All of my cutting file shares are free. Please do not redistribute or sell what I freely share. These cutting file shares are for personal use only.

Please be fair and give credit where credit is due, in turn, I will always make an effort to give credit to my resources and link them appropriately. Thank you for your consideration.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Jennifer's Progress After Chiari Surgery

I'm so sorry I haven't been able to update everyone. With all that has been going on at home and work, I just now found a little time to update everyone. I feel bad it's taken me so long. With all of the love, kindness, prayers, and well wishes from so many it made me feel bad not to update everyone until now.

Jennifer just returned to Ohio this past Tuesday for her post-op visit. Sadly, she had about 10 episodes of the "Chiari headaches". She felt a bit depressed by this, but I told her she still had a long recovery ahead of her and it will take time for the surgery to show results.

She tires easily, but she has been great about doing her therapy. It's painful for her to do the exercises, but she follows through with them as she knows it will help make her stronger and better. She let me take a picture of her head and wouldn't have minded if I shared it. I took the picture with my iPhone and cannot get it to my email. I don't know too much about the iPhone because I don't like cell phones too much and figure, why bother to learn all about it....lol. It was a gift from my daughter Jennifer and I must admit, I do like being able to test her when she is at work.

Jennifer is also experiencing some post-op blues. She is used to being an active and busy business woman and mom. Besides missing her routine of work and playing with her children, she is feeling a bit "frumpy" about her shaved head and long scar. Her sister and I are going to take her shopping when she can get out and about. We want to buy her a wig while she waits for her hair to grow out.This is something she will need to pick out.

After almost two weeks she is doing well. Of course, as a mom, I am concerned about some of the things she must be careful to remember. She is not suppose to lift or bend over. After her full recovery, she will also be limited to certain activities. She can no longer ride amusement park rides, jump on a trampoline and of course no Extreme sports of any kind. I'm looking forward to learning all that she has gone through will be worth it. In the meantime, I will go to work, get ready for the holidays, watch over my daughter's recovery and perhaps be able to squeeze in the time to do some of the crafty things we all enjoy.

Thank you everyone for the emails. Again, I apologize for not answering them, but I have read each and every one and they warmed my heart. It's nice to know there are so many thoughtful and kind people out there. Even though I've not met everyone in person; I know the hearts that have reached out to me and my family during the troubled times this year has brought to us. May God continue to  bless and keep each and every one of you. All of you a a lovely part of our family's blessings.




  

Friday, November 7, 2014

My Daughter's Surgery Day

I would like to thank all of you who sent well wishes love, thoughts, and prayers.  Jennifer has been in surgery for almost two hours. The University of Cincinnati Medical Center  has a large computer monitor with a number assigned as her surgery.  It's suppose to give us updates, but it just tells us her surgery is in progress.  The two hours  feels like ten. I'll try to keep everyone posted as I learn more. So many have asked how she is doing so I thought I will try to journal this day on my blog. I have a picture of Jennifer in her surgical dress...blue cap and all but I've not been able to upload it.

The surgery went well but the pain has been difficult on Jennifer. They managed to get the pain down to a 5 but when the medication begins to wear off her pain level escalates back up. They got her up last night and with assistance she was able to take a few steps. Today, they are going to begin physical therapy. She is having a lot of difficulty eating because of the intense pain she feels in her neck when she tries to swallow. The nurse said; she will need to change her diet to soft foods like ice cream, applesauce, and mashed potatoes.

All in all, things have gone very well. What Jennifer is experiencing is normal after this kind of surgery. It's just so hard on her to feel like she feels when she is the kind of woman who loves being on the go and she has already missed her children so much. She is looking forward to better days and a more normal life that will allow her to play with her children. She will always have certain limitations, but for the most part; these are things she won't really miss. She can no longer go on rides like roller coasters, jump on a trampoline, sky diving (which she would have tried at one time)..lol skiing, and other things like this. The most important thing is for her to be able to get in her back yard with her children and play some softball.

We will be with her today and part of tomorrow. It's going to be hard for me to go home with her still here in the hospital, but I know she is in great hands with the staff and her loving, caring, and one good man; her fiance.

Blessings and hugs to all,
Debbie





Sunday, November 2, 2014

Papel Picado Wedding Invitation

Hello everyone, as this week approaches the day of Jennifer's surgery, I can hardly keep my mind on anything else. My dear husband suggested, I do some design work. It did help to get my mind to other places. I wish I could give her some moments of freeing her mind. She is, understandably, nervous. Our faith and prayers keep us strong. God knows we all need our minds re-directed to other things beside the thoughts of a long surgery and very long recovery. I think my daughter is most concerned about the long recovery. She is a very active woman and a mommy. She's already missing her children even though our travels won't take place until this Thursday.

While trying to keep my mind occupied I decided to work on a project one of my YouTube subscribers asked me about. She would like me to make a video tutorial on how making a Papel Picado wedding invitation tutorial. With all that has gone on and will be going on, it may be a bit of time before I can make the video tutorial. I did take the time to create and cut one out. They are lovely invitations, but I must say; they are very time consuming to cut and design.

The techniques of design are fairly basic. The most difficult task is making everything fit so it welds, cuts nicely and has a wedding look into it. With all of the intricate details of a Papel Picado you want to have pretty and intricate designs, yet you want to be careful not to go too far. For example; If I would do this over I would make the doves solid and place so heavier designs into the doves. Also, I would use a new blade and be sure to double cut when using a heavier card stock.

I started out with a rectangle measuring 5 x 7 then did an internal offset. From here I began choosing design elements. In the picture below I used the rose flourish for the top, but I also made one using wedding bells ( I forgot to take a picture of the wedding bell Papel Picado) I then worked on the placement of the doves, creating the border edged with some flower shapes and circles that I welded to the edge of the 5 x 7 rectangle. Now all that is left to do is to make sure I have plenty of room for the wording. I used the Adobe Garamond font to create the wording. Arial Bold would also work. Remember, when you weld you must weld to a "compound path". When I made the internal offset of the 5 x 7 rectangle I selected both the inside and outside of the rectangle, right clicked, and selected, "make compound path". This will make it possible for you to weld you border and inside elements to create the card. Another thing to remember when welding is to make sure your elements slightly overlap the areas you will be welding to create the look you want.

I'm looking forward to making another Papel Picado and have learned a few things along the way. When we send out wedding invitations it can be anywhere from ten to hundreds. I would not want to make hundreds of these without the help of some crafty friends who own a Silhouette cutting machine. I would also not like to weed out the hanging chads like I had to do for this one. Next time, I will use a brand new blade, make the elements a little heavier and yet maintain its intricate design, and I will always double cut....lol.

When you look at the photo below you'll be able to see all of the areas that were in need of welding to complete the card and the look. If you decide to try making one of these, I would love to see your design.

As you can see below, I took many pictures of this project. I created a cover for the wedding invitation with a paper band to hold it closed. You can't really see the lovely, sparkling crystal beads placed on the band. The beads did add that special touch needed to make such a lovely wedding invitation look even more special.

I almost forgot to tell you the meaning of Papel Picado. It means to punch out of paper. Just imagine how many of these lovely wedding invitations and other Papel Picados were made by hand. Each delicate detail was cut by hand. Thank goodness! We have cutting machines.











Sunday, October 12, 2014

What A Year

For those who have been trying to reach me by email; I apologize for the lack of response. I just got out of the hospital. All I can say is; "What a year!"

My dear husband and daughter both had appointments. My husband was scheduled for surgery this past Friday and of course, as many might recall my dear daughter, Jennifer had her appointment in Ohio regarding her diagnosis of Chiari on Thursday. On Tuesday of this week I began having horrible left flank pain. I went to work, but the pain became almost unbearable so I made an appointment to see my doctor. He thought I had diverticulitis, pancreatitis, or cholectytis since my appendix had already been removed. He sent me to the hospital for a CAT scan which revealed I have a rare condition named; "Epliotic Appendagitis".

The morning I learned my diagnosis the pain had become more severe, my doctor was ill and had to leave work so I went to "Dr. Google" since the nurse could not explain what was going on and told me my doctor wanted me to go the Emergency Room to be admitted. As I read the information on this condition I learned it was self-eliminating with time, pain meds, and anti-biotics. He had already prescribed me two anti-biotics so I tried taking Ibuprofen for pain, used a heating pad, and of course took my anti-biotics. I had no appetite, but forced myself to eat some chicken noodle soup. Obviously, I had decided to try this first. I should have went to the ER. By morning I was so very sick to my stomach and in pain beyond words. My husband took me to the ER and they admitted me to give me IV anti-biotics, and pain medication. The surgeon wanted me to have yet another CAT scan. It was so horrible since I was (please excuse the graphic wording) projectile vomiting. My husband was beyond upset with the state I was in. I was so sick, drugged up on Dilaudid and yet I was awaiting news from my daughter who was now in Ohio and waiting for her test results and second consultation.

I asked them to please not give me anymore Dialudid until after I spoke to my daughter. Finally, I heard from Jennifer and the news was what we expected. She will have surgery on November 7th. They will make a one inch incision behind the base of her skull, through the Dura and place a patch that will expand the skull area so her brain will no longer lie on her C2 vertebrae. She'll be in the hospital for about 5 days. The recovery time will be about eight weeks and the hospital will be sending out a visiting nurse and social worker two days a week. We are all going to pitch in to help her recover and take care of all the home and family things she would normally be doing.Please keep her in your prayers.

Back to the other part of this story. After I heard from my daughter, she offered to take my husband to the hospital at 5:30 in the morning so he could have the surgery on his foot. She is the sweetest, kindest, and thoughtful child/person. We hated asking her to do this, but our other daughter who lives in town has a three year old and college classes so after classes she picked up Jennifer's children from daycare and took care of them while Jennifer went with my husband and came up to check on me. Our grandchildren were out of school on Friday. Can you believe the timing of everything.

The doctor wanted me to stay in the hospital one more day.I practically begged to be released so he told me if  I could keep lunch down he would let me go home. Before this I had not had anything to eat or drink for 48 hours. I ate a small lunch (admittedly, I had to fight my body and brain to keep this lunch down) I made it home before I was sick again. The good news is, my husband is in pain, but doing well for a man who just had his foot cut open, a screw placed in it and stapled back together, my pain scale went from w big 10 to a 5 and I know each day will bring us all to better health.

There is no true reason for "Epliotic Appendagitis". I'm not obese, so the surgeon believes it may have been brought on by all of the physical work we've been doing around our home since the remodel. The best way to explain this is: our bodies have adipose (fat pockets) that protect the peritoneum (lining of our colons) each of these pockets have a blood supply with veins and arteries. These veins and arteries attach to the peritoneum and provide a blood supply. The ones in my body suddenly became twisted and turned creating bulges, inflammation, and infection. Thus the excruciating pain, The surgeon will not do any surgery unless I have a recurrence. I'm thankful for this and now am praying to have a quick turn around. This can last anywhere from 10 days to 4 weeks. Since even the nurses at my doctor's office and in the hospital had never heard of this I thought I would draw up a picture I hope explains it better. I sure am glad this is rare. I hate to think of anyone getting this.

If I wasn't the one living this past year I would not believe all of this could be going on in one family. Thank you all for your love, thoughts, and prayers,






Monday, October 6, 2014

More Card Shares - Geo and Braided Cards

Some time ago I shared a lot of  "Geo" shapes on the Silhouette Plus Forum. In my efforts to organize the member file shares, I lost or deleted them. One of our members posted a challenge on braided cards which reminded me of past shares and had me searching for the Geo shapes. After I couldn't locate them on the forum I searched in my files. Sure enough, right there in a folder with its own name, "Geo Shapes" were the files. I took the files and made card files of them so I could share them here with all of you and on the Silhouette Plus forum.

You can decorate/ embellish these cards in all sorts of fun ways. I cut all of these out them without placing any time to embellishing them. I just wanted to be able to show a sample of the various card styles so you all could see if you wanted to give them a try.

Three of the four Geo and Braided card file is in one file. I forgot to share the "Heart Geo" card file so I went back to the drawing board to make it. Both sets of files are in Studio V2 and V3 formats. I hope you all find lots of fun and creative things to do with these card files.

Oh, I almost forgot to explain how easy they are to make. Once you cut the card file, all you have to do is go counter clockwise tucking the larger of the cuts under the smaller cuts. On the braided card you do the same except you start at the top, fold down the triangular cut and tuck it into the smaller cut below it. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me. Have a wonderful, crafty day.

One more little note; if you have never visited the Silhouette Plus forum, please sign up and stop in for a visit. You'll find loads of helpful information, inspirations, and free cutting files.

Here is the link to download the Geo.Braided, and Heart Geo card cutting files: Download Here







Sunday, October 5, 2014

Pop Out- Not Pop Up Card, Update, and Silhouette Mat Tip

Hi Everyone, I hope all have been doing well. Today, I want to blog about a couple of things and share a fun card and instructions.

First, I want to update everyone about my daughter. Sadly, we still have no conclusive news or updates. After my daughter's trip to the Mayfield Clinic in Ohio they decided she needed two more tests ran because of some of their findings from her MRI. She will return to the Mayfield Clinic this week. I'll let everyone know what we learn. Many thanks to all of you who have kept my dear daughter, Jennifer in your thoughts and prayers.

Now for the Silhouette mat tip. I've been so busy and end up squeezing in time for crafting and creating. While I was trying to make some Print and Cut cards my mat was becoming less and less sticky. I didn't want to stop to spray it with some repositionable spray so I grabbed my blue Painter's tape, tore off some small pieces and placed them on the four corners of my mat. I made sure not to cover any part of the registration marks. It worked like a charm and I proceeded to cut all of the rest of the Print and Cuts in this manner. The nice thing about using the tape is that it can be re-used. I just placed it on the edges of my craft table.


At last, the card. I saw an adorable birthday "Pop-Out" card on Creation by Patti Blog. She makes the most wonderful cards and crafts. I loved to visit her blog. After I saw her adorable birthday "Pop-Out" card I decided to make my own cutting file and make a couple of Halloween cards. Patti didn't have any instructions on her blog, but I remembered doing one like this some time ago. It can be tricky to get just right. If you make the angles of the folds correctly, your images will pop out to the left and right. For those new to this technique I would recommend making a sample card with scraps first. It is important to follow the instructions to a tee. Make sure to tuck a small piece of the upper corner under the "band" that holds the "center card in place. Make sure you don't glue the slits at the top portion of the card. It's where the images will pop out to the side.

I've created a template of the Halloween Pop- Out Card with the face of Frankie I used for my boxes. I'm sorry but, I couldn't share the card front image it's copyrighted. I'm sure all of you have some fun Halloween images to use for the front of your cards.

When you pull up on the center "message" or "Image" part of the card Up and Out! goes the arms or any image you choose.

The instructions are included inside the zipped file. It also contains Studio V3 and V2 cutting files. If you would like to give this card a try; you can download it here ---> Halloween Pop-Out Card

Here's some pics. Please make sure to hop over to Patti's blog to see her adorable Birthday Cake Pop -Out card.









Monday, September 15, 2014

Video Tutorial on Making the LED Light Up Cupcake Card

Hello everyone, I was asked if I would make a video tutorial on how to make the circuit board for the LED Light Up Cupcake Card. The cutting files, template, material list, and material list links can be downloaded below. It's all in a zipped file.

Please excuse the shape my hands and nails are in. This is what hands that do remodeling side work look like...lol.

I used my cheap Flip video recorder and it behaved itself, not one, but two times.....woohoo! I made the first video and by accident deleted the wrong video, so it was back to the drawing board. Trying to go too fast often times makes me do "do-overs". All in all, it got the job done and I hope those who are visual learners like me will find this more helpful than just the written instructions.


LED Lighted Card and Instructions





This weekend I tried to keep my mind busy with other things. My daughter did the same. She and her fiance went away for a weekend of fun with friends.

Today, I would like to share a fun card cutting file. Our son's birthday is coming up and I wanted to make him something fun, so I made an LED light up birthday card. I thought this card would be fun for others to make. I finished his card, then made a cutting file for those who are new to LED circuits to be able to do a "Print and Cut" they can follow. Inside the file you'll find a supply list, instructions, and both Studio V2 and V3 cutting files. I hope you get a chance to try this fun activity. It's also fun to do with children, You can use regular aluminum foil if you don't have copper tape. You can also find these supplies at other stores if you don't want to wait to get them from Amazon.

Even though I included a materials list in the folder I will also link them here. Copper is a better conductor, but the aluminum foil worked great.

Flashing LED 5mm Lights 


Coin Cell Batteries

Copper Tape


You can download the file here ----> Light Circuit Cupcake Card

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Battle of Chiari



Some of you already know my dear daughter has been diagnosed with Chiari. She has multiple symptoms and was scheduled to have surgery in August. Because of Chiari malformation, we have learned this has been the cause of many of her medical issues. She went to many doctors and kept on being told she suffered from migraines.After a long night at the E.R. and the results of her MRI we learned she has Chiari. This malformation has caused her brain to protrude and the base of her skull now lies on her C2 vertebrae. She has a build up of cerebral spinal fluid and, any other complications of Chiari.

The reason why she decided not to have the surgery in August was a bad feeling about having the surgery here by a neurological surgeon who immediately said surgery and never really took the time to explain more about the dangers of this surgery or other complications. We also learned he didn't have a great "medical report card". After she had her first consultation with this Neuro surgeon she put a lot of  thought, research, and prayer, into making some very important decisions. She decided to go to  the Mayfield Clinic in Ohio. She has her consultation this coming Tuesday, September 16, 2014. I know most of the blogging I do is about the Silhouette cutting machine, but today I want to make it all about my daughter and the many others who suffer with this.

Please, watch the video above to learn more and say a little prayer for my daughter, the family members of Chiari patients, and of course the many who have battled and continue to battle this debilitating neurological disorder. It is scary, painful, and life changing.

May the good Lord bless all of you for your prayers and thoughts,
Debbie

Monday, September 8, 2014

Update: Ding - A - ling Alert on Halloween Treat Boxes

Update: Ding-a- ling alert: I don't know what I was thinking when I posted each cutting file as a separate donation. When anyone sends a donation they will receive all 3 Halloween treat boxes. I'm so sorry If I created any confusion. These days, I have so many irons in the fire; I stay in a state of confusion...lol

Please, if you may, make a minimum donation of $3.00. Since  I use PayPal they take out a fee.The time spent to design, create a sample, photograph, and  post is a love of crafting, but it is also a lot of thought and work to complete a working design.

I would like to extend my sincerest thanks to all of those who support my efforts. Blessings and hugs, Debbie

P.S. Don't forget to grab your Happy Fall Banner freebie posted below.









Monday, August 18, 2014

Silhouette PixScan Camera Calibration Video Tutorial

Good day everyone. I know some have had problems figuring out how to calibrate their cameras for the new PixScan. I was asked to make a video tutorial and would have enjoyed making one for everyone, but my computer has been behaving like a beaslty thing and won't let me render a video for YouTube.

The great news is; I found this lovely video tutorial on YouTube. Anice lady named Mary made this and I think it will be very helpful in explaining the PixScan camera calibration.

Here is the link: Silhouette PixScan Camera Calibration Video Tutorial 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Studio 3.1.417 - How To Resolve Print and Cut Issues

Everyone pretty much knows that the Print and Cut feature is one of my all time favorite feature of the Silhouette cutting machines and Studio software. After installing the newest update I've noticed my regular (not talking PixScan here...lol) have been off. Being the perfectionist I am and also being used to getting such "perfect" Print and Cuts in the past; I don't like seeing white edges. I know others have noticed their PnC's have been a bit off too, and some more than others. Below are the steps to resolve this issue. I hope this is helpful for any of you who may be having some Print and Cut problems.

Calibrating Instructions 

1. Close Silhouette Studio

2. Clear preferences ( If you don't know how to do this; please follow the instructions below)

3. Open Silhouette Studio

4. Go to the “Send to Silhouette” screen

5. Right-click and select “Calibration”

6. Print out a calibration page and put it on your regular mat

7. Move the blade with the arrows over to be near the cross mark and press the button to “Calibrate”

8. Assuming it is spot on, leave it alone

9. Exit out and try your print and cut job again

Sometimes pushing through a single calibration test tells the machine that it is actually calibrated and corrects any concern. It’s like the machine is confused until the software tells it that it is supposed to be calibrated and the machine falls back in line.


Clearing the Preferences Instructions

Please note, removing your Preferences folder will remove any saved preferences, including custom material types that you may have created. To clear your Preferences folder, please navigate to and remove the following highlighted folder:
PC – C: > Users > my_user_name > AppData > Roaming > com.aspexsoftware.Silhouette_Studio
Mac – Macintosh HD > Users > my_user_name > Library > Preferences > com.aspexsoftware.Silhouette_Studio
NOTE: If the above folder cannot be found on Mac, you may press SHIFT CMD which reveals a small window where you can type the name of a folder to locate it. If the above folder cannot be found on Windows XP, go to your Control Panel to select "Files & Folders" to select the View tab and select Show hidden folders. If the above folder cannot be found on a Windows Vista7, or 8, go to the Control Panel to search for the term "Hidden Folder" in order to select the option to Show hidden folders.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Marcy's Baby In A Crib

I was so happy and excited to receive pictures and even a little video of Marcy's "Baby In A Crib". She did an absolute fabulous job on this. She personalized it to the tee! Her son and his wife will expect a baby boy in October. Marcy, personalized it using a teddy bear and quilt that will match her soon to arrive grandson's room. The other little thing that made me melt is when I saw the "Pat the Bunny" book in the crib. This adorable little book has been the all time favorite of all my grandchildren and youngest daughter. How clever Ms.Marcy! I honestly wanted to give her a real standing ovation for her creativity.

Thank you Marcy for sharing these photos and ideas. You made this card so very special and personalized; I know it will forever be cherished.

If any of you would like to send me pictures of your "Baby In A Crib" creations, I would love to share them on this page of my blog. You can always email me by clicking on the "Email Me" link on the right hand side of my blog page.

These photos are so inspiring. I hope you all enjoy them as much as I did.





Here is the video Marcy sent. This was so sweet of her to do this!
video

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Updated Review on PixScan

I don't know where to begin. I'll start with the scanner problem. I just wrote Silhouette to let them know that I still cannot get the scanner to work correctly and have exhausted all of my intellectual resources to try and figure it out. I've tried every bit of advice they have given me plus some ideas of my own. Sometimes, we just don't get the things we think we should get easily. I know others have done this with ease.

Let's move onto the camera. At first, I had a time getting just the right picture to calibrate my camera. Once, I learned the exact type of picture it will take it was easy as pie. Today, I calibrated my other computer, took pictures of some printed images I had never cut  out. I had printed them for some project I never did get around to finishing. I made sure to get them in lighting near a window and was careful not to cast a big shadow. PixScan can be "Pixy/ Picky" about big ol' shadows...lol. Today, I took a picture of an image 12 times. This totally frustrated me and I just gave up for a moment. Well, shortly afterward I decided to try again. I made sure to take at least 3 pictures of these images to make sure I got a good shot. Well, low and behold; PixScan accepted the first photo I took. Good lighting is the key. Near a window is best as long as you don't cast shadows over the image.

 Even thought these were pretty clean images without a lot of other things around them, I found it difficult to get that just right auto trace so I did an internal offset, then I also did some node editing to get the cleanest cut lines I could get. The cuts were decent, but I always seem to expect perfection. I'm a bit too picky from time to time.

At this point, I don't think I'm going to be using PixScan for images since most of my images are digital and I love the Print and Cut features of Silhouette Studio V3 software. I think Studio V3 ...ROCKS!. I'll stick with scrap pieces of paper, vinyl, and fabric because I have lots of scraps and what a nice way to use them.

If I ever get the scanner portion to work or get it figured out; I'll make sure to give a report. This is my honest review. All of you may have an easier time of the auto tracing than I did, but for me, PixScan is going to be my way of using all of my lovely scraps. The perfectionist in me wants to see now white on the edges of any graphic. From time to time, I got white edges with the regular Print and Cut. Of course, I am no pro at the new PixSCan and may be doing something wrong or I may even need to do some calibrating. PixScan is still so new to me and I have a few things to learn. Again, I have to say; I love, love the PixScan for taking pictures of the scraps and finally using all of the scrap stash I have.

For those of you having problems with the camera calibration; I'm sharing a photo of what your picture should look like. In the beginning I thought I had to capture the entire letter size paper. It's just necessary to keep the calibration sheet in good lighting, take a "bird's eye view" Picture and when you do this, make sure those tiny dots look lined up nicely. I hope this will be helpful.

Note: ***If you have a Canon, Powershot SX 120 Is you can use this image to calibrate your camera.





Here are some photos of the image Pixscan accepted and how nice the trace lines were on my images. I was so disappointed to see any white after I spent the time I did to make sure they were perfect. Don't despair, I'm sure it is just a matter of some calibrating that needs to be done and there are so many cool ways to use PixScan.





Tuesday, August 5, 2014

More About PixScan

The new PixScan software was released yesterday. If you haven't downloaded it yet you may want to get it now. Here is the link: Studio 3.1.417 PixScan

I've had the PixScan software and mat for at least three weeks. Since so much has been going on around here I haven't been able to dedicate as much time as I would have liked. I finally, buckled down and was determined to at least get my camera calibrated so I could try out the camera feature of PixScan. Once I realized what I was doing wrong when trying to calibrate my camera it was easy as can be. I was was taking the photo at too much of an angle. You need to take a photo of the calibration page (which is a bunch of black dots you'll print out on regular copy paper) from a "bird's eye view". Once I was able to get the right photo, it was like magic! The new software recognized my camera and even named it. All I had to do, was import the photo on the calibration page, click on the plus under the PixScan calibration area and there it was "Cannon, Powershot SX120". 

From here, I couldn't wait to try it out so I grabbed an old card that had a bunch of daisies on the front. I auto traced the center daisy and then auto traced the centers of the other daisies to use at a later time. Next, I opened up some shapes like stars and wheels, duplicated them and had drawn a square around the top portion of the solid blue and then chose this as my selected "Nesting" area, then chose "Use Selected" to use the square I had drawn as the area I wanted the shapes to fit into. I then clicked on the "Nest" and again, like magic they all nested perfectly into the area of blue I had drawn the square. I then deleted the square to make sure it wouldn't cut. I just wanted the stars and wheel shapes to cut. 

This week I will be having a phone conversation with a representative of Silhouette. He will be walking me through the steps of using the scanner. For some reason, I just can't figure this out. I've been close, but just cannot figure out how to "stitch" the image of the mat. Like most, I only have a regular flatbed scanner which does scan the size of the Cameo PixScan mat. 

Since I am in no way affiliated with Silhouette, I don't receive discounts, payment, or any other perks I am allowed to give my honest opinions. I can honestly say, Silhouette is not like some other companies whom pay for positive feedback and reviews from blogs, YouTube and other media sources. Nor do they ever have any plans of doing such a thing. When I told them the only thing I want to be able to do is give my honest opinion on anything I test they told me this is what they wanted and I am entitled to do so. Right now, I'm not on board with the scanning feature, but hopefully after the walk through I'll get the technique down and will be able to report back with some nice results. 

I did want to let everyone know the PixScan mats are only for the Portrait and Cameo cutting machines. I've noticed a drop in price on the Cameo cutting machines and believe there is a new cutting machine on its way. This is just speculative. Silhouette will not speak of this to me. Of course, I asked....lol. 

For those who don't believe Silhouette places their consumers first I would like to make a few comments. Over time I have corresponded with Silhouette contacts. I have asked and even nagged about having certain features. I asked for layers, the ability to bring in PDF files and auto trace them. I've also asked for a cutting machine that will have the ability to cut heavier materials easily and so much more. There are many things I have requested along with other Silhouette users. I have to give a round of applause to the Silhouette America company. They have delivered to us, their valued customers, so many nice things. I also asked to have the ability to save files as .svg files. No, we don't have this ability yet, but I know they listen and if they don't add this ability it's because of good reasons I may not understand. Some have set out to nit pick the company and their efforts completely apart. They obviously do not know nor have they learned the things I have learned about how much they value their customers and their customers opinions. Yes, there was an error made when the first release of Studio V3 came out, but they left us options to use V2 and continued to work hard and pay a lot to get the software perfected. They were simply trying to keep us, the consumers happy by introducing new software we wanted. I love the cut by color, line color, and layer features. 

This may sound off the wall and paranoid and is not the thoughts of any Silhouette America employee. This is all me. I have wondered from time to time when I've read negative things about Silhouette; if  these people are plants to sabotage the good name of Silhouette and all of the tireless efforts they have made to bring us the best. Every day, Silhouette employees work hard, throw around new concepts and ideas to bring us better and better.They are not perfect, they will make mistakes, but they are the most consumer friendly company I've ever dealt with. Even before I ever knew one person at this company I was able to get superior customer service and technical support. Silhouette technical support has been my teacher and never did they get tired of hearing from me. Again, I applause this company, their employees, technical support and customer service.  

Oh, while I was carrying on I forgot to mention another belief I have. Seeing the price of the Cameo going down, the new "Business Edition" of the software I really think there is a new Silhouette in the making. Again, I have not and probably will not be told one way or the other, but I do believe....lol time for me to start saving some crafting dollars. You all know I'll have to have one...lol.

Now that I have this off my chest....lol. I want to show a picture of how the "daisy card" image came into PixScan. This was easy, I just did a screen shot. I'll try and get the other pictures shared when I get the time. We are doing some kitchen remodeling and things are topsy turvy.

   

Friday, August 1, 2014

Testing Silhouette PixScan

By now I'm sure many of you have read or heard of the new PixScan software. I've been testing the new PixScan software with the new PixScan mat. This new software will be a free software upgrade, but will require a Studio 3 upgrade to use the PixScan software.

Using the PixScan cutting mat will save room on your paper and you can Print and Cut a larger paper size because you will no longer have to do a Print and cut by print from your printer. Anything you place on the mat in the black line cut area can be scanned or photographed, brought into Studio where you will add the cut line/ auto trace. After this, you simply place it like you would your regular cutting mats and watch your Portrait or Cameo electronic eye as it easily reads the registration marks on the PixScan mat.

While I was testing the new PixScan mat and software I ran into a lot of problems, but I did this test as a "blind" tester. This means I was sent the mat and the download link for the software upgrade, was given some basics and asked to be sort of a guinea pig to see what I would do with the mat and software. I was so busy testing the scanning portion of the PixScan, I never got around to trying the camera feature. This is something I'm anxious to get the time to try.

I have to fess up; I'm a baby...lol. After trying multiple things with the scanning portion of the PixScan mat and software I had a phone conversation with Silhouette to whine to them and tell them I wasn't impressed and why. Silhouette thanked me and apologized to me at the same time. They understood how difficult it might be for one to go in "blind" and test it with successful results. Well, the bad news is; I received a PDF with instructions. They were still pretty basic and I had even tried doing things the way the instructions advised. Once again, I didn't get great results. By this time Silhouette should be used to me so I whined about it again. Silhouette America is going to make a video tutorial. Thank goodness! I'm such a visual learner and know this will help. In the mean time, I'm holding back on a review until I'm able to test it the right way and hopefully can figure it out with the video. I know I'm doing something wrong, but Silhouette and I can't figure out what I'm doing. I sent them my last test cut images and it turned out perfect on their side. .

Okay, I have to add this to my already long blog. I felt like I was pretty savvy when it came to figuring out new gadgets, software, and other fun stuff. Right now, I'm still in the "blind" about the PixScan software and mat and feeling a little dumb. I believe in Silhouette products and the company so I will wait for the video and report back after I'm able to use this like it should be used. I know the concept has many possibilities and how awesome is it going to be not to have to print those registration marks and using up paper space.

If you haven't heard about the new PixScan software and Mat; you can find more information here:

Silhouette America PixScan 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

How It All Started....Baby In A Crib Card and More

I finally have a couple of new cards. The one card was so much work, but it was also so much fun. Every now and then I need to make cards I place up for donations as this helps to keep me in supplies and doing the things I do to help others. I hope you all will enjoy them. The Baby In A Crib Card turned out so cool! I'm also adding a new Swing Card for those who make a donation. I appreciate the support I've been shown and I hope these cards will bring you lots of crafty fun  .

What a week! As usual, I keep many irons in the fire and often find myself getting lost as I go from one project to another. This being said; I can't resist a challenge. I have a dear friend who likes to test me in a good way. Every now and then she will find something on the internet (usually Pinterest....she's addicted!...lol....sorry Patty, but you admitted it...lol) Patty sent me a picture of a card she wanted me to make as challenge for making cutting files. I enjoy a good challenge and seem to make time for them. Insomnia has really helped  me to keep up and get a few fun things done that I haven't had the time for.

Her challenge was the cutest little bear in a bed. I love paper piecing, bears, and dimensional cards so I took on this challenge and am glad to say it was successful. Of course, this made me think of other things to make. I haven't designed any new cards in a while. Since the design of the Bear was a challenge card made from a photo I'm not sure if I can share this or not.

With baby showers and new baby arrivals coming up soon, my mind went to baby things and I created the Baby In A Crib card. It is so... cute! My dear husband it so sweet. He told me he can hardly wait to bring it to work to show the ladies. I spent more time on making this card than any card I've ever made. I couldn't stop thinking of things. This card comes with all sorts of goodies. I made bibs for them head bands, mobile, bottles, bears, hats and made sure to make the babies in three different skin tone colors using a skin tone color chart.

When I made the very first Baby In A Crib card my always thinking husband thought it would be cut if the baby would move in the crib. I loved his idea! So I added a homemade Wobbler. You should see how adorable this little baby looks wobbling in its crib. I wish I would have made a video. If I get the time, I just might have to make one.

Some time ago I made a video showing how to make the homemade Wobblers then I remembered it was one of the videos I deleted by accident. Good news! I found another YouTube tutorial by Charming Custom Crafts and she has a great tutorial. I do mine a little differently. After I loop the wire and leave a little bit of wire on both ends to poke through the holes I bend them flat, tape over it then glue another circle on top to cover the wire. If you would like to take a look at this video you can take a look here -----> Homemade Wobbler Tutorial

Below are some photos (I still wish I could take better photos) of the Baby In A Crib, and Swing Card 2014. These are the cards I will email to those who make a donation. The Baby In A Crib is in Studio V2, Studio V3, and .svg format. I totally forgot to convert the Swing Card 2014. Oh, I almost forgot! The Baby In A Crib card comes with a cutting file envelope for mailing and giving. The nice thing about this card is that it folds flat. I did make the mobile a little too high, but it fit in the envelope I made so all is well. The first card I made will probably just sit around. After seeing this baby with the Wobbler I wouldn't want to give it to anyone any other way. Did I say it is so....Cute!...lol Thank for looking and again, thank you for your kindness and support.

Update: I took the time to make a video. Of course, I'm not too good at making videos either...lol









Challenge Card








Monday, July 14, 2014

Hurry! Hurry! Hear All About It..... Newspaper Trinket Box and Candy Dish

Lately, I haven't had a lot of time to craft as much as I like, but this weekend we had two of our wonderful grandchildren. Our granddaughter loves to make things so I decided we would try our hands at making some recycled newspaper projects. We decided on making a trinket box (this is what my granddaughter wanted) and I made a candy dish. She loves her blinged up trinket box and really enjoyed painting it up with the Ink Splash watercolor wash. She had a hard time making the rolls so the grandma (me).... lol had to make all of them and do the rolling to make the base, lid, and circles. She helped with the gluing and picking out the embellishments. I hot glued the embellishments and at the age of six she didn't need to use the glue gun even though she wanted to try.Not on my watch; I've burned myself one too many times to let her use the glue gun. :)

Here are some pictures of the end results. The supplies and directions are below. My granddaughter is so proud of her trinket box. She said she was going to sleep with it.







Here are the supplies you need.

1. Several about three packets of the lovely fliers they insert inside your newspaper.Fold over into thirds and cut. The strips will be about 10 inches in length and 3 inches wide. They don't have to be perfect.

2. A 12 inch wooden skewer and a marker with a large barrel or something similar. You'll be using these to roll the newspaper.

3. A fast drying glue. I used Allen's Turbo Tacky Glue

4. Gloss-Lustre' Modge Podge

5. Optional: Krylon Triple Thick Glaze

6. Thick rubber band






Start on the lower left corner of the strip of newspaper and rolling with the skewer. When you get to the end you dab a bit of glue to hold the strip closed and you will now have a tubular piece. Roll enough of these to make the base the size you want it to be. I used about 30 for the candy dish base.

After you have all of the strips rolled begin flattening them out with your hand or a rolling pin. My hands got tired and I learned the rolling pin was easier.

Roll the flattened pieces on the skewer. Make sure to roll it fairly tight. When you get towards the end, add a dab of glue to the next tubular piece and insert it in the end of the one you just rolled. Keep on doing this until you reach the base size you would like. ** Hint: Have a rubber band handy. If you need to leave your project or use your hands for something else the rubber band will hold the circular base together until you are ready to glue it.

Once you have glued the end of your base set it aside and begin rolling the edge pieces. Depending on which one you like. If you like the large holes in the candy dish you will use the wide barrel of the marker. The bottom pieces are smaller and use two strips rolled together and the top circles use 3 pieces. If you like the tight rolls like the ones in the trinket box you use a skewer to roll these to the size you want.

After you have made your circular rolls you can now glue the to the edges of the base. You will need to make 2 rolls as shown in the pictures.

Now it's time to make the lid. You will do this in the same manner as the base. Every now and then check it to see how much you need by holding it over the opening and see how it will fit. You will be shaping the piece so you need to remember to allow room make the lid. After you have the size you need, you can begin shaping it. Be careful and gentle as you shape the lid. You do this by gently pushing up the center and working your way down. If you've ever quilled you'll understand how easily this is done. It's really easy, even if you haven't quilled, you just need to take it slow.

After the lid is finished, you will want to brush the Mod Podge on the inside and let it dry a little while, then paint the top of the lid and the dish. If you want to use a watercolor wash do not Mod Podge until after you paint. My granddaughters trinket box is painted and the candy dish is not painted. Please don't place the lid on the dishes until it is thoroughly dry and no longer has a tacky feel to it. If you dish continues to feel tacky spray it with the Krylon triple Thick Glaze.

These are quite lovely, but they are time consuming. When I make more of them, I'll make some of the rolled trips while watching T.V. and have piles of them ready for the next dish.

I hope everyone will get the time to make these. They look really nice and can be quite decorative.