Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pumpkin Carving Cards (part two)

I have some more details to share about making cards with images cut into the card front.  I use this method quite often and there are a few things to be aware of when you design a card of this type.  (Remember, you can click on any of the photos or screen shots to see a larger image).

I always try to use as few cartridges as possible when I create a card - I generally work in Design Studio and I don't have a Jukebox so I challenge myself to keep the cartridge count low.  If at all possible I find an image that can be adapted to work for my project on the same cartridge that has the image I will be featuring.

In order to create an A2 card, I needed a rectangle.  If you look at the images on the Pumpkin Carving cartridge, you will see that there are no rectangles.  This is not a problem - you can use "hide selected contour" to eliminate the interior design and stretch a square to create a plain rectangle.  I chose one of the pumpkin faces because there would only be a few lines to hide.  I needed an image with more than one line to hide so that the lines would stay hidden when the file is closed and reopened in Design Studio.  (This is not a problem on the Gypsy - when only one line is hidden it will stay hidden on the Gypsy).

I set the slider bar at 5 1/2 inches - this determines the height of the image.  If you look in the Shape Properties Box you can see that the width does not match the height in this particular example but the shape on the mat appears to be square.

Using the handle on the right center you can pull the side of the image to the right to create a rectangle.  You can also enter values in the Shape Properties box to alter an image in Design Studio.  There is a bit of a complication in this case because the handles are not true to the edges of the shape on the right side (this is true with many images so you always need to check the actual dimensions).  On the Gypsy, you can choose the "actual" size icon to get a true sized image when the values are entered in the width and height boxes.

The values that you enter in the Shape Properties box do not always match the boundaries of the shapes.  A rectangle in George will have the "handles" exactly on the lines of the image.  The image I chose for the card is about 1/4 inch "off" from the true measurement.  You can see this in the area with the red box which highlights the difference.

I adjusted the size of the second image to match the dimension of the George rectangle.  The actual width ended up at 8.75 inches.

Once the rectangle is created, you need to hide the lines inside to make a plain card base for an A2 card.  Select each of the interior lines by left clicking on the line - it will turn pink.  Then right click and choose "hide selected contour" from the bottom of the drop down menu.  The screen shot above shows that you now have a plain rectangle to work with.  (Of course, you could always just use the George rectangle or another plain rectangle from another cartridge if you want to).

Next I chose the images to cut into the front of the card.  The pumpkin face is sized at 2 inches and the "Happy Haunting" is set at 4 1/4 inches which makes it easy to center on the card front.

The outer line of each design needs to be hidden to create the cut out effect.  On the Gypsy, hiding just one line is fine - it will stay hidden when the file is closed and re-opened.  For Design Studio, an extra step is needed so you don't have to rehide the lines each time you use the file.

Add another image that is exactly the same size and at the same position on the "Y" axis.  Then hide the outer line and one interior line on the original image and hide everything except the line that you hid on the first image on the duplicate image.  If you have copied and pasted the second image, you will need to slide it to one side before clicking off the image and then close and reopen the file to make the "hide selected contour" option functional on the copied image.

In this screen shot you can see the two images with different parts hidden.  The end result is that the interior lines will cut once and the outer line will not cut at all.  You need to move the second image into exactly the same position as the original image by changing the "x" value to match.  Type the value into the Shape Properties Box and hit enter.  Once you do this and click somewhere else on the mat the two images can not be separated so be sure that you have the proper parts hidden or you will have to start over  (this is a change from the last version of the software).

Here is the card with the images aligned.  to be sure that the items you want to cut will be cut, do a preview on a blank page.  To make the preview work more clearly, check weld on the card base so it will just show the bold cutting line with no color.

Here is the preview of the final card.  The extra steps we took will make the file ready to cut as soon as it is opened and you won't have to remember to re-hide any lines.  If you would like another very simple step by step explanation of how to do this, here is a LINK to the blog post I made when I first figured out the workaround back in February of 2009.

After all the trouble you went to to create the file with the shapes cut out it would be a shame to put a liner in the card that stays attached to the front - you would hardly be able to tell the difference from simply cutting the shapes and adhering them to the card front.  So here is a way to add the liner but keep it separate from the open shapes.  Cut a piece of cardstock just a tiny bit smaller than 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 inches.  I think this piece is 5 3/8 x 4 1/8 inches.

Score the cardstock at 1/4 inch and fold along the line.  It is best to score this line first in order to get a straight fold on such a small width.

Add a strong adhesive to the narrow section.  I use Scor-Tape in the 1/8 inch width.  This tape is very strong and also easy to work with.

Adhere the thin section of the liner to the front of the card.  Be careful to keep it aligned so there is nothing that extends beyond the edge of the card.

The liner will now block the center of the card so you can write on the inside.  When the card is viewed from the front the effect of the cut outs is preserved.

You can add as much or as little decoration to the card front as you like.  I will probably add some pen stitching and possibly a few brads to finish off this card.  A stamped sentiment or handwritten note can be added inside.

I encourage you to try making your own file following these directions.  If you are having trouble let me know and I will "clean up" and post my file to share.  These cards are a lot of fun to make and have many interesting variations - have fun creating!

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Another Pumpkin Carving Card (part one...)

I have designed several cards with the Pumpkin Carving seasonal mini cartridge.  Here is a peek at another card - this time with an added liner page to highlight the cut out areas.  At first glance this cartridge seems to be fairly limited in the ways it can be used. However, with a little Design Studio or Gypsy magic you can do a lot more with the fifty images than merely make simple cuts.

Here are the first 25 images on the cartridge.

The second 25 images include four interestingly shaped pumpkins.

When you choose an image and hide the outer line of the design you can create a card with a cut out (on the right side above) instead of cutting an image to adhere to a card or other project (on the left).

I used this technique to create the first version of the card I shared a few days ago.  If you combine one of the images with words with an image of an object you can create a card front with both a sentiment and a Halloween shape that will be fun to decorate.

There are some tricks and tips that I want to share with you about the steps you need to take to create these cards.  I will have to wait until tomorrow to do that since I had a long drive home today and I need to "regroup" and take a few more photos.

Once you get started experimenting with this idea you will find all sorts of interesting possibilities! Stay tuned for part two....

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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Digital Page with Reminisce Palette

Today I had a chance to visit with my sister and brother-in-law and transfer the last items to my son at college (it is nice to have relatives who live near your college and can store things for you!).  It is hot weather again so I am glad there wasn't much left to do on the college move.

I have more Cricut projects to share but I got distracted doing some digital experiments with some old family photographs.  I decided to use my Creative Memories StoryBook Creator Plus 3.0 software and the Reminisce Digital Power Palette to make a quick page with a few old holiday photos.  One of the things I like about digital scrapbooking is that you can do it anywhere and don't need a lot of space or supplies.  With my laptop and my fairly extensive library of digital content I can work on projects when I travel quite easily (satisfying my need to create daily!).

I wanted to share the process I used to make this page very quickly by adapting a predesigned page.  I have screen shots of the page as I worked on it to show you how easy it is to transform an existing page to something that looks totally different.

I started with this 12 x 12 page from the Celebration Predesigned Pages.  This is one of many sets of pages that is available as a free download on the Creative Memories site - here is a LINK to the free digital artwork page.

First, I changed the background paper to a deep purple patterned paper.

Next I changed the first layer by filling it with a paper from the Reminisce Palette.

Then I changed the fill of the second layer,

and the photo mat.  Same page - entirely different look.

I added a different paper to the strip of diamond shapes.  This page seemed very plain with the more subdued papers so...

...I decided to use some flowers instead.  These embellishments are also part of the Reminisce Digital Power Palette.

I decided to change out the background paper for another purple patterned paper because I realized that I had used the red and purple from the same style of papers right next to each other and I wanted more contrast.

I dropped in some old family photos from a holiday meal at my grandparent's farm (this was before I was born).  I thought the black and white looked rather harsh so...

...I changed the photos to a sepia tone.

I added decorative photo mats to the three images.  This one is called "Elegant 1" and is one of the frame effects included in the program.

I added some decorative center "pearls" to the flowers to coordinate with the photo mats.  These are from an older set of pre-designed pages in the Vintage theme.  I added shadows to all of the elements to provide some dimension.

The last step was to add the word "gratitude" and the ornate button which are also part of the Reminsce Digital Power Palette.

Here are the two pages side by side.  By working from a template you can create a lot of pages in a a hurry.  Of course you can also customize your pages and move some of the elements around, add additional photo spots and more text and word art.  The sky is the limit and there are no mistakes - just click the "undo" button if you don't like what you see!

I could also recreate this page in paper using the Reminisce papers and some Cricut cuts from the Reminisce Accents cartridge.

I'll be traveling again tomorrow but once I get home I will be staying home for a while!  I will try to catch up with emails and comments tomorrow night when I am home - it is always tricky to keep up while I am away.  If you have emailed me or sent a message via a blog comment, Facebook or otherwise I should be able to get back to you soon.

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Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Birthday Card and a surprise meeting...

I did warn you earlier this month that our family has many birthdays in August.  Here is yet another birthday card.  This one is a "tri-shutter" card - one of my favorite styles to make.  I have posted several other cards in this style - here is a LINK to the older posts.  Scroll down to the oldest two posts to find all of the directions on how to measure, score and fold these cards along with the dimensions of the layering pieces.

Here is the closed card.  I used both striped and solid papers for the layers and  outlined the solid paper with a Martha Stewart glitter pen.  I used some of the felt embellishments from Creative Charms to decorate the card.  These are part of the August "Deal of the Month" in Pink and you still have a couple of days left to place an order for the pink or blue deal.  Here is a LINK to the page on the Creative Charms site.

I added some pink gradient gem stickers to decorate the felt embellishments.  I used the darkest pink on the butterfly and flower on the front of the card and the medium pink on the inside flower.  These were also part of the Deal of the Month.

I used the Core'dinations Core Couture glitter cardstock for the "Happy Birthday" inside.  The sentiment is from the "Stamping" Cricut cartridge.  This is a solutions cartridge (not to be confused with the "Stamped" full cartridge) that is often overlooked.

There are lots of simple sentiments and some wonderful frames on the base level.

The shift level is full of great images that have a shadow and a blackout option so you can make three layered images.

Here is an example of the cake.  The shapes are relatively simple since this cartridge was designed to be used with the Cricut Cuttables stamp material to make your own rubber stamps.

I have had this cartridge for quite a while but had not used it recently.  I used Design Studio to search for the various "Happy Birthday" sentiments and found quite a few.  The screen shot above shows some of them.  Using Design Studio I was able to choose the proper size for my cut and then just go downstairs and quickly make the cut the "old-fashioned" way (yes - I actually pressed buttons on the keypad for a change!).

Here is one more view of the card that shows the folds and angles a little more clearly.  The blank area by the second flower is for a hand written note.

If you like this style of card, you can make up some of the base cards in various colors, add the layers and keep them ready to decorate with sentiments and embellishments for the occasions when you need a quick card.  People are usually enjoy this style of card because it is a bit different and it is also fun to try to figure out how it was made!

Now I have to tell you about something nice that happened today.  I left my Dad's to head up to New Jersey but couldn't resist stopping in the local shopping plaza where there are both a Michael's and an A.C.Moore store right next door to each other.  I was doing a quick cruise of the aisles looking for any great sale or clearance items and I heard someone say something along the lines of "that woman looks so familiar - I think she's the one on the computer."  I looked up and realized that I was the woman she meant.  Kimberly recognized me from my blog and the message boards!

We had a nice chat and of course "talked Cricut" while her patient daughter waited.  Ashley snapped this photo of us with my little purse camera and I told Kimberly I'd give her a shout out on today's post.  It was fun to be "recognized" and Kimberly had some very flattering things to say!  I also found out that Kimberly has a blog.  It would be fun if some of you would head over there and say "hi!" and tell her I sent you.  Kimberly's blog is HERE and you will find many lovely cards that she has made and shared.

I hope you are having a great weekend - it is hard to believe that summer is nearly over...

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