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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Yes, clearance sale - and check out the bundles!

Lettering Delights has a HUGE clearance sale going on now! Here iy is, straight from the horse's mouth:
Going out with a BANG!!!
It’s a parade of products you won’t want to miss during our Clearance Sale. During the month of July, we’re retiring hundreds of products at spectacular savings. Look for alphabets, fonts, graphics sets, paper packs and clipart all just 50 cents each!
As part of the sale, we’ve bundled together six sets of our most star-studded offerings at ridiculously low prices. Each of these Super Bundles offers between 40 and 50 products priced at $10 - $20 each. You’re sure to find something that will ignite your creativity
And while you’re busy shopping, these bonus savings will blow you away—Take an additional $25 off a purchase of $60 or more. At checkout enter coupon code: SparkleSavings

The $25 savings does not apply towards the new Simple Shapes Super Bundle, but don’t forget! This fabulous bundle includes over 780 new single-layer images in formats for many popular cutting machines. Now available in .ai (V.8), .eps(V.8), .svg, .dxf and .pdf(v1.5) file formats, grab the whole bundle for just $49 through Sunday, July 10.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Gerber Daisy Border (free)

Another border to add to your collection. This one also includes a lace that can be threaded with a ribbon.
You can download the file here.

And there is an awesome bundle deal at Lettering Delights for their Two for Tuesday deal.. If you do not already have these sets, check out this great deal. It is a bundle worth $44 for just $5 until July 4. Check it out  (image below if linked).

Free Border file for MTC - Circle leaf

Here is the first border that I have finished for you. I used the half circles created in this post in this design.
It can be used as a simple border or used around a corner as well. You can download the file here.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Friend card

I detailed in this post on how to use the Lettering Delights (LD) paper packs within MTC without taxing Windose resources. Here are photos of the card that I showed you how to create in that tutorial.
A little bit of detailing with Copic markers brings in dimension.
Remember, these Cut Its sets are on sale right now, a Super Savings bundle. Here you can see the contents of the Asia set. (image is linked)

Update for the border file - corner added

I finished the corner for the arched border file that I had previously released here. You can easily adjust the length of the border as needed.
The file can be downloaded here or by clicking the image above.

Creating textures for MTC from LD paper packs (revisited)

With all the cute paper packs at Lettering Delights (that match colors in the the graphics), I had been using this method to convert them to a usable file in MTC. But thanks to a comment by a reader (thank you cfine!) I have been doing it a different way on some of the papers. This does not produce a seamless texture. My method uses her idea but is a bit different.

This method does involve using PhotoShop Elements (PSE), but the other one did as well. You may be able to do this in other graphics programs (maybe Paint, or PSP).

Open the file in PSE. For this tutorial I am using the harlequin file from the Lettering Delights At Home Paper Pack.
Now go to Image-Resize-Image size. Change the numbers to get a usable result. I like to stay below 528x 528 pixels for MTC (even lower is better) but it is a compromise between your image quality and how much you will tax your system resource with the larger files. If I only have one texture, I will use close to 528. If I have more textures in a project, I tend to lower the pixel number. For this I chose 520 pixels, 4 inches and 130 dpi. Most of my projects are 4-5 inches or less, so this is the perfect compromise for me. You can alter to suit your needs.
I save it as a png and include the information (size and pixels).
For use in my project, I right click to bring up the menu for textures.
And navigate to where my texture is saved and open it.
Before applying the texture, I will re-size it using the scale option so that the texture is just a little bit larger than the shape. The mat that I am filling is 4.7559 x 3.6235. I enlarge the texture (using the slider and arrow keys) until it is 4.76" square.
Here is what my mat looks like after applying this texture.
I am now ready to cut! Do you notice more Lettering Delights sets in there? I totally mixed-and-matched this project. The Chinese Character is from DoodleBat DB KanjiWords A-G, the bamboo is from the Asia SVG (part of the new Cut Its Simple Shapes), and the paper is on sale! Stay tuned for a post of the card itself - I am getting ready to cut it now.

Speaking of sales, you did read my last post about all the 0.50 sale items at Lettering Delights? Try doing a search for Paper Packs, and start about halfway through - you will see gobs and gobs of sets on sale! Check them out - now you can easily use them within MTC! (image is linked)

Clearance sale?

I think they are clearing out the older files at Lettering Delights. If you want to search out some goodies, consider starting towards the end of the list to look for them.

For example this page (page 19 if you set it to 50 graphics per page)
 has these graphics - perfect for those of you who do not like the "cutesy" graphics so well. This would be great for a heritage album.
No idea is given on how long these will be on sale - so grab them while you can!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Secret sale?

Is there a secret sale at Lettering Delights? I found several graphics sets on sale for 0.50 each! Here are just a few pictured:
I checked my usual sources (email and FB) and saw no posting about this. Click on the image to see the results yourself - scroll down until you find the graphics. So if you have some graphics on your wishlist you may want to go through it to see if any of them are on sale.

Simple Sets

It appears that at least 2 of the sets may be missing some of the graphics. Farm and Garden each have less than 15 - the ad stated "at least 15 in each set". Specific items in the preview (the tractor, barn, fence, duck and goose) are missing as well.  I have contacted Lettering Delights about this and will let you know their response.

I have also asked if the option could be available to download the bundle together instead of individually. And I asked if they file folders could be rearranged in the future so that the file types are grouped (all AI files in one folder, all SVG together in a folder). This will make them easier for the end consumer to access.

Do you have any other comments or suggestions? I know they do listen to their consumers. I would be happy to pass on any comments or you can contact them yourself at support@LetteringDelights.com 

And on another note, I have been working on some simple border files - which will be offered free when I finish them. Here is a sneak peak. 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

It's here! The Simple Shapes SUPER Bundle!

If you haven't been to Lettering Delights yet, you need to check out their new bundle - at a special price! These sets will normally be bestselling at regular SVG prices ($4- $5 a set) but in the bundle they are less than $1 a set. And don't forget to use your 25% off coupon (see below on how to get a coupon); this reduces them to about 0.74 a set!
You receive a 25% off coupon in every email receipt after you download a file, even if it is a free file. Right now you can download this file as a freebie and receive a coupon.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Simple card and free border file

You know me - I have been singing the praises of the Silhouette SD with Print-n-Cut (PnC) designs but did you know it also excels at intricate cuts? I had been wanting to try one for a while so I played around with making a double loop border today. And of course, I made a card with it. But you could also use it for a border on a scrap page as well (just don't hold your breathe until I do one though, lol!)
I have a screenr video (no audio) that shows how to make the border in MTC. It was very simple to make and the Silhouette cut it perfectly. Video is best viewed full screen and at HD.
Here is the layout on MTC, I designed it on 2 pages, one for the card base and one for the layers. I did fill up the open spaces with extra elements but you can delete them if you don't want them.
The texture above will not be included in the file. If you would like to pick it up, it is from a Lettering Delights paper Pack, Dee-licious (image is linked). I liked the vintage look of the brown paper.
Here is the card.
But you know me - I am never happy with my first result. (It was talking to me, really it was! It said, "I need a little something extra right here!")  So I added this dress form that I got from the Silhouette Online Store. Of course you can switch that out or even leave it blank (unless it starts talking to you as well!)
Click here or on the image below for the border file. 
BTW, I am playing around with making a frame with this - it is not finished yet but stay tuned!
Click here for the MTC file for the card (minus the extras) or the image below. 
Enjoy! I would love to see any projects that you make with my files!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Etched cup/mug.

Not quite sure what this is - it is too shallow to be a mug, I am thinking it may be a small soup bowl. It was nice and shiny and spoke to me, "Take me home, take me home!" So I did, I think it was 0.25 at Good Will (a good place to look for practice pieces)
I am telling you, this etching stuff is rather addicting. If you look closely at the black in the cup (it is black contact paper), you see another design for more glasses! Help! I am an etching monster! Run away before I try to etch you as well!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Customized clock...revisited

OK, there is a reason I do not do much scrapping - in my mind everything has to be perfect because someone might see it in 50 years. I mean, a card, no big deal, they'll look at it and throw it away after a bit. But a scrap page? Oh my! Well, I guess that's the reason I don't do many clocks either - they will be around for a while and must stand up to scrutiny, including my own, lol!
I couldn't help it. Every time I looked at the clock that I thought I finished yesterday, it seemed to talk to me. It said,  "Oh, come on, fix me up, you can do better!"

What's a girl to do? So I did, bought a new clock and all.
The clocks at Walmart are of better quality than the Target ones. They are also cheaper ($3.97, and come in white, black, silver, and red). The front face is real glass (no scratched plastic!), and you can remove the outer casing by removing the six screws on the back of the clock. This makes it easier to get in to  work on the clock face.
After removing the screws, turn the clock over and separate the clock back from the glass and front casing.
This clock was also slightly larger - larger than what I can cut with the Silhouette using PnC (which is 7.71").
But the printing on the clock face could be covered with a insert of 7.70" so this is what I attempted to do. Here is what my MTC layout looked like. Notice that it is just under 7.71" wide.
Since I had a red clock, I changed the ring to white and created a layered circle (black, white, and red) for the markings. This white ring perfectly complements the outer white space (which is actually the original clock face backing beyond the 7.71" diameter that I could cut). And I changed the font as well...in for a penny, in for a pound! I cut a narrow strip of white contact paper (1/32") to place on the hands so that they would be more visible. I also like that this clock has a second hand that was red - nice touch - it worked right into the kitchen theme colors.  And this clock isn't talking to me, it is just happily waiting to be gifted tomorrow. Smiling. Happy to be as perfect as I can get it.
OK, here it is finally - a clock that I live with- well, live with seeing periodically without wanting to rip it off the wall to re-do it, lol! Hope you enjoyed the journey.

Customized clock

This an old craft for me, I have been personalizing clocks for several years. Sometimes I find a graphic, sometimes I use a photo (nice for wedding gifts), sometimes I scan fabric to match a clock to room decor. I have even scanned a wall paper border graphic and used that for a clock background. The difference with this one is that I did not have to hand-cut it, I let MTC and the Silhouette do that for me!

The clock is a 9" one from Target, I think it was less than $5. Be sure it is less than 9" unless you have a wide format printer. I measured the clock face (that was already in the clock) and found it to be just less than 7.5", and the printed part was less than 7.2". My printer will print up to 8" wide, so this size was perfect for me.

Since I planned for this to be a Print-n-Cut, I added the registration marks to the lowest layer of the MTC file and locked it. Then I designed the clock face with a circle of 7.23 inches and added a center circle cut-out. Since I covered up the numbers, I added small dots for the 12-3-6-9 o'clock markings and added a red ring. Her colors are red,white and black - I felt like this design needed a bit more bright red. Here is my MTC layout:
I printed off the design in MTC (be sure to use matte paper for best results), then cut it as a PnC. Now you are ready to add your customized clock face to the clock. It takes a bit if finesse but usually you can pry off the plastic cover from the clock with a screw driver. Just look for the tabs and push in one of them to remove the cover. Once the cover is removed, gently pull off the hands of the clock and place your new clock face inside. I used tape runner to adhere mine so that it would not warp the paper. Reverse the disassembly process (replace the hands, then the cover) and you are ready to gift!
I think this clock would be easier to read with white hands but when I tried coloring them (I used a white gel marker, lol!) it looked cheesy so I removed it. Here is what it looked like:
I am not sure if you can see it but the gel ink did not cover evenly and was also a little lumpy. Yuck! Thank goodness it came off easily with Windex. I suppose painting it with some of the Fusion plastic spray paint (specifically designed to paint plastics) would be the best option but I did not have any on hand.

This is an easy project and cheap as well. Give it a try!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday Mania - all about weddings

It's that time of the year - I am sure you have a wedding coming up. These graphics (6 sets for $5) are at a special price - but just until Tuesday at midnight. So hurry up and grab them for that wedding coming up!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Using your own patterns (fills) in Silhouette Studio

I went exploring, looking for the way to back up your files in Soilhouette Studio. The files are encrytped but you can do a back-up so that you will not loose them. While doing that, I found the "Patterns" folder and went exploring and experimenting....and found a way to import and use your own pattern.

This is probably just useful if you have a pattern that you use all the time. It involves overwriting one of the the original patterns so some people will be a little hesitant to try it. But I made a back-up first and figured I couldn't make any irreparable mistakes!

Find the Silhouette program files on your computer. Every OS one is a little different, but here is where mine are on my Vista:
See the arrows? The com.aspexsoftware.silhouette folder? That is the folder that contains the encrypted library files. Back it up and you have a back-up of your library files. I obtained this information second hand - but originally from a Silhouette support person - at http://forum.make-the-cut.com/discussion/14293/you-can-back-up-new-silhouette-designs-from-their-online-store/p1  Be warned - there is a lot of baggage and drama in the discussion, just weed through it looking for the good information!

OK, but on to patterns. See the patterns folder - with the "?" mark? The patterns in the subfolders are actually the ones you see in the Silhouette Studio program! Doesn't this look familiar?
I thought I would experiment and add in one of my own patterns. No  problem - I just copied it over into one of the sub-folders, opened up SS and went looking.  :-( No good, this did not work.

But then I though, maybe it needs the original name. So I renamed my pattern to same as one of their files, and copied it in. Voila! I have my own fill.  Now it still shows up as in the menu choice as their pattern (the red-orange argyle) but when I select it, it fills with my pattern!

Here is my pattern, notice how it is renamed as red-orange argyle.png:
And here is is used to fill an object in SS, notice that the red-orange argyle still shows in the menu (but I know it is my fill, lo!):
Again, this is not perfect but if there are some patterns that you never use and want to change them out for your own, it can be done. And if I can do this (I have some computer experience, but I am definitely no hacker!) then there is hope that the makers of SS will re-write the program to allow us to add our own fills. Hope that helps! Happy crafting!

Oh, and by the way, you can already use your own patterns in Make-the-Cut!. They are called "textures" but it is a very easy to process to add your own in MTC. In MTC it is important that they are less than 256x256 pixels in size, otherwise they slow down Windows. IMHO MTC is actually superior to SS in both ease of use as well as options. Both programs trace image files but with MTC you can also use SVGs, something that SS cannot do at this time.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Coming soon!

Lettering Delights has something up their sleeves! Check out this sneak peek!

Keep your eyes open for these soon.