The Silhouette PixScan

Today I wanted to talk about something called the PixScan mat for the Silhouette Cameo. This is a way of taking an existing image and importing it into your Silhouette to cut it out. I got this mat because I really wanted to be able to turn my stamped images into die cuts without having to cut every image out by hand. This will be a simplified overview of how it works, and what my results have been.

The first time you use the PixScan mat there are some instructions you will need to follow to calibrate it. After that, the process is pretty simple. You place your paper on the mat, take a picture with your phone and upload it into Silhouette Studio. I have found that shiny images, especially metallic colors, are difficult for the silhouette to read, so keep that in mind.

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Once the photo is uploaded, you can use the trace function to generate your cut lines, and then you can manipulate them from there. I like to leave a little bit of a border around mine rather than cutting right to the edge of the image. There is an easy tool in Silhouette Design Studio called Offset that helps you do this.

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Here you can see the difference between cutting to the edge and using an offset.

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When you are ready, choose your blade settings and cut it out.

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Some images come out better than others, and I haven’t yet mastered this tool. As you can see below, the flamingos turned out really well, but flower pot is way off.

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Have you ever used the PixScan mat? Share your tips and tricks below!

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One Swell Project

Friday Crafternoon: A little inspiration for your weekend!

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This week I have been hard at work making a batch of valentines to give to my co workers. It has been ages since I handed out valentines, or even really cared much at all about the day, but working at Paper Source has really made every holiday extra fun! I love being part of a group of people who jump at any chance to celebrate and get crafty.

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I started out by cutting two types of hearts with my Silhouette Cameo – one with slits for the arrow (the front) and one plain (the back.) I then ran all of the front pieces through my embossing machine with the Stitches Cover Plate from Ellen Hutson. This background die is so incredibly detailed! Then I glued the front and back together and inserted the arrows.

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The featured photos were cut out of an old yearbook that was just begging to be repurposed. The hair and outfits on these boys are truly something to swoon over.

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Such a dapper bunch!

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I added a few enamel dots to embellish, and a little of the Ranger Glossy Accents that I mentioned last Friday. On the back I adhered a small sentiment that I typed up on my lovely vintage typewriter.

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The packaging is where I had the most fun of course! I used a combination of stamps and stickers to add extra detail to these wonderful vintage envelopes. I have been hanging onto them for years just waiting for the perfect project.

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I believe I only paid $1 for this wonderful old stamp set from the thrift store. Clearly it has a rich and colorful history. It’s weathered look is part of the charm. The box is quite unassuming, but the large title “PRINT SET” managed to catch my eye from its misplaced spot on the shelf of puzzles. Even more shocking – all of the letters are there!

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The stickers themselves are not vintage, but are made by a company called Cavallini, which gets their artwork from items in their drool-worthy archive of vintage miscellany. They really do an amazing job. It’s almost like having the real thing!

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These envelopes were too old and wonderful to ruin by sealing the flaps, so I used a little bit of bakers twine. It is the ultimate finishing touch!

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And off they go to be delivered!

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I hope you enjoyed this week’s project. Did you make a Valentine for anyone this year? Come back next week for another fun project!

Friday Crafternoon

A little inspiration for your weekend!

This week I have been working on some fun floral tags. Tags are a great way to use little bits and pieces from your collections or leftover scraps of paper after another project. I love to have some already made tags on hand in case I need to put together a quick gift. They make it so easy to dress up any package or bag!

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For these tags I pulled some elements from two different Maggie Holmes ephemera packs, along with some labels from my Dymo, Studio Calico stickers, and some other bits and pieces I have stashed away.

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I wanted to add some tiny details to really make this piece shine! This is where the Ranger Glossy Accents come in.

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This is a clear liquid that you can use to create droplets in any size you want directly on your project to add dimension and shine.

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To add some sparkle to the flower, I always reach for my Wink of Stella brush pen. It has a very fine tip so you can make precise lines. I just filled in a few areas on the flower rather than covering the whole thing, but you could easily do either with this tool.

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I used the same techniques on this second tag, but tried to keep this one a little more simple.

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Have you used any of these products before? What is your favorite way to embellish your projects?

Come back next Friday for a vintage inspired Valentine’s Day project!

My 2016 Christmas Cards

Christmas has come and gone, but I thought it would be fun to stretch it out a little bit more with this behind the scenes look at how I put together my Christmas cards this year. It was a lot of fun and I was very pleased with how they came out.

I started out by making the ornaments. This was the most time consuming part of the process, but since I wanted this to be the main feature, it was worth the effort. Using a design that I had adapted from my favorite vintage ornament box, I printed a full sheet of the ornaments, with Silhouette crop marks, at a copy center using toner based ink. Then I used the print and cut feature on my silhouette cameo to read the crop marks and die cut my ornaments.

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After they were cut, I used my Minc machine to add gorgeous red foil to the design. You can check out a little video of them over on my Instagram. Then I just added a simple twine bow, and they were ready to go! Next I cut the background pieces, some woodgrain, and some green, as well as the pine branches.

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Then, it was time to heat emboss my sentiment on the back of the card with a cute stamp from a Cavallini Christmas set. I made sure to treat the surface with my powder tool first to cut down on unwanted powder sticking, then stamped with my Versamark watermark ink pad, before adding red embossing powder. I usually repeat these steps until I have several cards ready, then heat them in batches.

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To add some dimension to the card base, I backed my green and woodgrain shapes with craft foam and adhered with a tape runner.

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Finally I could assemble the parts and add some embellishments. I attached the ornament with a foam square for even more dimension, and tucked my paper branches around it with a few dabs from a glue stick.

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I added the sequins with tacky glue, to give it a little extra sparkle.

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And there you have it! Thanks for stopping by. I hope to share more behind the scenes looks with you in the coming year, so stay tuned!

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Featuring Yours Truly

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Four years ago I bought my wedding dress from a fantastic retailer called Unique Vintage, and now I am honored to be a featured artist on their blog. I have been selected as the first winner of the Great Create, a monthly contest they are running this year to promote independent designers, crafters, and artists. All of the fabulous photos used in the feature were taken by my very talented neighbor. Hop on over to their page and check out the interview, and if you’re in the market for a new spring wardrobe, be sure to browse their main website, Unique-Vintage.com, for some amazing clothing and accessories!

My Holiday Home 2015

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If you read my Holiday 2014 post, you will probably recognize a lot of the same decor, but my collection has grown a bit over the year and I was very excited to add some new things! I will keep this post heavy on the photos, and light on the words as it is really about the eye candy anyway.

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I always put my white dove in the tree. It is the only non glass ornament on the tree, and I think it adds something special to it.

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There is an endless variety when it comes to vintage ornaments. So many unique colors, illustrations, shapes, sizes and textures.

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Here’s a secret: this gold bell is the only one that isn’t vintage. It was a wedding gift from my Aunt. I love the symbolism and it fits in very well with the rest of the tree.

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There is clearly a lot going on in this tree, but when you step back it all looks very uniform and polished. I love how they come together. Of course, I have far too many in my collection to put on the tree, so I have to find other ways of showing them off.

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Some of them don’t even come out of the box because they look so nice all together.

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I even sneak some of the ornaments into the kitchen.

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The Kennedys were feeling festive this year too.

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Here we are on Christmas day! Happy Holidays Everyone!

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