December 8, 2017

First card using Silhouette Portrait 2

Happy birthday card with blue chevron background and the sentiment in silver glitter paper, with three stars

I’d been waiting for the black friday sale to get a silhouette portrait 2. I sold my KNK Zing sometime back and this was my replacement for it. Zing was a great machine but much more powerful (and hence complex) than my needs. It was also quite big (like other 12” cutters). I leaned towards the Portrait 2 for a couple of reasons:

  1. I really like the variety of designs in Silhouette Design Store. It gives you a lot of options.
  2. I do not cut anything that’s greater than or equal to 12” on all sides. I can still cut anything greater than 8” in the portrait as long as the other side is less than 8”. That fits the bill for all my projects.
  3. The smaller size and the light weight of Portrait swayed me towards it. Smaller size definitely helps in saving space. light weight was probably more of a feel good factor because it’s not like I carry it around.
  4. It has the same cutting capabilities as the Cameo – including the bluetooth. I believe the stipple feature is only for Cameo but I don’t care much for it. No longer I wanted to buy a machine thinking “oh what if I needed that feature once in 2 years”. I wanted to buy for my common scenarios.
  5. Love the auto-blade feature!

While the price wasn’t that much discounted ($160 vs $200 regular price), I did get $125 credit for Silhouette Design Store and 150 free designs.

Now going back to the card, I really like the clean cuts from the Portrait. For the font I used “bauhaus 93”. It’s one of the fonts that comes pre-installed on Windows. I got the stars from one of the free designs and the chevron background is this design in the store. The glitter paper is from DCWV Glitzy stack. Love that paper! It has glitter but not the kind that rubs off and the paper is very smooth. I used 65lb paper for the background.

Portrait cut settings:

  • For DCWV Glitzy cardstock, I used the built-in “Cardstock, Glitter” setting.
  • For the 65lb cardstock, I used the built-in “Cardstock, Plain” setting.

December 1, 2017

How to use sewing patterns 101

I’ve been using sewing patterns for a few years now to stitch clothes, bags etc. There are a lot of companies that make these patterns – McCall, Simplicity, Vogue, Burda are the big brands and then there are a lot of boutique designer patterns. Even after using the patterns for sometime now, I’m still learning them. That made me think how intimidating it must be to first start using them and hence the idea for this post. I thought I could share what I’ve learned so far. Here you go:

  1. Let’s start with the basics – pick the right size of pattern. Take your body measurements and look at the pattern to see which size you would need for your body measurements.
  2. Select the right fabric. This is one of the most important things. I have learnt the hard way. There were times when I chose to ignore what were the recommended fabrics for a pattern and just bought the fabric I wanted to make it with. Not a good thing to do. If you don’t know much about fabrics, you can search online fabric store for the type or better still go to your local fabric store (preferably not a big box store) and the attendants there are very helpful as well as knowledgeable. You can show them the pattern’s recommended fabric list and ask them what would work.
  3. Read the instructions completely before starting. And make sure you understand most of it. Some of them may get more clear when you start sewing it but you should get a good idea about what the general instructions are and how you would be sewing what you would be sewing.
  4. Cut the pattern to your measurements. It’s possible that the bust size of Size 16 is right for you but the waist is not. Every pattern has instructions on how to cut a pattern if your 3 measurements belong to two or three sizes. Read that and cut your pattern accordingly. This might mean you will not cut the pattern on the line for one size.
  5. Pay attention to instructions. When sewing, make sure your garment looks like what the picture shows at that step. It has happened to me a couple of times that I misunderstand the instruction and then my garment picture doesn’t match the pattern picture at that step. I think oh it’s a problem with the picture and carry on. No! Don’t do that! You might have to rip the seam and do it again and do that till you are satisfied with it.
  6. Be ready to rip the seams. Don’t be afraid or lazy to rip the seams as needed. It’s important to do it right for the pieces of the puzzle to fit together. For that if you need to rip the seams multiple times do it. The end result will be worth it.
  7. Try it out if it’s a garment. As often as possible try out the garment to see if it fits well. Once it’s done you can’t change much but you can right now. So try it out and see if it’s lose/tight/low/high/etc.
  8. Take notes. I’ve found things vary by pattern company. So take notes. Did the pattern company ask for more fabric that you needed? Did the size fit you well for this pattern company? Were the instructions clear? And so on. This is something I regret not doing.

November 17, 2017

Work in progress

If you are wondering what am I up to these days, well I’m working on some dresses for myself. Yes correct, in plural!

I have had these patterns for sometime and decided to put them to good use.

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I bought some linen blend fabric for this one – will be posting pictures soon. Cutting out the pattern pieces currently and pre-washing the fabric.

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For this, I got some nice soft cotton. Originally I’d selected a print from Cotton+Steel and it was so beautiful. However the fabric was short by 1/4 yd and I wasn’t sure if that would be ok or not. So I picked this other print which quite close to the one I liked. Again pictures will be coming soon!

November 10, 2017

Inlaid die cuts

Celebrate card with gingham background and die cut flowers and pearls

I stamped the background using a gingham background stamp. Then die cut the background with the larger flowers. Also die cut the large flower in a dark blue cardstock. Using the inlaid die cut technique, placed the blue die cut flowers in the spaces in the background panel. To these I added the light blue die cut flowers and finally embellished with adhesive pearls. Decorated the card with stickles and stamped the sentiment. It looks so pretty! My goal was to make a masculine card with the gingham background but my girly brain always takes the turn towards flowers, glitters and pearls! Sigh!

Misti helped me in getting a nice background as I could stamp repeatedly till I was satisfied! Love that ability!

Supplies: Waltzingmouse Say it loud stamp set, PapertreyInk dies, Recollection colored cardstock, Impression Obsession cover-a-card Gingham background, adhesive pearls, Stickles, Misti stamping tool, Memento dew drops.

November 3, 2017

Peony bouquet happy anniversary

Anniversary card with Altenew Peony Bouquet stamps

Had so much fun making this card with Altenew Peony Bouquet stamp set and my misti! I used a combination of distress inks and memento dew drops. The sentiment is from My Sentiments Exactly.


Anniversary card with Altenew Peony Bouquet stamps

Supplies: Altenew Peony Bouquet stamp set, My Sentiments Exactly Anniversary Innies and Outies stamp set, Misi stampipng tool, Distress inks, Memento Dew Drops, Neenah solar white cardstock, Papertrey Ink Pink cardstock.

October 27, 2017

Hippo Bird-day

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The hippos in th Happy Hippo set from MFT are so cute! The set has many hippos and all doing different things which gave me the idea to make this card. I wanted it to look like all these hippos are coming in different directions and eyeing the cupcakes. The circle die cuts serve as windows. Really loved how it turned out!

Supplies: MFT Happy Hippo, Zig Clean Color Brush markers, Stickles, memento tuxedo black ink, Bristol Smooth cardstock for watercoloring and PapertreyInk cardstock for the base.

June 28, 2017

Another pop up box card – garden theme

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If you would like to know how to make these pop up box cards without using a die refer to my previous post. They are really easy to make and look so cute!!

For this one, I changed the dimensions a  little bit. In the previous post, the box flaps and the box sides are the same dimensions 2” X 2.5”. In this I changed the box flap to 1.5” X 2.5” and the box sides are 2.5” X 2.5”. I think I liked the original dimensions  better – although this looks good as well.

I used a strip of acetate cardstock to attach the bee so that it looks like it’s hovering above the grass. I colored the images using copics as well as prismacolor pencils. The grass die cut I had cut using my zing sometime back.

A closer look:

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Supplies: Lawn Fawn Gnome Sweet Gnome, Copics, Prismacolor pencils, KNK Zing, acetate cardstock, Papertrey ink cardstock.