Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Keys to my Heart

How exciting! I am the guest designer on Sassylady's Blog today. Come on over!

We renovated our downstairs a couple of years ago. and it has taken me until now to decide what type of "art" I want on my walls. My kids and grandkids are honestly the keys to my heart, so what better art for my home? Thanks, HGTV, for the great ideas for family photos!

8 x 10" canvas (Michael's or Wal-Mart)
Krylon spray paint
My Sketch (or other photo editing software)
Lettering Delights SVG files: Keys
Make The Cut Software
Assorted glue


Spray the canvas with the Krylon paint in a well ventilated area. I actually taped off an area in the picture, but later went back and sprayed the whole front of the canvas. Let dry

Adjust the photo in My Sketch (for more information click here.) Save the photo to be traced in MTC.

Select File: Import Pixel Trace and choose the photo from the correct file on your computer.  

Adjust the settings so that the entire photo is green. Set alpha to highest number, Threshold 255, scale so that the size is of your choosing--no larger than 8 x 10 and finally select Import

When prompted, select no.

Send the graphic to your home printer to be printed and then cut in the MTC software. I used my Zing and this vinyl cuts like butter! Zing settings: Speed 10, Force 8, Red blade with offset of 0.35, one pass. 
You can simply print the photo and trim with scissors or a paper cutter. 

Apply the vinyl photo to the canvas. Peel the vinyl from the backing; position as desired on the front (spray painted) canvas. Turn the canvas over and lay face down on a clean, firm surface. With firm pressure, roll a breyer/roller over the back of the canvas. 

Flip the canvas right side up. Gently roll the vinyl to secure to the canvas.

I was going to stop here, but decided this art needed more! So, I opened a set of keys in my MTC. Notice that I duplicated each of three keys so that each totalled three in number. I planned to cut these from cardstock so three stacks well and creates a thicker product. 

I then set up my cardstock for cutting: 

On the Zing I was able to cut the keys using the WYSIWYG mode with the following settings:
Force 80, Cut one time, Red blade offset at 0.35. The result:

Hmm....looks like I have some really cool corners for my photo from the inside of the heart keys!
I have to admit that in the end, I did not like the keys all the same size as pictured above. I recut one set smaller and was much happier with it. 

To complete the art, glue the keys and the corners around the vinyl edge. As I looked at it I realized that the next time I am in a craft store I will look for either a chain or a cord with tassel to add just a bit more dimension. And in the end, tying up those keys just ties up my heart even more! 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

My Sketch and My Craft room

Hi all! I am visiting on Bugbytes blog today. If you haven't found this wonderful place, come on over!

I have discovered the coolest app on my I Pad and I want to share it with you---as part of my craft room.  Let me introduce you to “My Sketch” for  I Phone and I pad. If you have an Android device, Pencil Sketch and Sketch Me are similar apps. The premise for all is similar: you either take a picture or use one from your library and then the app converts the photo into a sketch, beautifully. No further introduction, let's craft!

8.5 x 11" white card stock
Card base: 8.5" x 5.5"
A photo sketch app for your phone or computer
Make-the -Cut software
Lettering Delights Digital papers: Forget Me Not and Design Blues
IRock heat set tool and metallic brads
Distress Ink: Antique Photo
Assorted glues 
Assorted embellishments

The steps:

Download and install the correct app for your system.

Open the app.

I was then prompted to either take a photo or choose a photo from my library. 

Okay, I'll admit that I already had a photo in mind! :-) 

I cannot remember where this was obtained, but I love this scene!

This particular app prompted me to "set the sketch area," and choose what I wanted to sketch. 

Next, I selected "Sketch photo." Wow! There are so many choices and types of sketch! I decided the Sepia Sketch was what I wanted....this time.

There are also two types of styles from which to choose, one is not as fine as the other. Both, are awesome! The app is so polite, it asked me to wait while it sketched my "beautiful photo." I could then adjust the photo to my exact likeness.

The "My Sketch" app then allows me to save in the best resolution for my purposes. Because I want to print and cut my picture I chose 100%. I also had numerous choices for the place I saved my sketch and I could even send this as a postcard! But I want to add this to a card for a friend recently diagnosed with cancer. 

I can now take this into my Make the Cut software and use it as "Texture" to create my card. 

I selected File: Import: Pixel Trace and located my image on my computer. Note the stars; with the name highlighted I chose open. 

With Pixel Trace open I chose the following settings: Alpha 255, Threshold 255, Texturize path, Scale to size 3. 51 x 2.62". I selected Import and responded "No" to the pop-up window.

Because I do not want this square, I chose the rounded corner rectangle from the basic shapes menu. I stacked the two shapes. (Be sure that all shapes are on their own layer! (Notice the lower right corner of the picture.) The photo will be printed and the shape will be cut. 

 Using the features of Make the Cut, I then created the parts of my card. I chose to fill each shape with a "texture" from my Lettering Delights digital paper collections.

Again, I made sure that each object was placed on its own layer. Note the layer with the circled name. This is just a rectangular shape from the basic shapes. It is placed in this position because it holds the position of the print and cut marks in a stable position as I turn layers off and on for printing and cutting. 

When it is all said and done, this is how my screen looked:

Before I send my printed copy to my home printer, I selected the layers marked by stars below:

I placed the printed sheet on my Zing mat and returned to my computer. I selected the layers marked by a star to send to my cutter:


 All that is left is assembling the card! Using this app in my crafting is soon to be a favorite! I encourage you to try it, too!

steps of use

Setting up MTC/
Papers used: Forgetmenot (LD), design blues