Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Halloween Block

Halloween Block by Kelly Wayment for Silhouette 

Here's one last Halloween decor project for the season. Well, probably the last. ;) I used a sticker for my focal point on this block, then added paper roses and glittery cobwebs in the corners. All the details--including more photos and links to the designs--are over on the Silhouette America blog in the home decor section.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Wedding Shower Invitation

Wedding Shower Invite

Every once in a while, I don't use Silhouette Studio for designing.  Because this was an invitation with all text and because it would be printed at a print shop, I opted to use Microsoft Publisher instead.  I was asked to make over 100 invitations for a friend's son so they could invite the whole neighborhood--which meant keeping it very simple.

I love the font MTF Mr. & Mrs. Right Now (mostly in black above).  This font also provided the arrows and the fancy "and" between the names.  The script font (in navy blue) is Lauren Script.  The pink date is from the font Algerian.

I made this invitation a while ago (and sadly the event was cancelled because their engagement was broken off), but I still wanted to share it here.  Thanks to Etsy for showing off so many invitations in order for me to pick out my favorite design elements and combine them all here.  :)

Friday, October 17, 2014

PixScan: Salvage a Print & Cut

If you follow my blog, you're already aware of some things I think Silhouette's PixScan™ mat is useful for (I'll list the links again at the end of the post).  Today I've got another idea for you.

Maybe none of you have ever had a registration-mark reading failure where you had to give up and couldn't bear to throw away the printout, but I have!  I had this page fail on me a while back and I just saved it, thinking I'd eventually just cut out the pieces with scissors.  In fact, I did cut some of it up.

Well, PixScan™ has saved the day!

I simply placed the oddly-shaped printout on my PixScan™ mat.

PixScan tutorial_printout on mat

Then I imported the image on the mat through my scanner (instructions here).

PixScan tutorial_pixscan 1

Next, I traced some of the images and saved some for different shapes.  To trace the outline of an image in Studio:

  1. Choose Select Trace Area, and drag a box around the image you want to trace (it will show a grey box with yellow on the image).
  2. Uncheck High Pass Filter (usually helpful for most images).
  3. Move the Threshold slider up until the yellow fills in where you want to trace.  Your goal is to have a nice smooth edge of yellow without going too far where it looks pixelated.
  4. Choose Trace Outer Edge to get a cut line along the outer edge of that image.

PixScan Tutorial_trace

PixScan Tutorial_trace outer edge

You can trace all the images on the page, or you can pick your own shapes to cut out the images like cookie cutters.  Hearts, stamps, stars, flowers...whatever you want!  Just be careful that your cuts will remain on the paper.  Some of my images were very close to the edge of the paper, so I had to be conservative with those shapes.

PixScan Tutorial_cut lines assigned

Once all the cut lines are in place, go to the Cut Settings Window, choose the correct settings for the paper and adjust the blade, and Send to Silhouette.

It's amazing how perfectly the machine reads the marks on the PixScan™ mat and cuts exactly on the paper where you've placed those cut lines on your screen.

PixScan Tutorial_cut shapes

I'm sure I have a few more printouts here and there that need to be cut out, and now it's so easy!  And I won't stress in the rare event that a future print & cut fails...I have another option to have my Silhouette cut it out.

Here are the other PixScan™ tutorials I've made:
PixScan for Schoolwork (using a scanner that's smaller than your mat)
PixScan to cut out elements from pattern paper (replace "fussy cutting" with scissors)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Owl Card | Text-to-Path Tutorial

OWLways Here Card by Kelly Wayment for Silhouette

I used Silhouette's free design of the week for this owl card.  All the details, along with a text-to-path tutorial, are over on the Silhouette America blog.  Don't forget to grab Silhouette's free design of the week, this Halloween Owl.  This one's extra cute, and so versatile for any season or to convert to a print & cut.

Monday, October 13, 2014

ADORNit Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations, Nance (a.k.a. Jun Bug House)!  Thank you, everyone, for the sweet comments on my blog and on ADORNit's blog.


Nance, please send me an email with your mailing address to kellyslater42 at yahoo dot com.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

3D Haunted House Assembly Tutorial

Haunted House at Dusk by Kelly Wayment

Haunted House by Kelly Wayment_hi res

Here's my assembly tutorial for this haunted house I made for Silhouette America.  My instructions are for a CAMEO machine, but the original house file does come sized to be used with Portrait and earlier Silhouette models.  If you don't use a CAMEO, it will just be a little smaller than mine and will take more pieces of paper overall.

The final size of my house using a CAMEO, including the base, is about 8” wide x 10” long x 13” tall.

Supplies:
Pattern paper:  3 pieces 12x12"
Black cardstock:  5 pieces 12x12" (or 4 plain + 1 piece of black adhesive cardstock)
Vellum:  1 piece of 8.5x11"
Grey and orange cardstock:  small pieces/scraps
Grey adhesive cardstock:  1 piece, at least 8" x 10"
Sketch pen or pen/pencil with sketch-pen adapter
Adhesive:  Scor-Tape + Zip Dry
Battery-operated tea light
Clear beading thread
Ink pads: dark and light


1. Open the luminara haunted house design in Studio and resize it larger so the largest piece fits on a 12" mat.  (The base piece and the tallest house pieces are the constraining factors.)  You should be able to fit the two tall house pieces on a single 12" pattern paper and the four remaining shorter pieces on two more pages of pattern paper.

2. Then ungroup everything multiple times until the perforated lines are not associated with each other from various pieces and so parts like the windows are not grouped across the whole page.

3. Now group everything in individual parts, so each window is grouped with its own holes, each box is grouped with its own perforated lines, etc.

4. Select the two chimney pieces, go to the Scale Window, and choose 65% in the upper section to scale them down in size.  (Personal preference, on that one.)

5. Make copies of the dormer pieces so you have eight total to match the eight pointed windows.

dormer pieces x8

6. I added some extra pieces to continue the black accents on the house:  rectangles to cover the front doors, window shutter pieces for the single top open window, and an oval ring to frame the back circular opening for the tea light.  I did this with my Studio drawing tools, offsets, and Modify commands.

7. Open these extra designs to be cut in appropriate colors:

8. Resize those extra shapes as necessary so they feel proportionate to the house.  (Cat = 1.326" tall; jack-o-lantern = 1.426" tall; witch = 3.043" tall, then cut off or fold bottom portion so she fits in window; tree/bat/fence/tombstone = leave at default size; leaves = about 1/2" tall after welding a stem on.)

9. Flip one of the three tree segments as a mirror image.  Make many duplicates of a single leaf.  Make a total of four fence pieces.

10. The house file itself needs a little modification because a couple of glue tabs don't match up the way they should.  You can add a glue tab in Studio by editing points, or you can just use a piece of tape to close the gap in one side that is missing a tab and use scissors to trim off the extra glue tab.

fix glue tabs on house pieces

11.  Optional: Use vellum pieces (rectangles will do) to back all the closed window pieces of the house.

12. Base piece:
  • I removed the outer box edge from this geometric file and sliced off the extra portion with my Knife tool in Studio, using the house base piece as a guide for size.
screen shot stone base
  • After grouping the desired geometric portion and deleting the part I sliced off, I then centered it inside my base shape and grouped them together.
  • I used a sketch pen to sketch the outline of the “stones” directly onto the base and then cut the base out with the blade.
  • Then I cut that same geometric pattern out of grey adhesive cardstock so I wouldn’t spend a long time gluing every piece.
  • I dabbed a dark inkpad all over the grey adhesive cardstock to give it a weathered look.
  • Finally, I used the sketched lines on the base as a guide for placing the adhesive cardstock pieces (with no glue).

Stone base

13. That's it for the preparations.  Now you're ready to cut.  I like to fill all the shapes with color to represent what I will cut them from.
  • Pattern paper: six house pieces
  • Plain black cardstock: tree, cat, witch, back layer of jack-o-lantern, roof pieces, chimneys, dormer pieces, fence pieces, base, windows with shutters that come away from the house.
  • Adhesive black cardstock (if using--otherwise, also cut these with plain black cardstock): all window accents except the pieces with shutters that come away from the house, bats.
  • Vellum: behind all closed windows
  • Grey adhesive cardstock: cobblestone design for base
  • Other: orange cardstock for jack-o-lantern front piece, dark grey for tombstone.  I cut the leaves with a double-sided pattern paper in dark fall colors so they would look good with either side facing up.

Here's what all my pieces looked like (mostly color coded) before cutting. (I usually copy and paste elements to a new document to cut one portion at a time so I don't have so much on a single page.)

ss ready to cut

14. Once all the pieces are cut, assembly is fairly straight forward.  The house pieces only go together one way (after noting the modifications needed in step 10).  I found it easier to add the black trim and the vellum to the house pieces before assembling (just the flat ones, not the dormer pieces).  I added a little white ink to the black roof and chimney pieces before assembling to give an aged look.

TIP:  When I'm working with 3D files, I like to use a combination of glue types on the glue tabs.  I like an adhesive like Scor-Tape for instant holding power, but I also add some liquid glue that will have a stronger bond once it dries.  If you use liquid glue alone (even supposedly fast-drying glue like Zip Dry or Scotch Quick Dry Adhesive), you have to hold pieces together while it sets.  Scor-Tape or a roller-type adhesive in a dispenser holds everything in place long enough for the strong liquid glue to set.  Often Scor-Tape alone will eventually pop apart if the forces of the 3D object are too much.

adhesive for 3d projects

15. The tree doesn't match up perfectly, but that's fine.  You can find the tutorial by the designer {here}.  I bent and curled the branches a little to give it more dimension.

16. I crumpled the leaves a little for texture by pressing each one into my palm with my thumbnail.

17.  If you cut the bats with adhesive-backed cardstock, you don't need any extra glue.  I took a loop of clear beading thread and pressed it between the bat as I folded it together and hung one from the tree.  I made two more bats and attached one at each end of another piece of clear beading thread, then hung them from the hole in the back of the house. I just used tape inside the house because it stays hidden.  This is the hole where you insert a battery-operated tea light.

Bats

18. Once the base is assembled, start placing your assembled pieces down on it.  I decided where I wanted the house and glued it down to the base, then started placing everything else in position.  I glued everything down, including each leaf, so it would stay in place.  Paper elements like this tend to fall over and shift with even a little breeze through the house.

small elements

19. I just folded the witch to make her short enough to be seen through the window.  If you use vellum to back the windows, she looks great at night.

witch

I hope you have fun making this haunted house.  Please send me a picture if you do!  If I've left anything out, please let me know in the comments below.

Vellum behind windows

Haunted House from above

Haunted House at Night by Kelly Wayment

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Positionable Skeleton

Positionable Skeleton by Kelly Wayment for Silhouette

I've got a fun kids' craft over on the Silhouette Blog today.  I made a skeleton with brads at the hinges so the kids can move him around into funny positions.  (He's nearly the same height as my youngest son.)  You can find more pictures and details over on the Silhouette Blog.