Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ever have one of those days...

when nothing seems to go right in your scraproom.  The cuts don't go right, you drop the little cut that's about the size of a micro dot under the table.  You know those days, we all have them.  I had a digital stamp that I had started to convert to an svg sitting in my to do folder.  I decided today I would finish it up so I could use it in my layout.  It took some work to get it cleaned up the way I wanted it but I really love the finished cut.  Lots of tiny pieces always seem to go better on a day when everything else isn't messing up though, LOL.  I even pulled out my Tim Holtz stamp pads and glimmer mist and did a couple tags.  I had made my own glimmer mist a couple of months ago and this was the first time I used it. It's to pretty even though it doesn't really show in the picture.  So after playing with a little bit of this and a little bit of that in the scraproom most of the day this is the only layout I ended up with. The mess I made is a whole other story, It looks like I should have gotten at least five layouts done.  Click here for the svg for the suitcase.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Testing, Testing...

A week ago there was some new buzz on the Cricut message board about a new program called Making the Cut.  It appeared to be along the same lines as SCAL (Sure Cuts Alot) a program I use currently use to cut all my SVG's with after putting them together in Inkscape. I down loaded the trial version and was impressed with the early stages of the program, it looks quite promising and easy to use. Needless to say I bought it due to the fact Andy the guy behind this program seems to be really on his toes and working diligently to get his new product up and going with all the bells and whistles everyone is looking for.  It imports SVG's and other image formats right into the program so they can be moderately adjusted and then cut.  This will work great for a large number of my library images and SVG's I have compiled.  I love that it lets me view the SVG files within the program prior to opening them on my mat. The same with viewing the fonts and moving, adjusting and welding text is a breeze.  Already in the works is the ability to shadow text, which is a must for me.  I know alot of the buzz is people are excited to be able to bypass Inkscape or a simular program but I don't find that the case for me.  I love Inkscape and the ability to rework entire images to get what I want and then save as an SVG to be cut within programs like SCAL or MTC.  This is a quick layout I cut with MTC to give it a test run.  The cuts were precise and it did well on the more intricut filigree pieces.  Kudos Andy I think you've got a winner!  The cut file for the pieces used have been saved in both SVG and MTC formats.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Following time...

I have become our family's unofficial photo journaler.  The keeper of our photographic memories.  This small piece of tradition was started purely by accident.  I was doing a birth announcement for my granddaughter Zoe. I love the look of black & whites,  I think black & white photos have a way of taking away the distraction of color and emphasizing the content of a picture.  I had matted the 5x7 photo I used for the announcement in an 8x10 frame and my daughter loved it.  After that I would go through the pictures taken on Zoe's birthday each year, choose one, make a black and white 5x7 then frame it. This year when I asked my daughter what was on her list of things she wanted for Christmas she included her yearly photo of Zoe.  Looking a the previous years hanging on her wall I had an idea.  The first photo was done before I owned my Cricut Expression so it was just plain black matted and the subsequent years followed the same format.  This year I wanted to try something different so I added a bit of design to the corner of my mat and added one word in white that the picture brought to mind and used a diamond jewel for the dot on the i in beautiful.  I liked how well it turned out so I 'borrowed' the ones off her wall and redid all the matting.  She loved them, so I guess now my tradition has been officially updated.  I had to laugh when my daughter said Mom you are going to run out of words.  I told her not a chance, with a wonder like my sweet Zoe there will never be enough pictures to even begin to use all the words.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Happy holidays to everyone...

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.  Our family was blessed with a wonderful Christmas day gathering yesterday.  It always seems the more children present the more festive the day is. My three year old grandson, who totally believes in Santa, was a delight to watch.  Today I find myself still full from to much good food and still content for time well spent with family, so I thought I'd relax and spend the afternoon in my craft room.  This year my two daughter's put in their request for presents from my craft room and I must admit I had fun doing these projects.  One was a shadow box for my oldest daughters bathroom.  She wanted a picture to tie into the theme she had used but couldn't find anything she liked that matched in the stores.  So with the help of my eight year old granddaughter as creative consult on  the paper selection and trims this is what we came up with. 

The shadow box is 10x20 inches and the items in it are layered at various heights to make it look 3D, like it is standing in a room. The corset is cut from 2 layers of pearlized paper then trimmed with satin ribbon, lace and flat backed pearls.  I added gel pen stitching and gathering on the gathers to give it a bit more dimension.  My cut file was done in Inkscape and cut with SCAL2.  Although I love the ease of all my Cricut cartridges I find I gravitate back to using Inkscape to get those really individual cuts I need.  I very recently bought the new program called Making the Cut and so far I must say I really like the ease of it.  I have yet to make a cut with it due to getting ready for Christmas but will try giving it a work out this week.  If anyone wants the cut file for my shadow box I would love to share.  Here are the links to the SVG - Corset & Stand, SCAL2 both layers. If anyone would like the MTC version I will be testing that out in the next couple days so let me know. 
It has been far to long since I've posted or just relaxed and crafted these past months.  Life just seems to keep getting in the way sometimes.  You think I would  have learned by now taking time to scrap  is the best stress reliever there is for me.  My doctor should just tell me to take 2 asprin, make 1 layout and call him in the morning.  LOL.