Thursday, September 30, 2010

Higher and higher



I've always had a soft spot for hot air balloons. There's something about them that puts a smile on my face every time I see them. I live about 15 minutes away from a hot air balloon ride and every Summer, two hot air balloons hang in the sky every evening. Grown ups and kids alike get excited whenever they are in sight. It is hard not to smile at the giant bubbles drifting in the sky. I plan on getting into one of those balloons some day but until I do, I'll be having fun with these balloons from the new LD Balloon Festival graphic set.


I found this set through LD's newsletter yesterday and it wasn't hard to pick out the balloon that will be the easiest to convert into a Cricut-cutable. By separating the image in Photoshop and tracing them in Make-the-Cut, these are the layers that I came up with:


I did have to make a little adjustment to the banner layer. The initial trace in MTC showed that four flags were joined together at 2 points but with a little bit of "cut-and-paste", I managed to separate  the banner into the individual flags:


The final cuts look like this:


Some foam tape and stickles later and the card is done.




The background with the sentiment was arranged in Photoshop and printed to form the card base. The sun and cloud images are from the same graphic set while LD Noodge was used for the sentiment.



Summer has gone and the hot air balloon rides have stopped for the year. Thankfully I still have these balloons and they will definitely be flying all year round.



***

Just two more days to put in your entry in my cartridge giveaway! Go to Monday's post to enter.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

New Lettering Delights Graphics and a Coupon!



Lettering Delights is going Vintage! Check out their new sets and while you're there, you might want to poke around and see if there are any more fonts or graphics that you might want to add to your collection. Better get 'em while they are still a buck because Dollar Days are ending in less than 2 weeks. Here's a coupon to make the deal sweeter:



Day 3: Mid-week humor

My 7 year old twins are going through a poetry kick and one of them was so inspired by a Jack Prelutsky book that she came up with this:


Do excuse that potty talk, that's, well, Mommy's fault. What do you do when your child comes up to you for a word that rhymes with "glee" when you are in the middle of a blog post? You tell her the first word that you think of. Right?

I hope you got a laugh out of that one. Now go put in your entry in the Giveaway Post. Don't forget to come back tomorrow to enter for yet another chance at the drawing. The more entries (max. 5) you put in, the more chances you get to win that cartridge.


***
Note: Please DO NOT put in your entry in this post. You are welcome to comment but note that any comments in this post will not be included in the drawing for the cartridge. To enter in the giveaway, please post in Monday's post. To go there, please click here:  


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Day 2: Blog Giveaway



Good morning, everyone. Thank you for all the interest in my giveaway. It is Day 2 and don't forget to enter a comment in Monday's post to get a second entry for the drawing of a Cricut Lite Cupcake Wrapper cartridge.

Many of you have been following this blog since earlier this year and I thank you very much for taking the time to read my posts. Thank you for all the comments and encouragement that you have been giving me. For those of you who are just joining us, I hope that you will take a look around and check out my older posts. I am still working on my "About ME" page but perhaps the following posts can tell you something about me and maybe even inspire you. 









Thank you for following this blog and don't forget to come back tomorrow to enter for another chance at the giveaway.

Note: Please DO NOT put in your entry in this post. You are welcome to comment but note that any comments in this post will not be included in the drawing for the cartridge. To enter in the giveaway, please post in Monday's post. To go there, please click here:  





Monday, September 27, 2010

Blog Giveaway! CRICUT LITE CUPCAKE WRAPPERS CARTRIDGE


****************************************************************
This give-away is now closed and entries are no longer accepted. The winner of the Cricut Lite Cupcake Wrapper Cartridge has been drawn and announced on Oct 2.


Thank you, everyone for playing!

  **************************************************************** 


This is the post that you have been waiting for. It's giveaway time!

The Prize: 



A Brand New, Still in Blister Pack, 
Cricut Lite Cartridge: Cupcake Wrappers.

The Rules: 
  • Leave a comment on this post and tell me how long you have had your Cricut machine. If you do not have a Cricut machine, you can just post "Hello! I really want this cartridge" or something. :-)

  • Include your email address on the comment or on your Google profile so that I have a way of contacting you if you should win. If I am not able to contact the winner because of a lack of contact information, I will pick another winner. 
(Adding this in on Tues, Sep 28: I have been advised by a kind reader to suggest that instead of typing down your email address the normal way, please write it like this instead:
xxx at yyy dot com
where xxx is your username and yyy is your service provider. 
In other words, just replace the @ with the word "at" and the "." with the word "dot".  This is to avoid letting any spammer-program from picking up the email addresses and adding to spamming mailing lists. Thank you and sorry for the inconvenience.


  • You must be a follower of this blog. If you are not already a follower of this blog, just click on the "Follow" button on the right column of this page. If I am not able to verify that the winner is a follower of this blog, I will pick another winner.


  • You may leave a comment each day that the giveaway is open. In other words, you may leave one comment on Monday, one on Tuesday, so on and so forth until Friday. You may enter once a day for up to 5 days. You may not exceed a maximum of 5 entries in total per person.


  • Entries for the giveaway will be accepted from now and will end on Friday Oct 1, 11:59pm PST. The winner will be chosen by RANDOM.ORG and announced on Saturday, Oct 2 at 10a.m. PST.  



  Good Luck!  




 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Cupcake Wrapper Series: Wrapping it Up!



Before I close this series on Cupcake Wrappers, I thought that it is important to include some information that I was not able to put in my video tutorials. My version of the "Cut-and-Print" technique is just one of the many ways of simulating the Cricut Imagine, but with equipment that you already have. I continue to learn of other ways of achieving the same results. You are welcome to share your experience and opinions with me as I am open to all advice and suggestions on how I can improve on my techniques.

To recap, the "cut-and-print" cupcake wrappers tutorial is basically:





Step 1: Print outline, Cut wrapper and Adhere over printout.





Step 2: Print full image on adhered cutouts





Step 3: Assemble








Having said all that, here are a few additional tips:

Tip 1: To save ink, when you make the first print that will be used as the base to stick the cutouts on, instead of printing the entire image, you can just print an outline. There are 2 ways to do this:

(A) After you have designed your wrapper and save the image, Duplicate the layer. On the layer copy, right-mouse click and Select Pixels. On the top menu, choose Select>Modify>Expand. In the video tutorial, I entered 10 to enlarge the image by 10 pixels. This is the layer with the full image.



To create an outline only page, Duplicate the layer that you have just created with the expanded image. On this duplicate layer, choose Select Pixels, then Select>Modify>Contract and enter 15. Press Delete and you will be left with only the outline of the image. 
Toggle the layers by closing or opening the eyeball to view and print the required pages.


(B) If Method (A) seems too involved, you can always Duplicate the image layer and then use the Eraser Tool and delete off the inside of the wrapper, leaving only an outline. I prefer Method (A) as it leaves a cleaner outline.



Tip 2:  
Before I print the final image on the cutouts, I fill the empty slit rectangle with the Eyedropper and Paint Bucket tools. That way, I can avoid printing out an empty/white box if I did not position the cutout precisely over the outline. You may also use the Magic Wand tool to delete the rectangle.


Tip 3
I used the wrapper size of 7.7" x 2.6" for the standard cupcake. You can always adjust the size to fit any cupcakes that you are baking. For Mini Cupcakes, I found that 5.25" x 2" was perfect for the scallop edge wrapper.


For this wrapper, I used Lettering Delight's Flower Power graphic set.

Tip 4:


Let your imagination fly with these cupcake wrappers. You don't even have to print on them if you are out-of-time. Just stick some pattern paper onto the mat and cut or let the kids have a go at them. I found that my kids were thrilled to decorate their own wrappers. That will be a great idea for a kid's party where the little guests get to decorate their wrappers themselves. All you have to do is cut a bunch of wrappers out with Make-the-Cut and the Cricut and let the kids get creative with them.

Tip 5
In Make-the-Cut, the Beziar Wrap tool can be used to create unique cupcake wrappers cuts. I have not personally tried this but a long discussion can be found on the MTC forum.


I hope that you have enjoyed this cupcake wrapper series. If I missed out a step or two, do know that it was not intentional. I have designed my tutorials so that it is as easy to follow as possible. If you think that I went too fast, just click on the pause button. ;-) While the steps may look intimidating at first, it is actually a very simple concept. It takes about 10mins to create the cut and the print files and the cutouts. Once you have the basic wrapper shapes, just save the file and you can have your own personalised cupcake wrappers any time you want. Just change the patterns, graphic image or text, and you are good to go. Most importantly, have fun with these wrappers.  Feel free to leave your question anywhere on my blog and I will try to help.

Finally, to close my first series of tutorials, I thought that it would be most appropriate to end it with my first giveaway. Check back on Monday (Sept 27) to find out what I have in store for you and to enter your name in the giveaway. Here's a hint:




 Enjoy your weekend!




Pin It

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Cupcake Wrappers Video Tutorial 3: Cut-and-Print with Circular Text



In the previous video tutorial, I mentioned that for the text to look right when cut and printed on the cupcake wrapper, it has to be on a circular path. This video tutorial will show you how I do that in Adobe Photoshop.

The images used in the video are Lettering Delights' Thanksgiving Art and Funky Owl. The paper is Owl I Want for Christmas.


Enjoy!





Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Cupcake Wrappers Video Tutorial 2: Cut-and-Print Personalised Cupcake Wrappers


 
For this tutorial, I used the scallop edge wrapper from LD's Provincial Princess Cupcake Wraps and paper and graphics from the Harajuku Collection.


I will show you how I extract the shape of the wrapper and replace the color pattern with a LD paper. I will also show you how to add graphics to the wrapper. Even though I added text to the wrapper in the video, please note that for the text to look right, it should follow the contour of the wrapper (i.e.circular text). That will be in another tutorial.


Enjoy the following video tutorial and let me know if you manage to make some of your own personalized cupcake wrappers. I would love to see what my readers come up with.



Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cupcake Wrappers Video Tutorial 1: How to "Cut-and-Print" LD Cupcake Wrappers



In the following video tutorial, I used Adobe Photoshop and this image from LD's Provincial Princess cupcake wrap graphic set:

Even though I had used Adobe Photoshop in the tutorial, any other graphics editor with similar tools should work too.
  

There are basically 3 parts to the tutorial: 

Step1 : Measure the size of the wrapper in Photoshop
Step2: Trace and Cut in Make-the-Cut
Step 3: Adhere cutout over printed image and print again.
The most important part of the process is making the measurements. When MTC traced the wrapper, the contour of the curved part is not the same as that of the printed image. The cutout is more curved than the printed image. Adjustments to the "curve-angle" has to be made by unlocking the aspect ratio and entering the dimensions of the wrapper manually.

I also enlarged the wrapper image before adhering the cutout over the printed image because:
(a) it helps as a guide when I position the cutout over it.
(b) it ensures that the whole cutout will be printed on. 


If I leave the image as-is (without enlarging the size), I risk not putting the cutout in the exact position over the image because it is hard to layer it when I can't see the image on the bottom of the cutout. If the cutout is the exact same size as the printed image, more often than not, the ink will miss the border of the cutout and will thus leave a white unprinted edge around the wrapper cutout.

I chose this Lettering Delights image to use in my tutorial because it is a very basic design. The idea is essentially the same for the other LD wrapper graphics. It may take a little bit of adjustments but the concept is the same- measure in PS, cut in MTC, then print again in PS.

Once the basic steps have been figured out, it is really simple to go a step further and personalize these wrappers. Tomorrow I will show you how I did just that. 









30% off Lettering Delights ONE DAY ONLY!


I just received this coupon from Lettering Delights. The code "Just4Today" will save you 30% off your total purchase. With the current Dollar sale, this means that each graphic or font set is only $0.70! This discount is valid for one day only. Don't let it go to waste. Start shopping by clicking here or the picture above.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Cupcake Wrappers



If there is any good excuse to "cut-and-print" it has to be for these cupcake wrappers. I've long noticed that Lettering Delights carries many cupcake wrappers in different prints in their store. I've even bought and downloaded a couple but I've never taken the time to use them. The instructions that accompanied each download required that I print and cut them out. All I could think of was that it would be such a drag to have to cut all of these by hand. And then it hit me...I could (Cri)cut these out using the "faux-magine" a.k.a. "cut-and-print" method!


So I finally opened my copy of LD Provincial Princess cupcake wrappers graphic set that I had downloaded many moons ago. With the same method as illustrated in my video tutorial here, I traced the wrappers into MTC.


I probably spent too much time tweaking the dimensions in both Photoshop and MTC but the final results were definitely worth it. I was happy that I didn't have to spend all that time hand-cutting and the kids were happy that they got to eat cupcakes.


I will have a tutorial up tomorrow that will show you how I did this and on Wednesday you will see how you can even personalize each cupcake wrapper with just the basic wrapper shape from LD.


Stayed tuned!

Friday, September 17, 2010

A LD freebie and coupon



It's Friday Freebie time from Lettering Delights! You can download the Tic-Tac cover here or by clicking on the image above. Just add it to your cart and check out as if you are buying it. Once you are done, go to your email and open your order confirmation. You should find a 25% coupon inside that is valid for your next purchase (expires in 30 days).

If you want to save your 25% coupon for another day, you may use the coupon: ABC123 for $5 off a $15 purchase instead. 

Now go grab your freebie and coupons before they are no longer available! 

Have a great weekend, everyone!