Friday, 18 November 2011


Just adding links in to challenge blogs only to realise I've posted my last 2 cards on the wrong blog! D'oh it's been a hard week lol.

For those wondering I am still playing with scal, struggling with the design of a template at the mo. It's the cannabilised mermaid card on my other blog. File is pixel perfect and cuts well on my expressions but the score dots arent lining up with ends of the cut lines on someone elses cricut. If anyone fancies doing a test cut for me please just leave a comment with your email addy (I wont publish the comment) & I'll email the file over. Or you can email me at

Another anya card

Quite CAS compared to some of my latest cards. If I'm honest this is more me than loads of bling & flowers.

For another playday birthday girl and I've used a layout from sketch n stash.

Papers from first edition, baja breeze cs from SU punched with my new MS patp, swirled lace (I think) crumb cake taffeta ribbon, some pearls and another anya image coloured with copics. I'm still in love with the Elegance card stock from Joanna Sheen and it's rather nice not having to cut the image out because of a line bleed. All I need now is to work out where the light and shade is supposed to go lol.

Anya card

We've got quite a few birthday girls at playday this month and this is for one of them. The rather crooked signpost arm and sign are a semi clear shrink plastic cut with spellbinders dies then heated until they stopped curling. I had to keep going in with the heat and trying to get the arm to go straight but this was as good as it was going to get lol. Copper and pebble alchie inks helped give it an even more rustic appearance.

Layout from sketchsaturday
Papers, first edition, sentiment from SU, paperflowers from WO
Coloured with copics

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Important news on scal

SureCutsALot and MakeTheCut have made legally binding confidential agreements with Provocraft to remove cricuts from the range of digital diecutters compatible with their software. This means that unless you have bought scal or mtc you will no longer be able to buy download versions for use with cricuts, at this moment there are still cd versions available but associates have been asked to withdraw them from sale.
Fairy Cuts is at the moment the only software available that will allow you to make your own designs and cut them on a cricut. It's not as easy as scal/mtc but is the only option for new users. How long this will last before PC take legal action no one knows. Provocraft are intending to make their own webbased software available at some point in the future but there are serious issues which need to be remedied before I would even consider looking at it let alone use.
Since the introduction of scal I've been a huge fan and have happily recommended peeps to go with scal & cricuts as an easy but excellent introduction to the world of diy digital diecutting. Without cricut support in the new versions of scal & mtc I can no longer recommend cricuts.
For me the next best thing would be to go with the Pazzles inspiration which has double the cutting power of the cricut. A blackcat cougar would be an excellent choice for those who want to take it even further as it has double the cutting power of the pazzles. Neither machine are low entry prices though starting at over £400 & £500
The new comer on the block is the ecraft craftwell machine being wholesaled in the UK by crafters companion. It does have an entry level pricing but until I've used it myself to know if the original bugs have been ironed out I can not say one way or the other if I think it's a good machine.
Pazzles, black cat cougar & the ecraft are all supported by new versions of scal & mtc.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Words in Frames tut

One of the things I often get asked is how to weld words into frames. It's actually quite easy but there are a few things you need to realise otherwise it's going to get you in a pickle.

These 2 shapes from the scal library might look the same and they will both cut a square frame but they're made from 2 different shapes. The first is made from a frame, the 2nd is 2 squares, 1 inside the other.

Now scal's good but it doesnt know that we're cutting 2 frames, it just thinks it has to cut 1 frame and 2 squares. The fact that the 2 squares create a frame and that there's a square left in the middle of the frame is purely incidental and of no interest to scal.

This is the screen shot taken when we preview the cut, still no difference between the 2.

Using just arial font I've typed in dad in seperate letters so that I can move them all individually. You might want to click on the pic to see how I've overlapped them slightly as well as overlapped the frame.

When we do a cut preview you'll see that scal is going to cut each of the shapes individually and it really doesnt mind that it's going to cut a piece out where they overlap. All it's doing is cutting what it's told to, 6 letters, 1 frame & 2 squares.

Once you're happy with the way you've arranged the letters you need to draw a box around them with the cursor and click weld. I've added a black arrow to show where it is on the properties box.

This is going to be the first time you'll notice a difference in the cutter preview. As you can see with the letters in frame on the left it's going to cut out exactly what we want, welded letters in a frame. The frame we made by drawing 2 boxes will only cut the outer large square. Basically scal thinks that you've glued everything together and wont cut in to the outer square because you've told it not to by using the weld button.

One word of warning, if you use the breakapart function on the frame scal will then treat it as 2 seperate shapes and it will be no different to using 2 squares to create a frame.

This is a tag I made for Tim Holtz 12 tags of christmas.

Instead of using one of scals basic shapes I drew a bauble in psp and erased an oval where the letters are before tracing it in scal and welding the letters to it.

It might not look like the square frame but scal treats it in the same way, a shape with a waste area in the middle.

If you want to have a play with my bauble feel free to. Just save the jpg and file/trace image with scal. Usual copyright applies to it, you're free to make & sell a completed project with it but not cut and sell as diecut or offer/share as a download.

Have fun with it and I'd love to see any finished pics.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Plate rack cards

This was going to be a tutorial on putting my new plate rack design together but when I went to take the photos there really wasnt much to write about them let alone take pics of.

Very easy card to make and whether you're using the heart or basic rectangle (and any future designs) you simply need to score between the dimples. I've gone over the score lines with a pencil in this pic.

Up to you whether you decorate now or after folding. I prefer to decorate flat when using frames then fold but it can be nerve wracking when you've spent ages colouring and handcutting a stamped image.

I've marked M for mountain fold and V for valley fold. If that's gobbledegook the mountain fold is the same fold that you'd make if you were using a normal square card.

I have taken a bit of a liberty and resized the card slightly as I needed it to fit a new stamp. I also imported the heart topper twice, resized one slightly then resized them both at the same time as I enlarged the base card & straight mats (draw a box around them all on the mat and drag to size, use a 12*24 mat if need be, then move pieces you don't want to cut off of the edge of your normal sized mat and you're all ready to go)

Here we go with the finished card. I've used SU cardstock in melon mambo, pacific point and very vanilla and the lotv image is coloured with polychromo pencils.

The vanilla card has been embossed with 2 different papermania embossing folders. I was tempted to colour in the leaves and roses on the border but I don't think it needs it.

Flippin women sentiment, couple of heart shaped brads & a couple of paper roses.