Looking back at 2016

I just don’t want to miss to send some greetings at the end of the year hoping you have a good start into the new year tonight.

2016 was maybe my most busiest year ever.
I just cannot believe my last blog post was in April.

Keeping it short I just show 3 things:

1. my favorite new toy
2. my new book
3.¬†our new family member “Arthur”

So lets start with my new favorite toy.
Since it was released in 2013 I wanted a Brother ScanNCut, but it was impossible to get them in Germany.
So I got a Silhouette Cameo and I was happy with it. I presented the machines on a craft show, then started to sell the machines, gave workshops and even have written a book, a kind of manual, which is still very successful.

But I just couldn’t get the other machine out of my mind, so in 2016 I had a good excuse:
I needed a new challenge and got the ScanNCut CM900 (or ScanNCut 2).
But I also felt like a traitor, being the Silhouette specialist. So I kept the ScanNCut secretly hidden in my workshop ūüôā

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Of course I could not hide it from my friend Dagmar, who had talked me into making a new book, a second part of “Frisch Geschnitten” experimenting with all kind of materials and she would help and be my co-author.

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While we were planning, playing and creating we decided to make the book working for both types of machines, which was a stupid idea. It just didn’t work, because the machines were too different. So we ended up actually making 2 book-sets, one with all the technical stuff for the Silhouette¬ģ ¬†machines, and another with the tutorials for making the projects with the ScanNCut.

In the end even with skipping a lot of ideas we had 40 different projects, every book-set was more than 300 pages and we were done.
But there was no time for a rest, because in the meanwhile it was fall and the books had to be produced, sold, packed and sent.

Looking back I am very glad we chose this way. There are so many german brother – users who are glad about some help, because there is not much information in german language just like it was the year before for the Silhouette¬ģ machines.

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With all the crafting, sewing, writing I hardly made it to keep the house half way in order, actually it was an ongoing mess me working around the clock. So we decided to buy a vacuum cleaning robot, which was the best idea ever. After some research we chose the brand new Vorwerk Kobold. No, this is not advertising. I am just so happy with “him”.
We called him Arthur and he makes my life much easier. Our dog was used to Arthur in no time. He is walking through the house every second day “eating” everything like dust, threads, paper bits, sand, socks (you better take care they are somewhere else than on the floor). He is finding his way all alone. He stops before barriers without touching them, so cool and walks back to his loading station when he needs to be charged. When he needs to be emptied he makes a sound. And his noise while sucking is much less than a normal vacuum cleaner.¬†So this is just the best household appliance¬†we got in 2016.

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Now I can only promise I will write regular posts on my blog again in 2017.

Take good care and have a great new year!

Angelika

 

 

 

 

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Wastebasket – sewing project from different materials

Another sewing project from the beautiful materials I lately bought is a new wastebasket, well it is rather a waste sack.
I love it to be soft and flexible and fitting the fun vintage faux wood floor from our new garden house.

I did not make or use a pattern. I just measured and cut the square and rectangles pieces.
The bottom I made from a square vegan leather (SnapPap which is actually paper) and 4 rectangles. Then I added the wonderful jacquard fabric from the crafts show. On top I added a matching piece of faux leather fabric and for the inside I used a piece of silk I found in my stock.
With the Silhouette Cameo I cut and then ironed the word “Papier” on it, which is “paper” in German

Our lovely dog Akira does not trust any box or bag, but when she felt how happy I was with her sitting next to the new sack she started to relax. And in the end she even had fun in the photo session and showed me her typical Shiba smile.

Have a great and crafty weekend!

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Material shopping at the crafts show and my first project: a new iPad mini cover

Two weeks ago I spent 4, yes, four luxury days at Germany’s biggest crafts show CREATIVA together with a crafty friend. It was great to have enough time to look at everything without a hurry and not having the need for “panic purchases”. The only limit was the luggage, because we have been there by train and had to carry everything back to Berlin ourselves (a big thank you to the inventor of the suitcase on wheels!).

It was pure seduction and I discovered sewing again for me, which I haven’t done in ages. I loved the great choice of coated fabric for bags and purses, beautiful thick jacquard pattern fabric, faux leather, cute ribbons and colorful felt.

I learned about a new felt technique and bought dutch hand dyed wool. I will write about it when I tried it being able to show first results.
So our suitcases were more than full, deposited at the train station on the last day and we still came back with a big bag on top to go home.¬†Then unpacking and showing of our treasures was just a little bit like christmas and I did NOT forget to bring gifts (which also reduces discussions about quantities of more or less necessary¬†new crafts materials…hahaha….)

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All new materials and techniques can be combined with electronic cutting, still my first passion, very well.
So I started first to create a new cover for my iPad mini, which I needed urgently, because my existing one falls apart.

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First I have drawn around the iPad and imported the correct shape and size via PixScan mat into Silhouette Studio.

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Based on this pattern I added an outline and the holes for sewing, created a fun german word art and colored the design to find the colors I like most.

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Next I cut 2 pieces with my Silhouette Cameo from faux leather paper (called SnapPap in Germany and similar to the Silhouette Vegan Faux Leather)

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The 3mm thick green felt I cut with the Silhouette Curio with the deep cut blade. Of course it only cut 2mm, but did this very well. This way I had a clear shape, a deep cut line and I could cut the last 1m just with a scissors by hand.

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Then I have stitched together by hand all 4 layers through the holes with a big needle and a thick silk yarn, originally meant for knitting, with a zigzag stitching. With the help of two little pieces of Velcro I made a dot to fix with “yes” or “no”.
Now the iPad is well protected when thrown into my handbag and eye-catching when lost in the crafts room mess.
I really hope this works, because I am searching for it too often …

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ipad-Huelle

 

Another sketchbook decorated with vinyl and a fashion silhouettes freebie

Ok, I admit it, I did not buy only one notebook, but a couple of them. I just love the square format. It is great to decorate them.

This time I made some fashion silhouettes in my favourite 3D program PoserPro, which I unearthed and upgraded lately to the newest version (see the image at the bottom of this post).
At the bottom you can also download the silhouettes file for non-commercial purposes from my dropbox. Have fun!

I was not able to remove the label from the notebook properly, so I cut and applied a circle from black vinyl to cover the ugly parts.

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Then I prepared my silhouettes by coloring and arranging them in the color of the final vinyl on the screen in Silhouette Studio¬ģ.

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Then I moved them to the right positions, that it fits the vinyl on the mat and cut the silhouettes in two rounds with the Silhouette Cameo.
For this project you can easily use left over stripes from other projects.

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I weeded the silhouettes and applied them to the notebook with transfer tape.

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Then I cut and added the word: Sketchbook and done.

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This is how the Silhouettes were created:
the little figure was styled, dressed and posed in a 3D program called “PoserPro11”.
From the rendered images I created the black and white silhouettes.

You may download and use the silhouettes for non-commercial purposes here:
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A book for a cook – black glossy vinyl on a golden notebook

When I saw these matte golden notebooks as a double pack in the crafts shop last week I had to have them. They are bound with a thread instead of metal clips, beautifully, and you can never have enough notebooks!

Today I made a gift for a hobby cook with decorating one of them with a very detailed design (an altered graphic from a vector design collection) from black glossy vinyl cut with the Silhouette Cameo.
It was not an easy job, because the lines of the text are very thin. But in the end it worked and I love the result. The vivid contrast between the high glossy vinyl and the shimmering gold is hard to show in a static photo.

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For those who are not familiar with cutting vinyl I list the steps below:

You need a blanc notebook, a piece of vinyl and matching transfer tape and of course your cutting machine.

 

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First you prepare your design in Silhouette Studio.
Watch your cut lines the motifs not to be too thin and that all overlapping parts are weld.

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Put your vinyl on the cutting mat.
For glossy vinyl I use cotton gloves to avoid having finger prints on the material.

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Cut the design.
I used blade length 1 (I never trust blade length 1, but indeed it worked) and thickness 10.
If you are not sure make a test cut.
Then weed all the parts around your design, that have to go off with a hook or pick.
This took the most time.

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Carefully put the transfer tape onto the right side of, on top of your vinyl.
Then remove the backside of the vinyl.
Then place your design onto the notebook and fix it by rubbing over the transfer tape. You can also use a scrape, but I personally prefer to use my hands for this.

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Then carefully remove the transparent transfer tape by dropping it to the side (not upwards!)
You can rub again with a cloth over the finished book to make sure all parts are sticking well.
Have fun to make your own personalized notebooks!

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New year, new order

January is always a month to put things in order for me.
Christmas madness is over, my workshop is one big mess from too much work and never enough time. With constantly adding new products to my shops and a growing warehouse I also had to find a new system. So last week I went through the shops to find those beautiful black boxes, perfect for A4 and letter size vinyl, heat transfer sheets and papers.

Yesterday I was playing in Photoshop what I didn’t do since weeks and was playing with some new resources from designcuts.com (the painted background graphics and the beautiful thick art font). What a relaxing day!

I created some sheets of stickers on glossy self adhesive photo paper, then put them on the PixScan mat and cut them with my Silhouette Cameo¬ģ.
This worked perfectly with the blade set to 1.

Combining fun and relaxation with creativity and something useful is what I like most.

Have a great day, too!

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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