Saturday, 19 April 2014

Happy Birthday to Moo.....

Okay folks, I make no excuses for another Scan N Cut card today - well, you have to allow me to play with it for a while. This time I cut out elements from the Back to Nature CD by Polkadoodles (look at the cow eyelashes!).....


It made a bright and cheery springtime card......


I had some printed out bits left over, so made this card as well, it made me smile. I hand cut the grass and used some bits and pieces of cut out flowers to dot around....



I will be sorting out the winners of the giveaways tomorrow, but if you haven't already left your names, scroll down for the posts to leave your names and be in with a chance to win

Has my town been magically moved to the south of France without me noticing it? The sun was shining again, a lovely day when a light sweater was all that was needed to feel comfortable, but definitely not what you would call a heatwave. What did I see? A girl in a strapless boob tube type maxi dress (the type you throw on over a bikini) and flip flops, two young men parading about with no shirts on and a granddad who should have known better in very tight short shorts circa 1966, a long sleeve shirt and sandals with socks.  What happened to style?  Don't these people have mothers/girlfriends/significant others to give horrified gasps as they appear 'you CAN'T go out looking like that'....
Obviously they don't. I may have to adopt them, I will be the equivalent to Mother Theresa of Solihull, gathering up the style-disadvantaged, rehabilitating them and discharging them back into society looking like models for Ralph Lauren........

I'll be back tomorrow with some Easter eggs, see you then x 

Friday, 18 April 2014

Using Built-In Images Scan N Cut.....

Those of you who have 'known' me for a while will know that when it comes to die-cutters I don't do design. I was never really interested in Design Studio with the Cricut, the most I ever did was weld a few letters together to make a word. No, for me, the fun is looking at a shape, then doing my thing....I can spot a shape and remember that I have the perfect paper to go with it, or a sentiment will pop into my head. I don't think I will ever be a crafter who welds circles and triangles together to form fabulous lacy shapes, although I greatly admire those who can.

I am on a bit of a mission to see what cards I can create just using some of the basic built in shapes on the Scan N Cut - those of you with the Cricut or Cameo will be able to do something similar quite easily - as I say, pretty basic shapes. This one was inspired by some paper I found in a pack by Authentique on sale for a ridiculous price in Tuesday Morning, and despite my ban on buying any more papers until I have used up some of the ones I already have, for which several forests gave up their lives, I had to get it...... 



The machine, SEW and scissors were both cut with the SNC, I added some bakers twine around the reel and carried it down to the 'needle'. The scissors were painted with glossy accents. The sentiment is a random acrylic one that I chopped up before stamping to make room for the word SEW (I rather like this built in font by the way). The little dots on the machine were done with perfect pearls in pale pink



I hope you are all looking forward to a happy and peaceful Easter weekend. Me? We are going down to London to see some of our family - I better stock up on some chocolate eggs because I think there will be a Easter egg hunt with Max and Milo on Sunday morning before we head off for a lunch cooked by Alexandra. But today, I'm going to be back at my desk doing a bit of the crafty stuff....see you tomorrow x

Thursday, 17 April 2014

How to re-stick your mats - and a giveaway

I promised you a peek at how I make my mats sticky again, this works for all die cutting mats - I have used it for years on Cricut and Cameo mats with no ill effects. There is no sticky on the parts of the mat that shouldn't be sticky, so no damage is done.

Firstly, give your mat a really good scrub with hot soapy water - this might revitalize it and you may not need to move onto the next step, but sometimes, they are beyond help.........leave it to dry before the next step



In which case, this is what you need. Some Aleenes Tack-It-Over-And-Over glue, a foam brush, a plastic container with a lid and a measuring spoon. I made up a solution with just 1/4 of a cup of glue and 1/4 of a cup of cold water.......


This makes quite a watery solution.......


Very carefully apply a thin layer of the solution to your mat, keeping within the cutting area - to make sure no glue has strayed onto the grid line markings, I use a damp kitchen towel to wipe down after applying the glue. Set aside to dry - it doesn't take long.....



When you are done, cover the solution with a lid, it will sit nicely until the next time....



You may find your mat is TOO sticky after this treatment. Pat it down with a lint free cloth like an old T shirt before using it. The sticky will last for a long time - much longer than the original stickiness! I found the glue in the adhesives aisle in Michaels, and I know it can be bought online in the UK

Here's a few cards I made very quickly using the Paper Boutique CD's from Polkadoodles, I was really just testing out how the machine would cut - it made quick work of it...... 


One cute feature on the CD is that you print out a back for your card - this is the back of the house...............


A quick little robot, I added a few metal bits and pieces, this will probably be a birthday card for Max who turns seven in May......



and a cute ladybird (I'm not quite sure what the orange patch is on the photo, it's not like that in real life!). I covered her with glossy accents.....


When we were spending half of the year in the USA, Nikky used to give me two copies of the new releases, so that I didn't have to lug them backwards and forwards across the Atlantic. So I found my second copy of Paper Boutique Vol 1, and even though it's been used, it's in perfect working order, and I'm happy to give it away to one of you. You don't need a Scan N Cut of course, a good old fashioned pair of scissors works just fine. Just leave your name under this post and I will draw a winner on Sunday, when I draw the other candy winners. Good luck, I'll see you tomorrow x


Paper boutique vol 1 CD-Rom

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Using Scan N Cut with Crafting CD's

As some of you know, I was on the Polkadoodles design team right from the day Nikky Hall started the company, so I have a good pile of CD's, and I was eager to see how the SNC would deal with cutting out some of the digital elements. I chose one of the Paper Boutique CD's - full of templates just needing to be cut out and assembled. I haven't made any of these shaped cards for the longest time, but the machine made it a breeze.......



I had a lot of tiny flowers left over......


So I made this card, using one of the little pots from Katy Sue Designs. The scallop circles were very quickly cut with the machine as well.....



and as a designer, Nikky is very interested to see how the machine deals with tiny elements, so here you are Nikky, 1" butterflies from Sugar Birdies, cut out just for you - pretty cool antennae don't you think?


More cards from Paper Boutique tomorrow, and I have a giveaway as well. I totally fotgot to take photos of the re-sticking of mats, I'll do that tomorrow as well. See you then x

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

White on White - and cleaning SNC mats.....

One thing I don't like about the Scan N Cut is the quality of the mats, they seem quite flimsy and thin - and because the machine is capable of cutting chipboard or leather, you have to be really careful with your blade depth or it can slice straight through - which I have done in one spot on this mat, but I just put a piece of duct tape on the back. The stickiness is not very long lasting, but after years of using the Cricut and Silhouette, this isn't a problem. I'll show you tomorrow how I re-sticky them, but try this first - you really do need a good adhesion in these machines, or the paper/cardstock will move around and your cut will be ruined - so fill your sink with HOT soapy water, get out your dish scrubbing brush and start scrubbing. You can really put some elbow grease into it, and you'll be surprised at the muck that comes off. Rinse well and leave to dry. Hey presto, it dries nice and sticky again.  



My card today is made totally with cuts from the machine - they don't have a very inspiring built in library, but I have spotted a lot that I really like, and am going to make a few cards using the built in shapes. This one is pretty generic really, so you could make something similar using your Cricut or Silhouette. I cut two frames, one slightly smaller and ran them through the big shot - my mantra for white on white cards (which you know I love) is always dimension and texture. Raise up all your layers, add texture, otherwise it looks like a flat mess of white card......


the flower, banner and scroll were all from the shapes.....



So the sun is shining, spring is in the air, but it's still a bit on the cool side. But some intrepid Brits look out of the window, see the sun shining, and dig out the tee shirts, shorts and flip flops. Not a good look with goosebumps! It needs to be at least 10 degrees warmer before I take off my thermals....

See you tomorrow x

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Calibrating a Scan N Cut - and a GIVEAWAY

I have had a couple of emails from people wanting to know how I calibrated my machine. For some reason it doesn't make this clear in the instruction book. You need to do this if your cuts are even a tiny bit 'off'. I had a tiny white border on one side when I scanned an image and cut, doing this has sorted it

1. Turn on your machine, touch the screen with your finger, keep your finger in place and turn off the machine. Turn on again



Okay, you can put your finger away now - here's the screen you will see. You need to very carefully touch the center of each + with your stylus. Do it in order, start with number one, then two, ending with the middle one labelled 5.
You need to be precise, if your hand wobbles and you don't hit the center, just do it over again.....


This success message will show when you have completed the calibration. Switch the machine off, then back on and it's ready to use again


I promised you a giveaway. I brought some stuff back with me from the USA, this is set one, and will go to someone living in Europe - which includes us here in the UK of course!

The winner will get a flower shaped chipboard mini album, a set of Martha Stewart stamp around the page clear stamps - these have borders and corners, so you can stamp frames around your cards, some Recollections (exclusive to Michaels stores) fibers and flowers. Not in the photo is some gorgeous coloured burlap that I found which I will share with the winner


SET ONE



Here is set two, which will be sent to someone from North or South America - read on if your country hasn't been mentioned yet....

The winner will get a fantastic double CD called BonBon Belles from Polkadoodles, this CD has got hundreds of papers, embellishments and images for you to print and play. I will throw in some Craftwork Cards Candi,, and some of their paper bows as well....

SET TWO


Now if you fall into the category 'rest of the world' - if I was you I would be feeling a bit irritated at having a whole continent or two lumped together into a generic 'rest of the world',  so to make up for that, you can choose which prize you would opt for if you win. 

So, all you have to do is leave your name and country under this post. It would be nice if you could share on your blogs or Facebook if you do that stuff, I will draw a winner next Sunday 20th April and let you know who won on the 21st. Good luck and I'll see you tomorrow x

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Scan N Cut Paper Patchwork......

It's my turn to post over on the Craftwork Cards blog today, pop over there to see what I've been up to....

I was intrigued by the quilting patterns on the Scan N Cut machine, and wanted to see how they would translate into backgrounds for cards, so out came my trusty sewing machine.........




I used the Kitsch collection, my other cards use my favourite colourway, the red and blue, for some reason I adore this.....



Call back tomorrow when I have a little giveaway for you - well, I couldn't bring all that craft stuff back and forget about you, could I? See you then x

Friday, 11 April 2014

I'm back!

Here's one I made for this month's Papercraft Inspirations magazine - my commission was for four shoe cards and I really enjoyed doing this one. This was made with Vogue papers from Craftwork Cards




I cut away the front of the card to follow the shape of the shoe, these elegant papers were just right for the job....


I seem to have been missing from blogland for the longest time, when I got home I struggled a bit with the time difference, then we had friends staying for a few days, now it's the dreaded plane bug that has me sniffling and feeling a bit pants

About the only crafting I have done is to make sure that the precious Scan N Cut machine survived the journey, which it did. I had bought a travel bag from Walmart especially for it (hoping that my dear husband was going to be so delighted to see me that he wouldn't notice an extra suitcase or two - he didn't!). So in went the new machine, wrapped in bubble wrap, but no packing stuff, I was going to be putting it in the overhead bin, nothing much could happen to it there......except the new bag didn't suit one of those irritating airport people who seem to delight in telling people that their luggage is 1 inch too long and must be checked into the hold. So I spent the journey agonizing about the fate of my poor little machine down below in the hold, waiting to be hurled onto another conveyor belt in the UK. Honestly, it's a miracle, but it works a bit better than it did before, I think it likes the UK.

Apart from that, the journey was uneventful, quite enjoyable in fact. I was sitting next to a couple, the plane was full apart from some 'premium' seats. The woman's screen wouldn't turn on. She was obviously dismayed at the prospect of a seven and a half hours with no flight entertainment. 'complain' I urged her. So they did, no joy. By this time I was quite excited about the thought of them being moved and being able to stretch out across three seats. 'Complain again........ask for the cabin manager......
It worked. Off they went into their premium seats, they had barely got up when the arm rests were flipped up and my feet were up on the seats. Not exactly bliss, but as close to it as you can hope for when you are travelling in economy.

See you tomorrow when it's my turn to post over on the Craftwork Cards blog x   

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Using Craft CD's and the Scan N Cut...

I couldn't wait to see how the Scan N Cut dealt with really delicate images, so I printed out from the Fabulous Shoes and Fabulous Fashion CD's from
Katy Sue Designs, these have decoupage sheets, toppers etc all ready for printing, how about this for an impressive cut - I should have put a ruler next to it, this shoe is only 2 1/2" long! 



One of the decoupage outfits made up and ready to go, each layer cut out perfectly




and all the cuts in the next photo are less than two inches!


Look at the antennae on the butterflies!



As you read this I will probably be sitting in an airport in Tampa or New York, or on a plane, winging my way home. I have had a lovely time, caught up with all my friends here which was the purpose of my visit. Huge thanks to Ray and Linda our lovely friends who made me so welcome and gave me the run of the house to come and go as I pleased. So until the next time, bye bye America x

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

More Scan N Cut...




Just a few photos of some of the stamped images I have cut out with the scan n cut. I have been limited in what I can do because of not having much stuff with me, but I have been astonished at the delicate cuts this machine can make. Like     Most people, I have been most intrigued by the machines ability to scan and cut, the prospect of a pair of electronic scissors to do all that fussy cutting was enticing. There is a bit of a learning curve - the machine totally refused to recognize a couple of images for instance, but after playing around for a while, and picking up some handy tips and tricks,  I am getting something like a 95% success rate with cutting out images now, and I'm sure I can improve on that when I play with it some more at home. 

Just look at the stems on those leaves, it even cut out the tiny thorns! 


There was a tiny tiny border on the right  hand side of the images I cut out for these photos, but I have sorted that now by re-calibrating the machine, which is quick and easy to do...... 


I hadn't mastered cutting out enclosed areas in the following photo, I managed it on the wine bottle and glass in the first photo....




You can see the border I wanted to eliminate on this Polkadoodles stamp, she had little bobbles on the end of her hat that cut beautifully, but I tore them getting the shape off the mat....


Now I am no expert on this machine, yet! But a couple of points have been raised that I can answer.

 You can quickly and easily make shadows for cuts by using the seam allowance option

 You can import SVG files and convert them in the Canvas software

I have also purchased a lot of Silhouette files, I wanted to know if I could cut these on my SNC and the easiest way seemed to be printing them out, then scanning in to the machine and saving

I love being free of the computer!

Expect a lot more detail when I am back home and unpacked. I'll be back tomorrow with some amazing digi cuts to show you. See you then x

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Learning Curve.....scan n cut machine




There's a new cutter in my hands - the Brother Scan N Cut. Now as I am on holiday, I really haven't had a lot of time, or the supplies to really give this a workout, but over the next couple of days I will share some of the results I have had.

Firstly, this is a nicely designed machine and is very lightweight - just as well as I have to carry it back in my hand luggage on the plane. You see the little screen on the top? That flips up. I found the screen size perfectly workable, I think having an iphone helps adjust to that..



I took a couple of photos of the shapes that are available, this is just a snapshot, giving you an idea of the available shapes. These basic shapes are great - I will probably use these more than any other patterns....



Some of the shapes...


more shapes and some tags and frames......


There are ready designed words and phrases, and some borders....



You get four built in alphabets, and of course you can import fonts....


I am intrigued by the quilting patterns, I won't be quilting, but I reckon some of these would make great cards....




I'll be back tomorrow when I will show you some of the cuts I have made. If you want to know more about the machine, there are loads of YouTube videos to show it in action. See you tomorrow x