Happy New Year!!!

I am wishing all my readers, friends, customers and followers a wonderful happy and healthy new year 2016.

This last year was the craziest year ever for me and it’s been you who have made this so special.
While I have made and written it, I have never ever expected that my book “Crafty Cuttings” and especially the german version “Frisch Geschnitten” which is there for 2 months more, would become such a huge success.

You bought the complete first edition within 2 days even before it was out of the printing company.
I am still overwhelmed from so much trust and I  just wanna say thank you!

For this new year I do not have plans yet how to go on.
But I need to take more time for crafting, designing and trying new things, urgently. I missed this so much while those past 3 busy months. My crafts room is a mess and I have new tools and so many new supplies I did not even try out.

To start right here I went back to my 3D program today to give this charming little 3D-figure life to hold my Happy New Year sign. I guess  she will be my new paper doll model and I can’t wait to dress her up…

Take good care, take your time for the things you love most and have an inspired crafty new year.

All the best,

Angelika

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Landscape Christmas Card made with the Silhouette Curio

I did not cut a lot with the Curio yet. I still prefer to cut with my “work horse” Cameo, just being more familiar with it.
Now I got the bigger platform and mats and this makes the Curio for me a full working cutting machine. I still find this machine more difficult than the Cameo, especially to find the right settings and amount of platforms.
Anyway I LOVE the stiff basic platform and how easy it is to feed it into the machine. Just sticking it in and pressing the middle button on the side of the machine to get it into the right place. Then pressing the same button to take it out again.

So I have made my christmas cards with the Curio:

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I created the basic square layers for the card with some simple text. For the 3D effect I created some layers of curved shapes and also for the christmas tree. It is a lot of cutting with all the many layered parts. In the end I made it to cut 10 cards and they are for special people, who’ve been crossing my way within this exciting year.

For the basic cards I used letter size card stock self printed with my own paper designs. I marked a square on a rectangle die with tape and ran the double folded card stock through my Sizzix Big shot to get the double square cards.

Then I assembled the layers with foam pads, so there is a distance between the layers.
I lined up the parts for the christmas tree on yarn and then on metal sticks. The yarn keeps the paper parts in place while without they slipped down too easily.
To send them flat (or almost flat) the christmas tree has to be separately. So I just added a piece of foam in the center (these are the pads, used for protection, when you buy Sizzix embossing folders, packaging material) to have a safe pad to put the extremely pointy sticks in. I marked the place where to put the stick in with a glossy arrow.
Of course the little art works look best given away fixed on a big gift box 🙂

Have fun following the single steps shown below.

Angelika

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Almost there, the english version of my plotter book

Last night I got some first books to check if everything is fine, before the whole quantity will be bound.

This was so exciting!!!

The Germans are full of praise about “Frisch Geschnitten” and I am so happy about the good reviews.
It was like a miracle, that I met Lesley, a wonderful translator, right in time to translate the book.  While she was busy with the text I was reworking all screenshots, photos and some of the projects.

It was almost impossible to get this done before christmas, but we did it. The night before it had to go into printing we had the last phone call at 2 AM. And in the morning just before uploading the final file my patient partner with the sharpe eyes found a thick fat bad mistake…waahhhhhh…sometimes you just overlook the most obvious things…

In the beginning of next week the books are ready to be delivered. And I hope that many english speaking people also love the playful step-by-step instructions on how to use your cutting machines to its fullest.
For preorder you can go to my Etsy shop or Amazon.co.uk.

For now the books will be sent from Germany. I will carry part of the shipping costs, so this is affordable.
Later we see if there are better ways to deliver the book internationally.

Have a great weekend!

Angelika

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crafty cuttings plotter book

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Why it’s been so quiet here on my blog

For months I have been busy working on the german plotter book.
Before publishing I could not show any of the projects from the book. I hardly could resist to show off all the fun projects I was working on.

Then I thought while the book is printed I got plenty of time to try new things and write about it.
I listed the book in my german Dawanda Shop to pre order. But I did not expect, that somebody discovered it, posted it on Facebook and then it was over. I got so many orders, that the book was sold out after 2 days, even before it was out of the printing company.

So there were so many things to organize, order, sort, prepare, that all the german cutting machine owners got their book right after delivery.
Now after 4 weeks packing and delivering we are much better organized and I got a little bit time to take a deep breath and realize, that I must have hit a button :-)))

So this is me, brand new author and publisher with my 148 pages thick baby “Frisch Geschnitten” and having some surprises for you within the next couple of weeks 🙂

Love, Angelika

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My first experiences and creations with the new Silhouette Curio™

Last week I got the brand new Silhouette Curio cutting and embossing machine.

My first step was to ruin the embossing mat with crafts foil. I just didn’t get it off the mat anymore, instead the foam of the mat was gone.
It looks like the key to success is to use the right material. Three days later I started over again with a stack of new papers, with a new mat and the intention to test every material on the corner of the mat before covering the whole mat.

So I gave my new machine a second chance.
I love the edgy shape of the machine. It is very easy to grab and move.
Inside the machine there are 4 holders for tools, that are not currently in use, very handy!

The double carriage is fantastic. You can use 2 tools at a time, e.g. the embossing tool and the blade for embossing and cutting right after each other in one step. This is what I did with the leaves below using vellum and high quality hand made paper:

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I love the firm base of this new model. It is very easy to handle. You do not have to unload it to change materials.
The handling is very different from the Cameo. I had to get used to it.

I must say, I also love the small size platform. The Curio is a multi tasking crafts machine and for experimenting with the new techniques and materials the format is absolutely ok for making cards, embellishments and tags.
The double size platform will be delivered later in fall and of course I will get one, too. But for now, I don’t miss it.
I am missing more the extra tools, that are announced, the deep cut blade and the stippling tool.

Here I’ll give you a little impression of my workspace. Usually it is more loaded with stuff though.
I needed a photo for my book and cleared everything, that did not look like a perfect designers desk 🙂

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I find the new features in Silhouette Studio® confusing. It is only 2 icons in the menu, but there are so many options behind it. I experienced, that if you want to make deeper embossing lines you have to go over the same lines again and again. So I tried, if I can do this with the well known sketch functions of the DE Edition, too and indeed, this works!

The blue paper I did with sketch lines, the rose paper I did with a simple stencil design and the new embossing function. The paper feels great. It’s got a real 3D touch. It is curling a bit, so lets see how to use it…

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After 2 days of playing I can say, the Curio is not a replacement for the Cameo, if you love big projects.
But if letter size is ok for you it is a perfect companion with so many options. It is cutting perfectly, also on the embossing mat, so you do not have to change it, when you are cutting and embossing in one step.
It is sketching and making perfect score lines. For embossing you may not have too high expectations. You need to have the right material and the right settings combined with the right designs and patience to get great results 🙂

But you can creatively combine all those techniques. You can print and cut and there will also be a PixScan mat available soon.
So after a bit of a difficult start I love this new member of the Silhouette family, too.

Folded fish bowl cards from my own printed papers and cheese packages

While I mostly used white card stock for the basic folded greeting cards yet I just found out how great it is to use my own printed papers, because they are white inside and beautifully patterned outside.
I use light card stock to print the letter size sheets. Then I fold them and run them doubled through my Big Shot die cutting machine. I once invested in a set of simple rectangle dies with a small embossed edge and I use them all the time.
You can align the folded card stock just before the die cut line. This is how you don’t cut the edge.

Then I used some clean plastic cheese packages to make “glass” layers for the fish bowls with different Tim Holtz dies.
The fishes are from my fishes collage sheets cut with the Silhouette Cameo. The bird is one of Stamper Anonymous Bird Crazy stamp.

Have fun!

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Ressources used:

digital papers floral circles  kissed_paper  water-papers
ladyfishes7  coldwaterfishes4  digital_collagesheets  bird_crazy

Easy beginner tutorial on how to make your own easter bunny family in SilhouetteStudio

There are so many designs for your electronic cutters for sale and also for free.
Anyway I find it cool to make my own designs and I encourage everyone to do this, too. SilhouetteStudio is a perfect tool and with some simple steps you got something with your own personal touch.

With easter ahead I show you how to make a simple but cute bunny shape to be used for all kind of crafts and gift packaging.

Have fun!

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1.
You open your SilhouetteStudio, chose your mat and paper size.

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2.
Select the “draw an ellipse” tool and draw an ellipse by dragging the mouse to the size and shape you like.
This will be the body of your bunny.
Then draw another ellipse or circle slightly overlapping. This will be the head.

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3.
Draw another little ellipse which makes the foot.
Then open the Replicate Window. This is the one on top, that looks like a little flower.
Expand the advanced options.
With the foot selected chose “custom position”, set the x Offset to -6,5 cm ( or 2.5 inch) and click “replicate”.

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4.
If the second foot is not perfect in position you can adjust it now.
Be aware it is not about perfection. All those little irregularities are giving your drawing that personal unique touch.

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5.
Now we’re going to draw the ears.
Select the “draw a curve shape” tool and click once left top into the head circle.
Go a little higher and to the left, click, go higher to make the top of the ear and click.
Then go down to the start point to close the shape.

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6.
Do the other ear the same way.

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7.
Select the right ear and with the little green dot you can rotate it.
Then move it more to the right so the ears do not overlap.

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8.
Make sure you’re in “edit” mode.
Draw a big frame around all your drawing/shapes to select them all.
Then click the “weld” function at the bottom left of your screen. This will weld all your shapes to one silhouette.

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9.
Draw a circle for the tail and move it away from the main shape. Otherwise you will get a big hole instead of a cute tail.

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10.
Now that you know how to draw easter bunnies why not make a whole family?
If you are lazy you can also just copy and mirror one and adjust the sizes

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11.
Save your work.
Make sure the lines are set to cut.
Chose the material in the material type window and adjust the settings and blade.
Load your mat with the paper into your cutting machine and send to Silhouette.

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12.
This is what you’ll get…
Once you have cut one set you can use the waste as a see through template to chose patterned paper and see in advance how the bunnies will look like, very handy for big patterns.

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For the samples I used my printable spring papers:

circle_stripes_digital    ticktock