paper.
These will be cut using the silver glitter paper, so I kept the A4 size.  

I will wait on cutting this, as I want to cut the carousel horses with the same paper as well.
Now to do the shape of the horses, when you open the file it will look like this.

Do an offset on 0.350cm, and delete the horse design.

Resize it to fit the small circle and place it beside the text to cut on the glitter paper. One in the original shape and one mirrored to the right. 

Now set your setting to cardstock with a higher thickness. Make sure to do a cut test before you cut to make sure its cutting properly.

Now its just to assemble the design. 

Even though it seems like its a long project, its quite easily to do and was finished with fast as well. 

The little boy loved it and so did his parents!