31 Jan 2016

Help! Black SVG files in Silhouette Studio

If you open an SVG file in the Silhouette Studio software and the image is not coloured, but displays only in black, don't panic! 

At the time of writing, the current version of the Silhouette Studio Designer Edition (V3.6.057) opens some SVG files without colours (and the same is likely with the Designer Plus and Business Edition). The developers have identified that this only affects some files designed and saved in Corel Draw and will put a fix in the next update. Unless you have designed the files for yourself you probably won't be aware of the software used to design them, so files that you have purchased or downloaded might be affected. If they do appear black on your screen there are some simples steps you can take to make your files more user friendly again.

You could either:
  • Revert to an earlier version of the software, or
  • Leave your software as it is and add colours to the file. 
I'll just demonstrate here how the second option can easily be achieved.

Here is the cute bunny chick file from the Easter SVG design I downloaded from Sanqunetti Design.

When it is opened in the latest version of the Silhouette Studio Designer Edition (V3.6.057) it looks like this:

Simply select the separate parts in turn and colour in using the Fill function.

When all the parts are coloured it is easier to manipulate as you wish.
I decided to cut the pieces as laid out below.

Then I made it into this card re-sizing the chick's egg-shaped tummy to make a shaker frame and filled it with eggs made from the same shape.

The Easter SVG file, available from Sanqunetti Design, also includes sentiments/word art and an Easter truck. 

Wouldn't the 'Some Bunny' phrase look great on a baby garment!

30 Jan 2016

David Bowie Darkstar Art shared

The designer of David Bowie's album cover has released elements of the cover art under a Creative Commons, non-commercial, share-alike licence.

This is great news for crafters and Silhouette owners. We can make T-shirt and mug decals and all manner of other items for personal use by importing the files to the Silhouette Design software. You can read about it and download the files (.pdf & .jpg) here

I used one of the elements to decorate this plain mug.

Love fan art!

15 Jan 2016

Top 10 Tips for using pens with the Silhouette

Did you know that your could use the Silhouette Cameo to write instead of cut? I used mine to make this faux chalkboard kitchen plaque.

The word art on this sign was made by swapping the cutting blade for a pen holder and using a white gel pen on smooth black card stock.  The pen follows the exact path that the blade would, and so just draws the outline of the letters. I used a chalk marker to partially colour the larger letters and the coffee beans and a fine white gel pen to add a pattern to the coffee mug.

I thought I'd share a list of tips to help you achieve a pleasing effect.

10 TOP TIPS for using pens with your Silhouette:

  1. Invest in a pen holder - it allows you to use your favourite pens.
  2. Use a smooth cutting mat. I use the mat that I usually reserve exclusively for vinyl. A rough mat will cause your pen to skip.
  3. Scribble a little with the pen to get the ink flowing before installing it in the pen holder.
  4. Don't use too high a pressure setting, this can result in unwanted carriage lines, blotches and even cause the roller in a roller ball pen to close and prevent ink from flowing.
  5. Use a flat lolly stick or tongue depressor under your pen nib to set the correct height in the holder for your pen ... and don't forget to remove it before you hit  'Send to Silhouette'!
  6. Smooth card stock gives a more even result. Don't use textured card stock unless you are wanting a more distressed look.
  7. Pens generally work best on card stock, so adhere your card to your item after it's printed (and had time to dry). The newer Curio machine allows for thicker items to be placed in the mat area.
  8. Try to make your design small enough to fit between the rollers. The rollers may smear slower drying inks.
  9. Select the best position for the card on your mat and match its location on your screen. N.B. there is a bigger space without rollers to the right of the mat. 
  10. If you do get smears across your work leave them to dry a little and then remove excess pen marks gently with an adhesive eraser.

Do let me know how you get on if you try this - I'm happy to add additional tips too if you have any to share!

Details on this Coffee Lettering SVG file from Sanqunetti Design are in my previous post.  

Mad for Coffee Word Art

I love playing with word art and I SO enjoyed making some home decor items with the new Coffee Lettering SVG file from Sanqunetti Design and my Silhouette Cameo.

I made this coffee mug with regular outdoor rated vinyl. It cuts and releases like a dream if you use a good quality vinyl that hasn't been stored for too long. I now ALWAYS buy from a reputable supplier as poorly stored vinyl can be a devil to work with (don't ask me how I know)! I usually buy Oracal 651 from MDP Supplies in the UK. 

This wall plaque was made using the pen function - yes, the Silhouette can draw as well as cut!  There will be a mini tutorial on this process in my next post as it seems to be rather popular!

This box frame filled with coffee beans and decorated with gold vinyl looks great in 'real' life but didn't photograph quite as well - those reflections are so annoying!

Here is the file I made them all from. Its a great set for those new to svgs files - just a little re-sizing required. AND ... if you are quick, you can buy it from Sanqunetti Design at 50% off! (limited time offer). The download also includes a DXF file - so you don't even need the designer edition of the Silhouette Studio software to use it.

If you like seeing my makes, do leave a comment. There is nothing so good as encouragement to keep me crafting and blogging.  If you'd like further instructions do let me know and I'll see if I can write a little tutorial.

Thanks for visiting - call by any time!

10 Jan 2016

Cactus Love - a shaped card

Judy at Sanqunetti Design has just made her fabulous Cactus Love designs available in SVG format. 

I adore this little hedgehog guy and couldn't resist making a shaped card with him and his cactus pal. 

This card was such fun to make will all the little finishing touches. I'll share some instructions and some closeup pics in a future post. Now would be a good time to subscribe so you don't miss it.

I love how you can make these cuties stare into each other's eyes - that's cactus love!

Dinosaur Spines - Free Silhouette File

This free file can be used to transform the skin of a dinosaur or other animal in Silhouette Studio file format.
It includes bonus items such as a mask to cut out and use for texture paste.
I'll be showing how you can use it in a future post.

Link to free file Dinosaur_Spines_JP Silhouette Studio V3.

Silhouette Tutorial - Welding the Valentine Lion

The Valentine Lion from Sanqunetti Design is one of my favourite cards of 2015 (have I said that before? lol).  The design is provided in a variety of formats and in flexible way so that, with small adaptations, they can be used for multiple cutting media (fabric, card, vinyl, HTV etc). 

If you use the Silhouette Studio software it takes a little bit of design savvy to make the SVG file easier to use to cut out with paper/card.  N.B. You DO need to have the Designer, Designer Plus or Business edition to work with SVG files without using additional vector software.

I've included a few screen shots here using the Silhouette Studio software to show you how to make it easier to cut and layer your pieces by using the WELD function. 

Here are the 3 main head pieces (you should leave them in their original positions from the ValentineLion_SVG_whole file), of which the red and pink manes are each 14 pieces grouped together.

Firstly ungroup the lion until you are able to move away the extra bits. Arrange the head pieces so that the head is at the the front.  OBJECT > Arrange > Send to Front. 

Selecting one of the head pieces, hold down shift and select the pink mane too. 
Then, MODIFY > weld. 
Both pieces should turn pink.
Send them to the back,  OBJECT > Arrange > Send to Back.

Do the same with the red mane.
Select one head piece, hold down shift and select the red mane, then MODIFY > Weld. Both pieces should turn red.
Send them to the back,  OBJECT > Arrange > Send to Back.

You should now have just 3 pieces instead of 29 which will match perfectly when cut out and layered over each other!

You'll perhaps want to weld another copy of the head to the body and maybe the body to the tail and so one. I leave it up to you!

Have fun welding! 

4 Jan 2016

I'm Not Lion - Lion Card from an SVG File

My favourite card from 2015 and I'm not lion (lying)! (Sorry about the pun, but it had to be said)

Some things I make and I'm happy with them, and others are just ok, but this one really made me smile! I love the colours, the textures, the design and just how neatly it all went together.

This card was made on my Silhouette Cameo and developed from the Valentine Lion SVG cutting file from Sanqunetti Design.

It looks quite complex with lots of little pieces, but with a little editing in the right places it was super easy.  I've made a separate post here to help you make these changes in the Silhouette Studio software by welding.

It all went together with Beacon 3-in-1 Adhesive, including extra foam shapes beneath the head and heart on the tail to give it additional dimension. Love, love, love!