Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Frame for a Special Card

Over the past couple of days I have helped a few friends with some small design projects.  I really enjoy using the Silhouette Studio software to figure out a way to make a customized cutting file.  I have to confess that, even though I purchased the Designer Edition key for the software last February (yes, almost a year ago!) I just upgraded the software yesterday.

One of the main reasons that most people upgrade the software is to have the ability to open SVG files and cut them with their Cameo or other Silhouette machines.  There are also some additional design tools in the upgraded version - fancier knife cuts, skewing of shapes and the ability to create a rhinestone pattern.  I have been able to do everything I want to do without the upgrade.  However, I needed to open an SVG to help with one project, so I finally activated the upgrade.

One of the projects I helped with involved creating a mat to use to frame this card.  The drawing was done by my friend's daughter and she wanted to preserve it in a way that would show her daughter how much she loves the artwork.

This screen shot shows how I figured out the sizing for the frame.  The frame we were using was a standard 5 x 7 frame and the card was 5 1/2 x 4 1/4 inches (typical A2 size).   These two sizes are not proportionate so the border around the card would be uneven.  I decided to use a simple row of dots on either side of the card and to leave the top and bottom plain since the border was so narrow.  I was able to take advantage of the rhinestone feature in my newly upgraded Designer Edition of the software to create the rows of dots.  (You could also make these by typing a row of periods as text and resizing them to suit if you don't have the designer edition).

In order to make things line up correctly, I made a few guideline shapes.  The blue line represents the actual size of the card and the yellow line shows the amount of the mat that will actually show due to the frame having a 1/4 inch "lip" to hold the glass.  I use the centering feature in the software all of the time to line up my projects.  The opening I made in the mat is slightly smaller than the card to make sure that the card is covered at all of the edges.

To create the rows of dots, I used the rhinestone feature and adjusted the size and spacing until I liked the look.  I was able to use the alignment tools again to make sure the placement of both rows of dots was even.

I had some heavy metallic cardstock that looked similar to the holly clusters on the card so I used this for the mat.  I set the machine for textured cardstock (heavy) with blade depth 5, speed 3 and thickness 33 and checked the box for the machine to make a double cut.  Here is the mat after I lifted the cut - it was perfect again.

This closer view shows how tiny the circles are - less than 1/4 of an inch in diameter - and they cut perfectly.

By cutting the rows of circles in the mat, I was able to use a strip of the red foil cardstock as a backing behind the cut rather than cutting tiny circles and adhering them to the mat.  I had the red foil I used for the card I posted a couple of days ago so I simply trimmed some strips from the sides of the offcut piece.

I adhered the strip behind the rows of circles and also attached the card to the top of the mat with some removable tape.

The red dots just give a bit of interest to the design.  Instead of having blank space, the sides now have more of a framing effect for the sketch.

I left this photo dark so you could see how shiny the foil dots look when the light hits them.

The metallic cardstock works nicely with the metallic pen used for the holly.  I am very impressed by how well these tiny circles were cut in the heavy cardstock.

This card is now ready to be displayed for the holidays (and all around the year).  It's a nice way to honor a special sketch and a special daughter.

It's too bad that the standard card size and the standard frame size don't match up to leave a perfectly centered area to display the card.  It was fairly easy to come up with an alternative that shows off the card with a little pizazz!

If you haven't checked out the deals at Blitsy lately there are some great things this week - Graphic 45 Nutcracker Sweet papers (love these!), Tim Holtz stamps and distress markers (full set), liquid pearls, the adorable TIm Holtz bottle brush trees that everyone is dyeing and, if you are on Santa's very good list, a huge set of Copic markers.  Click HERE to go to the site and check out the deals - new items will appear on Friday morning.  You have to join the site to shop - it's free to register.  Once you have joined you can refer your friends to earn credits in the store.

I made a huge shopping trip to Costco yesterday and I still don't have everything I need, but I am closer to being finished with all of the food shopping that I can do ahead of time.  I'm expecting more deliveries tomorrow - and then a wrapping marathon before the weekend and family members arrive.  One more coat of paint to go on the bedroom - I think we are going to make it!

Take care if you are in the snowy part of the country - it sounds like there will be lots of storms in the next couple of days.  Our odds of a white Christmas are not looking very good here on the East coast...

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1 comment:

  1. Diane, you did such a fantastic job on these detailed instructions! I especially loved the reason for the project. We often neglect letting people know how much what they do means to us, and that include things they make! Thanks for your project information and subtle reminder! :)


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