Saturday, 31 May 2014

Make your own Texture Medium

This is a case of accidental discovery. I wanted to make some chalkboard paint but didn't quite have the ingredients I needed. (Incase you are wondering, it is acrylic paint and a smooth grout powder).  The powder I had was too rough, so although it would sort of work, it wasn't the smooth effect I was after.
Hmm. Ok, what else is powdery....aahh! Talc! I raided the bathroom cabinet and found some baby talc. (No I don't have a baby, it smells nice!)

So I tried this mix out but I didn't think it would be hard wearing enough. Oh well, c'est la vie!

My mind started to wander though and I was thinking that it would still have texture but probably needed to be a little more flexible.  I came up with a mix of 1 part paint (doesn't have to be white, could be a colour), about the same amount of talc and about half of white glue (PVA).
Ta da!  The result was a smooth, creamy texture gel that can be used with stencils or freehand and if you want to push things into it like string or top it with glitter, you can.

It doesn't photograph well but a mix of Iridescent Medium  and PVA glue works well. You get a lovely sparkly texture gel. If you mix it and put it into an old glue bottle, you can even write with it.. DON'T try mixing it in the bottle, it's too thick. Once set, which will take a while, it remains flexible.

TIP If your glue bottle has lost it's cap, dot a bit of silicone on the nib. It will peel off easy but stop the air getting to the contents.

Friday, 30 May 2014

Silhouette Studio V3.0.531 Shadow Tool

I've just made a video tutorial on the shadow tool to post on my Youtube channel, I hope you will take a look!  Shadow tool tutorial

While the shadow tool is not one of the most useful I can think of, I suppose it has some use in trying to create a more 3D effect. It is at least worth playing with so that if at some point you are wanting to try it out on a project, you have some idea of what you are doing!

My video is only a short one, some of the advanced features on the shadow tool are pretty self explanatory and not really worth featuring for that reason (transparency for instance).  It is however worth noting the cut features which I do mention!

While I am here, I shall tell you it may be a bit quiet on the blog front for a few weeks, or at least on the video front! We have several lots of summer visitors arriving all through the month so I shall be rather busy catering for them! Plus hopefully, a bit of pool time....

I couldn't believe it today, we have not had rain for months and I finally got round to cleaning all the downstairs windows.  So what happens?  We get thunder, lightening and heavy rain. Grrrrr!

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

A Watercolour Blog

For a change, I thought I would chat about watercolours.

Watercolours have a reputation for being difficult, a reputation that is only semi deserved. If you are a control freak, perhaps they are not the best choice for your artistic endeavours but if you like to go with the flow as it were, you could enjoy them immensely.

The great thing with watercolours is the easy transporting of your materials and the lack of drying space needed - oils are a pain in that respect. For those inclined, watercolours can be just a case of a portable palette and paper.

Neither does it need to be expensive. Paper is your largest expense and if you look out for offers, even that is not too bad. Look for a good heavy paper, mine is cold pressed 300g/m and that is pretty good. If you go to any reputable art shop they will guide you to the beginners stuff.

Paints are a matter of choice. Most of us are happy with student grade paints unless we get really serious but even the dearer ones are not that expensive when you consider how little you use. If you are short of cash, cut back on the number of colours and mix red, blue and yellow to get any you want.

One very good tip is to use a lidded ice cube tray for mixing your colours. Add just a tiny drop of liquid honey to each well and you will be surprised how it makes your paints so much more glossy and easier to mix. These are in a cheap plastic palette. It stops them drying out, I have paints untouched for a year in there and can still use them!

On my lidded ice tray, I labelled all the colours I mixed, for easy reference.   
Don't be afraid to experiment and mix in other mediums too. If you add a touch of metallic acrylic, you can get some very pretty effects.

The beauty of watercolour is that it is not so heavily controlled, happy accidents happen, giving unexpected results sometimes. You don't need costly, smelly cleaners either.

Get the best brushes you can, because those do make a difference. I love water brushes too. Inexpensive plastic brushes with handles that fill with water. There is a controlled flow to the brush tip and they are great fun! You can get filled ones too but if you are trying to keep the cost down, get the empty ones!
For anyone who says that they can't even draw a straight line, who cares? Go look in an art museum and I bet you will see stuff in there that makes you think a monkey could paint better - and you certainly could!
All that matters is that YOU like the results, that you think your paint splodge is interesting.  So go on, indulge your inner artist. It's very relaxing and cheaper than therapy!

 Here are some of mine. Just to inspire you to try.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Well, today didn't go as expected......

I was thinking I would be playing with my software and possibly making another video but it was not to be.
My dishwasher went on the blink the day before yesterday and I didn't realise it until today. I'd put the dirty dishes down to human (my) error, thinking I'd probably been absent minded and switched it off before it had started (on a timer). Nope, not the case. I put stuff on a rinse and thought, uh oh, can't hear the water whooshing around!

So, in spite of being good, doing my exercises, cleaning the floors, my crafting was not to be. I spent much of the day cleaning bits of dishwasher out, de gunking and mopping the wet floor......

However, we think we have it licked now (not literally) and it is running through a cycle as I type.  The dishwasher is 10 years old and replacement parts eye wateringly expensive, so a DIY solution was needed. We got it out into the porch.  Hubby, being the capable type, investigated all the valves, switches, sensors and heaven knows what else.  Nothing made a difference. The problem looked to be a blocked pipe. One we could not get at to remove. So how did we clear it?  First off, there is some plastic thing, looks like intestines. It looked bunged up at the top.  Hubby unhooked it and I cleaned it out with hot water and degreasant, as best I could. There were other bits we could get to on the interior of the left side of the machine, hubby opened a bit up and we put about half a cup of caustic soda in, some in there and some inside the machine cavity, topped up by hot water. It fizzed and bubbled. We let it sit for about 15 minutes.  We figured, nothing ventured, nothing gained, the machine was going to be a write off otherwise.

Switched on in trepidation and yes! The machine started to fill up properly, whooshing as it should!

After a while we opened it up and looked in, the water had lots of grease balls in it. Yuck.

So, now it is nice and clean inside and out. I took the chance to give it a good going over, since when in position there is little opportunity to do so.

Satisfying, yes, what I intended to do? No.  That's what life is about though isn't it, the little surprises!

Hope to get back to crafting tomorrow!

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Jigsaw for Children

Holiday time is here again and we all know that children need to be kept busy if you don't want mischief!

So, to help you along I have made a jigsaw base for you.

 Find an image and make both the same size. That's easy enough! Line them up together and add your registration marks if you need to change them.
I would advise making a copy of the picture for obvious reasons. Also, make a copy of the jigsaw base just with the lines printed on card. You can spray with temporary adhesive to help the placed pieces stay put! With purchased jigsaws, the thickness of the pieces does that job.
The only other consideration is if you want to thicken the lines and set to cut edge - so that a tiny amount is taken out. While it takes out a little bit of the picture, it makes it easier to fit the pieces together.  Don't over do it though!
Once the pieces have been cut but are still on the mat, if you like, you can spray with varnish to finish them off.

Jigsaw Studio file


Friday, 23 May 2014

Making Child Safe Artwork for the Walls

Everyone likes to make a bedroom a pretty place or interesting, with art work on the walls.  Sometimes it is educational, sometimes not but all of it needs to be safe. I know from experience it can be pretty scary for a picture to come crashing down near your head as you sleep ( yup, it happened!) and to see  the glass inches from your face.

Obviously there are alternatives, safety glass and perspex being two of them but in the ever changing land of juvenile decoration, do you really want the cost?

Posters and stickers are all very well but not always what you want in a newly decorated room.

Enter the fake.  Repurpose a cork table mat or two. I have loads that have been ruined. Clean them up, measure and make a faux frame out of cardboard. Your Cameo will do a great job. Here is one -

Picture frame (file)

Now, make up some art for your frame, sizing to fit the table mat. Stick it on, double sided tape will do. Make your frame to size, the hole needs to be about an inch less all round, while the outer frame, a bit larger. Cut it out of pretty card or decorate it however you like. Use sticky foam strip to raise it up and stick to the art. Done! The beauty of this, is that not only is is disposable, but light weight and you can even use BlueTac to put it on the wall.

Here is a tiny one I did, coaster size.
You could even layer more frames on top if you want.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Creating Sentiment Stencils

Sentiments are used time and time again and unless you are a Stamper (I'm not) it means cutting or printing or both, many times over. In the days of expensive print cartridges, printing is something I keep to a minimum, so it is handy to have stencils to use.

I have loaded a video to Youtube on how to create them, both from simple fonts and the more complicated cursive scripts.  It isn't really that hard, but the process of working while thinking of  negatives is something we are not used to. You can see it here

Even I get it wrong sometimes. After making the video I realised I had made an error of omission on one bit! For that reason, I suggest that when you have finished your design, cut it out in a scrap piece of card and then use it - just to check! Normally I scrutinise the file before saving it but in a screen cast I don't have the time to do that!

Once you have got the hang of it, you can make loads of them, the best way to store is in a ring binder with those clear document pages, you can label them so they are easy to find. I cut mine from coloured or clear acetate and they last for ages.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Silicone Experiment !

I do get the oddest of ideas sometimes and just have to try them to see if they work. This is one of them.

Take a tube of silicone - the stuff used for DIY. I've got the clear one. Gather some glitter (yup, going to bling!)

Then cut some shapes in a thick material. I've got a thin craft foam,  a spatula, a sheet of freezer paper or a plastic bag and some masking tape and some Vaseline.

Rub some Vaseline (very sparingly) over the sheet of freezer paper. Don't forget to do this!
Put your stencil on top and tape it down.

Put blobs of silicone in the holes and use the spatula to smooth it out. Now here, you can either remove the stencil before or after glittering, the choice is yours.

Add your glitter and remove the stencil.

The result is very pretty, very glittery shapes that are jelly like.


Leave over night at least before moving. The Vaseline should haver stopped them sticking to the sheet underneath. 
Believe me, I tried it without, thinking it would not stick. It did!

Dust off any excess glitter with a brush and you have some sparkly accents. I suspect that you could also make thin sheets of this, let it dry and cut it with the Cameo afterwards......

Monday, 19 May 2014

Don't Just Shop at Craft Stores!

We crafters have to get crafty when it comes to shopping for supplies. Here in Spain it is particularly necessary due to not having much in the way of local craft stores anyway! I thought I'd share with you, a photo of my embroidery thread stash.

I made the board with Hubby's help (he did the drilling - men and power tools!) We used a remnant board from the local DIY shop, cost about €2 and a load of dowelling. I painted flowers all over it first!  In case you are wondering, I get my embroidery threads in 1000m spools, it is Gunold, from here. They are lovely, and it is cheaper than buying them in the local shops. (No I am not sponsored by them). It is where I get my stabiliser  too. They are very helpful and friendly, with brilliant service.

Ebay is handy of course, if you are careful. I got my Cameo blade holder from China, along with blades, for a very reasonable price. The Chinese stores over here are great for odd bits and pieces, especially glitter paper and containers, along with bling items, nail polishes and cheap cosmetics. I don't use them on ME, they are for crafting!  Hair spray in my case, is used as a fixative for artwork, printed or drawn, not on my hair. If you want to add a bit of subtle sparkle to something, spray with glitter hair spray!

Ice cube trays with lids are great for watercolours. TIP mix a tiny drop of honey in with your paint and it will  last much longer without drying out in the wells. A plain white kitchen tile can be very useful for mixing small amounts of paint. A sheet of perspex is wonderful for using as a base to put your painting on while you work on it. Light weight and strong, you can then move your painting out of the way if you need the space for something else.

Rubbing alcohol is invaluable for cleaning things up, as is nail polish remover - and that orange sticky stuff remover is much nicer if you have to get paint off your hands.

I've a project on the go that involves silicone sealant, I can't wait to post on that but I have to, to make sure it works first!

DIY boxes are great for craft materials, especially if you are travelling.  Old spice jars with sprinkle lids are great for glitter. If I have glitter projects using different colours and I am in a hurry, I put all the excess glitter, no matter what the colour in a spare jar. It's still pretty!

I have reels of DIY tape in all sorts of colours, they are great for accents and if you want, you can stick it to card and then cut out sentiments with them.

Things like glue guns and long metal rulers are often cheaper in DIY stores too and you can get brightly coloured rubber buckets here  that are great for use in craft rooms.

Boot sales can be good, hubby picked up a box of hundreds of boxes of beads, weighing several kg, for under €3!

Dental picks are of course excellent for weeding vinyl projects and sticky backed plastic makes great disposable stencil material.

So next time you are offered a trip to the DIY store, try going, you never know what you may find!

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Envelopes - A little Thank you!

Well, I noticed that we have clocked up over 1000 page views on this blog in the past few weeks since I first started it. Wow!

So I thought I would share a little gift with you, a selection of envelope designs. They are always handy to have around, especially if you make non standard sized cards!

 You  can get the files  here Sandra's Envelopes

Tiered Card - Happy Birthday (Base file only to download)

Sometimes the simplest of methods produces a really good result. Such is the case with this Tiered  Birthday card.Video  on how to draw it.   Here is the file
None of the elements is overly complicated but the finished item is a very nice classic card.

So this is what it looks like when just cut. The tiers will give the finished card a very good 3D look. The base card is a busy pattern, so I don't want to overload it with too many elements.

I found some stuff to use in my stash. Some pretty silver ribbon was added with double sided tape. I have learned to avoid glue to add ribbon - messy and often seeps through.
A square tile mosaic and a 3D butterfly I made months ago complete the decorative bit.

For the sentiment, I stuck silver DIY tape to a piece of card to cut out the letters.

Make Your Own Fancy Papers

There are times when I want a paper effect that is a) not something I have in my stash or  b) not something I can easily or cheaply, buy.

One of the prettiest of these is a kind of sparkly, variegated, marbled effect paper.  This is the sort of thing that your printer just can't do in the same way that you can do by hand. Moreover, it is cheap, easy and fun! Come on, playing with paints in a way that requires zero artistic talent to achieve fabulous results! What more could you want?

There is very little equipment needed and once bought, even that will last for a very long time.

Find a source of cheap acrylic paint tubes or, even better if you can find them, some artists inks, and some cosmetic spray bottles. Half fill with water and add a small blob of paint. Remember every colour can be mixed with red, blue and yellow!
If you want sparkle, get your hands on some Reeves Iridescent Medium. I have a separate bottle and keep some of that mixed up to spray all over my papers.

If you use inks, you can dilute a few drops in medical alcohol - it dries quicker. Be aware though, that some paints don't mix well with alcohol and some do. It is trial and error there, so you may want to stick to water on those.

Now, the other thing I love to use, is a thin embroidery backing to paint on. It has the advantage of being semi transparent, doesn't mind getting wet and it makes very pretty flowers. It also cuts like a dream with the Cameo set to 'copy paper'. It is quite strong too.

So, using a bin liner to set it on, I simply spray different colours over the material, at random. I top it off with a spray of the iridescent medium and for a final touch, use a VERY fine brush with a little acrylic on it to add veins when it is all dry.  Use the brush by holding it at the top of the handle and using very little paint, just lightly and quickly, randomly make marks.

Once you have your paper, it can be used for flowers and leaves, or cut into ribbons or even just used as background. It is extremely versatile stuff! Cut doily patterns out of it, use it to cover boxes..

The camera does not capture the full beauty of this, with the lovely sparkle and delicate hues, it really is lovely.
If you can't find embroidery backing, have a look at fabric stiffener for dress making. A light weight one should be very similar.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Combining Crafts with a Cameo, Portrait or other Cutter

Many people use their Cameo for only one sort of craft, making cards or whatever. Perhaps they don't think about what else it can be used for, they just plod along the same path.

One hobby that is very popular but incredibly time consuming, is paper jewellery making. It's really fascinating to see what designs artists come up with but many are very labour intensive to  a point where I really wouldn't be bothered.

This is where the cutter comes in.  How easy is it to set up to cut loads of triangles for beads at one time! To be able to make so many different sizes, while at the same time, cutting with complete accuracy!  Put the scissors down!

One way of making truly wonderful pendants is to layer 3 or 4  pieces of watercolour paper together, using the outer two as the coloured design element. It can be printed, painted or drawn on and then sealed with a good layer of varnish.  It is even easy to put in a hole for the hoop to go through, or cut a channel for a wire fixing.

Ross Barbera  is a true artist, in every sense of the word. His paintings are wonderful but he also makes Paper Jewellery.  He must have the patience of a saint.

Combine his technique with a Cameo and you are well away. A lot of the repetitive work is done for you. Watch the video linked above and some of his others. It won't be time wasted.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Mix and Match Shapes in Silhouette Studio V3.0343 DE

I spend a lot of time playing around with my software and that is how I often come across interesting things that just don't naturally occur to me and maybe, not to you either!

One such thing is my Video tutorial today on how shapes can be mixed up and matched to make a greater variety in your objects.
There is something immensely satisfying about doing something that is quick, easy and oh so effective! See the video  Mix and Match in Silhouette Studio V3.0343 DE

Making Iris Cards easier

Set up your cutting mat with a variety of small papers that you want to use. Measure the greatest length of your card aperture and decide how wide you want the strips to be. Then set up your page with lots of strips and send it to your cutter. The strips will be suited to your project and you won't need to cut down as many.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

The Perils of Not being a Video Editor!

As some of you will know, I make video tutorials or what are more accurately called 'screen casts'.

For the un initiated, these are recordings from the screen of your computer (I've not yet braved doing them from an iPad!) that record, well, what you are doing on screen, and (assuming no errors) the sound of your voice providing instruction.

Now maybe you can tell I am like that duck, all calm on the surface and paddling madly underneath, and maybe you can't. What I can say, is that a simple  10 minute screencast can take over an hour to make, if things don't go quite to plan. It would, I confess, be a lot easier if I learned to edit them but alas, that is not likely to happen. I hate editing video. Written word is a lot easier! So all the screencasts you will see, that I make, are shot in one go. Sometimes lots of one goes!

Sounds simple though, doesn't it? How hard can it be to capture 10  minutes or less of tutorial? If that is what is going through your head at the moment, you've obviously never made one.

The first mistake can be not checking the sound settings. Do you have gremlins? I do. I swear that I have altered my settings, tested and closed it out, only to find that people are saying they can't hear me. I'm sure I have a little itsy bitsy gremlin in my laptop that adjusts the settings when I'm not looking.  They also make odd things happen with the hardware from time to time. Like the mouse not working or selecting things you know you didn't click on!

However, most audio faults are errors of too much sound. Professionals have nice cosy studios, soundproofed and lockable. My house is more open plan, sound carries because of hard floors and there is only a normal door between me and the rest of the house (I record in my craft room/ spare bedroom). The double glazing won't keep sound out from outside, so don't be surprised if you hear dogs howling (I don't even have one!) or kids screaming from pools in the summer (mine are grown up and don't live here!)

That is just the start of it. Nerves? Would you believe that my head can empty, the moment the 'record' button is pushed?  You can bet, that the postman will ring the bell 3/4 the way through, or hubby will come home and shout something up the stairs. Or the telephone will ring. Or I will suddenly smell burning, where I have left some bread in the oven and forgotten it. Yes, I do recordings in the middle of other stuff!

Other video wreckers are my cats. In the same way that they suddenly appear from nowhere as soon as there is a nice clean but still wet mopped floor, they have a built in sense for when I need peace and quiet and set out to destroy it.  This one

is prone to howling for my attention, so loudly that you would think his furry little throat was being cut. I kid you not,  he can reach decibels hitherto unknown to man nor beast.

The grey one, is noticeably quieter but has a penchant for throwing up the odd fur ball when I am in the middle of things or trying to climb a leg when he finds out that his companion has eaten all his breakfast and there is only kibble left. This will most likely cause me to utter words that I really don't think should be recorded for posterity.  I can't shut the door because the black and white one will howl non stop for at least an hour and throw himself at the door, if separated from me. At 7 kg, that makes quite a thump, which would also be audible!
This feline action disrupts things magnificently.

Then, of course, there is the curse of the software. You click on something and it doesn't do what you expected it to. Now this can be user error or those pesky gremlins again. If you are lucky you can plough through and recover it, if not, well the delete button on recording is very handy.

So the next time you watch a video, not just mine, think of what we may go through to make them. We do it because we love to teach and share, so if you have enjoyed watching something, leave a comment, it's nice to know someone is watching!

PS I have just uploaded a new Video!


Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Little House and Garden Free Files

I must be feeling generous today!

I have created this sweet little house and garden file.

Made the SVG in iDraw and put it into Studio for you. All the bits are grouped, some, like the grass won't be suitable for cutting but are designed for printing or sketching. The main pieces won't be a problem.

Lorry Card, Free File

I have not  a clue why I designed this, since my sons are way past this! Still it was fun and I am sure someone out there will enjoy it.
It was designed in SSDE V3.0343,  It has not been designed with cut by colour in mind, just with the usual settings. If you want to cut by colour or line colour, you will probably have to make some adjustments.  Here is a screen shot with the pieces placed, in the file the pieces are separated out.

I think it would look great cut in nice metallic card if you can find any, the pieces are then put onto an offset of the whole design and it hinges at the top.

.Lorry Card SSDEV3.0.343

Monday, 12 May 2014

An Eraser is for More Than Rubbing out Mistakes!

After making my fish with iDraw, I thought I had better put up a tutorial on making one very similar with Silhouette Studio V3.0343 DE.

It's extremely easy but is a great example of  how the simple eraser can be used to great benefit. It takes the hard work out of some complex shapes.

Using the Eraser to make stencils

I had such fun doing this one, I may well do some more later!

Fish (Fancy) SVG Free File and Studio V3 File Stencil

I have been doodling with my iDraw and happened to come up with something to share. It is a fish.  I saved the file to SVG and also in Studio 3. It is in the style of a stencil, so if you print it out as it is you could use the gradients as a guide for painting it, or you could print it on Transparent sticker film and use as a decoration on windows or such.

Click here Fish File    to get the file, it has both the pic and the Studio and SVG files in it.        For those with an inclination to use cut by line colour, I have made the line around the eye yellow and the rest red, so it makes it easy to select to cut it or not. The Studio file is grouped and I have already altered the line setting to Zero - not sure if that gets saved though!                                    
Leave a comment if you would like to see more of these types of files!

Sunday, 11 May 2014

iDraw or Not to iDraw? My Conclusion on the Mac App

Let me start off by saying that I have not got the iPad version, so can't say if any features are missing on that one!

So, does this app live up  to the hype?  I've had the chance to use it a fair amount over the last few days and I have to say that I am impressed.
It has enough features that the amateur artist or would be designer can get going quite quickly. Like most graphic software, there is a learning curve (and I am still on it!) I do like the interface, although a variant of the all black theme would be nice - maybe a deep blue?  The interface is not overloaded, it is clear and boxes easily manoevered around to where you want them or toggled on and off. Unlike some software, where if you shut a box down you can spend half an hour trying to find it again!

The main quirk is that some things require that you have your settings before you draw - curves on corners of a rounded corner rectangle, for example.One thing you really need to remember, if you are saving or exporting the file for another app - that unlike in Silhouette Studio, anything off your canvas IS NOT included.  That's fine, as long as you remember and stick another layer in, not so good if you forget and delete it first!  I have noticed that things exported  and imported into Studio can end up being HUGE! No idea why, I suspect it is a Studio issue rather than an iDraw one.
 I miss not having an 'Undo' button, having to go into the menu for that is a pain. (Yes, I know the shortcut key command z, but I don't often use those).
I miss not having  a dedicated object offset button (more on that later).
However, on the whole I am very happy with iDraw, for the price it is extremely good. It does not appear to be prone to crashing and there is no lag.
A shortage of video tutorials from anyone will however, put many off buying iDraw.  I have uploaded a few on the basics
 iDraw Offset Tutorial is just one,
      (see my YouTube Channel for more) made as I have discovered the workings myself. I know developers think they have more important things to do, and they probably have but I also think they under estimate the number of people who have never used graphics software - but want to give it a go. The price puts iDraw firmly in a beginners market but the manual has not been updated and there is little video back up.

I love that you can customise and store your own effects, styles and shapes. I love the ability to save in different formats. The layers are clear, can be labelled and moved. The fills are fantastic, so variable and you can easily import image fills.
Another great feature is the line smoothing. This is brilliant. It takes your rough lines and makes them look all neat and tidy!
Want to join lines that are all over the page? No problem. Didn't quite draw a closed shape? No problem, this can be done or put right at the click of a mouse.
Want to draw and label your garden plans? Easy.
There is a great scissor tool and all the usual path tools you would expect, although they may be called a different name.

If you expect it to be a full featured replacement for Adobe or Corel, you would be mistaken, there is a reason why those are so expensive and why many people would not know where to even start using them; but if you want a great package for small business or home use, this may well be all you need.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Daisy SVG - I've Been Playing in iDraw!

I know I should be out by the pool sunbathing or more likely cleaning up cat fur (I have no idea how our two British Shorthairs have any fur left) considering the amount I clean up every day but I've been playing with my software instead. Tut tut.

This time I took a photo of a daisy that I painted in watercolour - took a photo ages ago, painted from the photo and NOW I'm putting it in software and playing with effects, go figure!

I made it into a mask, added various effects and generally messed around to get a result I quite like. I hope you will like it too.
Click here for the SVG file

Click here for Studio V3 File

Now, a word of warning, when I tested the link it looked rather odd but dragging it into Studio, it was fine.  If you have the SVG version, you may find it is in individual masks, just collect them all together and centre  them. I've no idea why it does that, they were grouped before saving!

You may also like to play around with the individual bits, who knows!

Iris Card Templates- Video and Studio File

A friend in the UK sent me a picture of a card she would like to make when she visits me later in the summer. She had no idea what the technical name for it was but from the picture I was able to tell her that it is an Iris card. So called because it is like the iris of the eye or the lens of a camera when focusing.

I've not done much in the way of these cards but I do know they are rather popular. The basic template is actually quite easy if you think it through carefully - but can be confusing.
So, I have saved you the bother and made a very brief tutorial on how to do it in Studio DE V3.0343.

Iris Template Video

In iDraw How to video (but not the file).

  Iris Card Template Studio File

So what do you do with it once you have the template?

First, print the template out to the size you want for the 'hole' part of your card, i.e. the whole cut out area.
Tape it to a stable surface.
Cut the aperture of your card in the desired shape and centre it over the template. Tape that down with masking tape too, you don't want it moving on you!

Use the coloured guide to stick paper strips or ribbon along the lines, matching the colours in your chosen pattern. Start at the outside and work clockwise or anti clockwise around until finished. If you want, you can add a decorative paper to the hole in the middle and beads etc. Cover the 'working' side of the card with a pretty paper.