Monday, 17 July 2017

Three Happy Girls - Using Stitching Templates

Hello, hello, Karen here.  Have you tried using stitching templates?  I realised recently that I often buy them but then never use them so decided to make a layout that focuses on sewing - even my title was sewn.
  • I chose this sewing template as the basis of my layout. 

  • Then I used the 'Draw a Polygon' to join all the dots to give me a solid chevron shape.
  • I used the 'Internal Offset' option to make a smaller shape. 
  • Removed the larger chevron and grouped the small one with the sewing template.  This formed the basis of my pattern.
  • The next step was to duplicate my shape in a column of 3.

  • Arrange them the distance apart I wanted and then, under the ALIGN menu, with the three shapes selected, spaced them vertically to give me an equidistant space.

  • I then duplicated the three chevrons below.
  • Next I moved the duplicated chevrons up match the spacing of the ones above.
  • Select the top four chevrons and duplicate right then do the same for the top two of this column.  Group each set of chevrons into columns and arrange onto your design.  The column of two chevrons is then mirrored below and this set is moved to the bottom right corner of your design. 

  • The next step was to make the stitched square that surrounds my photograph and for that I used this stitching template, using a section of the first one for each of the square's sides. 

  • Then I used a stitching font to add my title.

The final step was to complete the stitching and back fill my chevrons with pretty paper.  I added a few stickers and mounted my photo onto a piece of patterned paper and that was my page finished.

I hope I have inspired you to try a stitch template or two.



Sunday, 16 July 2017

You Are a Whole Lot of Lovely: Curved Text Around a Shape

Hi again Silhouette Fans! Niki here today with a tutorial about how to curve text. I've done this before but with a simple circle, however it will work with any shape so today's project uses a large heart. The technique is the same but with a shape that has a dip, like at the top of the heart, the text will need a little tweeking...

So to begin with I opened up a file I already had in my library, ungrouped and just kept the heart I wanted.

I then wrote out my text. I've chosen Ballerina Script (one of my favourites).

I left the text all grouped together and looked for the green box that appears around text when you first type it out (if you've clicked off and lost the green box, simply click onto it a few times and it will reappear). Once the green box is there, there is also a little circle with a cross in the centre. Pick up the text by clicking on that circle and move it over towards your shape - it should automatically jump on to it. The text is now around the heart shape but doesn't look right becaused it's bunched in the middle in the dip of the heart and it doesn't stretch around the whole heart.

To solve this problem, i adjusted the 'character spacing' which is a slider bar within the Text Style window. I played around with this until I was happy with how the text looked.

 Now that the text is in the right place, I ungrouped all the words. This make the letters individual.

I then nudged the letters together so they overlapped, selected the letters in that word and clicked Weld. This made them one word, rather than several individual letters. I did this with all the words.

I then selected the whole of my design and clicked Weld. The purpose of this was for the heart to be welded to the letters BUT doing this took off the bottom of my letters. I tried very hard to solve this problem but had no luck! So I just went back a step to restore my heart with fully formed words

I then copied the heart and pasted on another two and arranged the three of them so they were all slightly overlapping each other, to form a scribble effect.

In my cut settings I selected the hearts. I drew two with sketch pens and cut the final one so there was a heart shaped hole in my white card. I then cut the words from another sheet of card so that I could arrange them onto my previous piece of card, with the heart-shaped hole.

And here is my finished layout. I backed the big heart with patterned paper and added a wash of yellow water colour paint around the edge, then added my white curved words on top. I love the result, it is so pretty and definitely a different way to add a title to my layouts.

I hope you've enjoyed this project and will have a go at curving text around different shapes.
Happy scrapping xx 

follow me on Instagram: @nikiclaire



Friday, 14 July 2017

Accordion shadow box card

Hello everyone!

Maria with you today and I have yet another baby card for you... Sorry! It's like all my friends and family are popping out babies recently! (apologies for the crude description! haha)

So this is a very good friend of mine from my university days. We haven't seen each other much in the last decade (the downside of living in different countries!) but we have kept in touch. So I wanted a very special card for her and her new baby, something that she could maybe keep as a small room decoration or keepsake, and I found this gorgeous cut file on the design store.

Please join me in creating this card step by step!

What you will need:

- Silhouette Cameo or Portrait
- Cardstock
- Pattern paper
- Glue


First of all open your Silhouette Studio and bring up your design from your library. I have gone for this baby inspired one, but Carina Gardner, the designer, has got many many more to choose from on the Silhouette Store!

When I opened it, I noticed that it looked a bit too small. The description of the item on the Design Store says that when complete, it will measure 2.25 x 3.25 inches. That is a bit small for me, so I am going to try to make it as big as it will fit!

After enlarging it, I realise that I want to use kraft coloured cardstock for my background as in the sample, but the only card I've got at the moment in that colour is A4 size, so I go ahead and change the page size and rotate my design vertically to fit.

Next it's time to ungroup all the elements of the design, as they are all together and you wouldn't be able to send to cut in the way the design comes.

You can find the Ungroup function on the top bar in your screen, or you can right click and select ungroup.

Now go ahead and select all the coloured shapes and move them out of your mat, so you can send the base to cut.

I only realised until it was too late, but I failed to notice the white part of the horse... that should have been moved too! My design cut well, though, so not harm done.

So simply send every element to cut in the colour cardstock or pattern paper that you would like. And assemble it!

Despite having enlarged my design to fit as big as possible, I still felt that it was very fiddly to put together. My verdict? Only go for it if you have the patience to do fiddly work! I still feel like it's a gorgeous card and I know that my friend will love it.

Here it is!

I hope you have liked it, and read you very soon!


Thursday, 13 July 2017

Unclog paper build up in your blade

Gone are the days when we have to spend an hour trying to remove trapped bits of media from out blades.
A while back Silhouette changed the top of the standard blade but it seems it was done so smoothly not many people noticed or perhaps noticed and forgot again.

 Like me have you spent ages with a pin trying to remove little bits from your blade housing? I was so relieved when Silhouette came up with this change to the blade.

I mentioned to a friend the other day to check her blade for any trapped bits of paper to which she replied "and how would I see in there?" in a sort of for crying out loud voice.
I realized not everyone is aware of this The top unscrews to let you clear out any trapped bits! sometimes we forget this simple little trick. My friend replied back to me she couldn't get the top off hers, so I sent her a photo. Turns out she has been trying to take the whole white part off. So in case anyone else is having the same issue here's some photos of how to open the blade housing. Turn your blade down to 0 and grip only the end of the white part of the blade housing. You will see from the photo that there are small dimples on the end cap to help you get a grip. Twist the end cap in an anticlockwise direction until it comes away from the rest of the blade. use a pair of tweezers or another tool to remove and media that may have become trapped.  DO NOT TRY TO USE YOUR FINGERS, the blade is sharp and will cut you. Be gentle during this process so as not to damage the tip of your blade.

When we have the cap opened it's easy to remove any trapped bits and it is also a great way to check the tip of your blade. When you have finished your maintenance remember to tighten the cap firmly as it will affect your cut settings if the cap is not screwed back on firmly. Failure to tighten the end cap securely will result in the blade not extending through the end of the cap to the correct depth. It is worth checking this cap is secure if you are having issues cutting with settings that worked perfectly in the past.