Cardmaking, Silhouette Studio, Tutorial

Bird Crazy Birthday Card and PixScan Mat Tutorial

This week, I put together a birthday card using the Stamper’s Anonymous Bird Crazy stamp set by Tim Holtz and the Stamper’s Anonymous Crazy Things Stamp Set, also by Tim Holtz, but designed by Kristina Werner.  I used the Silhouette PixScan mat on the Silhouette Cameo to cut out the images after stamping each of them onto Neenah Solar White Classic Crest cardstock, built a card base using a Stampin’ Up! designer series paper stack and some Doodlebug cardstock, did some simple Copic coloring, and then embellished with Ranger Glossy Accents, Hemptique black twine, and a Wink of Stella glitter pen.  I used a Hampton Arts miniature alphabet stamp set for the sentiment and colored in the letters with a Copic marker.  You can see the full tutorial for using the Silhouette PixScan mat with the Silhouette Cameo in the video below.  Enjoy!

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Mixed Media, Scrapbooking

Mixed Media Scrapbooking Layouts

Lately, I’m obsessed with the mixed media trend in scrapbook layouts.  I love the freedom I feel when I start covering a blank canvas with ink and gesso and paint and texture medium.

It’s a little like art class in school, when the teacher had you put someone’s worn button-up shirt and roll up the sleeves.  You knew you were going to get messy and there were just no better days.  I mean, construction paper ring garlands were great, but nothing compared to the papier mache days.

I used similar technique on both of the layouts below.  I started with Claudine Helmuth sticky back 12×12 canvas, and then started layering on ink.  I like my layouts to give the illusion of a lot of texture without bulk.

I went through a very brief Swirlydoos-inspired phase when I first started scrapbooking.  The result was one album that held about 12 completed layouts because the bulk filled up the album quickly.  I learned after just a few months that the super-dimensional layouts were not for me. Don’t get me wrong.  They’re gorgeous and some of the ladies over there are pure artists.  But it isn’t my style anymore.

The titles and/or names in these layouts were cut out on my Silhouette Cameo 2.  (LOVE it!!!!) The wooden embellishments and hearts are Studio Calico.  The sequins are from Doodlebug.  The paper came from my stash of scraps.  I used Tim Holtz stencils, Ranger Distress Ink, Studio Calico Mister Hueys, and some Plaid Folk Art acrylic paint.

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Silhouette Studio

Free Silhouette Studio File and Silhouette Cameo 2 Review

Yesterday, I got the new Silhouette Cameo 2  from my favorite happy mail provider – UPS.  I found an awesome deal from Hobby Lobby on the new machine and jumped at it, even though my Cameo 1 was still going strong after more than three years.  I couldn’t pass up the chance to try the latest version of the amazing electronic die cutting machine.

Not much changed from the first version to the new version, but the changes are useful and appreciated: new steel spring metal rollers instead of black rubber, blue guide marks that make it easier to align the cutting mat, an awesome new touch screen, a USB port, a blade storage compartment, and a crosscutter.   I also love the redesign!  The changes are subtle–new lettering, white blade carriage instead of gray–but I like them.  There may be more changes I have yet to notice after one day, but these stand out so far.

Today, I had time to play and pulled out some scraps of vinyl and cardstock and started testing the functionality of the new machine.  It took no time at all for the front of my machine to be decorated with assorted vinyl embellishments.  I also made awesome corner monster bookmarks. (See below!)

So far, the machine operates exactly as it predecessor does, although I swear (and this may be wishful thinking on my part) the machine is quieter.  Maybe it’s the crosscutter on the back that contains more of the noise or the spring steel rollers that reduce vibration?  Whatever the reason, I really think it’s significantly less noisy than the original.  Not that I didn’t love all the bleepy, 80s video game noises, because I did.  But it’s hard to complete projects at night when the Significant Other and the kiddo has gone to bed because the machine is loud enough, even in my office, to disturb them. (My daughter doesn’t really mind – she’s 17 and a night owl.  But my Dave, he likes his sleep!)

Other than the noise, though, everything else works the same.  Crisp, clean cuts in cardstock and vinyl.  Easy touch screen interface – I’ve read some reviews that aren’t thrilled with the sensitivity of the screen, but I’ve had no issues thus far.

It is worth mentioning that I experienced difficulty (that resulted in swearing and stomping and hair-pulling-out on my part) getting the Silhouette Cameo 2 to connect to the version of Studio already installed for the Cameo 1.  Some of it was operator error, I’m sure.  (I’m a firm believer that everything is plug and play, much to my detriment occasionally!) After a little trial and error, I learned that uninstalling Studio and reinstalling with the provided Silhouette Studio 3.2 disk fixed all the errors.  After that, I got the message that Studio was going to download 50 free files (some really good stuff, there, by the way) and I was all set.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the new Cameo 2 and don’t forget to drop in and download the file for the cute little bookmarks below!

First cut using one of the 50 free files:

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(Click here to download the free Silhouette Studio file to create these awesome little monsters.  Super-easy art projects for little people once you cut out all the pieces! )

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