Saturday, April 30, 2011


*Can Clippies*

I am trying to get prepared for an upcycle fashion class that I am teaching at The Santa Catalina School this Summer. I started goofing around with objects in my recycling bin and came up with this lovely little diddy! My 13 year old daughter was oohing and ahhhing over these cute can clips. There are going to be a great project from my students and they are guarateed to turn heads with these clippies!! For this project I used my old SIZZIX instead of attempting it on my Silhouette or KNK. Since the KNK can cut metal, I will be giving it a try soon! If you use your Silhouette for cutting aluminum do so at your own risk. I don't believe that it will have enough pressure to cut through it and it could damage your machine. If you don't have access to a cutter, just use a pair of tin snips or sharp scissors t get your shapes. I created the tutorial below just in case anyone else wants to give it a whirl! A few notes, there can be sharp edges so use caution (once cut and embossed the aluminum really isn't sharp at all, but if you have a stray little piece of metal on the edge, it can smart!! Try using various colors of cans. I came up with some great results with what I had lying around. Please comment below and let me know how your projects turned out!!
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Monday, April 25, 2011

Goodbye Birthdays and HELLO Grads! *-* FreEbiE *-*

I am on the tail end of my Spring birthday cards. YAHOO! I will post a few more pics later in the week, but this momma needed to switch it up a bit. As a mother of a high school senior (I know I can't believe it either) I have nearly 1 million 1 graduation cards to make before June 8th. While this might be a tiny exaggeration, it sure feels like it. There are days, like today, where I dream of my son being a loner, sitting in the dark corner of the quad, but I'll be damned he has more friends than this mamma could count. I have tried to talk him into dumping a few before the big day, but the stinker won't agree. Oh well, I might as well keep the sweatshop open for a few more weeks!

Today's card was truly a quickie. You can download the entire card file and the individual argyle sketch background HERE and HERE or in the sidebar. I must say, my favorite part of this card is the Argyle Sketch Background that I created. You have to admit, it is SOOOOOO stinkin' cute yet hipster cool! I can't wait to put it on everything. Be warned, there will be a BUNCH of argyle around here for quite awhile. I would love to see pictures of what you come up with using this sketch file!! I will be offering additional freebie sketch files this week. Be sure to subscribe so that you don't miss out!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Birthday Card Factory Running at Full Tilt!

I am just about OVER birthday cards. Every year I tell my self that I will make a few a month so that when April and May hit I am ready. Good intentions...but not reality! So between carpool, housework, and dishes, I got four more finished today. Here is a quick run down:
Julie's Peacock Princess
I LOVE THIS CARD! I usually go whimsical and leave the "elegant" for someone else, but I have really been wanting to use this design. The peacock came from Lettering Delights Denim Frills graphic set (link in sidebar). I created a cut file for my Silhouette and got to cutting. I backed the peacock with a square of acetate so that it appear that this delicate piece is supporting the whole card. I have been having a lot of fun with acetate lately (if you can't tell!). I actually didn't use annnnnyyyyy GLITTER today! It was really quite miraculous. I did however pull out the Swarovski crystals. The Moraccan design in the background was purchased from Silhouette Design Studio. This is sure to get RAVES!
Next UP: A Little Russ of Sophistication!

This little card is for my brother Russ. I went with a simple stair step card with some fun embellishments. I actually used the inside pieces of the Moraccan cut-out (see card above) to create the pattern on the front of the card. The monogram is LD Whale Tail (one of my favs) and the name RUSS is sketched using LD Cotton Candy font. To create a sketch file I simply opened up a new document in Silhouette Studio and typed in the words using the font that I wanted. I then went to OFFSET and did an internal offset. I sketched the outer line using a rust color glitter gel pen and the internal offset using glitter black. I purchased the gel pens and gel pen holders from AMY CHOMAS. If you head over there, be sure to tell her that I sent you! You can download my free Stair Step Card Template here or check the sidebar.
Arrow Stair Step Card:

This birthday card is for my brother James. This is a center panel stair step card (download for free) This card is even cuter in person. I adapted my original center panel stair step template to make way for the "J." This step to for freakin' ever. It is probably the last time I will do it as it would've been just as cute the simple way! I used LD Enquirer font for the monogram. The sketch letters were purchased from Silhouette Studio. All of the arrows were cut using the most amazing invention known to mankind- scissors! I just wanted them random and I was able to do it in the carpool lane so it worked perfectly!!
LASTLY: Magnet Birthday Card

My brother-in-law made a request this year, so here it is. It is actually VERY simple for me and I felt kind of guilty, but this is what he wanted!! The frame set was purchased from Silhouette Design Studio and the font is LD Whale Tail. For the magnet I used a sheet that I purchased at Beverly's Crafts. I chose not to use the Silhouette magnet material as it is too thin for me. Because of the weight of the magnet though, I had to haul out my KNK to cut this part. In the end it came out pretty cute! The second photo shows the card panel that I put the magnet on so that we could write a note!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Purchasing SVGs vs. Graphics Sets = What works best with Silhouette Studio

With the dollar daze sale at Lettering Delights coming to an end, it is time to make those purchases. In addition to offering fonts, doodlebats, and graphics, they have recently began to carry SVGs. Now for some SVGs are great. If you use SCAL or MTC they are a perfect addition to your cut library. For Silhouette users they are a bit trickier. You can't cut an SVG in Silhouette Design Studio. You have to first use a program like Inkscape to convert them  and then you can import them into SDS. You have to make sure that the layers are ungrouped and spread out individually all over the layout page. Then you procede to save as a new file type. When you "save as" you select DXF and when prompted you should only have checked "Use LWPOLYLINE type of line output" or the file will cause SDS to crash. The problem is that more often than not, when you import the file into SDS and ungroup them (to allow you to cut them seperately or modify them) the individual parts are broken into lots of pieces. For example, if you open a flower file you might find that the flower (which should be one piece) is segmented into 3 seperate pieces. This is why you have to seperate them and spread them over the layout page in Inkscape before saving them at DXF files. In short, it is a pain-in-the-_ _ s! I have also used their pngs to make cut files. I open the file in Inkscape and then select it and run "export to bitmap" When the export window appears, I select seperate by color, apply, and go back to the main screen. I then ungroup them and select the colors that I want to cut. This allows me to choose flat colors that will trace easier in SDS. I select the objects I want and then, under the file tab, I select export bitmap, chose where I want it to go and then click EXPORT. I can then open the new png file in SDS and simply use the trace tool to acquire my cuts. There is no regrouping of lines needed. I have found that I personally can work more efficiently with the graphic files. I am bummed because it would be so much easier just to open a cut file and go to work without all of the converting and exporting. I hope, especially with the Cricut drama, that Lettering Delights will consider offering the SVGs as GSDs as well. It would make it so much easier for Silhouette users. Until they do, I am going to keep purchasing the graphics as they are less expensive and it takes just as long to get cut files ready. This is just my two cents!!
Hugs and Blessings, Shelly

Another Day of Birthday Cards

Well, to say that I am "Birthday-ed Out" is an understatement. I finished two more last night and still have 6 more to make and mail this week. The only thing that I can figure is that my family members spend much of August indoors!! So, one of the cards that was at the top of my list was my step-dads. This is the FIRST card that I made for him.
When I started this card I thought O.K. I will put some flags on it and make a simple dude card. (FYI: LD Whale Tail and Typeset fonts). I am not sure what happened in the process. While I love the way it came out, unless your step-dad is Liberace, it is not going to work. I have a glitter addiction that I struggle to keep under control. Obviously, I need a recovery program! This card is now for my sister Julie.
So, after my Liberace moment I went in the opposite direction and went for a laugh. I made this card using the Eat, Drink, and Be Hairy set from Lettering Delights. The card came out perfect and I am sure my very hairy step-dad will love it! (yes, I did sneak some glitter on it....I couldn't resist.)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Cupcake Birthday Card

I have been wanting to try an easel card for awhile and my little sister's birthday was the perfect opportunity! I designed the easel matt myself and once I tried a few different layouts, I finally got it to work well. I then added the card front. The cupcake came from Lettering Delights doodlebat set Hello Cupcake. I used it to create a cut file in Silhouette Studio. I then used Mon Cherie and Buttercream to make the HAPPY BIRTHDAY saying. I cut these out of vinyl and attached them to  piece of acetate that I glued to the back of the card front. I popped up her name (also Buttercream) and some paper rickrac to set off the base. A little bit of chalk and a little bit of glitter and that's all she wrote! I will be adding the easel file in the next few days. Check back and download it!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

3d Bow FREEBIE file

So here is my next FREEBIE. It is a 3 dimensional bow that you can add to virtually anything. There are three parts to the file, the base bow, the ric rac bow, and the bow band. To assemble the bow, place the ric rac bow on diagnally on top of the base bow so that the strips are alternating plain-ric rac-plain-ric rac etc... Start with the base bow pieces and wrap the ends to the back forming loops and adhere with adhesive. Repeat the process for the ric rac strips. When all loops are created, you can add a staple through the layers to secure them even more. Take the rectangular piece and create a circlular loop by gluing one end over the other. Use adhesive to attach the bow band to the bow. You will LOVE the result. I embellised mine further by adding rhinestone strips to the plain loops. You can use glitter, inking, or even punch holes along the plain strips to add some pizzazz. Please let me know what you think!!

*please note: by downloading the file you are agreeing to the terms of use. You cannot share, sell or distribute this file. Please forward people to this page so that they can download it themselves. You can use this file for personal use and on items for sale if you first receive my approval (just email me and I will get back to you ASAP). This file is currently only available in .studio format DOWNLOAD

Treat Jar

This was another quick project that came out amazing. I used a basic glass jar and added vinyl cut outs to add some pizazz. I saw a similar design on a blog awhile back and had to give it a go. I used more Lettering Delights fonts (see sidebar for link) and created the image in Inkscape. I then just cut it out using a Silhouette. It could not have been simpler. I will say that transfer tape was a lifesaver here! It helped keep everything in the right spot until I adhered it to the jar. I can't wait to use this basic idea to create other decorative containers. I just love it and I hope Mrs. Courtney loves it too!

Pinwheel Thank you

As my semester drew to a close, I wanted to make sure that my master teacher knew how grateful I was for her mentorship. She was simply amazing and I learned so much from her! This card was simple and fairly quick to put together. I started with the words using the THIS AND THAT from from Lettering Delights (link in the sidebar). I added the "you" using a different font (I will have to search and add it in the comments as I can't remeber off hand). I then decided that pinwheels would be the perfect Spring adornment. I did purchase one from Silhouette Studio Designs, but it was two dimensional and didn't give the card the punch that I wanted. I ended up coming up with my own version. I welded the "handles" to the card base. In order to give them enough stability to hold the wieght of the pinwheels, I place a strip of chipboard on the backside of each handle. It worked like a dream. Yet another oooh and ahhhh card!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Shelly Gets Sketchy

My students LOVE seeing themselves in a sketch, so when ever I have a few extra minutes I try to whip one out. This typically happens as I am eating my lunch. They tend to be very simple, but they do reflect the students' personalities. Most of the time I don't have time to make a copy for me, but every once and awhile I make them wait until the next morning so that I can get a scan to share with others. I will try to share these every once and awhile. This one is Hannah.

Parrot Thanks

As many of you know I have been back in school for the last year. After teaching in the private schools for many years I decided to go back and complete my credential. It has been a wonderful year and I owe a debt of gratitude to my faculty advisor. So I decided that he needed a very special card. This card was created using the Pucker Up SVG set by Lettering Delights (see the sidebar for the link). With the Dollar Sale going on, I have been adding to my collection of amazing graphics, fonts, and SVGs. I don't own a Cricut, so the I have to convert the SVGs to another file format. This is my only complaint with these sets. They are lovely, but it is annoying that I have to manipulate the files before I can send them to my cutter. I am hoping that LD will eventually offer these graphics in other cuttable formats (especially since Provo Craft is making it impossible for people to use second party designs on their machines!) Anyhoo... I used Klic N Kut Studio to weld the word and create the card base. I used a combination of inking, chalking, and glittering to enhance the design. It is hard to tell from the photo, but I also used dimensional dots (homemade glue dots!) to raise certain parts of the card including the wing and the word. The eye also came out super cool. It is actually 4 layers of cardstock stacked and adhered together to create a faux chipboard. All of this to say... I LOVE THIS CARD!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Baby Face!

Ain't nothing cuter than a baby face...well, except for these hipster onesies! This project was so easy! I simply took some plain white onesies, cut designs out on flocked iron on fabric (using my Silhouette of course), ironed them on and... a shower gift that got oohs and ahhs!

The designs came from the Funny Face SVG set  purchased from Lettering Delights. Check out the sidebar for the link! Get them now since they are only $2 for the set!