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.


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.



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


Crop a Photo into Any Shape | Silhouette Studio Tutorial


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.


  • 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:


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:


Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 4.53.12 PM


This one

Here I added points to fill in the ear:


Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 4.54.09 PM


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.


  • 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!



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!




Laced Sleigh



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!