Introducing my New Blog: The Art in Martha

Introducing….The Art in Martha

This past month has been a busy one for me! I launched my new blog called The Art in Marthaa creative living blog! The Art in Martha is a place to spark your creativity and find inspiration. You will find a little bit of everything there: DIY, crafts, sewing, stuff for the kids, tutorials, parenting tips from a creative perspective, and of course Silhouette CAMEO projects.

I invite you to come on over and check out The Art in Martha. Here’s the latest from the new blog: a Mother’s Day Tea Party Gift Set. Click here to get all the details.

TYPE DESIGN-2

And while you’re there, don’t forget to subscribe to The Art in Martha. As a bonus, you’ll get this free printable (and 3 others!) when you sign up. I send out a newsletter biweekly to keep you up to date with all things creative and all thing Silhouette CAMEO.

this-is-my-happy-place-print-canvas

 

Take care and see you over at The Art in Martha!

Crop a Photo into Any Shape | Silhouette Studio Tutorial

CROP A PHOTO

Hello! Last week a reader asked how to crop a photo in the shape of an animal. Here is her comment:

I am new to my Cameo and I am making some of the Silhouette Zoo Animals for table decorations for my grandson’s first birthday party. I will be mounting them on chopsticks and then sticking them in a potted plant. So the front will look cute but the back will just be plain paper in the shape of the animal. I would like to cut out a photo of my grandson on photo paper in the shape of the animal and then put that over the plain paper back. I may also need to manipulate the photo by enlarging and cropping so that his face would be sure to fit inside the outline. Would you happen to know the best way to do that? Is photo paper something that the Cameo can cut?

Yes, the CAMEO can cut photo paper and yes, you can cut a photo in any shape your heart desires! The CAMEO is a really versatile tool and I happen to agree with Silhouette America’s slogan, “Dream it up. Cut it out.”.

Caterpillar birthday

A couple of years ago, I made a Very Hungry Caterpillar photo banner for my son’s 1st birthday. I added monthly baby photos to each circle of the caterpillar’s body to display his growth throughout the year. I think that this project will serve as a great tutorial to address the reader’s question.

To add a photo in the shape of a circle:

  • Import your photos into Silhouette Studio. I was able to import my photos by dragging them from iPhoto into Silhouette Studio.
  • Next, use the “Draw an Ellipse” tool to create a circle. Hold down the shift key while drawing the circle to make it perfectly round.

13 Photos

  • I made 13 circles that were slightly smaller than the main body’s green circles.
  • Place one circle on top of each photo and resize the photos as necessary.

place circle on top of photo

  • Open the Modify window and select Crop.

Crop

  • Repeat for the remaining 12 photos.

Next, the print and cut feature will need to be set up:

  • In the Design Page Settings window, select letter sized paper.
  • In the Registration Marks window, select Type 1 (CAMEO, Portrait) in the Style menu.
  • Place the photos onto the page avoiding the greyed out areas. Also, make sure that the pictures are not placed outside of your printer’s boundaries.
  • Print the photos onto photo paper.
  • Once printed, place the photo paper onto the cutting mat.
  • Before cutting, perform a test cut (the test cut button is found in the Send to Silhouette window). Adjust the blade and the paper thickness if necessary. I set my blade to 3 and the paper thickness was 25.
  • Select the Send to Silhouette icon. The Silhouette will automatically check for registration marks. Make sure that the cover of the machine is closed and that it is in a well lit location.

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 3.05.37 PM

That’s it! The photos are ready to be adhered to the green circles.

Here are a couple of variations that you could do instead:

Alternatives

The first example shows a “Trace and Detached” photo with an added background. The second example depicts a photo added to a maple leaf. This example, which I think best represents the reader’s project idea, can be achieved by following the above circle tutorial but instead of drawing a circle, import a design from the library. I would recommend using a shape that is proportionate to fitting the photo. Using a giraffe, for example, would not be the easiest shape to add a photo to as it is an odd shaped design-too tall and too narrow.

To make a “trace and detached” photo, please note that this process is quite time consuming because there is a fair bit of editing involved. It also requires a more advanced knowledge of Silhouette Studio to accomplish this technique. In addition, the photos must have a clean and/or contrasting background in order for the trace to be effective.

Here is a quick guide on how to trace and detach a photo:

  • Open the Trace window.
  • 1. Select trace area. With the mouse, encompass the part of the photo that will be traced.
  • 2. Adjust the levels in the high and low pass filters until the main subject of the photo is mostly yellow.
  • 3. Select Trace and Detach.

Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 4.44.23 PM

  • If there is background clutter included in the trace (like there is in my picture), remove this excess by editing the points. The edit points icon is located in the side bar. It’s the second icon down.

Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 4.45.33 PM

  • Delete or add points to create smooth lines around the traced photo.

Shown below, I deleted points to smooth out the side of the head:

BEFORE:

Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 4.53.12 PM

AFTER:

This one

Here I added points to fill in the ear:

BEFORE:

Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 4.54.09 PM

AFTER:

Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 4.54.37 PM

Finally, here is the finished result after editing all of the points. It is still a little rough but from a distance no one will be able to tell the difference.

Finished results

The traced photo can now be added to any shape or simply cut as is. I decided to add a background behind this photo and then I placed it on a butterfly.

  • In the Modify window, select Divide in order for the picture to take the shape of the butterfly.
  • Delete the excess parts of the shape.

Butterfly

  • Group all parts of the shape together and select No Cut in the Cut Settings window.
  • Import the butterfly shape again. The cut style for this butterfly will be set to Cut.
  • In the align window, select Center under the Align menu to make the two butterflies into one shape.

If this process is not followed, it may be difficult, if not impossible, for the cut lines to show on just the outer edge.

I hope that this tutorial will give you a few ideas on how you can add a photo to any design in Silhouette Studio. Let me know if you found this tutorial helpful and by all means, leave a comment if you have any question on how to use your Silhouette CAMEO. I would love to hear from you!

Martha-2

 

Princess Apron

princess apron tutorial

Today’s Silhouette project is designed for all girls who love pink and princesses! I made this sweet and feminine princess apron for my friend’s niece and I am very pleased with how it all came together. I followed my basic apron pattern and added a few princess details.

For a feminine touch, I sewed a sparkly butterfly ribbon to the middle and bottom portions of the apron and added a layer of gathered tule. For a personalized touch, I cut the child’s name (LW Splendid Font) out of white heat transfer vinyl. Be sure to mirror the text before cutting. The Heart Princess Crown was cut using silver heat transfer material.

princess apron bib

As an added accessory, I created this matching oven mitt.

Princess Apron Tutorial

  • Cut this oven mitt shape onto white paper. This served as my pattern.
  • Pin the pattern onto the fabric and cut twice.
  • Hem the bottom opening.
  • Sew some gathered tule and ribbon onto the bottom edge of the mitt.
  • Place wrong sides of the mitt together and sew around the edge, leaving the bottom open.
  • Turn right-side out.
  • Apply the heat transfer material princess crown.

Princess Apron Tutorial

I have used this same pattern to create a girl’s apron.

Girl's Apron

You might also be interested in checking out my kid’s tool apron.

Kid's Tool Apron

Kid’s Tool Apron

Thank you for checking out my post today and happy crafting!

Martha-2

 

 

Laced Sleigh

sleigh-copy

 

Check out my latest post on the Silhouette America Blog. I used one of their free 12 Days of Christmas designs to make this fun laced sleigh. Kids of about 5 years and older will enjoy making the sleigh pocket which can later be used to house a small gift or a gift card. Also, if you haven’t done so already, go to the Silhouette Design Store and collect all of the free designs during their 12 Days of Christmas event. Grab them while you can, this event won’t last long!

Have a great day!

Martha-2

Gift Card Holder and Gift Box

Cookie Box and Gift Tag

This Christmas, several members of the Silhouette America Design Team decided to exchange gifts with one another. I was very excited to create a gift for a fellow design team member, but I was also a little nervous. My personal expectations to create something beautiful were definatly higher than usual. After much consideration, I chose to gift a treat box filled with a homemade version of Starbucks’ cranberry bliss cookies and a gift card for Starbucks.

I began my project with baking a batch of the cranberry bliss cookies. This recipe was highly recommended to me by my friend and coworker Claude, who is one of the best hobby-chefs that I know.  My expectations were high and let me tell you, they were met. These cookies are the most scrumptious homemade cookies that I think I have ever made! Best of all, they look as good as they taste, which was perfect for presentation in my gift. You can find this recipe (and many others) on Claude’s blog called à la Claude.

Cookie Box and Gift Tag

Now that I had baked the cookies, I needed to find a large box that would fit my treat. The 3D treat box by Jamie Lane was ideal for these large cookies. The box was easy to put together as it only required a small amount of glue to seal the seams. The original box design also includes decorative panels but I decided to leave them off. Check out Jamie’s blog to assemble the box.

Cookie Box and Gift Tag

I placed the cookies in a clear plastic bag and used a wired rope to tie it closed.

Cookie Box and Gift Tag

Eight large cookies fit well inside the box.

Cookie Box and Gift Tag

Next, I made the gift card holder. I was looking for a straightforward design and came across a beautiful card called 3D Decorative Ornament Gift Card Holder. I did not alter the design in anyway. I simply imported it into Silhouette Studio and cut it out with my Silhouette CAMEO. The outside layer was cut from cardstock while the inside layer was cut from printable adhesive kraft paper. As a result of using adhesive kraft paper, the sticky side was exposed through the cutout of the mistletoe branch. I then added rust glitter to the exposed adhesive.

The ornament was completed by adding printable gold foil to the top of the ornament.

Cookie Box and Gift Tag

Here is a look at the inside of the gift card holder. I like that there is plenty of room to write a message on the bottom half of the card.

Cookie Box and Gift Tag

Next, I attached the gift card holder to the box by using wired rope. To create the spiralled rope, I curled the ends around a pen.

Cookie Box and Gift Tag

I am quite happy with the way that this gift came together but most importantly, I feel pretty confident that my recipient will like it too.

Cookie Box and Gift Tag

Thank you for checking out my blog and have a great day!

Martha-2

Snow Globe Christmas Ornament

Snow Globe Ornament

I made a trip to Michael’s a few weeks ago and picked up an assortment of different shaped glass ornaments. I could hardly wait to get home and experiment with some of the ideas that I had eyed up on Pintrest. Last week, I featured a glitter ornament project that used double-sided adhesive. Check it out if you haven’t done so already because it is a good one! This week I’ll share my snow globe Christmas ornament.

The supplies needed to make this ornament include:

  • a photo of your child standing (preferably with a white background)
  • a round ornament with a flat front
  • imitation snow
  • transparency for an overhead projector

When I went to Staples, I was shocked to discover that the only transparencies for sale cost $50 for 50 sheets! I only needed one, so I went to the printshop and they sold me one sheet for less than $1. They had to dig around for the transparency, apparently no one uses them anymore!

To assemble this project:

  • Cut 1 transparency circle of equal dimension to the ornament. In Silhouette Studio, hold the shift key down as you make the circle. This will make a perfect circle. Perform a test cut as transparency material can come in different thicknesses.
  • Either import a picture of your child into Silhouette Studio or use the PixScan™ to import a picture. I used the PixScan™ because I did not have an electronic version of this photo.
  • Next, use the Trace and Detach feature located in the trace window. Adjust the high and low pass filters until the body of the person is yellow in colour. Then, select trace and detach. You will probably have to do some point editing to clean up the edges of the trace.
  • If you used the PixScan™, the next step is to cut the picture with the Silhouette by selecting “Send to Silhouette”. If you imported a photo, use the Print and Cut feature. Remember to include the registration marks.
  • Next, adhere the photo to the transparency.

Snow Globe Ornament

  • Now pour a small amount of imitation snow into the ornament.
  • Next, roll the transparency and photo into a little tube and insert it into the opening of the ornament.

Snow Globe Ornament

  • Use pliers to straighten the photo.

That’s it! You have now created an adorable and personalized snow globe christmas ornament.

Snow Globe Ornament

I found my inspiration for this craft at Best Bites. Here, you will see how Sara made a homemade snow globe using her children’s pictures. So cool!

Before signing off, I would like to congratulate Jamie for winning my Silhouette America blog hop giveaway! She has been contacted and she is super excited to receive the double-sided adhesive starter kit. The blog hop was a lot of fun!

Have a great day everyone!

Martha

 

BLOG HOP DAY! DIY Glitter Ornaments

Blog Hop

A big welcome to everyone who is participating in the Silhouette America Design Team Blog Hop! I am so excited to be apart of this great event!

Double-sided adhesive is my favourite Silhouette America products and because of that, I have teamed up with Silhouette America to giveaway a double-sided adhesive starter kit to one lucky winner! How exciting is that? Just think of all the fun projects that you could make with this great product.

kit-adhesive-3t_01-xl

Here is one example of how I used double-sided adhesive and glitter this holiday season:

DIY Glitter Ornaments

‘Tis the season for all things that sparkle, shine, and glitter! Why not add the personal touch to this year’s Christmas tree with these eye catching DIY glitter ornaments. They are a lot fun to make with your Silhouette CAMEO/Portrait and with the variety of colours of glitter that are available in the Silhouette Store, you will be sure to find the perfect match for your holiday decor.

Making glitter ornaments are very enjoyable but along the way, a few issues can sometimes arise. Below, I have listed a few pointers that will ensure that your glittering experience remains enjoyable:

  • Use small designs. I kept each design to less than 1″ in diameter. This is necessary because the ornament is round and the design is flat. As a result a large picture will not lay nicely on the round surface. A small design will lay perfectly. (You may have notice that the polkadot ornament has a little bit of buckling as I made the dots a little too large.)

DIY Glitter Ornaments

  • Use simple designs. The snowflake, heart and star are great examples of simple designs. Your Silhouette CAMEO/Portrait will perform more precisely when it cuts a simple design at a small ratio.

DIY Glitter Ornaments

DIY Glitter Ornaments

DIY Glitter Ornaments

  • When glittering your ornaments, keep a vacuum with a duster attachment close by. It is used for two purposes. Not only does it help make for an easy cleanup, but it is excellent for removing all the stray sparkles left on the ornament. It’s very dry where I live, so the glitter clung to the ornaments like glue, even when I tried to dust them off with a paint brush. Only the vacuum could remove the excess glitter.

DIY Glitter Ornaments

To enter the contest, complete the following questions by clicking on “a Rafflecopter giveaway”. The contest opens on Dec. 1, 2014 8:00 am MT and will close on Dec. 5, 2014 at 11:59 pm, MT. You will find the rules to enter the giveaway listed below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Now head over to my fellow design team member’s blog, Jessee Maloney, at An Art School Dropout’s Life for the next exciting post in the blog hop!

 

If you missed the blog hop link to the previous design team member’s post, you can check out Nicole Mantooth’s post over at Random Ramblings.

Thank you for checking out my post today and best of luck to everyone entering the giveaway!

Contest Giveaway Rules:

  • The giveaway is open to US/Canada Residents, 18 year of age and older.
  • Void where prohibited.
  • This giveaway is not associated with Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest. Prizes will be fulfilled by Silhouette America.
  • The winner cannot have won another Silhouette America giveaway in the past 90 days.
  • The winner should expect their prize to arrive within 4-6 weeks.
  • The winner must fulfil the giveaway requirements

*Note: If the double-sided adhesive kit is not in stock at the time of the draw, the prize will be replaced with double-sided adhesive and glitter.