Monday, April 21, 2014

Silhouette Studio 3.0.343

I just wanted to give you an update on my thoughts about the newest Silhouette Studio release (version 3.0.343 released 4/16/2014).  I'm pretty happy with it.  This fixed some bugs and disappointments with version 3.0.293, and more fixes will be made in future updates.

I've just got to say that Silhouette America truly listens to their customers.  We asked, they gave.  We complained, they fixed.  Seriously, people were getting responses to their problems late into the night and on weekends while Silhouette support went into overdrive to handle the issues!

I'm happy to say that I think the general user will be pleased with the current version of 3.0.343.  They brought back the familiar cut settings options where we could choose and see Cut, Cut Edge, and Perforate.  And they have cut settings for more advanced users like Cut by Layer, Cut by Line Color, and Cut by Fill Color.  (And you can now see the bold cut line preview and move the objects on that screen at the same time.)

More fixes are coming for the remaining bugs, but they have addressed all the glaring problems for the time being.  I've been using the new and improved Studio (3.0.343) for the past six days and am happily moving on.  You can still stick with the Legacy version if you're hesitant, but I'm confident that soon the vast majority of us will be using Studio 3.0.  Tutorials will be coming to help ease the transition.

Questions?  Please ask.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Feminine Birthday Card

Feminine Birthday Card by Kelly Wayment

I made this card for my sweet friend, Louise. We used to scrapbook and make cards together for years, so I know she likes sparkles and flowers.

I used the same template I made for this birthday card, but I used colors she would like and chose to use flowers instead of chevrons.  I borrowed the flowers from this Easter egg shape card, which I cut from Silhouette double-sided adhesive with my Cameo, then sprinkled with Silhouette white glitter.  I cut the "wish" out of a generic lightweight shimmery paper.

Do you think the card has enough sparkle?  Just enough, I think.  :)  Happy birthday, Louise!

Feminine Birthday Card_side 

Silhouette shapes used:
Birthday cake
Easter egg shape card
Miss Kate birthday words set

Silhouette products used:
Double-sided adhesive sheets
Glitter

Saturday, April 19, 2014

State Float School Project

State Float School Project--Oregon 

It has come around again: state floats for a school project. My son ended up with the state of Oregon a couple of years ago, and my daughter managed to get the same state this year. I grew up in Oregon and the kids' grandparents and a few uncles still live there, so it's a fun state for them to learn about.  My daughter even interviewed her grandpa about Oregon for the brochure part of her assignment.

The requirements to include on the float are the same as last time, like the state flag, state symbol, motto, capitol, state tree, state bird, etc.  Fortunately I saved all the of files I had created in Silhouette Studio two years ago--both the regular cut and the print and cut files--so it was easy to have my Silhouette Cameo cut those all out again.  She picked some different aspects of the state, like major events and fun facts, so she was able to make the float different from her brother's (see his HERE).

Although I did much of the gluing because we used a hot glue gun, she chose where to put everything, made the stands, directed which objects should be on skewers, and told me how to design the banner and the word cloud.  She thought using foam adhesive for the trees was pretty fun.  (Simple pleasures.)

Here are some detail shots:

State Float--Oregon Beaver
(She put the beaver next to the wooden skewer so he's ready to start chomping!)

State Float--Oregon Flag

State Float School Project--side 1

State Float School Project--back

State Float School Project--side 2

State Float School Project--details

I apologize for the lighting in these photos.  It was sunset by the time we finished putting it together, so the light was changing quickly.

Shapes Used:  
Tree Line
USA Map
Various images from the internet--traced then print & cut in Silhouette Studio

Friday, April 18, 2014

Baby Boy Nautical Shower Invitations

Baby Boy Nautical Shower Invites

I was asked to make baby shower invitations for a soon-to-be mom in our neighborhood.  I was happy to do it!  ...But they had to be inexpensive, done in a week, and there needed to be 90 so we could invite all the ladies in the neighborhood.  I'm pleased to say I was able to do all of that, with just a few hiccups.

Normally I do my designing in Silhouette Studio, but I thought the best mass-production option was to design it as a 4x6 photo print to be printed at my local Costco photo lab, and to add a single embellishment to each print for the handmade aspect.  So I designed my print in Photoshop Elements and turned to my Silhouette Cameo for the embellishments.  (I got my inspiration for the text design from a combination of about 5 different similarly-themed invitations on Etsy.com.  I just picked my favorite aspects of each and came up with this design.)

My original plan was to cut a chipboard anchor and cut an identical anchor from navy adhesive cardstock to quickly stick on top of the chipboard.  Unfortunately because of the short notice (and because my original design was not intended for as many as 90 recipients), I did not have enough adhesive cardstock on hand.  That meant cutting and gluing all 90 navy regular cardstock cutouts to all 90 chipboard cutouts.  I will mention here that my wonderful husband stayed up late with me gluing all those pieces together after I had spent the day buying the supplies and cutting out the pieces with my Cameo.  I'm sure that using the adhesive cardstock would have saved me an hour or more on this project.  I'm so spoiled with the stuff; I obviously need to expand my collection!  ;)

To save a little time in applying the chipboard anchors to the photo prints (and because I wasn't sure if liquid glue would work well), I cut out 90 anchors with double-sided adhesive to turn each anchor into a sticker.  I used my inner offset tool in Studio to make them fit easily on the chipboard backs without applying them all precisely.


Double sided adhesive for chipboard back 

Because of time constraints again, my husband spent an hour or more applying all of those double-sided adhesive cutouts to the chipboard anchors--while I was at work. What a guy!  Once I came home I was able to take those 90 anchors, pull off the sticker backing, wrap the twine around them, and slap them onto the prints.  It was more work, but I really love the extra dimension and texture the chipboard anchors and twine give to the invitation.


Anchor embellishment closeup 

Once I was deeply involved in the project, my daughter noticed that I put the year as 2013 instead of 2014.  Aagh!  My Instagram followers know the dilemma I faced as to whether to fix it or just to leave it.  Several people had already seen the design and no one had noticed.  I decided, since it was a work of heart instead of a work of art, to just leave the wrong year and laugh about it with whoever notices.  It's pretty small and not likely to confuse people who want to come even if they notice, so that's that.  Proofread better next time.

I was able to finish all 90 invitations in time to have them passed out by a few willing volunteers.  I'll probably forget how much work it was by the time the next opportunity arises, and now that they're done I am so pleased with the result.  :)


Baby Shower Invitations

Shape Used: Nautical Set by Snapdragon Snippets

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Luscious Lemon Layer Cake

Lemon Layer Cake 

I'm no food photographer by any means. Nor a baker, for that matter. But my husband made me a beautiful lemon layer cake and I took some pictures just because it was so pretty!  Doesn't it look yummy?  (It was!)


Lemon Layer Cake_slice

He is a big fan of America's Test Kitchen recipes, and that's where this one is from.  Just make sure you listen to their advice about letting the lemon filling set up long enough, or you'll get something like this:
my-birthday-cake_web

(This is what his first attempt was like, two years ago. Ha! Ha!)   Have a great day!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

DIY Giant Magnet Board for Cards

Giant magnet board for cards

This is a project I’ve wanted to make for a long time, and I had to recruit my husband and his workshop to help me. He was excited about this magnet board, too, so he was very willing to help. We wanted a place where we could put up the various cards the kids and I have made for him over the years.

This magnet board is quite large to fit a very big and very bare bedroom wall. We picked up a thin sheet of 4’ x 3’ galvanized steel at Home Depot, two yards of brown fabric at JoAnn’s, and everything else was already in hubby’s garage.

He wanted to make it thick and substantial to give it depth against the wall, but not be overly heavy. He built a backing for the metal sheet by layering ¼” plywood, a narrow frame to give depth, and then another layer of ¼” plywood where the fabric could be stapled and wall mounting parts could be attached. To lighten the load, he cut out holes in the back piece of plywood which would not be seen in the finished project.  The whole thing is about 48" wide x 36" tall x 1.5" thick.

Magnet board layers

Giant magnet board back

Then he used a brad nailer to attach the metal sheet to the wooden base (the solid side without cutouts). He also used some protective tape to keep the edges from snagging the fabric.

Magnet board steel sheet

Giant magnet board before fabric

Protective wrap on edges

At this point it was ready to attach the fabric. We laid the fabric, wrong side up, on a large work surface and placed the metal side of the back board against the fabric. (We trimmed the fabric down so it had an equal amount extended beyond the frame on each side--about 6".) He pulled each edge tight as he nailed the fabric in place, saving the corners for last.

Magnet board fabric stapled

We actually cut away some of the fabric on the corners so we could make a nice, tight corner that wasn’t bulky.

Fabric corners

He attached picture-hanging hardware to the back and hung it on our wall. You can see it has some nice depth to it. We’re just using small but super-strong magnets to hold the cards in place. It has been fun to have this in our room to display and enjoy our handmade cards. Now that we have such a nice place to put them, I can make a whole bunch more for him!

Giant magnet board side view

Friday, April 4, 2014

New Silhouette Studio Software (version 3)

Have you heard all the buzz with the major upgrade Silhouette Studio has just gone through?  Version 3.0 of Studio has just been released (hopefully it will be easier by now to download it; the first day was crazy!).  That means I'll be doing my best to bring you new tips and tutorials.  Suddenly most of my tutorials for version 2 are outdated, so I'm going to do my best to show you what's new in version 3 as I learn it myself.

You can read about the changes here and here.

My initial impression is that there are some great new features we will all love.  Of course there are a few bugs at the moment, as with any major software release, but hopefully those things will be straightened out soon.  If you do have problems, Silhouette Support is ready to listen and to help.

I haven't had much time to play with it yet, but these are the things I already love:
  • Polygon tool.
  • Ability to see both basic options and advanced options at the same time. This is so great (I didn't even know I needed that one until I saw it).
  • Layers you can rename and move. Yay!
  • They brought back the custom grid colors. That wasn't a big deal, but I missed it when it disappeared before.
  • Scroll bars on the side for when all the info doesn't fit on the screen.
  • Nesting tool.  This is going to be great for both saving paper and for its design possibilities.
 If you're not excited about the new version yet, you can also watch Silhouette's YouTube video.  And as always, if you have a question about your Silhouette machine or the software, please ask me in the comments and I'll do my best to help.

Update 4/12/14:  Word on the street is that the fixes for version 3.0.293 will be released in an update within the next few days.  If you already have been using the new 3.0 version and are having some technical difficulties, help is on the way!  If you are playing it safe and sticking with a "legacy" version (2.9.45 or earlier), keep it for now and you'll soon hear when people are satisfied with version 3.

I've been using version 3 all week, and other than little glitches I like it quite a lot.  I've been working on a couple of tutorials for the Cut Settings window, but some of that is supposed to change with the updated update coming soon, so I'm waiting to see the final format before I share screen shots with you.