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Hearts and Handprints

I’m just now getting around to posting these little projects I made. One was a (very) belated Christmas gift for my parents and the other was first Valentine for my husband from our baby daughter. Both turned out really cute. Also, I am throwing in a free cutting file (in both svg and dfx formats) that I adapted from a free image I found online. I was going to use it for Valentine’s day – but didn’t quite get to it! Let me know how it looks if you end up using it.

First, the adorable handprint, heart, and footprint picture! Inspired, of course, by pinterest. This turned out really well. It has Micah 6:8 (the first part) on it – “Act Justly, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly”. The most challenging part of this project was getting my daughter to cooperate. I actually did the handprints and footprints months ago and it sat around waiting for the words for what seemed like forever. My hold up was terror of messing up the lovely handprints I had worked so hard on.

Finally – I tried to write the words on with a paint pen and my attempt was a huge fail! I hated how it looked. Thankfully, I only had done one word and was able to paint it back to gold and try again. Not liking my handwritten attempt – I typed the words in and cut them out of vinyl with my Silhouette Cameo. MUCH better results! The only remaining worry is that the lettering might slip off of the paint, but you could probably fix that with a clear top coat of some kind.

Anyhow, this is how it turned out:

BABY TIP : I finally got her left hand when she was deep in sleep. I had to let her nap on the floor and then do the print quickly (her left hand was particularly challenging since she sucks her left fingers!). It did cost the nap though as she woke up after the handprint. The footprints were much easier!

Since footprints were easier, I used them to make a nice Valentine’s day card for daddy. Paint was so messy and unpredictable, so I decided to try embossing ink. It work better than I imagined. I simply dabbed her foot with the embossing ink (I had it in a tube, but an ink pad might work even better) and pressed the foot on the paper. I did one foot at a time, so after the first one, I put on the powder and embossed it, then did the second to form a heart.

I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut a heart shape around it. After measuring where the footprints ended up, I matched the size and positioning of my shape in Silhouette Studio and cut it out. If you don’t have a cutting machine, I’m sure it would look just as cute if you cut out a heart by hand, or even just left it as a rectangular card.

The shape I used was a modified version of the lacey heart I found at Bird’s Cards.

And, finally, the free cut file that I made. I found the image on the right online and made it into a cutting file. I also inverted it in case you want to cut out one piece instead of embedding it into another shape. Let me know if you make anything with these files, I would love to see it!
FREE SVG FILE DOWNLOAD
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Creating A Chore Chart on the Silhouette Cameo

UPDATE: I modified my chart slightly and changed the border to match my bulletin board makeover project. I think the end result turned out very nicely – check it out here!

Having seen a number of chore charts and schedules on Pinterest, I decided that I could probably benefit from one myself. It is so hard for me to motivate myself to do the chores around the house, but I LOVE checking off my accomplishments. Enter the Chore Chart:

 

I decided on chores for each day, separated into morning and afternoon chores, a chore for each weekday, and a rotating set of chores for Saturdays. The project took a little longer than I expected, mostly because it took a while to get the pen set up correctly.
INSTRUCTIONS:

    1. Create the text (your list of chores) in a file (like notepad).
    2. Open Silhouette Studio and choose a border or outline shape of your choice (this is really optional if you would rather just stick with your original paper size).
    3. Pick a thin font (it will draw the outline, and a thin font will make it look more like one line), and enter in your text. You can arrange it however you like on the page within your border.
    4. If you have a pen holder for your Silhouette, it will probably go more smoothly than it did for me, but it can be done without one! If you do NOT have a pen holder, you can try what I did. I wrapped the pens I wanted to use with some painters tape.The trick is to get it just the right width, so it may take a little bit of fiddling. If it is the right width, the pen will be able to fit in the holder, but not move up and down when you start drawing with it. Also, be sure that it is positioned with the tip just slightly above the surface (I have read that a popsicle stick is handy for this, but I didn’t have one handy). If, like me, your pen is initially too low, you may get a streak across the page as you can see in the upper left corner of my project. When this happened, I paused the machine, lifted the pen up a bit, and started it going again. I also got some skipping, which I think was due to the pen then being too high – so your results may vary.
    5. Now, once your pen is ready and in place, you need to prep your file for drawing:

      • Select the text that you want to be written out in the color of pen you have loaded in your machine. Make sure that this is marked as “Cut” in the “Cut Style” options dialogue.
      • Select the text and frame that should NOT be drawn, and mark it as “No Cut”.
      • This will ensure that only the text you want will be drawn
      • Load your mat, select “Pen”, and hit “Cut”
  1. Once it finishes, DO NOT unload the cutting mat. Go back to the “Cut Style” options and switch what you just drew to “No Cut” and what you want to draw next to “Cut”. Change out your pen and “Cut” the next set.
  2. Still making sure you DO NOT unload the cutting mat, swap your blade into the machine. Set everything to “No Cut” except your outline and then hit “Cut”.
  3. Congratulations, your Chore Chart is complete!
I was going to frame mine and hang it where I would see it every day… but I didn’t have a frame handy. So, instead, I slipped it into a plastic sleeve and hung it up on my refrigerator. It is still just as usable with a dry erase marker, just a little less pretty!
If you have a similar system, or make a chore chart, what chores do you have on your schedule?

 

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Experimenting with my new Silhouette Cameo!

Engagement Silhouette

New Silhouette Cameo = Excitement

I can’t stop feeling thrilled about my new silhouette cameo, which I was really blessed to receive as a Christmas bonus from my work – LTIIT. And… working on my new craft table was awesome!

First Project

After opening up and marveling at how light it was compared to my ecraft, I knew exactly what I wanted to try cutting out first. Awhile ago, I had made a file from one of our engagement photos that I was really excited about. It is an image of us standing together and it made a great silhouette.

Unfortunately, the ecraft could not cut this image out no matter what I tried. It would always mess up either my husband’s pants, or my nose and face. I think that due to the no mat cutting approach of the ecraft, it would always slip a little. Or, maybe my machine is just out of alignment. At any rate – the cameo got it on the first pass! Here is a picture of the finished cut:

Feel free to download the SVG for this file below.
 

Sketching with my Silhouette Cameo

My next thought was about sketches. Now, while the ecraft has a pen and theoretically can cut and draw an image simultaneously, the results are always less than stellar. The pen usually skips or doesn’t write, and the cut is not lined up properly. So, though I don’t yet have the cameo’s sketch pens, I decided to try a makeshift option. I wrapped a pen in some cardstock, stuck it in the cameo, and tada! Here is what I got:

 

So, how did I do it?

Well, for both images, I played around in both gimp and inkscape – both free programs you can download online! For the engagement silhouette, I simply picked a photo that I thought would make a good silhouetted and played with it in gimp. I changed the brightness and contrast dramatically.  Turned the image to grayscale. Simplified it quite a bit and then pulled it into inkscape and hit “Object to Path”. Once I had a path, I simplified it further in inkscape and played a little with the nodes until I was satisfied. Since I don’t have the designer edition of the cameo software, I saved it as a dxf file for import into the cameo studio, and cut it out!

Making the Sketch File

The sketch was a bit more complicated. I started by following directions from this blog post that I pinned. The best thing I learned from that post was about the Eggbott Extension for Inkscape which allows you to fill a path with a hatch. This looks like a sketch and gives you a bunch of open paths – exactly what you want for a cameo sketch file.
 
However, I wasn’t satisfied with the very straight looking results in the post. I explored further and found the path effects editor already in Inkscape! Once you have a bunch of open paths, click one of them and go to Path -> Path Effect Editor. In the drop down, select “Sketch” and hit add. Then play around with the options until you get something you like. Once I had done this and liked my result, I then selected each part one at a time and hit “Object to Path” once more. The results of the Path Effect Editor aren’t turned into paths automatically, so I think this step is necessary. Now, you have a nice sketch! Save as a dxf file, and import it into your cameo software (this took more than a few seconds on my computer – it was a big file!).
Let me know if you have any questions!
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Dragon Birthday Card for my Nephew

 

I found this SVG file free online. If I remember where I got it I will post it up here. I think the card turned out very nicely though – despite a few minor issues! 

  • Finished Dragon Card

    Finished Dragon Card

  • Inside of the Dragon Card

    Inside of the Dragon Card

 

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A Mother’s Day Card


My ecraft came through! I made one of the most intricate cards I have attempted yet for Mother’s Day, and other than a little variation in the thickness of some of the lines, my ecraft managed it! I was a bit worried because it hasn’t been doing so well at alignment lately.

The lacy flower base came from Monica’s Creative Room – she has really awesome and intricate cut files that I am fairly sure she makes herself.For the lettering, I used Edwardian Script and I made the band with the heart clasp at the end to keep it all together. It came out beautifully I think!

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Happy Birthday Card

My first post, but not my first card!
I made a basic birthday card for my Dad based on this pin:
I think it came out fairly well. Here is the result:

 

  • Card Front

    Card Front

  • Card Inside

    Card Inside

  • Happy Birthday Card

    Happy Birthday Card