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Monday, September 27, 2010

Whale thank you card

Ever since I saw JustJin's "I Whaley Love You" card on her blog, I've been thinking about doing something with that file.  I needed a thank you card this week, so I was able to use it for that.

I changed the sentiment for the whale and used the other whale in the Seven Seas Graphic collection (altered - it seems ike I alter everything!), but the colors and design on the outside are very similar.  But I had been thinking about was what to do different with the inside.  I wanted to something with the water blowing up from the blowhole of the whale.  Here is what I came up with.
The outside was printed with the block method of colors in PSE, and cut on the cricut using MTC.  The graphic files are from the Seven Seas collection and the background is from Banner Day (colors altered in PSE), "wave".  Love those googly eyes!

The inside has a little surprise. 

I really didn't know how to make this type of pop-up card, so I winged it as I went along.  The water fount is hand drawn and folded.  I printed the graphics for the inside directly on the card stock before hand-cutting the card base from GP cardstock.  I actually made the inside of the card first and completed the front last.

Here's a close up of the Glossy Accents that I used for water drops.

I hope you enjoy!  My thanks to JustJin for inspiration.  If you want to pick up any of the collections or papers, they are still on sale at Lettering Delights - just click the link at the top of my blog.   

Friday, September 24, 2010

Bird Card, using PhotoShop Elements

OK, I was still fiddling with the card and deciided to print out some blocks of digital paper with a design and then cut.  It worked well. This is a picture of the printout with the color blocks after cutting.

Here is the final card made from these elements.  The papers are from the same collection, Banner Day, and were altered in PSE to change the Hue/color.   A little card bling and the card is finished.   Sentiment on the inside, so this could also be used as a note card.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Little Birdy told me Birthday card..."Make the Print-n-Cut" technique (Step Four)

Step Four: Printing and Cutting

You are now ready to print.  Load your paper (or card stock) into your printer.  In MTC, go to File-->Print Preview to see how it will look on your paper. Here's how it looks for my printer.  Notice that here is lots of room around the area that you want to cut that is in color.

In MTC, turn off the eyes to the cutting layers.  All that will be showing on your sccreen will be the blocks of color.

At this point, you can do another Print preview to see what it looks like.  If you have "outline shapes" checked, there will be black outline around the color box.  If you want you can uncheck this box so that there is no outline.

Now you are ready to print!  Make sure your paper is loaded (double check that "Print to wireframe is not checked), and go to File-->Print. Your print out should look similar to this, just blocks of color on a blank page.

Place this paper onto your Cricut cutting mat, taking care that it is aligned well on the corner with the sides straight.

Load the mat into the Cricut and cut.  Your results should be similar to this:

And when removed form the mat:

You can now assemble your bird and place it on you card front.
(That d*ng little right leg fell into my keyboard between the keys, took me forever to pull him out.  He has a little mark on his leg, a scar from his adventures.)

Card background is made with files from the papers in the Banner Day Mini Album Graphic set.  I brought them into PSE and altered the hue to my liking, and printed out the result.  But PSE is another tutorial. 

A Little Birdy told me Birthday card..."Make the Print-n-Cut" technique (Step Three)

Step Three: Arranging the layers for cutting and Adding Color Blocks

Each of these shapes will need to be cut from different parts of the paper, so move them around.  Make sure they have plenty of space between them as a "safety zone" (more on that later!).

Bring in a rectangle (from Basic Shapes) and place it behind the beak and legs.  Place it on its own layer and send it to the bottom. Size it to be bigger than the legs and beak (leave at least 1/2 inch on all sides).   You may need to move your pieces around a bit to allow for this safety zone.

Do the same with the black.  Place it on it's own layer and color it black.  Of course, you will not need to do this for the white shape of the bird (the shadow shape we made) since the paper is white!

See next post for printing!

A Little Birdy told me Birthday card..."Make the Print-n-Cut" technique (Step Two)

Step Two: Filling in the Body of the Bird  (optional)

You don't have to do this step but I wanted to. I want the bird's body to be solid, so I want to get rid of the outline of the beak within the shape of the body.  If you want to do this, follow these steps.

Pull the bird vody to another part of the mat, away from the rest of the file (or you could make a copy and use this first to be sure that you get it right).  You will want to weld in a shape that will fill in that space (be careful not to cover up the eyes!).  I chose the oval shape from Basic Shapes and find a size that will fill in the roundness without covering the eyes.

Weld these two shapes together.  After the weld there will be a little hole left.  No problem!  Just do a break, select the offending piece and delete it.

Now you can select all the pieces and join together.  Change the color back to black and your image should look like this:

Continue one to next post for next step.

A Little Birdy told me Birthday card..."Make the Print-n-Cut" technique (Step One)

I have been looking at ways to use MTC as a print-n-cut program.  MTC will provide a printout of the mat (through File -->Print). I've been prrinting out digital paper for crafting for awhile so I thought this would be easy enough.

First start with the file of the bird.  I choose this one because it was free with membership with Lettering Delights (you can check out Lettering Delights with the link at the top of my blog).  The bird is from Banner Day graphics set gs_bannerdayfun.

Step One:  Bring in the bird to MTC

Bring in the bird by opening it in MTC through Pixel Trace at the standard setting of 127.   This will be the black body of the bird.

Bring in another bird, but trace this one at 207.   Through experimentation, I found that 206 will not trace the entire bird, but 207 will.  So I choose to go with this setting (I figure it might be more sensitive to small changes).  This will be used for the outline of the bird as well as a way to obtain the orange of the beak and legs.

In order to obtain shapes for the orange of the beak and bird I need to omit the first bird (black body) from the remainder of the bird.  What will be left will be the orange parts (which I can not get to trace separately).   I can do this with Boolean join of the 2 shapes.  Make a copy of the first bird and lay it over the second bird.  Pay careful attention to the shape of the beak when overlapping the two.

Now do a Boolean Join (Ctrl-U) and choose the option that leaves just the beak and legs.  With me it was the second choice.  (BTW, doing a screen capture at this point always causes an error in MTC for me and makes MTC shut down.  Lesson: be sure to save often!)

You probably have a few extra pieces after the join, not just the beak and legs.  No problem, just move the beak out of the way then select and delete the extra pieces.

I move the legs and beak out of the way and then importe another bird at 207.  I make a shadow of this bird, using a shadow width of 0.0600.

Now delete the bird and just keep the shadow.  You now have the shapes that you need to cut!

But I like to check that everything fits together well, so I move everything into place and color it first. I change the color of the shadow to white and then place the shadow behind the body shape. Next select the beak and legs, put them on their own layer and change their color to orange.  Then arrange them into place on the bird. 

Here is the completed bird file, with the colors changed and the pieces fitted together.  Note that each of colors is on its own layer.

See next entry for Step Two.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Whooose thankful Owl card

I used the Lettering Delights graphic set Mulberry Lane for this.  This is my first cut-n-print card, using a modification of JustJin's technique  (check it out at her blog http://underacherrytree.blogspot.com/p/tutorials.html).   The graphic sets are on sale now for just $1, just click the Lettering Delights link at the top of my page to get to the site.
This picture shows some of the details with the glitter pen and dimensional magic:
This last picture is of the sentiment, which I printed out in MTC.  I cheated and did not cut it with MTC becuase I was a little pressed for time and it was quicker (although less accurate) to hand cut it.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Treat box with Hello Kitty card

     A friend of mine just got a new kitten, so I wanted a box or bag for some small kitty gifts.  I thought I would make my own and this is what I came up up with: 
    I used the box uploaded to the Make-The-Cut gallery by user # 633, "#1889 Treat Box".  I wasn't really sure how to use it so it may not be supposed to be used like this.  I enlarged the pattern so it had to be cut out on 2 sheets of paper because I wanted it about 5" across in the front.
   I designed the kitty card myself using the face from this page of coloring pages: http://www.free-coloringpages.net/Hello-Kitty-Coloring-Pages.htm   The card is attached to the box but it also opens up for the sentiment.  I used repositionable tape to hold it closed.  

Saturday, September 18, 2010

MTC, the Expression and some vinyl...

I've been busy exploring (and getting lost sometimes!) in the world of electronic die-cutting machines. I am having a blast figuring out how to cut and what to make. So far, I have been using designs from others but I am starting to step out on my own some.
Here is a photo of the mailbox decal that I designed for my mailbox. It did not photograph well because of the reflective vinyl that was used for the decal. This was one of my first vinyl projects.