Category Archives: Crafts

When Silhouette won’t Recognize Registration Marks on Vellum…

…shine a bright light close to the machine!

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I’ve print and cut successfully on vellum many times in the past but last night was the first time I tried to do it late at night. I don’t understand the mechanics in any real technical way, but looking at the machine try and fail to recognize the registration marks multiple times, I wondered if the machine’s optical reader had a hard time “finding” the black registration marks because the light in my craft room is not very bright at night. One bright light and voila, problem solved!

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Studio Calico Funnel Cake – Take Two

FullSizeRender (6)When Funnel Cake first came out in 2014, I convinced myself I would never use the stamp or die more than two times and bought the digital version instead. I printed it out on vellum ONE time — see here — and it looked amazing but I only used it one time. So when the funnel cake stamp and die set mysteriously ended up in my cart during last month’s SC St Patty’s Day sale, I don’t know what I was thinking but boy am I thrilled I got the set. I’ve been playing with different materials and textures and using the die with an embossing pad and it’s been so much fun!!

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The first experiment started out with a layer technique I’ve used before with small pieces of patterned paper. This time, I used washi on a blank sheet of copy paper and die cut the outline. On a sheet of letterpress paper, I used the stamp — the MISTI stamping tool was critical here to ensure smooth and even coverage! — and ran the die through my Evolution using the squishy embossing layer to create this textured, quilted feel directly over the black lines. Then I carefully glued the washi-covered copy paper on top of the letterpress paper. In person, it looks and feels so awesome.

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On this second batch of blue cards, I repeated the same stamping and embossing technique using Memento Tuxedo Black ink and colored the background with neocolors before using a waterbrush. I’m not very good with blending the neocolors but I started to get the hang of it after a few cards.

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Papertrey Ink – Tinsel and Tags Ornament Giftboxes

I’ve had so much fun putting these lovely ornaments together with such an eminently customizable kit. We are huge dog lovers in my family and instead of the deer, I used some cute puffy puppy stickers.

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I struggled to find the perfect gift box and ended up resizing a cut file I found years ago in the silhouette online store . I sprayed the white lids with red and misted it slightly with some gold Heidi Swapp mist. I love how they turned out!

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Believe in Magic – Disney-themed digital stamps

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I bought the Smalls kit from Studio Calico last month but quickly realized that the digital file would be more versatile. To create this simple card, I resized the digital stamp using Silhouette Studio and then sketched the castle and sentiment using the black Silhouette sketch pen. I colored in the word magic with an opaque Sakura pen in Moonlight. After masking off the bottom of the castle, I stamped the stars in Delicata Gold In using stamps from the Mama Elephant’s “Believe in Magic” set.

Some thoughts on the Silhouette sketch pens… I really love the form factor of the sketch pens and was all set to buy the full set after playing with the black one I received as a gift. After a few sketches, however, the ink ran out. So disappointing because this pen sketches so smoothly and requires almost adjustments. I’ve read other reviews with similar complaints so unfortunately I don’t think I’m the only one.

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People who help you sparkle

The other day, my friend and I were talking about how lucky we are to be friends and how we push each other to be better people. I made this card for her as a reminder to surround herself with people who help her sparkle.

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The polka dot background paper is from the Studio Calico Sandlot Paper Pad. I also used the Mama Elephant Creative cut dies for the tag and for cutting out the water color piece. These dies are seeing heavy use – I’m so impressed with the slightly rounded and polished edges.

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Studio Calico Hercules – The Fever Cards

I originally purchased the Hercules set because I thought I would love the Fancy stamp. I still haven’t played with the stamp but I  have fallen completely in love with the whole kit. I had a very bad reaction to some medicine last weekend and couldn’t sleep at all one night and ended up making a bunch of cards using cut flowers from the kit and some of the gorgeous gilded project life cards in the new Heidi Swapp set. I even love the transparent doilies! This might be the very first Studio Calico Set I ever kill!

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I also absolutely adore the transparent doilies and little turquoise dots included in the kit. I have other turquoise colored dots but something about these bring out the colors in the flowers so beautifully. I don’t know how to describe it but they’re not as shiny, but in a good way. I used the same PL 3×4 for the next two cards – I just love the sentiment and that little gold heart at the bottom.

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I love the flower so much that I tried to create my own using my Neocolors, which I also adore. I made the flower and leaves below on some scrap paper.

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Silhouette Pixscan is Awesome!

I purchased the Pixscan sheet from DesignsbyMiriam. She had a great price, shipping was super cheap, she threw in a free sketch pen, provided tracking information, and was super responsive. Thanks Miriam!

Calibration was easy; however, as a Studio v3 nube, it took me a second to find the calibration test card. To print the calibration sheet, click on “Camera Calibration” and then “Show Calibration Test Card.” Once the dots show up, click print. To finish setup, I took a photo of the test card and then uploaded it by pressing “+.” After thinking for a second, it was ready! For those seeking more directions, I’ve read that the instructions are on page 35 of the Help section in Silhouette Studio. I just followed the helpful directions that the blogger at Paper Pulse Blog posted — below is a screenshot of the menu sidebar so you can see the button that needs to be clicked to show the test card. 

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Diecuts for Stamped Images

For my first test, I used some stamps I would never want to fussy cut. I like white borders around my images and the Pixscan feature worked brilliantly! As others have noted, once you have taken a photo of the image, you can save the cut outline and create diecuts for future stamping. The Pixscan is going to bring new life to my scraps because I can use any sized paper to stamp an image.

Pixscan image

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Diecut stamped images

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Sketching on Paper Pieces

I was also very excited to try the sketching function on paper scraps and other assorted pieces. I’ve found some really neat fonts recently like La Chatte a Maman and have been looking for ways to incorporate them into my crafting. Recently, I purchased my first set of metal dies for thicker materials like the cotton paper I use for letterpress. I cut out a few too many the other day and have been wondering how I might use them. Using the sketch pen Miriam sent me, I typed out the word “laugh,” resized it for the shape, welded the letters, and then sent it to the Silhouette to sketch. I love how it turned out!

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Sketched piece

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Cutting out Embossed Images

There aren’t a ton of reviews out there yet but a few have mentioned that Silhouette Studio needs a relatively dark line for the Trace function to work effectively. I decided to experiment with an embossed image and to add to the challenge by stamping on top of a lightly patterned paper. I had to play with the trace function for a bit to get a clean cut and then offset it. The outcome though was awesome. My friend and I worked on some Christmas cards earlier this year and it was such a pain to take delicate vellum diecuts, stamp them with Versamark, put on powder, and then heat set each tiny piece. With the Pixscan, I can definitely see embossing first and then cutting the embossed sentiments out en masse.

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One note – some of you may notice that the offset on the sun was almost perfect, while the camera offset is slightly off. This is the result of user error — when I took the photo, the paper wasn’t pressed down firmly enough and had a few bubbles. I only noticed after I imported the photo into Silhouette Studio and smooshed the paper down before I sent the cut file to my Silhouette without thinking. This error though gives you a sense of how accurately PIxscan captures the position of the image on the scan. 

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