Saturday, January 31, 2009

Pretty Flower from a Frame

I have been making a lot of these medallion type designs - using various frames and welding them together at angles. This layered flower is made from a frame on the Home Accents cartridge.

Here are the cuts on the mat - if you carefully saved all of the inner pieces you could cut two or more colors and fill in the various areas (similar to the Indie Art frame I posted last week - here is a LINK).

Here is the single flower cut - this would also be pretty adhered to vellum similar to the eight pointed star (LINK here)

The offcuts make pretty flower frames.

Here is another photo of the two sizes.

I will be posting more of these over the next week or so - but tomorrow (February 1st) is a special day - be sure to stop by and see why!

Flower from a Frame

Friday, January 30, 2009

Tulip Mesh (an example of "hide contour")

I created this file last year when I got the Storybook cartridge. When I tried to cut it - I made a mess! I think the paper I was using was just too thick and perhaps my settings were off. At any rate - I tossed it aside and that was the end of that!

Below you can see a close up of the incomplete cuts - it was not worth trying to punch it all out to complete the cuts.

Today, when I was trying to get some tidying up done in my scrap room, I found the sad mesh - and decided to give it another shot.

I think I might use this with some photos from a trip to the Netherlands we made while living in England. One of the stops was at a "restored" fisherman's cottage and there was a lot of Delft tile. I love blue and white and the tulips from the design I repeated for the mesh seem like a good fit.

I cut the mesh again - on slightly thinner cardstock and made sure that the cuts were going through completely. When I was done, I realized that, while most of the mesh lifted easily from the mat, there were two "trouble spots" - one that is just inherent in the design and one that I could fix.

The leaves of the tulip motif curve in such a way that there is a small bit to be removed on one side - the cut is there but it requires some "poking out" since it is so tiny. The other trouble spot was the area at the bottom where I used the little circles to align the images - they turned out more like scratches due to their tiny size.

Since we now have the "hide contour" feature, I could eliminate those pesky little holes - and I did (it took a while to get them all!). To remove the holes, you left click on the exact line of the part you want to hide - it will turn red.

Then you right click somewhere else on the mat and this pop up menu appears - click on "hide selected contour" and it will turn to pale blue (which means it is hidden and will not cut).

I tried another cut, this time using black paper (because the pattern also reminds me of the iron work on a gate).

My third cut has no marks on the areas where the holes were and it was much easier to just have the one area to fuss with as I cleaned the cut.

Below you can see the bits that remained on the mat after lifting the cut - I saved the larger rounded ones.

They look like little tabs to me - if you fold them in half they could be attached to a photo mat or card element for a bit of interest.

I may use this mesh as a backdrop for the page, or I may not - I haven't decided yet. Here are the photos I had from the cottage - I think if they are cropped and matted in red or yellow it might look nice - check back in a few days to see if I completed the page(!)

Tulip Mesh

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Pretty Medallion with a Heart Surprise!

The Storybook Cartridge is full of interesting designs - and when you put them together in different ways you can create even more! This little medallion is made from a frame overlay which I rotated and welded to create a sort of rosette.

The design is not adjustable due to the varying angles I used. It will work on a 5 x 7 card (above) or an A2 card (below).

The overlapped frames create a small heart shape which points away from the center and is repeated around the ring.

The center cut out is a sort of reverse scallop that you could use for another project.

Just a quick post for tonight - I have some blog housekeeping to do!

Heart Surprise Medallion

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Eight Pointed Stars

Last October I did a file for a Tag Star using a tag from the Wedding cartridge (here is a LINK to the post) - these are formed by overlapping silhouetted tag shapes and trimming the points to produce a star shape. The photo at the left is the first tag star I designed.

In December, I did two additional versions by request of a reader, using the Tags, Bags, Boxes and More cartridge (here is a LINK to the post for the star and a LINK to the post for the snowflake).

I recently had a request from another reader for a tag star similar to one she had seen on a card - I don't have the photo to post here (and I couldn't use it since it isn't my photo) but the card had a double layered eight pointed star made from diamonds which met directly at the center. If I can get a link to the original design I will try to add it to this post.

At first I thought this would be a simple star to put together, but then I remembered that the diamonds available on the cartridges are of an unusual dimension - the angle is larger than 45 degrees so the eight sided version would not work using a predesigned diamond.

I needed to build the design in pieces. Unfortunately, since elements needed to be turned at angles, I could not make this an adjustable design. However, I did spend the time to do it it three sizes and in both George and Plantin Schoolbook so it would be useful to many people. You can even cut this with only the trial version of the design studio software.

Here is a photo of the three sizes of stars these files will produce.

In order to waste less paper, I adapted the design to eliminate most of the extra length on the points so only slight trimming is required. Below is a photo of the stars before trimming - you could actually use them this way if you like the look!

It is easiest to trim the points by using small, sharp scissors and cutting toward the center - first going around the design in one direction...

So the star looks like this...

and then trimming toward the center and going around the star in the opposite direction.

Below is a photo of the remainder of the paper after removing the stars - another interesting design

Due to the slight difference between the uncuttable area on the baby bug mat and the Expression mat, if you try to cut the George file on the Expression you will have to do a bit of trimming.

Below is a screen shot of the star on the baby bug mat

and a screen shot on the Expression mat - notice how the uncuttable border is a bit wider.

For the Plantin Schoolbook file I moved the design but, I know that some people have the Expression and George but not Plantin so you would need to do a small amount of hand trimming - the cut will look like this on the mat

Trim each side on the angle toward the center

and then carefully remove the cut from the mat (I used my favorite wide putty knife for the job).

(all of the above is irrelevant if you cut the Plantin version on the Expression mat!)

Here are some photos of the various sizes and colors layered to give you some ideas....

Two cuts on a card front

Triple layers in two colors

Same sizes layered in two colors - yellow on top

Same sizes layered in two colors - purple on top

Triple layer variations

I decided to adhere vellum to the stars to build an ornament for a card. I used my Creative Memories Precision Point Adhesive and dotted it on the back side of the frame

When the adhesive dried to clear I adhered the stars to some vellum (this was office supply vellum and not as pure white as I would like but I used it for the test version).

Then, once again trimming toward the center, I cut away the excess vellum

When they were trimmed, I gently curved up the edges...

and then placed the smaller one in the center

Here is the unadorned star on a 5 x 7 card..

I first tried putting the layers together with a foam dimensional

However, I thought it was a bit too high and the center moved out of alignment easily, so I decided to use several glue dots on top of one another to adhere the center - this seemed to be more stable.

If you happen to have this paper stack from last year could even try fussy cutting and adhering the stars on top of the printed stars for an interesting effect.

You can go on to add as much or as little bling as you like - be sure to let the Stickles dry completely or you may end up with a few smears (as I did since I was in a hurry to finish this to photograph and post!)

Don't throw away all the little leftover triangles - you can use them for another project!

There are so many possible variations - I'd love to see some of the cards and ornaments you might make using these cuts.

Eight Pointed Star - George

Eight Pointed Star - Plantin Schoolbook