Exploring techniques outside our comfort zone is one way we can try new things and learn to be better at our craft. For many people trying something messy is one example of this creative growth process but for me I almost always start a layout with a paintbrush. So for me, it was a challenge to try to use this beautiful mandala cut file in the shop since iNSD 2018 ! I used to avoid intricate cut files because I had a hard time choosing the right settings and got frustrated easily by having the file tear in parts while weeding it. But I always wanted to be be able to succeed someday. That's why I chose this topic for today's post. In a layout like this all of the work goes into the cut file and backing it and then the rest of the embellishment is actually very simple. I fussy cut a few flowers and use some of the painted wood veneers in the kit. My paintbrush only made an appearance once to splatter a little bit of color around the edges of the page. I had fun playing with some of the sparkly tulle trim in the kit to make a little ruffle under my photo
For starters, there have been tremendous improvements in the technology of new electronic die cutting machines. About a year ago I decided to finally toss my original first edition Silhouette Cameo which was no longer working and I bought a Brother Scan N Cut machine. It already is not the newest model, but it is still an amazing machine. I am very happy that I decided to do my own research and figure out a machine that would be best for me and not just do what everyone else is doing just because. I actually have no opinion on the newer Silhouette models I have not tried but I am sure they are equally wonderful as are the Cricut machines.
I wanted to show these photos really close up in order to show you the mistakes I made during the process of backing the die cut. I used the process of tracing the shape of the negative spaces I wanted to fill on the back side of the paper I wanted to have show through,and then cutting it out and adhering it with glue squeezed through a fine point bottle. But I changed my mind about the side of the paper I ended up using and was stuck being able to see my pencil tracing lines! I had to go back and erase them and it did not turn out perfect in the end. But as they say, mistakes are only lessons and we do not learn unless we make them!
Some of the other lessons I learned in this process are to make sure that the blade is able to cut all the way through properly and also make sure that the cutting mat is sticky enough so the paper does not shift during a long cut. This one took my machine 20 minutes to cut! But you do not want the mat to be too sticky or it makes it more likely to tear when weeding it. My mat was not very sticky so I actually used washi tape to hold my paper in place. I also used the American Crafts precision cardstock in the shop. It is more expensive than regular cardstock but for cuts like these (which I make infrequently) it is worth the investment! I only had to cut once! There was a time when it might take me half a dozen cuts to get it right.
I hope you enjoyed learning about my journey outside my comfort zone today as much as I enjoyed the process of finally using this gorgeous cut file designed by Lacey Gasper. You can find more of Lacey's cut files in her Etsy store Lacey Ann Designs!
Hello friends, it's Gia again. The Creative Studio papers in the My Brilliant Friend International Series Kit inspired my to pull out some travel photos from long, long ago.
I started with one of the Aquarius collection papers in the kit as a background and used one of the stencils from the shop with texture paste mixed together with acrylic paint
One of my latest obsessions--the layered butterfly embellishments from Rosie's Studio. They are dimensional, translucent acetate, and some of them have glitter! Like I said- I'm obsessed. I decided we needed to stock them in the store because they are so versatile and who doesn't love butterflies?
The rainbow die cuts are print and cuts in the Clique Kits exclusive Amaranth collection. It is available as a digital download and the colors go well with a lot of the new kits and popular collections.
In this close up you can see all the layers and textures. For my title, I requested a custom cut file from Lacey Ann Designs on Etsy. Your custom cut file is available to download in no time at all and she includes the outline and the solid letters plus a jpeg file to use as a thumbnail for future reference.
Here are some links to products used in this layout:
Amaranth Digital Kit
My Brilliant Friend Kit
Rosie's Studio Arabesque Butterflies