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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Video Tutorial: How to use Weld & Offset to make interesting cards with Silhouette Studio

You may know that a shaped card is made by welding the offsets of an image together but have you ever used the same technique to design the front of the shaped card?

By welding the offset of an image to a basic shape like a square or a rectangle, you can create all kinds of interesting shaped cards. For today's card, I welded rounded rectangles to the offsets and ended up with several new layers that I could then fill with a patterned digital paper.

Once I finished designing the card front and the card base, I print-and-cut the latter. In order to make the card more interesting, I cut the main image out from different colored cardstock and layered them together with glue and foam tape.

To finish the card, I added a sentiment by typing it with the Text Tool and I also rubber-stamped the tree trunk with a woodgrain pattern.

The following video will show you how I designed the front and the base to make today's card. I am still using Silhouette Studio (Designer Edition) version 2.8.16d because I do not like the latest version 3.0.343. No matter what version of Silhouette Studio you are using, you will be able to use today's tutorial to make an interesting card front and shaped card base with your software.

In the video, you may notice that I did not show how I added the sentiment. I deliberately skipped this step because many folks like to rubber-stamp their greetings onto the cards. If you prefer to print the sentiment, just type it in by using the Text Tool and Color Fill the words with black or any color of your choice. Be sure to turn off the cutting lines (Set Cut Style to "No Cut") so that your Silhouette cutter do not attempt to cut the words out during the print-and-cut process.

screen capture from my video tutorial.

I also kept the red outlines on the card so that the different layers remain well-defined. The Line Thickness of each of the red outlines is 0.00pt so they will not be printed and thus not show up on the printed page. If you follow my tutorial to make today's card, please make sure that the red outlines are either set to No Color (i.e. Transparent) or that the Line Thickness is set to 0.00 so that they do not show up when you print the card.

I wanted to keep the video short so I may have gone a little fast while recording. If you miss a step, just hit the Pause or Replay button. If you have any questions, just drop me a line here or you can find me on my Facebook Page.

For those of you who follow this blog via email, you can find the video at the following link:

Files used:
Over-Koala-fied Cut It set {This set is included in the Great Gift Giving bundle that is currently on sale. Use the code MayFlowers to get the 40-set bundle for only $31.50 (reg. $170!)}

Over Koala-fied Paper Pack
LD Blankie font
TXT Longhand font

Friday, April 25, 2014

Friday Freebies! {plus a few great deals}

It's Friday (yippee!) and LD released another new collection today! Check out the new Sew Cute cutting files and graphics. They are adorable! (My kids mentioned Lalaloopsy as soon as they saw the new line. Could these be inspired by those dolls? Hmmm....)

Here's your Friday Freebie:

Click HERE or the image(s) above to go to the LD site. Add the Sew Cute Friends graphic and cut it (SVG) to your cart and checkout. You pay $0.00! The links to the downloads will show up after the "transaction" is completed.

While you're at the LD site, don't forget to get the Great Gift Giving or the Simple as Pie bundle. These two collections are currently on sale and you can use the current coupons to get an even better deal! (Hint: The Great Gift Giving bundle is only $24.75 when you use the code Peanuts45 while the Simple as Pie bundle is only $19.60 when you use the code Peanuts30. )

Click on the image(s) below to get them!


At the time of this post, I have not seen any freebies from scrapNfonts but if they post one later, I will let y'all know.

Silhouette users, if you have not already gotten your weekly free shape, click HERE to get it.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

FIXED! Silhouette's free shape of the week.

This is an update to my previous post regarding the Silhouette's free shape of the week and how an upgrade to Silhouette Studio version 3 is required before it can be opened.

Silhouette America has fixed the file and the 3d tulips can now be opened in version 2. The following how-to came from Facebook reader, Deborah Denise Burke. Thanks, Deborah!.

"We are sorry for the concern. This was an unintentional error. We are working to correct the file now so that it can be re-downloaded anew and opened properly in any version. Please do the following later this afternoon once we’ve had the opportunity to provide a corrected file: 
1. Open the Silhouette Studio® program 
2. Open the Library 
3. Locate the image(s) in question 
4. Right-click on any in question and delete them (one at a time if there are multiple images in question) 
5. Empty the Library's Recycle Bin by right-clicking on the Recycle Bin and opting to empty it 
6. Go to the Silhouette Online Store 
7. Go to the my account link 
8. Go to the Recover All Downloaded Designs option 
9. Enter your account password and click on the Submit button "

I deleted my file, re-downloaded, and opened it without any issue with Silhouette Studio v.2.8.16d (the version that I'm currently). However, the redownload was counted towards my limit so I'm going to contact Silhouette to reset the download limit.

Silhouette free shape-of-the-week comes with a "price".

UPDATE: (april 23, 10am PST)

Silhouette America has fixed the file and it can be opened in Silhouette Studio v2 again. Please click HERE to see the how-to.


Silhouette America gives away a free shape every Tuesday and this week was no exception.

Their "3D Tulips" is really cute but if you had downloaded it to your Silhouette Studio software, you may find yourself being asked to update to the infamous version 3 when you try to open it.

"The file you are attempting to access requires you to update your software."

Really? Did Silhouette America forget about the complaints that we had emailed/Facebooked/called in about?  Sure, v3.0.343 fixes many of the bugs of the original version 3 (see my mini-review of v3 HERE and v3.0.343 HERE) but it is still buggy and not good enough. Many of us have installed the update(s) only to uninstall it as it simply could not compare to the easy-to-use version 2.  Frankly, I am surprised that they would try to force the update on us!

I have always appreciated how Silhouette America listens and responds to their customers' concerns so for now I am pretending that this was a glitch though I can't help but wonder- is this a sign of things to come? Going forward, will we begin to see the Silhouette Online Store offer shapes that can only be opened in version 3 or later? If so, I really hope that they would indicate on the item description that the file cannot be used in earlier versions of the software. Then again, I'm also keeping my fingers crossed that they would fix all the bugs of version 3 soon so that we can all update our software with confidence. There are some nice features in the new software that I'd really like to use but until they get the program fixed, I'm sticking with version 2.

With or without their freebie.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

25% off Silhouette Studio Designer Edition

From now until May 7, use the code STUDIO to get the Silhouette Studio Designer Edition for 25% off it's regular price. The free Silhouette Studio program that comes with your Silhouette cutting machine cannot open SVG files. In order to import SVGs and cut them with your Silhouette machine, you need to use the Designer Edition (or a 3rd party program like Make-the-Cut).

Click HERE to get your Silhouette Studio Designer Edition from the Silhouette America store.  

P.S. I am not affiliated with Silhouette America. I'm just happy to share a good deal. :-)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Silhouette free shape: bird nest

Happy Easter!

This is today's free bonus shape from Silhouette:

Click HERE to get the bird nest. If you had missed the bonus shapes that were given out the last few days, you can still get them HERE.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Silhouette free shape: flowers and bow

Yikes! Almost forgot to post today's free bonus shape from Silhouette. Click HERE to get the flowers and bow.

If you had missed the bonus shapes that were given out the last few days, you can still get them HERE.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Freebies!

There are a lot of freebies for us today but first, let me introduce the latest LD collection to you. The new Down by the Bay was inspired by this song and the whole line includes 4 Cut Its, 2 alphabets, 1 paper pack, and 3 graphic sets.
You can buy the sets separately or save by getting the Cut bundle (cutting files, includes SVG) and the Graphics bundle. Don't forget to use the following coupons if you are shopping at the LD site:
Now onto the Friday Freebies...

Here are the three from LD:

Click HERE or the image(s) above to go to the LD site. Add the Down by the Bay Baboon graphic and cut its (SVG) and the DB Easter Fun Doodles dingbat to your cart and checkout. You pay $0.00! The links to the downloads will show up after the "transaction" is completed.

scrapNfonts is a sister site of LD and they too have some freebies to give away. Click HERE to get the Easter Treats Word Art from the scrapnfonts store and HERE to go to their Fontaholic blog to download the Hip Hop Printable.

Silhouette users, HERE is your free bonus shape for today:

If you have not already gotten your weekly free shape, click HERE to get it.

----- Down by the Bay video: -----

Take 2: Silhouette Studio version 3.0.343 mini review

So an update to Silhouette Studio was released on Wednesday. After the fiasco of the original v3, Silhouette America scrambled to put together this latest version 3.0.343. It took them 2 weeks to get this out and I managed to take some time yesterday afternoon to test the program. {Thank you, Hubby for bringing the kids out so I can do this.}

While I'm glad that they have fixed many of the issues, I am still not convinced that I should stop using v2. They had removed some of my favorite features and replaced them with other new ones that I frankly do not care for. For example, I can no longer set my cutting lines if the image is off the mat. This severely limits my workspace and I am not happy with this change at all.

Their new Layers feature is still a mess. Unless you are cutting an image with very few layers, this feature is very confusing and hard to use. Don't even try to use it when you have duplicates of the same image opened. It'll blow your mind, and not in a good way.

Here is a quick recap of the tests that I made yesterday. All these screenshots were posted to my Facebook page as I was testing the software. The text that precedes each screenshot is the comment that I posted along with my photo on Facebook. I'm posting them here for those of you who may have missed them or who do not use Facebook. For the record, I am using Windows 8.1.


Just started playing with v3.0.343 (released yesterday).
LIKE: the LD svg is Ungrouped automatically.
DISLIKE: I can only set the standard cut style when the image is on the mat. This limits my workspace tremendously. Annoying!

v3.0.343 (PHOTO 2)
- Just like the Standard Cut Style, using the Advanced Cut Style only allow the cut settings to be made to the image that is on the mat. The cutting lines of any images that are OUTSIDE of the mat area cannot be set.
- the Layers feature still does not make any sense to me. The layers are not well-defined at all so that you can't tell which label points to which shape.

v3.0.343 (PHOTO 3)
Tracing a graphic and making an offset.
LIKE: that the Line Thickness of the traced image and the offset is 0.00 by default.
DISLIKE: Unable to set cutting lines of offset and traced lines. {note: I *think* that I did actually managed to set the lines to CUT but without the bold line indicator, I really don't know and can't tell if the shapes are set to cut).

v3.0.343 (PHOTO 4)
The bold lines showed up after all! They were not there when I tried to set the cutting lines after making the offset (see PHOTO 3) but I turned on the reg marks and that probably "woke" the program up. Suddenly, the bold lines appear.

 v3.0.343 (PHOTO 5)
LIKE/DISLIKE=Indifferent: At this point I'm not particularly excited or otherwise about this but some of you may be happy to know that you can save v3 files in the Legacy (v2) format (so you can open them in v2 or v1).


 v3.0.343 (PHOTO 6)
Fill Pattern
DISLIKE: Unable to drag-and-drop a digital paper into a shape to fill it with a pattern. Dragging-and-Dropping the paper will only fill up the whole Sil Studio workspace. 

v3.0.343 (VIDEO 1)
Video tutorial: How to Fill Pattern in Silhouette Studio version 3.0.343
LIKE: I can import multiple papers into my Library at a time
DISLIKE: Cannot drag-and-drop a paper to fill a shape with a pattern.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

How to Fill Pattern in Silhouette Studio version 3.0.343

Silhouette America released the latest update to their Silhouette Studio program yesterday afternoon and I was just exploring it. I have posted several screenshots of my tests to my Facebook page but while playing with the Fill Patterns feature, it became apparent that it was more helpful to record and post a video instead.

I am using Windows 8.1 with Silhouette Studio Designer Edition version 3.0.343. To see the screenshots on my Facebook page, please click HERE. If you are following this blog via the newsletter, please click HERE to view the video.

Silhouette free shape: spring has sprung

Starting yesterday, Silhouette is giving a free shape everyday until Easter. Click HERE to get today's freebie. Yesterday's free shape is still available at the time of this post. If you had missed out on it, just click HERE.

Tutorial: How to assemble the LD Bee Basket {Cut It/SVG}

I have a thing for little DIY treat bags and I was really drawn towards the bee basket from LD's Lil Peanuts Cut It Project. I couldn't wait to make it! However in my haste to complete the project, I made a couple of mistakes and ended up taking longer than I should. In case anyone is interested in making this treat holder, I wrote today's tutorial so you will not make the same mistakes that I did. The following step-by-step tutorial will show you how to assemble this bee basket.

Here are the cutouts that are needed for this project. I added in an extra black layer for the head to add some dimension to the basket. I'll explain more later in the post.

To assemble the basket, I started by creasing and folding along the score lines of all the layers and adhering the wings to the body of the bee with tape. You can totally use glue if that's what you prefer. Next, I attached the sides to the basket by gluing one side to the body at a time.

I wanted a little extra dimension to the basket so I cut out an additional black layer for the bee's head. This is so that I can adhere the head to the body with foam tape. If you prefer not to cut this additional layer, just glue the bee's head directly onto the basket.

To finish the basket, just glue the handle to the bee. Personally I find the handle rather short so I ended up using wire and beads for some of the baskets.

This project is not that difficult but you do need a fair amount of patience to put the basket together. I found that the hardest part is Step 4, and 5 where I had to glue the sides to the curvy part of the basket. Once I got a hang of that, the rest was pretty much a breeze.

The basket, when cut out at its default size, is rather small when assembled. It measures about 3" tall and 1.5" wide at its narrowest part, and 3" at its widest. I think the size is perfect for the kids. A handful of chocolate eggs with a lollipop or two, will fill up it up nicely.

File used:
Lil Peanuts Cut It Project (SVG)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

NEW! Silhouette Studio® Version 3.0.343 (released 4/16/2014)

Silhouette America has just released the latest update to Silhouette Studio version 3. This update is supposed to fix many of the bugs in the previous release. At the time of this article, I have not yet personally downloaded and installed the update so I cannot offer any reviews. Download and install at your own risk. Just saying.

Click HERE to download** Silhouette Studio version 3.0.343 and HERE to see the release notes.

Bonus freebie from the Silhouette Online Store

In addition to the weekly freebie, there is a free shape in the Silhouette Online store today. Click HERE to get the birdhouse. If you have not grabbed the weekly free shape, click HERE to get the Easter photo props.


EDIT to add:
Thanks goes to Laurie who found that the butterfly from a previous round of freebies was still available. If you had missed it before, click HERE to get it.