Thursday, December 15, 2011

Elegant Snowflake Star Ornament

When I create a design, I usually plan to use it on a card or a page.  My favorite types of designs to make are medallions and snowflakes - the more complex the better!  I started out to make this design as a card topper but decided it would be pretty as an ornament to hang on the tree.

This is another design that I created in the Silhouette Studio software.  After years of stretching Design Studio and the Gypsy as far as I could to get the results I wanted, it is such a pleasure to work with the Silhouette program.  In just a few clicks I can do things that would take a lot of tedious work to do with the Cricut software.  I actually designed this star with five layers, however, as I cut it I decided to use only four of them.

All of the cardstock I used is metallic and shiny - perfect for hanging on a tree and reflecting the lights.  Here are the first two layers assembled.  I can easily create blackouts of the shapes I draw and gradually build up a design with colors in the Silhouette program.  The cardstock I used here is from American Crafts in the Foil pack.

The third layer is also from American Crafts but it has a different texture - ribbed instead of linen.  In this layer you can clearly see the star center.  My original design added another color for the center section of the star but I thought it was getting too busy so I eliminated that layer.  You can try something similar with a Cricut image by starting with a lace shape and creating new layers by using the "hide contour" feature to fill in symmetrical areas of the pattern. 

The final lacy layer on top adds all of the sparkle!  This is the Dazzle cardstock from DCWV - I am totally smitten with the Dazzle papers for the ease of cutting in my machines and the incredible sparkle.  The ornament really catches the light and your eye is drawn to it on the tree.

I added a simple ribbon loop to hang the ornament.  You can assemble a second set of images and place them back to back for an ornament that will look good from every angle.  It will be eight layers thick and very sturdy when finished.  You can also cut just one extra bottom layer and add it to the back to cover the ribbon and create a shiny solid back for the ornament.

Here is another view of the ornament hanging in the tree (I borrowed a spot on the Santa tree in the front hall for the photo).

I tried to capture the intense sparkle in these photos but I think you really have to see the Dazzle paper in person to understand how brilliantly it shines!

I know that many of you have written to me to ask about some of the other options available for die cutting machines.  I have a lot invested in Cricut machines and cartridges and I will continue to use them for some of my projects.  Unfortunately, the Cricut plan seems to be to continue to limit the creativity of users by requiring that all design work be cartridge based.  In other programs, you are free to draw your own shapes (this design started from a simple squiggle) and you can create truly unique designs.

I realize that many people prefer to simply cut designs that someone else has created - and find great satisfaction in choosing the colors and papers, assembling the cuts and finding creative uses for the images.  I enjoy doing this as well, but I am most fascinated by creating new designs.  If you are also interested in designing your own images, let me know via comments or email.  I am thinking about starting up my online classes again next year and, if there is enough interest, I might do some sessions on working with the Silhouette software.

Don't forget to leave a comment over on THIS POST if you would like a chance to win some of the ribbon I used to make these tags.  I'll post the lucky names on Friday morning.  I checked the weight at the Post Office and have the envelopes stamped and ready to mail as soon as I receive addresses from the winners.

The dining room tree is finished.  I had to use some Glossy Accents to fix a broken glass icicle (it worked like a charm!).  A box full of wooden items for Christmas projects that I ordered with the illusion of having enough time to make them before next week arrived today - I think they will have to be for next year!

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  1. I admire your work--very creative and lovely.

  2. Diane. Would love your input on other cutting software and machines. I love my cricut, but hate its limitations. Have been looking at other software. I have followed your blog for awhile and value your opinion.
    Thanks jacki

  3. I recently purchased the Silhouette Cameo after reading how it cuts much cleaner images than the cricut. So far I'm impressed, but would love to learn more about creating with this machine. I've followed your blog for a long time and have taken a couple of your on-line classes in the past, so I'm definitely interested in anything you have to share.
    Merry Christmas.

  4. Your snowflake is beautiful. I would not have the patience that it would take to make one like this on my gypsy.
    Thank you
    Linda in Stanwood. Love your tags also

  5. I'm sure that u r always told how great u r,& how wonderful ALL of
    Ur projects come out. I content that the wonderfulness of your craft MUST come and DOES come from YOUR INNER BEING! How bless your
    friends r to have someone as yourself, whos beauty from with-in is manifested in one-way thru this
    craft. I knkw that sometimes our good-est, self isn't always
    appreciated by thoses who should. I'm thankful, that YOU have found the means to-share your Given Gift
    w/ALL of us. May He/She who began this work in you, co tinue 2 bless u, so that we, who are the ones also bless, may co tiune to know of His wonders, when U share.
    I wish U & Ur's the Merriest of Merry, and A Blessed New Years.

  6. The software program Make The Cut works with both the Silhouette sd and the Silhouette Cameo. It's an amazing program where you can draw your own designs, import svgs, jpgs etc to make your own shapes.

    I do scrapbooking and was able to create a gargoyle! using the program. I find MTC much easier to use than the Silhouette software. Updates are free. I am not affiliated! just love the program.

  7. What a pretty ornament! You are so creative, and I really enjoy reading your Blog. I have been a follower for over 3 years now and have learned so much from your posts. I have also taken some of your online classes that were offered by you and JenC. I recently purchased the Silhouette Cameo because I too am disappointed with the limitations PC has placed on their products. I have a lot invested, and like you, will continue to use my Cricuts, but would love to learn more about the Silhouette. I would also be interested in taking a class or two about the CM Storybook Creator software. Will be watching next year to see what you offer. Merry Christmas.

  8. I've loved my Cricut from the moment I got it, but I would really like to be able to cut something besides what comes out of a cartridge. I'm looking forward to seeing your take on the Silhoutte Cameo.

  9. You continue to amaze me. That design is magnificent. I'm just new to Cricut so venturing off into another system is out of the question for me but I do enjoy seeing your creations.

  10. Love this ! Very stained-glass looking! TFS!

  11. Hi Diane, I too, like my cricut E and Imagine and will continue to use them, but am now really wanting to learn how to create my own images. I am fortunate enough that my Sure Cuts Alot still works on my Cricut E (even with the latest firmware), so I try to tinker making my own images, but get myself confused. I am saving up for a cameo and that will be my next big purchase. I would love to take online classes from you if you offer them. Thank you for all you do for the web community.

  12. Oh wow! Those snowflakes are awesome. They look like stained glass in the church.

  13. Beautiful snowflakes! The paper you chose it perfect in showcasing the glimmer! I have not researched the Silhoutte but I'm intrigued by its capabilities of creating your own designs. You did a fantastic job! TFS.

  14. Love the snowflake and am thrilled that the Silhouette software allows you to design. I think Santa is bringing me a Cameo for Christmas, so I'd love it for you to do some video tutorials like you did for the lame DS software. I have a baby Bug and an Expression, and like you will use them for some stuff, but love the flexibility the Cameo seems to offer.

  15. I have a Cameo, bright new I might add and am going to use MTC with it. I would love it if you were to venture into the world of cutters as well!

  16. I have just found your blog and read this particular post with interest. I have a (hardly used) cricut pink expression and had the original quickutz silhouette and have enjoyed using the software which is now very far removed from where it started. Design capabilities are great, and now I have upgraded to the design version. I have never used MTC or SCAL. Had the 12" Cameo been out around March time, that would definately have been the machine I'd have purchased. However, it wasn't so I bought the Cricut. Then a couple of months ago, I bought the E2, opened it tried to cut something with it using the panel - was soooo complicated so I put it back in the box and returned it. I bought the Cameo and was extremely pleased that I did. If I could sell my cricut and carts tomorrow, I would without hesitation. The Cameo's print and cut feature is also a winner for me but overall, the cameo can do anything the Cricut can do - and more!

    I have a lot to learn in both areas so will read your blog with interest - thank you in advance for your inspiration and for sharing your knowledge and projects to enable people like me who still feel like complete beginners where die-cutting machines are concerned!

    Thank you.

    Paula Gale
    Derbyshire, UK. xxx

  17. I simply love it, Diana. (Sorry, I'm back reading. AT&T decided to put a bunch of my e-mails in spam without sending them to me and you were one of the lucky winners this time >.< My son has also ended up there and so have I when I sent my self 2 things, I got 1 and 1 went to spam. A bit frustrating and I don't always remember to go online and check to often. )


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