8/20/14

Tropical themed challenge at Curtain Call


I had the perfect stamp waiting to be inked up for this challenge from Curtain Call Challenges - here's their inspiration photo:



Who wouldn't want to include swimming on their tropical trip? This little gal has the right idea:


I used the colors seen in the sign as well as three tag type sentiments to reflect the three signs on the photo. Yep, this bathing beauty is ready for some fun in the sun! (Stamp from My Favorite Things).

Be back soon with more to share!

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8/14/14

Silhouette Cameo PixScan in pictures

I just purchased and received the new PixScan mat from Silhouette to use in my Cameo machine. The reason I really wanted this more than anything was to easily make a cut file from a stamped image, thereby eliminating the necessity for dies to match every stamp I own. Don't get me wrong - I love dies and will still buy some but now I can create cut files using my Cameo for sets that I don't have dies for. 

I struggled a bit to learn how to work this new feature in Silhouette so as I worked out the bugs, I took photos to share so what I learned might help you too!

So let's start at the beginning - choosing a stamp to make a cut file for. In this demo, I am using Doodlie-Do from Papertrey Ink.  (Click any pics to see a larger image).


I started with just one image but you'll see as we go here that I added a second image as well.

In addition to having the PixScan mat, you will need to upgrade your Silhouette version to the most recent, otherwise, you can't use the mat.

After stamping my image, I originally tried to photograph it and import it into the Cameo software (using the PixScan button, located in the toolbar toward the top left - actually third button in on the left) but I soon realized that I needed to calibrate the camera I was using first. In order to do this, you will need to print out a calibration sheet on your printer. It looks like this:


Yep, just a sheet full of dots. Now, using the camera you want to use for your image photo, take a picture of this sheet. Be sure you get edge to edge and include all the dots. Be sure the lighting is good and the paper is on a flat surface and shoot the picture straight on from above. I used my iPhone camera and what you see above is the actual photo I took.

Now this photo has to be loaded onto your pc and uploaded into your Silhouette software. I did not take pictures of this but the option for this is located under the PixScan button I mentioned previously, and then under Import From File. This is where you will find the Camera Calibration button. Once your camera is calibrated, you can take a picture of your image.


Again, you want to take the picture in good lighting with the mat on a flat surface. You can see I have a little shadow in the bottom left but that didn't affect it. Be sure your photo is taken straight on from above and the entire mat must be easily seen in the photo. Now upload your photo to your pc and then upload into the Silhouette software, still using that PixScan button. It will take a couple of minutes to display your image on the screen and if the photo isn't clear enough, you will be prompted to take a new photo.


Here is my image on the computer screen. Once it displayed, I went to the Trace Window, selected the trace area (around my two images), clicked the High Pass Filter off, and chose Trace Outer Edge. If you look closely in the photo above, you can see the red outline around each image.

Now, send to Silhouette and change any settings you need to at the bottom button, Adjust Cut Settings. Now you're ready to load your mat. A word of caution, be sure to load the mat correctly or the Cameo will not be able to read the registration marks and you will get the message that registration failed. See below:


See that small line to the left of my mat? That cannot be covered. If it is, your mat is loaded incorrectly.

Also, just to back up a little, before I cut I did one other thing. I figured if I was going to cut out the images I stamped, I might want additional die cuts of the same images to use in the future. So I replicated the cut lines and filled my whole sheet of cardstock as seen below:


Look closely and you can see red outlines around the cardstock.

So my mat is now loaded correctly and I press Start. Cutting finishes and I remove the mat and voila! Cut pieces that are sized perfectly to my stamped images. Here are the plain ones I can use in the future:


And here are the two images I originally stamped and Cameo cut for me using PixScan:


Pretty nifty, huh? I think that is a very nice cut - better than I could do by hand with scissors and if I had used a die, I may not have lined up my stamped image quite so well.

I'm sure there are other tricks to using the PixScan mat but I hope this at least gets you up and running. Happy crafting!

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8/11/14

Fusion Card Challenge

Another new to me card challenge - Fusion Card Challenge! This one gives you a couple options - use the inspiration photo, use the sketch or fuse and use them both, which is just what I did!


 
I used the colors from the inspiration photo and incorporated a circle die to reflect the plates in the photo. Then I also used the sketch to add my image and one of the pieces of the sentiment. Oh and a little sparkle on my gelato - I'm not sure I would eat gelato with sparkle on it, but it tis dish of it was just calling for some glitz! Stamps from Papertrey Ink.

Have a good week and I'll be back soon!

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8/8/14

PTI Make it Monday

I had a chance to catch Danielle's Make it Monday video over at the Papertrey Ink blog (Nichole's blog) and loved the idea so much, I had to play along and try it out for myself. This technique is creating a shaped edge on a card by using dies that aren't necessarily meant to be used for borders. Here's a link to the post with video: Card Borders and here's my card:


I used the coffee cup die which at first I though would be easy but then I realized I only have one die for one cup so I had to do a little creative thinking about how I was going to approach this. I started by cutting my border using the die for the top cup first, then running it through my Cuttlebug a second time with the cup die at the bottom. The third cup in the middle is an actual die cut that is added to the card with a little foam tape for some dimension.

I lined the inside of the card with some Happy Spots paper and even added a seam binding bow, just like Danielle's card - although my bow didn't crinkle as nicely as hers but still created a cool look. I think this would be a great card to pop a Starbucks gift card into and give to a friend - just because :)

Have a good day and a fantastic weekend!


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8/4/14

And now for another card and local news

Last time I posted, someone very special in my life was celebrating his birthday. I think he had a pretty good day - one of his favorite breakfasts, dinner at Red Robin and Guardians of the Galaxy! Oh and this card:



The background is embossed with a new folder from We R Memory Keepers (I know it's hard to see - they're pennants) and then I simply added the sentiment and the die cut numbers (from Papertrey Ink) and voila - a card for a wonderful son!

Luckily, his birthday was on Friday because Saturday morning we woke up to a water advisory. No drinking water, no showering, no washing dishes, boiling only makes the water worse....yeah, it wasn't fun here all weekend. Not that it was impossible but it just took more thinking power about things like "what can I cook that doesn't require water" and "how do I clean the dishes that are already used and need to be washed"? All restaurants were closed as were many other places and the likelihood of celebrating a birthday during a water advisory would have been greatly impacted. So we definitely got our party on just in the nick of time!

And now we have water again. And I'm off to run the dishwasher. See you soon!
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